NEPC’s Response to COVID-19

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends,

We are in unprecedented times, being forced into new patterns of being that feel unnatural and strange, but are ever so necessary in order to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of this pandemic.  The rhythm and flow of our “normal” lives has been completely disrupted, and we’re just beginning to experience what this is going to be like.  It’s hard, it’s scary, and it’s frightening. What are we to do? Well, there are a few answers to that, which I’d like to share with you today.

What am I to do?

Be wise and prudent, but not fearful.  We can take the novel coronavirus seriously and apply appropriate social distancing and good hygiene without falling into fear.  I encourage you to follow the guidelines issued by the CDC and the federal and state governments.  Wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, stay 6’ away from others, and avoid large group gatherings.  But even with those efforts you might contract the virus.  Whether you do or not, you are always in Jesus’ hands.  He is present with us in our isolation, our quarantines and even more in our illnesses.  He is already and will continue to watch over each one of us.  We need not fear for our present or future, because Jesus is already there.

What is our church to do?

Both Scripture (Romans 13:1) and our confession (Westminster 23.4) command us to submit to civil authorities, and while (at the time of the writing of this letter) no law has been issued barring us from gathering for worship, we do believe that it is our civic responsibility to comply, as best as possible, with their recommendations to slow the spread of this virus.  To that end, we have cancelled all ministries and missions outside of worship.  This includes Sunday school, Bible studies, women’s circles, and youth group.  We are also moving the focus of our worship service to online streaming.  As long as you have an internet-connected device (cell phone, TV, computer, iPad, etc), you can join us for worship.  Simply go to www.facebook.com/npcmh at 11am on Sunday morning, and you’ll see the livestream there (you do not need a Facebook account to see the service).  We will publish the bulletin online so you can follow along.  We’ll send more information about how this works on different devices in a few days.  In addition, the Sanctuary will still be open if you would like to be present with us, but we encourage folks to sit 6’ apart.  But let me re-emphasize: If you are in the higher-risk categories for COVID-19, please do not put yourself at risk by going out.  Also, if you have been reading for B90, by all means keep it up!  While our discussion groups won’t be meeting, we’ll email you online videos and tools.

The Work of the Church goes on

In the midst of this, we are still hard at work serving you and our community. Our programs might be temporarily cancelled, but the work of the church is more than a program or ministry.  Please continue giving.  Our community needs the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ now more than ever.  Send your tithes and offerings in weekly.  If you find yourself quarantined and unable to go to the store or need help, please let us know.  Look for ways to to love your neighbor, old or young.  Invite a neighbor to join your family for worship in your living room (but practice appropriate social distancing).  Call one another and check in to see how folks are doing.  And when you hear of a need or concern, please let us know.  In the midst of this terrible situation, we have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus for each other and our neighbors in ways we’d never dreamed.

The Church has faced pandemics like this time and again throughout history.  While we don’t know how long this will last, we know that it too shall pass and look forward to the time when we can worship and be together in person.  Until then, be wise and prudent.  Practice good hygiene, appropriate social distancing, and the guidance of our governing authorities.  Help where you are able.  And above and beyond all else, pray.  For we are all in God’s hands, and we should earnestly pray for his mercy to bring an end to this pestilence both here and abroad.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. David Garrison


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NEPC Student Ministries News & Info – August 2019

Things for the youth ministry at Northminster slowed down over the summer, but we’re cranking things back up as we get ready for the fall!

Welcome Rising 6th Graders!

We’re excited to have you join us!  You are welcome to join us for Sunday school on Sunday mornings any time!  John Lange and Sharon Bryant are our teachers, and they’d love to see you at 9:45 on Sundays.

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, August 7, ~6:30 @ Venue Cinemas — We’ll meet at Venue Cinemas around 6:30 to catch a fun summer movie!  Which one?  No idea – the schedule isn’t out yet.  We’ll email once it is with specifics.  Interested?  Be sure to let Pastor Dave know! 

Sunday, August 18, 5:30-7:30 — It’s time to bid adieu to summer.  Join us at the Garrisons for a fun-filled game night, dinner included.  This will be a great way to de-stress after the first few days of school and as you prepare for your first full week.  This is also a particularly good event for folks who haven’t been to youth group before to come and meet the other students and get a sense for what we’re all about!

Sunday, September 8, 6:00-7:15pm — We officially kick off our fall semester and weekly youth group meetings on the 8th.  We’ll start the fall with a series called, “Rescued from an Ordinary Life.”
 
Keep up to date on all the Student Ministries doings by clicking here!

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Youth Group Kicks Off Sunday, September 9!

Every Sunday, beginning September 9
6:00-7:15pm

 
Youth Group returns on Sunday, September 9 at 6 PM!  We hope you’ll plan to join us each week for fun games and opportunities to understand who Jesus is and who He is inviting you to become.  All students in 6th-12th grade are welcome.
 
Our fall series is Inked.
 

Like a tattoo, our lives show we’ve been marked.

 
People get tattoos for a lot of different reasons, but in almost every case, it’s because they want to make a statement. To physically and permanently show others something about themselves, or what they believe, or what’s important to them. And the thing about tattoos? They’re pretty much forever. You can’t easily get rid of that statement, that mark.
 
The Christian life is a lot like a tattoo. When we place our trust in Christ, our lives are changed, transformed, marked. Permanently. And how we live our lives, the decisions and choices we make every day, speak as loudly as a tattoo. What does your life tell others?
Each Sunday @ Youth Group we’ll be exploring just what a life marked for Christ looks like. What are the characteristics and attributes that show a life that lives and shows “trust in Christ, expressed in love” (Gal. 5:6)? How do we live this out in our daily lives?
 
Join us each week as we explore those questions and more!
 
Want to learn more about the Youth Ministry at Northminster?  Click here!

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Youth Ministry End-Of-Summer Back-To-School Cookout! Sunday, August 19

Sunday, August 19

6:00-7:30pm

@ The Garrisons

Students and their friends in 6th-12th Grade are invited to the Garrisons for a cookout as we celebrate the unofficial end of summer and beginning of school. We’ll grill some food, play some games, eat the food we grilled, and more! We look forward to seeing you there. See Pastor David or Karey if you have any questions.

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2018 Youth Ministry Winter Retreat

We’re partnering with several churches from Lynchburg, Roanoke for an awesome winter retreat at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center!  This is open to all students from 6th through 12th grades.  It’s going to be a fantastic time and we hope you’ll join us.
 
We will meet at Northminster at 2PM on Sunday, January 14 and return at 5PM Monday, January 15.  Don’t worry, it’s MLK weekend, so there’s no school on Monday.
 
The cost is $54 per student.  Registration deadline is Sunday, December 31.
 
Click this link to sign up and download a permission slip!  We look forward to seeing you there!

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Youth Ministry Christmas Celebration – December 10, 6:00PM

All students in 5th through 12th grade are invited to join us as we celebrate the season with crazy Christmas games, fun activities, a message reminding us of why Christmas matters, and, of course, a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange!  Each student should bring a gift (the crazier the better, but keep it under $5…and yes, the sweater grandma gave you last Christmas is perfect for a white elephant gift exchange!).  As always, we’ll wrap up by 7:30.  We’ll see you (and we hope you’ll bring a friend, too) there!

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