“How Can I Help?” Some Ways NLIC Helps People in Need – From Pastor Sean (4/17/20)

How can you help? See article below, but first, the event for this Sunday

Upcoming Events via Livestream ( www.nlicc.org/watchlive  )

SATURDAY: Men’s Breakfast at 8 AM (https://zoom.us/j/92685806310?pwd=VzZBOXNrcXBWMjhyS3VIUGYwcGtIdz09)

SUNDAY (4/19/20):

  • 9 AM – Sunday School (Streaming): Bob Rumbaugh – The Apostles’ Creed
  • 10 AM – Worship Service: Pastor Sean Whitenack preaching (Live Stream)
  • Virtual Bridal Shower for Sydney Peters (at 2:00 pm via Zoom)
  • Cherokee Mission Trip Meeting (at 4:30 pm via Zoom)
  • Care Group Leaders Meeting (at 4:30 pm via Zoom)
  • Evening Word & Fellowship: Pastor Doug Kittredge (at 6:00 pm via Zoom) https://zoom.us/j/434779132; Also available by Live Stream
  • Youth Discipleship Group (at 7:00 pm via Zoom)

MONDAY: Day of Prayer and Fasting – Meet for Prayer from 5-6 PM on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/92330433593

“How Can I Help?” The Way NLIC Helps People in Need

Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,

2 Corinthians 8:1–5
“We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”

As hard as this time may be, remember it is not something to be wasted. It is a time that God is working powerfully in our lives and the lives of others.  As you see in the verse above, it is at times like this that God’s people have also risen up to help others.

I have four words that describe my prayer for God’s work in our lives:

  • Humbled: That we would emerge from this more dependent on God, more prayerful, and more aware of our mortality.
  • Hopeful: That we would emerge from this hoping in God more than in the world, having learned that God will provide in surprising ways
  • Hungry: That we would emerge from this hungry for God, hungry for worship, hungry for closer community.
  • Connected: That we would emerge from this more connected, that even with our “distancing”, we will find new ways to connect with each other.

I hope to speak more about these in the weeks to come.

One of the ways we express this vision is in the way we care for each other. I want to address our mutual care in this short letter.

As you know, 22 million Americans have applied for unemployment. Businesses are closed. Hours have been cut. Individuals have been furloughed. Insurance policies have been lost. As people are quarantined from COVID exposure, they have 14 days they have to stop working, or adjust their work pattern. Not everyone has unemployment benefits. Our members are not exempt from these realities.

And still, everyone needs to eat. People still need to pay mortgages and rent. Families have medical needs. People are fighting depression and anxiety.

First of all, if you have needs, please let our church know. We have a tell-a-deacon page that you can make any need known. It is okay to ask, and we are ready to help. Please let us know (nlicc@nlicc.org || 540-786-4848) of specific needs so that we may pray for you and offer practical help. The Deacon Sharing Fund is available for times like these. Our elders are available as are our deacons (https://goo.gl/forms/wZ8miuU2BptSmOtG3). Our food pantry is available if you or someone you know needs seven days of food.

Many people have asked me how they can help others, including helping with the financial needs of others. More than one person has asked me, “We don’t need our stimulus check, but we know others need the money. How can we help?”

This describes many of us as we have secure work and continued paychecks and benefits. If you desire to use some or all of your stimulus to give to others, let me suggest a few opportunities.

  1. Give to the Deacons Fund.

    We have a number of people out of work, a number of people whose businesses are closed from the governor’s orders, and a number of people who have had hours and salaries cut.

    Our Deacons Fund helps with the practical financial needs of our members and individuals in the community. We occasionally help groups through the state and nation.

    Our deacons anticipate an uptick in requests to the Deacons Fund, especially as we move into the second and third month of the shut down and we move toward Virginia’s peak.

    Any funds given to the Deacons Fund will cover financial needs either now or in the future. 100% of the Funds are used for mercy needs.

    There is an option for giving to the Deacons Fund on the online giving page, or in the Tithe.ly giving app.

  2. Give to the General Fund and the Missions Fund. We believe that the gospel is needed more now than ever before. We believe that people are more aware of their mortality, of their dependence, and they are in need of Jesus than ever.

    Our missions fund is currently behind budget and our Faith Promise is 18% lower than last year, and we are looking to continue our aggressive missions program.

    It is time to praise God for the sacrificial support of the congregation at this time, and the privilege to make the gospel known through the world.

  3. Support businesses of NLIC members.

    Retail, food, and health businesses have suffered under the stay-at-home orders, and your patronage will make a big difference – whether now or after the quarantine passes.

    I can’t begin to list all the small businesses without missing some, but I am going to risk it. I’ll mention a few of the businesses directly affected by government shutdown orders. Fred and Jane Yarborough own Wholesale Furniture and Decor, Daniel Puig owns One Body Training and Gracie Bullyproof and jujitsu, Dan and Mark Ritchie own Express Auto, Todd Fleming Fleming is the owner operator at Chick-fil-A in Central Park. Ricardo Perez has a dental practice. One of the members of the new life Korean church owns a fish and grill restaurant in Spotsylvania. Those are just some of the ones I know that have it affected in this current sequestering. If you know other NLIC member owned businesses directly affected by the quarantine, please let me know so I can include them in the future. Also, don’t forget that independent workers in our church who are also feeling a pinch (nannys, contractors, photographers), and you may be able to help simply by hiring for simple jobs.

Thank you for your love and generosity. Your heart for Christ shines in what you do. Let’s keep looking to Jesus Christ in humility, hope, hunger, and connection.

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

P.S. Be aware of your neighbors needs, especially the elderly and vulnerable. And for those who are able, take the opportunity to give as unto the Lord (https://www.nlicc.org/giving/).

Preparing for Sunday Worship

You will find that preparing for streaming worship may be helpful for getting the most out of the service. Here are some suggestions to making the most of the service.

Remember, you are joining a service of worship. The way we prepare for worship prepares our heart to hear God’s Word. There is no one who will check up on you in these things, so these are suggestions just for you avoid casualness that will miss God’s best for you:

  • Go to bed at a good time on Saturday and wake up on time.
  • Ready your hearts for worship by focusing on things that get you ready to worship. Save other things until later. Consider starting with prayer and Bible Study.
  • Finish breakfast before attending.
  • Get dressed for church. Get out of your pajamas and put on the kind of clothes that make you think you are doing something important. Remember, God is *your* audience and we don’t dress up on Sundays as a fashion show, but in respect and love for God. Don’t discount the way that getting dressed also prepares your mind and heart for worship.
  • Arrange your seating around the livestream to promote a posture of purpose in worship.
  • Download and print the bulletin. We have an updated bulletin that is easier to print. Just print the pages you want. We updated the link so it is easier to print than ever.
  • Sign the guest book. If you are willing, we are asking everyone to sign in, both members and visitors. Put in any comments or prayer requests. There is a link just below the live stream, or you can click here: https://forms.gle/EyUV24ucWU1EYJ3U9
  • Vigorously engage in worship with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength (including your voice) along with those around you as we all do the best we can given our circumstances.
  • If you are willing, take a picture or video of those gathered in your home to share later on social media with the #nlicalive hashtag so we can enjoy at least that much fellowship with one another.
  • Giving is part of worship to God, so take time before, after, or during the service to give. Giving is available online, through the web page, or through the tithe.ly phone app. Or, you can mail or drop off tithes and offerings to the church office.
  • Practice the hymns ahead of time. Hymns for the Week: Come Thou Almighty King (#101) and How Firm a Foundation (#94). This is something you can do every day through the week, maybe as part of dinner devotions or a morning quiet time.

8 Comments

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