Can you believe it’s July already? Today, July 2, is the middle day of the year. It’s hard for me to believe that 2018 is halfway through already. July is time for reunions and some will be going on vacations. July means it’s time for the Danvers Band Concerts which kicked off last night.
Remember that NDMC is responsible for the Ice Cream Social for next week’s band concert. There are still ways that you can help out. There are sign-up sheets in the Fellowship Hall, or you can contact Margie Whittenbarger if you’d like to help.
I want to share a quote with you today that I heard in a great sermon last week when I was attending a conference in Indianapolis. The preacher, Steve Poe, said:
“Faith is believing that what we cannot see will come to pass. So is fear. Fear is believing what we cannot see will come to pass. It’s the same definition. The difference is that faith includes our trust in God.”
I really needed to hear that statement. We don’t know what is to pass, but we trust that God is faithful in carrying us forward. I challenged the team leaders in the ministry team meeting this past week with this quotation as well. This quote reminds me of the story when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter said, “if it’s you, tell me to come to you.” When Jesus gave him the word, Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water! He did it! But then the Scriptures say this: “but when he saw the wind, he was afraid,” and he began to sink and had to cry out to Jesus. Jesus response was “you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-43).
What happened? Peter began to look at the wind and the waves, instead of keeping his eyes on Jesus. Instead of faith, he gave into fear. I hope as a congregation we can keep our eyes focused ever more closely on Jesus, and that we will be able to step out in faith even when there are winds and waves around.
A reminder of God’s faithfulness can be seen in a new director being found for God’s Little Acre Preschool. Allison Skilondz is excited to start with the school year this Fall. For a long time it didn’t look like we’d be able to find someone to replace the fantastic Cheryl Schmidgall, who we will miss immensely. God has been faithful in bringing someone who is both qualified and also very excited about GLAPS. I’ve said before, God’s answer seldom comes early, but it never comes late.
There’s also some sad news in this E-Gram. Below you’ll find a letter from the Marvels who are being led to leave NDMC. We will certainly miss this family being a part of our congregation. However, we trust that God will be leading them into great things for their family. We know that God’s kingdom is bigger than any one congregation. We also trust that God has plans for NDMC in this as well. While it is sometimes difficult for us to understand, I hope that we will choose faith, and to focus on Jesus during this time. I hope you’ll take some time over the next several weeks to tell the Marvels how much they mean to us. I also hope you will wish them well, and join me in praying for God’s continued leading in their lives.
I love you all. God bless, Brian
Dear Church Family,
North Danvers is a wonderful place. A place that provides love, service, and community. One that serves as a second family to many of us. Our family has been privileged to call this our home for 12 years, Mollie for much longer than that. We are so thankful to have been able to raise our children here. The love and support this church has given is irreplaceable.
For the past several months we have felt a nudging from God that left us confused and a little lost. In all honesty, we spent a great deal of time ignoring this nudge. After spending time in prayer and listening to how we are being led, God’s voice has been clear in telling us that it’s time for us to find a new place to worship. The journey He has taken us on has not been an easy one and one that led us to quite possibly the most difficult decision we have ever had to make as a family.
We want to assure you that this is not something we are taking lightly and realize that this is especially difficult because of our history and involvement here at North Danvers. At this point we plan to fulfill our commitments for the summer although we will be gone on vacation a few Sundays plan to continue to attend here through the middle of August.
We are so thankful for your love and support through this season and please know that we also will ALWAYS keep you in our prayers. North Danvers holds a special and dear place in our hearts and always will.
Craig, Mollie, Grant, & Gwen Marvel
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” ~Jeremiah 29:11