Board Notes – November 2020

October was a very busy month for your Board of Servants preparing for the Charge Conference in November. At our October meeting we approved a budget for 2021 which looks to be a bit better than 2020 thanks to your generous pledges in September.  We also approved new By-Laws for the Board of Servants and now both the budget and by-laws will go to the Charge Conference for final approval.  We also approved new definitions for our designated and holding accounts to better align with our current ministries. 

I want to thank our Pastor, staff, leaders and volunteers who made the Aramis Alvarez Memorial 5K race and fall festival a huge success!  We had 50 timed runners and a large group of walkers along with a great list of sponsors.  The laughter of children was particularly welcome in these stressful times. The fact that we could pull off such an event while social distancing  is a testament to the dedication of our members and the grace that God affords us when doing His work.

We have a busy Advent season approaching which will give us more chances to share the good news of Jesus Christ with our community.  Keep up the good work! 

Yours in Service,

Steve Justice – 2020 NFUMC Board Chair

November 2020 Birthdays and Anniversaries

Congratulations to our members celebrating birthdays and anniversaries this month!

November 2020 Birthdays

  • Ralph Balchin
  • Biahnca Blood
  • Rylee Blood
  • Bill Cain
  • Marie Cain
  • Dawn Flanagan-Seamster
  • Hannah Hopkins
  • Pauline Jackson
  • Charles Patterson
  • James Vazquez
  • Ardy Warr


November 2020 Anniversaries

  • Yul & Deborah Folger
  • Bill & Billye Koetje

October 2020 Birthdays and Anniversaries

Congratulations to our members celebrating birthdays and anniversaries this month!

October 2020 Birthdays

  • Gary Adams
  • Lisa Allen
  • Judy Andrews
  • Janet Bibee
  • Kim Bryan
  • Elizabeth Chandler
  • Raymond Conn
  • Judy Lambert
  • Samuel Marks
  • Luther McGahee
  • Melanie Putnam
  • Rick Warr


October 2020 Anniversaries

  • Jim & Mark Marks
  • Jim & Connie Schultz

Board Notes – October 2020

2020 has been a year of change for everyone including NFUMC. We’ve had a great summer with our successful ‘Parking Lot Revival’ keeping us spiritually connected while socially distancing.  But Fall is here and we have to change again by moving back inside for our Sunday services.  We will re-start our ‘In The Grove’ services on Sunday October 4th at 10:30am – please note the time change.  We have reorganized the set up to accommodate more seats while still meeting all COVID-19 social distancing guidelines; masks are required for those attending.

September was our “Stewardship Month” and I want to thank all our congregation that returned their pledge cards.  We received pledges from ~40% of our families as of the end of the month, but we will still accept more.  We also collected your responses on where you want to serve in our church, so don’t be surprised when one of our volunteer leaders reaches out to you in the coming weeks.

With these pledges in hand the Board will now begin our putting together our budget for 2021, which looks to be a bit better budget-wise than 2020.  We are also working on the new By-Laws for the ‘Board of Servants’.  Both the budget and by-laws will be sent to the congregation later this month before the Board votes on them at our October 26th meeting.  If approved each will then go to the Charge Conference for final approval.  Please remember that all Board meetings are open to any member of the congregation to voice your opinions.

Finally, I want to thank all our Pastor, staff, leaders and volunteers who are working so hard on the upcoming 5K race and fall festival as well as getting ready for the Christmas season.  The hours are long, but the rewards are great as we strive to be disciples of Jesus Christ to the world.

Yours in Service,

Steve Justice – 2020 NFUMC Board Chair

Why I’m Here – A Small Sojourn Through the Question of Why I Keep Volunteering

By Jennifer Hocking

Why am I here?  Honestly, I think if someone hasn’t asked this question at least a dozen times in their path to deciding to be Christian and where they demonstrate that commitment, they’re not doing it right.  I am pretty sure Jesus’s followers said, “What am I doing here?” a time or two.  And yet…there they were racking up the Frequent Walker Miles.

           I don’t have a great faith story.  I’ve never heard a voice or a shout.  No subtle pushes or flashes of insight.  Definitely no “Holy Ghost” moments that would be the envy of a Scooby-Doo episode.  Yes, there was the obligatory attendance as a kid, but I didn’t really understand what was going on.  Jesus was seemingly the favorite uncle everyone said was awesome but you’d never met the guy; apparently, he was great fun at parties with stellar taste in wine.  God was like Santa but with far scarier powers than putting you on the Naughty List.  Going to a highly technical, scientific school didn’t help with finding the presence of God either.  But He still found me in sneaky ways.  I found Him in a kind, random conversation with a stranger walking to the aquarium.  In a moment of panic over finals one year (I’m still thanking Him for that one).  Watching the fascinating array of creation while people-watching in the airport.  In a beautiful horseback ride in the autumn through trees determined to show off who had the best leaf color.  In a stunning sunset over the ocean with colors no painter can quite capture.  In the warming, beautiful crackle of a fire in winter watching embers wiggle heavenward.  Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon.  And, dirty secret, in Elvis’s gospel music (anyone else jam out to “Swing Down, Sweet Chariot” with the volume a little louder than it should be?).

           In short, to borrow Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

           But why am I here?  This place, this building on this pale blue dot?  For the food!  Just kidding!  Even though I’ve had some amazing food through the years…  I do sometimes wonder why I open my big mouth and say those fateful words, “Sure, I’ll do it.”  And then my memory will step in and helpfully remind me why.  It’s because there is so much heart and good being done in this place.  There are amazing people taking on remarkable challenges that aren’t necessarily changing the world in a single action.  But, the people in this church are starting the ripples that become larger and larger into significant change.  There are people who inspire me and make me want to be a better person in deed, not just word.  Who keep me wanting to grow and inspire others with my faith and show that life could be so amazing if you just open your heart a liiiiiiitle bit and let it off the leash once in a while.

           It sounds really sappy and it is.  But it’s also the truth.  Even when I’m frustrated and tired and wondering how so many people forgot that simple “Love thy neighbor” rule.  Three little words, seemingly a whole lotta interpretation out there.  But this church, these people, have a genuine desire to help and you can feel the love of the people here for Christ, for each other, and for our fellow humans in all their many unique ways.  I’ve watched this church accomplish things when there were tons of doubts and questions on how, exactly, this was going to actually happen.  And yet, somehow it always did. 

           It doesn’t mean it’s always been easy.  When you’re hot (or cold) and tired and somehow everyone is looking at you for an answer and you just want to go home, it’s hard to feel the love.  And amazingly enough, in each of those moments, that is when I’ve learned the most about loving my fellow man.  Because others doubled down and we all worked with Jesus and all His helpers to finish strong.

           Jesus never said it was going to be easy.  He did say it would be worth it.  And here, in this place with these people, it’s never hard to remember why I am here.