COMPositions 15

Challenge from the Past & Plans for the Future

Black History Week started in the United States in 1926 as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. The second week of February was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on Febraury 12th and Fredrick Douglass on February 20th, dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century. It grew in popularity over the following decades and the first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State University in February, 1970. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. As I posted on my Facebook page on February 1st: “This year’s theme is ‘The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity’. I want to listen, learn, and celebrate all the sacrifices and achievements of my fellow citizens.” This is a hard season to speak publicly on this issue because people will either label you as woke, if you speak up, or racist, if you stay silent. I am neither, and I refuse to be bullied by either extreme. Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly taught and consistently practiced this fundamental biblical principle: “Within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us, there is some good. When we come to see this, we take a different attitude toward individuals. The person who hates you the most has some good in him; even the nations that hates you the most has some good in it; even the race that hates you the most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him ‘the image of God,’ you begin to love him no matter what he does.” (from the sermon “Loving Your Enemies” delivered November 17, 1957)

Our Annual Business Meeting will take place next Wednesday, February 17th at 6:30 pm. The purpose of this meeting is to ratify by ballot the proposed church budget for 2021 and affirm the appointment of two Governance Board members to a three (3) year term. A copy of the proposed budget and sample ballot with the nominees are available in the foyer. Absentee Ballots can be picked up in the church office during work hours and must be returned prior to the business meeting. Congregational voting privileges shall be extended to those who have made a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, considers NorthPark their church home, worshipped regularly here for not less than the preceding six (6) months, is 18 years of age or older, supports NorthPark through Christian service and financial giving, and supports the mission, goals & leadership of NorthPark Church.

Upward Basketball & Cheerleading is a community outreach ministry of NorthPark Church that shares the love of Jesus Christ with families throughout our community through sports. Children are taught fundamental basketball and cheerleading skills while also learning about God and his son, Jesus. They are taught different scriptures and virtues throughout the course of the 8-week season. Next Sunday, February 21st we will be hosting our Annual Upward Sunday & Family Sunday during our 10:45 worship service with a video highlight, volunteer recognition, and White Star Award presentations. We are expecting a number of guests and ask that you make it a point to welcome and accommodate them,…even if they sit in “your” seat.

Kudos: Over the last week, I have been uber impressed with the number and quality of volunteers we have here at NorthPark. They faithfully serve behind the scenes and are impacting lives for Christ in huge and subtle ways. Last Wednesday night there was a tremendous amount of energy & excitement in our building among the Student & Children’s Ministries! This past Monday night there was a similar dynamic as some of our Upward Teams practiced and the Celebrate Recovery group met. Then today, Tuesday, the Staff was privileged to help Vicki Kurszewski re-stock the Food Pantry for the Backpack Ministry and tomorrow, Wednesday, several folks from NorthPark will be at Northeast Elementary School to serve the teachers and staff. In addition to all this, we have the weekly teams who serve every Sunday in the worship arts, technology, and children’s ministries. And on a short term basis, we have dozens of people serving on the Prayer Team, Search Team, Transition Team, and Task Force Teams. NorthPark is blessed to have so many doing so much in spite of all the limitations of COVID. Though I may not say it often enough, I do mean it sincerely……..THANK YOU!! Your faithful service is deeply appreciated and you are making an investment in eternity.

For His Glory,  Pastor Greg

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