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Children’s Ministry at Northpark

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Life at Northpark:

The Children’s Ministry
by shari anderson

(Editor’s Note) Northpark Christian is not a megachurch. We are not a large church. But Life at Northpark demonstrates that we are committed to do the best we can with the resources we have available. We are committed to letting God love us and letting God love others through us. This means we are committed to letting God love kids through our children’s ministry. Shari Anderson leads our children’s ministry. Below she shares her love for kids and what she desires Life at Northpark be like for our kids.

 

Kid’s Ministry at Northpark has three main focuses:

1 – We want kids to love coming to church!  At Northpark we work hard to help children feel welcomed, loved, and safe.  Church is a place you are always welcome, no matter if you have been to church all your life or if it is your first time in our church building.  We work on creating an atmosphere where all children feel loved and important!  

2 – We want kids to know that the Bible is true, and it has lifelong benefits and principles that apply to them and their families!  We have Bible lessons, games and activities that bring the Bible to a level that children can understand.  Teaching is presented in a multi-sensory format with multiple ages learning together.  We want to help kids to grow in their faith and learn to love God’s word.  If your child needs a Bible, please let us know and we will make sure they receive one!     

3 – We want children to know who Jesus is and that He is crazy about them!  Our ultimate goal is to be part of their journey that leads them to a lifelong Relationship with Jesus Christ. 

What to do when you come to church:  Please sign your child up for Children’s church at our Welcome Kiosk, either by scanning our QR code or manually on our sign-in sheet.  Children will sit with their parents for the first part of worship and be prayed over and dismissed to class right before the sermon. 

You can be confident that your kids are being cared for by caring, experienced, and vetted volunteers. Our children’s volunteers have passed a rigorous background check.  Our volunteers have many years of teaching experience in both the church and in the public schools.

We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday! 

 


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Community at Northpark

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Community at Northpark

 

The cultural milieu of our time has a love/hate relationship with the concept of community. Community is often defined as a group of people with a common characteristic or interest interacting together to forge a sense of connection or bond. People by nature desire a connection and a bond. They desire to be part of something that gives them a sense of purpose and direction. People love a community that provides the bond they seek.

There is the other side of the love/hate connection that needs to be considered. More often than not what we experience are communities rather than a community. Yes, humans have lived in multiple communities and not a single community throughout history. The fact that there are communities of different types is to be expected considering the diversity that we live with every day. The result is that the complexity of diversity creates multiple communities. The result is communities experience a degree of tension. Each of these various communities create barriers, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally to those outside the particular community and tension boils up.
 
it raises the question can a diverse humanity find a community that can embrace various communities while acknowledging and valuing diversity. Can there be a connection or bond between people who are different? What would such a community look like?

At Northpark we believe that there is such a community that offers diverse people a bond, a connection, and purpose that embraces diversity. That is the community we love and the community Northpark desires to be. Life at Northpark seeks to be a place of community. A place where we let God love us and let God love others through us. Our community recognizes that God loves all people and desires that all would come into his family. Our desire for community is rooted in the description of community found in the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures. We seek community that is found in the recognition that we live in a world of discord created by sin. But in Jesus Christ we can find unity and communion in the forgiveness offered by Jesus, which in turn breaks down walls of hostility between communities and creates a true bond. 

Northpark is an imperfect community made up of imperfect people who are seeking to find their identity in God who is greater than our imperfect humanity. Thus, we struggle to find community in the world as it is and the world that the Old and New Testaments say can be. We seek to be caring and tender toward people who struggle to find community. If you desire community, we may be what you are looking for. Pastor Lonnie reminded us that people are not our enemy. Rather, our enemy is the unseen one who stands behind and influences our culture. We believe community is found in a loving God who constantly seeks to gather the hurting and disenfranchised into a community who have been transformed by his LOVE.

We seek to build community by letting God love us and let God love others through us. We would love the opportunity to help you find community at Northpark.


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Lord’s Supper at Northpark

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Lord’s Supper

 

            The purpose of this blog is to give visitors to our website an opportunity to discover what life at Northpark is like. The blog is trying to give readers a clear picture of our priorities as a church. One of the clear priorities of our church is the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Our church celebrates the Lord’s Supper each Sunday as remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a very special part of the service.

            Our service begins each week with a moment of silence as a church family. In this moment of silence, we acknowledge that God is on in his throne in heaven and is at the same time among us as prepare our hearts to worship him. After a time of worship which is designed to bring us to the cross, we then engage in a devotional thought to remind us of the importance of the Lord’s Supper to our daily walk with Jesus. After this thought people are invited to go to various tables spread around the sanctuary and partake of the elements at the tables or return to their seats and partake.

            This past Sunday (July 3rd) one of the men of the congregation led us in the devotional thought. He began that thought reminding us that though this was the 4th of July weekend, and the focus of the weekend was a celebration of independence that he was glad for the opportunity through the Lord’s Supper to declare his dependence on God. It is exactly this that makes the Lord’s Supper such a vital part of Life at Northpark.

            You are invited to join us for this aspect of life at Northpark. We observe an open table. This means that if you are a believer of Jesus and the work, he accomplished on the cross you are invited to join us in the Lord’s Supper. You do not need to be a member of our church. Come join us any Sunday and see how we acknowledge the importance of the Lord’s Supper as a vital and necessary part of Life at Northpark.


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Lessons From the Garden

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Lessons From the Garden

By Steve Keyes

I spend a lot of time quietly observing the micro universe that is my backyard vegetable garden.  I’ve come to recognize that in some ways, it is a picture of how God interacted with His garden and its inhabitants.

Take the red wasps.  Ordinarily, seeing them would prompt a person to start swatting and hopping around, ducking and diving to get out of their way.  Safely removed, they might even reach for a can of Raid to end the wasps’ existence in the kingdom of the living.

But in my garden, I watch as the wasps hover, inspecting a leaf.  Then they move to the next and begin inspecting it, their tireless wings operating in ‘station-keeping’ mode.  Ceaselessly, they make their way around the garden in search of aphids or other bugs and insects that might be feasting on the life energy of my plants.

The wasps and I have a friendly interaction. By their mere presence looking for food, they do me a favor, and I don’t bother them in their pursuits.  As I slowly make my way down the rows, picking peas or plucking tomatoes, they slowly relocate out of my way.  I never feel obligated to use harsh chemicals to remove them.  In all the years I’ve had gardens, I haven’t been stung a single time!

In some ways, I think this must have been how God felt about His garden.  Leisurely strolling through it, he observed all He had created.  He saw that it was good.  Sin hadn’t entered the world yet and His interactions with it and its inhabitants were peaceful and beneficial to all.

But this symbiosis changed when sin came.  Sin was the harsh chemical that upset the beautiful relationship between the Master and His Creation.  Just as spraying Raid kills good and bad bugs alike and necessitates special precautions when harvesting the produce, sin forever changed God’s world and His relationship with it.  The beauty of Creation had been irreparably marred.

Thankfully, He is not a vengeful God. He only wants what’s best for me. Just like me and my wasps. Sin has entered the Garden and the original harmony has been damaged. But rather than destroy the garden or its inhabitants God exercised love and offered a way of transformation. This transformation allows us to fulfill our original purpose.

This transformational message is emphasized at Northpark Christian Church.  Pastor Lonnie works hard to illustrate for us how God’s love is a continuous shower, nourishing us and washing us of our sin. 

Imagining the full extent and meaning of love is beyond what man’s finite mind can comprehend.  We may not fully comprehend the meaning and depth of this love but at Northpark we are encouraged to let God love us and love others through us.  You can see it in the warmth of greeting you receive when you walk through the door.  It is in evidence in the many outreach and missionary programs NCC actively supports.  Members of the church drop what they are doing without hesitation to help a brother or sister in need.  Learning of God and His plan for us is the central theme in several classes and discussion groups offered through our church.

Northpark is a happy, welcoming church engaged in saving souls and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.  It is a church family you will be welcomed into no matter what has happened in the past.  I encourage you to come for a visit and experience God’s love.  Join us and share in learning of His wisdom.  See and feel for yourself what a blessing our church is as you are guided into a more God-centered life.


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Thy Kingdom Come…

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Thy Kingdom Come,

Thy Will be Done

 

This past Sunday Pastor Lonnie made an impassioned pleas that we would understand the importance of the instruction that Jesus gave his disciples. In the model for praying Jesus encouraged the disciples to recognize who God is (our Father in heaven). He encourages them to recognize his preeminence (hallowed be your name) and to recognize the Importance of praying that God’s kingdom would come and that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

The source for Pastor Lonnie’s passion was a a recent Gallup Poll that identified the changes in the last two decades of what Americans view as morally acceptable.  Pastor Lonnie asked that a link to the Gallup summary be posted in order that you could read for yourself the results.

The article is titled:

The purpose of the Gallup poll was to determine what Americans’ Views of what they believed to be moral acceptable as it related to 19 Issues that Gallup had been tracking through the 21st century. Respondents were asked to respond to the statement below:

Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong.

The summary provided by Gallup highlights the following:

Over the past two decades, views of the morality of most of the behaviors tracked have become more permissive (emphasis added). Just as abortion is currently at its historical high point of moral acceptability, so too is divorce, having a baby outside of marriage, gambling, sex between an unmarried man and woman, sex between teenagers, birth control, and gay or lesbian relations. Though small minorities of U.S. adults think suicide (22%) and polygamy (23%) are morally acceptable, the percentages saying so are the highest since Gallup’s first measure in 2001.

Notable exceptions to increased perceptions of moral acceptability include:

Since 2001, Americans have become less likely to say medical testing on animals and the death penalty are morally acceptable. Views of extramarital affairs and cloning humans as morally acceptable have been consistently low over the years, and views of birth control have been steadily high.

Pastor Lonnie stated in his sermon that these changes underscore the need to pray, as Jesus instructed: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Follow this link to hear again or for the first time Pastor Lonnie’s message on why such prayer is important and what we can learn from Elijah to enable us to pray faithfully in this way.

 

 


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Worship at NCC

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Worship at NCC
by William Panganiban

When our webmaster Bob Monts asked me if I could share my thoughts on Worship at our church for the NCC website, the first thing that came to mind was “That deserves an entire book!”. But given the parameters I must work with, (margins, font style, size, spacing, one page, etc.), I have given a great thought to how I could convey to you what worship through music means and how it fits into Life at Northpark.

My understanding of worship begins with my younger years in the Philippines. I had a natural curiosity, attraction, and eventual dedication to seek the God of the Bible, alongside my music training which has led to what I’m doing now as “worship leader”. (I will make sure to ask my mother one day why she paid me to take piano lessons).

Here is some of what I learned in those early days. First, worship is all about the God. Without Him, there is no one or nothing to worship. I have also learned that it is privilege to use my experience for this purpose now that I am at a later stage of life. I have learned that it is by God’s grace that one serves. I have learned that God does not give up on us even if we give up on ourselves. I have stepped down from worship ministry twice after approximately 10-year increments. I learned that God is a fisherman, who does not do catch and release. Rather he nurtures those he catches and keeps training them. Now, I can honestly say that my current tenure has been, the one I am enjoying the most. I feel like aging really has value; in that we learn from our mistakes as we grow in maturity.

In this new stage of ministry, I have been inspired to hone my craft and to continue to sharpen the musical gifts God has given me. This new stage of ministry has taught me the value of seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance. What I am learning is to differentiate between God’s will and mine. I am confident that the Lord still has plans for the music ministry to which He has called me. Yes, I feel the limitations that come with aging. The Pandemic has brought unique challenges to worship. But I believe God has never taken His eyes off Northpark Christian Church. He keeps leading us. He keeps sustaining us and is guiding us to something better. This of course involves using technology as part of the equation. You may have heard the phrase “Technology is both a blessing and a curse”. Perhaps the following will apply. One of the best experiences I have had involving music in this church was on a stormy Sunday morning when power went out just before service. We pulled together some old songs and hymns, encouraged everyone to sit close to the piano, and we sang while I played. I heard singing like I’ve never heard before or since. It was glorious! With zero tech. But tech is a vital part of contemporary worship in a post pandemic world.

During my involvement in music ministry, I have learned that worship involves more than audible music. You have heard that true worship comes from the heart. We are to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We can worship God in silence, but the word “praise” involves external and internal aspects of our bodies. It says in Scripture we are to “make, a joyful noise” (pӑtsach in Aramaic) meaning to break into a joyful sound, openly expressing our adoration, gratitude, our trust, and faith in His presence and guidance. The source of our worship is driven by His love for us; creatures at the top of the creation story, created in His image. Our praise is our response to the God, we believe Him to be. In the past this church did just that! People were truly engaged! We were a noisy bunch! Groups during the service took turns chanting “We love Jesus, yes we do, we love Jesus how about you?” This was done in orderliness of course. I knew then, like I know now, God likes order! My desire is to restore expressive, open, exuberant praise because I believe that is what God desires.

I know some of you actively participate in the singing but there is something holding other people back. I understand. When we were first visiting, I was one of those in the back of the room with my arms crossed, mouth hardly opening. But then I learned that I was there not to listen to the music but to be part of the music; the music that is being offered to God by the church, His people. Like you, I now ask questions such as; “Does God really care about how you and I sound when we sing during the service? Or does God care that we are a body of believers expressing corporate praise?” Our worship team has a motto. It is: “Audience of ONE”. When the congregation actively participates in singing the music and worships with their heart the ONE, then our worship team feels we have done what God has called us to do.

This is not always easy. We come from different backgrounds. This church is a diverse mix not only spiritually and culturally but also generationally. Our music should be sensitive to our diversity. Praise God for all the wonderful artists He is raising worldwide to spread the Word through song. There is so much new material out there which I believe is part of God’s battle plan and we try to incorporate these new songs into our song rotations. But it’s undeniable that people participate more if they are familiar with the songs. This is where seeking the Lord’s guidance becomes important as we try lead a diverse congregation to praise our audience of one. With God’s help, we attempt to find the perfect balance so that everyone who partakes in our worship service can say they have been in the presence of the Lord Almighty.

Worship is a vital part of Life at Northpark and our worship team is honored to have a part of leading you as you express your hearts in praise to your audience of ONE.


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Thank You from KMS

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Thank You Video from

Kingwood Middle School

 
Love, grow, and serve are three verbs that characterize life at Northpark. One of the ways that enable us to live out these three verbs is our partnership with the Kingwood Middle School. Below is a video from the school thanking us and describing to you the ways in which we show love and serve our community partner. Through the love and service, we provide Kingwood Middle School we are able to grow. Please watch their video and consider if we are the kind of church you want to be part of.
 
 

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