Spring is such a beautiful time. I love seeing the trees coming to life after a long winter. I think God made spring to remind us that He is the God of resurrection. He brings dead things to life. I get so excited to see the buds and blooms. The spring promises that the earth will soon produce fruit! It makes me think of what is to come! Soon we will be seeing strawberries, cherries, apples, blueberries...you get the idea! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to make jams and jelly – any kind of jelly. We make strawberry, blueberry, grape and we have even made dandelion jelly. Our family also loves to can peaches, to make applesauce, and to make pie filling. Fruit is useful in so many ways – it blesses everyone. It is proof that life has returned to the plant. It then gives life to all those around it.
Maybe that is why we are called as followers of Jesus to bear fruit. Jesus says in John 15:8, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” We were all dead in our sins until Christ came into our lives. We die with Him in baptism and are raised to new life. If we are truly saved and alive in Christ, we should have proof that Christ now lives in us – we should produce fruit! The fruit should be evident to everyone around us. It should look like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Those around us should be blessed by it.
Our Church and our world have been through a long winter. For a while everything seemed bleak and cold. But spring has come!! I see our Church growing and blooming in so many ways. Fruit is already appearing. Our food and clothing giveaways are blessing those who serve and attend. Our teens have blessed the city of North Canton by painting picnic tables, by helping our ladies in the backpack program and by making employment assistance bags for the United Way.
The ladies’ Bible class has 78 students who are studying God’s word and are inviting friends! Our Cast Your Net ministry has our older members mentoring our young men. This Church is preparing for a fantastic year of camp. Every detail from curriculum to worship to classes are being researched and prayed over. Three people have been baptized into Christ. Our song leaders and praise team prayerfully choose what we collectively proclaim to our Father and each other in song each week and spend hours planning and practicing. We had over 300 folks here on Easter. The fruit is proof of changed lives and of Christ working in His people! It’s so exciting to see how God will use this fruit for His glory.
Are you producing fruit? If so, we are standing beside you, watching how God will use it. If you aren’t, please join us! We would love to help you with protecting, weeding and watering the precious seed that God has planted in your heart! He is going to produce fruit in you, too!
This past month…
· 90 seniors got food boxes
· 233 people were served at the clothing giveaway
· 615 families received food at our giveaway, 130,000 pounds of food was given
· Our teens have painted picnic tables, stuffed eggs for the children’s Easter egg hunt, packed backpacks for the backpack ministry, and made employment assistance bags for the United Way
· Teens had a successful Mystery Mission Trip to the Disaster Relief Warehouse
· Over 200 people heard about our Church at the Jaycees Fair in North Canton where candy and invite cards were passed out
· Our Needles and Knots group made and delivered 25 slipper sets, dolls, 44 lap-robes, and 75 wheelchair bags for St. Luke’s, Windsor and hospice
· 3 successful egg hunts were held at NCCOC
· 76 backpacks of food were given to local schools each week this month
· 78 women have been attending our ladies Bible class on Wednesday nights
· 3 people were baptized into Christ
· Several Bible studies and small groups met each week at NCCOC
“Glorify God and Show Him to Others”