May 26, 2022 Stacy Lowe

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

I hate endings.  When I’m reading a good book, I want to slow down on the last page or two because I know it’s all coming to an end.  I will have to say good-bye to the characters that I’ve come to know and love.  There have been times that I have almost gone into mourning over a TV series that ended (They never end as good as I think they should).  There is something special about looking forward to seeing your favorite characters each week and going through their struggles and triumphs with them.  When that stops, you feel a sense of grief.  When I taught 1st grade, I always looked forward to summer but dreaded May.  I had spent all year nurturing, teaching, and getting to know my little first grade “family”.  I knew all the things that were happening in their homes, on their sports teams and thoughts that were going on in their little heads. The final days of May would hit and just like that, I became a teacher they had one year (hopefully, their favorite, but still!).  Endings feel final.  They feel sad sometimes.  But...without endings there would be no new beginnings. 

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon said it like this, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...”

Our spring ladies’ class came to an end last week.  I have to tell you; I looked forward to Wednesdays with my gals!  I loved coming to Church and diving into scripture with all of my ladies.  I loved developing real relationships with gals that I had only known on Sunday mornings for a quick hello and a hug. Having spiritual conversations with gals around my table about how Satan has been attacking them but how they see our loving God show up in those situations had meant the world to me.  We laughed together, we cried together, we shared our struggles and prayed for one another. I will miss all of this.  HOWEVER, I am looking forward to this summer.  As a class, we learned the importance of creating Godly community. We gathered tools to help us stand against Satan’s attacks.  We also commissioned each other to go out and share what we have learned.  So now, I’m looking forward to seeing how God uses this class to move the Kingdom forward – outside the walls of the Church!  Those relationships that were planted in the class now have room to grow and bloom in the real world.  I can’t wait to see what God will do.  

I see new beginnings springing up all over our Church - kids moving to new classes, new friendships being formed, a new Church camp being launched, new adult classes starting, and new ministries being planned. If you want to be a part of a new beginning this summer, we invite you to join us every Sunday night for a time of worship, fellowship and fun as our leaders host Summer Socials!  These will begin on June 12th @ 5 p.m. Everyone is invited! These nights will be a great way to build Christian community and to get to know your NCCOC family in a fun way.  Each night will be unique and different!  We can’t wait to start this with you!

Ministry Spotlight:

         This past month…

·      90 seniors got food boxes

·      234 people were served at the clothing giveaway

·      Our food giveaway yesterday served hundreds of families

·      The teens and many volunteers went to our new Church Camp (Camp Caraway) and had a workday painting, cleaning, and sprucing up the camp

·      Our chili cook-off was wildy fun and successful! Over $3,000 was raised AND 10 campers were sponsored for Church camp ($1250) AND several kids were sponsored for Impact (for a total of over $5000)!!

·      25 teens met last week for the teen summer kick-off!  We have 6 new 6th graders joining our youth group!

·      76 backpacks of food were given to local schools each week this month

·       Several Bible studies and small groups met each week at NCCOC

“Glorify God and Show Him to Others”