Dear North Avenue Family and Friends,
I have several important reflections to share with you this week. The first is to remind you that we will have a Ribbon Cutting Celebration this coming Sunday, November 12, in the lower parking deck, just outside the brand new children’s entrance to The Sphere, the new children's space. Please bring your families and plan to be there at 10:45 a.m. We are asking Sunday School classes to let out a bit early to accommodate this important moment of consecrating our children and youth spaces to the glory of God! After the brief ceremony, you will have an opportunity to walk through The Sphere, and the new youth space, called The Underground. Greeters will be on hand to help direct your steps. If you are attending the 11 a.m. worship service, you may go directly to the Broyles Ministry Center and tour the new spaces after worship.
Second, I want you to know how much positive energy and excitement the Stewardship Team is experiencing due to the strong response to Pledge Sunday last week. The overall response was the strongest in recent memory, in terms of the number of people pledging and also in terms of the total amount pledged. We are so very encouraged because it is vital that our congregation remain faithful in supporting the challenging vision that God has placed before us.
My personal hope and prayer is that every person who calls North Avenue your church home will engage the spiritual practice of giving “first fruits” to the work of God in and through our church. Your pledges enable our church officers and staff to make important decisions about the scope and depth of the ministry and mission the church will support in the year to come. Many of our individuals and families are giving sacrificially to the work of Christ at North Avenue. I know that I don’t want to let them down by not rising to their level of commitment. For some of us, this may mean making a pledge for the first time; for others, it may mean increasing our giving so that we are adding our fair share in supporting the ministry and mission that are transforming the lives of our members and allowing the love of Christ to flow from our congregation into the desperate needs of our community and the world. Even if your life circumstances mean that you think your pledge would not make a difference, I want to assure you that God promises to bless every gift we give. As the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, your gift—offered in love and with joy—will result in even greater thanksgiving among our congregation and will spill over in inspiring others to give glory to God. I’m really counting on each of you! You can submit your pledge here, even today.
You will notice that this week we begin a new three-week sermon series, called “Restoration of the Soul.” The text for all three Sundays is Luke 6:12-19. We will reflect on the example of Jesus as he seeks the restoration of his own soul through “Solitude,” “Community,” and “Ministry.” On the three Sunday evenings of the sermon series, North Avenue’s Young Adult Ministry Coordinator, Ben Allward-Theimer, will engage the congregation in a spiritual exercise on each approach to restoring our souls. Ben, the Worship Team, and I invite you to attend a morning service and the 5:45 p.m. service. You will be blessed if you do.
As always, I encourage you to invite a friend to join you in worship this Sunday.
With anticipation of God’s blessing,