NEWSLETTER

THE COBBLESTONE CARRIER  

                                                                                                                        

North Ridge United Methodist Church          

Founded 1816

3930 North Ridge Road, Lockport, New York 14094                            716-433-4105

“The Living Cobblestone Church”

email: northridgeumc@roadrunner.com         website: www.nridgeumc.org

Visit us on Facebook at North Ridge United Methodist Church                                                          

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2020

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As I was getting ready to write something for the newsletter this month, I accompanied my daughter to school so that we could pick up the tablets the school was giving to every student with an internet connection. The kids in Wilson will be going to school two days a week in person and three days online via these tablets. I think everyone is holding their breath to see how this is going to work in practice. As I was watching the school staff pass out all those tablets that are several hundred dollars apiece, I wondered where all the money from this was coming. Then I realized, oh yeah, it was coming from us. Not being a big fan of government spending, I was doing a little frowning. Then I began to think that it is an excellent investment in our children’s future, a blessing that may not have been possible were it not for this Coronavirus pandemic. Just think, now every child will have an opportunity to learn via internet. Although they may have few days in person, with the amount of information and teaching material online, it levels the playing field for every kid; at least potentially. Even the kids that don’t have internet will have a chance to take home an internet hot spot, which they may not have had before. I will gladly pay for taxes to make education more accessible for all the kids. So, God has blessed us even in the midst of the pandemic, even as I knew he would. Another blessing has been the number of people that have had access to our worship online. We touch exponentially more people every Sunday now than we did before this mess. As I mentioned a few times in the beginning, we were forced to come up with an online presence because we could not meet in person. Now that we can meet in person, we have a double blessing. The takeaway from this is that God is blessing you and I all day every day, even if we can’t see it at the moment. Last Sunday, I said that we need not fear of anything that is of this world because we already have eternal life in Christ for all who have faith in him. And, because of the Holy Spirit, we can grow in our faith, to live into the claim that Christ has made upon our life. As the world changes around us, we need have no anxiety. Good has already won, God can make good come from anything bad that can happen in the world, and Christ has already saved those who repent of their sins. There was a song many years ago title “Future’s So Bright” and the main refrain was “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” With Christ as our Savior, no matter what may come, our future is so bright we have to wear shades. The time is coming with the trials and tribulation that this world wants to present us with will fall away. In its place will be God himself giving us a future so bright that there will never be night again much less any of the negative things about this life. Let us start living into our bright future and enjoying what it has to offer us!       –Pastor Matt

BIRTHDAYS 2020

Sept.  1   Louann Schocknesse

Sept.  2   Madison Jacobs

Sept.  3   Shaun Brown

Sept.  6   Terry Jowdy, Michael Snyder

Sept.  7   Vicki Jancef, Brayden Sidebottom

Sept.  8   Kate Peck

Sept.  9   Helen Beyer, Susan Rademacher

Sept. 11  Shelby Robinson, Christine Denny

Sept. 15  Ayden Schultz

Sept. 16  Deborah Faery, Audrey Peck, Paul Freatman, Jenny Gillogly

Sept. 19  Kathleen Snyder

Sept. 20  Robert Dinse, Charles Jowdy, Nathan Sellers

Sept. 21  Alexander Dinse

Sept. 22  Carole Doebler

Sept. 26  Floyd Beyer, Greg Robinson

Sept. 28  Reba Bostic

Sept. 29  Diane Van Wagner

Sept. 30  Shelly Buzzard, Jed Ferguson, Brandon Heist

Oct.  4   Steve Snyder

Oct.  5   Howard Parker, Ella Lester

Oct.  6   Cameron Halstead

Oct. 10  Alexandria Holmes, Lucy Schultz

Oct. 12  Joshua Boyd

Oct. 19  Matt Schmidt, Andrew Sellers

Oct. 23  Tom Cervola

Oct. 27  Becky Sled

Oct. 30  Tom Plunkett

ANNIVERSARIES 2020 Happy Anniversary to:

September 14, 1984   Don and Rosanna Schultz

September 15, 2012   Mark and Krista Roberts

September 16, 2012   Matt and Liz Schultz

October 19   Mark and Karen Randall

We need more anniversaries to celebrate; remember, we celebrate birthdays and anniversaries quarterly with a birthday party.  If you would like your anniversary included in our newsletter, please let Ruth Weaver Metzger or Don Schultz know

CHURCH RE-OPENING!

  Our church re-opened on Sunday, June 14 for onsite worship.

  We are following the guidelines of the Upper New York Conference in order to insure safety.  This includes social distancing, the use of hand sanitizer and the wearing of masks.  In addition, the recommended filters have been installed in our heating and cooling system in order to filter out any harmful particles.  Please consider joining us on Sunday morning at 10:45 for worship.  For those who do not feel comfortable, a video of the service is still being placed on You Tube.

The Theme for September and October is:  REVIVAL

WHAT IS REVIVAL?                                                                                                       

Revival refers to a spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of a believer. It encompasses the resurfacing of a love for God, an appreciation of God’s holiness, a passion for His Word and His church, a convicting awareness of personal and corporate sin, a spirit of humility, and a desire for repentance and growth in righteousness. Revival invigorates and sometimes deepens a believer’s faith, opening his or her eyes to the truth in a fresh, new way. It generally involves the connotation of a fresh start with a clean slate, marking a new beginning of a life lived in obedience to God. Revival breaks the charm and power of the world, which blinds the eyes of men, and generates both the will and power to live in the world but not of the world.   –from Got Questions online  

10 CHARACTERISTICS OF REVIVALS                                                                                                                        

Each revival or awakening leaves its own heat signature; in 1740 youth led the way, in 1857 businessmen and prayer took center stage, and the 1906 Azusa Street revival was decidedly interracial. Yet all share common themes. What are the most frequently mentioned characteristics of revivals and awakenings in literature?

  1. TIMING: Revivals emerge during times of spiritual and moral decline, which leads to intense prayer.
  2. PRAYER: God puts a longing into the hearts of many to pray for revival.
  3. THE WORD: The preaching or reading of God’s Word brings deep conviction and desire for Christ.
  4. THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit takes people to a spiritual depth they could not achieve on their own.
  5. CONVICTION: Affected sinners are inconsolable except in Christ.
  6. GLORY FOR GOD: God receives praise, honor, and glory for bringing revival.
  7. REFORMATION AND RENEWAL: Revival produces lasting fruit. New ministries are founded and society experiences a reform of morals as more and more people convert.
  8. MANIFESTATIONS: Manifestations like fainting, groaning prayer, and miracles vary by culture and denomination.
  9. MESSY: Revivals are messy–controversies swirl about miracles, abuses, excesses, suspicions, and theological disputes (to name but a few).
  10. CYCLICAL: Revivals inevitably crest and decline.                              –A Brief History of Spiritual Revival and Awakening in America, June 30, 2015 in Patrick Morley Blog

REVIVAL TODAY?              

Franklin Graham: “Going Back to Normal Cannot Mean Falling Back into Spiritual Decadence,” June 3, 2020

As the summer months begin to settle on us, states across America are slowly beginning to open their doors for business after being shuttered for nearly two months in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus plague that has traversed the globe.

Certainly our nation—and the world—has never seen anything like this.

Empty stadiums. Empty planes. Busy restaurants, malls, highways and parks turned into ghost towns. Congregations forced to worship remotely. Grocery stores struggling to keep Americans fed in the midst of meat packing plant closures and logistical challenges. Tens of millions of workers either laid off or furloughed, making for the highest unemployment rate since 1949. Hospitals in hot spots like New York and New Jersey overflowed with extremely ill patients. Social distancing is keeping us all six feet apart, and face masks are everywhere.

I am grateful for the way the Lord allowed the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse to play a small but significant role in the past few months. Our Emergency Field Hospitals in hard-hit Cremona, Italy, and New York City’s Central Park treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients, bringing many back from the verge of death. Our chaplains worked alongside the teams, sharing the hope and comfort found only in the Lord. Several came to know Christ as their Savior. Praise God!  Everyone is just ready for things to return to normal as they were before the virus.

I understand that sentiment, and I am certainly ready to see America open up again, as President Trump has encouraged us to do. Workers are ready to get back to their jobs so they can provide for their families. Folks are eager to get out and about once again and enjoy summer activities. That is beginning to happen now in a number of states, and I hope it is just a matter of time before the entire country is able to safely go about our business.                                                       

However, I hope we don’t just go back to “normal,” if normal means a nation that continues to defy and rebel against God and His ways, a nation that is openly hostile to Christians, a nation that rejoices and revels in godless behavior.  Returning to that version of normal would be a huge mistake.

We may ask if America will ever be the same again. If that means yet a deeper slide into immorality and a further plunge into the godless, progressive liberalism and secularism that has made such dark inroads into culture over the past decade, then I hope not. If it means a culture that continues to ignore, neglect and defy God, and do its best to keep the Lord out of our schools and civic life, then I hope not. If it means a judicial system that does all it can to suppress America’s religious freedom guaranteed under our Constitution, then I hope not.  No, that is exactly what our nation does not need at this critical hour.

My prayer is that God will use this deadly virus that has affected virtually every sector of public and private life in America to bring us to our knees in prayer. And it begins with God’s own people:  “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

If we want to see real, lasting spiritual revival in our land, then it must begin with the church of the Lord Jesus Christ praying with newfound zeal for God’s saving mercy and grace to be shed upon us, for God to open the eyes and hearts of blind men and women and bring them to repentance and faith in the Savior.

Revival always begins with a deep awareness of and sorrow for sin, leading to heartfelt repentance. Unless that happens in the aftermath of this terrible pandemic, then a return to normal will only push us further down the slope of spiritual decadence.               

Now is the time for churches to take a stand for God’s holy standards and lead us toward a “new normal.” 

“THANKS FOR LISTENING”

AMERICA NEEDS REVIVAL    -Greg Laurie

The answer to America’s problems is a spiritual one. We need to pray for our country like never before. And we need to reach out to a lost world with the gospel like never before. We need more people hearing about who Jesus is and what He promises. We need to get back to the true God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who sent His Son Jesus Christ to be born in the manger, to die on the cross, and to rise from the dead three days later. We need a spiritual awakening.

Charles Finney, who was part of one of America’s great revivals, said, “Revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God.” A.W. Tozer defined revival as, “That which changes the moral climate of a community.”

That is the kind of revival we need. Not just an emotional experience and not just a tingle down the backbone. We need to see God work, because our nation needs it like never before.

The last great American revival was the Layman’s Prayer Revival of 1857–1858. It began with a 48-year-old businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier. He began a noon prayer meeting on Fulton Street in downtown New York. Jeremiah handed out flyers to downtown businessmen, saying, “Come to our prayer meeting when you are having a break for lunch.”

Only a handful of people showed up. But Jeremiah persisted; and that handful of people kept meeting for prayer. Then something dramatic took place. The stock market crashed. Suddenly, the prayer meeting grew. People fell to their knees, and then the prayer meeting exploded. Prayer meetings were popping up quickly throughout New York City. Within six months, 10,000 people were gathering for prayer in New York City alone. They were renting venues that Broadway normally used and packing them out at lunch time with men and women who were calling on the name of the Lord.

Fifty thousand New Yorkers reportedly came to know the Lord from March to May. During that single year, the number of reported conversions throughout the country reached an average of 50,000 a week for about two years. Even a notorious criminal nicknamed “Awful” Gardner shocked everyone when he came to Christ through the prayer meetings. When it was all over, one million people had come to faith.

No one orchestrated that revival in New York. It wasn’t a campaign planned by people. It was a work of God where He poured out His Spirit.

Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit; it’s not something we can make happen. Revival is God’s responsibility. It’s what God does for us. But listen to this: Evangelism is what we do for God. Preaching the gospel is our responsibility. Christ commissioned us to go into the world and spread the Good News.

We cannot make a revival happen, but we can make evangelism happen. We can start those conversations. We can share the love of Christ. We can invite friends to participate in Harvest America. So let’s pray for God to do a great work of revival in our country, but let’s do our part. The root of the problem is that people are separated from God. And the way to change a culture is to invade it. It is to go out where people don’t typically hear the gospel, enter their world, and tell them about Jesus Christ.  –from THINKE (think eternity)

Upper New York Annual Conference 2020

The Eleventh Session of the Upper New York Annual Conference has been postponed due to concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. On October 3, 2020, there will be a one-day virtual session to allow the necessary business of the Annual Conference, as outlined in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, to be cared for. A time has not yet been announced. In addition, the 2020 clergy session will be held virtually on Saturday, September 19, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. The service of ordination will be held Friday, October 2. This is an invitation only event and it will be livestreamed for those to watch who didn’t receive an invitation. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM OUR CHURCH BULLETIN                             

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Because of our re-opening on June 21, after being closed for 3 months, there are only a few announcements.

  • Breakfast Club -not meeting yet
  • Bible Study -not meeting yet
  • Chair Exercise -not meeting yet
  • COBBLESTONE MISSION CRAFTERS will meet on Tuesday afternoon from 1-4 pm.
  • If you want to place an announcement in the bulletin, please enter the complete information on the sheet circulated each Sunday.

RECENT PRAYER REQUESTS FROM OUR “PRAYER WARRIORS

  • The Holy Spirit to bring our Friends, Neighbors and Members to worship
  • Our country/world      
  • Emma’s daughter-in-law, baby (2)            
  • Aryn, Rob, kids (2)                                 
  • Rosanna (5)                                                     
  • Family of Edythe Besedin (5)                       
  • Sue Schultz, health (5)                          
  • Carol P. MRI (5)
  • Audrey P’s family (5)                                     
  • Passing of Edie’s brother (5)                        
  • Norma C (4)                                              
  • Carole D’s daughter, her father (5)            
  • Millie, tests (5)                                               
  • Healing (5)                                             
  • Pastor Matt (4)                                               
  • So. Tier tornado damage (5)                       
  • The unemployed (3)
  • Kern’s daughter Kathy (4)                            
  •  Jenny’s friend, accident (3)                    
  • Family of Carl Meyers (3)   
  • Ricardo, virus (2)                                            
  • Jenny’s sisters and niece, virus (1)        
  • Bob and Marge Kerns (1)

A SMILE OR TWO

A GOOD POINT

A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. “How do you know what to say?” he asked. “Why, God tells me.”                  “Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?”

PLAY BALL

A father took his 5-year-old son to several baseball games where The Star-spangled Banner was sung before the start of each game.

Then the father and son attended a church on a Sunday shortly before Independence Day. The congregation sang The Star-spangled Banner, and after everyone sat down, the little boy suddenly yelled out, “PLAY BALL!!!”

COBBLESTONE COOKERY

BY

NORTH RIDGE UNITED METHODIST WOMEN  –  1998 COOKBOOK EDITION

KIELBASA GARDEN SUPPER

1 (16 oz.) kielbasa

1 (14.5 oz.) Contadina olive oil and garlic chunky tomatoes

1 (15 oz.) can Hunt’s tomato sauce

2 fresh green peppers (large)

2 medium fresh onions

1 c. packed brown sugar

½ c. water

  Preheat oven to 375.  Precook kielbasa in microwave for five minutes.  Cut kielbasa into wedges; cut peppers into strips and onions into sections.  Place kielbasa and vegetables into a shallow casserole dish.                                                                                                 

In a medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, sauce, water and brown sugar.  Pour over kielbasa and vegetables. Bake uncovered for fifteen minutes; stir.  Bake an additional fifteen minutes.

      Note: Peppers and onions may be sautéed first if a more tender texture is desired.                    –Audrey Peck

ZUCCHINI BARS

1 c. shredded zucchini (press out moisture)

1 tsp. soda

1 c. sugar

½ c. butter or shortening

1 egg

2 c. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 c. raisins

1 c. chocolate chips

   Beat zucchini, soda, sugar and shortening.  Add egg. Beat. Add flour, spices, raisins and chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Spread mixture in a well-greased cake pan (9 x 13).  Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.                                                                         -Donna Robinson                                                          

The Cobblestone Cookery 1998 is available for purchase from the UMW.  Books are on display in the Fellowship Room for $2.00

You are always invited to worship with us.  Even if you have been away for a time, we look forward to seeing you soon! WE MISS YOU.

We are following the safe guidelines put forth by the Upper New York Conference for the safety of each person in our worship service and in our building.

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And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (N.K.J.V.) WE MISS YOU.