Monthly Newsletter – February 2016

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Men’s Retreat at Medora in March

Are you a man who seeks to maintain the responsibilities in your life in the way and admonition of the Lord? Whether you are a husband, father, student, church member, church leader, employee, or employer, the Dakota Conference Men’s Retreat is designed for you.

The theme for the 21st annual Men’s Retreat is “Facing God, Facing the World.” Though we live in a confusing, unstable world, though the maze we seem to live and operate in gives no direction, through God’s providence we can be victorious in our Christian walk. God has and will continue to lead His people. This retreat will offer relevant insight to the time in which we live.

The retreat will be held on March 11-13 at the Rough Rider Inn in rustic Medora, the badlands capital of North Dakota. The food is good, rooms comfortable. The cost is $180 for the weekend, including two nights and five meals. This year’s speaker is Dr. Thomas Shepherd, Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Director of the PhD in Religion and ThD programs at Andrews University. This is a great opportunity grow in your faith and fellowship with men from all around the Dakota Conference.

Register before February 25 for early-bird pricing. The church is willing to sponsor those who cannot afford to cover the costs or are in need of transportation to and from. Please contact Randy Rubbert for more information. See you there!

first eventSuccessful First Event for Grand Forks Adventist Youth!

January 20 was the first get-together of the Grand Forks Adventist Youth. About 30 people attended that evening, including several youth from the community.

The evening began with worship music led by Kelsey, Mandy, and Leanne. Damaris introduced Carlos’ devotion about unity with an activity: the group held hands and formed a circle, then passed a hula-hoop along the chain without breaking the hand-hold.

After worship, the group enjoyed a delicious pizza supper provided by Deanna. Following the refreshments were Minute-to-Win-it games. The youth were divided into two teams (Sassy Skittles and Lumberjacks) and competed against each other for bragging rights.

Our next event will be February 20 at 5:30. Meet at the church for a short worship program and soup and sandwiches, followed by bowling. To assist leaders in planning, please sign up on the sheet located on the photocopy counter.

Women’s Sunday Project Day

A group of ladies met Sunday, January 24, for a day of sewing, knitting, and card-making. It was a fun opportunity to work on projects and to enjoy fellowship with each other. A potluck-style lunch was enjoyed by all.

On February 8 at 6:30pm, there will be a card exchange—each attendee will bring blank handmade cards to exchange with each other. Please see Megan Tretter for information if you would like to participate.

Name Your Newsletter

The Grand Forks Church newsletter needs a name! Submit your ideas on the church Facebook page, text 701-741-5992, or talk to Leanne Erickson, Troy Erickson, or Mandy Panasuk.

Ideas will be collected during February and March, followed by a vote for the winner in April. The person who submits the winning name will receive a prize!

breathing faithBreathing Faith by Mandy Panasuk

During college, I remember reading through the final paper of a woman I tutored during her master’s program. It was the story of her life, the bricks of her experiences mortared together with theoretical constructions of psychologists. Her life, summarized in ten typed pages, was an eloquent picture of God’s intervention and protection—her present faith solid, a wall of confidence in His ability to provide for every need, despite the hurts and darkness of the past. Midway through the paper, I stopped looking for comma splices to wonder how to get to this point, where having faith seems as easy as breathing.

So often, my faith seems more prone to spiritual asthma attacks. One day I think, “Wow, I’ve got it, this breathing thing…” It’s just in and out, in and out; my lungs feel light, full of air. But the next minute I’m scraping the air for oxygen. Leave me alone with my thoughts for two minutes and my fears fill my lungs with concrete. “Oh ye of little faith…”

I think of my grandma Florence, a veritable Amazon of faith, speaking life into people so fully and frequently that you were lucky to not catch a busy signal when calling her. I miss her now, wish I could dial her number and ask her how she got there. What was the secret that made her words strong and resonant like the voice of a prophet?

Today, as the rain breaks against my windshield, blurring tail lights into soft red, I think of all the things I can’t see the end of, and I remember that it’s daily…“take up your cross daily,” (Luke 9:23), and I’m oddly comforted by the thought. Maybe faith is found in the building up of days upon days of cross-bearing, burden-casting, continual asking, and waiting. Perhaps it isn’t ever happened upon suddenly and is more like a far-off scene slowly being brought into focus.

Recipe of the Month

Corn and Tomato Salad

1 can of sweet corn

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 bunch cilantro or parsley

1/2 small red onion chopped

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the first four ingredients. Whisk oil, lime juice, cumin, and salt together.  Drizzle over salad.

This is a basic recipe.  Be creative: add your favorite nuts or garbanzo beans in place of the corn; add kale or lemon too!

Submitted by Corinne Passa