January 9, 2020 | First Sunday after Epiphany
The Way of Christ: the Path of Peace
Northminster Family,

Despite and beyond any partisan viewpoints any of us might hold, we have committed to following in the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. It is in the spirit of this truth, our ultimate allegiance, that we share the update below from our denominational affiliate, the Alliance of Baptists. We join you in praying fervently for peace among all of God's children in the days to come.

Claire & Zach
Update from the Alliance of Baptists, Jan. 8, 2020

The Alliance has signed on to this Faith Statement on Escalating Violence with Iran:

As people of faith, we condemn the United States’ dangerous aggression towards Iran, including the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deployment of additional troops to the region. We urge the Administration to step back from the brink of war.
Our faith communities see the futility of war, and its power to dehumanize. We know that human flourishing entails breaking cycles of violence, being courageous peacemakers, and focusing on the root causes of conflict. Violent conflict is a path of mutual destruction.
Instead, all actors must move forward in a way that upholds our shared, sacred human dignity:
All parties must begin by re-humanizing each other without excusing unjust and violent actions.
The U.S. Administration must halt violent attacks and military escalations. It must return to a diplomatic process, recognizing that lasting peace requires a commitment to the shared well-being of every human, from Iran to the United States and everywhere in between.
The U.S. Congress must act to reassert its war powers by refusing authorization for war with Iran and related attacks, and to block funding for war with Iran.
U.S. actions and strategy in the region must address the root causes of the conflict, such as distrust, trauma, economic resources, and political influence.
All of us must support nonviolent creative actions of resistance to any unjust and violent actions.
As communities of faith, we renounce the escalation of violence, and call on the United States to work towards lasting peace with Iran. 
Add your voice by clicking the button below:
Prayers of the People
An opportunity to celebrate and pray alongside siblings in our community.
We pray alongside...

Craig Henry as he recovers from ear surgery earlier this week.

LaVerne Bodron and her family as they mourn the death of her husband, Buddy, on January 6. An obituary is available online by clicking here.

We celebrate alongside...

Beth Ingram (9th), Lowery Thompson (11th), Renee Decker (12th), Luna Grassi (14th), and
Ralph Webb (15th) as they celebrate their birthdays.

If you have concerns and celebrations you would like us to add to the newsletter, please call the church office or email office@northmin.org.
Staff Notes
Or, why is the building so dark?
This week, Renee is out of the office on vacation and will return Monday, Jan. 13.

Zach and Claire will be on vacation Jan. 9-15, and will then be attending the annual Alliance of Baptists "MALT" (Mississippi-Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas) clergy gathering in New Orleans until the following Saturday. This year, MALT is hosted at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church. The Heltons will be back for worship on Sunday, Jan. 19.
The Work of the People
How we are responding to the Spirit of Love
Northminster Book Club: Educated, by Tara Westover
The Northminster Book Club is currently reading Educated by Tara Westover for our February 6 meeting.

Educated is the stunning memoir of a woman growing up in a fundamentalist, survivalist Mormon family in the mountains. It touches on unhealthy family dynamics, religious trauma, the power of shame, the importance of education and perspective, and the path to healing in a way that many of us can relate to, even if our circumstances have not been as extreme as those of the author.

Get your copy now so that you can join us for dinner and conversation on February 6. February's meeting will be held in the home of Mark Windham.
January Mission Trunk: Humane Society
The Humane Society Adoption Center of Monroe is dedicated to the welfare of all animals because of their intrinsic value and rights. Our primary purposes are the prevention of cruelty to animals, the relief of suffering among animals, the extension of humane education, and the provision of shelter-based services. Needs: Dog treats (no rawhides), puppy, kitten, dog, and cat food (canned or dry), all stock livestock food, hay and shelled corn, pine sol, lysol spray, dry shampoo, first aid supplies, old bath towels, sheets, blankets.

Properties: Adopt-A-Bed
We hope you've noticed that all our landscaping and flower beds have been trimmed, cleaned out and stuffed with pine straw! Now is the time to adopt your bed! By having one person take responsibility of a bed and recruiting one or two helpers, we can keep our property looking great all year around. Please see the sign-up sheet and available beds up for adoption on the bulletin board in the hallway. For more information, contact Bill Kight or any other Properties Commission member.
Winter Book Study Begins Jan. 29
Mark your calendar and go ahead and find your copy of Kate Bowler's Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved for our Winter Book Study this Jan-Feb . We'll gather for four meetings on Wednesday nights at 5:30 to tackle this readable memoir of personal grief and the pain that bad theology can layer on top of it. Please note that the book deals with the author's experiences with cancer and with infertility, so if these are triggering subjects for you this may not be the best season for you to encounter this book.

Dates & Readings
January 29: Preface - Ch. 3
February 5: Ch. 4-5
February 12: Ch. 6-7
February 19: Ch. 8-9 (and appendices)

Read more about the book and find a retailer to order from online at katebowler.com. (You can find it at our local Books A Million in the "Biography" section as long as it's in stock, and there is one copy available at the library.)
Holy Ideas
How might we respond to the Spirit of Love?
The following are currently on the Holy Ideas board in the hallway. If you'd like to support an idea and help it become reality, be sure to stop by and sign your name to it. If you have questions, email the sponsor of the idea.

If the idea gets the support it needs (3 signatures) by the expiration date, the supporters will meet with the appropriate commission to clarify and refine the idea into a specific, time-limited plan.

For more opportunities to get involved, check the hallway table and bulletin boards.

If you'd like information on getting involved in leadership commissions or Sunday School groups, you can click here .
To support Northminster financially, you can click here.
Around Town
How can we be present in our community?
The Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artist Competition
On Saturday, January 11 at 7pm the finals of the Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artist Competition will be held in Biedenharn Recital Hall on the campus of ULM. Tickets are available at the door for $5.
In January of each year, talented youth and young adults in the tri-state area are invited to participate in the Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artists Competition before accredited judges from Louisiana and adjacent states. The Competition is funded by the Monroe Symphony League and presented in collaboration with the University of Louisiana Monroe, with facilitator Dr. Mel Mobley. Finalists perform a concert the last evening for the community before the winners are announced. The overall winner is featured as a guest performer with the Monroe Symphony Orchestra during the following season.
The Monroe Symphony Presents:
Justin Havard in Concert
ULM Voice and Piano faculty member and Northminster music associate, Justin Havard performs a solo event on the piano. A wide arrangement of styles, genres, and interactions with the audience will make the cold January night come alive! Be sure to grab extra tickets for your piano students and friends who enjoy live performances! This "MSO Presents" concert will be held Thursday, January 16 at 7pm at Northminster Church.
Over the Coming Week
Sunday 1/12
9am - Choir rehearsal
10am - Sunday School
10:45am - Musical Preludes
11am - Call to Worship

Wednesday 1/15
6:30pm - Choir rehearsal
Worship This Week
The text for this week is:
  • Isaiah 42:5-9
  • Matthew 3:13-17

Sunday's sermon will be preached by
Mark Windham.
5th-11th Renee out of the office
12th Stewardship meeting 12:15
12th Coordinating Council 2pm
19th Potluck and Business Meeting 6pm
20th MLK Day-Office Closed
25th Daughters of Eve rehearsal
29th Winter Book Study
1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Daughters of Eve rehearsals
5th Winter Book Study
6th Northminster Book Club
12th Winter Book Study
19th Winter Book Study
26th Ash Wednesday Service
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