Weekly Update

We invite you to worship with us through livestreaming at both our 9:00am contemporary service and our 11:00am traditional service at northwoodpc.org.

If you are new to Northwood, WELCOME! If you are interested in learning more about Northwood or wish to become a member, please visit our website or click on the "I'm New" link below to learn more about us and fill out the form and one of the pastors or staff members will get in touch with you.

If you are unable to participate in worship through livestreamimg, remember the services can be found and enjoyed anytime in the "archives" under "watch livestream" on the church website. We say this especially because with the large number of churches now exclusively livestreamimg services, providers are struggling to handle the volume on Sunday's.

If you have technical difficulties viewing the online services please view in the church livestreaming archives the next day as that is working well.You can call the church office and ask for help you if you are having trouble viewing. We encourage you to ask for help!
Update on Member Survey

Dear Members

Following the suspension of in-person worship services in March of this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Session appointed a Commission comprising eight (8) Elders and Pastor Curvin to plan for resuming in-person worship. The Session also approved a set of policy guidelines, which would provide the framework within which the planning would take place. The Commission decided to include in its activities, a member survey with the objective of keeping our members engaged with the Church, and also to encourage your participation and input in the planning process. The Commission prepared a brief survey questionnaire which was circulated electronically on the Church’s website, with printable copies available online and hard copies available in the September 2020 issue of “The Window”.  We appreciate so much your participation and responsiveness to this survey, which resulted in the receipt of more than 100 responses, with very relevant suggestions and comments, many of which are being incorporated in the Commission’s planning.

After analysis of these responses, the resulting data indicated that 95% of our members plan to return to church, although not all will come at the very start of in-person worship, mainly due to health challenges, and the unavailability of an effective vaccine. Further, a large majority of our members expressed appreciation and support for the measures which are being put in place to make returning to church as safe as possible. These include mandatory use of face masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing among others.

We appreciate your many expressions of support and encouragement for the Pastors, other Officers and the Church in general, for providing ongoing services such as live streaming of our worship services. We know that many of you are anxious to return to in-person worship with the interaction and fellowship to which we have grown accustomed. We all share that longing, and look forward to the time when we can all get together. Thank you so much  for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us, and in the meantime, let us all be prayerful, for one another and for God’s guidance in all that we do.
God bless you and your families.

Polly Brown
(Elder on behalf of the Commission for In-Person Worship)
Letter from the Pastor
A Series on Plans for Returning to In-Person Worship at Northwood

Dear Members and Friends of Northwood,

As I have shared before the Session has adopted guidelines for us to use when we are able to return to in-person worship. While that time is not now, you can view the guidelines, by clicking on the "Guidelines" tab at the end of this letter. Let me assure you that one of the top priorities of our returning to in-person worship is that the sanctuary and all surfaces will be cleaned thoroughly for every worship service. Another obvious priority will be the required wearing of face masks and social distancing which we all have grown accustomed to doing everywhere we go. The Commission for in-Person Worship, (established by the Session), is working hard to implement these guidelines in their weekly meetings. 

Volunteers are especially important for when we are able to return to in-person worship. You can view a “Request for Volunteers” notice also by clicking on a tab at the end of this letter.

If you have not notified the office about a new email and/or telephone number for you, please do so as soon as possible, so that our records are accurate and you that you receive our weekly mailings. We routinely find that we do not have the best contact information, especially email addresses, for a number of people. 

As we know from our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is learning how to adapt. Even with our guidelines, which will likely change over time, perhaps from the survey we will ask you to complete as soon as possible.
Finally, when our congregation is able to resume in-person worship, please know that we will do so through a careful process of discussion and discernment, in the spirit of constant prayer. Again, I want to thank you to all who continue to make your financial gifts as we seek to be faithful to God and to one another and work through the challenges of this time in the life of our congregation and world

Your Pastor and Friend,
         Lighting the Advent Wreath
Celebrating with an Advent wreath during the weeks prior to Christmas is a great way for us to keep Christ at the center of our Christmas preparations. How would you like to take part in this meaningful Northwood tradition? Here are a couple of ideas:
1.    The Worship Team is looking for two or more friends or family members to light the candles of the Advent wreath during each worship service of Advent. You will have the option of attending in person or pre-recording your portion of the service. This year’s display will provide for social distancing and masks will be required.
2.    Those watching the service by live streaming are encouraged to prepare a wreath at home to light during the appropriate time in worship. Inexpensive wreaths are available from a number of merchants, or better yet, get crafty and make your own! If you are interested in volunteering for option 1, please call Linda Feller at 727-385-5629 (cell) or email her at bikingringer@gmail.com.
Children & Youth
We will continue the tradition of offering pre-service music on Christmas Eve again this year. If you play an instrument and are in 1st-12th grade, you are invited to prepare a sacred Christmas piece for the 7:30 p.m. Christmas service. All the performances will be recorded in advance and then be played prior to the start of the service. If you are interested, text or call Tom Huffman at (727) 409-8726 or send an email to hufftom@aol.com.
     Christmas Poinsettias
Do you have someone you’d like to honor or remember with a poinsettia in the sanctuary this Christmas? For just $9 you can make that happen. You can mail or drop off a check to the church office with a note designating “in honor of” or “in memory of” and their name(s). If you pay on line for the poinsettias, in order to be sure their names are included, you will need to send an email to communications@northwoodpc.org with the names of your loved ones and whether it is in their memory or honor. The deadline for ordering poinsettias is December 13. The poinsettias will be put in the church sanctuary whether we are meeting at the church or if the service is only live streamed.
Beth-El Angel Tree
“Drop and Drive” Event
On Saturday, December 12th, for this year’s Angel Tree Outreach, the Mission and Outreach Ministry members will be accepting donations from the list below for the Beth-El farm workers. The Mission and Outreach members will be masked and ready to accept your donations from 10:00 a.m. until noon at the church. All CDC protocols will be in place and there will be no need to exit your vehicle as this will be another "drop and drive" event. Donations can be dropped off at the church prior to this event from 9:00 to 1:00 Monday through Thursday prior to December 12th. If you would prefer to give on line, please follow the prompts and select Beth-El Mission. Thank you Northwood for your continued generosity.
Beth-El Wish List
Paper towels, Toilet paper, Wipes, Napkins, Long sleeve shirts, Beanies/caps, Bandanas, Head coverings, Fannie packs, Working gloves, Socks, Baby Items such as Diapers sizes 4 & 5 and Baby wipes, Gift Cards $20.00 or more: Wal-Mart, Publix, Wa-Wa, Gas Cards.
Drop-n-Shop gives parents the opportunity to drop their children off at the church for a few hours of fun while they can go get stuff done! Given our new way of living, this event will require a mask at all times and an updated 2020-2021 medical/consent form completed. We will have a blend of safe and socially distant indoor & outdoor activities! It’s going to be like a mini day of Vacation Bible School. Kids will be in small groups with an adult counselor and a couple of youth elves! There will be games, craft projects, snack time, and Bible time! To better ensure the safety of our community we are limiting this event to 30 preschool and elementary-aged children and we will have the nursery available for our little ones. The deadline to sign up is December 10th. For more details and sign up, follow the link below that is also located on our social media pages & weekly email updates, or email Rosalie, our Director of Youth & Families at bradfordrosalie@gmail.com 
Brown Bag Bible Study - Dec. 3rd

Thursday, December 3rd at noon, Pastor Paul will continue the study on the major themes of Advent. To guide us in our study, we will be using Timothy Keller's book, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ. Join us as we reflect on what it means to welcome anew the Christ Child into our hearts, and as a result what it means to live as a dearly beloved child of God.

NPC Women’s Retreat
February 19-21 
Come join the women of Northwood for an amazing weekend of fellowship at our annual retreat at Cedarkirk. We're happy to announce that Debra Musgrave Cox will be our speaker! Registration is now open and forms are available in the church office or by email. Payment may be made online or by dropping off a check at the office (please earmark NPC WR). Cancellations due to COVID will be fully refundable.

Volunteer Opportunity
Meals on Wheels has received a grant that will allow them to serve all remaining 500 clients on their waiting list through 2020. As a result, Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers who might have a couple of hours each week to help with the tremendous increase in meals that need to be delivered. If you would like to consider volunteering, please contact Pastor Paul at paul@northwoodpc.org or 727-796-8090.
Important Calendar Information

Many meetings have gone to an online platform. However, if your team/committee wishes to meet in person (with physical distance and masks), please check the church calendar online at www.northwoodpc.org to be sure your event/meeting is still listed. Many meeting spaces have been expanded to meet physical distance requirements and a room previously reserved might have been reassigned to a group that has made a new request for in person meeting space. 
Prayer Requests

Each Sunday we will be worshiping online at both 9:30 & 11:00am. The Ignite contemporary service has a time of “prayers of joy and concerns” where people individually offer prayer requests. While worshiping via livestream we wanted to make that possible. If you have a "prayers, joys or concerns" request you would like lifted up at the 9:30am service, click the button below. Just remember that these prayer requests may be shared via livestream. If anything is private, do not submit it for sharing this way. We will share as many as the time permits.
Wednesday Bible Study, led by Cindy Huffman
A study of the Book of Matthew meets every Wednesday at 7:00pm through Zoom. The study guide being used is The Immersion Bible Study: Matthew by J. Ellsworth Kalas. If you’d like to join the Wednesday Bible Study or need a study book, please email Cindy Huffman at lucindy1@aol.com and she will forward you the Zoom link. All are welcome!
Experiencing God Class, led by Vicki Krueger
If you’d like to join the Experiencing God class virtually via Zoom at 10:30am on Sunday mornings, please contact Vicki Krueger via email at vickilee33@aol.com and she will send you the meeting details each week. 

Fresh Brewed
Fresh Brewed will meet on the first Friday of every month at 10:30am via Zoom. Our next meeting will be December 4th. The new book will be “Deeply Rooted; Knowing Self, Growing in God” by Christopher Marcie.
Please contact Louise Mylin for a Zoom code and if you have any questions (727) 787-9868.
Presbyterian Women are using a Bible study called “Into the Light: Finding Hope through Prayers of Lament” by P. Lynn Miller. This is a 9-month study on reclaiming the practice of lament through Biblical study. Study books are available for purchase. The study will be available through livestreaming only on the first Thursday of each month at 11:00 AM and will be led by Pastor Curvin. The next study will take place on Thursday, December 3rd. Everyone is welcome to join us through livestreaming of the study! You may also check out the study through our website archive if you are unable to watch livestream. If you’d like more information or have any questions, please contact Patty Martin at bill.martin2@verizon.net.
Even when we can’t be together, your giving matters. We want to continue being the church in our community and to each and every one of you in the days ahead. Your continued faithfulness to the mission and ministry of Northwood through your giving is critical as the church’s expenses do not stop. Please commit to maintain your regular schedule of giving throughout this time by mailing your gift, dropping it off at the church office during business hours or using one of the online platforms below for giving electronically:

*Text NPCHURCH to 73256 and follow the prompts
*Click “Give” under the ChurchLife app menu options
Per-Capita Apportionment
Every church shares in the administrative costs of the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) through the annual per capita assessment. Northwood's per-capita assessment is $32.20 per every active member and confirmed youth (communicant member). Please consider paying this administrative cost above and beyond your annual pledge/offering. You can contribute to the per-capita apportionment at any time during the year. To do so just write "per-capita" on the memo line of your check or mark an envelope accordingly. Thank you for your gift.
Be Aware of Email Scams
You may be aware that some of our members, and even our church staff, have received scam emails, that appear to be from Pastor Chris and others by email. The emails scams of financial help often come in the request for you to purchase gift cards. Our pastors do NOT send these emails. This email scam is also happening to pastors in other churches across the nation at this point. Please know that your pastors and the church staff will never solicit any funds in this manner. Simply forward the message of such a request to the church office so that we can collect them for the police. It saddens us when anyone seeks to do harm but especially when they prey on the kindness and Christ-like hearts of our members. Be aware of scams by email and phone calls!
Revised Church Office Hours
The church office remains open with modifications to our hours and staffing model for the health and safety of all. For the time being, we will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. and closed on Friday. Our staff will be alternating their days in the office and working from home on the others. The afternoon and Friday hours will be reserved for staff members who need/want to further limit their contact with others during this time. All staff members continue to be available via email or phone regardless of the office schedule.