A Love That Pulls Us True

Bethany Lee

view of sunset from the bow of a sailboat
We have, on my family’s small sailboat, electronic charts, multiple GPS, and a digital depth sounder. We also have a tall, metal mast—a built in lightning rod. If we were struck by lightning, very likely every piece of electronics aboard would cease to function. So in case of emergency, we also carry paper charts, a sextant for celestial navigation, and a lead line for measuring depth.

And more than just lightning could take out our depth sounder. Underwater sensors get obscured by marine growth or debris; wiring corrodes and solar-fed batteries fail when the sun doesn’t shine.

So we keep our lead line tucked away in a handy locker. This age-old tool doesn’t look like much. A thin length of line with a pendant of lead at the end. There is a dimple at the bottom of the weight, as if the smelter had tested the cooling metal with a curious fingertip. Into this indentation, we can smear a thimbleful of grease, just sticky enough to pull up the substance from the ocean floor. Untouched grease means rocky bottom, a bad anchorage. Sand or gravel or mud mean good holding ground—a good night’s rest for the weary crew.

Some lead lines have markings every fathom. Ours have long since worn away. But we can measure by reach; the captain’s wingspan is 6 feet exactly.

As we near safe anchorage, I take the helm, steering where I think will prove best. I watch the captain on the bow toss the line, let it settle, mark and measure. He calls back directions, I edge in a few more boat lengths, and he tosses again. The line proves true and we find our way.

This is the truest thing I know: that God is love. Suspended by this gravity that pulls you true, may you brave the dark, take its measure, and always find your rest in the love of God, the source and substance at the center of it all.

portrait of Bethany Lee

Once, Bethany traveled at sea for a year with her husband, Bryan, and her daughters, Hannah and Meira. Now she lives in Lafayette, Oregon, and is regularly and extraordinarily grateful for libraries, forests, opposable thumbs, dear friends, and running water.


Business as Worship: Reprise

Sunday, March 18


Thanks to the many of you who met for worship and business this past Sunday, March 11. We had a full agenda and good conversation. Not making it through the agenda was a good reminder of the adventure and work that lies before us as a new community.

Because some of our work is time-sensitive, we as co-presiding clerks invite you to another business meeting this coming Sunday, March 18. Here is what we will be considering as community:

  • The proposed hiring process for pastors and staff (decision item)
  • A proposed job description for a Community Life and Worship pastor (decision item)
  • A report on our church naming process
  • A report on the work being done to develop Faith and Practice guidelines

Here are links to some documents that may be helpful to consider in advance.

Hiring Process
Proposed Job Description
NEFC Leadership (bylaws excerpt)
Organizational Structure

We hope to see you Sunday!

Mark McMinn
Peggy Hanson
Co-presiding clerks

Prayer Ministry Team

March 19, 7:00 pm
Deb and John Buerkles’ Home

Do you want to serve others through intercessory prayer?  Do you want to explore prayer as a ministry?

If so, please plan on joining the prayer ministry team. We will meet Monday evening to talk about how to effectively support our community through prayer.

Where: Deb and John Buerkle’s home, 9725 NE Meadow Loop, Newberg

When: Monday, March 19th, 2018, at 7pm

If you can’t make the meeting but are interested in supporting and serving in a prayer ministry, please email Deb Buerkle.

Lenten and Easter Services

March 21 – 5:45-7:00 pm – Risking Authenticity
We gather with our sisters and brothers from Newberg First United Methodist and Joyful Servant Lutheran Churches to talk about the risk it is to be a follower of Christ, and what risk God takes on with us as God’s followers. All are welcome for a meal and conversation!

March 29 – 6:00-6:30 pm – NEFC’s Maundy Thursday Service
Come for a simple hand washing, reflective time, and celebration of the Last Supper.

April 1 – Easter Celebration at our normal 5:00 worship time
Christ is Risen…

Please be in Prayer for David Thomas

photo of David Thomas

David requests prayer for his trip to Thailand and Cambodia. He is flying out for Thailand on Sunday March 18th, arriving in Chiang Mai the 19th, catching up with the Kibbes in Chiang Rai, meeting fellow Navigator D for D international mentors on Wednesday the 21st, preparing on the 22nd, holding a Bible-Telling, Orality and Adult Learning seminar the 23rd – 28th, resting, then flying to Cambodia on the 31st driving to Battambang with Fede Hernandes on the 2nd, spending the 2nd – 4th with the EFC–SW Cambodia missionary team, flying back the 5th, arriving the 6th in Newberg and then resting.

Please pray for David’s good health, concentration and quick adjustment to jet-lag. Pray for good bonding and working together for their facilitation team (Merri Lee Hipp, Scott Purser, David Thomas, Ronald Mazune -Uganda, and Danny -Philippines). Pray for clear facilitation, and great translation (Joshua and Ai Lau) for our 5–day seminar. Pray for our Lahu friends to understand, come to value and commit to using non–literate and adult learning methods of teaching. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence, insight and quickening to be among us! We need his insight and grace! We join with Jesus in praying that the Father’s name would be glorified among the Lahu people groups in South East Asia, and that his Kingdom would come and his will would be done among us during this seminar, as his will is done in heaven!

Oak and fir mix firewood (mostly oak) available for purchase and delivery as a fundraiser for Lily Copeland and Sadie Hampton. Both girls are taking trips this spring and Larry Hampton has offered 2 cords toward their goal. $200 per cord. Contact Ron Hampton if you are interested.

You are welcome to post items you need or have available on this Community Board, or to announce events that might be of interest to others in the NEFC community. Email your submissions to one of the newsletter editors by Tuesday at noon to have them included.

How do I get something in this newsletter?

This newsletter is emailed each week on Thursday or Friday. If you have announcements, photos, items for the Community Board, or suggestions, please contact one of the current co-editors, Mark McMinn, David Sherwood, or Michael Sayler, by Tuesday noon.