Spring Reflection

Gary Fawver

Barclay Press publishes a quarterly devotional guide known as Fruit of the Vine. With permission, we are occasionally reprinting a Fruit of the Vine meditation in the NEFC newsletter. This meditation by Gary is from October 18, 2010.

BIBLE READING: Song of Solomon 2:11-13

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic beauty in the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that spring comes after the winter” (Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder, p. 88).

Spring boldly celebrates life. Regardless of how many times we have seen that first green shoot or that first spring flower many of us still respond with sheer delight. Spring enlivens our understanding of hope. We need signs that remind us of resurrection and hope. As we associate the visible beginnings of new life with spring, so we can describe a new believer in Christ as being in “spiritual spring.” We respond with joy and are revived with new energy to see that God, the Master Gardener, is still at work. Reflect on your spiritual springtime experience, either recently or many years ago. Who in your life cared for your spiritual needs? Did your church have people and programs that helped you grow and mature? How did the Scriptures, prayer, and the spiritual disciplines play a part in your early Christian development?

Remember that new believers must be tended faithfully and carefully as we would tend newly sprouted plants in the garden. The gardener cares for the environmental needs so that the plant can achieve its own natural development. The gardener facilitates; that is, he or she helps to assure the conditions that the plant needs.

SONG: Fairest Lord Jesus

PRAYER SUGGESTION: Lord, thank you for this chance to think about when by your grace I became a new creation. Thank you that you helped me grow and become strong and useful. Thank you that over the years I could bring pleasure and help to others around me.

Gary Fawver is a lover of God’s creation and retired from George Fox University as a Professor of Outdoor Ministries.

We Have a New Look

This newsletter may look different than what you have seen before because we are trying out some new ways of integrating it with our new website. By the way, many thanks to Brandon Buerkle and Kathy Watson for their work on the website!

If things look strange for a week or two it’s because we’re figuring out the technology that allows for a seamless integration between the website and the newsletter.


Easter Service

Please join us in celebrating the risen Christ, this Sunday evening, at 5:00 pm. Overflow parking available at Northside Community Church.

Bring a single stem flower to help decorate the resurrection cross. The hospitality team is hosting a dessert following our worship gathering.

Spring Giving Tree

Last December, a group of people planned and facilitated the Advent Giving Tree. We had so much fun and our community jumped in with such an overwhelmingly joyful and responsive generosity that someone said, “If only we could do this more than once a year!”

The idea took seed! The needs of our community don’t cease to exist when Advent is over, so this gives NEFC an opportunity to participate in the work of generosity that God is initiating all year round.

Starting on Easter, and lasting through the month of April, our Spring Giving Tree (a blooming Asian Pear tree!) will be covered in gift tags similar to the Advent Tree. Each tag has a list of supplies being requested by one of three ministries in the Newberg Area. Supplies can be returned each Sunday and will be delivered to each local ministry.

If you’re wanting to get a head start, here are the list of items most urgently needed:

Items in support of the Drop-In Center at 2nd Street Community Church:
  • Microwave Mac n Cheese
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Applesauce/Fruit cups
  • Capri Sun Juice Bags
  • Deodorant
  • Conditioner (they have lots of shampoo)
  • Disposable razors
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tents
Items in support of the Newberg High School Resource Room:
  • Cup of Noodles
  • Socks 
  • Boxer briefs for males
  • Boy-shorts/bikini-cut underwear for girls
  • Razors for both male and female 
  • Tampons

Quality (new or gently used) backpacks for students at the CVMS Resource Room

Spring Connection Opportunities

Intergenerational Game Night: April 7, 7:00 pm in the youth room at the church

Bring a board game and a snack and join the fun! Open to all ages!

Connection Dinner 8: April 14, 6:00 pm

Here’s a chance to connect with other adults in our community around a casual evening meal in which everyone brings a dish. Use the this form to rsvp as either a host or a guest for groups of 8 to dine together on Saturday, April 14 at 6pm.

Connection Groups: Six week gatherings beginning in April or May

Connection groups have 8 to 9 people who will weekly gather together at someone’s home for 5-6 weeks this spring. Each person in the small group will have the opportunity to share the pivotal God sightings in their life story, giving people the chance to know one another more. If you are willing to host a group in your home, please let us know here.

Sewing Party

NEFC is hosting our second sewing party to make lap-sized weighted blankets. The first batch of 25 blankets went to Newberg High School and have been distributed to students in need and school counseling offices throughout the district. The next batch will be going to each of the Head Start classrooms in Yamhill County and some of the special education classrooms in the Newberg School District. If you are unfamiliar with the benefits of weighted blankets, read more here.

We’ve scheduled the sewing party for Saturday, April 14, 9AM-NOON, at Joyful Servant Lutheran. The fabric and beads for 50 blankets have been purchased. Our goal is to recruit 12 experienced sewists who can bring their own machine and 12 non-experienced assistants (like me) who can pin, iron, cut, and fill blankets with weighted beads.

Would you like to join us? Do you have questions? Is there anyone else that you’d like to invite to join?

Thanks for considering!

Contact Josh Reid for more info: jreid@me.com

Kids Choir for Easter

If your child (geared toward 4th and 5th graders, but all are welcome) would like to sing and help lead musical worship for our Easter service on April 1, please contact Davida Brown or Nolan Staples. We will have a rehearsal on Saturday March 31 at 10:00 in the sanctuary, and in the meantime you can find recordings and lyrics to practice with here.

From David Thomas
Evangelical Friends Mission

David requests prayer for one more week. He travels to Cambodia on the 31st, spends Easter with Fede Hernandes and family, then drives to Battambang (6hrs) with Fede Monday morning, then meets with the EFC-SW Cambodia team through Wednesday evening. They drive back to the Phnom Penh Thursday and he flies out that evening, arriving back in Newberg on the 6th. Pray for a great connection with Fede and family, and with the rest of the team. This is a vision casting trip, so pray for clear thinking, and excellent facilitation of their process of dreaming what a Cambodian village looks like when God’s name is glorified among them, when God’s Kingdom comes and will is done (in every aspect of their lives) as it is in heaven. David will be sharing from his experience in Rwanda of what a whole-life, disciple-making, church-planting, community-transforming movement looks like.

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.