We're coming along

It's been a while since I have posted.  The framing is up, and the building is almost completely sheathed (covered in plywood) at this time.  Exterior trim work should be going up soon along with the roofing. Windows are expected to come in in the middle of August and the steeple should be arriving near the end of the month.  Things are moving along nicely so let's keep up the prayers that they continue to do so.  Small glitches and hitches, which are always expected, have occurred but for the most part we are right on course.  Give a great big "Thank You " to God for that.  

People around town are noticing and are commenting (most positive) and are asking questions.  Here is your opportunity to help build the church.  When people ask you how the church is coming along mention the building BUT more importantly mention what the CHURCH is doing.  Talk about worship. Talk about ministries and missions. Talk about visitations. Talk about the food pantry, angel tree, Operation Christmas child, Backpack ministry, Heifer international, the prayer shawl ministry, and all the other works that the CHURCH is doing. Let them know that the NFUMC is here for them. By building this church building, God is giving us the opportunity to build HIS CHURCH.  Let's not miss out on this gift from God.

Prayer request for the day: Prayer of thanks to God for the opportunity He has blessed us with

Prayer quote for the day:  Everything you need for your destiny is within reach. Pray that God will open your eyes to opportunities, people and resources. - Malika Nura

Peace

 

Video Tour of Where we are now

On June 30, Pastor Tom led us on a tour of where we are in the building process.  the heat of the day reminded us all of how welcoming AIR CONDITIONING is going to be in the new building.  Rebecca stayed behind after the tour and took some videos and we made a youtube video that was shared on Sunday.  For those of you who missed it or would like to share it with friends, you can find it on our GALLERY page under VIDEOS or the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s3LacQ9P_0&feature=youtu.be

For those of you interested in how the material gets to our site, here is a good link to a delivery we received.  Thank you Riverhead Building Supply

https://www.facebook.com/rbscorp/videos/1989548837746551/

Until next time........Peace

 

We have Walls!

Is this a good thing?  As a building? Yes. As a church? Possibly.  Read on.

So Rebecca and  I took Holly Bear for a ride today and what to our wondering eyes should appear but a wonderful change at the construction site.  We have wall framing up and you can really start to see the layout and how the flow that has been designed will work. The thing that struck me was that the building looks so small. But looks can be  deceiving.  The building looks small until you get right up to it and realize that the walls are FOURTEEN FEET TALL. (you can see my smiling face in one of the pictures for scale). It really is shaping up nicely. 

But it got me thinking.  (Don't most things?).  What is the purpose of walls?  You can hang stuff on them, you can bounce things off them, you can put a message on them or, my favorite, bang your head against them. However, there are two main purposes that I can think of.  The first is to separate one area from another and the second would be to support and hold up what is going to be built upon them.  As a church we need to be careful with what type wall we build and how we "build" our walls. We need to be building walls (structure) that support our ministries and  help us to build upon the faith (foundation) we have in God by following the scriptures, keeping true to our vision and by being involved in our community, a life lived in Grace.  BUT at the same time we need to be very aware of building walls that keep us from God and keep us from the least, the lost and the lonely. Walls that separate us.  It becomes very easy and very comforting to find security from the "bad weather", the turbulent times and unpleasant landscapes when you can hide yourself behind a wall.  We build walled in comfort zones without even realizing it at times. We as a church need to not only NOT build these type of walls but we need to be at the forefront of tearing them down.   Let nothing come in our way to separate us from our mission and our relationship with God.

It is my prayer that we become known as that "New church built without walls". 

Prayer request for the day: Pray that we may always be open and unconstrained by the walls we build

Prayer quote for the day:  Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon. - Martin Luther (Same as last week and fits just as well)

Until next time.  Peace!

What a Difference a Week makes

Well, actually two weeks. It's been two weeks since the last update and quite a bit has happened.  The foundation has been backfilled, the crawlspace floor has been poured, steel has been placed and lumber has been delivered. The steel structure over where the altar will reside has been raised.  What could be called the building's next growth spurt

I was blessed to be the one asked to deliver the message this past Sunday and I talked a little about how we have arrived where we are today.  As I walked around the site last night, I was humbled and thankful.  All I could do was lift up my heart in praise to God for bringing us together to make a little place where we can gather to Listen for His voice and share the gospel. 

Until we meet again, enjoy these pictures

Prayer request for the day: Pray that we may be an example for the community.

Prayer quote for the day:  Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon. - Martin Luther
 

Never miss a good chance

So I stopped by the site today to check on the progress, get pictures and see if anything new had happened.  On the way, I was trying to come up with the next blog entry. As I walked up to the foundation, nothing was coming, so I just stopped and listened.  As I took in the beauty of the day, a picture that I have hanging on my desk came to mind.  And now, I am going to follow its message.

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Enjoy

How Firm a Foundation

Hello All,

It's been a little while since our last update and there have been some changes at the building site.  With mounds of dirt and topsoil surrounding the building's footprint and protecting it from our view, quite a bit has happened.  The concrete forms were  set, reinforcing rods were laid, concrete was poured, and the forms have been stripped away.  THE FOUNDATION HAS BEEN LAID. LET'S GET BUILDING!! Let's get backfilling and get that deck down.

Whoa........Slow down........ Concrete is a interesting building material.  It can be extremely strong or it can be very brittle, it all depends on how you take care of it in the beginning.  Over time, as concrete dries, it cures and becomes stable and strong, BUT if it dries too quickly it can be  brittle and weak.  There are even times when intervention is required to slow down the actual drying time of concrete.  I can recall one summer when I was younger and working with my father on a small project that required a concrete slab.  After pouring the concrete and waiting a day for it to dry, I watched my father come out with a hose and spray water on the slab.  Totally confused, thinking he had finally "lost it", with a confused look on my face I asked him, "We want this to dry, don't we?  Kinda defeating the purpose, aren't we?"  That's when I got my "learnin'" in concrete.  It was too hot and it was drying too fast and if we left it be, the rest of the project would be compromised by the weak base, so we had to watch it and make sure it was forming properly. 

We are building a Church and we want our church to be built on the strongest foundation possible, so that it will grow, flourish and thrive.  The foundation needs to be strong enough to weather any storm, grounded enough to hold us firmly in place and true enough to pass any test.  This church is not the building.  This church is the fellowship of people seeking to know the one TRUE foundation, Jesus Christ.  This foundation is found in our relationship with Gad the Father through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit and like all relationships this TAKES TIME.  This is not something that we can rush or deal with today, put on a shelf and pick up again next week.  Our church's foundation, our relationship with Christ will take time and constant attention. This is crucial because everything we do, to the glory of God, is built upon this foundation.

Prayer request for the day: Just take time to talk to the Father.

Prayer quote for the day:  Of all things, guard against neglecting God in the secret place of prayer.  - William Wilberforce
 

Community

Tis another beautiful day in the neighborhood today.  Community is defined as 1) a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. or 2) a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.  We all need community, an interaction with people that have something in common. Someone once told me that, "Left to ourselves we will, not can, not might, we will self-destruct." In 1 Peter 5:8-9 we read, Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.

Why do I bring this up? Well, this past weekend on a men's retreat, I was on the receiving end of a great outpouring of Agape love from a caring community of Christians who surrounded us in prayers, love and selfless acts of sharing.  I was so blown away with seeing the body of Christ at work that I wanted to share this experience.  

Yes we are building a church but it is NOT the building on the corner of Horton avenue & Rt. 48.  This building is just a gathering place for the church, the Christian community called North Fork UMC.  We are building a community of caring people who love God and seek to know him more.  With the excitement and curiosity that this new building is bringing, we have a great opportunity to share who we  are and what our mission is.  Do not invite someone to church, instead invite them to your life.  Church will follow.

Prayer request for the day: Pray that we may be focused on building community. 

Prayer quote for the day:  I do believe we're all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other. - Harvey Fierstein.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - I was unable to get any pictures but the concrete forms are going in and it looks like concrete should be flowing soon

 

 

Summer's Here

Good Morning!  This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Waking up this morning to the sun shining and the sound of the bird's singing brought a "smile to my heart" that made me just want to say, "Thank You Lord!" and had me singing my shower song this morning (admit it, you sing in the shower too).  An oldie but a goodie.  "Majesty" Majesty / Worship His majesty / Unto Jesus be all glory / Honor and praise / Majesty / Kingdom authority / Flow from His throne / Unto His own / His anthem raise 

With that song in my heart I made my way to the construction site this morning with the windows and sunroof wide open.  Taking in the sight and smell of all the blossoming trees, the crisp fresh air and the ospreys circling overhead was a reminder that I should really be concentrating on my driving.  True, but not the point.  It reminded me that all of this, everything we have, is a blessing from God.  He has given this to us to take care of WITH Him, to enjoy and to share with the rest of His children.  I recall a time walking and talking outside with a friend of mine when he asked me, "How can you believe in God?".  I stopped, put my hand on his shoulder, turned him in a circle and replied, "Look around you.  How can you not?". 

Prayer request for the day: Pray that we may be good stewards of all the God has given us.  Also a special prayer request for Derrick Christian and all the men attending the NYAC Walk to Emmaus program this weekend. 

Prayer quote for the day:  Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - It doesn't look like much from outside the fence, but below grade a lot is happening.  The "hole" has been dug, the corners have been set and foundation work is being done with concrete pouring to begin shortly.  Pastor Tom and George Terry met with the architects and the Seiferts on Tuesday for the updates. Hopefully the foundation work should be done in two weeks.

 

Hi Handsome!

Well, this is where I find out who is reading this blog. 

I said I was going to stop by the site on Tuesday morning to try to get some pictures. So I decided to take my dog for an early morning ride  and actually attempted to try to photograph the construction site, but unfortunately the sun was coming up and directly in my eyes.  Determined to at least try, I proceeded to point my camera into the direction of the sun and clicked away and in the process pretty much temporarily blinded myself. Not a smart move, I know.....  Upon finishing this task, I heard a voice behind me exclaim,  "Hi, Handsome."  Apparently, the salinity level of my blood must have been right on target that morning, which would attest to the fact that all the synapses in my brain fired at the right time and in the right sequence thus causing me to investigate the source of this voice before replying a customary, “Well Good Morning to you, Gorgeous.”  After my pupils returned to their normal state, I gazed upon the possessor of this voice and much to my chagrin came to the conclusion that “Handsome” was being directed to the well coiffured golden maned lady hanging out of the rear window of my car.  Swallowing  my ego, but with a sense of pride, this lowly chauffeur made his way to correct the gender mistake made by this young lass and introduce her to the one and only Holly Bear and at the same time I was able to tell her why we were there and what was going on at NFUMC.  After parting ways, and settling into the driver's seat I checked the results of my attempt at morning photography and realized that not a single picture had come out.  "Well, at least I had a nice morning ride and was able tell someone a little bit about Jesus' work here at North Fork." Hmmmm....maybe, just maybe the reason I was there wasn't to take pictures.   Who'd a thunk it?  THANKS GOD!

Anyway, I can report that there was a big hole in the ground and with the rain, torrential at times, that we got yesterday, I actually expected to find out that the architects included an in-ground basement swimming pool in the plans.  But alas, as you will see from the pictures below, everything was looking good this evening.  On that note, if anyone has any pictures or information they would like me to add or share, you can email me at rrogers5@optonline.net

Prayer request for the day: Pray that we each may recognize the opportunity to share Christ when it is presented to us.

Prayer quote for the day:  "Prayer gives a man the opportunity of getting to know a gentleman he hardly ever meets. I do not mean his maker, but himself." - William Ralph Inge

Radical Hospitality

Big piles of dirt and a hole in the ground.  This is what you will see as you pass the building site at this time.  With all the work on RT 48 and the good weather, there is an over abundance of traffic passing by the construction area.  So much so that it was actually dangerous to stop and try to get a picture.  Hint Hint! Be careful and watch traffic if you stop by to see the site.  Focus on safety first.  I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow morning early as I head to work. (It seems like the only people up at that time are me, the milkman and the fishermen.) So the temporary driveway is in, the ground is being prepped for the foundation and INTEREST IN NFUMC IS BLOSSOMING. 

As Bill Moore spoke about this past Sunday, (check out the sermon on the sermon page) we need to be prepared to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ with our friends and neighbors.  With all the interest that the new construction is garnering this is an ideal time to let people know who we are and WHOSE WE ARE. Let everyone know what we are about.  It's NOT about inviting people to church to fill the seats. Radical hospitality is about inviting people into YOUR LIVES so they can see what the love and grace of Jesus Christ has done for you.  This is what will bring people to the Lord and church. They will see what you have and want it.

Prayer request for the day: Pray that we may develop a culture of Radical Hospitality

Prayer quote for the day:  All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice.  - John Wesley

All Fenced In

Good Afternoon All.  This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  After a little tease this weekend the temperature has dropped once again to let us know that winter isn't over quite yet. BUT the warmer days are coming.  Praise the Lord!  I drove past the site yesterday and was greeted by a nice change.  The trailer has arrived and the fencing has gone up.  I also received a picture from Bill this morning.  Looks like they are cleaning up and preparing to dig. 

Prayer request for the day: Pray for those seeking to see the will of God.

Prayer quote for the day: Spending time with God through prayer and His Word is a prerequisite for having a great life and fulfilling your purpose. - Joyce Meyer

Listening Place

I don't know about you, but ever since we broke ground last Monday I have been like a little puppy trying to hold in my excitement.  C'mon!  Let's Go!  But then this little song starts to play in the back of my head.  No, it's not the circus monkey on the unicycle theme song. "In His time, in His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time. Lord please show me everyday, as you're teaching me your way, that you do just what you say. In your time."  plays in my head and I understand that This is His Plan. This is His Church. This is His time and things will move along at His pace, when we are ready for the next step. God's got it.

Pastor Tom mentioned at the ground breaking, "The church is a listening place, we’re slow to speak, slow to anger and quick to listen."  I had a conversation with Pastor Tom on Sunday and he pointed out that this place, this "Listening Place" is also a place for us to listen for God, a place to come to to focus on God.  It seems that too often lately we may find ourselves in a rush or overwhelmed with what we are experiencing in our lives, to actually take time to listen for God's voice.  May this "Listening Place" be where we can come to to stop, rest awhile, and listen.

Prayer request for the day: Stop, Rest and Listen for God.

Prayer quote for the day: The fewer the words, the better the prayer - Martin Luther

A Note of Safety: Construction sites are fraught with dangers!  If you visit the site to pray, PLEASE do not go inside the fenced in area.  Stay outside of the construction area and be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for traffic.

On the construction front, look forward to some activity next week.  We should be receiving a construction trailer on site Tuesday, construction fencing on Wednesday and digging should start soon thereafter.  

Video Update

Nothing new on the construction story, but for those of you following along, I have added a video montage of the ground breaking.  It can be found in our video gallery.  God Bless!

Front and Center

In my last post I forgot to mention that we had a reporter from the Suffolk Times with us at the ground breaking taking pictures and notes.  I have been diligently checking the Suffolk Times' website looking for an article or even just a small mention of NFUMC's ground breaking.  This morning, I started to get people calling me at work and mentioning that they saw me and "my church" in the local paper.  That's one of the unique things about living on the North Fork.  Love it or Hate it, EVERYONE knows what is happening around town.

I forgot to stop and pick up a paper on my way home so while I was cooking dinner I asked Amy to pick one up along with the other "stuff" I forgot.  She got home from the store without the paper also.  Last chance, texted Rebecca to pick one up.  15 minutes later, we get a text from her, "WE'RE ON THE FRONT PAGE!!".  I was waiting for that to be followed by "April Fools".  Not this time. WE'RE ON THE FRONT PAGE!  Our thanks go out to Rachel Siford from the Suffolk Times for the wonderful article that she wrote.  Pick up a copy.

Prayer request for the day: Prayers of Thanksgiving for the wonderful article telling the community the good news.

Prayer quote for the day: Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God. - Billy Graham
 

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Breaking Ground Part II

Good Evening everybody.  Just another rainy day on the North Fork.  At least it wasn't snow.  There's nothing to report on the new building today but I promised you some pictures so here they are.

Prayer request for the day: Pray for cooperative weather throughout the building process

Prayer quote for the day: Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a Godly Christian weapon - Martin Luther

Breaking Ground

When most of us woke up this morning, we must have been thinking "What's going on here? April Fools Day was yesterday." We were met with a slight snow shower, and were soon to realize that this little squall was going to drop 6" of snow on the ground by noon. As strange as that seemed to be for April, we weren't done yet.  The sun came out and the six inches of snow melted and turned into a slushy, gooey mess. Did this dampen our spirits?  Did this slow us down? Were we going to postpone the scheduled ground breaking?  In the words of a dear friend, "NO WORRIES, GOD'S GOT IT." 

38 brave souls gathered at the construction site to pray and dedicate the property with a ground breaking ceremony.  Led by Pastor Tom and our District Superintendent Reverend Julia Yim, we entered the property where the front doors are going to be and proceeded to the location of the altar.  There Rusty placed a cross in the ground and the dedication service started.  Prayers were led by Pastor Tom and Reverend Yim as members came forward and "broke the ground" by shoveling a portion of the soil.  

Also in attendance were Fred and John Seifert from Seifert construction, our builders,  and David and Dawn Harvey from D&D Harvey, our architects.  A prayer was lifted up in their names that the construction process goes smooth and, most of all, accident and incident free.

Rebecca was armed with her camera and took over 400 pictures. (Imagine doing that in the day of film).  She is selecting them and editing them tonight so I'll be able to post them tomorrow.   Tonight we'll tease you with three.

Prayer request for the day: Pray for Seifert Construction and everyone associated with the construction process.  May they be surrounded by a hedge of protection on the site and in their lives.  May the process be smooth and accident free.

Prayer quote for the day: God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it. - John Wesley

HAPPY EASTER!!

Hallelujah! He is Risen!  He is risen indeed!

Good Afternoon and a Happy Easter to all.  The service this morning was a true blessing indeed.  The turnout was tremendous and the worship experience was spirit filled.  Thank you Joe for a wonderful children's moment that most of us "children" will never forget.  The message from Pastor Tom was inspiring, but unfortunately due to an error by yours truly was not recorded, but if you ask anyone in attendance today, they will give you a recap.  I was Wrong! Still not easy to say but it is a little less difficult to admit after today's message.

Easter and April Fool's day happen to fall on the same day this year and we were the recipient of an April Fools joke this morning from Pastor Tom.  After assuring us that things were still tied up with the town  as far as the new building goes, he presented the congregation with a copy of the building permit.  This was met with a rousing round of applause and quite a few "Amens" and I think I might have heard a "praise the Lord" or two.

We are on our way and ready to proceed.  This congregation and Pastor Tom never being hesitant to proceed has scheduled a Ground Breaking ceremony for Monday Night April 2 at 6pm.  That is tomorrow.  Be there. Bring a friend or three.  For those of you who think this may still be an April Fools joke, we have included a picture of the permit.  What a beautiful sight.

Prayer request for the day: Prayers of thanksgiving for God loving us so much that he sent his Son to reconcile us anew to Him

Prayer quote for the day:If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.  - Meister Eckhart

 

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Holy Week

We had a beautiful Palm / Passion Sunday service yesterday in preparation for Easter this coming Sunday.  Nothing "New" on the building front but we are hoping to be able to reveal some good news on Easter Sunday in addition to the "GREAT NEWS"  that JESUS CHRIST, OUR SAVIOR,  HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.  Hope to see you all there. 

Don't forget the Maunday Thursday service @ 7PM this Thursday and the church will be open from 1-3 on Friday afternoon for prayer and meditation.

Prayer request for the day: Pray for those who have yet to know Jesus Christ

Prayer quote for the day: Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.  -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
 

Drawings

We're in the middle of our fourth Nor'easter in the last 3 weeks.  The snow is beginning to stick and depending on who you listen to we can expect 3 to 18 inches before it is all over.  HAPPY SPRING!  So anyway, everyone be safe, keep warm and check on your loved ones and neighbors, only if it's just to say, "Hi. How are you doing?"

Prayer request for today: Pray for our food pantry and those that have a need for it.

Prayer quote for the day:“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” - Mother Teresa


Below is a slideshow of the latest drawings for the new building