Friday, February 13, 2009

Granted, It's Just Money

(from the pastor's wife, Janet)
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!
Here's the latest news from Big Lake...

The first exciting news is that New Day UMC will be receiving a grant! Our application was 1 of 10, nation-wide, that was selected by Path1 of the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church! YEAH!! It is a media grant which could cover things like marketing research, a billboard, TV ad, internet ad, etc. all in preparation for our launch this fall. We don't know how much will be granted, but anything is better than the nothing we started with!! Having some professional advice from the larger church is the best part. So, we're celebrating that gift!!

We also will be receiving a donation of around 20 small wooden tables (card table size) that will be wonderfully versatile to use in our new sanctuary/fellowship hall! These came from Love INC Heartland - you may remember Jim's involvement in starting this wonderful ecumenical non-profit organization that reaches out to the needy in the community. We toured their new space in Delano just yesterday, and were inspired by the growth and the numbers of people (almost 16,000 needs addressed last year!) being served by this great organization after only being in existence for 5 years! Sure gave us hope and encouragement for New Day Church! Terri Harris, the director of Love INC Heartland, also said that everything at their new space has been donated. That, too, was inspiring as we begin the process of furnishing New Day's new space. We were reminded to have faith and to be open to the gifts that God will choose to send... look what He has provided already! AWESOME!!

The New Day Church building is changing each week - front doors have been installed; sheet rock hung, taped and painted; they are working on the ceiling and electricity today. Exciting!! Jim has been showing EVERYONE the progress; anytime you want to take a road trip to Big Lake, we promise a tour!

We've had several small group meetings at our home the past few weeks: launch team, baptism class and Discovering your Spirituality Type class. So far we've learned: 1) that the dog is best shut in his kennel, in the garage, in the back of the car, 2) the cat is best shut in the guest bedroom, and 3) our home is not conducive to child care!! (Ha, ha!) It has been a wonderful blessing, really, to finally open our home to these great people. It is heart-warming to connect in fellowship and learn more about our awesome God and our spirituality together. We are humbled and uplifted by their presence and their openness and willingness to join us on this new church adventure.

Preparations for the Big Lake Business Expo on March 1st are progressing. We're really excited about this opportunity to get the word out about New Day Church! Since we're a new church "plant" we've decided to go with a gardening theme and will be giving away seed packets (sunflowers or pumpkins) each with our new logo on them, clipped onto small peat pots, with peat pellets that expand when watered. (A little family growing project!) A refrigerator magnet/clip holds it all together. And our theme will be something like - "Check out Big Lake's new church 'plant' - Come GROW with New Day United Methodist Church". We have 2 Grand Prizes to give away: one including a "$50 off any room" certificate at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud, and the other including a $100 gift certificate to Dan & Jerry's Greenhouse in Monticello. We hope to add a few more items (gift cert. to a kid-friendly restaurant, gardening tools, etc.) to each prize package. We'll have drawing slips with contact info - and a box to check for those who want more info about New Day Church. Pretty fun!

Hope you all have a wonderful, love-filled Valentine's day! Remember, you're not loved because you're beautiful; you're BEAUTIFUL 'cause you're LOVED.

Looking ever forward to a NEW DAY in Christ,
Janet :->