NEO Team Update: Feb 5, 2024
Blessing Our Communities
Stan Reeder, USA/Canada Regional Director
Jeremiah 29:7 “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Recently, I was pondering this verse and how I might live it out in the city I live in. There are many people around the world living in exile, and I am not one of them. But I do feel the tension of living as a Jesus follower in a world that lives much different than I do. That wants to pull us into its orbit. It would be easy to just socialize with people in our churches, who think the same way as we do and close ourselves off to the world. But that is not what we are called to, and as leaders we have to set the example. If we want our congregations to seek the peace and prosperity of our city, we need to lead the way. It starts with us, friends!
Recently, Florida DS Dale Schaeffer shared the following thought:
“Before churches can think much about acting to “bless” their communities, they first need to take action to “belong” to their communities.
Belonging in a community looks like engaging with schools, non-profits, neighborhood associations, PTA groups, becoming marching band boosters, joining community theater groups, and showing up to community events.
It’s these kinds of activities that become the bridge by which churches learn the real and pressing needs of a community and are then trusted to join with the community in meeting needs.”
That sounds a lot like seeking the peace and prosperity of the city! So here is my challenge to you as we enter into 2024 and our regional initiative of Blessing Our Community:
Find one way to personally get involved in your community, to listen and learn and build bridges! Begin today with asking the Lord to reveal how you can engage your community, for the Lord to send workers for the harvest, and for your city!
Pastor Dale Fillmore and the Okmulgee Church have been seeking to know and engage their community. Dale writes, “For the last six months we have been passing out Free Breakfast Snacks in the mornings, Mon. – Thurs. That has brought us into contact with many people of our community. We have at least 3 new people attending as a result and have created a very favorable reaction among school teachers and leaders within our community. Some making donations and others stopping to praise us for our care and involvement.” May God help us all as we get involved, listen, learn and build bridges!
Join us for NEO KNOW: Kids Night of Worship where our NEO kids will get together for pizza, games, and an incredible time of worship. Our special speaker is Pastor Amanda Carroll (Tulsa Central).
It will be at Regency Park Church of the Nazarene on Friday, February 23, at 6pm.
We will be announcing our camp theme and giving a camp scholarship to one boy and one girl in attendance at NEO KNOW.
Please fill out the following form at the following link to give us an idea of attendance for food: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe6IEayQXFd-1UOV5E5CVOpQGTmuthdh9re0MK9UQWKbd3j1w/viewform
Can’t wait to see you there!
Pastor Beckie Richburg, NEO District Children’s Director
Nazarenes Continue in Prayer 2024
Our Call to Prayer last year was a unifying and powerful experience for our church leaders and laity across the region. The entire Church of the Nazarene in Canada and the United States came together in a journey of prayer from Easter to Pentecost. Our journey included a From Mission to Vision to Mobilization Prayer Journal with daily devotionals.
This year, our Call to Prayer is themed Mobilized for Blessing Our Community. We will have another prayer journal with daily devotionals. The journal will start on Easter (March 31) and complete on Pentecost (May 19). Will you join the Half-Million Mobilization in 2024?
Check out this enclosed video and share it with others in your church!
Haitian Creole (Coming soon!)
Pre-order your Mobilized for Blessing Our Community Prayer Journal here.
Half-Million Mobilization 2024 Sermon Series
The 2024 Blessing Our Community Sermon Series is available on the Blessing Our Community website located here in English now with other translations coming soon. The Blessing Our Community Sermons are intentionally integrated with the day-to-day devotionals of the prayer journal!
Children’s resources will be available soon. These resources will also coincide with the sermon series that runs from Easter to Pentecost.
Cycle of Resurgence / Blessing Our Community 2024
The Blessing Our Community website is live. This is the place to find all available resources, links, and everything Blessing Our Community. Please visit the Blessing Our Community website here!
Recommended Reading List
A list of recommended books and podcasts has been put together to help inspire involvement in Blessing Our Community. This can be downloaded from the Blessing Our Community website.
The Intro to Blessing Our Community webinar was held on January 17. If you missed it, watch it here — and feel free to share it!
NEO Ladies Day 2024
Mid-Winter Retreat 2024