May-June 2021 Newsletter

Church Newsletter

May-June 2021

Sermon Series— by Pastor Ben McEachern

Pastoral Staff Ben McEachern | Lead Pastor Andy Schultz | Worship Pastor Teri McEachern | Family Pastor Dan Monson | Missions Pastor Gregg Tisor | Adult Minister Brax Carvette | Youth Minister Jaci Hutchcraft | Kids Minister DougWhittlef | Care Pastor

Spring Series - Peace by Piece Peace so often feels like an elusive thing. Whether in our hearts, in our personal rela- tionships or in our society, real peace doesn’t just happen. Passivity is a problem not a solu- tion. That’s why the Bible says to “seek peace and pursue it.” If that’s the case, where do we go to get it? How do we find it? The biblical answer is we make it. Jesus listed peacemak- ing as the outcome of his salvation and as one of the qualities of his followers. Peace- making is a process with many pieces. Join us this spring as we learn from God’s word to build “Peace by Piece”.

June Series: Spiritual Impact The Church has one task: Point the world to Jesus. Impact and effectiveness are mea- sured in this one thing. This is Jesus’ concern in John 15. He is preparing us for impact. He starts with a connection with him that makes us like him. He builds steam as he knits us to- gether in a healthy fellowship. He then leads us head-long into the world, a church that makes a spiritual impact. June 5-6 Fruitful Lives, John 15:1-8 June 12-13 Healthy Fellowship, John 15:9-17 June 19-20 Effective Witness, John 15:18-27 Everyone is invited, only members may vote. The meeting will begin with lunch right after the second service for you and your family in the worship center. There will be childcare for kids of all ages. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, you can watch it live on our website. Rogers Area Gathering for National Day of Prayer

Overseer Team

Jayson Steinkopf | Chairman Steve Stensrud | Treasurer Heidi Foy

Dale Dimitroff Ben McEachern Steve Willis Scott Whitman

Visit our website for a complete list of staff and ministry leaders.

Let’s Connect 12522 Main Street Rogers, MN 55374

763.428.5115 Office Hours:

9:00-5:00pm Monday-Friday WeekendWorship & Classes Onsite & Online Saturday 5:00 p.m. Sunday 9:00 & 10:30 a.m. MyNRF Online community: Visit our web site to sign in

Annual Meeting - June 13, 12pm At our annual meeting we will focus on what God is calling us to in the coming year. We will welcome new members, hear a financial re- cap, growth trends and budget summary from our overseer team. Members will then vote to approve the budget and the new overseers. To prepare for the meeting, read our Annual Report, available May 20 on our website, in the atrium and mailed to the members.

Rogers area churches are gathering to pray for our communty, nation and world on Thursday, May 6 at Word of Peace Lutheran Church from 7-8pm. The prayer service will also be available to watch live on Facebook at -

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Pastors Page, by Ben McEachern, Lead Pastor 763.270.6410, BenM@NRF.Life

“Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong…Trust in the LORD and do good…Take delight in the LORD…Commit your way to the LORD…Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him… Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it only leads to evil.” (From Psalm 37:1-8)

When David faced evil days he learned to focus on God and follow him by faith. He describes what this means for us in some concrete ways.

1. First, “Trust in the LORD and do good” . Another person’s evil never justifies an evil response. Keep doing good. Injustice cannot be cured by further injustice. Keep doing good. Trust God. 2. Second, “Take delight in the LORD” . The evil and brokenness of this world is not the whole truth. David’s Psalm that starts with a cry of feeling abandoned by God ends with “I will sing the LORD’S praise, for he has been good to me.” To delight in Him is to stay open to his joy in your heart. 3. Third, “Commit your way to the LORD” . He knows the challenge before you. He knows the way that’s right. In the end he will vindicate you. (Yeah, it takes a decision to believe it sometimes.) 4. Finally, “ Be still before the LORD and wait patiently” . Here is the real secret. David was not a passive guy, but he knew how to stop, look and listen. Sometimes the results are not simple to achieve, nor the objective accomplished on our timeline. Sometimes years of persistent, patient waiting is required. At all times, connecting with God in the stillness of our hearts and minds is the secret to overcoming. I appreciate this Psalm 37:1-8 today. It grounds me in the swirl of current events. It keeps my eyes on Jesus and prevents me from trying to take matters in my own hand with my own anger and frustration. It reminds me who I belong to and how committed to me he is. So, yes! I will trust Him, delight in him, commit my way to him and be still before him and wait patiently knowing he will lead and guide. Will you join me?

Somebody shared these verses with me today and they gave me the grounding I needed. So, I want to share them with you. The above verses would sound trite, naïve and a bit oblivious if I didn’t look to see who wrote them. If the author was one who never suffered and everything went his way, I’m reading this thinking, “Just wait. The real world is coming. What will happen to your pious platitudes then?” But the author of these words was not naïve and inexperienced. In fact, just the opposite, hewas onewho suffered grave injustices. He was pursued by those wanting to kill him. He spent several years on the run. He knew depression and disappointment. Elsewhere he wrote, “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1) How can the same guy write both of those things and be honest? Maybe he wrote them because he was honest. The author is a guy named David. I believe it was in the experience where he felt like God didn’t care that he learned the importance of leaning into God. Psalm 37 isn’t naïve. It is David as an old man (v. 25) sharing what he learned about successfully navigating evil days. David succeeded where so many failed because he resisted the twin temptations to either become a self- righteous ball of anger over the injustices, or envy the apparent success of cutting moral corners.

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Overseer Letter, by Jayson Steinkopf Overseers@NRF.Life Good Times and Bad

And we know to make His plans our plans from Proverbs. Proverbs 6:1-3 :

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 The legend of Sai Weng goes something like this: When Sai lost one of his prized horses, his neighbor expressed sorrow for his loss. But Sai was less concerned and said, “Who knows- this may be a good thing for me.” Surprisingly, the lost horse returned with another horse. The neighbor congratulated him, but Sai said, “Who knows - this may be a bad thing for me.” His son broke his leg when he rode on the new horse. This seemed unfortunate, until the army arrived at the village to recruit able-bodied men to fight in the war. Because of the son’s injury, he wasn’t recruited, and likely saved him from death. One of the key lessons we can take from this last year is to trust in God in good times and bad. We know that intellectually, but most of us have never seen the kind of rapid changes like we have since the pandemic began. A big part of my job is forecasting (mostly financials)…and I’ve been more wrong than ever recently (statistically: way, way more wrong…in both directions…it’s rather humbling, praise God). For many of us, the uncertainty of the past year has caused anxiety beyond what God calls us to and beyond what He wants for us.

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. And James carries it one step further…not just to align our will to His and to make His plans ours, but to turn them into action. James 4:13-17 : Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. Let us look forward and move forward - no matter the political, economic, or personal situation - with faith and trust in our Lord. • May we view our circumstances through His eyes - and not be discouraged nor overconfident in ourselves or our plans • May we commit our efforts to His plans, not our own, and • May the lessons in faith and flexibility form the past year spur us to action and Make a Difference for Jesus in this world.

I believe God has been teaching us in this time to be flexible and to rely on Him. We know to trust in God’s plans from Jeremiah 29:11 : For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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We strive to be... A place where relationships matter | John 13:34-35 Teri McEachern, Family Pastor - TeriM@NRF.Life Adult, Youth & Kid’s Ministry

You can Make a Difference! It’s finally time to get ready for this year’s Rocky RailroadVBS. We will need a team of youth and adults to serve our kids and their friends during VBS and people to help prepare decorations and materials ahead of time. Email or talk to Teri, Jaci or Courtney if you are able to help. VBS is all about inviting our friends and neighbors to meet Jesus! Registration will be limited this year, so be praying about who you can invite and be ready to register early! We plan to open online registration May 15. VBS Schedule Philippians 4:13 ”I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Climb aboard for the best week of summer! Join us for a wild and crazy ride on the Rocky Railroad where we will discover that Jesus’ power pulls us through life’s ups and downs. Whether we are stuck in a valley or high on a mountain top, we can trust Jesus through all the twists and turns of life. Jesus is our strength and our hope. Rocky Railroad

If any of you are new to events or NorthRidge and want to get involvedwith events, I would love to talk to you! Anyone can join the Events Team and receive serving opportunities sent by email. Sign up for whatever you like, whenever you have time to jump in. Some of the opportunities may include: Event Preparation • event organization • graphic designers • artistic designers • children’s games creators • music playlist creators Send me an email at to add your name to • handyman services • construction gurus • administrative support Event Execution • event coordinator asst. • food preparation • servers, grillers and fryers • drivers • errand runners • cleaning helpers • games managers • musicians

the Events Team or ask questions. Thank you! Graduates Open House & Saturday Supper Saturday, May 15, 6:30-8:00pm

We will honor our class of 2021 graduating seniors with an open house and supper in the south parking lot and commons area.

June 21-25, 9am-12pm Kids who have completed kindergarten through 5th grade Little Kids Depot June 22-24 (T-Th) 3:00-4:30pm Kids 3 and older who have not yet attended kindergarten

Adult Ministry Gregg Tisor, Adult Minister GreggT@NRF.Life 763.270.6420

Our NorthRidge high school graduates, their families, and friends; along with the NorthRidge Family are invited to attend this special event! Graduates will each have a table for pictures, memorabilia, cards, and be present to share their future plans. We will enjoy hot dogs with all the fixings and a top-your-own tater tot bar. If you have a high school graduate that would like to participate in the open house, complete the online registration formon the News & Events menu of our website.

Events News from the NRF Events Coordinator Storyteller: Terri Gilsrud ( Hi everyone! Remember me? I am very excited to announce the return of events at NorthRidge! It is time for us to safely gather together again and have some fun! Mark your calendars, watch your email and other church communication for details and opportunities to serve at these events.

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Believers Baptism - June 6, 1:15pm Adults, youth and kids, if you’d like to take the step of obe- dience to declare your faith and commit your life to Christ through believers baptism, talk to any of the pastors. The next baptism will be at Otsego Park in the Mississippi River.

Celebration Picnic & Baptism On the weekend of June 5-6, we will celebrate all the wonderful things that God has done through NorthRidge over the past year. There will be a time of appreciating leaders, thankingone another, andhearingmanywonderful stories that ultimately glorify our good God. It will all culminate at a picnic at Otsego Park starting at noon on Sunday. At the picnic we will share lunch together, fellowship in the beautiful setting, and witness baptisms in the Mississippi River, as many will publicly proclaim their faith in Jesus. What better reason to celebrate than that!? Our meal of oven fried chicken, mac and cheese, broccoli salad, fresh fruit salad, pickles, desserts, and bottled water will be provided by Center Cut. Gluten free options will be available. RSVP REQUIRED - Since this is a catered event this year, we are requesting a RSVP response from those that wish to attend the picnic so we can be sure we have enough food for everyone. Please go to and click on News and Events menu, then the event image to RSVP to attend.

Men’s Ministry Jeff Ekstrand & Paul Jonason Men@NRF.Life 612.599.4454 (Jeff)

Beyond the Bacon - May 8, 7:30-10:00am Have you ever come across a Bible passage that didn’t seem to make sense? How about wondering how someone else came up with such a profound insight in a passage you’ve read a hundred times? Guess you need a degree in ancient languages and the latest app for Biblical interpretation, huh? Guess again! At this Beyond the Bacon event, we will learn and practice a method that requires little more than dependence on the Holy Spirit (of course), and an honest effort. Bring a Bible (app), a dad, a son, a friend, and a mask. Food and fellowship provided.

Calendar of Events

May CROSS Collection - Fill the Truck w/Pantry Items 1-2 Photo Sessions 6

June CROSS Collection - Hygiene & Diapers 5 CROSS Fill the Truck 5-6 Celebration Weekend 6 Believers Baptism & Picnic Lunch 13 Annual Meeting & Lunch 13 Kids Summer Schedule begins (see page 6) 19-20 Child Dedication Weekend (Father’s Day) 21-25 Vacation Bible School

Rogers Area Gathering for National Day of Prayer


Youth Spring Retreat Men’s Beyond the Bacon



Child Dedication Weekend (Mother’s Day)

15 19

Graduates Open House & Supper

Youth Fun Fusion Night 22-23 Nett Lake Mission Trip 30

No TreasureLand or Impact Classes (Memorial Weekend)

Tuesday Nights (May-July) Men’s Softball Games

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Youth Ministry Brax Carvette Youth Minister Youth@NRF.Life 763.270.6425

Kid’s Ministry Jaci Hutchcraft

Kid’s Minister Kids@NRF.Life 763.270.6430

CROSS Food Competition We are so proud of all of our NorthRidge kids. They brought in a total of 433.8 pounds of food and all the groups were very close in the competition! CoveKids brought in 121.4 lbs, 1st-5th Girls brought in 144.6 lbs. and the 1st-5th boys won with 167.8 lbs.

Middle Schoolers Win! The high school and middle school brought in a total of over 1,300 pounds for the CROSS food drive! Middle school brought in around 720 pounds and high school brought in around 670 pounds! Middle schoolers won free ice cream and Brax got a plate full of shaving cream in the face. Our whole youth group deserves a huge THANK YOU for serving our community! Youth Spring Retreat - May 7-8 held at NorthRidge A lot of people think of Jesus as a very peaceful person. But, he said, ‘Don’t think that I’ve come to bring peace to the earth. I haven’t come to bring peace, but a sword’ (Matthew 10:34). But! He also said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God’ (Matthew 5:9). How can Jesus say both? Come to the weekend retreat as we talk about peace and what it means to be a peacemaker! Watch for a sign-up link to be sent to you! Email Brax with any questions or if you’d like to volunteer. Class of 2021 Graduates Open House & Satuday Supper On Saturday, May 15 we will honor our graduating high school seniors with an open house & supper starting at 6:30pm in the south parking lot and commons area. If you have a high school graduate that would like to participate in the open house, please register by completing our online form located on our website News & Events menu, by May 9. Jayden & BrookeWatts

The boys won a class party with donuts and juice (photo is of one of the three classes celebrating - masks were down on some, only for the picture). We were SO proud of all the kids though so everyone got a special surprise this week! Kid’s Ministry Summer Schedule • Sunday, May 30 CoveKids classes only 9:00 and 10:30 • Sunday, June 6 Celebration Weekend, CoveKids classes only 9:00 and 10:30 • Sunday, June 13 Summer schedule begins - 9:00am TreasureLand and CoveKids Classes - 10:30am CoveKids Classes • Vacation Bible School (see page 4 for all the details) - June 21-25 Elementary - June 21-25 Preschool Later in the summer, be watching for more information on these fun summer events! • Popsicles in the Park - July and August • Kid’s Kairos - In August we will host a Kid’s Kairos (missions perspectives course) for kid’s who’s parents are attending the adult Kairos.

A huge THANK YOU to Jayden and Brooke Watts for investing so much these last couple of years into our middle schoolers! It has been such a joy to have them around NorthRidge and to serve alongside them both. Jayden is going to be going

into the business sector this coming fall to make disciples in the workplace and continue to hone his skills that are so necessary for ministry (whether that is vocational or not). If you see Jayden or Brooke, please thank them for loving our students and for all they have invested into NorthRidge.

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We strive to be... A community of people who lead others to Christ and make a difference in our home, church, neighborhood, workplace and world | Mathew 5:13-16 Missions Ministry

Missions Ministry Dan Monson, Missions Pastor Dale Dimitroff, Missions Leader 763-270.6412 DanM@NRF.Life

Jesus on the River Retreat - July 9-11 Storyteller: RobWatlov, Executive Director Legacy Fishing Retreat Legacy Fishing Retreat Ministries has hosted the “Jesus on the River” Retreat, once per year since 2013, in Chamberlain, SD. This retreat was inspired by a vision God gave to Travis Vaad, our brother in Christ. The purpose of this retreat is to specifically reach the Native Indians and others of the Chamberlain, SD area for the Lord which had been a spiritually dark area for years. Jesus on the River has always been a family retreat that has wel- comed families from around the United States, including MN, SD, WI, MT, TX, OH & CO to worship the Lord together with the Native Dakota & Lakota Indian families of the Chamberlain, SD area. God has blessed us with good turn-outs each year, up to 75 people at a time, of which about half of those attending are Native Amer- ican Indians. We eat together, camp together, fish together, sing together, worship and fellowship together from Friday afternoon thru Sunday with a worship and baptismal service and potluck lunch. Jesus has showed all of us how important it is to form relation- ships with each other and with Him! Over the years, 40 people have been baptized at the Jesus on the River Retreats, and at least half of them are Native Indians. On Sunday, we had a worship service at American Creek Camp- ground in Chamberlain, SD that touched the lives of many for Je- sus including one Indian grandmother, one Indian young adult, two Indian children, one daughter fromTexas and one SD grand- mother in a wheelchair; they all decided to get baptized that day! Praise the Lord! But God was not done yet, because during the baptisms, a mother from a family of four, not part of this re- treat, who was sitting on the rocks by the shore line, watching the baptisms take place, decided that she wanted to be bap- tized that day too! God is so good! It has been a great blessing to be part of this Holy-Spirit-led retreat for the past 8 years. Jesus on the River lights up the fire of my spirit every year! We hope YOU will join us this year in supporting the “Jesus on the River” Retreat to reach those God Loves with the Sav- ing message of Jesus. If you would like to come along and help out at the “Jesus on the River” Retreat this year, July 9-11, please contact Rob Watlov.

To participate in the fundraiser for “Jesus on the River” this year, we are asking people to buy a special “Jesus on the River” t-shirt for $20, that will be given to an Indian child or Indian family member at this year’s retreat. Purchase shirts at legacy- May God bless the missions heart of NorthRidge Fellowship! Food Distribution Serving Opportunity Storyteller: Diane Kondratuk We are looking for volunteers to help with the distribution of food from CROSS to be taken to Mobile Hope Park for the residents there. The distribution takes place every Thursday during the summer; serving time is 1:30-4:00pm.

Volunteers will be required to lift food boxes that can be fair- ly heavy at times. You may also need to drive the van from CROSS to Mobile Hope (5-minute drive). This is a great op- portunity to get involved with two of our local mission part- ners! Contact us if you’re interested.


Address Service Requested

Celebration Weekend - Appreciation, Picnic & Baptism

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