WORSHIP

Written by: Cory Alstad (Worship Pastor)

Well, it’s been a crazy year here at NLCC! I’ve been so very thankful for our amazing team of musicians and tech people this last year, as we’ve had to navigate such a unique season together.

As always, I continue to be very grateful to work with my awesome team: Debbie Low (Creative Arts Assistant), Brett Ziegler (Tech Director), and Tianna Gartley (Worship Intern). Wendy Southam also continues to be SUCH an important part of our team in the area of admin/scheduling support. She is also an awesome singer and a hugely important part of the Worship Team. This year was most definitely a year of growth for us as we found ourselves ‘pivoting’ again and again with the different protocols and restrictions, due to Covid19. But overall, I feel so very proud of the work that these teams have done to love and serve our NLCC family through music and worship.

Some highlights:

1. Christmas Eve/Easter/Videos!

One of the blessings that we’ve experienced because of Covid is in the area of video production. It was such a rewarding experience putting together our Christmas Eve service. Definitely one for the record books. I’ve only been at home 1 other Christmas Eve in the last 20 years or so and it was strange sitting at home, watching the service without being there. Once again, we had a great team of gifted people that were a huge part of putting the service together: Big shout-out to Ruby Alstad (camera, directing, and video production), Calvin Romeyn (camera and video production), and Brett Ziegler (all things audio) who made the service look and sound beautiful. Easter was very similar - Ruby, Calvin, Brett, Jacob Yang, and others again played a huge role in making the pre-recorded portions of the service a success. You can check out all the different videos on our YouTube channel!

NLCC Music Videos

2. Livestream!

I continue to be very thankful that we decided to invest in our video/live-stream ministry a few years ago. We could never have anticipated the fact that we would soon be in the midst of a lockdown due to a world pandemic! Over the last year, we’ve all benefited because of this investment - we’ve learned so much over this past year and continue to work hard at growing and pursuing excellence in this area. Another big shout-out to Brett Ziegler who has done so much training and investing and learning about video/live-stream production.

NLCC Live

3. Online Ministries!

Similar to the above - thanks to our technology, we were able to continue to provide online versions of some of our ministry programs like Alpha, Freedom Session, Night of Prayer and Worship, and others.  We look forward to another exciting year, whatever it may bring, knowing God’s grace will guide us!

Written by: Emily Doyle

After taking a hiatus for university, it's great to be back on worship at NLCC. At first it was a bit strange that my former youth band kids were suddenly playing on the same team as me as adults, but I think one of the best parts of being part of a church community is the ability to share life with people from different stages of life and grow together. I really appreciate being part of such a diverse ministry, and it feels like a unique privilege to be able to build long-term relationships with people who once had to put up with me as a petulant teenager.

I've also come to appreciate that God gives different people different skills and interests and that it's ok for me to serve doing something that I really enjoy. It's taken me a shockingly long time to come to terms with the fact that I don't have to dislike what I'm doing in order for it to qualify as serving the Lord. It's cool that I get to be involved with something that I like and that I'm satisfactorily good at that fundamentally makes God happy.

Written by: Calvin Romeyn

This past year has created many opportunities for personal growth through serving on our video and tech teams. I've been blessed with the chance to work with so many talented artists in our community, bringing stories and songs to our congregation. Witnessing other camera operators, directors, editors, and musicians exercise their talents to serve the Lord has inspired me to strive for excellence in everything I do.

God has been faithful in providing me with more opportunities to collaborate on projects in the form of several Christmas and Easter music video productions. It's been so fulfilling to learn from those experiences, as well as sharing my love for film and music with others.

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

NLCC’s internship program is a guided one-year experience in ministry and personal formation. Here are three stories describing our interns’ experience in the program. 

SCOTT TURNER

The NLCC internship from 2020 fall of 2020 to 2021 spring of 2021 was an important time for me. It was a season that afforded me the time to listen to God's voice and sit with Him in order to hear how he wanted to lead me in the future. I would say that Covid very much interrupted my ministry and that the internship gave some structure to my life while I processed what happened, and where I was to go from there. I think the thing that benefited me the most was not the teachings, but the relationship with Pastor Tim. He walked with me when I was very discontent with the place I was in, and gave me the space, direction, and respect that I needed from him without knowing it. I am thankful that Tim oversees the intern program because I feel like he doesn't just know a lot of stuff, but is keenly aware of the heart of Jesus for people, which he modeled to us.

This internship gave me space to sort out my true love, Jesus Christ, and to be still long enough to hear him guide my wife and me to our new ministry. I didn't always enjoy the internship at NLCC, but it was a very formative experience that God used to impact me, shape me and provide me with many more administration skills than I had prior.

[Note: Scott was previously the Yorkson Children’s Director, but was enfolded into our Internship Program because of COVID.]
RACHEL NAVARRO

I entered the NLCC internship in the middle of a pandemic as a new graduate who really would have preferred to have a “real” ministry job, but churches weren’t hiring and I just needed a job. That was not a great attitude to start with; however, God was clearly at work in that decision because this internship was the exact right place for me in that season. The NLCC intern program served many functions in my growth as a leader and as a person called to pastoral ministry. It was the testing ground for four years worth of Bible school class content, my ministry boot camp, and the time and space I needed to figure out what kind of pastor I am.

The intern classes and readings were thoughtfully prepared to guide us through refining our understanding of who God is and who He has made each one of us to be. This internship gave me room to ask hard questions, wrestle with my calling, and ultimately to have that calling confirmed. Even in the midst of all the COVID-19 chaos, with half of our events canceled or moved to Zoom, I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve and learn at NLCC.

TIANNA GARTLY

Coming out of a crazy and jobless summer after graduating from university, I was so thankful for the blessing of continuing to work at NLCC as an intern! I have been challenged and encouraged through my work with the worship department as well as with the other staff. Besides NLCC being a life-giving work environment, I also found it very meaningful to serve our community during this year.

The internship classes have given me space to self-reflect, giving words to my strengths, weaknesses, and vocational ambitions. Even in the challenges that COVID has brought this year, I was able to gain so much practical experience in day-to-day ministry and even in some new ways that wouldn’t have been possible before, like recording and live-streaming. My time here has been so influential towards my understanding of myself and what my next steps will be. It was a safe space to try new things and get thoughtful feedback and critique, but I also found that my giftings were called out and given space to grow.

I truly saw God at work in my life through the people here at NLCC many times over – thank you NLCC for this opportunity!

LIFE GROUPS

Written by: Curtis Morley

Turning my life back over to Jesus during a pandemic made connecting with my NLCC family extremely difficult. Having participated in Alpha online and only being able to attend a couple of Sunday morning services left me feeling disconnected and frustrated. When the opportunity presented itself to attend Life Together my wife, Carlie, and I jumped at it. I was excited by the possibility that a Life Group could bring friendship and accountability to my life and walk with Jesus.

The setup was amazing with coffee, tea, snacks, worship, and prayer to kick-off meeting and learning to trust new people. The Lord provided the right people to form what I trust to be lifelong friendships and a group that encourages, prays, and discusses Scripture from multiple viewpoints. This has been vital to my relationship with God and I would recommend this course to anybody looking to connect and grow their faith as a lifestyle.

PRAYER MINISTRY

Written by: Nikki White

The Apostle Paul, during a raging storm, stood up to tell the captain and crew not to give in to fear or despair. We find the story in Acts 27, and it is a story that has had profound meaning for our prayer team during this last year.  “Keep up your courage,” Paul told them. “Not one of you will be lost … [but] unless you stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” Believing him, they cut loose the lifeboat and threw provisions overboard. It took incredible fortitude to stay on board.

There has been an urgent need for people to stay “in the boat” during this pandemic. It was not easy for the people on that ship with Paul. How to stay on board, when the ship has smashed up against a sandbar and is being pounded to pieces? It has not been easy for our church, either. Many of those asking for prayer are in crisis, feeling isolated and afraid. Prayer has been one way to help us all stay connected to God and to each other, during a raging storm. We have not been allowed to meet, lives and livelihoods are being dashed against the rocks, and there is danger all around us that we cannot even see. Prayer ministry has helped many of us, myself included, to not jump ship.

At the right moment, Paul told the men to jump overboard and swim, clinging to debris, broken planks, and splintered parts of their floundering vessel. In some way, by holding on to those pieces of detritus, they were still "on board"! They were still connected to the ship. Their lives were saved by staying together - holding on to whatever they could reach, and swimming in the same direction for what lay ahead. We, too, have all been holding on to whatever keeps us afloat. Prayer has been an integral part of that.

Keep swimming, everyone. There is land ahead. We will soon gather around a fire, shell-shocked and shivering, and celebrate God’s kindness together.

-Nikki White, on behalf of the NLCC Prayer Lead Team (Jonathan Rempel, Janet Littlejohn, Chuck Kaethler, Scott White)

  • “Your prayer gives me hope as I read it, and I pray it out loud again and again.”
  • “God has been nurturing and growing me in all the areas you prayed about. Thank you!”
  • “Thanks so much for praying - my sister has made a full recovery!”
  • “Thank you for praying, I have found a place to live!”
  • “Your prayers really help to lift the load that we are carrying these days.”
  • “Thank you, I felt like I was floating from the prayers of so many, I had such peace.”