There was an excitement at this church that you could sense the moment you walked in. Pre-service music was playing, drawing people into the sanctuary. It had a young, club-like feel, with a lot of cool lighting and a vibrant worship team. Worship Pastor Thomas Madison enthusiastically lead the congregation with songs giving praises to God.
During the announcements, we filled out connect cards and received free visitor welcome packets which included a Northstar t-shirt. It was wonderful to hear that they never charge for Bibles, t-shirts or coffee, reflecting God’s generosity. It was baptism Sunday and 3 people decided to make this public declaration, including a young girl around 10 years old. They were all wearing t-shirts that said, “I Have Decided”. The baptisms were performed on the lower level of the church as the congregation rejoiced with them while watching it live on jumbo screens in the sanctuary. Afterwards, we sang a joyous song of celebration. And what a pleasure it was to hear that a total of 13 people were baptized that weekend.
Pastor Roscoe introduced his message with a short video that showed a woman caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and then finally taking a day to rest and simply breathe. The sermon series entitled “Every Week a Vacation” really spoke to our entire team. Sabbath means to cease from our labors. This day of rest is modeled in the creation of the universe. A Sabbath is so important that it is mentioned in the 10 commandments. Romans 14:6 says, “Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord … for they give thanks to God”. God wants us to recharge and have time to rest and enjoy life. If we took a day of rest each week, that would equate to 7 ½ weeks of vacation every year. He compared our busy lifestyles to the thorny ground mentioned in Matthew 13:22: “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced”.
Pastor Roscoe communicated his message with precision, adding a healthy dash of humor. He gave these hypothetical examples, with situation 2 being the person who takes time to rest: Situation 1: A person asks, “How was your week? Response – “BUSY!”. Situation 2: A person asks, “How was your week?” Response – “Well, I sat by the birdfeeder with some coffee and spent time with God. I noticed we have 2 new cardinals at the feeder, and I named them”, Genesis 2:19 why not?
One seemingly small fact is that the chairs here are super comfortable. They made the sermon on this day of rest even more impactful.
He closed his message with a prayer of rest for the weary. He prayed for us to receive the blessed gift of rest that God freely gives to us. He also led a prayer for the gift of salvation, and offered “fresh start packets” to all those who prayed this prayer for the very first time. These packets included a free Bible; very nice.
Passionate about community service, Northstar Church holds free cookouts for the Shen School District employees and Town Hall employees. They offer free concessions at the Clifton Park Family Performing Art Series that are held for 5 consecutive Wednesday nights in the summer. They also partner with CAPTAIN to help feed and clothe local children and work with other organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Ronald McDonald House.
They have excellent programs for preschoolers and elementary age children, partnering with parents to better help them learn and grow. They have a student ministry for both middle school and high school, both being held on Sunday mornings. You can even pre-register your children quickly and easily through their website. They also offer Growth Groups to help you get connected with others and offer many ways to serve within the church, the community and internationally.
Serving the Capital Region since 2003, Northstar Church has previously been located at several locations in Clifton Park through the years, opening their current facility in March 2017. They offer 3 service times – Saturdays at 5:00pm and Sunday mornings at 9:30 and 11:15. Come for a visit! There’s a lot to like here.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. There’s a big comfy chair waiting just for you.
Here are a couple of informative videos about Northstar –
Interview with Parks & Rec Director on their community service involvement – https://vimeo.com/133803351
Why do they give free stuff away to their town? – https://vimeo.com/133803351
Church Website – http://northstarchurch.com
By Donna Hansen Munafo
(Contributing writer Michael Frati)