May 2022 Newsletter | Thrive Community Church

From Pastor Mark:

What’s in the Soup?

Recently I visited my dad, who lives with my brother Brian in Maine.  Dad is getting older, so each of these trips is special. What’s interesting about my dad is that he has lost most of his sense of taste over the last few years. It’s like his taste buds have gone on vacation and simply haven’t returned. The tragic thing about that is that my brother, Brain, prepares most of my dad’s meals, and he is a fabulous cook. You know how some people take pride in how nice their yard looks or how clean their car is?  Brian takes pride in his cooking. And he should!  He made authentic Greek gyros, hand-breaded fried chicken, and knock-off White Castle Hamburgers during my visit.

One night he made soup. I love soup, but I’m picky, too. So, I always look to see what’s really in the soup. The goulash he made had ground beef, noodles, spices, and sauce in it. It looked and smelled wonderful. But then, as I stirred the soup, up from the bottom of the pot came large, chunky tomatoes.  Now I can’t handle chunky tomatoes…at all! It’s a texture thing. As a result, I had two options. First, I could completely walk away from the meal and vow not to eat it. Or second, I could do what I have done all my life – spend a few minutes fishing through the soup, scooping out the tomatoes, throwing them back into the pot, and then enjoying my meal. I chose the latter.

Here is the takeaway: Churches are, in many ways, like soup – you don’t know what you have until you do some stirring. And I, for one, believe you should know the main ingredients of Thrive Community Church. Who are we? What do we believe? And why are we here?

With this being the inaugural Thrive Newsletter (and with more to come in the future), I thought I would use this space each month to lay out some of who and what Thrive is. Let me tell you what’s in the soup.

Before I do that, I would also like to use this monthly newsletter to answer your questions as they relate to faith, culture, doctrine, or Thrive. You can email your questions here (Note: Your name will not appear in the newsletter.)

So let’s get started.

Some Things Unique About Thrive:

  • On March 25, 2022, Thrive officially turned 15 years old.

  • Upon launching, Thrive met for 5.5 years in the basement of the YMCA.

  • Thrive has met for the last 9.5 years in a renovated furniture store.

  • In 33 months, Thrive will be relocating to its new home (location to be determined).

  • Thrive Grafton, our second campus, opened four years ago in a renovated drug store.

Somethings Unique About Our Denomination:

  • Yep! We are part of a denomination.

  • The Church of the Nazarene was established in 1908. Learn more here:

  • There are roughly 30,000 Nazarene Churches and 2,000,000 members worldwide.

What We Believe:

  • There is only one God, and He made everything. God is a Trinity of persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  • Jesus, who came from heaven to earth about 2000 years ago, is fully God and fully man at the same time. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life through His death and resurrection.

  • God’s Holy Spirit is active in our world and helps lead us toward God.

  • Heaven and hell are real places.

  • The Bible is our instruction manual outlining all we need to know in life about how to accept eternal life and live in relationship with God.

  • We have all sinned and need God’s forgiveness.

  • God invites us and enables us to turn from sin, but it is our choice.

  • When we repent and turn away from our sins, trust in Jesus to accept us, and make a complete commitment to God, He purifies our hearts and sets us free to truly love God and one another.

  • Jesus is coming again.

I trust this gives you a bit of a snapshot of who we are.

Until Next Month…Bon Appetit!

From Pastor Emily:

Grafton Worship

Grafton is such a special place of worship, and it is both Caleb
and I’s honor to lead you in the musical portion of the Worship Service week after week.
The atmosphere and clear love for the Lord in a small church is beautiful. The best
advice that I was ever given was that a Worship Leaders job is to work themselves out of a
job. For the body of believers as a whole to lead out, sing out, and worship regardless of if I
am singing or not, and we have experienced the Lord’s work in that way.

Since getting here, our weekly team consists of myself (Emily), Caleb Erickson, and Cole
Solseng generously gives his time every week to do the technology for the service. That includes running sound and slides. We are so appreciative and at the same time, looking to grow our team.

We have introduced a few new songs into Thrive’s rotation such as:
-Defender by Rita Springer
-Nothing Else by Cody Carnes
-We Praise You by Bethel Worship
-Worthy of it All by UPPERROOM

Grand Forks Worship

In the past few months, Thrive’s Grand Forks worship department has made advances in technology with the installation of an In-Ear Monitor System, as well as countless hours working on the sound system, and the Live Stream audio to ensure a smooth running worship service. In addition, we have made many, amazing new additions to both the Tech and Music Teams.

We have introduced a few new songs into Thrive’s rotation such as:
-Jireh by Maverick City Music
-The Blessing by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes
-Nothing Else by Cody Carnes
-We Praise You by Bethel Worship

We are always in need of Tech and Music Volunteers, if you have been on the fence, or are interested, please feel free to ask any questions that you may have by filling out a connect card, or contacting Emily Erickson directly at 701-339-3015 or via email at I look forward to hearing from you.

Volunteer Spotlight: Silvestre Cerna

Silvestre just recently joined the Worship Department at Thrive playing both drums, and the acoustic guitar. Drums were his first instrument, as he played growing up. Silvestre has been a light to our team with his positive attitude, and consistency in serving our church. He always strives to do his best, and puts in the work in his own personal time to better himself as a musician. Silvestre has said before that being a part of the team, and the community and Thrive makes him feel happy, and you can see that in his interactions, not only with the worship team, but with the congregation as a whole. Silvestre loves the moments where the band flows, and he can feel the Holy Spirit move, he said that it touches His heart. He is actively listening to each sermon, and writing the Word of God on his heart. Silvestre, we appreciate you here at Thrive!

The 7 Hebrew Words for Praise: Part 1

In the Bible, we see the word “praise” a great number of times, and it would be really easy to read all of those as the same word, by our definition of praise, according to the dictionary, is an expression of approval or admiration for someone or something. The phrasing “an expression” leaves a pretty open ended answer to the question “How is it that the Lord wants to be praised?”, I am here to propose today that although there are choices, the Lord has asked us to use certain expressions when praising him.

Something that people don’t normally realize is that there are seven, hence the title, Hebrew words for praise in the Bible. In this chapter we are going to dive into all seven, starting with Hallal.

Hallal probably has a semi-familiar ring to it if you have heard the word “Hallelujah”, which Hallal is the primary root of. Hallal is found in many scriptures. For example,

Psalm 18:3 states: “I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise (Hallal), and he saved me from my enemies”

This is just to list one example, other examples include Psalm 143:9, Jeremiah 20:13, 2 Samuel 14:25, and more. Hallal means “to be clear, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish” This means that, in a public setting, we are called to set aside what others may think of us to boast in the Lord. However, just as we are called to praise the Lord this way in public, we are called to praise him this way in private as well. This kind of praise is a celebration of the goodness, and awesomeness of God, who gave everything for us, so in return we praise Him who is worthy of praise (hallal), with everything that we have. It is a GIFT to be able to praise the Lord, the mere ability to praise him wasn’t without sacrifice. Think about Christmas morning for a kid who just got the number one present on their wishlist. The most important thing to them. For a Christian, this gift, this most important thing, is eternity with Jesus. I would say that life in heaven is a pretty amazing gift. Every time we worship, it should be exciting because we reflect on the gift that an amazing God has freely given us. Hallal is used in the scripture where David dances foolishly before the Lord, withholding nothing. When thinking about our praise (hallal), we should keep three things in mind. We are called to boast in our Saviour, boast in His word, and celebrate all He has done.

Fuel Youth Ministry

In the past few months, Thrive’s Youth Group has seen growth. We have discussed topics
such as committing to Jesus, Cancel Culture, Doubt, and more. We have had events such as
Fall Retreat, as well as our Christmas Lock-In.

Volunteer Spotlight: Big Mike

Big Mike has made himself available to be a huge part of FUEL Youth Ministry by doing
things such as volunteering to give up a weekend to be at Fall Retreat, as well as serving at
the Youth Lock-In. He has been a consistent volunteer and has a huge heart for the
students! We appreciate you here at Thrive, Mike!

The Heart of FUEL Youth Ministry

I once worked under a youth pastor who said to cultivate Chick-Fil-A Culture, not Mcdonald’s. It’s such a silly analogy, but it stuck with me. You expect different customer service walking into Chick-Fil-A than you do when you walk into Mcdonald’s. I think it’s important that when students walk in, they expect to be treated with kindness, and like they matter. You and I both have no idea what anyone’s situation is whether it be at home, school, extracurriculars, etc. Being a student has challenges. We have had students share that their high of the week is coming to Youth. Our responsibility, before anything else, is to love these students. Make every single one of them feel like they have found a place where they are welcome and can Thrive. We GAIN influence, it isn’t just a given, and it’s built over time. In order for us to effectively speak into their walk with Christ, we first have to gain influence in their life. If possible, our volunteers make it a point to show up to student events. We make it a point to show them that you want to invest in their lives. My vision is to be more than just a group of students and leaders that meet Wednesdays, but a community of friendship and mentorship that can continue for years to come.

From Kids Matter Ministries:

Hello Thrivers,

We are so excited to start Thrive’s Kid’s Matter Ministries Embrace Program. Embrace exists to help children and families with special needs. We
believe that every child and family matters, and we want them to have an opportunity to be fully engaged when they attend Thrive. We are partnering
with All Embracing Home Care, LLC to offer professional support to those of our KMM kids who need it.

Our hopes with the Embrace Program are to allow every child to grow closer to God and Thrive in church. Reaching our younger generation for Christ is essential to Thrive.

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