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Sunbury City Church Newsletter

April, 2022


What does it mean to be a Christian?  Do you simply say a prayer or walk an aisle and now you go to heaven?  Or is there something deeper, more profound.  We live in an instantaneous and impatient culture.  If your Google search takes more than 3.4 seconds, you are refreshing the page.  If we are not careful we can take the same instantaneous and impatient mentality to faith in Jesus Christ.  What we read in Mark 1:15 is that Jesus calls us to respond to the kingdom he is now bringing, through repentance and belief in the gospel.  Repentance, where we turn from trusting what we do to trusting what God does in Christ Jesus.  But this seems impossible, if we are truly honest with ourselves.  Jesus would even agree.  We read in John 3 that when Nicodemus comes to Jesus, Jesus share with him that one must be born again.  For one to enter the kingdom of God, one must receive this new birth, which theologians call regeneration.  Nicodemus, clearly confused, asks how this new birth takes place.  Jesus simply states that it happens by the Spirit of God and just as one has no clue where the wind blows, so to we have no idea where the Spirit will work to bring one to faith in Jesus.  But notice what Jesus is wanting us to see: First, to be a Christian is to be born again.  Second, this new birth does not happen to all, and even all as they might say they desire.  Third, this new birth is a work of the Spirit.  Fourth, as we read later in John 14, the Spirit is given to remind us of all that Jesus said.  Thus fifthly and lastly, being a Christian is less about a prayer or walking an aisle, and more about a new birth, where we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to love what we once hated, namely Jesus Christ and his ways while hating what we once loved, namely our sin.  Before we think we are a follower of Jesus because of some decision we made, we must search our heart to see if the new birth has happened to us.  Then we might know Christ is in us by the Spirit he has given to us.  As we seek to share the good news of Jesus through our one challenge, let’s remember it’s less about having people pray a prayer to “come to faith” and more about pleading with people to know and love Jesus and pleading with God to do the work of regeneration in one’s heart.  Ultimately God does the work.  He uses us, but we are dependent upon him to work.  

                                          Pastor Derek

                          Derek Van Ruler, Lead Pastor


In February, I decided to take the One Challenge seriously and really focus on praying for my person. After two weeks or so, my person reached out to me with a video she thought I’d like! I had just prayed the night before that I didn’t know the exact way to reach out to her and here she was, messaging me. The video was from an artist I was unfamiliar with but had a good message. So I asked her, “what made you send this to me?” She said, “I think because you are the only true Christian, like in your heart, that I know. I'm not sure what I believe but I thought you'd appreciate it, and my brain said send it to you. Could have been my heart that told me.” I was shocked. In a step of faith, I told her all about the One Challenge and how I’d been praying for her. I figured I would scare her away but she was actually very receptive and appreciated that I was praying for her. We had a good conversation and I hope to invite her to church for Easter.

                                                                           -Angella Laubach

We want to hear from you! If you have a story of how you have seen God working in your life or the life of someone else in our church, we would love to include your story in our next newsletter. Please contact Rhiannon @ 570-850-2769 or by email at:  
What's Happening At SCC

Easter Invite: April 17th, 10:30 am

Do you have friends who need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ?  Pray about inviting them to our Easter service on April 17th, as we look at the reason for the hope we hold.

Equip: April 27th, 6:30 pm
Ever had trouble understanding your Bible?  Most of us have.  Sometimes what we need is a good overview in order to anchor our reading.  Join us as we walk through an overview of the Old Testament from 1 Chronicles through Malachi.  (If you missed the prior overview of the Old Testament from Genesis through 2 Kings you can find the audio on our podcast). Childcare and refreshments will be provided.  Location: Sanctuary

Missional Communities are groups of people gathering as a family, growing as servants, and going as missionaries to a designated target area to reach their neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ.  Currently, we have four of these groups that meet and would love for you to join us!  If you are interested in joining a group, please contact us at:
One Challenge
Want to see a revival in our community?  It must start with prayer!  This year we are challenging one another to choose 1 person each month, who we can regularly pray for and ask God for opportunities to share the gospel with.  So be on the look out for the 1 challenge card in your bulletin each month, fill it out, and drop it in the offering boxes.  In a few weeks we hope to put these cards on display as a reminder that we are trusting God, together, to revive our community.


To see more prayer requests follow this link and login to your Elvanto account: Be sure to create an account if you do not have one already.
We would love to pray for you.  If you have prayer request needs, feel free to follow this link and fill out the form to let us know how we can pray for you:
Support Our Ministry: 
We exist to glorify God by making disciples who love God, live the Gospel, embrace our community, and plant movements.  With your support, we can better carry out this mission.  If you are able, please consider becoming a financial partner with us.  You can give online at: or in person, by placing your donation in our offering boxes.  
 Don't forget to check out our podcasts, available to stream on our website or any platform where you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Stay up to date with what is going on at Sunbury City Church by checking out our blog at:

Want some good books but don’t know where to go?  Check out our online bookstore at:

Want to familiarize yourself with the music we sing every Sunday? Our Spotify playlist can help you with that!


SCC mailing address:

P.O. Box 344
Sunbury, PA 17801-0344

(570) 492-4962

Email address:

Lead Pastor: Derek Van Ruler