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~ Christ the King Sunday ~
Valley News
November 21, 2018
"Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
~ Psalm 1.1-2
     We left Peter's first letter this past Sunday with an exhortation to "long for pure spiritual milk," which turned out to be an exhortation to long for Jesus himself. We will hear this Sunday the first words of the psalter, which remind us of what our longing really always is: "Blessed is the one" or, as you could also translate it, "Happy is the one." We human beings are always on the hunt for, always longing for, happiness. We're always desiring what you might call the good or blessed life. The question is: what is it (or perhaps who is it) that can fulfill our longings for happiness? And the next question is, does the psalmist give the same answer as Peter? I encourage you to read and reflect on the whole of Psalm 1 prior to our time together this Sunday morning.
     I have been working ahead toward the first week of Advent and will be starting a week of study leave this Sunday, so instead of preaching a sermon I've written, I will be reading a sermon written by Hans Boersma (professor of Theology at Regent College as well as ordained Minister of the Word in the CRC) on Psalm 1, entitled "Happiness in Christ."
     This Sunday is also the final week of Ordinary Time, which we celebrate as Christ the King Sunday. Much of the music and liturgy will sing the praises of Jesus as King of heaven and earth!
     And while it's not technically part of the Christian liturgical calendar, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day to encourage a posture of gratitude is certainly an appropriate thing for Christians to observe. So, I wish you all a wonderful day of Thanksgiving! May this day of thanks truly be a wonderful opportunity to pause and give thanks for the many blessings with which we've been blessed!
New Things in the Newsletter
for the New Year!

     You are going to start seeing new things in the newsletter as we come into the new year. (The new year is closer than you probably think, but more on that below!) You'll see things like:
  • Something I'm going to call "The Follow-Up," for those times when a bit of follow-up from the sermon would be helpful.
  • "All in Good Time" - helpful suggestions for living in the Christian year (written by Jennifer Monroe)
  • "Book Notes" - short introductions to books available to borrow from the church's library
  • Resource and Opportunities from the CRC - it's exactly what it sounds like, and you'll find it down in the bottom right hand corner
See below for the first "Follow-Up" and "All in Good Time."
"All in Good Time"
     This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, a day on which we are celebrate Jesus' reign over all things, including his reign over time. As mentioned above, "All in Good Time" is going to contain helpful suggestions for living in the Christian year (written by Jennifer Monroe). This week's entry is an introduction to what the Christian (or liturgical) year is, why we should even think about living in it, and how "All in Good Time" is going to help in that endeavor. You can read the introduction here. It will also be provided as an insert in this Sunday's bulletin. (Just a heads-up: new year's day is December 2 this year!).
The Follow-Up:

     As I mentioned on Sunday, according to some scholars the exhortation "long for," found in 1 Peter 2.2, is the central exhortation of Peter's whole first letter. "Long for pure spiritual milk," he commands us. Those of you who were present Sunday know that I was reminded again of Saint Augustine's line: "The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire." A good Christian life isn't primarily about believing the right things or about doing the right things but rather about loving the right things. Or rather, it's about loving (and hence longing for and desiring) the one right thing: our Lord Jesus himself. Our love of our Lord and submission to him and his church is that which then rightly orders our beliefs and our actions.
     One man who has thought and taught extensively about the power of our loves, longings, and desires to shape our Christian lives is a James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College (and Augustine fanatic). I offer as follow-up to this week's sermon passage a lecture Smith gave to a group of students at the University of Michigan entitled "You Are What You Love" that you can watch on Youtube
here. You've probably got a bit of extra time during this long Thanksgiving weekend, so sit down with some hot cocoa or tea and let Jamie walk your through this. It's good stuff! (He has a book by the same title that might show up in "Book Notes" at some point in the future!)
Upcoming Events and Opportunities:
Consistory Meeting:
     The consistory will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 29.

Safe Church Training:
     There will be a Safe Church abuse prevention training on Sunday, December 2 after the service (approx. 11:30). If you are involved with caring for, teaching, or transporting the children and youth of Valley Church, you are strongly encouraged to attend. All other folks are welcome as well! Valley's abuse prevention policies and procedures will be reviewed, and you will have an opportunity to affirm your commitment to keeping our church a safe place for children and families. Please contact Leslie Vermaat or Pastor Kurt to let them know you are coming. Thank you!
KNO Live Nativity:
     This year, for a twist on our annual tradition, we will be combining Kids' Night Out and the Live Nativity. The children who come for KNO will have the opportunity to tell the story of Jesus' birth to their parents and friends in the Live Nativity. We will have the KNO Live Nativity on Saturday, December 15. The kids will arrive at 5:00 and they will perform one Live Nativity show at 7:30 p.m. The show will be followed by a reception with cookies and hot drinks upstairs.
     This is a new adventure that presents new opportunities and new challenges. There will be far more kids in the nativity than in previous years. This means we need help getting them fed, into costumes, in the right places at the right times, etc. There are sign-up sheets in the foyer that indicate ways you can help out. Please look at those sheets and consider a way you can help make this first ever KNO Live Nativity a success.
     Also, please invite neighbors, friends, and extended family to come and celebrate the coming of our God with us!
Faith Formation Opportunities:
     We will not have faith formation this Sunday due to the Thanksgiving weekend. However, on December 2 the teens will meet at 6:00 p.m. at the Nelsons' house to continue their study, "Living Your Faith in a Messed Up World: a Look at the Contemporary Testimony."
     On December 9 we will wrap up our  intergenerational exploration of the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism. The class is designed to be accessible to everyone roughly middle school (or even upper-elementary) through adulthood. Feel free to join us even if you missed the previous classes.

Valley Church

Gathered as God's family, we are sent into the world as agents of God's mission of renewal.
This Sunday:
Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.

Children pre-K through 5th grade will go to Sunday School following our celebration of baptisms and welcome of new members.

Due to the Thanksgiving weekend, there will not be any faith formation classes this Sunday evening.
That we might better pray for one another and God's world:
     We give thanks for another wonderful Kids' Night Out tonight this past Saturday!
     We pray for those who are mourning the deaths of loved ones: for Wilner Nicolas and his extended family in Haiti as they mourn the death of Wilner's niece and her unborn child who died during childbirth of twins. We pray, too, for the twin who survived and the rest of Wilner's niece's family.
     We pray for continued wisdom and guidance for Ann de Jager and her doctors as Ann needs another test prior to determining a course of treatment. We pray that the tests will reveal the best of news that will not require an aggressive course of treatments. As she awaits the tests we pray for God's healing hand to be upon Ann and the presence and peace of Christ to rule in the de Jagers' hearts and minds.
     We similarly pray for wisdom and guidance for Daryl Whitacre and her doctors as they discern her treatments for cancer and for God's healing to be upon Daryl and the peace of Christ to rule in the hearts and minds of Daryl and Rod and their extended family.
     We continue to pray for healing and health for: Ethan Stocum, Frank Lockwood, Peter DeYoung, Beth Blake, and Amy Beardsley.

We pray for friends
and family of Valley members:
     for those mourning the deaths of loved ones: for the Kirsten and the Frair family as the grive the death of Kirsten's grandmother; for the Santa Croce family as they grive the death of Megan.
     We pray for healing: for the Monroes' nephew Joshua, giving thanks for his return home earlier this week, and praying for peace and energy for Jennifer's sister as she cares for Joshua at home, continues working, and goes to class for a CNA (certified nurses assistant) certification; for the de Jager's grand-nephew Cole as he continues his treatments for cancer and was suffering from fever and hospitalized last week; for healing for Mike Flynn's mother, and for peace for her and the rest of her family; for Marcus Doller's mother; for David Derzanovich's brother-in-law Tim; for Martheen Griffioen as she battles cancer; for Jim and Becky Stocum's friend Eric who is battling brain cancer; for Adam Derzanovich; for Alistair Krempel.
Sunday Morning Ministries
for November 25, 2018:

Greeter: Cindy Krempel

Ushers: Mike Corgan and George de Jager

Intercessory Prayer: Kurt Monroe

Scripture Reader (Psalm 1): Kurt Monroe

Nursery: Herleen DeYoung
Resources and Opportunities from the CRC:
Family Fire:
Family Fire is an online community exploring Spirit-led family, marriage, parenting, in-laws, blended families, and intimacy from the CRC's ReFrame Media. Find encouraging articles and devotions at Subscribe for regular email updates and connect with our Family Fire community on Facebook.
Also from ReFrame Media ~
     I BELONG: SO I LIVE FOR HIM - What does belonging to Jesus mean for how I live my life? Do I have to change? Study Romans 8:12-17 and Galatians 5:13-25 with Groundwork to gain a better understanding about why belonging to Jesus means, with the Holy Spirit’s help, we’ll be willing and ready to live for him. Listen now at and subscribe to Groundwork’s weekly emails for future episodes.
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224

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