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Valley News
March 1, 2019
"As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. . . A voice came from the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, whom I have chosen;
listen to him.' "

~ Luke 9.29-32 & 35
     This Sunday marks the end of the season of Epiphany. It is fitting that the season which focuses on seeing Jesus for who he truly was and is ends on Transfiguration Sunday, the day we remember the gift of true sight of Jesus' true nature given to Peter, John, and James when "they saw his glory." I encourage you to read and reflect on all of the lessons for this Sunday prior to our time together:
  • Exodus 34.29-35
  • Psalm 99
  • 2 Corinthians 3.12 - 4.2
  • Luke 9.27-36
Update on the Monroes and First CRC, Sioux Center:

     As most of you will know, in the middle of December I was contacted by the search committee of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa about the possibility of becoming their next pastor. Following what I believe to be the Lord's leading, conversations and interviews led to our recent visit to Sioux Center in order to meet the congregation, interview, and preach. Throughout the process I have, much to my own surprise, felt the Lord opening a door to a new partnership in ministry and life. The visit to First confirmed the sense of that call to new ministry in a new setting.
     This past Monday evening First's congregation voted at a special congregational meeting to extend a call to me to be their next pastor. Valley's council, at this Wednesday's meeting, released me from my call to Valley with their support and blessing to follow the call to be the next pastor at First. I have since accepted First's call and will remain at Valley until April 28.
     I go believing that God has truly called me to First and that the God who calls is faithful not only to the calling church but also to the church who is about to become a calling church. It is, in the end, God who calls and God who provides and God who equips and prepares people for seasons of ministry. While I will leave Valley with sadness at the parting of friends, I will leave Valley knowing that you are Christ's church, that our faithful God never leaves a church vacant (for it is comprised of those indwelled with the Holy Spirit), and that our faithful God will guide Valley in the months to come.
     I encourage you to pray for all involved in this season of transition: First CRC, Sioux Center, the Monroes, and certainly not least the congregation, council, and leadership of Valley Church. I also encourage you to prayerfully consider ways you can contribute to the life and well-being of Valley over the coming months and ask yourself into what new ministries God might be calling you.
"All in Good Time"

     You will find Jennifer's reflections on the Day of Transfiguration and the week to follow below.
 
The Transfiguration of Our Lord
~ March 3, 2019

 
     We've come to the last Sunday before the start of the season of Lent, known in some traditions as “Transfiguration Sunday.” All of this week’s readings remind us in some way of the sheer glory, majesty, and holiness of God. After spending time on Mt. Sinai in the presence of Yahweh, Moses’ face shone so brightly that he had to wear a veil. When Jesus is on the mountain with Peter, James, and John, his face becomes “dazzlingly white.” Perhaps most remarkable are Paul’s words from Second Corinthians which remind us that we all share and reflect this glory as well: “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” Glory be to God for the glory which he has given to us!

     This Week: A new season in the Christian year begins this week: Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and continues for the next 40 days (not counting Sundays) until Holy Week and Easter. In some traditions, it’s customary to have a party on the Tuesday before Lent (popularly known as “Mardi Gras” or “Fat Tuesday”). Today’s Mardi Gras celebrations really have very little to do with the actual season of Lent and might be more of a distraction from the real point rather than a meaningful way to inaugurate the Lenten season. However, another day-before-Ash-Wednesday custom, using up all of the sugar and fat in the house making pancakes for Tuesday night’s dinner, might be a good way to mark the beginning of the season. You are also warmly welcomed to join us for our Ash Wednesday service, this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. During this quiet, contemplative service, we will take time to recognize both our own sinfulness and human frailty and give thanks for the sacrifice and grace of God through Christ.
The Follow-Up:
     If you are interested in learning more about the witness of the twenty-one Coptic Christian martyrs and their family members that I mentioned in the sermon this past Sunday, I would encourage you to read an account of them written by Martin Mosebach here.
The Cross:
     I recently voiced a concern to George de Jager that, except for during the season of Lent when the large cross is in the sanctuary, our sanctuary only has one small cross on the front of the pulpit that can easily escape notice. I suggested that we could use a cross of simple design that would match the simplicity of the wood in the baptismal font and Lord's Supper table. George lovingly and beautifully crafted the cross that now stands on the table, a year-long visual reminder that we are the people of the God of the cross and the resurrection!
Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

Ash Wednesday Service of Worship:
     You are invited to join us for our Ash Wednesday service, this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. During this quiet, contemplative service, we will take time to recognize both our own sinfulness and human frailty and give thanks for the sacrifice and grace of God through Christ.
 
Chenango Valley Theater's Production
of The Addams Family
:
     You are encouraged to support Melanie Nelson by attending Chenango Valley's production of The Addams Family this weekend. (You will also see the set that was designed by Trent Nelson). For information, please see here.
 
Change for Life - Life Choices Center Bottles:
     Bottles that you can fill with change, bills, or a check to support the work of Life Choices center are available in the foyer. When you take a bottle, please sign the sheet and be prepared to bring the bottle back later in March. For more information please see here.

Consistory Meeting:
     The consistory will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7.
 
Faith Formation:
     This Sunday evening (March 3) the teens will gather at 6:00 p.m. for faith formation. On March 10 we will have intergenerational faith formation on Lord's Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism at the church at 6:00 p.m.
 
Birthday Open House for Charlie Huizinga:
     All are invited to join the Huizinga family in celebrating Charlie’s 80th birthday at an Open House on Saturday, March 16 at Valley Church from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Be sure to check out the invitation posted in bulletin board in the lobby of the church, and give Florence Doller a heads up if you plan on attending. Thanks!
 
Natalie Doller Cru Trip Support:
     Natalie Doller will be traveling to Panama City Beach, FL over her spring break March 16 to 23 to help those affected by Hurricane Michael through Cru (the US ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ). Prayers for Natalie and her group from University at Buffalo would be appreciated! Those interested in assisting with financial support, can make donations online at give.cru.org/1993334. Checks (made payable to Natalie Doller) can be passed along to Marcus or Florence. Thank you for your support.
 
March NO:
     We will host our March Kids' Night Out on Saturday, March 9 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Janet Crawford.
Resources and Opportunities from the CRC:

Faith Formation Ministries Tip of the Week:
     Tip:  Ash Wednesday Family Faith Formation Tip: Wearing ashes on one’s forehead on Ash Wednesday is a symbol of repentance. Talk with your kids about the fact that repentance is more than saying “I’m sorry”—it means asking God to change our heart and mind. For help with explaining what Lent means, check out tinyurl.com/LentQuestions and tinyurl.com/LentKids. (Faith Formation Ministries; crcna.org/FaithFormation) Lent Family Faith Formation Tip: Giving up something for Lent? Visit tinyurl.com/40ThingsLent for a thought-provoking list of 40 things (like worry and envy) that parents and older kids might consider giving up for Lent. (Faith Formation Ministries; crcna.org/FaithFormation)
Valley Church

Gathered as God's family and sent into the world as agents of God's mission of renewal.

 
This Sunday ~ the Transfiguration of the Lord:
 
Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.

Children pre-K through 5th grade will go to Sunday School following confession and assurance of pardon.

Teen faith formation at 6:00 p.m.
That we might better pray for one another and God's world:
 
     We pray for healing, recovery, and strength for Jan Vermaat, Luci Huizinga, Ann de Jager, Doris Pitcher, Jerry Krempel (at home), Daryl Whitacre, Frank Lockwood, Peter DeYoung, Beth Blake, Amy Beardsley, Lily Beardsley, and Sarah Peterson.
     We ask for God's continued guidance and blessing over Wilner Nicolas' citizenship process.
     We give thanks and rejoice with Don and Beth Blake in the birth of their newest grandson, Charles.

     We ask for a restoration of peace for the people of Haiti and for continued safety for the Zuiderveens as they settle back into life in Haiti. This is the latest from Cody:
Hi friends,
     Thanks for all of your prayers these past couple of weeks! I am well rested from a short week in Michigan and I arrived back in Port-au-Prince yesterday afternoon. A number of my field tasks (Timothy Leadership Training, Seminary teaching, etc) have been postponed for a couple of weeks due to the unrest, but the pause in my schedule is giving me some much needed time to catch up here in the city. 
     Jessica and the boys will spend one more week in Grand Rapids and join me this coming weekend if all continues to go well. Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement! It is truly good to be surrounded by a community of prayer. 
Cody
We pray for friends
and family of Valley members:
     we give thanks for an unexpected but welcome improvement in Lor Recker-Woodnorth's mother's condition and ask for God's continued healing and peace for her; we ask for healing for Mike Corgan's mother following her fall which resulted in a skull fracture and bruising and bleeding on her brain; we ask for healing for Hunter Vernon's girlfriend in her battle with cancer; we ask for peace, freedom from pain, and healing for the Crawford's grandson, William, following his leg fracture; we ask for continued healing for Leslie Vermaat's father; we ask for healing for Beth Blake's brother-in-law Tom following his heart attack; for peace for the family of Becky's young co-worker who recently passed away following an overdose; for healing for Mike Flynn's mother and for peace as she awaits her liver transplant; for healing for David Derzanovich's brother-in-law Tim; for healing for the Monroes' nephew Joshua; for healing for the de Jager's grand-nephew Cole as he continues his treatments for cancer; for Martheen Griffioen as she battles cancer; for healing for Jim and Becky Stocum's friend Eric who is battling brain cancer; for strength and healing for Alistair Krempel.
Sunday Morning Ministries
for March 3, 2019:

 
Greeter: Barb Lockwood

Ushers: David Derzanovich and Herleen DeYoung

Congregational Prayer: Kurt Monroe

Scripture Readers:
1st Lesson (Exodus 34.29-35): Terry Woodnorth
2nd Lesson (2 Corinthians 3.12 - 4.2): Kurt Monroe
3rd Lesson (Luke 9.28-36): Leslie Vermaat

Nursery: Florence Doller
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224

Church email: valleychurchny@gmail.com

Church website: valleychurchny.org