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Valley News
February 2, 2019
"He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
'The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' "

~ Luke 4.16-19
     This is technically the fourth Sunday after Epiphany. However, because we missed a week due to the snowstorm, we're a bit off in our lectionary readings. This Sunday we will hear all the lessons from the third Sunday after Epiphany and the combined gospel readings from the third and fourth Sunday after Epiphany. I encourage you to read these scripture lessons prior to our time together tomorrow:
  • Nehemiah 8.1-10
  • Psalm 19
  • 1 Corinthians 12.12-31a
  • Luke 4.14-30
     This coming week and next Sunday the Monroes will be in Iowa. The lectionary lessons for next Sunday are:
  • Isaiah 6.1-8
  • Psalm 138
  • 1 Corinthians 15.1-11
Instead of the assigned lectionary gospel reading, we will hear from Luke 8.26-39, and Rev. Tim Blackmon will be preaching via video.
"All in Good Time"

     You will find Jennifer's reflections on the fourth and fifth Sunday after Epiphany and the weeks to follow below.

Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
February 3, 2019

     In this week’s epiphany reading from Luke, Jesus begins by proclaiming himself to be the one prophesied by Isaiah, the one who will proclaim good news to the poor, liberty for captives, sight for the blind, liberty for the oppressed and the year of the Lord’s favor. Doesn’t this sound like amazingly good news? But if we continue reading, we encounter the people of Nazareth trying to throw Jesus off a cliff because he disappointed their expectations. It’s a good reminder that we need to approach Jesus with humility, willing to be taught by him, rather than trying to force him into our own box of how we want a Messiah and King to look.

     On February 2nd every year, the church calendar celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple by Mary and Joseph. In accordance with Jewish law, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to be dedicated to the Lord (as was the custom with every first-born boy) and for Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth. It is here that they met Simeon and Anna, two elderly people who had faithfully been awaiting the arrival of the Messiah and hear Simeon’s song (known as the Nunc Dimitis or “Now You Dismiss”): “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel" (Luke 2;29-32). Even as a tiny infant, Jesus revealed the glory of the God for those who had eyes to see.

     This Week: In many countries and traditions, The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is also known as Candlemas. This is the day on which the candles people had made during the dark winter months when there wouldn’t have been much else to do inside would be blessed by the priest. In some places, it’s traditional to eat crepes or pancakes on Candlemas, perhaps because their round, golden shape reminds us that the sun of springtime will return soon! Traditions about the weather on Candlemas morphed into our Groundhog day traditions (which are now more commonly observed in North America): if the weather is bad, spring is on its way. If it’s sunny, prepare for more weeks of winter!. Today is a good day to light every candle you can find in honor of the God who became a baby boy who would grow into the man who would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel!” Also, see if you can find and listen to a choral recording of the Nunc Dimitis (
Alexander Gretchaninov’s and Arvo Part’s are especially wonderful!).
Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
February 10, 2019

     One of the ways Jesus made the glory of God manifest was through his many miracles. In today’s reading from the gospel of Luke (from the lectionary – Luke 5.1-11), we read the story of what happened after Jesus borrowed a boat from Simon to use as a makeshift pulpit when the crowd on the shore got too big to be able to hear him properly. He preached from the boat and when he was done, encouraged Simon to go out into deep water and put out his nets, even though Simon and his partners had been fishing all night and caught nothing. The result is an epic catch of fish, one so large that the nets are in danger of breaking and the boats close to sinking. Simon Peter realizes that the man in his boat is no ordinary preacher and responds by immediately acknowledging his sin (just like the prophet Isaiah when he realizes he is in the presence of a holy, holy, holy God). After finally dragging their miraculous catch to shore, the men drop everything and follow Jesus.

     This Week: Wouldn’t it have been tempting for Peter, James and John to sit and revel in the glory of their great catch of fish? “Just imagine,” they could have said to themselves, “if we could convince this Jesus guy to stick around and pull that trick every few days, we could be rich! Life on easy street, coming right up!” Instead, they realize that any wealth they might be able to gain would pale in comparison to the joy of obedience, of following this remarkable man from their fishing boats to death itself. Are we willing to drop everything, leave all our dreams of comfort and security behind and follow Jesus, no matter what it costs?
Upcoming Events and Opportunities:
Congregational Meeting & Potato Bar Potluck Lunch:
     Following the service of worship this Sunday, February 3 we will have our winter congregational meeting. Following the meeting we will gather upstairs for a baked potato bar lunch.
Pastor Kurt on Vacation:
     Pastor Kurt will be away from February 5 through February 11. If you need pastoral care during this time please contact an elder or deacon.
Second Offering Opportunities:
     We will have an opportunity to give second offerings on the following Sundays:
  • February 10: Project Concern
  • February 24: World Renew
Faith Formation Classes:
     We will not have intergenerational faith formation on February 10.
Christmas Card Donations:
     Please consider recycling your 2018 Christmas cards by donating them to the church. Cards can be used by the youth in crafts or for decorating the Prison Ministry Gift bags used by inmates to give gifts to their children. Feel free to donate just the front cover if so desired.
Resources and Opportunities from the CRC:
     Tip: In the book Family: The Forming Center, Marjorie Thompson observes that the Christian home is a sacred shelter where parents and caregivers can reflect God’s love to children through presence (being there), acceptance, affirmation, accountability, forgiveness, and hospitality. How can you help your kids’ faith grow in the everyday-ness of life? (Faith Formation Ministries;
Valley Church

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

This Sunday
~ the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany:

Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.

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

Congregational meeting following the service of worship.

Baked Potato bar lunch following the congregational meeting.

Teen faith formation at 6:00 p.m., weather and road conditions permitting.
That we might better pray for one another and God's world:
     We pray for healing, recovery, and strength for Ann de Jager, Jan Vermaat, Dot Simonds (who will be at Hilltop until next Wednesday for physical therapy), Jerry Krempel (at Elizabeth Church Manor), Daryl Whitacre, Doris Pitcher, Frank Lockwood, Peter DeYoung, Beth Blake, Amy Beardsley, Lily Beardsley, and Sarah Peterson.
Prayers for for all the Victims of Abortion:
     In light of the recent vote by the New York legislature (signed into law by Governor Cuomo) and the bill recently proposed in Virginia and supported by that state's governor, I encourage you to pray for all the victims of abortion: unborn babies, women who have had abortions, family members of those babies who have been murdered, women who face unplanned pregnancies and feel pressured by culture, family members, and husbands or boyfriends to seek an abortion, and for those women who face challenging pregnancies or have conceived babies with what many deem are conditions that make them unworthy of life and are pressured by cultural "wisdom," medical professionals, and others to abort their babies. Pray that God would shine the light of Christ into the darkness and evil that our state and nation have embraced, and pray that He would transform the hearts and minds of not only the politicians who have crafted these laws but the people who have elected those politicians and have created the culture of death in which such laws can even be imagined.
We pray for friends
and family of Valley members:
     we ask for continued healing for Leslie Vermaat's father whose condition has been stabilized following sepsis shock; for Lor Recker-Woodnorth's who is in her last days and for Lor and her siblings and the extended family; 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 February 3, 2019:

Greeter: Judy Zwierzynski

Ushers: Charlie Huizinga and George de Jager

Congregational Prayer: Kurt Monroe

Scripture Readers:
1st Lesson (Nehemiah 8.1-3, 5-6, 8-10): Ana Monroe
2nd Lesson (1 Corinthians 12.12-31a): Joel Huizinga
3rd Lesson (Luke 4.14-30): Leslie Vermaat

Nursery: Daniella Doller
Sunday Morning Ministries
for February 10, 2019:

Greeter: Barb Lockwood

Ushers: David Derzanovich and Herleen DeYoung

Congregational Prayer: Ron Crawford

Scripture Readers:
1st Lesson (Isaiah 6.1-8): Luci Huizinga
2nd Lesson (1 Corinthians 15.1-11): Al Vos
3rd Lesson (Luke 8.26-39): Lor Recker-Woodnorth

Nursery: Herleen DeYoung
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224

Church email:

Church website: