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Valley News
February 15, 2019
"Looking at his disciples, he said:
'Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh."

~ Luke 620-21
     A little over a year ago, during the season of Epiphany of 2018, we began our journey through what is known as the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew's gospel. It begins with what are called the Beatitudes (from the Latin word for "blessed"). This Sunday, in our reading from Luke's gospel, we arrive at what is often referred to as the Sermon on the Plain (or as the pew Bible translates it, "a level place"). In the Sermon on the Plain Jesus included a version of the Beatitudes, but they're slightly different from those included in the Sermon on the Mount. In addition to reading and reflecting on the lessons we will hear this Sunday (found below), I would also encourage you to read the version of the Beatitudes in Matthew's gospel (Matthew 5.1-12) and reflect on the differences (including the startling addition of the "woes" in Luke's gospel). The lessons for this Sunday are:
  • Jeremiah 17.5-10
  • Psalm 1
  • 1 Corinthians 15.12-20
  • Luke 6.17-26
     We will also celebrate the feast of the Lord's Supper this Sunday, and I encourage you to prepare in heart, mind, and spirit for that time of joyous communion with our Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
"All in Good Time"

     You will find Jennifer's reflections on the sixth Sunday after Epiphany and the week to follow below.
 
The Sixth After Epiphany ~ February 17, 2019

     Most people today, if they know anything about Jesus at all, would describe him as a “great teacher,” or a “wise man” who went about preaching love and joy and niceness to all. Certainly, one of the ways Jesus made manifest the Father’s glory was through his teaching and profoundly wise words. However, dig just a little bit below the surface and you’ll discover that Jesus’ words were radically world-changing, carefully calculated to upset his listeners’ preconceived notions about what righteousness and justice and love really meant. In this week’s gospel reading, Luke reports not only the “Blesseds” (or “Beatitudes”) of Matthew’s gospel, but also a goodly list of “Woes”. Imagine being a wealthy, contented, well-respected, generally self-satisfied person in the crowd listening to Jesus speak. You might begin to get a little uncomfortable, a little anxious, maybe even a little angry. You might have to begin to ask yourself, “Where do I put my trust? What kind of tree am I? A scrubby little bush in the desert, destined to become a tumbleweed blowing along in the wind? Or a strong tree planted by a stream that can weather any kind of storm?”

     This Week: Have you taken up the challenge of reading through the gospels during the season of Epiphany? How is it going? What are you discovering as you read? It’s not too late to start and read at least one gospel through before Lent begins in two-and-a-half weeks or so. If reading through all four gospels seems a little daunting, consider simply focusing on the week’s lectionary readings, reading through all four of them several times during the week, pausing to slowly digest and pay attention to what God may be trying to teach you through them.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities:
 
Teen Winter Retreat:
     The teens will be on their winter retreat at Path of Life Christian Camp from noon Sunday until noon Monday.
 
Second Offering Opportunity:
     We will have an opportunity to give second offerings to support the work of World Renew on February 24, 2019.
 
Consistory Meeting:
    The consistory will meet on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Leadership Team Meeting:
     The leadership team will meet on the evening of Thursday, February 21.
 
Faith Formation Classes:
     We will not have intergenerational faith formation this Sunday, February 17.
Resources and Opportunities from the CRC:
 
     Tip: Doubts aren’t a sign of weak faith—they’re evidence that people are wrestling with big questions. Create an atmosphere in your home that invites kids to ask questions, express doubts, and think and feel their way into the big questions of life. “What do you think about that?” is a very affirming question, no matter what your age is. (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 Sixth 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.

Teen winter retreat at noon at Path of Life Christian Camp.

There will not be faith formation class this Sunday evening.
That we might better pray for one another and God's world:
 
     We pray for healing, recovery, and strength for Luci Huizinga (recovering at home following surgery on her elbow and particularly needing prayer for relief from pain), Ann de Jager (who has started radiation in addition to continued chemo treatments), Jan Vermaat (also recovering at home following her aortic valve replacement surgery), Doris Pitcher, Jerry Krempel (at Elizabeth Church Manor), Daryl Whitacre, Frank Lockwood, Peter DeYoung, Beth Blake, Amy Beardsley, Lily Beardsley, and Sarah Peterson.
     We also give thanks with the Nicolas family as they celebrate Marila and the children's citizenship and look forward to Wilner's ceremony in March.

 
A Request for Prayer for the People of Haiti from the Zuiderveens:
     Please join us in praying for the peace of Port-au-Prince during the time of protests and demonstrations here. Many people are upset about political corruption and have taken to the streets to protest as a result. Demonstrations began across the country on Thursday morning and are likely to continue into this week. In light of this situation, the Resonate team has decided to evacuate Jessica, Hudson and Otto. Please pray for them (in Michigan) and for me as I remain working here in Haiti for the time.
 
We pray for friends
and family of Valley members:
     we ask for continued healing for Leslie Vermaat's father; for Lor Recker-Woodnorth's mother 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 17, 2019:

 
Greeter: Terry Woodnorth

Ushers: George de Jager and Mike Corgan

Congregational Prayer: Kurt Monroe

Scripture Readers:
1st Lesson (Jeremiah 17.5-10): Kurt Monroe
2nd Lesson (1 Corinthians 15.12-20): Terry Woodnorth
3rd Lesson (Luke 6.17-26): Paul Peterson

Nursery: Jim & Sue Comfort
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224

Church email: valleychurchny@gmail.com

Church website: valleychurchny.org