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~ The Baptism of the Lord ~
Valley News
January 11, 2018
"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.' "
~ Luke 3.21-22
     The season of Epiphany calls us to focus on the life and ministry of Jesus. Last week we celebrated the day of Epiphany, remembering specifically the visit of the magi to the young child Jesus. This Sunday the church calendar invites us to remember, reflect upon, and celebrate the baptism of the Lord, the moment when the grown man Jesus who has lived faithfully and blamelessly before God hears the call of God's Word and faithfully steps into the water of the Jordan River to be anointed and confirmed in his call to be God's Messiah for God's people. I encourage you to read and reflect on the following scripture lessons prior to our time together this Sunday:
  • Isaiah 43.1-7
  • Psalm 29
  • Acts 8.14-17
  • Luke 3.15-22
     We will also celebrate the feast of the Lord's Supper this Sunday, and I encourage you to prepare in heart and mind for our communion with our Lord and with one another.
"All in Good Time"

     You will find Jennifer's reflections on the day of the Baptism of the Lord and the week that follows below.

The Baptism of the Lord
~ January 13, 2019 ~

     One of the events of Jesus’ life that is always remembered during the season of Epiphany is his baptism. Though it marked the beginning of his public ministry, it was clearly also the culmination of a life faithfully and obediently lived, for how else can we explain the words of the Father: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Thanks be to God that we have the same Father and Lord, and we have been given the same Holy Spirit!

     This week: In the Eastern church (churches of the Orthodox branch of Christianity), this season of the year is referred to as Theophany, which puts a greater emphasis on God specifically shining forth, and places Jesus’ baptism front and center as the pivotal event of the season (rather than the arrival of the Magi). It was at his baptism that God revealed Jesus’ true identity, not just as a great man or prophet or even messiah, but as his beloved Son. This week, remember and give thanks for your own baptism, the one, great identity-marking event of your life. Share baptism stories with friends and family. In her book Liturgy of the Ordinary, Tish Harrison Warren suggests that we begin every day by remembering our own baptisms, before we even get out of bed: “As Christians, we wake each morning as those who are baptized. We are united with Christ and the approval of the Father is spoken over us. We are marked from our first waking moment by an identity that is given to us by grace: an identity that is deeper and more real than any other identity we will don that day.” Every day this week, begin your day by remembering who and whose you are.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities:
 
KNO:
     Our next KNO is this Saturday evening (January 12) from 5:00 - 8:00. If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Janet Crawford.

Faith Formation Classes:
     This Sunday evening at 6:00 we will kick off the 2019 year of intergenerational faith formation with an exploration of Q & A 2-5 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
     The teens will meet for faith formation class at 6:00 p.m. on January 20.

 
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.
 
Congregational Meeting & Potato Bar Potluck Lunch:
     Mark your calendars and plan to join us for the winter congregational meeting following the service on Sunday, February 3 and the potato bar potluck lunch to follow the meeting. Sign-ups for the lunch will be available in the foyer this Sunday (Jan. 13).

     For those of you who participated in the Tech-Wise Family book discussions this past year (or even those who didn't but might want to think about it now!), you might want to think about participating in the newly released Tech-Wise Family Challenge, which is, according to Barna (who published the book) "a 21-day journey to rethink the role of technology in your life and home." The The challenge includes:
  • Access to an exclusive webcast with Barna editor in chief, Roxanne Stone, author Andy Crouch and his daughter, Amy Crouch
  • Email or text reminders with a daily reading, action step and discussion questions
  • Downloadable resources including a calendar to track your progress and table topics for your family
  • Access to a Facebook group to share with other challenge participants
  • Opportunities to win prizes that promote quality time as a household
Participating in the Challenge is free. You can learn more and sign up here.
Community Solar Update:
     A while ago Valley's council voted to join a community solar project to support renewable and sustainable energy consumption and also lower our electric bills. We recently received an update from Nexamp (the company constructing the solar farm) indicating that they had made the final connections to power lines with NYSEG and  passed all the required testing to make sure everything was running safely. The solar farm is up and running and producing power!
Resources and Opportunities from the CRC:

Calvin College January Series:
     The January Series lectures at Calvin College continue through January 23. The January Series exists to "cultivate deep thought and conversations about important issues of the day in order to inspire cultural renewal and make us better global citizens in God's world." You can learn more about the speakers and the schedule here.
 
     Tip: It’s easy for kids to think of Bible people like Moses as David as mythical characters rather than real, flesh and blood, flawed people. When you read Bible stories where the main character does something wrong (and there are many!), emphasize that God works through imperfect people, even when they make mistakes. And share stories with your kids of how God is at work in your own imperfect life. (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 Baptism 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.

Following the service, the members of the Doller/L. Huizinga care group are invited and encourage to stay for a meet & greet time in the upstairs room following the service of worship.

We will have intergenerational faith formation on the Heidelberg Catechism, Q. & A. 2 through 5 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 Ann de Jager, Jerry Krempel, Daryl Whitacre, Doris Pitcher, Frank Lockwood, Peter DeYoung, Beth Blake, Amy Beardsley, Lily Beardsley, and Sarah Peterson.
     We ask for God's blessing on all involved in the KNO this Saturday evening.
     We pray for safety for college students who are still traveling following the Christmas vacation, as well as Annette Vernon as she travels to and from China and all her stops in the United States.
We pray for friends
and family of Valley members:
     we ask for continued healing for Mike Flynn's mother and guidance for her and her doctors as she awaits her liver transplant; for healing for the Nelson's friends' 5 month old son, Luca, who was admitted to the ICU with a collapsed lung, heart issues, and a virus last week; for healing for the Monroes' nephew Joshua; for peace for Kurt Monroe's cousin, Kelly; 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 January 13, 2019:
Greeter: Barb Lockwood

Ushers: David Derzanovich and Herleen DeYoung

Congregational Prayer: Kurt Monroe

Scripture Readers:
1st Lesson (Isaiah 43.1-7): Lor Recker-Woodnorth
2nd Lesson (Acts 8.14-17): Joel Huizinga
3rd Lesson (Luke 3.15-22): Kurt Monroe

Nursery: Melanie Nelson
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224

Church email: valleychurchny@gmail.com

Church website: valleychurchny.org