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Upcoming Events
SEP

20

WED
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Ionia Food Pantry (Zion UMC)
2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
(Washington Street) Volunteers are always welcome!
SEP

21

THU
Men's Emmaus Walk!
to be held at Lakewood UMC.
LV~UMW Annual District Meeting
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
at New Hope UMC
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
SEP

23

SAT
SEP

24

SUN
Men's Emmaus Walk!
to be held at Lakewood UMC.
Worship Service
9am - Berlin Center UMC
11am - LeValley UMC
SEP

25

MON
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
LV Ladies 4th Day Group
6:00 PM
meet at LeValley Church
Boy Scouts Meet
7:00 PM
at LVUMC
SEP

26

TUE
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Cub Scouts Meet
7:00 PM
at LeValley UMC
Choir Practice
7:00 PM
Adult Choir group meets at LVUMC to practice
SEP

27

WED
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Ionia Food Pantry (Zion UMC)
2:00 PM to 4:30 PM
(Washington Street) Volunteers are always welcome!
Bible Search
Difficult to pick

Dear Berlin Center and LeValley Church family,

It  was difficult to pick a topic for this letter with so many things going on in the world.  I could focus on mission because Portland was just hit by a tornado causing major damage to homes, places of business, a school sports field and to 3 historic churches including the Portland UMC.  Missions are always a good thing and we should think about what we can do to help our neighbors in need.

We could talk about the Supreme Court and the 5-4 decision to require all states to allow for gay marriage.  One news station said, the decision would still protect the rights of clergy not to perform or bless such unions based on strongly held religious and spiritual grounds, "but another news station said, "there were no protections for clergy built into the court decision."

I think we will need to read the ruling decision ourselves.  No doubt state rights and voter rights have been trumped by our highest court and our country is shifting fast from the biblical roots we were founded upon.  The Bible and our Lord Jesus himself is very clear that God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman.  Ultimately we will be judged by a higher court.

Mark 10:1-9  Discussion about Divorce and Marriage

1 Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and and into the area east of the Jordan River.  Once again crowds gathered around him, and as usual he was teaching them. 2 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: "Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife? " 3 Jesus answered them with a question: "What did Moses say in the law about divorce?" 4 "Well, he permitted it, they replied.  "He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away." 5 But Jesus responded, "He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6 But 'God made them male and female' from the beginning of creation. 7 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, 8 and the two are united into one. 'Since they are no longer two but one, 9 let no one split apart what God has joined together. Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.  All rights reserved.

A legal right to a state marriage does not equal a spirtual marriage in the eyes of the Lord.  God's best blessing in marriage according to the Bible will continue to be available to traditional male/female couples that faithfully follow God's moral laws and live life in a faith relationship with Jesus.

Terroism is an issue in the world and three terrorist attacks in three various countries were reported today as I write this letter.  Some experts warn that it is just a matter of time before more violent terrorist attacks take place in America.  The devil is always working in the world to kill, steal and destroy, but greater is he who is within us than he who is in the world.  Read the end of the Bible to see what God has planned for the devil and those that follow his agenda.

I have decided that because this is a two month issue and it is the summer, to talk about children.  Children are a topic of biblical importance as well.  The summer time may be the time when our children or grandchildren can more easily rub us the wrong way.  They are home for a longer period of time if not in school away from the home, the humidity doesn't help anything, and church camp is only one week long.  I remember those days now with "rose color glasses."  I wish for those days again with children at home now that I am an empty nester.  That time with our young children went by in what seems like the blink of an eye.

Listen to this story about children from today's world.

M-a-a-a-ma! Come look!" Now what? I was huddled in my favorite chair, enjoying a small oasis of quiet in what had been a frustrating day with my two children.  They jumped on the beds, chased the dog through the house, spilling drinks, grumbled about who go the TV remote, and whinned that there was nothing to do.  When they ran into the house with soggy tennis shoes and dripping clothes, it was too much. "Go to your rooms!" I yelled.  My lectures to them about their behavior had not gotten through.  "Mama, come see!" once again cut through the quiet. "There's a chipmunk outside.

"I'm reading ," I explained. 

"But Mama."

"Not now." 

I tried to think of something to occupy her.  "Why don't you do your Sunday-school project?" She had to make a booklet illustrating four ways to love someone: a teacher, parent, neighbor, friend-anyone she wanted. 

"All right, " she said in a barely there voice. 

That afternoon I peered into her room.  Ann had just finished her project.  "Can I see?" I asked.  She was reluctant. "Come on," I prodded.  Finally she relented, dropping her booklet into my hands-'Four Ways to Love a Child' by Ann Kidd.  The booklet was meant for me.  I started to tell her the idea was to show how she could love someone, not ways I could love someone.  But I kept quiet.  I turned to page one. 

"Go see chipmunks and stuff with your child." 

"When kids mess up, give them some hugs."

"Give kids a chance to talk."

"Laugh a lot." 

Ann sauntered back into the room and stared at the booklet still in my hand.  I closed the book and gave her a hug and a wink.  The next day I was puttering in the kitchen and spotted Ann's chipmunk.  I dashed to her room where she was dripping red tempera paint. "Come quick! The chipmunk is back!" - Sue Monk Kidd, Love's Hidden Blessings

The next time you have a chance to get after your children and grandchildren remember they are the ones that might make some important decisions in your life down the road and what God says about them. Ps 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Prov 22:6

6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.

Mark 10:13-16

Jesus Blesses the Children

13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them.  But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. 14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples.  He said to them, "Let the children come to me.  Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." 16 Thenhe took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.  Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.  All rights reserved.

God Bless the rest of your Summer!

Pastor Ray and Jen