February 2018  
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Upcoming Events
FEB

25

SUN
Worship Service
9am - Berlin Center UMC
11am - LeValley UMC
FEB

26

MON
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Becoming A Woman Of Excellence Bible Study
9:00 AM
Woman's Bible Study Mondays at Denny's Farm Market at 9:00 am
Everyone welcome!
Boy Scouts Meet
7:00 PM
at LVUMC
FEB

27

TUE
Lenten Study
BC 10am and again at 6:30pm
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Cub Scouts Meet
7:00 PM
at LeValley UMC
FEB

28

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!
Drum Class
6:45 PM to 7:45 PM
MAR

01

THU
Lenten Study
10:30am and 6:30pm at LV
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Trustees Meeting
7:00 PM
Committee members meet at LVUMC to discuss building and grounds maintenance of the Church and Parsonage.
MAR

04

SUN
Worship Service
9am - Berlin Center UMC
11am - LeValley UMC
HOLY COMMUNION
11:00 AM to 11:55 PM
The 1st Sunday of each month, LeValley UMC and Berlin Center UMC partake in the Lord's Supper. You do not need to be a member of either Church in order to receive the sacrament. ALL are Welcome at the Lord's table at both Churches.
Gideons
7:00 PM
Bible Search
Don't hoard treasure...

"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or--worse!--stolen by burglars.  Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it is safe from moth and rust and burglars.   It's obvious, isn't it?  The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.  Matthew 6:19-21

As I sit down to write this newsletter article, I fear I am close to hoarding treasures on earth rather than in Heaven.  I am still trying to find a place for everything we have moved home from the parsonage in Dorr.  How did we end up with so much "stuff" over there in just three years and still have a house full of things at home?  So, I am attempting to purge items as I put things away.  Some things are going to a unit we have at Smarter Storage on M-66, south of David Highway to hopefully be sold at a family garage sale in Mid-July.  Many items are going to Goodwill or to the Christian Service Center.  Last, but not, least, garbage bags are being filled with damaged or worn-out pieces that we have kept for who knows why!  I definitely want my treasures to be in Heaven, and I hope you desire that for yourselves, as well.

Composing this article and preparing for worship this Sunday give me a reprieve from the boxes, bags, and hangers strewn throughout our home, but I must finish this daunting unpacking job because I have an office full of boxes at the LeValley Church that need to be unpacked.  That job will be much easier than unpacking at home because the majority of the cartons contain books.  I actually packed the boxes by topic (preaching, worship, Bible Study, pastoral care, etc.), so I can easily place them in some semblance of order on the massive beautiful bookshelves that Pastor Mark builty when he was your pastor the first time.

I look forward to having everything in its place shortly after I begin my tenure as your pastor, so I can focus my time on being your pastor.  I look forward to arranging some visits with each of you.  Along with getting to know each of you, I want to hear what you think is good about your church, what you think needs to be worked on, how we can work together to care for God's house and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

I mentioned above that I am preparing for worship this Sunday.  I know many of you will be away for the Holiday weekend, but I hope you will ponder my sermon topic when you return home.  Tuesday, July 4th is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States as Independence Day, the anniversary of the publicaion of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776.  Though very important to us as citizens of the United States, I want each of us to think about our Christian independence.  We all know the high cost of our freedom as children of God.  The early followers of Jesus didn't have a yearly celebration to mark this event.  Instead, they celebrated their Independence Day each week.  Shouldn't we, as well?  Each Sunday, every Lord's Day, is the Christian's Independence Day.  Let's not forget to celebrate it.  Let's not forget to remember the high cost of our freedom and to anticipate the day of our ultimate and glorious experience of that freedom and to anticipate the day of our ultimate and glorious experieince of that freedom when Jesus returns.  Let's not forget that our church family is world-wide and we wait for the Savior of all peoples, languages, tribes, and nations.  Let's be reminded that each believer, each brother and sister of Christ, is precious and vital to the work of the Kingdom in the world.  Let's learn to more completely, more universally, more joyfully celebrate our Christian Independence Day and more fully demonstrate the character and compassion of our Lord and King who made this freedom possible.

     The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, becasue the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.  Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

Wishing you a blessed Independence Day each week!

Pastor Nancy