December 2017  
SMTWTFS
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31    
Upcoming Events
DEC

17

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

18

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
DEC

19

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
DEC

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!
Drum Class
6:45 PM to 7:45 PM
DEC

21

THU
Pastor's Bible Study
3pm and 7pm at LeValley
General Church Office Hours
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday-Thursday
Bible Search
WE HAVE THE GIFT YOUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER OUTGROW

Pastor’s Pondering 

WE HAVE THE GIFT YOUR  CHILDREN WILL NEVER  OUTGROW… 

That’s what we, the people of  LeValley and Berlin Center United Methodist Churches, can tell our friends, neighbors, colleagues, anyone we meet, this Christmas season. There is not an easier time to witness for Jesus Christ than during the season of his birth. Christmas is  celebrated by most people, Christian and non-Christian, church goers and people who may have never set foot inside a church, yet many don’t even know the real “reason for the season.” 
 
 We are celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. People purchase and decorate a Christmas tree, some of us more than one. Houses are decorated with colored lights, wreaths, inflatable santas, snowmen, and reindeer, among other things. Gifts for family and friends are    purchased with credit cards with the hope of being able to pay for them after the first of the year. So much time, money, and emotion spent, yet many people don’t even understand the actual occasion they are celebrating. They don’t understand that the gifts we buy represent the gifts brought by the magi to the newborn King. They don’t even realize that the lights and candles that they burn represent Jesus as the light of the world. Many don’t care that the Christmas tree is now labeled the holiday tree or that school Christmas parties have either been eliminated or are now known as holiday parties. Christmas vacation is now put on the school calendar as winter break. I often wonder what the outcry would be if those who lobby against the use of the word “Christmas” were told they had to report to work or school on the Holiday.

But, as usual, I digress from my purpose  delineated in the first paragraph of this letter. Churches attract more people during Advent, Christmas, and Easter, than at any other time of the year. Each of us can encourage  attendance because of the special programs we offer during the Advent season. Did any of you invite a friend or family member to the Cookie Walk this past Saturday at LeValley? The LeValley women have lunch and a “white elephant” gift exchange at Lumber Mill Inn in Muir on Monday,  December 4th at 11:30am. The Berlin Center women have a similar event at the home of Deanna Leslie on Tuesday, December 5th at  6:30pm. I am going to go out on a limb and say a friend or family member would be welcome at both of these functions. The LeValley children’ church will present a Christmas program during worship on  December 16th. People always enjoy watching children. The “grand finale” of the Advent season will be Christmas Eve worship, worship services at both churches, Berlin Center at 7:00pm and LeValley at 11:00pm. There will be special music at both services. Once we have newcomers in the churches, it is my job to preach the Gospel and the challenge for each of us is to be welcoming, showing the love of Jesus Christ to the world. 
 
So, as people talk of spending money they don’t have on material gifts, share with them the reason for those gifts and suggest that WE HAVE THE GIFT YOUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER OUTGROW…Jesus Christ. The gift that costs nothing and will last for eternity. 
 
Christmas love from

  Pastor Nancy and Dr. Greg