The Year In Review--2018

     Wow, what a year 2018 was for Berlin Center and LeValley United Methodist Churches. We had our ups and downs, our joys and our sorrows, and yet, we remained strong and filled with the Holy Spirit. I’m not faithful about keeping up with my daily journaling, so I am sure there are activities we have participated in that I have forgotten, but perusing our monthly newsletters, I came up with an extensive list.


     I officiated at funerals or memorial services for several church family members or friends this past year. We miss each of them, but live with the joy that they are in Heaven with Jesus. The churches and the families of the deceased cannot thank the women of the church enough for the meals they provided.


     A few from Berlin Center and LeValley are no longer part of the congregations for personal reasons, but we will always love them and consider them part of the family, no matter how near or far away they are from us.


     We have received new members at LeValley through membership transfer and affirmation of faith. We celebrated the baptism of Caroline Plett.


     Donna Andres retired as the director of LeValley Christian Childcare (LVCC) and Sarah Saenz was hired as her replacement. We continue to care for over 30 children in our daycare and have a dedicated staff, many who have worked at the LVCC for over 18 years. Many of the daycare kids attend VBS and several of them sang during worship on December 16th, along with the LeValley Church kids.


     I was pleased with the large group of committed women who participated in Bible study at LeValley. We also had representation from Berlin Center. This group will resume later this month. My prayer is that a men’s study or a study for both men and women will be established. Maybe someone will feel called to host a study in their home.


     Berlin Center hosted its first annual Old Fashioned Tent Revival on Thursday, June 14th and Friday, June 15th. Music was provided by 4 ONE Quartet, an all male southern gospel group and on acoustic guitar. Preachers were Pastors James Black and David Lunsford, colleagues of Pastor Nancy from Mississippi and Tennessee. Thank you to all who helped and participated. Another Revival is going to be planned for 2019.

     Vacation Bible School at LeValley was a success again with support from both LeValley and Berlin Center. Over 30 children participated. We continue to host Cub and Boy Scouts each week in the LeValley Fellowship Hall. Three of their special events were the Pinewood Derby, the Blue and Gold Banquet and camping.
 
     I have been pleased with the response to my Wednesday morning fellowship at Sozo’s Coffee. Many have come just to chat, express concerns, and/or offer new ideas. I look forward to continuing to meet with all of you in 2019. Maybe we could begin a Bible Study or worship service at the coffee shop.
 
     Other opportunities for fellowship within the church families and the communities were the Berlin Center Ice Cream Social, Weenies in the Woods at Don and Deanna Leslie’s, the LeValley Cookie Walk, and The Getting Rid of the Blues Soup Dinner at LeValley.
 
     I'm already running out of space, but I want to mention some other special Church events from 2018. Mr. and Mrs. Bubbles( Don and Dutch Doornbos) led us in Holy Humor Sunday. Chris Moore blessed us with music. 4One Quartet joined us for worship in October. Fred Lyons and his brass quartet, Christmas Cornucopia helped us celebrate Advent during worship.
 
     Both Berlin Center and LeValley continued their monthly service at the Zion United Methodist Church Soup Kitchen, The Christian Service Center, and IM kids. The Churches also donated and filled almost 300 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and adopted families for Angel Tree. Missions continue to be a priority for us. I have included a separate article on missions in this newsletter.
 

      I, of course, cannot forget the LeValley Fellowship. This group meets once a month for food and fellowship, but they also raise money for many of the LeValley projects. They host the annual Forrest Nash Memorial auction in May.

 

     Whew! We have been busy. Those who don't know us would think we of us as much larger congregations because of all we accomplish. and, I know there is more that should have been included, but I am out of room, or, as I said, I may have unintentionally omitted. Thank you to each of you for stepping up to serve where there is a need and when you are asked.
 
     I know that 2019 will be even better. As our hearts become more filled with the Spirit, our energy for evangelism and service on behalf of Jesus Christ can only blossom.
 
Happy New Year to all!
 
Pastor Nancy