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Valley Church News

marc chagall couple-and-fish-1964 - Copy - Copy
February 7, 2014
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"You shall not commit adultery."
~ Exodus 20.14


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     We continue our exploration of God's covenant words of life to the Israelites, and this Sunday we hear the seventh life-giving gift about faithfulness in marriage. It is, again, given in the negative (you shall not commit adultery), but it is again an invitation to contemplate the gift of wholeness and purity in our relationships with our neighbors in both marriage and singleness. I invite you to read Exodus 20.1-14 prior to our time together on Sunday.
     This Sunday we will also celebrate the sacrament of Lord's Supper, so I encourage you to prepare in heart and mind for our fellowship around the Lord's table.
     We will also be singing a new song based on Jude 24-25, which you can listen to here.

     The artwork at the top of the email is a detail from a painting by Marc Chagall.


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Parents' Night Out:

     Parents' Night Out is tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 8) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.! Animal Adventure will be presenting some of their critters, which was a huge hit with the kids last year. We strongly encourage you to invite anyone you know who might enjoy an evening out (or in) without their kids. You still have a bit of time to tell neighbors, co-workers, friends, parents of your kids' classmates, fellow parents of Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts - whoever! Spread the word via facebook or email. (You can link on facebook or in email to Valley's website with this link address.) Kids can be registered by calling the office at 648.8224 or emailing valleychurchny@gmail.com.


Olympic Rings

A Few Thoughts on the Olympics
and Reverence for Human Life:

     This past Sunday I suggested that as we value and revere all of human life, we will join God as he tips the scales in favor of the last and the least - the poor, the powerless, the ugly.
     For the next two weeks the world will huddle around their television sets and revere (even worship?) a very narrow segment of our global society - the young, powerful, graceful, beautiful, and wealthy. Every two years the world throws an extravagantly expensive party (the cost of the Sochi games is estimated at around $50 billion) for those who already have - those who have power, strength, wealth, and a voice.
     Living in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic games was an eye-opener for the Monroes. We watched as the world poured out billions of dollars (only $8 billion in 2010) to tell itself a story of disciplined, hard-won human achievement and pure, unblemished cooperation between humanity. Reality told a different story. The Olympic village wasn't an austere, monastic place of minds and bodies being carefully honed and disciplined for the next event. The Olympic committee has a standing order that no less than 100,000 condoms will be made available to the athletes in the Olympic village. Reports from athletes at past games have suggested that those condoms get used. The booze flows freely (literally) and copiously for the athletes. Olympic village is far more like the temples of Bacchus and Aphrodite than one of Saint Benedict's monasteries. Corruption dominates the headlines locally and internationally whenever the Olympic committee is involved, and ever-increasing amounts of money are spent for these two weeks - money that economists say host cities will never recoup. Even what we would consider basic rights for democratic countries are abandoned; for about a month leading up to the Olympics and for the duration of the games a law was passed in Vancouver outlawing the display of any anti-Olympic posters or signs even on privately owned property.
     But the most alarming thing we saw in Vancouver was the rounding up of the city's homeless population. Just prior to the games the Vancouver police began ticketing Vancouver's homeless men and women (many of whom had been displaced from their low-rent housing as a direct result of Olympic-related gentrification) for minor infractions like jaywalking and loitering. Unable to pay the fines, these men and women were jailed for the duration of the Olympic games and then released back onto the streets. Olympic and city officials simply couldn't have those people - that segment of the population - seen by the visiting fans or the international media. (The city of Atlanta handed out one-way bus tickets to various destinations to the homeless prior to the 1996 summer games.)
     The scales of the Olympic games are tilted in one direction - in favor of the young, powerful, beautiful, and wealthy. As you watch the Sochi games, remember the backs of the people on whom the venues were built, the backroom deals brokered by powerful and corrupt men and women, and most of all, remember the homeless and impoverished human beings who were undoubtedly rounded up and pushed out of range of all those camera lenses. Those people are there, and they image the one God of creation just as much as the athletes who fill up our television screens and newspaper headlines. Let's pray that our cameras will see those people and see them invested with the full dignity that is theirs as people who bear God's image. Let's pray that we might find ways to come along God as he tips the scales in their favor in Sochi and in Binghamton.

Isaiah 58:2–9:
They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’


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Sunday Service Times:
Children's Sunday School:
9:30 a.m.
Coffee available for adults:
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Worship Service:
10:30 a.m.


That we might better pray for one another:

     We pray for God's blessing and healing for Jenni DeYoung as she continues her chemo treatments.
     We pray for continued healing and strength for Barbie Aukema's mother, Barb.
     We give thanks for healing for Edele Thompson, and pray for continued strength.
     We pray for Jim Conrad's mother, Ruth, as she continues her chemo treatments.
     We pray for continued grace and peace for the family of Adam DeVoe's sister, Joy.
     We pray for healing for Jim and Dorris Pitcher's daughter-in-law Jill, and their son-in-law Lee, both who are having lung problems.
     We give thanks that the immigration process continues to progress for Etienne, Marila, and Wilson's siblings, and ask God to help the process along. We also remember others awaiting immigration to the United States and for guidance for politicians and citizens alike as we seek to make our immigration process ever more just and compassionate.
     We continue to pray for health for the health care system in the United States.
     We pray for those travelling to Florida.


Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

The Church in a Post-Christian World:
     On Sunday, February 16, I am going to teach a one-session class following the service on the place of the Church in our current (post-Christian) culture. This class will explore the cultural shifts that have taken place over the past few centuries, and especially over the past 50 years, and how Valley Church fits within our current culture. I will order pizza, and we'll eat during the class. A sign-up will be available on Sunday.

Life Choices Center
Change for Life:
     If you have not done so already, feel free to pick up one of the baby bottles in the foyer and fill it up with change. The money helps Life Choices Center in Binghamton as they provide free services and supplies to women and couples facing unplanned pregnancies.

2014 Directory Updates:
     If you have not done so yet, please let the Krempels know of any address, telephone, or email updates for the directory, and please let them know of any birthday or anniversary dates that you would like them to know. You can also email them your updates at jrempel@stny.rr.com.

Valentine's Day Dinner:
     If you haven't signed up for the Valentine's Dinner, scheduled for Saturday, February 15, please see one of the members of the fellowship team this Sunday.


Sunday Morning Ministries for February 9, 2014:

Greeter:
Dot Simonds

Ushers:
David Derzanovich & Jerry Krempel

Intercessory Prayer:
Leslie Vermaat

Scripture Reader:
Natalie Doller

Nursery:
Terry & Lor Recker-Woodnorth

Children's Church:
Ron Crawford and helper
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224
Pastor Kurt's email: kurt.a.monroe@gmail.com
Church email: valleychurchny@gmail.com.
Church website: valleychurchny.org



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Valley Church
1452 River Road
Binghamton, New York 13901
US

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