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Valley Church News

transfiguration - 13th century illumination - anonymous
September 1, 2017

"After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them."
~ Mark 9.2

     As we return to Mark this week, we rejoin the disciples and Jesus as they journey together in "the way." As we've seen, it is a journey in which Jesus is leading the mostly-blind disciples by a path they do not know and could not have foreseen. Though Jesus is shining a piercing light upon them, it's like they're stumbling through the fog. They need to get up above the clouds to gain clarity of sight.
     This Sunday we will read the account of the transfiguration of Jesus - the mountaintop experience of all mountaintop experiences, you might say. In the context of the jumbled fog of Peter's profession of Jesus' messianic identity and Jesus' unexpected predictions of his own rejection and death, Jesus grants them this moment of clarity; they climb the mountain, rise above the clouds, and see as he really is.
     Even as the disciples have this opportunity to see Jesus as he is and to hear the very voice of God affirm his identity, it is an opportunity for us to lift up our heads and see again the glory of the King of kings and raise our hearts in praise.
     I encourage you to read and reflect on Mark 9.1-13 prior to our time together this Sunday.
     The artwork at the top of the email is a 13th century illumination of the transfiguration by an unknown illuminator.

Hurricane Harvey Relief
and International Disasters:
     Even as hurricane Harvey continues to cause destruction throughout the American south, relief agencies are working to provide resources to those impacted. The Christian Reformed Church's relief agency, World Renew, is organizing its own response and is asking for financial and prayer support. Your generous donations are needed to ensure that necessary recovery services can be provided for people most affected by Hurricane Harvey as they try to rebuild their lives in weeks, months, and years to come. For more information and a link to give donations to World Renew's relief efforts online, please see here. You will also have an opportunity to give a second offering on September 24 that will go to World Renew's Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Or you can mail your check marked "Hurricane Harvey 2017" to:
     World Renew US
     1700 28th St SE
     Grand Rapids, MI  49508

sierraleonemudslides.jpg?itok=Jspc49Ai     As World Renew reminds us, the news of Hurricane Harvey and other events of the past weeks have kept the important news of devastating, ongoing floods in South Asia off the front pages and missing from newscasts. The crisis of landslides in Sierra Leone (flooding there seen in the picture above), along with ongoing food shortages and famine in East Africa, have also failed to capture the attention of journalists in recent days. Subsequently, articles about disasters are way down on the story list. These disasters, and especially the people affected by them, also need our prayers and material support. Again, World Renew is already at work. To read more about these international emergencies and to find out how you can help, please see here.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

Ladies' Bible Study:
     Ladies' Bible Study will begin on Wednesday, September 6 at 9:30 a.m. at Shirley Prentice's home at 8 Matthew Drive, Binghamton. The ladies will continue to study the book of James.

Pastor Kurt on Vacation:
     I will be on vacation from September 6 through 12. If you need pastoral care during this time, please contact an elder or deacon.

Freedom Sunday:
     Most of us learned of the horrors of the North Atlantic slave trade of the past centuries in school. While we might be tempted to associate such atrocities with the history book, the realities of the modern slave trade are often just as brutal. The conditions and experiences of modern slaves are just as dehumanizing.
     To continue preparing for Valley's participation in Freedom Sunday on September 10, I encourage you to continue learning about modern slavery and oppression and the work being done to rescue people from slavery by watching this video from International Justice Mission about a young woman named Sadhna. (A warning: the video tells the story of a young woman rescued from sex slavery and is unsuitable for children, so please use discretion when viewing the video).
     Also, I want to let you know in advance that during the service on September 10th you will have an opportunity to give a second offering that will support International Justice Mission's efforts to rescue the most vulnerable from slavery and oppression.


~ Valley Church ~
Gathered as God's family, we are sent into the world as agents of God's mission of renewal.

This Sunday:

Worship Service
at 10:00 a.m.

Children will remain in the service during the summer.

That we might better pray for one another and God's world:

     We pray for peace for Ron Crawford and his family as he prepares for open heart surgery this coming Tuesday following discovery of a blocked artery this past week. And we pray for God's blessing on the medical team and the surgery on Tuesday and for a quick recovery over the coming days.
     We pray for continued healing and rehabilitation for Claire Krempel.
     We pray for healing and rehabilitation for Tilly Huizinga's elbow.
     We pray for healing and recovery for Jim Stocum's mother, Esther, following surgery for her broken hip.
     We pray for all those who are battling summer illnesses right now.
     We pray for all of our students and teachers as they go back to school.
     We pray for peace and safety for the people of the Houston area and the whole region impacted by hurricane Harvey, and for the emergency workers and volunteers who are assisting the relief work there.
     We also pray for those around the globe who have been affected catastrophic events, particularly: the people of South Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, and North India) and Sierra Leone who are being impacted by flooding; the people of East Africa who are still undergoing food shortages and famine.

     We pray for ongoing needs: we pray for continued healing for Joyce Vos' brother who is battling brain cancer; for Lor's neighbor who continues her cancer treatments; for Becky's friend Joe who is battling colon cancer; for Adam Derzanovich; for Beth Cunningham's cousin Karen; for Lynda Huizinga's niece Alexis; for Alistair Krempel; for Mike Corgan's nephew who is battling heroin addiction.

Sunday Morning Ministries for
September 3, 2017

Greeter: Judy Zwierzynski

Ushers: David Derzanovich and Charlie Huizinga

Intercessory Prayer: George de Jager

Scripture Reader (Mark 9.1-13): Natalie Doller

Nursery: Jim & Sue Comfort
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224
Church email:
Church website:

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Valley Church
1452 River Road
Binghamton, New York 13901

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