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Valley Church News

Swords Into Plowshares
November 29, 2014

"Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.'"
~ Isaiah 2.3-4

Advent 2014

     Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. We will turn to the prophet Isaiah to guide us through this season of waiting and longing for the coming of the world's King. Each Sunday of Advent we will hear one of the visions that God gave to Isaiah that describes the advent of the Christ and God's reign into the world. These are the visions that should guide our deepest longings, desires, and hopes for ourselves and for God's world, leading us to expectantly await and hope for the coming of Christ again. As Byron Borger says, "Advent is less a time of counting down to our celebration of the incarnation at Christmas, but is a time of getting in touch with our longings and hope for the final consummation of God's plan for history, the restoration of all things, at Christ's glorious return." As Isaiah helps us get in touch with those longings and that hope, he tells us what we should really want for Christmas.
     The first of Isaiah's visions that we will encounter is in Isaiah 2.1-5. In this passage God paints a picture of the nations gathered together in peace as His people. We will also hear the word of God in Psalm 122 and Matthew 24.36-44. I encourage you to read and reflect on those passages prior to our time together tomorrow.
     There will not be Children's Church this Sunday, but we will hear some of what they've been up to in Children's Church over the past month or so during the service.

     The artwork at the top of the email is a detail from a carving on the Cathedral of Amiens Cathedral in Amiens, France depicting two blacksmiths beating swords into plowshares.

Kids Night Out

     This coming Saturday, December 6 is our second Kids' Night Out from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Information and online registration is available here. Remember to pass along the link and invite friends and neighbors to take advantage of this ministry. Also, if you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Janet Crawford.


How Much Is Enough?
     On these days of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, I'll give you another opportunity to think about the question "how much is enough?"
More Than Enough
     In a great little talk from the folks at Q Ideas (a Christian organization that puts out talks like TED Talks among doing other things) entitled "Black Friday and the Endless Cycle of Want," Jeff Shinabarger "challenges Christians to redefine the idea of 'enough.' He emphasizes the importance of drawing a line in the sand on our choices as consumers and argues that generosity is the key to freedom in a greedy world." I encourage you to take a few minutes to allow Jeff to guide your reflections on "what is enough?" (You can watch the video on Youtube by clicking on the picture above).

     Also, I want to recommend these resources for your own Advent Conspiracies:
     Compassion International's immersive family devotional "Step Into My Shoes" can be accessed here. This family devotional experience would be completely appropriate for Advent.
     The online catalog from the CRC's World Renew that enables you to give gifts of clean water, chickens, freedom from slavery, etc. to those in need can be found here.
     The folks at Advent Conspiracy also recommend supporting the work of two amazing organizations:  International Justice Mission (a Christian organization that combats slavery and human trafficking and injustice) and Blood Water Mission (a Christian organization that provides clean water around the globe).

Magi meets the Mall

Sunday Mornings:
Coffee: 9:15 a.m.
Worship Service:
10:00 a.m.

That we might better pray for one another:

     We pray for the late Richard Thomas' children, Per, Sonia, and Chris, and their families as they mourn the loss of  their father and grandfather.
     We continue to give thanks with Terry and Lor Recker-Woodnorth for the safe and healthy birth of their granddaughter Piper Violet O'Hara, and for health for Kara, as well.
     We pray for continued healing for Jim Pitcher, and for strength and energy for Dorris.
     We pray for healing and strength for Jerry Krempel, and for strength and energy for Claire and Janice, who is visiting. We also pray for guidance and wisdom for the medical team as Jerry goes in for surgery on Wednesday morning.
     We pray for healing and for energy and strength for Barb Hover during her chemotherapy treatments.
     We continue to pray for Frank and Barb Lockwood.
     We pray for the leaders and volunteers of Kids' Night Out and for the advisory team for Faith & Finances, that God would lead, energize, and empower these ministries.
     We give thanks for a wonderful and safe time at the Reverb overnight event for the teens and Erin, Ron, and Trent.
     We continue to pray for God's world: for the people of western Africa as they continue to battle Ebola; for God's miraculous intervention in the Middle East, that the hearts and minds of the people living there, and that whole cultures, would begin to bend toward peace, and that God's church would continue to proclaim and embody the good news of God's reign there.
     We pray for friends and family: for Beth Cunningham-Blake's great niece MacKenzie who struggles with epilepsy; for the Nelson's neighbors, the Kruzers; for healing for Ann DeJager's sister, Toni; for Dot's sister, Phylis; for healing and encouragement for Adam Derzanovich as he continues his recovery following surgery; for David Derzanovich's two brothers-in-law, Tim and Bill who are still battling health issues.

Upcoming Events
and Opportunities:

A Call for Ushers:
     If you would like to help our ushering team give your brothers and sisters in Christ a warm welcome into our fellowship and into their seats on Sunday morning, please talk to Pastor Kurt.

Live Nativity 2014:
     Valley Church's 13th annual Live Nativity is scheduled for Saturday, December 20 with shows at 5:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Remember to invite friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, and anyone you meet!

Sunday Morning Ministries for
November 30, 2014:

Terry Woodnorth

Charlie Huizinga and George DeJager

Intercessory Prayer:
Kurt Monroe

Scripture Reader:
Florence Doller

Luci Huizinga

Children's Church:
No Children's Church this Sunday.
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224
Pastor Kurt's email:
Church email:
Church website:

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Valley Church
1452 River Road
Binghamton, New York 13901

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