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Valley Church News

terbrugghen-roeping-van-mattheus-1621 the calling of matthew
November 7, 2013

"On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'"
~Mark 2.17

Mark Sermon Series

This Sunday, we will hear the story of Jesus' call on Levi's life in Mark 2.13-17. The scope of Jesus' ministry continues to widen, and the confrontation with the religious authorities grows. I encourage you to read the passage prior to the service of worship.
     We will also be celebrating the thanksgiving feast of the Lord's Supper, so I encourage you to prepare in heart and mind for our communion around the table together. Given the nature of our scripture reading for this week, I encourage you to reflect on Jesus' loving presence at the table with sinners, and the assurance of forgiveness that we experience as we come to the Lord's Supper together.

     (The calling of Levi is depicted in the painting at the top of the email by Hendrick Terbrugghen, c. 1621).

Doctor Muffins:

Fullscreen capture 1152013 121535 PM.bmp     At the end of this week's passage from Mark, Jesus uses an analogy about a physician. Doctors are generally employed to heal the sick. They might see healthy folks for a yearly check-up, but if all is good, they don't say, "Okay, we'll see you next week." They send their patient on their way and schedule an appointment for a year later.
     A while ago, I ran into a short film called Doctor Muffins, that cleverly, humorously, and poignantly imagines what the church might look like if Jesus had been a doctor who only dealt with "healthy" (self) righteous folks. The film hits close to home for those who belong to the church, but that's what makes it worth watching. You can watch it here.

Harvest Dinner:
fall harvest scene
     Each autumn as gardeners bring in the final portions of their crops, and farmers harvest the last of the corn, and as we all see the leaves turn colors, we are given ample opportunities to give thanks for God's care for us. In that spirit, every year Valley Church comes together for a Harvest Dinner to celebrate and give thanks for God's bountiful provision. On Saturday, November 16 we will enjoy a wonderful meal and a time of thanksgiving in word and song for God's provision for us. Hors d'oevers will be served at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. Please look for the sign-up sheets following the service this Sunday if you have not already signed up.

Meeting with Scripture Readers:

     There will be a brief meeting for scripture readers following the service this Sunday, November 10.

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 ask for God's blessing on Lucky Dimidio as his body continues to weaken, and on Harriet and the rest of the family as they continue to minister to Lucky during this time.
     We ask God's blessing and healing for Jenny DeYoung as she begins her chemo and radiation treatments this week. We continue to ask that God would grant Jenny and Joel and the kids strength, energy, comfort, peace, and courage for the days ahead.
     We praise God for the safe and healthy birth of Vivian Keller's new great-granddaughter, and that Arlene Keller is doing well following her surgery.
     We continue to pray for healing for Daryl Whitacre and for Claire Krempel.
     We continue to give thanks for the Nicolas family's and Etienne Germaine's safe return from Haiti. We pray that the rest of Etienne's family would be reunited soon, and that they would enjoy and steward the blessing of opportunity that life in the United States provides for immigrants. And we pray that the United States would continue to be a place that affords immigrants those opportunities.
     We give thanks for relief from migraines for Jim Stocum.
     We give thanks for signs of God's kingdom life bursting forth in CHOW volunteers and giving, prayer meetings at Lourdes Hospital among staff, and discipleship classes at Harpursville Schools, and we pray that God's kingdom would continue to break out in our neighborhoods and communities.
     We pray for friends and family of Valley members: for the Krempels' daughter and son-in-law Karen and Bill as they move, for strength and recovery for Norm Green following ankle surgery, for Crystal Aukema's father during his open heart surgery, for Beth's co-worker Don as he recovers from a massive heart attack, and with thanksgiving for Beth's friend Lucas' successful surgery to remove his tumor.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

Reverse Offering this Sunday:
     There will be a reverse offering for the Thanksgiving baskets this Sunday. Food items should be brought to the collection point by the library no later than the 24th. Please take from the plate as much as you feel led to give.

Meetings for Scripture Readers and Pray-ers:
     A brief meeting for scripture readers will follow the service on November 10. Those who pray during the intercessory prayer portion of the service will meet following the service on November 17.

Pantry Needs:
     The CHOW pantry would greatly appreciate your contribution of any of the following items:
peanut butter, jelly, and fruit juices.

Christmas Tree:
     If you have a tree that you think might work for the front of the sanctuary during Advent and Christmas (and you're willing to chop down), please talk to Pastor Kurt. You can reply to this email or talk to him on Sunday.

Recommended Reading:

original jesus cover art jpg 3

    As we spend time in the gospel according to Mark, I highly recommend a little book about Jesus and the gospels by Tom Wright that helps to place Jesus accurately in his first century Jewish and Roman context. It is called The Original Jesus: The Life and Vision of a Revolutionary. This book will help you read the gospels with an eye and ear to their historical context. It will help you understand a bit more about how Jesus would have been received and understood by those in his own day. The book is accessible, non-technical, and filled with color pictures of the places Jesus and his disciples traveled.
Church Telephone: 607.648.8224
Pastor Kurt's email:
Church email:
Valley Church calendar: here.
Sermon recordings: here.
Church website:

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Valley Church
1452 River Road
Binghamton, New York 13901

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