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Valley Church News

Caravaggio - Beheading of John the Baptist
February 20, 2016

"King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, 'John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.'
Others said, 'He is Elijah.'
And still others claimed, 'He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.'
But when Herod heard this, he said, 'John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!' "
Mark 6.14-16

"The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb."
Mark 6.26-29

     This week's passage is a bit like watching a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy unfold before your eyes. At first glance we might even wonder why Mark included this grim scene in his telling of the good news of Jesus (along with Matthew and Luke in their unique ways). But if we think back to Advent, we remember that John the Baptizer is the forerunner to Jesus. Not only does he precede Jesus in birth and then in announcing the coming of God's kingdom and of the need to repent and turn toward the King, but he also runs before Jesus even in his conflict with the powerful rulers of the day, and in death itself. This is the passion story of John, Jesus' forerunner, that anticipates and prepares us for the rejection, suffering, and death of our Lord. I encourage you to read and reflect on Mark 6.14-29 prior to our time together on Sunday.
     The painting at the top of the email is a detail from Caravaggio's The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, 1608.

ChowLogoJpg-w-statement-6-x-300x300Chow Coordinator Needed:

     Our CHOW pantry needs a new coordinator. If you are interested or have questions, please talk to Pat Aukema or Pastor Kurt. Training will be provided.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

Men's Lunch at Apple Hills:
     The men will gather for lunch and conversation at Apple Hills on Thursday, February 25 at noon.

Life Choices Center - Change for Life:
     Thanks to all of you for your amazing response to the Life Choices Center's Change for Life campaign; all the bottles have been claimed! If you took a bottle, please return it by February 28.


From the Deacons:

     To inspire hope in communities where chronic poverty crushes the body and soul is nothing short of miraculous. And yet your prayers, involvement, and support for World Renew in 2015 inspired just such hope in 1,841 communities among 838,298 people who live in 40 countries. World Renew's 2015 Ministry Report is now available online. World Renew is one of Valley Church's supported ministries.


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

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

That we might better pray for one another:

     We give thanks for the success of Cindy Krempel's surgery and pray for continued healing, recovery, freedom from pain, and peace for Cindy.
     We also give thanks for the success of Pete Vermaat's heart procedures this past week and pray for continued healing and recovery for him.
     We pray for continued healing, perseverance, and peace for Holly Nelson and for wisdom and insight for the doctors who will be assessing and treating her as she and Trent travel to Pittsburgh later this coming week.
     We pray for friends and family:
we continue to pray for healing for both Adam Derzanovich; for David Derzanovich's brother-in-law Tim; for Mike Corgan's nephew who is battling heroin addiction; for healing and rehabilitation for Marcus Doller's mother; for energy and strength for Alistair Krempel; we pray for those battling cancer: for Jim and Marsha Conrad's friend Judy, for Marcus Doller's friend Scott, for Tilly Huizinga's client at Catholic Charities, for the DeYoungs' niece/cousin Terri; for the Petersons' friend Pat.
     We pray for the shalom of the greater Binghamton area, and for guidance as to specific ways we as individuals and as a church might partner with God as stewards of his reign to cultivate that shalom in the city of our exile.
     We pray for God's world: for ongoing restoration, renewal, and justice for the people of Haiti; for refugees fleeing violence and for governments as they respond to the crises; for those who are persecuted for their faith around the world; 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 boldly there.

Sunday Morning Ministries for
February 21, 2016

Greeter: Claire Krempel

Ushers: David Derzanovich and Jim Conrad

Intercessory Prayer: Kurt Monroe

Scripture Reader: 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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