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Valley Church News

light_in_dark person with lantern - Copy
August 23, 2013

"Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5.11

Fullscreen capture 8222013 105921 AM.bmpThe Church: What We Do

Paul tells us that we are children of the light. The darkness that surrounds us often seems to overwhelm us and hem us in, though. It's easy to forget that we are of the light. It's at those moments that we need the encouragement and edification of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
     This Sunday, we continue our sermon series on the Church, exploring who we are and what we do as God's people. We will be looking at Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, verses 1 through 11. I invite you to read this passage prior to our time together on Sunday morning.

Headphones_wide_by_molotov_artsSermon Recording:

     For those unable to attend this past Sunday, August 18, a recording of the sermon is available here. I encourage you to read Galatians 5.13-15 and 6.1-5 before you listen. Starting today, there will also always be a link at the bottom of these emails to the folder containing previous sermon recordings.

calendarValley Church's Calendar is Online!

     The days, months, and years fly by, and somehow we're thirteen years into 21st century. Valley Church is catching up with the times though! You can now see Valley's calendar online here. This calendar is updated on the go, so any time you open it up, it should be current! You can jump ahead to future months by clicking on the arrow in the upper left corner of the page. (You can go backwards, too, but I highly recommend not living in the past). Some events might have more details that can be found by clicking on the event. I encourage you to bookmark the page. In addition, I have put a link at the bottom of this email that will appear in all future emails.

Follow Up and Follow Through:
Serve One Another
and Carry One Another's Burdens

     In his 1961 inaugural address President Kennedy said: "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." He was calling the people of the United States to give up their assumption that the government and their fellow citizens existed to serve them, and to begin assuming that it was their responsibility and privilege to serve their country and their fellow citizens.
     It's a great quote, but what if we changed a few words? "And so my fellow followers of Jesus: ask not what God's church can do for you - ask what you can do for God's church." We often assume that we go to church in order to get something, that the church is there to provide us with certain goods and services, and that we have a right to it. But this is completely backwards and all wrong. We gather with the community of God's people (i.e. go to church) in order to give and to serve others. Church is not a place or a service where we take things. Church is a gathering of people among whom we give and serve.
     Here are a few questions that might help you assess whether you have a serving attitude or a consuming attitude about God's church:
     Do you often find yourself thinking, "Boy, I didn't get much out of the service today"? Or do you think, "to whom was I able to give this morning"? Do you think, "I'm not getting fed," or is your common desire to feed others? Do you find yourself looking to be comfortable, or do you find yourself seeking to comfort others? When you see a problem, do you look around for someone else to fix it for you, or do you seek to fix it yourself? Or, even better, do you see the things that at first look like problems are actually opportunities to enter into relationship with other people and serve them?
     My fellow followers of Jesus: ask not what God's church can do for you - ask what you can do for God's church. Or, as Paul says: Serve one another humbly in love. Carry one another's burdens.
Sunday Service Time:
Worship: 10:00 a.m.

That we might better pray for one another:

     We pray for Daryl Whitacre. The results of her biopsy revealed that she has breast cancer. We pray for healing for Daryl, and for peace, assurance, and hope for Daryl and Rod as they live with this news. Daryl will be meeting with her doctor on Monday to discuss options for treatment, and we pray for wisdom and courage for the doctor and for Daryl and Rod.
     We continue to  pray for healing for Edele Thompson as she undergoes radiation and chemotherapy to treat cancer in Rochester.
     We give God thanks and praise for Jim and Marsha Conrad's newest granddaughter!
     We give thanks for Vivian Keller's great news from her doctors, for safe travels back to New York, and for her presence among her sisters and brothers at Valley Church!
     We pray for the friends and family of members: Pat and her daughter Karen, Sue, McKenzie, and Jim Stocum's mother, Esther.
     We continue to ask for God's healing for Cheryl DeVoe and Barbie Aukema.
     We continue to ask God's blessing for Wilner and Marila Nicolas and their family.
     This marks the final week of the Sea-to-Sea bike tour. Tomorrow the riders will dip their wheels into the Atlantic shores of Staten Island, NY, marking the end of their transcontinental ride. We give thanks to God for their safety over many miles, through heat and storms, and we ask God to multiply the gifts given in support of the riders for the building of his kingdom here and around the world.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

Sunday School for Kids:
     Sunday School will be resuming for kids on September 8. Note that we will be starting at 9:30a.m. this year. (That's 15 minutes later than years past).

Service Time Change:
     We will be resuming our 10:30a.m. service time on September 8, so mark your calendars.

School Supplies for CF Schools:
     We are collecting school supplies for the Chenango Forks schools. There is a box in the foyer to collect any supplies you wish to donate.

Hope for a Hundred Hearts - Operation Christmas Child:
     We are collecting plastic show boxes for Operation Christmas Child until September 8. The plastic shoe boxes are stacking up, but we need about 30 more

Fall Festival:
    Just a reminder: Fall Festival is September 22!

Recommended Reading:
love one another becoming the church jesus longs for 2
     The format of the second half of this sermon series was inspired by Gerald Sittser's book Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For. This is a book that is easy to read but is also full of sound, substantive, and challenging thoughts about what we, as the church, are called and empowered to do.

life-together 2
     One of the classics on the life and actions of the church is Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together. While it might be a bit more difficult to read than Sittser's book, any effort put into reading it is amply rewarded. I have heard some say that, after the Bible, Life Together should be on the top of the required reading list of any Christian. I wouldn't argue with that!
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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