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Valley Church News

March 7, 2014

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
~ Isaiah 55.10-11

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New Sermon Series:
     This Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, we will begin a new sermon series. We will explore the way the Bible is, at heart, one continuous story of God's loving rescue of humanity and creation. The one story of the Bible is made up of smaller stories, poems, songs, records of history, letters, biographies, and other odds and ends, but all of those little pieces contribute to the one grand story that God (the hero) is telling about his quest to save the world.
     While the world offers many competing stories that fight to be the stories that order our lives - stories that compete for our attention and seek to exercise authority over us - for Christians the Biblical story must be the story that holds us in its grip and power. The story of God's creation, humanity's rebellion, and God's loving rescue of all things must be the story that orders and shapes our lives.
     This Sunday will be an introduction that will address questions about the Bible and its authority. Starting a week from Sunday we will begin looking at the six "chapters" of the story:
March 16: Chapter One - Creation: Genesis 1 & 2.
March 23: Chapter Two - the Fall: Genesis 3.
March 30: Chapter Three - the Rescue - Israel: Isaiah 42.5-7.
April 6: Chapter Four - the Rescue - Jesus: Luke 4.14-21.
April 13: Chapter Five - the Rescue - the Church: Matthew 28.16-20.
April 20: Chapter Six - New Creation: Colossians 1.15-20.
     I invite you to read this Sunday's text, Isaiah 55.1-13, with a focus on verses 10-13, prior to our time together on Sunday.
     This Sunday we will also celebrate the feast of the Lord's Supper. I encourage you to prepare in heart and mind to come to the table our Lord sets for us.

Remember that daylight savings time begins this Sunday. Turn your clocks forward one hour before you go to sleep on Saturday!

Classis Atlantic Northeast Meeting:

     This coming Wednesday, Paul Peterson (elder), Joel Huizinga (deacon), and I will make our way to Pittsfield, Massachusetts for the spring meeting of classis. I encourage you to pray for our meeting (Wednesday and Thursday), for all the congregations represented there, particularly for those congregations who need the special guidance and assistance of classis, and for safety as all the representatives travel there and back home. It is my prayer that we would be guided by the Holy Spirit to encourage, equip, and hold one another accountable as congregations as we participate in God's mission in and for the world.

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 give thanks for a successful surgery for Jenni DeYoung, and we ask that God would bless her recovery. We also pray for continued guidance for her doctors as they plan her radiation treatments that will begin once she has recovered from surgery.
     We pray for continued healing and strength for Barbie Aukema's mother, Barb.
     We give thanks for healing for Jim Pitcher and ask for continued recovery from his pneumonia. We also pray for Dorris Pitcher as she is still experiencing back pain.
     We ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for each of us as we seek to faithfully witness, in deed and word, to God's goodness in the places in which we find ourselves, whether physical places or online.
     We give thanks for the progress in immigration proceedings experienced by Ettiene Germain's family.
     We ask God to perform mighty deeds for and through:  the people of Ukraine; the people of Haiti; our brothers and sisters in Christ in Syria and all Syrians.
     We pray for family and friends: for Jim Conrad's mother, Ruth, during her chemotherapy treatments; for Jim and Dorris Pitcher's son-in-law, Lee Allard, as he undergoes surgery and radiation for cancer; 

Upcoming Events and Opportunities:

Second Offering this Sunday:
     This Sunday we will have an opportunity to give a second offering in support of the ministry of Howard and Ruth Van Dam and family who serve with Christian Reformed World Missions in Haiti.

Sunday Morning Ministries for
March 9, 2014:

Claire Krempel

Jerry Krempel & Cindy Krempel

Intercessory Prayer:
Florence Doller

Scripture Reader:
Luci Huizinga

Jim and Marsha Conrad

Children's Church:
Beth Cunningham and Holly Nelson

Recommended Reading:
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     The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story, by Craig Bartholomew and Mike Goheen (available in print and for kindle). This book is an excellent introduction to  reading the Bible well, and how we can participate in the ongoing story of God's rescue of his creation. It provides the central framework for the current sermon series and will work as a perfect accompaniment to it.

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     Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter. Bread and Wine is an enriching devotional for the season of Lent that will help you walk the road with Jesus toward the cross and resurrection. Contributing authors are as varied as Saint Augustine, C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Mother Theresa, and Wendell Berry.
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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