Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Thursday, December 02, 2021
You Are Welcome!



Volume 36 - Issue #8
10:00 a.m. Worship Service

“I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine.” Philippians 3:12 (NCV)
Moving Out of Our Comfort Zone
Last month I attended the Jurisdictional Conference meeting in Grand Rapids. Though I was not a voting delegate, I signed up for a specific task. Since our West Michigan Conference was hosting this quadrennial event, everyone was encouraged to get involved in some way. I saw many other pastors there serving as pages, ushers, registration staff, etc…
When I looked over the list of jobs available I chose choir for three reasons: 1. It was only a two-day commitment, as opposed to 3-5 days for the other positions., 2. It sounded fun., and 3. It seemed like a safe choice. That is, I’ve sung in choirs before and thought I would know what to do.
Well, though indeed it was very fun, singing in this choir was a bit beyond my comfort zone. First of all, there was the aspect of learning five pieces of music in about four hours. Then, there was the fact that not nearly as many singers had signed up as they had originally hoped (25 instead of 50) so I couldn’t hide. Fortunately, most of these singers were much better than I am so the overall sound was pretty good and their abilities elevated my own.
The biggest challenge came in a pint-size package. Enter our director – a petite 5’2” blonde dynamo with 5” heels on her bright pink shoes and a bounce in every step. We were immediately “off to the races” with no time to catch a breath. Midway through the first rehearsal she took a quick break to down a Mountain Dew in front of us. We watched with wide eyes and wondered what she would be like on caffeine!
Here’s the drill. She wasn’t content to have us just learn the notes and stand there with our heads in our music singing them. No… we had to memorize several portions, including the introit in Swahili!!! Then, we had to monitor our expression. (Quote: “Is this a sad song or a happy song? Please inform your face.”) Finally, we had to move our bodies by stomping left and right on certain downbeats. Whew! 
Remember, I took this job because it seemed like a safe way to help out. This was asking a lot out of an uptight, straight-laced, farm-fed, totally “white bread” country girl like me. J And I was standing exposed in the front row. Furthermore, the camera zoomed in on me several times and projected my pained happy/sad face and stilting sway on the jumbo-tron above!
Well, I survived. And I actually had a pretty good time in the process. I did mess up rather loudly one “Come, all” with a “Come, now” and I forgot to lean back as instructed on “Praise His Name”, but our director seemed to have a forgiving spirit and I hope I got points for trying. Overall, I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone.
Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone? Some of you have done this by trying new congregational songs in our worship services and I appreciate the effort. Now I have a new challenge for you. At the end of this month we are going to re-start our choir program and I’m wondering if we might be able to get 2 or 3 or maybe 9 or 10 new people to step out of their comfort zone and join us. No Swahili or stomping required. J And by special request you’ll even be allowed to stand in the back row.
Now would be a great time to begin because we are all making a new beginning. I’m pleased to announce – to those of you who have not yet heard – that Sharon Flick has agreed to serve as our new choir director. Though she has sung in the choir for many years, she has never before directed. So this is really stepping out of her comfort zone. God bless her!
Let’s give Sharon all the support she needs. And let’s allow ourselves to be used as ministers to the congregation and instruments of praise to God. Hope to see you at choir!
Pastor Sherri  
  Thelma Avery
broke a couple of toes last month in a  “freak”  accident at home.
  Parker Vanzine broke his arm.
  Barney Faye– recovering from a recent hospital stay.
  Ed Hayes
doctoring for heart, pulmonary and sugar problems.
Jane Temple– recovering from hip replacement surgery (and also a heart attack). Send cards to:
     Jane Temple
     Lakeland Specialty Hospital, Room E-6
     6418 Deans Hill Road
     Berrien Center, MI 49102
George Koebel had another heart stent installed.
Bill Ross– recovering from cataract surgery.
Allen Harringtoncontinuing chemotherapy through August.
Cliff Sokolowskihospitalized twice last month due to infection.
Martha Schultz (Karen Seifert’s mother) recently hospitalized due to congestive heart failure.
Norma Audiss (Sally Frye’s mother) – going to a nursing home for rehab.
Emma Thomas – receiving Hospice care and heavy medication as she is in her final days.
Harold Nicholas (Dawn Hayes’ uncle) – in the final stages of cancer.
Derek Sarratore (Bev Harrington’s great-nephew) – recovering from burns on his hands.
Don Kain (Nikki Springer’s father) – recently diagnosed with lung cancer.
Faye Moorediagnosed with breast cancer. 
Bryan Graziano – having tests due to seizures.
Dave DeJongrecovering from hernia repair surgery.
baby Aubree (friend of the Renbargers) – infant recovering from heart surgery at Mott’s Children’s Hopsital in Ann Arbor.
Trey Ackermanhad tubes installed in his ears.
Ricky & Bekah Martin – as he re-enlists for four more years in the army.
Willie Logan, Jr. – heading to boot camp.
Yuriko Cooper – still attempting to receive a visa waiver so she can re-enter the US.
Weed Family (Kerri Becktell’s roommate) - mom struggling with cancer, dad may lose his job.
Victims of flooding in the Midwest and wildfires in the West.
We extend our sincere sympathy to the family of Herb Klinedinst following his death on July 7. A service to celebrate his 89 years of life was held at our church on July 11. As Pastor Sherri said in her message, Herb was “A Good and Faithful Servant” who gave so much of himself to our congregation and the larger community. We pray for God’s comfort and grace for the loved ones he leaves behind: Nan, his wife of 67 years; a son and daughter-in-law, Bernie and Linda; granddaughter Sheila Pappa and family; grandson Chad Harrington; and two other grandchildren who live out of the area.  
Thank you to all those who contributed to the lovely luncheon following the funeral, especially Ellie Rogers for making phone calls and our dedicated kitchen crew of Rhonda Hinman, Robin Ireland, and Chris Zebell who set up, served and cleaned up. Those who brought food are asked to pick up their dishes from the kitchen.
We have two young people going to camp this month. How nice it would be for them to receive mail from friends in the congregation. Drop a note by e-mail to (with their name in the subject line) or by “snail” mail to:
            August 3-9
Tom and Sam Bartelmay
Wesley Woods Camp
1700 Clear Lake
Dowling, MI 49050-9707
The Bible Baptist Church (7 East Clay Street) in New Buffalo will be holding an “Old Fashioned Tent Revival Meeting” Monday, August 4 through Friday, August 8, starting at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Gospel music will be presented each evening by soloists, quartets and ensembles. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hiscox from Indianapolis will also be presenting music with hand bells each evening. You may call their church at 469-2474 for more information.
Thanks from Vacation Bible School!  
Thank you so much for your snack donation for Thursday’s VBS. It was much appreciated and I think it was probably the best snack all week. The children came back for more.
God bless you as you serve Him,
The VBS Snack Team
P.S. The extra snack items not used were sent to the Food Pantry.
Choir News
This is an open invitation to anyone who enjoys singing and may have had reservations about joining choir to come join us on Thursday, August 28, at 6:30 p.m. We do give our voices a workout, but we do have fun. Practice lasts about one hour and of course there is the Sunday morning worship time to sing for the congregation.
Give choir some thought and I’m looking forward to seeing the members from the past years and hopefully some new faces.
Sharon Flick
The Finance Committee will meet Wednesday, August 13, at 1:00 p.m. If your committee or ministry area has any requests that will impact our 2009 budget, please contact chairperson LaVern Noble before that time.
 66 Years!
Congratulations to Joe and Helen Heward who celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on July 19. 
Compassion for the Children
Did you know…
♦Nearly 28,000 children younger than 5 die each day, mainly from preventable causes?
♦More than 400 million children have no access to safe drinking water?
♦More than 121 million school-age children do not attend school?
♦More than 15 million children worldwide have been orphaned by AIDS?
♦At least 120 million children are homeless?
Truly children are the hardest hit by poverty and have the fewest resources available to change their circumstances. What can we do?
A group named Compassion International out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is doing something tangible to address these desperate needs by matching children around the world with Christians who want to help release them from poverty. For $32 a month you can sponsor a child and show care to one of the “least of these”. 
Sheila Swanson has been involved in this ministry and can give you further information. Pastor Sherri also has a DVD that can be loaned out to anyone who would like to learn more. 
How You Can Help?
We all know the economy is bad. Most of us are feeling the pinch. Yet, we are aware that others are hurting even more than we are. At a recent church meeting, the subject was raised: “How can we help?” Here are some ideas.
The best way to give a hand is through our Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry. This organization does a marvelous ministry right in our community. It happens through the support of individuals and groups in churches like ours. Currently, we are undergoing a food drive for specially needed items. (See the church bulletin board and elsewhere in this newsletter for details.) At any time of year, the pantry can make good use of cash donations. Also, the pantry collects furniture for persons whose homes have been destroyed. This is currently placed in two large storage areas at exit 4. As has been announced in previous newsletters and bulletins, the pantry would like to find a new facility for their operations. Ideally, this would still be in downtown Three Oaks, though larger and all on the ground-level. If you have ideas, president Linda Mangold would be eager to hear them.
Another fund that can take contributions is the one managed by our River Valley Ministerial Association. We collect for this during community worship services at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and throughout Lent. However, donations would be welcome at any time. Checks can be made payable to RVMA. This money is used by all of the churches in our association to help individuals with short-term needs that cannot be addressed by the pantry. Most often, this is for the purchase of gasoline. Sometimes, we also provide food and lodging for travelers who are stranded due to car breakdowns or hitchhiking. Information is shared among all the pastors about who is receiving assistance in order to confirm that the same individual is not tapping multiple sources.
Finally, the best-kept secret about how to help is that our church maintains a small fund called “Helping Hand.” The balance is small – usually $100-200 – though this could always grow through donations. Checks need to be made payable to TOUMC with “Helping Hand” on the memo line. Funds are used at the pastor’s discretion to meet needs not covered by the two organizations above. Sometimes assistance is in the form of a loan which is intended to be paid back once an individual gets on better footing. Other times, it is given as a grant. 
Hopefully, this information will be useful to all those who have ever wondered “How can I help locally?” Further, our congregation continues to contribute to a vast amount of mission work all around the world. Thanks for your ongoing generosity.
Top 40 Hymn Countdown
Probably everyone has heard a “Top 40 Countdown” on their favorite radio station. Whatever the style of music – rock and roll, country, jazz, or whatever – listeners determine the order of favorites for a given week. Well, due to a recent suggestion at a church meeting, we are planning our own “Top 40 Countdown” at TOUMC. What will we countdown? Your favorite hymns. Here’s how it will work.
Throughout the month of August, inserts will be placed in each week’s bulletin inviting you to list your favorite 5 hymns or worship songs. You can choose from any of our three congregational books: The United Methodist Hymnal (red), Hymns for the Family of God (brown), or The Faith We Sing (black). These selections can then be placed in the offering plate. Please turn in just one sheet per person, though we do want everyone to vote and you can always try to exert a little influence on a family member. J
After all the selections have been made, Pastor Sherri will organize a list from #40 up to the #1 hymn. This fall we will begin singing one per week. Since we will probably take a few weeks off to sing Advent and Christmas songs in December, this will take us the better part of a year to complete. Still, by early next summer – after weeks of building suspense! – we should know the #1 most popular song in our congregation. 
Will you help us? The data will only be complete if everyone takes part. Fill out your ballot during worship some Sunday this month. Let’s have fun with this and sing the songs you love!
Ice Cream Social
The Evangelism Committee plans to host an ice cream social for United Methodist Open House Month on Three Oaks’ Third Saturday, September 20. Let chairperson Alex Renbarger know if you are willing to help.
 A Word of Thanks
Thank you for your prayers and all the people who helped put on a wonderful meal for us.
Thank you for the loving service!
In God’s Love,
The Family of Herbert Klinedinst
Sisters in Faith
Thanks to Marcia Hess for hosting our summer picnic last month. The weather cooperated and we all had a great time.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, August 20, at 7:00 p.m. Julie Sittig will have devotions and Joanie Davidson will bring refreshments. Our Bible study will be: “Pillar of the Community – Lot’s Wife” 
Sign Up
This is your last chance to provide special music this summer. Currently August 10 is the only date filled and the other four August Sundays are open. Please sign up in the narthex or call the church office. 
We congratulate Jeff Jakeway of Bridgman who was named Lakeland All Conference Baseball Second Team. 
We also congratulate Kaitlin Goodenough, Laura Donner, Abby Prim, and coach Craig Goodenough who were the champions of the 10 and under division of the River Valley Sunshine Softball Tournament. 
We also congratulate Maggie Seifert and Katharine Kersey who were the champions of the 8 and under division of the River Valley Sunshine Softball Tournament.
Way to go athletes!
Inside Out
Three Oaks Inside Out Block Party is Saturday, August 2, and our church is hosting a bake sale from 11:00 – 5:00, or whenever sold out. All contributions are welcome; please sign up in the narthex. We ask that you bring your baked goods to the church by 10:00 a.m. on the 2nd. All proceeds will go toward camp scholarships for next summer.
Rural Life Sunday
August 24 is a special Sunday to celebrate God’s blessings and the ministries of our small town and rural churches. On this day we will receive a special offering to provide resources for ministries in the rural and small town settings in our West Michigan Conference. The funds collected will be used for seminary training and continuing education for clergy concerning the specific needs of these churches.  Envelopes will be provided in our worship bulletin. Please give generously. 
Missions Request
Our Missions Committee is looking for a couple of old globes that we can cut apart for special offerings. These will NOT be returned. If you have one to donate, please speak to Judy Ross or Pastor Sherri. 
Photo Directory
We have made arrangements with Life Touch to take photographs at our church October 6, 7, and 8. Their company will also be at another church in the area for one whole week prior (including Saturday) if you are not available on our scheduled dates. 
The congregation is asked to help us in gathering activity photos of recent church events (within the past two years). Please look through your photos at home and please take some more photos of happenings this fall.
It’s not too late to join the committee and help with the planning and layout. If interested, please speak with Rhonda Hinman or Pastor Sherri.
 Treats Needed
We are looking for people to provide Coffee Treats for our Fellowship Time after worship on Sundays. 
If you can help, please sign the sheet in the narthex. 
Food Drive
Our Missions Committee is collecting the following items for the Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry through the summer. You may bring the items to church and place them in the box in the narthex. If you wish to make a monetary donation, please use a pew envelope and mark it “Food Pantry”.
·         Deodorant (men & women)
·         Shampoo
·         Toilet tissue
·         Paper towels
·         Dish detergent
·         Laundry detergent
·         Cooking oil
·         Flour
·         Tuna
·         Jello (4-serving size)
·         Puddings
·         Kool-Aid 
Exchange Students
The Council for Education Travel USA (CETUSA) is looking for homes for exchange students in high school from Asia, Europe Central and South America for up to one year. They will match you with a student who will fit right in with your family. To make a difference in our global community call (888) 238-8721.  
Volunteers Needed
Who mentored you? All of us have had one or more caring adults in our lives who made a difference for us. You can be that person for a child in your community. Volunteer as a mentor and gain a new friend! Contact the Volunteer Center of SW Michigan for mentoring opportunities. St. Joseph: (269) 983-0912, Niles: (269) 683-5464, or e-mail at Check out their website at 
Get Ready to Walk 
This year’s CROP Walk will be held on Sunday, October 5 in Lakeside. The walk will go from Lakeside UMC to Church of the Mediator and back. Registration will open at 1:30.
The CROP Walk (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) is a program of Church World Service which raises funds to stop hunger all around the world. Our goal this year is 60 walkers and $6,000. Of the money we raise, one fourth stays in our community to support the Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry.
Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success. If you would like to help with the planning, contact Rick Cooper or Doris Krossovitch who are coordinating our church’s participation. 
News from Area Churches
The First Reformed Church is celebrating the 125th anniversary of their congregation this year. Be sure to stop by their ice cream social on Saturday, August 16.
Congratulations to George and Beverly Lawton of Lakeside UMC who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this month. 
Christian Sympathy
We extend our sincere sympathy to the family of Rev. Orin Daniels who passed away on July 28. Orin was the pastor here at Three Oaks UMC from 1995 to 1998.           
He is survived by his wife, Gail. If you would like to send a card, her address is: 4282 Occidental Hwy, Adrian, MI 49221. 
Historical Corner
Submitted by Eleanor Desmond
(From the Acorn, February 26, 1909)
February 22 was an eventful day in the lives of the members and friends of the Methodist Episcopal church of Three Oaks, it being the date of the reopening of the remodeled building. The church was packed at both morning and evening services, the pastors of the Baptist and Congregational churches and their people uniting with their Methodist friends in this their day of rejoicing.
Rev. J.V. Bennet as pastor of the church conducted the morning opening service, assisted by Rev. Charles Ehle of the Baptist church. Rev. Dr. Parr of Kokomo, Indiana, delivered an inspiring sermon from the text “Love Never Faileth” in which he showed that “Love” stood back of every successful effort ever put forth and was the motive power of every good deed or high ambition. He paid glowing tribute to the “Love” that caused so many brave men in 1861-1864 to lay down their lives that their colored brothers might share their freedom. He held the intense interest of his audience throughout the service and all were inspired to put forth their best efforts to make their lives count for good and to live worthy of the “Love” that has been bestowed upon them. 
Directly following the sermon the clerks and solicitors previously appointed were called to the chancel and Dr. Parr very concisely introduced them to the audience, after which he proceeded to ask for cash or subscriptions to the amount of $2500 in order that the church might be dedicated free of debt. The solicitors first passed down the aisles with hats to collect what Dr. Parr called the $1.00 hat collection. Many had their $1.00 ready, and many more who had not, wrote their name for that amount and dropped the slip in to the hat. Following this collection, the subscription pledges were called for, and for about an hour a corp of six were kept busy taking pledges and reporting them to the clerks. Several memorial pledges were given in honor of those who had gone on before. At 1 o’clock the company was dismissed.
At 2:30 in the afternoon the Sunday School was held. After the regular work of the school was over, Dr. Parr gave an interesting talk to the young people assembled. Mr. William Putnam of Niles also gave a very interesting talk.
After the usual opening services in the evening Dr. Parr announced that there was still about $609 to be raised, and again asked for subscriptions to cover this amount and as in the morning so again in the evening, Three Oaks people revealed their bigness by giving 
generously and when at last the giving ceased, Dr. Parr announced that $3000 had been pledged through the day. The closing part of the evening was devoted to the solemn and impressive dedication service by which the building was given to the Giver of all good and the audience was dismissed by the benediction pronounced by the pastor.
Where does the money come from?
(February, 1911, Acorn)
An evening meal of mush and milk for $.15 will be sponsored by the men’s group.
Stanely Nash, President
Dellwood Hull, Vice-President
Claude DeFreeze, Secretary
Bert Wadkins, Treasurer
H.J. Root, Pastor
(February, 1922, Acorn)
The Truth Seekers Bible Class held their monthly birthday party. Honorees were asked to give $.01 for each year they were celebrating.
A bake sale was to be held at Scheeley’s Market (now Froehlich’s).
Pastor was J. R. Morrison
A Christmas program of Mrs. Frank Lee and Mrs. John Hoven, Jr.’s Sunday School classes was well attended. Offering to be used for the less fortunate.
August Anniversaries
Rick & Bekah Martin
Steve Shimek & Lil Lewis
Casey & Heather Caid
Dan & Lisa Henrich
Ed & Elna Rogers 
August Birthdays
Rose Covert
Chuck Sittig
Jason Flick
Cheryl Thomas
Kevin Seifert
McKayla Uebler
Jennifer Flick
Daniel Volman
Ken Seifert, Sr.
Rebekah Martin
Amy Vollman
Abrielle Flick
Julie Flick
Adam Hinman
Angela Hauch
Betty Smith
Jan Watkins
Quinn Watkins
Susan Seifert
Barney Fay
Paige Barbour
Sue Rubeck
Jack Vanzine
Doris Krossovitch