Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!


Volume 36 - Issue #11
11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.”  Titus 3:1-2  (New Living Translation)
Who Is God’s Candidate?
With less than a week left until Election Day, I have been receiving an absolute flood of last-minute promotional material. My mailbox, my e-mail inbox, and my telephone answering machine are all full to overflowing with campaign propaganda. At least one organization has figured out how to contact churches via their FAX machines, so a couple of times a day it is spitting out unsolicited and sometimes rather bizarre messages. I would guess I’m not alone in saying that I’m ready for it to be over.
Mark Twain once wrote, “If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.” So true. There has been plenty of bottom-dwelling during this election cycle. A negative approach has been the standard for a large percentage of the advertising and nearly all of the e-mail forwards which circulate so widely. That is, the focus is on how “bad” the other candidate is and why we should fear him or her. 
Most Americans say they don’t like all the negativity, but then pollsters tell us that these tactics seem to work. Why do we allow this? Before hitting the “forward” button on the computer or making a disparaging remark about any candidate, we would do well to consider the instructions given by the Apostle Paul to Titus. He says quite clearly that we are to avoid slandering anyone.
I especially dislike it when people insult my intelligence and denigrate my faith by telling me who God wants me to vote for. During the last Presidential election, an organization called Sojourners took out newspaper ads and printed bumper stickers proclaiming this message: “God is not a Republican, or a Democrat.” I appreciate the sentiment and think it bears repeating.
I know for a fact that we have both Republicans and Democrats in our congregation. I would hope that none of you believe only one of those parties can represent the will of God. However, I have heard persons on both sides proclaim their belief that it would be “immoral” to vote for the other party. That’s pretty strong language. Not particularly gentle or demonstrating the humility Paul urges Titus to show.  
I would never attempt to tell any of you how to vote – even if I thought you would listen to me! (For that matter, it would be illegal for me to promote any given candidate from the pulpit – though evidently plenty of preachers have tried.) I respect your abilities to think, inquire, research, pray, and discern. If someone wants to have a respectful discussion about politics, I am quite willing. However, the Scripture instructs us to avoid quarreling and it seems to me that far too much political “conversation” is actually “arguing.” 
What is gained from such squabbling? Are opinions really changed? As I look at various yard signs on display – one for a Democrat right next to another for a Republican – I wonder if the people in those houses ever actually speak to each other. Are we hopelessly divided into “Red State ~ Blue State” even in our own community and in our own neighborhoods? Is there no common ground?
During elections we often hear a lot about values. Of course, it makes sense to vote for someone who represents your values. But which values are those? As Christians we have many values to consider. Jesus taught us to be peacemakers, advocates for the poor, and defenders of justice. The Bible tells us to care for the earth, protect the children, and tell the truth. Candidates need to be examined by measuring their policies against the complete range of Christian ethics, rather than any one single issue. We must consider whether they enhance human life, human dignity, and human rights; strengthen family life, promote racial reconciliation and advance the common good, rather than only the interests of a few. 
Sincere Christians can vote for different candidates for reasons deeply rooted in their faith. The most important thing is that we do vote and that we vote our prayerful conscience. Let us each pray that the leaders who are elected will do what is best for our country, state, and local community.
Pastor Sherri  

Prayer List for November 
ennifer Busick               Colette Jaycox
Scott Boehm                   Sally Layman 
Donna Bose                    Tim Lewis
Chuck Fox                     Elsie Portinga
Allen Harrington              Elna Rogers
Family of Viola Morley Heltsley
National Hospice Month
November is National Hospice Month. Our local Hospice at Home is committed to providing high quality end of life care and quality of life care for those with a life-limiting illness. They offer education and support concerning end of life issues such as: care for the caregiver, advanced directives, palliative care, hospice care, grief and bereavement care (including grief healing and education center, Lory’s Place), and many opportunities for volunteers. 
For more information you may call the St. Joseph office at (269) 429-7100 or visit any of their websites:,, and
   Don't forget to "fall back" and set your clocks one hour earlier when you go to bed on Saturday, November 1.  
All Saints Sunday  
On November 2 our congregation will observe “All Saints Sunday”. On this special day we remember those who have gone before us into God’s heavenly kingdom, especially those who have died in the past year.
Our worship service will include the celebration of Holy Communion as we gather around the Lord’s table with the “great cloud of witnesses”. If you have lost a loved one in the past year, please turn in their name (and date of death, if known) to the office by October 30 so they may be included in our remembrances.
Baby News
Jonah Adler Koebel  was born in Colorado on October 10 to parents Joe and Tina. His big brother Phoenix will turn two this month. The proud grandparents are George & Vivian Koebel

Dear friends at TOUMC,
Where do I begin to thank you for how special you made this past month for me?  It started with the hanging of the large banner in the narthex, continued with several treats and surprises, and finished with quite a flourish last Sunday.  In case you were not in worship to see the presentation, I received a unique mail delivery at the end of the service by way of a darling little red wagon and a large wooden cross.  The sheer volume of notes was amazing – 69 cards on just that one day (plus some others earlier in the month).  As I pored over them throughout the afternoon, I found the messages so touching – from funny to profound.  I both laughed and cried as I read the beautiful cards you had selected and the kind things you had written.  I am very humbled by all the attention and celebration.  You have done a lot more to acknowledge this “Pastor Appreciation” occasion than most congregations do.  Special thanks to George for putting it all together.  I hope we can enjoy many more years together. 
With deep love,
Pastor Sherri

Mark Your Calendars
The River Valley Ministerial Association is once again planning a Community Thanksgiving Service. It will be held on Wednesday, November 19, at 7:00 p.m. and we will be the hosts. George Lawton, from Lakeside UMC, will bring the evening message. Our choir will sing and an offering will be received for the RVMA to assist people in need. 
The River Valley Ministerial Association will also be having a Community Advent Service on Sunday, December 7, at 6:00 p.m. at First Reformed Church. Plan now to attend this service marking the beginning of the Advent Season with your friends and neighbors.
Sisters in Faith
We have no regular meeting this month. Instead candy-making night will be on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Anyone with some time to give is welcome to join the fun.
We will hold our annual Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 6. Members of the group will be making calls to others in the congregation this month requesting cookies. All donations will be greatly appreciated!!!
Craft tables will also be available at the Cookie Walk.  To reserve one for $10, please sign up in the narthex or call the church office.
Harvest Dinner
Come join us on November 16 following worship for our annual Harvest Dinner.
The Fellowship Committee will provide the entire meal. So just bring your appetite for an afternoon of fun, food and fellowship.
Please sign up in the narthex so we know how much food to prepare. Bring your friends and family along for this yummy fellowship meal. Hope to see everyone there!

Notes of Thanks
Thank you Sisters in Faith for the care package. It was nice of you to think of me and send it.
Mike Becktell
Dear Sister in Faith,
Thank you all so much for the wonderful care package! I hadn’t checked my mail for a while so I received it a little late but it was still all very delicious and so kind of you to send! My roommate enjoyed the goodies as well! Again thank you all so very much! God bless and take care!
With love,
Kelsey Jakeway
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you so much for the care package. It was such a nice surprise and the goodies were all such good choices! The homemade cookies were amazing. I really appreciate you thinking of me!
Thanks again,
Colby Caid
Dear Sisters in Faith
Thank you very much for the gas gift card. It was very thoughtful and I really appreciate knowing that I am in your prayers.
Thank you again,
Quinn Watkins
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you very much for the care package. It was very thoughtful of you to think of me. I really appreciate your generosity.
Jan Watkins
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you all for thinking of me on my special day! Also, thank you for the care package. J
Thank you for caring & thinking of me,
Amanda Ireland
Thanks to those who ordered cookie dough from my boys. It will be delivered October 30 and I will have it at church on November 2. You may pick it up from the church freezer as you leave worship that morning. Please make checks payable to me as we have already paid the school. 
Pastor Sherri
Your kind expression of sympathy is deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged by the family of Emma Thomas.
Thank you for all your prayers and concerns for Emma and her family over the past three years. Also the special cards and gifts that you sent to brighten her days.
The Meyer/Thomas Family
A heartfelt “Thank You”
for your kindness
and sympathy.
The Family of Clifford Sokolowski
Thank you everyone. So many good friends, family, relatives and neighbors. Thank God for all of you. Cliff is at rest and “keeping his powder dry.”
Thanks so much,
Ellen Sokolowski and family

Worship Committee News
Our church will be hosting the Community Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday, November 19, at 7:00 p.m. It would be nice to see many members of our congregation present.
It doesn’t seem possible, but here I am writing about the Advent season. We, the worship committee, will be “Hanging the Greens” on Saturday, November 29, at 9:00 a.m. If anyone is interested in helping, just show up. 
Poinsettias will be adorning the sanctuary. Order sheets will be in the Sunday bulletin towards the end of November with choices and prices. If possible, please pay when ordered.
Once again we will be asking for readers for the Advent candle readings. If you are interested contact Pastor Sherri or Sharon Flick. We hope to encourage some people who haven’t done readings in the past.
I am hoping to include some children for one of our Christmas anthems. 
Don’t forget the time change on November 2. Remember to turn your clocks back one hour.
Sharon Flick,
Worship Committee Chairperson
                                               Becoming Soul Mates
WFRN Radio is bringing nationally renowned Christian authors and speakers Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott to our area for the “Becoming Soul Mates Seminar” on November 15. 
This is an all-day event that will be held at the Century Center in South Bend from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. and the schedule includes an hour lunch break.
Individual tickets were originally $45 and are now only $29. Ordering and details are available online at or by phone at (800) 522-9376.
Plan now to attend this entertaining, thought-provoking, and immeasurably practical event.
CROP Walk Report
The final figures from the CROP Walk held on October 5 in Lakeside are in! There were 55 walkers from seven churches and they raised $4200. Three Oaks UMC alone brought in $1157.00! Wow! 
A big thank you to our walkers: Rick, Yuriko, & Ayame Cooper, Rhonda Hinman, Ogden & Doris Krossovitch, and Pastor Sherri Swanson
United Methodist Student Day
On Sunday, November 30, we will celebrate United Methodist Student Day. All of our college students are invited to participate in this service on Thanksgiving weekend. Please let Pastor Sherri know by November 16 if you will be available. 
We will also receive a special offering on this day that provides scholarships and loans to those attending UM colleges and universities. Ten percent of this offering stays in our annual conference to provide merit scholarships for students chosen by our West Michigan Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
Congratulations to. . .
. . . Jeff & Diane Sittig who were married at our church on October 4. May the Lord bless your family.
. . . Troy Robertson, who was crowned New Buffalo Homecoming King on October 3. Troy is the son of Debbie Robertson & Gary Robertson and the grandson of Al & Bev Harrington.
. . . Ben Bartelmay for finishing his Cross Country season strong with a personal best time of 19:59 for the 5K at Regionals.

We’re Glad You’re Here!
We welcome three new members who joined the church on October 19: Shirley Hoadley, by transfer from the Church of Christ, and Nancy Davis and Willie Logan by profession of faith. Please add the following information to your church directory and make sure you extend the “right hand of fellowship” to our new members.
Nancy Davis                   Willie Logan
10 Featherbone Avenue         410 Hickory Street
Three Oaks, MI 49128-1170     Apartment B
                              Three Oaks, MI 49128-1069
(269) 756-3511                (269)845-1217

Photo Directory
Thanks to those who came to have their pictures taken and to those who submitted photos. Special thanks to the committee for hosting the three days of photography and spending a lot of time on the book’s layout: Sharon Flick, Marcia Hess, Rhonda Hinman, Robin Ireland, Rhonda Petro, and Chris Zebell.
If you ordered pictures, you should receive them very soon. Some of the complimentary 8”x10” photos were sent to the church and are available in the narthex. We hope to have the completed books by Christmas.
Member profiles were distributed during the photography sessions. If you didn’t yet complete one, there are extra copies in the narthex. We appreciate your taking the time to update your information and to express your interests for areas of service in the church.
Arsenic and Old Lace
River Valley High School will present the classic comedy, ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’, on Friday, November 7, and Saturday, November 8. Both performances are at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for students are $5.00, adults, $7.00 and senior, $5.00 and will be available at the door.
Jacqueline Rowlison will be in the cast and Jessica Kersey is working on the stage crew.
Holly Market
Krasl Art Center and Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant present the 2008 Holly Market on Saturday, November 8, through Thursday, November 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 9, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The Holly Market is open at no charge and will offer the finest original and retail gifts and décor. “Soup’s On”, a fresh homemade soup luncheon, will be offered Monday, November 10 through Thursday, November 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with prices between $5.00 and $6.50. There will be a special Preview Party on Friday, November 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for $15, which will feature wine, food, and music.   All events take place at the Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph.
Annual Stewardship Campaign
Stewardship letters will be sent early in November to everyone in the congregation presenting the budget for 2009 and requesting your pledges. Stewardship will be the focus of our worship service on November 16 and you will be invited to bring your pledge forward at that time.
New offering envelopes for 2009 have been placed in the narthex mailboxes. If you were missed, or haven’t ever had envelopes and would like some, please let Rhonda Hinman, our financial secretary, know. You may call her at home, 756-7560, or call the church and leave a message.
Soul Sisters
Soul Sisters had a nice gathering at the church last month. We enjoyed tea and cookies as we learned about good health practices. Meetings for the next two months will need to be changed from the regular time due to conflicts with holidays. Please check your worship bulletin or speak with Helen Heward for further details. 
Prayer Chains
Our calling order for the telephone prayer chain has recently been revised. All participants should have received a copy of the updated list in the mail. A copy of the Prayer Chain Tree (phone numbers not included) can also be found on the website under the "Volunteers" section. If you have any questions or if you would like to be added to either prayer chain (phone or e-mail), please call the church office.
Marriage Encounter
MARRIAGE IS A TEAM SPORT – A great marriage is the result of two people working together.  Attending to and protecting against hazards to the marriage are essential to its health. Open, loving and honest communication can produce the joy of great marriage. Find out how on a United Methodist Marriage Encounter weekend! From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon married couples can get away from jobs, kids, chores, TV and phones - and totally focus on each other. The next Marriage Encounter weekend will be held November 7-8-9 at Youth Haven Ranch between Lansing and Jackson. Brochures and registration forms are available in the church narthex, or contact registration couple, Chuck & Dalice Yost at (313) 947-1051 or  For more information see
Personal Energy Transportation
Mission speaker Ray Truhn of Olive Branch UMC in Galien is coming to speak to us during worship on November 9, about the Personal Energy Transportation (P.E.T.) project.
The wheelchair that goes where wheelchairs can’t go” helps those who have lost the use of their legs through polio, landmines, war amputations, crocodiles, etc. . .
Bill Payne has been involved with Ray in making these and both will be here to answer questions and explain how we can help.
Kairos Prison Ministry
A group of Christian men from the area, including Brad Bartelmay, Glenn Fadden, and Denny Fryman from New Buffalo, will be leading a Kairos weekend at the Westville Correctional Institute from November 6 – 9. Please be in prayer for them. You can sign up for a half hour time slot during the 72 hour prayer vigil at , select “prayer vigil” and scroll down to “Westville”. 
Advent Devotions
We are preparing devotional booklets once again for the upcoming Advent season. Thanks to all who have submitted a reflection. We hope to have them printed and available for distribution on November 16.
Trunk or Treat
Trinity Lutheran Church in Sawyer is sponsoring a “Trunk or Treat” in their parking lot on Sunday, November 2, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. You may park and open your trunk to pass out candy to the trick or treaters or you may just come to trick or treat. For more information, call the church at 426-3151. 
Many Thanks To. . .
. . . Jim Flick for locating world maps for our noisy offering cans.
. . . Sharon Flick for providing pretty dried flower arrangements around the church.
. . . Ogden Krossovitch and Jim Thompson for changing many light bulbs around the church, including those high up in the sanctuary.
. . . to Jerry Thomas for coming to patch up a broken basement window early on a Sunday morning.
Wish List
Could you help. . . ?
For worship. . . we need a second overhead projector as well as a new glass cover for the one we have.
For children. . . We would like a volunteer to organize activity bags for the children who attend worship. 
We are beginning a new process of getting your Parish Post newsletter to you. We will e-mail the newsletter on the last day of the month (or before if it is completed early) so make sure we have your e-mail address. We will put the rest in the narthex mailboxes for pick-up on the first Sunday of the month. Those that remain in the boxes will be mailed the following week. We are hoping to save on postage and by doing so, we will reduce our ‘carbon footprint’. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation as we begin. 
Fall Festival and Taco Dinner
Trinity Lutheran PTL presents their Fall Festival and Taco Dinner on Friday, November 7, from 4:30 – 7:30 at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Sawyer. The taco dinner will feature tacos, beans, rice, dessert and beverage, and costs $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children ages 5 – 10, and children under 4 are free. The Fall Festival will feature Carnival Games, a Scholastic Book Fair and a Cake Walk.  
Candles For Sale
Sisters in Faith will be selling candles as a fundraiser leading up to the holidays. These are the same candles that the mission team sold in past years. A variety of scents will be available. You may purchase your candles on Sunday mornings in the narthex or at the Cookie Walk on December 6. They make great Christmas gifts! 
Benton Harbor Street Ministry
What will you be supporting if you contribute to the Benton Harbor Street Ministry (BHSM)? It is a Christian outreach ministry that actually works, does what it says it will do and is well and responsively run, worthy of both your financial and prayer support. 
They operate a small food pantry and the executive director counsels their clients and connects them with other agencies that can effectively deal with whatever problems they have.   They offer after-school tutoring and a GED program. 
Running all of these programs is very expensive and BHSM is very grateful for any support they receive. Contributions can be made through our church or sent directly to: Benton Harbor Street Ministry, P.O. Box 1081, Benton Harbor, MI 49023-1081.

 Historical Corner
Submitted by Eleanor Desmond
(From The Acorn, September 23, 1937)
“The 35th anniversary of the Cradle Roll department of the Methodist Church will be held at 10 o’clock Sunday morning at the church, to which the public is cordially invited to attend. 
The Cradle Roll department was organized under the direction of Rev. C. L. Keene in 1902, who was then pastor of the church. Since that time, Rev. Keene has resigned from the active ministry and is residing in Marcellus, Michigan. He has signified his intention of being present Sunday for the anniversary of the founding of this department of the Sunday school.
Mrs. Joseph (Sarah "Anna" ) Lee, superintendent of the Cradle Roll, will also celebrate her 29th year as head of this department. Mrs. George Jackson was appointed superintendent at the organization of the department, but was unable to serve as she removed from Three Oaks at that time, and Mrs. Lee was appointed in her stead. The first babies to be enrolled included, Joseph Lee, Jr. who died during infancy, but was the first baby enrolled; Raymond Hoffman, son of Mr. & Mrs. Louis Hoffman, Miss Esther Stickle, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Walter Stickle and Independence Service. Mrs. Lee served for six years, after which Mrs. Murriel Dellinger Allen, Mrs. Minnie Gelow, Mrs. Wava Hellenga and Mrs. Riner Hellenga were superintendents, and since that time Mrs. Lee has acted untiring, her little ones being very dear to her.
Mrs. Lee has made her 23rd visit to one home in our community, and the mother with her eight boys, plan to be at Sunday school next Sunday.
The new names that have been added to the Cradle Roll the past year are: Florence Janice Gearhart, Ruth Ann Warren, Peggy C. Cramer, Donald L. Pitchford, Ronald C. Pitchford, and Richard E. Smith.
Gifts will be presented Sunday to the oldest mother present; the oldest Cradle Roll mother present; the youngest Cradle Roll mother; the largest Cradle Roll family; the youngest Cradle Roll baby; the member who traveled the longest distance; the member who has served in the Sunday school the longest time.
This being the 35th Cradle Roll anniversary in the Sunday school a new chart has been made that will show the whereabouts of the 354 children who have been on the cradle roll, and what they are doing. Doctors, ministers, nurses, farmers, housewives, teachers, musicians, college students, and one has been around the world twice. Twenty-one have passed on. There are 28 on the roll at present, and about 50 in various grades at school.
Everyone is cordially invited to attend at 10:00 a.m., Sunday, September 26, 1937.
                                            Thirty-Fifth Annual
                   Methodist Episcopal Cradle Roll Program
                                   September 26, 1937
                                            10:00 a.m.
          Orchestra                        Under Direction of Eldon Lee
          Song, “Get God’s Sunshine”       Congregation
          Prayer                           Russell Annabel
          A suite of songs by the children:   
            “God Is Love
            “In the Temple”,
            “There’s a Rainbow Shining Somewhere”
            “Yes, the Lord Can Depend on Me”
            “There Are Blessings from God”  Jimmy Francis &
                                            Janet Marie Francis
            “He Careth for You”             Bob Heward
          Accordian solo
            “Nearer My God to Thee”         Lawrence Hable
          Duet                              Leona Stickle &
                                            Marion Stutes
          Violin Solo                       Janet Duddleson
          Solo                              Eldon Lee
          Presentation of Diplomas          Mrs. Joseph Lee
          Welcome Cradle Roll               Ronald Reinbach
          Reception of Cradle Roll Babies   Delores Pitchford
          Baptismal Service
          What the Cradle Roll Means to the Church      
                                            Mrs. W. W. Hurd
          Cradle Roll History               Mrs. Joseph Lee
          Presentation of Gifts             Russell Annable
          Benediction                       Russell Annable
To be promoted from the Cradle Roll to the Beginner’s class: James Ellis Renbarger, Judith Coleen Savage, Neal Stanley Davis, Donald Eugene Emerick, Patricia DeBoer, and James Denley Davis.
Follow-up on people named: Esther Stickle Alderman was the home economics teacher and MYF leader in the late 1940’s, Ruth Ann Warren/Zabel lives in Three Oaks, Janet Marie Francis/Buller lives in Battle Creek, Patricia DeBoer/McKie lives on Basswood Road and attends the First Reformed Church, Judith Colleen Savage(?) was killed in an auto accident, leaving an infant daughter. James Denley Davis, Jim Francis, Larry Habel are deceased, as well as Neal Davis, who passed away a few weeks ago. Denley’s wife Nancy Davis attends our church. The older people listed are all deceased. I don’t know about Don Emereck or James Renbarger. Does anyone?  I think the family with eight boys was Arthur & Lena Habel.
Were you on the Cradle Roll? Do you have your certificate? Let the pastor know what year, etc.  

November Anniversaries
Jerry & Esther Thomas
Barney & Dorothy Fay
Bruce & Jeanie Hauch 
Richard & Elsie Zabel  
Bob & Linda Reitz
Lloyd & Laura Gearhart (60 years!)
Tom & Martha Spychalski 
November Birthdays
Rose Lee
Nancy Caid     
Jerry Peters      
Dennis Comfort
Terry Prim
Nancy Comfort
Dorothy Fay
Louise Uebler
Marcia Hess
Brad Bellaire
Nancy Harrington
Ken Williams
Casey Caid
Jamie Hollenbeck
Gary Martin
Kandace VanTilburg