Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 37 - Issue #9   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE


“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised. . .” Psalm 48:1
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  Ephesians 3:17-21
A Life of Superalatives
When we returned from vacation last month many persons in the congregation asked about our trip. I was somewhat at a loss for words because I couldn’t come up with quite enough superlatives to describe it. “Fabulous,” “incredible,” “terrific,” “wonderful,” “super,” and “great” were all words that came to mind. Yet, none of these terms alone or even together seemed sufficient. It truly was a marvelous experience for all of us.
The scenery of the Canadian Rockies is indescribable. Nearly ever picture I took turned out looking like a postcard and this is not due to my photographic skill. I just couldn’t miss. Point the camera in any direction and shoot. Rugged mountains, beautiful lakes, clear flowing streams. . . these were to be found on every side. The color of the water was especially surprising to me. Though sometimes very blue, at other times it was an amazing green. “Emerald Lake” is a descriptive name for one of the many places we visited. 
I learned a new word on our travels that I really like. “Takakkaw Falls” was one of our stops in Yoho National Park. These remarkable falls tumble 830 feet over a sheer rock wall. A boardwalk takes visitors right to the base of the pounding water. The word “takakkaw” means “magnificent!” in the Cree language. I can just imagine a Native American discovering these falls for the first time and exclaiming, “Takakkaw!” It works for me.
Language is often inadequate to capture our feelings. Years ago I was interviewed for a promotional piece at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I still have a copy of that interview. As a first-year student at the seminary, I enthused, “I love Chicago. I love Evanston. I love Lake Michigan.” No lie. My friends teased me for a long time about this “bubbly” (or bubble-headed) language. Was there anything I did not “love”???
It’s been suggested by one member of our congregation (who shall remain nameless) that I use exclamation points too often in my writing. Perhaps I do. All the best writers are able to convey strong emotion without relying repeatedly on this crutch. Even so, I hope that (with or without the punctuation to go along with it) my language – written and spoken – conveys a certain enthusiasm. I love my life and I want to approach every day in a positive manner.
I’m wondering when was the last time you used a superlative, particularly in reference to your faith. Do you ever say out loud, “God is so awesome!”? Or maybe, “My faith is incredibly important to me.” or “My church family is such a tremendous blessing to me.”? Perhaps someone will think this is over-done, but how much better to be an enthusiastic witness for the Lord than a ho-hum one. The Psalmist summed things up pretty well with the statement above, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!” From the apostle Paul’s remarks in Ephesians, it appears that he was not hesitant at all about using plenty of superlatives to describe the love of Christ and God’s work within us. 
May you have a “takakkaw” day and may you not be afraid to use every superlative in the book to describe how much you value your relationship with our amazing God. God bless you!!!!!
Pastor Sherri
Those who serve as missionaries, especially:
Jeff & Deliegha Swanson, Charissa, Lois, and Titus in Mexico. 

Those who are in the military, including:
Brad Bellaire, Pete Birochak, Christopher Blackwell, Ryan Ehlert, Rick Martin, Brandon McCombs, Jerry Peters Jr., Nathan Phillips and Dustin Smith.

Those who are in nursing homes:
Barney Fay, Shirley Hoadley, Tecla Kaiser, Nan Klinedinst.

Those who are homebound:
Dorothy Brayboy, Lloyd Gearhart, Kathryn Renbarger, Marjorie Weller and Thais Williams.

Those with health problems:
Dawn Ackerman
Eldon Audiss
Duane Below
Robert Bucks
Shirley Busick
Jim Edgecomb
Irving Eldred
Bob Ferrell
Donna Friedburg
Klaus Friedburg
Paul Friedburg
Becky Gardner
Pete Harfert
Allen Harrington
Beverly Harrington
Dr. Mary Hathoot
Dawn Hayes 
Ed Hayes
Bob Heward
Minette Himes
Steve Ireland
Barb Kain
Geroge Lawton
Lucy Lee
Betty Martin
Faye Moore
LaVern Noble
Clara Olson
Jerry Peters
Pat Ponegalek
Lynn Reitz
Jeff Ross
John Rowlison
Judy Schinske
Dave Schultz
Roger Simpson
Lori Tagger
Louise Uebler
Dale Vales
Neva Marshall Walls
Adam Williams
Mary Yoder

Those who are seeking employment.
Those who are in the process of adopting a baby.
Students and Teachers going back to school.
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
Address for Cards and Visits
Marriage Encounter
Fireproof your marriage! Go on a Marriage Encounter weekend! Attending to and protecting against threats to your marriage are essential to its health and survival. Open, sincere and honest communication can produce a strong marriage that lasts a lifetime. 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 is scheduled September 25 – 27 at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan (north of Lansing). See brochure in the narthex or contact registration couple, Chuck & Dalice Yost at (313) 937-1051 or Check out the website at . 
Our next regular meeting with be Wednesday, September 16, 7:00 p.m. Sue Rubeck will share devotions and Robin Ireland and Rhonda Petro will bring refreshments.
We will prepare college care packages after church on Sunday, September 20. Please remember your cookies if you volunteered to bake some. Our fall Chili Luncheon will be held on Sunday, October 25 after worship.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, September 30 at 2:00 p.m. at the church, unless announced differently. 
Fall Sports
The fall sports season is underway at our area schools. We wish all the best to these student athletes. Look for their many accomplishments in our local papers.
Jeff Jakeway Bridgman soccer
Ben BartelmayNew Buffalo cross country
Sam BartelmayNew Buffalo cross country
                             & New Buffalo soccer
Tom Bartelmay:  New Buffalo cross country
                            & New Buffalo soccer
Troy RobertsonWestern Michigan University cheerleading
Susan SeifertNew Buffalo JV volleyball coach
Please note that we will “fall back” to our regular Sunday morning schedule on September 6. Our worship service will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Visitation Team
Our visitation team is now up and running. If you would like to join in this ministry of visiting members who are homebound or in care facilities, please speak with George Koebel or Pastor Sherri.
Save the Date
Sunday, October 4, is the date of our annual Church Conference with District Superintendent Rev. Neil Davis. This year it will be held at First UMC in New Buffalo at 3:45 p.m; our Staff-Parish Relations Committee will meet with Rev. Davis at 3:15 p.m. Committee chairpersons are asked to submit their reports on activities to the church office by September 18. These will be combined in a booklet for members who attend the conference.
New Bibles
Our Education Committee is preparing to give Bibles to our active Sunday School students this fall. Even with the generous discount we received, these are expensive. If you would like to contribute to this need please use a pew envelope and mark it “Bibles”.
Haiti Update 

Thank you for your help with our mission project of collecting school supplies for Haiti. You’ve been so generous the narthex is overflowing!
These will now be stored until spring and we’ll let you know what else is needed then. 
A heartfelt “Thank You” to all who donated money to the cancer walk “Relay for Life”, of which I and so many people from our church were a part of, along with so many others. It was a great success, as $50,000 was raised this year. The fellowship was wonderful and it did one’s heart good to see all the survivors and their caregivers walking the first lap – as well as the silent lap Saturday night – walking by all the luminarias lining the track as they represented all those who have lost their fight as well as those still fighting.
Judy Ross
The shelves are full,
Ready and waiting.
Books to be read,
Movies to be viewed.
That’s right –
Your church library is open once again!
Children’s library is downstairs offering lots of books and movies, too. Adult books are in the parlor. The library will work using the Honor System; that is, you check
out your own books. There is a clipboard and you will simply fill out the needed information. We ask that you limit your selections to three books and keep them for two weeks.
There is a basket marked “Book Returns”, please return your books/movies in that. Also, there is a “Donations” basket for donated books or movies, which will get catalogued and shelved.
Enjoy checking out what your church library has for your enjoyment and growthas we continue our walk with our Lord.
Happy Reading!
Joanie Davidson, Church Librarian
Prayer Ministry
There are two ways to receive prayer requests: by phone or by e-mail. Sign up in the church office for either.
Our phone-calling prayer tree has been updated once again. See the current list on the bulletin board in the narthex or request a copy from the church office.
Jane Temple will now begin the phone calling. However, anyone can start the prayer chain at any time if you are aware of someone who needs prayer. These requests do not have to originate from the office; just please make sure the pastor knows if one of our members is ill.
Thanks for your participation in this important ministry.
Annual Event!
Again this year we are sponsoring a Chicken Dinner during the Apple Cider Century bike ride weekend. The dinner will be held on Saturday, September 26, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. (or whenever sold out).
Tickets are being mailed to all families in the congregation. We have found this to be the most successful method of distribution. If you cannot use the tickets for your family or sell them to others, please return them by September 25. There will be extra tickets available in the church office.
The cost this year will be $9.00 for adults and $7 for children under 12. The menu will include: ½ chicken (¼ for children), baked beans, potato salad, roll, dessert and beverage.
This is a significant fundraiser for our church and we appreciate everyone’s help. Please sign up in the narthex to work one of the shifts at the dinner, to help with prep work in the kitchen on Friday, and to bring bar cookies. If you have any questions, please call Rhonda Hinman at 756-7560.
College Students Fall 2009 
Kerri Becktell      MS Medical School
Mike Becktell       Lake Michigan College
Cody Harrington  Western Michigan
Angie Hauch        Kendall College
Joe Hinman          Grand Valley State
Kelsey Jakeway   Grand Valley State
Eryka Kettring      Western Michigan
Tom Martin         Western Michigan
Steve Petro         Central Michigan
Nick Reitz            Grand Valley State
Troy Robertson   Western Michigan
Jan Watkins        Grand Valley State
Quinn Watkins    Lake Michigan College
Cortney Will        Lake Michigan College
Forming a Faithful Future 
On Christian Education Sunday, September 13, our congregation is invited to participate in a special offering for the teaching ministry of the church. Half of the money collected will support our own Sunday School ministries and half will go to other Conference education ministries. Your gifts will be used to provide a strong foundation for the children of our church who are tomorrow’s leaders. There will be an insert in your worship bulletin on this day with more information. You may use a pew envelope for your gift. Please give generously on Christian Education Sunday. 
Anyone who enjoys singing is invited to join us at our first choir practice of the year on Thursday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m. Practice lasts about one hour.
District Mission Day
The Kalamazoo District Mission Committee is sponsoring a District Mission Day on Saturday, September 26, at Crystal Springs Camp. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
John Funk, missionary to Rio Colorado will be the featured speaker. Ann Simmons will also share about International Child Care in Haiti.
A soup and salad luncheon will follow the meeting. A free will offering will be taken. Tours of the camp will also be given following the meeting with transportation available for those unable to make a walking tour.
Crop Hunger Walk 2009
“We Walk Because They Walk”
The 25th annual CROP WALK will meet at First UMC in New Buffalo on Sunday, October 4th. We will begin with registration and a light lunch in the fellowship hall at 12:30 p.m.  At 1:00 p.m. we will gather for a brief time of prayer together and will step off on the walk at 1:15 p.m. Let’s all mark this date on our calendar and plan on walking this year!
Each participant is asked to raise $100 from sponsors and donations prior to the walk, but everyone is welcome to walk regardless if they are able to reach that goal or not. Twenty-five percent of donations will go to the Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry with the other seventy-five percent being used nationwide and worldwide to fight hunger through Church World Service.

If you are interested in walking in this event, pick up a pledge sheet in the narthex. If you aren’t able to walk, please sponsor someone else. It is fulfilling to know that by taking part in this hunger walk you are doing God’s work of helping provide food and water to those less fortunate. 
If you are caring for an aging parent or worry about when that time comes, you are not alone. An evening seminar will be held on Thursday, September 10, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Chapel Hill UMC, 4071 Naomi Road, Sodus, to provide information for families interested in finding help now or preparing for the future. 
Experts from the Area Agency on Aging will discuss issues related to health, community resources, legal matters, and finances. They will point out things to consider regarding home care, home safety, housing, nursing homes, hospice care, adult day service, and more.
In addition to discussing the issues, attendees will receive a resource notebook including checklists and folders that can be personally customized for gathering information about medical records, banking, health, insurance and legal documents.
To reserve your space call the Area Agency on Aging at (800)654-2810. Donations are accepted to offset the cost of the resource materials provided to each participant. 

Volunteer Opportunity
The Berrien County Association of Churches is partnering with World Mission, who owns the Valueland Thrift Store in Benton Harbor, and is looking for volunteers to serve in some capacity at the store. They are ideally looking for individuals who can commit to four hours per week, or every two weeks. For more information on World Mission check out their website at To volunteer or for any questions, call Yvonne Wood at 429-4071.
Lay Speaking Classes
The Kalamazoo District is offering the following lay speaking classes. 
Basic Lay Speaking will be held on October 10, 17, and 24 with the Commitment Service on October 25. Advanced Lay Speaking, “Let the People Say Amen!”, is a course on prayer and open to anyone who wants to attend, on October 3, 10, and 17, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To register contact Sheila Baker at or (269)628-4882.
In addition, Nashville has endorsed one lay speaking class to be taken online that allows credit for Certified Lay Speakers. It can be done in the privacy of your own home, though you will need a high speed internet connection in order to take part. 
Leading Worship 101 for Lay Persons will be offered August 31 – September 25. The cost is $50. Completion of this course meets the criteria for an advanced course in Lay Speaking Ministries, though you do not have to be a Lay Speaker to take this course. This worship will focus on basic worship leadership skills for lay persons (liturgists) who assist the pastor in Christian worship. If you currently help to lead worship in your congregation, or would like to prepare for such leadership, then this course is for you. See Pastor Sherri for more information.
Sunday School
It’s time for a new year of Sunday School! Rally Day will be September 13. Our theme this year is: “Come, Join Our Circle”. Fun circle games, circle crafts and circle refreshments are being planned by our teachers.
There will be two classes this year – one for grades Kindergarten through fourth and the other for grades fifth through seventh. Our Middle School Class will be watching film clips and discussing them from a Christian perspective. They are planning also to work on some short skits to share in worship.
Invitations will be sent to all children on our church roster, as well as some others who are not attending Sunday School elsewhere to our knowledge. Please feel free to invite any children in your life – relatives or neighbors, and/or give the address to Pastor Sherri so we can be in contact with them. 
Thanks to our teachers for working hard on these plans. We have a new volunteer joining our teaching staff this year: Sally Frye. Returning teachers are: Julie Becktell, Mary Behrle, Gayle Martin, Rhonda Petro, and Aimee Siefert. Helpers will still be needed for the younger age group. Please sign up in the narthex to give a hand.
Thanks to everyone in the congregation for your help with our “Nothing But Nets” mission project last year. We raised $647.27. Our mission project for this year will be the Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding equestrian program which uses horseback riding to help children with disabilities. More information will follow.
"Amazing Grace" #1!
Our Hymn Countdown has now come to an end. What a good time we had singing our favorite hymns throughout the past year! Thank you to all who participated in making selections.
The Final Four hymns were these:
#4 with 16 votes: “The Old Rugged Cross”
#3 with 18 votes: How Great Thou Art”
#2 with 19 votes: “In the Garden” and
#1 with 23 votes: “Amazing Grace”
Congratulations to Tracy Donner and Bev Harrington who guessed two of these correctly and to Eleanor Desmond who guessed three of these correctly.
Personal Energy Transportation (P.E.T.)
Dear Pastor Sherri and Three Oaks UMC,
Thank you for the much needed and appreciated donation to help with the expense of making parts for the PET Project. The timing was great. I have a large steel order coming up. It takes about $20 in steel and welding supplies to make each front end and I try to order enough for 100 front ends at a time.
With the opening of the Holland PET Affiliate, many of the front ends I make are going to support their production. I am still sending front ends to three other PET shops but may need to look at other ways to feed some of them as I am a bit overloaded. The Holland group is starting up with a lot of potential. We have always been a bit short on the child-sized PETs – most Affiliates focus on making mostly the adult size. Holland plans to make only the child-size.  Recently the Jacksonville, Florida group has taken on the child-size also. We also are having more requests for the new PULL PET. The PULL PET looks much like an adults PET but instead of having to crank a pedal yourself around, it has a handle for someone to pull it around and it is designed for those whose disabilities are severe enough that they do not have the strength to pedal themselves. There are two shops making the PULL PET part time now.
Enclosed is a very recent report we received from The Luke Commission (a medical mission group) concerning their distribution of PETs in Swaziland. (This is posted on the bulletin board.) Some at the Luke Commission found out about PET last year. At their request we sent them a shipping container earlier this year with about 140 PETs inside. They are very impressed with the change that the PET is making in the lives of those who they have been able to distribute to. They have already ordered additional PETs. Please read their report. I have also enclosed one sheet telling a story of someone in Guinea who has recently received a PET and the help it is in his life and the life of his family. Any time someone receives a PET, not only the person receiving it is blessed, but the blessing goes on into the family or caregiver. It makes their job much easier also.
Again, thank you for your help with PET. I so much appreciate this. If there are any questions, please let me know.
God Bless,
Ray Truhn,
Olive Branch UMC
Address Updates

We have two address changes for your church directory:
Dorothy Fay
P.O. Box #124
Three Oaks, MI  49128-0124

Rose Lee                                 
P.O. Box #803                             
Salyersville, KY 41465-0803     
Historical Corner
Submitted by 
Eleanor Desmond 
The Galien River Gazette
June and July 1934
Children’s Day will be observed on June 10. The theme is “A Garden of Praise”. Welcome by Ted Hellenga and Marjorie Wells (Koth)
Mrs. Ada Cotherman of Oakland, California, was honored guest of the Olivet class at the home of Maude & Myrtle Warren. Newly elected officers are President Etta Smith, Vice-president Maude Warren, Secretary Myrtle Warren, Treasurer Wava HellengaLucy Beach of Berrien Springs is home on leave from the mission field. Mrs. Russel Annable has arranged for her to speak to the Sunday School.
The annual church picnic will take place on July 4 at Gowdy Beach, Union Pier. John Williams, Eldon Lee, Mrs. Joseph Lee, Wesley Williams, and Mable Behler are planning the event.
Russell Annable is delegate to Annual Conference to be held in Petoskey. Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Lee will go to their cottage at Crystal Springs for the 57th year. Mrs. Lee said their first trip cost $3.00. This trip cost over $25.00.
There was a crash Sunday evening at the Methodist church corner. A car driven by Grover Gridley hit a V-8 sedan driven by an Illinois woman. The Illinois car had only 382 miles on the meter.
September Anniversaries
11 Dennis & Nancy Comfort  
12 Doug & Rhonda Hinman 
15 Dan & Julie Becktell 
17 Bob & Linda Flick 
19 Ken & Becky Seifert 
21 Cary & Nancy Harrington 
22 Jim & Sharon Flick 
      Paul & Faye Sittig
September Birthdays
  2 Steven Ireland 
  3 Allen Harrington
     Jack Seifert
     Joe Heward 
  7 Esther Thomas 
  8 Joshua Seifert 
 10 Charmaine Thompson
      Lori Kozel
      Marlyn Williams
      Steve Seifert 
 11 Yuriko Cooper 
 13 Nathan Will 
 15 Jill Hauch 
 16 Janice Rowlinson 
 18 Joanie Davidson
      Sam Bartelmay
      Tom Bartelmay 
 19 Jayne Payne 
 20 Joy Ackerman 
 22 Beverly Harrington 
      Jonah VanTilburg
      Shirley Hoadley 
 23 Trey Ackerman 
 24 Keith Zabel
      Kevin Zabel
      Lisa Henrich 
 26 Ruth Ann Cline 
 27 Cary Harrington
      Chuck Williams
      Ellie Ferrell
      Doug Hinman 
 28 Bill Swanson
      Bob Reitz
      Gary Brayboy
      Kristy Vanzine
      Madison Vollman 
29  Joe Hinman 
30  Eric Lee
 Sunday Services
September 6
“We Are More Than Laborers”
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
September 13
Rally Day & Christian Education Sunday
Joshua 4:1-7
September 20
Bob Behrle preaching
“Here I Am, Lord”
New Sermon Series Begins: 
      “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations”
September 27
Radical Hospitality”
Matthew 22:1-10