Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Thursday, December 02, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 37 - Issue #11   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

“Freely you have received; freely give.” 
Matthew 10:8b 
The Joy of Giving
“People like to give you things.” That’s an observation my sister made to me nearly twenty-five years ago. She was referring, specifically, to a couple of very nice scholarships I had received for college, seminary, and a period of study abroad. At the time, I didn’t consider these pure “gifts” because I had worked very hard on grades and applications to qualify for them.
Now, all these years later, I am thinking she was onto something. I have been given so much. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed by it. This latest round of gifts had that effect on me: the banner, the cards, the songs, the treats, the gift certificates, and the green “salad” George Koebel assembled with contributions from many others. Thank you, one and all!
I am very blessed. My family, also, has been blessed by your love, kindness, and generosity. It is my hope that we can be a blessing to others. And so, I have been reflecting on how we might best do this in the months ahead.
Christmas is coming. Often we are showered with gifts during this holy season. This year I would like to propose an alternative. Instead of collecting a love gift for our family, I am hoping the congregation might receive a love gift for a missionary. 
I have someone in mind. Dr. Elma Jocson is a pediatric surgeon sponsored by the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. She has completed six years of service at a hospital in Nepal and will be re-assigned in 2010. 
Some years ago I heard Elma at the New Buffalo UMC when she was traveling through our conference sharing about her work. I was absolutely fascinated by the stories she told and the pictures she showed. Here is a woman who is truly making a difference in the world because of her relationship with Christ. She is working among the “least of these” bringing hope and healing to those in need. God is using her powerfully as an instrument of blessing.
“People like to give you things,” my sister told me. For whatever reason, it seems this is true! As we prepare for the next round of gift-giving over the holidays, I would ask that you give me the joy of knowing my ministry is making a difference in your lives. If you have heard God’s voice through my preaching and teaching, please consider giving generously to others – especially Elma. You may use a pew envelope to do so – mark it “Missionary Elma Jocson.” 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have given me. May God continue to shape us all so that we will “like to give things” to others.

Happy Thanksgiving
Pastor Sherri
Church Humor
A kindergarten teacher gave her class a “show and tell” assignment. Each student was instructed to bring in an object to share with the class that represented their religion.
The first student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish and this is a Star of David.”
The second student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Mary. I’m a Catholic and this is a rosary.”
The third student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Tommy. I am Methodist, and this is a casserole.”
Those who serve as missionaries, especially:
Jeff & Deliegha Swanson, Charissa, Lois, and Titus in Mexico. 
Dr. Elma Jocson 

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

Those who are in Care Facilities:
Barney Fay, Shirley Hoadley, Tecla Kaiser, Nan Klinedinst and Marjorie Weller.

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

Those with health problems:
Dawn Ackerman
Trey Ackerman
Eldon Audiss
Robert Bucks
Jake Busick
Shirley Busick
Wayne Busick
Marcia Elders
Bob Ferrell
Paul Friedburg
Becky Gardner
Pete Harfert
Allen Harrington
Beverly Harrington
Dawn Hayes
Ed Hayes
Tom Holston
Donna Julian
Eryka Kettering
Kevin Klute
Geroge Lawton
Lucy Lee
Betty Martin
Estella Baca Miser
Carol Nekvasil
Jerry Peters
John Rowlison
Judy Schinske
David Schultz
Keiko Shimizu
Faye Sittig
Caroline Spragg
Shirley Truhn
Louise Uebler
Neva Marshall Walls
Those Who Grieve
    The families of:
    LaVern Noble
    Donna Wesner
    Caroline Willis
Those Recently Married
Brandon Boone and Joann Norris.
Pastor Mark Keel and Judy Catacutan Umali .
Those who are seeking employment.
Ibrahim Parlak in his efforts to remain in the U.S.
The E. J. & Tiffany Harrington Family.
William Gorzynski
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
Address for Cards and Visits 
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the gift. It really helps out since I have to drive to Berrien Springs and Niles to go to school. It’s always nice to get something unexpected when a break is needed.
Tom Martin
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you very much for the gas card. It will be very useful commuting back and forth to college.
Thank you,
Quinn Watkins
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you very much for the care package. It was very thoughtful of you to think of me, and it is greatly appreciated!
Thanks again,
Jan Watkins
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you very much for the box of treats and your prayers! I appreciate it more than you know and the treats were delicious.
Thanks again!
Troy Robertson
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the care package. It means a lot that my church family is thinking of me while I am at school. Best wishes and God bless!
Joe Hinman
Sisters in Faith,
Your care package has never been more appreciated! Having reminders of home while I am at school always brightens my day. Your thoughtfulness is still greatly appreciated!
Kerri Becktell
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you all so much for the amazing care package you sent me! Everything looks great! You’re all so sweet!
God Bless,
Kelsey Jakeway
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you so much for the care package! As always it was a wonderful surprise! My roommates enjoyed it as well!
Thank you again!
God Bless & Love,
Eryka Kettring
Thank you so much for the prayers for my brother, Bob Ferrell. He is feeling so much better and wants to return back to work.
Janice Rowlison
Dear Three Oaks Church Family,
Thank you so very much for all the praying you have done for us this year. I moved away from Three Oaks so many years ago and yet the church always feels like home to me.  It feels like home to our entire family!
This year has been filled with many surgeries and illnesses at our house. We know that we couldn’t have made it through without the love, support and prayers from all of you. It is our hope that I’ve run out of stone-producing organs and the surgeries have ended.  I’m planning on keeping the good old appendix and hopefully my body agrees!!
Thank you for praying for Sidney during her bout with influenza. We are very fortunate to have health insurance that allowed us to get treatment for her so quickly. 
Thank you all for your Open Minds, Open Hearts and Open Doors. We are incredibly blessed to have your continued support. God is good, all the time!
Yours in Christ,
Hope & Dave DeJong
Brandon & Sidney Murray
We would like to thank everyone for the cards, phone calls, visits, prayers, food and support given to LaVern during his illness. We feel it made it easier for him as he fought the battle and then decided it was time to answer God’s call. We find healing in God’s tender love and embrace and in knowing others cared and loved him as we did.
The family of LaVern Noble
Dear United Methodist Church,
Thank you for your prayers, love, and support for the family of LaVern Noble. Thank you also for the wonderful luncheon after his funeral service.
Erin Noble
Three Oaks UMC,
My family and I want to thank you for the wonderful luncheon you put on after LaVern’s service. A special thank you for all the delicious food prepared by the church members and to Rhonda Hinman and her kitchen helpers. You were all great. I also thank Jim Flick for helping with the cleanup. God bless each and every one of you.
Hannah Noble and family.
Approximately 40 people attended our Chili Luncheon. We raised a little more than $250.00 for our care package ministry to college students. Thank you all for your contributions.
Our meeting this month will be Tuesday, November 17, at 6:00 p.m. for candy-making at the church. Anyone is welcome to give a hand with this project. There will also be cookie-baking sessions set up during the month on various days and evenings, depending on who is available. Sign up in the narthex if you would like to help.
Due to the upcoming holidays, Soul Sisters will meet on the third Wednesday for the next two months: November 18 and December 16, at 2:00 p.m. at the church. 
Five ladies enjoyed a wonderful meal at New Buffalo First UMC last month. After lunch we returned to the church for a program led by Dawn Hayes.
Thank you to. . . 
Thank you to. . .
. . .Doug Hinman for fixing the plexiglass in the church sign on Elm Street.
We offer our sincere sympathy to the family of LaVern Noble who passed away on October 1 after a brief time of illness. Our love and prayers go out to Hannah, Todd, Debbie, Terri, and Melissa.
We also offer our sympathy to Lloyd Gearhart at the death of his sister, Marlene Nelson, on September 27 and to Dawn Hayes at the death of her aunt, Caroline Willis, on October 7.
May the Lord comfort you at this time of sadness.
2010 Leadership Directory
The Three Oaks UMC 2010 Leadership Directory has been completed.  You may view a copy (minus phone numbers), by following this link: . Phone numbers for all individuals listed in the leadership directory can be found on the online version of our pictorial church directory which is available online via a hidden link on our website.  Please contact the church office for access instructions.
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 15.
Stewardship letters have been sent to everyone in the congregation requesting financial commitments for 2010. Stewardship will be the focus of our worship service on November 22 and you will be invited to bring your commitment card forward at that time.
New Members
We will receive new members on Sunday, November 8. Please let Pastor Sherri know if you would like to join the church at this time.
United Methodist Student Day
On Sunday, November 29, 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 22 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. There will be a special offering envelope in your worship bulletin on this day. 
Mark Your Calendars
The River Valley Ministerial Association is once again planning a Community Thanksgiving Service. It will be held on Wednesday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m. at The Gathering (First Reformed Church). The new co-pastors of Harbert Community Church, Kyle & Lindsay Small, will bring the evening message. An offering will be received for the RVMA to assist people in need.
The River Valley Ministerial Association will also host a Community Advent Service on Sunday, December 6, at 6:00 p.m. at the Free Methodist Church. Plan now to attend this service marking the beginning of the Advent Season with your friends and neighbors.
Holiday Treasures
The Stevensville United Methodist Church is sponsoring their 26th annual Holiday Treasures Arts & Crafts Show and Bazaar on Saturday, November 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be unique crafts, a cookie walk, and a luncheon menu featuring hot turkey sandwich, sloppy joe, salad, and homemade pies and desserts. 
The church is located at 5506 Ridge Road, between John Beers Road and Red Arrow Highway. Look for the electronic sign and entrance on Red Arrow Highway. For more information call (269) 429-5911.
Harvest Dinner
Come join us on November 15 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!
Worship Committee
The Community Thanksgiving Service will be held on Wednesday, November 18, at The Gathering (First Reformed Church) with Pastors Kyle & Lindsay Small from the Harbert Community Church preaching.
Advent Season is rapidly approaching. The “Hanging of the Greens” will be on Saturday, November 28, at 9:00 a.m. or whenever you can make it. It takes an hour to an hour and a half. Anyone is welcome to help.
We will be ordering poinsettias for Christmas; information will follow with inserts in the bulletin.
In the next couple of weeks the choir will be minus three snowbirds and they will be missed. If anyone has been thinking of joining us, you’d be most welcome. We wish them a good winter and look forward to seeing them in the spring.
We will be needing readers for the Advent Candle lighting. If you would like to take part please talk to Pastor Sherri or Sharon Flick.
Sharon Flick,
Worship Committee Chairperson
Baby Congratulations
Congratulations to Martha & Tom Spychalski at the birth of a granddaughter, Sarah Kay Siegmund, on October 2. The parents are Paul & Tamra Siegmund.
Congratulations to Dr. Laura Helman & Neil Henderson at the adoption of a daughter, Brooklyn Lee Henderson, which became official last month. The happy grandparents are Bob & Mary Behrle and great-grandparents are Joe & Helen Heward.
May the Lord bless your families at this precious time.
Baptism News
On October 18, we celebrated the baptism of Emma Grace Seifert, daughter of Mark & Ramey Seifert. Emma’s big brothers are Josh and Jake, grandparents are Ken & Karen Seifert, and great-grandmother is Grace Seifert.
May the Lord bless your family at this time.
Emmaus Walks
The next dates for the “Walk to Emmaus” are: Men, April 8 through 11, 2010 and Women, April 15 through 18, 2010. Both of these events will be held in South Haven. If you would like to participate in these spiritually refreshing events, please see Pastor Sherri for more information or an application. You may also want to talk to these individuals who have been on a Walk to Emmaus: Rhonda Petro, Alex Renbarger, and Craig Goodenough.
Cookie Walk
Our sixth annual Cookie Walk is fast approaching. It will be held on Saturday, December 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please sign up in the narthex if you will bake some cookies. Please bring them to the church by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4 and mark the type of cookie they are.
Cookies will sell for $7.00 per pound. Pre-packaged homemade candy will also be available. Turtles will sell for $8.00 per pound and the following kinds will sell for just $6 per pound: peanut butter bars, mint crackers, white pretzels, cereal clusters, peppermint bark, toffee bark, and chocolate peanut clusters.
Craft tables are available for $10.00 each. Sign up in the narthex to reserve yours.
Krasl Art Center presents the 2009 HollyMarket on Saturday, November 7, through Thursday, November 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Sunday, November 8, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.). This popular fall festival combines the HollyMarket, featuring a juried sale of unique art, gifts and décor from over 100 artisans and Soup'sOn luncheon, serving delicious home-made soups, breads and desserts for $5.00 to $6.50. Soup’s On is available Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There will be a special Preview Party on Friday, November 6, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. featuring wine and food from Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant. Tickets are $15.00 per person. All events take place at the Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph.
Kairos Prison Ministry
Kairos Prison Ministry will be sponsoring a weekend retreat November 5-8 at the Westville Correctional Facility in Indiana. There are a couple of ways you can help support this outreach:
Prayer Support: There will be a 72 hour prayer vigil during the time the team is at Westville Correctional. To offer prayer support, go to and select “Prayer Vigil” from the menu on the first screen. Find Westville Correctional in the lisitng and click on the date column (November 5-8) to open up the times available. Select a 30 minute period you will be in prayer for the weekend participants.
Attend the Closing: At the end of the weekend there will be a closing at 4:00 p.m. (CDT). Inmate guests who participated are given the opportunity to speak to the team and any outside people who have come to support them by answering a series of three questions. If you would like to attend the closing you will need to provide, in advance, your full legal name and date of birth to Pastor Sherri to receive clearance. You should not wear anything khaki in color and women should wear slacks or pants (no skirts, dresses or shorts). Please do not wear any jewelry other than wedding rings.
Help Needed
Our Trustees are looking for a reliable person to shovel the church sidewalks this winter. We are able to pay $15.00 per time, though we will not desire shoveling be done every day. If you or someone you know is interested in this job, please contact Trustee chairperson, Ron Petro
Piano Fund
Our electric piano no longer works. It has been used at our church for twelve years (since Greg Buchner was here) and cannot be repaired. We appreciate all the work Bill Swanson has done in contacting the company on our behalf.
At this time, we are considering purchase of a new piano. We are gathering quotes, attempting to find the best deal possible.  The first estimate, received from Shirk Piano and Organ in South Bend, is $4,395.00.
If you would like to contribute to this fund, please use a pew envelope and mark it “piano”.  
Online Opportunity
Sawyer Highlands Church is presenting Dan Lohrmann, Michigan’s Chief Technology Officer, in several seminars about online safety and virtual integrity on November 6 and 7. Sessions will include: “Personal Online Safety: Challenges and Solutions in a Virtual World” Friday night, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; “The Scary Reality: How e-Temptation Targets You” (this session is just for men), Saturday morning 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; “Seven Habits for Online Integrity” (family oriented for high school age and older), Saturday morning, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information check the bulletin board in the narthex or .
An Autumn Sunday Invitation
Buffalo Books, 120 West Buffalo Street U.S. Highway 12, New Buffalo, is offering a Sunday discount to customers who bring in their church bulletin. All faith-based and Christian titles will receive a 30% discount and all other purchases will receive a 10% discount. This discount is only good on Sundays in November when you bring in your church bulletin.
Southwest Michigan News
A non-profit organization named “Help for Southwest Michigan” has been formed that is dedicated to helping community residents of Harbor Country utilize resources and agencies to gain self- sufficiency. The advocacy center ad hoc committee meets at 4:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at the offices of Farina & Wojick in New Buffalo. They are looking for more volunteers who are interested in helping to develop a five year plan for Help for Southwest Michigan. Please either e-mail Mary Fran Tieman at or phone her at 469-6403 if you have any questions or would like to volunteer.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Anyone with knitting or crocheting skills of any level is invited to join the Prayer Shawl Ministry at The Gathering (First Reformed Church) on the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact Pastor Ron Ahrens at 756-9621 or check out the website .
The piano in our downstairs Sunday School area is in bad shape. Several keys no longer work and it will not stay in tune.
Our Church Council decided to ask the congregation if someone might have a piano at home that they are wanting to get rid of. If you would be interested in making such a donation to our Sunday School, please speak with Pastor Sherri.
Please note: Due to space requirements, we are not able to receive an upright or a grand piano.
November Anniversaries
4   Jerry & Esther Thomas
     Barney & Dorothy Fay
16 Bruce & Jeanie Hauch
19 Bill & Betty Swanson
20 Bob & Lynn Reitz
27 Dick & Elsie Zabel
30 Tom & Martha Spychalski
November Birthdays
  1 Rose Lee
  4 Nancy Caid
  7 Jerry Peters
 14 Dennis Comfort
      Richard Cooper
 15 Terry Prim
 17 Cheryl Kersey
 18 Nancy Comfort
 19 Dorothy Fay
 22 Craig Goodenough
       Louise Uebler
 24 Marcia Hess
 26 Ken Williams
 26 Nancy Harrington
 28 Jude VanTilburg
 29 Jamie Hollenbeck
       Gary Martin
       Kandace Vantilburg
 Sunday Services
November 1
All Saints Sunday
"All Dressed Up With Somewhere to Go”
John 11:32-44
November 8
"Gospel Partners”
Philippians 1:1-11
November 15
"Visioning or Vanishing”
Habakkuk 2:1-4
November 22
"Measuring the Miles”
Mark 12:41-44
November 29
United Methodist Student Day
First Sunday in Advent
"Days of Promise"
Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16