Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 38 - Issue #3   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath).” 
Mark 15:42
Lenten Preparation
At this time of year I often recall one of my children’s sermons from the past. “Do you know what Lent is?” I asked the children. One girl’s hand shot up quickly. She replied, “I do. It’s what my Mommy cleans off the bath tub!” 
The congregation had a good chuckle. However, I’m not sure the adults would have done much better at defining Lent. Many of us are a bit mystified about this time of the year. We know vaguely that Lent (not to be confused with “lint”!) is important to Christians. But why? Where does it come from?
To research this season we might turn first to the Scriptures. I’m sure all you Bible scholars out there know just where to find the passage about Lent, right? Well, if you do, you’re reading a different Bible than I am! A word search for “Lent” in the good book will yield only a few references for “lent” (as in “loaned”) and “lentil” (as in “a bean”).
This doesn’t mean Lent has no value for Christians. The Bible never uses the word “Trinity” either; yet, most of us profess belief in a triune God. 
Since the Bible doesn’t provide a neat definition of Lent, how about turning to the dictionary? There we learn that the word “Lent” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “lencten.” It means “spring”! 
Though I usually associate spring with Easter, it actually begins during Lent. In fact, “lenctentid” (springtide) was the Saxon name for the month we are now entering – March. This is the month in which the days begin to lengthen (also a root of “Lent.”)
From church history we discover that the practice of Lent – as we know it – arose during the 4th century. Prior to that time, those in the early Church may have observed a few days of Lenten fasting (in particular, the forty hours between Good Friday and Easter). However, it wasn’t until after the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) that Lent was commonly observed as a forty-day period. Still, this is a pretty ancient tradition – going back nearly 1700 years! 
Why was the length of Lent set at forty days? Well, the Bible is full of references to “forty days & forty nights”: Noah and the great flood, Moses receiving the Law on Mt. Sinai, Elijah traveling to a cave on that same mountain, Jonah preaching repentance to Ninevah, Jesus appearing in his resurrected body before the ascension. 
Of special relevance during Lent is the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness for forty days & forty nights. Our lectionary appoints that reading for the first Sunday in Lent each year. This was the time when Jesus prepared for his earthly ministry.
Lent is all about preparation. It is a season in which we are to prepare for Easter, much as Advent is a season in which we are to prepare for Christmas – though the practice of Lent is significantly older. The idea of preparation for important holy days comes out of our Jewish background. In Jewish tradition, every religious festival requires a time of preparation. As the crucifixion story points out, even the Sabbath is to be preceded by a Day of Preparation.  
Lenten preparation might be described as “spring training” for Christians. We know spring is on the way when major league baseball players report to training camp – as they did a couple of weeks ago. Exhibition games will begin next week. 
All of this activity in Arizona and Florida is more than just entertainment for “snowbirds”! It is preparation for the real thing. That is, the statistics won’t go into the book and the wins and losses won’t begin to accumulate until opening day. This year opening day for Major League Baseball happens to coincide with Easter day for Christians.
As the athletes are lifting and stretching, running and hitting – getting ready for their first big game on April 4 (or 5 or 6), we need to be doing the things that help us get ready for the big day of April 4. Easter is the holiest day of our year. You’ve often heard me say that we are an Easter people! Without the resurrection of our Lord, Christianity would be nothing more than the worship of a dead prophet. But we serve a living Savior; he’s in the world today.
As the days begin to lengthen during this season of Lent, may your faith deepen in preparation for this holy mystery – the resurrection of our Lord.
Grace and peace, 
Pastor Sherri
Way to Go!
Congratulations to Ben Bartelmay who was honored last month as a recipient of the Sgt. Keene Memorial Athletic Leadership Award for his leadership in both sports and academics. We are proud of you!
Did You Know?
Every month Bill Swanson takes some of his music students to perform for the long-term residents on the sixth floor at LaPorte Hospital. Last month, Kaitlin Goodenough performed several songs which delighted these folks who are going through a time of rehabilitation and recovery. What a wonderful ministry! 
Address for Cards and Visits:
Those who serve as missionaries, especially:
Jeff & Deliegha Swanson, Charissa, Lois, and Titus in Mexico. 
Dr. Elma Jocson in Liberia

Those who are in the military, including:
Pete Birochak, Christopher Blackwell, Ryan Ehlert, Scott McDonald, Rick Martin, Jerry Peters Jr., Matthew Sneed and Justin Williford.

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

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

Those with health problems:
Donny Balzar
Dawn Bowkamp
Linda Boyer
Robert Bucks
Amanda Clark
Tina Dennert
Becky Finn
Roslyn Forester
Allen Fox
Bob Fox
Chuch Fox
Paul Friedburg
Becky Gardner
Allen Harrington
Beverly Harrington
Daniel Harrington
Dawn Hayes
Joe Heward
Shirley Hoadley
Donna Julian
Lucy Lee
Paul Lozmack
Neva Marshall
Jerry Peters
Art Portinga
Elsie Portinga
Dr. Matthew Reck
Alexis Renbarger
Penny Robinson
Bill Ross
Judy Ross
Janice Rowlison
Auburn Marie Slavens
Leroy Smith
Dick Soper
Louise Uebler
Alice Vacanti
Jim Wisner 
Those Who Grieve
    The families of:
    Jason Arnold
    John Desmond
    George Gearhart 
    Paul Geminder
    Nan Klinedinst
    Sarah Kuntz 
    Joyce Schmidt
    Genevieve Schuh
    John & Carolyn Tarwacki
Those who are seeking employment.
Ibrahim Parlak in his efforts to remain in the U.S.
Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry.
William Gorzynski awaiting his hearing.
The E. J. & Tiffany Harrington Family.
Victims of the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.
Bill & Jayne Payne’s daughter and son-in-law in Arkansas following a house fire.
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
We share our sincere sympathy with Eleanor Desmond at the death of her husband, John, on February 1. May God comfort you in this time of grief.
Thank you to Rhonda Hinman for organizing the funeral dinner at our church and to everyone who helped in the kitchen or brought food, especially Nancy Davis, Pat Dimmit, Sally Preece, Sue Rubeck, and Ellen Sokolowski.
We also extend our sympathy to Vivian Koebel at the death of her brother, Paul Geminder, on February 10 and to Lloyd Gearhart at the death of his brother, George Gearhart, on February 20. May God comfort you and your families at this time of mourning.
We further extend our sympathy to the family of Nan Klinedinst who died on February 20. Nan is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Bernie and Linda Klinedinst, and grandchildren, Sheila, Mike, Debbie, and Chad. May the Lord comfort you in this time of grief.
Thank you, also, to those who helped with the funeral dinner: Rhonda Hinman, Nancy Davis, Pat Dimmit, Sally Preece, Sue Rubeck, Ogden & Doris Krossovitch.
Thank you to all who furnished soup or desserts for the Ash Wednesday supper. There was a nice selection and plenty for anyone who wanted seconds. The rest of the Lenten services will be on Thursdays at area churches. If you are interested, the information is on the bulletin board.
Inserts for Easter flower orders will be in the Sunday bulletins and it would be helpful if you could pay for them when ordering. Last day to order will be Sunday, March 21.
Sharon Flick,
Worship chairperson
No Finish Line in Sight
Bishop’s Day for Evangelism 2010 is Saturday, March 13, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone Church (1675 84th Street SE) in Caledonia. This event is sponsored by the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Districts.
The inspirational speaker will be runner Scott Rigsby, a Christian athlete who is the first person ever to complete the prestigious Hawaii Ironman triathalon as a double leg amputee. Scott is also author of the book “Unthinkable”. His amazing story will encourage you to do the “unthinkable” in your life as well.
Twenty-one workshops will be offered. Registration costs $12.00 per person, includes a boxed lunch, and is due by March 5. Youth are free. Childcare will be provided for children up to age 6 with advance registration. 
You may register online at or contact Pastor Sherri for a paper registration form. Come be inspired, trained, and equipped to share the good news of Jesus Christ with your community and the world!
Emmaus Walks
The next dates for the “Walk to Emmaus” are: Men, April 8 through 11, and Women, April 15 through 18. Both of these events will be held in South Haven. If you would like to participate in these spiritually refreshing events, please see Rhonda Petro or Pastor Sherri for more information and an application. 
Daylight Saving Time
Begins Sunday, March 14.
Don’t forget to “Spring”
ahead one hour!
Start Planning for Church Camp!
The camp brochures are here and it’s not too early to sign up! The church is planning to offer scholarships for up to half of the cost. Pick up a brochure in the narthex or check (quicklink: camping) for further information.
This year the conference is offering a $50.00 instant rebate for camp. There are two ways you may be eligible for this rebate: 
  1. First-time campers – if you are a first time camper and send in the instant rebate form with your camp registration you will receive $50.00 off your registration.
  3. Returning campers – If you bring a friend to camp who has never attended a West Michigan Conference Camp before, both you and the new camper will each receive a $50.00 instant rebate.
Make sure to pick up an instant rebate form in the narthex when you get your camp brochure.
Lenten Worship Series
The River Valley Ministerial Association is sponsoring community worship services during the Lenten season. The theme this year is “The Sign of Jonah”. This special series explores the meaning of “The Sign of Jonah” as we follow Jonah on his journey. . . and Jesus on his way to the cross.
The gatherings are every Thursday in March, with a soup supper served at 6:30 p.m. and worship at 7:15 p.m. March 4 is “Our Providing God” at Sawyer Christian United Church of Christ (corner of Sawyer Road and Flynn Road, Sawyer); March 11, “Praying in the Belly of the Great Big Fish” at The Gathering, RCA (301 North Elm Street, Three Oaks); March 18, “The God of the Second Chance” at First Congregational Church (108 East Ash Street, Three Oaks); and March 25, “About Face!” at St. John of Three Oaks (12 West Ash Street, Three Oaks).
Two additional Holy Week services will round out the series. These will not include meals and will be held as follows: April 1, Maundy Thursday, at Lakeside United Methodist Church (corner of Red Arrow Highway and Lakeside Road), 7:00 p.m; April 2, Good Friday, at Harbert Community Church (corner of Three Oaks Road and Harbert Road), 7:00 p.m. Plan now to worship with your friends and neighbors.
One Great Hour of Sharing
When the first tremors of the earthquake in Haiti rocked that island nation, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) staff were already in the country, strategizing how United Methodists could help improve the lives of the people there. Their work is a direct result of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, which supports the operating expenses of UMCOR. This offering  makes it possible, when we respond to an emergency like Haiti, to know that 100% of our gift goes directly to where the suffering is happening. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering supports UMCOR’s staff and other “costs of doing business”, which allows them to work in more than 80 countries and be there for millions of people after devastating natural disasters. For more information, visit their website at .
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) marks its 70th birthday this year. This milestone celebrates a history of hope that has provided relief and other assistance to millions of people around the world.
We will observe One Great Hour of Sharing on Sunday, March 14. There will be an insert in your worship bulletin. Your support is imperative so please give generously. 

Maundy Thursday Sacrificial Breakfast
All the ladies of our church are invited to the annual Maundy Thursday Sacrificial Breakfast on April 1 at First United Methodist Church (132 Oak Street) in Buchanan. Fellowship over breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m.
If you would like to attend, please sign up in the narthex by March 28 so Pastor Sherri can RSVP for our group.
Easter Celebration
We look forward to a wonderful resurrection day celebration at our church on Easter Sunday, April 4. The morning will begin with a breakfast sponsored by our Fellowship Committee at 9:30 a.m. The menu will consist of egg bake, muffins, fruit, juice and coffee. Please sign up in the narthex so we know how many plan to attend.
At 10:00 a.m. there will be special activities for the children planned by our Sunday School teachers. Then at 11:00 a.m. we will gather for a joyful worship service in the sanctuary as we proclaim “Christ is Risen!” Please invite your friends, neighbors, and relatives to join us for this very special day in our church.
Words of Thanks
Thank you to choir members who listened to my tales when I needed to laugh so I wouldn’t cry.
Thank you to all who came to the visitation, funeral, dinner, called, sent cards, provided food, worked on the dinner, for hugs and kind words.
Thank you to Pastor Sherri for a beautiful service and her loving concern for me and John.
Eleanor Desmond
Congratulations to John & Nancy Foster who were married on January 22.
Also, congratulations to Senator Ron & Dee Jelinek on their marriage February 12 at our church.
May the Lord bless you with much happiness!
Soul Sisters
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, March 31, at 2:00 p.m. at the church.
 Adirondack Adventure
Summer camp is not just for kids anymore! Our West Michigan Conference is sponsoring an Adirondack Adventure Camp. This adult hiking camp in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York is offered July 25 through 31, or August 1 through 7. Campers must be in good physical condition. If you are interested, pick up a brochure in the narthex or check the website at, just click on camping. Or you can e-mail Ken or Barb Jeltema, the camp deans, at or or call them at (616) 363-6480.
Sisters in Faith
We were sorry to cancel our Valentine Tea due to inclement weather. We will hope for better conditions next year.
Our next regular meeting will be Wednesday, March 17, at 7:00 p.m. Julie Sittig will bring devotions and Robin Ireland will provide refreshments. We will be planning for our Mother – Daughter Banquet. All women are welcome to join us. 
Haiti Update
Our Missions Committee was able to send more than 120 health kits to Haiti. We also shipped additional medical supplies provided by Mary Behrle and Dr. Laura Helman. Thank you for all your generous donations and thanks to our Middle School youth group for packing up the supplies.
Sub Sale Update
Our Middle School youth made $306.00 on their Super Bowl sub sandwich sale. Thanks for your support!

Several activities are in the works including mission projects, other fundraisers, and a lock-in at the church lather this month.
Sisters in Faith,
Your care packages are always such a wonderful surprise! Thank you so much for continuing to think of me while I am away at school. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated!
Kerri Becktell
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you so much for the care package. The cookies are delicious and so is everything else! I truly appreciate the kind gesture.  Again, thank you all so much!
God bless!
Kelsey Jakeway

Happy Anniversary to the following couples on their monumental anniversaries:
Joe & Nancy Turner who celebrated their 50th on February 25.
Ken & Thais Williams who celebrated their 69th anniversary on February 12.
Ormand & Gert Friedrich who celebrated their 63rd anniversary on February 13.
May the Lord continue to bless you!
Sunday School Mission Project
Our Sunday School Mission Project this year is the Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding equestrian program which uses horseback riding to help children with disabilities. 
Please pick up a can in the narthex. Fill it with your change and bring it back by August. We appreciate your help!
New Member Class
There will be a New Member Class on Wednesday, March 10, at 7:00 p.m. for those who are interested in joining our church. Anyone is welcome even if you aren’t sure you are ready to officially join at this time. Material presented will cover the history, beliefs, and organization of the United Methodist denomination, as well as information about our own congregation. Most importantly, we will try to answer any questions you have. Please speak with Pastor Sherri if you would like to know more.
Relay for Life
Marcia Hess is co-chair for her Relay for Life team which will walk at the Berrien County Fairgrounds on June 26 & 27. She would be glad for any sponsors or any volunteers who would like to join the team.
Paint Crew
Thanks to the dedicated crew who painted the narthex last month. With many willing hands, the job went pretty quickly. We appreciate these volunteers: Jim & Sharon Flick, Dave & Marcia Hess, Doug & Rhonda Hinman, Robin Ireland, Sue Rubeck, Jim & Charmaine Thompson, Chris Zebell, and Pastor Sherri.
Fellowship News
Our Fellowship Committee is planning a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner after church on Sunday, March 14. There will be no cost to you. Come join us for an Irish meal. Please sign up in the narthex so we know how much food to prepare.
P.E.T. News
Dear Members of Three Oaks UMC,
THANK YOU so much for your continued support of the PET Project and our work here in Galien to continue making metal parts for several PET affiliates who depend on us. The red PET this young lady in the picture now has is one of 30 children’s PETs that was made for a special request from a group working in Honduras. All 30 front ends were made here in our Galien shop, sent to Luling, Texas, for assembly with the body and then to Kansas for packing along with several adult PETs for overseas shipping. 
In 2009 we made and shipped 170 child forks, 82 of which were compete front end assemblies as seen here. We also shipped over 1,000 crank, trailer and fork bushings, over 600 axels, 130 bearing retainer tubes and nearly 900 pivot pins to seven PET affiliates in six different states. There were also a variety of parts shipped to two sub-assembly shops. 
Thank you for your support for those who Jesus referred to as “…the least of these. . .” Matthew 25:40.
Ray Truhn
NOTE :   The full newsletter is posted on our bulletin board. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, use a pew envelope and mark it “P.E.T.”
Photo above: 
Bill Payne working at Ray Truhn’s shop in Galien.
Dr. Elma Jocson
We recently received an update letter from our missionary, Dr. Elma Jocson, by e-mail. 
Elma was planning to begin her assignment in Liberia in January but her departure has now been delayed until July. She is currently at home in the Philippines where she is taking care of her mother after her father’s death in the fall. If housing can be worked out she would like to take her mother with her to Liberia. 
Elma is very happy to be teaching Sunday School and participating in a Discipleship Bible study at her home church. She praises the Lord that a neighbor she has known since childhood has agreed to study the Bible. 
Formal training in pediatric surgery was completed in October and Elma is now working on a research paper and studying for her written specialty board exam on April 10. She is hoping to acquire some surgical instruments from International Aid.
She thanks God for this time of preparation and His faithful companionship. Please pray specifically for: her board exam on April 10 and completion of all requirements; God’s guidance on housing issues; and preparations for Libera.
Elma’s address is:
Elma T. Jocson
606 Oval Street
Sto Nino Marikina City 1800
Her e-mail address is:
Note: If you would like to receive Doc Elma’s “e”-musing mailings, tell Pastor Sherri so we can forward them to you.
March Anniversaries
14 Adam & Amy Hinman
Jerry & Barbara Peters
27 Perry & Bonnie Pickens
29 Chuck & Marlyn Williams
  March Birthdays  
  1 Dan Henrich
     David Springer
     Macey Springer
  2 Courtney Will
  4 Kris Goodenough
  5 Abigail Pappa
  6 Sharon Flick
     Troy Robertson
  8 Josh Will
  9 Deb Barbour
 11 Dorothy Brayboy
      Kaitlin Goodenough
      Tecla Kaiser
 14 Steven Petro
 17 Becky Glidden
      Tom Martin
      Morgan Weers
 18 George Frye 
      Cody Harrington  
 21 George Koebel
 24 Dawn Hayes
 25 Jacob Barbour
      Sally Preece
 29 Ellen Sokolowski
      Erwin Klug
      Kym Will
 31 Jim Ireland
      Josh Ackerman
Sunday Services
March 7
Third Sunday in Lent
“Headlines and Holiness”
Luke 13:1-9
March 14
Fourth Sunday in Lent
One Great Hour of Sharing offering
“Our Papa’s Heart”
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
March 21
Fifth Sunday in Lent
“Can You Smell the Perfume?”
John 12:1-8
March 28
Palm/Passion Sunday
“Crying on Palm Sunday”
Luke 19:28-42