Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 38 - Issue #4   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

"So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” 
Colossians 3:12-14 The Message
What Will You Wear This Easter
How many of you have pictures in old photo albums from Easters past? A spring dress, shiny shoes, white gloves, and a matching purse. . . that’s how many of us remember the Easters of our childhood. And then, capping off the ensemble was a fancy Easter bonnet. 
Though I am not inclined to wear hats these days (perhaps because I grew weary of donning a baseball cap so many days during chemotherapy), I think others look very smart and handsome wearing a hat. In particular, I have admired the many beautiful hats worn by Dorothy Brayboy to our church services. She is someone who can really “pull it off,” as we say.
The “Easter bonnet” was fixed in popular culture by the lyrics of Irving Berlin: “In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.” He was referring to the Easter parade in New York City, a festive procession down Fifth Avenue where all the latest fashions were displayed. At the time of his composition in 1933, our country was in the depths of the Great Depression. Therefore, a new hat at Easter, or a refurbished old one, was truly a luxury. 
It’s not difficult to see how the tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter arose. As we celebrate the renewal of nature and the renewal of our spiritual life, it seems very fitting to sport clothing that is bright and shiny and new! We might call these “Hallelujah clothes.” 
Of course, today we live in a rather casual society. Sure, we may see little children dressed up in their finest for Easter with pastel dresses, satin ribbons, bow ties, and patent-leather shoes. Even so, most of us adults no longer “go all out” with our Easter wardrobe.
That’s ok. I wouldn’t want anyone to think there was a dress code for attending Easter worship! It doesn’t matter how you clothe yourself on the outside; what is important is how you clothe yourself on the inside.
The Bible verse above instructs us on how to “dress for success.” We are encouraged to clothe ourselves with these qualities: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength and discipline (some translations add: gentleness and patience). The reading ends with this important point: “And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.”
In the next week, perhaps you will shop for a new Easter dress. Maybe you will search for the perfect pair of shoes. You may even dust off an old Easter bonnet. Whatever you do, don’t forget to put on love. For that is the most essential piece of any Christian’s wardrobe.
Happy Easter to you all!
Pastor Sherri
Jim & Charmaine Thompson’s
50th Anniversary
“We would like to invite everyone to join us in the fellowship hall after church on May 2nd. We will be celebrating our parents’ (grandparents’) 50th wedding anniversary.”
The children and grandchildren
of Jim & Charmaine Thompson
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.
New Members
We will receive new members during the worship service on April 18. If you would like to join the church at this time, please speak with Pastor Sherri. She will be glad to set up an orientation session that accommodates your schedule.
Congratulations to. . .
. . . Joy Ackerman who completed her Master’s degree at Walden University last month, receiving exemplary comments on her final project. Great job! As a wife, mother of two little ones, and full-time teacher, we don’t know how you did it … but we celebrate with you and hope you can now enjoy a little free time.
 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
Sammie Blake
Robert Bucks
Jake Busick 
Ruth Ann Carpenter
Roslyn Forester
Paul Friedburg
Gus Grosse
Pete Harfert
Beverly Harrington
Daniel Harrington
Bud Hartley
Dawn Hayes
George Helmuth
Donna Julian
Lucy Lee
Paul Lozmack
Neva Marshall
Davis Minnis
Bill Parker
Jack Payne
Jerry Peters
Art Portinga
Elsie Portinga
Terry Prim
Dr. Matthew Reck
Janice Rowlison
Leroy Smith
Louise Uebler
Alice Vacanti
Jonah VanTilburg
Sven Verlinden
Greta Vollman
Dan Ziebarth
Those Who Grieve
    The families of:
    Allen Harrington
    Linda Kinne 
Those who are seeking employment.
Ibrahim Parlak in his efforts to remain in the U.S.
William Gorzynski awaiting his hearing.
Earthquake Victims in Haiti and Chile.
Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo and their "Widening the Welcome" capital Campaign.
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
Camp Clean Up 
On Saturday, April 10, Crystal Springs Camp in Dowagiac needs your help to clean up and open up camp for the summer.   Some of the jobs on the agenda are moving picnic tables, picking up sticks, moving leaves, and turning on water systems. If possible, bring with you: rakes, gas powered leaf blowers, gloves and tarps for dragging leaves, basic tools for light construction and plumbing work, and pick-up trucks and open utility trailers. The day will begin at 9:00 a.m. and lunch will be provided. This is a huge job that can be made simple with many hands! If you can help please RSVP to Jeff Parsons at (269)683-8918 or e-mail so they know how much food to prepare for lunch.

Maundy Thursday 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. This year’s speaker is Sue Stickle, Kalamazoo District UMW vice-president. We will also sing some hymns. 
If you would like to attend, please sign up in the narthex 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 there will be special activities for the children planned by our Sunday School teachers. Then at 11:00 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.
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the care package. It was a nice surprise.
God Bless,
Steve Petro
Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for sending the gas card. It is very much appreciated. Thanks for thinking about and helping us college kids.
Thank you,
Mike Becktell
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the care package and for remembering me. It’s nice to know my church family is thinking of me.
God bless,
Joe Hinman
Pastor Sherri and church family,
Thank you so much for the wonderful food. Thank you for the service. Thank you all for being a great family to grandma and grandpa and our family. Thank you for all the cards. Just thanks for everything. 
God Bless,
Johnny & Sheila Pappa,
Nicole, Brittany and Abigail
Dear UMC family,
We would like to thank everyone for everything they did for Mom’s funeral. Thank you especially for the wonderful meal following the service.
May God bless you all!
Bernie & Linda Klinedinst
Thank you to. . .
. . . Paul Sittig for auditing our church’s financial records.
. . . Mary Klug for making arrangements to have the rhythm repaired on our new digital piano.
 . . . Yuriko Cooper for inviting John Gunner Gooch to photograph our Middle School youth preparing the health kits for Haiti.
. . . Doug Hinman for purchasing and mounting a new first aid kit in the church kitchen.
Lenten Worship Series
There are two more opportunities to attend the Lenten community worship services sponsored by the River Valley Ministerial Association.
Maundy Thursday Service, April 1, will be at Lakeside United Methodist Church, corner of Red Arrow Highway and Lakeside Road, at 6:30 p.m., not 7:00 p.m. as was previously announced. The service will consist of a representation of the Seder Meal that Jewish families celebrate at the beginning of Passover. It will include a dinner consisting of foods that might have been available in the Upper Room where Jesus and his disciples ate that night in Jerusalem. In addition, the Pascal readings from the Passover Ritual will be offered. Christian Holy Communion will conclude the meal. Please sign up in the narthex so the congregation will know how much food to prepare.
Good Friday service, April 2, will be at  Harbert Community Church, corner of Three Oaks Road and Harbert Road, at 7:00 p.m. Plan now to worship with your friends and neighbors.
Native American Awareness

Our conference is blessed with outstanding Native American leadership, several outreach ministries and six churches that are active in evangelism and outreach in their communities.  Your offerings on Native American Ministries Sunday help sustain these vital ministries and give opportunities for leadership development, community programs and evangelism among our Native sisters and brothers. Half of the offering stays in Michigan to support Native American ministries here in our area. The remainder is sent to the General Church and divided equally between:
      1. Scholarships for Native Americans attending United Methodist schools of theology and 

      2. Expanding urban work with Native Americans.
Our Native American Ministries offering will be received on April 18. Special offering envelopes will be provided in the worship bulletins. Checks should be made payable to our church with NAMS on the memo line. Please give generously. Your gift makes a world of difference! 
Fellowship News
Sixty-one people enjoyed a delicious traditional Irish meal of shepherd’s pie to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day after worship on March 14. Thank you to our Fellowship Committee for sponsoring this fun event. Check out the pictures below!

Library News
Looking for a good read or an uplifting movie for family viewing? Your church library may have just what you’re searching for! So, come on in and check us out.
We’ve added several books thanks to book donations from parishioners. Thank you! We happily accept gently used, faith-based books and movies. Remember your church library when you’re spring cleaning.
Eleanor Desmond has donated a wonderful 15 volume video collection, “Greatest Heroes of the Bible.” Each of these videos lasts approximately 50 minutes. These are great if you’re studying a particular Bible hero. These would also be useful for Sunday School. Thank you, Eleanor!
The children/youth library and all videos are located downstairs. The adult library is upstairs in the parlor.
So friends, check us out and spring into some uplifting reading.
Joan Davidson,

Sweet Life Café
Women of our church are invited to a retreat at Harbert Community Church where they will satisfy their cravings for friends, God, and spiritual growth. “Sweet Life Café” will begin with dinner on Friday, April 23 at 5:30p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and continue on Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The registration fee of $60.00 covers three delicious meals and fun and refreshing activities. Plus you get to sleep in your own bed!
To register, call Kelli Marsh at (269)756-3461, e-mail her at or download a registration form online at
Plan now to relax, make new friends, worship God and savor your relationship with Jesus.

We share our sincere sympathy with Beverly Harrington at the death of her husband, Allen, on March 8. Please remember in prayer Beverly and their three children: Debbie, Cary, and E.J. May God comfort you in this time of grief.
Thank you to Rhonda Hinman for organizing the funeral dinner at our church on March 27 and to everyone who helped in the kitchen or brought food.
Happy Face
Women of our church are invited to a “Happy Face” Luncheon presented by LaPorte Christian Women’s Club on Tuesday, April 6, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Indiana time, at Portofino Restaurant in LaPorte. Margaret Grylewicz, a skin care consultant, will be on hand to introduce “Happy Skin Care” products. The speaker, Pat Ellerholz, from Adrian, Michigan, will present “What Is Your Story?” 
Cost is $10.00. Please make reservations for the luncheon and free childcare by Friday, April 2. You may call Gay at (269)469-3959 or e-mail
Sisters in Faith  

Thirty church ladies enjoyed a wonderful meal out at Red Arrow Roadhouse last month. This is always a very popular event!
At our March meeting, we decided to donate $200 for shipping costs related to the Haiti health kits and $300 for new linen tablecloths to be used for church events instead of the plastic ones. Julie Sittig shared an inspirational devotion about Queen Esther and how we too can make lemons from lemonade. Our Bible Study about Sarai – a “Slightly Bad Girl of the Bible” – prompted a lively discussion. Anyone who still wants to purchase a book should speak to Pastor Sherri.
Our next regular meeting will be Wednesday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. Rhonda Hinman and Marcia Hess will provide refreshments. We will spend the evening giving a good spring cleaning to our church kitchen so wear work clothes. Chapter two of our Bible study will be postponed until May.
Save the Date
Our Mother-Daughter Banquet will be held this year on Monday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. The men will be preparing and serving an Italian meal. Our program will feature music by Stacy Koziel. We hope all women of our church will plan to attend; invite your mother, daughter, grandmother, granddaughter, sister or friend!
Congratulations to Miss New Buffalo, Kyra Heit, who was crowned Miss Blossomtime on March 15. Kyra is the granddaughter of Tom and Martha Spychalski.
Free Magazine
There are a few copies of a new conference publication called “The Michigan Area Reporter” available on the table in the narthex. Help yourself.
Hardings e-scrip is a great easy way for us to earn funds for our church! All you need to do is pick up a Hardings card from the table in the narthex and call the 1-800 toll free number to activate your card. Then present your card to the cashier each time you shop and our church will receive up to 4% of your purchase. You can pay for your groceries any way you like – cash, check, debit cards or credit card. 
Spring Luncheon
Everyone in our church is invited to the United Methodist Women’s annual Spring Luncheon at First United Methpdist Church in New Buffalo on Wednesday, April 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door and cost $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 3-12. The church is located at 24 South Whittaker Street.
Come enjoy a home cooked meal to warm the heart. 
Words of Thanks
Dear Pastor Sherri and our TOUMC friends,
Thank you for remembering our very special day. We are truly blessed to have had 50 wonderful years of marriage. We have just returned from two months in Florida. We found an awesome Methodist church there, the people were as welcoming as you were when we first came to Three Oaks – and the minister was almost as good as Pastor Sherri!
Thank you,
Nancy & Joe Turner
Trustee News
The Trustees have set Saturday, April 17, as a spring work day at our church (rain date: April 24). We will begin at 9:00 a.m. and hope to finish sometime around noon. Please contact one of our Trustee officers if you have any suggestions for projects that need to be done.
Sign up in the narthex so we know how many plan to be there. Remember, many hands make light work!
Spring Sports
Best wishes to the following student athletes as their spring sports sessions get under way: 
Ben Bartelmay              New Buffalo baseball   
Jeff Jakeway                 Bridgman baseball
Jessica Kersey               River Valley soccer
Sam Bartelmay              Shoreline AAU basketball
Tom Bartelmay              Shoreline AAU basketball
We are now recycling printer ink jet cartridges with Empties4Cash. You can help recycle, raise funds, and reduce pollution by bringing your used ink jet cartridges from home and depositing them in the box under the mailboxes in the narthex. Any size that fits in the palm of your hand can be collected. We cannot accept toner cartridges from copiers. We will send our cartridges in to Empties4Cash and they will send us a check.  
Soul Sisters
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, April 28, at 2:00 p.m. at the church.
Prayer Ministry
We are grateful for the ministry of the 66 persons who participate in one of our church prayer chains (either by telephone or by e-mail). There have been so many prayer requests passed along over the past couple of months. What a comfort it is for individuals and families to know their Christian brothers and sisters are praying for them!
Anyone is invited to sign up for this ministry. Contact the church secretary either by phone (756-2053) or by e-mail ( to add your name. Please be aware that just because you receive the monthly newsletter by e-mail that does not mean you also automatically receive prayer requests which are generally sent out weekly (or even more often). These are two separate mailing groups and we need to know if you desire to be placed on both.
If you are on the telephone calling tree, please make sure that you have the most recent calling order which is dated February 2010. This form is also posted on the bulletin board. If you need another copy, contact Cheryl in the church office. 
Holy Humor
For the third year in a row, we will be celebrating Holy Humor Sunday this month. Our service is planned for April 11 and we hope you will all attend. Mary Behrle will deliver the message (though Pastor Sherri will be present to participate in the service). Our Sunday School children are going to sing. And members of the congregation will be taking part in various ways. If you have a brief, clean joke (perhaps of a religious nature) to share, please tell Pastor Sherri in advance so she can plan the service accordingly. Be sure to place this date on your calendar now, so you won’t miss out on a fun day of smiles and laughter.   
Lost & Found
We have a new “Lost & Found” box in the choir music room. From Sunday to Sunday, small items are often lost around the church. Let’s make sure they get found! Current items include: a small umbrella, an eyeglass case, and a headband. If you’re missing anything, check it out.
Mission Collection
Thank you, thank you to all who contributed toward relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake. You far exceeded the goal of 60 health kits set by our Missions Committee. Through your generosity, we were able to fill eight 18-gallon containers with 126 complete health kits, plus additional medical and food supplies totaling $1,617.00 With shipping ($154.00) plus cash contributions to UMCOR ($810.00), this means that our congregation has already given $2,581.00 to assist the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake on January 12.
Of course, we know the work is not done. Approximately 230,000 people died in the disaster, 300,000 were injured and more than a million displaced when their homes were destroyed. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will continue a long-term presence in the region helping this very poor nation re-build. If you would like updates on the progress being made go to:
Offerings can be given through our church at any time for this need. In May we plan to assemble a few additional health kits as well as some of the school kits we usually prepare at the time of Annual Conference. May God bless you for your kindness to those in need. 
Church Camp
Children and youth (grade 1 and up) will find wonderful opportunities to grow in faith while making friends at church camp. There are several different United Methodist camp sites throughout our West Michigan Annual Conference, the closest being Crystal Springs outside Dowagiac. Camps are offered throughout the summer, so choose the week that works for you.
Pick up a brochure in the narthex for detailed information. You could also speak to one of our five youngsters who attended last year: Katie & Kristen Kozel; Kyle, Cameron & Kevin Seifert. Now is the time to sign up. Our church will offer scholarship money to those who register by May 1. Please speak to Pastor Sherri if you have questions or concerns.
April Anniversaries
 5 Victor & Kym Will
18 Bob & Mary Behrle
19 Albert & Dorothy Brayboy
21 Brad Bartelmay & Sherri Swanson
23 George & Vivian Koebel
25 Don & Louise Uebler
27 Mike & Nikki Springer
30 Jim & Charmaine Thompson
  April Birthdays   
  4 Eleanor Desmond
  4 Jim Thompson, Sr.
  7 Haley Goodenough
  8 Bill Payne
  9 Lonnie Zebell
 11 Rhonda Hinman
 12 Perry Pickens
 13 Marjorie Weller
 15 Chris Zebell
 22 Alvin Schroeter 
 26 Bonnie Pickens
 26 Melanie Mensinger
 26 Zachary Prim
 28 Parker Vanzine
 29 Art Portinga
 29 Stephanie Lee
 30 Rhonda Petro
 30 Elsie Zabel 
Sunday Services
April 4
Easter Sunday
Sermon: "We Are Easter People"
Scripture: Luke 24:1-12 (Sermon)

April 11
Holy Humor Sunday
Sermon: “Life is Funny: Why Aren't You Laughing?”
Guest Speaker: Mary Behrle
April 18
Native American Awareness, (Earth Day)
Sermon: “Pay It Forward
Scripture: John 21:15-17(Sermon)
April 25
Sermon: “You’ve Got Mail!”
Scripture: John 10:22-30 (Sermon)