Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 38 - Issue #8   
10:00 a.m. Worship Service

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

Our steps are made firm by the Lord. . . ; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand.
Psalm 37:23-24
Step by Step
Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been wearing a small device clipped to my waistband over the past month. It’s a pedometer, measuring how many steps I take each day. Brad and I are both participating in a wellness program of the conference called “Step Up to Health”. As a part of the friendly competition among pastors, there are weekly drawings for prizes and a donation made at the end to a charity we have designated (Haiti Hot Lunch).
We named our team “Glacier or Bust,” referring to our recent vacation out west. The 30+ miles we hiked on the trails of Glacier National Park really helped our totals. After the first three weeks of the program, we are in third place! 

Of course, the purpose of all this stepping is not really to win anything - except the prize of better health. So, step by step, we are racking up our tallies – taking daily walks and trying to get more active and in better shape.
Step-by-step. . . that’s the way we live our lives, isn’t it? Sometimes we go two steps forward and then one step backward. But, most of the time, I believe we are moving ahead. Sometimes the pace is more brisk than at other times. Sometimes it seems as if we’ve slowed to a virtual crawl. 
While we were out in Glacier there were times when I took the smallest baby steps imaginable – because the trail was very steep and I was very tired.   Still, I would tell myself “just one more step” and keep on going.
Yes, I was dragging along in the rear of the pack at several points. Still, all in all, I did pretty well. In fact, one of my sons paid me a compliment. On the day we went the farthest (a little over nine miles), he said, “Mom’s in better shape this year than she was last year.” I smiled and stood a little taller. Then, almost as soon as the words were out of his mouth, I stumbled and fell in the mud. Well, the Bible does say “Pride goes before. . . a fall".  (Proverbs 16:18) 
I see a lot of parallels between this stepping program and our spiritual lives. There, too, we are on a journey – advancing step by step, needing to put forth daily effort. At times we will stumble and have to reach out for the Lord’s hand to get back upagain. At times we will be tempted to stop altogether, but we must keep going. It’s not a competition; yet, we are supposed to be making progress.
As far as I know, there are no pedometers to measure spiritual growth. Even so, there are some ways to track our steps. Are we growing in love of God and love of neighbor? Are we worshipping the Lord? Are we learning from God’s Word? Are we spending time in prayer? Are we serving others in the community and giving a positive witness to our faith?
These are some of the many ways we may measure the steps in our spiritual lives. I hope you will think today about the steps you have taken recently in your Christian walk. Don’t quit – keep moving. And, step by step, may each of us become more like the Christ we love and serve. 
Pastor Sherri
Please Pray For. . .  

“When one member suffers, we all suffer; and when one member is honored, we all rejoice.” I Corinthians 12:26
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:
Christopher Blackwell, Ryan Ehlert, Rick Martin, Scott McDonald, 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:
Judy Bohne, Lois Boyle, Devra Britt, Joe Ellebracht, George Freehling, Betty Gember, John Hardy, Beverly Harrington, Daniel Harrington, Dawn Hayes, Pat Jenkins, Donna Julian, Lucy Lee, Wilma Mabry, Cleo North, Bill Parker, Lynn Reitz, Kathryn Renbarger, Larry Renbarger, Janice Rowlison, Pauline Rupe, Peggy Schaffer, Dorothy Shook, David Sokolowski, Ray Truhn, Don Uebler, Louise Uebler, Alice Vacanti, Courtney Will, Dave Williams’ family.
Those who grieve
Family and friends of Lois Benjamin, Pete Harfert, Bud Hartley, Arlene Lindquist, Dorothy McCaslin, Marge Schmidt, Adrian VanGinhoven.
Those seeking employment.
Those working to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
Sisters in Faith
What a wonderful time everyone had at our annual summer picnic last month. Thank you to our super hosts, Dave & Marcia Hess.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, August 18, at 7:00 p.m. Nancy Comfort and Ellen Sokolowski will bring refreshments. Please read chapter 4, “A Willful Bride – Rebekah,” for our Bible Study. 
Sympathies Extended
We extend our sincere sympathy to Josh Ackerman and family at the death of his grandfather, Pete Harfert, on July 11.
We also extend our sympathy to Thais Williams at the death of her sister, Marge Schmidt, on July 21.
May the Lord comfort you at this time.
Fall Study
As our summer study, “Christianity’s Family Tree: What Other Christians Believe and Why”, is winding down, plans are being made for our next Bible study opportunity in the fall. This class will be held on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in the pastor’s office, beginning September 12. We will be using the book “Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise” by Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church. Participants will be asked to read 10-12 pages each week. Books cost $13.00. Please sign up in the narthex. 
Soul Sisters
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m. at the church, unless announced differently.
Anniversary Celebration
Our local United Methodist camp, Crystal Springs, in nearby Dowagiac is celebrating their 150th anniversary August 20-22. Thousands of people have traveled to Crystal Springs for camp meetings, weekend retreats and summer camp programs since it was established in 1860.
The Youth Event is for children who have completed grades 6 - 11. This starts at 1:00 p.m. Friday and concludes at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $55.00 and includes all your favorite camp activities: swimming, target paintball, laser tag, mountain boarding, overnight accommodations, three meals, plus a reserved seat for the ApologetiX concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday. ApologetiX is a premier Christian parody band whose songs combine scriptural truth with clever humor. Tickets to the concert only are $10.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door, with group and family discounts.
Ken Medema, a nationally known musician, composer and performer will be in concert at the Saturday Family Event at 3:00 p.m. Cost is $10.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door.
Sunday is Picnic and Revival Day with our District Superintendent, Rev. Neil Davis, preaching at 2:30 p.m. The camp opens at 10:30 a.m. with picnic food being served from 11:00 a.m to 1:30p.m. and 4:30p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The camp closes at 7:00 p.m. There is no charge for this day but RSVPs are appreciated and there will be a free will offering.
For more information, visit You may also contact the camp at or (269) 683-8918.
“Thanks for all the cards and well wishes. Those who attended our cake and coffee time after church, and those who did not but wished me Happy Birthday.
You folks are what makes belonging to this church a wonderful thing. And makes a person regret turning 75 only once in a lifetime.
Many Thanks,
Bill and Judy Ross
Love is in the Air!
Congratulations to Brad & Jenna Hauch who were married on July 3. Brad is the son of Bruce & Jeanie Hauch and grandson of Jerry & Esther Thomas.
Congratulations to Dave & Alice Schlundt who were married on July 10.
Congratulations to Steve & Theresa Terry who were married on July 17. Steve in the son of George & Sally Frye.
May the Lord bless you with much happiness in your marriages.
Congratulations to Nathan & Heather Ferrell at the birth of a son, Cameron Bryce Ferrell, on July 9. Cameron weighed 8 lbs. 1 oz. and measured 20 ½” long. The excited big sister is Ellie and the proud grandparents are Dennis & Nancy Comfort.
Congratulations to Hannah Noble at the birth of a great-granddaughter, Olivia Grace Ackerman, on July 1. Parents are Clay & Sara AckermanBaby Olivia is also the niece of Josh & Joy Ackerman.
May the Lord bless your families at this special time.
Annual Church Conference
Thursday, October 28 is the date of our Annual Church Conference with District Superintendent Rev. Neil Davis. This year it will be held at Lakeside United Methodist Church at 7:30 p.m.; our Staff-Parish Relations Committee will meet with Rev. Davis at 6:30.
Walk to Emmaus
The next dates for the “Walk to Emmaus” are: Men, October 14-17 and Women, October 21-24. Both of these events will be held at the Coldwater United Methodist Church. If you would like to participate in these spiritually refreshing events, please see Pastor Sherri for more information or an application. 
Summer All Stars
Congratulations to all our youth who were on softball and baseball All Stars this summer: Paige Barbour and Kaitlin Goodenough on RVSS 12 and under, with bat girl, Haley Goodenough; Katharine Kersey on RVSS 10 and under; Emma Springer and Madison Vollman on 8 and under, with bat girl Macey Springer; and Steven Seifert on Peanut League (8 and under). Congratulations to the girls’ coaches, Craig & Kris Goodenough, and Mike Springer.
Way to go, athletes!
Haiti News
The Missions Committee invites you to purchase school supplies on the following list when you find them on sale. We will send these to Haiti again in the spring. Please place items under the table in the narthex.
All items must be NEW:
  • Pads (or loose leaf) 8 ½” x 11” ruled paper (NOT spiral note pads)
  • Unsharpened pencils with eraser
  • Erasers, 2 ½”
  • Blunt-tipped scissors (rounded tip)
  • Rulers, 30 centimeter
  • Small hand-held pencil sharpeners
  • Boxes of 24 crayons (ONLY 24)
  • Construction paper
Thank you to everyone who donated items and purchased items at our youth Yard Sale last month. Thank you to our workers: Ryan Ake, Paige Barbour, Julie Becktell, Kerri Becktell, Albert Brayboy, Eleanor Desmond, Laura Donner, Nettie Donner, Rhonda Hinman, Katharine Kersey, Doris Krossovitch, Ogden Krossovitch, Rhonda Petro, Sabra Lambert, Bill Ross, Judy Ross, Faye Sittig, Jane Temple, and Sara Williams.
Our youth realized a profit of $972.00 to be used for a youth mission trip in 2011.
Sunday School Mission Project
Please bring back your full collection cans for our Sunday School Mission Project before the end of this month. Proceeds will benefit the Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding equestrian program which uses horseback riding to help children with disabilities. 
We will begin collecting for a new mission project in September. Thanks for all your donations!
VBS Wrap-Up
The final numbers are in from VBS last month. We had a total of 119 children who came, 20 of them from our church. The biggest attendance on a single day was 95. Pastor Sherri had 23 in her preschool class.
Thank you to everyone in our congregation who bought supplies or helped in any way. 
Technology Committee
Our Technology Committee has met four times, including conversations with representatives from three audiovisual companies in the area and a “field trip” to First UMC in New Buffalo.
This month we will be receiving and comparing equipment bids from four companies. We will be making recommendations to the Church Council.
Members of the technology committee are: Dennis Comfort, Rick Cooper, Jim Flick, Doug Hinman, Mary Klug, Ron Petro, Jim Thompson, and Pastor Sherri. If you have interest or knowledge to share please contact any of these persons. 
Estate and Medicaid Planning: 
Your Questions Answered
A discussion of frequently asked questions regarding Estate Planning, the Probate process and Medicaid eligibility with Attorneys Brian G. Hold and Lori M. Thompson of Passaro & Kahne Law Office, PLLC will be held at the River Valley Senior Center on Wednesday, August 11, at 10:45 a.m. They will also address misperceptions associated with Estate and Medicaid planning and recent changes in Medicaid and Trust laws.
With Gratitude
"I’m home from the Hospital and having a good recovery. This started with a couple of hornets whose space I invaded and after making their presence known left me with blood poisoning, and a close call with renal difficulty.  I truly believe that the power of prayer and God’s Grace was the reason the medical help worked through the challenge of what had happened to me so quickly.  I have had social services, visiting nurse, and therapy to ease me into walking and being able to function so well.  The cards, prayers, and visits were most appreciated.  Virginia Feather was a comfort and her visits daily kept me looking up.  My neighbors were invaluable to my health returning and they still are right there watching my progress. As a note said, 'Live simply, Live generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.'  I’m trying." 

Dorothy Shook
Rural Life Sunday
August 29 is a special Sunday to celebrate God’s blessings and the ministries of our small town and rural churches. On this day we will receive a special offering to provide resources for ministries in the rural and small town settings of our West Michigan Conference. The funds collected will be used for seminary training and continuing education for clergy concerning the specific needs of these churches. An insert in your worship bulletin will explain more. Please give generously.
CROP Hunger Walk 2010
“We Walk Because They Walk”
The annual Harbor Country Crop Hunger Walk will meet at The Gathering (Reformed Church in America) in Three Oaks on Sunday, October 3. Lunch of soup and sandwiches will be served at 12:30 p.m. The walk will start at 1:15 p.m. Twenty-five percent of the funds raised here in Harbor Country will go to the Harbor Country Food Pantry. The rest will fund Church World Service, unless a gift is designated for a sister international agency such as Catholic Relief Services, Lutheran World Relief, National Association of Evangelicals (World Relief Commission), or one of 18 other organizations.
Last year, 60 walkers raised $5,505.00 in Harbor Country. More than $100,000 has been raised in our community over the past 25 years. This year our goal is 10 participating organizations sending 75 walkers. Will you help us achieve this?
Our CROP Walk theme is “Ending hunger one step at a time.”  Walkers in 2,000 cities and towns nationwide will be wearing T-shirts proclaiming their solidarity with the millions of neighbors around the world who have to walk to live – as well as the millions served by local food pantries, food banks, and meal sites here in the U.S. For more information about Church World Service and CROP Walk check out and . If you have questions about our local walk, speak to Mission Chairperson, Judy Ross, or Pastor Sherri.
Our Middle School Youth Group is now meeting every Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. Anyone in grades 5th through 8th is welcome. If you have any questions, please call one of our youth leaders: Rhonda Petro at 756-9847 or Julie Becktell at 426-4328.
Anyone who enjoys singing is invited to join us at our first choir practice of the year on Thursday, September 2, at 6:30 p.m. Practice lasts about one hour.
P.E.T. Sighting
Ray Truhn’s daughter, Laura, wrote recently to her father about spotting a Personal Energy Transportation (PET) unit in use in the country where she lives – Tajikistan, in central Asia. It is exciting to see these making a difference in lives ten time zones away!
Laura says: “We saw a man using a P.E.T. We chased him down with the car and got his name, number and picture. His name is Amir (Ameer) and he uses his P.E.T. to carry bags for people at a bazaar at the beginning of town. He lives in a village out of town and takes the P.E.T. in each day to work. He also put a shade on the top of his P.E.T. Amir has no legs. The P.E.T. was made in Missouri and Amir received it through the association for disabled people in our city.”
Ray is taking a brief break from making P.E.T.s in his Galien shop while recovering from some recent surgery. Meanwhile, his assistant – Bill Payne – is delivering a load of P.E.T. parts in person this week to a shop in Spokane, Washington.
The following is reported by Kay DeMoss. The DeMoss family has been in the Democratic Republic of Congo since May 2. They will return to Michigan on July 20 after participating in the Centennial Celebration of Methodism in Southern Congo. This can be found at our West Michigan Conference website: .
P.E.T. Rolls in the Village of Kiaba
July 5, 2010
“For many years United Methodists in the West Michigan Conference have supported the P.E.T. Project. But how often does a person from West Michigan get the chance to help deliver a P.E.T.? That rare opportunity materialized on July 3 when Alfred, the head nurse at the Dispensary at Mulungwishi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, invited the DeMoss family to jump in his ambulance and drive to the village of Kiaba, some five miles away.
With Alfred at the wheel, Lynn, Kay, David and Drew shared the back of the van with a P.E.T. supplied by missionary, Delbert Groves. Groves is the director of the New Life Center in nearby Zambia. A United Methodist Advance Special, New Life Center assembles and distributes these hand-pedaled tricycles from parts received from the United States.
A large crowd greeted the ambulance in Kiaba. People had gathered at the clinic there to receive mosquito nets. Malaria disables and kills many in the Congo, particularly children. Sixteen hundred nets, procured from the government, are being made available through the Mulungwishi Dispensary. They are making a big difference in controlling the disease. Pierre Mutanda, head nurse at the clinic, greeted us. When the P.E.T. was unloaded from the van, two men began to push and to pull it into the village. It was then that David DeMoss jumped on the seat and peddled it to the home of Kiembe Francoise. All ran to keep up.
How did David know how to peddle a P.E.T.? Easy! His home congregation, Holland United Methodist Church, has been assembling P.E.T.'s for the past two years in partnership with P.E.T. Florida, operated by retired missionaries, Larry & Laura Hills. “Sometimes us kids ride a P.E.T. in our sanctuary when nobody is looking,” his brother, Drew, confided. The Holland affiliate is the only one in the country manufacturing child-size Personal Energy Transports (PET's).
As the group arrived, Francoise was seated in front of her house. There were braces on her legs and crutches next to her chair. With the help of nurse Mutanda, she got on the P.E.T. and immediately started to peddle. “I like this very much,” she beamed. “I am filled with joy! Thank you. Thank you.” She went on to say that the P.E.T. would enable her to go to church and to the market. Right now the uneven ground and inclines around her house present a bit of a challenge. But the more Francoise uses her P.E.T., the more strength she will gain in her arms.
Returning to the ambulance, we met another woman without use of her legs. Nurse Alfred said that she also would benefit greatly by a P.E.T. He also noted that there are 23 children in the greater Mulungwishi region who cannot walk either from polio or injuries. The cost of making and transporting a PET is $450.00. The life-changing gift. . . priceless!”
If you would like to make a donation to the P.E.T. project, use a pew envelope for your gift. If you would like to help make a P.E.T., call Ray Truhn at (269) 545-2435.
 . . . Faye Sittig and Judy Ross for  spending a whole day teaching 2nd and 3rd graders at Harbor Harvest Urban Ministries in Benton Harbor last month.

August Anniversaries
10 Rick & Rebekah Martin 

16 Steve Shimek & Lil Lewis (25th!)
19 Dan & Lisa Henrich
20 Ken & Karen Seifert
28 Ed & Ellie Rogers (50th!) 
30 Mark & Sue Peterson

August Birthdays 
  4 Tracy Donner
  7 Chuck Sittig
     Rose Covert
  8 Jason Flick
     Cheryl Thomas
10 Jessica Kersey
     Kevin Seifert
11 Jennifer Gedert  
     Daniel Vollman
12 Ken Seifert, Sr. 
15 Rebekah Martin
18 Amy Vollman
20 Julie Flick
22 Adam Hinman
24 Angela Hauch
     Betty Smith
25 Jan Watkins
     Quinn Watkins
27 Willie Logan
     Susan Seifert
28 Barney Fay
29 Paige Barbour
     Susan Rubeck
30 Jack Vanzine
31 Doris Krossovitch
Sunday Services
The Sermon Series
“A Dynamic Dozen” Continues 
August 1
“The Bean Counter” (Philip)
John 6:1-7
August 8
“A Bad Boy Makes Good” (Matthew)
Matthew 9:9-13
August 15
“A Terrorist Among the Twelve” (Simon the Zealot)
Matthew 26:51-54
August 22
“Telling It Like It Is” (Nathanael)
John 1:43-51
August 29
Rural Life special offering