Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 38 - Issue #10   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

“Write the vision; make it plain.” Habakkuk 2:2
New Revised Standard Version
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Proverbs 29:18
King James Version
TOUMC in 2020
Sometimes it is hard for me to believe we are in the year 2010. Not so long ago, that sounded wa-a-ay in the future. Do you remember the buzz about Y2K as we entered a new century? That was already ten years ago. It seems like yesterday. Where does the time go?
Well, one thing is certain. . . time moves in a forward direction. And, for most of us, time seems to move rather quickly. I fully expect that the next ten years will pass by as rapidly as the last decade did. Before you know it, we will be in the year 2020.
That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? It makes me think of visiting the eye doctor. We all desire 20/20 vision, though probably very few of us in adulthood are blessed with it. Beyond the eye charts, we also wish for 20/20 vision in other aspects of our lives. For instance, we would like to know with clarity if we are making good decisions. Unfortunately, 20/20 vision in such matters is much more prevalent in hindsight than in foresight.
Still, even if the future appears rather hazy, it is important for us to look out on the horizon. As people of faith, we are called to cast a vision for the days ahead. Scripture encourages us to: “Write the vision; make it plain.” Habakkuk 2:2
George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, struggled with this. His seemingly dismissive reference to “the vision thing” was mocked by many political pundits. From that sound bite, he developed a reputation – whether fair or not – as someone who had difficulty considering the big picture.
Well, confession time. “The vision thing” is not really my strong suit either. I’m a detail person, much more comfortable focusing on the nitty-gritty than on big ideas. Even so, as a pastor I feel a responsibility to help our congregation discern a vision for the future. 
I believe the time is right for us to form a Steering Team of persons who will take a careful look at where we are today and a bold look at where we might be headed tomorrow. To this end, I’m looking for some visionary folks who are willing to dream big! If this interests you and/or fits well with your particular gifts, you are invited to join the team. It is my hope to make the group representative of various ages, backgrounds, and perspectives. 
Our first meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 28, at 7:00 p.m. in the parlor. Future meetings will be set based on the schedules of those who are participating. I anticipate we will meet approximately once a month for the next several months. If you have questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me.
This Steering Team will report to our Church Council. Any recommendations developed will be sent to the Council for follow-up. So, the Steering Team’s work will be integrated into the structures we already have in place in our congregation. Yet, the Steering Team will have greater time to focus on the “big picture” than is normally available in Council meetings where we are occupied with day-to-day operations of the church.
The formation of a Steering Team also will allow for new voices to be heard, in addition to our already elected leaders. Many persons are not comfortable serving as a committee chairperson (as most of our Council members do), but are willing to contribute as a team member. Also, a number of folks find it more attractive to make a shorter-term commitment than the longer-term commitment which is typically expected for our other committees.
Though I am describing this as a “short-term” process, it may well take close to a year for a consensus vision to emerge. Moreover, it is important to note that this endeavor will require substantial effort. Those who are engaged in the monthly meetings will be asked to share in regular prayer, study and conversion. Everyone in our congregation, whether attending meetings or not, will be asked to bathe the project in prayer.
Proverbs 29:18 tells us: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Those words sure get my attention. I hear in them a somber warning. Could our congregation at Three Oaks United Methodist Church perish for a lack of vision? I certainly hope not. However, without some serious strategic planning now, that could be our future reality indeed. 
None of us will have perfect 20/20 vision when gazing on the future. Yet, we’re not likely to see much of anything if we don’t at least open our eyes and take a look! I invite you to join me in considering what possibilities God may have in store for us in the days ahead. And may the Lord bless us with wisdom as we ponder how best to live as his disciples in the year 2020 and beyond. 
Pastor Sherri 
“When one member suffers, we all suffer; and when one member is honored, we all rejoice.”  I Corinthians 12:26
Remember in Prayer
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, Delmore Conley, Becky Glidden, Beverly Harrington, Daniel Harrington, Amanda Hess, Denny Hoff, Donna Julian, Fred Knutel, George Koebel, Les Lee, Lucy Lee, Betty Martin, Robert Pfauth, Marjorie Prinzing, Lynn Reitz, Gary Robertson, Jeff Ross, Pam Ross, Janice Rowlison, Peggy Schaffer, David Sokolowski, Jane Temple, Don Uebler, Louise Uebler, Alice Vacanti, Marge Vidal, and Carol Waak.  
Those who grieve
Family and friends of Betty Cutler, Art Haney, Marv Miller, Ethan Seitzer, and Shig Takayama.
Those seeking employment.
Those working to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Those dealing with the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.
Those celebrating good medical test results.
Victims of the monsoon flooding in Pakistan.
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.
Sisters in Faith
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, September 15, at 7:00 p.m. Pat Dimmitt, Nancy Davis and Sue Rubeck will bring refreshments.   For our Bible Study, please read chapter 5, “Rebekah – Using Her Wits”.
We will prepare college care packages the first week of October. Please remember your cookies if you volunteered to bake some. 
Our fall Chili Luncheon will be held on Sunday, October 24, after worship.
We extend our sympathy to Dawn Hayes at the death of her uncle, Art Haney, on August 17. May the Lord comfort you at this time.
Fall Study
A new Bible study will be offered this fall on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in the pastor’s office, beginning September 19. 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 to 12 pages each week. Books cost $13.00.
Please sign up in the narthex. 
Congratulations to Cheryl Thomas at the birth of another granddaughter, Rachel Renee Reynolds, on August 4. She weighed 8 lbs. 3.9 oz. and measured 20” long. Parents are Kim Berger and Steve Reynolds. Big sisters are McKenzie & McKayla Uebler. Great-grandparents are Jerry & Esther Thomas. May the Lord bless your family at this special time.
Dear Church Family,
Thank you so much for your faithful prayer support; I feel every prayer! My wrist is feeling better every day and I am feeling the Lord’s encouragement. Keep up the good work!
I love you,
Janice Rowlison
Dear Church Family,
Thank you so much for your devoted prayer for my right wrist, the Lord has graciously provided a healing touch! Dr. Schramm removed my hot pink full arm cast on Tuesday and was very impressed with the flexibility of my wrist! He said it was remarkable. It feels so much better and I am ever so thankful to God for sending me to Dr. Schramm. I was surprised at the stiffness and pain in my elbow but it's getting so much better. Now I understand why the doctors don't want us to sit idle.  Thank you so much for your loving prayers!
Janice Rowlison
Walk to Emmaus
The next dates for the “Walk to Emmaus” are: Men, October 14 to17 and Women, October 21 to 24. Both of these events will be held at the Coldwater United Methodist Church. There is an Early Bird special of $80.00 if you register four weeks in advance. After that the cost is $100.00. If you would like to participate in these spiritually refreshing events, please see Pastor Sherri for an application. More information is available at or .
Time Change
Please note that we will “fall back” to our regular Sunday morning schedule on September 5. Our worship service will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Choir Rehearsal
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.
Our Middle School Youth Group will be meeting every Sunday during Sunday School. They also will meet one weeknight each month, time yet to be determined. Anyone in grades 5-8 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. 
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 paper.
Ben Bartelmay       New Buffalo cross country
Sam Bartelmay      New Buffalo cross country
                                & New Buffalo soccer
Tom Bartelmay      New Buffalo cross country
                                & New Buffalo soccer
Troy Robertson      Western Michigan 
University cheerleading
Susan Seifert         New Buffalo volleyball coach
School Supplies are coming in quite nicely. Keep an eye out for good buys and pick up a few now and then. All will be kept here at the church.
We sent out 84 filled back packs this year and hope to do as many next year – we hope. But, no matter what comes in, all will be sent.
Soon the information will be out on the table in the narthex about the CROP Walk. It will take place October 3, starting from The Gathering (Reformed Church). Keep this event in mind and give it some thought if you like to walk. It will all be walking in Three Oaks. Talk to your family and friends about sponsoring you.
Judy Ross,
Missions Chairperson
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 p.m. Committee chairpersons are asked to submit annual reports on activities to the church office by October 15. These will be combined in a booklet for members who attend the conference. 
Forming a Faithful Future
On Christian Education Sunday, September 12, 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.
College Students Fall 2010
Our church has many college students. Most of them have already begun their fall studies. We pray they will all have a great year ahead. If there are any corrections to the following list please inform the church office.
Kerri Becktell        Michigan State Medical School
Mike Becktell        Western Michigan University
Angie Hauch         Kendall College
Joe Hinman           Grand Valley State University
Jeff Jakeway         Lake Michigan College
Kelsey Jakeway    Grand Valley State University
Tom Martin            Lake Michigan College
Steve Petro           Central Michigan University
Nick Reitz              Grand Valley State University
Troy Robertson     Western Michigan University
Quinn Watkins      Lake Michigan College
News From Your Finance Committee
At the end of the 2010 second quarter we have a General Fund balance of $11,941.22. Our beginning balance was $12,097.74 with expenses of $27,686.35 and income of $27,529.83.
The second quarter Designated Fund beginning balance was $2,446.98 with an income of $6,404.43.
Through the donations from our congregation, the following designated funds were given out in the second quarter of this year.
Native American Sunday ------------$   51.00
Camp Fund -------------------------   525.00
P.E.T.-----------------------------   100.00
Golden Cross ----------------------    10.00
Haiti Kits Shipping----------------   408.00
Peace With Justice ----------------    35.00
TOTAL:                             $1,129.00
The second quarter leaves us in good shape financially.
Thank you for your dedication and efforts.
Jim Thompson,
Finance Chairperson
Sunday School
It’s time for a new year of Sunday School! Rally Day will be September 12. Our theme this year is: “God Smiles in Flowers”. Fun games, crafts, music and refreshments are being planned by our teachers.
There will again be two classes this year – one for grades Kindergarten through fourth and the other for grades fifth through eighth. 
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.
Thank you to our teachers for working hard on these plans. They are: Julie Becktell, Mary Behrle, Gayle Martin, Rhonda Petro, and Aimee Seifert
It’s time to start planning for our annual Chicken Dinner. Port-A-Pit is back! Check your mailboxes at church for your tickets. If they are not picked up, they will be mailed to you. We will be collecting money and unsold tickets after church. Or you may drop them off at the church during the week. Please pay for sold tickets or return any unsold tickets by September 23. 
There are sign-up sheets in the narthex on the table by the kitchenette window with various ways you can help. We count on the church as a whole to make this fundraiser successful. We are once again serving potato salad, baked beans, bread and dessert bars. Last year there were an over-abundance of brownies. We have placed several recipes for various bar cookies on the table with the sign-up sheets should you need one. 
This is always a fun event. If you’ve never been involved, please consider helping in some way. If you have any questions, call Rhonda Hinman at 756-7560 or the church office at 756-2053.
What a wonderful, busy summer this has been. We have been blessed with many talented, willing people to share their musical talents. Our youth have shared their singing and playing of instruments, as well as the adults. We thank you so much for filling in for the choir’s absence.
Speaking of choir, we will be starting on Thursday, September 2, at 6:30 p.m. There is always a part for anyone who wishes to join. We hope to have the choir loft full.
As we begin our fall season, remember worship time will change to 11:00 a.m. beginning on September 5. Hope to see those of you who have had busy weekends returning to join us again.
Sharon Flick,
Worship chairperson
Please Note
Please turn in all submissions for next month’s Parish Post newsletter by September 20.
Technology Committee
After meeting eight times this summer – including consultation with four companies (from Goshen, Niles, St. Joseph, and Rolling Prairie) and visits to two other churches (in Buchanan and New Buffalo) – our Technology Committee developed recommendations for audiovisual equipment in our sanctuary. This information was presented at a congregational meeting following worship last week. We greatly appreciate all the many people who took time to hear the proposal and discuss it with our committee.
Following this, Church Council approval was sought to move ahead with the project. This was granted unanimously in a vote of 13-0. The Technology Committee will meet again soon to determine our next steps. Though it will take some time to get everything up and running – especially since most of our labor will be from volunteers after work hours – we hope to be operational sometime in late fall. 
Here’s what is planned: the three overhead projectors currently up in front will be removed, all existing sound equipment and new video equipment will be consolidated in the back of the sanctuary on the west end, a new laptop computer and software will be purchased to run the needed programs, two 55” flat screens will be installed on the south wall of the sanctuary to each side of the choir loft and one smaller 32” monitor will be installed on a swinging arm above the overflow area.
These improvements will be paid for from: an estate gift the church received this past spring, a substantial contribution from our Memorial Fund, as well as money from last year’s and this year’s Chicken Dinners.  It is projected that approximately $1,500 still will be needed beyond these funds. An appeal will be made to the congregation to raise the remaining amount. Donations of any size will be much appreciated.
We want to say a big thank you to our dedicated committee members who have worked so hard on these plans: Dennis Comfort, Rick Cooper, Jim Flick, Doug Hinman, Mary Klug, Ron Petro, Jim Thompson, and Pastor Sherri.
Beginning September 7, our secretary’s office hours will change to Tuesday through Friday 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. 
. . . Doug & Rhonda Hinman for purchasing and installing new bookshelves for our church library collection.
. . . Ron & Rhonda Petro for donating a wireless computer router for our church office.
Soul Sisters
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, September 29, at 2:00 p.m. at the church, unless announced differently.
The following was submitted by Helen Heward and Soul Sisters:
Be Kind to Humankind Week
All the negative news you read about in the paper each day and hear on your local news station is disheartening. But the truth is the “positive” stories outweigh the bad ones by a long shot! We just don’t hear about them as often. Take heart. . . most people are caring individuals. Show you care by being kind. Daily affirmations for this week:
Motorist Consideration Monday
Touch-a-Heart Tuesday
Willing to Lend a Hand Wednesday
Thoughtful Thursday
Forgive Your Foe Friday
Speak Kind Words Saturday
Sacrifice our Wants for Others’ Needs Sunday
Polo Shirts
Our middle school youth group is selling cotton polo shirts in a variety of colors with the Three Oaks UMC logo. There are youth sizes Small to Extra Large for $10.00 each; women’s sizes Small to 2XL and men’s sizes S to 3XL for $15.00 each. 
They are also offering tote bags with navy or burgundy trim for $8.00 and fleece blankets in a variety of colors for $16.00.
Samples and color choices will be on display in the narthex through the month of September. Money raised will go toward the 2011 summer mission trip.
Contact Rhonda Petro or Julie Becktell with any questions.
Pastor Sherri will offer a New Member Class on Wednesday, September 29, at 7:00 p.m. If you are interested in joining the church at this time, please let her know. The class will provide information about the history, beliefs, and organization of our denomination and the local congregation. If you are not available on this day, another can be arranged.
Sunday School Mission Project
Thanks to everyone in the congregation for bringing back your collection cans full to overflowing. With your help we raised $701.25 for the Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding Ranch. Awesome! 
This money will help provide horseback riding for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The unique relationship formed between the participant and the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience, and self-esteem. When added together, small coins can do great things!
CROP Hunger Walk 2010
“We Walk Because They Walk”
The annual Harbor Country CROP Hunger Walk will be held Sunday, October 3, at The Gathering (RCA) in Three Oaks. Registration and a light lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. Walkers will step off at 1:15 p.m. You may choose one of three different routes – short, medium, and longer distances.
Hundreds of communities across the nation each year hold this walk to raise awareness and money for the fight against world hunger. Twenty-five percent percent goes to the Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry to help those in our local communities. The remaining funds are used to provide food and clean drinking water to people in need around the world. For the past 24 years Michigan has been the lead fund raising region in the USA. Since 1981 local walkers have raised over $107,000. Please come out and join our fight against hunger.
If you have any questions about our local walk, speak to Mission Chairperson, Judy Ross, or Pastor Sherri.
Note from Dr. Elma Jocson, missionary

“I’m happy to note that so many people are lovingly asking about me. I thank you for your love and support to the mission. This is the 1st prayer bulletin as I start my service in Liberia.

1. It’s official. . . I have passed all three exams for pediatric surgeons. I’m now a board certified Pediatric Surgeon. Praise be to God!

2. I have booked my flights. I’m leaving Manila on September 7 arriving Monrovia the following day. From Manila to Bangkok to Nairobi to Accra then finally to Monrovia. I'll be serving in Ganta United Methodist Hospital as a general surgeon. Although I am a Pediatric surgeon I will do all range of operations as long as our resources allows us. A supporting church gifted me with money to buy reference books which are not available there. The hospital was looted and burned down when Charles Taylor was still in power. It was only rebuilt and re-opened in 2005. I am told also to bring my own scrubs and gloves. I was trying to bargain on a cheaper kind of sterile surgical gloves. Then I remembered the HIV issue in Africa. Why would I compromise my safety because of cost when a church has given me money? Thank God for this gift. I am bringing 100 pairs of high grade, thicker (Orthopedic), costly surgical gloves. By the time they are used up I'll be able to scout for another supply source from there. Or I'll just double-glove myself. I also was gifted by my Optometrist with hoards of protective eyewear for wearing during ORs. And reading glasses, too.  God is so generous!

3. Something showed up on my pelvic ultrasound, a uterine polyp. I was initially told to just observe it since I have no symptoms. But I have met with another Ob/Gyn and she told me that for my age and my father's history of cancer, I should have it biopsied. So I saw another specialist again and behold. . . when she did the ultrasound it was gone. Gone!!! Isn’t God wonderful?

4. My mother is well.  She is excited with her upcoming (extended) visit to Liberia. She is planning on her ministries to children and women. She just had cataract surgeries to both eyes. She will be 76 in December.
Please pray for our transition into life in Liberia. These are all our plans but we are open to God's leading and will submit to His will.

Thanks for praying.
*Note: if you would like to receive Dok Elma’s monthly e-musing (in full, this is an excerpt), please let us know in the church office and we will forward it to you.
District Evangelism Event
The Kalamazoo District Committee on Evangelism is sponsoring a District Evangelism Event on Wednesday, September 15, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Marcellus United Methodist Church (197 West Main Street, Marcellus). Childcare will be provided.
Cinde Lucas, an Associate Evangelist with the National Association of United Methodist Evangelists, will be coming from Nashville, TN, with a message of hope, renewal and encouragement through word and song. Her mission is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through music, speaking, drama, and prayer. It is a message that will support and give strength as you grow in your personal relationship with the Lord.  We will also find encouragement for the current ministries of our church and discover opportunities to reach out and make new disciples in the name of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
P.E.T. News
Dear PET supporters,
I am asked from time to time what PET is doing in Haiti. Recently 1,338 mobility devices were distributed there. I will see the complete report in September at the Annual PET meeting, this year being held at the new PET Affiliate in Holland, Michigan.  We have been sending a lot of parts to the Holland PET shop. They specialize in making the child size PET.  
Thank you for all your help.
God Bless,
Ray Truhn 
PET SIGHTING: Kathleen Miner, daughter of Earl Miner who designed the PET, and brother of Rodney Miner, who helped design and built many PETs early
on, works in relief work in Haiti. This e-mail came today: "Here in Haiti I had some very wonderful PET sightings. It was a terrific feeling to see a man waiting on his PET while filled water jugs were placed in the bed of the PET for him to take back to the shelter. The second PET was parked outside a store.  I am very proud of all the work that has been done to bring PETs to so many."
September Anniversaries 
11 Dennis & Nancy Comfort
12 Doug & Rhonda Hinman
15 Dan & Julie Becktell
17 Bob & Linda Flick
19 Ken & Becky Seifert
22 Jim & Sharon Flick
     Paul & Faye Sittig
28 Craig & Kris Goodenough

September Birthdays 
  2 Steven Ireland
     Daniel Petro
  3 Jack Seifert
  3 Joe Heward (92!)
  7 Esther Thomas
     Sara Williams
  8 Joshua Seifert
 10 Ron Kersey 
      Lori Kozel
      Steve Seifert
      Charmaine Thompson
      Marlyn Williams
 11 Yuriko Cooper
 15 Jill Hauch
 16 Janice Rowlinson
 18 Sam Bartelmay
      Tom Bartelmay
      Joanie Davidson
 19 Jayne Payne
 20 Joy Ackerman 
 22 Austin Flick
      Beverly Harrington
      Shirley Hoadley
 23 Trey Ackerman
 24 Lisa Henrich
      Keith Zabel
      Kevin Zabel
 26 Ruth Ann Cline
 27 Ellie Ferrell
      Doug Hinman
      Chuck Williams
 28 Gary Brayboy  
      Bob Reitz
      Bill Swanson 
      Madison Vollman
Sunday Services
 Summer sermon series: 
“A Dynamic Dozen” concludes.
August 29
Sermon: “The Least, The Last”
(James – the Less, Judas – not Iscariot)
Scripture: Matthew 19:27-30
September 5
Sermon: “One Bad Apple” (Judas Iscariot)
Scripture: Matthew 26:47-56
September 12
Rally Day/Christian Education offering
Sermon: “Even the Found Can Get Lost”
Scripture: Luke 15:1-10
September 19
Sermon: “Good Lessons from Bad People"
Scripture: Luke 16:1-13
Switch to Red Hymnals (UMH)
September 26
Sermon: “Neighbors Who Never Met”
Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
October 3
World Communion
Sermon: “Invited to the Table"
Scripture: Luke 17:5-10
Matthew 26:51-54