Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 38 - Issue #12   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service

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“My soul magnifies the Lord,
      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor
      on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations
      will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
      and holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-48
Ignore or Adore?
A concerned little girl approached her father one day and said, “Daddy, I just don’t think it’s right that everybody ignores Jesus.” 
The father was surprised, but proud of this insight on the part of his daughter.  “I agree with you,” he said.  “We shouldn’t ignore Jesus and too many people do at Christmas time.  But what made you think of that?” 
“Well, it’s that song we sing at church,” she said.  “You know, the one that says, ‘O come, let us ignore him.’”
Out of the mouths of babes. Obviously, she was confused about the words to that favorite Christmas carol Adeste Fideles “ O Come, All Ye Faithful.” However, she was right on the mark as to the all-too-prevalent attitude of this season. People rush here and there, caught up in a multitude of “Christ”mas activities without much realization, it seems, of why they are doing all these things.
How about you? During the month ahead, will you ignore him or will you adore him? 
If you want to get into an attitude of adoration, I would suggest you turn to two lovely passages of Scripture found in Luke’s gospel just before the place where we usually begin reading the Christmas story: Mary’s song (the Magnificat) in Luke 1:46-55 and Zechariah’s song (the Benedictus) in Luke 1:68-79.  
Mary begins by proclaiming, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Other translations say that she “exalts,” “glorifies,” and “praises” the Lord. This verse is pure adoration. 
To get the full impact of Mary’s words we must remember what has just happened in her life. She has been visited by an angel and told that she is to bear a son, Jesus. 
If I had been in Mary’s shoes I most likely would have had a panic attack at that moment. Even the Holy Mother appears a bit flummoxed by the news. “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” she asks. The angel assures her, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Mary takes this at face value. “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word,” she replies. 
Then, instead of barricading herself in the house and popping some pills, she sets out to visit her cousin. While there, her heart overflows in praise and adoration. Aren’t we glad it did? For we are left with one of the most beautiful passages of Scripture and – even more significantly – we are left with a tremendous example of faith. 
Just a few months after this vignette, John the Baptist is born. As soon as he is given a name, his father’s previously bound tongue is turned loose. After all his days of silence, what is the first thing Zechariah says? “Holy cow!?” or “Pass the potatoes.?” No, he breaks into a song of praise to God: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David.” 
These two persons in our treasured Christmas story surely did not ignore the Savior. Rather, they chose to adore him. I hope that will be your choice, as well. Join us for worship any Sunday at 11:00 a.m. or on Christmas Eve at 6:00 p.m. “O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.”
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!
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 and Scott McDonald.
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:
Dick Adamec, Kay Becvar, Lois Boyle, Jim Cody, Virginia Feather, Barb Geisler, Brittney Gibbs, Janice Gibson, Lianna Hadden, Ken Harp, Beverly Harrington, Daniel Harrington, Robert Hass, Donna Julian, Sayuri Kakimoto, Erv Klug, George Koebel, Kaitlin Koth, Doris Krossovitch, John Lambert, Les Lee, Lucy Lee, Betty Martin, Angello Olson, Bill Parker, Nicole Phillips, Lynn Reitz, Elna Rogers, Bill Ross, Janice Rowlison, Alvin Schroeter, Bill and Betty Swanson, Louise Uebler,
Alice Vacanti, Dave Vales, Greta Vollman, Wayne Weller and Ken Williams.
Those who grieve
Family and friends of Lew Bowen, Dr. Klaus Friedburg, Mike Hampton, Pauline Rupe, Jan Smith, Carol Waak, and Arthur Zebell.
Those seeking employment.
Our church Steering Team.
Upspoken prayers for someone in a deep depression.
Jeff Comfort and his family.
Please noteNames will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received. 
Church Leaders
New leaders for our various church committees were elected this fall at the annual Church Conference. A directory of those individuals who will be serving is posted on the "Our Volunteers" page of our website. Click the link to the left to go there now.
Thank you to all these persons for agreeing to serve Christ and his church through these important ministries. If there is some way that you would like to be involved in the future, please speak to Pastor Sherri about your interests.
A Note
“Joe and I surely have missed our Sunday church services and think of each of you often.
It is Christmas here at the Hearth with beautiful trees and decorations everywhere. We invite all who can visit us and see our wonderful accommodations.
The Advent Devotional is great with so much perception and thought. We thank all who contributed. It adds much to our holiday enjoyment.
Joe & Helen Heward
Our Deepest Sympathy 
We extend our sympathy to the family of Dr. Klaus Friedburg who died November 20 at age 93. He was a longtime veterinarian in Three Oaks and a member of our church. Please pray for his wife, Donna, and their sons, Marty,  Paul, and Jerry.
We also extend our sympathy to Betty Swanson at the death of her sister, Carol Waak, on November 25. May the Lord comfort you at this time.
Christmas Eve
Our traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 24. Invite your family and friends and come to worship the Newborn King!
Sisters in Faith are planning their annual Christmas party on Wednesday, December 15, at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at the home of Faye Sittig, 19815 Sittig Road. Please sign up in the narthex so we know how many to expect and what dish you will bring.
Don’t forget your Secret Sister’s gift (if you have one) and a wrapped gift for our adopted family.
We are taking a group of 26 women to see the show “Away in the Basement – A Church Basement Ladies Christmas” on Sunday, December 19, at 4:00 p.m. at the Mendel Center Mainstage at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor. The play is set in 1959 on the day of the Sunday School Christmas Program. Thanks to Rhonda Hinman for purchasing the tickets.
"Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for sending me a care package! Classes are going well. It was very nice of you to think of me.
Thank you,
Mike Becktell"
Mark Your Calendars
The River Valley Ministerial Association will sponsor a community Advent Service on Sunday, December 5, at 6:00 p.m. at St. John Congregation of Three Oaks. This will be a service of lessons and carols incorporating the beautiful music and Scripture readings of the season. An offering will be received for the RVMA to assist people in need. Plan now to attend this service marking the beginning of the Advent Season with your friends and neighbors.
Community Event
Join us for the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree and caroling on Sunday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. in Carver Park (across from the Speedway Station). Cookies and hot cocoa will be served afterwards at the Fire Station by the Sisters in Faith.
This year we have again prepared a book of meditations written by members of our church and community to help you celebrate the Advent season. Pick up your copy in the narthex. Donations are being received to cover the costs of printing. An online version will not be available this year.
Thank you to Faye Sittig for coordinating this project and thanks to all those who were so gracious to write a message for the book.
Planning for 2011
Thanks to all who have already made commitments to our 2011 church budget. To date we have received 34 pledges for $63,396. We hope to raise this number significantly before our Stewardship Campaign wraps up at year’s end.
If you have not yet made a commitment, please consider doing so. Extra pledge cards are available on the table in the narthex. They may be placed in the offering plate or returned to the church office.
 Thank You!
"Pastor Sherri and congregation,
Thank you for a lovely service and a wonderful meal!
In God’s Love,
Bernie & Linda Klinedinst
Sheila Pappa & Girls"
Christmas Flowers
The Worship Committee is once again making poinsettias available for purchase. The colors available are: red, white, pink, burgundy, marble (leans to white with pink marbling), and jingle bells (red with pink and white specks). The cost is $7.50 per plant
Order forms will be in the bulletin each Sunday until all order are due on December 5. Please include your payment with your order. You may take your plants home following our worship service on Christmas Eve. 
. . . to Yuriko Cooper for distributing many posters around the area for our Cookie Walk, and all the other people who helped with publicity for this event and the Tree Lighting. 
Sunday School News
Our Sunday School program will be held on December 19 during the  morning worship service. There will be songs and readings to tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Please put this on your calendar now and plan to invite your family and friends.
Special Giving
Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton invites all United Methodists to give a special offering during the Advent season to children who are in need around the world. This year he has designated a life saving mission called Spring United Methodist Center near St. Petersburg, Russia, as the recipient of our Advent gifts. The Spring Center is a sanctuary for children escaping households of violence, poverty, addiction and abuse. Everyday these boys and girls receive warm food, clothing and education. They also receive the daily message that God loves them and values their lives.
We will receive our Advent offering on Christmas Eve. There will be inserts in the worship bulletin with further details.
Winter Sports
Best wishes to these athletes as their winter sports season gets underway:
Ben Bartelmay      New Buffalo Varsity Basketball
Jessica Kersey      River Valley Varsity Basketball
Heather Rowlison River Valley Cheerleading
Sam Bartelmay     New Buffalo JV Basketball
Tom Bartelmay     New Buffalo JV Basketball
Dana Hammons    River Valley JV Basketball
Paige Barbour      River Valley MS Basketball
Pageant Update
Congratulations to Heather Rowlison who was crowned Miss Congeniality at the Miss Three Oaks pageant on November 13. This honor is very fitting, for we all know Heather as one of the nicest girls around. We hope you have a wonderful year representing our community at various events!
Paige Barbour and Katharine Kersey also presented themselves very well in the Little Miss Three Oaks pageant. They both looked lovely and their bright smiles lit up the stage. 
Great job, ladies! You’re all queens in our eyes.
Psychological Services
Andrews Community Counseling Center offers counseling for a wide range of issues to individuals, families, couples and groups. This service is provided entirely free of charge. You will be seen by a professionally trained graduate student working under faculty supervision. Please call to make a confidential appointment and experience the joy of positive change at (269)471-6238 or pick up a brochure in the narthex.
G.R.A.P.E.S Update
Our youth group is selling Cranberry Barn candles as a fundraiser for their Mission Trip in July of 2011. The candles are in 26 oz. jars and sell for $18 each. They are available in the following scents: Apple & Spice, Blackberry Pie, Cranberry Patch, Granny’s Kitchen, Just Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, Raspberry Lemonade, Cinnamon Bun, Gingerbread and Pineapple Burst. See Rhonda Petro to purchase yours. They make great Christmas gifts!
Snow Shoveling
Our Trustees recently hired Margie Weers to keep our church sidewalks and steps free of snow and ice this winter. Margie is the sister of our nursery attendant, Morgan Weers. Thanks for the help, Margie! 
Save the Date
January 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will be the date for our Kalamazoo District Leadership Development and District Conference at Paw Paw UMC. This wonderful event will be FREE with guest speaker Barb Flory speaking on “Creating Welcoming Places.” Workshops will include: 21st Century Technology, Emerging Worship, Trustees, Finance & Treasurer, and SPRC. Make sure to put this on your calendar now. 
Historical Corner
Submitted by
Eleanor Desmond
From the Galien River Gazette,
August 10, 1933
“M.E. Church Fire Causes $500 Damage”
A fire which started in the attic of the Methodist church Tuesday noon threatened to destroy the entire building, but through the efforts of Charles Pontius, a local fire fighter, the damage was held to about $500. The fire trucks were prompt and arrived on the scene early and the firemen immediately started spraying two streams of water on the roof of the edifice. Mr. Pontius, however, went inside the church and through a hole in the ceiling of the body of the church he crawled into the attic and called for the chemical hose and in a very short time the fire was completely extinguished.
September 28, 1933
The Methodist church of Three Oaks will open wide her doors to people in the community at the floral re-dedication service Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. The auditorium and annex have been very adequately repaired and beautifully re-decorated since the recent fire of late summer.
Rev. l. W. Manning, pastor of the church, will welcome into his pulpit Dr. W.F. Kendrick of Kalamazoo, who will deliver the address of the re-dedication service. 
Hospitality Team
Our newly formed Hospitality Team is asking for your help. Everyone who is able please save the parking spaces on the street and closest to the building for our visitors and those handicapped. Thanks for your help as we pursue “Radical Hospitality”!
Weather Closings
As winter is upon us, we are making preparations for the possibility of bad weather. Usually, we will have Sunday services if Pastor Sherri can manage the drive. However, if we should decide to close, this information will be posted on, TV channel 16, and;, TV channel 22. You can go to these websites and have closing information automatically sent to your cell phone or via e-mail. On weekdays, the church office will be closed if River Valley Schools are closed. 
Please use caution when venturing out over these next several months.  We want everyone to stay safe!
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Just a message to share: We had the pleasure of having grandson Matthew Peterson spend an evening and an overnight with us last week. It was a real pleasure! Matthew and I went down to breakfast and shared a table with an older lady whom I had met. After a brief introduction, Matthew responded by asking, “How was your day yesterday?” which followed by further conversation. This dear lady’s face lit up, and she seemed so happy to know that some little stranger would care about her.  It brightened her day!
Three days later we received notice of her passing and funeral service on the 25th!
Can this not be a great lesson for each of us to take a moment to offer bits of kindness to those around us, including stranger whom we may meet. We never know who may need a shoulder to lean on.
Helen Heward
Dok Elma’s E-musing
November 2010
Today is a great day! There’s water flowing from the faucet! But we still need to fill the drum because flowing water is unusual and therefore short-lived. There hasn’t been electricity in the house for three days now. My refrigerator's use is to keep the ants out. The hospital however is kept supplied by a smaller generator. (Maybe I should start living in the hospital.) No cold drink in a very warm climate is our excuse to enjoy cold coke when we go walking to the market in the evening. Therefore, it’s still a great day! What about you, praying friend, are you having a great day?
There is a mother hen sitting on her nest outside my house. She has been sitting on her nine eggs for over ten days now. Daily we check if the chicks have hatched, observing the mother hen if she needs something. I just finished a Caesarian Section to a 15-year-old mom, delivering a healthy baby boy who got stuck on his way out. While closing I asked her how many children she plans to have. "Three", she said. I congratulated her for the baby and her three-child plan. When the procedure was finished everyone thanked each other. But the best "thank you" is from the patient complemented with a smile.
I don’t always get a smile from my patients. Some patients keep my faith muscle exercised. Greeyah, a 19-year-old who first came to Ganta with a perforated uterus. She became pregnant, went for an abortion in which she had several holes in her uterus while the fetus remained. She was toxic when she came – septic because of the infected, perforated uterus. There were at least four through and through holes, with several more perforating half way through. Because she was so young we decided to try to salvage whatever is left of her uterus. My colleague says it might recover. But the uterus didn’t recover and Greeyah went in for a total hysterectomy. Sad – 19 years, first pregnancy, out of wedlock, no uterus. After a week she developed 2.8 Liters of pus in her abdomen! She breaks my heart! I wake up in the middle of the night, she comes to mind and I pray for her. Every morning I expect a smile or her saying she feels better. But she isn’t! She now has pus in her chest and a re-accumulation of pus in her belly. She is thin and weak, and not happy. As one radio program always says, "Life is not a series of chances but a series of choices.” With this overwhelming infection, I should be thankful she’s still alive. This goes for me as well. Greeyah's situation would have been different if I just went ahead and took out her uterus.
Yesterday I took her back to the operating theater to wash up her belly and irrigate her lungs. She was holding on to dear life. All the staff was moved to pray for her. This morning I was blessed to see her sitting up, with improved demeanor. Please, please pray for Greeyah.
My hair. . . Although the dye hasn’t passed its use-by-date, I did not get my blond streaks. Just as well, or I might look like a half baked zebra! Maybe I should try purple. . . I’m going home to the Philippines this Thanksgiving weekend for a surgical conference and then get my mother. We will be back here by December 16th. Mother is looking forward to staying here with me as a new ministry.
Thanks for praying.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Dr. Elma Jocson
Ganta United Methodist Hospital
Nimba County, Liberia (West Africa) 
To our wonderful church family, friends, and loved ones,
Pastor Sherri, you’ve been great! We thank God for each of you in your loving support of cards, love gifts, phone calls. . . and, most of all your continued prayers for George, and also for me!
God has heard your prayers and George is continuing his steps back to good health. George shares with you that when he started his prayers on the morning that he was “put on hold” – the lines were all busy! God bless each of you, and we thank God for this opportunity to see His blessings in action!
Thank you, Thank you!
Vivian & George Koebel 
Thank You to all who have supported us with prayers, kind words, and cards through the past several weeks.  We are pleased to report that our home is “almost” back to normal, and our son, Jeff, is doing extremely well.  This week he is driving his grandparents to Florida and plans to check out job openings while he is there.
We apologize for the disruption of service to the website and for the inability to get the video enhancements to the service ready for use during the holidays.  Thank you so much for your understanding and support.
Dennis, Nancy & Jeff Comfort
Extreme Nursery Makeover
OK. . . OK. . . it probably won't be extreme.   But we do plan a noticeable difference to our valuable nursery.  We must first applaud Morgan who faithfully takes care of our little ones (and very little ones) during church.  She has been doing an admirable job! Three cheers!

The time is long overdue to change out most of the toys, re-glue the chairs, and paint the big rocker.  So here we go. . . during the next two months most children and grandchildren, in our church, will receive brand new toys.  This means these children will have "old" toys that they soon will no doubt forget as they play with their new toys.

Should this happen at your house and you're looking for somewhere to "store" the old toys. . . why not donate them to our "makeover" project? We will be collecting all donations in the extra Sunday School room in the southeast corner which is used for storage.  We will appreciate any and all contributions between now and the third week of January.
We want to purchase two new items. . . large blocks that the children love but are sooooo used that they are tattered and dirty.  Also a table that all children can use with large "Lego style" building blocks.  Both of these purchases will take some $$$ so we are accepting monetary donations, also. (Soon a donation box will be available in our Narthex). 

One other thing we will be using frequently in our new nursery is Clorox Anywhere.  It comes in spray bottles for about $2.50 each.    We will accept donations of this child-safe disinfectant.

Please don't hesitate to contact Mary should you have any questions at (269)684-6480.
Thanks in advance for your donations,

Mary Behrle
Nancy Comfort
Morgan Weers
P.E.T. Update
The Holland P.E.T. shop has become one of Ray Truhn’s largest customers. Although they are starting to get their supplier base broadened so they don't depend on one source for so many parts, he still sends a lot of parts their way. One advantage with them being only about 90 miles away is that many deliveries are by someone driving them up; this holds down the FedEx costs.  
He has also been sending a very large variety of parts to Spokane, Washington. He is always looking for inexpensive ways to ship the parts, which can weigh hundreds of pounds at a time. If you know of someone traveling that direction and who may be willing to take boxes of parts, please let Ray know. Free transportation is a great way to stretch P.E.T. dollars.
Below are a few updates from P.E.T. newsletters and there are more on our bulletin board in the narthex. Make sure you check out the stories of people worldwide whose lives are touched by this “Gift of Mobility” that has a start right here.
Congo: Two Methodist ministers were visiting along with their two grandsons from Holland and they had the opportunity to deliver a P.E.T. to a person in a village.  When they delivered the P.E.T. to the house the person was sitting with her braces and crutches. She was helped on the P.E.T. by a nurse and began 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. The nurse noted that there were 23 children in that area who could not walk either from polio or injuries. The need is great.
Haiti: Myrta has had an extremely hard life. Her legs are paralyzed and her husband abused her and left her alone to care for their three children. Each morning her family members would take her outside and lay her under a tree for the day. Different family members would bring her food since she had no way to get around. She was given a wheelchair but couldn’t push it herself on the rough roads and had to find a volunteer to push her to church on Sundays. Then, she was given a P.E.T. Now she can pedal, on her own, to church and doesn’t have to sit under a tree all day.
Thank you for your continued support in helping to get God’s children up off the ground and give them some of their dignity back.
Please Note
Please turn in all submissions for next month’s Parish Post newsletter by December 20.
December Anniversary 
29 Bill & Judy Ross

December Birthdays
   1 Laura Donner
   2 Brooklyn Henderson
   6 Bob Flick
   8 Mary Klug
      Nick Hinman
   9 Autumn Ackerman
      Kyle Seifert
 10 Sheila Swanson
 11 Lloyd Gearhart (85!) 
      Robin Ireland
 12 Emma Springer
 15 Karen Seifert
 19 Cindy Jakeway
 27 Dolores Hinman
 29 Steve Shimek
 30 Judy Ross
Christmas Season Sermon Series 
“When the Messiah Comes. . .”
December 5
“When The Messiah Comes. . . There Will Be Peace”
Isaiah 11:1-10
Second Sunday of Advent
December 12
“When the Messiah Comes. . . There Will Be Singing”
Isaiah 35:1-10
Third Sunday of Advent
December 19
Sunday School Christmas Program
Luke 2:1-20
Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
“When the Messiah Comes. . . A Child Will Be Born”
Isaiah 9:2-7
December 26
“When the Messiah Comes. . .God Will Be With Us”
Matthew 1:18-25