Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 39 - Issue #1   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law. . . , so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law. . . , so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 
I Corinthians 9: 19-23
By All Possible Means
Here we are again at the start of another New Year. It seems like just a couple of months ago we were beginning 2010. For my newsletter article last January I wrote about receiving an i-Pod for Christmas and how I was learning to use modern technology. 
Well, the journey continues and now some of my learning will be taking place at church. After numerous meetings of our Technology Committee and the Church Council this past year, we’ve made a decision to install projection screens in our sanctuary. Our launch date is January 16. 
I recognize that not everyone will be thrilled by the new system. Yet, we are proceeding with these plans for a purpose: in order to win as many people as possible for Jesus Christ. This is, after all, the mission of our church: to make disciples. 
Reflecting on our efforts, I am drawn to the passage of Scripture above. In these verses the Apostle Paul explains to the Corinthians that he is willing to try different approaches in sharing the gospel in order to reach different populations. This is not because he is a chameleon, but because he is flexible. He knows who he is; yet, he recognizes that not everyone is like him. 
Similarly, I recognize that not everyone is like me. If we planned worship only according to my preferences, we would follow a more liturgical style – similar to the Episcopal Church. There would be longer periods of silence and more classical sacred music. We’d be kneeling and chanting and swinging the incense! But worship is not about me. First and foremost, it is about God. Then too, it is about all the people who desire to worship God. 
Through a process of study we have discovered that most churches now use video projection in worship. In particular, churches that are growing, as well as churches that appeal to young people, make effective use of twenty-first century technology. Those in the Millennial Generation have been saturated with media from the day they were born. If we are to reach them, we must become conversant in their language and adept at using their communication tools.
I appreciate the attitude expressed to me by one octogenarian in our congregation. This person told me, “My needs are already being met in our church by the preaching and the fellowship. I don’t expect that will change. If this project will help someone else’s needs be met, then I’m all in favor of it.” What a wonderfully open and generous spirit!  May we all be so kind and so concerned about the needs of others.
How about it? For the sake of the gospel, will you come to worship this month with an openness to new experiences and a willingness to place the needs of others ahead of your own? 
It is my sincere hope that there will be something for everyone in our worship services. This means not only those who are already here, but also those who may yet walk through our doors. Reaching new people requires trying new things. Like Paul, I am willing to use all possible means in order to win some. 
One final word, please be patient as we learn how to operate this new system. Be gentle with the volunteers who are giving of their time to prepare and present new worship components. There are many things to learn in the months ahead.  We will appreciate your constructive criticism, we will value your supportive encouragement, and we will depend on your prayers. 
Grace and peace to you in this New Year!
Pastor Sherri
 “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, Jim Parker.
Those who are in care facilities:
Barney Fay, Shirley Hoadley, Tecla Kaiser, Marjorie Weller.
Those who are homebound:
Dorothy Brayboy, Lloyd Gearhart, Kathryn Renbarger, Thais Williams.

Those with health problems:
Lois Boyle, Barb Geisler, Lianna Hadden, Beverly Harrington, Daniel Harrington, Robert Hass, Lisa Henrich, Maria Joseph, Sayuri Kakimoto, George Koebel, Doris Krossovitch, John Lambert, Les Lee, Lucy Lee, Rylie Miller, Jim Parker, Lynn Reitz, Tim Richter, Elna Rogers, Bill Ross, Janice Rowlison, Alvin Schroeter, Louise Uebler, Alice Vacanti, Dave Vales, Greta Vollman, Wayne Weller.
Those who grieve: 
Family and friends of Bob Trapp.

Our church Steering Team.
Those seeking employment.
Premature baby Amena.
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
Christmas Decorations
Our church always looks so lovely at the holidays. Of course, what goes up must come down. The Worship Committee will be putting the decorations away on Saturday, January 8, at 9:00 a.m. They would welcome help from anyone who is available that morning.
As The Parish Post was going to press last month, we received news of the death of Pauline Rupe on November 30 after a courageous four-year battle with cancer. She was just 68. Many of you remember when the Rupes served our church from 1970 to 1975. How delighted they were to return for a visit in the summer of 2009 when Meredith filled in for Pastor Sherri while she was on vacation.
After being a supportive pastor’s wife for many years, Pauline became a pastor herself in later life. She served for eight years in the Upper Peninsula before retiring. She was also mother to three children: Dylan, Manuel, and Majenica. Cards may be sent to Meredith at the following address:
Rev. Dr. Meredith Rupe
5588 South Skyline Drive
Evergreen, CO  80439-5416
Sixteen women enjoyed a wonderful time at our annual Christmas party hosted by Faye Sittig last month. Her house is always so lovely during this season, decorated with countless treasures in every room! Two highlights of the evening were the arrival of Ellie Rogers on her first major outing following surgery in November and a phone call from Bev Harrington in Florida. 
It was reported that our proceeds from the Cookie Walk came to $1,333.85. Thank you to all who baked and/or purchased goodies. 
Our meeting this month will be on the usual third Wednesday of the month, January 19, at 7:00 p.m. Marcia Hess and Rhonda Hinman will bring refreshments. Our Bible Study will be on Chapter 7 “Leah – Morning Has Broken." All women of the church are welcome. 
Sunday School News
Thanks to the children of our church for a wonderful program on Sunday, December 19. All the readers, actors, and singers did such a fine job. Thanks to Julie Becktell for organizing the program, to Rhonda Petro for providing costumes and props and to the other teachers – Mary Behrle and Gayle Martin for working with the children.
Save the Date
Plans are underway for our ninth annual Valentine Tea for all the ladies of our church and their guests. The date has been set for Wednesday, February 9, at 7:00 p.m. Having learned our lesson from last year, we’ve also set a “snow date” of the following Wednesday, February 16, in case the weather is inclement. Our program will feature the “Mad Scrapper” (a/k/a Rhonda Petro) showing us how to make a couple of homemade greeting cards for a sweetheart or a good friend. In addition, music will be provided by Jeff Comfort. We hope you will be able to join us for this evening of entertainment and fellowship!
Leader Installation
We will install our 2011 Church leaders during worship on January 23.
P.E.T. Update
Delbert Groves at the Methodist Mission in Zambia, Africa, was recently able to deliver 50 P.E.T.s to residents who had polio as children and had been crawling upon the ground their whole lives. Ray Truhn shipped nearly 800 pounds of parts and material to this mission last summer. Your generosity with this mission is touching lives daily on the other side of the world!
Samaritan Counseling Center
Samaritan Counseling Center of Southwest Michigan has opened their newest satellite location in New Buffalo at the Journey Lutheran Church of Harbor Country, 1615 East Buffalo Street. They offer counseling by appointment and different addiction groups will be starting in the future. Melanie Pagewood is the attending counselor. She can be reached at (269) 926-6199 or you may check for more information.
Special Sunday Offering
We will observe Human Relations Day on January 30. This special offering is one of the opportunities we have to support community development programs that improve the living conditions, build relationships, and testify to the love of God through the ministry of presence.
More than 30 church-based community developers work in racial- and ethnic-minority communities in the United States and Puerto Rico. A multiracial network of grassroots social justice organizations related to United Methodist Voluntary Service provides vital outreach. Christ-centered Youth Offender Rehabilitation projects give teenagers a chance to succeed.
God calls us to lead others to Christ. Please give generously – your gift makes a world of difference!
Many Thanks!
Thank you to George & Vivian Koebel for arranging the greeter schedule every month. Also, a big thank you to the following people who served as greeters on Sunday mornings in 2010:
Bob & Mary Behrle, Mike & Joan Davidson, Bob & Linda Flick, Beverly Harrington, Dave & Marcia Hess, Doug & Rhonda Hinman, Ed MacGregor and Gay Bell, Bill & Judy Ross, Alvin & Shirley Schroeter, Bob Tatina & Nancy Baird, Jim & Charmaine Thompson, Dick & Elsie Zabel, and Chris Zebell.
These folks were here early on Sunday mornings so they could greet everyone at the door with a smile and a handshake. Thanks so much for your willing service!
Congratulations to Joe Hinman who graduated last month from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting.
Also, congratulations to Adam Hinman who graduated from Michigan State University last month with a Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management. Way to go!
New Year
The Board of Trustees will have an organizational meeting on Wednesday, January 5, at 7:00 p.m. to elect officers and prioritize projects for the coming year.  We hope all committee members will be able to attend.
If you have any suggestions for maintenance needs around the church, please speak to a Trustee or Pastor Sherri.

Thank you for letting me go to camp.
P.S. It was lots of fun.
Cameron Seifert
Thank you for allowing me to go to summer camp.
Kyle Seifert
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go to church summer camp again. The storm of the summer hit and it was canceled. I was unable to attend another one.
Kevin Seifert
Hospitality Team
We are looking for a couple of additional people to join the team in the New Year. If you are interested in helping out, please speak to one of our Co-Chairs: Rhonda Petro or Marcia Hess. Over the past couple of months our Hospitality Team has done a great job of greeting newcomers with small loaves of homemade bread, information about our church, and a warm smile! Thanks to team members Rhonda Petro, Marcia Hess, Dawn Hayes, Jane Temple, and Faye Sittig for their efforts at being “radically” welcoming.
A confirmation class for Middle School age youth will be offered in the New Year. Due to the busy schedules of our young people during the week, we are planning to meet on Sunday afternoons following worship from 12:30 p.m to 1:45 p.m. in the parlor. We will begin on January 23.
If you are interested in having your child attend this class or if you have questions, please speak with Pastor Sherri for further information.
News from your Finance Committee
As of December 19, 2010, the results for the 2011 Stewardship Commitment Campaign have been tabulated. There are a total of 92 giving units in our congregation. Out of this total, 46 giving units returned a commitment card this year. This is down from 53 commitments returned last year.
  • There were four new commitments made this year resulting in a gain of $6,320.
  • There were 21 giving units that made commitments that were more than last year resulting in a gain of $5,379.
  • There were 15 giving units that made the same commitment as last year.
  • There were six giving units that made commitments that were less than last year resulting in a loss of $750.
  • Eleven giving units made a commitment last year but not this year resulting in a loss of $18,460.
  • The total of commitments made for 2011 is $84,316. This is a decrease of $7,511 from last year.
Thank you for your commitments and the continued support to your church.
Jim Thompson,
Finance Chairperson
District Conference
Our Kalamazoo District Conference and Leadership Development Training will be held on Saturday, January 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Paw Paw UMC.
This free event will feature guest speakers Mark Doval, the Conference Director of Communications, and Rev. Barb Flory, the Director of New Church Establishment and Development, speaking on the topic “Creating Welcoming Places”. Special music will be provided by James McDuffy. Workshops will include: “21st Century Technology,” “Attractional & Missional Churches,” “Trustees,” “Finance,”  and “S-PRC”.
The District Conference business meeting will take place during lunch. Register online at by January 10.
Steering Team
After taking the month of December off, our church Steering Team is ready to begin again in the New Year. At our November meeting, the seven committee members present decided to change the meeting night from Tuesday to Monday. This month it will be held on January 17. 
The Steering Team has committed to studying the book “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations” by Bishop Robert Schnase. Some will remember when Pastor Sherri preached a sermon series on these topics just a little over a year ago. Our first discussion will be on “Radical Hospitality.” Anyone with interest is welcome to join us on the 17th at 7:00 p.m. as we consider ways that our church can be even more intentional about inviting and welcoming guests. 
Make sure to check your narthex mailbox for Christmas greetings from your church family.
Historical Corner
submitted by
Eleanor Desmond
September 1933
The 31st Annual Cradle Roll celebration will be held Sunday morning prepared by Mrs. Joseph (Anna)Lee.
The children to be promoted are: Merrill Kitchell, Helen Davis (Lumley), Lila Renbarger, Phyllis Haack (Bowyer), Lois Pitchford (Backus), Margo Hellenga, Betty Williams, Nancy Fleenor. Seven babies will be added to the Cradle Roll. They are: James Renbarger, Neal Davis (deceased), James Duncan, Mary Lou Gearhart, Dale Hampton, James Adams (deceased), Patricia DeBoer (McKie).
Mrs. Theron Starr, 82 years old, was the oldest mother present. Mrs. John Haack had the largest family present – Gerald, Lois (Brown), Everett, Leo, Eileen (Keller), Phyllis (Bowyer).
Eldon Lee has taken part in the program for the past 17 years. His son, Leslie Lee, age five, will sing a solo.
( ) Indicates added information
Congratulations to Paige Barbour and Laura Donner on receiving Division I ratings last month at the District 6 Solo and Ensemble Festival. Great job, ladies!
Bible Study
Our Sunday morning Bible Study has been on vacation during the Christmas holidays. We are planning to begin a new study on January 23. We will meet each week in the pastor’s study from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Come join us!
This time we are going to study the Gospel of Mark. Our readings will come straight out of the Bible, approximately one chapter per week. Bring your own Bible if you like, though some will be provided, also. 
Scholars believe that Mark was the first gospel to be written. Nearly all of the content in Mark is found in Matthew, Luke, or John as well. It appears these other gospel writers used Mark as a primary source when they prepared to tell the story of Jesus with their own distinctive emphases.
Mark is a man on a mission: to tell the world about Jesus Christ. He skips the stories of Jesus’ birth that we have enjoyed hearing recently at Christmas time. Rather, he jumps right into his narrative about the man Jesus – who he was and what he came to do. 
Mark’s story is fast-paced and urgent, laced repeatedly with the word “immediately.” Why is Mark in such a hurry? Because he wants everyone to come to know the Savior. 
If you have wanted to know the basics of Jesus’ life, this would be a good introduction. There is no need to sign up in advance, though feel free to contact Pastor Sherri if you need more information. 
Dear Church Family,
Thank you for your many gifts to me this Christmas, including the love offering presented on Christmas Eve. I am grateful for all your kindness. Best wishes to each of you for a happy and healthy New Year!
Pastor Sherri
2010 Poinsettias 
Given By  -  In Honor or in Memory of
Bob & Mary Behrle in memory of Simon Flournoy
Gary Brayboy in honor of Dorothy Brayboy         
Dennis & Nancy Comfort in memory of Harold & Pat Comfort and Chuck Hayden
Rick & Yuriko Cooper in memory of Great-Grandma and Great-Grand Uncle
Michael Davidson family and Robert J. Flick, Jr. family in memory of Robert J. Flick, Sr. 
Nancy Davis  in memory of James Denley Davis
Eleanor Desmond in memory of John T. and James K. Desmond
Pat Dimmitt in memory of Jim & Elizabeth Guthrie, parents; Jane Ryan, sister and Kayla Clingerman, granddaughter
Zimmah Fox  in memory of grandchildren, Michael Fox and Scott Swartz
Dolores Hinman in memory of Dean Hinman
Ron & Dee Jelinek in memory of Dayle Weller and John & Bessie Jelinek
Ed MacGregor in memory of Trudy MacGregor and Ron MacGregor
Hannah Noble in memory of LaVern Noble and Martha Behnke
Sue Rubeck in honor of Sven, Lisa, Lauren and Carson
Ken & Karen Seifert in memory of Devon Seifert, Edna Seifert, and Nelson & Martha Schultz
Dorothy Shook in memory of Tom Shook
Paul & Faye Sittig in memory of Paul & Pat Sittig; Gordon, Ferne and Peter Elferdink
Tom & Martha Spychalski in memory of George & Ruth Hinkle and Clem & Rose Spychalski
Sheila Swanson in memory of Carol Waak and in honor of Bill & Betty Swanson
Bill & Betty Swanson in memory of Carol Waak
Jim & Charmaine Thompson in memory of Luverne & Carrie ThompsonEdward & Edna Ziebarth and Ron Ziebarth
Marge Vidal  in memory of William Vidal
Please Note
Please turn in all submissions for next month’s Parish Post newsletter by January 20.
January Anniversaries 
22 John & Nancy Foster
     David & Amy Vollman
January Birthdays
  4 Dana Lee
  5 Eryka Kettring
     Linda Reitz     
     Jacob Seifert
  6 Jack Renbarger
  7 Greta Vollman
  9 Faye Sittig
 12 Vickie Koth
14  Ben Bartelmay
       Abby Henrich
 22 Maggie Seifert
 23 David Hess
 25 Ramey Seifert
      Don Uebler
 26 Nancy Davis 
 27 Jim Flick
      Lucy Lee
 29 Virginia Feather
 30 Ellie Rogers
      Troy Zebell
Sunday Services

January 2
“Do You Know What Time It Is?”
Psalm 90
January 9
Bob Behrle preaching
January 16
“Come to the Water”
Matthew 3:13-17
Baptism of the Lord
January 23
“How Do You Define Success?”
John 1:29-42
Leader Installation
January 30
Cross Purposes”
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Human Relations Day