Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
Volume 39 - Issue #5   
11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Open Hearts, Open Doors, Open Minds

For Previous Month's Newsletters, CLICK HERE

“Friends in Corinth, we are telling the truth when we say that there is room in our hearts for you. We are not holding back on our love for you, but you are holding back on your love for us. I speak to you as I would speak to my own children. Please make room in your hearts for us.”   2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Contemporary English Version
“So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!” Romans 15:7 The Message
Making Room
For the past month or so, we have been holding our weekly coffee hour after worship downstairs in Fellowship Hall. This change came about because of frequent comments that the narthex was just too crowded on Sunday mornings. Many people found this congestion unpleasant and chose not to stay rather than fight their way through it. 
There are certainly benefits with this new arrangement. In particular, we have lots more room. Some also find it helpful to have a table to set one’s coffee cup on.
However, it has been pointed out to me that there is a drawback to this new method. That is, most people are sitting down at a table each week with the very same folks. We are all such creatures of habit! I am not intending to chastise anyone, because I am the very same way.  
Still, I want to remind us of the purpose of our coffee hour. It is not to get refreshments. Most of us could live without those few extra calories each week! Neither is it a time to catch up with our family members and closest friends. Most of us have other opportunities for those conversations. Rather, the purpose of this social time is to get better acquainted with people we do not yet know that well – particularly, those who are new to our congregation. 
So, I want to challenge us. We have spent much time discussing how to make more room in our building. Some have even suggested knocking down walls! But are we making room in our hearts??? That is the real question. 
I remember one time several years ago when we received new members at the church and also set up mailboxes for these same individuals out in the narthex. This action caused the mailboxes of others who had been in the same place for a long time to be “bumped” to a new spot. A few people found the change disconcerting. 
One individual suggested to me that we place all the new people at the very end. This comment was not made with malice. It was just believed to be “easier” to keep all the current people in the same place so no one had to deal with changes. 
Well, yes, it might have been “easier” for some.  But what kind of message would that send? If you have been a member of the church for 40 years you have a permanent mailbox, but if you have joined more recently we’ll just tack you on at the end out of the way? Doesn’t that make a new person feel like a second-class citizen?
This is what I mean by making room in our hearts. It is an issue that the Apostle Paul addressed in the Corinthian church. He pleaded with the people of that fellowship who were rather set in their ways to make room in their hearts for his co-workers and him, as noted above in 2 Corinthians 6:13. Paul also stated in Romans 15:7 that it is incumbent upon followers of Jesus to welcome newcomers to the family of faith as warmly as the Lord himself has welcomed each of us.
Are you aware that more than half of the current members of our church have joined within the past twelve years? This is good. Any congregation needs new blood and fresh ideas. Even so, a vital church must be adept not only at receiving new members, but also at assimilating new members. I believe we would do well to give more attention to this matter.
Will you do a heart check with me? It is our desire to have an open system that fully welcomes new people. But this requires constant vigilance on our part or else we may just take the “easy” way, the comfortable path, the least-challenging stance and draw closer to the people with whom we already feel close. Let’s keep making room in our hearts and in the church for those who would follow Jesus Christ.
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, and Laura Wright.
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, Mert Bartelmay, Shirley Boal, Ardelle Brown, John Cramer, Irving Eldred, Dottie Goodenough, Beverly Harrington, Daniel Harrington, Robert Hass, Eva Hecht, Dave Hess, Patrick Jakeway, Laurie Johnson, Cap Lee, Les Lee, Lucy Lee, Sharon McDonald, Esther Martin, Morgan Nicely, Phyllis Pollitt, Debbie Robertson, Bill Ross, Janice Rowlison, Alvin Schroeter, and Wayne Weller.
Those who grieve
Family and friends of Eugene Dickey, James Duncan, Reta Homer, Tom Preece,
Melissa Reitz, Clarence Thomas, and Louise Uebler.
Those with a new baby:
Jack & Joan Renbarger at the birth of a daughter, Maiya Brooke, on March 23.
Adam & Amy Hinman at the birth of a son, Wesley Adam James Hinman, on March 28.
Our church Steering Team.
Our confirmation class.
Vacation Bible School.
Those seeking employment.
All the people suffering in Japan following the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation leaks.
Those in the path of wildfires, including Dawn Hayes’ friend, Joy Cole.
Please note: Names will be deleted from the above list after one month unless an updated request is received.
Congratulations Graduates!
We will recognize the accomplishments of the following young people at our worship service on May 22. Please plan to attend.
Graduating from River Valley High School on June 3:
Jessica daughter of Ron & Cheryl Kersey
Graduating from New Buffalo High School on June 5:
Ben son of Brad Bartelmay & Sherri Swanson
Morgan daughter of Mary Weers
Graduating from Kendall College on May 7:
Angie daughter of Bruce & Jeanie Hauch
Graduated from Grand Valley State University in December:
Joe son of Doug & Rhonda Hinman
If we have inadvertently left anyone off this list, please let us know in the church office.
The community is invited to attend River Valley’s Baccalaureate Service on Sunday, May 22, at 4:00 p.m.
Golden Cross Sunday
May 8 is Golden Cross Sunday. The special offering received on this day promotes health and welfare ministries within our West Michigan Conference. Agencies which benefit from these funds are the Methodist Children’s Home Society, Clark Retirement Community, and Bronson Methodist Hospital.
There will be an insert in your worship bulletin on this day that will further explain these particular missions. Please consider how your gifts can support these concerns and give generously. You may use a pew envelope and mark it “Golden Cross.”
When we serve one another, all of us are enriched. 
Special Music Sign-Up
Our choir will be taking a well-deserved break over the summer months. We will be looking for special music, beginning May 29. Please sign up in the narthex to share your talents with the congregation.
Don’t forget your Mom on Sunday, May 8th, Mother’s Day!
Bring your mom to worship with you.
In 2010 our church made $196.24 from Harding's eScrip! Thank you to everyone who uses their Harding's card every time they shop.
Harding's eScrip is a great easy way for us to earn funds for our church! All you need to do is pick up a Harding's card from the table in the narthex and call the toll free number, (800) 931-6258, to activate your card. Then present your card to the cashier each time you shop and our church will receive up to 4% of your purchases. You can pay for your groceries any way you like – cash, check, debit card or credit card.  
Time Change
Our Summer Worship schedule will begin on June 5. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. for June, July, and August with Children’s Church at 10:15 a.m. Our adult Sunday morning Bible Study will take a break for the summer months. 
The Trustees have scheduled a Spring Clean-Up Day for Saturday, May 14.   We will start at 9:00 a.m. and hope to finish sometime around noon. Please contact one of our Trustee officers if you have any suggestions for projects that need to be done.
Sign up in the narthex so we know how many plan to be here. Remember, many hands make light work! 
Join Us
The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 5. Our River Valley Ministerial Association will offer a brief prayer service at the Three Oaks Village Hall (14 Maple Street) at 12 Noon. Prayers will be offered for our governmental leaders, military troops, schools, churches and others. Join us as we give some time to honoring God at this annual event. 
Congratulations to Jack & Joan Renbarger at the birth of their daughter, Maiya Brooke, on March 23. She was 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 21 inches long. The happy grandparents are Jack & Alexis Renbarger and great-grandma is Kathryn Renbarger.
We also celebrate with Adam & Amy Hinman the birth of their son, Wesley Adam James Hinman, on March 28. He weighed just 6 pounds and was 19 inches long. The thrilled grandparents are Doug & Rhonda Hinman and great-grandparents are Dolores Hinman and Jim & Charmaine Thompson.
Virginia Feather has an 18th great-grandchild, Lydia Mae, born on April 14. Her parents are Brent & Joy; grandparents are Bob & Mary Todd.
May the Lord bless your families at this exciting time!
We share our sincere sympathy with the family of Melissa Reitz who died March 23. She was the wife of Rob Reitz, mother of Dustin & Kelly Springer, and daughter-in-law of Bob Reitz.
We further share our sincere sympathy with the family of Louise Uebler, who passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 29. Our love and deepest sympathy to husband, Don Uebler; children, Linda Flick, Vickey Looney, and Chris Uebler; sister Shirley Schroeter; many grandchildren and all the extended family.
Thanks to all who provided food and worked in the kitchen for the family luncheon following the Memorial Service on April 2.
We also share our sympathy with Jerry Thomas at the death of his brother, Clarence Thomas, on March 26, and with Esther Thomas at the death of her nephew, Eugene Dickey, on April 17.
May the Lord comfort you with his peace.
Thank you for inviting us and for all your hospitality. Thank you also for the generous donation toward Christian Record Services for the Blind.
Dr. Ray & Sally McAllister
Sisters in Faith
Our next regular meeting will be Wednesday, May 18. Refreshments will be provided by Sharon Flick and Rhonda Hinman. Devotions will be led by our youth. All women of our church are invited to join us. 
Church Camp
This is your last chance to sign up for church camp. Registration money needs to be sent in by May 15. Please speak with Pastor Sherri right away if you want to go and would like to receive a scholarship from the church.
Well Done!
Congratulations to Dana Hammons, who was inducted into the River Valley High School chapter of the National Honor Society on March 27. 
Congratulations also to Steven Petro for being named to the Central Michigan University dean’s list and to Nick Reitz for being named to the Grand Valley State University dean’s list. Way to go!
Open House
Everyone is invited to a Graduation Open House for Ben Bartelmay on Sunday, June 5, 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the New Buffalo Township Park.
 Mother-Daughter-Sister Banquet
Our church will host a Mother-Daughter-Sister Banquet on Monday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. for all the women of our congregation and their loved ones. Plan now to bring your mother, daughter, grandmother, granddaughter, sister or friend.  Everyone is invited!
The men will be preparing and serving a meal of roast turkey, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, vegetable, roll, and dessert.
Our own Mary Behrle will present the program entitled “Motherhood. . . Deal or No Deal?” It’s sure to be a good time!
Welcome to our new custodian, Mary Weers. Mary is a life-long Three Oaks resident and the mother of seven girls. We’re glad you’re here, Mary! 
Arts and Crafts Show
St. John United Church of Christ in New Buffalo is seeking artists and crafters with unique hand-crafted items and/or art for their second annual Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday, May 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The fee for inside space is $35.00, for outside space is $30.00 and the application deadline is May 1. For more information check the poster in the narthex, call (269) 469-2706, or email .
Geisha’s Song
There will be a benefit for Japan via the Japanese Red Cross at the Acorn Theater on Sunday, May 29. Umekichi will present “Geisha’s Song”. A reception will be held at 4:00 p.m. with the performance at 4:45 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for children under 12. Please sign up in the narthex if you would like tickets. For more information, see Yuriko Cooper or call the theater at 756-3879.
P.E.T. Update
Dear members of the Three Oaks UMC,
Thank you again for your continued support of our efforts to build P.E.T.s for those who Jesus referred to as “the least of these” in Matthew 25:40. Your much appreciated and needed continued support make you part of the P.E.T. story. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, also.
God Bless,
Ray Truhn, Galien, MI
Ray writes further: “When we first began making P.E.T.s, reports and pictures from the field were hard to get and far apart. But as more and more P.E.T.s are made and distributed, and as communications keep improving, we are pleased to get more letters and reports back more often. These pictures and reports are the donors’ and volunteers’ “paydays” and we very much appreciate them.”
Ray’s complete letter and updated newsletters are on the narthex bulletin board. Make sure to check out how your donations are making someone’s life easier on the other side of the world.
Haiti News
Our Missions Committee is collecting Medical Kits for Haiti to take to Annual Conference June 1 through 4. Please bring these supplies to church by May 22 and place them in the box in the narthex. 
All items must be NEW: 
  • Sterile gauze pads 4"x 4", 50 per package.
  • Adhesive tape ½”, 1” wide, 10 yards or more on a roll.
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment, 1 ounce tubes
  • Low-Dose Aspirin tablets, (less than 325 mg), 1,000 per bottle.
  • Children’s acetaminophen tablets, 80 mg., 300 per bottle (or largest quantity)
  • Ferrous sulfate (iron supplement) 325 mg tablets, 500 per bottle
  • Children’s multi-vitamin tablets, 500 per bottle
  • Adult multi-vitamin tablets, 500 per bottle.
Historical Corner
Submitted by Eleanor Desmond
The Acorn, April 6, 1911
A night cap and pie social is to be held at the W. B. Stickle home tomorrow evening for the benefit of Epworth League. Each lady should take a pie and two night caps. They say no restriction will be made as to the color of the caps nor the amount of lace and frills which adorn them.
May 4, 1911
Rev. H. J. Root
The house was fumigated yesterday.
May 5, 1911
Rev. & Mrs. Root left on the 8:09 train for New London, Connecticut, to spend the summer with their parents. Rev. Root’s recent illness shows he needs complete rest. District Superintendent, Dr. Fox, of Niles, will fill the pulpit with Rev. H. H. Harris of Kalkaska and his wife for the summer. They will be staying at the home of Mrs. Martha White.
Three Oaks Community Garden
Three Oaks Township, the Village of Three Oaks Parks and Recreation Board, and the Pokagon Fund are sponsoring a Three Oaks Community Garden this summer. The garden will be located north of Three Oaks Elementary School and just south of the railroad tracks, near the old train station. 4’ x 24’ raised bed plots will be available for mid to late May planting at a donation of $25.00 per plot. Applications are available in the narthex. For more information you may call Marlene Kramer at 756-7382 or Darlene Heemstra at 756-3635. 
Vacation Bible School
Our community Vacation Bible School will be held at the Free Methodist Church June 20-24 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon each day. We will be following the theme “Panda Mania: Where God Is Wild About You!” Each day’s lesson focuses on a portion of Psalm 139.
Many volunteers are needed. If you would like to help, please call Ginger Schumm at 469-2537 or the Free Methodist Church at 756-9422 . Look for a list of needed supplies to be posted soon in the narthex. 
Parking Lot
Our Church Council voted to accept a bid from Arnt Asphalt Sealing in Benton Harbor to re-surface our parking lot. It has been ten years since this was done. The cost is $1,200.00. We are inviting contributions from the congregation. You may use a pew envelope for your gift. 
to Bill & Judy Ross for donating a picture to our Sunday School and for sharing delicious Texas grapefruit with the congregation. 
Thanks to all who purchased spring flowers for Easter morning. They looked and smelled so nice.
This month will be busy with Mother’s Day, Holy Humor Sunday and honoring the graduates – a jam-packed month. Those who would like to share a short and appropriate joke or story for Holy Humor Sunday, please see Pastor Sherri.
The choir will be taking the summer off so we will be looking forward to people willing to fill in with their musical talents. If you have any ideas please talk to Pastor Sherri or Sharon Flick. Hopefully the calendar will fill quickly. There will be a sign-up sheet in the narthex.
I so appreciated the dedicated members of the choir this past year. If you get a chance, tell them thank you for their time and talents.
Beginning June 5, church service will begin at 10:00 a.m. for the summer.
Sharon Flick,
Worship chairperson 
Holy Humor
For the fourth year in a row, we will be celebrating Holy Humor Sunday this month. Our service is planned for May 15 and we hope you will all attend. If you have a brief, clean joke (perhaps of a religious nature) to share, please tell Pastor Sherri in advance so she can plan the service accordingly. Be sure to place this date on your calendar now, so you won’t miss out on a fun day of smiles and laughter.
You Can Help!
We are looking for a volunteer (or two) to assist our nursery attendant on Mother’s Day, May 8. If you would be so willing, please inform Staff-Parish Relations Committee Chairperson Rick Cooper or Pastor Sherri.
Dok Elma’s e-musing April 2011
April Fool's Day, how did it start and where was its origin? The answer from my web search was unsatisfactory - its beginning is lost in confusion and somehow pranksters or just plain, fun-loving people celebrated it.
April 1st, I was designated as Acting CMO (Chief Medical Officer) because Dr. Willicor is taking his month-long vacation leave. I knew the challenge was even greater than just being the surgeon. My first act as the CMO was to buy cleaning supplies! Yes - soap, Clorox, disinfectant solution and isopropyl alcohol. Was that really part of my job? NO, but I don’t want to work in a dirty, smelly place. And I can’t (won’t) wait until the hospital provides us with our supplies, it might take days. It’s the same with surgical gloves, sutures, tubes and catheters. 
Then, there were staffing issues that needed resolving. And so I asked myself was I an April Fool? I really don’t need more work or responsibility.
I did encourage Dr. Willicor to have his vacation - he hasn’t had one since he joined the hospital in 2000. I have enlisted the help of Dr. Ron Deirwechter from Iowa. Dr. Ron first came to Liberia in the 1960’s, fresh out of med school. He has worked in different countries. In fact, we first met in Kathmandu in 2001 while I was still in language school and he was on his way to Okhaldungha Hospital northeast of Nepal. Imagine how surprised we were when we met here last October. Before he left, he told me that if I needed help, that I’m to give him sufficient time to prepare. I did send smoke signals and he came - not empty handed.
Looking at Dr. Ron, I can’t help asking what people might be thinking of him. Not just from his home but also here. Dr. Ron is 76 years old, a grandfather, a husband, a retired surgeon, has a farm, and has Parkinson's disease. Is he another fool to be traveling across the globe to help out here for six weeks? Maybe not a fool, but some people would think that he could have a nice holiday somewhere. This man, an old papa, has blessed this hospital in so many wonderful ways. He has blessed me! Aside from being a doctor, he is also an expert mechanic. 
He brought his tools and gadgets. He spends all his spare time outside the Operating Room repairing broken equipment. Because of him, I now use an electrocautery machine to lessen blood loss during surgery. The overhead Operating Room light that never worked, I now enjoy. I complained about burned-out machines because of confusing outlets for 220 volts and 110 volts - he corrected the problem with several well marked outlets! (photo of Dr. Ron holding the overhead PR light, the power outlets are behind him.) The best of all, I have someone I can discuss patients with, and we both work through the OR list quickly and smoothly. No hassle! He doesn't sing though, I haven’t heard him yet. Pity.
Why am I going on about Dr. Ron? Because I’m so encouraged by his life. When I became a general surgeon in 2000, I told myself I’m giving myself ten years to become rich and famous, and then I will retire. I have long abandoned that 'rich and famous' dream, and to stop after ten years will just be a waste of God's gift. Recall the parable of the talents - use it or lose it. Dr. Ron has encouraged me and I hope you, too, will be encouraged. It’s never too late to serve, no work is too menial, nor talent that’s not useable. Don’t you want to hear God tell you, "Well done! Good and faithful servant." I do.
As for hospital work, the load remains heavy. But God sends lots of help: friends visiting, medical professionals planning to come, and supplies that are refilled in God's time. There are two MDs from the Congo whom the hospital will employ. Pray that their arrangements will be quick and their transition smooth. The Ivory Coast crisis continues despite former President Gbagbo's capture. We continue to get refugee patients. 
Please pray for the Ivorians, their situation is dire. With so many nations needing help, the Ivory Coast seems to be at the bottom of the list. I need an instrument for amputation, the one I bought last October broke - too many limbs severed. Please pray for a reliable channel to get it to here. There are four ward nurses with Malaria; snakes and scorpions are coming out - please pray for protection. 
Praise God for Dr. Ron and his very productive life. Please pray for his trip home on May 1. I pray that we all have a meaningful Lent and that we will truly experience and live out Christ's Easter victory.
Sent from Dok Elma's iPod
Ganta United Methodist Hospital
Nimba County, Liberia (West Africa)
Please Note
Please turn in all submissions for next month’s Parish Post newsletter by May 22.
May Anniversaries
  6 Richard & Yuriko Cooper
11George & Sally Frye
13 Elmer & Linda Doyle #50!
Jason & Melissa Flick
31Tim & Kandace Vantilburg
May Birthdays   
   3 Mike Becktell
   6 Jerry Thomas
   8 Shawn Gedert
   8 Martha Spychalski
 14 Bill Ross 
15 Brian Terry
 18 Helen Donner
 18 Mark Peterson
 19 Steven Seifert 
20 Lucy Behrle
 20 Kelsey Jakeway
 20 David Schlundt
 21 Clay Frye
 21 Isabella Gedert
 21 Doreen Hammons
23 Brad Hauch
 24 Matthew Peterson
 24 Shirley Schroeter
 28 Mike Jakeway
 30 Caitlyn Cline
 30 Erin Hammons 
 31 John Foster
Sunday Services
May 1
“When You Least Expect It”
Luke 24:13-35
May 8
Mother’s Day
Golden Cross Sunday
“Shepherding and Parenting”
Psalm 23
May 15
Holy Humor Sunday
“Being a Fool for Christ”
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
May 22
Graduate Recognition
Native American Ministries Sunday
“That We May Become Wise”
Psalm 90
May 29
Memorial Day Weekend
Guest Speaker: The Gideons