Three Oaks United Methodist Church
Monday, October 18, 2021
You Are Welcome!
The Parish Post
Volume #39 - Issue #11
11:00 a.m. Worship Service
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.”
1 Corinthians 12:21-22
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians5:16-18
Giving Thanks for the Simple Things
As I sit down to count my blessings this Thanksgiving, one of the first things I will express gratitude for is my neck. Since I’m not a giraffe you may wonder why that would be at the top of my list. J Simply because for the first two weeks of last month my neck was not functioning. Due to horrible muscle spasms in that piece of anatomy, I could not lift my head without pain.
It’s funny – I never, ever thought about my neck before this episode. However, I’ve come to recognize that it is an absolutely indispensable part of the human body. Just try sitting up or standing without it! I’ve learned that a person can do very little when the neck is not doing its part. So that is why I am now filled with an outpouring of appreciation for that little bit of flesh, muscle, bone and nerves that joins my head to the rest of me. 
How often do we only recognize the good things of this life after we have lost them? Surely this is true for so many people with regard to the gift of good health. When all is going fine, we don’t even give a thought to this wonderful blessing. But the minute things run amuck, we are quick to complain. It seems to be human nature to notice our troubles and overlook our blessings.
Yet, the Scriptures tell us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” So, as you take stock of your life this Thanksgiving, I would encourage you to consider what in your life is the equivalent of my neck. What is there that is truly important, but has not previously registered on your radar? Don’t forget to give thanks for the small things, the simple things. Don’t wait until you have a pain in the neck to rejoice!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
Pastor Sherri
Dear friends at TOUMC,
Thank you so very much for the lovely birthday party last month. I was completely surprised! I enjoyed wearing the corsage, tiara, and flashing button. J The balloons and decorations and cake were all so pretty. The meal was wonderful.
I appreciate all the well-wishes and thoughtful gifts. I will always remember that I was able to celebrate both my 40th and 50th birthdays with my friends in Three Oaks. What a blessing you all are. May God bless you!
Pastor Sherri
We extend our sincere sympathy to Marcia Hess and Sue Rubeck at the death of their brother, Allen Fox, on October 12. A Memorial Service will be held at our church on Saturday, November 5, at 11:00 a.m. with a luncheon following. Please call Elna Rogers at 756-9596 or Chris Zebell at 756-9423 if you will help by providing food or working in the kitchen.
We also extend our sympathy to Lonnie and Chris Zebell at the death of his sister, Penny Robinson, on October 3, and of a good friend, Norma VanDeWalle on October 8.
We extend our sympathy to Ellen Sokolowski at the death of her son-in-law, Ken Gibson, on October 10. Please continue to pray for Ken’s wife, Analinda, and their children.
We further extend our sympathy to Nancy Davis at the tragic death of a brother-in-law, Joe Kamp, on October 12.
May the Lord give you comfort in your grief.
Committee News
Can you believe we are entering November and talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Where did 2011 go?
“Hanging of the Greens” will be on Saturday, November 26, at 9:00 a.m. Anyone is welcome to come in and help. There will be inserts in the bulletin for ordering poinsettia plants within the next couple of weeks.
We will be needing readers for the Advent candle readings. If you have an interest in taking part, tell Pastor Sherri or Sharon Flick. We will be asking soon.
The time change begins Sunday, November 6 when the clocks will fall behind, an extra hour of sleep! J
Sharon Flick,
Worship Chairperson
Church Conference
Sunday, November 6, is the date of our annual Church Conference with District Superintendent, Rev. Neil Davis. This year we are hosting the Lakeside and New Buffalo congregations at our church. The Staff-Parish Relations Committee (S-PRC) will meet at 2:00 p.m. and the full Conference will convene at 3:30 p.m. 
All members of our congregation are invited and those who hold office are especially encouraged to attend. Business will be conducted regarding church membership, leadership, and finances.
This year’s Conference will include a special presentation about the changing demographics of our Harbor Country area and a recommendation to form a committee which will explore a possible merger of the local congregations. Please come join in this important discussion.
We are looking for volunteers to provide refreshments after our worship services. Sign up in the narthex if you will help.
Finance Update
Listed below are the figures from our treasurer’s report last month.
                          Income          Expenses        Monthly Need
September   $8,263.47    $10,312.74          $10,545.00
                          Income           Expenses        Shortfall
Year-to-Date $78,848.13       $92,457.07      $13,608.94      
Correction: last month Year-To-Date Income amount should have been $70,584.66 and the Shortfall amount should have been $11,599.67.
Submitted by
Jim Thompson,
Financial Chairperson
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the care package you sent! It is always appreciated! Thank you for the gas card!!
God Bless,
Kelsey Jakeway
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the gas card.
Jeff Jakeway
Dear Sisters in Faith,
Thank you for the gas card. And thank you for remembering me.
Jessica Kersey
CROP Hunger Walk 2011
Last month 78 walkers representing eight area churches helped raised $5,712.99 to fight hunger at the annual Harbor Country CROP Walk. Our church raised $1,034.75 of this amount!
We had 11 walkers: Paige Barbour, Sabrina Bellaire, Karen Christ, Makena Christ, Laura Donner, Nettie Donner, Cheryl Kersey, Katharine Kersey, Judy Ross, Sherri Swanson, and Sara Williams. Thank you for your efforts to stop hunger!
Spaghetti Dinner
The 38th Annual Spaghetti Supper to benefit Chikaming Elementary School will be 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, at River Valley Middle High School. Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for children age five and under. Supper includes spaghetti, salad bar, garlic bread, dessert and coffee, milk, or water to drink. Pop will be sold for $1/can and carry-outs are available. Tickets can be purchased at the door. New this year: take advantage of our courtesy parking lot shuttle! The school office will be happy to answer any further questions at 426-4204. For 38 years, the funds generated from this event have fulfilled many of the educational needs of our community’s children and the wonderful, caring staff that teaches and nurtures them.
Harvest Dinner
Come one, come all, to our annual Harvest Dinner on Sunday, November 6, following worship. Our Fellowship Committee will be providing the food. You don’t need to bring anything, but please sign up in the narthex so we know how much to prepare.
Though the menu has not yet been finalized, we can assure you that the food will be ample and delicious. And the fellowship is sure to be warm and wonderful.
There is no charge for this meal. However, a basket will be out to collect a free will offering and we welcome your contributions to cover our costs.
Sisters in Faith
Approximately 60 people enjoyed our Chili Luncheon last month. Thank you to all the members who attended and especially those who provided food. 
Proceeds will support our ministry to college students. Earlier in the month we sent out seven care packages and two gas cards to these young people. Thank you for all your contributions to this ministry.
Advent Devotions
We are preparing devotional booklets once again for the upcoming Advent season. Thank to all who have submitted a reflection. We will have the paper books printed and available for distribution on November 20. A suggested donation of $1 will be requested to cover publication costs. The booklet will also be posted on our website. All persons who already receive our newsletter by email will receive the link before Advent begins on November 27. If you use a computer, we encourage you to consider this environmentally friendly way to do your daily devotions.
Good luck to Paige Barbour and Lexie Olson as they compete in the Miss Teen Three Oaks/River Valley pageant on November 12. Good luck also to Katharine Kersey and Ella Olson as they compete for Miss Little Three Oaks/River Valley on the same date.
Special Remembrance
On November 6 our congregation will observe “All Saints Sunday.” On this special day we will remember those who have gone before us into God’s heavenly kingdom, especially those who have died in the past year. Our worship service will include the celebration of Holy Communion as we gather around the Lord’s table with the “great cloud of witnesses.” Please plan to join us for this special time of worship and prayer.
Our Youth Group is meeting every Sunday during Sunday School and on Monday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m.   Anyone in grades 5-9 is welcome. If you have any questions, please call Julie Becktell at 325-5162 or the church office at 756-2053.
Help Needed
Our Trustees are looking for a reliable person to shovel the church sidewalks this winter. We are able to pay $15 per time, though we will not desire shoveling be done every day. If you or someone you know is interested in this job, please contact Trustee chairperson, Doug Hinman.
Special Offering
On Sunday, November 27, we will celebrate United Methodist Student Day. All of our college students are invited to participate in this service on Thanksgiving weekend. Please let Pastor Sherri know by November 20 if you will be available.
We will also receive a special offering on this day that provides scholarships and loans to those attending UM colleges and universities. Ten percent of this offering stays in our annual conference to provide merit scholarships for students chosen by our West Michigan Board of Higher Education and Ministry. There will be a special offering envelope in your worship bulletin on this day.
Holiday Treasures
The Stevensville United Methodist Women are busy making preparations for the 29th annual Holiday Treasures Arts and Crafts Bazaar on Saturday, November 5, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The event will showcase a variety of handmade items created by local artisans. There will be a Cookie Walk presenting a wide variety of scrumptious home baked cookies and treats. Their Café offers a menu that includes hot turkey sandwiches served with mashed potatoes and gravy, sloppy joes, salad, homemade pies and desserts and more. 
The church is located at 5506 Ridge Road, between John Beers Road and Red Arrow Highway. Look for the electronic sign and entrance on Red Arrow Highway. For more information call 429-5911.
                        Historical Corner
Historical Corner
submitted by
Eleanor Desmond
The Acorn, November, 1911
The Epworth League “poverty social” scheduled at the parsonage was held in the church basement, Wednesday evening, November 22. It netted $14.00
The Root family had house guests, Mrs. Robert Betgood and younger daughter Roberta, from New London, Connecticut. They plan to spend a month.
Cookie Walk
Our eighth annual Cookie Walk is fast approaching. It will be held on Saturday, December 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We hope members of the congregation will share donations of homemade holiday cookies in many varieties. Please bring these to the church by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2, and mark the type of cookie they are. Cookies will sell for $7 per pound.
Cookie Baking
There will be a cookie baking night held at the church on Wednesday, November 16, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Anyone from the congregation who likes to bake is welcome to join in the fun as we make three large batches of cookies together.
If you are not able to attend but would like to help, you may contribute baking supplies. A sign-up sheet with needed items has been placed in the narthex.
Stewardship Update
Thank you to those who filled out Commitment Cards during our recent Stewardship Campaign for 2012. You may still turn yours in to the church office if you have not yet  done so. Campaign results will be announced in next month’s newsletter after the results have been tabulated.
Offering envelopes for 2012 have been placed in the narthex mailboxes. Please call Rhonda Hinman at 756-7560 or leave a note in the church office if you would like a set. Also, third quarter giving statements were sent out at the end of September. Call Rhonda if you have any questions about yours.
Save the Date
Join us for the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree and caroling on Sunday, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. in Carver Park (across from Speedway). Sisters in Faith will be providing the cookies and hot cocoa served afterwards in the fire station.
"Come, Ye Thankful People, Come"
The Lakeshore Ecumenical Council invites everyone to its annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Worship Service at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (at Morton and Lane), St. Joseph, Michigan.
There will be prayers from various faith traditions, giving thanks to the Creator for the fruits of the earth and the plentiful bounty, and the congregation will join together in singing traditional Thanksgiving songs.
Rotary News
The Rotary Club of Three Oaks Region will host an open house reception for prospective new members, at the Dewey Cannon Winery, 9 N Elm Street on Wednesday, November 2, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. This is a good opportunity to both socialize with current members and meet prospective members of the club. There will be hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar featuring Dewey Cannon Wine selections.
Come to find out what the club is hoping to accomplish. Two community service projects the club recently approved will be showcased. Contact Larry Shawver at 756-3005 or if you desire further information.
Holly Market 2011
Holly Market 2011 is November 5-10 at Krasl Art Center (707 Lake Blvd., St. Joseph) featuring a juried sale of unique handmade art, jewelry, gifts and décor. 
Soup’s On is November 7-10, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Top off or begin your shopping experience by enjoying a hearty bowl of homemade soup, $6 per bowl or sampler and desserts $1 each. 
Kids Workshop is November 8, 10:00 a.m. – noon. Children ages 4 – 12 create holiday-inspired art in the studio while parents shop. Cost: $5 per child.
For more information see
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 6. Be sure to “Fall Back” and set your clocks back one hour!
Wedding Bells!
Congratulations to Jill Hauch and Dan Engel who were married at the Free Methodist Church on October 8. Jill is the daughter of Bruce and Jeanie Hauch and the granddaughter of Jerry and Esther Thomas.
Soup Supper
Oronoko United Methodist Church (3174 Little Glendora Road, Buchanan) is sponsoring a Chili & Soup Supper and Bake Sale on Saturday, November 12, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Prices are $6.00 per adult (all you can eat), $4 for kids ages 6-12, and children under five are free. The menu includes dessert and drink. Vegetarian chili will be available as well as take out orders.
God Smiles in Flowers
Thanks to all who contributed toward our Sunday School mission project. We collected $637 to send to the children of Japan for the purchase of seeds. Truly, God smiles in flowers!
A Call to Action!
The United Methodist Church Vital Congregations Project is sponsoring “A Call to Action!” on Thursday, November 10, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 1675 84th Street SE, Caledonia. Two identical sessions by Bishop John Schol of the Baltimore-Washington Area will be offered: session one will be 1:00 – 4:00; session two will be 6:00 – 8:00. Come and learn how to fulfill the mission of the United Methodist Church by equipping and empowering congregations to become vital and healthy congregations in their communities and in our world.
P.E.T. News
Below are some notes received from Ray Truhn about a recent meeting he attended.
We arrived home last night from the annual PET International meeting in Kansas. Among the highlights of the meeting was having two missionaries attend and give an account of how the PETs have made such a difference in lives of the people they have given them to. One served in Chad for 9 years, the other the Ivory Coast. Then Saturday evening they were able to get a SKYPE connection to medical missionaries Harry and Echo Vanderwall in Swaziland. They talked to us about the PETs they have given away - about 300 PETs and how the PET helps them get the peoples trust so they can set up their clinics. They have had PETs out for over three years and some of the people drive them 15 to 20 miles a day. They are starting to replace some of the oldest PETs with the most miles on them.
During the missionaries talks to us, there were a lot of wet eyes in the group. Especially from the person from Chad who had worked with Med Share (a long time PET distribution partner who have distributed more than 500 PETs) and now works with 10-40 Initiative . He had many really heart grabbing stories. They both did. The one from Ivory Coast told of them taking PETs deep into the unreached areas - where he said they were so deep that they were about 400 miles beyond "the great commission". One of their observations is "the heart cannot taste what the eyes have not seen". They both related many heart- warming stories involving the use of PET.
Our Operations Manager, who worked for Mercy Ships for 13 or 14 years before coming to work with PET, spent a week in Swaziland this summer working with the Vanderwalls, medical missionaries of the Luke Commission, and told of the pace these doctors keep during the dry season. They need to get as many clinics in as possible before the rainy season. They start driving at 2 or 3 in the morning to try to be set up shortly after daylight and work all day long with the people and then drive back after dark, reaching their home usually after midnight. They do this at least a couple times a week plus serving the local clinics. Besides giving out over 300 PETs, they get to see first- hand how wonderful they are working in people’s lives and wanted to tell us about it. Testimonials like these were like rocket fuel to all those who heard them.
God Bless,
Ray Truhn
Galien P.E.T. parts shop
Please Note
Please turn in all submissions for next month’s Parish Post newsletter by November 20.
November 6      All Saints Sunday
                        “The Hiding Angel”
                        1 John 3:1-3
November 13    “Try Living Before You Die”
                        Matthew 25:14-30
November 20    “I Should Have Written
That Thank You Note”
Luke 17:11-19
Sermon Series: “Open Up the Gifts of Christmas”
November 27    First Sunday in Advent
                        UM Student Day
“Open Up the Gift of … Expectation” 
e- musing
Sept. 2011
Elma T. Jocson, M.D.
Ganta United Methodist Hospital
Nimba County, Liberia (West Africa)
Can you tell how long the missionary has been in the field by the way they drink their coffee? First year: fly accidentally dives into the coffee cup. The missionary throws out the coffee and make a fresh cup. After a couple of years: fly dives in, missionary spoons out the fly and drinks the coffee anyway. More years later: missionary doesn't spare the fly, but drinks the coffee (plus the extra protein.) If however, the missionary spoons the fly out and instructs it to cough-out the coffee, then you know they have been in the field for too long!
There have been many variations to this joke, depending on what the preferred hot drink is in the place of service. The truth of the matter is, degrees of tolerance are achieved over time. Objects and situation that shock, disturb, or affect you early on seem to lose their novelty. During my first months here, I was a bit surprised at the inhibitions of women patients who readily disrobe in front of a doctor. Mind you, I still find it amusing that under ware is worn as is. I guess it does the job of covering what has to be covered, so maybe they got it right and I’m the backward thinking outsider.
During my first month’s working in the OR, I would stop the operation because I could hear noises from above. Much as I'd like it to be heavenly music, I discovered that the noise was coming from the ceiling—it being the hospitable place for creatures like rodents, bats & other winged varieties, termites, and other small creepy- crawlies. The local staff found it odd that I should be disturbed by the noise. I often go to the storage room on the 2nd floor of the OR. Here one needs to step cautiously as the floor boards are termite-infested. One wrong step and you might find yourself dropping down straight onto the OR table, together with the other creatures who might like to tag along!
The hospital structure was built in the 1980’s, but partly burned and looted [in 2003] during the civil unrest. It has been on my mind to renovate the OR. If you hear the term “Operating Room”, the image of a clean and sanitized area comes to mind. And your mind can even inhale the sterile whiff. Well, not our OR! It’s only by God's grace that patients benefit and survive exposure to our OR environment. And before I start tolerating the present less than satisfactory situation, I have taken it upon myself to spear-head the OR renovation project. This project will entail changing the roof and ceiling, replacing the broken window glass and closing off numerous public access areas.  The project is expected to cost $28,000. We have seed money of $15,000 and we can perform the renovation in stages, starting in December when the rainy season is over. I would like to give you this opportunity to help the people of West Africa, not just Liberia. Please help us. Details on how your gifts can reach us are below. Ganta Hospital is strategically situated to serve three neighboring countries—Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast. Security situation in all three countries seem volatile.
But war or peace, we have Ivorian and Guinean patients. Like the Ivorian boy in the picture with me. He was brought by an NGO working in one of the Refugee camps. He has chronic wounds from multiple bone infections (osteomyelitis). He has had the infection a long time and it had only been treated by a "bush doctor.” This boy doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak French, but we had fun communicating by signs and smiles. The area where we are seated is the OR veranda—cum staff lounge. It’s also where we fire up coals to sterilize our sets if the generator fails. Now, about generators: there’s a big generator in this mission station that supplies the mission house with electricity—three hours in the morning and three hours at night. From Sept. 1 until the time of this writing, we had no electricity; the generator is decommissioned. I am pressing my clothes in the hospital and may soon be camping out in the doctor's office!  I crave for cold water time and again but I’m getting better at moving in the dark. No! I light only one candle by choice.
So here is my own version of the joke at the beginning. I was hungry so I’m making myself a cheese sandwich. I took the cheese out of a Ziploc bag and sliced off a piece and made the sandwich. I was putting the cheese back when I noticed some small, white, wriggly creatures on the cutting board. Hmm… what are those, protein on protein???? I tried to inspect the cheese in the dark. I didn’t see any of the creatures, which was comforting. I couldn’t see any in the sandwich either. So what did I do? I washed the cheese, patted it dry and put it in a different bag.  I made a strong cup of Columbian coffee and enjoyed my high-protein cheese sandwich. It tasted a little different. What do you think? Have I been here too long? Hee Hee Hee, I will go home next month for a “sanity break.” I will be in the Philippines during the Liberia National election; I think it’s safer that I’m not here. I will also have the chance to participate in a surgical mission in the south island, and then attend the Philippine College of Surgeons' annual convention. But the highlight will be my mother's 77th-birthday. I will return to Liberia on Dec. 12, Insha’Allah.
With regards to that boy who had artery & vein transection I wrote about last month. After days of agonizing, I decide to amputate his leg rather than lose him to severe infection. It was a sad day for our OR team. But we had to focus on the fact that he was going home alive. Praise God, Handicap International is here in Liberia and can help provide a walking frame and, later on, a prosthesis.
I pray that you can help us with the OR renovation. Please write your check to:
Ganta Hospital Advance #15080N
Designate: OR renovation
Mail to:
The Advance
November Birthdays:
1   Rose Lee
4   Rob Becvar
4   Nancy Caid
7   Jerry Peters
14 Dennis Comfort
14 Rick Cooper
15 Terry Prim
17 Cheryl Kersey
18 Nancy Comfort
18 Ron Jelinek
19 Dorothy Fay
22 Craig Goodenough
24 Andrew Bellaire
24 Marcia hess
26 Theresa Terry
26 Ken Williams
29 Linda Doyle
29 Jamie Hollenbeck
29 Gary Martin
November Anniversaries:
3   Alvin & Shirley Schroeter
4   Barney & Dorothy Fay
4   Jerry & Esther Thomas (60th!)
16 Bruce & Jeanie Hauch
19 Bill & Betty Swanson
30 Tom & Martha Spychalski