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See what’s happening here at Belle Valley Church!

Going Green – What does that look like for us?

With the announcement of the “greening of NW PA,” our session gathered to finalize our immediate plans:
1) Due to the numbers of vulnerable “at-risk” groups in our congregation (those 60+, those in midst of treatments for serious disease–like cancer, diabetes, COPD, A-fib, congestive heart disease, etc.), and the fact that our COVID numbers still haven’t plateaued and decreased, session voted to remain in a sheltered frame of mind with our worship and fellowship opportunities until Sept. 13 (Rally Day). The feeling is, as well, that our attendance numbers are down in the summer, and therefore, it wouldn’t be as big a sacrifice as the regular part of the year! We’re hoping to add to a societal security effort vs. this pandemic rather than add to its spread! Elmwood Church session has also decided to do the same.
2) We are going to experiment with outdoor services on July 19, and August 23, socially distancing themselves and wearing masks. No singing, hugging, shaking hands, etc. We will still have music and probably special soloists(s). But all of these measures will be instituted to protect all! We will still live-stream for all those who are anxious about coming to our outdoor svcs. And in anticipation of possible inclement weather, we are exploring using an fm translator to broadcast svcs. on your car radio fm channels. We may still try to have a drive-in movie picnic in late July, depending on the course of Covid cases over the next few weeks in NW PA. We will keep you all posted.
Pastor Dave
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Important Announcement

Our summer season of worship as approved by your session begins this Sunday (June 14)…and will begin at 10am (and will run through Labor Day Weekend)! If you would rather, please know that Elmwood’s summer worship time will be 8:45am. Virtual worship will continue until we get word from Governor Wolfe about our county (or NW PA) going “green”. Your session has been putting together a plan for re-opening so as to do it as safely and as cautiously as possible. So once we hear of the status being changed, we will contact you asap with our specific plan so you know how to prepare for in-person worship. And for those who are most vulnerable, we will continue to offer live-streaming worship indefinitely–which can be accessed from the Belle Valley Presbyterian Facebook Page (and Elmwood’s for the earlier time) or from Dave Edmunds’ Facebook Page  at anytime that day or 2 after we go live.  For those who do not have Facebook accounts you can view our weekly messages on our Belle Valley Presbyterian Church YouTube Channel.
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CANCELLED

All of our services and church activities have been cancelled until 4/3/2020.

Possible message streaming opportunities. Please stay tuned.

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Lenten Study Group Series

By His Wounds We Are Healed Lenten Study – Let’s join together in wrestling with our faith and God’s Word as we journey to the cross! Wednesdays @ 6:30pm (Mar. 4, 11, 18 @ Belle Valley Church; Mar. 25, Apr. 1, 8 @ Elmwood Ave. Church)—lite refreshments served!

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Tuesday’s Adult Bible Study Group

We join in fellowship and study opportunities each week. Our first week (1st Tuesday of month, 10:30am) we meet at Harborcreek Perkins Restaurant, and then we gather each week or every other week on Tuesdays at 10am in fellowship hall. We always have coffee and donuts, a time of prayer and then a discussion of a recent Christian fiction book or book of the Bible.

 

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ONLINE GROUP BIBLE STUDY

ONLINE GROUP BIBLE STUDY 

Join our current Study Event (02/26 – 04/05/2020): Journeying With Jesus – 40 Days Lent Devotional
Join our next Study Event: Coming Soon
WHO’s Invited? Anyone and Everyone, please share this opportunity.
WHAT’s it all about? The Group Online Bible Study is hosted through YouVersion’s Bible.com on their website using a computer or on their app using a smartphone or tablet. Every new plan/study has a link that is shared as an announcement on our “Be the Light Study Group” Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/528645391253413/ , under news and events on the Belle Valley Church website http://presbyteriannetwork.com/bellevalleychurch/upcoming-events/ , the plan / study link can be direct messaged via email or text request to Stacey Simons at 814-881-1323 or stacey.simons111@gmail.com, and the easiest way is right through Bible.com (once we are friends in the program).  Each plan / study has a daily devotion, scripture reading, and then a place to comment to the group if you’d like, but commenting is optional. 
WHEN and WHERE do we meet? Daily, whenever you have a few moments throughout your day in the convenience of your own home.  I’d also like for you to know it is okay to miss a day here and there, just pick up whenever you can the next chance you get. 
WHY do we meet?  God designed us to need Him and each other. His word to us is to reach out and love one another. Colossians 3:16 says we should allow “the message of Christ [to] dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” What better place for that than in a Bible study group?
COST:  Other than your time, these studies are FREE
The only thing you will need to do is to create an account with Bible.com to join the group plan / study if you do not already have one.
Need extra help? Watch the YouTube Bible.com Tutorial https://youtu.be/2AqrCh1jPKk
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Pub Theology!

Pub Theology! Join us monthly at Coach’s Sports Bar (downstairs area) where no faith/religion questions are out of place, and all doubts are heard and respected! Bring a friend…I double dog dare you! If we’ll commit to ask just one person to come with us, we’ll fill that room! Come with open minds, open ears, honest hearts, and doubting guests who seek genuine faith.

Next Event Link:  Pub Theology March 30th

 

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MISSION OUTREACH

Our next mission event will be serving the homeless at Sunday Suppers, 1st Covenant Church (downtown) @ 3:30pm on May 17. Please join us in volunteering to prepare, serve and clean-up after the meal. If you are able to help, please contact Becky Nottingham (573-5476). We may also need volunteers to prep and donate desserts, if you can’t volunteer, so stay tuned for more details. DON’T FORGET: Your 2nd mile giving to our Presbytery’s 2019 per capita fund—this is a gift ($31.50) asked from every member of Presbyterian churches in our presbytery to be used for larger mission efforts sponsored by the PC(USA) in our region!! If you haven’t yet contributed, please do so now, making out your checks to “Belle Valley Presbyterian Church” and mark the memo line—“Per Capita gift.” “Labors of Love”: To commemorate the 50th Anniversary in 2019 of medical missions and service, CHOSEN is partnering with the Presbytery of Lake Erie and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana in a new endeavor called “Labors of Love”.  The goal of “Labors of Love” was to raise $50,000 that will be invested in the four Health Clinics to increase and improve healthcare services to the women, children, and communities that they serve in the upper north where hospitals are few and far in travel distance over rough terrain.  Each of the Health Clinics has specific needs for getting to the next level of development. These include building construction, renovations, equipment, supplies, infrastructure, potable water, sanitation, staff training and support. Labors of Love Update: The presbytery has received $25,551.73 for the four Health Clinics in Ghana. Please keep up your faithful giving. To make a donation, contact the Presbytery office for more details: 868-4891.
Our Mission Partnership with the Upper Northern Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana: As you pray for this partnership, know that our church has been partnered with a cluster of LEP churches in prayer for a district of churches in the Upper Northern Presbytery of EPC-Ghana: Seeking to be faithful to God we encourage faithful prayer for each other.  Also keep Rev. Josh Heikkila and Ruth Brown in your prayers as they are PC(USA) missionaries on the ground in the Upper North.

 

                                               Chereponi District                          Lake Erie Presbytery

                                               11 churches                                   Ripley, NY                        Erie, New Hope

                                               126 male members;                      North East                       Erie, First Covenant

                                               183 female members;                   Harborcreek                    Erie, Elmwood Avenue

                                                219 children                                   Erie, Eastminster            Erie, Belle Valley

                                                District Pastor:                              Erie, Emmanuel

                                                  Rev. M. L. Agbovi

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Choir Practice

Choir practices to be held weekly on Sundays from February 9th through April 12th at 10:15 AM in preparation for the upcoming Lenten / Easter season.

All are welcome!!!

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Sunday Funday and Birthday Fellowship Luncheon

Sunday Funday Christian Education Luncheon

and Birthdays of the Month Fellowship Event.

Hosted Monthly on the 2nd Sunday

 

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The Pastor’s Searchlight – March 2020

The Pastor’s Searchlight—March, 2020: The Forgotten Explorer

 

The following story is from The One Year Book of Amazing Stories, by Robert Petterson: When his parents died, Matt dropped out of school and became a dishwasher. He was only 12 when a Baltimore ship captain took him on as a cabin boy. That skipper was the closest thing Matt ever had to a father. The captain showed the orphan how to read, write, and navigate a ship. Matt learned skills that would take him where no man had ever ventured. When the ship’s captain died, Matt was again on his own. He returned to Washington, D.C., where he met the second man who would change his life. Captain Robert E. Peary was sailing south to survey the feasibility of a canal across Nicaragua. When he met Matt, he was surprised that an eighteen-year-old knew so much about navigation. So he hired the teen as his personal valet. During their two years in Central America, Peary’s vision to explore the Arctic Circle ignited a passion in Matt. Their shared dream would yoke them together for 20 years of history-making exploration. In 1895 they traveled to Greenland on a trip that turned to disaster. They barely survived the winter by eating their sled dogs. When they found refuge with an Inuit tribe, Matt became the first American to master their difficult language. He also learned how to build dogsleds, kayaks, and igloos, taking tips from the locals in surviving the harsh Arctic. Peary knew that his valet was the key to making it to the North Pole. After several failed attempts, in 1908 they began their final shot at reaching the northernmost point on the planet. The two mushed north with 49 Inuits, more than 200 dogs, seventy tons of whale blubber, and countless sleds full of supplies—slogging a trail through ice fields, across yawning crevices, and over towering glaciers. They did so in the face of howling winds, endless night, and temperatures that plunged to 65 degrees below zero. It was one of the most harrowing trips in history. As they finally came within sight of their goal, Captain Peary was exhausted, so Matt continued on, becoming the first man in history to stand at the North Pole. He then went back to get Peary. The captain was livid that his valet had planted the first flag, and forever after refused to speak to him. Matt later said that the North Pole was the place where his heart was broken. The party arrived home to a hero’s welcome. In 1909, their feat was like landing a man on the moon. Proud Americans feted Captain Peary with parades and receptions, applauding him as the first man to stand at the North Pole. Nobody took notice of Matt. Yet today the world knows it was really Matthew Henson who was the first to reach the North Pole. Maybe if he hadn’t been African-American or if he hadn’t been Peary’s valet, he’d have been recognized sooner. But some 35 years after the journey, Matt was finally awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

Jesus went where no man has ever been before, or since! He stood on the cross that hung between the “No Man’s Land” of human brokenness/lostness/rebellion and God’s gracious, accepting embrace of healing. There where no one was able to accomplish what only Christ could accomplish on our behalf! And only Christ could do this because he was fully human (and able to represent us on the cross) and fully divine (and able to make this sacrifice once and for all, for all of history). He claimed that space and made it a bridge instead (over the chasm of our sin) between us and the Father!

 

   In Christ, Pastor Dave (reved87@verizon.net)

P.S. A dear friend and member of BVPC has moved on in his faith journey back to his Catholic roots, as he felt God calling him to return to the faith experience that he’d known most of his life. Andy Estok has asked for his membership to be transferred to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel just up the street from us. He will continue to stay in touch and visit us from time to time. His phone # is 806-7732, and his address is 5264 Cider Mill Rd., 16509 (if you wish to drop him a note or card to let him know he will be missed).

 

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MARCH 2020 Newsletter and Calendar

MAR 2020 Newsletter and Calendar

Newsletter —>  2020 MAR NEWSLETTER

Calendar —> 2020 MAR CALENDAR

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Custodial Team

Would you prayerfully consider joining the BVPC Custodial Team? If you are able to serve BVPC by participating in a rotation of volunteers who help keep the facility clean from week to week, then contact Chris Tombaugh (882-8932). We currently have a rotation in which you would be cleaning the church facility once every 2 months or so.  We will provide the training and answer any questions you may have.

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Recycling Program

Recycling Program:

Drop-offs welcome anytime (newspaper in west property trailer/aluminum cans)

Belle Valley’s Recycling Ministry Needs YOU!  Unloading the newspaper trailer onto a delivery truck will take place soon (check w/ Rick Leasure first: 881-1269). New recycling criteria please take note: only aluminum cans, newspaper (and old phone books). We also recycle printer ink cartridges from your own personal computer systems—the collection bin is in the foyer (we receive funds for this recycling!). We also recycle cell phones!! We are asking you to donate any old cell phones, and those of family/friends. The collection bin is in the foyer.

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Interested in Exploring Membership?

Interested in Exploring Membership? What exactly does it mean to become a member of Belle Valley Presbyterian Church? Why would I want to take that step of commitment? What do I need to know about this congregation (its history, design, and vision) to help me decide? If you’d be interested in further discussion (no strings attached!), or if you know someone who is currently unchurched and would be interested in the conversation, please contact Pastor Dave to get more info (397-1861). I hear he likes to treat folk to coffee at Panera’s, his home away from home!

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