See what’s happening here at Belle Valley Church!
We are having a collection for our Church Kitchen:
foil, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, Swiffer & supplies, Clorox wipes, dish soap, hand soap, etc. The collection receptacle is located in the foyer!
The Sunshine Group is collecting Children’s items (coloring books, fun books, socks, slippers, stuffed animals, dolls, rulers, cars & trucks, children’s jewelry and kids’ purses). Please call Patty Smolinsky (454-8005) for more info. (Collection bin is in the foyer on the coat rack.)
Currently focusing on paper products – paper plates, napkins, paper towels, disposable drinking cups & coffee cups, disposable soup bowls; etc. The collection receptacle is located in the church foyer!
The Pastor’s Searchlight—February, 2020:
There is a story about a new couple in love. They were in a long-distance relationship and the girl at the last minute demanded that her boyfriend jump on the next plane to get to her in time for Valentine’s Day. The man was terrified of flying and had never been on a plane before, so this was something of a test of his love. Well, he did it he booked the plane and with trembling hands got on the plane. He was on a charter flight in a 3 engine Lockheed TriStar. They were about half-way into his flight when their pilot’s voice came over the intercom, “This is your captain speaking. Ladies and gentlemen, I feel I ought to let you know that one of our three engines has failed. There is, of course, no need for alarm. This plane is entirely airworthy flying on two engines but I regret to say we will be one hour late in arriving in New York.” One half hour later, inevitably, with that desperate calm that is reserved by air pilots and astronauts for conditions of extreme emergency, the pilot of the TriStar spoke again: “This is your captain speaking. I regret that we have lost the second of our engines. But I would like to reassure you that we have every expectation of making a normal and safe landing at JFK Airport. We shall, however, be three hours late in arriving. If any of you would like to take this time to make some calls the cell phone restriction has been lifted for the remainder of the flight.” At this, the man called his girlfriend and said “My dear, I’m so sorry, I can’t keep my promise… we have lost two engines and we will be getting in three hours late, but that’s not the worst part… I’m afraid that if we lose this third engine, I may be up here all night.”
We often look for grand gestures to express our love to others, when what is needed is a daily lifestyle of appreciation and loving service in the nitty-gritty of life to those we love. Pastor and writer Gene Gregory once said in 2009, “…Over $1 billion was spent on chocolate, $1 billion on cards, and 218 million roses were sold in the pursuit of, or in an attempt to demonstrate love. The Bible tells us that God sent the first valentine. God showed what true love is. God demonstrated love for you and me over 2000 years ago when Jesus was sent, God’s One and Only Son, to pay the price for your sins and mine. God didn’t just love us enough to tell us about it. God didn’t just love us enough that God settled for having it written in the clouds by angels in flaming chariots. God didn’t love us just enough that God stopped at sending us a love note, or a card, or calling us. God loved us enough that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was sent. You see, when it came to demonstrating love, FTD was not fragrant enough, chocolate was not sweet enough, and Hallmark couldn’t find the words to set us free! But with Christ we can be “free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!” (Martin Luther King Jr.)
Two weeks after we celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, we enter the season of Lent as we celebrate Ash Wednesday (7pm Service of Communion & Ashes at Emmanuel Church, with our brothers & sisters from Belle Valley and Emmanuel Churches, with a joint choir) –what a perfect follow-up to Valentine’s Day…celebrating a divine love that completely overshadows our human attempts at love! Please join us as we begin our Lenten worship/devotion/study theme: “By His Stripes We Are Healed.”
In Christ, Pastor Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Belle Valley Group’s AA Meetings have been cancelled. Please see AA’s website below for alternative locations and meeting times.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other; that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A.membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
The Pastor’s Searchlight—January, 2020:
The following is an excerpt from The One Year Book of Amazing Stories, by Robert Petterson:
“In an era of increasing polarization, it might do us all some good to remember an amazing act of heroism many decades ago. It took place during an era of nation against nation, race against race, and religion against religion, an era that began with ethnic cleansing and ended in the Holocaust. On Feb. 3, 1943, an army transport ship, the Dorchester, was ferrying 900 combat soldiers across the North Atlantic to join in the fight against Nazi Germany. It wasn’t an easy passage. The winter crossing was stormy, masking those aboard feel like they were riding a rodeo bull. Young boys in uniform were both homesick and seasick in hot, airtight compartments below deck. But their queasy claustrophobia would soon be forgotten when torpedoes from a German sub slammed into the Dorchester. The captain knew that his vessel was going down, and he sounded orders to abandon ship with all haste. The pandemonium was heightened by the utter blackness of the stormy night. Young men were desperately searching for life jackets and trying to find lifeboats on a ship sinking in icy seas a hundred fifty miles from Greenland. In the midst of this chaos, four military chaplains became immortal heroes: Father John Washington, a New Jersey Roman Catholic; Reverend Clark Poling, a Reformed Church of America chaplain from Ohio; Reverend George Fox, a Pennsylvania Methodist; and Rabbi Alexander Goode, a Jewish leader from Brooklyn. Together, they did what chaplains are supposed to do as they guided soldiers to evacuation points, whispered courage in their ears, and helped them into lifeboats or over the side of the sinking ship. When life jackets ran out, the four chaplains peeled theirs off and gave them away.”
“Nearly 700 men died in the frigid waters that night, but more than 200 survived—some wearing life jackets handed to them by the chaplains. One soldier said that he was going back to retrieve his gloves, but Rabbi Goode insisted that he take his. Witnesses remember seeing those chaplains for the last time, linking arms together and praying as the ship disappeared from sight—a Catholic priest, a Reformed pastor, a Methodist preacher, and a Jewish rabbi. They may have come from different regions of America, voted for different political candidates, believed disparate theologies, and worshipped with dissimilar liturgies, but they believed in the same God, fought under the same flag, and were willing to die for young men whose views and lifestyles they may not have embraced. It’s no wonder that they were posthumously awarded one of the highest honors this nation can give to its military heroes.”
“In an age of intolerance, when almost anyone who doesn’t agree with us is dismissed as an enemy to be ridiculed, we would do well to dust off the amazing story of four chaplains who linked arms together in unity to pay the ultimate sacrifice for others. If it causes any of us to become less divisive, the retelling of this story will be well worth it. We might even benefit from something Malcolm Forbes said: Diversity is the art of thinking independently together.”
Earlier in my years at St. Paul’s UCC, I participated several years consecutively in a Chapel of Four Chaplains celebration memorial service/concert in Erie, through which we raised funds for the creation of a memorial stained-glass window (found in the Erie VA Hospital Chapel) depicting these heroic chaplains. We are a nation founded on the courageous and selfless principles of these four heroes, in spite of our current trends of divisiveness and “party politics.” They seriously committed to the dream of true democracy and the melting pot of the American nation…a confluence of ethnicity, race, religion, personality, age, gender, sexuality, politics and freedoms. The backbone of their commitment was ultimately seen in their selflessness! What about you and me…are we as committed to Christ’s ideal: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (Luke 9:23-4)” May this year be all about living a crystal-clear, 20/20 vision of what Christ taught and lived, instead of partisanship and “I’m right—you’re wrong; don’t confuse me with the facts” mentality!
Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? (Malachi 2:10)
In Christ, Pastor Dave (email@example.com)
Having Trouble Controlling the Way You Eat? Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous is based on the 12 Steps of AA. It is a fellowship of women and men who are recovering from the disease of food addiction. Some are obese, or under-eaters, or bulimic, or so food/weight-obsessed that they couldn’t live their lives freely. There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins. Weekly mtgs. take place at: Erie Church of Christ, 2317 W. Grandview Blvd. (Tuesdays, 6:30-8pm); St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 427 Plum St., Edinboro (Thursdays, 6:30-8pm). Visit the website at: “foodaddicts.org.”
All are invited to an opportunity to sing Christmas Carols to our members who can no longer easily make it to our regular Sunday Services. Aren’t able to sing with us? That’s okay. Maybe you can help by donating a dozen cookies or two by Saturday morning at 9:30.
12/21/2019 event details: Christmas Caroling
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 from 6PM – 9PM
at the Belle Valley Fire Department
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.
Please visit the event to learn more about our local community, it’s partnerships and what opportunities it can offer you!
Belle Valley Presbyterian Church will be there with a informational booth as one of the many participating partners.
To learn more about National Night Out please visit their website at https://natw.org/