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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 (

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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Mt. Carmel food pantry

Please keep up all the GREAT work of your ongoing support of canned goods and staples for the Mt. Carmel food pantry. There is always a need for basic food staples: peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, pasta, canned tuna & chicken, etc. Receptacles are in the foyer. Thank you all for your generosity!! We are continually amazed that the food collection containers fill up at least every 2 weeks!! The organizers of the Mt. Carmel Food Pantry have continually been showing their appreciation for our support of their pantry ministry!

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Nursery Volunteers Needed

If you’re able to serve BVPC by participating in a rotation of volunteers who help serve the needs of younger families at worship please contact Chris Tombaugh (882-8932) for details.  Due to new state laws you are required to have easy to obtain state clearances at no cost. Those details and any training will be provided.

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Collection for Church Kitchen

Looking for an easy way to help out the church in a big way?

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!

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Sunshine Group Support

Sunshine Group Support:

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.)

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Collection for Community of Caring

Collection for Community of Caring (community shelter and pantry ministries):

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!


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Invite a Friend Sunday

Invite a Friend Sunday March 8th!!!

There will be special music and a performance from the Mercyhurst University Liturgical Dance Ensemble. A time of refreshments and conversation downstairs after the service..

Invite a Friend Sunday

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Erie Otters Youth Fellowship Event

Erie Otters Youth Fellowship Event: Feb. 29, 7pm @ The Erie Insurance Arena…Tickets are ½ price ($11.00). Plan to join us…all youth and families welcome! Rides/carpooling needed? Let Pastor Dave know. Otherwise meet at the Arena at 6:30pm in the ticket lobby. Please confirm your attendance with Pastor Dave! (397-1861)

Erie Otters Youth Fellowship Event

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Ash Wednesday Service

Ash Wednesday Joint Congregational Service

Hosted by Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

February 26, 2020 at 7:00 PM

More details here —>  Ash Wednesday Service

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Serving Opportunity

Our next mission event will be serving the homeless lunch at the Upper Room Drop-In Center (St. Paul’s UCC, 11th & Peach, downtown) at 1pm on Feb. 23. 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.

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