Newsletter Fall 11

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Transcript of Newsletter Fall 11

ROCK VALLEY UNITED REFORMED CHURCH NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER / DECEMBER, 2011

But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

The following is a modified excerpt of the sermon I preached at my Omas funeral this past June: One particular weakness of Pauls was a thorn in his flesh that was so painful that he prayed about it three times, pleading that the LORD would take it away. The LORD answered his prayer every time; its just that the answer was, No, I will not take this thorn away. Its not because God was being mean or cruel. He was actually gracious the thorn was good for Paul but Paul had trouble seeing how that could be. We dont know what that thorn in the flesh actually was. Maybe it was a sin or a temptation that Paul was struggling with, had repented of, but still found himself falling back into it. Maybe it was a particular enemy of the faith who kept coming to Paul and insulting or persecuting him. Whatever it was, the Lord had left that thorn in so that He could teach Paul (and us) a lesson. What does it mean to have a thorn in the flesh? Those of us who have worked with certain kinds of plants and flowers know what its like to get an actual thorn in your hand or your fingertip: it hurts and sometimes it even bleeds. But thats really more of an inconvenience than a real trouble. It hurts for awhile and we put a bandage on it but soon we forget it ever happened. Its not a thorn were likely to pray about. For Pauls thorn in the flesh, maybe think more of what a porcupine quill is like. The pain from one of those is bad enough when its stuck into your flesh, but it hurts even more when you have to take it out. Its the kind of thorn that drains you as long as its there, and it makes it very difficult to go on with normal life. Whatever it was for Paul, for us maybe that thorn is an actual physical pain arthritis or a bad back or maybe its a child with so many health problems that its taking years to overcome. There are many different kinds of thorns, even spiritual ones. Temptations, anxiety, guilt these things can get so overwhelming and debilitating that in desperation we cry out to God, but sometimes it seems like He does nothing about it. And then we get the additional temptation on top of it, the temptation to get discouraged and angry. Why wont you get rid of this, Lord?!?! There were things that my Oma struggled with in her life. She was a widow for more than 32 years. I never heard her complain about it, although I think Oma hid her complaints quite well. We all knew her opinions but the real thorns in her flesh she kept hidden from most of us. She came over from Holland with a young family, starting life in a new place with a new culture and a new language. She had struggles with growing old and the greatest one was her fear of being a burden on our family. That weighed on her emotions and her spirit greatly. Why did my Oma have to go through all of those struggles, especially in the last few weeks of her life? The answer is no different from the answer for why Paul had to endure this thorn in his flesh, just as it is for every Christian who suffers and struggles. And yet even if a Christian like the Apostle Paul struggled to know what that answer was, then it shouldnt surprise us when we dont have an immediate and practical answer for the question of why, or why this is taking so long. And thats because the Lord wanted Paul, my Oma, and you and me, to learn the lesson of our own weakness. Pauls comfort in that was very simple: when my weakness is made so very clear, thats when the Lord makes my faith in my Savior strong. When my Oma was struggling in her last few weeks, the things that brought her peace were her family praying with her, reading Scripture, and singing those old Dutch hymns. And even when her lifeless body was lying in front of us, about to placed into the ground, the ultimate sign of weakness, yet even there the strength and the grace of Jesus Christ was made perfect because Christ has been raised from the dead, and the Bible says that all who put their trust in Him will be raised, as well. Their weakness, even the weakness of death, is used to point us to Jesus, and one day that greatest weakness will bring the greatest glory to God when He raises them from their graves.

Rev. James Sinke

Rock Valley URC Welcomes Tobey Ryan HalmaCongratulations to Ryan and Brittany Halma on the birth of their healthy baby boy, Tobey Ryan Halma! Tobey was born on August 26, 2011. He was 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 20 inches long at birth. Along with his parents, he was welcomed home by his big brother, Adam. Proud grandparents are Rainer and Diane Van Bemmel and Rick and Paula Halma, all of Doon. Tobey was baptized on September 25, 2011. Rev. Sinke preached from Deuteronomy 6, under the theme God claims the comprehensive love of His covenant people. We were reminded of the awesome responsibility to diligently teach our children to love the Lord with all of our being. At baptism He gives us His ensign...His flag. He claims us as His own, and He expects our allegiance and deserves the total love of our hearts. It is our prayer that Tobeys parents will be granted the wisdom they need to raise him in the fear and love of the Lord, and that we, as their church family, will always be faithful to support and help them in this joyful task.

Rev. Sinke with the Halma family Ryan, Brittany, Adam and Tobey on Tobeys day of baptism9/25/11. Tobey seems pretty relaxed on his special day.

RVURC Joyfully Welcomes Two New Families to Our Congregation!!Meet the Laman family, who come to us from the Heritage Reformed Church of Hull. They make their home in Rock Valley, where Bill is a Carpenter, specializing in drywall finishing. He stays busy with the Fire Department, Bible Study and attending his daughters games and watching hockey. Brenda is a Caregiver/ Coordinator at Whispering Heights. She keeps busy attending Bible Study, watching her daughters games and doing the Mom things. Ashley is working on a Nursing degree at NCC and also is a Caregiver at Whispering Heights. Brittany is a senior at RVHS and is busy with volleyball and basketball. She keeps busy working at Pizza Ranch in her spare time, and of course, hanging out with her friends. Caitlin is in 7 th grade. She enjoys playing volleyball, basketball and playing her trumpet in band.

The Laman familyback rowBrenda, Brittany, Caitlin, and Bill; Front rowMatt and Ashley

Meet the Vis family, who come to us from the Redeemer Reformed Church (RCUS) of Golden Valley, Minnesota. Dennis and Karen Vis both grew up in Sioux County. Dennis was born and raised in Rock Valley and Karen on a farm near Middleburg. They met at Western Christian and were married in 1975. After Dennis graduated from Dordt College in 1977 they moved to the Twin Cities. They have two sons, both serving in the military. Jeremy is in South Korea and Joseph is in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Dennis and Karen moved back home to Rock Valley in October of 2011. Dennis is employed with Attema Marketing as a Sales Representative and Karen works in customer service at Peoples Bank. They feel very blessed to be members of Rock Valley United Reformed Church.

Bridal and Baby Showers

Every mom feels like shes changed so many diapers she could do it blindfolded, but that turned out to be trickier than expected! The race was on between Brittany and her mom to see who could diaper that baby faster. (Brittanys team won.)

It was a beautiful Saturday morning on October 1, 2011, when the women of RVURC came together to honor our newest mom, Brittany Halma and her new baby Tobey, and our two new brides, Kelcie (Groeneweg) Underland and Autumn (Vande Kamp) Laman. Brittany received a baby shower and the new brides received grocery showers. We played some games that turned out to be a little tricky. First, the new brides donned aprons that held many every day kitchen items that you would think we would all know and be able to remember. They paraded past us, and then it was up to us to remember and identify what these handydandy little items were. Short term memory isnt everyones strong suit! The other game we played was a race. We divided into two teams, and then raced to see who could diaper the baby the fastest...blindfolded! We had a delicious brunch and a lot of fun as we supported one another as women in the various stages of life. Best wishes Brittany, Kelcie and Autumn!

Autumn was receiving a bridal shower, but its never too early to start practicing the skill of diapering, Autumn!

Brittany, Autumn and Kelcie get ready to open their shower gifts.

Following our morning worship service on Sunday, October 9, we came together again in the Youth Room to enjoy a Pot Luck Congregational Dinner. Once again our cooks didnt disappoint us, as there was a bountiful table full of food to choose from. We were able to enjoy a delicious meal and to visit and laugh with each other as members of the same church family. We are thankful to the Lord for the many good times He provides for us!

Answers to Place the Face: Morgen Anderson & Mary Kate Postma

Sometimes naughty, sometimes nice! Youth Group members are Jade Heynen, Brittany Laman, Lindsay Kats, and Jared Heynen. Leaders are Loren Kooiman and Carla Groeneweg.

The Youth Group kicked off its season by joining the area URC Youth Groups in Sanborn for whats being called Stand and Deliver, based on Romans 1:16a. The idea behind the Stand and Deliver outing is to get our area URC teens together every three to four months for a time of fun activities and a chance to get to know one another just a little better. We played kickball games and ate pizza, and Rev. Donovan gave us som