Dear members and friends of Valley Park,
This issue of “The Voice” contains the following:
· The Pastor’s Newsletter
· The History of one of our four Missions Offerings: “One Great Hour of Sharing” Including “How to Give”
· Agenda for our Annual Business Meeting, Sunday, June 27, 6 P.M., in the Sanctuary
· Church Ministries
· Birthdays of our members and friends to celebrate
· Financial Summary
It has been an encouraging past month. Our Sunday church attendance and fellowship have grown. “After church lunches” have been well attended. Visitors, members and friends of the church have been building relationships. Our youth group, led by Victor and Raquel Paz, has been well-attended with typically 15-25 attending meetings. Our youth are encouraged. We have assessed the past year’s budget (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) and have confidence we are finishing strong in spite of the shut-down. Giving is a little down but has been balanced by lower spending. In many ways we are going strong and have no real concerns needing attention, other than our ministries and outreach. Thanks be to God and to the faithfulness of our church family for supporting VP!
Our goals for Christ are simple: Baptizing people who decide to follow Jesus Christ and helping all Christians grow as followers of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). We will be having our first baptism in almost two years on the last Sunday of June, after our worship service. That is the day of our Annual Business Meeting but it will not be a conflict because the Business Meeting will be at 6 P.M.
Sunday, June 27th after church in the Chapel
If you or anyone you know who has not been baptized and would like to be baptized at the end of June, please let me know. If they want more information, I have booklets on “Baptism” they can read about why it is important and I would be happy to meet with them.
Building stronger followers of Jesus Christ at Valley Park is what Jesus described as “Making Disciples.” The word “disciple” means a “learner” and it simply references what it means to be a person who has chosen to learn from Jesus and to obey the things Jesus tells us to do.
I would like to think that everyone in the world, if they knew anything about Jesus, would want to become His disciple. This was the easiest decision I ever made in my life once I understood the things Jesus is able to do for us now and into eternity. This decision was even made easier after I learned how loving and wise He is in matters relevant to the most honorable way to live life. Once we know the real Jesus, we should want to talk about Him to the people we love.
Strengthening the faith of people who are disciples of Jesus is strengthening the faith of everyone who professes Jesus as Lord. Helping others learn things from Jesus that we have learned strengthens their faith also. Our first priority is therefore, to be a person who is growing in their understanding of Jesus and what it means to trust Him through every encounter and struggle in life. When we grow, we are better equipped to help others grow. One passage that has helped me focus upon this is John 15:1-5.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
I like this passage because it references several things that happen in Christian growth.
o It references connectedness to Jesus which is also what baptism references.
o It references a bi-product of being connected to Jesus that is called “fruit.” Connectedness to Jesus manifests itself in the life of a Christian in visible ways.
o It references God, the Father, pruning us so that we will produce more “fruit.” I think that there are some things involved in “pruning” that are not comfortable. But through discomfort and struggles of a variety of types, God helps us mature.
o It references the need to stay close to Jesus by “abiding.” I consider this a daily effort to listen to what He says and to consider the things He did and prioritized in His life. With my eyes on Jesus, I will grow spiritually and become more like Him.
The strength of Valley Park reflects the strength and fruitfulness of our members. It starts with our personal growth and blossoms into fruitfulness that has an effect on the lives of others. I am already thankful for the maturity of many of our family members. Our efforts to build each other up will increase as we all renew our devotion to Jesus Christ. Let us, together, seek to abide in Jesus more intimately. To God be the glory through the growth of Valley Park!
The One Great Hour of Sharing offering began seventy-two years ago in response to the devastation of World War II. A national broadcast on a Saturday evening asked Americans to give generously the next morning in their churches in order to help people who had suffered huge losses as a result of the devastation. More than 75,000 churches responded the next day.
Today, One Great Hour of Sharing serves people in over 80 countries around the world. Sponsored by eight Christian U.S. denominations and Church World Service (founded in 1946 as a cooperative ministry of 37 Christian denominations and communions, providing sustainable self-help, development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance around the world.) “One Great Hour of Sharing” makes sure that we can respond to needs as soon as they happen. It also helps tens of thousands of people receive support for ongoing relief, rehabilitation, and development.
Let Love Flow is this year’s theme for giving. Water is life. Through your giving you can give life-in the form of water and much more-to people in need around the world. You continue to build in the dream of a world in which there is no thirst, no hunger, no suffering…just the abundance of life in a living stream.
Isaiah 49:8-12 quotes God as saying “When the time’s ripe, I answer you. When victory’s due, I help you to reconnect the people with me, to put the land in order, to resettle families on the ruined properties. I tell prisoners, “Come on out. You’re free!” and those huddled in fear, “It’s all right. Its safe now.” There’ll be food stands along all the roads, picnics on all the hills – Nobody hungry, nobody, thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, for the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. I’ll make all my mountains into roads, turn them in to a superhighway. Look: Those coming from far countries, and those, out of the north, those streaming in from the west, and those from all the way down the Nile!” (The Message Translation)
Throughout the month of June, we will be collecting your special offerings for One Great Hour of Sharing. Please use the “Let Love Flow envelopes” on the table when entering the church. There are several ways you are able to contribute:
1. There is a special offering collection box in the foyer
2. Mail to the church (Designate “Let Love Flow”)
3. Online giving (Designate “One Great Hour of Sharing”)
Annual Business Meeting Agenda: Sunday, June 27, 6 P.M., in the Sanctuary
- Approval of Officers
Karen Walker Administration
Diana Nason Christian Education
Dilcia Junior Hospitality
Victor Paz Missions
Dan Han Property Maintenance
Bill Lineberger Shepherding
Bill James Worship
Diana Nason Chairperson, Board of Deacons
Jai Belcher Secretary, Board of Deacons
Tammy Eacker Vice-chair, Missions
Karen Walker Corporate Secretary
- Approval of Budget
The proposed 2021-2022 budget which needs to be approved will be distributed to members on Sunday, June 13, 2021 for review.
Valley Park Ministries: Pray for the Following Ministries
- Youth Ministry: Victor Paz
Meeting Location- Ranch House
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 P.M.
Youth Sunday Service from 10:30 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Monthly Agenda in Learning: Forgiveness, Trusting Jesus, Getting out of our Comfort Zone, and Serving the Body of Christ.
- Children’s Ministry- Diana Nason
Children’s Church and the Nursery are open at 11 A.M. on Sundays after the Worship time in the Adult service. Parents must sign in their children at either Room 4 or the Nursery depending upon their age.
- Adult Bible Study
Attend a Wednesday Night Bible Study at 7 P.M. via ZOOM. You can download ZOOM at https://zoom.us/download. If you need help, call me at (818) 521-0654.
Wednesdays- 7 P.M.
Zoom Meeting ID: 833 0422 0641
- Thursday Fellowship for Seniors
Join us at the church for our Senior Fellowship on Thursdays at 10 A.M. in the Church courtyard.
- Men’s Fellowship and Bible Study
Come down to the church on Saturdays for our Men’s Group at 9 A.M. in the Church courtyard. We are studying the Book of Isaiah.
- Youth Scholarships for Graduating Seniors
Financial Scholarships are awarded by Valley Park every June for graduating seniors intent on going to college or university. Qualifications are good grades and a display of commitment to loving and serving Jesus Christ at Valley Park. Applications are typically due in May, 2021. Please see Victor Paz immediately if interested.
Valley Park June Birthdays of Members, Friends and Youth
06/01 Debra Honles
06/05 Zach Kevin Ignacio (child)
06/06 Israel Figueroa (youth; Reuben & Claudere’s son)
06/07 Sienna Paz
06/11 Michelle Martinez (Adult; Miguel Martinez’s daughter)
Miguel Martinez: 9128 Gerald Avenue, North hills 91343
06/12 Carolyn Greenfield
06/13 Kevyn Jones
06/16 Julian Kanchanamongkol
06/19 Hanna Olson
06/21 Felisa/Mamu Pasco
06/24 Jimmy Han (youth)
Sophia Jimenz (child)
06/25 Isaac Thompson
06/29 Tanya Aguirre