Dear members and friends of VPC,
I have been particularly encouraged by the studies we have covered on Sunday mornings in the Book of Ephesians. Chapter 4, in particular, has addressed what it means to be mature in Christ and no longer an infant in understanding of what God wants us to do and be like in this world. Paul wrote,
“we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine,”Ephesians 4:14
Children typically follow multiple leads in life depending upon what other people say. They can be too trusting and they lack both knowledge and personal experience. It is important to God that His children grow up from childhood into adulthood and learn to manage life as grown-up children of God. Growing up means developing clarity about what is most important in life and learning how to manage it. Paul gives clarity to grown up understanding in Ephesians 4. We have learned:
- The unity and growth of God’s family is one of the most important priorities in life. (4:1-6) This is a surprising first priority to many Christians. But Paul had a depth of understanding of the life and commitment of Jesus to provide for the forgiveness of God’s children and give them the Holy Spirit in order to grow. Jesus understood God’s desire for family and healthy children.
- God gave wonderful equippers to the family of God to tutor God’s children in understanding of what it means to be mature. Prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers contribute to the learning and behavior of children of God. We are beneficiaries of their knowledge of God and His purposes. (4:11-13)
- Learning from Jesus is the foundation for knowing how to live a mature Christian life. He taught and modeled what a child of God is supposed to do and be like as a grown up. We are to be as passionately devoted and serving as Jesus was. Paul gives seven healthy habits to help us at the end of Ephesians 4. (4:20-32)
In our last newsletter I asked that our family and friends pray for more equipping leaders within our church family. Valley Park is a wonderfully loving and serving church family. I am proud of our church. One of my concerns is for healthier outreach to the non-Christian and unchurched community all around us. As Paul teaches, we reach people for Christ through what each one of us is able to do (see Ephesians 4:11-12).
I have considered many things we could be doing to attract people to church where they can get to know more about Jesus. I think anything we do needs to happen through our commitment to being loving and engaging with people. Paul sums up a disposition for each one of us that involves recognizing we are light in the world simply because we are devoted to living as mature children of God.
“for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”Ephesians 5:8-10
While I consider programs, worship services, and ministries that are attractive to people in our community who need both Jesus and a church family, this passage reminds me that we all need to be encouraged to simply live our faith out sincerely and relationally. People will see it and take note. They may ask questions. But even if they don’t, they will be open to our questions and interested in their life because we have chosen to ask them questions and be transparent.
I believe a foundation for outreach will be established if we are more deliberate in not isolating and choose to get to know people. I am discovering that people are wanting to engage in more conversations and they respond to interest expressed in their life. We need to show an interest in people so that they will see our light. We need to ask questions about how people and their families are doing. We need to get to know our neighbors. Take a walk and keep our eyes open to who we meet. We, as mature children of God, need to be more like Jesus who deliberately walked through communities and showed interest in people. This commitment will create friendships where we will be able to tell people about our love for Jesus and our VP family.
Please continue to pray for more equippers at VP Church and for all of us to build our outreach to our communities. Prayer changes things. Pray that God will build our church and make us strong.
Valley Park Ministries: Pray for the Following Ministries
- Youth Ministry: Victor Paz. Meeting Location- Ranch House. Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 P.M. Sundays from 10:30 A.M. to 12 P.M.
- Children’s Ministry- Diana Nason. Children’s Church and the Nursery are open at 11 AM on Sundays after the Worship time in the Sanctuary. 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. in the Church Conference Room or via ZOOM. You can download ZOOM at https://zoom.us/download. If you need help, call me at (818)521-0654.
Thursday Fellowship for Seniors
Join us at the church for our Senior’s and Friends 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 Bible Study and Fellowship at 9 A.M. in the Church courtyard and/or conference room.
Valley Park September Birthdays of Members, Friends and Youth
02 Diana Nason
05 Suzanne Vasquez
09 Charlie Garcia
12 Eric Kirar-Villanueva
13 Ludy Crizaldo
14 Victor Paz
14 Lilyanna Vasquez
15 Angela Kasparian
17 Luke Beugnon (child)
24 Pam Ward
24 Maria Gutierrez
26 Cindy Gray
27 Robin Pokorski
29 Robert Vasquez
30 Jai Belcher
30 Merrill Eackert
Valley Park Financial Total through August 31, 2021
(Fiscal Year runs July 1. 2021- June 30, 2022)
Weekly Budgeted Giving Estimate $2,539
August 8 $4,444
August 11 $4,999.87
August Target (2,539/week x 4) $10,156
August Actual $9,444
August Variance Minus $712
YTD (July 1 through August 31, 2021)
YTD Target (2,692 /week x 4) $10,156 + $10,156 =. $20,312
YTD Actual $9,432 + $9,444 = $18,876
YTD Variance Minus $724 +712 =. -$1,436