Dear members and friends of VPC,
Make sure you welcome Kye Harris as our worship leader this month and into January. We are praying that he enjoys being a part of our Valley Park Church family and is a good fit for the future of Valley Park. He loves Jesus and has been raised in a family where serving small churches has been a priority. He already has a sense of who we are and wants to help us reach our community for Jesus Christ. We are blessed that he is willing to serve at Valley Park through the Christmas season.
December is my favorite month of the year at Valley Park. We celebrate the real reason for the season. That is, the birth of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. The majority of people do not understand why someone who lived long ago would be important to those of us who are alive now. It requires learning to understand and appreciate why the birth of Jesus is the most important event in history. Two important things to learn and celebrate at Christmas are:
1) Jesus is the only person in history to offer a promise that guarantees avoiding death.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.”John 8:51
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26
Jesus promised He would give eternal life to people who believed in and followed Him. He actually said they would never die. This promise negates the most discouraging fact of life. That fact is that everyone and every living being dies. Death is the non-negotiable end to everything we have known and experienced. After the death of our physical body, we cannot be certain of ever again enjoying things like learning, companionship, achieving goals, intimacy, good food or even the beauty of God’s creation. If Jesus is able to remove death from the cycle of life that we assume to be fact, then it is the best news possible in a world where suffering and survival dominate our experience until “death do us part.” Christmas celebrates Jesus because we believe He can deliver on His promise. How do we know He can?
2) Fulfilling such a promise requires Jesus possessing the power and authority of God.
Many people diminish the value of Christmas because they do not believe He can deliver on His promise. How could any human being replace the cycle of life with a cycle not including death. Jesus’ sanity was questioned by those who heard Him teach 2,000 years ago.
“Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone follows My word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets as well; and yet You say, ‘If anyone follows My word, he will never taste of death.’ You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died, are You? The prophets died too. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?”John 8:51-53
Their assumption was that even the greatest person known in their tradition could not avoid death. They assumed Jesus was not greater than Abraham or any prophet known in history. They asserted there was something wrong with Him. Their question, “Whom do you make Yourself out to be?” was answered by Jesus.
Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you; but I do know Him, and I follow His word. Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day, and he saw it and rejoiced.” So, the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”John 8:54-58
Jesus’s answer was, and still is, the most important reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus told them exactly who He knew Himself to be.
- “It is My Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’” Jesus asserted He had an intimate relationship with the God of Creation as His Father. His authority flowed from God’s trust in Him as a son.
- “I know Him… and I follow His word.” Jesus asserted He knew God’s will perfectly. Everything He did was a perfect representation of God.
- “Before Abraham was born, I am.” Jesus asserted pre-birth existence and that He was the God who spoke to Abraham as recorded in Exodus 3:12-14.
Beyond the promise of never dying, Christmas is a celebration of who Jesus was and is, so that the promise He made is secured by who He is. The promise has no substance apart from the power and authority of Jesus to deliver. So, Christmas celebrates Jesus’ birth as a perfect representation of God living among us in human form. As God among us, He is fully able to deliver on His promise.
I acknowledge that this is a truth hard to fully comprehend. It stretches all we have learned about the facts of life. The logic of the Creator of life living in the midst of His creation is outside of our experience. But it is a legitimate assertion of Jesus that is consistent with the multitude of supernatural things He did for people when He was living among us.
Christmas is a wonderful celebration of Jesus’ birth because of Who He said He was and what He said He would do for those who follow Him. Let’s celebrate the true reason for the season this Christmas.
May God be glorified!
Life Groups Will Resume in January with Lesson 5
The four meetings of Life Groups in Nov-Dec were a wonderful first step in getting our church family and friends together and involved in each other’s lives. The study “Knowing” is a wonderful study with depth on each topic, yet is simplified for those new to the faith. I believe we have renewed a habit that will make January an exciting re-start.
If you are not already a part of the series, I encourage you to talk to the pastor, get the book, and use the month of December to study what has already been studied by others. You can easily join a group in January without feeling you are behind. Talk to Pastor Kevyn. January’s groups will be as follows:
Sundays 5PM at the church
Tuesdays 10AM at the church
Wednesdays 7PM at the church… Childcare Available by reservation only
Contact Ann Jones
Wednesdays 7PM ZOOM – led by Vivian Rude.
Contact Vivian Rude if you have any questions.
Fridays 6PM at Felicia Pasco’s home.
Call either Mamu or Ludy for more information.
Valley Park Christmas Luncheon in the Courtyard
Sunday December 12th (after service)
Reservations required! A catered lasagna lunch will be provided at no charge, however, donations are welcomed! Join us for delicious food, fellowship and singing Christmas carols!
Volunteers needed for set up and clean up!
Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering 2021
Transformed by Generosity
This timely theme lifts up the true strength and perseverance of ministers, missionaries and their widowed spouses who have devoted 15 or more years of service to the American Baptist family.
Through RMMO, we hope you are inspired to give to those who continue to transform and embody the spirit of Christ—and may we each be transformed by the opportunity to be generous in giving.
Support RMMO by placing an expression of gratitude in the special offering envelope available in the lobby or donate online at abc.-usa.org/RMMO. Checks to be made out to Valley Park and marked as designated for RMMO.
Project Angel Tree
Prison Fellowship Angel Tree Christmas
VPC has provided gifts to children on behalf of an incarcerated parent. We collected gifts and have yet to send them. If you would still like to contribute, talk to Ann Jones. Wrapped gifts/gift cards are due on Sunday, December 5th. Online giving is also available at
Valley Park Ministries: Pray for the Following Ministries
Youth Ministry- Victor Paz
Meeting Location- Ranch House
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 PM
Sundays from 10:30 AM to 12 PM
Children’s Ministry- Diana Nason
Children’s Church and the Nursery are open at 11 AM on Sundays until after the Worship time in the Sanctuary. Parents must sign in their children at either Room 4 or the Nursery depending upon their child’s age.
Adult Bible Study
Attend a Wednesday Night Bible Study at 7 PM in the Church Conference Room or via ZOOM. You can download ZOOM at https://zoom.us/download. If you need help, call me. Childcare Available.
Zoom ID: 883 9639 5022 Password: 765914
Thursday Fellowship for Seniors
Join us at the church for our Seniors and Friends Fellowship on Thursdays at 10 AM in the Church courtyard and/or conference room.
Men’s Fellowship and Bible Study
Come down to the church on Saturdays for our Men’s Bible Study and Fellowship at 9 AM in the Church courtyard and/or conference room.
Valley Park December Birthdays of Members, Friends and Youth
Dec 3 Sara Lineberger
Dec 3 Jonathan Guerara
Dec 6 Cynthia Houghton
Dec 8 Dean Spiva
Dec 10 Susan Han
Dec 15 Kaye Weber
Dec 16 Mark Capehart
Dec 16 Hewitt Dixon
Dec 19 Jericho Eugenio (child)
Dec 22 Jade Rivadeneira (child)
Dec 25 Nick Barbinis
Dec 25 Ariel Capehart
Dec 26 Romina Navarro (youth)
Dec 30 Richard Capehart
Valley Park Financial Total through November 31, 2021
(Fiscal Year runs July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022)
Annual Budgeted Need: Tithes and Offerings $132,000
Monthly Budgeted Tithes and Offering Need $11,000
November 7 $4,574
November 28 $5,329
November Tithely (on-line giving) $2,355
November Target $11,000
November Actual $12,258
November Variance Plus $1,258
YTD (July 1 through September 30, 2021)
YTD Target (3 months x $11,0000) = $55,000
YTD Actual = $49,944
YTD Variance Minus = -$5,056