Dear members and friends of VPC,
It is a New Year!!! I hope there are some new and improved things to consider for people world-wide in 2022. I personally hope for more love and respect than we witnessed in America in 2021. If I had a voice, I would vote for less fear, less anger, and less focus on issues that divide.
I personally hope and pray for more love, kindness, agreeing to disagree and commitment to respect every human being as a unique creation of God. I hope there will be a renewed celebration of the life we continue to enjoy- including friends, family and a diverse culture where integrity and hard work are almost always rewarded. We are a country of privilege and I sincerely pray we grow in gratitude for what we enjoy.
But I believe that most of the issues that have divided people from each other over the last year will be unlikely to change because of the sinful condition of our human hearts. Our answer to these divisive issues is the Spirit of God through salvation accomplished by Jesus Christ. Our problems are more complex and serious than can be fixed without a revival of our human spirit. Jesus understood this and therefore focused upon changing the world “one person at a time.” We, like Jesus, need to focus upon our relationship with God and encouragement of people we meet to be reconciled to Him.
Jesus taught “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that it would not be handed over to the Jews, but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36) Jesus cared about every human being in the world both then and now. But He neglected trying to fix the world; His focus was upon fixing people.
So, I believe we need to focus upon ourselves in relationship to God and people in the year to come. I offer a few thoughts about our individual Christian priorities (resolutions) for 2022.
- That we decide to draw closer to Jesus to the best of our ability.
This means more regular reading of scripture and the teachings of Jesus along with more conversation with God in prayer. We need to talk more with Jesus about how we can support His priorities for people we meet during our time on earth. (See I Peter 1:17)
- That we determine to love people as much as Jesus loved people. For Jesus, this meant walking and talking with people about the most meaningful things in life.
Jesus met a tax collector named Levi and invited him to follow Him (Luke 5:27-29). Could we invite people we meet to follow Jesus?
To the woman at the well He offered living water that would quench a spiritual thirst within her forever (John 4:1-26). Could we offer Jesus to people as the source of a new kind of life that would transform their understanding of reality forever?
To the man who could not walk, Jesus offered forgiveness of sins before telling him to get up and walk (Mark 2:1-12). Could we tell people that they can be forgiven through Jesus for every bad thing they have done in life?
To the disciples Jesus asked the most important question in life. “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13-20) Could we ask people if they have ever considered who Jesus was or if they have ever read one of the gospels to learn about Him?
TRY IT! These were topics of relevance to a relationship with God through Jesus. No one took offense at Jesus’ interest and concern for their life. No one resisted discussion. Each topic was a conversation starter, and none were political or abrasive. Each one of us can easily improve our interactions with people in 2022 if we can learn to talk as freely as did Jesus.
- That we determine to prioritize small gatherings with Christians and/or non-Christians wherever possible so that there is discussion about Jesus and an opportunity to encourage each other.
Jesus encouraged love of the brethren (John 13:34-35: 15:12-17) and serving one another (John 13:2-17). These are priorities that require getting together with people and practicing love and service in action.
The prayer of Jesus on the night before He died was a prayer for His followers to function in life in a manner like how He and the Father functioned in life. They worked together as a team in providing redemption and reconciliation for people.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”John 17:22-23
It is a Christ-honoring commitment into 2022 to devote ourselves to more regular fellowship with people, whether Christian or non-Christian, where we can talk about Jesus and what it means to be a sincere follower. Is God calling us to join a group or possibly even host a group where we can create a sense of community in a common pursuit of Jesus. Pray for direction from Jesus in relation to this call to building “community” (oneness).
I believe it is a good time to consider some resolutions in life that will exemplify what it means to be a servant of Jesus Christ in a world where there is growing division without enough evidence of victory through sacrificial love. We, as devoted followers of Jesus, and a Christian family, can make a difference that will change our impact on people. I believe the above priorities are healthy “marching orders” for Valley Park into 2022. Let us work together to change lives “one person at a time.”
May God be glorified through each member of the Valley Park Church family!
Volunteers Need to Take Down Christmas Decorations
Saturday, January 15th, 9:30 AM Come help take down the Christmas decorations even if you have only a little time to give!
“Life Groups” Will Resume on Sunday, January 16
The four meetings of Life Groups in Nov-Dec were a wonderful first step in getting our church family and friends gathered again in groups where we can talk about God and encourage each other.
If you were not a part of a group before Christmas, I want to strongly encourage you to join one now. There are five meetings each week from which to choose. Get the notes and books from Pastor Kevyn so that you can prepare. Talk to Pastor Kevyn. January’s groups will resume as follows.
Sundays- Jan. 16 5PM at the church
Tuesdays- Jan 18 10AM at the church
Wednesdays- Jan. 19 7PM at the church…Childcare by reservation only
Contact Ann Jones
Wednesdays- Jan. 19 7PM Zoom – led by Vivian Rude.
Fridays- Jan. 21 6PM at Felicia Pasco’s home.
Valley Park Ministries: Pray for the Following Ministries
- 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.
- Youth Ministry- Victor Paz
Meeting Location- Ranch House
Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 PM
Sundays from 10:30 AM to 12 PM
- Thursday Fellowship for Seniors- Starting January 13
Join us at the church for our Seniors’ and Friends Fellowship on Thursdays at 10 AM in the Church courtyard.
- Men’s Fellowship and Bible Study- Starting January 15
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 January Birthdays of Members, Friends and Youth
01 Paul Boyadjian
05 Karen Walker
10 Liz Skinner
15 Margo James
16 Joe Rivadeneira
19 Chloe Green (Child)
26 Manuel Villarama
30 Marvin Spiva