VCC VOICE     March 2020

---

Wishing our readers good health as we face a time of global health concern.

From the VCC Board

and Guest Pastor Dr. Neil Parker

---

Capturing the Moment

 

http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/VCC-March-Edition-1.pdf

Follow this link to view a gallery of photos highlighting the past weeks of fellowship at the VCC!

After clicking the link please be patient while it loads. :)

---

A Note from Pastor Neil

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 One of the things I get to do as a pastor, although it’s not always my favourite thing, is to do services in nursing homes. Residents assemble, and the expectation is generally that we will sing old favourite hymns (the first verses, because everybody knows those), have a quick reading from Scripture and a sermon, a prayer, and then a blessing.

So what is the go-to Scripture passage for such a service? Psalm 23, the Shepherd Psalm, I suppose. In fact, I’ve polled residents, who say that the roster of in-and-out preachers generally choose that one text 50% of the time. Why? Well, I suppose it’s because we busy, rushing-around pastors figure that people living in Shady Pines or Pioneer Rest Home want to hear about green pastures and quiet waters. You know, something restful.

I was delighted, one drowsy Thursday afternoon in the nursing room dining hall, just before Bingo, to begin a gentle, soothing reading of this beloved psalm, when I was interrupted by a bright-eyed woman in the front row who said (quite loudly), “Well, that doesn’t sound so good!” I stopped, a bit taken aback, and then realized what I had just read. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” And she had heard that one phrase, and reacted. And I don’t blame her.

I, too, want quiet fields and rivers in my spiritual life. I want to know that God is just walking quietly with me, with no stress. I do NOT want to hear about dark valleys, even if I’m assured I will remain safe. And I certainly do not want to hear that I will have to sit down at the end of the journey with people I don’t like, people that to me are even described as “my enemies.”

Yet that is exactly what we are called to do.

What else did most of us learn by heart? The Lord’s Prayer. Yes, and that one reminds us that our trespasses will be forgiven “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Once again, we remind ourselves that the hard work of the Christian calling is to be reconciled to people we don’t like, those who have hurt us, those who disagree with us, those who are wrong, those we find it difficult to love. Not only that, but we will be doing that right up to, and into the Kingdom of God we pray for so regularly.

We shouldn’t be surprised. God reached out to us in Jesus Christ for one purpose; “What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace” (2 Corinthians 5:19, Contemporary English Version).

We’re not going to be judged by how we get along with those who think like us, talk like us, and pray like us. We will be judged by how we get along with those who challenge us and even threaten us. This is true in all of our relationships, from families and workplaces and town halls and international politics. It is true in our assemblies, at our rallies, in our social media, and in our church life. “Love one another” is simple, but it’s not easy. It’s what we are called to do.

---

Get Involved

---

Daily Devotion

Sunday School

Parents, please consider volunteering in the Sunday school we need your help! 

Contact the Christian Education Chair, Edson Dorneles for information.

For where two or three gathered in my name, there am I with them” 

Our Prayer Circle seeks God’s vision, guidance and will for our church and also to become more dependent on Him in our individual and family lives, respectively. We would like to keep in our prayers those who are sick, suffering, hospitalized or have spiritual needs and requests for God.

The Prayer Circle  has chosen a topic for each day's prayer as follows:

 

Monday:         Pastor

Tuesday:        Leadership and all those who serve VCC faithfully

Wednesday:   Membership

Thursday:       Music and Choir

Friday:            Church Programs

Saturday:        Outreach

Sunday:          International - those who are persecuted

Sita Weinrich is coordinating the Prayer Circle until Eeva and Jari Vähäsarja take over again.  All requests and communication should be sent to:  prayer@viennacommunitychurch.com

 

VCC Choir Sings

If you would like to join the VCC Choir or know of a musician or singer who would like to guest with us, please contact our Choir Director, Cassandra McConnell.

---

MEET OUR INTERIM PASTOR

---
---

Unfilled positions: Property, Stewardship & Finance. If you feel called to serve in any of these positions, please contact Mickela on moderator@viennacommunitychurch.com

---

Many thanks to all those who are bringing help to others during these difficult days. Please continue to pray, and reach out to others to offer support. 

---

Become Part of the VCC Family!

---

Are you interested in becoming a part of our ecumenical, international, inter-denominational, VCC family? For more information, please contact the Membership Chair, Sita Weinrich: membership@viennacommunitychurch.com

---
---

VCC Events & Other News

 

The Current Situation:On recommendation from experts that the exponential increase in corona infections be counteracted by absolutely minimizing social contacts, and in response to a request from the Federal Government, churches and religious communities have committed to support these measures in their own area and to “largely” suspend church services, beginning on Monday 16 March, 2020, and extending to Easter Week.This demonstrates our care for our neighbor, and for the most vulnerable in our midst.More to follow, and announcements will be made on Sunday, but please give this the widest possible distribution.

VCC Response

Effective Monday 16.3.2020, it seems that we will be shifting to an online format. This will be exciting!Starting next Sunday 22.3.2020, there will be weekly worship materials posted on the website (or a streaming service). This will consist of a sermon meditation, which will be pre-recorded although may be offered live, plus some worship material such as prayers and readings available in a PowerPoint presentation – this is the best format for families or small groups of neighbours to use together.Here’s how it might look: Worshipping together onlineThere will also be some interactive pages, such as a “Living Prayer List”. A sample page can be found here: please try adding your own prayers to the page and see what happens.

Our goals: We will stay linked to each other!

Our Prayer Circle was talking about ways to reach out to people; this might be a good time to initiate a phone network. I’d be happy to hear any suggestions; whether each person commits to calling the next person on the chain during the week, or we have prayer partners, or a few volunteers commit to calling 5-6 people during the week. These would be “Holy conversations” asking if there are concerns to be added to the prayers, checking on any health or other concerns, and ensuring that people know what we are doing and how we are doing it.

We will continue to pray, to worship, and to be Christ’s people.

It is a challenge to remain as a community, and not to be able draw strength and comfort from gathering together, especially to receive the sacraments. But we continue to be disciples, and we will find ways to grow and deepen our faith.

We will not be afraid.

But we will take care of one another, and we will worship God.

In this time of necessary physical distancing, please remember that the VCC still needs your financial stewardship to continue functioning. Please DONATE ONLINE to sustain our community through this challenging time.

 Pastor Neil and the VCC Board

Please check our website  for updated information regarding our Easter service.

---

Supporting the VCC

---

The VCC has been a self-funded Church since its founding in 1957.  All donations help support our ministry and we thank you for each one. You can contribute to the General Fund or the Capital Fund that will assist in paying off the loans to purchase the VCC Meeting Point.

To make a bank transfer:

IBAN: AT 082 011 128 753 849 700  BIC: GIBAATWWXXX

US Taxpayers may make a tax-deductible donation to the VCC by either writing a check out to the American & Foreign Christian Union (AFCU) with VCC General Fund or VCC Capital Funding Appeal on the Memo line and place it in the offering basket, or alternatively, write the check to the AFCU and send to the AFCU Treasurer, 2885 Sanford Ave, SW #29934, Grandville, MI 49418, U.S.A.. You can also make a donation over the AFCU online platform.

---

We would like our readers to look forward to reading the VCC Voice every month and to feel informed and enlightened.  If you have any comments or something special that you would like to share, please send your submission before the 25th of the month to: 

 voice-editor@viennacommunitychurch.com

 Please provide a descriptive -title for the photographs, including name(s), occasion and date. 

If you are a registered subscriber and are not receiving The Voice, please check your Spam and email settings.

In the interest of preventing Spam emails, the Voice Editor will periodically delete email addresses that appear to be Spam. If you suddenly do not receive The Voice, please send an email to: voice-editor@viennacommunitychurch.com.  I apologize in advance for the temporary inconvenience this may cause.