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Sunday Worship

In-person Worship Services are currently not taking place – see note below about Facebook Live and a link to the bulletin.

Sunday worship service is at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday School available with childcare
17560 Chillicothe Road
Chagrin Falls, OH  44023
phone:  440-543-1071
email:  info@valleypresbychurch.org
Office hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.


May 29, 2020

 

God will pour out the Spirit on all flesh. (Acts 2:17)

 

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This Sunday, we celebrate Pentecost, remembering the time when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, enabling them to speak, share and live out the good news of the gospel.  Throughout scripture, the words “spirit” and “breath” are practically interchangeable:  the third person of the Trinity comes to us as breath; it enlivens, protects and guides us.  The church is given birth and continued life through the grace and power of the Spirit, the breath of life.

And yet, sometimes the events of the world around us make us recall how precious breath really is.  This pandemic has caused many thousands of patients to require ventilators to assist their breathing.  And now, we, also, collectively mourn the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, whose final living words were “I can’t breathe”.

Every life is precious; each breath that we are given is precious.  And Pentecost reminds us that the core message of the gospel is about life with God and one another, enlivened by the Spirit who gives us breath.  What are we to do with this life?  Maybe the prophet Micah put it best:  “God has shown us what is good: do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” (6:8)

We hope that you will join us for worship on-line this Pentecost Sunday via Facebook Live or YouTube.  While some other congregations have already or soon will be resuming in-person worship, we are trying to love and protect one another by practicing safe social distancing; for now, away from church building.  This is not a decision that is taken lightly, but with an eye towards justice, kindness and humility:  seeking to save life and secure the opportunity for all flesh, all people, to breath.

We have reasons to worship:  to turn to God for help, to lament loss, to seek justice, to confront evil, to act with kindness and humility and to pray.  As the church – not defined by or confined to our building – we will continue to worship and work; and we will pray.  This particular prayer comes from our denomination’s Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty God, who has created us in your own image, grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

A Presbytery-wide Pentecost worship service can be seen at www.preswesres.org.

Please consider giving to the Pentecost offering, which supports ministries for children and youth, by check or online.

 

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Zoom Meeting Time:  11:30 a.m.

 

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

May 31, 2020 bulletin


May 21, 2020

 

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

This weekend, we celebrate Memorial Day – a traditional marker for the end of a school year and the beginning of a new summer season. We look forward to picnics and parades, gatherings with families and open swimming pools.  But Memorial Day itself is all about honoring those who have made sacrifices: Giving of themselves for our behalf and the common good.  To them, we are eternally grateful.

This year, as we all know, things are not the same.  And yet, this Sunday, we will attempt to honor those who have made sacrifices – our military and their families, and this year, also, the countless Americans that are making daily and often difficult sacrifices for one another.  To them, we, also, give thanks.

Next Sunday, we plan to honor our graduates – those who have accomplished their academic goals and anticipated the pomp and ceremony of celebration but have been faced with something different.  If there is a graduate in your family that you would like honored, please email the church office to let us know.

Thank you for all the ways that you are honoring, thanking, supporting and connecting with one another in our neighborhoods and communities.  These are some of the ways we can be church in this moment in time.  Please join us for worship on Sunday via Facebook Live or our Youtube channel using the links below.

We are sad to share that long-time Valley member Ron Kaufman passed away on Friday, May 15.  There will be a graveside service at Western Reserve cemetery on Wednesday, May 27 at 11 a.m.  Visitation will be at St. Johns Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26.  Please keep Ron’s wife, Ibi, and their family in your prayers.

I will close with an offering from Thom Shuman, a Presbyterian Minister living near Columbus, OH.  Maybe these are some of your prayers as well:

An evening prayer for May 17, 2020

for what shall we pray this night?

may our neighbors see us walking faithfully
in these days, God of love, simply
by not giving up, but continuing to care,
by daring to look foolish wearing masks everywhere we go,
by looking after others more than we do our selfish desires.

for what shall we pray this night?

may our communities see us serving faithfully
in these moments, Jesus of hope, simply
by noticing all those who continue to be overlooked,
by trusting in the words of the scientists and health workers,
by seeking compassion for workers scared about being called back too soon.

for what shall we pray this night?

may you see us being faithful children
of our God, Spirit of gentleness, simply
by believing that grace is the path we should walk,
by trusting that love is the gift that everyone needs,
by offering the broken and grieving the comfort you share with us.

for what shall we pray this night?

that maybe, just maybe, we will be
the faithful walking through the streets
of the kingdom in these days,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

 

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Zoom Meeting Time:  11:30 a.m.

 

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

May 24, 2020 bulletin

 


May 14, 2020

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, it is important to ask what we have been learning along the way – about ourselves, our systems, our society, our world and our relationships with God.  These days have produced different rhythms than most of us have before experienced; whether slower or faster, more or less predictable.

I hope and pray that if you are struggling to understand or adapt, you are reaching out to others that can lend a helpful perspective and a listening ear.  And thank you to everyone who is answering the call to be good neighbors for one another by reaching and helping out.  Your actions, words and prayers are all appreciated.

As our public health officials have not yet given different guidance, we are continuing for the time being to meet Sundays for worship online via Facebook Live and YouTube; as well as for fellowship via the Zoom coffee hour.  The links to participate in these gatherings are below and the bulletin is attached.  There is, also, access through the website for previous sermons and the current prayer list.

Finally, my colleague from Christ Presbyterian Church in Chesterland shared eight ways of spiritual navigation that might enhance your relationship with God during this time.

· Ask how to make new reality sacred, as time filled with God.
· Dedicate small moments to God––taking out trash, clearing dishes, etc.
· Receive this time as opportunity to stop multitasking.
· Resist productivity over contemplation (i.e. getting stuff done vs. being with God in doing them).
· Practice discernment in the day––what do I really need to do?
· Honor what your body is feeling during the day.
· Find beauty where you can find it.
· Make handwashing a sacred action.

Blessings to you and yours – please be safe and help to keep our neighbors safe as well.

Pastor John

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Zoom Meeting Time:  11:30 a.m.

 

To complete the on-line survey for updating the member directory:

Member Directory Update

 

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

May 17 2020 service bulletin


May 7, 2020

 

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As you know, this Sunday is Mother’s Day – a time when, in our congregation, we try to honor all the women who have nurtured, cared for and taught us what it means to be faithful.  This year, much of that appreciation will need to be shared differently, remotely.  But as God loved us so deeply as to send a Savior to us, so we can love others even if it means bridging great distances.
Thank you to everyone who has continued to be the church during this period of time when it has not been safe for us to gather together at the church.  We are closely monitoring the guidance being provided to us by public health officials and our denominational leaders to plan for how and when we might, again, gather.  We appreciate your patience as we adapt to new modes of worship and communications.  Thank you to everyone who has been reaching out to check in and help out neighbors – within the church family and beyond.  If you have not yet done so, please fill out the form below so that we can update our member directory.  And thank you, as well, to everyone who has continued to financially support the ministry and mission.
With sadness, we share with you that former member Chuck Williams, husband of Rev. Susan Williams, passed away last week in Corbin, KY. Please keep his family in your prayers.
For those of you interested in making masks, the Presbytery is supporting this effort:
Masks for Y.O.U.:
The Committee on Outreach and Presbyterian Woman are leading the Presbytery effort to make 1000 masks for Y.O.U. (Youth Opportunity Unlimited) where Eric Dillenbeck is Director of Work Experience.  This summer, Y.O.U. will be working with local employers, nonprofits, and schools in the city of Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County to provide meaningful summer jobs for low-income youth so they can earn as they learn.  Not only do the youth and their families depend on the income from these summer jobs, but a recent Case Western Reserve study of the data shows that youth who are involved with a Y.O.U. summer job, even for one year, do better in school and are less likely to get involved with the criminal justice system.  This summer the worksites are going to have to look different. All worksites will be adapted to provide for social distancing as young people work.  Some are being adapted to include both in-person gatherings and some remote learning that will incentivize and support educational attainment to combat the summer and extended closure learning loss.  As Y.O.U. has been busy trying to plan for these activities, the constant need that has emerged is access to personal protective gear like masks.  In order for 1000 youth to start work in July, Y.O.U. needs help securing masks for our young people.  If you want to help, please be in touch with Lee Lohr.
Blessings to all those who are working on our behalf and placing themselves in harm’s way: continued prayers for their physical, emotional and spiritual health.  And blessings to each of you as each of us tries to do our part in overcoming the many challenges this pandemic presents.
In Christ,
Pastor John

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Zoom Meeting Time:  11:30 a.m.

 

To complete the on-line survey for the member directory:

Member Directory Update

Click to access May-10-2020-bulletin-2.pdf


April 30, 2020
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Apostle Paul teaches that the church is a body made of many members; each of us has a unique part to play. And though we are different – like the eye, hand and foot have diverse roles – we are united in Christ. Through the sacrament of Holy Communion, Jesus invites us to remember both our diversity and our unity. During these days of physically distancing, we may live, work and worship in different places – largely in our own homes – and yet we are still one in Christ: unified in spirit, in faith and in mission.
This Sunday – May 3 – as is our tradition when we gather for worship, we will remember Christ in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. It will be different: done in our individual homes, not all of us partaking of the same bread and cup; and yet gathering at table can still serve as a way of bringing us together as the body of Christ.
If you choose to participate in communion, I invite you to prepare elements ahead of time that you plan to use: coffee or juice; toast or bagel. Again, those are sure to be different, but the mystical table around which we gather will be the same; God will still receive our prayers as one, unified body of believers.
Please use the order of worship to pray and sing along throughout the service and trust that God will bless us and the elements we take from creation as they become for us the body of Christ and cup of salvation.
I continue to pray for the safety and well-being of us all during this trying time. Please let us know if you have any pastoral needs or concerns. I share with you a poem forwarded to member churches from our Presbytery leaders. May this be a time of healing and restoration for our planet and all its inhabitants.
In Christ,
Pastor John
And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.
And listened more deeply.
Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.
Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully.
As they had been healed.
by Kitty O’Meara (1839 – 1888)
Written during the time of cholera and republished during the 1918 Flu Pandemic.

 

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Zoom Meeting Time:  11:30 a.m.

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

May 3, 2020 bulletin


April 24, 2020
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace and peace to you all.  The staff and leaders of Valley are continually praying for your health and well-being during these atypical times. Thank you for your patience, your caring spirit and your generosity in helping others.  We received this thank you note from Andrea Pollack, Director of Chagrin Falls Park Community Center:
Dear Pastor John,
Thanks to you and your congregants for the continued food donation and support for the community center.  We are especially grateful during this difficult time.
Gratefully, Andrea
A donation box is located under the front portico; if you would like to support their ongoing efforts to feed people in need.
We have the next Upper Room (devotions) for May – June, 2020.  If you would like a copy mailed to you, please contact the office.
If you have any needs or pastoral concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Hope to see you (virtually) this Sunday.
In Christ,
P. John

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Zoom Meeting Time:  11:30 a.m.

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

April 26, 2020, bulletin


April 17, 2020

May grace and peace be yours in abundance. (1 Peter 1:2)

Sisters and brothers in Christ,
In these strange and uncertain days, it can feel odd to focus on abundance. Most
of us are experiencing less (physical) contact with family and friends, seemingly
fewer choices for where to go and what to do, and – for far too many people – a
lack of income, food, health and security.
And yet, as Christians, we stand in the shadow of the resurrection. Easter Sunday
– as different as it was for most of us – has passed, but the church celebrates a
season of Easter; one that will continue through Pentecost at the end of May. The
risen Christ – revealing the living God – offers a peace beyond human
understanding and grace that is unexpected, unmerited and truly amazing. God
offers us this grace and peace freely, without conditions; asking only that we
focus not solely on ourselves, but instead on loving God and our neighbors as
well.
During this Easter Season, we will be reading passages from the New Testament
Epistle of 1 Peter – a letter addressed to churches facing difficult times; words
encouraging them to see the abundance of God’s love in all circumstances. For the
foreseeable future, we will continue as a congregation to follow the
recommendations of public health officials and hold off on in-person gatherings,
including for Sunday worship. Bulletins will be sent out weekly, and services
will continue to be available via Facebook Live and the church YouTube channel.
For the time being, staff members (Nancy, John, Rebecca and Amanda) are continuing
to work as they safely can – including planning and communicating – but largely
from home. Heart of Valley Preschool is closed at least until April 30, pending
further direction from the Governor.
As for me, I have been spending most of my time at home, trying to communicate as
needed via Zoom, phone and email. Brenda is teaching on-line classes, Jack is
off from school and AJ and Mackensie are both home from college. Thankfully, we
are all healthy and safe.
Each week, we have been delivering donated food, paper and cleaning products to
the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center, who continues to serve clients in need.
A donation bin is located under the portico at church; if you would like to make
donations. For the time being, the Pass-It-On store is closed and no longer
accepting items.
I want to express my thanks for everyone who has been reaching out during this
time: sending cards, making calls, checking in on friends and neighbors. This is
so necessary and important. Thank you, also, to everyone who has offered
continued financial support to the church. An on-line giving option has been
added to the church website, as well as a frequently asked questions (FAQs) flyer.
We are committed to trying to pay our staff and support mission giving as much as
possible.
If you have any needs, concerns or suggestions about how we can be the church at
this time, please feel free to contact the church office, or me, directly. I am
in prayer for you, for our community, our nation and our world during this
difficult and trying time.
Wishing you all grace and peace in abundance,
Pastor John

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID:  891 004 0823

Password:  386439

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

April 19, 2020, bulletin

 


April 7, 2020

Members and Friends of Valley,

Grace, peace and blessings to you during this Holy Week. Although we continue to stay physically apart during this time, I hope and pray that we are united in hope, prayer and devotion.

Attached you will find at-home liturgies for the three holy days (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil) to use if you would like. Also, attached are a meal-time home communion liturgy entitled At the Table Together Apart and the worship bulletin for Easter Sunday. Links for viewing two services can be found using the links below. There will, also, be a denomination-wide Easter Service broadcast available for viewing.

Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing – a special offering typically collected on Easter Sunday – can be mailed into the church with a notation of “OGHS”.

This Sunday, we will not be hosting our Zoom coffee hour.

The Easter story reminds us that at dawn on the third day, the tomb was found empty – Jesus was (and is) alive! Though this time of darkness may be difficult and long, it too will end. I pray that in the meantime, we would continue to care for one another and pray for the safety and well-being of all who are suffering and in harm’s way.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor John

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to PCUSA

Please click the links below for the bulletin and attachments:

April 12 2020 bulletin

Home worship for the three days 2020

At the Table Together Apart

 


April 2, 2020

 

Members and Friends of Valley,

As we near the beginning of Holy Week, we are all trying to process and understand that there will be no crowds gathering this Sunday to wave palms welcoming Jesus.  Instead, based on the guidance of public health experts, we will be in our homes, doing our part or – for those whose jobs are essential at this time – placing themselves at risk for the sake of others.  Let us all pray for community, nation and world as we navigate through uncertain times.

Attached you will find the outline for Palm Sunday worship, April 5.  If you would like to make your own palm branches to wave during worship, instructions for a home project are attached.   The service will be Live-streamed on the church Facebook page (see link below) and posted to the church Youtube site.

Once again, on Sunday morning, from 11:30 a.m. – noon, we will be hosting an online coffee hour via Zoom.  This will be a time of fellowship and conversation, checking in with one another and, hopefully, strengthening the bonds of Christian love.  We hope some of you can join us by using the link below.

As always, copies of Sunday sermons, as well as the church prayer list, can be found on the church website using the links below.

I am appreciative of everyone who has been reaching out to their neighbors or fellow church members, checking in and offering fellowship and support.  It is important to be community at this time.  Attached you will find links for mental health resources from our denomination as well as an encouraging letter from one of our fellow members.

Thank you to those of you who donated food, cleaning and paper products for the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center and its food bank. They were delivered this week and are very much appreciated.  They are still in need of dish, hand, body, and laundry soap as well as food staples such as rice, beans, pasta and potatoes.  If you would like to donate these at the church, there will be a collection bin on the front portico.  In addition, Heart of Valley Preschool has extra paper towels and wipes if you or anyone you know is in need of them.  Please call the office to have them delivered to you.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor John

Link to YouTube Channel

Link to Facebook Live

Link to Prayer Request List

Link to Sermons

 

Link to Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 891 004 0823

 

Please click the links below for the bulletin and attachments:

April 5, 2020 bulletin

Making Palm Branches

Presbyterian Mental Health

Message of Hope

 


March 27, 2020

Members and Friends of Valley,

Attached you will find the outline for worship on Sunday, March 29.  In these unsettling and unfamiliar times, we are trying to offer at least some sense of the familiar.  Therefore, if you would like to join us via Facebook Live on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m., John Kautzman and I will be at the church to lead a worship service of music, prayer and sharing of the Word.  If you are a member of the church Facebook page (see the link below), you are invited to join us from your home.  In any case, I hope that you honor the Sabbath in some way, recognizing it as time that is “holy” and set apart.

Also, on Sunday morning, from 11:30 a.m. – noon, we will be hosting an online coffee hour via Zoom.  This will be a time of fellowship and conversation, checking in with one another and hopefully strengthening the bonds of Christian love.  We hope some of you can join us by using the link below.

As always, copies of Sunday sermons, as well as the church prayer list, can be found on the church website using the links below.

Some of you have been asking about ways to be of help to one another these days.  The Chagrin Falls Park Community Center and its food bank are in need of canned and dry goods, paper products, soap and cleaning supplies.  If you would like to donate these at the church, there will be a collection bin on the front portico.  In addition, Heart of Valley Preschool has extra paper towels and wipes if you or anyone you know is in need of them.  Please call the office to make arrangements to have them delivered to you.

We are all navigating new challenges these days.  We appreciate your patience as we try to create digital opportunities to connect with each other; staying connected is important.  We hope that you are praying for and getting in contact with your family members, neighbors and fellow church members while we are physically disconnected.  As the Apostle Paul says in Galatians:  So let us not grow weary in doing what is right…let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Peace and Blessings,

Pastor John

 

To join the Valley Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009839436710

To view Prayer Request list:  http://valleypresbychurch.org/prayer-request-list/

To view previous sermons:  http://valleypresbychurch.org/sermons/

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/8910040823

Meeting ID: 891 004 0823

Please click the link below for the bulletin:

March 29, 2020 Bulletin

 


The worship bulletin below for Sunday, March 22, outlines a modified worship service that can be used during the Facebook Live session at 10:30 a.m., or at any other time at home.  Please know that during this time when we are unable to worship together in-person, we must continue to pray for and with one another. 

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)

Please click the link below:

March 22, 2020 Outline

 


The following letter to the congregation was issued on March 19, 2020.  Please click the link below to read:

Letter to the Congregation

 


The following letter to the congregation was issued on March 13, 2020.  Please click the link below to read:

Letter to the Congregation

 



Pass-It-On Mission Store

Closed until further notice

The next open dates for the store will be:

Saturday, March 14 (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Sunday, March 15 (noon – 2:00 p.m.)

To find out more about our new Pass-It-on, A Mission of Love, Store, use the following link to go to our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/passit.on.716

 

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