Page 1

ignite

GROUPS p.20

Strength to Persevere p.16

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NEW

FALL SCHEDULE THE WEDNESDAY NIGHT

CHANGE-UP

1ST/3RD Wednesdays - COMMUNITY GROUPS

Sept|21st

Oct|5th&9th

Nov|2nd&16th

2ND Wednesdays - FAMILY MEAL (Youth will meet at church)

Sept|14th

Oct|12th

Nov|9th

4TH Wednesdays - PRAYER/WORSHIP NIGHT

Sept|28th

Oct|26th

Nov|30th

UPCOMING

Oct|12th Nov|9th featuring: FAMILY MEAL youth/family/everyone

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7 10 12 16 18 20 ignite GROUPS 26 28 30 32 The Everyday by andrew isley

CONTENTS

Day of Healing by faith bruner

When Life Happens by jorge lima

Strength to Persevere “living everyday to the fullest” by pastor carol simon

Arguing the Gospel by chris brown

Guatemala Mission “behind the scenes” by pam cassel

Worship Pastor

an interview with Chris Preslar by chris brown

Youth Pastor

an interview with Will Umbarger by chris brown

Children’s Pastor

an interview with Betsy Welch by chris brown

Valley Fellowship does not necessarily endorse, guarantee, support, or agree with the health, exercise, diet, and nutrition programs that small groups may recommend. Please note: Discuss childcare arrangements with the group leader. Ultimately, parents are responsible for their own children. However, some members of Ignite Groups work together to hire childcare for their children. Given that these engagements are lead by individual group members and not by the church, those members are encouraged to exercise reasonable care in their selection and supervision of childcare workers.

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Valley Fellowship Where We Are

Triana Blvd.

I-565

Memorial Parkway

Holmes Ave.

14th St.

Jordan Lane

University Dr.

Governors Dr.

N

Bob Wallace Ave.

From I-565 Exit at Jordan Lane proceed N. Turn right at Holmes Ave. 1/4 mile on left Enter parking lot on Waxler Dr. (Beside playground)

From Memorial Parkway (Hwy 231) Exit 565 W. proceed West Exit Jordan Lane (Turn Right) N. Turn right onto Holmes Ave. 1/4 mile on left Enter parking lot on Waxler Dr.

From Hwy 53 (Jordan Lane) Cross Univ. Dr. (Hwy 72) Turn left on Holmes Ave. 1/4 mile on left Enter parking lot on Waxler Dr.

Valley Fellowship Church // 3616 Holmes Ave. // Huntsville, AL 35816 Church office {256} 533-5117 // School office {256} 533-5248 church: valley@valleyfellowship.com | school: vfca@valleyfellowship.com www.valleyfellowship.com 4 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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When We Meet Sunday8:30am Adult Worship

Sunday10am Adult Worship

Firehouse Youth

Ignitus Kidz Life

all ages

all ages

7th-12th grade

ages 4 - 12

Wednesday6:30pm Adult Worship all ages

Ignitus Kidz Life ages 4 - 12

Firehouse Youth

Who We Are Carol Simon Pastor

csimon@valleyfellowship.com

Chris & Sara Preslar Worship Pastors

Greg & Patti Simon Senior Pastors

gsimon@valleyfellowship.com psimon@valleyfellowship.com

cpreslar@valleyfellowship.com spreslar@valleyfellowship.com

7th-12th grade

Will & Elizabeth Umbarger Youth Pastors wumbarger@valleyfellowship.com

Betsy Welch Childrens Pastor bwelch@valleyfellowship.com

What We Are About O

ur physical church building is not God’s house; collectively, the people of our congregation are a local house of God. Every believer needs to be planted somewhere in a local work of God that is vibrantly alive and in action for Jesus. The Bible uses the analogy of trees to describe those who believe and walk with God. Psalm 92:12-13 tells us that, “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they

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will flourish in the courts of our God.” We want you to flourish in all that God has for you. Where are you planted? What choices are you making? Choose to connect. Get involved with people and build relationships. This decision means you seek to become a part of the Valley Fellowship Church family. In order for your relationship to grow and be connected with the family, you’ve got to develop close intimate friendships with those around you.

valleyfellowship.com


IGNITE MAGAZINE

igniting faith, fellowship, and service Creative Director/Designer Production/Editor Senior Editor Senior Editor

Joseph MacKenzie Chris Preslar Andrew Isley Chris Brown

Special Thanks To

Theresa Deahl Christy MacKenzie Ellen Hunter Faith Bruner Pam Cassel Carol Simon Jorge Lima

Want to join the ignite team? Or do you have an article or story to share? Maybe you would like to respond to articles in the magazine? To get plugged into ‘ignite magazine’ email:

ignite@valleyfellowship.com

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The Everyday by: Andrew Isley

A

fter teaching high school for five years, I’ve learned a hard lesson: students don’t remember the things that I want them to remember. I’ve spent countless hours explaining the facts. I’ve explained the difference between participle and infinitive phrases, expounded on Hemingway’s terse prose and his effect on modern writing, and examined what makes To Kill a Mockingbird an American Classic. While some students managed to file some of these literary principles

away in their brain, I’ve found that a majority of my students don’t look back at our time together and define it by the facts I’ve attempted

I have the same conversation with different students. They’ll tell me a story about something I don’t remember doing or saying, and

“These semiannual conversations with my students got me thinking about how I remember people.” to instill in them. They normally remember some semi-idiotic story I told about me and my high school friends, or they remember a piece of advice I gave them about their relationship with their high school sweetheart. Every year it seems like

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we’ll have a good laugh about it. The conversation normally starts something like this: “Hey, Mr. Isley, do you remember that time that you told our class that you wanted us to call you ‘The Boat’?” valleyfellowship.com


Or, “Mr. Isley, remember the time you said that if we failed the grammar test, you’d quit teaching and become a manager at ChuckE-Cheese so that when we get older you can scare our children at their

conversations about punk rock music. I remember playing Sardines in the Church during a lock-in. I remember telling him about my call to ministry in a Taco Bell over hard shell tacos with no

“If I were to be honest, I don’t even remember what he said specifically, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the words he said do not matter.” birthday parties as revenge?” Or, “Mr. Isley, remember when the podium top came off and busted your lip during a test?” My mind searches for the instance that they reference, and most of the time I come up blank, and they’ll fill me in on whatever it is that they remember about my class. These semiannual conversations with my students got me thinking about how I remember people. And, like my students, most of memories of people are not the important stuff that most adults think define our lives. I remember the small stuff. The everyday. I look back on all the people who have had a major influence on my life and I remember an honest conversation, a small thoughtful gift or an inside joke. Rich Whitman, my high school youth pastor, is a great personal example. I must have heard over 500 messages preached by him. Oddly, I don’t remember the specifics of more than ten of his sermons. It’s not because he was a poor speaker or because I didn’t listen and learn from them. I just tend to remember our personal experiences together. I remember sitting in his powder blue Chevy Cavalier in autumn having

lettuce. I told him that I wanted to spend my life teaching teenagers and he listened and shared some of his wisdom with me. If I were to be honest, I don’t even remember what he said specifically, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the words he said do not matter. What mattered was the attitude in which he lived his life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to discount the power of words because I believe in the power and the necessity of language. God revealed himself through the written Word, which shows the power and the indispensable nature of language. And what my youth pastor said to me had a profound impact on my life. But what he said had to align with the language of his actions and the tone of his life. These elements had to correspond with each other to create something that has meaning thirteen years later.

//andrew isley Andrew Isley has been a member of Valley Fellowship for 6 years and is currently teaching high school at Valley Fellowship Christian Academy.

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Day of Healing By Faith Bruner

T

oday, unlike most days, I was home by myself. My three year old daughter was at her grandmother's house.  I turned on iTunes to listen to some music as I made breakfast and did things around the house.  I had listened for a while when “Amazing Grace” came on.  “Amazing Grace” was my Dad's absolute favorite song, so I couldn't help but think about my Dad, who passed away in 2007.  I remembered the last day I saw him, the day he gave his testimony at his church.   He gave a wonderful testimony, and even 10 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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made me stand up to show steadfast on our journey to everyone my bulging stomach, as meeting God someday. The I was pregnant with my little girl lyrics shout out to us to keep on at the time.  Afterwards, in the that narrow path, working to parking lot, I hugged him to say finish the race that God has sent goodbye.  My husband and I had before us. a long drive home.   This song is encouraging to My Dad seemed sad or said me, also, because it reminds me something about missing us, so I that my Dad is not dead.  He was told him not to worry, we would a born-again Christian who loved see him again soon.  As I walked the Lord.  He is in heaven, away, I turned around, walked waiting on us to get there.  How back, and gave him a second hug.   short a time we have until we are I didn't know it would be my last in eternity with Christ, where we time to hug him. will spend trillions of years and As I sat crying, I felt more to be with God and our overwhelming thankfulness that I loved ones.   gave him that second hug.  I After this song, the next began having all of these songs were "Butterfly Kisses" and wonderful memories of my Dad, "Sealed with a Kiss."  At this and our time together.  How he point, I realized God was doing was always there for me.  When something in me.  He was helping he was sitting in his dining room me to heal from the pain of chair, I would come up from losing my Dad.  I had more behind and put my arms around wonderful memories of my time his neck, and we would hug each with my Dad, as I was reminded other.  Those are the kind of about the Scripture that tells us memories that I now cherish with there is  "a great cloud of all of my heart.  witnesses" in heaven (Hebrews As I sat remembering, crying 12).  They are looking down on and praying, I noticed the song us, sending us their best, cheering that was playing, "Life's Railway us on as we complete our race, to Heaven."  It is the song that our "mountain railroad journey" my Dad asked me to get a copy of through all the trials of life.   for him.  I gave it and several My prayer today is that I will others to him on a CD the love my children and family like weekend of Father's Day, the my Dad loved us.  He is an weekend before he passed away.  I awesome man that had an feel like that song was more than awesome faith.  Thank you, Lord, just a song that he liked.  I think for such a wonderful example and his soul, his spirit, was seeking out father.  I am forever thankful for and drawing near to God near the him. //faith bruner end of his life.  I also realized that this song was just as much for us, Faith Bruner has been a his family and friends, as it was for member of Valley Fellowship for him.  The song compels us to 2 years. She is currently a stay-atkeep fighting in life, to keep home mom, homeschooling her moving toward God and to keep children. 11 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

Life’s Railway  to  Heaven Life is like a mountain railroad, With an engineer that's brave; We must make the run successful, From the cradle to the grave; Watch the curves, the hills, the tunnels; Never falter, never quail; Keep your hand upon the throttle, And your eye upon the rail. Chorus: Blessed Savior, Thou wilt guide us, Til’ we reach that blissful shore; Where the angels wait to join us In thy praise for evermore. You will roll up grades of trial; You will cross the bridge of strife; See that Christ is your conductor; On this lightning train of life; Always mindful of obstruction, Do your duty, never fail; Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail. You will often find obstruction; Look for storms of wind and rain; On a hill, or curve, or trestle. They will almost ditch your train; Put your trust alone in Jesus; Never falter, never fail; Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail. As you roll across the trestle, Spanning Jordan's swelling tide. You behold the Union depot Into which your train will guide. There you'll meet the Superintendent, God the father, God the son With the hearty, joyous plaudit, "Weary pilgrim, welcome Home!"   valleyfellowship.com


When Life Happens By Jorge Lima

“L

ife happens.” We have probably heard this phrase numerous times throughout our lives. To be honest, every time I hear this phrase I want to smack something. “Life happens?” Seriously? Well, life needs to get a wake up call and start being fair! I know I have personally said this numerous times in the last few months. Life has not been as great as I like it to be. Life has not conformed to my standards and, therefore, I am emotionally distraught. You see, my wife and I believe that God called us to Huntsville. We do not know why nor do we know how long we will be here. So, if God called us here, why am I going through crap and this emotional roller coaster? Is the devil trying to discourage me? Is the devil out to get me? Am I under attack? Maybe. But, the theological issue of satanic attacks is not the focus of this article.

Instead, my focus is on how we deal with challenges. We all deal with garbage in our lives that seem unfair. We are traditionally taught to pray to God so he can save us from whatever mess we are happening to go through. “Jesus, our Savior, will rescue us” is the common phrase I hear from many churches. This is especially true with the youth conventions that I attended as a teenager. The special speaker would fervently preach out the sermon, “God will deliver you.” Oh man, how we just opened our hearts to God. Those were good times. The preachers and pastors are not wrong with their statement. God has shown us in the Bible and life experiences that he will deliver us from our challenges. But what do we do afterwards? Usually, we thank him for saving us and go on with our daily lives. But I do not believe that the whole saving business is a “one way street.” Yes,

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God does the saving, but we must do our part. A perfect example on how to act during a challenge comes from the story of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11. Most of us know the story: The Pharisees presented Jesus with this woman caught in adultery and tried to trick Jesus. Jesus out-witted the religious leaders by saying the “Cast the first stone” line, then forgave the woman. It is a wonderful and lovely story. As I read this passage I realized this woman exhibited two distinct behaviors when dealing with her challenge. The first is that she accepted responsibility for what she did to get her into this situation; secondly, she acted with humility.

Responsibility The author of the passage did not write anything to say the accusations against the woman were false. The Pharisees stated she was caught in the action. According valleyfellowship.com


to rabbinic literature, to accuse a person of adultery, two witnesses must testify against the accused with the following evidence: positive identity of the accuser or seeing the person laying in the bed, and seeing the person have “unmistakable movements.” In short, two people needed to walk in while this woman was having sex with another man. This leaves little doubt that she was guilty of this crime. We do not see the woman denying her crime either. After verse 9 we see her standing “in the midst” of the crowd waiting to hear Jesus speak. One would think a woman who would plea for her innocence would have defended herself or would make it known she is falsely accused. But, in fact, she accepted her mistake. Sometimes we tend to forget that we have a role in creating our challenges. I would argue that we do not like taking responsibility for our challenges. It is not pleasant to admit we messed up. It is painful to admit our actions helped manufacture the trouble we are facing. The opposite of taking responsibility is displacing responsibility. There is always something that causes a consequence. Displacing responsibility is not only dangerous but is unproductive for several reasons. It empowers others and not us. When we are passive, we allow things to impact us. We, therefore, are controlled by something else, like a puppet. Displacing responsibility also inhibits us from growing. If we blame things on other people, we will most likely forget the role we

“Displacing responsibility is not only dangerous but is unproductive... It empowers others and not us.” played in our challenges. Lastly, displacing responsibility does not allow us to heal. Displacing responsibility is an action taken by most people. I’ve seen this behavior in the psychiatric room in both the patients and the employees. There are countless people who are admitted to psychiatric hospitals, blaming their loves ones, the government, the doctor who recommended admission, and so forth, for their problems. I believe my favorite displacing moment was when a patient blamed me for her stress. When I asked her why I caused her stress, the patient responded, “Because you are invading my country. Go back to where you came from.” I would have gone back, but San Francisco is too expensive. Employees also displaced responsibility to other people or to other reasons. I remember one incident where a dangerous patient was in 5-point restraint in the seclusion room and needed to use the rest room. This patient also could not use the restroom by himself. This patient was a huge man, too big for me to handle by myself. So we asked a fellow male coworker to help out. The coworker became upset because he did not want to help the patient. He was furious he had to perform the task of helping this man use the restroom. “It is not my job,” he told

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the nurse, “You guys have to do it”. Technically he was correct, a nurse needed to be on site. However, that is not a team concept and he was trying to displace the comfort and safety of our patient to a nurse. Both of these examples show how displacing responsibility is a terrible practice. The insanity of the racism of the woman to blame her problems on me is quite alarming. She cannot confront her real issues because she justifies that her problems are due to “minorities.” My coworker’s behavior is another perfect example on how displacing can promote a negative effect. No one liked working with the person because of his attitude. When his name was on the schedule, my coworkers would literally avoid the man. I could tell he felt the tension from us. Displacing responsibility made him unpleasant to be around. We Christians have a version of displacing responsibility. I am not talking about blaming the pastor, church, deacons, or those young kids bringing that unholy music around (though we do this); but I am talking about saying that our challenges are an “attack from the devil.” I do believe in what John 10:10 states; however, consistently blaming the devil for our challenges or turmoil is displacing responsibility. When I became sick as a child many people from the church valleyfellowship.com


would pray that the devil would stop making me ill. I am sure many of us who grew up in the church also experienced this phenomenon. As I look back all I have to say is “really?” Blaming the devil for our mistakes does not take into account our role in the challenge. I heard this statement before, “The devil is attacking me by placing these pornographic websites on the Internet.” This omits the fact that the person who said this was a young college male full of hormones who was finally away from home. The devil did not move his eyes and hands like a puppet to the X-rated website. When we displace responsibility to the devil, we give him the victory. He won this round. He was able to control our whole being to sin. We were helpless by his power and could not protect ourselves. The devil triumphs for a while, until we call the name of Jesus to rescue us from Satan’s hand. I am not a proponent of this view. I do not want to give Satan that power. I already have victory in Jesus and I refuse to let the devil think that he has an upper hand. My crap that I am going through was caused by me. Maybe I allowed the devil to enhance the turmoil, but he did not ram through those doors. The devil cannot touch me unless I go to him. The devil cannot touch you unless you allow it. We are saved by grace and temptation is always at the front door. But it will not come in the front door unless you let it. When I admit my fault, I take back the power and regain control of my

life. After I regain it, I then give it up to my Father for His will. Now, there are situations that we cannot control: the weather, other people, and so forth. And yes, the devil could try to enhance our turmoil through these. But there is something we can control: our reaction. The way we react to turmoil can influence the turmoil itself. For example, the way I react to my frustration for not getting a job could determine if I do get a job in the future. If I let my frustration get the better of me, I could just stop looking and become bitter. If we focus on things we can control, we regain our autonomy.

know a person who will take partial blame of a mistake but then displaces the blame to someone else at the same time. Those people can be annoying. I’ll admit I have done this before and in doing so have annoyed myself. So, how did the adulterous woman show humility? First, the passage does not show the woman gloating after her accusers left. “At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there” (John 8:9 NIV). One commentator on this verse wrote that the woman standing in front of

“When we displace responsibility to the devil, we give him the victory.” The woman in John 8 did not displace her responsibility. She admitted her guilt and knew she was at fault for her behavior. We should follow her example. Let’s regain the power that God has given us from the devil and admit our faults. Let’s control our actions. By doing this, we prevent the devil from having that satisfaction. The devil is not given the glory for manipulating our lives. Acknowledging our mistakes requires a specific characteristic, one that the adulterous woman showed: humility.

Humility It is difficulty to admit a mistake without humility. Our human pride makes it nearly impossible to fully accept the fault of our errors. I am sure many of us

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Jesus is a magnificent example of humility. Verse 10 shows a dialogue between her and Jesus. She responds to his question and his question alone. A person without humility would have defended herself in front of Jesus. A woman without humility would have gloated while the accusers left. But we do not see any gloating. We see no victory from the woman. We just see humility. At the end of the story, Jesus teaches her an important lesson. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v 11). We do not know what happened to the woman after this interaction. I hope she learned her lesson and sinned no more. But we cannot be certain. Just as the woman showed humility, we must also show humility for two reasons. We will not learn unless we are humbled. valleyfellowship.com


Try to teach a know-it-all, someone who believes they have all the answers to life. Isn’t it frustrating? It is frustrating because you know

we are caught, we will not get in trouble because Jesus will forgive us and nothing bad will happen.” There will be no mention of what

“We are saved by grace and temptation is always at the front door. But it will not come in the front door unless you let it.” they have no idea what they are doing. But they insist on behaving that way. You cannot teach that person. The same goes with us if we were to act as a know-it-all, we cannot learn what Jesus is trying to teach us. Notice that I placed the action on us. Jesus is always trying to teach us; it is up to us to receive that teaching. Why listen to Jesus if we have the answers? Why listen to Jesus if we did not have anything to do with the terrible situation? Humility is essential for learning. We are saying, “We do not know everything.” That is when Jesus can start teaching. Humility is also essential for the accuracy of the lesson. Without humility, we will only learn the lesson we want to learn. We will ignore the lesson that Jesus is teaching us and learn what we desire. Maybe you’ve heard of this before, it’s called selective hearing. Let’s apply this selective hearing concept to verse 11. If we only selectively heard Jesus say, “Then neither do I condemn you,” then we could come up with numerous outrageous conclusions. For example, “adultery is ok! Let’s have sex with everyone because Jesus will not condemn us. Even if

Jesus says afterwards, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” I hope the woman did not selectively hear that lesson. Selective hearing is all about pride. We control what we want to hear because we believe we know what we need to know. Humility lowers our self-importance, and allows our hearts and minds to be open to what Jesus wants to teach us, even if the lesson is difficult to accept. Lowering our pride and increasing our humility equals education.

all humans who have been saved by Christ. I want to empower you to regain your autonomy and use this autonomy to serve Christ. Humility is a powerful force that can change the world for the better. I will be the first one to admit that I struggle with displacing responsibility and selective hearing. It is a struggle that I am fighting to overcome. The challenges that I am facing right now will make me stronger as a person if I handle them with responsibility and humility. It is up to me to use this challenge as a tool and not as a hurdle.

//jorge lima Jorge Lima has recently joined Valley Fellowship. He is currently working in counseling for kids, adolescents, and adults.

Conclusion The woman in Chapter 8 showed two characteristics that I feel we should also exhibit. Let’s not give the devil satisfaction by blaming him for the turmoil. Let us accept our role and our responsibility in the situation we are going through. Let us show humility and listen to what Jesus is trying to teach us. Let us avoid selective hearing. Let us grow to become what Jesus desires. Let us learn from our challenges! I write this to encourage everyone. I believe the body of Christ is a powerful force. We are

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Strength to Persevere living everyday to the fullest By Pastor Carol Simon

I

t’s human nature to feel tired when trouble comes our way. We’ve all had days where it seems like everything is working against us. If we’re not careful, those days can turn into weeks and weeks into months. Next thing we know, we’re burnt out. But God doesn’t want His followers to lead exhausted lives. God wants to give us strength to live every day to the fullest. The apostle Paul asked God to strengthen every follower of Christ with an inward spiritual strength “through His Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16). In 2 Timothy 2:1, Paul compelled Timothy to “be strong strengthened inwardly in the grace that is to be found only in Christ Jesus.” Just as Paul encouraged Timothy to rely on God for physical and spiritual strength, I want to encourage you to rely on the Lord and to preserve in His strength. 16 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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Throughout Scripture, God reminds His people that we need to run to Him when we feel weary. In Psalms 46, the author refers to God as our “refuge”

Refresh yourself in God’s strength by spending time in His Word. Using your own Bible or biblegateway.com, read the many Scripture references

“But God doesn’t want His followers to lead exhausted lives. God wants to give us strength to live every day to the fullest.” and as a “very present help.” These images are strong illustrations of God as a safe haven for our immediate problems – both spiritual and physical, large and small. Even when troubles flood our lives, God promises, “I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10). Isaiah 40:31 is another promise from God’s Word that has sustained me: “But those who wait for the Lord and expect, look for and hope in Him, shall change and renew their strength and power, they shall lift their wings and mount up (close to God) as eagles (mount up to the sun); they shall run and not be weary: they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” God has promised we can run the race of our lives with Him and with much strength.

I have listed below. Take time to think about them. Meditate the Word of God. Keep yourself free from sin that drains away your strength. Drink from the living water of the Holy Spirit. Don’t let those bad days become bad weeks. Don’t grow weary in well doing. Don’t burn out. Set time aside to rest. Stay connected with the Holy Spirit and discover rest in His grace and mercies because they are new every morning. As we pay attention to God’s Word and trust His promises, we’ll become stronger each day.

//pastor carol simon

Carol Simon has been a pastor at Valley Fellowship since 1984. She founded Valley Fellowship Christian Academy in 1987.

BIBLE STUDY // GOING DEEPER Proverbs 18:10 // Matthew 11:29 // John 6:53-66 // Colossians 3:8 Ephesians 5:4 // Hebrews 12:15 // Galatians 6:9

BIBLE JOURNALING // WRITE IT OUT

Four great questions to ask while studying God’s word. *

one Is there a command to obey? two Is there a principle to observe? three Is there sin to confess in my life? four Is there a praise to express?

*Pam Farrel “The Marriage Code”

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Arguing The Gospel by: Chris Brown Christianity is an experiential, relational faith. We experience the still small voice of God inside us; we feel his love calling us. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we begin a lifelong relationship with Him. We read and attempt to understand the scriptures, but we feel the relationship. Our faith grows with the experience of Jesus. When we speak of witnessing, it is really the experience of the relationship that we bear witness to. Despite this, I, like many others, spent years feeling the undeniable presence of our Lord in my life, but I only shared facts and arguments when the opportunity to share Jesus arose. Throughout college, my bookshelf was filled with the Lee Strobel Case for‌ books, Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict and many other books that demonstrate the amazing scientific, archaeological and historical evidence as proofs for the existence of God and the truth and validity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many of us who studied science, mathematics or engineering are drawn to these

books and have a propensity to learn the facts and figures surrounding the Bible. College campuses are filled with debate, philosophizing and the pursuit of knowledge, or at least the pursuit of sounding scholarly. I was never one to shy away from the debate, yet no matter how well I thought I had argued it never seemed to make a difference. Later God revealed that we were created to have a relationship with Him, to experience His love. This relationship is what everyone is seeking, whether they realize it or not. No matter what excuses, facts and lines of reasoning people may give you for their unbelief, the reality is proving or disproving facts and logic is not likely to bring them to Jesus, because a logical framework is not what their heart truly seeks. Witnessing is about sharing your experience with Jesus, what you have seen and felt in your own life. Sharing with someone how I cried out to Jesus in the midst of terrible hardship and He responded with a deluge of peace that surpassed all understanding speaks to their heart and to the

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needs and desires of their life. Sharing facts and figures just makes for an interesting conversation. I still have a shelf full of books by Strobel, McDowell and others who have done incredible research into the factual validity of the Bible. These are great books that serve a real purpose to edify and equip believers. There are people we come across for whom the only way to open a door to share Jesus may be to engage in debate, to share facts and logic. The argument only opens the door. Because all of us are ultimately seeking the warm embrace of a relationship with almighty God, it is the witness of our experience with Jesus that truly reaches the hearts of others. Arguing the Gospel can only create an opportunity to share what really matters.

//chris brown Chris Brown has been a member of Valley Fellowship for 3 years and is currently an aerospace engineer.

valleyfellowship.com valleyfellowship.com


19 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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ignite groups directory “what are ignite groups?” By Greg & Patti Simon

What are ignite community groups? Ignite community groups are at the heart of community building at Valley Fellowship. These groups offer members, friends of Valley Fellowship, and visitors a chance to develop relationships through common interests. Interested in golf ? Want to learn to mature and develop your spiritual gifts? Looking for a practical way to reach out to the community? Or maybe you just want to spend time with friends? Ignite community groups has you covered. Collected on the pages following are all the community groups offered in our fall semester. Community groups are formal and informal gatherings based upon the interests, hobbies, gifts, and passions of our members. However, you do not need to be a member of Valley Fellowship, or even attend our services, to participate in most of our small groups. You may be asking yourself: “How do I get involved?” It’s as easy as contacting the small group leader to let them know you are interested (contact information is provided in this directory). The groups change and

begin three times a year, so you have the chance to try out different ones in the next semester. While we have a variety of groups, we do not have a group for everything. If you see a hole in our groups, you might consider starting your own group in a future semester. If you are interested in starting a group, please contact the church office for information about the next New Leader Orientation. D. L. Moody, a great American preacher, used a wonderful analogy to illustrate the importance of being an active member in God’s community. A friend told him that he could be just as good a Christian outside the church as he could be inside it. Moody said nothing. Instead, he moved to the fireplace, blazing against the winter outside, removed one burning coal, and placed it on the hearth. The two men sat together and watched the ember die out. When we don’t use our God-given gifts and talents to serve the church as well as serve others in fellowship we become lukewarm. Jesus taught us what lukewarm is: no different than not knowing Jesus at all.

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Moody’s analogy is a perfect metaphor for our ignite community groups. These groups are fueled by your passions and ignited by God’s spirit. But a fire either spreads or burns out. We must work together to stoke the fire that ignite spiritual passions and build relationships. The Apostle Paul sums up this idea in Romans 12:11 when he urges us to “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Ignite community groups are one outlet for you to develop and grow your spiritual fire. Spending time with others in God’s family is at the heart of Ignite groups. Relationships are vital in the church. Everything God has done in our lives is demonstrated in the midst of relationships. Ignite groups serve as an invitation to join what God is doing in the midst of His people. Get lit! Ignite your fire! Join a community group and find a place to serve at Valley Fellowship. Watch as you get ignited with a new passion for God. Greg & Patti Simon are Senior Pastors at Valley Fellowship Church valleyfellowship.com


Behind The Scenes Hospitality Leader // Pam Cassell

Behind the Scenes endeavors to show ‘Southern’ hospitality to guest speakers and other special guests that join us at Valley Fellowship Church. If this is a group you are interested in helping with please come and join us!

Daughters of Zion Dance Ministry Leader // Diana Hase

God delights in His people and inhabits our praise. Join with us as we magnify the Lord in dance. Opportunities for ministry include, but are not limited to praise and worship, Feast of Tabernacles, Christmas musical and outreaches. No audition is necessary - just a //Location heart to worship the King of Kings 112 Delete Street, and Lord of Lords. Huntsville AL

//Details

//Contact

In The Book Club, we will be having honest conversations about literature, writing, and creative expression from a Christian perspective. We’ll be reading ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel. ‘Night’ is a narrative of life in a German concentration camp. We’ll also be using ‘The Christian Imagination’ edited by Leland Ryken.

//Location

//Details

//Details

//Contact

256.882.1674 dianahase@gmail.com

Five Dollar Fridays Mens/Fellowship Leader // Tom Hase

Are you a man who likes to eat? How about lunch with a group of guys? If you are new or have been coming to Valley for years come meet some other men in the church while we talk about everything from football to understanding women, but always with a decidedly christian perspective. Come on out and join us this week!

VF Building 3, Room 309

//Location

//Details

1st & 3rd Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm

//Contact

256.830.8421 or 256.603.1185 mark.warren@mda.mil

//Location

3005 Morgan Street, Huntsville AL.

256.468.7131 emedley@valleyfellowship.com

//Contact

The Book Club Literature/Arts Leaders // Mark Warren & Andrew Isley

There is nothing like having great food, great friends, and spending some time discussing the Bible together. Bring food, Bible, notebook, a heart to praise God, and ears to hear His word.

1st & 3rd Fridays at 6:00pm

1st & 3rd Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm

256.722.9164 or 256.682.7162 plcassel@knology.net

Leader // Erika Medley

//Location

VF Building 3, room 305

Sept., 29; 7:00 - 9:00pm

Friday Night Friends Prayer

Game Night in the Valley Recreation Leader // Brenda North

Join a great group of friends and church family for potluck dinners, fun games, and laughter. We get together once a month and play all sorts of games. Very casual atmosphere and a great way to build relationships.

//Location

104 Sanders Drive, Huntsville AL.

//Details

Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, Madison AL

Oct. 1, Nov. 12, Dec. 3 at 4pm

//Details

256.852.0322 or 256.503.6264 gabby138@comcast.net

Fridays at 11:30am

//Contact

//Contact

256.882.1674 or 256.527.1677 tahase@gmail.com

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Girls Just Wanna Have His Hands Extended Fun Outreach Women/Fellowship Leader // Sammie Laster Leader // Sammie Laster

This group has a different time and destination for each gathering. We may do a movie and dinner out, gather at someone's home & bring finger foods for games &/or movie, go to a concert or conference as a group. All of this is subject to the "small group signee's suggestions" as well as the leader's input. We attempt to get together once every month.

//Location

Leader will email location

//Details

This group provides outreach opportunities to provide for and minister to the homeless in our city. Contact Sammie Laster to get plugged in!

Leader // Patti Simon

This ladies group will be a focused Bible study meeting where we will be spending powerful times in the word doing deep study. The word of God is living and powerful. Together we will allow it to wash and transform our lives.

//Location

First Stop (206 Stokes Street NW)

//Details

2nd Tuesday each month 9am

//Contact

256.830.2590 or 256.683.3712 sammietatelaster@gmail.com

Leader will email group members

//Location

VF Building 3, Room 301

//Details

1st & 3rd Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm

//Contact

256.883.7989 or 256.527.8302 psimon@valleyfellowship.com

Man Strength Men’s Bible Study

//Contact

256.830.2590 or 256.683.3712 sammietatelaster@gmail.com

Ladies Bible Study Women/Bible Study

Israel Prayer Meeting Prayer

Leader // Tom Hase

This will be a time of encouragement and teaching for Leader // Erika Medley men with the objective of If you have a heart for Israel, we developing and growing character Hidden Treasure get together once a month to pray strength in these unsettled times. Evangelism for the people of Israel, as well as We will also use the time to plan Leader // Elizabeth Umbarger the surrounding nations in the and organize the Men’s Ministry This is a group for anyone who has region. with the objective of fulfilling the a desire to be a bold witness in our great call God has on our lives and community. We will pray for meeting the local needs of our direction, then choose a site to //Location church and community. Finally, we prayer-walk before witnessing. We 3005 Morgan Street, are going to have a good time, are believing God to lead us to His Huntsville AL make ourselves available,  and trust ‘hidden treasures’ in our city. //Details God to do the heavy lifting. 1st Monday each month //Location 3:30pm Valley Fellowship Parking Lot //Location VF Building 3, Room 302 //Contact //Details 256.468.7131 Thursdays 10am //Details emedley@valleyfellowship.com 1st & 3rd Wednesdays //Contact 6:30-7:30pm 256.489.3206 or 256.520.9855

//Contact

256.882.1674 or 256.527.1677 tahase@gmail.com 22 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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Married Life Married Couples

Men In Motion Men/Breakfast

Pray For America

Leaders // Andrew & Angela Isley

Leader // Tom Hase

Leader // Camille Nehmsmann

Over a good cup of coffee and some sweet desserts, we will endeavor to discuss the essentials of a healthy and strong marriage. Join other young, married couples in having fun on the exciting adventure of marriage.

An essential men’s ministry open to all the men at Valley Fellowship with the purpose of encouraging and challenging each other to be all God intended; as Godly husbands, fathers, or single men. Come join us next breakfast for great food and great conversation.

Someone once said “History is made by the intercessor.” Join us as we intercede for our nation in this critical time, and be a world changer! Led by the Holy Spirit, we pray for various issues, including government, schools, families, the military, and whatever else the Lord places on our hearts. “Agreement in prayer can change the course of //Location history for America and for our Valley Fellowship Hall loved ones.”

//Location

Isley Home: 133 Raleigh Way, 35811

//Details

//Details

Fri. Sep.16, 30, Oct.14, 28, Nov.18

3rd Saturday each month 8:00am

//Contact

256.479.2515 amisley@valleyfellowship.com

Meals That Heal Help in Times of Need Leader // Pam Cassel

Meals that Heal provides a couple of meals to church members who are returning home after a hospital visit. We take care of those who are not able to cook for themselves while recovering by providing meals for a day or two. Together we endeavor to help the healing process of our recovering church family.

//Contact

256.882.1674 or 256.527.1677 tahase@gmail.com

//Location

312 Fussy Hill Rd. New Market AL

//Details

2nd & 4th Thursday 1:00pm

//Contact 256.379.5254

New Creations Jewelry Making Women/Crafting

Redeeming Love

Fellowship/Book Club Group Leader // Brenda North

Have a love for the Lord and of reading? Enjoy a wonderful book This small group is for ladies who need to fix broken jewelry (like our on the redeeming love of Christ. We will be sharing our thoughts Lord does us) or rework some old and revelations about the novel, pieces to make new, beautiful creations. Maybe you would like to “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. Come share a meal, enjoy learn how to make simple designs fellowship and discussion while for yourself. We always have a building relationships with each good time while sharing testimonies, praying for and helping other. (Books and lunch will be provided.) one another. Leader // Mitzi Seals

//Location

112 Delete Street, Huntsville AL.

//Details

//Location //Details

3209 Holmes Ave. Huntsville, AL

2nd Sat. each month10-12:00pm

//Contact

//Contact

256.722.8420 or 256.520.0314 tomandmitzi@hotmail.com

23 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

//Location

Valley Fellowship Youth Building

Valley Fellowship Hall

Sep. 22 7:00-9:00pm

256.722.9164 or 256.682.7162 plcassel@knology.net

Prayer

//Details

Every other Tuesday, beginning

Sep.13, starting at 11:30am

//Contact

256.852.0322 or 256.503.6264 gabby138@comcast.net valleyfellowship.com


Soaking Worship/Prayer

Supper Club Marriage

The Boomer Seniors

Group Leader // Dawn John

Leaders // Tom & Diana Hase

Leader // Darrell & Randy Bourne

Do you want more of God in your daily life? Soaking is taking time to rest in His presence and seeking His face. We listen to anointed ‘soaking’ music, and get quiet and still before the Lord.

Join us this semester as we study “The Marriage Code” by Bill and Pam Farrel. Discover your own marriage code - those words, actions and attitudes that determine how your marriage works so love and romance can //Location flourish. Supper Club is a group of VF Building 3, room 306 married couples who enjoy good good fellowship, and godly //Details food, teaching to improve our marriages 1st & 3rd Wednesdays for His glory. 6:30-7:30pm

//Contact 256.651.5717

//Location

Sep. 16 at 3300 Hastings Rd. (rotating locations)

Come join a rag tag group of Seniors and couples over 50 as we join in evening dinners and a road trip from time to time. Come and get connected with this family we call Valley Fellowship.

//Location

13308 Shawdee Rd. Huntsville, AL 35803

//Details

1st meeting Friday, Sep. 23

//Contact

256.883.7359 darrellebourne@bellsouth.net

//Details

Sep.16, 30 Oct.14, 28 6:30-8:30pm

//Contact Tue. Morning Prayer 256.882.1674 tahase@gmail.com Prayer

Sunday Bible Study Adult Bible Study

dianahase@gmail.com

Leader // Galen Euting

Join us Sunday mornings for some coffee and refreshments while we enjoy sharing and discussing the Word of God. There will be sharing, intercession, and all round open conversation as we tackle understanding the scriptures together.

//Location

Taste of the Nations Fellowship/Prayer Leaders // Darayas & Havovi Patel

If you enjoy eating foods from around the world, then this group is for you. Bring a dish that you would like to share with the group and hang out with us as we enjoy great food.

VF Building 3, room 309

//Location

//Details

103 Green Fern St. 35758

//Contact

//Details

Sundays 8:30am-9:45am

256.652.1914 galeneuting@gmail.com

Sat. Oct. 22 12:00-3:00pm

//Contact

Leader // Carol Simon

Every week, we gather together as intercessors and minister to the Lord in worship and prayer. After we soak in His presence, we pray for our church family needs.

//Location

Valley Fellowship Main Sanctuary

//Details

Tuesdays 9:00am - 11:00am Childcare available upon request

//Contact

256.882.3734 or 256.533.5117 csimon@valleyfellowship.com

256.884.9458 or 256.658.9315 darayaspatel@yahoo.com

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Valley Business Roundtable Fellowship/Business

What Now Lord Recovery/ Discipleship

Word Warrior One Health/Fitness Leader // Diana Hase

Tired of being tired and stressed? Join us as we... “Praise the Lord, O Leader // Chris Brown my soul; all my inmost being praise Do you have a business? Or do you This group helps people who have His holy name... and forget not all been set free of addictions, and want to find a group of men and His benefits... who forgives all your helps people who have been saved women who are passionate about sins, and heals all your diseases... to know what is next. We learn business? Valley Business who redeems your life from the pit Roundtable is a group of believers together how to grow in the Lord. We are a ‘get real’ group where you and crowns you with love, and in small business or interested in compassion... who satisfies your can pour out your heart. We pray small business that meet to share desires with good things so that for, love, and support each other. experience and encouragement. your youth is renewed like the We are a small group that is BIG eagle’s. In our group Word Warrior on learning what is next through One, we will be meditating and studying God’s Word. memorizing Psalm 103 while doing //Location Cheddar’s on University Drive basic stretches to increase our //Details //Location strength and flexibility. 2nd Thursday 11:30am VF Building 3, room 304 Leader // Jeff & Belinda Hipp/Carol Simon

//Contact

//Details

256.682.8795 chris.brown@uah.edu

VF Building 3, room 305

//Contact

1st & 3rd Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm

256.755.0493 jhipp882@comcast.net

Valley Computer Class Adult/Computer Basics

Widows in Deed Women/Fellowship

Leader // Brenda North

Leader // Erika Medley

Have you always wanted to learn to We meet every 2nd Tuesday for a use the computer? Need training in time of fellowship and prayer for one another and for widows. computer basics? Join us Wednesday nights as we tackle Microsoft Word, Excel and //Location Various Restaurants (leader computers in general. will contact members with location)

//Details

//Location //Details

//Contact

//Details

//Contact

256.882.1674 dianahase@gmail.com

Worship Flags Worship/Praise Leader // Carol Payne

Come join us to learn about the significance of the colors and gestures of the flag & banner ministry. All you need is a desire for praise and worship.

//Location

Various Restaurants (leader 2nd Tuesday each month 5:45pm will contact members with location)

VF Building 3, room 303 1st & 3rd Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm

//Location

1st & 3rd Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm

//Contact

256.468.7131 emedley@valleyfellowship.com

256.852.0322 or 256.503.6264 gabby138@comcast.net

25 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

//Details

1st Sunday each month after 10am service.

//Contact

256.852.2916 or 256.655.6205 joshah5181@bellsouth.net

valleyfellowship.com


GUATEMALA MISSIONS “Behind the Scenes� By Pam Cassel

Valley Fellowship Church and Christian Academy have taken numerous mission trips over the years. The annual trip to Guatemala is highly anticipated every year, especially by the students of VFCA. The mission trip bug starts spreading right before Christmas. The source of this illness has been traced to the church sanctuary. VFCA chapel is held in the sanctuary and it is there that the excitement becomes contagious. Students who have just returned from Guatemala give extraordinary reports of their life changing trip causing even the elementary age students to become infected.

26 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

Valley Fellowship Church and VFCA students have traveled to Guatemala for many years. The fall trip began in 2009 when the senior class had the vision to take Christmas gifts to the children of Casa Angelina Orphanage. The children there have touched the lives of every team member with their unconditional love. So, why not give back a little in the form of gifts? Without our help, the children of Casa Angelina would have no gifts to open on Christmas morning. So, what does it take to accomplish this task of taking a group on a mission trip to a foreign country? It takes a lot of prayer, planning, people and preparation. There is so much that goes on before the plane takes off and that life changing trip begins. Preparations begin as early as the summer months. There are many types of fundraising events that take place, such as yard sales, car washes, lawn mowing and babysitting. Some students even get a summer job to earn extra money for their

valleyfellowship.com


trip. Donation request letters are drafted and sent to friends and family informing them of the desire to travel abroad to make a difference in the lives of others. As soon as school starts, the group has to be finalized in order to allow

Christmas wishes arrive by email from Casa Angelina and end up on a Christmas tree in the church foyer. The children of Casa Angelina are proudly on display. Each child gets “adopted” for Christmas and the members of Valley Fellowship bring in $50 to purchase the gifts. Some gifts are purchased locally and packed while others are purchased in Guatemala by the mission team. The time for passports to come in and gifts are labeled with the child’s paperwork to be completed. There name and extra labels are sent to are several forms that must be Guatemala for use on the gifts yet obtained when traveling with a to purchase. student under 18. Parents must Other items are also collected: complete a notarized form candy, school supplies, crafts, permitting the student to travel medical supplies, clothing and abroad with the school. Patti Christmas gift bags. One “ministry” Simon, VFCA’s Principal, takes any bag per person is packed with these student who is traveling without a items. These bags have up to 40lbs parent under her wing to insure of ministry items for the people of their safety. She takes this job very Guatemala. With a minimum of seriously. Essentially, she is their 15 people per trip at 40lbs per parent until they get back to the person, that’s around 600lbs per U.S. trip. Needless to say the poundage After all of the paperwork and to Guatemala has been excessive money is turned in, airline tickets for every trip made. It has been are purchased. With tickets in closer to 1000lbs per trip. There hand, the trip becomes a reality, has never been any lost baggage. and there are no further changes in God is good! passengers. The children’s’

“Without our help, the children of Casa Angelina would have no gifts to open on Christmas morning.”

After the tickets are bought and the bags are packed, it is almost time to go. This is when all of the contact information is finalized for every team member. Emergency phone numbers and email addresses for the parents are collected and used for updates during the trip. After all that planning, it’s finally time to get to the airport (on time) with luggage and passport. There have been a few close calls in the past, but so far no one has missed a flight. It is really an amazing trip for the students as well as the adults. But it takes a lot of preparation and planning and while there are always things that have not quite worked out as planned, God still moves in a powerful way. Inevitably, the orphans become the ministers, and the lives of the team members are changed. The Valley Fellowship Guatemala team members are forever ill with “the fever.” They seek no cure. They are willing to live with this illness forever; their symptoms only to be relieved by taking multiple trips back to the people of Guatemala.

//pam cassel Pam Cassel has been a member of Valley Fellowship for 15 years. She is a stay-at-home mom and a frequent church volunteer.

To find out more about Missions at Valley Fellowship Church and how to get involved at home or in the field contact Patti Simon, Missions Pastor at: psimon@valleyfellowship.com

27 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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Worship Pastor

an interview with Chris Preslar By Chris Brown

Q A

The areas of ministry available in the worship team are musicians (any/all are welcome to audition), vocalists, and tech people (including the media team and the sound team).

Q A Q A Q

comes to praise and worship at Valley, what would it be? In other words, what would you most want to send someone home with?

What are some of the specific activities available in the music ministry?

What age groups are able to participate? We welcome people from high school students, ninth grade and up, to adults of any age. If you could sum up the mission of the music ministry in one sentence, what would it be? Our goal every Sunday is to lead people to a place where they can connect with God through worship. If you could impart one idea, one feeling or one bit of understanding to someone that

28 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

A

Every worship experience at Valley is unique. No two worship services are exactly alike. We allow time for God to move and where He leads us, we will follow. We want people to have a real experience with God every time they come to worship with us.

Q

What role do non-musicians play in the music ministry?

A

If you are a non-musician, you can still be a part of the worship team. We have a media team and a sound team that are a vital part to the team. Without them, the worship and the service in general wouldn't run smoothly or be able to run at all.

Q

How do you want people outside the music ministry and outside Valley Fellowship to think of the music ministry?

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A

We want people to see that we are not just skill, than have someone who is crazy talented and worshippers on Sunday morning but that we live doesn't have a heart for worship. a life of worship no matter the situation. We want the community to see people that are real in their Where do you see the music ministry a year relationship with God and their praise and live it out from now? Five years from now? every day.

Q

Q

What gets you most excited when you think about the music ministry and what you want to do with it?

I see the worship ministry as a well oiled machine where team members show up on time and are prepared for every service. Honestly, I see a team with more members than we can make room for. It goes back to the atmosphere/culture idea where it is so addicting to be in the presence of God in worship that people will be signing up to join the worship team. This would allow so much flexibility to the point that we could have team members serve in the children’s church worship as well as the youth worship. I see the worship ministry taking off so we have to have more staff members in the worship department just to keep up with the expansion of our worship team.

A

A

What gets me most excited is seeing a worship team become as excited and passionate about worship as I am. I want to foster an atmosphere, or culture if you will, of worship that is addicting. I want talented musicians/vocalists/technicians to see themselves more than musicians/vocalists/technicians but worshippers that have been given the awesome responsibility to lead people into a place where they can meet God. It gets me excited when I see team members begin to take ownership of their role and begin to craft their abilities and ideas to better the worship experience at Valley. I would rather have someone who has a heart for worship, without great

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? if you love to play music, sing, or work with audio and visual, contact Chris Preslar @ cpreslar@valleyfellowship.com 29 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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Youth Pastor

an interview with Will Umbarger By Chris Brown

Q

What are some of the specific activities available in the youth ministry?

A

We have youth retreats at least twice a year. We attend a youth Conference in Memphis at Life Church. We go to the Ramp in Hamilton, AL. We have a Youth Band for worship on Wednesday night and we do some travel with the band. We connect with VFCA for Missions trips at least twice a year. We do community outreach to First Stop

Q A Q

What age groups are able to participate? The youth ministry covers ages 12 to18 (7th grade through 12th grade) If you could sum up the mission of the youth ministry in one sentence, what would it be?

30 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

A

We exist to Worship Christ our Lord through Prayer, Praise and the Word! No matter how we restructure or change, the three pillars of our youth ministry will always be prayer, praise and scripture.

Q

If you could impart one idea, one feeling or one bit of understanding to a teen that comes to Valley, what would it be? In other words, what would you most want to send a teen home with?

A

Be real in your dialogue with Christ. Be a person after God's own heart. Be real at church; be open and willing to talk about problems and mistakes. The Word says people sharpen each other as iron sharpens iron, but we can only sharpen each other when we are real and open and honest.

Q

What role do the youth themselves play in youth ministry?

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A

The worship band in the youth ministry is totally youth led, and youth run all of the media and sound as well. We try to help youth discover their strengths and serve in those areas. If youth are interested in going in to ministry, we mentor them and create opportunities for them to speak and lead. They sometimes lead worship at events at local public high schools as well as at Valley.

Q

you see. Often you can’t tell if you are reaching someone at that moment, but after twelve years of youth ministry at Valley I have gotten emails and phone calls about how I influenced lives. I am personally excited that I have just been accepted into a mentorship program called The Cadre in which I will be mentored by Jeanne Mayo for the next year.

Q

How do you want people outside the youth ministry and outside Valley to think of the youth ministry?

A

We see growth in the youth ministry. We see youth that stick to it, continue to grow after high school, and pour in to the Furnace group for young adults (age 18 to 33). We see growth in numbers in the youth group, growth in families and growth in leaders. We see these groups being interconnected through all of the age groups.

A

We want everyone to see a great place to come and join others in worship. We want people to see that we are aiding parents and helping them raise Godly leaders and servants, people that make a difference. I don’t want them to see a glorified babysitter for teenagers.

Q

What gets you most excited when you think about the youth ministry and what you want to do with it?

A

We get excited about spending time with youth and leading them in the right direction. The longer you’re in youth ministry the more fruit

Where do you see the youth ministry a year from now? Five years from now?

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? if you love working with youth & really want to make a difference in the next generation contact Will @ wumbarger@valleyfellowship.com 31 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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Children’s Pastor

an interview with Betsy Welch By Chris Brown

Q

What are some of the specific activities available in the Ignitus Kidz ministry?

A

In June, we usually offer VBS (Vacation Bible School) or some derivation of it for a three day event: ages 3 years thru 6th grade. In July, one Sunday morning is dedicated to Super Soaker Sunday, an outdoor event behind the youth house with squirt guns, water balloons, slip n' slides, other games and a free lunch to the kids. This event is for 4yrs. old - 6th grade only.

A

I am compelled to tell children of any age they are loved by God just like they are. They can do nothing to earn God's love...he has freely given it to all and has a plan for their lives if they will simply stay connected to God through His Son, Jesus.

Q A

What role do the kids themselves play in the Ignitus Kidz ministry?

At times, I have the 5th & 6th graders help with the younger children during our Sunday 10:00 Kidz Life Service. They enjoy serving the younger ones and helping them with color sheets, If you could sum up the mission of the Ignitus crafts, getting their snacks, etc. Also, at the end of Kidz ministry in one sentence, what would it be? service I have students help "put away" equipment used and reset the cafeteria for school lunch. In other words, kids can learn to serve others at a very young Ignitus Kidz Ministries teaches children the age...and they love it!! beliefs, values and Bible based view of Christian living as described by God's Holy Word through How do you want people outside the Ignitus age appropriate curriculum for children 3 weeks old Kidz ministry and outside Valley to think of the through 6th grade. Ignitus Kidz ministry?

Q A

Q

If you could impart one idea, one feeling or one bit of understanding to a kid that comes to Valley, what would it be? In other words, what would you most want to send a kid home with? 32 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

Q A

Kidz Ministry is no less important than any other ministry at Valley. Children have great worth and value, and we seek to treat them with the same respect and honor and with the importance

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assigned to children by the Lord Himself. The life lessons we teach our kids are just as important as all other ministries at Valley and are worthy of our time and talents since the lives of our children are still being shaped and molded. The Kidz Ministry can be trusted by the parents and community to be a model of integrity as we endeavor to assist parents in the training of our Valley Kidz and visiting children who come our way.

Q A

What do you want their parents to see in the kids at Valley?

Q A

What do you want people in the community to see in the kids that come from Valley?

Q

What gets you most excited when you think about the Ignitus Kidz ministry and what you want to do with it?

forward in my opinion. I believe my purpose at this very hour is to coordinate, make upgrades and train others, mainly parents, to take over this ministry and share in the teaching duties as Service Leaders. When everyone takes turns and works as a team for the good of the whole Kidz Life Ministry, no one gets burned out and team ideas keep the ministry momentum moving forward.

I would love for the parents to recognize changes in their child's character or behavior due to a life lesson they have learned thru the Kidz Life Ministry. We study the behavior modeled by Jesus and study scriptures that tell us how we, as children of God, should behave or speak. Hopefully, those life lessons carry over into the everyday lives of these Kidz, whether at home, school or in the community.

Kindness, manners, pleasant attitudes, smiles, selflessness, in such great display that a child from Valley will be honored to answer the question, "Where did you say you go to church?"

A

Having parents involved! I believe this is a crucial point for our Kidz Ministry to grow. I believe the Kidz Pastor should serve as the overseer for all the Kidz Ministry from nursery thru 6th grade. I am endeavoring to get more parents involved and help them realize they play such an important roll in the growth and creative development of this ministry. If this ministry remains in the hands of just one or two consistent leaders without more parents getting involved, it simply cannot move

Q A

Where do you see the Ignitus Kidz ministry a year from now? Five years from now?

All rooms available for Kidz Ministry will be totally upgraded, meaning rooms are redecorated and made more pleasant for the kids and parent/volunteers who serve in the ministry. I also hope to have all paperwork reworked, upgraded, upto-date with necessary changes i.e. wording, Kidz Vision, etc. There must be more volunteers to choose from to man our Valley Services during each week. Again, many hands make light work. We currently have paid staff for the Nursery rooms (babies - 18 mo. and the 2/3 yr old room). However, parent volunteers/teens 15 yrs or older are still needed to volunteer in the nursery area. Would love to see that parent/volunteer list so long that we could rotate people one Sunday every other month or so. The paid staff are the only ones who change diapers in the nursery which makes the job of being a volunteer easy. Just play with the kids and love on them...pretty simple! As for the Kidz Life Service at 10:00 on Sundays, I would love to see this area completely taken over by the parents who have a child 4yrs-6th grade over the next five years. A parents team needs to coordinate this side of the ministry. The Kidz Pastor should oversee and train the parents. Would love to see how the Lord works this all out!! The kids need the best we have to give! And there are parents out there who have yet to step up to the plate. Why not give them the best there is to give? Exceptional Kidz Life Ministry, nursery age through 6th grade, is our goal.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? COME SERVE IN KIDS MINISTRY! 33 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

CONTACT BETSY @

bwelch@valleyfellowship.com valleyfellowship.com


CALENDAR OF EVENTS Sep 18 Oct 31 Nov 4 -6 13 15-23 Dec 3 11 18 24 21 25 28 Jan 1

Leadership Lunch after 2nd Service: For all ignite group leaders, deacons, and elders.

Family Fun Night: (6pm - 8pm) @ Southern Adventures {2150 Leeman Ferry Circle Southwest, Huntsville, AL}

Men’s Retreat: (meet at 5pm in VFC parking lot) @ Sheepgate Fellowship {4371 Alabama Hy 65 Garth, AL} Leadership Christmas Party: (5pm) @ Heather’s Club House{300 River Landing Boulevard Madison, AL 35756} Guatemala Mission Trip: Pray for our team as they are ministering at Casa Angelina Orphanage.

Carol’s Christmas Party: (10am) @ Valley Fellowship Hall Valley Fellowship Family Christmas Service: Both 8:30am and 10:00 am services Christmas Banquet: (6pm) @ Holiday Inn {3808 University Drive, Huntsville, AL}

One Sunday Service: (10am)

Christmas Eve Service | Candles, Carols & Communion: (6pm) @ Valley Fellowship Church No Wednesday night service One Christmas Service: (10am) @ Valley Fellowship Church No Wednesday night service

One Sunday Morning Service: (10am) @ Valley Fellowship Church

34 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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//index

small groups | service opportunities

Arts/Education The Book Club p21 Redeeming Love p23 New Creations Jewelry Making p23 Valley Computer Class p25 Bible Friday Night Friends Sunday Bible Study Ladies’ Bible Study Man Strength Family Married Life Supper Club Game Night in the Valley

p21 p24 p22 p22 p23 p24 p21

Health Word Warrior One

p25

Marriage Married Life Supper Club

p23 p24

Men Five Dollar Fridays Men In Motion Man Strength

p21 p23 p22

Outreach/Community Behind the Scenes p21 His Hands Extended p22 Meals That Heal p23 Hidden Treasure p22 Prayer Friday Night Friends Tues. Morning Prayer Soaking Israel Prayer Meeting Taste of the Nations Pray for America p23

p21 p24 p24 p22 p24

Recovery What Now Lord p25

Firehouse Youth If you would like to serve in Firehouse Youth, contact Will Umbarger at wumbarger@valleyfellowship.com

Recreation Game Night in the Valley Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Five Dollar Fridays Taste of the Nations Valley Business Roundtable Seniors The Boomers

p21 p22 p21 p24 p25

p24

Women Girls Just Wanna Have Fun p22 Widows in Deed p25 New Creations Jewelry Making p23 Ladies’ Bible Study p22 Worship Daughters of Zion Soaking Worship Flags Youth Daughters of Zion Word Warrior One

p21 p24 p25 p21 p25

Service Opportunities Kidz Life Nursery Ages 4-12 If you would like to serve in Kidz Life ministry, contact Betsy Welch at bwelch@valleyfellowship.com

35 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

Worship Band Vocals Tech If you would like to be a part of the worship team, contact Chris Preslar at cpreslar@valleyfellowship.com First Impressions Greeter Parking Lot Security Usher Welcome Center If you would like to be apart of our First Impressions team, contact Theresa Deahl at tdeahl@valleyfellowship.com. Women’s Ministry If you would like to serve in the women’s ministry, contact one of the women listed below for specific areas of interest.

Contact information for specific areas of interest: Weddings/Baby - Debbie Amesbury phone | 256-883-9738 The Elderly - Gloria Terrell phone | 256-535-4441 Special Events - Judy Hallman phone | 256-828-4107 Hospital/Sickness - Pam Cassel Hospitality/Visitors - Pam Cassel phone | 256-722-9164 Funerals - Ellen Hunter phone | 256-895-6511 Communication - Randy Bourne phone | 256-883-7359  valleyfellowship.com


What are you waiting for?

Come join the ignite magazine team today. ignite@valleyfellowship.com 36 // ignite magazine // SEP.OCT.NOV.DEC // 2011

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Ignite Magazine - Fall 2011  

Information about Valley Fellowship Church