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Ramona United Methodist Church

The Valley Spirit

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

September 2011

Pastor Steve’s Reflections Inside this issue: Mission Project— SHARE Foods


Faith Weaver’s After-Sch. Program


Sunday Sch. News


UMW News Message From Your Lay Leader


Fall Festival


Message from our Finance Secretary


Spiritual Growth & Mission Opps.




OUR VISION: An inclusive community of faith, learning and serving for the glory of Christ

We are doing the impossible! I was thinking this the other day as I was literally attempting to attend two meetings being held at the same time; this, right after having attended yet another meeting in the same place. As I was shuttling between one meeting going over the incredible amount of work before us in organizing and pulling off our first Fall Festival and another one exploring the opportunity of a new food ministry to help people with food costs and nutrition, I suddenly became aware that what we are doing was, just a little while ago, impossible. And yet?! Whatever we do in life that is new or original is also something that just a little while ago was deemed impossible. It was impossible to build a United Methodist church in Ramona until a few people came together and decided it was possible. It was impossible to have a thriving preschool program until a few people believed it could happen and that they could do it. In both those cases the reason it was impossible was because there

weren’t enough people or financial resources to accomplish the goal. I’m sure that when those ideas were first floated, those were the reasons given for not going ahead with the projects. Often times when we hear of a new or original idea we retreat to ―common sense‖ as a refuge for not going ahead. It’s just common sense that we can’t start a preschool or a church without enough money or people. Ask anyone. And yet! Here are some principles I have observed over the years. If you have enough money and people up front to complete the project, the project will probably fail. I’ve seen this happen too many times to feel comfortable when we seem to have all the resources before we start. Money gets spent needlessly or people substitute volunteers with paid support leading to a loss of personal contact and involvement with the undertaking. Perhaps it’s just a feeling of false security that comes over us when we have everything we need. I don’t know. Con’t on Page 2

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New Mission Project—Golden SHARE Foods S.H.A.R.E. (self-help and resource exchange), began in CA in 1983. The goal of Golden SHARE is to provide everyone with the highest quality fresh produce and frozen meats, while at the same time stretching the participants’ food dollars. SHARE is a food buying club that offers products at reduced cost through a volunteerrun, community-based distribution system. SHARE can offer amazing savings because SHARE volunteers help sort, package and distribute the food that is bought in bulk for over 3,000 people. Anyone who wants to save money on food and help their community can be a member. There are no membership fees or eligibility requirements. As a member, you can save up to 30-50% on many of the same products you would buy in a supermarket.

Our church has decided to participate in SHARE by being a distribution center. We will be getting the word out to the Ramona community through the Sentinel and various advertising. We will need volunteers to drive to El Cajon once a month to pick up the food and bring it back to the church for distribution to members in our area. We will need volunteers at the church to help with the distribution. Orders are placed on-line ( or over the phone (866-570-5099) and paid for when ordering. There are designated distribution dates each month. Our first date will be Sat., Sept. 24. There will be volunteer sign ups available in the next couple of weeks. If you have questions, please contact Paula Miller, Leadership Chair, at 760-789-9725.

He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. John 21:17 Pastor’s article continued from page 1…. A second principle I have observed is that when God gives us a vision for ministry, God never gives us all the resources we need up front. There are never enough people or resources. And this remains true as long as the ministry continues to expand. And yet, the expanding ministry serves more and more people who otherwise would not be served. What is the difference that makes a well funded and staffed startup program fail while an underfunded, understaffed program thrives? I believe it’s the God factor. The well funded and staffed startup doesn’t appear to need God. It has enough people

power and resource power to imagine it can sustain itself. But, if the ministry is God inspired and faithfully started it thrives without common sense or all the resources up front. Let’s face it, we have all witnessed this phenomenon in our lives, especially in our church. So next time an idea comes up that is new or original, perhaps the first question we should be asking is not ―Is it possible?‖ but ―Does God want it to happen?‖ ―For all things come from God.‖ (1 Corinthians 11:12) Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Faith Weaver Friends After-School Program Welcome to a new year of Faith Weaver Friends! We have been listening to your feedback and we are making a few changes to the program this year. First, the program is being held every Wednesday beginning at 4:30 and ending with a family pot-luck dinner being held from 6-6:30 p.m. Also new this year will be the addition of the pre-school age children. Children’s activities will include music, crafts, games and Bible stories and, new this year, we will be doing a theater activity station. Throughout the year we will be plan-

ning special activity days with tumbling, cooking and special craft projects. Come and join the fun! Register now for the first session September 7 through December 4. Sign up forms are available at the education building, church office or online. If you are interested in volunteering, sign-up sheets are posted on the bulletin board outside the Church Office or available on-line. We look forward to kicking off another great year!

Sunday School News Summer break is over and it’s time to go back to school… Sunday School that is! We are looking for volunteers to teach PreSchool to 1st Grade and 2nd Grade to 5th Grade. The curriculum has not changed – it is still the story with craft and game ideas that we have done in previous years. Please sign up to help and be a role model for our children. If you have never taught before or just want a refresher course, a Sunday School Teacher

Orientation will be held Sun., September 25 at 9 a.m. in the education building. If you are interested in volunteering, sign-up sheets are posted on the bulletin board outside the church office or available on-line. If you are interested in being the Sunday School Coordinator, please contact Nikki Styx.

Friendship Circle

UMW September Meeting

The Friendship Circle will meet at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 7, at the home of LaVina Stromberg, 23911 Berryessa Court. Louise Boyle will lead the devotions.

The September Meeting of the United Methodist Women will be held on Monday, September 26, at the home of Maddie Volper, 16479 Open View Rd.

All women are invited for a morning of inspiration, fellowship, and refreshments.

Dinner will be provided beginning at *6 p.m., followed by program and devotions. All women of the church are encouraged to attend *The Board will be meeting prior at 5 p.m.

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One Is Too Many—A Message From Your Lay Leader There's an intriguing lyric in a song currently playing on the radio that says, "One is one too many. One more is never enough." The song itself wasn't a particularly great message, but that line got me to thinking about the things that fit that description. One harsh word is one too many. I can't count the number of times that I have spoken harshly with someone. Whether or not they "deserved" it is unimportant. What is important is that it represents my loss of emotional control. When I reflect on those conversations, I realize I am inviting an unpleasant reciprocation. One more kind word is never enough. One of the things that teaching at Vacation Bible School has taught me is the value of a simple kind word. I will never forget the time I greeted a student by name at the beginning of the day. She was so grateful that I knew who she was without her nametag she hugged me before running off to her next station. One obscene gesture is one too many. Anyone who has driven out of town has probably experienced a driver who speeds up in the right lane in front of K-Mart and cuts you off in an attempt to be 1 or 2 cars ahead. Have you responded with an unkind word or gesture? That's one of those times when others wonder exactly what it means to be a Christian. One more display of courtesy is never enough. Perhaps the best response is to just acknowledge his desperate need to be first, and just make room. Courtesy can be contagious. One of my favorite series of commercials is the one about someone being courteous - helping to pick up dropped papers or keeping someone from stepping out into traffic. People observe those acts of courtesy, and when confronted with an opportunity, they offer a helping hand and it continues to spread. One act of violence is one too many. Our world is wracked with violence - gangs in our city streets, terrorists of all kinds, pirates taking hostages for ransom, family members killing one another and committing suicide, and so much more. Sometimes it is difficult to see our way out of the morass that we live in; but, what if we could do just one thing? One more act of kindness is never enough. We can't do something about everything, but we can do something. A meal, or shelter, or just a kind word may be enough to tip

the scales in favor of healing. There's a song about a man who "had his moment:‖ I've had my moments, days in the sun Moments I was second to none Moments when I knew I did what I thought I couldn't do Like that cool night on the E. Street Bridge When a young man almost ended it I was right there, wasn't scared a bit And I helped to pull him through You may never know when you had one of those moments because you were just there. One act of indifference is one too many. It is easy, according to one book I have read, for human nature to follow the lead of others. The book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion describes an attack on a woman that was witnessed by 35 people over the course of half an hour, and not one did anything to aid her. The book suggests that if you are ever in distress, that you single out an individual in the crowd with words like "you in the red shirt, call 911" because individuals are more likely to respond than a group. One more act of caring is never enough. I suggest we acknowledge our inclination to act as a group, and look for those times when it is important to be followers of Jesus instead of followers of the crowd. Don't wait for someone else to single you out. You have already been singled out by Christ. One hungry child is one too many. So often when we think about ways to serve others we turn to food – Open Door dinners, food banks, the turkey dinner – when a child is hungry it is difficult for them to think about anything else. One more opportunity to feed our neighbors is never enough. So food may be a cliché, but that doesn't mean it's not a vital service. Soon we will have opportunities to serve our community in new ways. Let us follow Jesus' lead and feed our neighbors with food for the body and the soul. Let us heed Paul's call in Ephesians 4:23 to "Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy." Your Lay Leader, J.D. Baker

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Final Preparations Underway for First Fall Festival Chances to Help Abound

By Nikki Styx, Fall Festival Chair & Paul Wilkinson, Publicity Chair

―Warm and welcoming church‖ is about to mean much more than happily greeting visitors on Sunday morning. How about playing host to hundreds of our friends and neighbors in our front yard on what’s sure to be a hot September weekend? While the media paints pictures of gloom and doom, what better service can we provide our community than giving people a few hours of carefree fun and entertainment close to home? That’s exactly what the Ramona United Methodist Church Fall Festival will do Sept. 9, 10, and 11. Do we have covert intentions, to get people near church on the pretense of having fun, and then capture their hearts and minds? Well, maybe. But we know the good news is that committing our hearts and minds to the mission of our church means more fun, not less. Besides, there’s nothing covert about helping folks find out that the awesome pianist and vocalist among the headliners on Ramona’s real main stage Friday and Saturday night brings his talents to worship every Sunday morning. It’s another public service! According to Carnival Entertainment, the locally-owned and regionally-famous owner and operator of more than a dozen carnival rides to be set up along Highway 67, they’ll be fun for everyone. ―For little kids, they’ll be the Dragon Wagon, Tubs of Fun, Bumble Bees, Slide, Bounce House,‖ Carnival posted on its Facebook page. ―Brave youngsters will enjoy the Monster House and the Rockwall and Power Bungee for anyone 40lbs and up. The Little ones can also enjoy the Ferris Wheel with mom and dad. Of course there will be attractions for all ages, including thrill rides for the bigger kids and plenty of challenging games of skill for the big prizes!‖ So what can you do to help people have fun, to make the festival the biggest success possible, and to transform Ramona for a weekend to advance the mission of our church to transform the world? First, show up! It’s important for our guests to see us having fun and even more important for

them to have fun. And that’s the second thing we can all do to help: Volunteer! A core team has been working daily and meeting weekly since early July to make the Fall Festival the success it should be. Now is the time for everyone to step up and help. How? You can send an email to, complete the brief form at, leave a note on RUMC’s Facebook page at http://, call the office at (760) 789-7106, or sign up on one or more of the volunteer forms in the church lobby. Haven’t volunteered for an RUMC project before? No problem! Everyone working on the Fall Festival has been in the same boat at some point and is eager to help. Since this is the first ever Fall Festival, volunteers are free to invent new ways of doing things. Creativity, enthusiasm, and good old-fashioned treating our neighbors and guests the way we would want to be treated are the touchstone. With RUMC’s prime location at the Gateway to Ramona—at Highway 67, Dye, and Highland Valley roads—we have a great opportunity to offer convenient fun for people with diverse interests, be they rides, games, crafts, music, dance, or gourmet chili. (Enter Sunday’s Chili Cookoff!) Clothing, home, food and boutique vendors, along with participants like Golden Shares Food and RUMC’s own Little People’s Learning Center, will be here to give people a break from the midway and stage. Too hot? Cool down in the air conditioned sanctuary with ice water and a set of contemporary inspirational music by the RUMC choir. Admission to the Fall Festival is free, but you can help more by pre-selling as many discount ride tickets as possible. All ride ticket pre-sales end at 1 p.m. Sept. 6, when all proceeds and unsold tickets must be returned to RUMC. Pre-sale tickets are $12 for 20, a savings of nearly 30% compared to the regular price of $20 for 24 tickets; the number of tickets required for each ride varies. RUMC benefits from a percentage of ticket sales, but even more by introducing new people to our campus and advancing our vision. The Fall Festival will be a landmark success because it will help RUMC become a more inclusive community, supporting more learning and service for the glory of Christ.

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Generosity In Action By Kathy Luckie, Financial Secretary Thanks to everyone who responded to the Mid-year Pledge Drive! Several members have increased their pledge and others have made special gifts. This generosity is especially appreciated in the summer months, when giving at so many churches traditionally slows down. Remember, it's not too late to join the drive. You can go to http:// to see the letter and

the giving form. We also received a recent donation of stock from one of our members, which shows that there are more options out there than the usual ways we think to contribute. And thank you, too, for keeping your giving current during these summer months when so many of us are on vacation and out of town. Please remember that setting up an automatic payment from your bank's online bill pay is a great way to continue your regular contributions while you're away!

Habitat for Humanity Mission Teams Forming Linda Vista UMC is planning to send teams to Habitat for Humanity builds on a regular basis and is inviting all other UMC’s in the area to join them. There is a variety of work that volunteers can do. They include building, office work, and working in the ReStore in Mission Valley.

Attendance at an orientation session is required for all volunteers. An orientation session is scheduled for Saturday, September 24, 8:45 am—10:00 am at the Linda Vista UMC. If you are interested and would like to form a car pool to attend, please let the church office know.

Spiritual Direction Workshops at El Cajon UMC Come explore Deeper Water with spiritual leaders Rev. Jim Seaton, Rev. Andy Welch, Rev. Richard Vevia and Ms. Barbara Dixon. Discover how your prayer life can be enhanced in ways that are Biblically grounded and time-tested. There will be

four Saturday sessions, 8:30-12:30, and lunch will be included. Sessions are scheduled on Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, and Dec. 3. The cost for each session is $10. Brochures are available in our church office with further details.

Step Up Outreach—Mission Opportunity The Step Up Outreach is a training for homeless ministry for churches in the CalPac Conference. There will be a training sessions available in two locations (need only attend one): on Sept. 17 at the Vista UMC and on Sept. 18 at the Garden Grove UMC. Times for both locations will be noon

to 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided and there is a suggested donation of $5. Please see the flyer on the bulletin board in the church narthex for further details.

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And Here Comes a New School Year! Little People’s Learning Center has up to 62 children attending each day. Much love and patience goes into teaching and caring for each of these children. We are very blessed to have a dedicated staff; please thank them for the long hard work they do. In the toddler class are Michelle Edwards and Nancy Martinez. In the 3 year old class are Yolanda Lopez, Shelly Jordan and Sarai Varela. In the 4 years old class are KeriAnn Roney, Laurie Ramirez and Carley Luckie. In the 5 year old class is Lisa Lindeman, and Marihelen Black is our floating teacher. September lessons include Magnificent Me, homes we live in, introduction to shapes, colors, letters and numbers. Special days

are: chapel each Tuesday with Pastor Steve, Story Time with Nana Rose, Fun & Fitness with Ms. Jill, Blue Day and Picture Day. We are always eager to share our accomplishments with you, so please feel welcome to visit our school, especially on September 18— Preschool & Rally Sunday. The children will sing in worship, followed by Sunday School, followed by a potluck lunch and open classrooms, plus an ice cream social. Please plan to attend! Finally, we say good bye, good luck and God Bless to our young friends who are off to kindergarten and elementary school. We’ve had a fun summer and hope to see them during school breaks and summer 2012.

Jr./Sr. High Youth Group Starts in September Did you know that Teenagers are AWESOME! Just ask any of them; I’m sure they’ll agree. And as soon as they all get together, they are going to have an awesome time. UMYF will be meeting this fall on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, 6:30-8 p.m. As a kick-off to the new season, plans for an afternoon at the beach are underway for Sunday, Sept. 18, following the potluck. Do you plan to participate? I need to hear from the youth and from parents or other adults who can help transport and chaperone. Please mark your calendar for Sun., Oct. 2. There will be an informational gathering after worship for parents and youth, and other adults interested in helping, to talk about the calendar for the fall semester, brain-

storm about some fund raising ideas and learn about Sierra Service Project, Youth Alive, and Spirit Fest. We have a couple of needs for our room: A love seat in good condition (no tears), a refrigerator (full size, but not too big), and various magazines for collage making. If you can help us out with any of these items, please let me know. A crate for magazines will be placed in the narthex. So, be there Sept. 7 at 6:30 to help kick off this new year! Thanx! In Christ’s Service, Diane Islander Jr./Sr. High UMYF Coord.


Ramona United Methodist Church 3394 Chapel Lane Ramona, CA 92065-3640

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

We’re on the WEB! & Rev. Steve Islander, Pastor OFFICE: 760-789-7106 HOME: 760-787-1589 EMAIL: pastorsteve OPEN, Admin. Asst.

Opportunities to Participate in the Life of RUMC Fall Festival

Sign up to



help with

Christmas play

4 pm—10pm

Diane Islander, Valley Spirit Editor (

Golden SHARE

planning mtg.

Fri., Sept. 9


Jason Purtle, Music Director

Noon—10 pm


5:30 pm

Kevin Cavanaugh, Accompanist Rev. Myron Wingfield, District Superintendent Ministers: The People of the Church LITTLE PEOPLE’S LEARNING CENTER 760-789-3435 Jill Bacorn, Director

Sat., Sept. 10 Noon—5 pm


Thursday, Sept. 22

Sun., Sept. 11


9/11 memorial

join us!

Sun. @ noon Articles for next month’s Valley Spirit are due by Sept. 17

2011-09-The Valley Spirit

2011-09-The Valley Spirit