Volume 16, Issue 3
Your Source for News in and Around Spring Valley Presbyterian Church www.springvalleypres.org
Relationships 101 - The Core Problem - Pastor Paul “You drive me NUTS!” “Yeah? Well that doesn’t COMPARE to the way you make me insane!” Ever said or thought those kinds of statements about people with whom you are close? Ever wondered how relationships can be so incredibly challenging? What relationship in your life is most frustrating? Think about it for a few minutes. Or think about this question: what person in your life would say that Special Points of Interest: •• Do I drive others crazy as you are the most frustrating person much as they do me??? in their life? What is Pastor Paul it about your most •• Mission Team returns safely frustrating person from Haiti or relationship that makes him or her •• Voyagers Lock-In for fun frustrating? What and study would the person who finds you frustrating •• Wheaton College Elects say about you along those same lines? Put New President simply, the questions are: What is it about you that drives others crazy?
Inside this issue: Mission Spotlight - Haiti
The Resource Guy
Haiti Mission Trip Pictures
Wheaton College President
Do Your Best
Birthdays & Anniversaries
What is it about others that drives you crazy? Maybe that first question has you a little put off. Offended that I would suggest someone could find you annoying? Sorry, but I’m pretty sure I stand on solid ground with that claim. It’s nothing personal, mind you. Take a peek at Romans 3:10-18; or just read the whole book of 1 Corinthians if you’d like a detailed defense of the idea. It’s a Biblical certainty: we frustrate (and worse) other people.
Now then, what’s going on there? What is it about us that is offensive to others. What is it about others that we find offensive? In answering that question, we usually look in the wrong place: we look at behaviors. We look at the things that people do, or don’t do, and we think, “I don’t like that. The nerve of that guy. Jerk.” The same is true of people who find us frustrating. We do things they don’t like, or don’t do things they’d like, and they think the same things of us. In this way, our whole social experience is contemplated in terms that measure the extent to which people meet our behavioral expectations, or not. People are “behavers (good or bad),” nothing more, nothing less. Our relationships take on a shallow, superficial feel. It’s no wonder we find it difficult to “go deep” with anyone, difficult to have significant relationships. Jesus saw the problem in a different way. In Matthew 15, he encountered a group of “behavers,” people for whom performance was just about everything. He spent some time in the following dialogue explaining how they were looking at things from the wrong perspective. Matthew 15:1-20 1Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, 6he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you,
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Pastor Paul - Continued Continued From Page 1
when he said: “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 8
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” 9
Perhaps the most important one is in the area of expectations. Part of our injury from the actions of others comes from the “shock value” of those actions. We think or exclaim, “I can’t believe you just did that! You have got to be kidding me! I cannot believe you would hurt me in that way!” But with Jesus’ words before us, we might want to respond to that surprise with the challenge: “Really? Why not?”
And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and According to Christ himself, offensive actions are exactly understand: 11it is not what goes into the mouth the sort we should expect from people with that defiles a person, but what comes out of the hearts like ours. In the same way, it means mouth; this defiles a person.” 12Then the disciples we are capable of evil actions that go far “Jesus said the real problem beyond the expectations of others. Human came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this is not what we do, but what beings, in general, are capable of far greater saying?” 13He answered, “Every plant that my we are, inside. Clean hands evil than we can conceive. That doesn’t heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted don’t make a person clean. mean we excuse such evil. On the contrary up. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides. And ...Soap and water can’t we are to fight against it. if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” touch what’s in play here. “ But in the context of relationship, 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to understanding that we’re dealing with us.” 16And he said, “Are you also still without people who have fundamental flaws (like understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever ourselves) all the time can lessen the force 18 goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But of shock. In the same way, it can blunt the automatic urge of what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, self-righteousness we feel when people accuse us of significant 19 and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil wrongdoing. Here’s how that works. You’re mean to a friend. thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false Your friend calls you on it: witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (Emphasis mine). “That was mean.” 10
You get Jesus’ point? The Pharisees were concerned with external conformity to a behavioral standard. They were behavers, and they expected everyone else to be behavers too. They were upset with Jesus and his disciples, because they weren’t behavers. The lacking behavior was that they didn’t wash their hands when they ate. The problem wasn’t a matter of hygiene, but ceremonial cleanliness. In not washing their hands, the Pharisees believe they were committing a ceremonially unclean act. Jesus pushed against that idea. He said the real problem is not what we do, but what we are, inside. Clean hands don’t make a person clean. At least not clean in that sense the Pharisees are discussing. Soap and water can’t touch what’s in play here. Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick (Jer. 17:9). Jesus described the heart as the fountainhead of all the rotten stuff we do. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (v.19). The problem is not external. It’s internal. All the hand sanitizer in the world won’t change that problem in the least. Internal problems require internal solutions. That our chief problems are internal ones has several implications with respect to our relationships.
What’s a likely first response? Denial. “I wasn’t mean,” you say. Or, “I was just kidding,” thereby minimizing their claim. “It wasn’t as serious as you make it out to be,” is what we’re trying to argue. When we use those kinds of answers, what does that do to the relationship? On the one hand, it keeps things adversarial. The whole conversation becomes a trial in which each of you pleads your case before an invisible jury, seeking personal vindication. On the other hand, it keeps things on the superficial level: The whole conversation is about whether you behaved, or you didn’t. There’s no discussion of the things that are most important. There’s no talk of heart and soul, motives, and desire, calling and dreams. It’s simply, “Have you behaved or not?” It’s one reason our relationships don’t progress. It’s one reason our relationships never run deep. What’s the alternative? Jesus’ heart diagnosis as a starting point.We embrace as our starting presupposition – as assumed truth – that we each have lots and lots and lots of rotten stuff. So that if people are accusing of us meanness, chances are, Continued on Page 5
Volume 16, Issue 3
Missions Spotlight - Haiti Missions Trip By Dave Lopshire
Flexibility. That seemed to be the theme for the Spring Valley Presbyterian Church Mission Team who traveled to Haiti in February. Seemed? The theme for the trip really was to minister to the people of Haiti and to spread God’s word. But, to do so, flexibility was key. The team consisting of Bob and Helen Allums, Donna Kraay, Laurie Benson, Heather Dake, Andrea Mather and Jeri Gadberry, departed the church on Friday, February 19th. Our seven members were part of a larger team of 25 made up of people from churches in the Chicago Metro Presbytery.
But, despite the difficulty and the need to remain flexible, the team endured. “With all of the difficulties, there is a real sense that the team is witnessing the church as it must have been in the first century. No safety nets, no frills, just the gospel and its power, meeting needs as you find them with what you have available and a reliance on God to see you through” wrote Ann Powers of the Presbytery in one of the daily updates.
Spring Valley Mission Team to Haiti Front Row L-R: Heather Dake, Andrea Mather, Laurie Benson, Hellen Allums. Back Row L-R: Donna Kraay, Dawn Franceschina, Bob Allums, Jeri Gadberry,
Preparations for the trip began back in November when the trip was announced the seven brave souls volunteered to be part of the relief effort. However, preparations were long underway before a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti causing massive death and destruction. The earthquake struck on January 12th and at that point, no one knew if the team would even make the trip. But, they forged ahead and soon after learned they would indeed go to Haiti. Their flexibility didn’t stop with the preparations.
On April 17th, the Mission Team will provide first hand details of their trip at a potluck supper at the church. Until then, Team Members provided some of their thoughts, sounds and sites of their nine day trip: •• Destruction/rubble
•• Children reaching out for us •• Exuberant worship by the Haitian Christians •• Cows, roosters, goats meandering on the lawns right outside the guesthouse •• The trickle of cold water as we try to shower •• Breaking down of team members and others coming along side and praying with them
From the time the team left Chicago until they safely returned, they had to be flexible and most importantly understanding. The trip was a long 36 hours most of which was spent either waiting or riding a bus.
•• The expectant faces in the crowds of people waiting to see the American “Doctors”
We tracked their progress through updates on the church website. Here was one update on their travels related to us by the Presbytery. Here is one such post, “after 13 long hours in the bus, the team arrived safely at the guesthouse in Cambry, their base of operations for the week. The trip, though long, was smooth except for a slight hold up at the Haitian border – the troops guarding it had closed the gate and only some persuasive speech by Dony St. Germain, Dou Dou (an ESMI staffer), and the driver got them through”.
•• Beautiful teenage girls in white and red satin dresses, waving flags during the Church service
Their trip took them through Port au Prince, where they saw some of the devastation first hand, including the tent cities that have sprung up and the flattened presidential palace.
•• Preparing medicine in the pharmacy as the odor of raw sewage wafts thru the open windows and flies everywhere!
•• Tables, benches and chairs loaded with supplies, clothing and shoes
•• Little boys quickly learning to ask “what is your name?” and then repeating your name over and over •• Large kettle of green mystery stew after a long day’s work •• The odor of burning garbage
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SVPC Mission to Haiti - Continued Continued from Page 3
•• Children coming along side you to help you carry your packages •• Huge fallen rocks by the side of our narrow passage and gigantic holes in the road as we frequently had to weave our way in an S-shaped pattern through 1 way passages of road.
destruction, it was a beautiful and comforting reminder of the 23rd Psalm. “... Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” •• The slap of the guard’s stick and the scream of an unruly child that was being disciplined. •• Constant beeping horns of buses, trucks and vans as they played chicken on the narrow, pot-holed roads.
•• Arm swinging and angry faces at the borders as our Haitian leaders and the guards “discussed” the problems of our getting through. The assurance received as we prayed and sang to our Lord on the bus.
•• People having surgery with no anesthesia. •• Many family members (as many as 10) around a patient’s bed as they wait interminable amounts of time waiting to be seen in the hospitals.
•• Large groups of people, - people everywhere - wandering the streets at all hours - selling their wares from roadside table and large cardboard boxes along the streets.
•• People with missing limbs •• Crickets in our rooms as we tried to sleep
•• Sight and “smell” of large open sewers running alongside the streets of the towns. •• The creative ingenuity of children - for example a toy car created from a water bottle, rocks, pieces of old metal and a string - one of very few toys seen in Haiti.
•• Snoring - Laughing - Praises Heather Dake with Haitian Kids More Pictures on Pages 8 & 9
•• Two 8 or 9 year old girls climbing the rocky hill to the clothesline carrying between them a huge metal pan filled with newly scrubbed clothes. •• The dark “bare bones” interiors of the orphan cottage filled with very old bunk beds with thin worn out foam mattresses. As many as four children slept on one level of the bunks. •• Children grabbing the hands and arms of their visitors whenever we walked by. They communicated with broad beautiful smiles, the few words of English they had learned, and tried to teach us Creole words. •• Two of our team members and one of our Haitian helpers flying through the air as they leapt from the bus which was parked on the hill awaiting our eminent departure. The brakes gave way and the bus began rolling. Fortunately, it was stopped by a big tree in its path. The tree was completely uprooted, but the three who leapt were fine. •• Beautiful rolling pasture and farm land on one side of the guest house where animals grazed with their babies and drank from ponds further below. In the midst of
•• Orphan girls sweetly singing “Jesus Loves Me” - swaying to the music - with bright eyes and huge smiles.
•• Awakening before dawn to the sound of a farmer guiding his plow pulling ox (something like Hoh! Hoh! Hoh!) This was interspersed with the marvelous animal sounds of mooing, cockadoodle -doos, and ma.. ah.. ah ing from the goats and lambs. A little later we could hear a chorus of the orphans greeting the day with their beautiful singing! •• A young boy screaming violently as they work on the wound on his leg •• Dressing a patient’s wound at the hospital and hearing a rooster crowing. Pray that as our Team Members return to their families and their regular routines, that God would continually encourage them for their job well done and for advancing God’s kingdom. If you would like to the read through the daily accounts of the trip and the thoughts of support and prayer, you can go to our Haiti Mission Team website at www.springvalleypres. org/board On pages of 8 and 9 of this newsletter are just a few of the pictures taken by our team members during their trip. There will be a lot more to see at the potluck supper on the 17th.
Volume 16, Issue 3
Pastor Paul - Continued “Good morning, Father. It’s good to talk with you.”
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they’re probably right. Your friend says, “That was mean.” Pause. You’re thinking on Jesus’ words. She presses, “Well?”
Silence. You’re thinking on Matthew 15. “Hey you know Lord, I really saw Matthew 15 in action yesterday. I was mean to my friend.” Pause. Waiting for your heart to catch up and own that truth before Him.
“I’m thinking…” “Well hurry up.” “Ok.” You think on Jesus assessment of your heart. You realize she’s probably right. You were mean. And they don’t even know the half of it. What you were thinking is actually WAY worse than what you actually said. You deserve her accusation. You answer, “You know you’re probably right. I’m sorry.” “It’s ok.” You go on,“Sometimes I just say hurtful things and I shouldn’t. Please forgive me.” “Of course I forgive you.” Relationship restored. But more has happened in that exchange. Your friend and you have learned important lessons about each other – capacity for sin, and capacity for forgiveness. You’ve shared a reality about human beings, you’re both broken. You both need God’s love, desperately. You’re both in the same boat: creatures in need of the Creator. These are realities, which if understood well, open the door to a deeper understanding of the way God’s love can change the stubborn human heart. That kind of exchange paves the way for your relationships to engage on a deeper level. One more thing. When you talk that way with each other, you’re paving the way for things to go deeper in the relationship you have with God. Looking at your heart through Jesus’ eyes in Matthew 15 makes us appreciate our need of the Savior’s love for us more intensely. Fast forward to prayer time the next day.
“So, anyway, Jesus’ words helped me see that I had been mean.” Your heart remembers the pain you caused. “But it was so cool, Lord, he forgave me! And it reminded me of you and your love.” The spirit in you lifts. “I want to thank you so much for your love of me. I really do need it. Thanks for Jesus’ love. I’m going to lean on it even more.” And the vertical relationship between you and God goes to an even deeper level. You see the difference starting with Jesus’ premise in Matthew 15 makes? If all people would start there, there would be no less than a relationship revolution. The whole process gets me excited about the prospects for the church. What if we at Spring Valley were a whole church full of people who lived in light of Matthew 15? How dynamic would the relationships between Christians be? How rich would our relationships with our Creator be, through Christ? Looking forward, there’s nothing stopping us, you know. Nothing stops us from seeing things in precisely that way. Nothing stops us from rejecting the behavers approach to relationships and embracing a heart-centered Gospel dependence. This month, give it a try. I’d be interested in your feedback. - Pastor Paul
Please join us in welcoming Joni Melahn who was received and welcomed as a New Member to the Spring Valley Presbyterian Church Family of Faith in February.
Book Review - Associate Pastor Dave Vosseller The Reason for Sports: A Christian Fanifesto by Ted Kluck (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009) ISBN 9780802458360 O.K., for all of you who normally skip this section of the newsletter, this review is for you. I’m particularly talking to the sports minded guys out there! The Reason for Sports: A Christian Fanifesto by Ted Kluck, is one of the funniest, yet thoughtful books I have read in a while. And he clearly loves sports, has played and coached sports, and has thought a lot about the sports that he loves. The title is a little misleading, and I think, is meant to be a parody of Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God. So, let’s get this expectation (or fear) out of the way. This is NOT a book that is a comprehensive theological treatise or argument for sports. Instead, Kluck, who is a sports writer by trade but has also co-written two more theological books with his pastor, wrote this as a book of essays, reflections and thoughts on athletes, sports in general, fantasy football, and just guy stuff in general and how his faith relates to and informs his observation of those things. He opens the book with an explanation of how he hates the word “Manifesto” (and the word “revolution” which he says both seem to be in all the current Christian books out there!) And then he relates how the publishers at Moody called him up and wanted to put the word ‘fanifesto’ in the title! This begins to give you an idea of what the book is like! But, here’s just a few chapter headings to further give you an idea of the topics and the tone of this book: “It’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry: Sin, Confession, and the Jock Apology”, “Is This All There Is? Tom Brady and the Mixed Blessing of Blessing”, “A Reflection: When Bad Fantasy Teams Happen to Good People”, and “Pride and the Mixed Blessings of Curses: The Incredible Bulk (Bust): Tony Mandarich”. Hopefully, by now you are saying to yourself, “I might actually read that.” But, in case you are not convinced, let me give you a taste of Kluck’s writing style and wit: Here are his thoughts after he had interviewed Tony Dungy, former coach of the Indianapolis Colts (by the way, just so you know, Kluck is a Bears fan!): “What makes Dungy a truly admirable Christian coach of athletes is that he doesn’t try to make his own greatness overshadow God’s, even in ‘humility’. As anyone knows who has watched any amount of sports, there is real humility, and then there’s ‘athlete humility’. Athlete humility uses even the act of being humble as a reminder of the individual greatness of that particular athlete. Example: ‘He’s so humble! He’s so down to earth! Look at the way he delivered turkeys to needy families on Thanksgiving and just
happened to be photographed by three news channels and a magazine crew.” (pp. 73). Here’s another, after listing some struggles he sees with his obsessive involvement in fantasy football, he lists some positive things about it too: “1. Fantasy football gives men something to talk about in the church lobby. Believe it or not, ‘How’s your fantasy team doing?’ is much more ‘authentic’ and helpful than the kind of ‘How are you?’...’Fine, how are YOU?’ …’Fine’ dialogue that has happened between men in church lobbies since the beginning of churchlobby time.” (pp. 97). Each essay or chapter is humorous, thoughtful, and relatable. And as you read it and laugh and empathize with Kluck’s observation of athlete culture and sins, and his honesty about his own failings, you’ll also find that without thinking about it, you’ve learned to think more Christianly about this area of life! Theologians would call that developing a Christian worldview, but whatever you call it, Kluck’s book will help you grow in making Scriptural truth more a part of your involvement in and thinking about sports. One more thing, if you decide to read this – don’t forget to read the footnotes, they are hilarious! Let me give you one last, less humorous, and more insightful comment from the book, after he has discussed the ‘nonapology apologies’ of many athletes in recent news: “Believe me when I write that I don’t expect athletes to be perfect. I am far from perfect myself, and thank God that there weren’t people following me with cameras and notebooks in my early twenties, looking to record my every thought, action, and idea for posterity. God’s grace is big and sufficient. But that said, athletes, especially Christian athletes, should try to model true, biblical repentance when put in a public apology situation because it is a way to honor God and grow in sanctification. J.C. Ryle writes that a mark of ‘growth in grace’ is increased humilty. So where is the athlete who has the courage to say, with Job, ‘I am vile’ or with Peter, ‘I am a sinful man, O Lord’? Where is the athlete willing to ask the forgiveness of God, in front of a nation of fans and press?” (pp. 25). I can say with all honesty, that I will now try to read anything that Ted Kluck writes, whether about sports or Christianity, and I hope you will too!
Volume 16, Issue 3
Voyagers Lock-In a Hit! By Pablo Herrera
As always, this year’s Voyager lock-in was a hit.We had a great turnout which included friends of our Voyagers who got the opportunity to hear the Gospel. We started out with a bible study on Hebrews 9:23-28 entitled “The Real Deal” which dealt with Jesus being the “real” tabernacle referred to in the Old Testament. All of the artifacts in theTabernacle that the priests used to worship God, including the Tabernacle itself all pointed to Jesus. The entire book of Hebrews is all about Jesus being greater than all.The types and shadows of the Old Testament were symbols of a great reality, Jesus.
turned into a doge ball arena and we had many play all night long with Ken Dake as the d.j for the evening, playing everything from death metal to R&B. The cry room turned into a video game room where a lot of the guys switched back and forth from playing games to dodge ball. I’m not sure what game they were playing, but there was a lot of shooting and young boys eyes glued to the screen. Stephanie brought materials for making friendship bracelets and many of the girls participated in that. I think Isaac tried but wasn’t successful.
I gave a brief overview of this wanting to make sure that those who are not familiar with the biblical stories and “Christianese” I began to talk about Jesus, who he was and why he came. The Gospel was presented that night starting from creation through the resurrection. No, there was no altar call, no mourners’ bench, but I asked them to think about this Jesus who was proclaimed and the claims that he made about himself and us. Those kids that were visiting most likely hear that they are inherently good and that their problem is low self esteem. However they heard something very foreign that night. They heard that we are all sinners who have committed treason against our maker and we ought to repent and believe in Jesus. I pray that a seed was planted and that God would water it. After that began we began the festivities. The sanctuary
We finished the night with a good old fashioned game of Murder! This is always a favorite and one that new Voyagers freak out at! I did find out that one of our leaders, Katie, is easily frightened of the dark! Lights out at 11:30 and it wasn’t hard for the guys to fall asleep. Some noises as you would expect and then they all passed out. However I heard it took a little longer for the girls to fall asleep; I guess there is much to discuss when you’re a young teenage girl. The next morning was breakfast, sugar, sugar and more sugar! We had to make sure to give them a jump start in order for them to help put the church back in order for service on Sunday. All in all a great night, there were no injuries and there was a great time of fellowship and laughs. We are looking forward to next year!
Craft Night More Fun Than Games! By Emily Plach
In the month of February, it’s sometimes hard to find a bright spot especially when we’ve experienced such a snow-filled and cold winter this year. February 17th found a group of women and one Voyageraged girl (Jacquarie), willing to brave the cold and wanting to join for fun, food and fellowship! The group of a dozen sat and “did their thing” for close to 3 hours! Some were scrapbooking, some knitting, some fabric painting- but all were enjoying each others company. Several of our women are knitting helmet liners for our soldiers in Afghanistan. One of the Tower’s neighbors Karen, gets a local American Legion to donate yarn and Karen then finds knitters to knit the helmet liners. I believe there are 6 women at Spring Valley who are volunteering to help
with this worthy cause. Stephanie Luft was teaching Jacquarie to knit and Jacquarie said she enjoyed learning how to knit. We had two ladies who were scrapbooking and those who weren’t scrapbooking oohed and ahhed over the finished pages! Hot chocolate and coffee were offered along with some tasty baked goods. Although the women didn’t eat much, when the deacon’s finished their monthly meeting that same night, they were happy to help make some of the food disappear. Isn’t just like God to use us to show hospitality? Wrapping up the evening, one of the participants said, “I don’t know which event I liked more. The women’s game night or this craft night! ” Enough said.
Images from Haiti
Volume 16, Issue 3
Images from Haiti
Ryken Named President of Wheaton College From byFaith Online Magazine and Wheaton College’s Website
The Board of Trustees of Wheaton College have appointed Dr. Philip Graham Ryken as the eighth president of Wheaton College. He will assume the presidency July 1. Ryken, a 1988 graduate of Wheaton, is the senior minister at the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia, where he has served since 1995. In addition to earning his Bachelor of Arts in English literature and philosophy from Wheaton in 1988, Ryken also earned a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Philosophy in historical theology at Oxford University. He has taught and lectured at universities and seminaries worldwide, and he is widely published. Ryken and his wife, Lisa, who also graduated from Wheaton in 1988, have five children who range in age from 5 to 17. “My simple hope is to fulfill my calling as a wise and visionary leader for Wheaton’s faculty, staff, and students,” Ryken says. “I pray that during my tenure Wheaton will grow in academic excellence and spiritual vitality, so that our graduates are equipped to go out into the world and make a difference for Christ and His Kingdom.” “The decision to select this president was rooted in a presidential profile document that highlighted desired qualifications for the role. This profile was created with input from multiple groups within the College community,” says Donald Meyer, co-chairman of the Presidential Selection
Committee. “Dr. Ryken was a clear choice, as his gifts and abilities are aligned with those qualities.” “As a committee, we thought deeply and prayed fervently for the Lord’s guidance in choosing the right leader for Wheaton College,” Meyer says. “The Board of Trustees is confident in the selection of Dr. Ryken.” Ryken’s appointment marks the end of a two-year search process. Dr. Duane Litfin, Wheaton’s current president, will retire in June 2010 after 17 years of service. He announced his intention to retire last March. Speaking and teaching around the world, Dr. Ryken has lectured at Chongshin University in Seoul, Istanbul Theological Seminary, Regent College in Vancouver, and Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He has accepted invitations to speak at theology conferences across the United States and in Canada, China, Northern Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and Ukraine. Dr. Ryken has published more than 30 books, including The Message of Salvation (InterVarsity, 2001); City on a Hill: Recovering the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century (Moody Press, 2003); Ryken’s Bible Handbook, with Leland Ryken and Jim Wilhoit (Tyndale, 2005); Art for God’s Sake: A Call to Recover the Arts (P&R, 2006); and expository commentaries on Exodus, Jeremiah, Luke, and other books of the Bible.
Session Notes Editor’s Note: These notes are an edited description of substantive issues discussed at our last Session meeting (board of elders). It is our hope to facilitate communication between the elders and the congregation as we exercise oversight for the church. It should be noted these notes are edited and not a complete description, since there are often many issues of a sensitive, even privileged nature, such that it is inappropriate, and in some cases, illegal to disclose publicly. Still, we believe that what follows will give the members some sense of what is being discussed at these meetings. Should you have any comments or questions for the elders that arise from what you’ve read, please do not hesitate to ask any of the pastors or elders. Here are the Session Meeting Notes from Saturday Morning,
February 13, 2010 – 8:00 a.m. The Session has identified a number of areas in which we would like to spend as a board of elders in dedicated time in prayer and study of Biblical, theological and historical texts. We have prepared position papers and are interested in refining our views to be submissive to the Westminster Standards and Scripture’s teaching. The first of these topics for review and discussion is Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage. We spent the bulk of our meeting discussing our views on this subject. This was an interesting and invigorating discussion. We finished about half of the discussion and look forward to he March meeting when we will continue our discussion.
Volume 16, Issue 3
Do Your Best by Carolyn Mahaney
“Sometimes I don’t want to serve when it is something I don’t think I’m very good at” the young woman humbly confessed to me. The ugly truth behind her reluctance? Pride. This woman realized that she wants to be “the best” at whatever she puts her hand to, and if she can’t be the best, well, then she’d rather not even try. Oh, how I can relate! I wrestle with the same temptation. But I’m grateful for my husband who has modeled humility in service for me. Whatever endeavor he undertakes, he acknowledges (to himself and others): “I know there are many people who can do this better than me.” Then he seeks to faithfully serve in whatever ways God has called him to, regardless of how gifted he feels to do it. His goal is to obey God and bless others. Using our gifts requires humility. For as I’ve often reminded my girls (and myself!): “There’s always going to be someone better than you at what you do.” There’s always going to be the smarter kid in the class, the more outgoing friend, the more talented co-worker, the more organized homemaker,
Thank-You from Audrey Roberts By Dave Lopshire
In January, we mourned the loss of Ray Roberts who passed away at his home after a long illness. Ray and his wife, Audrey have been long time members of the Spring Valley Presbyterian Church Family of Faith. Audrey wanted to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time. At right is a card she sent to the church. It reads: To the Congregation of Spring Valley Presbyterian Church I appreciate your sharing my loss. I find strength thru my faith in the Lord, knowing that with great rejoicing I will be reunited with Ray. When I remember all the kind and gracious things, that were done for us during Ray’s long illness, I want to everyone to know how grateful I am. Audrey Roberts
the more capable homeschool teacher, the more energetic servant, the more gifted than you at whatever you do. And you know what? These people have been strategically placed in our lives to expose our pride and help us serve with humility. How much easier it would be to stick to arenas where we think we shine. But we should do our best even when we may not be the best. We should be willing to risk making mistakes, to allow others to see where we lack gifting and need help. And when we humbly serve - even when we’re not the best - we’ll be pleasantly surprised at how God can use our meager gifts to encourage others and bring glory to Him! “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 By Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore & Janelle Whitacre. Copyright 2009 Girl Talk Blog. www.girltalkhome.com
Not For Sale: Human Trafficking in America - Worldview By Pablo Herrera
Recently I have come across many articles, television specials, movies, websites and news specials all talking about something that has made me not only sick to my stomach, but also very angry. And as Christians it should anger us due to the fact that it devalues the human being who was made in the image of God. Human Trafficking, also known as, but not limited to, Sex Trafficking, has become a multi billion-dollar industry and is continuing to grow at an alarming rate.What is Human Trafficking? According to ungift.org, an organization that helps bring attention and information to the horrors of human trafficking, defines it this way: “Human trafficking means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.” 1 There are a number of reasons as to why someone would be bought and sold into this kind of slavery. The main one would be sexual slavery. It is this particular form of trafficking that enslaves women, young girls and boys. It is often thought of as a problem in Asia or Eastern Europe, and while it is a major problem there, it is also a huge problem right here in the U.S and one that continues to grow as the demand grows. The other night MSNBC ran a two-hour special on the sex trade and brought to light much of what is going on within this form of slavery and chills ran down my spine as I heard the story of a 16-year-old high school girl named Shauna. Shauna lived with her parents in Pensacola Florida and attended the local high school when she met a new friend whom she got pretty close to. One night, when she went to sleep over at her new friend’s house she passes out after drinking a glass of water, only to awaken in a dark bedroom where she was being sexually assaulted. This went on for three days while other paying customers
took advantage of this young girl over and over again. She was beaten, pumped full of drugs and sexually assaulted. What made it worse, is that Shauna heard her “friend” talking with the men that were there and collecting the money that they paid. By God’s grace she was recovered while she was in a car with her captors at a gas station. She was in the car when her brother saw her and got her out. God’s timing was perfect as she was sold to the highest bidder for $300,000 and was on her way to be “delivered” out of the state. She has been going through the long process of healing. 2 However this is only one case among many here in America. “Nearly two hundred thousand people live enslaved at this moment in the United States, and an additional 17,500 new victims are trafficked across our borders each year.”3 There are over thirty thousand more slaves being transported through the U.S on their way to other international destinations. Like the slaves who came to America’s shores two hundred years ago, today’s slaves are not free to pursue their own destinies. They are coerced to perform work for the personal gain of those who subjugate them. If they try to escape the clutches of their masters, modern slaves risk personal violence or reprisals to their families. None of us today would consider slavery as it existed early in our history to be tolerated, and to anyone who would argue for it to return would be crazy to think such things. However this form of slavery rages on all over the world and will continue to even with the growing efforts of law enforcement and legislation. But how should Christians respond? Jesus is a liberator of the captives and he calls us to pray for these people and also to help. There are many ways that we can get involved to help put an end to this practice, we can become active in the cause, we can write our members of congress to pass strict laws, educate ourselves on the issue and tell others and volunteer.These are all great things to do and I for one will probably do all. However, the problem would not be as great if the demand were not so great. There is a market for this because there are consumers. The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people. It brings us into a new relationship with the Lord of the universe and makes us news creatures in Christ “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” 2 Corinthians 5:17. The men who seek to Continued on Page 13
Volume 16, Issue 3
Spring Valley Happenings ESV Study Bible Now Available in Large Print - The ESV Study Bible™ was created to help people understand the Bible in a deeper way. Combining the best and more recent evangelical Christian scholarship with the highly regarded ESV text, it is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published. Now available in large print, making the ESV Study Bible accessible in every sense of the word. You can find it online at the Westminster Bookstore, www.wtsbooks.com. Spring Valley University – ”Does the Resurrection Provide Unity, Disunity or Both?” Sunday, April 25th, 6 – 9 PM. The Resurrection is a dividing line in history, perhaps the dividing line in history. Many apologists are accused of being divisive, mean-spirited and arguing for the faith without the
power of the resurrection. Many non-apologists seem to argue that the power of the resurrection brings about a niceness and unity that is attractive to non- believers and unity is what is important. Is it one, the other or both? Our special guest is Don Veinot, President of Midwest Christian Outreach, and a mentor & friend of our own Pablo Herrera. Please come on out! Men’s Breakfast - The Men’s breakfast continues to meet at 7:30 AM on Saturday Mornings at IHOP on Irving Park west of the Elgin/O’Hare expressway. The upcoming dates are March 6th and 20th; April 3rd and 17th. Praise Team Singers - We are looking to add a few more singers to our rotation for the early service Praise Team. If you are interested, please see Traci Giovenco or Pastor Dave.
WorldView - Continued Continued From Page 12
abuse women, girls and young boys need the Gospel, they need to see their sin for what it is, treason against his creator, and sin against their fellow man. It’s difficult to have any kind of compassion for men like this. I know that if I ever came across one it would take a supernatural act of God for me to not extend to him the “right hand of fellowship”! But I also rebelled and spit in the face of God. I blasphemed Him and laid my eyes on things that were evil, we all have. Yet His grace is enough, His love is enough and His blood is enough to cleanse anyone from all unrighteousness. Let us pray for those who
Spring Valley Presbyterian Church
are slaves but also for those who wish to enslave them. If you want to know more about this issue, please check out the following links and materials. http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/ http://www.ijm.org/ http://www.ungift.org/ungift/en/humantrafficking/index.html http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/27098993/ 3 Batstone, David. Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It. 2007 1 2
22 Midwest Small Group Bible Study 7 p.m.
21 Blood pressure check after both services;
28 PALM SUNDAY Women’s Once-amonth Bible Study 12:30 p.m.
Bridge Ministry, 5 p.m.
23 Women’s Bible Study 9:30 a.m. Women’s Bible Study 6:45 p.m.
15 16 North Small Group Bible Study, 7 p.m.
9 Women’s Bible Study 9:30 a.m. Women’s Bible Study 6:45 p.m.
8 Midwest Small Group Bible Study 7 p.m.
1 2 North Small Group Bible Study, 7 p.m.
7 Lord’s Super
13 Men’s Breakfast 7:30 a.m. @ IHOP
20 Men’s Breakfast 7:30 a.m. @ IHOP
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23
25 Bowling 11 a.m. Choir, 7 p.m. Joyful Sounds 6:30 p.m.
24 Women’s Bible Study @ Ketchie’s 7:00 p.m.
18 Bowling 11 a.m. Choir, 7 p.m. Joyful Sounds 6:30 p.m.
11 Bowling 11 a.m. Choir, 7 p.m. Joyful Sounds 6:30 p.m.
4 Bowling 11 a.m. Joyful Sounds 6:30 p.m.
10 Women’s Bible Study 7:00 p.m.
Page 14 Spring Source
Volume 16, Issue 3
Page 15 Spring Valley Presbyterian Church Through February 28, 2010
Year to date
Year to date $46,116.00
Building Fund - Expenses
Building Fund - Total
Offering - Expense
General Fund - Total
*Asset figures do not include appraised value of SVPC landholding and building. **Income and Expense figures do not include misc. and missions trip giving.
March Birthdays & A n n iversaries 1 2 3 4 6 7 8 10 11 12 16 17 18
Birthday Birthday Birthday Anniversary Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Anniversary Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday
Beverly Rubel Peter Jensen Joshua Giovenco Dianne & Ed Balach Al Thorsson George Seaver Beth Van Eck Diana Thio Michael Quinn Tyson & Alma Hoffmann Nadine Craven Dan Whelan Kevin Cadle Ken Noble-Lawson Bev Santeler
Contact Us Spring Valley Presbyterian Church 903 Nerge Road Roselle, IL 60172 Phone: 630-980-4450 Website: www.springvalleypres.org
19 20 21 22 23 27 28 30 31
Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Birthday Anniversary Birthday Birthday Birthday
Joe Toly Arlene Barnard Colin Plach Samantha Giovenco Beth Heiliger Audrey Rathmann Joanna Straub Laurie Benson Jesse Roberts Blake Hasler David & Donna Kraay April Zmich Peter Rubel Marisa Vodicka
If you would like to send us some feedback, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a note at the church. If you would like to send us an article or even if you have an idea for an article, please feel free to contact us. The deadline for the newsletter is the last Monday of every month. All information in this publication is protected under the Copyright laws of the United States. ÂŠ 2009 Spring Valley Presbyterian Church.