Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 4/03/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #198

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #198. They say the week after, especially the Monday after Resurrection Sunday is always the hardest. I’m not even waiting until Monday. It is Sunday afternoon and I’m dragging. I’m curious to see what tomorrow will bring. They also say the Sunday following is tough because after the “high” of Resurrection Sunday things go back to being more normal. I’ll just bask in the glow of Sunday for now.😊

A brief recap is in order so here you are:

  • First, many, many, many thanks to all the volunteers who helped with making our morning go so well. The parking and shuttle people worked together like clockwork. We had so many people show up to help with setting up chairs, putting out clipboards and communion tubs that we were done within ½ hour on Saturday night. Then so many pitched in to help put chairs away, to sweep, and to mop. It was nice watching so many come together and help. I’m afraid to list any individuals for fear of forgetting someone. So please accept my heartfelt thanks for your help. 
  • A special thanks is in order to the Worship Team. They came Saturday night to set up and do a sound check, then came early Sunday morning. That leads me to say thanks to Zach Hogan for coming Saturday evening to set up his sound equipment, do a sound check and then come back Sunday after his church worship was over to get his equipment. 
  • Now for some stats: Jeff Carlson said we had 262+. He included the + sign because there were some he was unable to count. One significant item: we used all the chairs Abram Venue had. That was phenomenal! 
  • The offering for the day was for Missions unless otherwise designated. That amount ended up being $4,089.60 for Missions and $1470 designated for the Building Fund. In case you may be wondering, we divide the offering equally between the missions we support on a monthly basis, so when it was all said and done, $371.78 extra went to the eleven missions/missionaries we support. 
  • I do want to single out one person: Tiffany Kropack. Tiffany took pictures and then gave some contact information on Facebook for anyone who might want to have a copy of them. Thanks Tiffany for this extra special gift for all. 
  • One more: Special thanks to Bill & Suzie Abram for making their venue available for us to use. It makes extra work for Suzie but, if available, she has never failed to allow us to use the venue. If you know them and see them, please tell them thanks. 
  • I am so glad we made the decision to go to Abram Event Venue this year. There is NO WAY we would have been able to have that many people in our building for two services. It was a wise choice. 
  • My one disappointment: we had a ton of visitors that I did not have a chance to meet or were able to sign the attendance sheets. I can hope they will come to one of our regular worship services and give me a chance to meet them (and hopefully not forget their names). 😊

All in all a very good day.

One more important thought before I leave that. I look forward to the day when we can say, “Resurrection Sunday service will be in our own building.” A day like Sunday only “whets the appetite” for a place of our own to accommodate big days and regular days.😊

Our S-OCS worker to pray for this week is Balinda Wagner. Balinda is in her second year as Director of Food Services for the corporation. Sunday morning I mentioned that she wrote a really nice email to me. Here is what she wrote: “
Good morning Mr. Grandi, I received your card in the mail today, and I truly appreciate the added prayers.  I hope that I am helping to make the student’s time at Spencer-Owen Community Schools an enjoyable experience.  I hope you and all of those you serve have a very happy and rejoyceful Easter.” Balinda is married to Scott and they have two daughters and live in Quincy.

Do you know what member of the staff has a birthday this week? Hint: it isn’t me or Pastor Ryan. BTW: Been nice knowing you. She will eliminate me after she reads this.😊

This coming Sunday I start a new sermon series. It is entitled
Yes, They are Real and the next three months will be focused on individuals in the Bible who leave us with life lessons. The first one may be a tough one to guess. The Scripture is Genesis 1:1-2:3. Give yourself a prize if you guess it right.😊

YOUTH CORNER

  • Congratulations to Alli Anderson who was chosen as the Secretary/Chaplain of ‘24-’25 Owen Valley Ag and FFA.

They say that next Monday Spencer and the surrounding areas will be a madhouse, i.e. get your gas, groceries, etc. early. I’m going to call it “The day Spencer stood still.” Everything is closing that day-schools, banks, restaurants, stores-you name it. I told Jo I was going to go to the office, close the blinds and take a nap (since it is going to be totally dark for a few minutes). Diana would tell you I probably don’t need to wait for that to happen since she just may have caught me snoozing in my chair a time or two (or three or four or…) while I was reading. No matter how I try I can’t come up with a good excuse so I just stopped trying and admit it.😊
The church office will be open in the morning, but then I suspect we will all be safely tucked away with our handy dandy Eclipse glasses ready to wear. Someone suggested we be ready for some visitors this Sunday who will be in town for the Eclipse. I’m not sure what to expect, but I do hope that if we have any visitors you will make them feel welcome.

I gotta go. Lord willing, I will see you Sunday (unless I have been carried away by aliens). Have a great rest of the week and remember you are loved.
Pastor Bill  

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Midweek Message 3/27/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #197

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #197. Palm Sunday ’24 is now history. This week has often been called Holy Week. It begins with His entrance into Jerusalem (portrayed on Palm Sunday) and culminates with His resurrection on Sunday morning. In between, a lot of major events take place. Some (but not limited to) are the Last Supper, the prayer in the Garden, the mockery of a trial, the crucifixion, and then the Resurrection. I hope you will take time this week to reflect on “the week that was.”

In the meantime, remember to pray for Jeff Mauder, the Director of Maintenance for S-OCS. Jeff is married to Renny (who just retired last year from teaching English at OVHS) and is the father to two sons and a daughter.

YOUTH CORNER

I’m excited! After last week’s “no show” of youth information, I have a few to share with you this week.

  • Berkley Groomer, whom you may know has had some broken bones to deal with and is awaiting genetic testing, entered America’s Best Pageant. (You can ask mom what that is). She came away with a clean sweep of awards: 5 crowns, one plaque, 2 medals, and two trophies (one is 5ft and the other is 3ft. Both are taller than her). 😊 Tiffany said she had the best time! The smile on her face backs that up. Mom and dad are proud of you and so are we.
  • Eli Wood has been chosen Vice President of the OV FFA Middle School Team. He told me he didn’t think he would get it. Sometimes the best awards are the surprises. Way to go, Eli!
  • Amelia Biggs made the A/B Honor Roll and brother, Hudsyn was not far behind with his S+/O’s. I think mom may be a little bit proud.

Keep those reports coming!!

One more time…😊 This Sunday is Resurrection Sunday. We are still in need of volunteers to help in some areas. But first…remember…

    • Resurrection Sunday at Abram Event Venue (first driveway south of the church lot).
    • Sunday, March 31 at 10:00 AM
    • We will not have children’s programs or a staffed nursery that morning but there will be an area for families to use, if needed. Pastor Ryan has goody bags for the young people to have that morning.
    • All the day’s giving will go to Missions unless otherwise designated.
    • Thanks for understanding and adjusting to the change in plans. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask or call the church office (812.828.9840)
    • Tiffany Kropack will be taking pictures following the service, as she has in the past.

And here is where we can still use your help……..

      • Help is needed to set up/tear down. Set up will be at 6:00 on Saturday evening. It won’t take long with many hands. We will tear down and put away immediately following the service.

I mentioned Sunday about the upcoming sermon series. I’ve entitled it Real People/Real Characters. This series will last April through June. Here is what I have planned:

    1. April
      • Creator of All (God)
      •He Started It! (Adam)
      •Caught in His Wake (Eve)
      •The Deceiver (Satan)
    2. May
      •Out of the Pit (Rahab & the Woman in John 8)
      •Ruth & Mary and Martha (Mother’s Day)
      •Hannah & Mary Magdalene
      •Sarah & Anna (?)
    3. June
      •Abel & Andrew
      •Abraham & James (Jesus’ brother)
      •Enoch & John the Apostle (Father’s Day)
      •Noah & John the Baptizer
      •Samson & Peter

Like many of you I have some really whacked out i.e. strange brothers. One sends me crazy stuff from time to time, some of it too politically charged for me. But EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. he sends me something that is quite good. I got the following from him this past weekend:

Pontius Pilate: “Joseph, I really don’t understand. You’re one of the richest men in the region, and you’ve spent a small fortune on a new tomb for you and your family and you want to give it this man, Jesus?”

Joseph: “It’s just for the weekend.”

Like I said… every once in a while. 😊 It gave me a good chuckle. Celebrate the highlight of the Christian faith this week with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I love you all.

Pastor Bill

I look forward to seeing you all Sunday at Abram Event Venue.

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Midweek Message 3/20/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #196

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #196. I’ll probably make some enemies with 4 short words but here goes: Spring Break is over. I do hope you had a restful and good Spring Break and that it hasn’t been too hard getting back into the swing of things this week. Just think: the next one will be much longer. 😊 Can anyone say, “Summer!!”? 

Kelly Sorenson is our Educator of the Week. Kelly is the Director of Transportation for the school system. Her husband, John, is on active duty and is currently home due to an injury. They also have 4 children. 

This past Sunday we were privileged to have Cory and Cassidy Fountain and their 3 children visit with us. They brought us an update on their desired work for Team Expansion in London. Please keep praying for them. 

The biggest event on our calendar is Resurrection Sunday. I know we have been giving you some information the past few weeks but it never hurts to repeat it. So…here goes:

    • Who? Our growing church family 
    • What? Resurrection Sunday worship 
    • Where? Abram Event Venue (one driveway south of us)
    • When? Sunday, March 31st at 10:00 AM.
    • Why? We really want to worship together and know our current building will not allow that so we decided to meet at Abram Event Venue! 
    • Help is needed in set up/tear down.  Saturday evening at 6:00 we will be setting up for Sunday morning. We could use your help in making short work of this. 
    • Help is needed for parking/shuttle service. Parking is limited at the venue so if you can carpool that morning it would be great! If you are able to park at the church lot and either carpool or shuttle that would be very helpful. 
    • We will not have children’s programs or a staffed nursery that morning but hope to have an area for families to use, if needed. Pastor Ryan is putting together goody bags for the young people to have that morning. 
    • All the day’s giving will go to Missions unless otherwise designated. 
    • Thanks for understanding and adjusting to the change in plans. If you have any questions please feel free to ask or call the church office (812.828.9840) 

My current sermon series, Jesus Unfiltered, will be finished on Resurrection Sunday. The two remaining sermons are

      • Jesus is Our Substitute-Isaiah 52:13-53:10
      • Jesus is Victorious- I Corinthians 15:12-57

A special announcement on what is to follow: I had announced a little over a month or so ago that following this series I would finish the series on Revelation. As I worked on this current series I felt a growing sense of something else taking root in me. 

This current series of Jesus Unfiltered has been a “heavy” type of series, one that has been extra hard to prepare but also to deliver. Included in the next several months are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and so I wondered about highlighting them. Instead of having those two days with different women and men speaking, I thought I would do more than a one day mention. April will be a character study of:

    • God- “The Creator of It All”
    • Adam- “He Started It!”
    • Eve- “Caught in His Wake”
    • Satan- “The Deceiver” 
    • May will feature different women in the Bible (2 each week) who contrast/complement each other
    • June will feature different men similar in approach as the women. 

My plan right now is to complete Revelation in July and August. I’ll explain more about the whole sermon plan as it gets closer. I’d like to ask you for your prayers for the whole process of designing it and implementing it (research, study and preaching it). 

This coming Sunday will be the last time we will do “We’re Glad You Are Here” on a weekly basis. It will show up in different ways and at different times. I do hope it has ingrained itself into your soul and is more than just a reading-out-loud that we do. Here it is one more time:

WE’RE GLAD YOU ARE HERE!

If you are happy we want to celebrate with you.
If you are tired and need rest;
If you are hurting and need comfort;
If you have failed, feel guilt and shame and wonder if God still loves you;
If you feel you are at the end of your rope and need a lifeline;
If you think you are too great a sinner and feel hopeless;
If you are here but can’t raise your eyes, head, or hands in worship…

That’s okay. We want this to be a place where you find strength to go on.
Let us pray for you, stand beside you and even carry you to God’s throne where you can find new hope. 

After last week’s barrage of YOUTH CORNER additions, there are none this week. That speaks of Spring Break and a bunch of award events before break. We are proud of our young people. Keep up the good work…all of you!! 

I’m going to close this week’s edition of the MM. These next two Sundays are the highlights of the Christian message-the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Please keep them in mind as you go through your day. I love you all and pray you will experience this season in a whole new light. 

Pastor Bill 

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Midweek Message 3/13/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #195

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #195. I hope you are having a good Spring Break, either here or somewhere else. I know a lot of our folks have traveled to parts unknown for family time away, doing all sorts of crazy stuff, or just taking it easy in the hills of Tennessee or elsewhere. Have a great time but please be safe! I’ll look forward to seeing you all when you get back. Now…I hope you will read this all-important, “can’t-do-without-reading” Midweek Message.😊

 The Educator of the week is Betsy Breedlove. Betsy has been with S-OCS for 25 years. Her husband, Chris is co-owner of Elite Electric and they have two sons. Even though she and others are on break, please remember to pray for her.

YOUTH CORNER

I thought “Spring Break, not much to report in the Youth Corner.” Silly me. 

    • Cooper Wood received the Most Improved award for his season on the basketball team “Coop” is on the 5th grade B team. 
    • Charli Wood, Cooper’s older sister, made the “A” team for the Middle School softball team. Pity the…never mind. 😊
    • Tanner Wood took first place in the individual tournament for the OV Elementary Wrestling league. 
    • His brother, Lincoln VanDerMoere, took 3rd
    • Looks like it was a Wood-kind of week. 😊 Way to go, all of you, for a job well done. Made mom proud for sure (she sent it to me). 
    • I received a text that Eliza Chambers ended up as the balance beam champion for her age group and was in the Top 10 for the other events. 9th overall score for the state. She also got her personal best all-around score and met her goal for the season of 37 out of 40 (I have no clue what that is!) 😊 That’s pretty good considering she broke her pinky toe the week before. A proud mom sent this to me. 
    • Maddie Sparks was named Defensive MVP for the 5th grade basketball team.
    • Kyson White was named Team MVP for the 6th grade travel basketball team. 
    • His older brother, Kaden, was chosen as Freshman MVP and JV Most Improved. Mom and Dad (Ryan and Karen (Redenbaugh) White have two following in their footsteps). 
    • Tad Nicholson was named MVP for the 6B  basketball team (school/travel team). 

Although she is not in the “Youth Corner” category, several weekends ago Valarie Akerson went to Evansville to compete in a power-lifting meet. Valarie has been competitively lifting for years. In her meet in Evansville she took first place in her age division for lifting. This will qualify her to compete at the Worlds this November in Las Vegas. Congrats Valarie and we wish you well in November. Valarie trains at the Iron Pit in Bloomington. Husband, Wayne, is along for the moral support. 😊

This past Friday we said, “See you later” to a man who was instrumental in starting OVCF in 2004. Chris Wainscott has fought health issues the past few years and Saturday morning, the 2nd, he went home to Jesus. The church hosted the celebration and I gotta tell you, the ladies of the church came through BIG TIME! Many thanks to Madi Arnett, Tiffany Kropack, and Diana for organizing the meal following the service and to every one of the folks who provided food. It was a phenomenal undertaking and you all came through with flying colors. Thank you everyone for your help! 

Did you use a magnet or tape the “We’re Glad You’re Here” snippet to your fridge door or to your mirror or somewhere prominent? Of course you did! 😊

Resurrection Sunday (March 31) information:

    • One service at 10:00 at Abram Event Venue (next door)
    • Parking is limited so you may consider carpooling to the venue or parking at the church lot and carpooling from here or be shuttled. 
    • No children’s programs due to limited space. We will have goody bags with activities for the elementary/preschool-aged kids. We hope to offer an unstaffed nursery area for families to use, if needed.
    • If you would like to help set up/tear down or with the parking/shuttle service please let us know by signing up at the info table. We plan to set up on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. We will also need help to tear down and clean up immediately following the service.
    • The offering that day will go to Missions unless otherwise designated. 
    • We look forward to celebrating the Risen Christ with you that morning. 

Of a more personal nature: 

    • My 66 class will not meet this Wednesday night due to Spring Break. 
    • My sermon for this Sunday is Jesus is Incomparable from is. 7:14; Luke 1:26-38; Jn. 20:30-31 and 21:24-25. 

Cory and Cassidy Fountain will be with us this Sunday to tell about their mission work to London. They have an update to give us since the last time they were here. 

I’m going to close since I know it is Spring Break and many of you are traveling. If you take the time to read this while on break, have fun and be safe. Rest, relax and refuel. I love you all and look forward to seeing you at the earliest possible time. 

Pastor Bill 

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Midweek Message 3/6/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #194

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #194! I know it is probably foolish to say that I hope you missed me but…I hope you missed me.😊 Our trip to Arizona was fun, refreshing, and a great get-away, but it sure was good to sleep in our own bed! Thanks to all who picked up the slack and also prayed for us while we were gone. Besides spending time Dave and Susan (our friends we went to see), we also met a longtime blogging friend and director of the MAK Foundation (Floyd) in Scottsdale for lunch on Thursday. Dave was an excellent tour guide as we made our way to Sedona and then the Grand Canyon. Sedona was a beautiful place, but one cannot find the words to describe the Canyon. Just WOW! As I stood at the edge (but not too close), all I could think of were the words of the psalmist: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.” (Ps. 19:1). Another one was from Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers-the moon and the stars you set in place-what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” Pictures don’t do it justice. We had a great trip. The downside was that it was 70+ degrees when we left; the next day here it was in the 30s with a wind chill of 20. Sort of makes being a snowbird appealing, although I have absolutely no plans of being one. 😊

Remember to pray for our Educator of the Week, Norm Warner. Norm is the Director of Technology for S-OCS. He and his wife Lori are longtime residents of Owen County and are the parents of 3 boys. Lori works at Cook.

Did you know our very own Joe Pavich was honored this week during Athletic Trainer Appreciation Day? Here is what Kris Samick wrote about him in the Friday Fun Facts of S-OCS: We are SO fortunate to have Joe Pavich as our Athletic Trainer for Owen Valley High School! He does a fantastic job taking care of our student-athletes and is proactive in his approach to ensure their safety. Specializing in training, prevention, and treatment of injury, Athletic Trainers can handle emergency and non-emergency situations that come out of physical activity or sports. Way to go Joe! We are proud of you.

YOUTH CORNER

  • Back in MM#183 I shined the light on Annalei Dow, the daughter of Chad and Terri Dow. Annalei plans to attend the University of Minnesota on a diving scholarship. But there is more to the story! She is not just a top diver but also a top student. She opened the mail the other day and has been awarded an academic scholarship as well. We are so proud of you Annalei!
  • Don’t tell anyone, but Aubrey Mangia not only was part of the 7th grade girls basketball team (they won the WIC for 7th grade), she also celebrated her 13th birthday this past Sunday. Congrats on both Aubrey.
  • Charli Wood was awarded “Most Encouraging” for the cheer season. What an honor Charli!

Part of my vacation is relaxing and part of my relaxing is reading. I read one book while I was gone: Just Show Up by Drew Dyck, and then when I got back I read one that I ordered as a result of reading that one. It was called Glad You’re Here by Walker Hayes (Crazy Like Applebee’s singer) and Craig Allen Cooper. Little did I know they both went along with the theme of the past series of sermons (WELCOME HOME…where). After reading them I put together something we all read together this past Sunday. I thought I would put it here so you can read it and maybe post it where you can see it:

WE’RE GLAD YOU ARE HERE!

If you are happy we want to celebrate with you.
If you are tired and need rest;
If you are hurting and need comfort;
If you have failed, feel guilt and shame and wonder if God still loves you;
If you feel you are at the end of your rope and need a lifeline;
If you think you are too great a sinner and feel hopeless;
If you are here but can’t raise your eyes, head, or hands in worship…

That’s okay. We want this to be a place where you find strength to go on.
Let us pray for you, stand beside you and even carry you to God’s throne where you can find new hope.

I’m sure we will tweak it in the weeks to come but please start familiarizing yourself with it. Eventually it will come as natural as breathing.

Here is some information you can file away:

  • Spring Break begins this coming weekend, March 10-17. Many of you will be traveling. Please be safe and enjoy your time away.
  • Cory and Cassidy Fountain will be with us on March 17th to update us on their move to London to do mission work.
  • Resurrection Sunday services will be at Abram Event Venue. We will have one service at 10:00 a.m. More information will be coming!!!

My sermon this Sunday is Jesus is God (The Ant-Man heresy). I can give you one hint on the topic but I hope it won’t keep you away. 😊 One word: Trinity.

Remember to turn your clocks ahead this Saturday night!

Have a great week. I love you all and it was so good to see you Sunday.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 2/21/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #193

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #193, your “go to” place for all things OVCF. Okay…that is a slight exaggeration but it was nice to say it. 😊  Seriously, thanks for joining me for a few minutes. 

Jo & I are leaving for Arizona tomorrow for a week’s vacation! 😊 After the weather of the past couple of days, it will be good to have a change of pace. Speaking of weather, would someone please tell me what that white stuff was that fell on Friday afternoon and evening? I thought we were going to get off easy this winter, but this one snowfall changed all of that.  I should have known though. Tami looked at her Facebook memories and it has snowed the last 3 years on that date. In fact, one year ago school was canceled for snow. Maybe we can just leave out February 16th on next year’s calendar?? The only snow we may encounter is at the Grand Canyon, but our friend, Dave said that is supposed to be Wednesday, the 28th, and we will be gone. Dodged that bullet! 

Remember to pray for our Educator of the Week, Aaron LaGrange. Aaron has been the Assistant Principal at SES for 3 years. He is married to Sarah and they have two boys, Sawyer and Walker. Aaron has served as Principal at OVMS, as a Sheriff’s deputy, and is involved in many programs serving the schools and Owen County, including Backpack Buddies. 😊

The Educator for the Week of the 25th is Brady Tragesser. Brady is the Director of the Special Education program in the S-OCS system. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have 7 children and also run the Cup of Joy food truck.  

Pastor Ryan will be preaching this Sunday as he concludes the series on WELCOME HOME…where…  

    • The Gospel is Preached
    • Jesus is Honored
    • Grace is Offered
    • Lives are Changed
    • Obedience is Encouraged

These last two have been Part 1 and 2 of “Tough Challenges are Given.” 

Starting Sunday, March 3rd, I will start a new series called Jesus Unfiltered. There are some (false) teachings about Jesus that are being heard and taught in the pulpit and media, so I thought it would be good to tackle them. It is a brief series that will take us through March. Here is a brief summary of the sermons:

      • Jesus is Real. People are saying, “Jesus is Woke.” What in the world does that mean? Is it true? Who is Jesus? What is the truth we are supposed to believe? 
      • Scripture: I Cor. 15:1-9
      • Jesus is God.  There are some who believe that Jesus is not God. I have subtitled this The Ant-Man Heresy. I hope you will come to find out why it is called that. 
      • Scripture: Mt. 3:13-17; 26:36-46
      • Jesus is Incomparable. His birth (Virgin Birth) and His life were like none other. People are trying to “dumb down” Jesus and do away with His uniqueness. 
      • Scripture: Is. 7:14; Luke 1:26-38; Jn. 20:30-31; 21:24-25
      • Jesus is our Substitute. Did you know that Jesus suffering on the cross is being called Cosmic Child Abuse? What we need to ask is where would we be without the cross? 
      • Scripture: Isaiah 52:13-53:10
      • Jesus is Alive. Rumor has it that the resurrection was a hoax. One progressive says Paul did not believe in a physical resurrection. We can only have one side-fact or fiction. What better topic to preach about than His resurrection on Resurrection Sunday?  
      • Scripture: I Cor. 15: 12-58

Those are my plans for March. The “loose” plan for April and May is to finish the series on Revelation…unless something else hits the radar. 😊 In all seriousness, I do owe it to you all to finish Revelation. 

I’m going to close this edition of the MM. Jo and I have been looking forward to getting away for this week to visit friends and see some sights in Arizona. She loved going to Alaska because she had my undivided attention. I knew no one and that was nice for her. She has put up with a lot in our 50.8 years of marriage, and perhaps the greatest is having to share me and have her semi-workaholic husband be gone so much. I am grateful for the elders giving me the chance to get away. I am grateful to Pastor Ryan and Diana who will fill in the gaps while I am gone. I am grateful to my Route 66 class who graciously agreed to give me a two week reprieve from teaching. 😊 I am wondering if Tami will miss us, especially her dad who loves to bug her. Right Ms. Grandi? And I am grateful for you. I will miss you, but realize a change in the routine is good for all. My heart hurts for some of you, for life situations you find yourself in, but just know that even when gone I will be praying for you.  Your prayers for our safe travel and relaxation would be appreciated.

There will be no MM next week!!  

See you, Lord willing, Sunday, March 3rd, if not sooner. I love you all. 

Pastor Bill 

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Midweek Message 2/14/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #192

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #192! I am excited to welcome you to this edition of the MM with these words: HERE COMES THE SUN! I have to admit I was drooling at the sunshine this past week. Sunday was especially beautiful. Someone asked me this week if I had ridden my bike outside the past week or so. I told them, “No it is on a trainer inside. If I rode outside and then had to go back inside I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’ll wait.” But this sure gets the anticipation going. 

Remember to pray for our educators of the week: Tom Arthur is an Owen Valley graduate and is in his first year as Principal at OVMS. His wife is Penny and they have two children, Tara and Jackson.  Duane Potts is in his first year as the Assistant Principal at the Middle School after 20+ years in the classroom. His wife, Tricia, teaches kindergarten at MCES. They have two daughters, Kelsey and Kayla, both who are still in college. I know Tom & Duane would appreciate your prayers.

YOUTH CORNER

The youth corner has some slim pickings this week. 

  • The only one I have heard about is Liam Hogan. Liam was chosen to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the school board meeting last week. Liam’s grandparents, Dick and Vicki Hogan are deeply involved at OVCF, especially with the worship team ministry. Speaking from experience, you can’t dismiss a grandparent’s pride and joy when it comes to their grandchildren. 😊

  • Here is one for the funny pages. Three weeks ago I was standing in the hallway chatting when Marci Arnold (in Preschool class and also sees me at GES when I read) and her sister, Ellie, came up to me wiping their brows. Marci’s hair was plastered to her head with sweat. She started wiping the side of her head and forehead with both hands saying, “Pastor Bill it was so hot in our classroom today. We need a fan! You need to get us a fan.” So, I said, “Oh yeah? What if I don’t?” “Then,” she said, “You’re fired!” 😊 Fortunately, Diana found out why it was so hot in the classroom. The thermostat got bumped up to 80°! I may be off the hook! But you gotta love the precociousness of a kindergarten kid. 😊😊

  • Remember: if you know if one of our young people are honored or do something for someone else, please let me know.

Speaking of our young people: don’t forget Hilltop Christian Camp registration is now open. Every summer we send a ton of campers to spend time at Hilltop. There is something for all ages. Some of you may be saying, “Hilltop? What is Hilltop?” It is a church camp in Brown County that we support financially each month as part of our missions giving, plus we send campers there. Information and registration forms are at the info table or you can register online at hilltopchristiancamp.com. Please keep in mind discounts are in place for early registration. An added bonus! On March 3rd, Ryan and Mala Croft, the directors of Hilltop, will be with us for both services to give a brief recap of camp. After their recap in the second service, they will be with the young people for a presentation (and making s’mores). Please mark your calendar!! 

 

The Connections Women’s Ministry has an event scheduled for Saturday, the 24th at 2:00. It is an Over 40 vs. Under 40 Trivia Showdown. You are asked to bring a snack to share and a willingness to allow the Over 40 crowd to win. Oops! I wasn’t supposed to add that latter part. 😊 Sounds like fun though. Contact Macy Carlson if you have any questions. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed preparing and preaching this series WELCOME HOME…where

  • The Gospel is Preached
  • Jesus is Honored
  • Grace is Offered
  • Lives are Changed
  • Obedience is Encouraged

These next two weeks were not part of my original plans but with there being two weeks and the rest of Colossians 3 I thought it would be good to continue the topic. The next two weeks are Tough Challenges are Given. It is actually in two parts. I will be preaching Part 1 (Col. 3:5-11) and Pastor Ryan will be preaching Part 2 (3:12-17).  Thanks also to Westin & Cassie Linville for the WELCOME HOME mat at the front door. 

Jo and I plan to leave for Arizona on Tuesday, the 20th, to visit with our friends, Dave and Susan Waechter and to also pay a personal visit to the folks behind the MAK Foundation (they have been so generous in their support of OVCF) to tell them thanks in person. A letter has been sent each time the church has received a donation, but there is something to be said for a personal thank you. We will be back, Lord willing, late on the 27th. Besides the Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix area, we also plan to visit Scottsdale, Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Dave said there is a possibility of rain due to the weather system in California. Prayers for safe travel and good weather would be much appreciated. One major announcement as a result (besides Pastor Ryan preaching):

  • My Route 66 class will be cancelled for the 21st (gone) and 28th (jetlag and prep time).

My sermon series for March will be Jesus Unfiltered.  I’ll share more with you in next week’s MM. Then I finish Revelation. Then again… 😊

Have a great rest of the week. See you Sunday. Love you all.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 2/7/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #191

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #191. I hope the week has been kind to you so far and that this helps makes it even better. (I can dream can’t I?) ☺

 

I’d like to remind you to pray for Robert Boltinghouse, the Principal at OVHS, and Jake Steinmetz, the Assistant Principal at OVHS. Mr. Boltinghouse is married to Aleta, a teacher at OVMS. They have three children and this is his 5th year as principal. Jake’s wife, Jennifer is a social worker and they have 4 children: 2 sophomores and 2 seniors at Bloomington South. This is his first year at OVHS.

 

YOUTH CORNER

 

A big, huge shout out goes to Anna East!! In MM #189, I mentioned that Anna won the “Voice of Democracy” award for the Gosport VFW. She had to write a speech and then practice/record it and turn it in. After winning First place, she was entered into the District. She found out this past Saturday that she won Second Place for the district!! We are really proud of you, Anna (but I’m thinking mom and dad might be even more proud)! ☺

Eliza Chambers (daughter of Jimmy and Christine) got 1st in her division for gymnastics and took home 5 medals! It was also her personal best scoring for the season! Congrats, Eliza! ☺

Do you know of any other young people excelling in awards, grades, sports, or any other item of interest? Please let me know.

 

Grandpa Jones (Bob, that is) is proud of his grandson, Robert Herrington. He told me Robert graduated from Army Airborne school last week (like grandfather, like grandson). He is now a Second Lieutenant awaiting his orders for a move to Louisiana.

 

I joked yesterday with Bob Jones about forgiving him for being a country music fan after he was done with his communion meditation. I failed to tell the second service that I have just finished reading a book by a country music artist named Granger Smith. His book is called Like a River, and it is written in response to the accidental drowning death of his 3 y/o son, River. It was a gut-wrenching book to read, but well worth it. I was unsure whether to read it or not. It wasn’t because it was a country music star, but because of the subject matter and the emotional toll it might take. I simply cannot imagine what any parent goes through in a situation like this, and wasn’t sure I really wanted to, but it was well worth the read. I have the book available for anyone who might like to read it. Read it. Return it for someone else to read. Just ask.

 

Ladies: there is a Connections Women’s Ministry event happening in a couple of weeks!

Macy Carlson invites you to a Trivia Time Warp! Over 40s vs. Under 40s on Saturday, February 24th, 2 PM at OVCF. Please bring a snack to share.

 

 

This past week was a bit different for me. By the time the second service was over last week, I had begun to lose my voice (no comment from the peanut gallery). When our small group rolled around that evening, I was really raspy. After staff meeting on Monday, I went home and didn’t do much but sleep. I got up early on Tuesday but then went home before anyone got to the office and did what I never thought I would do…sleep. I slept more in the first two days than I think I had the previous two weeks. I cancelled 66 and not only was I glad I did, but received some nice texts wishing me well. I was back to my restless self sometime Wednesday. I got a new book in the mail on Tuesday and by the time Friday evening rolled around I had finished it. It was called The Deconstruction of the Church by Alisa Childers and Tim Barnett. It was 255 pages of some powerful and helpful information. Thursday evening one of families from the church blessed us with supper. (Jo was glad when she asked me what I wanted for supper and I said, “The ________ are bringing us chicken from Babbs. Remember?” She walked away with a grin of satisfaction on her face).

 

I learned some valuable lessons last week:

I’m not young anymore (as if…). I can’t burn the candle at both ends and not run out of steam. Jo kept asking me to slow down but it was like talking to a deaf man. My thinking was I was riding my bike inside, I was going to the Y. I was sleeping (somewhat); I was taking my vitamins and immune supplements. That should keep me healthy. No, sometimes the body says, “No more.” Mine said that plus, “You are now going to sleep.”

Sometimes if you don’t listen to your body, there are stronger forces to deal with. Namely, God. Sometimes God slows a person down because He needs us (me) to listen. Sadly, in my burning the candle at both ends lifestyle, I was failing to listen to Him. Not only did He need me to take time with Him, I think He also was giving me some time to read that previously mentioned important book I had been waiting for over 3 months for. (I pre-ordered it last year).

How grateful I am for others to take up the slack. Special thanks to Pastor Ryan and Diana for doing that.

I learned I better have a list handy at all times for people in my Route 66 class. I thought I had successfully texted everyone Tuesday night about not having 66. Nope, I found out I had forgotten two people. Sorry, Cindy and Melissa. “The old gray matter ain’t what it used to be, ain’t what it used to be…”

I learned how much I missed reading to the K classes at SES. I was supposed to read to them on Tuesday but had to cancel. I truly missed those kids. But I get to make up for it this Wednesday at GES and Thursday at SES! I’m reading Clifford’s Good Deeds, a very appropriate book for Valentine’s Day month. What a great program Matt Taylor, S-OCS Curriculum Director, and Kris Samick, Director of Communication, have made available to the K classes at the elementary schools. I’m also grateful for Pastor Ryan who reads to the classes at MCES; and Larry Hensley, the husband of the K teacher (Danielle) at PES, who reads to her class.

 

I hope you have a great rest of the week. My sermon this Sunday is WELCOME HOME…where… Obedience is Encouraged. I look forward to seeing you there. Until then…know you ar

e loved.

 

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 1/31/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #190

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #190. I think we can say this past week was a nice break from the frigid winter weather we had been having. I, for one, totally enjoyed not having to bundle up like Ralphie’s little brother, Randy, in A Christmas Story. I guess we will see what is coming…when it comes. 

Remember to pray for Dr. Michael Robison who is our educator of the week. Dr. Robison is the principal of Patricksburg Elementary School. He has a daughter and has been at PES for 4 years. Previous to that he was the Assistant Principal at OVMS.  Dr. Robison is an avid hunter and is going to law school at IUPUI in the evenings.  

YOUTH CORNER

We had a busy week for some of our young people being recognized.  Here they are:

  • Cooper King, the son of Brad and Cara King, is a senior at OVHS. He was chosen to be a part of Hope Squad at OVHS. Cooper was nominated by his fellow students. From the Hope Squad website: “Hope Squad is a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program where students are nominated by their classmates as trustworthy peers and trained as advisors. The program reduces the risk of youth suicide through education, training, and peer intervention.” We are super proud of you, Cooper (and so is mom who shared this with me).

  • Alexander Chambers was the VFW coloring contest winner.  I have a picture but it won’t transfer to the MM. Not only did he do a good job coloring the Thank You picture for the military, he also got a huge Hershey candy bar. I bet he’s going to share it with me. Good job coloring, Alexander!  (Linda St. John sent me this information).

  • Amelia Biggs was chosen as a Top Cat for this past quarter at SES. (Thanks, mom).

  • Addilyn Hutchison was chosen as a Top Cat for this past quarter at SES. (Thanks, mom).

  • Cooper Wood was chosen as a Top Cat for this past quarter at SES. (Thanks, mom).

  • Brantley Schneider was chosen as a Top Cat for this past quarter at SES. (Thanks, mom).

  • You might be wondering why I didn’t list them together. I feel they each deserved a separate mention so they and others can see this is quite an honor. Way to go, you four! Keep up the good work!!

As I have mentioned before, I want to put the focus on our young people when they are honored. If you know of anyone I can add for next week, please let me know (as their parents/friends did). 

Although not part of the youth corner, but still deserving of special mention is Rachel Nicholson.  Rachel was in the final group of teachers who completed coursework through CELL’s Indiana Special Education Assisted Licensure (I-SEAL) initiative to earn licensure to teach special education. She has the state test to take in March and then she will be officially licensed. Way to go Rachel! I’m one who believes you will do well in the state test. She currently works/teaches at McCormick’s Creek Elementary School. 

I received word that Logan Cain, son of Tony and Audrey Courson and boyfriend of (I mean fiancé…inside joke) of Kathryn Anderson was chosen as Marine of the Year for his unit. That is one powerful testimony, Logan! The Coursons and Kathryn are flying there this week for the ceremony. 

‘TIS THE SEASON! I know you are thinking that I have either lost it or my memory is going bad. Didn’t we just finish THAT season? I have another season in mind. Summer. (Can you feel that sun on your face?) CAMP SEASON. More specifically, HILLTOP CAMP SEASON. That’s right folks! Hilltop Christian Camp registration is now open! Every summer we send a lot of campers to spend time at Hilltop. For those of you who are new: Hilltop is located in Brown County and it offers opportunities for campers, beginning with a Day Camp for those who have completed K-1 all the way through high school. So…there are weeks for all ages. Pastor Ryan is the Dean of two weeks of Wilderness Camp. Information and registration forms are at the info table or you may also register online at hilltopchristiancamp.com. Please keep in mind, discounts are in place for early registration! OVCF offers camp scholarships for those who request them. Please see Pastor Ryan or Diana for the code needed to register. There is a form we ask that you fill out to request a scholarship and you can get one from the church office.  Each year many of our young people attend Hilltop and come back changed and excited about Jesus. Why not be one of them? 

Did you know that you can take a look at the drawings for our new building addition? Diana has put a big display on the south wall by the doors. Although incomplete with the details needed for the state and building, they will give you a great idea of what we are looking at building.  For those of you who are new to OVCF, we have been saving since 2018 because we plan to build the building with no debt. 

This Sunday’s sermon will continue the WELCOME HOME…where… series. This week’s sermon is “Lives are Changed.” The Scripture is Colossians 2:6-15. I’m enjoying this series and truly hope you are also. 

Happy Birthday to my bride of 50.7 years! Tuesday she celebrated a birthday but they say it is wrong to tell how many. So I’ll just give you a hint. It is somewhere between 72 and 74.  

Have a great rest of the week. I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Love you all. 

Pastor Bill  

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Midweek Message 1/24/2024

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #189

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #189! If I was a betting man (which I’m not), I think I would be safe in saying that winter is here. I’m guessing there is not a person who would argue with that. I just read a blog of a friend who lives in Georgia. It was 17 degrees there. Sounds balmy to me, but to them it was like the Arctic. When Jo tells me she is over this I tell her brace yourself, there is more coming. I don’t understand…she makes a face at me and walks away. Anyway, I hope you have stayed safe and warm through this rough patch. 

From the “I got ahead of myself” department:  My practice has been to ask for prayer for the educators after they have been prayed for on Sunday during our prayer time. For some odd reason, I got ahead of myself and have been asking for prayer for the principals a week early. So I’m back on task by reminding you to pray for Brittany Greene, the principal at Spencer Elementary School. You can check out last week’s MM for information about Brittany and her family. 

YOUTH CORNER

WOW! Our youth rocked it this past week. Several even found their way into the Friday Fun Facts newsletter Kris Samick sends out each week. 

    • Eli Wood, son of Andy and Stacy Wood, won the Patriot Pen Writing Contest which included a cash prize.  What an honor, Eli! 
    • Rusti O’Neal, daughter of Isaac and Hanna O’Neal, was in the Student Spotlight. Her teacher says, “Rusti gives it her all in every aspect. She has a heart of gold. I’ve been honored to watch her grow from 4th to 5th grade and she never ceases to amaze me! She is helpful and kind to her classmates and is my go-to student if I need an extra hand.”  What fantastic words Rusti!
    • Anna East won the “Voice of Democracy” Award. She had to write a speech and then practice/record it and turn it in. She took 1st Place at the Gosport VFW Post. Her award included a cash prize and she was also entered in the district contest.  We are so proud of you, Anna!  (A little birdie named Linda St. John may have given me this information). 
    • Trevor Floyd was honored with the True Patriot Award for the 2nd quarter at the Middle School. It is an award which says, “A student who shows outstanding character, kindness, academic effort, and great behavior.” Way to go, Trevor!! (I won’t say that a proud mama shared this with me)
    • The S-OCS system celebrated 100 days of school this past week. Some of the teachers and students dressed up. I won’t say anything at all about Kristine Mangia dressing up in a wig and a housecoat and walking and talking like a 100 year old. I won’t even mention that Tami told me about it.  
    • Eliza Chambers had a tough gymnastics meet in Ohio last weekend but mom says she did an amazing job. She came home with 4 medals…again. Mom is right.
    • Speaking of the youth corner…although she is not in that category any more (sorry), Hannah Morse, one who calls OVCF home and is a 3rd grade teacher at GES, was spotlighted in the teacher of the week section of the Friday Fun Facts. Congrats, Hannah!  
    • I’m proud of our young people. Are you? If you know of more please let me know. 

DON’T FORGET!  This Saturday, the 27th, is the Team Nolan Fundraiser at the Christian Life Center from 12-2. Nolan is in remission from his battle with leukemia and this fundraiser is to help his family with their medical bills for his ongoing treatment.  Suggested donation is $10 adults/$5 for kids. 

Each week in our bulletin we have a rather lengthy prayer list. Included in that prayer list is a reminder to pray for all our Law Enforcement and Military friends and family. This is especially highlighted after a tragic incident Saturday evening. 

  • “ISP Trooper, Azariah Keith (relative to Dave Keith and family) was changing a tire with the help of another ISP trooper who blocked him from oncoming traffic when a drunk driver hit the median and then hit him. The prognosis did not look good but after surgery Sunday it was much more positive than first thought. His pelvis was fractured not broken. He had a large wound sewed up (praying for no future infection). His fibula was fractured (but no surgery will be needed). Partial weight bearing for 6 weeks but zero restrictions on his movement. The doc says he looks good. They expect a 6 months recovery for sprints and everything.”  (Taken from a screen shot sent to me). Trooper Keith has a wife and two young children. Please be praying for him and his family as he recuperates. 
  • PLEASE remember to pray for all of our LEOs. 

Cassie Linville and Hannah Pendleton are planning on taking a mission trip to Kenya next month. They are still in need of financial help as well as help in purchasing supplies.  The deadline is this coming Wednesday, January 31st. You may reach them by contacting the church office or visiting with them Sunday.  There are also several clipboards and a take home sheet on the info table with their needs. 

Miscellaneous news:

  • Robert Anderson was recommended by the elders and confirmed by you to serve OVCF as an elder. We prayed for him, his wife, Becca, daughters Kathryn and Alli, and sons, Rob and James, this past Sunday. I’m excited to have him on our leadership team. 
  • Wayne Akerson presented the future building plans this past Sunday and talked about our next steps. You can watch it online, ask, or come see the diagram. Diana did a wonderful job putting it together. These are exciting times!! 
  • My sermon this Sunday is one I have been chomping at the bit to get to: WELCOME HOME…where…Grace is Offered. I look forward to sharing it with you. 


I’m going to close this week’s Midweek Message. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I love you all. 

Pastor Bill

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