Category: OVCF News

Midweek Message 11/30/2022


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #134. Thanksgiving Day is history. Black Friday is (thankfully) a bad memory. Now we start gearing up for Christmas. Hard to believe isn’t it? It seems like not too long ago we were taking the Christmas tree and lights down, and here we are, putting them back up. Gives some credibility to just leaving them up all year ‘round I am thinking. ☺ Time flies when you are having fun…so they say. Anyway, thanks for joining me for this issue of the MM.

Please let me remind you right off the bat to pray for Kim Floyd, our Educator of the Week. Kim is a nurse at SES.

I bet you are just chomping at the bit to hear about our Thanksgiving meal!!

  • First, let me say again a huge thanks to the five ladies who organized the whole event: Lizz Bixler, Nannette Edwards, Janet Jones, Karen White, and Stacy Wood.  You ladies did a phenomenal job of putting this together and in spite of concerns (which is normal), the day went off without a hitch.
  • Second, thanks to everyone who volunteered-from cooking, to serving the meal, to putting together all the take-out meals, to working in the kitchen, to talking to those who came in to eat, to the delivery people (who were so efficient we were able to finish about 12:15), and last, but certainly not least, to the young people who stood out by the street and “advertised” our meal. Rumor has it that Charli Wood was dancing and Eli Wood (no relation) was encouraging people to come in.  Thanks to Eli, Kayden, Tanner, Cooper, Julian, and Charli for being our outside advertisement. As a side note, it was so good to see sons and daughters helping with deliveries. What better way can there be for young people to learn about caring for others than to see their parents model it?
  • Now for the stats: I try my best to be as accurate as possible but I know some slip through the cracks due to setting up the deliveries, so please keep that in mind.  Meals delivered= 90.  Walk-ins= about 20. Meals picked up and taken= 10. Leftover food was also taken to the Owen County EMS and some were delivered to Cunot and Cloverdale Senior Apartments (these latter two were part of the 90 meals delivered).  All told there were close to 125 meals shared with others. While we had less come into the Lions Club to eat, we had far more deliveries than we ever had.  It was so exciting to see new faces mixed with the old faces to make it all run like clockwork.
  • Special thanks to the Lions Club for the use (again) of their building. They have been so generous in allowing us to use their facility.  It is a great location.


Moving on from Thanksgiving, this is a reminder that this coming Sunday, December 4th, is the day we would like to have all the food for Backpack Buddies. The plan is to deliver it to the Middle School during the week. Looking at all you have brought makes me know why God has chosen to bless us in so many ways. Your generosity and concern for the young people of Owen County is a sight to behold.  Thank you!!

I know some folks are always looking for Christmas gift ideas.  May I suggest a copy of the ESV Bible? This past year I took a break from the ESV and used the NASB2020. Beginning with the first sermon on Revelation (January 8), I will be using the ESV for 2023.

Now for something a bit more serious that I think is important for you to know. As you can probably imagine, during Christmas we seem to be inundated with requests for help. It is hard to say no to people, so several years ago the elders set a policy for Diana, Pastor Ryan and me to follow. Unfortunately, it was needed, since people took advantage of us. To avoid that and to stop being part of the endless cycle of people calling every church and organization in town for help, we asked for help. Here is the policy we follow:

  • When someone calls and asks for help- whether bills, gas, rent, travel, or food- we first ask them if someone from OVCF has recommended that they call. If they say no, then we politely tell them we are unable to help and try to direct them to several options. If they say yes (and give your name), we try our very best to listen and help. We will not give money to anyone. We might offer to help pay/pay on an electric bill or buy a gas card, etc. but they must be recommended by you. Some just hang up when we say that or when we say we will not give them cash.  We are not trying to be cold-hearted, but we are trying to be good stewards of God’s money, money you have given and entrusted to be used wisely. If you have any questions about this approach, please feel free to ask Diana, Pastor Ryan or me about it.


This coming Sunday is the last of the series of Feasts with a Purpose. It will serve as a great lead-in to the series which will run through January 1: Expect the Unexpected. As I mentioned Sunday, the pamphlets I ordered-Feasts of the Bible- have trickled in. I will put them on the back table for you to take. Developing the series has been a real treat for me, so I do hope I have been able to give you a bit better picture of the OT roots and how the NT age of grace is so much more meaningful. January 8th starts my series on Revelation. Yikes!

Speaking of Christmas (that was a couple paragraphs ago), please keep in mind the plan for that weekend. We will have a Christmas Eve service at 6:00 and a service Christmas morning at 10:00 only. Both will be somewhat different from normal fare, but identical, except for the music.  {Editor’s note: did you get that last statement? ☺ }  I know. I know. Sometimes I make absolutely no sense. I’ll tell you more in future MMs.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this, even though I know you have a busy schedule.  I look forward to seeing you Sunday, if not sooner. May you experience the peace, love and joy that we talk so much about at Christmas. You have to know love (John 3:16) because that is why we celebrate this season in the first place.  And never forget that I love you all (but definitely not as much as He did!).


Pastor Bill

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Christmas Services

Christmas Eve: Saturday, 12/24 at 6 pm*

Christmas morning: Sunday, 12/25 at 10 am*

*Children’s classes will not meet at either service.


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Midweek Message 11/23/2022


Hello and welcome to MM#133. Due to the short work week, this will be a shortened version of the MM. (I know what some of you are thinking…shortened? When has Pastor Bill ever shortened anything?) ☺  So…here is your shortened MM.

First, pray for Karen Fisher, our Educator of the Week. Karen is from OVCF and is a bookkeeper at OVHS.

Second, I am so excited about this Thursday.  Our Thanksgiving meal for the community is planned and ready to go. All we need is people to come into the Lions Club or to ask for deliveries. We never turn anyone away who needs a meal.

Third, Thanksgiving Day reminds us of a very important part of every Christ-followers lifestyle: being thankful for all God has done and given to us. We can choose to grumble and complain or we can choose to be grateful. I can choose to praise or pout. I can choose to count my blessings or complain about what I don’t have. But I have noticed how much better life is when my attitude is one of gratitude for the simple things God has given me.  Family. Friends. Job. A ride on a bike. A night with friends. A good book or puzzle. Relaxing with Jo. Eating pizza or ice cream (yum). I thought I’d list specific things I am grateful for. May I suggest you do the same?

  • A totally awesome, marvelously miraculous, startlingly surprising, graciously giving, forever faithful God who has never failed me through all my 70 years.
  • Jo, my wife of almost 50 years (Lord willing on June 3, 2023). You are my jewel.
  • Tami & Janna, my two daughters, whom no father could be more proud of. Braden my only grandson (who will soon have his license). AAAHHHH!! (think Home Alone).
  • Ryan and his family. Hiring him in 2013 was the best thing we did.
  • Diana & Jim. Diana and I started at OVCF at the same time. It’s been a good 17 years. ☺
  • Wayne Akerson, Jeff Carlson, and David Robertson. Three men who serve as elders and whom I am more than honored to work with.
  • OVCF volunteers who step forward in so many ways-both big and small (if there is such an animal). The list of volunteers and tasks is too numerous to mention. I take a chance of forgetting someone if I start doing that. Just thank you for stepping up.
  • And TO ALL OF YOU…who have given me the opportunity to pastor you for 17 years.  Diana and I both start Year #18 this week. I have never enjoyed being a pastor in all my years than I have for these past 17 years. I am humbled that you have allowed me to love you and be your shepherd. I pray it continues with tons of victories.  I don’t say this emptily: THANK YOU!!


Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day.  Eat. Spend time laughing with family and friends. Don’t watch any football. ☺ Above all, remember how good God is. Along the way, remember I love you.

Pastor Bill

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Church Office Closed – Nov 24 and Nov 25

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Midweek Message 11/16/2022



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #132! Thanks for hanging out with me for a few minutes.  I started out MM #131 with these words: “As I start writing this it is Monday and the sun is shining. Can you hear me saying, ‘please let it stay’?” Well, I guess you now see how much clout I have in the weather department. I couldn’t believe Saturday morning. When I came to the office it was cold but that was it. About an hour later I looked outside and AAAAAH snow was falling. I went to the Y trying to figure out what that white stuff was that was falling. As far as I’m concerned, it showed itself enough for the year. It can go back into hiding. But unless I miss my guess God is going to chuckle at that and show me who is boss. ☺

Be in prayer this week for our Educator of the Week: Mary Beckwith. Mary is back teaching at MCES after maternity leave and is juggling a lot of plates right now.  I owe an apology to Mary for a big mix-up on Sunday. Jo told me afterwards that I said Mary is our educator but prayed for Brianna, the educator from the week before. Sheesh! You would think I’m getting old by the way I make silly mistakes. Sorry Mary. I corrected it in the second service. Mary and family were gone this past Sunday celebrating with their former church as they dedicated their new facility. They built it debt free (Yay for them!!). Mary’s late mother always hoped for that to happen. I think it is cool that Mary honored her mother that way.

Just a heads up: At the beginning of Sunday’s sermon I mentioned a brochure the church purchased called Feasts of the Bible. I had ordered 30 and I’m thrilled to tell you we were “picked clean.” Since people from both services had a chance to get one (and I had asked one per household), we have ordered more for anyone else who needs a copy. We hope to have them soon!

And while I’m at it: thanks so much for the encouraging words concerning Sunday sermon. I am praying it lights a fire under each one of us to know more about who Jesus is from beginning to end.

It sure looks like the focus on Backpack Buddies is off to a good start! I can’t wait to see the faces of those who are in charge when we deliver all your donations! ☺  Someone came up to me before services started and was asking and talking about BB. They were so glad we were doing that this year instead of the Giving Tree. While the Giving Tree was a nice effort on our part to make Christmas happy for children and their families, the scope was limited. This BB collection will spread all over Owen County. Diana said Sunday there are about 210 young people who take food home on the weekend so they can eat. We will be collecting food until December 4th, then taking it to OVMS where it is stored and distributed. Kristen Portteus has a class that fills the bags each week and the JROTC classes help when needed. They are all to be commended.

Sadly the Owen Valley Patriots came up short this past Friday night against Monrovia. They finished the season at 12-1. They went further and set a new goal for future football teams. Thanks Patriots for a thrilling season! You played hard and never quit. You done us proud! ☺

We still need your help for the Thanksgiving Day meal. I just looked at the lists and we need folks who will help cook not just the turkeys and hams (if you need help buying one the church will do that), but also the sides. We can still use help with volunteers.  Please call the church office (812.828.9840) to see where you can help or contact Stacy Wood.

Here is your heads up for the week!! Christmas is on a Sunday this year. We plan to offer a Christmas Eve service, probably 6 PM, and then one service on Christmas Sunday at 10 AM. We are still working out all the bugs, but you can plan your Christmas gatherings around those services. We will keep you informed as we get into December.

Early in Sunday’s sermon I mentioned the commitment I made to God, to you and to myself about my study. For those who collect the MM, ☺ it was MM#99 where I communicated to you about that commitment. With the desire to do a series on the Feasts and then after the first of the year a series on Revelation, I thought I would reiterate that commitment to you again as to why I would take on some difficult (for me at least) projects. I’ll start by saying this: it is not unusual for me to read of another pastor who is retiring after 35 or 40 years. On April 13, 1975 I was officially ordained into the ministry by a church in Akron, OH. That does not count the years I preached while in college and the year I was an Associate Pastor after graduating in 1974. That means in 2025 I will have been an “official” pastor for 50 years. I’ve been asked lately when I plan to retire. The answer is, I don’t. There are several reasons why, but one big reason is I love what I do. I have no idea how long God will allow me to do this “pastor thing,” but I personally hope it is for a long time yet…I guess as long as I can be effective and remember how to put my shoes on. ☺  Anyway, here is my commitment to you. I’m not sure if I wrote this years ago or found it somewhere and kept it:

  • I promise to keep doing original and hard work in my study. You deserve my best not the plagiarized words of someone else.
  • I promise to maintain a heart for God. That means having a devoted time with Him. I prefer early mornings.
  • I promise to remain accountable. I don’t want to live as a Lone Ranger.
  • I promise to stay faithful to my family. Our nest may be empty but Jo is still a priority to me. She deserves my time, affection, and attention. My adult children and grandson do as well.
  • I promise to be who I am. Just me. I plan to keep laughing, joking, saying things a little off the wall from time to time, being a friend, loving wholeheartedly, and making a few mistakes each month day.


There you have my “creed.” I love being your pastor and look forward, Lord willing, to more years serving Jesus hand-in-hand with you. I love you all.


Pastor Bill


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Backpack Buddies: November 13 – December 4

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Over 200 students in our community do not have enough to eat at home. Our Christmas-time focus this year will be collecting specific food for the Backpack Buddies program at S-OCS. We are keeping our list targeted on the specific items below in the hopes that we will be able to collect more of each of these to help more students.  Please return items to OVCF so we may deliver them prior to  Christmas Break! If you have questions, please see Diana.

Backpack Buddies needs:

Ramen noodles

Little Debbie-Cosmic brownies, Fancy cakes or Nutty Buddies

Fruit snacks

Snack-size chips, pretzels, goldfish crackers

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Midweek Message 11/09/2022



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #131. As I start writing this it is Monday morning and the sun is shining. Can you hear me saying, “Please let it stay”?☺


Before I move on to other bit of information, let me remind you to pray for Brianna Wigington this week. She is a counselor at SES.


What a great Sunday it was with Will and Theresa Reed and their three children, Ellie, Audrey and Tallie. I heard so many comments about Will’s message being spot on, or what they needed to hear, or so poignant. Our small group Sunday night was about Jesus being the Bondage Breaker and several references were made to Will’s sermon. The great thing is Will and Theresa are genuine people who are willing to share their experiences with us. I talked to Will about the possibility of having them again this Spring or closer to their departure time (and, of course, lunch is always on the docket). I gotta tell you, though, something Theresa said as I was leaving the pitch-in to take communion to someone. She looked at me and said, “You have one of the most loving, kind, and welcoming church communities I have ever known. They have welcomed us and shared with us and you don’t know how much that means.” I’ll admit. I teared up. It is always good to hear statements like that, especially when they are unsolicited. Thanks to you for being that type of church community.


Just a reminder: Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes are due this Sunday, the 13th. We plan to take them to Sherwood Oaks on the 16th. Questions? Please see Diana or call the office.


I’d also like to remind you about the upcoming Community Thanksgiving Meal. Just a little story: I took one of the flyers to the Y and asked if it could be displayed. “Most definitely. I like to see things like this. What a wonderful way to serve the community.” This person even offered to make what she called, “The best, and I mean the best turkey for it.” I told this person that if needed the church would buy the turkey and I was told, “No. I will provide the turkey, or two.” WOW! Never underestimate the impact doing something for others has on people.  Also keep in mind that we need people who will help serve, set up and clean up and deliver. And if you volunteer to cook a turkey or ham, the church will buy it if you need help with that. Just contact Diana.


There is something else really big you can help with. But first, the backstory. A couple of years ago we felt that we put too much on you financially during the months of October-December. So we pared it down to Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, the Community Thanksgiving meal, and the Giving Tree. After several really rough years of the Giving Tree (people’s expectations of gifts and their lack of timeliness of notifying us and other factors), we decided to help the children in Owen County in a different way this year. We have been involved in Backpack Buddies (BB) since its beginning and then backed off when some of the groups and students of OVMS and OVHS took it on as something they wanted to do. So in September the elders gave Diana the okay to buy supplies for BB. Those food supplies were greatly appreciated. So we decided to do more. BB serves 200+ students in our community who need food when away from school! 200+!!! Our Christmas-time focus will be collecting food supplies for BB at   S-OCS.  Here are some particulars Diana would like you to know:

  • We will be collecting items at OVCF from November 13-December 4. You saw that right: starting this Sunday.
  • Rather than have a bunch of random food items, here is a list of specific items that are needed:
  • Ramen noodles (beef or chicken)
  • Little Debbie Cosmic brownies
  • Little Debbie Fancy cakes
  • Little Debbie Nutty Buddies
  • Fruit snacks
  • Snack size chips, pretzels, and goldfish (crackers not the real ones) ☺


I’m anticipating a really big response. I would love to have so much food to give that their eyes bug out (not really but it would be interesting to see). It will be fun to see the joy on the faces of those who run the program.


On another subject: Tami reminded me of a “dubious” anniversary Monday morning. She texted me to say her memories told her it was six years since the hit-and-run incident on my bike. I told her, “Thanks…I think.”


Many of you (who knew) asked how my leg was doing. For those who don’t know, I was at the Y two weeks ago and ran my leg into an iron bar. It left a pretty significant “goose egg” on my leg (just above the ankle) and has since become a rather ugly reminder of running into something stronger than your skin. With other complications developing and at the advice of a nurse friend, I went to see the doctor. But you know how that goes. No openings. So they told me to call a central number and perhaps she could help me find another doctor in the system. No go. Nada. Zip. As we talked she said, “Let me look again.” Then she said, “I found one for 9:05. Can you be there?” “You bet.” So I went and the diagnosis was as expected. I was telling her (the Dr) about my efforts to see her and as she walked out of the room she said, “I just happened to have a cancellation this morning. “ I didn’t have the opportunity to tell her that I don’t believe in “just happened to.” Just as I don’t believe in luck or chance. Not in life. Maybe in games like Backgammon or cards or “games of chance”.  The Bible is very clear that my steps are ordered by the Lord (Pr. 20:24) and that He directs my steps (Pr. 16:9). I have freedom of choice. True. But chance, luck or “just happened to” is not in His vocabulary.  And I don’t want it in mine either.  Just something for you to think about.


My sermon series on “Feasts with a Purpose” starts this Sunday.   Have a great week. I love you all.


Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 11/02/2022


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #130! By the time you get this the week will be half over so I hope it has been a good one. And may the last half be better than the first! And here is something else to think about: Christmas is less than two months away. Yikes!


The Owen Valley Patriot football team overcame an early 14-0 deficit and made all of Owen County proud by winning the sectional game 28-21. They defeated another previously undefeated team. Along the way, the fans of Gibson-Southern complimented our young men. That is a great tribute in and of itself.  We hope they continue their winning ways, but always doing it with humility.

Saturday we hosted a Safe Worship seminar which was open to all. It went from 8-12:00 and was taught by 32 year police veteran, Ed Sanow. It was a great eye-opening experience for all who attended. It dealt not only with safety from a crisis perspective, but also medical safety. I’m thinking it will take us a bit to implement some things, but it sure has stirred the fire.

Sunday, of course, was our anniversary.  Both services had some high energy and it was phenomenal to hear the congregation sing How Great Thou Art and then an acapella rendition of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. WOW! I had duck bumps listening. The meal afterwards was filling (as always) and we had fun honoring our volunteers with a drawing. It was also good news to hear about the building addition progress. I owe a debt of thanks to the Worship Team for leading our worship; to Pastor Ryan for team teaching with me on “As We Live and Breathe” (our Mission and Vision); to all who brought food for our pitch-in and to all who helped with the drawing; and to Wayne Akerson for the building presentation. A special thanks to Pat and Vanna (Ryan and Diana) for being the game show hosts, to Linda St. John for contacting several restaurants for gift vouchers, and to Travis and Jill Curry for donating honey.  But most of all, thanks to all of you for making our 18th anniversary a fun time, for laughing (especially during the volunteer time with the sheer joy of the children), and for sharing in our dreams.

The total anniversary offering was $5722.50 which now puts our Building Fund at $238,675.22. The Building Team will continue to meet and will keep you abreast of all progress and decisions.



Several events will be happening in November.

  • Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes should be at the building by Sunday, November 13th.  We have set a date of November 16th for when we take the shoeboxes to Sherwood Oaks (collection site). As I said in last week’s MM, I was blown away by your response. 50 boxes were snatched up in one day. We have never had that happen before. In fact, many asked about getting more boxes. Your generosity is beyond belief. Thanks so much for being willing to help children all over the world.
  • Please keep in mind the date of Thursday, the 24th. I know that is Thanksgiving Day but it also going to be the day we serve and provide a Thanksgiving meal to our community. We will be serving at the Lions Club from 11-1:00. Not only will there be a sit down meal for those who come to the LC, we will also be offering curbside pickup as well as delivery. Due to the lack of a local newspaper, our advertising is limited, so help us get the word out. If you know of someone who could use a warm meal on Thanksgiving and wants to spend some time with people, tell them about us. If you know of someone who can’t get out, or is shy around people, but would like a meal, give us their name and we will deliver it. Or better yet, we can give it to you and you can give it to your neighbor (and be the one who ministers to them). If you know people who are afraid of exposure to others, tell them we will bring it out to their vehicle or they can pick it up. Use this as an opportunity to reach out to others.  They/you may also call the church office to request a delivery (812.828.9840). Please call by Nov. 21st! ☺
  • This Sunday sign-up sheets will be out for you to sign up for what you might like to bring. If you would be willing to cook a turkey or ham but can’t afford it, let us know. The church will provide it for you.  The sign-up sheets will also have a place for you to sign if you would like to help set up/tear down, serve food, or make deliveries.
  • Five ladies-Stacy Wood, Karen White, Nannette Edwards, Lizz Bixler and Janet Jones are the Fab Five who are overseeing this. I really appreciate their willingness to take this ministry to our community upon their shoulders.


Please be in prayer for the Educator of the Week, Mr. George Bergen, the guidance counselor at MCES. I also failed to remind you in last week’s MM to pray for Jennifer Zigler, the guidance counselor at OVMS. You can pray for them both this week.

Monday morning I read a devotion about serving. I posted the following on my “Living in the Shadow” blog (condensed version):

Many people like to hide. They take a back seat and are totally content to do so. They like to labor behind the scenes. Unseen by many, each week they do “their thing.” Teach children. Work in the nursery. Safety and security. Work the sound. Live stream. Do Power Point. Clean up. Collect garbage. The list is endless.

They like it that way. They want it that way. Praise and accolades is not why they do what they do.  Paying homage to those who serve is not a new concept. They don’t clamor for it. A servant doesn’t do that. One who serves does just that: serves. Jesus once said, “I have not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.

Every once in a while it is nice to be “seen” and to hear an “attaboy.” Have you taken the time lately to let a volunteer know how much you appreciate what they have done?

Have a great week. I love and appreciate each of you.


Pastor Bill

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Will & Theresa Reed-Missionaries with Serge are returning to the field in 2023.

They will be visiting  on November 6th to share more!



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Fall Back – Day Light Savings Time Ends

   November 6

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