By Dave Hendrickson, Lead Pastor
“Just one thing…”
Back in 1991, the movie City Slickers was released depicting three middle aged men going through their mid-life crisis. These three friends decide to take a trip to sort out the different issues they were facing as they grew older. What better way to “find yourself” than to rough it in the wild outdoors? And that’s exactly what they did. They left the amenities of city life for a horse and saddle, for tents and sleeping bags as they went on out on a cattle drive.
Now the leader of this cattle drive was a weathered old cowboy name Curly. While out in the wilderness, Mitch (Billy Crystal) is trying to understand the meaning or the secret to life. And with one index finger sticking up, Curly says, “Just one thing.” Baffled and confused, Mitch tries to get the answer from Curly on what exactly the “one thing” is. Curly just smiles and says, “that’s what you have to find out.”
I believe this is where we find many people in today’s culture. They are seeking the “one thing” that will answer their question, solve their problem, remedy their situation. Unfortunately they are looking in all the wrong places…finances, substances, relationships, occupations, positions, and I would even venture to say “church”. Church in the sense of a religious obligation which needs to be attended to, therefore to appease God and his wrath and judgement.
In 1 Timothy 4, Paul lets Timothy know there are those who will live their lives based on many things which they believe will express their devotion to God. Paul responds by saying, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather, train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
So as we begin a New Year, ask yourself this question, “What’s my ‘one thing’”? What or Who will you look to for the meaning of life? What or Who will you look to for the answer to your question, solution to your problems, resolution to your situation?
As you have heard me say before, and I am sure will repeat again, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Matthew 6:33). It is my prayer and hope that you and I will “seek the Lord” first as we enter into 2022!
God Bless and Happy New Year!
elder meeting highlights
The Elders and Staff met for some leadership training in November and December but the Elders did not have a business meeting in December. The next scheduled Elders meeting is January 18, 2022.
thank you, paul!
On Sunday, December 19, we had a reception after church to honor Paul Googins. He will be retiring as Hospitality Host at the end of December. In addition to setting up, cooking and serving at church events in the Fellowship Hall, Paul was instrumental in getting LvCC involved with providing food for the homeless, through the M25:35 outreach and later by taking weekly meals directly to the homeless camp. He also helps monthly with cooking/providing meals for Community House on Broadway and for Core Health Extended Support Services. Although retiring, Paul expects to continue to be involved with the homeless ministry. We appreciate Paul’s servant heart and gift of hospitality!
community in action
By Patty Howland
The featured ministry this month is FISH, under the new direction of co-chairs Peggy Reibe and Sally Browne. They have both served as volunteers with FISH at our church for several years, and Peggy has also worked with FISH of Cowlitz County. I interviewed Peggy for this article.
FISH is a food bank that meets at LvCC every other month, usually on the last week of the month. Many volunteers help purchase, prep, pack and deliver the food and other supplies to those in need.
Peggy and Sally have recently visited several other churches to observe their FISH programs and to get ideas for improving ours. One thing they are trying is moving the delivery of food to the parking lot by the Chapel rather than to the lot behind the church. This allows food to be brought up in carts via the ramp from the Fellowship Hall and eliminates the need to haul bags and boxes up stairs.
Another thing they are implementing is providing more supplemental items such as laundry detergent, pet food, diapers, baby wipes, feminine products, and unopened toiletries. These items may be donated by bringing to one of the FISH donation boxes at church. They are also looking at ways to maximize community resources such as Food Lifeline, CAP and Dollar Tree to help reduce costs. While the number of helped families declined this past year, partially due to COVID-related government resources, this past month saw an increase in requests and Peggy expects that to continue.
Peggy shared that she feels blessed to be able to serve in this way and is really enjoying this new role! Besides the volunteers needed to help for one to five days during the week of FISH, there are opportunities prior to that for individuals to help with picking up and/or unloading food or repacking supplies. Peggy encourages anyone interested in helping to contact her or Sally for more information.
youth: “plugged in”
By Nathaniel Duscha
New Year’s Resolutions. Whether or not you set New Year’s Resolutions every year, it can be a great time to evaluate and maybe even alter your habits and routines. Starting on January 2nd at 6pm, we are beginning this series called “Atomic” and will discuss our spiritual habits and routines and learn how we can develop those habits that help us grow closer to God.
A 4-WEEK SERIES ON SPIRITUAL HABITS
Habits! We all have them, so let’s talk about them. Whether you’ve got good habits (like getting enough sleep or remembering to floss) or bad habits (like biting your nails or checking your phone too often), most of your habits are probably small, tiny, hardly noticeable habits. But over time, those tiny habits can really impact your life, for good or bad. So what about your spiritual habits? What are the small things you do every day that either draw you closer to God or keep you at a distance? In this 4-week series, we’ll discover some principles from Scripture that have the power to help you develop tiny habits that can make a big impact — habits like spending time with God, investing in your relationships, sharing your faith story, and worshiping with your life.
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Director of Children’s Ministry
Children’s Ministry: WOW! Christmas is over and boy was it a busy time! We had a couple of great intergenerational times on Sunday Morning. It was fun to be together and do some Advent activities and have some Christmas fun. The kids also had a great time singing Christmas Carols and playing instruments at our Pizza and Carol Sing.
We have taken a break from Discipleship Time and are excited to get back to our time with our kids. Starting January 9, the kids will start a unit on Joseph. The Bible Points for January are: God is good no matter what…even when life’s unfair. God is good no matter what… and can turn bad into good. God is good no matter what…and will help us. God is good no matter what…and has a plan for us. If you know of preschool and/or elementary kids that you could invite to Discipleship Time on Sunday mornings at 9:00, we would love to have them! We start with some singing and prayer and then split into two groups for the lesson. The kids we have are great and would welcome new ones to our group.
Ministry Opportunity: We have a need for a temporary leader to help with our 3-5th graders. I can’t give you an amount of time, but we know it will be for several weeks at least. This position would involve developing relationships with our kids, participating with the kids in the Worship at the beginning of Discipleship Time and teaching the lesson every other week. You would support the other teacher on the weeks you don’t teach. The curriculum is easy to follow and fun to teach. If you have an interest in this and would like to know more, please let me know. I would love to chat with you about it.
As we enter a new year, I look forward to all God has planned for our Children and Families. Please let us know if we can support you in any way. Thank you for sharing your kids with us!
“fishing” for 25 years at lvcc
By Karen Pickett, History Team
(After 25 years of volunteering with FISH at church, Robbin Elliott retired as Food Chair of this ministry. The following article summarizes an interview I had with her as she reflected on those years of service here at Longview Community Church).
Robbin and her sister, Lisa Som, grew up in a home that was very familiar and committed to the FISH program. Their parents, Phyllis and Roy Parsons, were always active in the community FISH program, which began in 1971. Robbin started volunteering “on the line” in 1997, so when a year later Harlan Gilliland, Senior Pastor, and Art Smith, FISH Food Chair, asked Robbin to assume the lead for this church ministry, she was well acquainted with the process.
That “process” included ordering the food to be distributed for the week and seeing that it was stored properly. When she first became Food Chair, food was ordered and picked up on a daily basis. Robbin saw that making a change to a weekly order was more efficient for everyone. Sinnett’s Marketplace was an early business that donated food regularly to FISH. Through the years, both Grocery Outlet and Safeway have generously supported the program. There is also a food buying service in Seattle that provides commodity food.
In addition to ordering the food and making sure that it was safely stored in the FISH “closets,” Robbin also was responsible for seeing that the volunteer slots were filled for each week’s distribution and that the bookwork and reporting were accurate. On the day of FISH at the church, she also checked the ID’s of the clients.
LVCC is the “sponsoring” church for all 5 days the last full week of every other month. When Robbin began, they usually had 30-35 orders per day. Prior to Covid, the church was distributing 55-60 orders per day. During this past summer and fall the numbers fell to the teens but, last month during Thanksgiving week, the numbers had grown into the 40s. Distribution has historically taken place in the Fellowship Hall, but again, Covid changed things. Now everything is distributed outdoors in the parking lot. Cars drive up to pick up their orders. That means that the volunteers have to carry all of the orders from the Fellowship Hall out to the parking lot. There are usually 10-13 people filling and delivering the food orders, with 4-6 volunteers transporting and loading the food. Quite a team is needed to pull this ministry together!
When asked why she stayed with this ministry for so long and gave so many hours to it, Robbin said, “It was fun. Being able to help people not only with food, but providing someone for them to talk to, especially with their faith walk, was rewarding. We always had a good crew. They came to work, were diligent, and we had fun together.” In fact, before the number of daily orders grew, the FISH crew were able to take a “break” and share stories, as well as a “sweet treat” that was left from the grocery donations. Robbin continued, “The hard part was figuring how much food was needed, how many people would come, and keeping the volunteer schedule filled.” She noted that the church staff has always been very helpful and supportive, and that on occasion, the pastors had been called to do some counseling to support a client who needed special attention on that particular day. She commented that the clients have been generally gracious and thankful for the food they have received. One change that she has noticed is that there are many grandparents who are coming for food because they are now raising their grandchildren. This was not the case when she began volunteering.
One of her fondest memories is of a man from Castle Rock who was late in picking up his order. As he explained his tardiness, Robbin learned that his grandson had been suddenly left with him and his wife. They had no food for Thanksgiving, so he called CAP to ask for help. He thanked Robbin for giving him and his family a happy Thanksgiving. When she walked to the parking lot, she saw him hugging his wife and they were both crying. “Helping someone who really needs help is what this is all about,” Robbin said.
In doing this interview, Robbin mentioned many, many people who had given countless hours and years to the FISH program, and who continue to do so. We were both concerned that if we started to mention names, someone might slip through our “memory bank,” so on behalf of Robbin and myself, and ALL of US at LVCC, THANK YOU to the hundreds of you who have volunteered in this very vital church mission program over the years. You have made a difference in the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens!
this and that
Welcome Team Meeting
There will be a meeting after church on Sunday, January 23 for everyone involved with the Greeter/Welcoming Teams. A light lunch will be provided. Please contact Mary Sundberg if you are not able to attend.
SAM is planning a trip to tour the Longview Public Library on January 13, 2022 at 11 a.m. followed by lunch on your own at Sizzler. A van will leave the church at 10:15. There will be no cost for transportation. Please sign up in the Lobby.
The Memorial Committee is pleased to announce the assignment of recent Memorial gifts given to the Church.
The family of longtime Longview Community Church member, Paul Huntington, has requested that the funds lovingly given in Paul’s honor go toward the new Sanctuary doors. As Paul’s wife, Barbara writes, “Since Paul was always concerned about the properties of the church, I would like to request his memorial funds be applied to the new Sanctuary Doors.”
In addition, the family of Doris Larson, who was also a longtime member of our church, has chosen that her memorial funds be applied to Vacation Bible School. Daughter, Paula Larson Woffard recalled how interested and involved Doris was in the children of our church.
Thank you for your concern and cards after the recent passing of my mom. They were greatly appreciated! ~Sharon Jose
January Missions Focus: St Helens School
During the month of January, we will collecting items needed by the students and teachers at St. Helens School. Please bring donated items to the tub in the hallway by the Church Office. The following items are needed:
Coats-new or gently used
Blankets or throws
Sleeping bags–new or gently used (many students live in cars)
Wipes (teachers have to wipe down desks each time students leave the room)
The nurse requests underwear and sweatpants
Snacks for kindergartners and 1st grader such as goldfish crackers
90+ Birthdays This Month
To honor our most senior members and attenders, we will be listing their birthdays each month using the records in our database. If you or someone you know is 90+ years of age and has an upcoming birthday, please contact the Church Office by the 20th of the prior month so we may be sure to include it!
Jan 1 Odetta Yeager (90)
Jan 28 Maxine Hurd (90)
YTD INCOME: $435,490
TRUSTEES VISION: $ 8,000
YTD EXPENSE: $450,411
DIFFERENCE: -$ 6,921