a mountain top perspective
By Dave Hendrickson, Lead Pastor
A few weeks ago, I took a day to head over to Mt. Hood and Timberline Ski Resort. One of the hobbies I really enjoy is downhill skiing. I picked up skiing back in middle school. Then for Christmas in 9th grade, I received my first pair of skis (Atomic Arc 180s, to be precise). From that moment on, I made sure to sign up for every Friday night ski school trip! The nearest ski resort was about an hour east of Pittsburgh, Seven Springs Resort. For you ski enthusiasts, Seven Springs has an elevation of about 3,000 ft. compared to the roughly 8,540 ft elevation at Timberline.
Besides the thrill of strapping two small sticks to the bottom of my feet and heading down a hill at a high rate of speed, I really enjoy taking time to look around while at the top of the mountain. And my first experience at Timberline and Mt. Hood did not disappoint. The weather, sky, and views were absolutely amazing (as you can see in the photo)! As I soaked it all in, I quickly realized the perspective I was enjoying from the top of the mountain was different from those who were in the adjacent valleys below. As you might be able to see in the photo, the valleys below Mt. Hood were blanketed with a thick cloud cover. Rather than having a mountain top perspective, they were experiencing a typical PNW gray, misty, cold day. My first thought was, “I don’t want to go back! I want to stay up on the mountain, where there’s blue sky, sunshine, and an amazing view!”
Sound familiar? “Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is good that we are here…’” (Luke 9:33). While on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter was excited, in his case, by 1. The company he was with, Jesus, James, and John. 2. The view of a transfigured Jesus, “radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach” and 3. The gathering of the saints, “and behold, two men were talking with him Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory…”
I mean who wouldn’t be excited and what to stay there? Everything was perfect, wasn’t it? Good friends, Jesus glowing in his glory, talking to your heroes who you grew up reading about, Moses, and Elijah! So, from Peter’s perspective, he was “on top of the mountain”, practically, figuratively, and spiritually.
BUT…there’s always a “but” isn’t there!? If you remember, what is the true “mountain top” experience, the crescendo, the climax, peak, summit of the story? The CLOUD!!!
Why was the cloud so important? As Peter is saying “it is good…” he is interrupted, “As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them…a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my son, my Chosen One; listen to him!’”
I wonder how often we have “a mountain top perspective” and think it can’t get any better; beautiful sky, bright sun, amazing views, great company, nothing can beat this! And then the cloud rolls in…how do we view the cloud? As a nuisance and obstacle to “our perspective”?
See God works in mysterious ways, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
So the next time you are enjoying a mountain top perspective and dreading having to drive back down through the cloud into the valley of reality, listen and see if you experience the voice of God in the cloud.
elder meeting highlights
At the January 18 Elders meeting, Jaime Boaglio reported that we ended the year in the black at $43,340! Randy Sundberg gave updates on several ongoing Properties projects. Patty Howland shared that Cora Voce, the Tacoma-based community choir of which she is a member, has been invited to be the guest artist at an upcoming Hill Memorial Concert planned for April 3, 2022 at 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
After much discussion, the Elders decided that, with the increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, it was important to re-emphasize that they strongly encourage the wearing of masks and physical distancing in all indoor spaces at LvCC. They also decided to suspend the serving of coffee and cookies during Fellowship Time for a few weeks, although the Fellowship Hall will be available for those who would like to gather after church.
new sanctuary doors
We have an amazing church facility that has served us extremely well for almost 100 years and continues to be a jewel for our community. For those years our sanctuary doors have withstood many thousands of openings, rain, wind, sun and extreme temperatures, however they are showing their age. The doors are warped and the hardware is most difficult to unlock and lock. There are gaps between the doors that allow wind and cold to enter the building. It has been determined that the existing doors leave us vulnerable from a safety and security standpoint.
Elders have been considering new sanctuary doors for some time with an eye towards safety and security as well as an aesthetic look that would allow visitors to see into the building as they approach the steps. Solid doors like we have can be imposing for a new person coming to church. Handicap accessibility has been a concern for years and the width of the doors makes it very difficult for a person in a wheelchair, or a walker, or who has other mobility issues to enter the building.
After spending considerable time reviewing our needs Elders determined that new solid oak doors with two safety glass panels in each door would best serve our needs. Elders talked with retired Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha about safety and security, who indicated that the glass panels would be beneficial both for those inside the building and first responders who might need to enter the building. The exterior of the doors will be sealed and painted to match the existing trim and the interior of the doors will be stained and lacquered to match the interior trim. New commercial hardware that will secure the building and ADA handicap openers on the sets of doors served by a ramp will be installed. The doors and hardware have been ordered and will be installed in May.
Properties will have information available in March during Fellowship Time on Sunday mornings.
youth: “plugged in”
By Nathaniel Duscha, Youth Pastor
If your life is anything like mine, 2022 began on a pretty hectic note. From getting sick, to having plumbing issues at home, to the general everyday chaos of doing life with a baby, January was a busy and stressful month. I loved that we spent that busy and stressful month discussing our spiritual habits. When life gets busy and stressful, if we have not made it a habit to invest in our relationship with God, it can often get pushed back. So, we spend the month of January talking about how to improve our spiritual habits and habitually invest in our relationship with God and with others.
For the month of February, we are going to be spending some time in this 4-part series called “Pass it On”. In this series, we will be learning about how we can use our influence to share the Gospel with others by taking a look at the original “influencers” in the book of Acts.
With social media, just about anyone can be an “influencer” with the right content, good timing, and a little bit of luck. Invent a new dance, share a funny take, catch the right moment on camera, and you could get millions of views. Some “influencers” mostly just use their platforms to get free stuff, but once in a while, you find someone who uses their platform to talk about things that actually matter. Obviously they didn’t have social media back in Jesus’ day, but in the Bible, the book of Acts is filled with stories about “influencers” who had important things to say. In this 4-week series, we’ll hear their stories, discover that our lives can pass on the good news, and learn how to pass on the good news to unexpected people, to our families, and with humility.
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Director of Children’s Ministry
This has been such a great month learning about Joseph in Discipleship Time. Our Bible Point for the month was: ‘God is good no matter what…even when life’s unfair.’ We learned that God is good no matter what and we don’t need to worry about a thing. He is our refuge, our safe place, taking care of us, even when everything seems wrong. His plans are the best. We’ve also sung some fun songs and learned the memory verse: “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes.” Nahum 1:7
The singing and the stories have been so great, but my favorite time is the prayer time. These kids are so organic in their prayer requests. They know God is concerned about EVERYTHING in their lives. I always feel so blessed after hearing their prayer requests and their prayers. We would love to have more kids join us on Sunday morning at 9:00. We have lots of space for kids of all ages (there are even classes for mom and dad).
Kids Movie Night – Friday, February 25. Watch for more details.
VBS- JUNE 27- 30TH from 9:00 – 12:00. Our theme this year is Monumental. We will be going on a Southwest adventure and Celebrating God’s Greatness. You won’t want to miss this great week so mark your calendar now!
By Patty Howland, Women’s Ministry Team Leader
We are excited to announce that we have invited Melissa Campbell and Summer Shore from “Revive! Ministries” to be our guest speakers at the Women’s Retreat on May 20-22 at Black Lake Bible Camp! The theme will be “Royal: Finding Your Identity in Christ”. We live in a culture saturated with images and opinions of who we should be. Knowing who we are, in the light of who Jesus is, changes everything! The sessions will include “The Power of a Name”, “Renewing Our Passion for Christ”, “Created for Purpose”, and “Empowered Through the Spirit”. There will also be times for discussion and reflection, worship, making a keepsake craft, and free time to relax and engage with other women. The cost of $150 includes two nights lodging, four meals, and all materials. There is also a $50 Saturday-only option, including three meals. Full or partial scholarships are available, as are monthly payments, so don’t let the cost prevent you from attending. Mark your calendar now and be watching for the online Registration coming soon!
Women’s Zoom Bible Study There’s still time to join the Thursday evening study of “Elijah” that meets every other Thursday via Zoom beginning February 3! Join Priscilla Shirer on this 7-session video study journey through the life and times of the prophet Elijah to discover how the fire on Mount Carmel was forged in the valley of famine. And how the emboldened, fiery faith you desire is being fashioned by God in your life right now. We will watch the video together each week using “share screen” and then discuss the lesson from the previous week. Please purchase your own book. Contact Patty Howland for more info or to get the Zoom link at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Sweetheart Luncheon that was scheduled for Feb. 9 has been rescheduled to May 11 at noon. More details will be available in the April newsletter.
By Dee Dalgarno
These two books have been on our shelves for quite some time. They were written by Lois Bock and Miji Working (wife of Ken Working, who was pastor at LvCC in the early 1980s). The authors write: “Happiness resulted when two Christian mothers set out to improve the quality of their family life by creating an open, loving environment in which the family could learn more about God and each other.”
While these books were written well before families were tied to their cell phones, tablets, and digital toys, the sessions and lessons presented in these books can still be useful in getting your family to come together at least once a week for a special time of family togetherness in 25 challenging sessions of Family Sharing (opening the lines of communication through dialogue and scripture readings), Family Fun (enjoyable exercises and activities for all ages), and Together Before God (informal prayers).
You will find both of these books displayed on the large round table in the middle of the Church Library, and available for check out.
The Library is open any time that the church is open and self-checkout is easy. Just follow the instructions on the check-out desk.
We also have a large collection of Children’s Books in the back corner of the Library by the Veggie Tales characters.
With Valentines Day coming up, there will be some books about LOVE also displayed on the center table.
this and that
Passing of Ken Working
During his years with us, Ken’s focus was on missions and involving the laity. On his watch several Deputation Teams went to the garbage dump in Mexico and to native communities in Alaska. He helped to establish an active SE Asian ministry, which included the development of a Vietnamese congregation at LVCC. He started the Lay Counseling ministry here and began the annual Couples and Women’s Retreats. He developed the Community Partners program with the gift of the Sylvan Lodge. (shared by Karen Pickett, History Team)
Notes of sympathy and support may be sent to: Miji Working, 125 Los Alamos, Santa Barbara, CA 93109
The service for Ken will be in California on Feb 12 but will be available on YouTube. We will be showing it at church. Please contact Mary Gronseth if you would like to join us to watch the service or for more info.
Giving Statements were mailed out in January. Please open them immediately to check for accuracy and contact our bookkeeper, Jackie Erickson if you see any discrepancies or have any corrections.
From our Properties Team:
Wanted: Mechanic’s type rolling tool storage
Wanted: Good used crescent wrenches
If you have any of these items and they are just gathering dust at your place, Properties would make great use of them. Thank you for your generosity!
We are looking for friendly people with the gift of hospitality to be part of a rotating team to facilitate Coffee Hour after church on Sundays, and possibly help with occasional all-church events. The main responsibilities are to setup, serve, and clean up the coffee and cookies or other goodies. The commitment would probably be once every six weeks. If you’re interested, please sign up in the Lobby after church on Sundays or call the Church Office.
Cards for LVPD, Staff and Chaplains
Our Missions team is continuing to support the Longview Police Department, Staff and Cowlitz Chaplains by providing them with cards of appreciation and encouragement and praying for them. If you would like to participate in this community outreach, blank cards are available in the Church Office. You may pick up one or more, write a note and then return it unsealed to the Office or the Missions folder in the hallway. It will be delivered by our Missions team.
The 100th Anniversary Planning meeting that was scheduled for Feb. 13 has been moved to Mar. 20 after the worship service. It will be in the Chapel.
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!
Feb 9 Wendell Kirkpatrick
Feb 11 Mel Ofstun
February Missions Focus:
Strengthening Churches and Leaders in Sweden
YTD INCOME: $577,325
TRUSTEES VISION: $8,000
YTD EXPENSE: $541,985