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July, 2021 - Issue #201
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Still in it Together by Jay Siegel
A group of people were traveling in a boat. One of them took a drill and began to drill a hole beneath himself.
His companions said to him: "Why are you doing this?" Replied the man: "What concern is it of yours? Am I not drilling under my own place?"
Said they to him: "But you will flood the boat for us all!"
A year ago, we heard the inspired call from many that we are in this together. Uniquely, we were in this together, yet we were separated by so much. This experience was really a great equalizer. Now, as we are inundated by a return to activity and experiences we have longed for and have missed, we ought to remember the universal lesson: We are all in the same boat. We have learned that we share more with others than what separates us. We have more in common with our neighbor than differences. What unites us is stronger than what divides.
We are reminded to look up from our daily activities and realize those next to us are relying on us as we rely on them. Those around us are genuinely our fellow. We are all partners. In fact, no person is an island! We are all in the same boat - so let's not drill more holes and let's find a way to continue to row in unison.
Rabbi Jay Siegel of Congregation Beth Shalom 254-2411

Valencia UMC Celebrates 50th Anniversaryby Michelle Andrews
This July, Valencia UMC will celebrate its 50th anniversary. A lot has changed in that time as our community has grown from its sparsely-populated early years into the city that it is today. Santa Clarita is now filled with wonderful homes, schools and businesses - as well as plenty of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, shopping and fun.
In its 50 years of existence, VUMC has become a church that values worship, service and small groups/Bible study. We believe that Jesus calls us to an active faith. We are meant to engage in ways that make a difference in our community and in the world. Part of how we do that is through our "7 Things" - seven statements which describe who we are as a church.
We welcome you, your family, your doubts and your questions to join us as we seek to grow in our love for God and for each other. As we prepare to celebrate our first 50 years, we are also looking ahead with expectation to all that God will do in the future. We would love for you to join us for worship, adult Bible studies, kids and youth ministries, or serving with Bridge to Home or Family Promise.
Michelle Andrews is associate pastor of Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301

How to Please God by Jack Winkle
Being "right with God" is not a complex process for us. Salvation is offered to all and given to those who accept that Jesus did all the work necessary to complete that transformation from "lost" to "found." We are saved by grace, not by any works we do (Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace simply means "unmerited favor." We don't earn it - it's a gift from God, should we choose to receive it - and why wouldn't we?!?
So what do we do with the new life He gives, free from the eternal weight of our past mistakes, foolish choices and even disobedience to God's will for our lives? Where do we go from here?
That, too, is not a complex process for us. The Old Testament prophet, Micah, summed it up this way: "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" We do these things, not to earn God's favor, but out of our love for Him - for all He's done for us and continues to do every day of our lives.
Learn who God is and how to please Him. If you're looking for a church, find one that teaches God's Word - the Bible. Nothing more, nothing less. We'd love to see you!
Jack Winkle is the lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Valley calvarychapelgoldenvalley.org
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