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Hello Church Family!
It’s easy to fall into routines. This is no less true in spiritual matters than mundane. Most of us have fallen into a pattern of spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study. These two disciplines are foundational and enriching, but they are not all the Bible teaches about how we can connect better to God.
I believe that if we’re willing to explore a little deeper into the Bible’s teachings on spiritual practices, we will find ourselves in much closer communion with our God. As a result, I’ve started using this space to share a few disciplines that I’ve found in the words of God. The last two times, we talked about rejoicing, but some of you may have noticed that we didn’t actually address suffering. This week is for you.
This week, we are talking about lament.
It might seem strange that I call lament a spiritual discipline, but it is! And more than that, I would venture to say that it is likely the mostly neglected spiritual discipline in our churches today.
Think about how we usually talk to each other in church:
“This week, such and such happened, but it was such a blessing because __.”
“This week was….long, but that’s why I’m so grateful to be able to come to church and rejoice in the Lord!”
We have created a modern church culture of something I like to call “crocheted-pillow Christianity.” What I mean by this is that we have this idea that to be a good Christian, we must always be happy and content and at peace. And so we have learned that in speaking with other Christians, we must use language that carefully hides the imperfect parts of our lives behind trite sayings that don’t really reflect our experience or how we feel.
But in scripture, we find that God’s people are often expressing all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. There’s even an entire book devoted to and named after this process: Lamentations.
Lament is the process of speaking aloud the sorrows of your heart and the troubles of your life. It is the act of bringing the ugly, dirty, broken, and sharp parts of your life before God and saying, “Here is what I’m dealing with. Here is what I’m feeling.”
It can feel wrong, unholy, or even blasphemous to tell God just what we think and feel sometimes. But far from being improper, this is exactly what God asks of us! Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” God earnestly desires us to bring to Him all our troubles and cares and disappointments – even our disappointments in God Himself.
So this week, read one of the Psalms of lament, read some of Lamentations, or maybe a little of Ecclesiastes.
Then find a quiet place, and bring your own lament before God.
Learn to say with the Psalmist:
“All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away” (Ps. 38:9-11).
Pastor Jonathan Stephan
A special shout out to Evelyn Hull and Sally Miller for putting together such an awesome Community Event last week. We had a great evening eating together and enjoying the hands-on show The Reptile Man presented. Thank you Evelyn and Sally!
Welcome to Sunnyside today. Thank you for joining us for worship. We pray for God’s special blessing on you as we worship together.
Pray for the following families:
† Gene Wibe passed away Friday, March 17. He was an active member of Sunnyside Church for 65 years! At his request, there will not be a memorial service.
† Forrest Robertson passed away on Tuesday, March 14. A memorial service will be conducted on Sunday, May 7, at 11:00 am, here at Sunnyside Church.
† Gene Lysinger, a former member, has passed away. Many of you will remember him as a choir director here at Sunnyside. There will be a memorial service for him tomorrow, Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 2:00 pm. A choir has been formed and will be singing in memory of him, and a potluck reception will follow the service.
Membership Transfer — Second Reading: Sussie Moturi to Temple Three Angels SDA Church, Texas.
Next Sabbath, April 1, immediately after our worship service, there will be an all-church potluck. Bring your favorite potluck food with enough to feed your family and more for our guests.
Also, on April 1, we will enjoy a “Ministry Fair.” We have listed each group involved in making our church who we are. Please take time to educate yourself about each group, browse the display tables, ask questions, and sign up to help in an area of your interest. If you have a suggestion for another group, we are open to your suggestions. Remember, you are the ones who make up the members and leaders of Sunnyside Church. We are a community of believers that enjoy working together for a common goal — and that is to be united, bring organization to the church, serve in ministry together, and prepare for our Savior’s return.
It is not too late to sign up for the Book Club to be held at Sunnyside Church! The starting date will soon be announced. Please bring a friend or family member. Our first book will be “Christ’s Object Lessons.” To sign up or if you have any questions call Doreen, Bible Worker, at 408-802-3139.
The Sunnyside choir is recruiting singers for the Easter Program with the orchestra. Rehearsals are on Thursdays at 7:00 pm. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in singing with us. Sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus this Easter.
Easter Sabbath the choir and orchestra will be performing Handel’s Hallelujah chorus and we are welcoming congregational members to sing with us. Learn your part at home. Click Here for part-specific practice tracks. Visit the Sunnyside website, and click on “Our Ministries,” to download a digital score. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nominating Committee is about to convene. This is the group that is responsible for selecting people to volunteer in the church. Sunnyside is so successful because of you and how much you care for your church. Each one of you is asked to consider and pray about where you would like to serve in our Sunnyside community. We are family and we need each other. Please take this seriously and let us know in what group you would like to serve. When you are contacted consider it a privilege. Send your area of interest to info@SunnysideAdventist.org, or feel free to contact one of the Nominating Committee members.
The class on the book of Daniel, conducted by Conrad Gren, meets on Tuesdays at 4:00 pm, in the Bridal Room.
Tuesday evenings are known as “Bread Nights” when we feed the WWU nursing students a meal once a week. We need more helpers — please consider joining us. Contact David Duffield, 901-481-7875.
Wednesday mornings at 10:00, FaithLift, a group for ladies, meets here at the church to study the Bible, share their stories, and pray together over many needs as well as for those that need extra prayers. If this sounds like something you would enjoy attending, please come and join us. If you cannot be here in person, there is a Zoom link available to be able to join remotely.
Wednesday mornings at 10:00 our Men’s Bible Study group meets to study the Bible together in the Columbia Room. Men, you are all invited to join us for this weekly study.
Handbells! Have you ever wanted to try ringing a handbell or a chime, or wondered what handbell music looks like? Every Thursday at 7:00 pm, you are invited to the choir room for an opportunity to look at music, try out the bells, meet our current members, and get more information about our Sunnyside Handbell Choir. For more information, please contact Karl Helton at email@example.com
Our new flower calendar is now posted in the hallway and on our website. Please choose a date to share flowers with our Sunnyside family for our worship services and place your name on it. As the date gets closer, we will contact you to see what message you would like to put in the bulletin about the flowers.
The Church Library is open! The library is open on the 1st and 3rd Sabbaths of the month. Hours are 10:45-11:15 am, and 12:30-1:00 pm. The church library has a wide selection of books available for our members to borrow, so please stop by.
We would like to publicly recognize special milestones in your life. Please take a moment to share with us special birthdays, anniversaries, or any other celebrations. We are family and we would like to share with each other. Also, please let us know when you are sick or need other prayers. We want to be a part of your life and pray together with you. Send an email to info@SunnysideAdventist.org or call the office at 503-252-8080 and let us know the latest with your family!
Directory photos — just a reminder. We have a photo directory, but we are missing many photos or several need to be updated. Please help us know who you are by picture. Send a snapshot or professional picture and we will upload it to the directory for you. Thank you.
If you require financial help with rent, utilities, or other needs, the Family Resource Network stands by to help. Or if you know of a fellow church member that may need help and is hesitant to ask, let us know. Call the church office at 503-252-8080 or send an email to info@SunnysideAdventist.org.
Mark your calendar for the upcoming events here at Sunnyside Church:
* April 1, 12:45 pm All-church Potluck
3:00 pm Sing to the Lord (Sanctuary)
* April 8, 11:15 pm Easter Worship Service
* April 16, 3:30 pm Edgerton Memorial Service
* April 22, 4:00 pm Evensong
* April 29, 4:30 pm “Together in Mission”
Oregon Conference discussions
Today: Viorica Gramada; Sunday: Marlee Blaire, Eugene Lambert, Cindy Mulflur, Wendy van Rooyen; Monday: Laverne Herr, Diane Stillman; Tuesday: Delynn Amerman, Jon Pitts; Wednesday: Helen Ferrier; Friday: Lily Baraka, Maygene Wesslen
AREA EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
We are excited to invite you to our first ever PDX Children’s Church! It will be on April 22, 2023, in the Holden Center from 11:00-12:30 pm. Free lunch included for all who register.
Stick around after lunch from 1:30-3:30 pm for Pass It On Workshop: Real Life Tools For Passing Faith On To Our Kids. Childcare will be provided for all potty-trained children who are registered for this portion of the event.
Sabbath, April 29, 4:30 pm, at Sunnyside Adventist Church, the Oregon Conference administrators invite you to join Adventists from our area in a “Together in Mission” celebration. In this afternoon meeting, we will worship, fellowship, talk together about the mission of the Oregon Conference churches and schools, and have a Q&A with the Conference officers.
Gladstone Open — Singles and Double Disc Golf Tournament fundraiser May 7th at the Oregon campgrounds in Gladstone benefiting Livingstone Adventist Academy after-school programs. http://tinyurl.com/gladstoneopen
Attention Columbia Adventist Academy alumni: Columbia Adventist Academy Alumni Reunion Weekend is happening March 31 – April 2, 2023!This year’s honor classes include the following years: ’43, ’48, ’53, ’63, ’73, ’83, ’93, ’98, ’03, ’13, and ‘23
Portland Adventist Elementary School
Portland Adventist Elementary School (PAES) is seeking candidates for a 1st Grade long-term substitute teaching position for the remainder of this school year. Our school serves a diverse population and welcomes all students who desire an opportunity to learn more about Jesus. We are committed to being a light in our community and unlocking the potential of every child.
Portland Adventist Academy
SAVE THE DATE – Alumni Weekend May 5-7, 2023
In-person, on the PAA Campus.
Honor Classes: ‘43, ’48 (75-year), ‘53, ‘63, ‘73 (50-year), ‘83, ‘93, ‘98 (25-year), ‘03, ‘13, ‘18 (5-year)
More info on the Alumni web page.
PAA & AmazonSmile. You may have heard that Amazon.com is discontinuing the AmazonSmile charitable giving program. We thank you for choosing PAA for this program. PAA has received about $900 through the Amazon program since 2018. Thank you!
PAA & Fred Meyer. You may support PAA through the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program. Just connect a Fred Meyer digital account and connect it to your Shopper’s Card, and designate Portland Adventist Academy as the organization you wish to support. You can get it all done on the Fred Meyer website here: https://www.fredmeyer.com/i/community/community-rewards
Walla Walla University
PACS Food Pantry Drive-thru OPEN Mon-Fri from 9:00-11:00 am, with an after-work option once a month from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm every third Thursday of the month. We are still operating with social distancing and social responsibility. If you or someone you know needs food, please tell them about us. If you cannot make it to PACS please send a note with someone and they can get you food. Any questions please call PACS at 503-252-8500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located at 11020 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97220.
PACS Thrift Store is OPEN –Sun 11 am-4 pm, Mon-Wed 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Thurs 9:00 am-7:00 pm & Friday 9:00 am-2:30 pm. Our donation drop-off center is open and needs your donations! Mon – Thurs 9:00-1:00 pm and Sun 11:00 am-2:00 pm. If you have any questions about what items we accept, please give us a call at
Depending on volunteer availability, we offer pick-up service for a small fee. If you have furniture or larger items and no way to get rid of them, give us a call and we’ll do our best to help you out! Located at 11020 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97220.
Gateway Grace Dental Clinic at PACS is OPEN
Gateway Grace Clinic at PACS is open and accepting uninsured patients for low-cost preventative dental care. If you or someone you know needs to schedule an appointment with us, please call
503-907-6768 or email email@example.com.
Empty Egg Cartons? PACS Needs Them!
If you have any 12-count empty egg cartons we would love to take them off your hands to use in our food pantry! Please drop them off at our PACS Office or Donation Receiving. Thank you in advance!
PACS Thrift Store – At Home Shopping: www.facebook.com/groups/pacsthriftstore.
Portland Adventist Community Services is hiring! We have two crucial part-time positions available and are looking to interview immediately. If you or someone you know are interested in either of these part-time jobs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.pacsonline.org/jobs to learn more about the positions.
Walla Walla University’s School of Nursing is Hiring!
Would you or someone you know like to join the WWU nursing team in Portland, Oregon? We are hiring for several positions including Advanced Acute clinical instructors, Community Health clinic instructors, and a full-time Faculty in Family Nursing. You can review these and other openings at jobs.wallawalla.edu.
Adventist Health Hospice is looking for compassionate volunteers to provide companionship to patients, provide a much-needed brief break for a tired caregiver, make phone calls on Thursdays to check on patient supplies or assist with light housekeeping, errands, or pet support. Thorough training and support provided by Adventist Health Hospice team members. If interested to learn more, contact Karen Hartmann, Bereavement/Volunteer Coordinator, at 503-251-6192 or email Hartmakl@ah.org. You can make a loving difference in someone’s life at a challenging time.
Volunteers Needed at PACS
PACS’ thrift store, food pantry, and dental clinic all need volunteers. We have lots of fun and exciting jobs ranging from customer-facing cashiers and greeters to pricers and truck drivers behind the scenes. No experience or age requirements to volunteer, we’re happy to train you and welcome the entire family! If you’re interested, please contact our volunteer manager Gerelisa at email@example.com or call 503-252-8500 x1130. Thanks!
Camp Meeting is coming July 13-15 for Spanish and July 18-22 for English! If you would like to volunteer in any of the departments, please fill out the online Volunteer Registration form at https://lfforms.oc.npuc.org/Forms/pub-2023CMREG . You will find the Departments and descriptions for all the volunteer positions on the conference website. There are a limited number of paid positions available for kitchen and cleaning crew staff during Camp Meeting, as well as the Summer Grounds Crew June-July. Thank you for signing up now and helping with Camp Meeting!