Sunnyside Communique

Dear Sunnysiders,

I write to you today devoid of any interesting stories or profound insights to pick up your spirits as you enter the Sabbath.  I guess that’s what happens when sleep is scarce and it is so easy to be distracted by 10-day-old cuteness.  In case you haven’t heard, Jaclyn safely delivered a baby boy, William Luther Lee Russell, at 8:22 PM on Monday, May 7.  Since then, our family has been in transition, getting used to an extra person and a bit less sleep.  One thing that has fascinated me about this transition is watching how Robby and Lucy adjust to this new family member.  There is no doubt that both kiddos are deeply in love with their baby brother.  But what fascinates me is that they communicate their love so differently.  Lucy is happy to sit on the couch and hold the sleeping baby for hours.  She’ll gently caress him and give him sweet kisses on the cheek.  Robby loves equally, but with a bit more exuberance.  He loves by flopping down beside baby William and assaulting him with kisses, something like a Labrador puppy.  He loves by bringing things to the baby.  A pacifier.  A blanket.  A basketball.  Whatever Robby thinks that little guy needs, he’s happy to provide. And he anxiously awaits the day when they can have wrestling matches in the living room.

The kids are so different, yet they each love completely in their own little way.  It reminds me a bit of our church community.  With hundreds of people trying to live and worship together, we’re bound to do things differently.  We offer worship differently.  We love differently.  We serve differently. We run committees differently. Yet the beauty of it all is that we’re all a part of the same family.  The challenge, then, is to value each other in spite of, no, because of our differences.  By doing things differently, we strengthen and enrich each other.

On to the news:

This week is a great milestone for our ReNew Sunnyside Project.  We have just crossed the $150,000 threshold. This means that there is only $100,000 remaining to reach our Phase 1 goal.  The board has challenged to do this by June 30 so that we can lock in savings and get things installed by early September.  Is it possible?  We think so.  But it will require everyone’s help.  Every $5, $10, $20 or $100 gets us a step closer to the goal.  If you want to get involved, you can give online at our website or mark your tithe envelope “ReNew Sunnyside.”

Sunnyside is the church that never sleeps and this weekend is no different.

Tomorrow at worship, Pastor Scott continues his series on Revelation with an intriguing look at Revelation’s 24 Elders.  You may be surprised what you hear.

At 3 PM we will be hosting the memorial service for Ken Hamilton.  If you know the family, plan to attend and offer your support.

Then at 7 PM, the Portland Adventist String Orchestra (PASO) will be performing their final concert.  If you attended their concert last year, in which they honored the founders of International Childrens’ Care and The Dougy Center, you know that PASO puts a lot of effort into providing a musically excellent, spiritually uplifting program.  This year, the program is titled “Instruments of Grace” and will be focusing on those people and institutions through which God works to bless people.  Don’t miss this inspiring concert.

This weekend, Sunday is a busy day as well.

The Pathfinders will be going to Pathfinder Fair at the Linn Co. Fairgrounds in Albany.  Everyone is invited to attend the fair where there are many activities and displays provided by Oregon’s Pathinders.  Don’t want to make the trip?  The whole event will be live-streamed by the Oregon Conference Communication Department.  You can view it at www.OregonConference.org throughout the day on Sunday.

Sunday night, we have very special Family Night with four unique events.

  • Solar Eclipse:  An annular solar eclipse will be in progress during family night.  Erick Nielsen will lead in a viewing party.
  • Photography:  View the best work of various Sunnyside photographers
  • Assisted Hearing Seminar: Learn about the latest technology in hearing aids and devices to help you hear better.
  • “Big Wall Climber”:  Hear Mark Smith’s story about climbing “Wings of Steel,” the most controversial climb on Yosemite’s El Capitan.

It is going to be a great weekend.  I hope that you’ll be a part of it.

Blessings,

Pastor Jonathan

About Jonathan

I am a husband, a father, and a follower of Jesus. I get excited about cultivating faith in the lives of my kids and exploring ways that the church can make a positive impact on its community.
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