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Greetings church family,
This weekend the majority of the Christian world will be celebrating Easter. What is Easter really about? Some people choose to look at all the negative aspects and they bring up the origins of Easter, eggs, and bunnies. There is value in knowing and understanding where things come from. If that knowledge forces you into a monocular focus it can be detrimental and cause you to lose sight of the entire picture.
We are told in the Bible that we should choose to dwell on the good, true, and honorable things. Paul wrote,
“whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely… if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” (Philippians. 4:8 NAS).
So, what is excellent and worthy of praise during this Easter season? There are several things that I would postulate are excellent and worthy of praise. Let’s consider three.
The first thing that I find excellent and worthy of praise during this time of year is the focus on love. First and foremost, the love that God had for us. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NAU). That is certainly an idea that is worth dwelling on and contemplating. The way Jesus looked past everything we are/were as sinners and gave His life for the chance that we would accept Him and be saved is truly divine love. Studies have shown that during this time of year people are more open to hearing about that divine love. So instead of focusing on correcting people’s understanding of origins why don’t we share about that divine love. Why don’t we invite them to come and learn about that divine love? This is an opportunity that I do not think we can afford to miss. Easter is about divine love.
A second thing that I find to be excellent is that this is a time of year when people are interested in taking part in community. The purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice was to bring together what had been torn apart. It was about bringing us back together with our heavenly family and Father. During this time of year, we see that same thing happening in our churches and families. There are people who choose to reacquaint themselves with their church communities this time of year. There are others who rededicate themselves to God as they contemplate the divine love that God exhibited for them. There are still other people who are brought together from the busiest fringes of the world around us to share in familial community. Anything that brings people back to church, back to God, and back to family in this day is worthy of praise in my book. So maybe we should take this opportunity to invite someone to share in community with us. We can invite them to come be a part of any community we are a part of with the assurance that we are doing God’s will. Easter is about community.
Finally, is the fact this is a time of celebration. We celebrate because Jesus went into that dark tomb and did not stay there. He rose again and now we know that if we pass into that sleep state of death we too will rise. We celebrate because we know that our heavenly Father has accepted the sacrifice of “the Lamb slain before the very foundations of the earth.” Because that sacrifice has been accepted we can have the full assurance that our sins are gone and that we have been set free. We celebrate because we know that Jesus’ victory means that there is a soon coming day where there will no more tears, no more sorrow, just brand new tomorrows. Easter is about celebrating.
My prayer and hope is that this Easter you will choose to dwell on the things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Enjoy the blessings that God wants to bestow upon you and your family during this time of year.
Blessings to you and yours,
Pastor Juan Fresse
Send your “shout-outs” to info@SunnysideAdventist.org so we can include them in next week’s Communiqué. This is a place you can recognize someone for doing good, or going beyond expectations.
Shout out to Rosemayne Thompson for patiently and skillfully teaching generations of bell ringers how to praise and honor God with their instruments!
Today’s worship services are at 8:45 and 11:15 am. We will be presented with “The Living Last Supper,” a reenactment of the Lord’s Last Supper as depicted in the painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Guest Potluck – If you are new to Sunnyside or visiting from out of town, we would like to invite you to get to know our church better over lunch. The Gingrich/ Roundtable Sabbath School classes will be hosting today’s lunch in the Willamette room following our second service.
Our monthly fellowship potluck will be next week. Plan to attend and bring enough food for your family as well as extra to serve our guests. This is a great time to visit with friends and make new acquaintances.
Betty Wicklund passed away March 15. A memorial service will be conducted for her at Sunnyside Church Sunday, April 15, 2:00 pm.
Our Pathfinders are working on a Paper Maché honor and need newspapers. There is a barrel in the Narthex where you may deposit any extra newspaper you have. Thank you.
We would welcome one or two more ringers for this 3-octave handchime choir. Ringing experience is not required, although an ability to read music at a beginning level is needed. The 5-octave choir needs another ringer for the smaller handbells. Someone with either experience or a willingness to learn to ring 4-in-hand is our current need. Please call Rosemayne at 503-730-5317 and share your interest. Let’s discuss the possibilities.
Sabbath, April 21, our worship service will be presented by Gerald Babanezhad, coordinator of Muslim Outreach at the Pacific Union Conference and board member of NAD Adventist Muslim Relations. He will share the historical setting and perspective of Islam, and the role of the Adventist church in sharing the Three Angel’s Message with Muslims. At 2:00 pm, there will be a mini piano concert by Gerald Babanezhad. At 2:30 pm, Gerald Babanezhad will present a seminar titled “Seeing Jesus Through Muslim Eyes.” Mark your calendar.
Family Resource Network –Thank you for your continued support that has helped so many people in their time of need. Place your funds in an envelope marked Family Resource Network, account number 488. Current need: Sofa and living room set (tables, etc.)
Life at Sunnyside
Portland Adventist Elementary School
April 19, 5:30 pm: PAES would like to invite all of our church families to “STEAM NIGHT” on Thursday, April 19 starting with dinner in the Gym from 5:30-6:30, Book Fair opens at 5:30 in the Round, K-8 Classrooms open 6-7:15, Preschool is open 6-7. Come Create-Explore-Build-Play.
April 27, 1-2:30 pm: PAES would like to invite all prospective Kindergarteners and First Graders to “K/1st VISITATION.” Everyone attending needs to call 503-665-4102 or e-mail Krista at firstname.lastname@example.org by 2:00 on Friday, April 13. We look forward to seeing you!
Portland Adventist Academy
Snow Days are eLearning Days at PAA
Last year’s record number of weather-related school-closures prompted Oregon Conference educators to solve the problem of lost learning through a modern solution. Snow days are now eLearning days and PAA got to experience them officially for the first time last month. Read more here: http://paasda.org/news/education-survives-snow-storm/
Area Events and Announcements
Renee Geppert passed away March 13. A memorial service will be conducted for her, Sunday, April 22, 4:00 pm, in the Lents Church sanctuary. A light supper reception will follow in the Lents Activity Center.
April 6, 7:15 pm: First Friday.
First Friday will be held on April 6 from 7:15 pm to 8:30 pm. First Fridays are a time of music and spiritual fellowship and we would like to encourage you to join us. The April First Friday program will feature praise and worship by the Adventist Health praise band as well as a mini-concert from the Portland Adventist Academy Gospel Choir and a Story of Hope from Dr. Terry Johnsson. Registration for the free April First Friday soup and salad dinner will open on March 26 and will run through Wednesday, April 4. Be sure to reserve your spot! Remember that registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and each dinner guest must register separately. Soup and salad will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6. Registration link: https://www.adventisthealth.org/nw/event/first–friday-soup-and-salad-dinner
Event Location: Adventist Medical Center Amphitheaters
April 7, 6:00 pm: Reflections Choir in Concert.
Reflections is a choir of Adventist homeschooled students who love to sing for the glory of God and directed by Calvin Knipschild. Join us!
Event Location: The Village Retirement Center in Gresham
April 12, 7:00 pm: Oregon Conference Connect.
All Oregon Conference members are invited to participate in our annual “Conference Connect” town hall series this April. The Conference administrators and ministry leaders will be on hand to dialogue with members and share pertinent information from around our area. Attendees can expect to give feedback on administrative reports and to explore ways to optimize the blessings of the Gladstone Park campus.
Event Location: Sunnyside Adventist Church.
April 21, 5:00 pm: OAMC in Concert.Come and enjoy our 24th annual spring concert of the Oregon Adventist Men’s Chorus. Free tickets are now available at www.oamc.org or by calling 503-970-1693. Limited seating. Event Location: Adventist Community Church, Vancouver.
April 22, 9:00 am-5:00 pm: Hands-on Gardening Workshop.
Learn techniques guaranteed to grow a robust garden of healing foods, high in nutrients which are so lacking in today’s produce. Learn how to plant a tree using methods first introduced by Ellen White. Lynn Hoag of SunCountryGardens.com has made a lifetime study of these principles and will present a wealth of information so you too can grow your ideal garden! Bring a shovel, garden rake, brown bag lunch, and be prepared for a lot of fun! Kids welcome! Free if you bring a non-Adventist friend! For information and to register by April 8, email Marilyn.Puccinelli@gmail.com or call 360-609-1461. See you there!
Event Location: Vancouver Community Adventist Church.
July 12-14 and July 17-21: Gladstone Camp Meeting.
Come be part of the team! Do you want to have a great time helping others and being part of a team that feels like family? If so, consider volunteering during camp meeting this year! We’re looking for hardworking individuals who want to serve God through service to others… and who want to have fun doing it! We need volunteers for Hispanic Camp Meeting (July 12-14) and Gladstone Camp Meeting (July 17-21) in a variety of areas including hospitality, shuttle service, safety, and security. We will also need licensed RNs and EMTs/paramedics. Whether you can work one day or all week, we’d love to have you on our team! To volunteer, visit http://volunteers.oregonconference.org or contact Lisa Rodriguez at email@example.com or at 503-850-3350.
October 15-26, 2018. Bible Exploration Tour – Israel and Jordan.
Explore Israel and Jordan with Alexander (Sasha) Bolotnikov, who has been leading Bible Exploration tours for 20 years. Born in Communist USSR Dr. Bolotnikov is a specialist in the Old Testament and Judaic studies. His tours have a unique flavor. You will be immersed not only in the world of the Old and New Testament but will also have a first-hand experience in reaching the Jewish and Middle Eastern culture and heritage. The tour starts on October 14 and ends October 26, 2018. The price is $1950 (excluding airfare). For the brochure, please contact Bob Glass at 541-261-2381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meadow Glade Adventist Elementary School has a job opening for a maintenance worker for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year. Looking for an individual with prior experience in a large school or other large facilities. This individual must be a self-starter with prior general knowledge of electrical, plumbing, construction, and servicing and maintenance of buildings and fleet equipment. Please send resume and three references to Ric Peinado at email@example.com, or contact the school at 360-687-5121 for a full job description.
Secretary needed at Gladstone Park Church. To be a good fit you must be supportive of local church leadership, mission, and vision, as well as a supportive member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; have an ability to exhibit clear, prompt, and positive communication; value punctuality, and be dedicated to meet project deadlines in a timely manner; have excellent organizational skills, and a willingness to take direction, and coaching. For a complete job description, contact Pastor Nate Hellman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 541-391-2543. Applications are available at the church office or at https://orgchr.netadvent.org/uploaded_assets/297467.
Help someone by volunteering: PACS (Portland Adventist Community Services) has volunteer opportunities in the Food Pantry and Thrift Stores. We are currently in need of morning drivers/riders, cashiers, and goods processing. Apply online at pacsonline.org or call 503-252-8500 and ask for Kellie for more information.