Welcome to Valley Ministries
Valley Ministries Purpose ... Love God ... Love Others
“Woven into our lives is the very fire from the stars and genes from the sea creatures, and everyone, utterly everyone, is kin in the radiant tapestry of being.”
Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit
Can you believe it is December already? I have to be honest; I both love and hate this time of year. I love the spirit of celebration. It is a celebration of incarnate and sacrificial love offered freely that we might have abundant and eternal life. It is a time to take some time and space to reflect on how great, how wide, how big the love of God is. That is the part I love. The part I’m not so wild about is the part where that focus fades away and materialistic madness overpowers our attention. The ultimate act of unselfish love is overcome by so many acts of a me, myself, and I mentality.
We pretend that our shopping psychosis is founded in the selfless act of giving, but the reality is that the gift giving, for the most part, has become a senseless and thoughtless tradition that makes some look good and others look negligent. We give gifts to say we did, but they stand for nothing more. And in the meantime, crimes of violence and theft seem to soar in a time when we should be reminded of selfless and generous love. It is sadly ironic.
I wish, during this time of year, more people would pause in the presence of each other and iterate the idea that I used to begin this letter… Namaste! It is a term that essentially means I celebrate in you the place where we are all one. It is recognition that the same spirit within you, who designed you, is the spirit within each and every one of us, who designed each and every one of us. It is effectively saying I am a sacred being who recognizes the sacredness of you.
Another term that reiterates this concept is ‘Ubuntu.’ Ubuntu is a Xhosa word that recognizes that no one can survive without other people. A person is a person only through other persons. My humanity, therefore, is bound to your humanity.
This is a foundational logic for the Christian faith, but, much like the time of Christmas, it is a logic that often gets swallowed up in the moment. I used to believe, for example, that I needed to go into the world sharing the gospel because it would make me a better Christian. When I understood that this was not an act of religious obedience but an act of love – sharing love and giving love, it began to make a difference to the people with whom I shared this good news.
I am firmly convinced that we cannot effectively share the unconditional and amazing love of God until we recognize the sacredness in those to whom we are sharing. It is at that point that we recognize that they are just as deserving of that love as we are.
This advent season I encourage you to look for the unfolding of God in every single person that you encounter. When you look I am convinced that you will find – and when you find you will most assuredly experience God in a new and exciting way as your vision of God grows with the diversity of each sacred person you encounter.
I celebrate you, your creator, and your savior!
Homeless backpack needs:
We thank all of you and hope that many blessings are sent your way.
Supplies we ask for to meet our goal each month are:
Place your donated items in the box in the entry way. Replacement packs are also available. These are the large clear packs sitting beside the backpacks. No quantity is too small. Many thanks to those who have given of their time and money.
The Message on YouTube
Our Speakers: Rev. Terri Miller
Service Date: NOV 24, 2013
Scriptures: 1 John 5:4-6
"For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. "
More sermons on our YouTube Channel