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CHOICES
Submitted By Dick Davison

Romans 2:6-8 “God will repay everyone based on their works. On the one hand, he will give eternal life to those who look for glory, honor, and immortality based on their patient good work. But on the other hand, there will be wrath and anger for those who obey wickedness instead of the truth because they are acting out of selfishness and disobedience.” 

To do nothing is a choice. Aristides de Sousa Mendes made a choice to do something. Sousa Mendes was a Portuguese aristocrat, diplomat, and devout Catholic. In June of 1940, he was serving as consul general in Bordeaux, France. As the Nazis invaded France and the low countries, 6-10 million people fled south searching the country for exit visas. The population of Bordeaux more than doubled. Thousands massed outside the Portuguese consulate hoping for a visa from neutral Portugal allowing them passage through Spain and on to Lisbon where they could take a ship out of Europe. Unfortunately, Portuguese dictator Salazar had previously issued a missive forbidding diplomats from offering visas to most refugees, especially Jews. 

As Mendes witnessed the suffering throughout the city, he requested permission from Lisbon to issue visas. The request was denied. Mendes went into isolation suffering a mental breakdown. Three days later he emerged and said: “I am going to issue a visa to anyone who asks for it. Even if I am discharged, I can only act as a Christian as my conscience tells me.” He established an assembly line type procedure to speed up the process. 

A week later, Salazar cabled Mendes stating that “You are strictly forbidden to grant anyone a visa into Portugal”. Instead, he continued until he was later recalled to Lisbon where a disciplinary proceeding was initiated. At the hearing, Mendes said: “I would rather stand with God against man, than with man against God”. It cost him everything except his family, his self-respect, and his faith. He lived in poverty until his death. The exact numbers are not known because some of his records have not been found but it is estimated that he saved 10,000 to 20,000 lives. 

None of us will face the kind of choice Mendes did but we all face choices every day even in the twilight of our days. What choice will God place before you today? What choice will God place before me today? Remember doing nothing is a choice. Choose wisely! 

Acknowledgment: Information about Sousa Mendes came from The Smithsonian, November 2021.

Dick Davison

Written by Dr. Atul Gawande, BEING MORTAL discusses the last stages of life from his experiences with patients.  This class will meet for 6 weeks for 90 minutes and will be facilitated by Eloise Fredrickson, Chris Erickson, and Pastor Diane Christopher. Purchase books online or through Pastor Diane. Books are $10.00

Please get the book and read chapter one before class starts.
Women's Ministries WILL have a lunch Gathering on January 18th at 11:30.  The program will be about Ronald McDonald House in Tucson and the Presby Gift will be cash donations to go to Ronald McDonald House. Reservations will be taken before and after Worship Service at the Women's Ministries table on January 9th and 16th. The cost is $11.00
Music in the Valley Presents!

An afternoon of popular classical, broadway, and pop string quartet music!
 
Tickets are $20.00 and available Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm 
How does your faith work? Is it working? Chuck Ramsay is facilitating this class that will help all of us strengthen our faith through each other's experiences, successes, and stories. This is basic Christianity. How do we take Sunday morning faith, put it to work, and live the best life we can? That is the mission of the new Faith Works class with a Zoom option as well. (Persons wanting the Zoom meeting option please email Pastor Diane.) 
We are blessed again to have Pam and Dave L. (confidential) seasoned and fun missionaries with Operation Mobilization.

they have visited VPC many times and have inspired, stimulated, and challenged our spirit to serve in the mission field. 

We have many opportunities for interaction with Pam and Dave L.
  1. January 22nd at 8:30 am in the Fellowship Hall, join us for the Mission Breakfast. Tickets are on sale on January 9th and 16th for $5.00. 
  2. January 23rd, join us for Mission Sunday.
  3. January 23rd  from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (New Venue) in the Fellowship Hall. Cookies welcome.
Do you want to learn more about Valley Pres? Are you wondering how you can be more involved? Perhaps, you are thinking about becoming a member. The Exploring Membership Class is designed to answer your questions and take you through the steps toward membership.
 
In this class, you will explore the wonderful reasons to join a church, and what it means to be Presbyterian. You will discover all the different service opportunities this church has to offer. You will meet the pastors and leaders, and many others who give their time and talents to serve Christ through Valley Pres.
 
You can become an affiliate member (whereby you keep your main membership with your church back “home”) or an active member (full membership here at Valley).
 
Contact Pastor Diane Christopher to register (520-625-5023)
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Valley Presbyterian Church
2800 S. Camino del Sol
Green Valley, AZ 85622
(520) 625-5023
vpc-office@valleypres.net

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Valley Presbyterian Church · 2800 S Camino Del Sol · Green Valley, AZ 85622 · USA