2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue V May 2016
FROM THE PASTOR
Strength for Service was a popular devotional book published in 1942 by The Methodist Publishing House and distributed to American military personnel during WW II and the Korean Conflict. It fell out of print in the 1950s.
Strength for Service was brought back to life in 1998 by an Eagle Scout named Evan Hunsberger. After discovering a worn copy of the volume that had belonged to his World War II Corpsman grandfather, Hunsberger devoted himself to the republishing of Strength for Service.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM) has been actively raising awareness and financial support to supply a copy to every man and woman serving in the U.S. armed forces worldwide. As steward of the project, the organization developed subsequent versions of Strength for Service that would appeal to public servants and other civilians, including Scouts.
Churches are being encouraged to purchase Strength for Service to God and Community devotionals to present to fire stations and police departments in their communities around the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Our Lay Leader, Robin Wilkening, has learned that the Portage Fire Department has 63 members and the Portage Police Department has 67. So we need at least 130 copies. If we order before May 27, the price will be discounted 35% and a case of 52 will cost us $300. Doing the math, we need to raise $900 before May 27 to order 3 cases.
If you are willing and able to give generously to this outreach effort in addition to your regular generous and sacrificial giving back to God through our church, please do so and mark your offering envelope or designation through PushPay “Strength for Service.”
Finally, if you are eligible to vote in the May 3 Indiana primaries, please do so. The First Amendment protects the church from undue influence from government, but it does not prohibit the church from seeking to influence the government, especially through the election of good and godly representative leaders.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
May 8th is Mother’s Day. Celebrate and join us for breakfast served between 9:30 and 11:30 in the fellowship hall.
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR MAYSAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR MAY
We are challenging ourselves to read through the Bible in 2016. The page numbers for the following daily readings are from the paperback New Living Translation Bibles available at no cost.
May 1 Psalm 133 pp 371
May 2 Psalms 102-104 pp 358-360
May 3 2 Samuel 5:11-6:23, 1 Chronicles 13-16 pp 185-186, 249-251
May 4 Psalms 1-2, 15, 22-24, 47,68 pp324,327,330-331,339,346
May 5 Psalms 89, 96, 100-101, 105, 132 pp355-56,357,358,360-61, 370-71
May 6 2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17 pp186, 251
May 7 Psalms 25, 29, 33, 36, 39 pp331,332,334,335,336-337
May 8 2 Samuel 8-9, 1 Chronicles 18 pp186-187, 251-252
May 9 Psalms 50, 53, 60, 75 pp340-341,341-342,344,349-50
May 10 2 Samuel 10, 1 Chronicles 19, Psalm 20 pp 187, 252,329-330
May 11 Psalms 65-67, 69-70 pp345-346, 346-347
May 12 2 Samuel 11-12, 1 Chronicles 20 pp187-189, 252
May 13 Psalms 32, 51, 86, 122 pp333-334,341,354,369
May 14 2 Samuel 13-15 pp189-191
May 15 Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55 pp324-325,327,332,342
May 16 2 Samuel 16-18 pp 191-193
May 17 Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64 pp331-332,337,343,344,345
May 18 2 Samuel 19-21 pp193-196
May 19 Psalms 5, 38, 41-42 pp325,336,337-338
May 20 2 Samuel 22-23, Psalm 57 pp196-198, 343
May 21 Psalms 95, 97-99 pp357,357-358
May 22 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21-22, Psalm 30 pp198, 252-254,332-333
May 23 Psalms 108-110 pp363-364
May 24 1 Chronicles 23-25 pp254-256
May 25 Psalms 131,138-139, 143-145 pp370,372-373,373-374
May 26 1 Chronicles 26-29, Psalm 127 pp 256-259,370
May 27 Psalms 111-118 pp364-366
May 28 1 Kings 1-2, Psalms 37, 71, 94 pp199-201,320-21,347-348,357
May 29 Psalm 119:1-88 pp366-367
May 30 1 Kings 3-4, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 72 pp201-202,260, 348
May 31 Psalm 119:89-176 pp367-369
Don't forget to pick up your copy of the May/June Upper Room. They're at the Connection Center
WORSHIP THEMES FOR MAY
May 1 Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Good-bye Scare City Pastor Mark
BUILDING ALTARS EVERYWHERE
1 Timothy 6:18-19
May 8 Mothers Day Pastor Deb
Title: “M” is For the Million Things You Gave Me”
1 Kings3:16-28, Acts 8:26-39, Luke 13:34-35
May 15 Pentecost Pastor Mark
LIGHT ME UP!
May 22 Fundamentals, Not Fundamentalism
This series will be a “back to basics” summer series on the essentials of our Wesleyan/Arminian theology and doctrine.
WESLEY, WESLEYAN & ARMINIAN Pastor Mark
1 Timothy 2:1-4
May 29 Fundamentals, Not Fundamentalism Pastor Mark
THE WAY OF SALVATION STARTS WITH LOVE
1 John 4:8b, 16
HAVE YOU TRIED PUSHPAY YET?
Have you ever come to worship and realized you left your offering envelope at home or learned of a worthwhile mission you want to support only to realize you did not bring your checkbook? Wouldn’t it be a blessing to be able to give back to God in a matter of seconds using your smartphone or tablet, laptop or desktop?
We have partnered with a company named Pushpay to help us move into the 21st Century with our financial stewardship. Fewer and fewer people write checks much less use cash, especially younger adults.
Pushpay will allow us to give one-time gifts, recurring gifts or special gifts using debit or credit cards or ACH transactions from our bank accounts.
It is quite easy to get started. Simply text ‘pfumc’ to 77977 and follow the instructions on your screen. As part of the process you will be able to download the Pushpay app for either iPhone or Android.
We also have a giving link through Pushpay on our new website www.portageumc.org and the company is working to create a custom app for our church. The app will have many potential uses for information and communication. We might even be able to put the worship bulletins on there and save some trees.
Mom’s with children of all ages – infant through teens!
Here’s an opportunity to with other Mom’s for support and Bible Study. Your children will be cared for in the same home as your meeting. Sound interesting? Come out on Friday, April 29th at 6:30 to discuss what the group will be about. Bring the kids. Heather Schulz is opening her home which is at 6297 Victory Ave., Portage.
Moms will meet the second Friday of each month starting May 13 at 6:30. There will also be an event for Mom’s and kids once a month which will be free or inexpensive. (These activities will be geared for children under 12)
Come see what it’s all about:
FRIDAY, APRIL 29
6297 VICTORY AVE., PORTAGE
Questions? Talk with Heather Schulz
Looking for persons who would like to volunteer (once a month on a rotating basis) to help with the fun things being planned for the kids. Please consider sharing your love and talent. Activities will be planned in advance and materials provided. Please let Pastor Deb know you are willing. Background checks will need to be completed.
The April 1 blood drive brought out 52 donors and yielded 48 pints of life-giving blood!
Children’s Church MAY SCHEDULE
May 1 Cheryl Hamilton and Judy Hedstrom
May 8 Wendy Smith and Pam Parks
May 15 Simeon and Pastor Deb
May 22 Bill and Shannon Liesch
May 29 Donna Lenburg and Pastor Deb
Royal Family Kids Caml
Summer is just around the corner and many children a preparing for camp and the joys that go with it. One camp that we have supported for many years is Royal Family Kids Camp. This is a camp for abused children, many of which have been removed from the abusive situation and live in foster homes. To make it easier on these foster families, we provide the children a back pack with all the hygiene products they may need for the week:
- Bath towel and wash cloth
- Toothbrush and tooth paste
- Body wash or soap
- 1 bottle of Shampoo and one bottle of conditioner
- Comb and brush
We are rolling out the ‘red carpet’ to say THANK YOU to all who have given of their time to help with the ministries within our church and community.
It takes a church family, working together, to fully be the body of Christ in our community. We each have gifts that are used, each as important as the other. If you have washed dishes, served in the kitchen, sing in the choir, praise team or bell choir, do the kitchen laundry, helped with the rummage sale, serve on a committee or team, help with the blood drive, run the media/av, work with the blood drive, serve as a Congregational Care Minister, teach Sunday School, led a fish group, help with our children’s ministries, keep the lights working and assorted repairs…if… The ways are so numerous I could never name them all. You are each invited to this special time as we want you to know you are greatly appreciated.
FRIDAY, MAY 13
DINNER SERVED FROM 6:00-6:45
AWARDS CEREMONY BEGINS AT 7PM
To make this even more special you are invited to come dressed to the ‘nines’ in gowns and suits or as your favorite movie character or come as you are.
BIBLE 101 is taking a break for the summer and will reconvene in September. Hope you will consider joining us as we continue our journey through Bible Basics. Specific date will be announced in August.
A NOTE FROM PASTOR DEB
I am so happy to see our church family and community coming together for food and fun! Since January we have had a monthly gathering for a meal and special program. Invitations have been extended through the Township Trustees office, Bonner Center and the Portage Township Food Pantry. The meal is simple and donations are accepted but not required.
I see our goal as being multi-faceted:
- Bringing people together for a meal and entertainment.
- Stretching family food budgets
- Nurturing friendships
- Laughing – something we all need to do more often
Because they have been successful we will continue through the summer.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Chris Adkins who planned a special game night for the April.
Enjoy the beauty of the new life of spring.
Mission Impossible Kids will be gone fishin’ on Sunday, May 15th. They have their bait and their poles but may be asking you for some help. As you know this dynamic group is focused on helping others. So, they will be looking for sponsors who are willing to pledge an amount per fish they catch (and a little extra if they ‘kiss the fish’ before throwing back) or a flat donation. The money raised will be used to help purchase a fish pond in a third world country through Heifer International.
MPKIds will want to be at the church at 1:00 with an adult and your fishing gear.
Ten Days Of Prayer
For the past several years Portage First has joined with other churches in our community for prayer 10 days leading up to Pentecost. Prayer is communicating with God however it takes on many forms. Throughout the years I have been touched by the variety of the prayer services. I encourage you to attend as often as possible. You will be blessed.
Global Days of Prayer 2016 - Schedule
Thurs, May 5, 7:00 pm Portage United Methodist Church
Pastor Mark Dicken, 2715 McCool, Portage
Fri, May 6, 7:00 pm, House of Prayer Church,
Pastor Darius Matthews, 2738 Blake Road, Portage
Sat, May 7, 6:00 pm, South Haven Church of the Nazarene
Pastor Scott Jones, 621 N. Wolf Rd. 450W, Valparaiso
Sun, May 8, 6:00 pm, Crossroads Family Church,
Pastor Mike Bean, 2386 Willowcreek Road, Portage
Mon, May 9, 7:00 pm, Portage YMCA,
3100 Willowcreek Rd, Portage
Tue, May 10, 7:00 pm, Central Ave Church of God,
Pastor Jerry Martin, 5120 Central Ave, Portage
*Wed, May 11, 7:00 pm, Ogden Dunes Community Church,
Pastor Lloyd Sewdin, 116 Hillcrest Road, Ogden Dunes
*Wed, May 11, 7:00 pm Iglesia Vision De Dios
Pastor Felisa Roman, 1 West Old Ridge Road, Hobart,
(Take N. Lake Park Ave south from Route 6)
Thursday, May 12, 7:00 Grace Church of the Nazarene,
Pastor Mark Hostetler, 5360 Clem Road, Portage
Friday, May 13, 7:00 pm, City Point Church,
Pastor Mike Hendon, 6474 Central Ave, Portage
Saturday, May 14, 6:00 pm, Evangelical Covenant Church,
Pastor Michaile Broadnax, 5051 Central Ave, Portage
Sunday, May 15, Pentecost Sunday All Churches
*Two services on the same night
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
UMM sponsoring a church night at Gary Southshore Railcats
6:10 game - FIREWORKS to follow
More information about prices to come
Thank you to all who sent cards, well wishes and visited me
for my recent hip fracture. I especially want to thank
the Sunday School department for the beautiful handmade cards
and pictures and to the 2nd & 3rd grade class for singing to me
"Jesus Loves Me" on Easter Sunday! Thank you so much!
With love, Patti Coates
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, May 6th @ 9:30 am
Betsy Chinn from the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA)
will be here to tell us about the programs and services
Join us for fellowship, breakfast snacks and our speaker,
Betsy Chinn on Friday morning.
ALL women of ALL ages are welcome!
Child care will be provided, if needed.
Please call the church office by Wednesday, May 4th
Hope to see you there!
First Friday Fellowship will meet Friday, May 6th at 5pm at Martini’s Steak & Seafood, 1004 Calumet Ave., Valparaiso. Come and experience one of Valpo’s best kept dining secrets. R.S.V.P. to Sandra Robinson, 764-8433.
From Paul, the Finance Guy
Members are always asking me, “So Paul, how are we doing?” speaking of church finances of course. My answer is typically something like, “Well, we could be doing better”. You see, when I was in business my concern was all about the bottom line. Profit was all that mattered and the more the better. But our church is different.
So, how are we doing? Well, we have two pastors that fill my heart with their sermons, a growing youth program, new members, adult bible studies, fun nights, old and new music, a live band, the close and intimate relationships that come from small groups, and the heritage of worshiping in a church that has been bringing souls to Jesus for over 180 years. Not to mention our missions that helps others and spread the word of Christ both near and far. From my heart I can honestly say, “We’re doing great”. I love my church”.
I love going to church. I love singing praises to God with my brothers and sisters. I love saying the creeds and prayers that Christians have been saying for two thousand years. I love praying with other members and hearing God’s word through His scriptures. Church can be messy sometimes - the sermon may be boring, the songs may be sung off key, someone might be complaining about this or that or someone might even be sitting in my favorite seat. But you know what? God works powerfully in messy churches; he uses them to build disciples and to show His glory. I love church most of all because I trust and know that God is working awesomely through it. I want to be there every week. Our church has become one of the things I love most in the world. I only wish I had understood years ago how wonderful church is and what a privilege it is to be part of it.
How about you, do you love our church? Or, do you find it boring? Do you wish they would play songs that were 5 years old instead of 50, or 50 instead of 5? Is sleeping in or watching the big game more important? Are you supporting your church with both your presence and your presents?
So, you tell me, how are we doing? Look in the bulletin for the numbers. We could be doing better. But, you decide. It’s your church.
A Letter from Prison Ministry
Hello, my name is Garett Beal and I am currently a member of the Purpose Driven Life class that is led by members of the Portage First United Methodist Church. This is my favorite class.
I just wanted to write a quick letter to let you all know how much I truly appreciate everything the church, its’ members and the volunteers do for people like me. I wasn’t sure how I would be accepted in the Purpose Driven Life class because of where I’m at with my life/faith, but the response was way better than I could’ve hoped for. At first I felt like these types of classes and church in general was for people who were saved and have great faith, but now I understand that it’s for people exactly like me.
Thank you also for the books you send. I can’t explain in words how good it felt/feels to know that my testimony might have moved someone to donate money for Life Recovery Bibles for my entire class. I am a leader in the T.C. community and take my sobriety very serious and also my life and getting it back on track. I’ve been clean since January 15, 2015 and am very optimistic about my future.
I want the volunteers who come here to know that although I may be quiet; your message isn’t lost with me. It doesn’t fall on deaf ears. I have questions, but have to check my motives on why I ask what I do. Years of being an atheist have filled me with the wrong questions. I think a lot of the questions I have will not get me any closer to God. So I choose to sit in the back and just observe and listen most of the time.
I don’t go to any other religious class or chapel any other day. I have, but I don’t really get anything from it and kind of just feel out of place. Everyone else seems to know what’s going on and all the words to every song. I prefer our small group with Q&A discussion.
Anyway, thank you for everything!
(If you would like to be part of this amazing ministry, please contact Steve Massow.)
Happy May Birthday to…
01 Don Morgenroth 15 Ryan Kegley 25 Shellie DePerio
02 Chuck Fowler 16 Sally Nohr 26 Robin Halberstadt
02 Nicholas Romanov 17 Bev Fitzgerald 27 Grant Monahan
03 Bob Bailey 19 Andrew Karsten 28 Connie Ingram
04 Jaden Colby 20 Messiah Pinarski 28 Scott Holtzman
06 Bruce Wilson 21 Heather Burns 28 Zac Ryan
06 Jim Crisman 22 Margi Hamstrom 30 Andrew English
07 Rob Blakely 22 Chris Adkins 31 Donna Lenburg
08 Riley Miller 23 Jennifer Long 31 Linda Byers
09 Lois Lippert 24 Isabella Paglicci
13 Linda Mills 24 Juliet Medina
13 Morgan Salaam 24 Richard Pinarski
15 Jim Helmecy 24 Annette Wray
15 Steve Massow 24 Ethan Davenport
Happy May Anniversary to…
05 Rich & Patti Coates 21 Gary & Sarah Stein
10 Joe & Sally Reynolds 23 Glenn & Martha Yerby
11 Jerry & Sue Richmond 26 Bennie & Vicky Wright
20 Dennis & Cathy Ticen 29 Patrick & Amanda Highlands
Have you checked out the church web site??
The address is: http://www.portageumc.org
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Sundays @ 10:00am Sunday School
Wednesdays @ 11:30am Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:15am Breakfast at Schoops