2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Well, we’ve made it through our first six months together. Barbara and I are thankful for the many kindnesses you have extended to us during this time of transition.
Now we have experienced our first Advent and Christmas season together, but there will not be any opportunity to relax and coast for a while.
For one thing, Lent will begin early this year. Ash Wednesday 2016 is February 10 and we will begin our Lenten journey in preparation for Easter.
For another thing, I do not believe the church of Jesus Christ should ever coast. To use a cycling metaphor, now is the time to start pedaling as vigorously as we can. Our mission is too important for coasting.
I love tradition, but there are times to declare something “the last annual” and move ahead in different directions as the Holy Spirit leads. If PFUMC traditions are meaningful and productive, we should continue them. But if “we’ve always done it this way” doesn’t produce fruit for the kingdom of God, i.e. fully devoted experienced and new disciples of Jesus, why continue to do it?
During 2016, I hope you will join me in examining and evaluating our ministries and missions in the light of their fruitfulness, keeping those traditions that serve their kingdom purposes, retiring those that do not and, hopefully, beginning new chapters in the proud history of PFUMC.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Have you checked out the church web site??
The address is: http://portageumc.org
Sundays @ 10:00am
Wednesdays @ 11:30am
Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:00am
Breakfast at Schoops
Remember your church in your will.
Dennis Whitfield would like to thank the congregation for all of the prayers and visits during his recovery. You are all very much appreciated.
A note from the Secretary
I would like to say thank you to all those that gave Christmas cards, gifts and well wishes for myself and family. I am truly blessed by you.
May 2016 be a blessed year for all!
1st Friday Fellowship will meet January 8th at 5:00 p.m. at Quaker Steak & Lube in Portage. Please RSVP to Sandra Robinson, 764-8433.
Don't forget to pick up your Jan./Feb. copy of the Upper Room.
Beautiful devotions by inspired Christians.
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR JANUARY
We are challenging ourselves to read through the Bible this year. The page numbers refer to the paperback New Living Translation Bibles available at no cost at the church building. Here is the schedule for January.
January 1 Genesis 1-3 pages 3-5
January 2 Genesis 4-7 pages 5-6
January 3 Genesis 8-11 pages 6-8
January 4 Job 1-5 pages 304-306
January 5 Job 6-9 pages 306-308
January 6 Job 10-13 pages 308-310
January 7 Job 14-16 pages 310-311
January 8 Job 17-20 pages 311-313
January 9 Job 21-23 pages 313-314
January 10 Job 24-28 pages 314-316
January 11 Job 29-31 pages 316-318
January 12 Job 32-34 pages 318-319
January 13 Job 35-37 pages 319-321
January 14 Job 38-39 pages 321-322
January 15 Job 40-42 pages 322-323
January 16 Genesis 12-15 pages 9-10
January 17 Genesis 16-18 pages 10-12
January 18 Genesis 19-21 pages 12-14
January 19 Genesis 22-24 pages 14-16
January 20 Genesis 25-26 pages 16-17
January 21 Genesis 27-29 pages 17-19
January 22 Genesis 30-31 pages 19-21
January 23 Genesis 32-35 pages 21-24
January 24 Genesis 36-37 pages 24-25
January 25 Genesis 38-40 pages 25-27
January 26 Genesis 41-42 pages 27-29
January 27 Genesis 43-45 pages 29-30
January 28 Genesis 46-47 pages 31-32
January 29 Genesis 48-50 pages 32-34
January 30 Exodus 1-3 pages 35-36
January 31 Exodus 4-6 pages 36-38
WORSHIP THEMES FOR JANUARY
We begin the New Year as generations of Methodists have with Communion and the Wesleyan Covenant Renewal. Pastor Mark ‘s message from Joshua 24:14-28 will be “The World’s Most Dangerous Prayer and The Prayer That Never Fails.”
One of the most treasured hymns of Christianity in the last century was “Blest Be the Tie That Binds.” What makes us a church? What binds us together in 2016? As we gather for worship in this “Ties That Bind” series, we will be invited to consider how our relationships with the Holy and with each other form and transform us. And we will affirm the power of God’s presence in our worshiping community to inspire us to “go and do likewise” in relationship to the world. Pastor Mark’s message from Isaiah 64:8-9 will be “FORMED.”
As a special act of worship, we will be invited to renew our baptismal vows.
On this Human Relations Sunday, Pastor Mark’s message in our “Ties That Bind” series will be WOVEN from Genesis 1:1-27 and as a special act of worship, we will be invited to do prayer weaving.
We continue our “Ties That Bind” series with Pastor Mark’s message POURED from Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Pastor Deb’s message in our “Ties That Bind” series will be LIFTED from John 13:1-17. Come and experience what kite tails and random acts of kindness have in common.
Thank you to all who donated blood – all 57 of you who came – and those who provided 44 units of blood. Your sacrificial giving has the potential to help save 132 lives. And, as always, thank you to the great volunteers. Our next blood drive will be Feb. 5.
January Children’s Church Schedule
Jan. 3 Pastor Deb and Ethan Keehn
Jan. 10 Pastor Deb and Allison Centracchio
Jan. 17 Pastor Deb and Clara Harbart
Jan. 24 Pam Parks and Donna Lenburg
Jan. 31 Judy Hedstrom and Simeon Bright
You won’t know if it will work until you try it – so…here’s an idea that I gleaned from some colleagues as I search for a way for our church to make an impact on the hungry in our community. Several persons shared with me that their church hosts a Community meal in combination with an ‘open mic’ night. This would mean providing a simple meal and advertising in the community. This meal is a pay what you can meal. Those who are in financial need may eat for free one week but put a dollar in another time. Those of us who can afford donate, do so. After the meal we would have a time when persons with musical talent can play or sing, writers can share poetry, comedians tell a few (clean) jokes. It would be a night out. My hope is that it will grow to a point where other churches will want ‘a piece of the action’ as we join together to feed the hungry in our community.
To make this happen we need a few things in place:
A kitchen crew
Persons willing to share their musical, verbal talents
We would like to kick-off this idea on Friday, Jan. 29 with dinner from 6-7:00 followed by open mic time. A planning meeting has been scheduled for Wed., Dec. 30 at 6:30. Please come offer your input.
A NOTE FROM PASTOR DEB
I am so blessed by your love and support. Thank you for the lovely gifts and words of encouragement. You are an amazing congregation!
I want to let you know about a study I have been thinking about for years. I believe I mentioned it briefly in the last newsletter but would like to mention it again. For many years I did not own a Bible. I didn’t learn the Bible stories that my classmates knew. When I did purchase a Bible I got bogged down in the history, the violence, the language and couldn’t understand what it was saying and how it impacted my life. I was fearful of going to a Bible Study because I knew that I didn’t know enough to fake my way through. God led me through that doubt and into a couple wonderful studies which helped me to gain confidence and grow in my faith.
Are you someone who feels the way I did? If so would you like to learn to enjoy the Bible with others who feel the same way? Here’s an opportunity for you to learn without fear, in what we will call 'Bible 101’ while using the yellow book, “Bible for Dummies”. While I don’t consider anyone a dummy I do like the format these books use. We will gain an overview so that you will not be hesitant to branch out from this study to any others offered.
We will begin meeting on Sunday, Jan. 2 at 4pm. This is an ongoing study and while I encourage you to attend each week, if you aren’t able to come one week it doesn’t mean you can’t come the following week. We will cancel when the weather is bad and see how far we get between Jan. and May.
Please consider making this a priority. If child care is needed please let me know.
Blessings as we grow together in knowledge and faith,
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN (Morning)
9:30 am Friday, January 8
Please notice the date change for January because our
regular meeting date would have been on New Year's Day.
Start the new year out and join us for
breakfast snacks, fellowship, and a speaker.
ALL women are welcome!
If you need child care, please call the church office by
Wednesday, January 6th
Happy January Birthday to…
03 Jordan Kwiatkowski 15 Jeff Wrigley 28 Noah Wrigley
06 Jamieson Colby 22 Nicole Fagan 29 Elaine Lucas
09 Randy Wilkening 22 Victoria Pollacheck 30 Clara Harbart
11 Nora Brown 24 Bridget Nadolski 30 Dawn Harbart
11 Marilyn Martus 25 Bert Fowler 30 Jessica Poole
12 Tyler Stein 25 Kathy Matthew 31 Randy Wilkening Jr.
14 Dan McCoy 26 Sarah Nadolski
14 Avaya Massow 28 Madison Wrigley
Happy January Anniversary to…
02 Lon & Phyllis Price 21 Bill & Sue Miller
16 Nick & Sue Andryuk 22 Rob & Kate Blakely
16 Chuck & Patti Coppess 24 Mike & Deb Rousselle
19 Gregory & Shellie DePerio