Rev. Mark Dicken & Rev. Deb Rousselle
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue VII July, 2016
FROM THE PASTOR
I will never forget 3 Fourth of July celebrations. The first was in 1986. I had just completed the Local Pastors Licensing School at DePauw University, so I was still wet behind the ears and knew just enough about being a pastor to be dangerous. I had been appointed as a Student Local Pastor to the little churches in Trafalgar and Peoga, Indiana. I don’t believe we had moved into the parsonage yet, but I wanted to see the two churches and the district superintendent had given me the keys. I particularly wanted to make sure I had the correct page numbers in the hymnals each church had for the first services I would lead.
When Barbara, our daughters and I pulled up to the Peoga church, we found ourselves in the middle of the annual Peoga Fourth of July Parade and Hymn Sing. After everyone had marched from one end of Peoga to the other or rode their bikes festooned with red, white and blue crepe paper streamers (it did not take long), we adjourned to the Mount Olive Un Methodist Church for the hymn sing.
Much to my surprise and shock, suddenly everyone (maybe 30 people total) was looking to me to lead the hymn sing, including speaking and praying. I had never been to a hymn sing before, but managed to muddle my way through it. It was an immersion experience in pastoral ministry.
The other Fourth of July celebrations took place in Monrovia, Liberia in 1988 and 1989. They actually were held in February because July was smack dab in the middle of the rainy season when there would be 200+ inches of rainfall in 4-6 months and rain like that does not play well with fireworks. So the community of American expatriates and people from many other nations had cookouts and fireworks and sang patriotic songs in February during the dry season when there was little or no rain.
These different groups of people – plain, salt of the earth small town Indiana folk and embassy personnel from the United States and other nations, Peace Corps volunteers, teachers and missionaries – were different from each other, but they had some things in common.
They celebrated the things we have in common as Americans and as human beings, the history and values we share rather than those things that separate us from each other. As we celebrate Independence Day 2016, I pray that we as Christians will show our community, nation and even the world that there are more things that call us to “one another” than tempt us to separate from “the other.”
See you in church!
Happy July Birthday to…
01 Leslie Bailey 11 Kelly Ryan 19 Heather Schulz
02 Judi Holtzman 11 Bryson Welch 19 Jordan Bailey
02 Patti Coates 12 Charles Blakely 22 Richard Guth
02 Leigh Romanov 12 Everett Brown 23 Debbi Russum
03 Bill Hodgson 15 Patti Coppess 24 Samantha Cooper
03 Eleanor Tipton 15 Annaliese Medina 24 Heather Klaubo
03 Joe Wray 15 Isabella Medina 24 Tyler Monahan
04 Jef Halberstadt 15 Camille Brown 25 Philip Russum
04 Maverick Miller 16 Dean Cunningham 26 Karen Mauer
05 Jonathan Bush 16 Kathleen Tatlock 28 Max Keehn
06 Mike Matthew 16 Scarlette McKiddy 28 Deloris Yavor
08 Bob Warne 17 Joe Reynolds 28 Jacob Lenburg
09 Nick Andryuk 17 Heather Buda 28 Robert Shone
09 Sylvia Moore 17 Fletcher Miller 28 Max Keehn
09 Scott Falk 19 Lina Graff 29 Ronald Cutler
11 Glenda Dixon 19 Cara Reeder 31 Helen Hameetman
Happy July Anniversary to…
08 Ray & Bridget Nadolski 15 Chris & Kim Adkins
09 Aaron & Andrea Massow 17 Dave & Jayne Mantz
10 Scott & Denisa Riley 22 Bill & Pat Hodgson
10 Keith & Janet Sharpe 25 Nick & Dee Nickerson
10 Marvin & Glenda Owens 27 Larry & Lerryn Darnell
15 Rob & Lisa Hoover 31 Phil & Debbi Russum
Don't forget to pick up your July/August copy of the Upper Room.
Good way to start your day!
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR JULY
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.
July 1 2 Kings 1-4 pp 219-222
July 2 2 Kings 5-8 pp 222-225
July 3 2 Kings 9-11 pp225-227
July 4 2 Kings 12-13, 2 Chronicles 24 pp 227-228, 272-273
July 5 2 Kings 14, 2 Chronicles 25 pp 228-229, 273
July 6 Jonah 1-4 pp 550-551
July 7 2 Kings 15, 2 Chronicles 26 pp229-230, 273-274
July 8 Isaiah 1-4 pp 404-406
July 9 Isaiah 5-8 pp 406-409
July 10 Amos 1-5 pp 542-545
July 11 Amos 6-9 pp 545-547
July 12 2 Chronicles 27, Isaiah 9-12 pp 274, 409-411
July 13 Micah pp 552-556
July 14 2 Chronicles 28, 2 Kings 16-17 pp 274-275, 230-231
July 15 Isaiah 13-17 pp 411-414
July 16 Isaiah 18-22 pp 414-417
July 17 Isaiah 23-27 pp 417-419
July 18 2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29-31, Psalm 48 pp 231-232, 275-277, 339-340
July 19 Hosea 1-7 pp 532-535
July 20 Hosea 8-14 pp 535-538
July 21 Isaiah 28-30 pp 419-422
July 22 Isaiah 31-34 pp 422-424
July 23 Isaiah 35-36 pp 424-425
July 24 Isaiah 37-39, Psalm 76 pp 425-427, 350
July 25 Isaiah 40-43 pp 427-431
July 26 Isaiah 44-48 pp 431-434
July 27 2 Kings 18:9-19:37, Psalms 46. 80, 135 pp 232-234, 339, 352, 371
July 28 Isaiah 49-53 pp 434-437
July 29 Isaiah 54-58 pp 437-440
July 30 Isaiah 59-63 pp 440-443
July 31 Isaiah 64-66 pp 443-445
WORSHIP THEMES FOR JULY
July 3 Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Back to the Basics: Fundamentals, Not Fundamentalism PERFECTION, NOT PERFECTIONISM
Hebrews 6: 1
Pastor Mark preaching
July 10 Back to the Basics: Fundamentals, Not Fundamentalism
BY ALL ORDINARY MEANS
Pastor Mark Preaching
July 17 BE STILL MY SOUL
Pastor Mark preaching
July 24 PRAY CONTINUALLY??
Pastor Deb preaching
July 31 HELP SHOULDN’T HURT
Pastor Deb preaching
Preview of Coming Message Series August 6 – September 11
Pastor Mark will preach a series comparing several world religions – Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Mormonism and Scientology – to Christianity.
A Little Comfort and a Lot of Food
by Janet Hart Baker
I was asked to share this with you – a reminder of what your gifts of food and time mean.
Growing up in the church there were no better cooks than the funeral dinner ladies. Talk about comfort food. Nothing says, “I am sorry for your loss” like chicken and noodles. Nothing says, “I wish I could take away the pain:, like a fruit cocktail or a German chocolate cake. Sometimes there are no words that truly express our feelings but there is comfort in the giving and receiving of a home-cooked meal. It’s the way I was raised. Comfort food was a meal made with love and prayers, as well as, lots of calories and carbohydrates.
One of the most overlooked and underappreciated group of ladies are the church funeral dinner ladies. They are earthly angels, who wore aprons around their waists and wear smudges of flour on their cheeks. They get the call that there has been a death of a loved one of a family of the church. (*or in our case, anyone who is grieving a loss) Within hours, their kitchens are brought into action as those women are on a mission…to feed a multitude. It may not be bread and fishes, but it’s amazing how the food seems to multiply.
Fruit cocktail and German chocolate cakes are in the oven. Chicken is frying in the cast iron skillets on the stove (*or in our case the chicken is being picked up from the corner gas station). Grease splatters mix with tears as these women pray for the family while they cook. I believe they have a hot line to heaven. Potatoes are peeled to be masked or made into potato salad. It’s what these ladies do. It is their calling. And trust me the food is blessed even before the blessing is given.
A few years ago I took two chocolate pies into the church for a funeral dinner. My mother was one of the funeral dinner ladies and she taught me to make a sinfully rich chocolate pie and how to tip it off with a heavenly meringue. The pastor asked one of the ladies if she was going to hide one of them in the cabinet. The sweet little gray haired lady smiled and looked at her sweet little gray haired friend. Her friend shrugged her shoulders. They burst into laughter. They confessed to me that they loved my pies so much that whenever I brought two pies, they would hide one that they would enjoy later, after everything was cleaned up. I don’t think hiding a pie breaks any commandment. From then on whenever I baked pies for a funeral I would bring them into the kitchen and hand them over and say, “here’s one for the family and here is another for the angels.” I have always said that I think there is a special place in heaven for the funeral dinner ladies…I just hope to live next to one of them.
*I would add that we also have some funeral dinner men who are angels in their own way.
BLOOD DRIVE RESULTS
First United Methodist Church
Registered Donors = 65
Deferrals = 9
First-time Donors = 4
Total Units Collected = 63
You helped save up to
NEXT BLOOD DRIVE
1:30 – 6:30
JULY is ANTI-BOREDOM MONTH
Details for the July Community meal and Entertainment are still secretly being plotted – code for “I am waiting for a return call to confirm the entertainment”. Be watching the bulletin and flyers for full details.
Save this date: Friday, July 29th!
Promise you won’t be bored
A NOTE FROM PASTOR DEB
I thought I would share with you a bit about the Indiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Each year, representatives, both clergy and lay persons (that’s those who are not clergy) from each United Methodist Church in Indiana gather to worship, take care of business, recognize those going into ministry, those who are retiring, those who have passed on in the past year, and more.
Because Portage 1st has two pastors we also take two lay delegates, who this year were Pat Hodgson and Robin Wilkening who each have voting rights.
This year’s theme was centered around “hope” and added to each session were Hope Talks, testimonies from a variety of persons demonstrating the power of hope in our lives.
Our Portage 1st group took the opportunity of being in Indy to visit the Lucile Raines Home, a place where persons who are former drug users can get a hand up. We toured the facility which used to be a hotel, we saw a place that really needed some sprucing up – yet those who live there are so very grateful for a place we give a ½ star rating. I would love to get a group together to visit and tour Lucile Raines Home. Anyone up for a road trip!!
Our bishop for the past 10 years, Michael Coyner, is retiring as of August 31. We shared in a wonderful celebration of his years of service.
We dropped off your contributions of nail files and clippers as well as gathering information from the exhibit area.
And we enjoyed getting to know one another even better as well as seeing old friends.
All in all, a wonderful experience.
In Christian love,
WANT TO SIGN IN THE CHOIR?
No, that is not a typo Spellcheck failed to catch. We’re talking about a sign language choir. A sign language choir typically communicates the words to songs through the beautifully expressive movements of signing while accompanied by either a recording or, in some instances, live musicians and singers.
Krista King, a fluent and talented signer, is willing to teach and lead such a sign choir for our church. We would start out slowly and easily, making this something for children, youth and adults, and build repertoire. We would hope to make this a regular periodic, but not weekly part of one or more of our worship services. If you would like to explore this, please contact the church office.
Summer Children’s Church Schedule
With summer vacations and sports events there may be times that you are not available. Below is a proposed schedule for the entire summer. If you are not available on your scheduled date will you call someone else on the list and arrange for a trade? That will be very helpful. Please know that your support of our children is greatly appreciated. Anyone who would like to be added to the rotation schedule please talk with Pastor Deb. Better yet jot down your name and put it in my mail slot. Thanks a bunch.
3rd – Rosemary Schest and Donna Lenburg 7th – Ethan Keehn and Pastor Deb
10th – Riley Miller and Pastor Deb 14th – Donna Lenburg and Pastor Deb
17th – Simeon Bright and Pastor Deb 21st – Pam Parks and Pastor Deb
24th – Wendy Smith and Clara Harbart 28th – Bill and Shannon Liesch
31st – Tara Keehn and Judy Hedstrom
August is quickly approaching we need donated items now!
We are looking for small items from business or store bought items to put in the goody bags for the participants in the show. Such things like car air fresh, key chains, pens, pencils, small car related items would be great.
Also, we need door prize items. For example, Gift cards, restaurant or gas cards, anything in the automotive section at store, (it doesn't have to be expensive.) Please drop off with Susie at church or Steve Massow or call 742-9926 and I'll make arrangements to pick it up. Thanks so much, and may God bless you richly.
Youth Events for the Month
July 19 @ 10 am
Meet @ Panera for food & fellowship
Youth Pool Party
Sunday July 24th, 2:00 P.M.
at Paul Keaton's
July 29 @ 10 am
Meet @ Portage IMAX for a viewing of The Sandlot
Tickets are $1 or free with an FMG card, bring money for snacks if you want them
Look for more information to come on an August SkyZone trip and Box City Event August 20-21
For more information call/text/e-mail Kate Blakely @ 574-621-0070 or firstname.lastname@example.org
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, July 1st at 5pm at Red Lobster, 4353 Franklin St. in Michigan City. R.S.V.P to Sandra Robinson, 764-8433, if you plan to attend.