Pastors Mark Dicken & Tara Keehn
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue III March 2018
WORSHIP THEMES FOR MARCH
March 4 Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
WHEN HEROES FALL Pastor Mark
Theme: Identity, understanding who “we” are and who we see “them” as. How to cope when our heroes fall or fail
March 11 ROOTING FOR THE UNDERDOG Pastor Mark
Theme: “Haves” and “Have-nots” can often have different heroes who are set in opposition with one another. The kingdom of God brings the two together in mutual and shared gifts.
March 18 NEW AGAIN Pastor Mark
Theme: Being a new creation in Christ. Honoring the old while incorporating the new.
March 25 Palm Sunday
LIVING WITH JESUS Pastor Mark
Theme: Resurrection is the death-defying ministry of Jesus. We all experience death, but it does not have the final word.
March 29 Maundy Thursday 7:00 PM
We remember the Savior’s final meal with his disciples, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane and his arrest as we share in the Lord’s Supper.
March 30 Good Friday 7:00 PM
We remember Christ’s Passion with a Service of Tenebrae or Lights and Shadows.
EASTER BAPTISMS & MEMBERSHIP
Easter has historically been a time when baptisms are celebrated and new members welcomed into the Body of Christ. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or a member of your household or you wish to make a profession of faith or reaffirm your faith and become a professing member of our church, please contact Pastor Mark.
CHURCH SAFETY TRAINING
A task force is reviewing our safety and security equipment and processes. As part of this, Randy Wilkening, a member of our church and a Portage Fire Department Captain, will offer some basic training on what to do in the event of an emergency while waiting for the EMTs to arrive.
This training will be offered Monday, March 12 from 6:30-8:30 PM and Saturday, March 17 from 9-11:00 AM.
We encourage everyone who serves as a greeter, usher, teacher, leader and all other interested persons to attend one of these sessions.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, March 2 @ 9:30 am
We are really four-leaf clover LUCKY 🍀to have Connie Ellefson as our speaker, this month.
She will be explaining the Children's Christmas Boxes and also telling about her experiences at Royal Family Kid's Camp. Women of ALL ages are welcome to join us for fellowship, breakfast snacks and our speaker
If you need child care for our meeting please call the church office (762-3846) by Wednesday February 28.
FYI -FOR YOUR INFORMATION!
Campbells soups has DISCONTINUED their “Labels for Education" programs of December 2016
St Jude Children's Hospital Foundation has DISCONTINUED their recycled card program
as of December 2017
The plastic lid recycle box, in the narthex is for plastic lids ONLY. Please
NO bottles (pill or vitamin) or lids with metal inserts.
A Word From Missions:
We and the folks at the Portage Township Food Pantry want to thank you for all the support you have been providing! Your food and financial donations have been making a tremendous and very positive impact on those people who are less fortunate in the Portage community. We'll be collecting canned vegetables during the month of March. We hope you'll keep up that Portage First generosity by placing your donations in the grocery cart in the fellowship hall.
- Blessings from the Missions and Outreach Committee.
Time to Order Easter Flowers
Easter is coming and it’s time to order Spring Flowers to brighten our sanctuary as we prepare for the resurrection of our Lord! This year you will be able to order one or more of the following: Lilies, Mums, Tulips or Hyacinths for $10 each. Your flowers will be available to pick-up after the 11:15am Easter Service. Please watch your bulletins for order forms. Payment is due with order.
MEET PASTOR MICHAEL LAWSON – COMING SOON TO A CHURCH NEAR YOU
Effective July 1, our new senior pastor is the Reverend Michael Lawson who comes to us from Tanner Valley United Methodist Church, Lawrenceburg, IN (SE District) near Cincinnati.
• Reverend Lawson grew up in the small town of Frankton Indiana in the heart of Madison County. There he graduated Frankton Jr. /Sr. High School in 1996 and was a member of Frankton First United Methodist Church. He then attended Ball State University and received his BA in Religious Studies and Classical Languages. In 2001 he began his seminary studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky with special interest in the areas of Worship Theology and theological exploration through the fine arts. Michael was ordained a Full Elder in the church on June 11, 2011.
• His interests include music, theater, literature, British history, art, museums, mystery novels, and much more.
• Pastor Michael is the Monastery Liturgist for Saint Brigid of Kildare Monastery, a monastic order within the United Methodist Church.
• On a personal note, Pastor Michael shared with us that he has a “beloved mongrel” Barley. We were told that he is so named for three reasons…he’s the color of barley, they live close to a distillery and, according to Pastor Michael, he “Barley” listens or does what I say.
In summary, the SPRC believes we have an excellent new pastor to build on the excellent ministry of Pastor Mark. And we believe Pastor Michael will lead our church as we become a more vibrant congregation with fruitful leaders and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
Annual Car show
March is here, spring is near! Plans are being made for this year's car show; mark your calendars now for Saturday August 11th. You can help us on this day again and make another successful Car Show event this year, by signing up at the connection center. The proceeds for this event will go to RFKC (Royal Family Kids Camp.)
Many children that attend this camp are foster children and all have either been neglected or abused, or both in some way in their young lives. These children are shown a whole week of fun with God's love and compassion by counselors and staff. These special campers are treated as royalty at the camp. The funds raised are to offset the costs associated with this one special week. This now is over $100 per child. It may be a bit early to be thinking about a car show in August, but, it's never too early to plan and think about these children that can benefit from your support, thoughtfulness and prayers!
Also, you do not have to wait until August to give to this effort. Donations are always accepted. When you put your donation in an envelope and mark it RFKC, it will help towards sending another one of these precious children to camp. Your generosity can be the difference in one of these children's lives. You may also give of your time as a counselor (also referred to as a guide,) you may want to consider serving in this way. We especially need male guides at camp.
This wonderful camp is held in North Webster Indiana and is held this year on July 22nd through the 27th.
For more information or questions about what a guide does please ask;
Steve Massow, Connie Ellefson, Rich Graham, Cara Reeder, Leigh Huminski or Phil Linoski
Thank you for your support. May God bless you!
Church Birthday Party held February 25, 2018 for the benefit of Royal Family Kids Camp.
The breakfast party was a huge success. Our missions committee wishes to extend a great big thank you to everyone who participated in bringing items, for making monetary donations and of course for all the good food. This year’s campers, children who are currently in the foster care system ages 7 to 12 (approximately 85), will be blessed with receiving towels, wash cloths, tooth paste, toothbrushes, shampoo/rinse/body wash and backpacks from Portage First. Our church will make a difference in the lives of these children. It is all about the kids and building good memories. Our theme song is: “We’re heading for the Royal Family Kids’ Camp. Heading for a lot of fun! It’s great just knowing I’m a part of God’s family, playing under the sun. Swimmin” and splashin” and having a good time, Grandma, Grandpa, PMA (positive mental attitude) devotions. It’s a great time for the good news that God love me!” Camp is July 22-27 in North Webster.
Mission moment: Samaritan Purse (Operation Christmas Child)
Our holiday box is decorated and ready to be filled. It can be found in the Narthex near the sanctuary doors. Unfortunately the basic needs of millions of children around the world continue to go unmet due to being victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine. They are a part of the least, last and lost. Our church has always had a genuine passion for the children. Be it the backpack food program, food pantry, hats & gloves, angel tree ministry, Royal Family Kids Camp and more. And now we are reaching out to the “global world” to help make a difference in a life of a child. Every child receives a shoe box filled with age appropriate items. The basics for every box is a notebook of paper, pencil, wash cloth, bar of soap and toothbrush. Then the sky is the limit in what can be put in the box as long as it is not a liquid or medicine or candy. Suggestions include toys, crafts, books, grooming supplies, t-shirts & underwear, shorts, pillow dresses, anything that a child would enjoy. The children are ages 2 to 14. Spring is coming and it’s a great time to clean out drawers and closets. Your help is needed to support this new outreach ministry. Bring a smile to a child’s face and bring hope to their heart. Let’s share the love of Jesus. Items will be collected through October and then a “stuff the box” party will be held.
The board of trustees met on February 20. The format of our meetings starts with a review of the mission, vision and values of our church. By doing so we are reminded how we are to conduct ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ as a community of believers desiring to do God’s work at Portage First. This month’s meeting was filled with proactive discussions on planning for radical hospitality of our church properties. Our ongoing goal is to provide a welcoming place to worship. Therefore, for 2018 we will focus on what will keep our church appealing to those who worship here but also to those who come as visitors. We have created a form that can be used to identify any repairs, requests for replacement or act as a wish list. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed by the trustees, please feel free to fill out a form found in the Trustees folder near the connection center. We also thank those who have already stepped up this past month and helped complete some tasks. Currently the trustee are looking into the following: (a) blacktop patching; (b) handrail for the north door; (c) securing some more church street signs to be displayed in the community; (d) new bathroom floors for the west end; and (e) resurfacing the kitchen floor just to name a few. We have tentatively scheduled a cleanup day for May 12. More information and a signup sheet will be available in the coming months. The trustees will also be developing a 5 year plan for larger capital expenditures and will share some of those ideas in the April newsletter.
Connie Ellefson, Chairman
Congregational Care Ministry Part 2
This month we will have our second half of Congregational Care Ministry Training available on Saturday March 24th from 9 am-12 noon. Please join us if you would like to be part of any of the following ministries: Card and Prayer Ministry, Hospital Visitation, Communion to Shut-Ins, Grief Follow-up, Shepherding Absentee Members Ministry. If you weren’t able to attend the first training, you are still welcome to attend this training! See Pastor Tara for more details!
Did you know for each blood unit given you can save up to 3 lives? Friday March 23rd we will have the American Red Cross back for a blood drive from 1:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Hope to see you there! Let’s help save lives!
(For students in grades 6-12)
March 9 - A Wrinkle in Time movie outing
We'll buy your ticket, you buy your snacks
Time TBD once movie times are released
March 18 - Regular Meeting 12:30-2
Mission Portage Kids
(For students in Kindergarten - 5th Grade)
March 11 - Corned Beef & Cabbage Luncheon
March 18 - Regular Meeting 12:30-2
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support camping ministries at our annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on February 17. Camp helps our youth and children to explore their faith through various activities: devotions, small group discussions, relationship building, worship and more! Camp costs over $449 per kid, and your generosity is helping PFUMC provide much needed scholarships so our youth and children can experience this memorable, life-changing week.
Women's Bible study
Our Spring Women's Bible study will be on Wednesday's March 21-April 24 at 6:00 pm
Please join us for this 6 week study based on Melanie Shankle's Church of the Small Things: Making a difference right where you are. Celebrate the wonder of the many small moments in life that add up to make a big difference and ultimately shape the person we become. For more information contact Kate Blakely at firstname.lastname@example.org 574-621-0070
Our church sets aside certain Gold Can Offerings and donations for our scholarship fund which is used to help reduce the cost for higher education for members and active attendees.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-2018 school year. Anyone seeking a higher education may qualify for a scholarship. The application process is very straightforward and may be obtained at the church office or requested by email at email@example.com.
All eligible persons are encouraged to apply and past or current recipients of scholarships remain eligible to apply for the new school year.
Applications are due by April 30, 2017, and can be dropped off at the church office or placed in the Finance Committee folder in the Narthex. Please pass this information along to anyone that may be eligible for this scholarship.
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, March 2nd at 5:00pm
at the Longhorn Steak House 1650 Olmstead Dr. Portage. Please rsvp to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433 no later than Thursday, March 1st.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER
COME SUPPORT OUR CUB SCOUT PACK 487.
APRIL 7TH 8 to 11 AM.
Happy March Birthday to…
03 Lori Seberger 15 Jamie Whitfield 25 Alexandra Medina
03 Mia Lopez 16 Virginia Spurlock 25 Jason Bush
04 Conner Welch 16 Elizabeth Seberger 26 Joshua Bilkey
04 Scott Holtzman II 20 Shari Warne 26 Helen Wright
05 Phil Linoski 20 Rich Coates 28 Kirk Harbart
09 Larry Darnell 20 Joselynn Medina 29 Scott Bilkey
09 Ethan Warne 21 Amy Kegley 29 Mitch Gale
10 Diana Gymrek 23 Rob Hoover 31 Katie Tarnow
11 Heather Shebel 23 Dave Mantz 31 Melissa Sullivan
13 Dennis Whitfield 24 Zachary Smith 31 Margaret Brutout
Happy March Anniversary to…
04 Scott & Sandy Holtzman 27 Phil & Mary Linoski
08 Steve & Deb Massow 27 Paul & Denise Pollacheck
17 James & Marcie Jordan
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
Remember your church in your will.
Don't forget to pick up the March/April copy of the Upper Room. You will be blessed.