2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue XI November 2016
FROM THE PASTOR
As we continue to move ahead into the future God has in mind for us, as we noted in the letter sent to all members and friends, we have made some changes in the makeup and configuration of our church staff. (If you are saying “What letter?”, please make sure we have your current mailing address.)
We have a small group of leaders who have committed to participating in the Fruitful Congregations Journey. FCJ is a three-step process designed to help teams of lay servants and pastors from churches grow as leaders and obtain tools that will help their churches be even more effective or fruitful in their ministry and mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Our PFUMC team reads a book each month and then the lay servants meet with members of two other area churches and a facilitator on a Saturday morning for further learning and discussion. I meet with a separate group of pastors from several churches for the same.
If you would like to know what our team has been reading, we will have copies of the books on the bookshelf in the narthex. The first two are Renovate or Die: Ten Ways to Focus Your Church on Mission and Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results. Take a book, read it and then return it so someone else can read it. You’ll be hearing more from us on our team as we work our way through this first step of FCJ.
Speaking of hearing from, I’d like to hear from you about your thoughts on such things as:
• Our Sunday morning worship schedule and lineup
• Why we have so few children and youth in worship
• Our continuing challenges of lay servants committing to serving
• Our continuing challenges financially
• Are there some things we need to stop doing in order to focus on ministries and missions that are more fruitful for Christ’s kingdom in Portage?
• Topics I haven’t even thought of yet.
I will be setting aside an hour each Wednesday evening in November, except the day before Thanksgiving, from 6:30-7:30 PM here in the church building to listen to and speak with folks who would like to share their thoughts with me and with others. I’ll need to go to the sanctuary at 7:30 to rehearse with the Praise Team – unless some other guitarist(s) steps up to play on Sunday mornings. I’m looking forward to hearing from you about your dreams and desires for Portage First.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Stop by the Connection Center and pick up an Upper Room daily devotional. It’s a great way to start your day.
Happy November Birthday to…
02 Barb Falatic 13 Pam Parks 22 Betty Kerns
03 Mike Rousselle 13 Marcia Guth 22 Tom Ellefson
03 Jim Nickerson 14 Ethan Keehn 23 Janice Stewart
04 David Alvarado 15 Don Cooper 23 Nicholas Wrigley
06 Robert Metz 17 Madolyn Sullivan 24 James Wineinger
06 Kathy Cunningham 18 Alexis Rubens 24 Phyllis Price
06 Robin Wilkening 18 Liam Stein 25 Barb Piazza
06 Julie Ford 19 Joe Medina 25 Kortni Centracchio
07 Wanda Samuelson 19 George Stewart 26 Norm Hamstrom
09 Greg Keehn 19 Denisa Riley 27 Karin Manteuffel
10 Dianna Cutler 20 Bill Kramer 27 Susie Hidalgo
10 Glenn Yerby 20 Cathy Koller 29 John Cardona
Happy November Anniversary to…
02 Mike & Cathy Koller 21 Frank & Julie Ford
03 David & Annie Alvarado 22 Dennis & Jamie Whitfield
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 @ 6:00am Breakfast at Schoop’s
Remember your church in your will.
If you are unable to help on the date listed will you please contact one of the others on the schedule to arrange a change then call the office with the change. Thanks so much.
Nov. 6 Kate Blakely & Deb Massow
Nov. 13 Cheryl Hamilton & Ethan Keehn
Nov. 20 Kate Blakely & Simeon Bright
Nov. 27 Kate Blakely & Clara Harbart
Mission Possible Kids invites all veterans and their families to join us on Sunday November 13th at 1:00 pm for our annual Veteran's Day Dinner. Signups will be available at the connection center or you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. If you'd like to share a picture or two from your time in service please e-mail them to Amy Kegley at the e-mail address listed above. We hope to see you there!
Attention Middle Schoolers
Confirmation classes for our youth will begin in February. There's a large class this year as there wasn't enough kids to do it last year. We'll be looking for mentors for each of the students so please prayerfully consider volunteering. For more information or to express interest please contact Deb Massow at 742-4905 or Lisa Graff at 916-4258.
Deck the Halls....and Sanctuary...and Fellowship Hall...and...
Advent Season is upon us!
Do you enjoy decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving while everyone else groans, it’s too early? Well here’s your chance to help our church and have a free meal too! Come on out and enjoy food, fellowship and fun while we embrace the time old tradition of Hanging of the Greens here at Portage First on Monday, November 21st at 6 pm.
The night will start off with pizza for y’all and then on to the decorating while we listen to sounds of the season! Advent starts that next Sunday. No matter your age or ability, I promise we’ll find a job for you. Sign up at the Connection Center so we know how much pizza to get so everybody gets to eat. See you there!
First Friday Fellowship
We will meet November 4th at 5pm at Martini’s 1004 Calumet Ave. Valparaiso. R.S.V.P to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, November 4 @ 9:30 am
Women of ALL ages are welcome to join us for
fellowship, breakfast snacks and our speaker
who will be from the Portage Y. Come and hear what
services and programs the "Y" has to offer.
Please call the church office by Wednesday, Nov 2
if you will need childcare.
Hope to see you there!
IT'S COMING AND WE'RE STILL COLLECTING
Cold, winter weather will be here soon!
Think how much more comfortable and happy a child would be
if they had a hat and gloves to wear
while waiting for the bus or playing at recess!
The United Methodist Women are still collecting children size hats,
and gloves to be distributed to the Portage Twp. Schools.
PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEMS IN THE BASKET, IN THE NARTHEX
Thank you for your generosity!
WORSHIP THEMES FOR NOVEMBER
November 6 All Saints Pastor Mark
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
Deeply Simple: Wesley’s Rules for Money
EARN ALL YOU CAN
November 13 Deeply Simple: Wesley’s Rules for Money Pastor Mark
SAVE ALL YOU CAN
November 20 Deeply Simple: Wesley’s Rules for Money Pastor Mark
GIVE ALL YOU CAN
Our Advent Series will be based on Not A Silent Night – Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem by
Adam Hamilton. This also has DVD resources for small groups and
adult classes as well as youth.
November 27 First Sunday of Advent Pastor Mark
Not A Silent Night
CHRISTMAS STARTS WITH BLACK FRIDAY
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, 16-18
ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE THE PLEDGE?
I commit to prayer regularly for changes that lead to health, growth, and reproduction in my church. I will regularly and consistently implore God to act and move through the congregation once again to make it a place of vital ministry, to have impact upon the community, and to make a multitude of new disciples.
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR NOVEMBER
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 to the readers.
November 1 Matthew 20-21 pp 590-592
November 2 Luke 18:15—19:48 pp 630-631
November 3 Mark 11; John 12 pp 601-608, 646
November 4 Matthew 22; Mark 12 pp 592-593, 608-609
November 5 Matthew 23; Luke 20-21 pp 593-594, 631-632
November 6 Mark 13 pp 609-610
November 7 Matthew 24 pp 594-595
November 8 Matthew 25 pp 595
November 9 Matthew 26; Mark 14 pp 595-597, 610-611
November 10 Luke 22; John 13 pp 633-634, 647-648
November 11 John 14-17 pp 648-650
November 12 Matthew 27; Mark 15 pp 597-598, 611-612
November 13 Luke 23; John 18-19 pp 634-635, 650-652
November 14 Matthew 28; Mark 16 pp 598, 612
November 15 Luke 24; John 20-21 pp 635-636, 652-653
November 16 Acts 1-3 pp 654-656
November 17 Acts 4-6 pp 656-658
November 18 Acts 7-8 pp 658-660
November 19 Acts 9-10 pp 660-661
November 20 Acts 11-12 pp 661-663
November 21 Acts 13-14 pp 663-654
November 22 James 1-5 pp 735-737
November 23 Acts 15-16 pp 664-666
November 24 Galatians 1-3 pp 700-702
November 25 Galatians 4-6 pp 702-703
November 26 Acts 17—18:18 pp 666-667
November 27 1 Thessalonians 1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-3 pp 714-716, 717-718
November 28 Acts 18:19—19:41 pp 667-668
November 29 1 Corinthians 1-4 pp 685-687
November 30 1 Corinthians 5-8 pp 687-689
As leaves begin to fall and the season begins to change I can't help but wonder what God has in store for our congregation as our church enters this new season of leadership. As the cold continues to creep in and we draw nearer to Thanksgiving, I'm reminded of all there is to give thanks for: all life's blessings, for the people who surround me, for members of our congregation who can step in to fill the gaps left behind by someone who gave us 10 years of faithful service. And this November, I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve in a new role within our church family. For five years I've been with the littlest ones in our congregation and I'm so grateful for the time I've had to love on them and teach them some of their first lessons about God, and now I'm thankful God has allowed me to do something new. And most importantly I'm glad that I won't have to do it alone, as our congregation is blessed with a multitude of people with different experiences, gifts, and talents.
Bishop Julius Trimble's said it best in an e-mail message sent out in late September, "I believe that in Jesus Christ and the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church, we have "More Than Enough."
• More than enough gifted laypersons who love the Lord,
• More than enough engaged and effective clergy; and
• More than enough resources to grow, to go, and to share."
I look forward to hearing your input and ideas, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 574-621-0070. I ask for grace as I embark on this new endeavor and look forward to walking it with you all.
"Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Director of Spiritual Formation
By: Bud Gray
The harvest moon is full and bright, .shining through the haze...
reflecting on frosty pumpkins between fields of golden maize.
The shadows of geese in flight flicker over "jelly rolls" of hay,
while dancing ghosts of ages past stir thoughts of happy days.
The trees are draped with color as the flowers fade away.
Beauty replaces beauty in nature's autumn display.
The toil of harvest is over. Fields and orchards are now bare.
There's a special day for thanksgiving...to gather and to share.
It's a day of celebration that's always best at home.
What joy to be with friends and family and not spend this day alone.
The smell of Mom's home cooking wafts across the years
and loving thoughts turn homeward as Thanksgiving Day draws near.
Home is where the heart is, it can be most anywhere.
The door is always open to a treasure of loving care.
We gather 'round your table, Lord, and bow our heads to pray.
We thank You for life's blessings which You give to us each day.
Of all Thy bounties and heavenly grace, there's one that stands apart.
It's the love we have for others..."a harvest of the heart".