Pastor Mark Dicken
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue X October 2016
From the Pastor
The announcement of Pastor Deb’s appointment to Maple Grove UMC after ten faithful and effective years of service here came as a shock to all and a disappointment to many. This will be an adjustment for us, but it also creates opportunities for us. More of us have the opportunity to step up and serve in the ministry and mission of our church.
We have the opportunity to determine what our future staff needs will be and who should provide that leadership. We have the opportunity to determine whether to go in different directions in our Christian education ministry to children, youth and adults. We have the opportunity to decide whether to make changes in our schedule and styles of worship services. We have the opportunity to determine whether and how to reach the majority of people in our community who do not worship weekly and do not have a now and forever relationship with Jesus Christ.
How will we respond to these opportunities? I hope you will pray and think about these opportunities and share your insights with me and the leaders of our church in the days and weeks to come.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Here’s A Thought
"Your church's weekend services are perfectly designed to reach the people you are reaching. If you want to reach others, things need to change." Lee Kricher
Good food for thought. So who do we want to reach and what do we need to change in order to reach them?
All Saints Sunday November 6th
On All Saints Sunday, we will honor those who have gone to be with our Lord since November 2015. A candle will be lit for each member of Portage First who has passed away during the past year. A large candle will be lit in remembrance of all others who have passed away in the last year as well. You are invited to include your family, friends and loved ones in this special time of remembrance. Look for further information in the Sunday bulletins.
First Friday Fellowship will meet Friday, October 7th at 5pm at the Cracker Barrel, 6200 Opportunity Lane, Merrillville, IN (off I-65 and 61st St.). Please join us for an evening of fellowship, food, and fun. R.S.V.P to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, October 7 @ 9:30 am
Ladies, please bring the items you signed up for
the "emergency" buckets!
ALL women of all ages are welcome to join us
for fellowship, breakfast snacks and our speaker.
Debbie Reynolds from The Caring Place, in Valparaiso,
will be telling us about their programs and assistance
for women in need.
If you will be needing child care, please call the church office
by Wednesday, October 5th.
The United Methodist Women are sponsoring a holiday craft show Saturday, October 29th, from 9am-2pm
BRRR - IT'S COLD OUTSIDE (Well it will be soon!)
Many children in the Portage Township Schools don't have and can't afford
hats or gloves to keep them warm during the winter months.
The United Methodist Women are collecting children size
hats and gloves starting in October, which will be distributed to the
elementary schools in Portage.
PLEASE PLACE YOUR ITEMS IN THE BASKET, IN THE NARTHEX!
Thank you for your generosity!
Calling All - Trained Congregational Care Ministers – check the Connection center to provide information for the upcoming retreat.
Mission Possible Kids invites all veterans and their families to join us on Sunday November 12 at 1:00 pm for our annual Veteran's Day Dinner. Signups will be available at the connection center beginning October 2 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!
Youth Group Wednesdays 6:30-8
Youth bonfire @ Crossroads Saturday Oct. 1st &15th - 6-9 pm
Fall Break Fun & Games Friday Oct. 21 3-5 pm
Our next community meal will be Friday, Oct. 28 held at the farm complete with food, hayrides and more.
Chili Cook-off – bring a pot of your favorite or famous chili to be sampled.
Trunk and Treat 5:30 – 6:00 – plan on decorating the trunk of your car and hand out your treats; followed by hayrides
Chili will be served from 6-6:45
Campfire at 6:45
For an added twist consider dressing like a Bible character and be prepared to tell the children who you are and what you did which made its way into the Bible.
Calling All Mission Possible Agents!!
Meetings: Oct. 9 to plan our mission
Oct. 16 for Cupcakes for Kittens and
Possible field trip to Independent Cat Society
You too can become an agent. Have your parent bring you to the meeting for more information.
CUPCAKES FOR KITTENS BAKE SALE
by Mission Possible Kids
Sunday, October 16
Money raised will be used to sponsor a cat from the Independent Cat Society.
You will get an opportunity to vote for the cat who will be sponsored!
It’s time for 2016 FAITH IN ACTION Sunday, Oct. 2
Services will be shortened as you have the opportunity to take part in projects which will help others.
Please take a look at the projects offered – there is a list on the Connection Center – and choose one.
If you are willing to lead a project please let Pastor Deb know ASAP. Each of us giving a little can make a big difference. NO Sunday school or Children’s Church on Oct. 2. Children are encouraged to serve. Nursery available for 4yr. old and less.
Project Where Project Leader Details
Stomp Out Hunger Sanctuary Amelia (Food Pantry Vol. Coord) Gather donated food and distribute according to Amelia’s direction. Take food to pantry after 11:30 service
Dog Chew toys Lorenz home @ 2528 McCool Rd Braid dog pull toys. Take to Hobart Humane Society as donation
Ornaments Lorenz home @ 2528 McCool Rd. Glue paper designs to wooden ornaments. These are to be sold at the Oct. 29 Craft Fair with $ going to Feed My Lambs
Tee Shirt bags Fellowship hall Fran Berry Cut and sew t-shirts making cloth bags. These are to be sold at Oct. 29 craft fair with $ going to Feed My Lambs
Writing and drawing pictures for first responders Carolyn Lenburg’s @ 2574 Diana St. Carolyn Lenburg Writing letters and drawing pictures to be sent to soldiers, veterans, and other first responders through ‘Operation Gratitude’
??installing flooring Porter County Waiting to hear about a project from Neighbor Link
Family Promise of Porter County will be meeting Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the Crossroads farmhouse. Come learn about the impact this group will have for homeless families in Porter County. Yes, there is homelessness in Porter County! Currently when a family finds themselves homeless they are separated – men and young boys to Valparaiso and women and young children at a woman’s shelter. I shudder to think that a boy as young as 12 would be separated from his mother at a very vulnerable time in his life.
A NOTE FROM PASTOR DEB
This isn’t only a note from me, but my final note as your pastor. Your support and kind words over the years has given me the confidence to answer yet another of God’s callings on my life as Mike and I begin another chapter of our life journey.
If I haven’t had the opportunity to tell you the reasoning that has gone into these decisions, allow me to take that opportunity. Michael is retiring on December 20th. I am currently working 40 plus hours a week. I would like to have more time to be with my husband. Also, our long range plans are to live near our daughter. She is our only child and as we age we don’t want her to have to worry about us when we are 45 minutes away from her. So, I spoke with the district superintendent during my summer interview saying that if a position ever opened in northern LaPorte County I would like to be considered. I figured it would take several years for this to happen. I was in shock when I heard from him near the end of August. The church is not only in LaPorte County but just 3.4 miles from our daughter. As I prayed and talked it over with Michael, I felt an assurance that this is the right time to make the change.
We will still be living in Portage for at least several more years and I will be commuting about 2 days a week. I will be working much shorter hours leaving time to be spend time with Michael and to start doing some of the hobbies and fun things I used to do. I guess you could call this a pre-retirement.
Maple Grove is located on the outskirts of New Carlise. Hesston Bar and Grill is probably the closest discernable landmark. The congregation worships about 50 people. It will be a huge adjustment for me yet I am excited. Please pray that together Maple Grove and I can change our little corner of the world by being disciples of Jesus Christ.
I will miss you all dearly. As I think about the last 10 years, I am amazed at the way God has worked in our lives. Because you listened to the needs of our school children 160 children are no longer hungry on weekends; families have food from the pantry; Thanksgiving meals are provided; hats and gloves keep children warm; our Mission Possible Kids are learning to serve others while living in a me-centered society; people are able to purchase good clothing at reasonable prices at our rummage sales with the September sale offering clothing vouchers to school children…and so much more.
Continue to make a difference in our community and our world. You are good at it!
I love each of you with the love of the Lord,
NORTH DISTRICT CONNECTION DAY
All leaders of our church are urged to attend this important event at Crown Point First UMC at 6:30 PM on Sunday, October 23. This will be our annual charge conference with our district superintendent, but we are assured that it will be far from a boring church business meeting.
It’s time to update the directory. If you have moved, changed phone numbers or email addresses please contact the church office either via email email@example.com or call 762-3846.
WORSHIP THEMES FOR OCTOBER
October 2 World Communion Sunday – FAITH IN ACTION
Half Truths Christians Too Often Say
GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES
October 9 Half Truths Christians Too Often Say Pastor Mark
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
October 16 Laity Sunday
We celebrate the ministry of laypersons as Tara Keehn, our own certified candidate for ministry is joined by Kris Bailey, Greg Keehn and Ed Piontek lead us in examining the theme
“Disciples Called to Action: Living Vital Worship.”
October 23 Half Truths Christians Too Often Say Pastor Mark
GOD SAID IT, I BELIEVE IT, THAT SETTLES IT
Our Next Worship Series
A gymnast at this summer’s Olympics ran up a cell phone data bill of nearly $5,000 playing Pokemon Go in Rio. That probably shocked her parents. Adults keeping falling for
con games and racking up more debts than they can handle. A prominent financial institution is appropriately on the hot seat for the unethical and perhaps illegal actions of its employees who were driven to meet performance goals. This points out the need for all of us, children, youth and adults to understand how to handle money – earning, spending and giving in godly ways.
October 30 Deeply Simple: Wesley’s Rules for Money Pastor Mark
NOT MORE MONEY; MORE WISDOM
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR OCTOBER
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.
October 1 Luke 1, John 1:1-14 pp 613-614, 637
October 2 Matthew 1, Luke 2:1-38 pp 577, 614-615
October 3 Matthew 2, Luke 2:39-52 pp 578, 615
October 4 Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3 pp 578,599-600,615-614
October 5 Matthew 4, Luke 4-5, John 1:15-51 pp 578-579,616-618,637-638
October 6 John 2-4 pp 638-640
October 7 Mark 2 pp 600
October 8 John 5 pp 640-641
October 9 Matthew 12:1-21, Mark 3, Luke 6 pp 584-585,618-619,600-601
October 10 Matthew 5-7 pp 579-581
October 11 Matthew 8:1-13, Luke 7 pp 581-582, 619-620
October 12 Matthew 11 pp 584
October 13 Matthew 12:22-50, Luke 11 pp 584-585, 624-625
October 14 Matthew 13, Luke 8 pp 585-586, 620-621
October 15 Matthew 8:14-34 pp 582
October 16 Matthew 9-10 pp 582-583
October 17 Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9:1-17 pp 587,603-604,622
October 18 John 6 pp 641-642
October 19 Matthew 15, Mark 7 pp 587-588, 604-605
October 20 Matthew 16, Mark 8, Luke 9:18-27 pp 588, 604-605,622
October 21 Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9:28-62 pp 589, 605-606,622-623
October 22 Matthew 18 pp 589-590
October 23 John 7-8 pp 642-644
October 24 John 9:1-10:21 pp 644-645
October 25 Luke 10-11, John 10:22-42 pp 623-625, 645
October 26 Luke 12-13 pp 625-627
October 27 Luke 14-15 pp 627-628
October 28 Luke 16-17:10 pp 628-629
October 29 John 11 pp 645-646
October 30 Luke 17:11-18:14 pp 629-630
October 31 Matthew 19, Mark 10 pp 590,606-607
Cornstalks, pumpkins and sheaves of grain
Are a part of nature's show,
With a backdrop of beautiful color
Adding to autumn's glow.
Sunlight on a spider web's dew
Reflects the splendor of fall.
The splashes of color reaching
From earth to tree tops tall.
Harsh winds break the spider's web
And the colors of fall disappear,
As nature paints another scene
For this special time of year.
Falling leaves and barren trees
Against a canvas of brown,
With rainy days and cloudy skies
Are a part of autumn's crown.
Happy October Birthday to…
01 Joyce Shone 17 Sue Jongsma 23 Sue Andryuk
03 Glenda Owens 18 Paul Keaton 23 Emma Burns
04 Carl Rodin 18 Pauly Peterson 23 Val Sliter
04 Amity McKiddy 19 Tyler Dearing 24 Sande Robinson
05 Karen Blakely 19 Stephen Hameetman 25 Robert Cheeks
05 Rileyann Welch 20 Dale Tipton 25 Tiffany Hamilton
06 Kaleb Bush 21 Megan Nadolski 26 Gary Stein
07 Kristina DeLeon 17 Sue Jongsma 28 Vicki Evanatz
09 Lon Price 21 Livia Kegley 28 Carisa Willis
11 Marilyn Allen 23 Sally Reynolds 29 Madelyn Lorenz
15 Sandy Morgenroth 23 Lil Falk
Happy October Anniversary to…
01 Bob & Glenda Dixon 19 Fred & Gloria Nystrom
01 Tony & Kortni Centracchio 19 Tod & Karen Blakely
02 Bill & Sande Robinson 19 Richard & Marcia Guth
07 Randy & Miranda Wilkening Jr. 20 Tom & Connie Ellefson
10 John & Heather Shebel 20 Don & Sandy Morgenroth
12 David & Leigh Coffey 21 George & Janice Stewart
16 Jim & Bev Reeder 30 Don & Kim Kremke
Sundays @ 10:00am Sunday School
Wednesdays @ 11:30am Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:00am Breakfast at Schoops
October is Pastor Appreciation Month!!!