Pastor Mark Dicken
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue IV April 2016
FROM THE PASTOR
I have been spending Wednesday evenings lately with a wonderful bunch of saints, leaders and potential leaders for our church, who have been learning Leadership From the Heart, what it means to be servant leaders.
It’s beginning to look like the primary election in Indiana on May 3 will have more bearing on the process of choosing presidential candidates as well as congressional, state and local candidates than it often has in the past.
I believe this gives us as followers of Christ the opportunity to impact the process in significant and much needed ways.
No, I am not encouraging you to vote for or against any candidates. If you want to talk politics over a cup of coffee at Starbucks, I’m willing to share the opinions and preferences of Mark Dicken, registered voter, but it is not my role to endorse any particular contender.
Instead, as your pastor, I encourage you to engage in the process as a servant leader influencing the tone and volume of the political debate by leading through a heart filled with the love of Christ. Our nation’s and state’s politics have often been vigorous, rough and tumble affairs. But this campaign season, the statements and actions of some fall far short of the way Christ-followers should act and relate to others, especially those with whom we disagree. So, engage in the process, but practice civility and model respect for others. I encourage you to carefully read John Wesley’s rules for Christian Conferencing. You’ll find them prominently displayed on the wall behind the Welcome Center. What a difference there would be if we practiced that in our political and well as church processes.
And pray for our nation, state and community.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Happy April Birthday to…
01 Lisa Hoover 11 Alice Kurth 18 Stephen Miller
01 Sophia Dearing 11 Jeff Kaiser 18 Kim Coates
02 Melissa Medina 11 Vicki Mason 21 Sydney Wasz
03 Jill Ryan 12 Mike Liesch 24 Hannah Medina
03 Kyle Adkins 12 Laura Piontek 26 Joy Azad
07 Carlella Rogers 13 Sherry Pinarski 27 Kris Bailey
07 Mark Long 14 Bob Kellams 28 Amber Welch
07 Ann Packard 15 Melvin Owens 30 Chuck Mason
08 Ron Hall 15 Kathy Manteuffel 30 Wendy Smith
09 Virginia Lockenvitz 15 Pauline Brown 30 Gabrielle Sullivan
10 Erica Bush 16 Danah Peterson
10 Lily Hamilton 16 Lorri Davenport
Happy April Anniversary to…
26 James & Karen Helmecy
26 Art & Alice Kurth
Sundays @ 10:00am Sunday School
Wednesdays @ 11:30am Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:00am Breakfast at Schoops
United Methodist Men News
Sat-04/03/16 @ 8:00 AM (approx. 2 hours in length)
Sat-05/07/16 @ 8:00 AM
Our meetings are held with a breakfast, short discussion of business meeting items, and bible study.
Support Cub Scout Pack 487 activities. They just had their Scout Sunday-02/07 and Blue & Gold annual banquet-03/12.
Support upcoming UMW Rummage sale
Incarcerated Men card ministry
Mother’s Day-05/08 breakfast
Sponsor Rail Cats game this summer
Mission – To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The United Methodist Men group exists to declare the centrality of Christ in man’s life. Men’s ministry leads to growth of men and discipleship. The purpose is served as men are called to model the servant leadership of Christ.
All men are welcome. Dads – consider bringing your young sons to join us. This is great fellowship with friends and family.
Call Mike Matthew (508-9616) with any question. Many blessings to you for your consideration and support of this ministry.
WORSHIP THEMES FOR APRIL
April 3 Celebration of the Lord’s Supper Pastor Deb
“Hope is Alive!”
The sense that there is not enough drives greed, fear and exclusionary behavior. We begin to live in "Scare City" where it seems that death, starvation, feelings of being overwhelmed and swallowed up can lurk around every corner. The Good News is that this is an illusion. A spiritual journey into the truth of abundance offers us an alternative vision of where to live our lives.
We begin our new series “Good-bye Scare City” with Pastor Mark’s message TOWERS OF POWER from Genesis 11:1-9
April 17 Pastor Mark
Good-bye Scare City
JUST AROUND THE CORNER
April 24 Pastor Mark
Good-bye Scare City
THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS
WANT MORE BIBLE STUDY?
Pastor Mark is willing to lead a COVENANT BIBLE STUDY on Monday evenings from 6:30-8:00 PM beginning Monday, April 11. COVENANT BIBLE STUDY is a 24-week, in-depth group Bible study in which people read and discuss the Bible together, learning how to love God and others better. It emphasizes the biblical concept of covenant as a unifying pattern throughout the entire Bible. It covers both Testaments, discussing books from each that shows the interconnectness of Scripture as a whole. It will be broken into three 8-week modules. The first module will meet April 11, 18 & 25, May 2, 9, 16, & 23 and June 6. If you are willing to make a commitment to the COVENANT group, please let Pastor Mark or the church office know by March 31 so we can order enough materials.
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR APRIL
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.
Date Book & Chapter Pages
April 1 Judges 8-9 150-152
April 2 Judges 10-12 152-153
April 3 Judges 13-15 154-155
April 4 Judges 16-18 155-157
April 5 Judges 19-21 157-159
April 6 Ruth 1-4 160-162
April 7 1 Samuel 1-3 163-165
April 8 1 Samuel 4-8 165-167
April 9 1 Samuel 9-12 167-169
April 10 1 Samuel 13-14 169-171
April 11 1 Samuel 15-17 171-174
April 12 1 Samuel 18-20, Psalms 11 & 59 174-176, 327, 341
April 13 1 Samuel 21-24 176-178
April 14 Psalms, 7, 27, 31, 34 & 52 325-326, 332, 333, 334, 341
April 15 Psalms 56, 120, 140-142 342,369, 373
April 16 1 Samuel 25-27 178-179
April 17 Psalms 17, 35, 54 & 63 328, 334-335, 342, 344
April 18 1 Samuel 28-31, Psalm 18 179-181, 328-329
April 19 Psalms 121, 123-125, 128-130 369, 370
April 20 2 Samuel 1-4 182-184
April 21 Psalms 6, 8-10, 14, 16, 19 & 21 325,326,327,329, 330
April 22 1 Chronicles 1-2 239-241
April 23 Psalms 43-45, 49, 84-85, 87 338-339, 340, 353-354
April 24 1 Chronicles 3-5 241-243
April 25 Psalms 73, 77-78 348-349, 350-352
April 26 1 Chronicles 6 243-244
April 27 Psalms 81, 88, 92-93 352-353, 354-55, 356-7
April 28 1 Chronicles 7-10 244-247
April 29 Psalms 102-104 358-360
April 30 2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Chronicles 11-12 184-185, 247-249
If you have questions about any of the Same Book, Same Page readings, Pastor Mark will be available between services in the Children’s Church room on Sundays, April 10 and 24. Bring your questions and your insights.
ENJOY YOUR TIME AWAY, BUT PLEASE DON’T FORGET US
Vacations, visits to grandchildren, winters in warmer weather, and children’s sports are all good and
enjoyable things, but while we are away our church’s needs for our generous stewardship continues and
sometimes it can be difficult to catch up when we get a giving statement that shows we’ve fallen behind
in our prayerful commitment for giving while we were gone.
Please consider establishing a regular schedule of giving back to the Lord through our church. If you
have online banking and bill pay through your bank, you can establish a pattern of automatic tithes and
offerings to our church on the dates you specify. You are also able to do this through our new PushPay
system either through our website www.portageumc.org or via the smartphone app.
If you use this regular and disciplined approach to your giving, we will no longer mail you offering
envelopes each month, so you will be saving our church that expense in addition to helping our leaders
be more faithful stewards of God’s resources you entrust to our church.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!
Have you ever come to worship and realized you left your offering envelope at home or learned of a worthwhile mission you want to support only to realize you did not bring your checkbook? Wouldn’t it be a blessing to be able to give back to God in a matter of seconds using your smartphone or tablet, laptop or desktop?
We have partnered with a company named Pushpay to help us move into the 21st Century with our financial stewardship. Fewer and fewer people write checks much less use cash, especially younger adults.
Pushpay will allow us to give one-time gifts, recurring gifts or special gifts using debit or credit cards or ACH transactions from our bank accounts.
It is quite easy to get started. Simply text ‘pfumc’ to 77977 and follow the instructions on your screen. As part of the process you will be able to download the Pushpay app for either iPhone or Android.
We have a giving link through Pushpay on our new website www.portageumc.org and a custom app for Androids and iPhones. The app will have many potential uses for information and communication. We might even be able to put the worship bulletins on there and save some trees.
More information will be available soon, but for now why not try Pushpay once?
APRIL CHILDREN'S CHURCH SCHEDULE
April 3 Donna Lenburg and Cheryl Hamilton
April 10 Dominic Paglicci and Pastor Deb
April 17 Clara Harbart and Pastor Deb
April 24 Ethan Keehn and Pastor Deb
Would you like to be a children’s church helper? It is a commitment of about 6 times a year. Lessons are planned and supplies are ready for you to use. Please contact Pastor Deb to volunteer or ask questions.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Friday, April 1
1:30 – 6:30
MISSION POSSIBLE KIDS Sunday, April 10th ---Regular Meeting 1-2:30
Lunch and mission planning. We are waiting for further information on a couple special mission possibilities – your help is needed.
New agents are welcome. Requirements are to be in kindergarten through 5th grade and have a heart for helping others.
Profits raised from the Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner totaled around $500 and will be used to fund further missions.
COMMUNITY MEAL AND FUN
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
Dinner served from 6-6:45
Games begin at 7pm
Dinner Menu: Spaghetti, Salad, bread, dessert and drink
Free will offering accepted by not required
A variety of games played in creative ways will have all ages laughing
Groups will compete (each table will be a group)
This is sure to be a night of good food, good fun and lots of laughs.
NOTE FROM PASTOR DEB
Hope you all had a wonderful spring break and are ready to enjoy the new life of Spring as Easter people. Easter people? Yes! We each have the action of Christ on that first Easter Sunday, bringing hope into our lives each and every day. We live in the hope of Easter.
This month I offer random thoughts and happenings.
I am very happy with the monthly community meals. Each month, through a free will offering, we have raised more than our expenses. While this was not the initial purpose it is wonderful to know that those who can give – do, and those who can’t are always welcome. If you have a friend or neighbor who doesn’t have a church home, the Community Meal is a great place to introduce them to your church family. If you know of someone who is having trouble stretching their budget through the month – the Community meal is perfect for them.
The Community meal is more than food; we also have some sort of entertainment following the meal. So far we have had an open mic night, a trivia night and an Easter Parade and egg hunt. Our April meal is on Friday, April 15th. You can see specific details in a separate article in this newsletter. Why not make this your family date night. You’ll be glad you did.
Bible 101 – the Basics is moving forward through the book of Genesis. Please know you can always drop in, whether you have been here before or not. We just finished taking a closer look at Holy Week.
April 3 Genesis 23-28:9 Isaac and Jacob who prove dysfunctional families have been around
April 10 Genesis 28:10 – Genesis 36
April 17 & 23 Joseph’s Saga
Always remember how very much you are loved by God, family and church family.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, April 1 @ 9:30 am
ALL women of ALL ages are invited to join us for
fellowship, breakfast snacks and a speaker.
Our speaker this month will be Randy Wilkening
from the Portage Fire Department.
Child care is provided on an as needed basis.
If you need child care please call the church office
by Wednesday, March 30
It’s that time of year again! You guessed it…..RUMMAGE SALE!
• Thursday, April 21st (9a-7p)
• Friday, April 22nd (9a-3p “Fill a Bag Day”)
• Sunday, April 17th – Table setup, bring in all the goodies
• Monday, April 18th – Open/empty all the goody boxes
• Tuesday, April 19th – Pricing, tweaking
• Wednesday, April 20th – Bring LARGE goodies from barn, pricing, TWEAK! TWEAK! TWEAK!
We can use as much help as possible! Helpers that donate 8 (combined) hours of time M-F will receive a FREE dinner during sale hours. YUM! M-F are also helper preview days! That’s right! If you want first pick, come lend a hand emptying boxes, sorting, and having an all-around good time! And as always, there will be food!
There are other jobs available if the “rummage” part isn’t your thing! Sign-up sheets will be at the Welcome Center for a variety of ways to help. We will especially need “homemade” desserts to accompany the dinners AND for the bake sale.
All proceeds go out to several missions. Donations are ALWAYS welcome and can be dropped off at the back of the church. ☺ Let’s make this the best sale ever and show what we can do!