Pastors Michael Lawson & Tara Keehn
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue X October 2018
The Ghoulies and the Ghosties
I’m not a big fan of scary movies. When I was a kid living in central Indiana, late at night they would show scary movies hosted by television host “Sammy Terry”. He would rise up out of a coffin with his spooky voice and “Welcome fiends to a night of terror…” I can still hear him laugh that spooky laugh as he introduced the scary movies!
Funny thing though, horror movies and the clichés they use are often reflections of real fears. One of my favorites that they use often is the mirror trick. The character in the movie is looking in the mirror and then something happens. The reflection in the mirror does something on its own, the dangerous creature is standing right behind you. Again, and again the mirror reflects something unexpected. Mirrors, it seems, are not to be trusted in scary movies.
Then again there is also the “Rule of Three”. Horror movies often employ this rule by placing three scary things in a row. The first two end up bring nothing while the third is the real scary thing. Usually two jump scares before the third and real source of fear is revealed. This actually mirrors a psychological phenomenon that we see at play in the world. A person sitting at home alone hears a sound. They will usually ignore the first sound, become more alert the second time it happens, and go explore on the third. This is coupled with an increase in anxiety, heartbeat, and your body’s natural defenses.
Horror movies, and the upcoming Halloween Holiday, are imaginary representations of real fears. Is there something terrifying just beneath the surface of my reflection? What was that sound? Am I in danger? All of this was personified in an old Scottish prayer:
From the ghoulies and the ghosties
And the long-leggedy beasties
From the things that go bump in the night
O Lord, Deliver us!
It’s a true prayer isn’t it? We have all faced those kinds of nights when the wind makes a statue of us in our beds. Listening, still and attentive, we wait. However, rather than tell you how to avoid fear, or mash it down, I would like to turn the idea on its head and offer thanks to God for fear. You see, fear is there to warn us of danger. It heightens our senses and makes us pay attention. It fills our bodies with adrenaline that, should there be danger, our bodies can survive it with the added energy and strength. Like all things, too much fear is dangerous, but the instinct of fear as God intended helps us survive. So, as you gather with your families and choose costumes, spend some time reflecting not only on the negative parts of fear, but the ways it protects us well. Ask God to keep your fear in balance, to never let it overwhelm you, but instead help us to manage fear in a healthy.
Happy October Everyone!
Happy October Birthday to…
01 Joyce Shone 17 Sue Jongsma 23 Sue Andryuk
02 Marge Hines 18 Pat Glenn 23 Emma Burns
04 Carl Rodin 18 Paul Keaton 23 Val Sliter
04 Amity McKiddy 18 Pauly Peterson 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 28 Vicki Evanatz
06 Lydia Wilkening 17 Sue Jongsma 29 Madelyn Lorenz
07 Kristina DeLeon 21 Livia Kegley 30 John Black
11 Marilyn Allen 23 Sally Reynolds
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
Tuesdays @ 9:30am Prayer Team
Wednesdays @ 11:30am Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:00am Breakfast at Schoops
First Friday Fellowship will meet Friday, October 5th at 5pm at Texas Corral 5880 U.S. HWY 6 Portage, IN. Please join us for an evening of fellowship, food, and fun. R.S.V.P to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433 by noon October 5th.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, October 5 @ 9:30 am
Fellowship, conversation and breakfast snacks are a part of our October meeting.
Our speaker will be Donna Golob from PATH (Positive Approach to Teen Health)
A non-profit organization helping teens make wise choices about sex and other peer pressuring subjects.
ALL women of ALL ages are welcome! Hope to see you there!
WINTER IS COMING!!
It's time for our annual hats, gloves/mittens and SOCKS collection for the elementary schools, in Portage. Please place children's size items in the basket in the narthex. UMW will be collecting until the end of October so we can distribute before cold weather comes. Thank you!
If you have any questions, contact Marcie Jordan or Patti Coates
All Saints Sunday November 4th
On All Saints Sunday, we will honor those who have gone to be with our Lord since October 31st, 2017. 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.
Mission Possible Kids & Youth Group
The Youth Group & MPK: Mission Portage Kids fall kick-off will be on Sunday October 7th from 12:30-2. Join us for some GIANT-sized fun at Crossroads as we celebrate the beginning of another great school year. We'll also have a regular meeting Sunday October 21st from 12:30-2 in the Fellowship Hall. For more information please contact Kate Blakely at 574-621-0070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 19th at 6pm.
Please join us for the last Community Meal of the year. The musically talented members of our church will be performing a concert that evening. Dinner will be Au Gratin Potatoes with Ham. See you there!
Choir is back in session and we are growing in voices but we could still use more! Anyone is welcome to join the choir at any time throughout the year. We practice on Thursday nights from 6:30-7:30.
Maybe you want to give choir a trial run? Your chance is coming up! Christmas is a few short months away and with that comes the Christmas Cantata. We need extra voices to raise in glory of the newborn King. This year's Cantata has been compiled by Matt Chelich, Pastor Michael, and myself. A title is in the works.
If you would like to join the choir for cantata only, we will practice Thursdays from 6:00PM-7:00PM and/or Sundays 3:00-4:00. We will begin these practices Sunday, October 14th. The cantata will be performed on Sunday, December 16th. We will have a dress rehearsal December 15th @ 9:00AM. You may attend one or both of the weekly practices. Not interested in singing? We need assistance in many other ways for this production. There will be a small drama going on during the cantata. We will need the help of children and adults. If you have any questions, please see me, Heather Schulz (219)617-2783.
A great big Thank You to those who have been able to give above and beyond to help fund the Trustee Capital Campaign. We are now at $6,514.00 of our goal of $12,000.00. While the campaign continues with the hopes of reaching $12,000.00, the trustees have been busy with some needed improvements. The first change you will see is in the sanctuary which received a very thorough cleaning from the ceiling fixtures down, as well as, two new fans and freshly painted walls. We also arranged for the sealing of the silver barn roof which would have cost about $2,000.00. However, the job was completed with free materials and labor. What a blessing to the church. We also have been working on a handrail for the north door entrance. The project finally materialized and a beautiful stainless-steel handrail was installed. This project was donated to the church so that saved us around $3,000.00. Next will be some changes for the kitchen. This project will be a work in process but we have begun by upgrading our refrigerator. An order for a brand new 3 door stainless refrigerator has been placed. The funding is coming from an endowment grant, a grantor directed special fund and the United Methodist Women. We will also be laying some new flooring and new baseboards. Our wish for the future is to replace the old double ovens at a cost of $6,000.00 and a new 6-burner/grill at a cost of $4,000.00 but it might be awhile before that materializes because of the cost. In the spring we hope to finish the parking lot project by sealing and restriping the parking lot. The cost is $6,000-8,000.00 so we are hoping that our capital campaign goal will be reached by then. It has been a busy summer season for the trustees and the many church volunteers who stepped up and helped complete the above tasks. We so appreciate all of their efforts. We hope our church family likes the changes that are being made. The trustees welcome your comments and suggestions. Feel free to contact us at any time. Connie Ellefson, chairman
Operation Christmas Child (International Missions project):
By the time you read this article our church will have hosted the "stuff the box" event with the completion of 400 shoe boxes stuffed with age appropriate basis hygiene items and many toy and school supplies, etc. What an incredible opportunity for our church. To reach out and make a difference to children around the world who may be facing famine, abandonment, or are victims of war, poverty or natural disasters. If you were one of those who participated in this event, thank you so much. We hope you enjoyed stuffing shoe boxes and putting words of encouragement in them. The mission's committee couldn't have done the project without you. And a great big thank you to all of you who took the time to fill the Christmas basket every week with items for the boxes. You have been over the top generous with your gifts to this mission ministry. It's unbelievable the amount of stuff we collected in our very first year of this mission project. We also helped keep empty pill containers and shoe boxes out of the landfill by repurposing them into useful items for the children. So, feel good Portage First because we demonstrated God's love in a tangible way. It starts with a shoebox that represents love from someone they don't know offering hope. One box, one child, one soul. What greater gift could we give to children. Connie Ellefson
Calling all Women, Men and Children!
Start those ovens for our 1st apple pie, pumpkin pie and cooking baking contest!
• Sunday, September 30
• Crossroads Picnic Area
• 12:30pm (pie & cookie delivery will be from 11:30am-12:30pm)
The apple and pumpkin pie contests are for adults, and you may enter one of each if so ambitious! The cookie contest (1 dozen of one kind only) is for children.
There will be 3 hungry experts on hand to pick “The Best” of the best in each category and Prizes will be awarded! Your ‘offerings” must be checked-in at the contest table no later than 12:30pm to be eligible. Sign-up sheets for the contests are at the Welcome Center, but late entries on the day of are welcome.
So, fire-up your oven and enter these amazingly delicious contests!
P.S. Please label your pies or cookies that are gluten free or may contain allergens such as milk, nuts, eggs, etc. Thank you!
Note from Pastor Tara
Hello! October (for me) begins official Pumpkin Spice season despite all of the people who started in September. It just seems wrong to drink Pumpkin Spice anything when it's 90 degrees out. To each their own...
What I'm up to: Focusing on Congregational Care, visitation, phone calls, and follow-up.
I have started attending a local Portage Pastor's prayer meeting on Thursday mornings. It is an inter-denominational meeting of pastors from (you guessed it!) Portage to network and pray for our community.
Our church will be hosting a Lake Effect Cluster meeting on Monday, October 15th from 6:30-7:45. This is for the Pastors from our "Cluster" and Lay Leaders to attend to get to know each other. Our cluster has been inactive for some time, but Cathy Allison from Westville has taken over and the hope is that in the future we may partner within our cluster for ministry.
I will be going to Indianapolis the 12-13th of October for Course of Study.
Family Promise update: I'm happy to announce that Amanda Jennings has volunteered to take over as our representative to Family Promise. Thank you Amanda!
Congregational Care Ministry: This month we will be meeting on Monday, October 29th from 7-8.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make the rummage sale possible last month. It is greatly appreciated!
Thank you also to all of the volunteers for the Community Meal and Picnic.
Looking ahead: I am going to start going through past interest surveys as well as creating new interest surveys. These will contain interests in things such as help with mowing or raking yards for those who have had surgery etc. who may not be able to do so for a short period of time. It will also look at gifts. I will be contacting people individually to explore gifts, passions, and abilities to help us help each other and act as the hands and feet of Christ.
Thank you and God bless!
Are you ready to “Step Out & Stop Hunger”? On October 14, we’ll distribute paper bags to those willing to collect donated food items from friends and neighbors in their communities. (You can even fill a bag yourself!) Then on Sunday, October 21 we’ll all bring our bags back to church, and right after second service we’ll ask for your help to sort all the food with the assistance of a representative of the Portage Township Food Pantry. Over 14% of Portage Township residents are below the poverty line. Join us in helping those who cannot fully support themselves, and in encouraging our friends and neighbors to do the same!
It is October, and we’ve caught the scent of a possible Halloween event coming to church. Keep your eyes out for more information!
Your Missions and Outreach Committee thanks you for the many ways you share the love of Christ in your daily lives. What a blessing it is to be part of God’s church here at Portage First!
Wendy, Steve, Annette, James, Kate, Connie, and Lisa
October United Methodist Men News
Gentlemen – hoping you have had a good summer and looking to complete the remainder of 2018 with purpose. Below is an article from “Christian Truth” pertaining to men of God.
What is a man of God? How can I be one?
A Man of God is first of all committed completely to God. This goes well beyond actions to the heart. A man can do all the right things and still not be a man of God. For example, the Pharisees of Jesus' day were very careful to do all the right things, but Jesus said they were "like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27). So it is possible to do all the right things and appear to men to be a Man of God but not to be in the sight of God, for "the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).
Therefore, the Man of God's overriding desire is to follow God's direction. This can be encapsulated in the command Jesus gave during the Sermon on the Mount, when He said, "…seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). Another scripture that defines succinctly what it means to be a Man of God is Micah 6:8, which says, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" In order to "walk humbly with" God, a person must have a heart after God's own heart like David (Acts 13:22) and must obey His commandments. The only requirement to be a Man of God is to have a heart aligned with God's heart. Then, the Man of God will be molded by God to be and to do what God desires.
There are numerous characteristics that the Man of God will have. One is that he will love the brethren. As Jesus said in His Upper Room Discourse, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). Another is that he will have the attitude of a servant to all. Jesus said of Himself in Mark 10:45, "… the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve …", and the Man of God will strive to be like Jesus. There have been many sermons and books about what the Man of God does, but it all comes back to the attitudes of the heart.
Becoming a Man of God is a simple thing that is very difficult. It requires total submission to God, which goes against our fallen human nature. As a matter of fact, it is so difficult that it can be achieved only by yielding to the Holy Spirit and relying on Him for the power to submit. We cannot do it in our own strength. When a man yields to God and allows Him to change us into what He wants, that man will become a Man of God. Then that man will truly seek first the kingdom of God and walk humbly with God.
May this shared article from “Christian Truth” plant some seeds for food for thought for you to consider as you go about your day to day living. Our UMM men’s group meets monthly, usually the first Saturday of the month, breaking during the three summer months. When we meet we worship in song, fellowship with breakfast, share devotions, share a bible study, and discuss and share our supported ministries. Some of those ministries we currently are supporting are: Cubs Scouts, Boy Scouts, Prison Ministries, and assisting UMW church rummage sale.
Our meeting in October is Saturday October 6th at 8:00 AM in our fellowship hall. Please think about, pray about, and consider joining us. Invite a friend, a neighbor, or family member to join you.
Our next bible study is from Ephesians Chap. 4 - “Living Lives Worthy Of Our Calling”. God is calling men to come and be a part of His purpose here and now. Please consider being a part of His purpose.
In His Service,