Pastor Mark Dicken
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue II February 2017
In our January newsletter, I gave you information about our 2017 annual budget goals. I pointed out that while we did give $3,600 to our North District and the Indiana Conference in 2016, this was only one-tenth of what we should have given to support United Methodist ministries and missions in Indiana, our nation and the world. We absolutely need to do better in 2017.
But I have some wonderfully, exceedingly exciting news to share with you. I’ve been working with our Church Treasurer and the leaders of various ministries such as United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Mission Possible Kids and Common Grounds (our Sunday morning coffee and juice bar) to help us see how our church impacts our community and beyond.
In 2016, our church and its ministries gave:
$1,923 to the Bishop’s Christmas Offering for Children
$3,854 to Royal Family Kids Camp
$ 100 to Gabriel’s Horn (women’s shelter)
$ 200 to Jacob’s ladder (pediatric rehabilitation)
$5,284 to Feed My Lambs (backpacks of food for school children)
$ 366 to Share Your Soles
$ 197 to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
$ 500 to Frontline Foundations (substance abuse treatment)
$1,000 to Porter County Habitat for Humanity
$ 150 to Portage Rebuilding Together
$1,525 to the Flint Michigan Water Crisis relief
$ 45 to the Portage Exchange Club
$1,611 to Cub Scout Pack 487
$ 600 to the God Pod at the Porter County Jail
$ 400 to the ministry at Westville Correctional Facility for Bibles and other materials
$5,274 to the Portage Food Pantry
$1,260 to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for disaster relief
$ 112 to Group Cares (Vacation Bible School mission project)
$3,020 to Impact 2818 for church camp scholarships
$2,600 to 13 recipients of college scholarships
$1,420 to Destiny’s Rescue to fight human trafficking
$1,500 to First Contact (Portage Township Trustee’s Office)
$ 292 to Family Promise (homeless families)
$ 100 to the Caring Place
$ 455 for Strength for Service to God and Community devotionals for first responders
$ 190 to the Independent Cat Society
This does not include the monetary value of:
• the 76 coats donated on Palm Sunday
• the 60 Angel Tree gifts at Christmas
• the gloves, mittens and hats given for school children
• the 30 Thanksgiving food boxes, and the food items many donate monthly that are given to the Portage Township Trustee’s emergency food pantry
• the 11 flood buckets filled for UMCOR to help Kokomo and South Bend clean up after flooding
• the 40 pairs of gently used shoes given through Share Your Soles
• the 25 pillows made for Syrian refugees
For 180 years our church has been making a difference for the cause of Christ in so many ways. I hope you are as interested as I am in seeing our impact in #181.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Sundays @ 10:00am Sunday School
Wednesdays @ 11:30am Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:00am Breakfast at Schoops
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, February 3rd at 5:00pm at Great Wall Buffet (Szechuan, Hunan & Cantonese Food) US Hwy 6, in Portage. RSVP to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433.
Bible 101 is an overview of the Bible designed to give you a foundation to build upon. It has gotten off to a slow start due to the weather, which we knew would be a factor anytime a study begins in January in Northwest Indiana. We will persevere and establish some perimeters for when we will not meet: we will not meet if the temperature is in the single digits or if there is a winter storm advisory for our area. When this is not the case, we will meet. You are encouraged to come as often as possible but don’t stay away because you haven’t been. The next few weeks we will be taking a look at the book of Genesis – it’s ‘in the beginning’. Sundays 2pm.
SCOUTING MINISTRIES SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12
Boys and leaders from our Cub Scout Pack 487 will be with us for worship during our 10 o’clock service on February 12 and we encourage all Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and adult Scouting leaders to wear their uniforms to worship that morning. Our United Methodist Men will offer a pancake breakfast to raise financial support for our Cub Scout Pack in Fellowship Hall.
We will be starting our first Freed-Up financial class March 8th. Registration has begun! If you would like to sign up, please notify Pastor Tara. Registration can be done online through the even page on Facebook, or by going to:
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY IS SOUPER BOWL SUNDAY AT OUR CHURCH
On Sunday, February 5, the Atlanta Falcons will take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51. During worship that morning the people of Portage First United Methodist Church are encouraged to tackle hunger in our community by bringing a can of soup for each member of their household to church. These cans of soup will be given to the local food pantry.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, February 3 @ 9:30 am
Recovery from substance abuse has many different
levels. Come hear about the programs available as
Marilyn Marion from Care Counseling Services in
Valparaiso (South Haven) is our speaker for February.
Join us for fellowship, breakfast snacks and our speaker.
ALL women of ALL ages are welcome!
If you will need child care services please call the
church office by Wednesday, February 1st.
Annual Spaghetti Dinner
The annual Spaghetti Dinner will be on Saturday February 18 from 4:30-7:30. Plan on bringing your special date for evening of delicious food, music, and fun with other couples. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year so please come and help our kids get to camp. Reservations now being accepted, sign up at the connection center.
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 being a mentor. For more information or to express interest please contact Deb Massow at 219-742-4905 or Lisa Graff at 219-916-4258. If your child is in 7th or 8th grade this year please encourage them to attend.
Youth & Children Events
Mission Possible Kids and Youth Group
• Feb. 17 Set up for Valentine’s Day Dinner ~3:30 (or as soon as you can get here)
until we’re finished
• Feb. 18 Valentine’s Day Dinner 4:30-7:30 pm
• Sunday February 26, regular meeting 12:30-2
• Camp date for this year is June 11-16
o There are other dates available if this date doesn’t work for you, this is
o when a large group from our church is going
o Camp Adventure (Middle School) $449
o Camp Lakewood (Elementary School) $449
o Scholarships are available through the district & through the church
• Youth Missions trip ~Summer Of Service
o June 29-July 2
o For incoming 6th graders through outgoing 12th graders
o Cost is $74 per student, $35 for leaders
• Confirmation begins February 5th during the 10:00 service
2017 Red Bird Mission Trip
Mark your Calendar!
September 10th – 16th
We are now in the planning stage to return to Red Bird this year. We have reserved the week of September 10th-16th. The cost is $375 per person. Once again there will be fundraisers planned to help lower the cost. All information to come at the April 10th meeting. Anyone interested in going is asked to Contact Chris Adkins at 763-1301.
Here is a convenient way to tithe! Try PushPay with your mobile device or online!
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 will soon have a giving link through Pushpay on our new website www.portageumc.org and the company is working to create a custom app. 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?
Happy February Birthday to…
02 Cheryl Hamilton 10 Bob Romanov 21 Shannon Liesch
04 Andrea Massow 10 Sharon Kaiser 22 Amanda Highlands
05 Denise Pollachek 10 Bill Liesch 24 Jayne Mantz
05 Paul Peterson 15 Trudy Cunningham 24 Amanda Peterson
05 Nada Romanov 15 Ron Mauer 25 Leigh Coffey
06 Virginia Phillips 15 Lillian Harbart 25 Betty Evensen
06 Brooke Jackson 18 Kaitlyn Adkins 28 Allison Centracchio
07 Tod Blakely 19 Reese Welch 28 Mike Hopkins
07 Eddie Karsten 20 Tony Centracchio 28 Don Kremke
08 Fred Blakely 20 Allen Long 28 Henry Ryan
09 Annette McCarty 20 Mark Long
10 Madelyn Blakely 21 Lerryn Darnell
Happy February Anniversary to…
02 Terry & Sally Nohr 18 Chuck & Bert Fowler
06 Bob & Nada Romanov 29 James & Heather Miller
Have you checked out the church web site??
The address is: http://www.portageumc.org