Rev. Mark Dicken & Rev. Tara Keehn
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue VII July, 2017
FROM THE PASTOR
How’s your summer going? June was a great month for me. Early in the month Pat Hodgson, Kim Adkins, Pastor Tara and I traveled south to Indianapolis for Annual Conference, the yearly gathering of United Methodists in Indiana. There was great worship, reports, debates and decisions. We even celebrated the baptisms of the children of some clergy families by Bishop Trimble. Over $400,000 was received for the Miracle Offering for Global Health to fight malaria and AIDS, $400 of which came from our church and donations continue to come in. Over 900 filled backpacks for the homeless were gathered in. Our church provided 10 filled backpacks and over $500 to help purchase additional backpacks and the items to fill them. As an aside, each day as I walked to and from the Convention Center I saw homeless persons on sleeping or begging on the street corners. I am so proud of our participation in this mission and especially with our recent Church Conference decision to significantly participate in Family Promise of Porter County and its mission to homeless families in our midst by allowing them to use the Crossroads house as their administrative office and day center.
My personal highlight was being able to participate in the laying on of hands as my daughter Mary was ordained Deacon. She is the third generation in our family to be ordained as Methodist clergy in Indiana.
I’ve enjoyed our Summer Experiment in worship as we seek to incorporate Convergence or Ancient-Modern worship elements in our worship services, bringing some “modern” into our more traditional service and some “ancient” into our more modern service. It’s been great seeing more children and youth in our worship services and including a special time with children during both services.
I’m also encouraged by the response of folks committed to the future of our church who are participating in the Sunday morning sessions of the Fruitful Congregation Journey 2.0 in the sanctuary during our Christian education time. We’re working through a study of 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church. So far, we have explored:
• The shift from Maintenance to Mission – facing the challenges involved in shifting from an excessive focus on retaining and preserving who and what we have to a primary focus of fulfilling our mission to make new disciples of Jesus Christ.
• The shift from Fellowship to Relationships – being intentional about connecting person to person first, person to congregation next and, ultimately and most importantly, person to Jesus Christ.
• The shift from Preference Driven to Purpose Driven in our worship – offering passionate worship experiences for guests and regular attenders. Does our worship seek to fulfill our mission to reach new people for Jesus or is it driven by the preferences of those already in church?
We’ll be continuing this study for the next several weeks so there is still time for you to engage with us. Our goal is to have every group, committee and class taking the journey eventually as we seek to be the church Jesus needs us to be in 2017 and beyond. Copies of the 10 Prescriptions book are available at the Welcome Center.
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Happy July Birthday to…
01 Leslie Marlatt 11 Bryson Welch 22 Richard Guth
02 Judi Holtzman 12 Charles Blakely 23 Debbi Russum
02 Patti Coates 12 Everett Brown 24 Samantha Cooper
02 Leigh Romanov 15 Patti Coppess 24 Heather Klaubo
03 Bill Hodgson 15 Annaliese Medina 24 Tyler Monahan
03 Eleanor Tipton 15 Isabella Medina 25 Philip Russum
03 Joe Wray 16 Dean Cunningham 26 Karen Mauer
04 Jef Halberstadt 16 Kathleen Tatlock 28 Max Keehn
04 Maverick Miller 16 Scarlette McKiddy 28 Deloris Yavor
05 Jonathan Bush 17 Joe Reynolds 28 Jacob Lenburg
06 Mike Matthew 17 Heather Buda 28 Robert Shone
09 Nick Andryuk 19 Lina Graff 29 Ronald Cutler
09 Sylvia Moore 19 Cara Reeder 31 Helen Hameetman
09 Scott Falk 19 Heather Schulz
11 Glenda Dixon 19 Jordan Bailey
Happy July Anniversary to…
08 Ray & Bridget Nadolski 15 Chris & Kim Adkins
09 Aaron & Andrea Massow 17 Dave & Jayne Mantz
10 Scott & Denisa Riley 22 Bill & Pat Hodgson
10 Keith & Janet Sharpe 25 Nick & Dee Nickerson
10 Marvin & Glenda Owens 27 Larry & Lerryn Darnell
15 Rob & Lisa Hoover 31 Phil & Debbi Russum
Community Meal July 21st at 6pm.
We are going to be having a dancing good time!
Join us for food, fellowship, dancing in the streets (a.k.a. the parking lot) and good times for all! Invite you friends and family. We hope to see you there dancing til the sun goes down!
Thank you to all those who donated or helped with donations for the fire victims of the Lake in the Woods Apartments.
Remember your church in your will.
WORSHIP THEMES FOR JULY
July 2 FREEDOM FROM and FREEDOM TO
Psalm 119:41-48, Romans 6:12-23, John 8:31-36
Focus: America is a land of freedom from and freedom to, but our ultimate freedom comes from Christ.
July 9 TO-DO’S and TO-DON’TS
Romans 7:14-25a,Matthew 26:41
Focus: Without proper preparation/discipline, temptation can pull us under.
July 16 HEARING vs. LISTENING
Psalm 42, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, Romans 8:26-28
Focus: the difference between hearing God and listening to God
July 23 WEEDS REQUIRE NO COMMITMENT
Matthew 13:24-30, 35-43
Focus: Weeds happen in our gardens without any work on our part. Getting them out and keeping them out requires work on our part. The same is true of spiritual weeds in our lives.
July 30 TRACY AT THE BAT
Focus: What is really important?
PLEASE DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!
Recently, Pastor Mark was checking the church building before leaving for the day when he discovered that the air conditioning was cooling the empty sanctuary. When he checked the thermostat, he discovered that someone had set it to “hold” the temperature that person desired which overrode the program designed to regulate the temperature when the space is occupied. Hopefully, this only dated back to Sunday morning, but regardless it was a waste of energy and money as it kept running when no one was in the large room.
Our thermostats are programmed to provide for the comfort of the group. Individual preferences may differ, but we respectfully ask that you not take initiative to reset thermostats for your personal comfort level and do not set it to “hold” any particular cooling or heating level.
HERE COME THE BOY SCOUTS!
PFUMC welcomes Boy Scout Troop 452 to our church. This troop was formerly chartered by the American Legion Post in South Haven and the parties have agreed to transfer the charter to our church. The United Methodist Men and The United Methodist Church have been strong supporters of Scouting ministries since Scouting came to America in 1910. We believe Scouting makes a difference in lives and in communities, so we welcome Troop 452. We believe that chartering both a Boy Scout Troop along with Cub Scout Pack 487 will help both units, our church and our community.
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, July 7th at 5pm at Martini’s Steak and Seafood, 1004 Calumet Ave. Valparaiso, IN. R.S.V.P to Sandra Robinson, 764-8433, if you plan to attend.
**You must be 21 or older to attend**
July 4th Parade!!!
We are entering the 2017 Portage Fourth of July Parade. This year’s theme is City of Portage Turns 50. The parade will be on Tuesday the 4th starting at 11am. There is a decorated Box near the Connection Center for donated candy. You will also find a sign-up sheet for those who plan on walking in the parade. Please by downtown near Founders Square by 10:45am.
2017 RailCats Game Outing
The United Methodist Men sponsored Church RailCats Game Night.
Saturday, July, 15th 6:10pm game start. Plan to arrive early because it’s “Star Wars Night” with pregame autographs when gates open. Box seats cost $9. A slugger meal ticket is an additional $5.25 (Hotdog, chips & soda). All money is due on July 9th.
Sign-up sheet is located at the Connection Center.
Any question, contact Chris Adkins or Tony Centracchio.
Just a quick note from the Missions Committee. We want to thank you for all the great work you are doing in so many ways to share God’s love throughout the community, the state, and the world! Among the many missions already underway, you have stepped up to donate food for less fortunate people as we re-invigorate our support of the Portage Township Food Pantry. In May, you donated 60 jars of peanut butter and 46 jars of jelly! In June you searched your shelves for cans of fruit. During the month of July, we are asking for non-perishable breakfast foods (cereal, oatmeal, pancake mix, breakfast bars, etc.). Please continue your loving support by placing items on the designated table in the Fellowship Hall. Thank you so much for helping to support the least, the last, and the lost!
In Christian Love,
Wendy Smith, Annette McCarty, Kate Blakely, and Pastor Tara
Royal Family Kids Camp is coming up July 23 – 28. This camp is such a blessing to underprivileged children: children who have suffered abuse, many of whom are in the Foster Care System. At camp, these children are reminded that they are human, they are special, they are God’s children, and they are loved. Most of these kids are sent to camp with very little. Each year Portage First steps up to provide backpacks filled with the personal items they will need during the week. Your purchases at the Coffee Bar have enabled the purchase of over 90 backpacks this year. We are asking for help filling those backpacks. Please bring donations of the following items before Sunday, July 16:
Towels, Washcloths, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, combs, Brushes, Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash
Financial contributions are also welcome. Thank you in advance, from the children!
Note from Pastor Tara
Hello! This month I would like to take some time to talk about Family Promise. As many of you know, Family Promise is a national program that we are helping get started in Porter County. In fact, our church just held a special Church Conference regarding lease of the farmhouse for use by Family Promise for use as their day center, and was overwhelmingly approved! In Porter County, currently we have Gabriel's Horn shelter that assists women and children under the age of 17. New Creation in Valparaiso assists single men only. Day Spring Women's Center (run by Housing Opportunities) in Valparaiso only accepts single women. There are currently NO OPTIONS for men with children, or two-parent families with children to remain preserved as a family unit.
Recently at the United Methodist Women's group, New Creation Men's shelter had a speaker come and talk about their success. They follow a similar model as Family Promise, with a day center for daytime activities and lodging donated by surrounding churches in the evening. Except, with New Creation they change churches/sleeping location every night, where with Family Promise they switch churches/sleeping locations once a week.
At this time, Family Promise Porter County has 9 churches committed to being part of the program. We are still looking for 4 more churches to join us. I was very grateful for New Creation men's shelter to come and speak to our women, and help spread excitement about how much of an impact a program like this can have on a community. While they offer services to single men, we believe that families are important, and hope to be able to offer a similar service for families! Family Promise has many successful locations all over the United States. To keep up with what's currently happening, you can follow the Facebook Group "Family Promise of Porter County." Or, for more general information on Family Promise, please see their national website at familypromise.org
This year, the profits from our annual car show will be going to help Family Promise. We are excited about this opportunity to help our community, and hope you are, too!
Vacation Bible School is Coming!
Hear ye, hear ye! Bring your kids, grandkids, and friends to our mighty fortress! Join us Sunday, July 23rd through Thursday, July 27th for Vacation Bible School from 6:00-8:30pm. During this time children pre-k through 5th grade will participate in story time, games, crafts, music, and snacks. They will discover that through Jesus Christ the victory is won.
Outside of this age group? Come help make this week memorable to God's children by giving your time, talents, and love. Children and volunteers can register at https://vbsmate.com/PFUMC
Questions? Contact Heather Schulz at 617-2783
Don't forget to pick up your July/August copy of the Upper Room.
Good way to start your day!
Youth & Children Activities
July is a busy month with many things going on at church and around our community. There are many opportunities for kids & youth to get involved.
Summer of Service youth missions trip June 29-July 2
We'll leave the church at 3:30 pm on June 29 and return around 1 pm on July 2nd.
4th of July Parade
There's a sign-up sheet on the connection center if anyone wants to walk with us. Kids must have a parent walk with them.
High School camp - That Thing @ Epworth Forest
Please join us in praying this week for Ethan Keehn and Anthony Smith as they are at camp this week
14 elementary and middle school students went to camp in June and had a great time. Some of our students chose to accept Christ for the very first time while they were at camp. Thanks to all who have helped support camp scholarships through our various missions projects. Your support is truly making a difference in the lives of our children!
Vacation Bible School
July 24-27 6-8:30
There are many opportunities for youth (6th grade and up) to get involved in this ministry for our younger kids. There are many slots for youth helpers on the sign-up sheet located at the connection center
Royal Family Kids Camp
RFKC is in need of Male Guides for Royal Family Kids Camp! It's a week long, July 23rd-28th. This is a totally FREE mission trip-they only need your time and loving Christian heart! It's a camp for children ages 6-12 in the foster care system who were abused or neglected... It's an amazing life changing camp and they really need amazing male remodels! If you, or anyone you know is interested in more information, please contact Steve Massow or Cara Reeder.
Rev up your engines once again! 12th annual Car show
Well it's that time of year again, to rev up your engines for our very own 12th annual car show here at Portage First! This year’s event will be held Saturday, August 12th from 9am to awards @ 4 pm.
So mark your calendars for this day to set aside for good times!
This year's show will be exciting as ever with the Wolfgang singers from Hobart. Also, we may have the return of Sunday Glory as well! A bounce house for the children, oldies music, hula hoop and watermelon eating contests to name a few. Surprises, food and snacks galore!
Whatever you do don't miss this event there will be something for everyone! Fun! Fun! Fun!! Oh! Let's not forget all the amazing classic cars! If you know someone with a cool car, let them know! All proceeds will help benefit Family Promise. We are looking for donations for the goodie bag items for the show participants also donations for door prizes any car related item would be great! You can drop off any of these items at the church office or contact Steve Massow. Our goal is to have a wonderful event and through your kindness and generosity we may just bring another soul into the kingdom of Christ!
For more information about Family Promise or the car show contact the church office at 762-3846 or Steve at 742-0926. There are flyers for information and car registration on the Welcome Center so as the Fonz would say be there or be square!!!!!