Pastor Mark Dicken
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue VI June 2017
There’s a lot going on around here in June.
We start our summer experiment with changes to our worship times, service styles and Christian education on Sunday, June 4. Beginning that Sunday, we will have the following schedule:
9:00 AM Worship
10:10-10:50 AM Christian education for all ages
11:00 AM Worship
I’m energized already by the enthusiasm of our staff and others as we plan and work ahead. I can sense a lot of creativity about to be released. I’m excited about the opportunity I will have to lead a Christian education class. (More on this to follow.) I’m looking forward to different ways we can engage and involve children and youth in our worship and adults in Christian education.
June 4 is also Pentecost and we will celebrate the Confirmation of 6 youth during our 9:00 AM service that Sunday. Some of you may remember that 2016 was a year without confirmands for us. I am so thankful for the adults who have served so well as mentors and confirmation class leaders and, of course, the young men and women who have been engaged in the process since the first of the year.
Pastor Tara, Pat Hodgson, Kim Adkins and I will be heading south to Indianapolis for Annual Conference June 8-10. Annual Conference is the gathering of United Methodists across Indiana, a combination of an annual business meeting with a lot of worship. Annual Conference this year will mark my 8th and final year serving as President of the Annual Conference Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Conference Corporation, a position I’ve held since the Indiana Conference was formed. I’ve been honored to serve in this way combining my background as an attorney with my love for our connection as United Methodists. More importantly to me personally will be the Celebration of Ministry service the morning of June 10 when I will have the privilege of laying hands on my youngest daughter when she is ordained Deacon. My dad was able to do this when I was ordained and now I get to do it. I get emotional just anticipating this.
On June 11, we will recognize high school and post-secondary school graduates and award scholarships.
Then on June 12, we will have a Church Conference when we will decide whether to lease the house at 2715 McCool Road to Family Promise of Porter County. There is more information about this in this newsletter.
June 18 is Father’s Day. Before cell phones became common, this was the day that saw the highest number of collect calls. This year we will have a gift for fathers and grandfathers.
On June 25 we will celebrate the baptism of Michael James Vega, another baby born into our body of Christ. So much for a summer slump!
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Happy June Birthday to…
01 Erin Davenport 07 Todd Warne 18 Jim Reeder
01 Austin Shebel 08 Zachery Sullivan 19 Bryan Dixon
02 Nick Nickerson 09 Mark Dicken 19 Amber Kramer
02 Betty Smith 15 Patrick Costello 25 Pat Hodgson
03 Melinda Metz 15 Gabriel Harbart 27 Chuck Lorenz
04 Jackie Green 17 Fran Berry 28 Matt Lopez
05 Dee Nickerson 17 Brandi Costello 29 Jessica Karsten
07 Sandy Holtzman 17 Barbara Dicken 30 Carolyn Lenburg
Happy June Anniversary to…
02 Ron & Karen Mauer 15 Kirk & Dawn Harbart
05 Ryan & Melissa Sullivan 22 Randy & Robin Wilkening
08 Joseph & Annette Wray 23 Richard & Sherry Pinarski
09 Greg & Tara Keehn 24 Robert & Joyce Shone
09 Chuck & Virginia Phillips 25 Paul & Amanda Peterson
11 Andrew & Jenny Brown 30 Bill & Amber Kramer
15 Doug & Teresa McKiddy
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, June 2nd at 5:00pm. at Miller Beach Café’, 903 N. Shelby St. Gary, IN. R.S.V.P. to Kathy Tatlock at 219-276-1887.
This group meets once a month at different restaurants for food and fellowship.
Special Thank You from Phyllis Price and Family,
Phyllis would like to thank everyone for all of the cards, calls, prayers and condolences with the recent passing of her husband Lon Price. Your kindness means so much. Thank you.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE FUTURE OF OUR CHURCH?
Pastor Mark invites all leaders, influencers and those interested in the future of our church to join him in the class he will lead on Sunday mornings in the sanctuary beginning June 4 at 10:10 AM. This study will discern the key areas God is calling us as his church to address in order to move confidently into the future he wants for us as we live into our mission and vision.
We will be following FCJ 2.0, the course recommended by the annual conference, focusing on best practices and assessing how we are doing through prayer, discussion and dialogue. It will center around the book Ten Prescriptions for a Healthy Church. The format calls for focusing on one chapter at a session, so reading, while important, will be manageable.
The sessions will challenge us to shift from:
• Maintenance to Mission
• Fellowship to Relationships
• Preference-Driven to Purpose-Driven
• Attractional to Invitational
• Consumer to Servant
• Tradition to Transformative
• Preference to Strategic
• Volunteer to Staff (paid and unpaid)
One of our small groups has indicated they will also be participating in this process during their meetings.
Our church has been a force for the kingdom of God for 181 years. As we prepare for our 182nd and beyond, looking forward to our third century of mission and ministry in this community, we encourage all who are passionate about the future to engage in this forward-looking process.
Some questions we’ve heard about details of our new plans for Sunday mornings this summer:
Will there be coffee before the 9:00 AM service?
Sure – if some folks are willing to serve by arriving early to make the coffee and set out the cups and accoutrements. If you would be willing to be one of them, please let Leigh Huminsky (email@example.com) or Pastor Tara (firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
If the children are going to be using Fellowship Hall to begin their Sunday school time at 10:10 AM, where am I going to be able to eat my donut and drink my coffee between the services?
May we suggest that you enjoy them while participating in one of our adult Christian education classes?
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 the family promise cause. For more information about family promise or the car show, contact the church office 762-3846 or Steve Massow 742-0926. There are flyers for information and car registration on the welcome center.
So, as the Fonz used to say" Be there or be square!!!"
Note from Pastor Tara
Summer is here! June is a busy month! We will be kicking off our new service schedule Sunday the 4th, as well as welcoming our new confirmands! Pastor Mark, myself, Pat Hodgson and Kim Adkins will be gone to Annual Conference June 7th-10th. We will be accepting monetary donations towards the Annual Conference Backpacks for the Homeless through Saturday June 4th. Youth will be heading off to camp together Sunday June 11th. We will have a Conference June 12th at 7 pm regarding the lease of the Farm house to Family Promise. Father's Day is June 18th, and the youth will be heading off on their first mission trip for "Summer of Service" June 29th.
I would like to thank those of you who have stepped forward and volunteered for welcoming committee. We could still use more volunteers, though! If you are interested in helping to greet people at the doors or Welcome Center, please let me (Tara Keehn) know. My email is email@example.com . I am also looking for people willing to follow up with newcomers and people who have been absent. Training will be available.
HEAR YE, HEAR YE! Vacation Bible School is drawing nigh. Starting Sunday, July 22nd until Thursday, July 26th from 6:00-8:00 PM our church will transform into a mighty fortress where children will learn that in Jesus, the victory is won! We need brave knights and fair ladies to assist in many areas; large or small, in charge or behind the scenes, every evening or when available. Remember, 85% of people who come to Christ do so before the age of 18. Please contact Heather Schulz and tell her how you can serve our children, our church, our community, and our Lord. You can reach her by phone/text @ 617-2783 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even slip a note onto the piano in the choir room!
Summer of Service Youth Mission Trip
June 29-July 2
Summer of Service is a collaborative effort between area churches and community partnerships to impact Michiana with the love of Jesus through various kindness activities. PFUMC Missions team has pledged money to offset the costs for students; the total cost will be $25. Registration & payment due to the office by May 5. See Kate for more information or to get a registration packet.
Summer Sunday School Teachers needed!
K-5 and Middle/High School
During the summer we usually like to give our regular Sunday School teachers a break after all their hard work during the school year. This summer we’ll be trying a new format for Children’s Sunday School with grades K-5 combined into one room and we need some volunteers willing to help. We’ll do all the preparation for you, you just need to be willing to show up on your scheduled week and show God’s love to our kids. Even if you’re only able to come once a month, you don’t have to be available every single week just let us know what weeks you’re available and we’ll put you on the schedule. Please see Kate Blakely with any questions or to volunteer.
We are also in need of teachers for our Middle School & High School classes. During the summer both groups meet together. The curriculum is already planned out. There’s a video to show and the discussion questions after.
Please see Kate Blakely with any questions or to volunteer.
Junes 16th at 6pm!
Come and join us for an African Safari courtesy of Paul Keaton. Paul will be doing a presentation of his recent trip to South Africa! Dinner for the evening will include BBQ Chicken Legs and a Baked Potato Bar…YUM! We really hope to see you there and remember this is open to anyone, so please invite friends, family, neighbors, the grocery clerk, the oil change technician, your hair stylist, etc.!
July 4th Parade!!! Let’s Go!
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. If you are interested in joining the Parade committee, please contact Kim Adkins. There is a decorated box near the Connection Center for donating candy.
You will also find a sign-up sheet for those who plan on walking in the parade.
Come be a part of the celebration!
CHURCH CONFERENCE JUNE 12
Rev. Larry Whitehead, Superintendent of the North District of the Indiana Conference has authorized us to hold a special church conference on Monday, June 12 at 7:00 PM.
The sole item on the agenda will be whether to authorize under ¶2540 of The Book of Discipline a lease of the house on the Crossroads property to Family Promise of Porter County, Inc. Family Promise is a ministry to homeless families and the house will be used as its administrative offices and facilities and day center for the adults and children being served. The lease will be for only symbolic rent and Family Promise will be responsible for insurance, utilities, maintenance and repairs.
A church conference allows every Professing Member of our church to attend participate and vote. Pastor Mark has been authorized to be the Presiding Elder at the church conference.
The proposed lease may be viewed in the church office during normal office hours.
2017 Railcats Game Outing. Take me out to the ballgame!
Mark your calendar for this year’s UMM sponsored Church Railcat Game Night Saturday, July 15th at 6:10pm. Plan to arrive early because it’s “Star Wars Night” with pregame autographs when the gates open. Box seats cost $9. A slugger meal ticket is an additional $5.25 which includes hotdog, chips & soda…what a steal!!! All money is due on July 13th so please contact Chris Adkins or Tony Centracchio to get your tickets! Let’s go Railcats and Portage First!
Red Bird Mission Team
There are currently 16 people interested in returning to Red Bird this coming September. The cost is $375 per team member which includes meals and materials. We ask each team member to invest $150 in order to supplement what has been raised through the Gold Can Offering. This, however, is a challenge for some potential team members. If you can help sponsor one or more of our missionaries, please contact Team Leader Chris Adkins or mark your offering envelope or note on PushPay the amount designated for our Red Bird Team.
WORSHIP THEMES FOR JUNE
June 4 Ask: Faith Questions for Skeptics Pastor Mark
DID JESUS REALLY RISE FROM THE DEAD?
Acts 2:1-21, 36-41
Confirmation Sunday (9:00)
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
June 11 Ask: Faith Questions for Skeptics Pastor Mark
WHY CAN’T CHRISTIANS JUST GET ALONG?
John 17:18-23, Ephesians 4:1-6
Graduate Recognition & Scholarships
June 18 ARE WE TRYING TO FORCE THE PIECES? Pastor Tara
Genesis 18:1-15, Matthew9:35-10:8
June 25 STUFF HAPPENS Pastor Mark
Annual Conference will be June 8th – 10th, both Pastor Mark and Pastor Tara will be out of the office.
Summer Reading Program to begin June 5th.
We are happy to once again host the I.U. Summer Reading Program here at our church. The fellowship hall will be in use for this program on the following days:
Mondays, June 5th through July 3rd 12:30pm-9:00pm
Wednesdays, June 7th through July 5th 9:30am – 5:00pm
Sundays, June 11th through July 9th 1:00pm-6:30pm