Pastor Mark Dicken
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue III March 2016
FROM THE PASTOR
Garrison Keillor, the radio storyteller, once said God gave us February so that even non-drinkers in the Midwest might know what a hangover feels like.
I don’t know if February was quite that bad, but I certainly am ready for Spring. But with Easter coming early this year, I wonder how “Springy” it might look or feel for us. Will the snow be gone, the grass be green and the flowers in bloom? If not, will it feel like Easter for us?
When our family was overseas Easter fell in the midst of the dry season when there was no rain, the foliage was brown and brittle. We worshiped one Easter morning in a remote village sitting on benches made of split bamboo under a palm-thatched roof with pigs and chickens running in and out of the church while the Liberian lay pastor preached from the Old Testament.
That was not what I was used to. But it did help me peel away some of the cultural and seasonal trappings I had out on Easter and focus on the amazing, wonderful, eternity-changing good news of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When I reflect back on that, I’m drawn to the third stanza of Hymn # 304 in The United Methodist Hymnal:
Every day to us is Easter, with its resurrection song.
When in trouble move the faster to our God who rights the wrong.
Alleluia! Alleluia! See the power of heavenly throngs.
Join us for worship March 27 and every Easter Sunday in March!
See you in church!
In Christ and in hope,
Don't forget to pick up the March/April copy of the Upper Room. You will be blessed.
Happy March Birthday to…
03 Lori Seberger 15 Jamie Whitfield 24 Zachary Smith
03 Mia Lopez 15 James Miller 25 Alexandra Medina
04 Conner Welch 16 Virginia Spurlock 25 Jason Bush
04 Scott Holtzman II 16 Elizabeth Seberger 26 Joshua Bilkey
05 Julia Romanov 16 Wade Rasmby 26 Helen Wright
05 Phil Linoski 20 Shari Warne 28 Kirk Harbart
09 Larry Darnell 20 Rich Coates 29 Scott Bilkey
09 Ethan Warne 20 Joselynn Medina 29 Mitch Gale
10 Diana Gymrek 21 Amy Kegley 29 Jaxson Riley
11 Heather Shebel 23 Rob Hoover 31 Katie Tarnow
13 Dennis Whitfield 23 Henry Stein 31 Melissa Sullivan
Happy March Anniversary to…
02 Bob & Maria Cheeks 17 James & Marcie Jordan
04 Scott & Sandy Holtzman 27 Phil & Mary Linoski
08 Steve & Deb Massow 27 Paul & Denise Pollacheck
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Sundays @ 10:00am
Wednesdays @ 11:30am
Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:15am
Breakfast at Schoops
Remember your church in your will.
WORSHIP THEMES FOR MARCH
March 6 Lent 4
Wondering in the Wilderness Pastor Mark
A TIME TO DOUBT
March 13 Lent 5 Pastor Deb
Wondering in the Wilderness
A TIME TO BE COMFORTED
2 Corinthians 12:7b-10
March 20 Palm Sunday Pastor Mark
Wondering in the Wilderness
A TIME FOR NEW BEGINNINGS
2 Corinthians 5:14-19
March 24 Maundy Thursday
Service of Holy Communion
March 25 Good Friday
Tenebrae Service of Lights and Shadows
March 27 Easter Pastor Mark
A TIME TO CELEBRATE
In the Early Church, Easter was the traditional time when new converts would be baptized and welcomed into the church. In addition to wonderful music and celebration of the Resurrection, we will be baptizing children, youth and adults during our services. If you have a child you wish to be baptized or if you wish to be baptized and join the church on Easter, let Pastor Mark know by March 13.
Daylight Savings Time Begins March 13
Don’t forget to “spring forward” the evening of March 12, as Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 13. If you forget to adjust your clocks, you’ll be late to worship! Set your clocks one hour ahead before you go to bed on March 7!
CHRIS ADKINS AWARDED CROSS AND FLAME AWARD
Congratulations to Chris Adkins who received the Cross and Flame Award on Scout Sunday, February 7. Chris, an Eagle Scout, has served as President of our chartered United Methodist Men for 10 years and as PFUMC’s Charter Representative for our Cub Scout Pack 487 for the past 8 years. The Cross and Flame Award is awarded by the General Commission on United Methodist Men of The United Methodist Church to United Methodists who have given exemplary service to children and youth through Scouting ministries.
SAME BOOK, SAME PAGE READINGS FOR MARCH
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.
March 1 Numbers 16-17 pp 92-93
March 2 Numbers 18-20 pp 93-95
March 3 Numbers 21-22 pp 95-97
March 4 Numbers 23-25 pp 97-99
March 5 Numbers 26-27 pp 99-101
March 6 Numbers 28-30 pp 101-103
March 7 Numbers 31-32 pp 103-104
March 8 Numbers 33-34 pp. 104106
March 9 Numbers 35-36 pp 106-107
March 10 Deuteronomy 1-2 pp 108-110
March 11 Deuteronomy 3-4 pp 110-111
March 12 Deuteronomy 5-7 pp 111-113
March 13 Deuteronomy 8-10 pp 113-115
March 14 Deuteronomy 11-13 pp 115-116
March 15 Deuteronomy 14-16 pp 116118
March 16 Deuteronomy 17-20 pp 118-120
March 17 Deuteronomy 21-23 pp 120-121
March 18 Deuteronomy 24-27 pp 121-123
March 19 Deuteronomy 28-29 pp 123-125
March 20 Deuteronomy 30-31 pp 125-127
March 21 Deuteronomy 32-34, Psalm 91 pp 127-129, 356
March 22 Joshua 1-4 pp 130-132
March 23 Joshua 5-8 pp 132-134
March 24 Joshua 9-11 pp 134-136
March 25 Joshua 12-15 pp 136-139
March 26 Joshua 16-18 pp 139-140
March 27 Joshua 19-21 pp 140-142
March 28 Joshua 22-24 pp 142-144
March 29 Judges 1-2 pp 145-146
March 30 Judges 3-5 pp 146-148
March 31 Judges 6-7 pp 148-150
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.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN (Morning)
Friday, March 4 @ 9:30 am
First Light Home Care from Valparaiso will tell us about
options and care services they can provide in our homes.
Join us for fellowship, breakfast snacks, our speaker and
a business meeting.
If you will need childcare please call the church office
by Wednesday, March 2nd.
Our church sets aside certain Gold Can Offerings and donations for our scholarship fund which is used to help reduce the cost for higher education for members and active attendees.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2016-2017 school year. Anyone seeking a higher education may qualify for a scholarship. The application process is very straightforward and may be obtained at the church office or requested by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All eligible persons are encouraged to apply and past or current recipients of scholarships remain eligible to apply for the new school year.
Applications are due by April 30, 2016, and can be dropped off at the church office or placed in the Finance Committee folder in the Narthex. Please pass this information along to anyone that may be eligible for this scholarship.
March 6 - Youth group @ 1pm (this should be the same time MPK is meeting)
March 20 - Youth group @1pm (this should be the same time MPK is meeting)
March 22 @ 9am Meet @ Dunkin Donuts on Central
March 26 @ 10 am Meet @ Portage IMAX to see Pan
March Community Meal and Family Night
Friday, March 18
freewill offering accepted but not necessary
Easter Bonnet Contest – wear your favorite creation
Ask your friends and neighbors.
Community meals are designed with a three-fold purpose
- To provide a way for families to stretch their food budgets
- To provide a fun, affordable night out for you and your friends
- To reach out to our friends and neighbors as we allow the love of Christ flow into our hospitality
PROJECT LINUS – homemade blankets made for children who are seriously ill, will gather on Sunday, March 20 at 1pm. Do you crochet, knit, sew, quilt? How about making the fleece tie blankets? Bring your materials, including scissors and enjoy the fellowship. A small amount of supplies will be available for those who may forget their materials. You will probaby want to bring your own scissors.
St. Patty’s Dinner
Top of the Mornin’ to Ya as Mission Possible Kids will be on hand Sunday, March13 to serve you Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner between services. Too early in the morning for you to eat cabbage? Carryouts will be available. All proceeds will be used to fund youth activities.
A time to ask questions and become familiar with the principle stories of the Bible. We are moving at an easy pace with lots of room for your questions. Come when you can – even if you haven’t yet attended – each Sunday from 4-5:30pm. Hope to see you!
March 6 Pam Parks and Allison Cenntracchio
March 13 Bill Leicsh and Shannon Leisch
March 20 Riley Miller and Pastor Deb
March 27 Ethan Keehn and Pastor Deb
Special Thanks to our trustees for their diligence and persistance in getting our door locking system up and running again. We also are adding another access panel to the Education Wing.
Lenten Renew & Refuel
March 1 - Portage 1st United Methodist with Pastor Scott Jones presenting the message.
March 8 – South Haven Nazarene – 621 N. 450W – with Pastor Mark Dicken presenting the message
March 15 – Portage Missionary Baptist – 7045 Lenburg Rd. with Pastor Mike Bean presenting the message.
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, March 4th at 5:00pm
at the Texas Corral, 5880 U.S. Hwy. 6 in Portage. Please rsvp to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433.
A NOTE FROM PASTOR DEB
The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to laugh. We are bombarded daily with all the news stories that make us want to cry. We get ourselves bogged down in the everyday things of life. We take ourselves so seriously that we pop antacids like candy and forget to laugh.
One of the reasons I am so sold on offering “Food Folks and Fun” evenings is to remind us to enjoy life. In January we enjoyed some beautiful music along with some witty poetry and jokes. In February we laughed at ourselves as we realized just how much useless knowledge we have (or don’t have) in our brains. And this month we will do an Easter Parade, complete with a funny fashion show, Easter Caroling and a Network News Broadcast of the first Easter.
When I ask you to take part I hope you will throw caution to the wind and agree to be part of the fashion show or news broadcast. I guarantee you will find yourself laughing in no time at all.
In John 10:10 Jesus tells us this, “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.
Let’s enjoy the abundance of life while reaching out and serving others. I believe ‘Food, Folks and Fun’ is a vehicle which can help this happen.
Blessings and peace,
COMING SOON TO A SMARTPHONE NEAR YOU
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?