First United Methodist Church
Pastor Mark Dicken
2637 McCool Road, Portage, IN 46368
Issue III March 2017
Coming this Month:
March 1 Ash Wednesday Service
March 5 First Sunday of Lent Pastor Mark
Making Love Last a Lifetime
ROLLER COASTER OF LOVE: WHEN THE HONEYMOON IS OVER
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
March 12 Second Sunday of Lent Pastor Tara
Making Love Last a Lifetime
5 HABITS OF UNHEALTHY MARRIAGES
March 19 Third Sunday of Lent Pastor Mark
Making Love Last a Lifetime
HOT FIDELITY: GOD’S PLAN FOR SEXUAL INTIMACY
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
March 26 Fourth Sunday of Lent Pastor Mark
Making Love Last a Lifetime
SEEING CHRIST IN YOUR DATE OR YOUR MATE
Daylight Savings Time Begins March 12
Don’t forget to “spring forward” the evening of March 11, 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!
First Friday Fellowship will meet on Friday, March 3rd at 5:00pm
at the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Hobart off of I-65 and 61st Avenue. Please rsvp to Sandra Robinson at 764-8433.
Remember your church in your will.
Don't forget to pick up the March/April copy of the Upper Room. You will be blessed.
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 2017-2018 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 email@example.com.
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, 2017, 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.
A word from Pastor Tara
This month we are hoping to kick off our first round of "Freed-Up Financial Living!" The class will be weekly on Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm, starting March 8th and concluding April 19th If you are interested but cannot attend, please contact Pastor Tara and let her know so she can plan future sessions of "Freed-Up Financial Living."
Do you remember the first time you attended our church? Was it a good experience? We would like to make it a GREAT experience for those attending our church for the first time! We are looking for people at all services willing to commit 15 minutes of their time at least once a month to be either a door greeter or to greet people at our Welcome Center. Please contact Pastor Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 219-608-6150 if you are willing to donate just 15 minutes a month! If we can get a lot of people to do just 15 minutes a month, it will be easier on everyone and provide a great welcoming experience to guests!
Fruitful Congregation Journey Update:
This month, we read a book called "Simple Church." The big takeaway from this book was that we need to make sure that our activities, programs, and teams are in alignment with our mission statement. The book took a look at two churches, "First Church" and "Creek Church." First Church had a lot of great programs, but no real "process" for moving people from newcomers to disciples. "Creek Church" had a simple mission... a lot like our stated mission statement, to Love God, Love Others, and Serve the World. Worship was to love God. Small groups helped people to love others. Their different missions helped their congregations to serve the world. Members of our FCJ team are Pastor Mark, Pastor Tara, Mike Matthew, Dan McCoy, Robin Wilkening, Vicki Evanatz, Todd Warne, Cara Reeder, and Nick Andryuk. Please keep all of these people in your prayers, as well as our congregation as we learn about change and opportunities for growth through this process. Feel free to ask any of these people about the book and our sessions as well!
Thank you to all who helped and participated in our February blood drive! We had a successful drive, with 59 total units being donated! Our next drive will be on Good Friday, April 14th!
United Methodist Men’s News
The men of Portage 1st UMC are grateful to be able to gather each month.
We review our purpose and mission statements to encourage and further our ministry here.
United Methodist Men exists to declare the centrality of Christ in man’s life. Men’s ministry leads to growth of men and discipleship. The purpose is served as men are called to model the servant leadership of Jesus Christ.
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Interestingly this is the same mission statement of our United Methodist church.
We support a number of ministries besides building our men’s ministry, but probably the (2) biggest ones that we are currently doing are:
1) Supporting the scouting program – primarily our Cub Scout Pack 487. We just celebrated Scout Sunday on 02/12 where we had a great participation of our Pack. Chris Adkins is our Charter Organization Rep and is primarily responsible, along with Pastor Mark, for rejuvenating our pack who are now over (30) boys strong. We also honored Paul Sitt for his Eagle Scout award. Paul started here at our church in Cub Scout Pack 487. Paul, who attends another church, earned his Eagle Scout award this past year. Along with Paul we took a picture of (3) other Eagle Scout recipients: Chris Adkins, Dan Mc Coy, and Pastor Mark.
2) Supporting and encouraging the Prison Ministry here at Westville Correctional Facility. A group of (4) are currently seeing approximately (10) offenders every Wednesday sharing our faith, and ministering with these men giving them hope and encouragement through our presence and prayers, along with cards of encouragement and supplying Life Recovery Bibles to them.
3) A third program that we also support is our United Methodist Women’s spring and fall rummage sales. They have rewarded us for this service by donating earnings from their sale - which we designate to special ministries: Cub Scout Pack 487, our churches youth summer camp programs and the God POD for released offenders trying to integrate back into society. The next rummage sale is coming up the week of 04/23 and we could use your commitment to this worthy cause.
We will be planning another Rail Cats family outing again this summer. Date is to be determined.
Besides our breakfast and meeting fellowship we always have a bible study time together led by Ed Piontek. We are currently using a 9-lesson study from the UMM conference entitled “The fruit of the spirit” which we just started. This is a great study. We are informed and encouraged through these studies.
We would love to have you join us and share with us your desires and vision for our church and this ministry. We meet for breakfast and meeting the first Saturday of each month at 8:00am. March 4th is our next meeting. Come share with us.
In Christ – Mike Matthew
From the Missions Committee:
When I first started attending Portage First UMC, one of the many things that excited me was the fact that Portage First was REALLY involved. We were involved then, and we are involved today. We are a church that walks the walk. We truly are the hands and feet of Christ! We don’t just talk about doing good… we really DO GOOD: loving God, loving others, and offering Jesus!
Have you stopped to look around at the many ways we serve those in need? Are you a part of these missions? Helping with a mission project is a great way to share the love of Jesus. It’s also a great way to meet and get to know other people in the church, and to really feel connected as a part of the body of Christ.
We have a new Missions Committee at Portage First that is meeting once a month to identify opportunities to make Disciples of Christ, to help people in need, and to raise funds to support mission work. If you would like to be on the committee, or even more importantly, if you would like to join in one of our church’s many mission projects, please contact Wendy Smith, Annette McCarty, Kate Blakely, or Pastor Tara Keehn, and we’ll get you connected!
Watch for “A Minute for Missions” messages in our Sunday worship services, and in the meantime, check out the many ways YOUR CHURCH is helping people in the local community, the state, the country, and the world. Where do YOU fit in??
Rummage Sale Congregational Care Ministry NA (Meeting Space) Prison ministry Funeral Meals Angel Tree
Blood Drives Family Promise Coat Drive
Community Dinners Portage Township Food Pantry Hat and Mitten Drive
Prayer Team Salvation Army Bell Ringing Red Bird Mission
Scouting Ministry Royal Family Kids Camp Summer of Service (Youth)
Rebuilding Together Destiny Rescue Disaster relief
Feed My Lambs Backpack Program
There are so many great missions…forgive me (and educate me) if I’ve missed any! Oh…and don’t forget, many of our church groups support a wide variety of missions. These groups include (but are not limited to) United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, Coffee Bar, and Mission Possible Kids. So come on…be a part of the action, get connected, bring a friend, and get involved!
-Wendy Smith, Missions Committee Chair
MPK Annual St. Patrick's Day Luncheon fundraiser
March 12th between services
Come join us for corned beef & cabbage (and hot dogs for kids)
We'll be taking up a freewill offering to help support our ongoing missions
March Youth Group & MPK Meetings
March 12 - Help between services with our St. Patrick's Day Luncheon
March 19 - Regular meeting, 12:30-2
Camp Dates this year are June 11-16. There are other dates available but this is the week the majority of Portage First kids are going.
Early Bird registration ends April 17, sign up by then or the prices go up!
Scholarships are available from both the INUMC and PFUMC.
*Please note that starting this year INUMC is only able to offer a standard 33% Scholarship, and all scholarships are still need based.
If you need more information please see Kate Blakely or call/text her at 574-621-0070 or e-mail her at email@example.com
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came out to support camping ministries at our annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on February 18. Camp helps our youth and children to explore their faith through various activities: devotions, small group discussions, relationship building, worship and more! Camp costs over $449 per kid, and your generosity is helping PFUMC provide much needed scholarships so our youth and children can experience this memorable, life-changing week.
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Friday, March 3 @ 9:30 am
ALL women of ALL ages are invited to join us for fellowship, breakfast snacks, and our program speaker.
This month, our speaker, Debbie Reynolds from the Caring Place will be sharing information about the shelter and programs.
Child care will be provided, if needed. Please call the church office (762-3846) by Wednesday, March 1st.
Happy March Birthday to…
03 Lori Seberger 16 Virginia Spurlock 25 Alexandra Medina
03 Mia Lopez 16 Elizabeth Seberger 25 Jason Bush
04 Conner Welch 16 Wade Rasmby 26 Joshua Bilkey
04 Scott Holtzman II 20 Shari Warne 26 Helen Wright
05 Phil Linoski 20 Rich Coates 28 Kirk Harbart
09 Larry Darnell 20 Joselynn Medina 29 Scott Bilkey
09 Ethan Warne 21 Amy Kegley 29 Mitch Gale
10 Diana Gymrek 23 Rob Hoover 29 Jaxson Riley
11 Heather Shebel 23 Henry Stein 31 Katie Tarnow
13 Dennis Whitfield 23 Dave Mantz 31 Melissa Sullivan
15 Jamie Whitfield 24 Zachary Smith 31 Margaret Brutout
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
Have you checked out the church web site??
The address is: http://www.portageumc.org
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Sundays @ 10:00am Sunday School
Wednesdays @ 11:30am Brown Bag Bible Study
Thursdays @ 6:15am Breakfast at Schoops