April 2019

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Long time church member, Jean F. Smith, passed away March 1, 2019, at the age of 92 years young. She and Dr. Robert O. Smith, who preceded her in death in 2013, and the family spent many years attending services at our church. Our church family was a big part of the family’s life. They enjoyed attending many church events and made friends for life. Her obituary is on line in the Ionia Sentinel Standard.


4/3      4:00 P.M. Children’s Choir practice
2-4 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group

4/7      8:30 A.M. Handbell choir practice

10:00 A.M. Worship – Guest Speaker Dr. Chris Dorn, Communion, Missions offering, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship & Refreshments

4/10    4:00 P.M. Children’s Choir practice

4/11     2-4 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group

4/14     8:30 A.M. Handbell choir practice
Palm Sunday
10:00 A.M. Worship – Guest Speaker Dr. Chris Dorn, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship & Refreshments

4/17      4:00 P.M. Children’s Choir practice

4/18       2-4 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group
5:00 P.M. Soup Kitchen, Team #1 Captain, Norma Kilpatrick 4/21      8:30 A.M. Handbell choir practice
Easter Sunday
10:00 A.M. Worship – Guest Speaker Dr. Chris Dorn, Sunday School
11:00 A.M. Fellowship & Refreshments 4/24     9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Rummage Sale Set Up
4:00 P.M. Children’s Choir practice 4/25     9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Rummage Sale
2-4 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group

4/26      9:00 A.M. – Noon Rummage Sale

4/28      8:30 A.M. Handbell Choir practice
10:00 A.M. Worship – Guest Speaker Dr. Chris Dorn, Sunday School
11:00 A.M. Fellowship & Refreshments


1        Cindy Rozich
6        Ian Rozich
11      Shelly Reglin
12      Mary Williams
15      Emily Rozich
21      Duane Emlinger



Soup Kitchen

April 18 @ 5:00 P.M.
Team #1

Captain, Norma Kilpatrick

Prayer Shawl Group News
Just a reminder that blankets are available for all ages. Recipient does not need to
be a church member. If you know of someone who could use a blanket, please
contact Mary Williams or Evelyn Ransom.
Prayer Shawl Group

Please note:  The “Presbyterians on the Go” will continue meeting the first Thursday of each month at 10:30 A.M. for a travelogue. Everyone is welcome to come, young or old.

April Worship Stewards

April 7Guest Speaker – Dr. Chris Dorn; Communion Servers – Ami Cox, Bill Robinson, Jan Arnold; Communion Preparation – Lee Hunsberger, Keith Sterner; Liturgist – Keith Sterner; Ushers/Greeters – Duane and Judi Emlinger, Sue Reglin

April 14 – Palm Sunday – Guest Speaker – Dr. Chris Dorn – Liturgist – Robert Sykes; Ushers/Greeters – Lavonna and David Hoover, Bill Robinson
Children’s Message – Lee Hunsberger April 21 – Easter – Guest Speaker – Dr. Chris Dorn – Liturgist – Perry Gregory; Ushers/Greeters – Marilyn McKay, Keith and Lynn Sterner
Children’s Message – Judi Emlinger April 28 – Guest Speaker – Dr. Chris Dorn – Liturgist – Shelly Reglin; Ushers/Greeters – Warren and Sue Thompson, Pat Gustafson
Children’s Message – Marilyn McKay

Income and Expense Report

February Year to Date

Income $7, 394.80

Expenses $6,023.15

Net Gain $1,371.65

The Bible That Beat a Tornado

One minute, Peggy Lewis and her husband, Harris Lee, were watching the trees blow in the wind outside their home in Eureka, Kansas. The next, they were surrounded by swirling shards of glass from the house’s broken windows. The roof tore off. The walls caved in. After the 152-mph tornado had passed, it took a team of neighbors to pull the couple from the rubble and take them to the hospital. “I thought we were going to die,” say Lewis, 58.

When the pair returned to their property three days after that awful night last June, it was clear that what remained of the house would need to be torn down. But before Lewis would let that happen, she wanted one thing – her family Bible. Lewis had bought the Bible 35 years earlier, at the start of her marriage. Like many folds, she’d used it to hold and preserve her family’s history: decades – old photos, newspaper obituaries of love ones, a handkerchief from her great-grandmother, a lock of her daughter’s hair, even a piece of a scarf her uncle had brought back from the Korean War. The Bible was the first thing Lewis looked for when she returned to the house. It wasn’t where she’d last seen it, on top of an antique dresser in her bedroom. In fact, the dresser wasn’t there at all. The only thing that was left was the solid slab of marble that had been the top of the piece of furniture.

When two volunteers showed up to help the couple dig out, Lewis had one mission for them: “If you can find anything,” she said, “Please find my Bible.”

After an hour of searching, one of the volunteers ran up to her. She had tears streaming down her cheeks and a book in her hands. The young woman had found the Bible while sifting through rubble. It had flown approximately ten feet from that ill-fated dresser. Stunningly, while many books inside the home had been destroyed beyond recognition, the Bible was still intact, even though it had sat in the rain for days. “I completely broke down,” says Lewis. “I thought it was gone forever. It was a miracle.”

A few of the Bible’s treasures did go missing. But ever so slowly, they too, began reappearing in Lewis’s life. Days after the Bible was found, volunteers discovered one of the newspaper obituaries outside the home. Two weeks later, a neighbor found another newspaper clipping by her house. “It was such a shock,” says Lewis.

Lewis and her family are living at a friend’s house until they get back on their feet. But the Bible already has its well-deserved place of honor, on Lewis’s borrowed dresser. She knows that while every good book tells stories of catastrophic weather and unlikely survival, this one actually lived it. EVER SO SLOWLY, THE TREASURES REAPPEARED IN HER LIFE.

Session Highlights

These minutes are of the January 21, 2019 meeting.
The Per Capita statement was received October 25, 2018. Per capita equals total active members as of December 31, 2017 (69) times $32.20 per member for a total of $2,221.80, which is due in full January 20, 2019. The 2019 apportionment rates are General Assembly $8.95, Synod of the Covenant $3.25, and the Presbytery of Lake Michigan $20.00.

Effective January 1, 2019 the new approved IRS mileage rate for business use is .58 per mile.

The Presbytery of Lake Michigan has provided the churches with the 2019 Minimum Terms of Call. They are for full-time cash salary and housing $35,350.00 plus free use of manse and payment for actual utilities by the church, the value of the manse for pension purposes must be at least 30% of cash salary, plus annuity plus social security allowance, if negotiated or $45,970.00 combined with salary and housing/utilities allowance.

A restitution check of $12.50 was received from the County of Ionia paid by Christopher Magoon, who was convicted of Breaking and Entering our church in December 2014.

Margaret Gregory was elected Clerk of Session. Norma Kilpatrick and Barb Klenk were elected treasurers.

Session approved the communion schedule for 2019. Communion will be the first Sunday of the month.

A motion was made and approved to open an Independent Bank checking account for memorial funds.

The new furnaces were installed on December 27 & 28, 2018. A thank you letter was sent to Connie, Brenda, and Orson Coe for the approval and use of the Margaret and Gladys Coe Memorial Fund to finance the new furnaces.

Elders David Hanson, Norma Kilpatrick and Dr. Warren Thompson have agreed to accept a term on session as the Class of 2021. During the worship service on January 27, 2019, they will be installed.

Lee Hunsberger, stewardship chair, reported for the calendar year 2019, adding pledges and previous giving result in anticipated giving of $57, 380.00.

Otis Elevator was sent a check for $1,450.00 the first half of December. This is for a test that has to be done every three years. The next meeting is March 18, 2019.

Submitted by:
Margaret Gregory, Clerk of Session

Qualified Charitable Distribution

Please read this even though the title sounds like a lawyer and an accountant had a meeting to name this thing.

If you have an individual retirement account (IRA) and a required minimum distribution, you may be able to donate to your favorite church and charities from your IRA without incurring a federal income tax liability. This does not apply to a Roth IRA since you already paid the required tax.

The place you give the money must be a 501(C)3 organization. The church is.

MOST IMPORTANT: The entity that controls your IRA must make the distribution directly to the 501(C)3 organization. If the financial institution gives the money to you and you give it to the charity, it is subject to federal income tax. If your IRA custodian makes the check payable to the church or charity, the donation is NOT subject to federal income tax.

So what? You may ask. What difference does it make? Here is an example: I have my credit union send me a $4,000 check as part of my RMD; then I give the check to the church. The distribution is countable income and I have increased my federal taxes by $880. Instead, I fill out some paperwork and the credit union makes the check payable to the church. Voila! The distribution is not countable in- come; and, therefore, does not increase my federal taxes (but it does count to- ward my MRD).

So, if you are old enough to have an RMD, you can instruct your IRA FI (financial institution) to make a check payable to a 501(C)3 organization AND not incur additional federal tax liability.

If you have any questions, please talk to your IRA custodian to determine their specific process.

Finally, request a receipt from the church or charity to prove the donation came directly from the financial institution so you can prove to the IRS (if they ask) that it is a Qualified Charitable Distribution.


Thank You

There are no words to express my thanks for all the support I received when
my mother passed. This church family is wonderful. Thank you for al the
texts, cards, food and verbal condolences.
A special thank you to Dr. Dorn for visiting my mother and the time he spent
at the hospital with my family.
Mary Williams


It is time to clean out your closets and garages!
Set up will be Wednesday, April 24th, from 9 AM to 4 PM. The sale will be held on
Thursday April 25th from 9 AM-4 PM and Friday, April 26th from 9 AM –noon. If you have
any questions, contact Jan Arnold at (616)902-5591.

Please note our new website address and email address!!

Newsletters, Calendar and more at 1stpreschurchionia.com

Email: ioniafpc@gmail.com or Welcome@1strpeschurchionia.com

Church Office Hours – Monday through Thursday
9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., Phone 527-2320


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