August 2023

   The Presbyletter

Ionia First Presbyterian Church125 East Main Street, Ionia, MI 48846

August 2023

Words from Pastor Chris

Community Needs

During the summer months, activities in the churches slow down. However, we should not let this obscure from view the many needs that exist in our community. There are a number of agencies and services that can use our help! 

The Friends of Jesus fund, which provides emergency assistance to local residents in need, stands in constant need of replenishing. Consider making a donation to it. Call (616) 527-3610 or visit the offices of SS. Peter & Paul Church and ask for the parish manager, Adam Rewa. 

If you are interested in helping women and children at risk, consider making a donation to Relief After Violent Encounter (RAVE), Ionia/Montcalm Inc. For the first time, this agency has a wait list for its safe house, because of the lack of open beds. They are seeing an increase in requests for services, accompanied by an increase of risk of lethal violence against women and children. They ask for financial support to serve those in Ionia and Montcalm counties who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Consider also those who use the food pantry at First Christian Church. Donations can be sent in care of First Christian Church, 130 E. Washington St. or can be made via the website

Finally, you may see how you can support EightCAP, Inc. This agency seeks to partner with private, government, and community organizations to deliver programs to low-income residents that alleviate local causes of poverty and its effects. They are currently working towards establishing partnerships with local stakeholders to address the problem of homelessness in Ionia. 

Let us keep these needs before us. As you know, poverty is endemic in Ionia County. Let us pray for those whom these agencies serve, as well as pray how God may use us to help meet these needs. 


Pastor Chris

Sunday Worship
10:00 A.M.
in the sanctuary

Fellowship Time
immediately following worship in
the Memorial Room


Join us on Facebook at
First Presbyterian Church Ionia 10:00 A.M.

Holy Communion
August 6, 2023

Nursery Care Provided
Children are welcome
to remain in the
worship service

Session Meeting
August 22
2:00 PM

Handicap Accessible
via Elevator

Church Potluck

Mark your calendars for August 20! Immediately following the worship service there will be a church potluck in Fellowship Hall downstairs. This is a kick off to the school year which begins August 21, the first day of classes. As in the past, a sign up sheet on the table in the Memorial Room will be available for you to indicate your name(s) and the dish you plan to bring. Let’s enjoy an added time of fellowship after church while eating the delicious recipes which the Presbyterian are known for!

Megan Ransom           5
Brand Bronsema         5
Susan Shaver              9
Thomas Cox Jr.          15
Fariya Hubbard          19
Warren Thompson      25
Lee Hunsberger          27
Sam Hyland                30

June 2023

                          Month         YTD

Income         $ 7,064         $50,068 
Expenses      $ 6,746         $53,964

Summary      $   318         ($3,896)


Marley Marrs 

Marley Marrs passed away unexpectedly in late June.  Marley would have turned 71 on July 16. She was looking forward to celebrating her birthday with Norma and Barb at a restaurant in Greenville.  Marley attended our church for several years when she lived at Bluewater AFC. She moved to an AFC in Riverdale. Then, about two years ago, she moved to an AFC near Gowen; she was happiest there. She will be missed by her sister and brother and many others whose lives she touched with her humor, kindness, thoughtfulness and intelligence. 


Once again, groceries were delivered to one of our church families during  July. If anyone would like to make a monetary donation to this mission, it will be greatly appreciated. It would also be helpful if food donations were made. Each month we offer suggestions, but any food items will be accepted.

Thanks to those of you who continue to support this mission cause.

The suggested items for August are:

     Peanut butter

Session Highlights

Session Highlights from May

(Session did not meet in June)  

~ In-home communion was served by Pastor Chris and Elder Cindy to three people who can no longer attend church. 

~ Our church was one of four on a tour sponsored by the historical society at the end of May. 

~ Vacation Bible School will be held at Restore Church August 7-11. 

~ Session approved a proposal to repair the stone framing of the north stained glass window. 

~ The financial review which involves comparing bills to payments and bank records has commenced.  

~ Eight youth are going to Camp Greenwood this year. 

~ No Kosbar scholarship will be awarded this year because the fund did not have any surplus beyond the principal. 

~ Books were delivered to Head Start.   

~ A greening of the cross will take place during our June 11 service. 

~ Session toured the Soaring Above Teen Center. 

~ Session approved using a tri-fold pamphlet “Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church of Ionia.” It will be available at the entrance to the sanctuary. 

~ Margaret and Jen volunteered to develop a church preparedness pamphlet.

Sunday Worship Volunteers


August 6

August 13

August 20

August 27


Jen Furman,
 Marilyn McKay

Norma Kilpatrick,
Margaret Gregory

Judy Emlinger
Duane Emlinger

 Marcia Ross
Ernie Ross


Cindy Rozich

Marilyn McKay

Lee Hunsberger

Barb Klenk


Communion Servers

Kathy VanSyckle
Jenn Furman

Communion Preparer

Kathy VanSyckle

Help Needed

We are looking for volunteers to prepare for and/or serve communion in the upcoming months. If you are willing to help, please contact Kathy VanSyckle at or call/text 616.902.1156.  We will celebrate communion on September 3, October 1, November 12, and December 3. 

Thanks in advance for your willingness to do this!

Remember in Prayer

Warren Thompson

Sue Thompson 

Nancy Satterlee

Celebrating Sara!

On Sunday August 27th, our coffee fellowship will honor our administrative assistant, Sara Hyland.  Besides working at our church, the Lyons-Muir church, and then The Right Door, plus raising four children, Sara decided to return to college and obtain her Master of Social Work. She completed her  degree this spring. We want to honor her for this achievement. Please consider a card and monetary gift to congratulate her!  

Instruments of Connection


Following Jesus involves much more than attending worship, as Pastor Stan Purdum points out in a sermon titled “The Hug”:

“The spiritual life, in addition to some outwardly religious and inwardly devotional acts, also includes such mundane activities as sending thank-you notes for gifts received, returning phone calls, greeting fellow worshipers Sunday after Sunday, surprising our spouse with a spontaneous act of appreciation, helping out at funeral dinners, seeking common ground during disagreements, listening to our children, working at not being a grouch, visiting friends and relatives and, perhaps, even sending an electronic hug. All those things are instruments of connection. The spiritual aspect is the intentionality behind them.”

Session Members / Ministry Team Chairperson / Committee Member

Judi Emlinger*   –  Christian Education, Nominating
Jen Furman*  –  Membership and Care
Perry Gregory   –  Building/Grounds
Lee Hunsberger*  –   Stewardship/Budget and Finance
Norma Kilpatrick*  –  Treasurer/Budget and Finance
Norma Kilpatrick   –  Memorials and Investments
Barb Klenk  –  Treasurer

*Session Members

 Marilyn McKay*   –  Mission
Linda Steele* – Memorial / Investment
Cindy Rozich*    –  Worship
Warren Thompson*  –  Building/Grounds
Mary Williams*  –  Christian Education
Margaret Gregory  –  Clerk of Session
Keith Sterner*   –  Personnel

First Presbyterian Staff

Rev. Dr. Chris Dorn
Sara Hyland
Steve Slaughter

Pastor Tel. 616-610-5982
Administrative Assistant

Newsletter, Calendar and more at
Email: [email protected]
Church Office Hours – Wednesday 9-3
Ph# 616-527-2320 

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