Christ the King

Rev. Dr. Chris Dorn
We are about to enter into the Advent season. The church calendar prepares us for this special season by devoting the last Sunday in the church year to the theme Christ the King. This theme helps us to keep the Advent and Christmas season in proper perspective: we have more than a baby Jesus; we have a sovereign Christ, who is ruler of the kings of the earth. Christ the King Rev. Dr. Chris Dorn We are about to enter into the Advent season. The church calendar prepares us for this special season by devoting the last Sunday in the church year to the theme Christ the King. This theme helps us to keep the Advent and Christmas season in proper perspective: we have more than a baby Jesus; we have a sovereign Christ, who is ruler of the kings of the earth.

Reflecting on kings in anticipation of Christ the King Sunday brought me back to my grade school years. I remembered recess. One of our favorite games during recess was “king of the mountain.” Do you remember playing king of the mountain when you were in grade school?

Let me describe how we played it. We found a small hill or snow bank (in winter). Then one of us went to the top and shouted, “I’m king of the mountain!” But that provoked someone to go up to challenge him. If he was stronger, he pushed him down the hill. Then there was a new king of the mountain. And he, too, shouted, “I’m king of the mountain!” Then another one went up to challenge him. And that one began to push him, and if he was stronger, then there was yet another king of the mountain.

This is how kings of the earth are. They rule by force. They do not give up their rule until a stronger king with bigger armies comes and throws him down.

When Jesus came to earth, people wanted him to be king. They wanted him to have big armies and destroy his enemies. But Jesus was a different kind of king. He did not want to set up a powerful kingdom with big armies. That made some people very disillusioned! They finally conspired with his enemies to have him killed by crucifixion. But before they did this, they ridiculed him for bearing the name, “King of the Jews.”

Jesus does not rule over people with big armies or guns or bombs. Jesus is the king of love. He is the king who rules with love, and inspires our love in return.

At the end of this present age, which is passing away, Christ will return, and God will install him on his holy hill (Psalm 2:6). He will be king of the mountain. But on that day no one will push him down, because no one is stronger than he is. But there will be no need. For on that day they will neither harm nor destroy on all God’s holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). That’s God’s promise to you and to me.

Advent blessings to you all. 

On the Calendar this month…

12/1    8:30 A.M. Hand Bells practice 

10:00 A.M. Worship, Communion, Missions offering, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship and Refreshments

11:30 A.M. Children’s Choir

12/3 9:30 A.M. Presbytery LM meeting Forest Hills PC GR

12/4 9:30 A.M. Quilters

12/5 10:00 A.M. Travelogue 

11 A.M.—2 P.M. Red Hat Christmas Party

1-3 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group

12/8 8:30 A.M. Hand Bells practice 

10:00 A.M. Worship, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship and Refreshments

11:30 A.M. Children’s Choir

12/11 9:30 A.M. Quilters

12/12 1-3 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group

12/15 8:30 A.M. Hand Bells practice 

10:00 A.M. Worship, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship and Refreshments

11:30 A.M. Children’s Choir

12/17 7:00 P.M. Session Meeting

12/18 9:30 A.M. Quilters

12/19 1-3 P.M. Prayer Shawl Group 

5:00 P.M. Soup Kitchen, Team #4 St. Johns Episcopal

12/22 8:30 A.M. Hand Bells practice 

10:00 A.M. Worship, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship and Refreshments

11:30 A.M. Children’s Choir

12/24 7:00 P.M. Christmas Eve Service

12/25 Merry Christmas 

12/29 8:30 A.M. Hand Bells practice 

10:00 A.M. Worship, Sunday School

11:00 A.M. Fellowship and Refreshments

11:30 A.M. Children’s Choir

12/31 Happy New Years Eve

December Birthdays

6 Pamela Robinson

9 Marcia Ross

13 Kristi Morris

29 David Hoover

Soup Kitchen

December 19, 5:00 P.M.

Team #4

St. Johns Episcopal

VETERANS DAY MUSICAL TRIBUTE

On Sunday evening November 10th a musical tribute to veterans was held. Our thanks to Mary Williams, soloist, Janet Croel, organist, the Ionia Community Band and Greg Admus, director, Perry Gregory, narrator and VFW Post 12082, Ionia. A special tribute by State Representative, Julie Calley was presented to David Hoover and David Hanson. Each received a US flag that has been flown over the State Capital as well as a certificate honoring their service. 

A free will offering with over $400 was collected for the Ionia VFW Post 12082. 

Thank you also to Ionia Walmart bakery for the beautifully decorated cake which they donated for this event.

HEAD START THANKSGIVING PIES 

84 pumpkin pies were delivered to the Welch School that houses the 4 classrooms of Ionia Head Start. These pies went to the families of the Head Start Program as well as the staff. 

Also 30 coats, 16 hats, 5 pair of snow pants and gloves/mittens were donated to the families. Please remember if you have good used winter items they appreciate the donations. You can place them in the shopping cart at church and they will receive them. 

Ordained to the Ministry

Rev. Dr. Chris Dorn

 On November 17, I was ordained to the office of Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. Since there is an orderly exchange of ministers between this denomination and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I’m authorized to serve as an ordained pastor here at First Presbyterian, Ionia. A few of you have already acknowledged my new status by addressing me as “reverend.” On one occasion, after I winced when I heard the term, I jokingly replied, “Is that what I have to be now?” And then came the reply: “No, you have to be “reverend doctor!” And at that point, I looked for a pretext to excuse myself from the conversation.

Of course, I don’t really take those titles lightly, or at least I know I shouldn’t. They signify that the Church of Jesus Christ has entrusted to me the responsibilities that I must fulfill. But what exactly do these responsibilities entail?

The Apostle Paul tells his protégé Timothy to keep a close watch on his life and his doctrine. He encourages him to stay true to what is right, both in his living and in his preaching (1 Tim. 4:16). To paraphrase the Apostle Paul here: “Watch your doctrine because your role is to guide the people into the knowledge of the truth; watch your life because the credibility of your preaching depends on the integrity of your character.”

If those ordained to the ministry have a good grasp of what the Apostle Paul is saying here, then they can in good conscience assume the daily responsibilities that go with their office. They will gradually win the trust, inspire the confidence, and generate the enthusiasm of their people, thereby opening them up to the future that God will show both pastor and people, so long as they cling to him and are obedient to the leading of his Spirit.

To be sure, this is a daunting task. But we are always upheld by God’s grace, which works with what is imperfect, flawed and broken. With God’s grace, pastor and people can move forward into the future together.

Worship Stewards

December 1—Liturgist: Lee Hunsberger; Communion Preparation: Keith Sterner; Communion Servers: Kathy VanSyckle, Marilyn McKay, Norma Kilpatrick; Ushers/Greeters: Lew Campbell, Lavonna Hoover, Pat Gustafson 

December 8—Liturgist: Carol Campbell; Ushers/Greeters: Linda Hood, Perry and Margaret Gregory 

December 15—Liturgist: Lew Campbell; Ushers/Greeters: Bob Sykes, Carol Shier, Norma Kilpatrick 

December 22—Liturgist: Bob Sykes; Ushers/Greeters: Ernie and Marcia Ross, Cindy Rozich 

December 29—Liturgist: Cindy Rozich; Ushers/Greeters: Keith and Lynn Sterner, Jim VanSyckle 

Advent Church Walk

Sunday, December 8th, will be the annual Advent Church Walk. For 45 years, members of the community have walked from one downtown church to the next on the Second Sunday of Ad- vent to hear scripture readings, sing hymns, and celebrate the birth of our Savior. The Walk will begin at SS. Peter and Paul at 6:00 p.m. and conclude at approximately 8:00 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church. Join us if you can!

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. 

There will be no travelogue on September 5th, instead we will go to the Commission on Aging for lunch. 

Lakewood Area Choral Society Christmas Concert December 15, 2019

The Lakewood Area Choral Society will present it’s annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 15, at 3:00 p.m. in Hastings at the Performing Arts Center. Come hear familiar Christmas music like Carols of the Manger, Lo, How a Rose, Christmas Is Coming, The Christmas Waltz, The Twelve Days of Christmas and more. Enjoy an afternoon of music of the season; the concert is free, but a free will offering will be taken.

A minute for Missions

Mission will be collecting small stuffed animals in December to be distributed to local agencies that work with children in crisis situations. Once the Christmas Tree is up, you can place your small critters under the tree. Thank you for your continued support of this project.

The Presbyterians on the Go

The Presbyterians on the Go (Retirees) catered a harvest luncheon in the fellowship hall for the Women’s Literary Club on Saturday, November 16th. The speaker was Greg Adamas, speaking on Painting in the U. S. Capitol. The Women enjoy our church, the meal served and were very complimentary. The committee consisted of Linda Hood, Lavonna Hoover, Norma Kilpatrick and Vince Rosso. With the profits from the luncheon we purchased two more 60 inch round tables and tablecloths. We look forward to hosting the Women again in 2020.

Can you please help Carter? 

Carter is a 14 year old boy who has autism and attends Saranac school. His grandmother is helping him by asking people to collect plastic caps/tops from bottles, laundry containers and any other item that has a plastic top. His goal is to obtain 250 pounds of these items to build a recycled bench by the time he graduates. He will begin the 8th grade soon and this is a class project. 

He is very excited about this and I have permission from his mother to ask our congregation to help him reach his goal. Could you save any plastic top and put them in our shopping cart? Carter thanks you for your help. 

Sue Thompson 

SAVE THE DATE

December 1: This is the first Sunday in Advent, and each family unit will receive the Presbyterian Advent Devotional called Straw for the Manger. 

December 15: The son of Tyler and Kelly VanSyckle, Jacob Rook, will be baptized. This will be the first baptism performed by the Reverend Dr. Chris Dorn, and the first baptism at First Presbyterian Church in many years. 

December 22: The youth of our church will be giving the message in the annual Christmas pageant. This year’s program is The Friendly Beasts under the direction by Mary Williams, and with Jan Arnold as the accompanist. 

December 24: Our annual candlelight Christmas Eve service will begin at 7:00 P.M. 

December 29: On this Sunday, we’ll have a service of lessons and carols. Come and hear again the story of the birth of the Christ child as told in the scriptures, and sing your favorite Christmas hymns.

Please note that Rev. Jon Clifton has moved.

His new address is:

5785 Somerset Drive #B4
Bath, MI 48808

Gas and Electrical Expenses for October

Gas  –  $97.19
Electric  –  $258.64

Income and Expense

Income $4931.00
Expenses $8781.99
Monthly budget needs $5437.08

Please note our new website address and email address!!

First Presbyterian Church
125 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 125
Ionia, MI 48846

Phone 527-2320

Email: ioniafpc@gmail.com

Church Office Hours – Monday through Thursday 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

Newsletters, Calendar and more at 1stpreschurchionia.com

 Sunday Services are at 10:00 A.M. 

Parable of the Dead Church

Parable of the Dead Church

A person once called a pastor to say he wanted to join the church. But, he went on to explain that he didn’t want to worship every week, study the Bible, visit the sick, witness to non-Christians, or serve as a leader or teacher.
The pastor commended him for his desire to join, but told him the church he sought was located in another section of town. The man took the directions and hung up.
When he arrived at the church, the man came face to face with the logical result of his own apathetic attitude. There stood an abandoned church building, boarded up and ready for demolition.