January 2021 Newsletter

Ionia First Presbyterian Church, 125 East Main Street, Ionia, MI 48846

Message From Pastor Chris

First, I hope you all had a very blessed Christmas. I also want to acknowledge your outpouring of generosity to me in the form of gifts of cash and cards and Christmas candies, baked goods, and crafts. I was overwhelmed again by the extravagance of these gifts.

Let me also add that some of them were presented to me personally by a beloved member and valued leader of the congregation with the heartfelt words: “How are you doing, pastor?” I felt open enough at that moment to answer candidly: “During this Covid crisis, I often feel that I have no ground beneath my feet.”

Your generosity combined with your care for me as your pastor during a season when it is extremely difficult to be your pastor means more to me that I can adequately convey in words. You have been providing me with pastoral care, which I certainly need! 

This is really how we are together withstanding the cruel onslaught of the pandemic as it batters our little church. May God bless you and your loved ones richly during this holiday season. Happy New Year to one and all!

Pastor Chris

Session Highights from November 17 Metting

~ Sunday services will continue on Facebook until regular in-person services can begin.

~ A group of elders met with a content representative for a company that helps increase website traffic. Action was deferred until after in-person worship commences. 

~ The leaky flat roof is repaired and a final payment made to Spartan Roofing from the capital building account. 

~ Session approved the purchase of Church Windows to replace Quick Books.  January is the target to begin using Church Windows.

~ All winterization activities on the building and grounds have been completed. 

~ The active membership rolls were reviewed and updated. Pastor Chris sent a letter to those who will be placed on the inactive list.  They can reactivate at any time.

~ We continue to take food to four families who are struggling due to the pandemic. 

~ Contacts are being made with families to determine their wishes in using memorial funds.  

First Presbyterian Church Ionia January Birthdays

Jen Furman 2
Jan Arnold 6
Bill Robinson 7
Tyler VanSyckle 12
Nola Patterson 19
Emily Sykes 26
Norma Kilpatrick 29

Special Dates

New Year’s Day,      January 1, 2021

Epiphany,      January 6, 2021

Baptism of the Lord,      January 10, 2021

Religious Freedom Day,      January 16, 2021

Martin Luther King Jr. Day,      January 18, 2021

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,      January 18-25, 2021

Inauguration Day,      January 20, 2021

Budget and Finance

December 2020 Income & Expenses:  Year to date through November 30, income was $67,947. Expenses totaled $86,065 for a shortfall of $18,118.  Don’t worry. We can cover expenses through the end of the year. 

Assets: At the end of November, the church had available assets totaling $82,353 in checking accounts, our Pay Pal account, and a certificate of deposit. There was an additional $236,355 in our investment account much of which is earmarked for memorials and dedicated funds (such as mission, children, music, and the building fund).

Stewardship, December 2020 

 As of December 1, fifteen pledge forms had been returned. The current pledge total is $41,530. An additional $1,950 is pledged to match the $5,000 the church received. Our goal for pledges in 2021 is $68,000.

How are we doing?  Better than expected. We still haven’t heard from about twenty giving units. A few people have indicated they will give as they can rather than pledging a specific amount.  

If you plan to pledge in 2021, there is still time. Please indicate your intentions to the church office at your earliest convenience.  Thank you!

First Presbyterian church Ionia, The church is people.

Notice of Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Meeting is scheduled for  January 31, and committee reports are due on January 18. The meeting may have to be virtual. Session meeting is on January 19 at which time a final decision will be made. 

Margaret Gregory, Clerk of Session

Mission News

This past month’s grocery delivery to our families was a Christmas dinner, complete with ham. This delivery also included some Christmas goodies and candy canes!!  As always they were excited to see us. It was especially nice because we got to see the girls. With the church closed due to COVID, we have not had much contact with them.

We received a very generous donation from Chuck and Mary VanLoan, and the timing was perfect. Our funds are starting to dwindle. Also, a thank you to Lew and Carol Campbell. They, too, made a donation. 

We will be making our next delivery on January 6. If anyone would like to donate, we will cheerfully accept.


Thank you to all for your support, both monetary and spiritually. This project could not continue without it.  A special thank you to Warren and Sue Thompson,  Margaret Gregory, Marilyn McKay, and Pastor Chris for all of their help and support.

A blessed New Year to all of you.

Truth + Love

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

—Martin Luther King Jr.

Session Members / Ministry Team Chairperson / Committee Member

Judi Emlinger*   –  Christian Education
 Perry Gregory   –  Building/Grounds
David Hanson*  –   Nominating
Lee Hunsberger*  –   Stewardship/Budget and Finance
Norma Kilpatrick*  –  Treasurer/Budget and Finance
Norma Kilpatrick   –  Memorials and Investments
 Barb Klenk  –  Treasurer

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

First Presbyterian Staff

Rev. Dr. Chris Dorn
Deb Montgomery    
Steve Slaughter       

Pastor Tel. 616-610-5982

Newsletter, Calendar and more at 1stpreschurchionia.com
Email: ioniafpc@gmail.com
Church Office Hours-Monday through Thursday
9:00 AM-12:00 PM, Ph# 616-527-2320 

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