Enjoy our monthly Newsletter
Enjoy our monthly Newsletter
Christ is our life. This is an affirmation that we make as Christians. But is it nothing more to us than dogma to which we have been conditioned as faithful churchgoers to give our assent? Or is it something more or altogether different? A man I once met told me how much he enjoyed hiking in the Colorado Rockies. He used to bring with him enough supplies to ascend and de- scend one of the many trails on the western slopes. Afterward, he’d hitch a ride into a nearby town, buy more supplies, and return to hike a new trail. I asked the man if any one of his many adventures in the Rockies stood out more than the others. The man thought for a moment, and then told me about one hike he vowed he would remember the rest of his life. The head of a trail followed the contours of a small stream. The way was easy, and it did not occur to him to fill his canteen with the water that he would need later in the ascent. The trail veered sharply away from the stream, and the way became rocky and steep. With great ef- fort, he successfully scaled the rugged section of the trail and moved up onto a plateau. Relieved, he continued his ascent. Soon, however, be began to feel thirsty. Looking around, he saw neither stream nor standing water, which he expected to find from the spring thaws. He could only continue the ascent wearily. At a certain point, he simply could go no farther. He then laid down on his back, looked up into the cloudless blue sky, and stared.
He was at a loss, uncertain of what would become of him now.
He then began to hear a buzzing sound. Curious to locate the source, he slowly raised himself up and looked. About thirty or forty feet away, a small group of bees were hovering just above the ground. Going over to the bees, he saw beneath them a small puddle, the last standing water from the late spring thaw. Eagerly he lapped up the water. The man paused. He told me that to this day he still remembers the sensation that came over him at that moment. He felt the water coursing throughout his entire body. Beginning at his core, the water moved through his limbs and then to his outermost extremities. He felt the water infuse new life into his body, enabling to stand on his feet again, and finish his ascent. Christ stood and said in a loud voice: “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38). We turn to Christ to satisfy our spiritual thirst. Do we feel this water that he gives us to drink surging through us, enlivening us, and thereby enabling us to continue our ascent?
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These minutes are of the January 21, 2020 meeting.
This meeting included the composition of the session with regards to racial ethnic members, women, men, age group, and persons with disabilities, and how this corresponds to the composition of the congregation. This information is required by the presbytery. Our congregation of 67 members is 100% white with 41 females and 26 males. Thirty- five of our members are 71 or over, sixteen are ages 56-70, three are ages 41-55, four are ages 26-40 and nine are 25 and under. Our session has nine member of which six are female and three are male.
Pastor Chris’ report addressed our website redesign, church security, pastoral care when he is on vacation or study leave, and cancellation of worship service due to inclement weather. Our website redesign is progressing, as is a plan for church security. In the event of an emergency, pastoral care will be provided by Rev. Jonathan Bratt Carle of the United Methodist Church and Rev. Kevin Kinsinger of the First Christian Church. Due to inclement weather or another emergency, the decision to cancel the worship service will be made by the pastor, the clerk of session and the worship chairperson. Once the decision is made, the information on the cancellation will be provided to WOOD-TV. If the service is cancelled, the organist will not be paid.
For 2020, Norma Kilpatrick and Barb Klenk were elected treasurers and Margaret Gregory was elected Clerk of Session.
The church indebtedness form, the clerk’s annual questionnaire and the annual statistical report were approved. They will be completed and sent to the Presbytery of Lake Michigan online as required.
Despite being recently tuned, the grand piano has a couple keys that need attention and the organ needs to be tuned. These expenditures was approved.
The Christian Education sleepover at the church for the kids was approved and will be March 6th.
Marilyn McKay, chairperson of the Mission Committee, reported that the Ionia Ministerial Association is now administering the Friends of Jesus Fund, and Adam Rewa from Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church is coordinating the requests for assistance. All requests from the area churches will go to Adam. Marilyn indicated our Mission Committee will be sending mission funds to the Friends of Jesus Fund.
The new session class of 2022 is Marilyn McKay, Cindy Rozich and Dr. Keith Sterner. They are all elders and will be installed during the worship service on February 9th.
The next meeting is February 11, 2020 at 7:00PM.
Margaret Gregory, Clerk of Session
FYI. I wanted to provide an update on our plastic bottle cap collection for our friend Carter from Saranac. He has been saving the caps to re- cycle in order to make a bench. Each one takes 250 pounds to make. He has collected almost enough to complete one bench and is excited for our help with this school project. His mother, Amy told me he is having a great time doing this and wishes to continue in hopes of collecting enough to make another bench. KEEP SAVING YOUR CAPS.
The Ladies’ Bible/Book study resumed Thursday, January 23rd at 7:00 P.M. lat the home of Carol and Lew Campbell, 151 Foxtail Drive. We will be using the book “what’s the Least I Can Believe and Still be a Christian?” (A Guide to What Matters Most) by Martin Thielen, a Methodist pastor. Please sign up on the sheet in the fellowship area with your contact information so books can be ordered. All women are invited to join this study and fellowship time whether or not you have been part of the group previously. Questions? Contact Carol Campbell, 419-937-5754.
With the beginning of a new year, it is time to once again pay our per capita to the Presbytery of Lake Michigan. For 2020, the per capita for each active member is $35.20 (General Assembly $8.95, Synod of the Covenant $3.25, Presbytery of Lake Michigan $23). Along with each church’s shared mission pledge, the per capita finances the General Assembly, the Synod of the Covenant and our Lake Michigan Presbytery. For 2020, our total is $2,428.80. This is based on 69 active member as of 12/31/18 and is due January 20, 2020. As in the past, the Budget and Finance Committee is always very appreciative of members paying their own per capita. If you are able to pay your own per capita, please indicate your $35.20 is for your per capita. Thank you very much.
A special thank you to Sue Harkness Edlin for gifting to our church tow Bellemain insulated stainless steel carafes to use for coffee fellowship. They are greatly appreciated. Thank you so much Sue.