November 2022

   The Presbyletter

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

November 2022

Words from Pastor Chris

Election Season 

In times marked by political polarization and tribalism, the approach of yet another election season fills many of us with dread. We know that, as long as people have lived together, the attempt to establish and maintain a stable order has been a struggle, sometimes a violent one. And yet, for just as long, perhaps for as long as we have had that unique ability to reflect on ourselves and to communicate, we have aspired to live in peace, in accord with a higher, transcendent order. The ancient Greeks spoke of this order as logos, the rational principle at the heart of the universe that binds all things together in harmonious relationships. In ancient Polynesian cultures, people used the word aloha to describe the force that holds all of existence together, conceived as “love” and “compassion.” These serve as the foundation of what we, in more recent times, have called “civilization,” related to the Latin words, civis, “citizen” and civitas, “city.”  

In his book, The Best Care Possible, Ira Bock recounts a story about the famous anthropologist Margaret Mead. A student approached her with the question: “what is the earliest sign of civilization?” Rather than the expected response “pottery shard”

or “cave painting,” Mead said simply “a healed femur.” The femur is the largest bone in our body, and takes six weeks to heal if broken. So, Mead reasoned:  

A healed femur shows that someone cared for the injured person, did their hunting and gathering, stayed with them, and offered physical protection and human companionship until the injury could mend.  

Mead went on to explain that where the law of the jungle prevails, no healed femurs are found. The first sign of a properly human civilization is compassion.    

As Christians, we can affirm this insight. For we profess faith in a God who is full of compassion. God’s compassion is demonstrated in that most intimate solidarity with us, as captured in the words of Scripture: “The Word (logos) became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14). Let us keep this in mind as we greet this approaching election season.  


Pastor Chris

Sunday Worship
10:00 A.M.
in the sanctuary.
If you are fully vaccinated,
feel free to be mask free!

If you are not fully vaccinated, please wear a mask for the safety of yourself and others. 


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

All Saints’ Day
Sunday, October 30, 2022

Holy Communion
First Sunday of the Month

Family Night
November 9, 2022
5:30 p.m.

Session Meeting
November 22, 2022
2:00 p.m.

ALL SAINTS’ DAY – Sunday October 30

  All Saints Day, which is officially Tuesday, November 1, will be observed on Sunday, October 30. It has been the practice of our congregation to acknowledge, in worship on All Saints Day, members who have passed away during the year before.    We have decided that this practice should be extended to include friends who have shared in the worship life of the church, but never became members. We are making this retroactive, in the event that those whose loved ones were not acknowledged in years past because they were not members, can also be.    If your loved ones came to worship occasionally or otherwise maintained a connection with the church, and you want them to be remembered at worship this All Saints’ Day, please let Pastor Chris know before Sunday. 


Thanksgiving turkeys will again be delivered to three of our church families. Help with this project is greatly appreciated. This year we are trying something new. Members can sponsor one of the families. You may purchase a turkey and donate it.  Another alternative is for two or three members to jointly sponsor a family.
It is our hope that Meijer will once again sell turkeys at a special price. If they do, a nice size turkey could be purchased for around $20.
All donations or sponsorships can be made by notifying Mary Williams. Thank you in advance for your help.

Attention Hunters!

If anyone shoots a deer that you aren’t going to be using, it could be donated. Our church would pay for the processing, and the meat could be used for any of our families should the need arise. Or it could be used at the community food pantry. Thank you from the Mission Committee!


Head Start is a federal program through Eight Cap promoting school readiness and supporting the development of the whole child. Children from birth to 5 years of age from low-income families are eligible.

Our church family has been in support of this local agency for numerous years. November brings chilly weather and a time for gratefulness at Thanksgiving. We give pumpkin pies to each student’s family. The funding comes from our Mission Committee and Ionia Walmart’s generous donation.

Warm coats, snow pants, hats, and mittens, infants through size 7 are now in need. Gently used ones are fine. If you choose to give money to the Mission Committee, we will purchase items for you. Please place the clothing in our church shopping cart. Times are tough for families and even small gestures are appreciated. 

In the Spring we collect books for children that they can take home and keep. This is a helpful way to encourage reading.

Thanks for any support you are able to give. Gratefully, the Mission Committee.

Funeral Luncheon

On September 11, our church was able to host a funeral luncheon for Alice Fox, who was the mother of Lynn Ross and the mother-in-law of Jim Ross.  We could not have accomplished this without the help of so many.  We thank Marilyn McKay, Cindy Rozich, Carol Campbell, Lynn Sterner and Margaret Gregory for their delicious salads.  Delicious desserts were provided by Jan Arnold, Mary Williams, Jen Furman, Linda Steele and Linda Hood.  A huge thank you to Jan Arnold, Barb Klenk and Lee Hunsberger for their organization, food purchases, and working in the kitchen. Marilyn McKay, Jan Arnold, Jen Furman, Mary Williams, Carol Campbell, and Margaret Gregory also helped in the kitchen. We are all grateful to the Steele and Ross families for setting up tables and chairs.   



After almost three years, we will once again celebrate a Family Night at the church. Two of our middle schoolers, Sunny and Aliya, have been requesting a Family Night for the last year. They have been participating in the planning of the entire evening.

On Wednesday, November 9, at 5:30 p.m., we invite everyone to attend this special event.  The menu will be pizza (of course) with veggies and yummy desserts. Dinner will be followed by various games. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us on this date to help support these young people and their families.


On Saturday, October 22, 18 adults and youth traveled to the Outdoor Discovery Center for the annual Treats ‘n Trails. We started with lunch at McDonalds and then traveled on to the Center.  We were blessed with a gorgeous day, so much nicer than the rain we experienced the last two years. 

The favorite parts of the day were the zip line and barrel ride. We waited at least a half an hour to ride the barrels (yes, it was warm and they were impatient, but they wanted to ride). They didn’t get into the s’mores or hot chocolate as usual, but it was a nice exchange for good weather.

A special thank you to those that helped buy lunch for the children.


Kudos go to Warren Thompson and Perry Gregory for doing the fall cleanup of the outside of the Church grounds. The shrubbery has been trimmed, and the flower beds have been cleaned up of spent blossoms and leaves. Thanks for keeping the church grounds looking so tidy and manicured. When you see these two gentlemen, give them a thumbs up!



1         Allison McKay
 2        Steve Slaughter
 9        John McKay
12       Carol Campbell
13       Judi Emlinger
17       Bonnie Hadder
29       Linda Hood
30       Sarah Jane Hanson

Special Dates

All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2022

Daylight saving time ends, November 6, 2022

Veterans Day, November 11, 2022

Christ the King Sunday, November 20, 2022

Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2022

First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2022



November 6, 2022               Marilyn McKay
November 13, 2022             Cindy Rozich
November 20, 2022             Lee Hunsberger
November 27, 2022                  Barb Klenk


November 6, 2022               Jen Furman & Cindy Rozich
November 13, 2022             Norma Kilpatrick & Margaret  Gregory
November 20, 2022             Lew & Carol Campbell 
November 27, 2022             Marcia & Ernie Ross


Here are highlights from the September 20 session meeting, gleaned from the minutes: 

~ Pastor Dorn and Elder Rozich took communion to members and friends who were unable to attend church. 

~ The Ionia Ministerial Association hosted a meeting focuses on homelessness and the increasing calls for emergency assistance. 

~ The Presbytery of Lake Michigan raised the minimum terms of call by 11.72% to reflect a sharp increase in the cost of living. 

~ Building and Grounds: Session voted to maintain the elevator as required by the state. The parking lot and bell tower are scheduled to be repaired soon. 

~Christian Education: Session approved recommencing family night. Maranda Morris has volunteered to teach Sunday school. Mary Williams is coordinating a trip on October 22 to the Discovery Center in Holland. 

~ Memorials and Investments granted $7,000 in Kosbar scholarships in August. 

~ Mission: Our church continues to lead a team at the soup kitchen. 

~ Worship may include a children’s message again, if volunteers can be found. 


Our own Lena Cox was the Freshman Class’s representative on this year’s Homecoming Court. She was chosen by the vote of her classmates. Congratulations Lena!


Gratitude Galore

If you’ve ever kept a gratitude journal, you know they’re fairly easy to fill. Edward King, an English bishop known for working with the poor, may not have had a fancy journal. But these words evoke such a list: “I will thank God … for the glory of the thunder, for the mystery of music, the singing of birds and the laughter of children. … for the awe of the sunset, the beauty of flowers, the smile of friendship and the look of love … for the leaves on the trees in spring and autumn, for the witness of the leafless trees through the winter, teaching us that death is sleep and not destruction, for the sweetness of flowers and the scent of hay. Truly, oh Lord, the earth is full of thy riches!”

King concludes: “And yet how much more I will thank and praise God for the strength of my body enabling me to work, for the refreshment of sleep, for my daily bread, for the days of painless health, for the gift of my mind and the gift of my conscience, for his loving guidance of my mind ever since it first began to think, and of my heart ever since it first began to love.”

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord, He is God.
     It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves;
     we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, 
     and into his courts with praise.
     Give thanks unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good;   
     his mercy is everlasting,
     and his truth endures to all generations.  

                        Psalm 100


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]
Summer Church Office Hours – Wednesday 9-3
Ph# 616-527-2320 

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top