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Layettes – June 2019

Monday, May 27th, 2019

As you can see we have some baby items on display. They are for the layettes the United Methodist Women put together for the Family Health Department. They receive 1 gift bag per month. Each bag contains 1 hat, 1 onesie, 1 sleeper, a blanket or quilt, and 1 receiving blanket. In it is a card that says “A gift for your baby from the First United Methodist Women with Christian Love”. Unfortunately I have misplaced the original records. I believe Darlene Pruess introduced the program. I volunteered in 2009 to replace Ruth Petrick. The United Methodist Women, along with a few friends and relatives, donate what you see here. I am not going to mention everyone who has so generously donated. I try to remember and thank you in the monthly newsletter. If I have ever missed anyone I apologize. I do get monetary donations which I use to buy flannel to make receiving blankets and occasionally disposable diapers. They like to have them on hand at the Family Health Department. Except for the sleepers and onesies most of the items are handmade. Since 2009 to the best of my record keeping,  Norma has made 60 quilts for the layette. So thank you! We could not do this without our United Methodist Women and their spouses.


Pastor’s Words – June 2019

Monday, May 27th, 2019

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost Sunday on June 9th, I was wondering if we are feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit with the same sense of power that the disciples did at Pentecost. With the birth of the church, the disciples were not compelled, but impelled to move out beyond themselves and begin spreading the Gospel. Throughout June, we are in a period which reminds us of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The questions which are before us are these: Do we feel the Spirit? and Where is the Spirit moving us? The disciples suddenly were empowered to speak the languages of those about them so that they could bring Christ into their midst. It was a dramatic and powerful moment. If you don’t recall the power, reread Acts 2. I have often wondered what would occur if something similar happened to us, whether during the week or at Sunday worship. Imagine the impact it would have on this church– all of us feeling the power at the same time, moving out into the community and telling the story, and more importantly, showing the story. Are we able to speak and act in ways that our friends and those we come in contact with understand? Do we communicate the unconditional abiding love of Jesus Christ to all with whom we rub shoulders? More importantly, do we seek out those who are physically, emotionally, and spiritually in need of knowing that they are loved by God? At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples so that they could be the Church. Let me repeat that. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples so that they could be the Church. The disciples were scared, powerless and in hiding prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit. The thought of reaching out with the message of God’s redemptive love for all was chained within. Jesus gave them the final pep talk at the Ascension and prepared their hearts and minds for the moment of Pentecost. When the moment came, they could not help themselves. They were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they had no choice but to evangelize. The event known as the Day of Pentecost was not just a one-time event. It is there for us, the Church, to experience day after day. Do we understand that we do not have to wait for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is around us, through us, and within us. Once we recognize that, we experience the same empowerment that the disciples experienced on the Day of Pentecost. When a congregation of Christ’s Church experiences that together, watch out! Blessings on all of you as you begin your summer. I pray that the rush of wind I hear will not be our usual summer breezes, but will be a mighty release of spiritual power flowing out to MFUMC and all of the communities of which we are a part.

Peace and Grace

P.S. I will report on what took place at conference on the 9th during announcements. Please pray for all attending conference.


A View from the Belfry – June 2019

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Greetings from the belfry! You know, now that it’s spring, from my perch up here in the belfry which is no more, I can see a lot of work going on which many not be recognized by some of you great people who attend this church. Last month I mentioned a broken sump pump and broken pipe joint which resulted in water spilling all over the place at the church. After that article was written, the sump pump at the parsonage also quit, meaning that water got into the basement there. Needless to say, church members helped clean up the mess on all three occasions. Well, we also  have church members who quietly show up and do things which need doing, but for which they don’t have any official position saying they need to do it, and for which they aren’t paid and don’t expect pay. For example, Mary Prater has from time to time reorganized the books in the library and has taken some out which are outdated and not really used any more. Some she gives away, or if nobody wants them, donates them to places which accept used books, such as the Red Bird Mission in Appalachia. As another example, Vic and Sharon Vanderville have from time to time washed the stained glass windows in the sanctuary so they would sparkle in the sun. Very recently, Polly Bedwell snuck into the church entry and washed the windows there so that they also are now sparkling in the sun. Later she washed the windows in the conference room and office area as well. Candace Haskell shows up from time to time and cares for the flowers planted in front of the church. What a bunch of busy beavers we have here! Not only do these hard workers do the necessary care and maintenance  jobs, but they also help in many, many other ways, such as washing dishes after social hours (as well as bringing in the food and serving the refreshments), stocking the supply closets with miscellaneous stuff needed to keep the church clean and running, and the like. A few, especially Polly, also take responsibility for giving the children’s message during church. Thanks, Mary, Vic, Sharon, Candace, Polly, and all you other busy church workers! We do appreciate all that you, and all of our unsung workers, con tribute to the church family. A church really is a family endeavor, isn’t it?  


Lay Leader Lines – June 2019

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Q: Years ago I attended a church in which one of the ministers had a passion for bringing people into the ministry. He seemed to feel that doing so should be one of the main goals of any Christian church. I understand that right now, we have two members that are studying to become pastors, Devin Lawrence and B.J. Ash. Have there every been any other members of this church who became pastors? How do people decide to enter this ministry?

A: Yes, others from this church have become pastors. Sandi Kolder, who now serves churches in Munising and Trenary , and who previously served at Hulbert and Paradise, is from this church. In addition, there may well have been others in past years who entered the ministry from this church. Perhaps some of the older members of this congregation can recall others, and would share this with us. As far as deciding  to enter the ministry, many of those who have done so indicate that they received a call to become a minister. Such calls have taken different forms for different people, but often they consist of a sudden strong urge to do so which doesn’t go away. Often such urges are responses to something going on in the person’s life, such as participating in a particularly moving worship service or retreat. Others report having a long-term feeling, sometimes even from childhood on, that they should pursue the ministry. Seldom have I encountered a minister who indicated that he or she was weighing what career to pursue and decided on the ministry because of wages, working conditions, or other characteristics of the ministry which appealed to them, much as one might choose any other job. Ultimately, this is a question which might best be answered by chatting with those in the ministry.  


United Methodist Women – June 2019

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Submitted by: Carol Weinert

The next Manistique United Methodist Women’s meeting is Tuesday June 4. We meet at 1 PM in the fellowship hall of the church. Meetings are open to all interested women. President Bette Jahn will continue her program of exploring the Spiritual First Aid Kits. There is one for everyone so come and review yours.

 Our next big event is our annual UMW picnic held in August. The date is Tuesday, August 6. Plans are in the early stages so bring your ideas and suggestions to the meeting. The subject is always focused on Missions and a speaker in this area will be needed.                      

There will be no UMW meeting in July.

The monthly hymn sing continues the first Monday at the Medical Care Facility. We meet at 10 AM to present a brief program of familiar hymns and a seasonal message. Come join us. You will be glad you did.

There is still time to take part in the UMW reading program and the summer season is a good time to do some special reading. The program has been extended to the end of the year. There many good books available in the five required subject of Leadership, Spiritual Growth, Missions, Social Action, and Nurturing for Community. Check out our overflowing library in the area next to the lift. See Mary Prater for more information on the reading program.


From the Pastor’s Desk October 2018

Monday, October 1st, 2018

What an amazing September it has been!   A team has formed comprised of members of the staff-parish   relations committee and the REACH team. They will be contacting members and setting up dates for training for ushers, greeters, communion servers, liturgists, ambassadors and shepherding, and fellowship hosts and hostesses. They will also set up schedules. Let’s get ready for training, learning, praying, and listening to God’s voice. There is much to celebrate and in October we will continue to journey together, learn how to love, and pursue God’s vision for our congregation.

I’m excited for October to come, not just because of what God is doing among us, but because of what He is doing around us. The leaves are beginning to change even as I write this. I look forward to seeing the beautiful changes God brings in the fall. We know how beautiful the U.P. is in the fall and I am looking forward to seeing it for myself! Nature teaches us so much about God. In the fall, we learn that God brings change and change can be beautiful.

I hear that many people don’t like change. Yes, change can be a bit scary because we are naturally fearful of the unknown. We know what life is like now, but if life changes, we don’t know if we will like it, or if we will be able to survive it! Sometimes we like the way things are currently, yet I’ve heard that “for things to stay the same….they must change” as well. I think there is truth in that statement.

If you think about it, nothing ever stays the same. Over the past several years, our family has changed immensely.  All of our children have changed. They aren’t who they were a few years ago, and I am amazed to see the changes God brings in their lives. Each year they become the people God has created them to be. That has been our prayer throughout their entire lives. If there were no changes, I would know something is wrong!

While change can be frightening because we don’t know what change will bring, change can also be beautiful. I’m not writing about change for change’s sake. I’m referring to purposeful change. When we allow God to bring change into our lives, He brings beauty as well. Perhaps we shouldn’t really be so afraid of change, but rather we should be intent on allowing God to bring change. As we continue to journey together, I believe God changes us. He continues to bring us to places of blessing and paths of love. Let’s remember that we have been loved with an amazing love and we are to love others the same way! I don’t know about you, but to love others as I have been loved by Jesus means that I will have to change. When I do, I know it will be beautiful.
All of us are searching for peace of mind, love, comfort, a good life, perhaps even notoriety or “the next big thing”. Often, we search along routes that are well established to find these things. Occasionally we look in other places and find what we are looking for, only to discover upon further examination that our discovery is much more than we were searching for. When we find Christ within our discoveries of peace of mind, love, comfort, and the good life, we realize that we have found New Life. The amazing thing is that those are often concealed within hardship, pain, suffering, and loss. We find God in strange places. We think we have found Jesus on our terms only to discover that Jesus wants to come to our house, to our heart. What joy! Who could have imagined how this would change our lives?!

 

 


Lay Leader Lines August 2018

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Q: I heard that we borrowed money from our own memorial savings accounts to use for other things for which those funds were not intended. Why did we do this? It seems to me that we are in danger of misusing money which is set aside for specific purposes if we borrow from those accounts in this way.
A. We borrowed money because we have had many expenses recently which the amount of money in the general fund was insufficient to cover. These expenses included such basics as staff salaries, electric and water bills, and the like. They did not include things such as the parsonage roof, which was paid for by money we raised specifically for that purpose, or for repairs to the church and parsonage covered by insurance, such as the post by the front door of the church and the large window at the parsonage which was hit by a BB several months ago. The fact is that our general weekly offerings are simply not large enough to cover our basic expenses. We are very generous when it comes to donating extra funds to disaster areas and giving for special projects such as the roof replacement, but somehow donating enough money specifically to pay the phone bill or to buy paper for the printer just doesn’t happen. We also borrowed money from the Northern Skies (formerly the Marquette) District which we are paying back in monthly payments at a low interest rate. As for the money borrowed from our designated accounts, that has already been repaid in full. We do not want, nor intend, to use designated funds for any purpose other than the ones specified by the donors to those funds. We do, however, intend to pay bills as they come due for necessary expenses and services. At this time, we are up-to-date in paying salaries, pension apportionments, and insurance costs. We are well behind, however, in paying our common budget apportionments, where we have paid about 20% of our assessed amount, instead of just over 50% which we should have paid by this time in the year. We seek your prayerful consideration of our situation and would welcome any suggestions which you may have to assist us in finding a solution


Mission Report August 2018

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

In 2016, our church participated in raising funds for a project called Imagine No Malaria; this church raised over $1,350. Have you ever wondered what happened to this project since then? I have. I thought at the time that Imagine No Malaria was just a church project, but was amazed to learn that the whole world has become involved in it. The project was begun by the United Nation’s World Health Organization, which was soon joined in its sponsorship by private foundations such as the Bill Gates Foundation, which became partners in the effort to stamp out malaria. When I added up the financial contributions from private donors and other existing donor resources, I came up with $200,000,000 which will have been contributed to the effort by 2020. In addition, almost all countries which deal with malaria within their borders have united together in an attempt to become malaria free by the year 2020. Paraguay is the first country to have achieved this goal under this program. Paraguay has recorded no cases of malaria within the past three years. Out of 21 countries identified as having significant problems with malaria, 10 are now on track to eliminate it within their boundaries by 2020. Most countries now realize that eliminating diseases such as malaria can unlock tremendous growth potential. When children are not dying of preventable diseases at the rate of one child every two minutes, they are able to attend school. In addition, healthy adults can now contribute to their communities and to their own economic welfare through their labor. What is the new battle plan? One effort relies on genetic control. Only the female mosquitoes bite, so only they can transmit malaria to humans through their bite. It is possible to modify the genetic make-up of these mosquitoes so that they only produce male offspring. Over time the number of female mosquitos will decline to the point where they no longer pose a significant problem. Another significant development is that of a vaccine which, when administered four times over a one-year period, will protect the recipient from the disease. Scientists are hoping to develop a vaccine which requires only a single dose to provide the needed protection. Another effort to reduce the mosquito population is aimed at spraying areas of standing water where mosquitoes breed with insecticides which kill them. Drones are now being used to find such areas of standing water in locations that are difficult to access by other means. The drones can provide information on their locations much more quickly and with much greater precision than can the satellite imaging programs which are currently being used. In addition to the new technologies, better vaccines, and other malaria reduction efforts, we cannot underestimate the power of the affected people to make changes which will lead to the elimination of this widespread disease. Mama Wimba is a forty-year-old resident of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She lost a son to malaria. When malaria nets were distributed to the people in her community, she realized that they really worked, and could indeed prevent people from getting the disease. She decided to inform the residents of her community about them. She visited the local school and told the children, who in turn told their parents. Mama Wimba was effective in spreading the word because she spoke the language of the members of her community, in a way which they could understand. Some people were unaware of the importance of the nets. Others were afraid the nets would suffocate them or that the chemicals with which they were sprayed would harm them. Mama Wimba was able to reassure them on these points and educate them on how the nets worked and how they should be used. Through her efforts the nets were much more widely used than they had been, and the cases of malaria in her community dropped significantly. Go, Mama Wimba! Now that I have brought you up to speed on the Imagine No Malaria project, you can be assured that the contributions you made were well spent. – Submitted by Norma Johnson


Trustee Report August 2018

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

In late May, the trustees inspected your parsonage and church as required by the Book of Discipline. We made a list of repairs and improvements for both locations that we felt were necessary and could be accomplished in 2018. With one major repair (parsonage chimney) costing nearly $4500, we estimated our total project cost for 2018 to be $6100. We broke these projects into small projects, published the information in our bulletin, posted the projects in the hospitality area, and asked for help from our members.
Because of many generous contributions of time, materials and money, we expect to spend far less than what we budgeted for these projects. The energy and commitment of so many members and friends of the church has been phenomenal and made this possible. We are truly blessed.
The major projects left to be accomplished this year are the chimney repair for the parsonage (this is contracted through Olson and Olson), sealing and painting the parsonage basement, and refinishing the floors in the sanctuary. Volunteers have signed up for these projects, and more help is definitely welcome. We will be scheduling these remaining projects soon, and we should be able to complete these projects by the end of the year.
The enthusiasm for keeping our church and parsonage in great shape is awesome. We are already thinking about what projects we will undertake next year. We welcome your ideas and suggestions which you can direct to Jim Blanchard, Kali or Pastor Don. Simply give us a call and we will bring your ideas to the next regularly scheduled meeting. The more eyes, hands and hearts, the better.
In this stewardship process, it is important for us to understand that in many cases, a member may ask that their donation goes towards a specific project and not the general fund. These special donations are not used for the general operating budget of the church. The general operating budget of the church comes from weekly donations, loose plate collections, and certain fund-raising activities.
Our general operating budget for our church and parsonage is roughly $7,500 each month. When unexpected repairs come up (things will break, just like at home), we may not have available money in our operating budget to cover the more expensive repairs and emergencies. We are truly grateful for special donations because they make those more expensive and emergency repairs possible.
We know the monthly cost to operate our church and parsonage is fairly sizeable. Our approach to managing our expenses is conservative, and we constantly look for ways to limit those expenses and still produce the highest quality outcome for our efforts. We also understand that our utility, maintenance, supply, and insurance costs will continue to increase over time, irrespective of our efforts. We continually shop for the best value in all of these areas.
Each week we print in the bulletin the previous week’s general budget collections and we are now reporting those special contributions separately so that everyone can see where we stand. We are not quite where we need to be for general contributions, but working together, with God’s helping hand, we will accomplish all that He sets us out to do.

Jim Blanchard, Trustee Chair


United Methodist Women August 2018

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Hawaii is the theme of our summer picnic, which will be Tuesday, August 7, at noon at the church. Janet Helmbold is in charge of securing the speaker and the meal, being planned by Lynn LaRose and her crew, will feature pulled pork sandwiches – yumm!
There will be no UMW General Meeting in August so the picnic will be a welcome addition to summer activities. Come join us.​
​Mark your calendar now and plan to attend the upcoming pie auction set for Sunday, August 26. The fund-raiser will take place following the worship service at the end of our fellowship hour. This is sure to be a fun event and a tasty way to treat yourself to some of our cooks’ specialties.​
​The next General Meeting of the UMW will be Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 1 PM. As we kick off the fall season, it is time to make plans for our annual Christmas Tea. Please come to the meeting and bring your holiday ideas.​
Looking ahead: The annual Northern Skies Marquette District UMW meeting/celebration will be held Tuesday, October 2, at Zeba UMC in L’Anse, MI. Those who have completed the reading program will be recognized at that time, so those of you who are taking part in the program are reminded to complete your goal soon and get your list to Mary Prater by early September. More information on the District Meeting and registration forms will be available soon.​