February 2013 Newsletter

First Presbyterian Church of Macomb

February 2013 Newsletter

Welcome!  The Communications Committee is pleased to announce that First Presbyterian Church will have a monthly newsletter again.  We will be producing an online version for the first few months.  Later, we will add a print version for those who don’t have access to the online version.

In the meantime, if you would like to print a copy of this newsletter to share with someone who doesn’t have online access, click the following link to find a PDF version of the newsletter:  February 2013 Newsletter

This monthly newsletter is in its beginning stages. We ask your patience as we work through this process.  Please help us by submitting your suggestions and comments.



We will hold our annual congregational meeting on Sunday, February 17 at 12:30. In addition to our usual annual meeting items, representatives of the congregation will be elected to the congregational nominating committee at the meeting.

The fellowship committee will serve lunch in Fellowship Hall following the 10:30 service. Hot casseroles will be provided by the committee.   You are asked to sign up to bring either a salad or dessert on the sign-up sheet on the table outside the church office.



Session members have been busy delivering pledge cards to members and friends of First Church.  The Finance Committee has prepared some information for us as we consider our pledges. Please see that information here: 2013 Stewardship Handout



We need drivers to serve once a month to pick up people who need a ride to church and return them to their home after services.  We also need several persons to serve as substitutes when regular drivers are unavailable.  If you are willing to drive, please contact the church office or call Gene Smith at 309-333-1394 or email at gfsmith@macomb.com.  Please consider helping out as a driver or a substitute.



At the January 9 meeting, Session

¯ Approved a book study on “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, led by Gene Miller

¯ Referred a concern about building security to buildings and grounds committee

¯ Revised the sexton’s hours to 30 hours per week

¯ Heard that a committee to work with our architect firm is being created

¯ Heard a preliminary 2012 financial review and 2013 budget report

¯ Set the annual meeting for February 17

¯ Heard that the nominating committee has concluded its work; plans were made for nominating committee to bring its slate to the congregation on February 17 at the annual meeting



At 1:15 a.m. on January 10, Jim Gallagher encountered two intruders in the hallway between Kingdom Kids and Fellowship Hall. He confronted the intruders and they ran back out of the church. The police responded immediately to Jim’s call and conducted an investigation. Muddy footprints indicated that the point of entry was a window in the “Girl Scout room” in the Kingdom Kids area.  The incident is still under investigation.



You are invited to a showing of the “The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander after the 10:30am worship on February 10, 2013. The 27-minute DVD is based on the book of the same name by the Zanders. A reviewer said the book is “One of the most inspiring, practical, and uplifting books I have ever read.” The DVD is no less so. You will find the DVD to be informative and energizing even if you do not expect to attend the book study series which will come later. Come see how the “Art of Possibility” through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes can help us radiate possibility into the world.

February will see the start of a study of The Art of Possibility. The book presents twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors. The publisher’s description says, “The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander’s genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment.” The Amazon.com review says, “… this is no mere self-improvement book, with a wimpy mandate to transform its readers into “nicer” people. Instead, it’s a collection of illustrations and advice that suggests a way to change your entire outlook on life and, in the process, open up a new realm of possibility.” Watch for more details concerning the day and time of this study. For more information contact Gene Miller at 309/837-9355 or fgene@macomb.com.



We are always ready to welcome new members to the Chancel Choir.  Junior High students, High School students, and adults who can read music are encouraged to “try us on for size.”  Rehearsals are Thursday evenings @ 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Questions can be directed to Jan Lucie, Director of Music, janlucie@macomb.com or by calling 309/836-8201 (answering machine available).



carter It’s been one year now and looking at him you wouldn’t even be able to tell what he’s been through.  He is one of God’s miracles and we thank Him every day for Carter. We would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during such a very difficult time in our lives and throughout the year when God continued to watch over and heal him each step of the way.  As we have witnessed there is power in prayer!!  Thanks be to God! May God bring peace and happiness to each and every one of you.

Sincerely, the Rossio family.



Many thanks for the prayers, cards, calls, and food that we have received. The support of the church family has played a great part in my speedy recovery. Thank You!

Fran Hamilton



Do you knit or crochet? First Pres has had an active group of needleworkers who in early 2000 knit the first shawl for Katie Fross. It was a group effort passed from knitter to knitter. It was an act of concern for a member’s daughter but we had no idea what the shawl would mean to her.  Katie formed a group of shawl knitters in her area and that helped her and others diagnosed with cancer.  We have since named our group Katie’s Compassionate Knitters in her honor.

Shawls for First Pres members and friends have been presented to new moms to celebrate birth or adoption. These are often used for nursing shawls. Others have been received for bereavement, occasions of joy, and friendship. Many are received during illness as an expression of concern and love.

If you would like to join our group please contact Linda Miller, 837-9355 or Sheila Nollen, 837-1650 for information about meeting times and supplies. Need to meet in the evening? An evening group could be formed if there is a need.



The year was 1973, when Joanne Findley, with a generous gift from Jerry Purdum, was able to start the first bell choir at First Presbyterian Church, Macomb, Illinois. It is now 2013—40 years later—and the bell choir program is still going strong under the direction of Nancy Caldwell.  So let’s celebrate!

If, in the past 40 years, you had a chance to ring in a bell choir at First Presbyterian Church, please come join us and ring again with old and new friends as part of an alumni choir.  Forty years is a long time, so there are a lot of you out there.

When:  Sunday June 30, 2013 (Heritage Days weekend)

Where:  First Presbyterian Church, Macomb, IL

Time:  10:30 a.m. worship service

Rehearsal: Saturday, June 29, 2013, mid afternoon (TBA); Sunday, June 30, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Please email Nancy Caldwell by June 10, 2013, if you plan to attend. Nancy’s email is caldwellnj@comcast.net.



Have you ever wondered how the New Testament came to be?  When, how, and by whom were the 27 books in the New Testament chosen?  Were there other options?  It didn’t happen overnight and yes, there were other options.  If you are interested, you might check out two new additions to our church library.  Both are dvd lecture series by Professor Bart Ehrman.  The History of the Bible: the Making of the New Testament Canon includes 2 dvds (12 lectures), a course guidebook, and a written transcript.  Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication includes 4 dvds (24 lectures) and a guidebook.  Both can be located on the book truck near the front of the church library and may be checked out.



View our complete February calendar here.



The service will be held at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, February 13 in the chapel.



Communion preparation and clean up

¯ February 3      Janice Wayland and Donna Quesal

¯ February 13      Ash Wednesday 7:00 p.m. Linda Miller and Mary Ann Morey

10:30 Lectors

¯ February 3      Donna Quesal

¯ February 10      Steve Kline

¯ February 17     Janel Harris

¯ February 24     Deb McDaniel



First Presbyterian Church will host an upcoming hymn fest (hymn sing) on Sunday, Feb 10th, at 3 pm in the church sanctuary.  Sponsored by the WIU chapter of the American Guild of Organists, the hymn fest will include hymns and organ and piano settings based on the Psalms.  Those participating in the playing of the hymns and psalm settings include Linda Andrews, Sheila Nollen, Anita Werling, Barb Gossett, Mark Ross, and Lynn Thompson.  The program promises to have many recognizable hymn tune favorites.  The program is free of charge. Additional information will be forthcoming.



The next Presbyteers will be on February 20 at 6PM. All welcome. Again this will be a true potluck, with each asked to bring a salad, vegetable, dessert, or meat dish to share. The program will be provided by Ukulele Macomb. Sylvia Hofer will be contacting people on the list. If you wish to be added to the calling list, call her at 837-2559.


pwlogo99-300 PW News

Leadership Retreat

Ladies, an opportunity to build your leadership skills! Sign up to attend the PW Leadership Enhancement Retreat at Threads and Beds Retreat Center in Danville, IL, on April 5-7 (Friday evening – Sunday noon).  For workshop and speaker details or a registration form, pick up a brochure from the hall table. The $100 registration covers meals, lodging, and workshop materials. PW has some funds available to defray your costs, so let Jeanne Stierman know if you register.

PW Book Discussion

The PW discussion book for this winter is The Art of Possibility.  We have a wonderful opportunity to read this inspiring book and join in Gene Miller’s book study group. Watch for details.

 Sewing Day  

Ladies, time is passing quickly and we need to gather and put our sewing skills to work.  There will be a sewing morning Tuesday, February 5 from 9-12.  If unable to attend, please contact Mary Ann Morey at 833-1302.

February Circle Meetings

Morning Circle

         Thursday, February 28 at 9:30 at the church in Fellowship Hall.  Hostess is Pat Sivell; co-hostess is Connie Deener.  Mary Lakie-Hermann will lead Lesson 6.

Afternoon Circle

         Thursday, February 28 at 2:00 in the church parlor.  Hostess is Audrey Ashenhurst; co-hostess is Sylvia Hofer.  Verona Nelson will lead Lesson 6.

Evening Circle

         Wednesday, February 6 at Judy Calhoun’s home.  Alice Davenport is the co-hostess.  Mindy Pheiffer will lead the Food for Thought.

Sunday Morning Circle

         Sunday, February 3 at 9:00 at the church in Fellowship Hall.  Hostess is Rose Elam and Donna Quesal is co-hostess.




Sheila and Paul Nollen package bulk food items into family sized packages in preparation for distribution at Loaves and Fishes.  New volunteers are always welcomed at Loaves and Fishes.




Sylvia Hofer spends Friday afternoons as a volunteer receptionist.  More than 12 volunteers and substitutes answer the phone, take messages, welcome guests, and perform other duties when the church secretary is not in the office.



dcurtis j_stierman conf_class

Our confirmation class has been meeting on Sunday mornings at 9:00 since September.  Each week, Jeanne Stierman and Dan Curtis purchase ingredients and prepare breakfast for the students in the class.  The menu on this particular Sunday morning included eggs, sausage, tater tots, toast, cereal, fruit, milk, juice and more.   When the Sunday Morning Circle meets on the first Sunday of the month, they provide the breakfast for the confirmation class.




Students listen as teacher Alice Daugherty shares some information about Martin Luther King Jr. before they view a video of one of his speeches during the ESL Around Town classes.



Although Alice and Terry Daugherty were inspired by The Peace Corps program many years ago and longed to sign up, they delayed that goal for 35 years while they were involved with careers and family. But, in 2010, they finally were ready to achieve their Peace Corps dream. They spent two years Vratsa, Bulgaria where Alice taught English and Terry worked with the Chamber of Commerce and area businesses. Their experiences were challenging and rewarding.

Both Alice and Terry are now enrolled in graduate school at WIU pursuing Masters’ of Science in Education and Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration inTeachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Terry is a Peace Corp Fellow working with the Macomb City Hall to revitalize the downtown area and plans to participate in a future rural development project.

Alice began work here at First Pres as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer near the end of November. She has been busy creating and teaching English as a second language courses. In addition, she’s on three Oral History projects for the Church, Seniors Citizens of FPC – “Bridging Generations” with the Confirmation Class interviewing, Underground Railroad and local descendants of conductors and passengers, and Oral History of Shade Tree Disaster and how it demonstrated the need for Macomb to have more elaborate plans and systems in place for victims of local disasters. She’s also working on Food For Thought (after-school program) expansion and programming.  And, Alice is planning to look at implementing a low cost program for “drop-in” baby sitting in the nursery one day a week – “Mother’s Day Out”, so moms can go to the doctor, or grocery store, or out to lunch.

About Macomb, Alice says “Macomb is terrific!  It is a safe, mostly flat town, which is great for a couple trying to avoid car ownership.  When the bikes aren’t practical, the buses are fantastic!  All that and an economical train to the big city and the airport! The town has been very welcoming and we feel fortunate to have found such a great place to be.”



Several groups from the community meet in our church, and each month we’ll look at one. Herb Edwards provided the information about a group that has met in our church for many years, the Barbershoppers.


Our chapter was organized early in 1968.  We still have one member, Rod Mason, who was a charter member.  Our group sings four-part acapella harmony in the barbershop style.  The barbershop style always has a harmony part that is above the melody line and we have harmony structure that includes complex chords but they are always pleasant to the listening ear.  There are men and women and mixed quartets and choruses that sing this style.  Our group consists only of men.  The style is sung by quartets consisting of a tenor, lead, baritone and base or by choruses containing those four parts.

Our group originally met in the basement of St. Georges Episcopal Church.  I joined the group in the Fall of 1968.  A couple of years later the church needed the space we were using so we started looking for another meeting place.  I asked Ken Mortenson if we could meet in our church and he said yes.  We have been meeting in our church ever since.  I asked Ken what the church charged for the use of the building and he said that a donation would be fine. So each year we send the church a couple hundred dollars or so to help cover the heat and electricity.  Our group is very appreciative of the willingness of the congregation to make its space available for our use.

We meet every Monday evening, usually in the choir room, for a couple hours. During rummage sale times we go some place else in the building. Sometimes if we are going to give a performance in the sanctuary we will rehearse there.  We do this when the chorus is preparing for our annual Singspiration in early December where proceeds go to the Loaves & Fishes, Etc. program and the last few years we have put on a benefit performance for Habit-for-Humanity. This year that program will be March 23rd.  We also have performed for the Presbyteers and during the summer we sing in area churches at least once a month. We have sung for our congregation several times in Sunday morning services during the summer.  We sing for many retirement centers, many other service organizations, and at Christmas time we sing for area events like Dickens on the Square.  For most non-profit groups we do not charge but for other groups the fee is negotiable depending upon their entertainment budget and the amount of music they want.  This September we put on a 90 minute program for the Canton Community Concert Association and they paid us a thousand dollars!  Most of our chapter expenses are covered by the profits we make at our Lemonade Shakeup stand during Heritage Days.  We also provide “Singing Valentines” on Valentines Day (Feb 14).  This year we plan on charging 40-50 dollars to have a quartet come and sing a couple of love songs for your special valentine.  We usually give a card and some other memento as a remembrance of the occasion.  Be on the watch for information about this service or you can contact any member of our chorus for details.

One important benefit we provide the community is our music scholarships that we provide to area high school.  We send at least 2 students to the music summer vocal programs put on at Western.  At the Canton program we donated $500 dollars to the Canton high school music program.  Since we are a not-for-profit group we try to give back to the community as much as we take in during the year.



Our new newsletter depends on YOU!  We all want to know what’s going on and we all have to participate.  Share information from you, your group, or your committee.  Items for the March Newsletter should be emailed to news@firstpresmacomb.org  BEFORE February 25.  Pictures are welcome!