January 2014 Newsletter

First Presbyterian Church of Macomb

January 2014 Newsletter

 You can find a PDF version of this newsletter here:  January 2014


At the December meeting, Session:

• Agreed to have representatives of all the committees meet with Finance & Stewardship in regards to the formation of the budget, with a concentrated focus on income.

• Approved the hiring of Robert Lawrence as Head of Maintenance.

• Approved a contract with Bridgeway Janitorial Services for three days a week of full janitorial services.

• Approved accepting the free services of a WIU student who is completing a senior capstone experience to assist the Food For Thought and Youth Mission Trips programs, including grant writing.

• Adjusted the communion schedule for the 10:30 a.m. worship services in 2014.

• Approved the creation of an ad hoc committee to review the “Lost Sheep” policy.

• Set the schedule for stated Session meetings for 2014.



The author Henri Nouwen suggests that when Jesus fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, he was showing us how God’s love can multiply the effects of our generosity.  Nouwen sees God’s reign as “a place of abundance where every generous act overflows its original bounds and becomes part of the unbounded grace of God at work in the world.”

Our congregation’s ability to share God’s love depends on us.  We do this each time we offer our talents, treasures and time. In the past few months, three families from the congregation have shared through significant financial contributions. This is cause for celebration! The immediate gifts exceed $100,000, while a third gift has been specified through estate planning in wills.

If you feel the urge to shout hallelujah or praise the Lord, its ok, don’t hold back. Unbounded grace can cause that, even in Presbyterians!



Presbytery of Great Rivers keeps “Per Capita” at same level for 2014

Here is good news!  Great Rivers Presbytery’s Administrative Council has announced that there will not be any increase in the Per Capita member contributions for this year.  It remains the same as last year:  $28 per member or $56 per couple. The announcement points out that over the last half decade Presbytery has not raised its portion of the per capita.  In turn, this means that Presbytery has actually lowered its own per capita when both the Synod of Lincoln Trails and the General Assembly have had to increase their fees.

Per Capita contributions are the way we share the expenses of the PC(USA) system of government.  The annual amount is a combined request from Presbytery, Synod and the General Assembly – of which each congregation is a part.  For those who are able to do so, it is a tremendous help to the church if each person pays his or her own Per Capita amount, otherwise it is paid monthly from our church’s budget. For more information about Per Capita go to the website: www.greatriverspby.org.



If you missed the fun of November 24th when we decorated the church for Advent and Christmas you can still experience it to “undecorate” the church after the 10:30 service of Epiphany on January 5th.  The “many hands” were great!  See you on the 5th?  If we see you in church dressed to move around and undecorate, we’ll thank you profusely.



The Underground Church book some are reading suggests we celebrate communion in the manner of the early church.  They shared an actual meal, provided and served by the community.

Our version will be a very casual, light potluck in Fellowship Hall following 10:30 a.m. worship on the first Sunday of each month, beginning January 5.  Those who are able are asked to bring a dish to share. We’re going to trust that we’ll be fine with whatever dishes appear.   Just as our communion table is open to all, this meal is open to all, so please invite a friend or a neighbor to join us.

As Robin Meyers, author of The Underground Church, says, “… people often bring their favorite dishes. The effect is that the potluck whole is much more than the sum of its parts. Grace hangs over the potluck because when we share, our best is made even better.”

Come enjoy some grace with us!



The Worship Committee is asking members of First Church to volunteer to serve as Lector at the late Sunday Service-10:30 a.m.  There is always a need for Lectors. If interested contact Mary Ann Morey at 309-833-1302 or e-mail mannmorey@gmail.com.



We at Worship Committee would like to invite members of First Church to join us on the 3rd. Wednesday of the month at 5:00 p.m.  New members are always welcomed.

If interested contact Mary Ann Morey at 309-833-1302 or e-mail mannmorey@mail.com.



Here’s an opportunity to join the Presbyter of Great Rivers on January 19-20, 2014 for a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Service and Celebration Weekend.

 On Sunday, January 19 from Noon to 6:00 p.m. we’ll be skiing at Ski Snowstar in Andalusia, IL. We will be staying over night at the Broadway Presbyterian Church in Rock Island, Illinois.

 On Monday, January 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. we’ll be working on service projects around Rock Island to commemorate Dr. King’s birthday and legacy for service.

The cost will be $25.00 per person for the entire weekend.  This cost includes ski equipment and project supplies.  This trip will be for 7th through 12th graders.  To signup, call Will Wetzel at 309-833-3333 or 309-255-3448.



Recently, a meeting was held to ensure that all members of the congregation had an opportunity to voice concerns and questions about PADS. An additional meeting was held to hear the hopes of those who support the PADS opportunity.  As your pastors, Kathy and Mark want to ensure all members of the congregation that they are listening.  Pastors Kathy and Mark plan to use the stories, questions, concerns, narratives, dreams, etc., gathered at those two meetings to write a dialogue sermon that they will preach on Sunday, January 12, at both worship services.

They will write the sermon, which will speak to all aspects of the conflict and end with their recommendation, as our pastors, for a BIBLICAL path forward. The Bible gives clear instructions about how to handle conflict, and they will be faithful to those instructions in the sermon.




See our complete calendar here.


Communion Preparation/Cleanup

10:30 a.m. service, January 5 – Betty Kaspar and Connie LaRue


January Lector Schedule

Lector/Usher 8:00 a.m. Worship*

*Please note – Members are encouraged to signup for lector and usher duties.

January 5         Earle Cramer/ Judy Cramer

January 12       Connie LaRue/ Norman LaRue

January 19       ?/?

January 26       Donna Quesal/?

Lector 10:30 a.m. Worship

January 5 – Deb McDaniel

January 12 – Margaret Bourke

January 19 – Connie LaRue

January 26 – Betty Kaspar


Jazz Worship

January 26, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the
West Central Illinois Arts Center on the Square




SPRING 2014 – April 3 – 5

FALL 2014 – September 25 – 27




Our next choice for the PW Discussion group is Surprises Around the Bend: 50 Adventurous Walkers.

In this unusual work, Richard A. Hasler, a Presbyterian minister, has assembled the brief inspirational biographies of 50 adventurous walkers including physicians and naturalists, poets and novelists, politicians and teachers, pilgrims and seekers, prophets and social reformers.

To the author, walking is a spiritual practice that renews the soul, connects us with the natural world, spurs problem solving, improves self-esteem, heightens alertness, and can be a rewarding aspect of friendship or a love relationship. Others use walking as an opportunity to commune with God or to pray for others.

Mindy Pheiffer will lead our discussion on a date and time to be announced later.  Watch for upcoming details.  Copies of the book will soon be available in our church library.




Thursday, January 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the church.  Linda Miller is hostess and Charlotte Hamm is co-hostess.  Pat Sivill will lead Lesson 4.


Thursday, January 23 at 2:00 p.m. in the church parlor.  Patty Smith is the hostess and Verona Nelson is the co-hostess.  Sylvia Hofer will lead Lesson 4.


Wednesday, January 8 at 12:00 noon at the Sunrise Family Restaurant.  Margaret Bourke is hostess and Nancy Colvin has the Food for Thought.


Sunday, January 5 at 9:00 a.m. at the church.  Kim Johnson is hostess and Rose Elam is co-hostess.



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On Tuesday, December 17, Will and I delivered boxes of food and Christmas joy to 23 Food For Thought families. These boxes were meant to be sent home following our Christmas party, but those plans were cancelled due to the weather. The Christmas spirit that we spread throughout Macomb was truly magical. It was the perfect way to wrap up our fall semester, a semester that included 80+ volunteers and changed the lives of 30+ kids.

We would very much like to thank you for supporting this phenomenal program.

Kylie Davenport, VISTA Volunteer



Christmasboxes kyliewill deener vacuum

After the groceries were bought, dozens of cookies were baked, and turkeys were in the ovens, the weather took a turn for the worse on the day of Food for Thought’s holiday party.  Soup and More guests on December 15 were grateful recipients of the unexpected abundance.

Will and Kylie were determined that Christmas wouldn’t be hampered by a snow storm.  The following Wednesday, they packed and delivered groceries, Santa hats, cards and candy canes to 23 families who participate in the Food for Thought after school program.  Thank you, Will and Kylie, for your dedication to our kids and their families.

Connie Deener, Connie and Norm LaRue and other “Presbyterian angels” (as a tired crew of Soup and More volunteers dubbed them) frequently appear for the clean up crew after Soup and More meals. Soup and More’s recent contribution of a new vacuum helps speeds the process.   This vacuum is housed downstairs with the other vacuums and is intended for use by the congregation and other organizations.



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Trained volunteers participated in a mock shelter workshop on December 3, 2013.



Usher Judy examines the new oil filled candles in the sanctuary.


Usher Judy greets Dolores at the 8:00 a.m. worship service.



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Share information from you, your group, or your committee.  Items for the February Newsletter should be emailed to news@firstpresmacomb.org BEFORE January 25.  Pictures are welcome!