July 2013 Newsletter


First Presbyterian Church of Macomb

July 2013 Newsletter

This newsletter is an online version at the present time.  We do plan a print version in the future.  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:  July 2013 Newsletter



There are so many pictures to share this month, most of them are posted on a different page.  Find the picture page here:  PICTURES.



At the June 12 meeting, Session

  • Appointed Jeanne Stierman as church treasurer and Marsha McCormick as assistant church treasurer.

  • Heard in Pastor Kathy’s report that she will be on vacation the first week of July.  She will also be teaching at Drew during the month of July.

  • Approved a congregational meeting to be held at 11:45 on Sunday, July 28 for the purpose of receiving the report of the nominating committee and electing officers.

  • Heard from the Church Design and Planning Committee that the first design layout had been received and is in the process of being reviewed.

  • Cancelled the July Session meeting.

  • Directed the nominating committee to begin a search for 3 nominees to the audit committee.

  • Approved serving a 5th Sunday communion on September 29 rather than June 30; approved serving communion on the mission trip on June 14.



 FSM_15 June 2013



Session has called a congregational meeting Sunday, July 28, 2013, at 11:45 a.m. (after second service) for the purpose of receiving the report of the nominating committee and electing officers.

The slate of officers is as follows:

Elder Class of 2016

Robin Bauerly

Gene Miller

Sheila Nollen

Susan Rinehart

Dave Shane

Elder Class of 2015

            Earle Cramer

Elder Class of 2014

            Charlotte Morrow


Deacon Class of 2016

Alan Bishop

Jan Kinman

Nancy Krey

Jean Lewis

Diana Stephens

Deacon Class of 2015

Jeannie Bishop

Felix Chu

Susan Passmore

Peggy Scharfenberg

Deacon Class of 2014

            Donna Quesal


Nominating Committee

 Sylvia Hofer

Chuck Neblock

Angie Thornton




On Sunday, June 2, 2013, Sophie, Shannon, Kathryn, Miguel, Chase, Bella, and Kelsey were confirmed. We welcome our new members!


During their study in confirmation class, these young people wrote their own Statement of Faith.  They also considered many faith questions.

Faith Statement and Faith Questions

Confirmation Class 2012-2013

We believe in God: Father, Shape-shifter, Protector, Creator, Shepherd, Provider, Sustainer, Liberator, Lover, Comforter.

We believe in Jesus:

     who raised Lazarus from the dead and people planned to kill him

     who did nothing and people tried to make sense of a star

     who was famous, healed a man who could not walk and gave orders to the man  and people thought he was crazy

     who walked on the water out to a boat where a miracle of fish happened, told Peter off and then told Peter he would be a fisher of people.  Peter said “I don’t deserve this.” So Jesus said, “Return the favor.”

     who just said who he was and people did nothing

     who fed five thousand people with baskets left over and people tried to make him king

     who did nothing and people came to see him, praised him, worship him and prophesied about him

     who brought a sinner into his house and when people objected; he defended his actions

     who broke the rules and when people objected he used the Hebrew Scriptures to defend his actions

Jesus seemed a little full of himself, cool, beginning, rock, light of the world, foundation, partner, word, savior.

We believe in the Holy Spirit:  our invisible, invincible and infinite caregiver and babysitter. It seems like it cleans up God’s messes. Whenever Jesus is not with us the Spirit remains to comfort us and to enlighten us. All people believe what they’re told to believe but by different bodies; families, parents, friends, the Holy Spirit, etc. We might not agree with what we’re told or we might forget about or we might not care. We may pick and choose our beliefs based on our convenience at the moment. The part that sticks with us and what we base our life around is what derives from the Holy Spirit.


We have many questions:

Whether something is good or bad may depend on your religion, your ethnic background, your education, your gender. Who decides who is bad and who is good depends on your perspective. How do we know?

Jesus was not white so why does our society portray him as white?

What if parts of scripture were made up or the people who wrote the scriptures were crazy?  How do we know what part of scripture to take seriously?

Why does the Bible show God doing bad things?   Why didn’t they exclude Leviticus from the Bible?

Why do bad things happen to good people?  Sometimes bad things are our fault and sometimes what doesn’t kill makes you stronger – strengthens your spirit.  What about the other times?



This year $335 was received in donations for Father’s Day cards. This amount will be sent to Heifer International and should be enough to provide a water buffalo, a group of rabbits, and a hive of bees to needy families somewhere in the world. This will enable these families to feed themselves with milk, meat, and honey and provide family resources from the sale of these products and the animals. Thanks to Bob Bowen for the design and production of the cards. Thanks also to those in the congregation who donated to this worthy cause.



The Food for Thought After School Program held an End of the Year Cookout on June 7 in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church.  Great books, great food, great fun!






A celebration of 40 Years of Bell Ringing was held on Sunday, June 30.



In 1973, just ten years after Schulmerich Carillion Inc. began producing sets of handbells on the model of the English tradition, First Presbyterian Church of Macomb bought its first three-octave set with a generous gift from Jerry Purdum. A year later, as interest in ringing spread, the Robert Yeast family purchased the fourth octave for the growing choir to ring.

There have been three directors at the church over the past forty years—Joanne Findley, Ann Stites, and Nancy Caldwell. Joanne was the first.  With her background as an elementary-school music teacher and a choir director, she was excited to learn about handbells. That first choir rang music that Joanne wrote out by hand on large poster board, chords that the choir would ring as a hymn was sung. As the program grew, Joanne formed two more choirs, the Knox bell choir, for youth in 7th–12th grade, and the Westminster bell choir for children in 4th–6th grade. Ann Stites, who had rung with the Carillon bell choir, became the Westminster handbell choir director, and directed for a few years in the 1980s.

Nancy Caldwell became the Director of Handbell Choirs in August 1986.  She started her handbell career in 1970 as a ringer at University Presbyterian Church, Rochester Hills, Michigan, and has been involved with the art of ringing ever since.

When Nancy began to direct the bell choirs at First Presbyterian Church, she wanted all three choirs to ring once every 4-6 weeks, in a season that ran September through May, a big commitment from each choir.

Nancy started to attend handbell conferences in 1987, where she learned a lot.  As she learned more, she bought harder music and challenged the dedicated ringers. In 1998 Nancy was able to form a mixed choir of thirteen youth and adults to attend the Area VIII Handbell Conference that was held in Springfield. They learned six pieces to be rung at the mass concert at the end of the conference, and even rang a solo piece on one of the concerts. The group came back from the conference so excited that they started a drive to purchase the fifth octave of handbells, which was completed in 2001.  Also about this time Joanne Findley donated a 3 octave set of handchimes.

Ringing at First Presbyterian Church has come a long way since 1973.  Now we not only ring the bells but we pluck, mart, shake, and toll the bells, hit them with mallets, and make them sing.  We play with the choir, with the organ, and with other instruments. We have played concerts, shared our music at the Peoria Gospel Experience Church, been the opening music for the WIU Holiday Festival of Choirs, accompanied the University Singers, and performed on WIU’s ElectroAcoustic Music Macomb, where we played computer music with Wii controllers along with the handbells and chimes. What an exciting journey this has been.




On June 16th, First Presbyterian Church welcomed Yihui Wang as the Early Service Accompanist.  Ms. Wang is a second semester WIU graduate student studying piano performance under the direction of Dr. Tammie Walker.  Additionally, she studies organ with Linda Andrews. She is the recipient of the Graduate Assistantship in Organ and will begin her new duties playing for worship services at Trinity Lutheran Church in August.  In preparation for her new position, First Presbyterian Church is helping to mentor her this summer.  This has been made possible through the generous contribution of Nancy and Felix Chu, given from the memorial funds of Wanda Perkins, Nancy’s mother.

Yihui, who is from Xu Chang, China (central China), received her undergraduate degree from Zheng Zhou University.  When asked about what she liked about Macomb, she indicated that the environment is very good and she feels much closer to nature.  Yihui also thought the train station was rather small compared to what she was used to in China.  One thing that was a challenge to Yihui was trying to adjust to the American foods.  Welcome Yihui!



View our complete July calendar here.

July lector schedule

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

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

July 7                          Donna Quesal

July 14

July 21

July 28                        Donna Quesal

Lector 10:30 a.m. Worship

July 7                          Jim Lucie

July 14                        Dan Curtis

July 21                        Nancy Chu

July 28                        Brian Locke

Jazz Worship Schedule

No jazz worship services are scheduled in July.




As PW prepares once again for our Little Red Wagon drive to collect school supplies and cash donations for additional supplies, we thought it would be a good time to thank you for your generosity last year and to give you a report on what happened with those donations.

We sorted all the donated supplies, used some of the cash to buy more on the list, then delivered to Lincoln School and shelved them all in the supply room the day before classes started. This amounted to a very large stock of school supplies to be used by the students in their everyday work at school.

The building nurse reported that shoes were needed immediately, since their supply was completely gone. So PW went directly to purchase shoes in various sizes. After doing some sorting and inventory, the nurse later provided another list of clothes needed for the “clothes closet” in her office.  It was a long list of pants, shirts, socks, underwear, and more shoes–for both boys and girls in many sizes. That order was also filled, using your cash donations, and taken to the school. 

Here is a note PW received from Kayce Fuhrman, School Nurse:

 “Thank you very much for the shoes & clothing you donated for our students. We could not meet the needs of our students without the support of those like you. This will help a lot of kids, from those that just need to borrow shoes for PE to those that do not have shoes and adequate clothing to wear.  We really appreciate your generosity and continued support.”

This year we will be collecting Little Red Wagon supplies from Sunday, July 21, through Sunday, August 18.


Circle Summer Activities


         The morning circle will meet for lunch at 11:30 a.m. at the Old Dairy on the 4th Thursday of each of the summer months.


     The Sunday Morning Circle will meet for lunch on the second Friday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at the Old Dairy:  June 14th, July 12th and August 9th.  It is simply whoever can make it that day and if someone cannot come until noon, that’s fine too.



Adam Patton received the Marjorie Connor Spirit Award from McDonough County Special Recreation Association.  Congratulations, Adam!

In this part of our newsletter, we want to share our joys and accomplishments. Do you have any graduations to celebrate?  Let us know.  Send in your joys, honors and happy milestones so your church family can celebrate with you.  Don’t be afraid to brag!  Send your joys to news@firstpresmacomb.org and include pictures if you have them.





        On Wednesday, June 5, the evening circle took a road trip to Hotel Nauvoo.  The group then visited Sara Wood’s home overlooking the Mississippi River for delicious dessert and a lovely river view.



Several groups from the community meet in our church and each month we’ll look at one. This month we’ll see WITMA in action.


WITMA, Western Illinois Traditional Music Association, meets monthly on the second Friday from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Macomb.  WITMA is an acoustic (bluegrass influenced) jam session.  Stop by some time and enjoy the music!



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