July 2015 Newsletter

First Presbyterian Church
of Macomb


…. a Christian community for people of all ages who, through spiritual growth, Bible study and prayer discover our potential for glorifying God and empowering othersto serve God in the image of Christ.

Please pray for the families and friends of those killed in their South Carolina church.

JULY 2015 Newsletter

32ef5e76-e74d-453a-a4da-5f2ac021cb02** from PASTOR MARK


Hopefully most of you are aware that the work began on putting in a new cement parking lot that will also include an electric car charging station. And, it is only too obvious that the rains and the rains and the rains have come. As saturated as the ground is now it will take a 2-3 week dry spell, as I was told, for the ground to dry out to make it possible to put in the new lot. This is a moderate inconvenience for us. Please pray for farmers and other workers whose livelihoods could be seriously affected by the rains we have already received and will continue to receive.

The completion date is sometime later this summer. As we are given updates by the contractor we will pass on the information to you.


Thanks to a generous donation from church members, the church was able to purchase a used van in 2014.

Two important uses for van use were to be driving to and from mission trips and for transporting children and youth involved in the summer food for thought program and the after school food for thought program. With the food for thought programs no longer in existence, the van is not getting as much use as was expected.

The group, Soup and More, asked and was given permission to use the van to drive to Peoria to pick up food from the Midwest Food Bank. This is a once a month use.

The van is available for church members to use for church business.

However, there are several caveats. As a van driver you must sign in with the church insurance company as an “approved” driver.

To drive the van with any other person or persons in the van, you are required to get a JO2 Illinois driver’s license. To do so, you must first be on the church insurance company approved driver’s list so that you are able to provide proof of insurance to the DMV. Then you have to take a driver’s test driving the van.

If you have any other questions, please contact Rev. Merrill.

With the summer food for thought program no longer existing, the concern was raised about those in the community who might not have anything to eat, especially school children and youth whose only meal during the school year might be their lunch at school. This concern was raised most passionately by the director of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program in Macomb at an Inter Agency meeting. Representatives from several community groups met and worked hurriedly to get a summer feeding program going. First Presbyterian Church was asked to be the site for this lunch program. The program works with the Illinois Coalition for Community Services. This government funded program pays for all the food and service items, as well as for a cook for the meals. There is a very dedicated group of folk working Monday through Friday to prepare and serve the meal, and then clean up the kitchen and the fellowship hall.

First Presbyterian Church of Macomb, IL is in a time of transition. In one of several articles that David Shane sent me from Alban at Duke were the following questions. These are some of the questions we as a congregation must address. In viewing our answers we need to look for commonalities and a direction the answers give us.

What were the critical events or turning points in the story of First Presbyterian Church?

What recent changes have you observed in the life of this congregation and the larger community that have presented either challenges or opportunities for ministry?

Who are the people this congregation needs to reach?

Why would someone looking for a faith community choose to join with First Presbyterian Church?

What is this congregation called to be and do?

What is our vision for the future of the congregation, and what are the constraints and assets in living this vision?

Please, think, pray, ponder, pray, discuss, and pray.

My goal is to have all of the information from the 4 different interim meetings ready to present to the Session at the July 15 stated meeting of the Session.

Then copies will be printed for you to pick up and read. I will send the information by email to those who request to receive the report in this manner.

I thank all who have been working so diligently to be able to have the Vacation Bible School program. The program, SonSpark Lab, was held in conjunction with First Christian Church. This program was held at First Presbyterian Church June 28 through July 2.

Robin Bauerly and Connie Deener gave much of their time and talents to get the program ready, along with others of this congregation and many hard working folk from First Christian. I express my gratitude to all who taught, assisted, led the music and recreation activities, baked cookies, prepared the evening meals and cleaned up afterwards. We could not have done this program without your help.

Thank You.

The VBS program began on Sunday, June 28. This last Sunday of the month is also the day that the group, Soup and More, provides a monthly meal. Soup and More invited the VBS students and leaders to join them for dinner. I thank Melissa Calhoun for planning and preparing the meal served. The Soup and More group could not have prepared a meal on the 28th without the help of Melissa and a couple of other folk.

Soup and More also thanks the women from First Presbyterian Church who came in to help do all the dishes and clean up the fellowship hall.

It was a marvelous combined effort of so many.

Thanks to all who helped on June 28.


SESSION did not meet in June.


Our guest organist will be Dr. Anita Werling for the month of July. We appreciate her talents and musical inspiration for our second service. Jen Edwards will share a lovely solo version of “This Is My Father’s World” on July 5 at the second service when we will also sing hymns remembering our country’s heritage.
Lectors: July 5 – Jim Lucie
July 12 – Dan Curtis
July 19 – Nancy Chu
July 26 – Brian Locke

Communion: Connie LaRue/Betty Kaspar


jan-may newsletter chart

As the chart shows, we continue to spend more than we take in, so we are using money from our investment accounts. Some expenses will be drastically reduced beginning in June, with no more Food for Thought and without Will’s salary. Then again, we have just upgraded our security system, and, of course, will need to pay for our new and improved parking lot when it is completed.

In May we spent $230 of memorial money, designated for musicians.

For detailed financial statements, see the green Finance, Stewardship, & Memorials binder in the parlor.

To the committees Fellowship, Service & Justice, Music, Christian Ed., Session, & Worship – just a reminder there is a meeting on July 12 after the late service for planning 2016.

The dates of July 25-28 have been selected for this year’s trip to the Current RIver in Missouri. Saturday is a driving and setting up camp day. Sunday and Monday are paddling days, and Tuesday is the return to home day.

If you are interested in joining our group of about 25, contact Kim Johnson, Cindy Cavett, Lisa Mooney or Rose Elam. There will be one or two meetings prior to the trip. If you are an adventuresome sort, if you like camping and spending the day on the water, then you will enjoy this trip to a beautiful part of Missouri. NOTE: It is recommended that you be a good swimmer.


Starting Sunday, July 26th and continuing through Sunday August 16th, the Presbyterian Women will once again collect school supplies for the Little Red Wagon Project. For the past several years, PW has placed a little red wagon in the parlor to encourage church members to donate school supplies for children in our community who might otherwise have to start school without all the items needed. And, our church family’s response to this appeal has been over and above all expectations!

A list of school supplies may be picked up at the Little Red Wagon display table.* When reviewing the list of supplies, please remember:

1) It is not necessary to purchase every item on the list—please purchase whatever you feel comfortable giving

2) For some supplies, specific brands are requested—from many years experience the teachers know that “cheaper” brands of supplies do not last as long nor hold up as well

3) Monetary donations are also welcome, if you do not wish or have time to shop for the school supplies. If you wish to make a donation by check, please write the check to PW with a note “Little Red Wagon” in the memo line. Enclose check in an envelope addressed to “Pam” and leave in the PW mailbox in the church office.

On Sundays through August 16th, you may place your donations by the Little Red Wagon display. If bringing your donations during the week, please take the supplies to the church office (look for the labeled box behind the office door).

MANY THANKS to members of First Church for your past generosity with the school supplies and thank you for assisting us again with this community project in 2015!

*IF a member of the congregation wishes to purchase items before the complete supply list is available, here is a condensed list of supply “staples” for Kindergarten and Grades 1-3:
* Backpack, large size with zipper and shoulder straps
* Kinder Mat (plastic only)
* Crayola crayons, box of 24
* Crayola long colored pencils
* Elmer’s glue sticks
* Fiskars scissors
* Ticonderoga wooden pencils #2
* School box, 5”x 8” plastic
* Loose leaf notebook paper, white, wide rule
* Wire spiral 70 sheet notebooks, wide rule, one subject only
* Plain three-prong bottom-pocket folders (not plastic)
** Worship in the Park

What: Worship with the Macomb Barbershoppers

When: August 23, at 10:00 a.m.

With Potluck following the service.
* Beverages will be provided.
* Families are asked to bring a dish to serve
* Bring your own folding chair.

Table service (paper plates, cups, napkins, and forks) will be provided.

Where: Old Stone Shelter House in Glenwood Park.
If rain, services will be held at First Presbyterian Church.





EVENING CIRCLE – Members of the Evening Circle will meet for an informal gathering at the home of Connie LaRue from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, July 1. Stop by for some coffee and conversation!

Please let Sylvia know of any change of your street address, e-mail address and/or phone number so it will be correct in the Glossary section of the PW booklet. All women of the church are listed whether or not they are Circle members. Sylvia’s e-mail address is CLOCDOC@logonix.net (mailto:CLOCDOC@logonix.net) , phone is 837-2559, address if 234 Scotch Pine Drive. Thank you.

Please submit items, reports, photos for the August Newsletter to lb853shane@gmail.com by Monday, July 27.