May 2013 Newsletter

First Presbyterian Church of Macomb

May 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: May 2013 Newsletter



At the April 10 meeting, Session

¯ Heard in Will Wetzel’s report about the upcoming Mission in Motion fundraiser to support local efforts to replace health care options and the spaghetti supper fundraiser to support the mission trip.  Will also mentioned that Faith Presbyterian Church in Monmouth may be interested in joining us for what is becoming a regional mission trip.  He also stated that some of our youth and adults will need scholarship support in order to be able to attend

¯ Noted that we have not been able to find someone to serve as Bible School leader, but we do have some volunteers to teach or help in other ways

¯ Heard that our open wireless internet access has been used extensively and inappropriately; decided upon a plan of immediate action

¯ Discussed correspondence

¯ Heard in Pastor Kathy’s report that she will address the plans for a homeless shelter in an upcoming sermon and that she plans to attend a Board of Pensions conference next week



Many volunteers and staff are involved in our care of the sick and homebound of our congregation.  Below are some of the ways we show our love and concern for our church family.

The Hospital Visitors program was started by the Board of Deacons in the summer of 1995 to supplement the pastor’s calls to church members who had been admitted to McDonough District Hospital.  Volunteers are organized into five teams, each with three persons. Each team covers a week of hospital visits once every five weeks all year long.  These visits are short and designed to comfort the hospital patient and to indicate that our church cares for its members.  The following volunteers have been with the program from its inception: Fran Hamilton, Mardell Harris, Jeanne Stierman, and Paul Nollen.

The Deacons are also responsible for our Members to Remember program. Several times a year, deacons deliver packages, notes, and cards to our homebound members.

First Presbyterian Church regularly holds worship services at Bickford and Everly House.  And, Pat Sivill, our parish visitor, arranges large group communions at Country View, Everly House and Grand Prairie.

As our parish visitor, Pat Sivill has extensive connections with our homebound members.  She visits every one of our homebound members and is up-to-date on what is happening in their lives. Her particular services are dependent upon the member and the situation, but she regularly provides a variety of practical and spiritual help for our homebound.  She delivers news, bulletins, and newsletters on her visits and lets our homebound members know they are valued. As needed, Pat might take someone to a doctor’s office; she might arrange for home help if needed; she might sit with someone who is dying; she often prays with someone; she assures members of what Jesus has done for them.  Pat also serves to coordinate the services our other church groups with needs of our members.

Each week, Pastor Kathy and Pat Sivill make several visits to serve communion to our homebound congregation.  Last week, they visited Kathryn Curtis, Esther Harris, and Eldon and Helen Alton.



Pastor Kathy is our leader in care and concern for our homebound and ill members.  This is a priority in her pastoral care.  Kathy is a regular visitor to members in the hospital.  She often travels quite a distance to hospitals far from Macomb to make those visits. Kathy is also a regular visitor to those who are homebound or in extended care facilities.  She spends time with each person, catching up with details from their lives, assuring that person of his or her importance to our congregation, praying with them and attending to their individual spiritual needs. Pastor Kathy is a great source of reassurance to those who are homebound and to their families.

Our care and comfort for our homebound and ill members depends upon our knowledge of those needs.  Both Pastor Kathy and Pat Sivill appreciate hearing from you if you know of someone who needs their attention.



Thanks to the amazing and talented youth who led us in worship recently.  We are blessed!




Confirmation Sunday will be June 2.  Watch for details!



Each year the offering from the Christmas Eve service is dedicated to projects designated by the Marion Medical Mission (MMM). The project list for MMM for the 2013 mission trips to Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia arrived recently and the Walking with Africans subcommittee of Service and Justice has allocated the $2,215 donated as follows:  two shallow wells ($800); secondary school scholarships ($700); deaf school transportation scholarships ($300); school supplies ($215); and the hospital charity fund ($200). This money will go a long way in improving the lives of our African friends. The committee (Fran Hamilton, Jim Caldwell, Bob Bowen, Margaret Bourke, and Sheila and Paul Nollen) would like to commend the congregation for their generosity. If anyone would like a 2013 MMM project list, so they can further contribute to this mission work, see Sheila or Paul Nollen.



The Worship Committee is starting a new sign up sheet for volunteers to sit at office desk on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:20 a.m. to answer the phone. The sign up list is across from the office.



by Sheila Nollen

Genesis Garden is a not-for-profit entity organized to eliminate poverty from our community.  Some members of First Pres had their eyes opened to the extent, pain, and frustration of local poverty when they helped evicted residents of the former Shade Tree Trailer Park find decent, sustainable housing.  But inadequate housing is only one aspect of poverty in our area.  Hoping and believing that the answer can and should be community-wide, members of First Pres through the Service & Justice Committee of Session started Genesis Garden in September 2012.  Their mission is to eliminate poverty in west central Illinois through a compassionate preventive and proactive approach.  That’s a huge challenge.  Poverty manifests itself in many ways including employment insecurity, hunger, inadequate housing and homelessness, and lack of health care, among other factors.  Genesis Garden aims to become an umbrella group providing the impetus and the initial resources for enabling community action toward the alleviation of poverty.

Starting a non-profit (also referred to as a 501(c)(3)) takes time.  While that process is underway, Genesis Garden remains under the auspices of First Pres, with the staff support of Will Wetzel. The present 5 board members (Pastor Kathy, Paula Englehorn, Linda Miller, Kathie Whitson, Tom Depauw) look forward to welcoming 4 more members for 1,2,or 3 year terms as well as advisory members.  They meet on the first Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. at the Old Dairy and their meetings are open to all.

One aspect of fighting poverty is jobs: employment security.  Genesis Garden offers fiscal sponsorship and resources to those in poverty who are launching small business ventures.  They are currently working with 3 individuals and plan for them to be sustainably on their own in 2-3 years.  Four more are already inquiring about being next.

Another aspect of poverty is homelessness.  Monmouth offers the closest emergency homeless shelter to Macomb.  Realizing the need for a local emergency shelter, Genesis Garden has initiated McDonough County Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS).  Plans are being made for initial implementation in October 2013.  Genesis Garden and First Pres are taking the lead on this with the intent that it become community-wide as quickly as practicable.  A separate not-for-profit PADS will incorporate multiple church and community organizations and eventually lead to a permanent, stand-alone homeless shelter.

Genesis Garden has had several fundraising events and plans more.  They have applied for and received several grants.  They plan to have informational booths at Heritage Days as well as a food-selling booth.  They also plan a logo contest open to all ages in the near future as well as other promotional events.

There are many ways in which you may become involved in Genesis Garden: become a board member or advisory member, attend board meetings, help with fund-raising, make a financial donation, and pray for Genesis Garden and for those living in poverty in our community.



May 12th is Mother’s Day.  Now is the time to honor your mom and all the important women in your life by giving Mother’s Day cards with the gift of life.  A $10 donation brings a lifesaving mosquito net or other health benefit to one family in Africa.  Any size donation is welcome!  Take as many cards as you wish.  Three thousand African children die DAILY from malaria, and those who survive repeated bouts with the disease often deal with life-long brain impairments.  Malaria is preventable!!!  Honor your mother, daughters, sisters and friends with a gift of life for African families.  The cards are available in the parlor/library at the Mother’s Day display late April through May 12th, Mother’s Day.  Checks may be made payable to PW.  Please contact Sheila Nollen if you would like more information at 837-1650 or



The congregational nominating committee has begun its task of finding church officers for the class of 2016, in addition to filling several vacancies for the classes of 2014 and 2015.  Please keep the nominating committee in your prayers.  And, please prayerfully consider sharing your gifts and talents for God’s service if you are asked to become an elder or a deacon.



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. to10:30 a.m.

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




View our complete May calendar here.


May preparation and lector schedule

Lector/Usher 8:00 a.m. Worship

May 5          Sheilah Dye         Tom Dye

May 12         Earl Cramer         Judy Cramer

May 17          Tom Dye                  Sheila Dye

May 26         Donna Quesal         Darwin Armentrout

Communion Preparation and Clean up 10:30 a.m. Worship

May 5, 2013         6th Sunday of Easter          Nancy Krey/Marsha Davey

Lector 10:30 a.m. Worship

May 5          Gene Miller

May 12         Ray Krey

May 19         Susan Rinehart

May 26         Linda Miller

Jazz Worship Schedule

No Jazz Worship services are scheduled in May.



Presbyteers will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 15. Dinner will be a potluck, and attendees should bring their own table service and a dish to share. Bill Maakestad will present the program “A Musical Introduction to Country Music for People Who Don’t Like Country Music.”  Co-chairs for the meeting are Mary Lakie-Herman and Joanne Findley.  Presbyteers members will be called but everyone is welcome.  Call  Sylvia Hofer at 837-2559 if you have questions or if you would like to make a reservation. It’s also time to begin looking forward to next year’s programs. Bring your calendars as we will also be signing up chairpersons for next year’s meetings. Presbyteers has enjoyed a busy year full of fellowship, food and fun.  We look forward to seeing everyone in May!





We want to thank the many volunteers who helped to make our Spring Rummage Sale a great success!

As we plan each sale we know approximately how many people we need to accomplish the tasks each day.  After this sale we added up the number of volunteer positions you filled during the week.  We were amazed to realize that you filled over 200 positions!  That doesn’t even include the time spent baking pies and cookies. Many people gave several days of their time.  We certainly appreciate all of the men, women and youth who shared their time, talent, and energy!

Our rummage sales have established a long tradition of helping those in need.  Because we worked together, $5500 will be given to help people in need in Macomb and around the world.

Thank you!


Ladies, it’s time to update the PW handbook, which means we’d like to know if you’ve changed your address, telephone number, or e-mail. Sylvia Hofer has agreed to compile our booklet again, so please give your updates to her as soon as possible. 837-2559 or


May Circle Meetings


Thursday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the home of Connie Deener.  Betsy Nicholson is co-hostess.  Pat Sivill will lead Lesson 9.


Thursday, May 23 at 2:00 p.m. in the church parlor.  Hostess is Martha Eslinger; co-hostess is Pat Clements.  Verona Nelson will lead Lesson 9.


Wednesday, May 1 at 5:00 p.m. at the home of Nancy Krey.  Note that this is a change in time from our schedule.  Peggy Scharfenberg is the co-hostess.  Nancy will lead the Food for Thought.


Sunday, May 5 at 9:00 a.m. at the church in Fellowship Hall. Jeanne Stierman is hostess; co-hostess is Carol Covey.





Charlotte Michele Blankenship was born on April 4, 2013 to Libby Balbort and Matthew Blankenship.  She weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 21 inches long.  Charlotte is welcomed by big sister and big brother, Bella and Gibby.  Welcome to our church family, Charlotte!


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 and include pictures if you have them.



Sunday School at Horn Campus


Everyone enjoyed the nature trail walk, the scavenger hunt, the sun print, the tree find activity, and the wiener roast.  Special thanks to Maurie Kellogg and Robin Bauerly for your leadership!


Mission Trip Spaghetti Dinner


Sophie and Shannon welcome diners to the Mission Trip Spaghetti Dinner and Will Wetzel helps to prepare the meal.  The dinner was a fundraiser to help support the upcoming mission trip.


Mission in Motion



Grayson and Henry enjoy a nice rest under a tree after their long Mission in Motion hike.

Thank you for your overwhelming support for Mission in Motion. As of Wednesday morning our total is $2228.41. It was a beautiful spring afternoon with about 45 adults and children enjoying spring in the park. A big thank you to those who participated, those who donated and those who approached sponsors. Four dentists will be retiring in Macomb this summer and dental exams will be difficult for many people including our most vulnerable, school children. If you want to donate to this community effort, there is not a cut off time. All donations will be appreciated. Checks may be made to First Presbyterian Church with Mission in Motion on the memo line. Again, thank you and great job Service & Justice Committee.


Coffee Cart


Carol Covey is one of the PW volunteers who sell Fair Trade – Equal Exchange coffee, tea, chocolate, etc., usually twice a month.  Check it out!


The Sound Volunteers


Jim Calhoun is one of the several volunteers who operate our sound system each Sunday.  Here, Jim assists guest preacher Gene Miller attach and test his microphone.  Other sound volunteers are Russ Thornton, John Nelson, and Sylvia Hofer.  Some of their responsibilities include

¯ Testing the equipment before the service to see that the system is functional.

¯ Checking the batteries in each hand held microphone and testing to see each device works.

¯ Making a recording of the service/event.

In addition to Sunday morning services, the sound volunteers may be called upon to provide sound services for a special event such as a wedding, funeral or music program.  For the special event/service, they may be asked to play a special track from a CD at an appropriate moment.

Thank you, sound volunteers.




Linda Miller, Connie Deener, Alice Trimmer and Sheila Nollen, members of Katie’s Compassionate Knitters, meet monthly to knit or crochet prayer shawls and other items.   New members are always welcome to join the group!



Several groups from the community meet in our church and each month, we’ll look at one. This month we’ll celebrate the community members who come into our church building to play or to listen to our magnificent organ.

We are blessed to have an exceptional organ here at First Presbyterian Church.  And, we are blessed to have a supremely talented organist who expresses our praise to God in music so very eloquently.  Thank you, Linda Andrews, for sharing your gifts with us.  Linda is now an adjunct instructor of applied organ studies at WIU.  Recently, First Presbyterian Church hosted the WIU Organ Studio Recital with performances by Linda’s students.


We happily share our organ and sanctuary with many groups and individuals in our church and community, including the WIU Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  This group hosts various programs which includes guest recitals, hymn festivals, members’ recitals which also include guest musicians playing instruments or singing, and individual member programs. Linda Andrews and Anita Werling often perform solo organ recitals in our sanctuary.  And, the WIU organ students regularly hold their recitals here, both their studio recitals which are played by a group and the solo recitals which are performed by a student who is graduating. Also, in the past the organ has also been used to accompany community groups who are performing in the sanctuary.



Our new newsletter depends on YOU!  We all want to know what’s going on and that depends upon participation from all of us.  Share information from you, your group, or your committee.  Items for the June Newsletter should be emailed to  BEFORE May 25.  Pictures are welcome!