November 2013 Newsletter


First Presbyterian Church of Macomb

November 2013 Newsletter

(Download a pdf file of this newsletter:  November 2013 Newsletter)


Please pray for family and friends who mourn the death of Betty Mortonson who died on October 19, 2013.  Betty’s husband, Ken Mortonson, served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church from 1969 until 1991.

Rev. Mortonson and his family will be in Macomb on Wednesday, November 13; we will host a reception here at the church in Betty’s memory at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon.  Betty’s memorial service will be on Saturday, November 16, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Green Bay, Wisconsin.



At the October  meeting, Session:

• examined and received Mary Mhango into membership.

• acted to suspend any further expenditures on building renovation plans until the 2014 operating budget is in place.

• changed the schedule for the monthly stated meeting to the third Wednesday of each month.

• approved hiring Tiffany Wetzel as a nursery substitute.

• set a Congregational Meeting for the purpose of changing the pastor’s terms of call for Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.

• continued officer training, as the pastor led the session through material on “Church Types According to Size.”



At the congregational meeting held on Sunday, October 27, 2013, the congregation approved the motion to reduce the pastor’s terms of call.



A reception will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3 in the parlor to meet Gene Miller and Mark Merrill who have graciously agreed to assume some of the duties of our pastor.  Please join us!


merrilMy father was an ordained Presbyterian minister who served as a chaplain on a small aircraft carrier from 1944-1946. He met my mother through a mutual friend. They were married in Seattle in January of 1947. Dad accepted a call to serve on the staff of a church in Detroit. While there, my older sister was born. Dad then took a call to a church in San Francisco where I was born and my younger sister. Then there was the move to serve on the staff of a church in Toledo. From there, Dad went to serve a church in Joliet. It was there that my love for music began to develop – first with piano lessons, and then becoming a part of the Joliet School system band. I started off playing the drums, and then was switched to bassoon by the band director. From Joliet the family moved to Oakland. I continued to play the bassoon in school orchestras. It was in Oakland that I learned to bake bread from a wonderful lady and cook who was a church member. Dad then took a Presbytery job in the Milwaukee area. Again, I kept playing the bassoon. In the fall of 1968 I began college at the Florida Presbyterian College [FPC] in St. Petersburg. I played the bassoon some, and then joined the college choir. My parents moved down to St. Petersburg in September of 1969, where Dad was in another Presbytery position. After graduating from FPC, now known as Eckerd College, I lived at home and worked at the Holiday Inn in St. Petersburg Beach. My seminary life began in the fall of 1974 in San Anselmo, CA at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. I had a summer intern position at a church in Sacramento. My last year at seminary, I worked at a church in Stockton, CA.

The door was opened for me to begin serving as the Assistant pastor of the John Knox Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis in October of 1977. Three years later I was installed as the Associate Pastor. I sang in the church choir from the 2nd Sunday I was there until I left in 2002. The choir took 1 trip to Scotland and England, and then another to Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria. These were memorable experiences. And I continued to bake bread. I enjoyed trips to visit family, other relatives and friends, as well as opportunities to attend conferences across the country as part of my professional development time.

I began my service as an Associate Pastor at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield in September of 2002. Bread baking continued to be an enjoyable past time for me. I had the pleasure of singing with the choir at Westminster. Time with family and friends and attending conferences across the country again were special times for me.

I began interim ministry work at Scotland Trinity church on February 1, 2011. I have worked with this congregation through the calling of its next installed pastor.

Dad finished his ministry doing Interim work, serving 8 churches in different locations in 10 years. My parents retired to Richmond, VA never having lived there before. Dad died in August of 2000. My mother still lives in Richmond, residing in a wonderful retirement community. My two sisters and I get back twice a year to visit with her. We also get together once a year at my older sister’s.

My older sister married a man from the Green Bay area whom she met in college. He became a dentist and they settled in Green Bay. They have 3 sons, all grown and married. Between them my sister has 5 grandchildren. My younger sister lives in the Puyallup, WA with her daughter.



 FSM Oper Budget Update for Month of September_Green Therm_27 Oct 2013-page-0


upcoming events @First Pres-page-1


The 20 year celebration of the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry will continue on Sunday, November 3 from 1:00 p.m.  to 3:00 p.m. in the atrium of Wesley Methodist Church. This will be a program honoring Bob Bowen as well as other people who have volunteered or contributed to the success of the pantry.

 On October 13, we celebrated Loaves and Fishes Day at First Presbyterian Church which included an offering in Bob Bowen’s honor for the non-food assistance part of the Loaves and Fishes budget.  Bob sends this note:

Thank you.  Thank you, on behalf of all the people to whom your gift of financial assistance for their non-food need will be given.  Their non-food costs for rent and utilities sometimes reduces the amount they have for food.  I know of no other source for our “sheep” to get the kind of assistance provided for non-food expenses – like they get from your Loaves and Fishes, Etc. ministry.  You have truly been infected with the desire to “Feed His Sheep” with your gifts of almost $1,700!  WOW! Bob Bowen



Poinsettias for Christmas will again be available to purchase in memory and in honor of your loved ones beginning November 24 and ending December 15.  Each poinsettias may be purchased for $8.00.  Names of loved ones will be printed in the church bulletin on Christmas Eve. Forms and envelopes will be located on table across from the office. Fill out the form and drop it into the box and if  you have any questions, you may contact Mary Ann Morey at 833-1302.



Baskets for the Christmas Greetings to our church family’s Members to Remember will be available on the table in the main floor hallway beginning Sunday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 15.  Look for copies of the list of names on the table across from the elevator and on the table by the Conference Room on the main floor.  Return your Members to Remember greetings to the baskets provided before the 10:30 service on Dec. 15.  Items for distribution must be collected a little earlier than usual for the Christmas greetings because of holiday schedules, and our need to make deliveries in time for Christmas Day.

Note: You need not know the people personally to let them know that our congregation appreciates their contributions to the church in years past and/or share God’s love for them even when they cannot physically get to the church building.  Please SHARE the JOY with these long time members of First Presbyterian Church.  A little note, a bit of humor, a child’s drawing, etc. is welcomed.

The Board of Deacons thanks you for your generous participation in this service project, and all the Members to Remember appreciate receiving your greetings.



How beautiful our sanctuary and parlor become for Advent and the celebration of Christmas BUT it just might not happen this year if you can’t help.  For many years the Presbyteers have taken this job upon their membership but their numbers and ages make this an impossibility in 2013.  Immediately following our 10:30 service on November 24th we will decorate the church for the first Sunday of Advent that immediately follows Thanksgiving this year.  We need lots of hands–you don’t have to be able to climb a ladder!  Hands are needed to “fluff” the greenery after being stored for a year, checking lights to be sure they still light, helping place the aisle candle standards and offering a good eye for detail and crooked candles.  We need young people with energy and older folks with a love for the holiday.  Please join us for a light lunch following our “many hands making light work!”  Questions?  Contact Courtney Blankenship ( or Jan Lucie (309/331-3468 or  Come to church that day in clothes that allow you to move–we’ll all understand and thank you for your willingness to help!



YunKyongKimConcert organist Yun Kyong Kim will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 10, at the First Presbyterian Church, 400 E. Carroll Street in Macomb.  Sponsored by the Western Illinois University Chapter of the American Guild of Organists in cooperation with the WIU School of Music, the recital is free and open to the public.

Kim is in great demand as a solo organ recitalist, and is passionate about bringing engaging programs of diverse musical styles to her audiences. Concert reviewers have described her as “a splendid keyboard soloist” and as playing “with great sensitivity and with great élan.”

Her program in Macomb will open with traditional music by Louis Vierne and J. S. Bach. Next she will perform an organ transcription of Prokofievʼs virtuoso Toccata in D minor for piano.

The remainder of the program will consist of 20th century music new to Macomb audiences. Concert Etude on an Australian Folk Tune by Robert Ampt, the Sydney City Organist since 1978, will be followed by Resurrection, a four-movement suite by American composer Larry King. Kim will conclude her program with the jazz-inspired music of British composer Iain Farrington: two movements from his Fiesta and the hard-hitting jazz of Live Wire.

Kim was born in Korea and moved to the United States when she was sixteen. After completing undergraduate organ study at the University of Washington, she received both her masterʼs and doctoral degrees in organ performance from Indiana University. She has also studied and performed in North Germany and France.

Kim is currently instructor of organ and harpsichord at Sinclair Community College and serves as organist and choirmaster at Christ Episcopal Church in Dayton, Ohio. She is past Dean of the Dayton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  Recent engagements have included solo performances at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in South Carolina, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Washington National Cathedral, Ohio University and Miami University performing arts series, and as a featured recitalist at two National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society and at two Region V Conventions of the American Guild of Organists.  Her performances have been broadcast nationally on Pipedreams, Seattle Public Radioʼs From the Organ Loft, and on Dayton Public Radio. Her latest CD, Of Another Time, was recently released on the MSR Classics label. It received a four-star rating from Audiophile Audition and was named Recording of the Month in September 2011 by MusicWeb International.



VETERANS DAY:  The Church and Loaves and Fishes will be closed on Monday, November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.

See our complete calendar here.

Communion Preparation/Cleanup

10:30 a.m. service, November 3 – Jeanne Stierman and Becky Fitzgerald

November lector schedule

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

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

            November 3 – Earle Cramer/ Judy Cramer

            November 10 – Rooney Dively/ ?

            November 17 – ? / Darwin Armentrout

            November 24 –? / ?

Lector 10:30 a.m. Worship

November 3 – Steve Kline

November 10 – Gene Miller

November 17 – Ray Krey

November 24 – Susan Rinehart

Jazz Worship Schedule

Sunday, November 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Central Illinois Arts Center, 25 East Side Square.  The theme is Peace.

Sunday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Central Illinois Arts Center, 25 East Side Square.  The theme is Thanks and Giving.




Please mark your calendars for a sewing prep day on Monday, November 11, 2013, to cut out dresses for girls in Africa and make kits for a new project for school girls.  Bring cutting boards, good scissors, cutting wheels, pins and other items you use (if you have them) when preparing projects.  No sewing machines necessary this time unless you want to start sewing on some dresses.  We will work from 9:00 a.m. until noon.  The kits will be distributed to our sewing ladies.  At 11:00 a.m. there will be demos on how to assemble.  Come for a fellowship morning with women from other circles.


Save the date of Sunday December 8, 2013 for the Women’s Christmas Tea at 2:00 pm in Fellowship Hall.  The afternoon will include music, refreshments and social time.  All women are warmly invited to attend.  Check the December newsletter and Sunday bulletins for further details.


Thanks to all who participated in our Mini Chocolate Trick or Treat campaign. You not only gave away first quality treats but also supported families who harvest cacao beans many times children. Remember to consider Fair Trade items for the coming holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many of our items make useful hostess gifts or treats. Who wouldn’t appreciate hot chocolate, olive oil, a bag of coffee or any of our many flavors of chocolate bars. If you aren’t familiar with the fair trade concept Carol, Judy or Linda will be happy to explain the products. Thank you in advance for supporting farming families around the world. Presbyterian Women’s Coffee Project



Thursday, December 5 at 9:30 a.m. at Connie Deener’s home.  Judy Cramer is co-hostess.  Fran Hamilton will lead Lesson 3.


Thursday, December 5  at 2:00 p.m. in the church parlor.  Rosemary Neblock is the hostess and Shirley Knowles is the co-hostess.  Rosemary will lead Lesson 3.


Wednesday, November 6 at 5:00 p.m. at the home of Dolores Butler.  Mary Melvin is co-hostess and Mary Ann Morey will lead the Food for Thought.


Sunday, November 3 (Reminder: Daylight Savings Time ends!) at 9:00 a.m at the church.  Linda Engel is the hostess and Becky Fitzgerald is the co-hostess.



Sophie.photoDear family and friends,

I am very excited to have been invited to play my viola in the Blue Lake International Orchestra in Europe this coming summer!  This is a huge honor and will be a life-changing experience for me.  If you are interested in knowing more about my trip and/or would like to consider offering support, please visit the website I created:

Please do not feel obligated to help me fund this trip in any way – I definitely do not want to offend anyone by asking for money!  This is going to be a significant expense in terms of both time and finances for my family, so I’m trying to do what I can to help.  I just wanted to send this to all the family, friends and church family people I could think of.  Please feel free to forward my website link to any people you know that you think would like to learn about my trip and consider helping!

Thank you so much!!  🙂


Sophie M. Walker

(9th grade, 14 years old)


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.





Jan Wiehardt prepares to begin another busy day!  Thanks for all you do, Jan.



The PW Book Discussion of “The Light Between Oceans” was held on October 30.


adultdiscussion2 adultdiscussionAll are welcome to join in viewing and discussing the video “A Small Act” on Sunday, November 3 and November 10 at 9:00 a.m.



The American Red Cross will sponsor a blood drive on Tuesday, November 12 from 2:00-5:00 p.m.  The drive will be at the local Chapter House located at 1224 Maple Ave.  Appointments may be made by calling 837-1594 or contacting Jan Kinman @ 309- 259-9099.  Walk-ins are welcome.   For more information you may go online at



Boy Scout Troop 315 will have a chili supper on Tuesday, November 12 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Wesley Methodist Church.  This is an all-you-can-eat meal with chili, sandwiches and homemade desserts.  Tickets are $6.00/adult, $3.00/children, and $15.00/family and may be purchased at the door.  The supper will be served in Fellowship Hall located on the lower level of the church.



Share information from you, your group, or your committee.  Items for the December Newsletter should be emailed to  BEFORE November 25.  Pictures are welcome!