Miller and Miller


News & Events


The Adult Bible Class will be meeting on Sunday mornings, December 2nd and December 9th
At those times, we will continue our study of “The Apostles’ Creed.” 
On December 2nd, we will be studying, “he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead.” 
Then on December 9th, we will be studying, “he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”
Come and join us as we continue this interesting study in December. 
We meet at 8:45 a.m. in the Bell Tower Room.   All are welcome.
This class is led by the Rev. Dr. Carol Hermann here @ PPC.

PPC's Handbell Choir has changed its rehearsal schedule!
The Handbell Choir now rehearses on Tuesdays @ 9:00 a.m.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about the "bells" or who would like to be a part of this wonderful group is invited to just show up or contact Kathy Hankins @742-2752.
No experience is necessary! Just a love of music and a desire to have fun!

All who would like to come and make a joyful noise to the Lord are invited to come and be part of PPC's Chancel Choir.
The Chancel Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings @ 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Judy Taylor.

Every year in October, John Knox Presbytery schedules “Minute Reviews” - meetings at several locations in our Presbytery during which Session Clerks bring their minute books and sometimes roll books for - well, review.
There are very specific expectations for information that Clerks must include in their minutes - a list two pages long in fact. During the review, Clerks exchange minute books and skim through them to make sure the required information is included.
Each church and Clerk has a unique style. For example, some meeting minutes are very short and include only the required information. These minutes are quick and easy to review so I always try to sit near someone with a very thin minute book hoping I get to review that one. On the other hand, our Portage minutes are and have been in the past as complete as can be including a summary of devotions, goals, committee reports and all activities. Our minutes are long. So far nobody has refused to review them but I’ve heard a groan and seen rapid blinking.
We like long, complete Session minutes. They are the history of our church. Anyone looking back will know just what happened at PPC and why.

                        Kathy Raimer

PPC's "mission trippers" continue to sell Kwik Trip "Ultimate" Car Wash cards.
Each card has FIVE car washes on it.
If you were to purchase these at the store, they would cost $50.00 ($10.00/wash)
But, the Mission Trippers are selling these cards for the price of $36.00 / card.
If you are interested in purchasing cards, contact the Church Office.

Imagine what it might be like to be at PPC for the very first time!  
That is the purpose for having "greeters" on Sunday mornings for worship.
This is an important ministry opportunity as we seek to reach out and welcome visitors into this church community.
We believe PPC is a wonderful, warm and caring community of God's people. And we want others to experience that which we have found here.
And we are seeking "volunteers" to sign-up to help collect the offering during worship.
But, in order to make this work we need your help!!!
There is a sign-up sheet on the kiosk in Parry Hall.
Please indicate your preference to help provide this important ministry here @ PPC.
Thank you!

The River Haven Homeless Shelter is presently going through a transitional time.
Executive Director, Cindy, has taken another job as has Ellen, a part time employee.
River Haven is in process of reviewing new candidates for the position of "case manager."
As a part of this transitional time, River Haven is also reaching out to the community to recruit volunteers to help in the work and ministry of the shelter.
Being available 24/7 for those in need necessitates a significant number of people to be a part of the work of the shelter.
This is a perfect opportunity for those who seek to help make a difference in the community by offering your time and presence as a shelter volunteer.
To find out what volunteer opportunities are available or for more information, contact the River Haven Shelter @ 742-7687.

Worship "Jam" is just what it means - different instruments (all are welcome) and any singers who want to come together for an hour and "jam" with worship music.
All instrumentalists (of any kind) and all who like to sing are welcome and encouraged to come and "Jam."
Our next "Jam Session" will be on Wednesdays, December 5th & 12th & 19th @ 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.
We work on a variety of traditional and contemporary music which we enjoy and which, for those who are interested, we usually share during our "Informal" worship services on the 3rd Sunday of each month.
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Dave. Thanks!


            A "Caroling Party" is being organized for Saturday afternoon, December 15.
            We will meet at PPC at 2:00 p.m. and then proceed to "make a joyful noise."
            Come and be a part of this wonderful Christmas experience as we "share the Good News of great joy for all the world."

To borrow from the Old Testament book Ecclesiastes - "there is a time to decorate, and there is a time to un-decorate."
The time to "un-decorate" will be coming soon!
On Saturday, January 12 we will gather to take down and put away the vestiges of Advent and Christmas.
Those of any age, skill level or decorating prowess are encouraged to come and share in this time together.
We will start @ 9:00 a.m. and go until finished.
Come and help out! We'd love to see you!


If you are interested in being a “reader” for  Christmas Eve or in providing “special music” during the worship service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, please check out the sign-up sheets in Parry Hall and let us know.
Questions? Talk to Pastor Dave

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a Presbyterian Church-wide youth gathering which will happen on July 16-20, 2019 at the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, IN.
This is an event for high school age youth in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
The theme for the 2019 event is “Here’s My Heart”.
This theme gets right to the heart of the matter. Drawing from the words of the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, “Here’s My Heart” expresses our deepest desire to be part of something bigger and more beautiful than the tiny flicker of our own candles. It speaks of passion and identity. It speaks of purpose and action.
Interestingly enough it started with shenanigans! The story behind this beloved song by Robert Robinson begins with a group of teenagers showing up at an evangelistic meeting with the sole purpose of heckling the preacher. But a greater purpose and force was at work, and God’s calling haunted Robert until he was able to one day proclaim, “Here’s my heart.”
We invite young people and their adult leaders to come experience God’s love in a way so powerful and compelling that they, too, are moved to say, “Here’s my heart”. And together we will learn what it means to serve Christ with our intelligence, energy, imagination and love.
Costs for the PYT is equally divided between the John Knox Presbytery, the home church and the individual. It is estimated that the cost for each would be approximately $220.00.
Those who may be interested in participating should have their registrations into the John Knox Presbytery office as soon as possible in order to reserve a space.   
If you are interested in participating, please contact Pastor Dave as soon as possible.

The “Sharing Supper” will be shared on Monday, December 17!!!
Serving begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Bartels Middle School cafeteria.
“Sharing Supper” is a meal, sponsored by community groups and organizations. It is intended to bring people in the community together, around tables, where we get to know one another and have an opportunity to learn more about what is happening in the community around us.
A unique part of this experience is the “Kid’s Corner” designed especially for the younger folks. Here young people will have a chance to hear stories and do craft projects related to what is happening around us.
All are welcome! Bring your friends and neighbors.
Come and share in this unique and wonderful experience – on December 17 @ 5:00 p.m.

The Advent and Christmas seasons are occasions when people are most open to invitations to come and experience the fellowship and ministries of church communities.
The Discipleship Committee is making available "Advent/Christmas Invitations" for you to take and share with family, friends, neighbors, strangers - ANYONE & EVERYONE!
These "invitations" include the "schedule of activities" for PPC as well as a space for you to include a "personal note" if you choose.
Please take as many as you want to "share the Good News."

Some things stay the same – other things change!
So it is with our “Christmas worship in a barn” service.
Yes, we will be holding our annual “barn service” again this year on Sunday evening, December 23 @ 5:30 p.m. This worship time provides members, friends and folks from the community an opportunity to get beyond the “Christmas blitz” to rediscover a more simple, and yet powerful, Christmas worship experience.
And to share this in a "real barn" with farm animals!
The location of the “barn service”  is the Heinze Farm - W10079 Hwy 127.
For those unfamiliar with Hwy 127, you go on Hwy 16 toward the Dells and turn on Hwy 127 just past the I-39 interchange, going past the Columbia Correctional/the Prison.
Come and share a real unique and inspirational Christmas experience.
And be sure to dress warm! See you there!

New Year’s Eve is a time when we tend to  reflect on what has been and to anticipate what will be.
So it will be for us here at PPC. As we gather for our annual “New Year’s Eve” "informal" worship service, we will be taking time to reflect on this past year and where we have seen and have experienced God present and at work. And we will be looking ahead in great anticipation at what God will do in our lives, in our church and in our world.
Come and share a special time of worship as we sing, pray, reflect, share the Lord’s Supper and rejoice.
Our New Year’s Eve "informal" worship, including the Celebration of the Lord's Supper, will begin at 5:30 p.m.

If you are interested in being a “reader” for  Christmas Eve or in providing “special music” during the worship service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, please check out the sign-up sheets in Parry Hall and let us know.
Questions? Talk to Pastor Dave

We will have our traditional "candlelight service" including the singing of Christmas hymns, the "cloth for the cradle" and lighting of our candles @ 5:30 p.m.
Come and share in this wonderful opportunity for worship and fellowship as we celebrate the birth of the Christ into our world and lives.
And be sure to invite your neighbors and friends to come and share with us too!!!

What is the "white gift offering" you ask?
The tradition of the "White Gift" has its roots in a small church in Ohio in 1904. What began as a humble way to reflect on the love and devotion of the giver and not the value of the gift has grown into today’s white gift services in many churches across several denominations.  
The story is told that a minister’s wife initiated the idea to solve the problem of inequity of gifts given at the Sunday school Christmas party. Instead of focusing on receiving gifts, the focus shifted to bringing gifts to Jesus that could in turn be shared with people around the world who did not have much.  All the gifts would come wrapped in plain white paper, so that no one would know which was an expensive gift and which was a more modest one.  No one would feel ashamed of their gift and everyone would share in the joy of giving to others. 
PPC will share in our annual "White Gift Offering" on Sunday, December 16 as a part of our morning worship service.
"Donations" of non-perishable food items (wrapped in white paper) or monetary gifts (in envelopes) for the Portage Food Pantry will be collected. Thank you for your incredible generosity!           

Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring "your own ornament" to help decorate the Christmas tree in the sanctuary.
As a part of our "Greening of the Church" worship, we will be invited to come and place our ornaments on the tree.
You may take your ornament off the tree any time after Christmas Eve.   

The Session is calling for a "Congregational Meeting" on Sunday, December 9 immediately following our morning worship service.
The purpose of this meeting is the election of Elders and Deacons for new 3 year terms.
Those being nominated for Elder include: John Crammond (1st 3 year term); Kathy Raimer (1st 3 year term) and Alex Harvey (1st 3 year term).
Those nominated as Deacons include: Liz Bellmore (2nd 3 year term); Joyce Oehlhof (2nd 3 year term); and Tammy Foster (1st 3 year term).
Additional nominations can be made from the floor, provided the person being nominated has been contacted and has agreed to serve.

Everyone is invited to come on Sunday morning, December 2 (the First Sunday in Advent) for a breakfast and to help decorate and prepare the sanctuary and church for the Advent and Christmas seasons.
We will start decorating @ 8:00 a.m. You may stop for breakfast at any time you like.
Then, we will stop our decorating to join together in our time of worship.
If we have decorating to finish, we will do so after the worship service.
Those of any age, skill level or decorating prowess are encouraged to come and share in this time together.

We gather for a Christmas morning worship celebration of God's Messiah who breaks into our world and our lives.
At 11:00 a.m. we will have a worship service of singing, Scripture and prayer for anyone who would like to share.
This worship time immediately proceeds the "Free Christmas Day Dinner" which will be served beginning at Noon.
Come and worship the newborn King!

On Sunday, December 9 we will be receiving "new members" into the PPC community.
If you are interested in becoming a member of this church community, or would like more information about the church or membership, please contact Pastor Dave.


            This will be the 20th  year the Portage Presbyterian Church has opened its doors on Christmas day for a free mid-day dinner for people in the community.  Last year’s event provided a meal for about 150+ people and it is anticipated that at least that many will be served this year.  The Christmas dinner was initiated to provide a gathering place and festive meal for people who would otherwise be alone or could not provide a holiday meal for their family.  Generous donations from the congregation and the community have supported the event.  One of the factors contributing to its success is that many individuals and families, including many from outside our congregation, help.  The meal served is turkey  and ham, mashed potatoes, vegetable, cranberry and rolls along with dessert and beverage.  Meals can be delivered to shut-ins by calling the church office ahead of time.  Dinner will be served from noon to 1:30 P.M.
We are in need of help that day.  Please contact Nancy Schaper at 742-7242 if you are willing to volunteer a few hours of your time or sign up on the sheets in Parry Hall .  There is also  a signup sheet for donations of Christmas cookies for our dessert.


            Once again we answered the call to ring bells for the Salvation Army.  We rang early in the season again, December 17.  Thank you to Jill Porzel, Joyce Meredith, Gabe Bandekow, Thomas, TeRina Martinson, Bri & Braylon Jurgeson, Pastor Dave & Sarah, Lee Roundy & Wednesday school children,  Evelyn Brown, Marci, Chris, Brady & Aubrey Rietmann, Debby Caepner Jim Jordan, Donna Mohr & myself for volunteering to ring. If you were unable to ring on that day and want to donate your time, call Kathryn, kettle coordinator, at 1-608-617-3237 to sign up.

Thank you to everyone who made our Harvest Dinner a great success.  Thank you for the donations of 47 pies. Thank you to Edith McElroy for the donation of bread for the dressing, Fred & Judy Taylor for making the dressing and Link’s Greenhouse for donating the squash and goards. Thanks to Tara Bandekow who provided a Silent Auction with  awesome baskets to bid on and generated $1,271.00 towards our profit.
Thank you to all the people who helped in the dining room, kitchen, pie room, ticket sellers and takers, publicity people, turkey bakers and carvers, dishwashers and cleanup crew and those of you who came and ate the delicious meal.  We served 218 meals and made up 53 carry out meals.  We made a profit (which includes the silent auction) of over $4,000.00  that was donated for the general operating expenses of our church.  This would not have been a success without the help of everyone.  We are so lucky at PPC to have so many willing people to give of their time. If you were unable to make it, you missed a wonderful meal and fellowship time.  So you don’t miss it next year mark your calendars for November 9, 2018.
An extra special thank you to the members of the Events Committee, (Donna, Edith, Nancy M., Kathy R., Allison, Kevin and Peggy ) who put in many extra hours to make this all come together.  Thanks to Nick Hankins, Joelle Syftestad,  Edith McElroy, Liz Bellmore, Tara Bandekow, Glenda Day, Kathy Raimer,  Kathy Hankins, Rosemary Minnema and Rhys & Laura Brenner who came and helped us cook up 127 acorn squash.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Nancy Schaper  
A Presbyterian tradition for almost seventy years, the Christmas Joy Offering is one of four special offerings designated by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church to provide congregations direct ways of supporting specific causes that help those in need.
The receipts from the offering are distributed equally to the Board of Pensions for assistance programs and to Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women of the General Assembly Mission Council to support Presbyterian racial ethnic education.
The Christmas Joy Offering will be received on December 16 & 23 during worship service.  If you have boxed church envelopes, there is a Christmas Joy envelope included.

Our Terri Lynn Nut and Candy Sale was once again a big success.  We ordered 141 bags and we made a profit of $242.70 that will go to the general operating budget of our church.  Thanks to all who purchased the nut and candy and enjoy them.

Mark you calendars for our first card party of 2019 that will be on Friday, January 25.

If you have not returned your “HOW” card you may put it in the collection plate on Sunday or mail it to the church office.  There are extra forms on the table in Parry Hall.   Thank You.

Our Office

You are always welcome at The Portage Presbyterian Church!

The Staff:
Pastor: David Hankins

Financial Secretary:
Kathleen Mittelstaedt
(Kathy is normally in the Church Office on Mondays)
Church Secretary:
Kathy Hankins
(Kathy is in the Church Office Wednesday and Friday: 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.)

The Portage Presbyterian Church
120 West Pleasant Street
P.O. Box 222
Portage, WI, 53901
Phone: (608) 742-6006

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