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Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Portage Presbyterian Church Community:
PPC Worship Update - click here
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and peace!
As we continue to make our way in the midst of this "wilderness time" we continue to discover ways for us to be "God's people of joy and peace" and to be "in community" even when we are distanced from each other.
We have a great deal of information to share in our "Update" this time.
PPC's "Network Community" program continues to reach out with our Ruling Elders and Deacons serving as the "contact point" for all who are a part of this church community. We hope this continues to be a way to maintain our sense of community, as a way to relay information about what is happening here at PPC and to listen to what is happening in your lives.
We also have the "Upper Room" devotionals in the office. If you would like a devotional, please contact the Church Office and we will make arrangements for you to receive one.
As the businesses and other venues around us have "opened up" there have been questions about "when" or "if" we will be opening the church building for worship.
The Session has prayerfully and carefully been working through ideas about the possibility of resuming worship in the church building.
Beginning on Sunday, June 28 we will move to a primarily "outdoor service" at 10:15 a.m. In addition to the "drive in" option (remain in vehicle), we will also have a "sitting in chair" option (bring your own chair).
In case of inclement weather (rain or excessive heat) - we will move the worship service into the sanctuary - following the guidelines established by the Session.
This next week you will be receiving in the mail the details and the guidelines which the Session will be using as we "open the building" for worship. Please read these carefully! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the Session or Pastor Dave.
We will continue to offer "live videos" of the Sunday morning worship services on PPC's Facebook page and via a program called "Zoom." If you are not able to watch the "live version" of the worship, you will find it on the Facebook page under "videos" so you can watch them when it is convenient or they are also available on PPC's "YouTube" Page ("Portage Presbyterian Church").
Thank you to Allison and Sarah who have been doing the videos for us from the beginning. Thank you to Lee Roundy who has served as our worship accompanist for the last few weeks. Thank you to Rev. Dr. Carol Hermann who has provided "pulpit supply" when Pastor Dave is on vacation.
We continue to mail our weekly worship bulletins to those who we are aware do not have "an internet" connection. If you did not receive this particular mailing, but would like to, please contact the Church Office.
Something NEW - the Deacons are working on a program to make "portable DVD" players available for those who may not be connected electronically - along with DVD's of the worship services. The DVD players will be easy to use and will include instructions. If you would like more information about this, just contact the Deacons or the Church Office.
More than just "Drive In Worship" - now "Outdoor" Worship weather permitting
We will continue to offer an "outdoor" worship experience on Sunday mornings. -"weather permitting!!!" We will continue to gather in the parking lot area immediately behind (on the south side) of the church building.
Our worship services this Summer will be offered at 10:05 a.m.
Why the change to "outdoor worship?" Because we are changing the service setting from just a "drive in" to a "drive in" + "sitting in chair" experience.
So, those who are interested can continue to "drive in" for the service.
And those who may be interested in "bringing your own chair" are encouraged to do this as well. If you are bringing your own chair - you may sit in a designated area or other areas - providing we observe a "safe distance" between families.
In the event that the weather does not cooperate, the worship service will move into the sanctuary, where we will observe the guidelines established by the Session.
We will plan to move to the NEW "outdoor" worship experience beginning on Sunday, June 28.
For many of us the word “church” immediately brings to mind the building. However, there is a song that alludes to a different image
“The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.”
Here at the Portage Presbyterian church, while “church” does indeed describe our beautiful facility, it also means more. “Church” is about people! People who experience the presence of God in their life together. People who are called together for fellowship and worship. People who are sent out into our community and world to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to serve one another. People who measure effectiveness not by numbers or dollars, but by the hearts impacted by the love of God working in and through them.
“I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together.”
God has blessed the Portage Presbyterian Church with faithful and visionary people right from the very beginning at Fort Winnebago in 1850. In the year 2017, we celebrate the 167th year of this congregation’s ministry to the Portage community. We are proud of our roots in the Presbyterian Church and in the Portage area. But, we also believe that God is not through with us yet! And so we continue to ask what God would have us do and be as His Church in the year 2017 and beyond.
We are a “church” that continues to live out our faith and God’s vision through a variety of ministries and activities such as the Free Christmas Day Dinner open for anyone in the community, the Confirmation Class’ summer mission work trips, Summer Bible School event in the summer, a revitalized Ministry of Education for all ages, worship services at the Tivoli Extended Care facility, the Women’s Association mission projects, supporting the local food pantry, participation in the “Meals on Wheels” effort, being involved in the River Haven Homeless Shelter, providing a space for people learning to “cook with local foods,” having a “sister church” relationship with the Yakatat Presbyterian Church in Yakatat Alaska, ongoing support for “Hope House,” and the caring ministry of the Deacons for shut-ins and others in need.
We are a “church” that continues to look to God for our inspiration and energy. In order to help people experience the mercy and love of God, we offer a variety of worship services. In addition to our Sunday mornings services, we have an “Informal Style Service” on the 3rd Sunday morning of each month, mid-week Advent and Lenten vesper gatherings, 2 worship opportunities on Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday (noon-time and evening), a “New Year’s Eve” worship service, the “Celebration of the Gifts of Music” Sunday, Christmas Eve Candlelight services, a “Blue Christmas” worship service during Advent (for those who have a difficult time during the holidays) and special Sundays to recognize and affirm our graduates and our confirmation young people.
And we are a “church” that welcomes all people to share with us in this journey of life and faith. People who have come into this church community describe PPC as being warm, friendly and unlike most other churches. In fact, we believe that part of our mission as a church is to be a “warm, inviting group of believers who offer times and spaces of sanctuary, compassion and peace” in a world that sometimes can be dangerous, unsettling and overwhelming.
As the words of the song conclude … “Yes, we’re the Church together.”
We would invite you, in the words of the Psalmist, “to come and see what God has done” and “to come, see and be a participant in what God continues to do” in and through the Portage Presbyterian Church.
"Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”