Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Portage Presbyterian Church Community:
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and peace!
Here's the "Latest Update" of information to at this time!
“Greening of the Church”-During the Week of November 22 ...
You are invited to come and help "prepare" the sanctuary for Advent and Christmas - in a safe way.
We have different tasks to be done - and will "schedule" smaller groups of people to do the tasks on different days.
Among the tasks - putting up and decorating trees, the "green roping" and the wreaths.
Contact the Church Office to let us know "what" you would like to do and when it would work for you to help "prepare."
Sunday Advent Worship Services - Sunday mornings @ 10:05 a.m.
Each Sunday we will be exploring the "meanings" of the Advent Candles and some of the "decorations" we have here in the Sanctuary.
We are planning (at this time) to have worship "in the sanctuary" (following the Guidelines of the Session) - and will continue to offer "Facebook Live" videos and "FM 90.5 in the Parking Lot "
Advent Evening Songs and Devotions -Each evening - from 5:00-5:45 pm - on 90.5 FM - in the "Parking Lot"
PPC will provide a "space" for listening and reflection" each evening.
An evening devotion - "Pauses for Advent" will also be shared at approximately 5:25 pm
And you don't even have to get out of your vehicle!
"Online Bible Stories" - For Advent - Each week we share an "online Bible story" for young people (and God's people of all ages")
Our "Online Bible Stories" during Advent will focus on the stories told by "the Advent Candles" and some of the "decorations" we see and enjoy
These will be available on PPC's "Facebook Page"
"A Community Space" for Christmas - Something "New" for Advent, 2020
We will have a "Christmas Tree" and a "Nativity Scene" outdoors (behind Westminster Center).
Everyone is invited to bring an ornament to decorate the tree - also if you have "prayers" that you would like to lift, put them on a slip of paper and put on the tree.
This "space" will be available for anyone to enjoy during this Advent Season
"White Gift Offerings" - during Advent - Non-perishable food items will be collected throughout Advent this year.
You can leave your "white gift" near the Christmas Tree outdoors - or you can drop them in the box near the entrance of the Church Office (or in the box in Parry Hall)
Food items will be used to stock the "Little Pantry" @ PPC
"A Blue Christmas Service" - An "Online Only" Service - This year, 2020, seems to have been a difficult year for many - for many reasons!
PPC will be offering a "Blue Christmas" worship experience for those whose hearts and minds feel especially heavy and weary in the midst of the "holiday times."
This will be an "online" worship experience found at PPC's "Facebook page" that you can access at your convenience.
You will find this worship service online beginning early in December.
If you would like a DVD of this service, contact the Church Office.
"Quiet Times" In Advent @ PPC - Monday, Dec 21 and Wed, Dec 23 @ 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 pm.
We will have the sanctuary open for those who want to "get away from the hustle and bustle" for a while. "Prayer Stations" will be set up for you or you may just come and sit for a time and take in the beauty of the sanctuary, the music and the quiet.
Christmas Eve “Drive In” Candlelight Service - December 24 @ 5:30 p.m.
This will be the "first" of "three" worship opportunities we are offering this year for Christmas Eve.
You can "drive in" for this service in the parking lot behind the church. Turn your radio to "90.5 FM" and share in this unique and wonderful experience for worship the birth of Jesus.
When you arrive, you will be given a "candle" to use during the service when we sing "Silent Night"
Christmas Eve Service - "Online Only" on Facebook - December 24 @ 6:30 p.m.
This will be the "second" worship opportunity being offered.
You will be able to go to PPC's "Facebook Page" and share in a "traditional" worship experience of Scripture and Song as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.
Be sure to have your "candle" ready when we "share the light" and sing "Silent Night"
Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship - "in Sanctuary" - December 24 @ 7:00 p.m.
Our "third" opportunity will be for those who would like to "gather" in the Sanctuary. We will be following the "Guidelines" (established by the Session) for being in the sanctuary (safe distancing and masks required) - please contact the Church Office if you plan to attend this service.
This will be about a 30 minute worship service that celebrates the birth of the Christ Child and the hope that God provides to us in all times and places.
We will conclude this service "outdoors" as we share the "light of Christ" and "sing" Silent Night.
FREE Christmas Day Dinner - December 25
This will be the 22nd year the Portage Presbyterian Church has opened its doors on Christmas day for a free mid-day dinner for people in our community. With the health and safety of our church and the community in mind we will offer our Christmas Dinner through pick ups and delivery only. Deliveries will be made only in the city of Portage.
We will have a meal of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, vegetable, cranberry and rolls along with bars and/or cookies for dessert.
Reservations for pick up or delivery can be made by calling the church office at 608-742-6006 or Nancy Schaper at 608-742-7242 and leave a message and we will contact you back. Reservations must be made by December 22nd.
We are in need of help that day so if you are available to help please call Nancy. We will also need cookies and bars so call Nancy if you can donate dessert or have any questions.
Once again PPC has answered the call of the Salvation Army to “ring the bells” for their annual Kettle Drive in Portage.
We have “Adopted” a Kettle” at Festival Foods on Saturday, November 21st from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
Please call Nancy Schaper at 608-742-7242 to volunteer to ring. The 8:00AM and 9:00AM slots have been filled. You must wear a mask when you are ringing the bells.
"Christmas-Joy Offering" in December
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 Pension 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 any time during December. If you have boxed church envelopes there is a Christmas Joy envelope included. There is also an envelope attached to this letter.
If you have suggestions or recommendations of "active members" to serve as either Ruling Elders or Deacons for the upcoming year, please be in touch with the Nominating Committee.
Members of the 2020 Nominating Committee are: Alex Harvey and Larry Day (Elders), Tammy Foster (Deacon) and Glenda Day, Lee Roundy, Elaine Crammond and Nancy Schaper (from the Congregation).
"Harvest Dinner" Update
Due to the Pandemic we were unable to have a “sit down” Harvest Dinner. In it’s place we had a “Drive Thru” dinner that was very successful. Thank you to all who helped in any way. Kudos to the workers who were delivering food, selling tickets and directing traffic out in the cold and rain. We served about 285 meals and made a profit of $4,186.39 that will be donated to the general operating expenses of our church. A wonderful meal and a wonderful experience.
"Thank You" - PPC "Bell Ringers"
Once again we answered the call to ring bells for the Salvation Army on November 21st . Thank you to Peggy Alf Sechtig, Pastor Dave and Kathy, The Chris Rietmann Family, Larry and Glenda Day, Liz Bellmore, The Foster Family, Deb Capener, Karin Hall , Lori Rogers and Nancy Schaper for volunteering to ring. If you were unable to ring on that day and want to donate your time, call 1-608-617-3237 to sign up.
Kwik Trip "Ultimate" Car Wash cards
Looking for a "stocking stuffer?" Do we have a deal for you!!! We are still selling the Kwik Trip "Ultimate" Car Wash cards - for a reduced cost of $36.00 / 5 washes. Checks can be made out to "PPC Youth." Contact Pastor Dave to purchase your cards. Thanks!
Chicken soup mix available now!
The Women's Association has "decorated" jars of the Chicken Soup mix available for $3.25/jar. These make a nice gift to have on hand.
The "Soup Mix" is available for purchase at church on Sundays or in the church office during open hours. Let Glenda Day know if you need it delivered by calling her at 608-429-1313. Thank you.
We have a "Little Pantry" at Westminster Center
If you would like to donate non-perishable food items - and / or "personal care items" - please leave them in Westminster Center, the Church Office or in Parry Hall at the church. If you would like to have items collected, please contact the Church Office.
"Live Nativity" conversations
There have been some conversations about the possibility of offering a "live nativity" scene here at PPC during December and Advent.
If this would be something you would be interested in helping to plan, please contact the Church Office "as soon as possible."
Readers for Worship - "LIVE" (well, sort of)
You can provide a video of you reading or we can make arrangements to "record you" by video. We will then use the video during worship - you will be "live" without being there. If you would be interested in serving as a "reader" for Advent or Christmas worship services, contact Pastor Dave and we will get the information to you.
PPC in worship "Together"
At the present time we are offering worship in a variety of ways. You can share "in person" in the sanctuary. Please note: that we are following the guidelines and protocols established by the Session
We continue to "broadcast live" worship in the parking lot on your FM radio in the parking lot - we are "live" on 90.5 FM.
We also continue to offer "live videos" of the Sunday morning worship services on PPC's Facebook page. and on PPC's "YouTube" Page.
If you would like to receive our weekly worship bulletins - please let us know. We can "mail" them or we can "email" them to you.
We also can make DVD's of worship services available for those who may be interested. If you would like a DVD and need to "borrow" a DVD player, we have them for your use. Just contact the Church Office and arrangements will be made to get them to you!
Upcoming Worship Services
Sunday - November 22 - "Traditional" Worship
- 10:05 a.m. - Worship "in the sanctuary" - "Live" Video Worship Service - also available at FM 90.5 in parking lot
- Rev. Dr. Carol Hermann will be leading worship this morning!
Sunday, November 29 - "First Sunday of Advent" Worship
- 10:05 a.m. - Worship "in the sanctuary" - "Live" Video Worship Service - also available at FM 90.5 in parking lot
- We will be celebrating the "Lord's Supper" as a part of this worship service. Please remember to prepare your own "bread" and "cup" for this service.
"Photos By Syd" - A Church Fundraiser continues
It's not too late! You may still purchase your "Photos By Syd." These would make wonderful Christmas gifts and at that same time, as a "donation gift" for the church's ongoing work and ministry. Please contact the church office to make arrangements to see which photos are still available. Thank you, Syd, for your generous gifts.
Terri Lynn Nut and Candy Sale "Wrap Up"
Our Terri Lynn Nut and Candy Sale was once again a big success. We ordered 210 items and made a profit of $375.40 that will go to the general operating budget of our church. Thanks to all who purchased the nut and candy and enjoy them.
Thank you for your ongoing participation and support!
Your prayers, your care for one another and your neighbors, your presence from a distance continue to testify to the faith and courage and ministry to which God has called and to which God continues to send us. God continues to lead us, inspire us and provide for us as we seek to follow God's lead.
Even with all of the uncertainties that this pandemic has brought into all of our lives and into the community, YOU continue to find ways and opportunities to share and participate in God's work and ministry in and through PPC.
The Session is grateful for YOUR faithfulness and generosity in continuing to financially support the church's ministries to the best of one's abilities. Thank You!
PPC's Confirmation Class Updates!
PPC's Confirmation Class continues to meet on Wednesday evenings @ 6:00 p.m. in Parry Hall.
On the 3rd Wednesdays of each month the Confirmation Class members are participating in a mission project at the Portage Food Pantry. They will be packing boxes which will be distributed to those in need at the of the week.
Please keep these young people in your prayers as they continue their Confirmation journey: Evie, Bennett, Garrett, Josie, Bailey, Oden and Gracie.
And thank you to Nicky Cross, who has been participating as our adult mentor.
"Online VIDEO Bible Stories"
Check out PPC's Facebook Page for the "Online Bible Stories."
Each week we will be sharing a "video" with young people (and God's children of all ages)
If you might be interested in "reading" one of the stories, contact Pastor Dave
"Upper Room "devotionals for November and December are here!
"Printed copies" of these devotionals will be available in the church at the elevator and Parry Hall entrances.
You can also access these devotionals now as a PDF file too! Here's the "link" - https://destination-site-production.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/URE_November-December2020.pdf
The Church Office is Open!
The office staff is open for our "normal" office hours - but with these "guidelines"
- that there only be one person in office at a time
- that we should use first door only
- and that masks should be worn when you are indoors
Kathy (Secretary) is in the office on Wednesday /Friday mornings from 8:00-1:00 pm Rosemary Minnema, our Treasurer, is covering the Financial Secretary's work on a "temporary basis."
Sharing "Joys" and "Concerns" for Worship
If you have "Joys" and/or "Concerns" that you would like to share for our Sunday worship experience, please contact Pastor Dave no later than Saturday afternoon.
You may email or you may leave message at the church office.
We will not use "last names" when we share these during worship!
If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Dave
"Wish List" Updates
If you would like to make "Wish List" donations - or if you have questions, please contact the Church Office. Here are some of the items for your consideration -
- Hand Sanitizer - Wipes - Sanitizing Spray (use in the buildings)
- Paper Towels (for use in the bathroom dispensers)
- LED Candles - which we will use for Advent & Christmas
- Advent Tents / Candles - a resource for "Advent" candles @ home
- New Highway Signs - replacing the church's signage on the highways coming into the city of Portage
Please contact the Church Office for more information. Thank you!
Ministry Opportunities in the Church
If anyone is interested in evaluating, researching and offering suggestions about "live video" opportunities (worship and other ideas), and perhaps help to further develop PPC's "video ministry" please contact the Church Office.
We are also looking for those who might be willing to serve as "greeters" for worship in the sanctuary. This ministry of "welcoming" is an important one as members, friends and visitors come for worship.
A Few Final Thoughts ... from Pastor Dave
I'm ready for Christmas - how about you!
No, I do not have everything ready for Christmas. I doubt that "this" will ever be a reality for me - LOL!
However, I am ready for the messages that Christmas brings into our world - a message of "God being with us right here in the mud and muck of life" ... of "hope and possibilities even when I cannot understand or see" ... of "new days and new life even when I am tired and wondering" ... of hearing again of "God's light in the midst of the darkness of days, chaos, weariness and uncertainty" ... of being reminded that "I also have been called to be a reflection of God's light in the world." Yes, I am ready for this Christmas. How about you? Peace Be With You!
Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/Portage-Presbyterian-Church-155581354519952/
Dial your radio to FM Channel - 90.5
if you are in the "Parking Lot" area near the church
you will be able to hear our worship services and other activities here at PPC!
Also, the FM broadcast reaches out a few blocks around the church -
you may be able to hear us live at home too!
Making a "financial" offering for the work and ministry
here @ Portage Presbyterian Church is "easy!"
You may choose to ....
Mail it to the Church Office
Drop it in the "mail slot" at the Church Office
Drop it off during "open hours" at the Church Office
Use the "online giving" option
Go to your website - www.portagepresbyterian.com
On the "home page" you will find the button.
Click on the button and follow instructions.
Online "offerings" can be recurring or one time gifts.
Thank you for your help and support of God's ministry here at and through PPC!