November 2018 Volume 41 Number 12
Adult Winter Electives
Part 1 – For one of the winter electives, we are offering a DVD-based series entitled “LIFE GIVING PRAYER” by Jim Cymbala. In this seven-session video-based Bible study, Pastor Jim Cymbala explores how God promises in His Word to always hear you, answer you and extend His mercy when you come to Him. As you pray with faith, He will provide His perfect peace and “meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory” (Philippians 4:19). You will find that approaching God’s throne of grace will change your life and circumstances like nothing else—and that when you and other believers call on His name, powerful things happen in the world!
Becca Amstutz and Jim Schwartz will be leading this elective and it will be meeting for seven weeks in December and January.
Part 2 – For the month of February Steve Lehman will be leading a study based on the book “RESPECTABLE SINS: CONFRONTING THE SINS WE TOLERATE” by Jerry Bridges. As Christians, we believe that all sins are considered equal in God's eyes. Yet while evangelicals continue to decry the Big Ones—such as abortion, adultery and violence—we often overlook more deceptive sins. It seems we've created a sliding scale where gossip, jealousy and selfishness comfortably exist within the church. In short, some sins have simply become acceptable. Bridges, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Holiness, believes that just as culture has lost the concept of sin, the church faces the same danger. †
Financial Peace University—Never Worry About Money Again
Financial Peace University—meeting for 9 weeks on Wednesday evenings [6:30-8:00 PM] from January 9 – March 6.
We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God's ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely and much more!
Financial Peace University will help you take control of your money, plan for your future and transform your life. Pastor Jeff Linthicum and Greg Meyer will lead the course. FPU classes will run for nine weeks beginning January 9 and meet for around an hour and a half each week. Childcare is available through the Wednesday p.m. children’s program.
Cost of the class will vary from $75-$109 depending on the time you sign up. Sign up on the table in the foyer or by calling the church office or talking to Pastor Jeff or Pastor Jim. If cost is an issue, please talk to Pastor Jim. †
Are We Giving Our Best?
By Marcia Cressman
Thanksgiving is a good time of year to reflect on how we are using our time, talents and resources that God has given to each one of us. This is the time of year that reminds us to remember all the blessings that we have—A good time to take inventory if we are truly thankful or if we always want something more. But instead of wanting more, what if we gave more? When we do give of our time, talents and resources, what is the attitude we are giving with?
Is it with open hands and a thankful heart, or closed hands and a selfish heart? Jesus states this in Luke 12:48b, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been trusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Recently I read a story in the book “Glimpses of Hope” that illustrates a heart that gave freely and lovingly. A mom and dad were raising seven children on a farm in northeast Missouri where they raised registered Hampshire hogs. In 1965 God laid on their hearts to donate some Hampshire gilts (female) to The Heifer Project in Haiti. A gilt would be given to a Haitian family and then one of her offspring would be given to another family to start the process over again. One morning soon after that the dad took the five boys out to the Hampshire gilt pen. He had a stick of orange chalk in his hand and he was marking the very best gilts.
One of the boys asked his dad this question: “Dad, are those the ones we are going to keep and show at the State Fair?” The dad’s answer was not what the boys were expecting to hear. His answer was, “No, when you give to the Lord you give your very best.” The boys were devastated to think that they would not have the best ones to show at the fair. It was only ten months later that their dad was electrocuted in a farm accident. The dad was no longer around to help teach and train his children, but they were thankful for the valuable lesson that God had allowed their dad to teach them already. It was one they never forgot!
So as we reflect on our own lives, what is our heart attitude in giving? Jesus says in Acts 21:35b, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Do we agree with that statement, and if we do how do our lives show it? Each day we have opportunities to teach our children, grandchildren and those around us what is truly important to us.
Remember….When you give to the Lord you give your very best. †
Notes of Appreciation
Thank you to the congregation and staff of First Mennonite for allowing Pastor Jeff and Pastor Jim to join The Global Disciples initial U.S. Pastor based Mission Discipleship Training in Florida. We were pleased to cover Jeff’s airfare as he was invaluable as a teacher and presenter to these 25+ peers. His testimony, teaching and passion for his love of God’s church was powerful. You are all a blessing to God’s Kingdom and to Global Disciples.
Thank you for prayers, encouragement and cards for my recent back surgery. All were greatly appreciated.
We want to thank all the children and adults at First Mennonite for your generosity and enthusiasm in supporting My Coins Count this year with your contribution of $844.40. Together, with matches from local businesses, MyCC raised over $130,000 at the Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, helping families gain access to life-giving water.
When water is available, children are better fed and are healthier. Families can garden and generate income to pay education and/or medical expenses. Communities have less conflict over scarce resources. One mother gratefully shared that having enough food and water prevents her children from becoming thieves in order to survive.
The Michiana Sale total this year was over $480,000. Thank you for your work and support of the sale, and for sharing your resources in the name of Christ, so other families can have their basic necessities met through Mennonite Central Committee and our partners around the world.
John Martens, MyCC Coordinator, MMRS
Thanks for providing this opportunity for multi-generational generosity through My Coins Count!
Constituent Relations Coordinator, MCC Great Lakes
North American Relief Sales and My Coins Count Coordinator †
Among Our People
Jane Nussbaum had a heart ablation at Lutheran Hospital on Oct. 1. She went home the same day.
Jerry Flueckiger spent several days in Adams Memorial Hospital.
Jane Uhrick had back surgery at Lutheran Hospital on Oct 23. She went home on Oct. 25.
Vicki Beachey had gall bladder surgery on Oct. 23 at the Lutheran Hospital. She went home on Oct. 25.
Jeff Linthicum had outpatient surgery Oct. 30 for a cyst on his vocal chords and a tonsillectomy.
Wilmer Sprunger had back surgery Lutheran on Oct. 31. He went home on Nov. 2. †
Funeral Meal Guidelines
The Care Commission recently reviewed the guidelines concerning funeral meals. Since this service is needed during an overwhelmingly stressful period in the lives of bereaved families, they are sharing those guidelines in this Update and posting them in the kitchen. They are as follows:
1. All funeral meals are scheduled through the Pastor/Pastors from First Mennonite Church who are working with the family in arranging the funeral.
2. First Mennonite will provide a funeral meal for church members, associate members, and non-members who regularly attend.
3. These families will be asked to make a donation to the church to help cover expenses. This will be handled by the Pastor/Pastors who are working with these families.
4. Funeral meals for non-attendees will not be provided by First Mennonite. If a meal is desired, all food is to be prepared (or catered) and paid for by the family making the request. A kitchen committee member must be present to help oversee the use of the equipment in the kitchen in this situation. †
Scripture Memory 2019
A life habit of Scripture memorization is a rich spiritual growth experience. There are many reasons that can be listed as to why Scripture memory is a blessing! But many times folks will say that they don’t want to try a memory program because, later on, they don’t remember the verses they had memorized. That is true of almost EVERYONE! It is a very unusual person who can hold scriptures that they memorize as an adult in their memory bank without constant review.
But consider this illustration. Long ago, a farmer working in his field observed a young fellow carrying a bucket and walking down a long road to the local stream, the nearest source of fresh water. He filled his large bucket and then walked the long road back home. But there was something puzzling. The young fellow’s bucket had several small holes. As the man watched, he could see that water was pouring out of the holes. The man had to wonder whether there really was any water left in the bucket by the time the young fellow reached his destination. Day after day, the man watched the youngster carrying out this same routine. Finally, he could not hold his curiosity any longer. When the young man passed his way on his return trip, the farmer asked him why on earth he kept walking to the stream and filling his bucket with water, only to lose most of it on the way back home. Cheerily, the young man replied, “Well, I won’t argue with you on that, sir. But at least my bucket is staying clean!”
This story is a wonderful illustration of the value of Scripture memorization. Whether or not we are able to remember and recite the scriptures we’ve pondered over and committed into our hearts weeks, months, or years later, they are deepening our walk with the Lord and doing a life-changing spiritual work in our hearts. If you would like to consider being in the memory program or want to ask more about it, call the office by November 30 to enroll for the 2019 program beginning in January. †
If South Adams Schools cancels classes because of inclement weather, we will cancel our evening services. If South Adams cancels classes due to fog or other non-weather-related reasons, a decision will be made by 12 noon whether the fellowship meal and evening classes for all ages will be held that evening. The information will be posted at www.firstmennonite.org, and a churchwide email will be sent out to those who have registered for that. Also, for church cancellation information, we will inform WZBD radio 92.7 FM, who will read the announcement on the air, and WBCL, who will post it at their website, www.wbcl.org. †
Children’s Christmas Program
Our children’s Christmas program will be on Sunday, December 9, at 6:30 p.m. All kids ages 3-4th grade will participate. Grades 1-5 will present the musical “The First Leon.” †