Lectionary for the Lord’s Day:
Oct 6th: Lam. 1:1-5, Lam. 3:19-26, Ps. 137,
2 Tim. 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10

Oct. 13th: Jer. 29:1, 4-7, Ps. 66:1-12,
2 Tim 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19

Oct. 20th: Jer. 31:27-34, Ps. 119:97-104,
2 Tim 3:14-4:5, Luke 18:1-8

Oct. 27th: Joel 2:23-32, Ps. 65,
2 Tim 4:6-8, 16-18, Luke 18:9-14

Reflections from My Rearview Mirror 

Sometimes annual reports are a listing of statistics which can be important in their own right. As I look back over the past eleven months I see movement and happenings.

I remember saying something to Mr. Bruce about how the place was dead, nothing was happening and I will go crazy. Well, the doldrums are certainly over.

- We have had family potlucks. They seem to work better as a Sunday coffee hour special event.

- Music, the missing link. We have James. I knew that he was a gifted musician. The scope of that talent was made manifest to several of us at his MSU recital. We have Sam, whom we hired to direct our resurrected choir. The combination brings talent, joy and delight to our services. We have Miss Eunice and Miss Ruby dedicated to our kid's handbell choir. I hear through the grapevine that an adult handbell choir may appear in the fall. We have had special music at Christmas and Easter. It's also my understanding that we will be graced with more special music over the course of this summer.

- We have a round robin lead Adult Sunday School. They are a dedicated and enthusiastic group which meets almost every Sunday. In the room right next door we have a children's activity center which meets during the same time frame. Miss Cheryl, Julie Z., Chris and Lois W. have been working with our young folks. Miss Abby and Lauren continue to work with our young folks during our 10:30 service after our Children's Story time. The combined groups have brought us bulletin board art, art work for our bulletin covers for special occasions, outreach gifts for our deacons to give to our home bound folks, cards and May Day baskets.

We have a day long mission trip into Detroit this summer to feed kids at CrossRoads of Michigan.

- We have a discussion group which has met throughout the year. We are currently off for the summer but will resume on Wednesday, 26 September at 10am with the book Being Mortal. All are welcome to join us.

- We have a new commissioned outreach ministry of the church known as The DiaperPantry. While it is staffed by volunteers on Thursday evenings during Clinic hours it was the vision of Beth M. Shannon L. brought insightful information. 

- We were given a challenge by our area Food Pantry to raise 1200 cake mixes for their combined Thanksgiving/ Christmas baskets. First Church donated 1352 boxed cake mixes.

- Lorie H. Justice C. & Julie Z. lead us on a Lenten outreach Buy a Blanket of Love for Lent. As the Body of Christ working through the PW $2,160 was sent to purchase 216 blankets.

- Our special Christmas offering was directed towards the BackPack Buddies and the DiaperPantry both aiding our children in Branch county. Each received $800.

- We had two special worship opportunities in Advent; Jesse Tree and Lessons & Carols. We have stunning decorations made by you. The service of Advent Lessons and Carols is a lovely way to quietly usher in the season. It stands in contrast to the crazy of commercial Christmas. There was/ is too much competition with other area events to expect involvement from our church neighbors. I think that we can realistically make this our own celebration for the first Sunday of Advent at our 10:30 service.

- Our Maunday Thursday ecumenical service went well. Our Methodist neighbors asked if we could put a joint choir together for next year. They will help with music. Perhaps Cindy G could play and Sam P. direct??

- Linda S. & Marsh D. have sponsored the UnderCover Quilters. This is a group which had previously met at the ELCA Lutheran church before it closed.

- A Stitchers group meets here on the first Monday of the month. Folks may bring a project of their own to work on. We have the beginnings of an outreach warmth project for Lincoln school.

- The fall fest gathering at the Metter's was great fun and can  only be topped this year by their presence among us.

- A huge Thanxs to Fellowship for hosting hospitality after our Christmas Eve,  Maunday Thursday, and Easter services! You are the best.

- On behalf of the People of First Church we mourned and celebrated the lives of Mildred, Richard R, Hal, Debbie, Richard B,  and John. Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

debby 

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