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 Thoughts & Inspiration

By: Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than money, than failures, than successes, than circumstances, than what other people think or say, or do.  It is more important than appearance, ability or skill.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past….we cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude….I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you…..YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR ATTITUDE!

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During this busy upcoming holiday season, as we reflect on all of our many blessings, we hope all of you will take time out of your busy schedule to give thanks for all that is good in your lives!

 We wish you peace, joy & love,

 Brenda K. Malpass & Nancy Sherman



       November 2016-January 2017


A Note from Pastor Lois                 November 2016

We’re enjoying such a gorgeous fall! Could winter be just around the corner?  As I wrap up my first year as your pastor, I have much for which to be thankful, and hopefully, you do, too.

Together, and open to the Holy Spirit, we’ve embarked on new initiatives.   As you’ve discovered, music in worship is high on my list.   As 1 Chronicles 16:23 (and many other Biblical passages) says, “Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Share the news of his saving work every single day!” That’s what our music ministry is all about.

We have an amazing music director and choir who so enrich our worship.   It was such a joy for me to play the handballs last Christmas.  My hope is that we’ll have handbells for Easter, too.   Why not?  Now, we have a great praise band playing with enthusiasm.  That’s the spirit we want for all our worship.

Spiritual growth has been high on my list since arriving here. Let’s join together more often to study the Bible and to explore God’s call to us as a congregation.  We’ll be getting together after worship during three Advent Sundays for a special Advent study.  Movie night starts November 9, with a showing of the film “Amazing Grace” about the struggle in Britain to end the slave trade.  I’ll be sharing lessons from the May trip to Iraqi Kurdistan on November 30, with dessert and coffee.

Our call as a church is to minister both inside and outside our building.   In Mark 16:15, Jesus said, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to every creature.” Thanks to you, we have supported the East Jordan Ministerial Association’s community outreach, Crossroads, Moms and Tots, AA, Foster Care, Anti-Trafficking of Women and Children, Harbor Hall, Faith in Practice Guatemala Mission, MOPS, tutoring here in East Jordan, and peacemaking in Iraqi Kurdistan, to name just a few. Members have enabled air conditioning in our building, paving outside the building, yard care, and planting flowers.  These things happen because Christ gives us vision and motivates us to carry it out.

As we move into 2017, we have decided to strengthen and expand our youth ministry.   Our youth led two worship services this year.  We have more youth participating in worship as liturgists and as tech support.   Now that Julie Dowty is here as Youth Director, let’s all rally around her as she guides our youth into the future!

Finally, let’s make our Sunday worship more welcoming to visitors. When we pass the peace, let’s seek out people we don’t know or recognize.  Let’s surround them with love.  That’s what makes people return.  That’s what makes them know we take seriously Christ’s call to reach out!  Happy holidays and God bless you!


A very special THANK YOU to Gayle Gotts and her committee for hosting a very successful fundraising event which raised a grand total of $2,302.00! This money is being donated to “Faith In Practice”, and will provide medical care for people in rural areas of Guatemala.


Joyful Stewardship is a Choice

The letter from Session regarding the stewardship campaign has now gone out. That letter highlights many of the things that we as a church can be grateful for. I will not repeat those things here.

One of the things that you’re going to hear said many times over is that “the church must be internally strong in order to be externally focused”.

Session is excited about the 2017 stewardship campaign. We are anticipating joyful generosity.

While we will be focusing on the 2017 campaign, we must not forget what’s happening in 2016. Year to date as of the end of September, we took in $28,296.99 less than what was expended.  We have expended far less than what was budgeted.  This difference is very significant.  It is Session’s hope that we can reduce this deficit by year-end.  We wish to have each of you consider a year-end special Christmas gift to the operating fund.  This should be in addition to what we normally give.

While the deficit is significant, we can take comfort in the fact that we have been blessed with members who have gone before us and have remembered us in their wills. We were recently again blessed with a gift of a home from former member John Smith.

Session has designated part of the money from the sale of the John Smith home for the hiring of Julie Dowty as our youth leader. John Smith was very committed to youth.  It was his dream that we be more intentional in supporting our youth.  Session concluded that hiring Julie would be the best way that we could honor him.

Please do consider what additional help you can “joyfully” provide for 2016. We Christians are generous givers because of Christ’s love of us. We give to First Presbyterian Church of East Jordan because of the value that we see in our “external focus”.

May the peace of Christ be with each of us!

Ken Visser, Treasurer


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 We hope you would prayerfully consider an extra gift this year to the “Designated Christmas Love Offering”.  This offering will remain within our congregation.  Special pew envelopes will be available during the Christmas season.  NOTE:  This is different than our annual Christmas Joy offering, which is sent on to Presbytery and supports past/present/future leaders of PC(USA).


The Deacons have had some success getting the Prayer Shawl Ministry resurrected and it is being coordinated by Dorothy Archer and Lorna Peebles. We have some shawls ready to be given and hope that if any readers know of someone who could use one, that they will contact any member of the Deacon Board. If you would like to be a part of this ministry by knitting a shawl, please contact Lorna Peebles. (231-544-6368)

The Deacons organized a funeral reception this quarter for Lorna Peebles’ daughter-in-law. We also helped with Jr. Church Potluck. Thank you for generously contributing delicious food for both events. With the number of funeral receptions which the church has hosted over the last 6 months, the Deacon Board discussed that the many food contributions could be a financial burden on some. It was decided that in the future if reimbursement for food expenses (funerals only) was needed, we would cover the cost of the dish if a receipt is submitted.

We continue to do our other responsibilities: Setting up for Communion, getting Sunday greeters and making sure Fellowship is hosted each Sunday, providing Casual Coffee and collecting for Loose Change. In fact, we collected $446.68 in August, September and October! This money will be given to the East Jordan Ministerial Association to aid the community needy.

We also are trying to maintain contact with our members and friends by acknowledging special events and difficult times. There is a DEACONS LIST (blue sheet) posted on all our bulletin boards so that the membership/attendees of our congregation can see who their Deacon is!

Hopefully you have already received a birthday or anniversary card from your Deacon!

Susan Kinloch, Moderator

Deacon’s Board


Enjoy this special holiday treat!

In a saucepan add: 3/4 cup milk 3 T pumpkin purée (or canned pumpkin)  3 T maple syrup  1/2 tsp pumpkin spice  1/2 tsp vanilla extract  OPTIONAL: ** 1/8 C brown sugar (I like my lattes sweet. If you don’t, then don’t add this)
Heat ingredients on low until they bubble. Remove from heat then whisk until frothy. You can also use an immersion blender if you have one. Add froth mixture to a half cup of coffee.

In your mixer add: 1/2 C heavy whipping cream  1/2 tsp vanilla 3 T maple syrup  1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix until you have whipped cream, then dollop into your latte. (NOTE:   You can also used canned whipping cream.) Sprinkle on some cinnamon then enjoy!


 MOPS is excited to be the First Presbyterian Church of East Jordan’s newest organization that is focused on community outreach. MOPS stands for “Mothers of Preschoolers”, but really the group is targeted at moms from the time of their first pregnancy until their last child finishes kindergarten. We are meeting on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month September through May from 9:30am to 11:30am. MOPS is an opportunity for moms of young children to get together, make new mom friends, relax, enjoy some adult only time, have some coffee and breakfast, learn about relevant topics, and do some fun crafts.  We have had 3 successful meetings so far.  Our first meeting dug deeper into our theme for the year “Starry Eyed” and encouraged moms to think about the topics wonder, hope, and kindness even among our most mundane days.  We made adorable name tag necklaces for the craft.  Our second meeting was themed around the idea of adult friendships and we made some beautiful giving plates. So far we have 13 moms attending our group and we have had a lot more interest, so we are excited that we will probably meet our group max of 15 moms! We are so thankful and blessed for the wonderful volunteers who have helped make MOPS at our church a reality. We have had seven volunteers at each meeting who have worked in the nursery with the children. MOPS has had a great start and we are excited to see where this year will take us. If you are interested in joining MOPS or volunteering in the nursery please reach out to Natalie Malpass, natmalpass@gmail.com or 773-251-3378.



“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1Thessalonians 5:11)

Youth Group started out with a bang this October. We are focusing on the above Scripture and how we are to build one another up in Christ, encouraging faith, love and unity. Our year will be a concentration of these principles, and growth in the fruits of the Spirit will be our result. We are focusing on three major applications: Bible Study, Christian events, and church/community service. We had a great time raking for 2 of our church families on October 23rd. I am very excited to be a part of this great youth movement for Christ and look forward to the year to come.

In Love and Service,

Julie Dowty, Youth Director


 Birthdays in November

Aubrek Skrocki (1)                               Sally Cyr (3)                             Sara Malpass-Manchester (4)

Pam O’Toole (4)                                  Pastor Lois (5)                          Allyson Camiller (5)

Whit Armstrong (9)                   Ashlee Mumich (9)

Shelly Malpass-Raymond (10)              Dan Payne (11)                       Marie Shepard (13)

Mary Kraemer (16)                               Kris Snyder (18)                                    John Rhode (20)

George Small (20)                               Sarah Malpass (21)                  Natalie Malpass (23)

Kelly McGinn (29)                                Jim Archer (30)


Anniversaries in November

Denny & Marilyn Jesiek (3)                              Cal & Gayle Gotts (23)

Bob & Judy Bryan (24)


Birthdays in December

Carole Derenzy (1)                                           Diane Dennis (3)                              David Stone (5)

Ken Kline (5)                                                      Elizabeth Kooistra (8)                    Matthew Mumich (9)

Dee Small (12)                                                   Karen Kline (14)                                Pastor Donald Kinloch (16)

Preston Malpass (20)                                      Abigail Hawley (25)                        Donna Kline (25)

Tad Malpass (25)                                              Brenda L. Malpass (26)                  Cele Malpass (29)


Anniversaries in September

Loren & Kay Hughes (15)


Birthdays in January

Ben Archer (5)                                     Kelly Curnow (5)                      Everett Malpass (5)

Bob Bryan (7)                                       Christina Kooistra (11)            Linda Snyder (13)

Bryson Spence (13)                               Ryder Malpass (15)                   Andrew Malpass (16)

Wessley Gotts (19)                                Alexis Curnow (19)                  Ted Sherman, Jr. 920)

Cynthia Burrows (20)                           Richard Eaton (22)                  Jean Peterson (23)

Lyle Shipe (28)                                     Mason Malpass (28)                 Stephanie Buckholz (30)

Liliana Snyder (30)                               Amy Boal (31)


Anniversaries in January




Our website is up and running! Be sure to check it out at presbyeastjordan.org. Any suggestions for the website are always welcome.

  • John Smith’s home has been sold! How pleased we think John would be to know a lovely young family with two children will soon be enjoying it.
  • Session approved the hiring of Youth Director, Julie Dowty. The young people are the future of our church and we are committed to keeping a vibrant and exciting program going for them.
  • Stewardship dedication is Sunday, November 20th. Session will be treating the congregation, immediately following worship, with a meal of thanks and celebration.  Please mark your calendar!

Nancy Sherman

Clerk of Session

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In 1929, a feature of the Gaylord Potato & Apple Show was the church choir contest!  Our choir earned the coveted prize which netted $60 for the music fund.  Some familiar names participating in that choir were:  Guy Watson, Howard & Maude Porter, John & Cora Seiler, and William H. Malpass.

Our present choir continues to make beautiful music for the congregation!

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On October 26, 2016, Margaret Jane Watson passed away from a brief battle with cancer. Marg was the daughter of Harry and Phoebe Watson.  She became a member of First Presbyterian on March 30, 1969.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her brothers, Bob and Tom.

Even though she lived in Kalamazoo, she always considered East Jordan her home. The Jordan Valley Freedom Festival was a favorite of hers!

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Due to a serious fall, Connie Gillespie has moved to Meadowbrook in Bellaire. She would LOVE to receive phone calls, visits and letters.  If you would like to visit Connie, please call the facility first to ensure she can receive visitors.

Connie Gillespie

c/o Meadowbrook Medical Care Facility

4543 S. M-88 Highway

Bellaire, MI 49615

Her phone number is: 231-533-3729


 Have you ever wondered why the church has different liturgical colors on the alter paraments throughout the year? They are used to orient us to the various seasons of the church year.  White and gold symbolize days and seasons of joy and mark pivotal events in the life of Christ.  Red symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit and the sacrifices of martyrs.  Purple (and sometimes blue, in Advent) designates a season of penitence and preparation, such as Lent.

This hasn’t always been the case, the first thousand years of church’s history, very little thought was given to liturgical colors, white being the most common, with more elaborate garments reserved for important festivals. During the 12th through 16th centuries many different liturgical colors were experimented with, but no standard practices prevailed until 1570, when the Roman Catholic Church established a sequence of colors to accompany the church calendar.  During the 16th century Calvinists preferred using black vestments and it has only been the last two centuries that a resurgence of liturgical colors has been in practice.

Here is a typical schedule for the use of liturgical colors:

Advent: purple or blue

Christmas: (12 days) to Epiphany:  white and gold

Ordinary time: green

Ash Wednesday: through 1st week of Lent:  purple

Palm/Passion Sunday: red and/or purple

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week: purple

Maundy Thursday: purple (until and church is stripped bare)

Good Friday: no color; church remains stripped bare

Easter Season: white and gold

Day of Pentecost: red

Additionally, white is used for funerals. Red is sometimes used for ordinations, installations, church dedications and anniversaries.  Baptism, communion and weddings should retain the color of the season.

 Prayer Concerns and Celebrations:

Prayers for Healing for members:  Shirley Butcher, Mary Jason, Larry Spence, Ken Kline, Dory Arnott, Joy Hettig, Lillian Martinek, Nina Harrison, Nancy LaCroix

Prayers for healing for family and friends of members:  Ray Olson, Melissa Olstrom, Axel Olstrom, Bob Wilson, Erick Vanderlaan, Gerry Anderson, Carolyn Topalian, Rich Hoffman, Jane Hodges, Brian Youngs, Paul Visser, Jimmie McWatters, Brenda German, Shirley Stevens, Josephine Kellar, Margie Salzone, Gene Cebulski, Tim Malpass, Rachel Rigsby

Those with cancer or chronic issues: Children/Youth:  Casey Gardner, Adults: R.G.V., Olive Brown, Laura Freeman, Lorraine Hawley, John Doidge, Charlene Brennan, Angie Skop, Mary Brennan, Martin Rebec, Tom Reid Jr., Jack Peterson, Lee & Roxanne Folsom

Our nursing home residents:  Jean Peterson & Esther Porter
We will be sharing this FUN SPOT each newsletter.

Hope you will make your list and participate!

Five fun things you might not know about people in your church family……………


Toni Jeffery

  1. My brother, my cousin and I would ride a taxi to Boyne City to spend the weekend with our Grandma Newville.  The taxi was a Mercedes Benz with an extra backseat that unfolded facing the rear of the car.
  2. During the spring of my senior year in high school, my friend Glenda and I skipped school on a Friday afternoon to hike the power line right-of-way. We were wearing skirts!
  3. I enjoy rowing a boat.
  4. I have camped in a tent behind the dunes of the Atlantic Ocean.
  5. My favorite sing-a-long album while driving is The Greatest Hits of Brooks & Dunn.

 Ken Visser

  1. I failed first grade!
  2. In High School, I served as President of my Junior class and President of Student Council.
  3. I went on family trips with 10-people in the car.
  4. I have over 175 nieces, nephews, great-nieces & great-nephews.
  5. My favorite car was a 1938 black Plymouth Coupe….envy of all men & boys!

CONGRATULATIONS TO LUCAS & HEATHER OLSTROM on the birth of Axel Henry, born 10/26/2016 – 8#12-oz., 20” long.  Baby is doing great!  Congrats also to grandparents, Anne & Bill!


  • Movie Night – Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00 pm in the Fireside Room – Amazing Grace
  • Stewardship Commitment Sunday – November 20th – with a Fellowship & Celebration Luncheon for EVERYBODY in the Fellowship Hall provided by the Session.
  • Hanging of the Greens – Sunday, November 27th
  • Advent Happening – Sunday, December 4th – potluck luncheon to follow with crafts for kids.
  • CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT – Sunday, December 18th @ 9:30 am!
  •  Christmas Eve Service – 5:00 pm
  • Advent Study: Pastor Lois will be teaching an Advent study following Fellowship on November 27, December 11 & 18. All are welcome to attend.