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Thoughts & Inspiration


Families are like branches on a tree—

we grow in different directions,

yet our roots remain as one.

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Bible School is finished, Music Sunday has come and gone, and August is right around the corner!  Enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer, as we look forward to God’s paintbrush and the magnificent colors of the fall season!


Brenda K. Malpass & Nancy Sherman



 Just a reminder…..if you have an announcement or notice you would like to share in the newsletter, please get it to the office or contact Brenda or Nancy.


 August 2017-October 2017


Every Wed:

Bible Study – 10:45 am (Fireside Room)

Choir – 6:30 pm (church)


Deacons Meeting:  8/8  – 6:00 pm

Cancer Group:  8/17 – 1:00 pm (Fireside Room)

Ruth Circle: 8/18 – 10:00 am (Fireside Room)

Session Meeting:  8/22 – 6:00 pm


Deacons Meeting:  9/12 – 6:00 pm

Ruth Circle:  9/15 – 10:00 am (Fireside Room)

Session Meeting: 9/21 – 6:00 pm

Cancer Group:  9/21 – 1:00 pm (Fireside Room)


Deacons Meeting:  10/10– 6:00 pm

Session Meeting:  10/16 – 6:00 pm

Cancer Group:  10/19 – 1:00 pm (Fireside Room)

Ruth Circle:  10/20 – 10:00 am (Fireside Room)



Tuesday & Wednesday: 10:00–3:00 pm; Thursday:  10:00–noon

207 Williams St.  –  P. O. Box 341  –  East Jordan, MI 49727

231-536-2941 – email:  firstpresej@att.net

Website: www.presbyeastjordan.org



Holy Spirit, Colors, and Butterflies

Julie Dowty, Commissioned Lay Pastor

          I went from fear of death as a child to fascination of the afterlife in adulthood. So, the story that I have to tell was my wonderful confirmation of the beauty of the afterlife. Although it has been 6 years this August since my dad passed away, I remember it like it was yesterday.  I think that my reason for not sharing it earlier is like anyone else’s reason.  There will be doubters and there will be people who question my sanity, but today that is fine with me.  I am not trying to persuade anyone to believe it, but on Music Sunday we had a wonderful guest, Mary Michaelson, who sang “Over the Rainbow”, and talked about how someday we will go over the rainbow to heaven. I believe this and so here is my story:

My brother called me to tell me that I needed to get downstate as soon as possible.  They did not think that my dad was going to make it through the day. So, Jessie and I hopped into the car to make our 5 hour journey. I was anxious, overwhelmed, and had all of the emotions of someone who was about to lose a family member as we were driving. When we got to the Saginaw area, I heard a voice say, “It’s ok.  You are on your journey.  You can go now.”  It was the weirdest thing.  It was not an audible voice, but it was a still, small, internal voice.  As I was pondering on this voice, I remembered that a couple of weeks prior I preached on Romans 8:26-27, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” I thought to myself could this be the Holy Spirit telling my dad to let go?  That he didn’t have to wait for me? I told Jess, and we were perplexed and amazed. We journeyed on.

Jessica got a call from my brother, as we traveled, that my dad had passed somewhere after this time. She waited a bit to tell me, but I guessed. This was soon before the next divine occurrence.  We journeyed on.  By the time we got to Detroit, we were close to the Ambassador bridge, I heard “The colors, the colors!!!!”  It was a joyful voice, full of awe. Ok, I thought that was really freaky!  Was that me imagining things? Am I losing my mind? We continued on the last leg of our journey. We had about 40-45 minutes driving time left.

When we got to the hospital we walked through a glassed covered hallway to get to my dad’s room. There was a garden outside and we saw a beautiful bluish butterfly.  It was vibrant, colorful and peacefully flying close to the window so that we could get a good view as we rushed up to my dad’s room.

When we entered the room, everyone was waiting for us.  I asked if my dad died around 2:00ish and my sister and brother said that it was. That was just before the time that I heard “The colors, the colors.”  My dad was lying peacefully in the hospital bed. Dad’s Pastor was in the room with my other siblings and we said our good-byes and had a prayer.

It was no surprise that my dad was going to die, but the surprise to me came from how the day played out.  In the beginning of this piece I stated that I went from being afraid of death as a child to being fascinated with it.  I had previously asked both my dad and my mom to give me a sign.  Could this all have been my sign?

“One of the most common questions I get about butterflies comes from those who have recently lost loved ones.  And guess what? Yes, butterflies are an incredibly common sign from deceased loved ones!  Seeing butterflies shortly after losing a loved is a beautiful sign that the spirit of your loved one lives on.”  (Taken from a website on the symbolic meaning of the butterfly)

I tell this story today because I know that I am not unique. These things happen all of the time to folks, but I think that in our insecurity about how they will be perceived if we openly share it (“You are crazy!, Yeah right!”), many of us chose to hold on to it for ourselves. The important part is that I believe in my experience. I believe in other people’s experiences.  I am no longer afraid of death. ‘One day we will cross over that rainbow to Heaven’ filled with glorious colors, peace and rest for our souls.  Today, I take comfort in that.


Figures & Finance

Do You Have a Will?

Having a will and more importantly having an estate plan can save your heirs a lot of grief.  It can also keep your property out of probate and out of the hands of lawyers.  Last but not least, it can reduce your tax liability.

While there are simple forms for doing a will, it is advisable to consult with an attorney. This is especially true if your estate is at all complicated.  Estate planning can save thousands of dollars.

While you are seeing an attorney you can also make out a “living will”. The “living will” give you say in your end-of-life decisions. This can save your children and/or spouse the agony of having to make such decisions.

The will or estate plan is also an opportunity for you to give to the church and to other charities. Our church has benefited from many prior members through their wills.  While it is easier for the church for you not to specify the use of the money, if you are passionate about a specific program or mission of the church, you can designate how you wish the money to be used.

Ken Visser, Treasurer


 Deacon’s Corner

The Deacon Board is now functioning in its approved proposal for the 2018 format of 6 deacons with the resignation of Diane Dennis. The Deacon Contact Lists have once again been revised and hopefully you have been contacted by your new deacon if Diane was formerly your deacon. With our reduced number, we are all having to shoulder a heavier load, but we remember that “We serve the Lord with gladness” as we serve our church body.

In June, we organized and served the funeral luncheon of Esther Porter.  In July, we had two events in which we helped organize and serve – the annual Music Sunday and Picnic and the funeral luncheon of Nina Gidley Harrison. We also continued our monthly duties of setting up Communion, obtaining greeters and reminding those who are signed up for Fellowship for each Sunday of that month. Loose Change collection and Casual Coffee are also something the deacons have as a monthly responsibility. Each Deacon of the Month is now responsible for 2 months in the calendar year. A thank you note was sent to Ted Jeffery because he faithfully sets up the coffee every Sunday. We deacons really miss him when he is away!

We are STILL hoping to find a year-round coordinator for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. At present Dorothy Archer and Lorna Peebles are overseeing this, but both are away during the winter months. If you are interested in helping year-round or during the winter, please contact Susan Kinloch (231-599-2077). We are hoping to also make “prayer squares” (small pocket-size squares) available to the congregation in a basket in the sanctuary. These have a card attached which explains their significance. This fall we hope to involve some of our youth in learning how to knit these squares. Please let your Deacon know if you would like to help (knit OR crochet) or if you know of someone who would appreciate a shawl.

Susan Kinloch, Moderator


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 As We Say Our “Good-Byes”

It was with great sadness we said goodbye to one of our oldest members on June 21, 2017, Esther Porter.  She became a member of our church on September 24, 1939, and was very active in the church serving as a Deacon for many years.  If there was a function going on at the church, you could always count of Esther to be there.  Her funeral was held on June 29, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her four daughters and their families; Pat Bloom, Denny and Mary Jason, Carl and Ruth Gee and Steve and Jane Duperon.

On July 22, 2017 a celebration of life was held at the church for Nina Gidley Harrison who passed away on November 20, 2016 after a very courageous struggle with GBS.  She was 67 at the time of her death.     Rev. Donald Kinloch performed her service.  Nina became a member of our church on June 20, 1962.   She was the daughter of Hugh and Evelyn Gidley, and sister to Sally Lilak.

Members on the Move

Our dear Shirley Butcher will be leaving East Jordan sometime in August, to move closer to her daughter in Lansing.  Here is her new address:  Delta Retirement Center, 201 Mall Drive, So., Apt. #44, Lansing, MI 48917.  We wish Shirley the very best & consider it a privilege to have had her as a part of our FPC Family!


Session Updates

May 2017

  • Acceptance of Rev. Dr. Lois Aroian’s request to be honorably retired
  • Approve celebration of her retirement during fellowship time on June 18

June 2017

  • Approve Youth Director’s request for a service mission
  • Approve Worship Committee acquiring pulpit supply as available
  • Approve Rev. Donald Kinloch’s handling the Harrison memorial service on July 22


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Delicious Delights from Debbie

With our lives being so hectic and sometimes complicated, a nice simple treat is often the best remedy, right?  I have a cobbler recipe that cannot get any easier or delicious!  With the fruit crops so plentiful this year, you may have over done it gathering the bounty, so treat yourself and your family with this!

Fruit Cobbler

1 cup self rising flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

Mix those together and add 1 stick of melted butter.


Pour this mixture into a buttered 8″ baking dish.

Please note that it will be runny…..

Sprinkle 2-3 cups of berries or the fruit of your choice, such as peaches, pears, plums, etc.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour

For a 13×9, just double everything!


Mushroom Casserole

1# sliced mushrooms

3 beef bouillon cubes

1 c. stuffing mix (Stovetop in the canister)

½ pint heavy cream

1 stick butter

3 Tbl. flour


Spray your baking dish.  Add mushrooms.  Combine ¼ cup hot water and the bouillon cubes, set aside.  Pour cream and flour in a tight container and shake to mix.  Melt butter and pour over stuffing mix.  Mix all together and then pour over the mushrooms.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.


Youth News

July 30th after church. Laser Tag at Northern Lights. Please bring permission slip or send permission slip to the church. The only money that you will need is money for snack.

August 6th:  Do you know about NOOMA? Come to Youth Group to start this new video series.  Very educational and engaging (not boring).

August 20th: Let’s go to the beach!!! Beach day after church to Young State Park.  Volley ball, egg toss, water balloon toss, swim races and fun, fun, fun!!!

September 10th:   Back to NOOMA and back to weekly YG. There’s so much to do and learn!!

Please feel free to contact me via email or phone with any questions:

bcpcce@yahoo.com, 231-645-3213 (cell) 582-3739 (home).

Yours in Love and Service,

Julie Dowty, Youth Director


                  Fun Facts!


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


Anne Olstrom

  1. I did daycare for school teachers children for 9-years, caring for over 20 children!
  2. I drove school bus for 28-years, retiring in 2016.
  3. I was a candidate for Miss East Jordan in 1968! My talent was “Hello Mother, Hello Father”.  Sadly, I came in last!
  4. I babysat for Bruce Malpass’ “boys” back in the 1960’s….Tad makes sure to remind people!
  5. I was signed up to go into the Air Force but chose marriage instead! My 49th wedding anniversary is in October.

Bob Malpass

  1. I was judged as a 4.0 sailor, by my peers, and highly recommended for re-enlistment.
  2. As a young boy, I was 1st mate with my father in a 22-foot Chris Craft utility to many places, as far away as Cedarville, using only charts and dead reckoning.
  3. When I was farming, my rows were “as straight as a string”.
  4. As a sailor in Corfu, Greece, I once saw the most beautiful tiny Greek isle in the Mediterranean Sea with wonderful people.
  5. At age 70, I still enjoy cutting my own firewood!


Birthdays in August

1:  Gavin Spence; Allen Dowty               6:  Susan Kinloch                                  21:  Mike Youngs; Duane

2:  Lorraine Hawley                              7:  Myra Guzniczak                                      Chappuies

3:  Wyatt Gotts; Bill Kupp;                   11: Jen Wilson                                      24:  Anne Payne

Dennis Archer; Ralph Kooistra         14: Madison Buckholz                           27:  Hannah Thumser

4:  Joan Sherman                                 15: Brenda Kline; Paul Nachazel            28:  Dorothy Archer

5:  Nathan Skop; Laura Snyder;            18: Pat McGinn; Darcie Dietrich           29:  Steve Bell

Vicki Garlitz                                    20: Mike Jason; Tracy Malpass;           31:  Don Bowers


Anniversaries in August

10:  Brenda & Tracy Malpass                18:  Matthew & Natalie Malpass; Steve & Kathryn Bell

21:  Kris & Laura Snyder                       23:  Ted & Nancy Sherman

25:  Bob & Dee Hawley                         26:  Bob & Cele Malpass


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Birthdays in September

1:  Evan Chappuies                          11: Emmet Chappuies; Marlena Wilson; Matt Sherman

2:  Julie Dowty                                  14: Bill Spence

4:  Loren Hughes                              19: Eden Vrondran

5:  Nancy Sherman                           25: Carter Sherman                          30:  Robert Camiller


Anniversaries in September

8:  Richard & Pat Allen                   9:  Ted & Toni Jeffery

11:  Richard & Patti Hodge            12:  Duane & Debbie Chappuies


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Birthdays in October

1:  Matthew Malpass; Bill Olstrom      4:  Toni Jeffery; John Peebles                9:  Leo Thumser

10: Dennis Jason                                 14: Carolyn McGinn                            15: Trenton Raymond

17: Connie Gillespie                             18: Steve Garlitz                                  20: Rhonda Brennan

26: Axel Olstrom                                 31: Barry Mumich


Anniversaries in October


6:  Richard Eaton & Sandy Johnson               7:  George & Dee Small

11:  Bill & Anne Olstrom                    12:  Dan & Anne Payne                        16: James & Kari Camiller


…….Our Congratulations………

Well wishes go out to Abbie Hawley who graduated from MSU Law School on May 12, 2017.  Abbie is studying to take the Michigan Bar Exam the last week of July.  She will be moving back up north and will be working for the Otsego and Crawford county court system, doing clerkship for their sitting judges.  Our best wishes go out to her.

Congratulations to both Stacey Buckholtz and Trent Raymond on receiving the Gidley Scholarship.  Stacey plans on continuing her education at NCMC in Petoskey for a few years, then transferring to a larger college in the future.  Trent is planning on going to Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie.  We wish both of them much success in this next step of their education.

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Prayer & Concerns

Prayers for Healing for members:  Ken Kline, Mary Kraemer, Mary Jason, Larry Spence, Ken Kline, Joy Hettig, Lillian Martinek, Nancy LaCroix

Prayers for healing for family and friends of members:  Lori Ivester, Christopher Jacobs (friend of Mary Kraemer); Bob & Evon Pluister; Tom & Jody Dabrowski (Bob/Cele’s neighbors), Sookie Ostrander (friend of Shelly Malpass), Si Doctor

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, Martin Rebec, Tom Reid Jr., Jack Peterson

Our nursing home residents:  Connie Gillespie & Jean Peterson


Special Reminders

  • Pastor Donald Kinloch will be filling our pulpit for the months of August and September. Thank you, Pastor Donald!  We look forward to hearing what God imparts to us through you, His servant!
  • FALL POTLUCK following Worship – September 10th. Even though our Jr. Church has continued throughout the summer, we are going to have our ANNUAL FALL POTLUCK to celebrate Jr. Church.  Plan to bring a dish to pass & enjoy fellowship with our church family!
  •  Wednesday Women’s Bible Study is once again meeting at the church – Fireside Room.
  • Ruth Circle has resumed……the third Friday of each month at 10:00 am (through November)…..meeting at the church in the Fireside Room. All ladies are welcome!!!

    Historical Highlights

    †Praise Jesus 135 Years!

    The First Presbyterian Church celebrates its 135th year of worship and ministry in the town of East Jordan, Michigan.  With thankful hearts, we praise God who has brought us safely thus far.  We have grown through blessings and challenges in love and in service.

    Rev. John Redpath and Rev. Lamb helped organize The First Presbyterian Church of East Jordan.  There was no building, just a courageous group of eight (8) people:  Mr. & Mrs. Joseph C. Glenn, their daughters Miss Allie M. and Emma L. Glenn, William Pitt and Harriet Jamison Porter, and Harvey and Catherine Crawford.  Out of this little circle, two elders were chosen, ordained and installed.  The Lord’s Supper was celebrated and the founding meeting, July 26, 1882, ended with a benediction.  Rev. Redpath looked after the church until the first minister Edwin G. Bryant was called as pastor.  Sunday worship was held in the local schoolhouse until the church building was built in 1883.  A pipe organ was added in 1908.  A bell tower was erected in 1922.

    Through the years the church has evolved, sometimes larger, sometimes smaller in membership, but always a beacon of God’s love.  Now, even as we celebrate our past, we embrace the future with excitement, hope, and faith.  We know that God continues to guide us and call us to move forward in faith.  We are the church together in this place.

    Celebrating 135-Years of Worship & Fellowship!