• By:  
  • Date:  




Thoughts & Inspiration

God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile!  (Max Lucado)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your eyes, kindness in your face, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greetings.  We are all but His instruments who do our little bit and pass by.  I believe that the way in which an act of kindness is done is as important as the action itself.

Brenda K. Malpass & Nancy Sherman, co-editors


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.


February-April 2018


Every Wed:

Choir – 6:30 pm (church)


Deacons Meeting:  2/13  – 6:00 pm

Session Meeting:  2/19 – 6:00 pm

MOPS:  2/12 & 2/26 – 9:30 am


Deacons Meeting:  Cancelled this month

Session Meeting: 3/19 – 6:00 pm

MOPS:  3/12 – 9:30 am


Deacons Meeting:  4/10 – 6:00 pm

Session Meeting:  4/16 – 6:00 pm

MOPS:  4/9 & 4/23 – 9:30 am



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


 A Balanced Life

Betty Purser Patten

 My life has been balanced with pleasures and trials,

I’ve had many teardrops and thousands of smiles.

I’ve soared to the moon and I’ve plunged to the sand.

My life has been balanced by God’s loving hand.

I’ve had many friendships, I’ve had a few foes,

In the life of a Christian that’s the way that it goes.

Should I just accept only good from God’s hands?

No, I must endure whatever He plans.

But I can be sure and you can be too,

All things work for best as God deals with you.


I love this poem because it is realistic. As we end another year and look forward to the next year of 2018, I want to approach my life with acceptance of life as it is, not as I hope that it will be. For when we enter this life with an attitude of acceptance, than we can truly be free. God never promised us that we wouldn’t have struggles or be disappointed with outcomes. Jesus himself said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) I have been taught that I cannot control people, places and things. What I can control and work on is me and my attitudes. I may not necessarily like it, but I must accept it. If I try to control things, I am only setting myself up for resentments and heartaches. But there is a silver lining in all of this, and that is that God will help me get through whatever I cannot control. 1 Peter 5:7 instructs us “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” In an article that I found, Jennifer Rothnnie states: “So, knowing this, how do we actually go about casting all our anxiety on God (I Peter 5:7)?


In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus gives a short sermon on how to let go of anxiety. Some of the lessons taught in this are:

– Life is more important than the details

– The body is more important than the things that go in or on it

– The animals do not plan for the future yet God provides for even them (God has placed far higher value on us)

– No amount of worrying could ever lengthen our lives

– Vanity is fruitless, for even Solomon could never rival a simple flower of God’s creation

– Do not borrow trouble

The Bible also gives some practical “heart” advice: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.    Philippians 4:6

Cutting off the endless loop of anxious thoughts is important, as anxiety feeds off repetitive, worthless thoughts that do nothing to change anything. Prayer (talking the issue over with God), Thanksgiving (focusing on blessings rather than trouble), and supplication (asking God to help with the problem) are all excellent ways as they stop the anxious thoughts, replace those thoughts with a positive, and begin the process of true concern which seeks to fix the problem. Rejoicing is another major way to combat anxiety.

This is easier said than done. I have been known to be a real worry wart. However, I find comfort in this writing by Rothnie. As we stride toward the road to happy destiny in 2018, as we strive toward a life that is happy, joyous and free, may we all be reminded that he is here to help us on our journey. We do not have to control it, manipulate it, or worry unnecessarily about it. What we can do, and should do, is pray and accept. Amen.

Julie Dowty, CLP


You Can’t Take it With You!

All of us have heard the statement at one time or another. Some of us have heard and even told jokes about people leaving cash in the casket so that they might sneak some into heaven should they have the opportunity.

While we definitely cannot sneak cash into heaven, we can make a difference beyond our lifetime. In fact, East Jordan Presbyterian Church is the benefactor of several endowments that were created by people who are no longer with us. While I am not specifically suggesting endowments, I am suggesting that we need to make end-of-life plans.

The Presbyterian Church USA has resources available to us. They can be explored at:  www.presbyterianfoundation.org. There is a wealth of information available on this website. Once in the website, you have a long list of resources to choose from.

If you are looking to create a lasting legacy, build a culture of generosity within your family, or simply fund the many charities you care about, talk to the Presbyterian Foundation about the flexibility of a Donor-Advised Fund.  Donor-advised funds are the fastest growing means of charitable giving today, offering immediate tax advantages, simplified record-keeping, and flexibility in choosing beneficiaries and investment options.

The Foundation’s online tools help you manage your donor-advised fund with just a few clicks to recommend grants, add to your fund, track giving history, and change the way your Fund is invested.  The website also has information on wills and bequests. Your will and other estate planning documents provide an ideal opportunity to make a statement of your faith and to give resources that will support your church or favorite mission for years to come.

Estate Planning can also help to protect your current assets. You can include your medical directive for including your wishes for end-of-life decision-making.  While the website is extremely helpful, I recommend you also see an estate planning attorney. With the help of an attorney, Nancy and I were able to set up a trust fund and will that assures that assets will be distributed as we desire. We save our children from having to decide who gets what. We also spare them from having a court make decisions for them.

Ken Visser, Treasurer


 †† As We Say Our “Goodbyes” ††

It was with sadness our congregation learned of the death of Lyle Shipe on Sunday, October 29.  He was living at the Brooks Retirement Home in Boyne City at the time of his passing.  Lyle will be remembered for his dedication to his job as the editor of the Michigan Snowmobiler Magazine where he was recognized and inducted into the Michigan Snowmobilers Hall of Fame in 2014.  His funeral was held on November 1, 2017 at the Penzien Funeral Home with Pastor Donald Kinloch performing the service.  He was the father of Dave and Robin Shipe, Patti and Bill Tisron and Dennis and Ayn Shipe.

Please keep Rhonda Brennan along with her daughters Stephanie, Stacey and Madison Buckholz in your prayers as Rhonda’s mother, Charlene Brennan, passed away on November 6th at Grandvue Medical Care Facility.  A funeral Mass was held on November 10th at the St. Joseph Catholic Church.  Many of you may recall the delicious meals you enjoyed when she and her husband were owners of the “Round Table” Restaurant here in town.

†† Deacons Corner ††

The Deacon Board has been kept busy this fall and winter as we have said “goodbye” to our snowbirds, presenting ceramic tiles to those who did not already have them.  It is hoped that we can keep in touch with our absent church family members until their return in the spring. We will have some minor reorganization required with our Contact Lists and will inform those who may have a different deacon assigned to them. With the New Year we say also “goodbye” to Dorothy Archer as her term finishes and “welcome” to Donna Kline, who will add her previous church service background to our Board.

The deacons organized and served at funeral receptions for Jean Peterson (Oct. 26) and Lyle Shipe (Nov. 1). We also provided lunch and organized the craft tables for Advent Happening. Many thanks to the volunteers for such a great variety of new crafts this year. With Lent beginning February 15, we expect to organize a lunch when we host the Ecumenical Lenten Service at our church.

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is hoping to get enough “Pocket Prayer Squares” ready so we can place a basketful in our sanctuary soon. We are also hoping to be able to have a basket in the Care and Share store and The Depot. We feel this can be a meaningful outreach to the East Jordan community. Please prayerfully consider using your time and knitting talent to provide either full-size shawls or squares to this ministry.  Questions? Call Susan Kinloch (231-599-2077) or Phyllis Childs, winter coordinator, (231-582-3488). This fall we were able to give 3 shawls and 4 squares to members and friends. We currently have several shawls and lots of squares ready to be shared. Please inform your deacon or the church office if you know of someone needing either a shawl or square.

As deacons of this church we continue to serve in our many and varied capacities. We have fewer hands now (6 serving deacons), but will strive, with God’s help, to “serve the Lord with gladness”.

Susan Kinloch, Moderator

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Session Updates

October 2017

  • Approval of a youth mission trip to Angel Free Mission in June of 2018
  • Approval to participate with a display in the Christmas Village in the Park

November 2017

  • Approval to use a congregational survey in conjunction with seeking a new pastor
  • Approval to hold our annual congregational meeting on January 28, 2018

December 2018

  • Approval for Julie Dowty to teach a confirmation class
  • Approval for youth group to use the church for an overnight event
  • Approval for use of the Sidebotham Capital Fund for elevator and organ maintenance and repairs
  • Approval of a cost of living pay increase for staff
  • Approval for requesting of COM to have Julie Dowty Commissioned as a Ruling Elder (CRE) for EJ FPC to serve as backup during our Pastoral vacancy
  • Approval for Elaine Birgy to purchase a new phone
  • Approval of Christmas Gifts for Staff

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

 Youth News

Mark your calendars friends we have many fun and exciting things coming up for the Youth.

Here are a few things on the Agenda:

  • Confirmation Classes will be starting in February. We will be having a parent meeting regarding schedules and times on February 4th after worship. Please bring your calendars, including your sports calendars.
  • Youth Overnight: Games and fun, fun, fun. Friday, February 9th (beginning at 7:00 pm)
  • April 1st, Easter: Youth will be doing the Sunrise service (7:30 am).
  • Youth will be providing Fellowship after worship on April 8th.

God’s Holy Spirit of love and learning is moving and growing in First Presbyterian Youth Group.

Yours In Christ,

Julie Dowty, Youth Director


MOPS Update by Natalie Malpass

This year our MOPS group going strong with 13 moms attending meetings and approximately 15 children signed up for MOPPETS care. Our moms are coming from East Jordan, Elmira, Boyne City, and Charlevoix. We have continued to hear very positive feedback from the moms that this has been such a great outlet for them to have a much-needed mommy break, to be able to bond with other moms of young children, and take a little time out of their busy days for some self-reflection.

This year the MOPS theme is Free Indeed, it encourages moms to “Let Love be the loudest voice, to be Gutsy, and to go First.” We have spent our meetings discussing how to make our lives clutter free, on how pointless worrying is, on how to continue to build a healthy marriage, on the true meaning of Christmas, how to make the holidays special for our families without taking it over the top, and the benefits that self-care can have not only for you but for your family as well. All that and it’s only been 4 months! We have also added moms’ night out evenings and play groups this year to give moms even more opportunities to develop friendships.

We have been very blessed to have Ken Visser as our MOPS contact at the church and he has been doing an amazing job of recruiting volunteers from the church to help with kids care. Without the church volunteers our MOPS program wouldn’t be possible, so I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered their time this year. MOPS will continue on through May, so if you haven’t had an opportunity to come and play with kids yet, but you would like to, there is still time! Our up-coming dates are January 22, February 12 and 26, March 12, April 9 and 23, and May 14.


Delicious Delights from Debbie

Do you like to make something old new again?  I was recently asked to bring a “relish tray” to a shower.  I didn’t want to just take a platter with a bunch of veggies on it.  How boring!  I decided to look for a new way to present veggies, so I went to Pinterest.  Now, I have tried Pinterest recipes before, and they don’t usually come out looking or tasting as good as they tell you they will, but I decided to give it the old college try!  It was such a hit, that any time I think I want to do a veggie tray in the future…this is what you will get!


Stuffed Shells

1 box of large pasta shells

1 head of iceberg lettuce

1 head of cauliflower

1 head of broccoli

1 small bag of radishes

1 small bag of carrots

1 can small black olives

1 seedless cucumber

Bacon (cooked and chopped)

Parmesan cheese (shredded)

Leaf lettuce (for presentation)

Salad dressing of your choice


Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions.  Rinse and drain so they aren’t wet or sticky.  Lay them out on some paper towel to assure the water is all gone, then refrigerate. I did this the night before.

Now, I went the easy route and bought as many of the veggies pre-shredded/cut up as possible, but you can certainly do it yourself.  Just make sure everything is in tiny pieces for easier handling.  For instance, the cauliflower and broccoli I purchased looked like it had been put in a processor as it was the size of rice.  Be sure to also shred that lettuce into tiny pieces, or buy it already done.

You can use whatever combination of veggies you want.  Use olives or not.  It’s whatever you like or have on hand.  The box of shells will have 30+ and I cooked them all.  I made up the “salad” in two small batches as I didn’t know how much it would take to fill the shells.  I used a Caesar dressing as I felt it should be something “Italian” since I was using pasta and Caesar is often not as tart as regular Italian.  Combine all the veggies you are using with the shredded lettuce in a large bowl.  Pour on the dressing, but don’t put as much as you might usually.  You don’t want it dripping out of the shells…it’s just to give some flavor.  You may wish to salt and pepper.

Once you have it the way you like it, take a large spoon and start filling your shells.  I took the leaf lettuce and laid them out on a platter, then placed the shells in one layer.  I then sprinkled the bacon and shredded fresh parmesan over the top.  It is a really nice presentation and everyone went crazy for them!  It’s kind of like lettuce wraps as you can just pick the shell right up and eat it.  This might be a great way to get those fussy eaters to eat more veggies!  You will probably have veggies leftover, so you will have a nice salad for your dinner later.



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

Whit Armstrong

  1. I have four (4) brothers and two (2) sisters.
  2. My Dad’s birthday is July 4th, and my Mother’s is December 25th!
  3. I have two (2) brothers retired from the military.
  4. I have five (5) letters of commendation while serving in the Army.
  5. Unlike other grandparents, my grandchildren are the light of my world!

Anne Payne

  1. I spent Christmas (and 6 months) in Germany during the second year of my life.
  2. My favorite car I ever owned was a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird nicknamed Black Beauty.
  3. I studied in Guadalajara, Mexico during college.
  4. My favorite singers are Prince and Juanes.
  5. I’ve led 7 trips abroad for high school students. The 8th is scheduled for this June, to Spain.


 Prayer & Concerns

Prayers for members:  Lorna Peebles, Jim & Marie Shepard, Lorraine Hawley, Mary Jason, Larry Spence, Ken Kline, Joy Hettig, Lillian Martinek

Prayers for family and friends of members:  Billie Reid (Lorraine Hawley’s niece), Pete Zoulek, Barb Dowty (Allen’s mother), Nancy LaCroix, Mary Kraemer, David Waterson (nephew of Ken & Donna Kline)

Those with cancer or chronic issues:  Children/Youth:  Casey Gardner, Adults:  Pete Zoulek, R.G.V., Olive Brown, Sookie Ostrander (friend of Shelly Malpass), Lori Ivester, Laura Freeman, John Doidge, Angie Skop, Martin Rebec, Tom Reid Jr., Jack Peterson

Our nursing home residents:  Connie Gillespie


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Pastoral Nominating Committee (P.N.C.) Update

At a Special Congregational meeting in November, the following people were elected to serve on the P.N.C.:

Ken Visser, Brenda K. Malpass, Dee Hawley, Jeff Cook, Pat McGinn, Linda Snyder & Toni Jeffery.

A congregational survey has been sent out.  If you have not received the survey, please contact the office (or a member of the P.N.C.), and we will ensure that you get one, as your input is extremely vital.  The P.N.C. meets next week to begin the search for a Designated Pastor.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Birthdays in February

5:    Laken Skop                                    8:    Denny Jesiek                     14:  Elaine Spence

16:  Richard Hodge                               20:  Shirley Butcher                 22:  Amanda Spence

24:  Nancy LaCroix; Keegan Malpass     28:  Kendall Raymond


Anniversaries in February

16:  Jim & Marie Shepard                     24:  Nathan & Lindsey Skop


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Birthdays in March

1:    Jennifer Saad                                             5:    Tracey Sherman                        7:    Sophie Snyder; Bonnie Jones

9:   Kay Abramson                                            11:   Rich Dietrich                             17:  Haylah Buell

18:  Patti Hodge; Brian Guzniczak             20:  Alyssa Sherman                        22:  Alice Thumser

23:  Mary Jason                                                 25:  Stacey Buckholz


Anniversaries in March



*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Birthdays in April


3:   Sally Lilak; Hilary Buell                  5:   Nick Cook                          6:    Brenda K. Malpass

8:   Rachel Walters                              9:   Samantha Chappuies         10:  Keith Guzniczak; Rick Gotts

13:  Olivia Payne                                  14:  Bob Malpass                      15:  Lillian Martinek

19:   Shirley Bowers                              24:  Madison Peterson             25:  Gary Peters

26:  Taylor Hawley; Lauri Sherman      27:  Bob Hawley                       30:  Penelope Malpass


Anniversaries in April


10:  Ken & Nancy Visser                       15:  Robert & Bonnie Jones                  22:  Mike & Nicole Youngs


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


……Congratulations – Our Youth in the News………


Congratulations to several of our amazing youth who have been recognized for their outstanding performances in sports this past fall.


Boys Cross Country:

Aaron Nachazel:         All region, state qualifier and individual academic all state recipient

Ethan Nachazel:          All conference honorable mention, all region, state qualifier and individual academic all state recipient

Alex Schlueter:             All conference honorable mention, all region and state qualifier


Girls Golf:

Kendall Raymond – All conference honorable mention


The Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association honored the girls Volleyball team for earning a cumulative team GPA of over 3.30.  Members from our youth are Gabby Snyder and Madeline Malpass.


*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Special Reminders

  • Presbytery Meeting – Saturday, February 10th in Bellaire.
  • Ruth Circle & the Wednesday Morning Bible Study are “on vacation” until spring. We’ll let you know when both programs resume…….they will continue to meet in the Fireside Room on Wednesdays at 10:30 am.  All ladies are welcome!!!
  • World Day of Prayer – Friday, March 2nd.              (More information to come later)
  • SPRING BREAK – Friday, March 23rd – Sunday, April 1st.
  • Palm Sunday – March 25th
  • Easter/Resurrection Sunday – April 1st  (YOUTH Sunrise at 7:30 am; Regular Worship at 9:30 am)


Lenten Service Schedule (Wednesdays at 12:15pm)

February 21:              United Methodist Church

February 28:              E. J. Community Church

March 7:                    First Presbyterian Church

March 14:                  Lighthouse Missionary Church

March 21:                  Evangelical Lutheran Church

Good Friday:             St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (7:00 pm)