Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pastor’s Ponderings

Pastor’s Ponderings
By Pastor Terri

The day started off with sadness today.  As I woke up, the news was full of the story of the young white man who went into a black Charleston South Carolina church, joined in with an ongoing Bible study for about an hour and then stood up, spewing hateful racist words and shot and killed 9 people, including the pastor.  Is there any doubt that the enemy walks among us?!?

I could rant and rave on and on about things like, how does a 21 year old come to hate like that….or didn’t he show any signs of mental illness …..or how could a young man even conceive such a plan much less carry it off?  But these questions really have no real answers and yet, they have a multitude of answers.  But the answers to those questions will not bring those people back to us.  The answers will not make that church feel safe again.  The answers will not make the WORLD feel safe again.

Our world is NOT safe.  As long as the enemy is allowed to roam freely, it will never be safe.  So how do we fix this?  How do we make the world a safe place for our children and our grandchildren?  The answer is simple……..Jesus.  Jesus did more than just provide our salvation.  He taught us how to live.  He didn’t bring the Good News message to only the Jews.  In fact, He went out of His way to bring that message to the gentiles.  Jesus’ message and His salvation is for EVERYONE.  But so many people have not built a relationship with Him yet.  Christian folks are supposed to share Him, churches are supposed to share His message, but we are failing!  I look at all of the empty places in our sanctuary on Sunday and I worry about the church’s health.  This tragedy has reminded me that the survival of the church is not the real issue.  The real issue is the survival of mankind!

Was this young man ever introduced to the Jesus we know?  Was this young man ever invited to a loving, caring, inclusive church?  Was this young man ever taught to “love his neighbor as himself”?  And the even scarier question, how many more young people are out there who need to be reached?

Friends, we cannot continue to look at our church as a place for us to take care of each other.  That is a priority, but an even more urgent priority is that we need to lead more people to Christ.  The world needs more of what Christ came to give but so many people still don’t know about Him!  So ask your friends and family to join you at church!  Ask them again and again and again.  Don’t prejudge their answers except to ASSUME that they would Love to go!  Invite them to the Bible studies and small group studies.  In fact, invite them to everything— you never know what will get them to join you.

Please be in prayer for our brothers and sisters at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and for young Dylann and his family.

Announcements and Stuff


Because Pastor Terri will be gone the first Sunday of July, we will be having Communion on the second Sunday, July 12th.

Annual Conference – Live Stream

I hope you all got a chance to see what transpired at Annual Conference this year by watching the live stream at If you want to hear about what transpired at the conference, see Denise or Edie or go to the conference website.

Charge Conference!

Our Charge Conference is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, September 9th at 7 pm at Shelby UMC.  Soon some of our chairpersons will be getting copies of forms that need to be completed.  Please complete the forms as soon as you are able (Deadline is 8/31) and return them to the church office.  If you would like a short report on what your committee has been doing in the last year included in our packet, please submit that also by the 8/31.

Charge Conference is our opportunity to celebrate all that has happened in the past year and to plan for the coming year.  We will also be voting on your leadership. I hope you will all plan to be there!

Prayer Shawl Ministry

When you are under a physical or emotional crisis, the world seems like a pretty cold place.  We want to be able to comfort and warm the hearts of those we know who are in crisis.  A few of our ladies are going to be hard at work making Prayer Shawls.  These shawls will be given to folks who need to cover themselves in prayer.  If you are interested in helping out with this ministry, see Pastor Terri. Can’t knit or crochet – you can still help by contributing yarn.  The world can be a pretty chilly place. Shelby/Claybanks UMC are going to do our best to comfort and warm with our prayers and our shawls!

Claybanks UMC Strawberry Social

Don’t forget the 73rd Annual Strawberry Social.  Mark your calendars for August 14th.  More information coming in next month’s newsletter.

A Plea from the Secretary

Hi Everyone!  I’ve designated July as my “work on the church directory” month.  I know a few of you have checked and made corrections to your address, phone number, and email address.  For those of you who haven’t done that yet, won’t you please take a few minutes and check yours?  Communication outside of church is so important and we don’t want you to miss out on any fun activities ☺ I’ve left a piece of paper on the back table in the fellowship hall for any changes you’d like to make. (Or you can always call me or email your changes.)

While I’m at it, how about the birthdays and anniversaries I don’t have on my list?  When I compare my list of birthdays and anniversaries to the number of people I see in church I’m thinking there are an awfully lot of people that never age and even more couples that are living in sin! ☺  Won’t you please share your special dates with the rest of us so we can help you celebrate?



Good news!  The new website for CUMC is up and running!  We are now able to declare our mission, beliefs, and “happenings” to the public as well as reach out to people searching for a church to attend.  We can stay in touch with the world through this modern day form of advertising.

A big thank you to Luanne Nienhouse for putting in many hours creating this page.  She has done a superb job!  Luanne and Konnie will be updating it as needed.  Take a few minutes to visit the site and let us know what you think.


Vacation Bible School will be held July 6 -10 from 9 am – Noon at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5631 W. Stony Lake Rd., New Era, MI  49446   Everyone is welcome.  For more information, please contact Pam Mitteer at 231-861-6581.

Yard/Rummage Sale

Shelby UMC will be holding a yard/rummage sale on August 1 from 9 am to 1 pm in the church parking lot.  Drop in and check things out.  I’m sure you can find a few valuables that are really needed.  For more information contact Kris Whitlock at 810-441-2224.

“Your altitude in life is a direct result of your attitude.”


Missions News

Your Missions Committee Hard at Work

The Missions Committee has voted to commit to preparing and serving one dinner for Family Promise  each time it is held at Montague UMC, which should be about 4 times per year.  The next date will be sometime during the week of July 19.  We are asking people to prayerfully consider volunteering to step forward to contribute their time and services for this worthy cause.  This is one way we can reach out to local people in need and lend a helping hand.  Each volunteer will be required to turn in a volunteer form which is located on our back table in the fellowship hall.  For any questions, or to volunteer please see June Freeman.

Another item of business was filling a “Lane 1 Mission”, as encouraged by our Conference.  This is a mission which supports a missionary(s) in various parts of the world.  We have not done this in a number of years and feel now is the time. Once a year we would like to take a special collection to be put toward a “Lane 1 Mission.”  This year we chose a married couple, Mark & Rebecca Smallwood, who are teachers at Red Bird Mission in Kentucky.  On July 19 we will be taking an additional collection during our worship service over and above our regular offering, which will be sent to the West Michigan Conference and earmarked for Mark and Rebecca.  Again, we ask you to prayerfully give in support of all their hard work.

We thank you in advance for all you are willing and able to do to help the CUMC reach out to a community/world in need.

Upcoming Scripture and Sermon Topics

“”Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” – Philipians4:6

July 5th – Guest Speakers:  Anita Anderson at SUMC and Nancy Frye at CBUMC

July 12th – Isaiah 52: 7-10 – “Journey” – Communion

July 19th – Genesis 1: 1-19 – “Night and Day”

July 26th – Luke 12: 22-34 – “Concern”


Pastor’s Ponderings

I love the TV show, “Little House on the Prairie”. I love the way people interacted in those times. Times were really hard, but everyone pitched in and helped one another. Your barn burned down…..everyone in town got together on a Saturday and built another one. People noticed when you didn’t come to church and they went to your house to check on you. If you lived in town you had a porch and you sat out on it on warm evenings and you waved at and talked to your neighbors who passed by. Everyone was friendly and caring.

People don’t sit out on their porches much anymore. On warm days, they stay inside with the air-conditioner. We don’t talk to our neighbors very much, we don’t even do much face-talk with our families. We email, we text…… We have isolated ourselves by jumping into our technology. People are forgetting how to relate to each other without some sort of technology as the middle-man.

This inward and isolated state of living is affecting our churches too. We don’t know how to connect with each other. We show up for church on Sunday, sit in the pew, listen to the pastor talk and stand up to sing a hymn or two and then……many of us don’t even stay to visit with one another. We go home and resume our isolated inward focused lives. When someone is missing from our congregation, it can be weeks before anyone notices. We pray for each other, we donate as we are able when there is a need, but we keep the situations and each other at arm’s length. Nothing reaches us, nothing touches us, we are insulated and isolated….and lonely.

We don’t know each other very well. We don’t know OURSELVES very well. We’ve got all the different social medias telling us what the news is, what to think and who we are and what is important – we’ve forgotten how to think and feel for ourselves.

This summer, I hope to return to a more ‘relationship building’ existence. We will be talking a lot about prayer and building a strong personal relationship with God. I also encourage you to look at other relationships in your life.

Spend more time with your family … and turn off the TV, the computers and the cell phones. Go on a picnic, go to the beach, go hiking together! Talk to each other! Spend time with friends around a bonfire, organize a neighborhood block party, put your rocking chair on the porch and go and sit out there. Read a book or better yet, WRITE one! Spend some time in meditative prayer, do some journaling, get to know yourself a little bit.

Take the ‘noise’ out of your life and listen to the birds and the squirrels and the children! Notice the smells of all the different flowers, the freshly cut grass and even the cows! Feel the warm breezes, touch the warm sand! Get reacquainted with the world and the people in your life. This could be an exciting adventure! Hope you will join me on it!
Happy Summer!

Upcoming Scripture and Sermon Topics

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” – Philippians 4:6

The tradition of using a string of beads or rope knots is an ancient tradition as well as being a ritual action shared by many faith traditions around the globe. The common connection is the ability to give structure to personal prayer devotion. It offers a way to remind and revisit various areas of focus and concern. Repeated rituals can be powerful as they help shape our habits. This summer, we are going to be invited to pray “All My Days” (our theme song) and to make a habit of prayer wherever we are. Each Sunday in worship we will focus on one of the steps of the prayer beads but you are encouraged to pray these categories all summer long!

June 7 –  Pastor Terri will be at Annual Conference in Grand Rapids
Guest Speakers: Ron Robatham at SUMC and Jim Tanis at CUMC

June 14 – Isaiah 56:1-8  – “All of My Days” – Communion

June 21 (Father’s Day) – 1 John 4:7-21 – “Letting Go”

June 28 – Psalm 46 – “Silence”

Announcements and Stuff

Annual Conference – Live Stream

This year the West Michigan Annual Conference will be held at Calvin College from Thursday to Sunday, June 4th- 7th. Pastor Terri, Denise Schuitema and Edie Bogart will be attending on your behalf. There will be lots of interesting things happening and lots of very important decisions up for discussion and vote. Our Keynote Teacher is the Rev. Adam Hamilton, Lead Pastor at the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, KS. Adam is the author of several books and has a passion and commitment to the revitalization of the UMC. He frequently shares his insights entitled, “Leading Beyond the Walls,” at Annual Conferences across the denomination. You will be able to ‘live-stream’ the conference again this year.

Check the conference website: for more information. Please be in prayer for the conference, its delegates and clergy during this gathering time.


Because Pastor Terri will be gone the first Sunday of June and July, we will be having Communion on the second Sunday those months.

Sunday School/SUM Club News

SUM Club and Sunday school are over or winding down. We want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who contributed by being teachers, gym supervisors or meal clean-up crew.

Also, a big thanks for those of you who contributed meals for SUM Club or class-room supplies. We could not have done all the wonderful things with the kids that we were able to do if not for all of your help! Thanks so very much! Now……rest up…September will be here before you know it!

Prayer Shawl Ministry

When you are under a physical or emotional crisis, the world seems like a pretty cold place. We want to be able to comfort and warm the hearts of those we know who are in crisis. A few of our ladies are going to be hard at work making Prayer Shawls. These shawls will be given to folks who need to cover themselves in prayer. If you are interested in helping out with this ministry, see Pastor Terri. Can’t knit or crochet – you can still help by contributing yarn. The world can be a pretty chilly place, Shelby/Claybanks UMC are going to do our best to comfort and warm with our prayers and our shawls!

Lay Leader Musings
by Edie Bogart

As you may know, I take the task of representing the Claybanks congregation at annual conference very seriously. The church, as always, as in the beginning, faces tough controversial issues. For that reason, I attended a session on “Holy Conferencing”. The topic for practicing this method of dialogue was on human sexuality and sexual orientation.

The purpose was not to change each other’s views but to listen intently as each person in the small group was given an uninterrupted chance to speak on each of three questions. After each person spoke, we were all given moments of silence to process and think on what was said in a nonjudgmental manner. This method of conferencing allowed dignity and respect to each individual no matter what opinion they held. This method removes the element of angry confrontation if allowed to work properly.

There is great power of love in those moments of silence.

Pulpit Supply


I have got a great line-up to cover our pulpits for the days that I will be gone.

June 7th                      Shelby-Ron Robotham          Claybanks-Jim Tanis
(I’ll be at AC)

July 5th                        Shelby-Anita Anderson          Claybanks-Nancy Frye
(Vacation day)

August 2nd                 Shelby-Jim Tanis                       Claybanks-Jim Tanis
(I’m at school)

August 9th                   Shelby-Denise Schuitema      Claybanks-Denise Schuitema
(still at school)

Pastor Terri

All are Invited

All y’all – and your churches – are invited to a Hootenany/picnic hosted by Hugh and Nancy Frye at their cabin.

Mark your calendars for June 14 2015 , 2:00 to whenever. 2nd Annual Hootenanny/Church Picnic hosted at Hughie & Nancy Frye’s cabin.

A fun afternoon of food, fellowship, frolic, and music.  Got a guitar? Bring it! Got a harmonica? Bring it! Got a musical instrument? Bring it!

(Electricity and indoor plumbing provided!!!)

Hope to see you all there.


Pastor Mary Sweet
Whitehall & Crestwood UMCs

A Quick note from your secretary

Hi everyone! I’m going to be updating our directory in the next month or so. Would you please take a moment to check your information that was published last year and let me know if there are any changes that need to be made. I’ll put a paper on the back table for you to make your changes on. (If you don’t have last year’s directory you may check the one I’ve left on the same table.)


May the love and power of God’s presence fill your awareness – your prayers make a difference.