2017-02 Ministry News









[expand title=”Adult Ministry”]
Adult Ministry Logo


Study Groups, Social Groups, and Service Projects…

Thank you for continuing to support ministry for Jesus’ sake. 


  • There will be a Women’s Retreat Saturday, April 8, 2017.  The title is “Fill Your Cup”.  This year it was decided to present a  4 – 5 hour retreat that will be just as fulfilling as the all day retreat.  Stay tuned for more information on time and cost.  Mark your calendar for this exciting, God enriched time of your life.  Reservations will need to be turned in by March 31.  Any questions may be directed to Cathy Martin jcmartin@charter.net or 715-340-8426 and to Mary Gurlea mgurlea@gmail.com or 715-321-2102.
  • “NEW OFFERING” as part of Placemat Ministry!  Bringing out the artist in all of us, we are now offering a COLORING TIME!  Do you like to color?  Do you like coloring with markers, colored pencils, or crayons?  Well, come check this out!  Wednesdays 5:00-5:30 pm starting February 15, 2017, in room J in the Discovery Zone.  We will enjoy the intergenerational gathering as we color our placemats (themed with the lectionary), enjoy discussion, grow new friendships, pray together and celebrate our faith journeys!

THE ADULT MINISTRY TEAM:  Howard, Mary, Kari, John, Jeff, Julie, Keith, Lisa, Vern, Karen, Cathy, Julie, Jan, Patti, Nea.


[expand title=”Missions and Women In Action”]


 Mary Martha Circle warmly invites all women, from 18-99, of our United Methodist Church, to a special program at the Stevens Point location on February 7 at 7:00 pm. We invite you to hear a presentation from Mother Jane of the Church of the Intercession. She will be speaking about Thistle Farms, which supports women’s development, and the local Warming Center hosted at the Church of the Intercession.

Mary Martha Circle meets semi-monthly with a focus on community and world-wide organizations who support women and family issues. As women of the United Methodist Church we are all a part of Women in Action; this circle being one of those subgroups.

Come, enjoy the fellowship of women of our church, enjoy dessert together…and learn about local and worldwide initiatives to support opportunities for women and families.

As you can, we’d appreciate knowing attendance ahead of February 7, so we can plan dessert, room arrangement, etc. Come anyway…even if you’re last minute!!

Jean Hayden and Mary Martha Circle


The 11 volunteers who went to Midwest Mission Distribution Center on January 17-21 say “Thank You” for all the donations, prayers and time you have given the team.  We had an exciting time assembling over 1,000 Personal Dignity Kits, 82 school bags were sewn, 8 desks were prepared for sanding/varnishing, and 22 desks were sanded/varnished and wrapped to be shipped to the Latin American countries.  The fellowship with the team was wonderful.  God is Good!






2017-02 Praying Our Way Forward






By Heather Hahn
Jan. 19, 2017 | UMNS

They are praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and trusting in their common Wesleyan heritage to help find “A Way Forward” for The United Methodist Church.

The Commission on a Way Forward has the daunting task of trying to bridge the denomination’s deep divisions on homosexuality and foster church unity.

When this international group of United Methodists holds its first face-to-face meeting next week in Atlanta, they will bring some very different perspectives and experiences. They also bring a shared commitment to prayer and a faith in God who is bigger than human struggle.

In December, the commission held a conference call to pray together. But next week will be the first time many of the members will meet each other. Their first order of business will be to get to know each other and begin to build trust.

Meanwhile, United Methodists around the world have begun 75 weeks of focused prayer for the denomination — “Praying our Way Forward.”

United Methodist News Service asked each of the 32 commission members and the three bishops serving as moderators about their prayers are as the group begins its work, as well as where they see potential agreement. More than 15 responded.

“So many sisters and brothers around the connection are praying about this work and trusting God to lead us,” said Scott Johnson, a member from the Upper New York Conference. He helped deliver the laity address at last year’s General Conference.

“I’m confident that my sisters and brothers on the commission have been doing the same. Trusting that, my hope is that we come to this work knowing that we are not in this alone. I also hope that we make space for God to do something unexpected.”

Jacques Umembudi Akasa of the Democratic Republic of Congo sees similar promise for the work.

“I think there is reason to hope because it is the wishes of many Methodists,” the United Methodist missionary said in French. “Obviously the task is complex, but we have faith.”

Shared prayers

The Rev. Casey Langley Orr, associate pastor of discipleship at First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, said that in preparation, she has centered herself by repeating three beloved prayers: the Prayer of St. Francisthe Breastplate of St. Patrick and the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer.

“While it is difficult to know what exactly to expect as our conversations begin, my hope is that each of us can aim to be instruments of peace, to recognize Christ in one another, and to remember that we serve and represent God first,” said Orr, a deacon.

The commission includes eight bishops, 13 other clergy and 11 lay members who will all have a vote in the group’s deliberations. The three moderators don’t vote. Members come from nine countries, including the United States, and 14 U.S. states.

The group includes 14 women and two openly gay men. It also has leaders of advocacy groups that have long taken opposing stands on ministry with LGBTQ individuals and biblical interpretation.

General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly, in May authorized the bishops to form the commission just a day after rumors of a potential church split over homosexuality reached a fever pitch.

In following months, many clergy and candidates came out as gay, multiple conferences urged noncompliance with church prohibitions related to homosexuality, and the Western Jurisdiction elected and consecrated Bishop Karen Oliveto, a married lesbian. The Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, plans in April to take up a petition related to her election.

Meanwhile, The Wesleyan Covenant Association, a new group started to boost the denomination’s evangelical voice, has put the commission on notice against any break with current church teachings.

The commission will examine and possibly recommend changes to the denomination’s Book of Discipline, which since 1972 has stated, “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The bishops’ executive committee also has decided that the group will explore new ways of being a global church in different cultural and theological contexts.

“The United Methodist Church is in an unprecedented place, and there is a great deal at stake. At the same time, we are in God’s hands, and God is faithful,” said Florida Area Bishop Ken Carter, one of the three moderators.

“I am praying for the members of the commission. By design, we are men and women of diverse talents, gifts and perspectives, and yet this is the Body of Christ.”

MyungRae Kim Lee, executive director of the National Network of Korean United Methodist Women, has looked to Matthew 7:7 for inspiration.

“I personally believe that as we keep on asking, seeking, and knocking, with the guide of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to find a new way to forward,” said Lee, a  member of the New York Conference.

Points of agreement

Leah Taylor, a Texas Methodist Foundation representative and member of the Texas Conference, said she and other commission members share a sense of honor and heavy responsibility in their role. She also hopes members will find a shared vocabulary “that is kind, thoughtful and generous to all.”

“Personally, I am joyful and fearful at the same time,” she added.

The Rev. Donna Pritchard, senior minister of First United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon, said she trusts the whole commission will come ready to listen to God and each other.

Alice Williams of the Florida Conference said she expects agreement that United Methodists can do more collectively than divided.

The Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, said his experience is that all United Methodists share a common desire to see the reign of God in the church and in the world.

On matters of sexuality specifically, David N. Field also sees reason for hope. The coordinator of the Methodist e-Academy in Switzerland said he thinks commission members can reach an agreement “on many significant issues as to what the church should affirm as the appropriate context for sexual relationships.”

Points of contention ahead

Even as commission members talk about their common faith, some already express divergent views of where they expect the body to end up.

Matt Berryman is the executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, an advocacy group that urges the denomination to include LGBTQ individuals in all aspects of church life, including ordination and marriage.

He believes the commission’s role “has less to do with re-litigating the anachronistic question of whether or not same-sex love and LGBTQ persons are compatible with Christian teaching and much more to do with the urgent necessity we now face to create an inclusive church in the face of ongoing harm and discord.”

Patricia L. Miller is the executive director of the Confessing Movement within The United Methodist Church, an advocacy group that urges the denomination to hold the line on homosexuality teachings.

She believes “the strongest argument within the commission will be recognition of the great decision within The United Methodist Church and the church can no longer continue with the turmoil that exists currently, and that the commission understands it must bring a proposal or proposals to address A Way Forward.”

Seeking end to conflict

Dave Nuckols, Minnesota co-lay leader and Reconciling Ministries Network board member, says he prays that the commission will help the denomination “live into Jesus’ example of radical inclusion of all persons — including LGBTQ persons — and shift our energy from arguing amongst ourselves and instead evangelize the unchurched.”

The Rev. Jessica LaGrone, dean of the chapel of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and a leader of the new Wesleyan Covenant Association, wants “to see the church find a way out of the loop of ongoing conflict that honors Scripture and cares for individuals and the local churches that minister to them.”

Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa said that he expects there is no way to develop “A Way Forward” that will be acceptable to all United Methodists. Some will leave the denomination no matter what happens, he said with sadness.

However, he said, he sees a way to avoid a real schism.

“What is encouraging as far as I am observing is that most people are looking forward to ‘a way forward,’ which will not split the denomination,” he said.

Any recommendations from the new commission would need the approval of General Conference. The Council of Bishops is considering calling a special General Conference in 2019.


2017-02 Seeking Missionaries for Ghana 2018

Have you ever wanted to go on a mission trip that changes the way you see the world? Consider joining the United Methodist International Mission team to Aworowa, Ghana January 2-18, 2018.  Click here to view flyer.

For the past 12 years mission groups have been going to Ghana every other year to assist the Calvary United Methodist church and the community of Aworowa, Ghana. It offers missionaries an opportunity to share their skills, directly work with village people and build an understanding of an amazing culture in Ghana, Africa.

Missionaries are now being sought to fill out a team of 12 people. We are seeking the following kinds of people:
• Committed Christians who love to travel and experience new places
• People will sufficient energy to endure long days of missionary work
• Basic teaching skills to assist in producing vacation bible school
• Carpenter and painting ability
• Medical backgrounds (Doctors or Nurses)
• Energy to play with village children (games and sports)
• Ability to work as a team member
• Good health

If the above sounds interesting and you would like more information call John Munson at 715-341-1208 and he will go over all details.
The mission team will be formed by May 1st so a timely decision is necessary to facilitate travel, housing and trip objectives.
This trip will change your life, expand your Christian understandings and challenge your future. Come join us.

2017-02 News and Upcoming Events


Please keep Pat Miller and her family in your prayers.  Pat’s husband Michael died January 4, 2017.  A funeral service was held Monday, January 9, 2017 at the Pisarski Funeral Home of Stevens Point.

Please keep the family of Ruby Cram in your prayers.  Ruby died, Sunday, January 22, 2017.  A funeral service was held on Saturday, January 28 at Boston Funeral Home of Stevens Point.

Please keep Samantha Aldrich and her family in your prayers.  Samantha’s grandmother Phyllis Engebretson died Wednesday, January 25, 2017.  A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at Boston Funeral Home of Stevens Point.


Nora Katheryn Anderson, born April 14, 2016, daughter of Joseph and Tracy Anderson and granddaughter of Tom Skillman, was baptized on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Charlotte Jean LaRue, born September 6, 2016, daughter of Dustin and Jennifer LaRue and granddaughter of Tom Skillman, was baptized on Sunday, January 8, 2017.




Congratulations to Rebecca and Jason O’Connell on the birth of their daughter Corrine, December 23, 2016.



UMC Youth Ministry leadership was recognized by the Portage County Alliance for Youth at their annual awards dinner on Thursday evening, January 26.  Laura Courtright Burns is one of the four local youth ministers to receive the award.  Congratulations Laura!

Our Youth Ministry commits on a regular basis to local community service in addition to the events that bring awareness and raise funds for worldwide social justice initiatives.


Sunday, January 8 @ Point Location, in the library.

TAKE NOTE: In order for the church to provide the best care we can, people should let us know when someone is in the hospital or has moved to another caring facility.



DON’T FORGET . . . During the months of January, February, March and April to read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. 
Share any insights with the pastor about your reading.



By Sam Hodges
January 10, 2017 | UMNS

A commemorative “forever” stamp honoring Dorothy Height goes on sale Feb. 1, 2017.  Image courtesy of the U. S. Postal Service.  It’s a physically small form of recognition, but a hugely selective one.  Not many people get their face on a U.S. Postal Service stamp.

Dorothy Height, a United Methodist who loomed large in civil rights and women’s rights history, will soon join that group.  A commemorative “forever” stamp honoring her goes on sale February 1, 2017.

The image, already shared by the Postal Service, shows Height near the end of her long life, dressed to the nines in lavender, her favorite color.  She is wearing one of her trademark broad-rim hats.  Height, who died in 2010 at age 98, held key positions with both the YWCA and the National Council of Negro Women.  She led the latter for more than 40 years.  A longtime member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in New York, Height helped organize the National Council of Churches women’s caucus.  She also founded the Black Family Reunion Celebration.  Her work included fighting segregation in the 1950s and helping black citizens register to vote in the South in the 1960s.  Through the years, she focused on addressing poverty, and on expanding opportunity for women and strengthening families.



Forty members of the 115th Congress – just beginning its work in Washington – are United Methodists.  That is a decline by three from the 114th Congress.  In the Senate, United Methodists remain at 10.  The number of United Methodists in the House has decreased from 33 to 30. United Methodists remain in third place in congressional religious affiliations, behind Catholics and Baptists – the same ordering since 1994.



Engage, Grow and Serve with the UMM from the Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church of West Bend.

More information will be distributed as it becomes available and there will be a presentation with an opportunity to register at the February 25 (8:00 am) Men’s Breakfast at the Plover location.



Join us for the Women’s Retreat March 31 – April 2, 2017 at Lake Lucerne Camp and Retreat Center We will Bee United by God’s Sweet Word as we participate in workshops such as Bee Keeping, Bible Study, Cooking with Herbs, Flower Arranging, Sweet Music with Chimes, Stamping, Mindful Movement and more. There will be devotions, worship and social time too.

The cost is $160 for 2 night’s lodging, 5 meals and all materials. A $60 deposit must accompany your registration form, registration deadline and final payment is due March 1, 2017. For more information contact bonnieclement05@gmail.com or 262-895-2644.


The Stevens Point Area YMCA is pleased to share some great news! Central Rivers Farmshed has announced that the inaugural season of the Stevens Point Area Winter Farmers’ Market will begin on November 12th and reoccur on Saturdays until the end of March. Please see the attached Press Release for the current list of vendors and details on the weekly hot breakfast, and visit Farmshed’s website for further information: http://www.farmshed.org/our-work/stevens-point-area-winter-farmers-market/


[expand title=”HAPPY BIRTHDAY”]

Happy Birthday to our 90 and over
members, constituents and friends

(No birthdays in February)



[expand title=”MEN’S BREAKFAST”]

Saturday, February 25, 2017
8:00 am at the Plover location

Join men of faith for breakfast & fellowship.
Menu: Crock pot breakfast casserole and fruit.



[expand title=”MEET AND GREET”]

The following is a list of groups who are in charge of Meet & Greet:

February 5       Outreach
February 12     Missions
February 19     Faithlink and Barhopping Group
February 26     Book Explorers
March 5            Boy Scouts Breakfast
March 12          Touch of Brass
March 19          Wednesday Night Bible Study
March 26          Chancel Choir






2017-02 30 Hour Famine–Community Youth Event

To raise awareness and funds for hungry children around the world

This February 24 and 25, we join with hundreds of thousands of Youth from around the world for this life-changing event. Our Youth will grow closer to Christ and each other as they fast for 30 hours to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger. ALL Youth, grades 6-12, are welcome to join in the fun and faith-filled service-learning event!

This event is sponsored by the joint Youth Ministry of the United Methodist and Episcopal churches of the Stevens Point and Plover area. St. Paul’s will host this area wide event.

Please support our Youth through their fundraising efforts, by helping at the event, and with your prayers. Online giving is easy at our team’s website: youth.worldvision.org/team/SYC.  For more information on joining the event, please contact Laura Courtright Burns at 715-340-4523 or lauracourtright@gmail.com.

2017-02 Finance Corner







We have a wonderful community that we belong to and I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You.  Thank you for your awesome generosity – throughout this year as you all have made it possible for us to make our bottom line!!  Thank you for serving – the Greeters, Ushers, Communion Servers, Sunday School teachers, Nursery workers, Power Point helpers, Office Volunteers, Disciples Diners, Place of Peace, Holiday Baskets Project Fresh Clothes and all of the others that I have missed.  Thank you for sticking with our church through thick and thin – It would be easy to give up and go elsewhere during the lean times or the tough times.  But the tough times make us stronger, help us to grow closer to each other and help our faith grow.  Thank you for inviting others – Our church grows primarily by word of mouth and it’s great to see new faces!  Thank you to the staff – You have all been awesome in watching your expenses and have played a huge part in helping us make our bottom line!!  I am so very thankful for all of you and for the generosity that you have brought forth this past year.  Thank you so very much.  God has blessed us greatly and I am proud to be a part of this congregation.

Through the financial gifts from each of you, our members and friends, we have been able to support the following agencies and organizations:

  • Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Project Fresh Clothes
  • Holiday Baskets
  • Jaipur Foot
  • Ghana Mission
  • Place of Peace
  • Umcor
  • Camp Scholarships
  • One Great Hour Of Sharing
  • Imagine No Malaria
  • Habitat for Humanity
  •  Midwest Distribution Center
  • Northcott House and more

We are a very blessed community of faith.  We lift up our cares and concerns to share with each other during worship.  After worship, we get together to visit, share stories, and welcome visitors and newcomers.  This community of faith has an invaluable gift to share with others.  Our commitment to making disciples of Jesus Christ requires inviting and welcoming newcomers into our community and then building our community together.  Included in this work of ministry are costs associated with many different teams.  The pastors are responsible for planning the Sunday Worship; we have a wonderful adult ministry and children’s ministry that both create amazing educational opportunities throughout the year.  We have been blessed with extraordinary gifts of music, which help to enhance the worship service and also deepen our relationship with God.  We are fortunate to have a paid child care staff which allows for the parents to be able to have a more meaningful worship experience. There are many “behind the scenes” teams that also are very committed – the Administration Office, the Technical staff, the Communication staff, and where would we be without a clean and repaired building?  There are also many others that I have not listed.  I am so very excited by the continued commitment of our members and friends as we grow our ministries and our community.  Thank you again for doing your part in building up in our community!!  God continues to do new and great things here!  I can’t wait to see what He’s going to do in 2017!!


2017-02 Do you or someone you know need a Stephen Minister?

Here’s What People Are Saying about Stephen Ministry . . .

“I thank God ever day for my Stephen Minister. I don’t know how I could have made it through the past year without her.”

“Before I had a Stephen Minister, I struggled with whether I even believed in God. Now I have seen God’s love face-to-face through my Stephen Minister. It is life-changing.”

“I was alone and had no one to turn to. Then I heard about Stephen Ministry. My Stephen
Minister became a friend I could really count on.”

If you would like more information on our Stephen Ministry or know of someone who may be in need of a Stephen Minster, please contact Pastor Howard or Randy Hermes, Coordinator.

2017-02 Mission News


Salvation Army Stevens Point Hope Center
Hope Center is place of hope for those who have little or none left. With a family-type environment, the Hope Center provides a warm bed for those who are in need of emergency shelter for a given period of time. Residents meet with an advocate to create a plan, just for them, to get back on their feet again. Meals are served daily for those who are in need of something at breakfast, lunch or dinner.



Soup and Crackers



The purpose of the pantry is to act as hands of the community to serve the Portage County residents in need of supplemental food. The pantry serves any resident of Portage County, commonly including unemployed, underemployed, elderly, handicapped, single parent or large households.

The pantry provides regular service twice per month, the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 6 to 8 PM. The pantry serves an average of 650 persons (about 160 households) at each pantry or about 1,300 persons (320 households) per month. Each household receives food in proportion to household size: about 50 to 80 pounds of food per each pantry. Items distributed include meat, potatoes, frozen products, canned and boxed items, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy items, eggs, bread and bakery items.

2017-02 Make A-New Wisconsin


We are entering the information sharing segment of the Feasibility Study, which was approved at Annual Conference in 2016. Members of the North Central District churches are especially invited to the three dates listed below. Please share this invitation with leaders of your church and members of your circuit in as many ways as possible – as a bulletin insert, as an announcement in worship, as a link on your website, or as a handout at key leadership meetings.

For a complete list of all 20 sites, please check out this 

Individual interviews with members of The James Company staff will be held at these sites on the same days. Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has also prepared an introductory video that can be viewed and shared here.

What is the Feasibility Study for?  It’s to determine how we can financially meet the growing needs of the Wisconsin Annual Conference by considering the best way to provide essential financial support to fund the initiatives God is calling us to live out.

Out of respect for the host churches providing snacks, please email dlund@jamescompany.com to let us know how many people will be attending which particular forum.

February 12 2:30 p.m. Tomah: First UMC
February 13  1:30 & 6:30 p.m. Stevens Point: St. Paul’s UMC
February 14  10:30 a.m.  Minocqua: Church of the Pines UMC

2017-02 A Message from Pastor Howard Hintzman

Two parts to my note this month. First of all, I want to express my appreciation to Pastor Hyejung for her time of serving here as appointed by Bishop Jung. She taught me some things about being in ministry and life together as a colleague. One of the funny things she asked me, while in preparation for Bishop Jung’s appearance in worship in 2016, was why we needed to have cake, a suggestion I made. It would have been so simple to say, “Well, duh, that’s what you do for a celebration, you have cake”. She helped me think about why we say or do the things we do. She also helped me to remember that communication is a two-way street. I learned that if Pastor Hyejung had to work hard at speaking the English language, then I had to work just as hard at listening. So often we want communication in life to be easy, but for it to be good whether Korean/English, Republican/Democrat, male/female, parent/child it takes work on both sides. So, I send Pastor Hyejung to Eau Claire with my blessings, and ask that you keep her faithfully in your prayers.
The second thing I want to speak to is an opportunity you will have to hear two different preachers this winter and spring. On the last Sunday of February, Pastor Eric Taylor, a son of this congregation, who is currently appointed to Parfreyville United Methodist Church, will be preaching at both services here and I will be preaching at the congregation he serves. Eric is on his way to being ordained an elder in the next couple of years, the final step in the process of being a pastor in full connection and this will give you a chance to see what fine work you have done in helping him arrive at this place in his life. Also, late in April, someone many of you know well, Candy Lisiecki, who preaches at the South Burr Oak United Methodist Church, will be preaching here and I will be preaching at her congregation. In both of these opportunities, you are able to witness the way you have helped to grow up preachers/clergy for the entire church of Christ. Till next time…h (I am back to one h now that Pastor Hyejung has moved on).