Our meeting on Tue. Sept. 11th at 5:30 at church is our annual planning meeting with a potluck meal.  *drink and dessert will be provided*   This is an important meeting as it will determine our budget and activities for 2019 and will be helpful if we have many planners!    

Hope to see you there!  Jane Yaeger 

Evelyn Meiner Circle

Join us on Tuesday, September 25th at 6:30pm at Church where Barb & Bobbi will share the GOOD NEWS!  Are you depressed hearing of all the troubles our world is facing that seem insurmountable?  We are!  So we are digging up the stories that often aren’t told...the stories of young people & women overcoming challenges & making a positive change in our world. 
 Come hear a different kind of “C.B.S. EVENING NEWS” and it won’t even take “SIXTY MINUTES.”  Come hear some GOOD NEWS!! 

UMW Sunday

Sunday, May 20 will be  
United Methodist Women Sunday 
In addition to the Service, we’ll be providing                                                                                                                  a salad luncheon. 
Come to Church and plan to stay for lunch! 

The United Methodist Women

will meet on  Tuesday, February 13th at church at 5:30p.m. for our Call to Prayer and Self Denial meal and program.  Leadership development remains a key part of United Methodist Women’s vision which equips women and girls around the world to be leaders in communities, agencies, workplaces, governments and churches.   
In 2018, the offering from the Call to Prayer and Self Denial observance will support national and international programs that develop leaders of all ages.  These programs will offer educational opportunities to the underserved and marginalized.  Projects will include (but not limited to) child development and after-school programs, GED and ESL programs, job readiness, life skills and livelihood training, scholarships, workshops and seminars, informal and formal educational opportunities.  One hundred percent of the offering will go to the projects receiving the grants. 
Please join us for this quiet meal followed by an informative program. 


Evelyn Meiner Circle

Tue. Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m. at Jane Yaeger’s “Inspiring Flowers and Their Meaning.” 

Lenten Schedule

Lenten Simple Supper & Lessons

Feb. 14 6:00p Ash Wednesday Service, No supper, at 1st Presby., Meno.

Lenten Simple Supper & Lessons: 5:30/6:00p

Feb. 21 at Peshtigo UMC

Feb. 28 at Community Covenant Church of Menominee

Mar. 7 at First UMC of Menominee

Mar. 14 at Pioneer Presbyterian Church of Marinette

Mar. 21 at First UMC, Marinette

Mar. 29 6:00p Maundy Thursday Service at Peace United Church of Christ 

Our pasties are popular!!!

On Nov. 11, we made 800 pasties! This was very much a group effort and United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men are very thankful for all who showed up on Friday and Saturday to make the sale a success. It takes many hands to peel and dice, veggies, measure, mix dough, mix meat mixture with the veggies, roll dough, bag each pasty, keep track of the money and do mounds of dishes. While it was a long day, I don’t believe anyone would say they did not have fun in the process. The next sale is in March 2018. 


United Methodist Men and United Methodist Women will be making pasties on Sat. Nov. 11.  Please be sure to get your orders to Jane Yaeger before November 5th.  
PASTY DAY also brings a request for help!  We’ll need potato peelers and onion dicers and table arrangers on Fri. 10th starting around 7:30 and on Saturday morning people to roll, mix, grind, assemble, and package. 
Please consider helping!  Guaranteed to be a good time!

Third Annual Trunk Or Treat

In conjunction with the Downtown Menominee Merchants annual Halloween celebration, we will again be hosting a "Trunk or Treat" in the Church parking lot on Thursday, October 26th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Please decorate your trunks and bring lots of candy!  Last year we had an estimated 350 kids come through!  We will have a potluck in Fellowship Hall immediately following.  There's no need to sign up for this event.  For more information, please contact Judy Rost @ 906-788-4771.  

Circle Cookies

The Evelyn Meiner Circle will meet on  Tue. October 24th  at 6:30p at the church.    
We’ll be making  Halloween Cookie-Mix Jars. All ingredients will be                                                                                   provided.  Come for a night of freaky fun and fellowship!  
For more information,  please contact Judy Rost  @ 906-788-4771       

Mark Your Calendar

October 7th The District Day of Inspiration (Formerly the Learning Fair) will have Ray Buckley, a storyteller, author and illustrator. The day is titled: Roots & Branches: Deep Story How do you Share your Faith Story. It will be held at the Marquette Hope Connection Center from 1-5pm EST. See Liane Callow for further information.

October 8th During the worship service we ill have Voices of Peace. Voices of Peace is a Gospel group. Bud and Carolyn have been friends of our congregation for many years. Please plan to attend for a service of music. 

Lenten Service Schedule

*March 1 Ash Wednesday: Marinette First UMC, 813 Owena St., Marinette, WI
March 8:  Peace United Church of Christ, 933 Elizabeth Ave., Marinette, WI
March 15: Community Covenant Church, 1123 13th St., Menominee, MI
March 22: Pioneer Presbyterian, 1947 Riverside Ave., Marinette, WI
March 29: First Presbyterian, 923 5th St., Menominee, MI
April 5: Menominee First UMC, 601 10th Ave., Menominee, MI
April 13 Maundy Thursday: First Presbyterian, 923 5th St., Menominee, MI 
*No soup supper preceding Ash Wednesday Service. 


Congregant Recognized For Work With 4-H

CONGRATULATIONS to Katrina Marzian for being recognized in the Eagle-Herald for her help with the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Club. 



CONGRATULATIONS to Mary Louise Kahl on the nice article in the January Stephenson Journal newspaper.  (A copy of the full article is on the bulletin board in the Gathering Room). 
First inspired to become a teacher at age 10, she went to college immediately following her high school education in Missouri.  She earned a teaching certificate and after 24 summers of further school, she graduated with a Bachelor Science Degree in Education.  She began her teaching career in 1942 when the teacher often had to arrive early to get a fire started and carry water from a pump.  She retired in May, 1976 after over 50 years of teaching, mentoring, tutoring, making wonderful memories, and more than 400 students, most of whom she still knows by name.  The article says she is still teaching today; teaching all of us by her example to live our lives wisely.  She is teaching us to invest in the lives of others. 
This article speaks of her public education life, but we also know Mary Louise as a Sunday School teacher for 50 years. 
Well done, good and faithful servant!

Pasty Sale March 11

Orders need to be in by Sunday, March 5. 
Please plan to help on Friday early morning to prepare potatoes and onions, and also on Saturday morning for rolling, mixing, and bagging pasties. 



Thanks to the many who served on the “cookie crew,” more than 100 dozen cookies were baked yielding $500 that will be used for mission projects in our community and beyond.  Thanks also to everyone who purchased cookies.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed making them!
We also delivered cookies to homebound friends of the Church and to the Homeless Shelter.
Thank you everyone!


UMW Chili Lunch

United Methodist Women will not be meeting in January but we have a treat for you……
            Sunday, January 29 we’ll hold a chili lunch right after church.  We will have gluten free, vegetarian and “regular” chili and, of course, dessert!
We hope you will plan to come!


The holiday hustle & bustle is over. Time to curl up with a good book.  The Reading Program has so many to choose from.  If you haven’t already read Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, you still have time before the movie comes out starring Renee Zellweger & Jon Voight.  Will it be as good as the book??
Check out all the selections on the book cart in the Gathering Room and take one home with yhou.  It is sure to warm your heart during these cold winter days.  And, who knows, maybe it’ll be on the silver screen!



20+ women gathered at The Landing for dinner before heading to Church for dessert and a gift exchange of ornaments representing charities that received donations. The organizations receiving donations included:
*Puppies behind bars in which inmates help train service dogs;
*Special Olympics;
*Star Tree Family;
*Meals on Wheels;
*Food Pantry;
*Numerous donations to local Home-less Shelter; and
*Justice & Mercy for the Amazon, an organization highlighted in a UMW Reading Program book.
Many worthwhile causes were supported and we had a good time guessing what the ornament represented as well!  We were stumped more than once!
Circle meetings are open to all women.  We always enjoy fellowship and food as well as growing in our faith and service to others.


Advent Offering for Haiti Relief

Bishop David Bard has designated the 2016 Michigan Area Advent Offering for Haiti Relief.
Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
By all accounts, Hurricane Matthew is the greatest humanitarian crisis experienced by Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.  An estimated 350,000 people are homeless and there are confirmed reports of 900 dead with thousands injured.  This tragedy is expected to unfold for months as Cholera spreads and the total loss of the planting season leads to wide-spread food shortages.
The Michigan Area Haiti Task Force is actively working with the United Methodist Council on Relief (UMCOR) and local mission partners in Haiti to offer assistance to our sisters and brokers there.  The Haitian people will need our long-term support to recover from this deadly storm.
For this reason, I have asked that the 2016 Bishop’s Advent Offering be designated to support relief efforts in Haiti.  In November, you will receive Advent Offering materials that can be used to share this message of compassion and need.  Please make checks payable to:
“Detroit Annual Conference with Haiti Task Force - #0861 in the memo field”
“West Michigan Conference with remittance Report Fund Number 5910 under Conference Ministries (Lane 6) and indicate Bishop’s Appeal for Haiti.”
As we remember the miraculous gift of the birth of our Savior, let us share a message of support, hope and love for the people of Haiti through our gifts.  Let us bring God’s light to those living in darkness.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop David A. Bard



Mission Giving
From its beginning, United Methodist Women has focused on ministries with women, children, and youth.  Our local unit is blessed to be able to reach out to so many in our area as well as statewide with a monetary donation each Christmas.  We have funded this with pledges from our members, extra projects such as the recent pasty sale and our congregation being so generous in supporting us and participating and helping in our functions.
          At our last meeting of the 2016 year, we gave money to our Star Tree for the two families we adopted for Christmas, DAR, Abundant Life Homeless Shelter, Salvation Army, CASA, Rescue Squad, United Methodist Children’s Home, United Methodist Retirement Home, United Methodist Community House and a refugee family sponsored by a church downstate.
          Wishing everyone a very Blessed Christmas!


Happy 104TH Birthday to Jim Anderle

Several friends and neighbors gathered on Oct. 23 to help Jim celebrate.  Jim is currently at Rennes West recuperating from a broken ankle and would enjoy your visit.
He says he will see us next year –- hopefully at his house! 


Star Tree

We have adopted two families through Menominee Social Services for this year’s Star Tree.  Please choose a star off the tree, sign your name on the clipboard under that star’s corresponding number, purchase the gift, and return it unwrapped to Church on or before December 18.  The Evelyn Meiner Circle will wrap the gifts after Church and deliver them to the families.  If you hate to shop, we’ll be happy to do it for you – monetary donations are always accepted!  For more information, please contact Judy Rost at 906-788-4771

Evelyn Meiner Circle Christmas Party

The Evelyn Meiner Circle Christmas Party will be Tuesday, December 6, at 5:30 p.m. at The Landing.  Dessert and ornament exchange immediately following at Church.  If you want to participate in the ornament exchange, donate to a charity of your choice, purchase an ornament that could represent that charity, and wrap.  It’s always fun trying to guess what charity the ornament represents.  For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Judy Rost at 906-788-4771. 

United Methodist Women

We will meet on Tuesday, November 8 at Church at 6:30 p.m. for the last meeting of the year.  We’ll have the opportunity to offer our pledges toward our 2017 budget and will be disbursing funds for Christmas donations for mission work in our area and state. 
 Please plan to join us.  All are welcome!! 

       Pasty Sale

 A tasty, warm pasty will taste so good on the cold days coming up!  You’ll want to stock your freezer at our sale on Saturday, November 5.


As you may know, Hospice is an organization in your area committed to improving end of life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying and their loved ones.
This care addresses medical care, pain management, and spiritual support.  The goal is to promote comfort and dignity tailored to the patient’s wishes and to provide emotional and spiritual support to the family.
OSF Homecare & Hospice and UP Health System Homecare & Hospice are joining together to let you know about National Hospice Month and the help patients and their families receive.

UMW Reading Program

The 2016 UMW Reading Program is already coming to a close.  Lists of books read, at least one in each of the 5 categories, need to be        submitted       to         Bobbi Sundquist     by September 15th.  Bobbi will submit the information to the Marquette UMW so that you receive the recognition you deserve.
Don’t worry if you haven’t met your goal for this year.  We will just roll what you have read this year into 2017 so you will be well on your way to meeting next year’s goal!
A committee of four eager readers met and ordered 18 new books for the 2017 Reading Program so you will have many exciting new choices available on the book cart soon!  No need to wait since there are numerous wonderful choices still available from previous years.  Check them out before or after Church or when you attend a UMW Circle meeting.
Bobbi Sundquist 



Ladies – let’s get together and talk about out summer and make some plans for 2017!  I’m sure it has been a busy summer for all, but September brings us back to the last part of our 2016 UMW year and the chance to get together and back in the swing of things.
United Methodist Women will meet on Tuesday, September 13th at Church at 5:30 p.m.  We’ll have lots to catch up on, food to eat (bring a dish to pass!), and planning to do for our 2017 activities.
We are seeking your input!  Young or old, someone who has never attended a United Methodist Women meeting, or you that have come for years – ALL are valuable and welcome.
If you have any questions or want a ride, please call me at 906-864-4433.
Jane Yaeger, UMW President


Kids School Supply Round Up

Thanks to Loren and Rachael Anderson, we will once again be handing out School Supplies, at our Kids School School Supply Round Up, on Sunday August 21st from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Last year we donated 50 sets of supplies to local families... This year our goal is to give out 60 sets. We are looking for volunteers to help "man" a table as a popcorn, lemonade stand. Lets join in to reach out to families in our neighborhood.
                                                  Items needed:
                       Donations/ Monies/ Volunteers. and Prayers for our Mission to Reach Our Kids. 

Water Front Parade Hot Dog Giveaway

Our church will once again hand out free Hot Dogs and Bottled Water during the Waterfront Parade. In the past this event has been enjoyed by many. This is a great chance to out reach to the community. Along with the Hot dogs, we will be handing out cards inviting families to our...Kids School Supply Round Up... on August 21st from 1:00 to 2:30 pm to pick up school supplies. and enjoy refreshments.

Welcome Lunch

Please make a note on your calendar -- there will be a welcome lunch for Pastor Ryan on Sunday, July 3, 2016, after service.  

Meet In The Middle

We are planning a joint welcoming party with our Church and First United Methodist Church of Escanaba for Rev. Ryan Edwardson, to be held on Sunday July 10 at 3:00.  It will be held at Wells Park in Cedar River.  Bring a dish to pass and whatever you would like to drink.  Hot dogs and table service will be provided.  If you would like other meat, bring your own.  We will carpool from Church.  Be here by 2:15 in the parking lot.  We will gather at the Park at 3:00 with dinner at 4:00. Outdoor games will be available and we will be right by the swimming beach pavilion.    
If you have a library card, free park entry stickers (good for seven days) are available at 


There will be no UMW meetings for July and August.  Meetings will resume on September 13, 2016   

A Big Thanks

To everyone who helped with the cleaning and yard work at the parsonage – Amen.  
Bernie Beyer and Trustees 
Join us on July 3,2016, as we
welcome Our new Pastor Ryan Edwardson. 
Fellowship:10.30 am
Service:      11:00 am
There will be a welcome lunch for Pastor Ryan
after service   Hope you can be there!!


Pasty Lunch coming up!!

  The United Methodist Women will be hosting a pasty lunch after church on Sunday May 15.  We hope you will plan to stay and enjoy a pasty, some bars and fellowship!  No reservations needed; free will offering.  

United Methodist Women's Sunday

United Methodist Women will be presenting our Sunday service on May 15.  Barb has a great message/ program for us; we’ll be honoring one of our ladies with a Special Mission Recognition and we will be preparing a pasty lunch to be enjoyed by all after the service.   


 Our United Methodist Women will be meeting  Tuesday May 10 at 6:30 p.m. at church.  Barb will be presenting our annual World Thank Offering.  The World Thank Offering is one of the five channels for Mission Giving for UMW with the reminder that as we are blessed by God, we seek to be a blessing to others in our community and in the world.  ALL ladies are welcome and encouraged to join us.  This will be our last business meeting until fall.  

New Members

It is a joy to have individuals desiring to officially join our congregation by new membership or transfer. Since the first of the year we have received the following: Roger and Judy Bartz, Cal and Kelly Schweitzer, Bob Lescoe, Steve and Char Swanson, Jean Cairns. We welcome you!
“Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is to like to that above"


We were blessed to witness the baptism of Dakota Khollman on Sun. March 20th. Let us take our promise seriously to uphold this precious one so that she may grow in the knowledge and love of God. “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 10-14b .  


“Climate Justice – A Call to Hope and Action” United Methodist Women’s 2016 Mission Studies are: Spiritual growth: “The Bible and Human Sexuality” Issue Study: “Climate Justice” Geographic: “Latin America — People and Faith” Judy Rost will present a Mission Study on Climate Justice on April 12th at church at 6:30 p.m. All ladies are welcome! I hope you will join us for the program and fellowship. If you have questions or need a ride, call Jane 864 4433.


Menu:        Baked French Toast
                   Juice, Milk, Coffee
Free will donation.  Worship to follow at 10:00 a.m.
RSVP TO:  Phyllis Johnson at 863-3040 or Church Office at 864-2555.  Even if you’re unsure and can’t RSVP, come anyway.  We are just trying to get an estimate of how many to prepare for.



Orders for pasties must be placed by March 6.  Please call Jane at 906-864-4433 to place orders.  Help needed peeling potatoes for pasties on Friday, March 11 at 7:30 a.m. at the Church.  Help will also be needed beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, March 12 at Church to put together pasties.  Please call Kathleen (906-863-2938) or Jane (906-864-4433) if you are able to help.



After almost 42 years of service, Judy Rost is retiring from Tyco!  Since my Church family has been such a big part of my life, I’d like to invite you to my retirement celebration on Saturday, April 16, at 5:00 p.m. at the Menominee Township Hall.  Details and a sign-up sheet will be in the Gathering Area later this month.

Our Menominee Food Pantry, operated by St. Vincent DePaul and located at Resurrection Church, serves 100 to 500 clients each month?
Do you know what items are rarely donated to the Food Pantry? (Hint:  it’s not food and it’s not covered by food stamps)
          Laundry soap               Paper towels                Shampoo and bar soap
          Dish soap                     Toothpaste                             Deodorant
Our Church, in cooperation with another community church, could pledge to supply these essential items so that each client receives a bag of supplies: one month cleaning items and the next month the personal hygiene items.
________________________________ (name)  _____________________ (phone #)
___________ $5 a month towards the purchase of the items listed above
_______    Laundry soap, dish soap, 1 roll of paper towel every other month (Jan., March, May, July, Sept., Nov.)
_______    Shampoo and bar soap, deodorant, toothpaste every other month (Feb., April, June, August, October, December )
_______    I can also help by collecting, bagging, delivering to the Food Pantry.
Please contact Bobbi @ 906-864-9337 or Barb @ 906-863-7387 for more info and to make your pledge.  Your pledge and donation can be placed in the offertory or given to Bobbi or Barb.


Evelyn Meiner Circle

Evelyn Meiner Circle will meet Tue. Feb. 23rd at 6:30 p.m. at Jane Yaeger’s.   We invite any lady (and a friend!) to join us as we host Jennifer Brady and her ‘essential oils’.  We’ll learn about - and feel - oils of the Bible and other more common oils.  Please join us!  For more info, directions, or for a ride contact Jane at 864-4433.




After worship on January 31, we’re excited to once again bring you our chili lunch.  We hope you will remember the date and stay for food and fellowship.


We’ve once again adopted a family through Social Services to help make their Christmas bright.  This year’s family has 3 little girls, ages 5 and under.  The father lost his job and is picking up odd jobs to make ends meet.  Their furnace broke down and needs to be replaced, so there’s no money for Christmas.  Please choose a star or two off the tree, sign your name and phone number next to the corresponding star’s number on the clipboard, purchase the gift, and return it unwrapped to Church on or before Sunday, December 20.  The Evelyn Meiner Circle will wrap and deliver the gifts in time for Christmas.  If you hate shopping, we’ll do it for you.  Monetary donations will also be accepted.  Please contact Judy Rost or Bobbi Sundquist for more information. 


 Monday, December 21, 2015 here at the Church beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Evelyn Meiner Circle


The Evelyn Meiner Circle Christmas Party will be Tuesday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Landing.  Ornament opening and dessert immediately following at Jane’s.  As in the past, please donate to a charity of your choice, purchase an ornament that somehow symbolizes that charity, wrap and bring to Jane’s.  We always have fun guessing what charity was donated to based on the ornament!  Please let Judy Rost (906-788-4771) know if you’ll be attending so she can finalize reservations.  Hope to see you there! 


December 7 at K-Mart.  A sign-up  sheet is in the Gathering Room.  
Let’s fill all the times!!  If you have any questions, please call Kathleen
 Kewley at 863-2938. 



At Church, November 21, 2015 from     
9:00 to 12:00.  Coffee, sweet rolls,
fellowship, and FUN!!! 



The 2015 UMW Reading program has come to a close and 10 women have met the requirements to receive their Certificate of Achievement, as well as accolades from all!
Special recognition goes to the reader who completed 20 books:
Hearty congratulations to the reader who completed 15 books:
                   Mary Kahl
Hats off to the readers who completed 10 books:
                   Mary Balfour
Kathleen Kewley
Bobbi Sundquist

Hip hip hurrah to those who completed 5 books:
                   Kathy Bergh
                   Nancy Gibout
                   Sandy Kangas
                   Judy Rost
                   Jane Yaeger
Several have participated by reading books in various categories, including, Ruth Anderson, Mary Lou Anderson, Liane Callow, Rosamond Connell, Micky Duke, Sharon Gerzetich, Phyllis Johnson, Dawn Thoune and Lisa
We have all grown in our faith and understanding thru the books we have read.  Look for more opportunities as the 2016 Reading Program begins with many new additions to our library!  Check them out in the Gathering Area on Sunday or at UMW meetings.  Question?  Contact Bobbi 


LADIES!!  We’ll meet at Church at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10 for our annual United Methodist Women pledge service, followed by a business meeting.  Please come and express your ideas on disbursing our funds for mission use.  ALL are welcome!  If you have a question or need a ride, please call the Church Office at 864-2555 and Mary will put you in touch with someone who will help.  Hope to see on November 10.
On October 6, 4 of us attended the Marquette District Annual meeting in St. Ignace.  Our speaker was Hannah
Huebner      from      the        Methodist
Children’s Home Society in Redford, Michigan.  This is a residential home for boys in the Detroit area. They provide foster care placement services, adoption services, a full time operating residential treatment facility for boys, and transitional housing and 
independent living services for young men.  An offering was taken for the children’s home, with $1660 received in addition to items for the home that were brought to the meeting by the various UMW groups.  After the meeting, we visited the Hope Chest, which is a retail (thrift) shop operated by a coalition of 6 churches in St. Ignace.  They have been open for 8 years, and  just  passed $1,000,000 in  sales (this doesn’t include cash donations!)  All items are “sold” for donation only.  Proceeds enable Hope to grant financial aid to those in their community who are in need.  It was an awe-inspiring visit, to see what these churches have been able to do, working together, and the impact they are having on their community.



 That’s right – trunk not trick!  Decorate your car trunk and pass out candy to trick-or treaters in the Church parking lot during the Menominee Downtown Merchants Halloween celebration.  Then head down to Fellowship Hall for a pot-luck supper immediately following.  The date and times will be announced at a later date.  Costumes optional! 


The Evelyn Meiner Circle will meet Tuesday, October 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Judy Rost’s.  A spooooooky supper will be provided, including ghostly chili and severed finger breadsticks.  We will be making Halloween/Fall jewelry. 
Participants will take home a matching earring/bracelet set.  Not feeling crafty?  Come anyway for fun, fellowship and mayhem.  For more information or for directions, call Judge at 906-788-4771.  Hope to scare—I mean see—you there!



Have you noticed our beautiful solid oak rolling book cart that displays the books in the UMW Reading Program?  It is a huge improvement over the temporary stacking of books on the table in the Gathering Room.  Now you can easily browse all the selections in our library while making your choices.
The book cart was purchased with the donations made to Kathy Carrier’s memorial fund.  Kathy loved to read and always eagerly waited for the arrival of new purchases since she read just about every addition to our collection each year.
We miss Kathy deeply.  The book cart will soon bear a plaque commemorating the book cart to her memory, a loving reminder of her dedication to the UMW Reading Program and the special place she will always hold in our hearts 


Kids School Supply Round Up

 CONGRATULATIONS Loren and Rachael Anderson on the success of the August 23rd Kids/School Supply Round Up!!  There were between 50-60 kids who showed up.  Thank you for all your hard work in the organization of this great program.  And thank you volunteers for pitching in and making this such a great success.

United Methodist Women

September 1st  ALL ladies are invited! This is our annual potluck meal and planning meeting for our 2016 programs.    We’ll also feature an opportunity to give items for the United Methodist Children’s Home in Redford, MI.   A director from the home will be our guest speaker at the UMW District Celebration in St. Ignace this Oct. 6th and we are hoping to take items for her to take back to the home.  
Items requested are:  
Coloring books & crayons, puzzles, story books, puzzles, games, yoga mats, headphones, Axe body products, footballs/volley balls/ soccer balls, sand toys, swimming goggles, twin sheets (super hero theme if possible). Pencil cases, backpacks, white board markers, graphing calculator. Starter make-up kit, deodorant, shaving cream and razors, tooth brushes/toothpaste, nail clippers.   Anyone wanting to donate – please bring items to our meeting or to church before Oct. 4th.  
   Thanks! Jane Yaeger 

Evelyn Meiner Circle

Evelyn Meiner circle will meet Tuesday, May 19th at church at 6:30 p.m.  Please note the different date and location from our printed schedule!  
Jane has asked Pastor Craig Mansur, who is Chaplain at Bay Area to present the “Five Wishes” program.  This widely used form has been called “the first living will with a heart and soul.”  There are many things in life that are out of our hands.  The Five Wishes program/document gives us a way to control something very important – how you are treated if you get seriously ill.  It is an easy to complete form that lets you say exactly what you want and once completed and properly signed, it is valid under the laws of most states.  
I have gone to the program and completed my form.  I found it very:   Necessary:  It needs to be done.  
Enjoyable:  Pastor Mansur is a wonderful facilitator.
Educational: I learned a lot about what can/should be taken care of ahead of time.
Helpful: Pastor Mansur makes it easy to do.
Reassuring:  I am glad my family won’t have to guess what my wishes are, or worse, decide something I really wouldn’t have wanted.  
I hope you will not only plan to come but also bring a friend!   

United Methodist Men

May 7, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. 


United Methodist Women will meet on Tuesday, May 12th at 6:30 p.m. at church for our annual World Thank Offering program.  This program promotes spontaneous gifts out of gratitude for God’s abundance and in celebration of the joys of life.  The World Thank Offering is an opportunity for individuals to respond to God’s abundance and grace with spontaneous gifts of gratitude.  The funds collected are used in the total program of mission carried on through United Methodist Women’s national office in the United States and around the world.  United Methodist Women have 94 National mission institutions.  We have 126 International mission institutions spread through Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean and the Middle East.  The challenge ahead of time is to bring 25 cents for every pair of shoes you own.  Please come and enjoy our evening!   

Spagetti Supper

Troop 1177 will be holding a spaghetti/silent auction dinner in the Church basement on Saturday, April 11th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are:
     $4.00 for students
     $5.00 for seniors
     $6.00 for adults
Please call Trisha at 715-587-9601 for ticket or with any questions.

Easter Breakfast

Sunday, April 5, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.

Menu:             Baked French Toast
                        Boiled Eggs
                       Juice, Milk, Coffee
Free will donation.  Worship to follow at 10:00 a.m.
RSVP TO:  Phyllis Johnson at 863-3040 or Church office at 864-2555.  Even if you’re unsure and can’t RSVP, come anyway.  We are just trying to get an estimate of how many to prepare for.

United Methodist Women

Please join the United Methodist Women for their next meeting on April 14th held at church beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Each year, United Methodist Women members prepare for faithful living and action by studying mission studies.  Mission studies are offered each year – a geographical, topical, and spiritual growth study.  These studies motivate, inform, and enrich our commitment to global ministry.  Judy Rost will present a mission study for us at our next meeting. 
If you haven’t been to one of our evenings, don’t be shy!  We welcome all ladies in our church and a friend they may want to bring.  Please contact Jane if you have any questions.  Hope to see you on April 14th!                        

Evelyn Meiner Circle

Don’t miss the Evelyn Meiner Circle meeting on April 28th!  The Twin City Squares will be with us and it promises to be a fun evening; we will even be learning a step or two.  Please grab a partner and Do-Si-Do on over to Church at 6:30 on the 28th.


We will be having a prayer vigil in the sanctuary beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Good Friday, April 3rd.  We are asking people to sign up for one hour slots.  The vigil will go through to Saturday evening, with the last time slot at 7:00 p.m.  You can do this alone or in teams.  Feel free to bring anyone with you to pray.  This is a very powerful way to spend this Holy time waiting for the Resurrection of Christ.  There will be resources available to help you as you pray.  If you have any questions, feel free to call Pastor Bruce or Liane Callow.

Evelyn Meiner Circle

Evelyn Meiner Circle will meet Tuesday, March 31, at 6:30 pm at Church.  Dress comfy!  We will be watching a movie about an amazing autistic woman.  Temple Grandin is now a renowned animal husbandry expert, but we will see her and how her mind worked in her teen and young adult years.  She has been able to bridge the gap between the autistic and non-autistic workings of the mind.  Come and enjoy!

UMM News

At our last meeting we made a $200.00 donation to Camp Michigamme.  We have also recharted for 2015.  A possible rummage sale for spring or summer was also discussed.  Our next meeting will be Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.  All men are welcome.  Please come.       

Pasty Sale March 14, 2015

Yes, it’s Pasty Time again!!  Please place your orders by March 9th by contacting Jane at 864-4433 or Kathleen at 863-2938.
We will need help early Friday the 13th to peel potatoes and, of course, on Saturday the 14th to assemble pasties.

“The Closet” Program

As Carla Dionne mentioned during last Sunday’s Announcements, there is a need for Marinette School’s less fortunate students, providing clothing and hygiene products for any individual in need.  Last school year, there were 94 homeless children in the Marinette School District.  The current needs include:
New Bras, Socks and Underwear for boys and girls,
 (Elementary School sizes and High School sizes)
* Gift Cards for Walmart work great!
How to donate: * Gift cards should be given directly to Carla Dionne, Pastor Bruce or Church Secretary Teresa Boscarino. 
There are two bins located in the Gathering Room. One will be marked for “The Closet” Program, and the other will remain for the Food Pantry. 
Please give generously to help these programs for those in need.

Our Mission for July and August:

We would like to emphasize the Food Pantry.  There is a great need for these items.  Especially with the children on vacation from the school’s hot lunch.

Meeting Reminders:

Tuesday, August 12 at 6:00 p.m. is the PPR Meeting.  All PPR members please plan to attend.
Thursday, August 14, at 6:00 p.m. is the Trustee Meeting.  All Trustee members please plan to attend.

Voices of Peace Gospel Music Festival 2014

On Friday & Saturday, August 15 & 16 2014, at the Hilbert Civic Park located on Highway 57/32, in Hilbert, WI, the “Voices of Peace” will host their 10th annual Gospel Fest from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.  No admission fees will be charged, just a free will donation with 100% of the monies going back to the bands.  Food, & refreshments will be available.  For more details, there is additional information on the front doors of our church or please contact:  Bud or Carolyn McAtee at 920 756-3830.

October 4th (Saturday) Learning Fair

Gladstone Memorial 1 – 5 p.m. Eastern, Registration 12:15 p.m.
“Building Relationships”
Workshops = “Building of Front Porch of the Kingdom of God”
Rev. John Edgar Keynote
= S/PRC Goal Planning = The Three “R’s” of Stewardship = Lay Servants
= Trustees
Any questions, ask Liane Callow (906) 290-2218


Please welcome our new Church Secretary, Teresa Boscarino.  Her immediate family includes husband, Ed, and their daughters Julia, 16, and Angelia, 3. 





On July 15th, we said our goodbyes  to Pastor Dale and Margaret Brown.

And our eagerly waiting the arrival of Rev. Bruce Nowacek and his Wife Candy. 
Who's first Sunday will be July 6th.

Holy Baptizm

What a privilege and Joy!...  to share  in the service of Christian Baptism,
One June 8th Adrienne Walker was baptized into our Fellowship.


We would like to emphasize the Food Pantry for these three months. There is a great need for these items. Especially with the children on vacation from the school’s hot lunch program. 

Evelyn Meiner Circle/UMW Bid Margaret Farewell!

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 10th, at 5:30 p.m.  The Evelyn Meiner Circle and UMW will be meeting at Bobbi Sundquist’s (N2708 M-35) for a good-bye get together for Margaret.  Burgers and brats will be provided; please bring a dish to pass if you’re able.  If you can’t, come anyway.  There’s always plenty to eat!


If you are free on Thursday afternoons, we invite you to join us OVER THE HILL GANGWill meet at one p.m. on  June 5 – June 19. There have been about 30 men and women from 4 churches who have attended at least once. Right now, we have tables of Hand and Foot and Dominos. We hope to start Michigan Rummy soon. Join us!
Any question you may call
Lola Douglas at 715-582-0472


Thank You

Thanks to all the helpers for this season's Wednesday Night  Live Meals.
   See Romans 12:3-8. I love this verse as it points out even though we are all different,
we all have gifts and are all important in building up the church and reaching out to others.
   So many used their personal gifts to make each meal a success. We had 11 meals total
including two of them during Lent with the three other participating churches in addition to our
regular WNL group.
    A big hand to these people (and I sincerely apologize if I've forgotten anyone)
    Barb Akins                                                        Lisa Vary
    George Young                                                   Loren Anderson & Rachel Thoune
    Jerry & Bobbie Sundquist                                   Loren & Muriel Dausey
    John & Mary Clark                                             Margaret Brown
    Judy Rost                                                          Nancy Gibout
    Kathy Carrier                                                     Phyllis Johnson
    Linda Phillips                                                      Sharon Gerzetich

And we all had fun!!!
Jane Yaeger

United Methodist Women

 We invite all women to join us Tuesday May 13th at 6:30 pm at church.Nancy Gibout will lead us in our
World Thank Offering program.This will also be our last business meeting until Fall.
Thanks to Margaret Brown for a very interesting program last month about Mission Aviation Fellowship.
united Methodist women's entire focuses is on missions so it was good to learn about the important work
of the Mission Aviation Fellowship.

If you have questions about United Methodist Women or would like a ride to the meeting call
Jane Yaegaer at 864-4433.  

Evelyn Meiner Circle

Evelyn Meiner Circle Meets Tue. May 20th at 6:30 pm at church.
We'll have a program by Josh Gerzetich who is the History Researcher at
the Cultural Heritage Department at the Oneida Nation in WI. This will be a
great opportunity to enjoy the history, culture, food and music of the Oneida Tribe.  

Note the change to the 3rd Tuesday for this month.
Please join us and feel free to bring a friend.

Mission Of The Month

Our mission of the month for the month of May  
will be Camp Michigamme.  We will be collecting the following items:
Copy Machine paper
Terry cloth Kitchen towels and wash clothes
Rubber gloves all sizes, extra long
One or two gallon freezer bags
Paint brushes
Hand tools-hammers, screw drivers, leaf rakes and nail aprons
variety of art paper-construction, drawing, tissue
Gift cards to Lowes or Menards
If you would like to give financially, please feel free to do that also.  This camp is very important to our youth in our district.  Many are helped and brought to Christ.  Please keep Michigamme and the counselor in prayer.
Also, while you are spring cleaning, keep The Closet in mind. We will be collecting for The Closet in the coming months.  This is a project that was started by Carla Dionne, a teacher in the Marinette school district and a member of our church.  There will be more information soon!



We will be meeting on Thursday,    May 1st at 6:00 p.m. at church, we will have lunch, worship and fellowship time. All men are invited and welcomed to attend.
Todd Thoune – UMM President


Our church Secretary’s position will be vacant as of July 1st, due to Muriel Dausey’s retirement. If anyone in the church is interested in applying for the position, please contact Dawn Thoune or Erik Bergh from the Pastor Parish Relations Committee, before May 15th, 2014
Thank You,  PPR


I hope you will join us for our April 8th United Methodist Women meeting which will begin at 6:30 at church.  Margaret Brown will be presenting our Mission Study about Mission Aviation Fellowship.  This is a Christian organization that provides aviation, communications, and learning technology services to more than 1000 Christian and humanitarian agencies, as well as thousands of isolated missionaries and indigenous villagers in the world’s most remote areas.
All are welcome – you don’t have to be an “official” UMW member!!  We hope to see you there.
Jane Yaeger-UMW President


Friday night May 2nd and Saturday morning May 3rd is the time!  United Methodist Women and friends will gather in Manistique at the Comfort Inn for the annual Spiritual Growth Retreat.  We will have an extra special treat this year with a program by “Living Truth 2”.   Elroy and Tammie Kosters is a talented duo who travel with many antique and contemporary instruments for their full time ministry of music and drama. We’ll be inspired by scripture, drama, original compositions, old hymns and personal testimony.
Please see Jane Yaeger for more details and registration.


Every year at Annual conference there is a special offering taken.  This year the covenant offering will be the Haiti Annual conference and Liberia Annual conference.  The money will be used  to support the Haiti Hot lunch program and Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village in Liberia.  
The Hot Lunch program provides children in EMH schools with hot, nutritional meals, that many children otherwise would not receive. Before the program, children would attend school relying only on the breakfast eaten at home or snack foods purchased in the street. This program ensures access to nutritional meals, cooked on-site, to provide energy to learn throughout the day.
The Bishop Judith Craig Children's Village reaches out to war-ravaged children through parental care, counseling, health care service and education, both academic and Christian.
Please prayerfully consider giving to these important initiatives. 


Everyone is welcome to the services during holy week starting on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), April 17th, there will be a soup supper at 6:00 PM, with the service at 7;00 PM, it will at the Pioneer Presbyterian Church, 1947 Riverside Ave. Marinette.


We will be holding a 12 hour prayer vigil on Saturday, April 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. In the past, these times of scheduled prayer have been a blessing to those who participated.  Prayer is a vital ministry of our church and special times of prayer should be encouraged and supported. We will have sign-up sheets for the vigil. Since it is only a 12 hour span of time, you will be able to sign up for ½ hour blocks. Perhaps some will want to sign up for 2 blocks so they cover 1 hour of time. We will again have meditation materials available that day for anyone who would like to use them.




As we prepare to celebrate Easter Sunday, you are encouraged to invite all of your family and friends to our Easter service on April 20th at 10:00 a.m. Christ’s resurrection affects us each and every day. Because of His death and resurrection, we serve a living God.



Lenten Season

The Lenten Season – starting Ash Wednesday, March 5 – has been helpful traditionally for many Christian believers, in terms of giving opportunities for such “deepening of relationship” (noted above).


We are planning to hold Wednesday evening worship times both here at First UMC, and at other Christian churches in the area. Each service (excepting Ash Wednesday.) will be preceded by a Fellowship Meal, with service beginning at the times indicated, on the schedule below…

Come! Take part in breaking bread, as well as praising and Thanking God for his many good gifts… and exploring deeper dimensions of the Gospel and the Christian faith – as we meet with other congregations of Christ’s people!

Ash Wed., March 5 – Service at Peace United Church of Christ, 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday,    March 12 – 5:30 p.m. WNL meal, Service at 6:30 p.m at                                                 1stUnited Methodist Church, Menominee.

Wednesday,    March 19 – 6:00 p.m. Fellowship meal; Service at 7:00 p.m at Peace United Church of Christ, Marinette.

Wednesday,     March 26 – 6:00 p.m. Fellowship meal; Service at 7:00 p.m at    1st United Methodist Church, Marinette.

Wednesday,      April 2 -      6:00 p.m. Fellowship meal; Service at 7:00 p.m. at 1stPresbyterian Church, Menominee.

Wednesday,      April 9 -      5:30 p.m. WNL meal; Service at 6:30 p.m at            1st United Methodist Church, Menominee.


Pasty Sale

 March 8.  We will need help Friday preparing vegetables and Saturday making pasties and miscellaneous jobs. Starting at both days. If you can help call Kathleen Kewley at 863-2938.


LENT  is a season of preparation. How can we truly celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death in His resurrection at Easter if we have not walked with Him through His passion to the cross?
May we enter bravely into the darkness with our Savior so that we may also be set free in the sunrise of His triumph.”

Why Ashes?

On Ash Wednesday many pastors dip a Finger or thumb in black ashes and make the form of a cross on the foreheads of worshipers. Many Christians keep the symbol on their head for the entire day.It is a reminder of one’s sorrow for one’s sins. It is a sign of humility and the need for forgiveness. Also, the cross on the forehead reminds us of the death of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

Voice of the Martyrs

Dear Friends,


Thank you for your gift to our ministry for the persecuted church. Please remember, in prayer, those who suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ.

God Bless.

Lisa and VOM Staff


We look forward to our next meeting on Tue. Feb. 11th at 5:30 at church.  This starts earlier than usual as it is the Call to Prayer and Self Denial program which includes a light meal.  In 2014, the offering received will go toward renovating, expanding and greening the buildings that house the critical work of National Mission Institutions and historically related international institutions. These institutions, founded by United Methodist Women and their fore bearers more than 100 years ago, include community centers, domestic violence and homeless shelters, and children’s homes, schools, colleges and universities.   One hundred percent of the offering goes directly to mission.
        Do you have questions about United Methodist Women?  If so, please talk to Jane or see the United Methodist Women website:
             Here you will find the latest news and information about United Methodist Women members, programs and initiatives. Better yet,  come to our meetings!!
        Hope to see you in February…..
 Jane Yaeger – UMW President


March 8.  Work to be done on Fri. 7th and Sat. 8th.  Please let Kathleen Kewley or Jane Yaeger know if you can work or if you have questions.  For this sale, please call orders to Mary Kahl at 863 3032.


The Evelyn Meiner Circle will have its February meeting on Tues. Feb. 25
at 6:30 pm.  We will meet at the parsonage, 1801 17th Ave.  The program is yet to be determined, so come and be surprised!



Thank you for the Prayers for my sister Nancy who was battling cancer and for the cards after she lost her battle on December 10th. We had a wonderful celebration of her Life at the Norway Methodist church on December 13th. Please keep her husband Roy and their family in your prayers. Thank you for your love and support.


Jane Bolander-Gray


United Methodist Committee on Relief)Dear Friends in Mission:
Thank you for your support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  100 percent of your gift on 12/6/13 of $1,125.00. is quick response to meet emergency needs around the world.  Thank You.
Roland Fernandes
General Treasurer
United Methodist Committee on Relief
General Board of Global Ministries



Barb has prepared our 2014 United Methodist Women program booklets so be sure to get one in the gathering room or see Barb.The first activity in 2014 for United Methodist Women will be UMW Sunday on January 19th.  The service will be followed by a chili lunch! 
Our first meeting will be in February for the Call to Prayer and Self Denial meal and program. 
If you have questions, please call Jane Yaeger at 864 4433
 Jane Yaeger – UMW President


What a fun time the Evelyn Meiner circle ladies had at their annual Christmas party and gift exchange.  Instead of exchanging gifts, we gave a donation to a charity of our choice.  We then purchased an ornament to represent that charity and had to guess that charity as we exchanged ornaments.  The charities we gave to were:  Dr.’s Without Borders; our church’s Star Tree; Dr. Tony Lazzara’s House of Peace in Lima, Peru; Operation Christmas Child; our church; UMCOR; Rainbow House; Mission Aviation Fellowship; Salvation Army (x2); Fisher House and Samaritan’s Purse. The Evelyn Meiner Circle meet on the last Tuesday of the month.  Please feel welcome to join us.

Evelyn Meiner Circle Jan. 28th meeting

Have you ever wondered how that weather forecaster knows (or thinks they know) what the weather is going to be next week?  Or what causes weird weather patterns?  Or any other nagging questions about the weather that you have wondered about for years?  This is your chance to get those questions answered by our resident meteorologist Bryan Akins.  He will be presenting a program on weather on Tuesday, January 28 at 6:30 pm at the church.  If you have a specific question or topic you would like him to address, please contact Bryan or Barb before Jan 21 so that he can be sure to include it in his presentation.  All are welcome to attend. 


To our Menominee UMC family:There are times words fall short. This is one of those times. For all the prayers, love, support, gas cards, gift certificates, cards, donations, hugs, kind words and moments of shared silence – thank you.
With love, hope and incredible gratitude,
Bri, Mike and Michaela Desotell and the rest of Courageous Carl’s family.


The month of January we will be collecting for the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign.  Bring in your loose change, a few dollars, whatever you can spare.  Every 60 seconds, Malaria claims the life of someone in Africa.  The United Methodist Church is working along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Our denomination has already raised $60 million.  We have a goal to reach $75 million by 2015.  Please go to
 to read more about Imagine No Malaria.  We will share more information throughout the month!  If you have questions, please see Liane Callow. 


Jan. 19               UMW Sunday and chili lunch
Feb. 11               Call to Prayer and Self Denial 5:30 at church
Mar. 8                Pasty Sale
April 8                Mission Study  6:30 at church
May 2-3             Spiritual Growth Retreat in Manistique
May 13              World Thank Offering   6:30 at church
Sept. 9               Potluck/planning meeting  5:30 at church
Oct. 7                 District Celebration in Gladstone
Nov. 8                Pasty Sale
Nov. 11              Pledge Service  6:30 at church


United Methodist Women had their final 2013 meeting in November.  Kathleen presented our pledge service for 2014 and several ladies received their reading program certificates.  Lots of books read this year!!  If you would like to know more about the reading program, see Bobbi Sundquist for details. 
United Methodist Women’s purpose is mission.  We disbursed our funds to the following mission projects:
Menominee DAR
Star Tree family
United Methodist Children’s Home (Redford, MI)
United Methodist Retirement Community (Chelsea, MI)
Salvation Army (Marinette)
Rainbow House
UMCOR (for Philippine disaster)
 Jane Yaeger – UMW President


The past several months have been a very active time for Camp Michigamme. We have just finished the 2013 camp season with a total of 386 campers taking part in 13 different camps. Along with the camping season the board of trustees has had the task of seeking out a new Executive Director to manage the camp upon the resignation of Jim Daly as of May 11, 2013. As a result of this vacancy the Personnel Committee performed a nationwide search for the new Executive Director which resulted in 38 resumes being submitted for our review. We were able to pare this number down to two individuals that best fit our expectations for camp fund development and experience in operating a camp of this size.          As of October 24, 2013 the full board met and Renee Deroche from Marquette was selected as our new Executive Director. She comes to us with over 20 years of camp management experience as well as another 10 years in Motel/Hotel management. She has worked in fund development at Bay Cliff Camp and has an engaging personality which draws you to her enthusiasm for the camp. Renee has a love for children in Christian camping and is the best person for the role of Executive Director for Camp Michigamme.
          Renee was introduced to the Marquette District at the Double Header on November 2, 2013 and is now getting her feet on the ground and will begin with us on a full time basis in late November. Thank you for your patience and kind support during this search. It is our goal to best serve the children and families of this wonderful camp and it appears we are on that track to move forward.
In His Service,
Reverend Douglas Mater
Personnel Committee Chair


Carl Jeremy Desotell

Carl Jeremy Desotell, beloved son and baby brother, passed away November 8, 2013 in his parent's arms, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was nineteen months old. Carl was born April 2, 2012. 
Carl's brief life was filled with love, joy, and laughter. He loved playing with his sister and snuggling with his mom and dad. Carl found comfort in music, he delighted in being tickled, and he enjoyed hammers, bubbles, blue blankets, the Wonder Pets, the Avengers, and of course, the minions from Despicable Me. He loved to play peek-a-boo, and he lit up when his daddy would play guitar. Carl found the beauty in each day; he was quick to laugh, quick to love, and quick to forgive. His strength and his spirit brought light and inspiration to everyone he met. He has finally found peace in the place where there is no more sickness, no more pain, no more tears, and no more fears. We will hold you in our hearts until we hold you again in heaven. 
Carl is survived by his parents, Mike and Bri; by his big sister and best friend, Michaela; by his grandparents: Cathy Blystone, Laurie and Phil Tousley and Mike Desotell; by his godparents: uncle Jer and aunt Jen Peters; by his cousins; Celia and Daniel; by his uncle Brad Desotell; by great-grandparents; Don and Mickie Hanzek, Ken and Doris Tousley, Mary Peters, Theresa Desotell and Nancy Blystone; by his other best friends, nurses: Kirsten Hensler and Amanda Chiti; and by extended family and friends too numerous to count. Carl was preceded in death by his grandpa Daniel Peters and his great-grandpas: Carl Blystone, William Desotell and Thomas Peters.
Visitation will be Thursday, November 14, 2013 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Buresh Funeral Home in Tawas City, Mich. A funeral service will be held Friday, November 15, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Tawas United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jeff Nelson presiding. Family will welcome friends at the church on Friday from 1 p.m. until the service begins at 2 p.m. 
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to the Child Life Program at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, to the Oscoda United Methodist Church, or the Carl Desotell Memorial Fund. Condolences may be shared online
. C.S. Mott Children's Hospital Child & Family Life Department, F8419, 1500 East Medical Center Drive SPC 5251, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109-5251b (Check should be payable to CW Child & Family Life) Oscoda United Methodist Church, 120 West Dwight, Oscoda, MI 48750, Wells Fargo Bank Attn: Carl J. Desotell Memorial Fund (Michael & Briony Desotell) S938 US Hwy 41, Stephenson, MI 49887.

Keep in Touch

Two of our members have moved and would like to hear from you, their address is:Ethel Cook
6982 Pine Forest Rd. Apt.204
Pensacola, FL 32526
Amy Retrum
% Karen Ries
837 Ardenness
Green Bay, WI 54703


Once again we’ll be providing Christmas for a local, needy family through Social Services.  This year’s family consists of a young, single mom with two little girls.  Stars are located in the Gathering Area this year.  Each star represents a gift for the family—either a food item, clothing, or a toy.  Please choose a star or two, sign your name and phone number next to the corresponding star’s number on the clipboard, and return the unwrapped gift to Church by Sunday, December 22.  The Evelyn Meiner Circle will wrap the gifts and deliver them to the family in time for Christmas.  If you hate to shop, we’ll be glad to take monetary donations and shop for you!  Please contact Judy Rost for more information or to make a donation.  Please help make this holiday season bright for this young, struggling family! 


Ready or not, here come the holidays!  Mark your calendars for the following events:



December 3 – Christmas Party!  Meet at The Landing at 5:30 p.m.  Dessert and ornament exchange at Jane’s immediately following dinner.  Keeping in the Christmas spirit, donate to a charity of your choice; and purchase an ornament “loosely” based on that charity.  Bring the wrapped ornament to Jane’s.  Whoever chooses your ornament has to try to guess what charity it represents.  It’s always lots of fun!  If you don’t want to participate in the ornament exchange, come anyway.  It’s fun to watch!  Please contact Judy Rost at906/788-4771 for reservations.


December 22 – Star Family gift wrapping immediately following Church services.  Please bring any extra wrapping paper, bags, ribbons, tags, tape, etc. that you have from your own wrapping and a scissors.


December 24 & 25 – Take a breather and celebrate the birth of Jesus! 

For more information, please contact Judy Rost.


Christmas Eve Service

7:00 pm Candlelight Family Service, come celebrate the birth of Jesus. Everyone is welcome.

Mission Of The Year 2013

The second Sunday which is December 8th will be our donation for the Albert Paine Memorial United Methodist Church in Painesdale, Michigan, they serve the Methodists on the south end of the Copper Range. The church was built in 1907 and there is much maintenance that needs to be done.



United Methodist Women will meet on November 12th at 6:30 at church for our regular business meeting and pledge service.  
An individual member's Pledge to Mission is the amount a woman gives to her local unit to help fulfill the Purpose of United Methodist Women.  Our purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.
I hope you will plan to attend (and bring a friend!) as we go through end of year disbursing and  make our personal pledges which is part of meeting our budget for 2014.
 Jane Yaeger – UMW President


We have two 4 wheel scooters to offer to someone in need.  One is a “Spinlife Celebrity X” and the other a “Diamond Back BMX”.  Both will probably need new batteries but otherwise are in excellent shape. If you could use one or know someone who could use one and would like to look at them, please see Muriel at the church office or call her at 864 2555


Mike Kangas recently attended and passed the class for “ServSafe Food Manager”.   This was a two day class with test which covers Michigan licensed kitchen food safety regulations.Thanks, Mike – we appreciate you doing this.


United Methodist Women have given a “Special Mission Recognition” award to a special lady each year since 1980.  We have so many active ladies and on Oct. 20th we honored Mary Clark for her dedication and time to service in our church, our church community and United Methodist Women as a whole.  Since high school, Mary has been participating in music.  During John’s service time which took them to many areas of the country and world, she has not been long at any place before she found the organ to play - from Turkey, New Jersey, Florida, Arizona and Washington state to here in Menominee.   We appreciate Mary!!


Congratulations to the 12 women who participated in the UMW Reading program & have earned their certificates! 55 women participated in the reading program across the Marquette District. 
These women read 5 books, one from each of 5 categories:
Mary Balfour               Mary Kahl
Sharon Gerzetich       Judy Rost
Nancy Gibout              Lisa Vary
The following women read 10 books, 2 from each category:
Kathleen Kewley
Bobbi Sundquist
Jane Yaeger
These readers did the above plus read 5 more books for a total of 15:
Barb Akins
Kathy Carrier
Ethel Cook
The 2014 Reading Program is beginning & we have many new titles to add to our growing library, thanks to funding from UMW as well as donations from individual members. Check them out at church on Sundays or at UMW & Circle meetings. You needn’t be a member of UMW to participate & it is free!
Questions? Contact Bobbi at         906-864-9337


Our next meeting will be on Thursday, November 7th at 6:00 p.m. at church, we will have lunch, worship and fellowship time. All men are invited and welcomed to attend.
Todd Thoune – UMM President


For the month of November, we will be collecting coats and items for the food pantry.  The weather is beginning to get cold and there are many people in our community that are in need.   We would like new or gently used coats.  All sizes are needed; children, teens, young adult and adults.  Also, we would like to help the local food pantry as we get close to the holidays.  Any non perishable food item is welcome.  We will be collecting these items for all of November!  During this month, please keep those that are in need in your prayers, especially the homeless as the weather begins to get cold. 


Let’s get ready to do shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, adopt a box $7.00 each, now is the time of the year to reach out to others, bring your filled shoe boxes to church, and someone will make sure they get to where they need to go. These are the items they can have. School Supplies: pens, pencils, and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads, or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small etch a sketch, toys that light up or make noise with extra batteries, slinky, etc. Hygiene Items: toothpaste, tooth brush, mild bar soap in a plastic bag, comb, washcloth, etc. Other: T-shirt, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hairclips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlight (with extra batteries). Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or girl and the child’s age, category 2-4, 5-9. or      10-14. Do not include.  Used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures, chocolate or food, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow-globes, or glass containers, aerosol cans.
I thought we could do this as a
church family, and reach out to other children of the world. I will bring two shoe boxes filled, and put them into the gathering room so everyone has an idea of what they look like filled.
Kathy Carrier
UMW Sunshine Chairperson


Let’s get ready to do shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, adopt a box $7.00 each, now is the time of the year to reach out to others, bring your filled shoe boxes to church, and someone will make sure they get to where they need to go. These are the items they can have. School Supplies: pens, pencils, and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads, or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small etch a sketch, toys that light up or make noise with extra batteries, slinky, etc.Hygiene Items: toothpaste, tooth brush, mild bar soap in a plastic bag, comb, washcloth, etc. Other: T-shirt, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hairclips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlight (with extra batteries). Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or girl and the child’s age, category 2-4, 5-9. or      10-14. Do not include.  Used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures, chocolate or food, liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow-globes, or glass containers, aerosol cans.
I thought we could do this as a
church family, and reach out to other children of the world. I will bring two shoe boxes filled, and put them into the gathering room so everyone has an idea of what they look like filled.
Kathy Carrier
UMW Sunshine Chairperson

Mission Of The Month For October

Octobers mission of the month will be honoring our fire dept.  October is Fire Prevention Month, so it seems an appropriate month to honor them.  We would like to raise money and buy them lunch.  There will be a place in the Gathering area to donate.  Please keep these heroes in our prayers.  So many times as we are running away from something, they are running to it.  If there is an accident, they are there to clean it up.  They willing put themselves in dangerous situations to keep us safe!  And as a part of Fire Prevention Month, dont forget to change the batteries in your smoke detector




Christmas Dinner is December 3rd



The Evelyn Meiner Circle will meet Tuesday, October 29th, at 5:30 p.m. at Judy Rost’s house. Supper will be provided. Weather permitting, we’ll be having a spooktacular scavenger hunt and bonfire, so dress warmly; and please bring a flashlight and lawn chair. For more information or for directions, contact Judy Rost at    906-788-4471.


UMW Autumn Bake SaleWednesday, October 23rd
5 to 6:30 p.m. (During Wednesday Night Live!)
WANTED: Baked goods, jams, jellies, candy, beads, pies, cookies, cakes – in other words, anything edible – for UMW STUFF YOUR GOURD! Bake sale on Wednesday, October 23rd. Donations may be dropped off Tuesday, October 22nd, from 5 to 6 p.m.or anytime after 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Monies will go towards meeting our UMW mission’s budget.
For more information, contact Judy Rost or Jane Yaeger.


Our Sunday morning Bible Class has started and we are learning about Noah and his trials. Come join us at 8:45 - 9:45 a.m. In the Fellowship Hall. Everyone is encouraged to attend and enjoy the Fellowship.

Pasty Sale

Call your orders in before the end of October.  Saturday Nov. 9th is the sale day…
Please call your orders to Jane at 864 4433.  Also, if you can help on Friday or Saturday, let me know.


Small busts of John Wesley and his mother, Susannah, have been given to the church in memory of Rev. Jim and Emmalyn Balfour, by their children. John Wesley was the founder of the Methodist Societies movement in England and the American colonies. After the Revolutionary War, he authorized the formation of the Methodist Church in America. His mother, Susannah, was a strong influence in the development of John’s faith development and his social consciousness. His theological understandings and passionate hymn writing form the foundation of our United Methodist Church and the many other denominations, which count the Wesleyan heritage as part of their tradition. The busts are from the Balfour’s Florida home, and are now in the church parlor.

United Methodist Women

Our first meeting for 2013 will be our Call to Prayer
and Self Denial program in Febuary. Whatch for details
in next Febuary's newsletter.

January 20th will be United Methodist WomenSunday.
One of the special treats will be Barb Akins and
Liane Callow conducting the services. Still in the works
is a meal after second service. Not sure of the menu yet-
but it is bound to be yummy, so I hope you will plan for that.

Anytime is a good time to come to a United Methodist
Women meeting or event. Please consider a heartfelt
invitation exist at all times.

Evelyn miener Circle

Our annual Christmas party was  great fun. For the last
several years, instead of exchanging gifts we have been
donating to a favorite charity or cause and bringing an
ornament to exchange which represents that charity or
cause, Some times the represention is "loosely based"
or in some cases quite obscure! It all adds to the fun as
we try and guess the charity.

This year there were 13 charities  represented:
Dar,          Prison fellowship(2),
Spies Library,          Food Pantry
Smile Train WPFF radio turkey giveaway,
National Wildlife foundation,
Cookies For Kids Cancer,    salvation Army,
Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief,
Diabetes Association,
St, Jude's research,
M&M Community Foundation (Angel Tree)

Evelyn Meiners will meet again on Tuesday,
January 29th. With a program titled-
What exactly is Gluten Free??

Liane Callow will be presenting a program on
Living life- Gluten free. Liane has beenb Gluten
free for 5 years due to medical issues. She will
explain what gluten is and how it effects the body.
It will be at the church beginning at 6:39 pm.
All women are welcome.

Wednesday Night Live Updates

The season will begin on January 16th at 5:30 pm.
Some changes are needed to keep our program going:

**ADULT COST- $5.00
**fAMILY COST $12.00
(The $12:00 "Family cost will
now be family household family members only.)

Costs have increased for meat, baking supplies,
paper products, etc. We hope you understand
the need to make these changes in 2013.
Mike, Sandy & Jane  WNL Meal Coordinators.

United Methodist Women

United Methodist Women will be preparing Pasties with United Methodist Men
on Saturday November 10th. We'll need help with peeling vegetables on
Friday Nov. 9th beginning around 7:00 a.m. On Saturday morning we'll be making
over 600 pasties so will need lots of help with that and with cleanup throughout the
morning. Thanks to all who Brought things (and purchased!)for our bake sale last
month during Wednesday Night Live. It is always a welcome event for the
Wednesday Night Live crowd. Our next meeting will be on Monday November 12th
at 6:30 p.m. at church for  our annual pledge service. (Note the change of date)
Our 2013 budget of $2,910 is partly funded by buy our indivigual pledges and,
of course, your help and input throughout  the year as we go about our programs
to mission. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions. If you need
a ride to the meeting, call me at 864-4433 and we'll do our best to accommodate.
Jane Yaeger - UMW President

Church Confrenece Session

This coming Thursday, November 1st at 5:30 p.m. the
Pastor- Parish- Relations Committee will meet with the
D.S. for a super meeting. Following at 6:30 p.m. will be
the yearly church conference. All who attend worship are
welcome to come; official
members have Voice and Vote.
Annual election of offercers will be held. Several reports
will be given or distributed...Setting of pastoral salary is
done. Leadership is by our new District Superintendent-
Rev. Elbert Dulworth.

Internatrional Day of Prayer

International Day of Prayer will be held on Sunday,
November 11, 2012 for the Persecuted Church.

Stewardship/ Commitment Sunday

Stewardship/Commitment Sunday, will be on November 18th.
As well as, the recieving of a special offering for
"Mission of The Year
" in the Marquette District. This will
go to Camp Michigamme.

UMW reading Program 

The 2012 UMW Reading Program has come to a close.
ongradulations to the 12 women who have completed
the requirements & will recieve a certificate
suitable for framing from Marquette District UMW in October!

More importantly, we have gained knowledge of the world
around us while challenging our way of viewing that  world &
growing in our Faith.

Whatch for exciting new additions to our growing library as
we begin the 2013 Reading Program! If you haven't joined us yet,
check out the crate of books & talk to Bobbie, or any of the women
listed below, for help in picking your first book to read.

Plan 3: These women have completed 15 books, at least
2 from each of the 5 catagories: Barb Akins & Ethel Cook.

Plan 2: These Women have completed 10 books 2 from each of
the 5 catagories: Kathy Carrier, Mary Khal &Bobbie Sundquist.

Plan 1: These women have completed 5 books, one from each
category: Mary Balfour, Kathy Bergh, Mary Clark, Nancy Gibout,
Sandy Kangas, Judy Rost, & Jane Yaeger. Congradulations everyone!
                             Bobbie Sundquist

United Methidist Women 

The United methodist Women met in September and hav e scheduled thier
2013 calenerof meetingsand events. Barb will have our new program booklet
ready by the end of the year soeveryone will beable to mark thier calendars.
There will not be a general meeting in October but we do have a bake sale
scheduled for October 24th during wednesday Night Live, a pasty sale coming
up on November 10th and the monthly nursing home party at Menominee Care
on the 2nd Monday of each month. Our next scheduled meeting will be
Monday November 12th at 6:30at church(note the day and date change).

Thanks to everyone for doing thier part to help us meet our 2012 budget.
By years end we are projected to have taken in enough to pay for our scheduled
expenses such as: money sent for  our pledge to mission,
local church support, Habitat for Humanity, DAR, United Methodist Childrens Home,
United Methodist Retirement Coomunity, Rescue Squad, Salvation Army,
Nursing Home parties, reading program material,special gifts,ect.

If you have any questions about United Methodist Women, please call
Jane Yaeger 864-4433, or see the Website at: Jane Yaeger-UMW President.

United Methodist Women

Do you  know who fits the Profile of a United Methodist woman?
do! all ladies are invited to join us at our meeting.
You don't have to be a United Methodist or be a certian age,
just be interested in mission projects athome and abroad.
We support campers to Michigame, monthly nursing home
parties, Habitat for Humanity, United Methodist Children's Home,
World Thank Offering, and learn with mission studies and our reading program.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday September 11th at 5:30pm at church
and will be a potluck followed by our planning of the 2013 calendar of events.
please bring a dish to to share; drink and dessert will be furnished.
A reminder to all participating in the UMW reading program. You need
to get your completed list to Bobbie as the district needs the list by mid
September. Hope to see on September 11th. If questions, or need a ride,
Call Jane Yaeger(863-4433).
Jane Yaeger - UMW

United Methidist Men

All men of the church no matter What your age are
invited on Thursday September 6th, at 6:00 pm
for Lunch, devotion, meeting and a good time.
Try to take time off to get together and share.
Todd Thoune- President

Evelyn Meiner Circle

The Circle meeting will bw at Jane Gray's house-
1705 24th AVE. at 6:30 pm. We will be watching either
Fielder's Choice or Change of Plans. We will decide
which one we will watch the night of the movie. Come
join us at the meeting and have fun. All ladies are
welcome to come and be with us for the night and see 
what the meetings are all about.
Kathy Carrier - Sunshine Cairperson

THANK YOU- ST. Vincent de Paul

Dear United Methodist Church members the District Council of
Menominee would like to take this opportunity to thank you for
your monetary donation to the ST. VINCENT de PAUL Society,
from your donations of Hot Dogs & water to the community
during the parade. "Thank you for helping us to help others in need"
Betsy Smith - Secretary

Wednesday Night Live

Look We're Back
Wednesday Night Live is here once aagain.
The weekly meals in Fellowship Hall start on
September 12th The first dinner will be our
traditional Muriel's Roast Beef with mashed
potatoes, gravy, baby carrots, bread, relishes,
dessert, and beverages. The prices remain at
$4 adults, and $10  family. Helpers are always
welcome for morning food prep, serving, and
clean up. Call Mike at 906-863-9326 to vonunteer
or ask questions. The Wednesday meals are open
to anyone in our church as well as in the local area.
Reservations are not taken. WNL will run through
November 14th.
Sandy & Mike

Messages Worth Sharing

Words Matter
This is not the sermon I intended to preach today.
You can ask my husband: this week, we’ve talked about this passage from Timothy, and I was all set to preach a sermon on this bit of poetry in the middle –
where Paul writes about denying Christ, and Christ denying us, but even if we are faithless, Christ remains faithful, because he cannot deny himself. And we were going to talk about how Paul was encouraging Timothy and the Christians to hold on to their faith in the midst of trials and suffering, to do their best to stand up for Christ, and to trust that, even when they failed, God’s grace was enough to cover them.
And it would have been a perfectly fine sermon.
But it’s not the sermon we need to hear today.
We are going to talk about how hard it is to have faith in the midst of trials and suffering… and we are going to talk about just how important it is for Christians to stand up for the gospel, even if it means being uncomfortable, or being ridiculed, or worse. And we are going to talk about God’s grace.
But this weekend is the Children’s Sabbath – a time for people of faith, from all faiths, to consider the reality that faces our young people today – and to recommit ourselves to making sure that all children know the love and the grace of our God.
And so today we are going to talk about something very specific, an epidemic that has been striking our young people at an alarming rate. And it’s not going to be an easy conversation. But it is one that is, I think, long overdue. When our churches heard about malaria – a preventable killer – we acted, sending nets and educating people to help them survive. When our churches heard about those who live in real hunger – another preventable killer – we acted, sending animals, food, and education to help our brothers and sisters survive.
And it is in that spirit that I bring before you another preventable killer today, one that has robbed us of far too many promising young lives already, and it is: bullying.
Now I can hear some of you thinking, “Really? Bullying?” Like me you probably grew up and were taught, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” But I want to tell you today: it’s not true. I’ve broken bones before. And I’ve been teased, mocked, bullied. And I can tell you firsthand, the wounds of a broken body heal far more quickly and more cleanly than the damage words can cause.
Even the Bible acknowledges the power of words:
In Proverbs, Solomon in his wisdom writes,
“The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush… like sword thrusts…
death and life are in the power of the tongue…
A cruel tongue breaks the spirit,” he says,
“and a broken spirit – who can bear it?”
The words of the wise, however, “bring healing… and deliverance…
a gentle tongue is a tree of life,
and a truthful witness,” says Solomon, “saves lives.”
(Prov 12:6, 18; 14:25; 15:4; 18:14, 21)
Words matter. Even in our reading from Timothy today, Paul encourages the Christians to take their words seriously: to beware the words that wound and divide – he talks elsewhere in this chapter about the power of the wrong words to bring ruins, to spread like a gangrene, destroying faith – and Paul encourages them instead to use their words to speak truth and to bear witness to God.
It’s interesting – this is a conversation that has been raging among my pastor friends all this week. And one of them, reflecting on the way many Christians act in the world today – trying to shout one another down, mocking and casting out those who don’t fit our preconceived molds, trying to shame others into changing their lives out of fear or condemnation – even to the point where we picket the funerals of our fallen soldiers, desecrating a holy moment and shouting to grieving mothers that their children are burning in hell – and yes, this does happen, by so-called “Christians” – one of my pastor friends said, “If church-going adults think it’s okay to bully others, no wonder kids do it.”
If we shun those who are different…
if we reduce others to names and labels rather than recognizing them as real, living, breathing persons, persons of sacred worth, made in God’s image, saved by God’s love –
if we do it, our children will learn that it’s okay.
Every time we reduce the President to a caricature – forgetting that he is also a man, a husband, a father, a Christian, someone just like us, trying to do the best we can – when we use him instead as an easy target, and laugh – our kids will learn that it’s okay to reduce other people to punchlines, so long as the joke is funny.
Every time we sit in our councils and committees and shoot down new ideas just because they are raised by new voices, our kids will learn that it’s okay to fear change and close our minds to new ideas.
Every time we look away from someone who is lonely, hurting, maybe a little odd – well, our kids learn it’s okay to look the other way.
And every time we see words being used as weapons, and we say nothing – our young people learn from us that that’s okay, too.
Words matter. Words have weight, they can wound, they can divide, destroy, and even bring death.
Bullying is evil, because it strips another person of his or her worth and dignity, reducing them to a punchline, replacing a name with a label.
Bullying is evil, because it preys on the easy targets, the weak and the powerless – exactly those people Jesus told us to seek out in his name.
And bullying is evil, because it takes lives.
In just one high school in Ohio, bullying has taken four lives in the last two years.
So let me tell you about sixteen year old Sladjana, whose sister tells how – even at Sladjana’s funeral – the bullies laughed over her casket and made fun of her looks. Sladjana, whose family moved to Ohio from Bosnia in hopes of a better life for their children; Sladjana, who loved to dance, whose father – in his broken English – describes her by saying, “Nonstop smile. Nonstop music.” Sladjana, who was an easy target for bullies because of her foreign family and her foreign accent and her foreign name – who was teased, called ‘Slutty Jana,” pushed down the stairs, smacked in the face, Sladjana, who received phone calls in the middle of the night telling her to go back to Croatia, that she’d be found dead in the morning, that they’d find her body after school. Sladjana, who stood up for herself for as long as she could… until she couldn’t take it any more. Her sister found her body. And her father laments, “Today, no music. No smile.” Not any more.
Let me tell you about Jennifer, who took Pepto Bismol to calm her stomach every morning, and pleaded with her mother, begging to stay home. Jennifer was sixteen years old, an accomplished horsewoman, and a young woman who happened to have hearing problems and a learning disability. She was tutored to help her keep up with her classwork… and for this, she was bullied constantly. Her mom finally agreed to pull her out of the high school and try an online education program… but Jennifer never got the chance. She took some of her mother’s antidepressants, trying to feel better, and died of an overdose. Her parents believe that, had she not been bullied, Jennifer would still be alive today.
Or let me tell you about Eric. According to his friends, Eric was full of life – a flamboyant young man, who just happened to like the color pink. You know the type: the one who gets picked out and picked on, called fag, homo, queer. It didn’t matter that Eric wasn’t gay. He was still an easy target, because he refused to compromise who he was. Bullies called him names, knocked his books down the stairs, flicked him in the head, and mocked him relentlessly. A friend who stood up for Eric was suspended as a result, although the school authorities seemed powerless to punish he bullies. And when Eric shot himself, his parents asked the coroner to file, under cause of death, “bullicide.”
Three weeks after Eric died, his close friend Meredith took her life as well. Bright, outgoing, well-liked, a volleyball player, Meredith had recently confided to close friends that she might be gay. But it isn’t easy to be 16 and not fit in – Meredith learned that first hand from Eric. Problems and home compounded with teasing at school, until she couldn’t take it anymore.
Easy targets, all of them: the effeminate boy, the foreign girl, the lesbian, the slow kid. And yet not one of them deserved what they got. Each one, a beloved child of God, a life lost because he or she didn’t quite fit in.
And before we absolve ourselves of responsibility, ask yourself: how often have you complained about foreigners? Mocked a heavy accent? Moaned about having to press one for English? Made fun of a gentleman whose clothes were just a little bit too put together for Oscoda? Or a woman whose clothes were a little too “butch” for your tastes? Or rolled your eyes because someone in your Sunday school class took a little too long to sound out a word? We have helped create this culture of ridicule. We have helped create this problem.
And I’m going to push you a bit farther today. Bullying, especially to the point of suicide – bullying is an epidemic that disproportionately affects those who are “different,” those who are easy targets, those whom we as adults and as Christians have made it far too easy to condemn: at least one in three teen suicides is committed by someone who is struggling with his or her sexuality. There were at least five suicides last month by young people who were targeted for daily torment and bullying just because they were gay:
Billy, 15; Raymond, 19; Tyler, 18;
and Asher and Seth, each just 13 years old.
I don’t care what you think about homosexuality. Five deaths is five deaths too many. When will it be enough? And I say again, it is sad that our churches cannot even offer a safe place to wrestle with these questions, but instead have presented ourselves as just one more place of condemnation, ridicule, and judgment – we, too, have been too quick to see an “issue” rather than a living, breathing, sacred person in midst. And listen to me very carefully: We do not have to support or condone homosexuality in order for us to say, “We love all people, regardless of sexuality; and everyone is welcome to find a safe space here.”
During World War II, there were Christians who were willing to risk everything – their reputations, their homes, even their own lives – in order to give shelter to and save the lives of their Jewish neighbors. They didn’t force their neighbors to confess Christ first; they didn’t hinge safety on theological debates; no, they sheltered them because it was the right thing to do. My question for us today is: can’t we – who are faced with far less risk to ourselves – can’t we do at least as much? Every suicide is a tragedy. Every life lost breaks the heart of God.
And there are some who are quick to jump to condemnation – one individual this week said, in response to the deaths of these young people, “Somebody should tell them that suicides go straight to hell.”
I don’t believe that.
Depression is a real physiological problem, and like any other disease, sometimes it’s fatal. That is not a failure of faith, any more than we should condemn the person whose heart stops beating, or whose cancer cannot be cured. We live in a broken, hurting world, in broken, hurting bodies, and sometimes things don’t work the way they should. Sometimes our knees wear out too soon. Sometimes our cells start dividing the wrong way. And sometimes the chemicals in our brains get so out of whack that we cannot cope with the world any more, and we cannot find any hope for tomorrow.
So hear these words of grace: there is nothing, nothing in life, nothing in death, not even suicide, nothing that can separate us from the love of God. Our God is a loving and gracious God, even and especially to those who have come to such a dark and lightless place that they consider ending their own lives.
The official position of the United Methodist Church – and of this pastor – is that God’s grace is big enough for us all. There is no sin so big, not even the sin of suicide, no sin so big that God stops loving us or God cannot forgive. I don’t know what happens in those last moments of life, nor do I dare guess what happens in those first few moments after death. But I know that God is there, and the God I know is loving, forgiving, gracious and life-giving, and I find my hope in Him.
That being said, if you are there – if you find yourself in that dark night, with no hope, overcome by despair, contemplating ending your life – please, please, wait. It gets better. It really does. I can tell you firsthand, as someone who has struggled with depression, that the darkness does not last forever. There is light on the other side. And please don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. There is a song that our praise band sings that says, “I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life.” So I want to ask you all today: how many of you would be willing to stay up all night with someone who is struggling? Would you begrudge a three a.m. phone call if your presence, simply your loving presence, your friendship, your support, could save a life? If you are willing to be there, to save a life – would you raise your hand?
Look around you. You are not alone.
Friends, it’s time to start saving lives. It’s time to stand up for those who have had to stand alone for far too long. It is time to speak up for those who do not have a voice. It is time to reclaim the power of healing words, to speak life, to speak hope – and to raise our children to do the same. It’s not enough to teach our kids how to cope with the teasing and bullying they receive; we need to challenge them to stand up for, to stand beside, others, to take the risk of befriending or defending the outcasts, the awkward, the lonely, the scrawny, the smelly, the foreign and the strange.
And we need to model it in our own lives – We need to stop laughing at another’s expense, to stand together and say: this is not okay, and we are not going to be silent any more. All that is needed for evil to triumph in the world is for good men and women to stay silent and refuse to act.
We’ve been silent for too long. We have to do something.
We have to act as though we truly believe that each and every person is of sacred worth. We have to be a church, a community, where each one is welcome, is treated as a person who is made in God’s image, loved so much that Christ gave his life so he or she might live. And we might have to be willing to be a little uncomfortable ourselves – but that is a small price to pay to save a life.
It’s time to take our words and our action seriously. It’s time to stand up and preach the gospel – the true gospel, not the angry hate-filled gospel that makes the headlines, not the gospel of judgment and condemnation – but the gospel that says, “God so loved the world…” and God still loves today.
We can make a difference. We can save a life. We can’t afford to do any less.
Amen? Amen.

By: Rev. Briony Desotell
This sermon, “Words Matter,” was preached in observation of Children’s Sabbath on 10/10/10 by the Reverend Bri Desotell, United Methodist pastor in Oscoda, Michigan. It is reprinted here with permission.