Watercolor painting by E. J. Kirsch

December 2016 Newsletter

Dec 2, 2016

Pastor’s Pen
Rev. David Horner

Because of Thanksgiving plans and the deadline for the newsletter this month, I am beginning my article a  little sooner than usual.  It is November 20th as I begin. 

A week ago, on the 13 of November I preached about Jesus saying that the children should be brought to Him.  Then, on the following Thursday  I learned from the TV news that in a Mother in Darlington IN killed her two young children, Tyler, aged 7 and Charlee, aged 3.  I was and still am upset about this story.  There are some personal reasons for this, and I will keep them personal, but I was slightly relieved and yet still sad to hear a neighbor of the children say that Tyler was in their Vacation Bible School last Summer.  I am glad that congregation did its job in bringing children to hear about Jesus.  We can only trust in the love of God as we think of those two kids.

So at least for now, I am not really in the mood for Christmas.  Fortunately for the world this year, the coming of Jesus or the celebration of His birth does not depend on my mood, or your mood, or the moods of the     people back in the days of Jesus. 

In fact, we are told by the gospel-writer Matthew that a similar event, only much worse, occurred in connection with the birth of Jesus.  Herod, the so called king, who I like to label as a murderous megalomaniac (being a preacher entitles one to play with words) had all of the male children under the age of two murdered in the village of Bethlehem.  He was trying to kill Jesus and this mass murder of infants was the result.  I am sure there was no “Christmas Spirit” or merry moods there for a while.  But all of the suffering of those villagers and all of the suffering that has occurred since has not quieted the praise to God for the birth of Jesus.  Jesus came and lived and suffered and died to bring joy out of suffering, to bring life out of death, and to bring children and adults to Himself in his eternal kingdom.

If I live long enough, I know I will hear of more stories like that of Tyler and Charlee.  And I know I will hear more stories about the congregations and the vacation bible schools that told such children about Jesus and let them feel the love of Christ. 

But I also know that eventually, in his time, God will bring Christ’s kingdom in its glorious and final form and all sad stories and all suffering will end forever.  So I will celebrate the birth of Jesus this year, as I have every year, whether I feel like it or not, because the victory won by Jesus transcends my moods and our sadness, and gives us joy, a real joy, a forever-lasting joy and the only real hope for humanity.  So let the party begin!

This year, I have decided to do something a little different.  Last December, in connection with our sermon series on Matthew, we looked at the stories about the birth of Jesus in Matthew.  This year, I have decided to suspend that series for Advent.  So, starting on November 27th and running through January 8th, I will be preaching through the first two chapters of Luke.  I know that I have preached on all or most of these passages in the past, but this year, I want to preach through the entire story about the birth of Jesus.  I know I am going to enjoy it.  I hope you will be encouraged and edified by it.  And I pray that God will be glorified by it.
You may not have noticed it, but on the day before Sunday, November 20th, our Sanctuary Light Cleaning Crew cleaned all of the lights in the sanctuary.  That crew consisted of Don and Carol Gentry and Steve Varys.  I am grateful for their careful work to brighten our sanctuary as we face the dark days of winter.

On Sunday, November 20th we had the annual meeting of our congregation.  At the meeting we heard a report about our finances, received information about the church budget for 2017, and elected new officers.  We elected Don Gentry, Lou Ann Johnston, and Sergey Dubikovsky to three year terms as Ruling Elders serving on our Session.  And we elected Lonnie Kucik, Debbie Fleetham, Frank Saputo, and Shana Cress as Deacons serving for 3 years on our Deacons Board, and we elected April Saputo to serve the last two years of a term of a Deacon who resigned.

As we congratulate and say “hello” to all of the above, we also need to thank those who will complete their terms of service at the end of December.  Steve Varys and Barb Knox will finish their terms of service on the Session at the end of 2016.  Steve served faithfully for 6 years, chairing a variety of committees.  Barb served for 6 years as the chair of Congregational life, bringing many new and different ways of celebrating our life together as a church.  We thank them both for their service.

The Deacons who will soon finish their terms of service are: Jane Stewart and Jennifer White.  Jennifer actually ended her service last Summer when her family moved to North Carolina.  But we do appreciate the service of Jane and Jennifer.  Jennifer served as Moderator of the board of deacons for two years, and Jane served as vice-moderator.

I want to thank Scott for leading the Thanksgiving Eve Service so I could be with my family for Thanksgiving.

Scott will also officiate the Lord’s Supper for the first time on December 4th.  I will preach that Sunday, but I really wanted Scott to exercise all of the aspects of being a Minister of Word and Sacrament early in his ordained ministry.  In fact, as I was beginning the communion service on November 6th and breaking the bread, I thought to myself “Hey, why isn’t Scott up here doing this?  He is ordained now.”
The answer of course is that I didn’t invite him.  I plan to remedy this omission on December 4th.

As we move toward the Christmas Season we will have a great opportunity to share with the children of families in our communities.  Jubilee Christmas is coming on December 10th.  The gift tree is already in Fellowship Hall.  I hope you will take a tag (or more) and buy a gift (or more) and bring them to our church building before that Saturday.  Some of their parents are depending on you to assist them in showing their children that they love them. 

As we approach the end of the year, I want to remind you of our Christmas Services.  Our Christmas Eve Service will begin at 6:30 PM and include the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  The Christmas Day Service will begin at 11:00 AM.  Since Christmas is on Sunday this year, we will not have our regular 9:30 service that day, but only our less formal Christmas Service at 11:00.

Your Pastor,
Dave Horner


Clerks Corner

At its November 7, 2016 regular meeting the Session:

  • Was apprised of a voluminous draft of the Church Officers’ Manual prepared by Elder Don Gentry, which is to be consulted for the proper conduct of all church business; Session members and Deacons will each receive a copy.
  • Learned from Pastor Cress about the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship which has a great program which will be inaugurated at a meeting in January 2017.
  • Reviewed the financial statements for September and October 2016. Assets have been depleted to some extent because funds were appropriated for the repairs of the parking lots.
  • Approved the budget for the calendar year 2017 submitted to Session by the budget committee consisting of Dennis Dunn, Carol Gentry, Don Gentry, Jerry Matthews, Ron Smith, Grieke Toebes, and Dan Trinkle. The document also refers to the financial remuneration for Pastors Horner and Cress that will be submitted for approval by the Congregation at its Annual Meeting on November 20, 2016.
  • Received with acclamation the news that Faith church has just received a very generous anonymous one-time gift of $ 80,000.
  • Learned that repairs on the parking lots are completed and that approximately $ 700 have been expended to fix a plumbing problem in one of the bathrooms.
  • Was informed that cider and doughnuts will be served in Memorial Fellowship Hall following the    Thanksgiving evening service, and that an informal luncheon is being planned to follow the Christmas Eve service.
  • Was informed that the Nominating Committee is still contacting church members to fill vacant positions in 2017 on Session and on the Board of Deacons. Several individuals who have been approached are not able to serve.

Scheduled the next meeting for January 9, 2017.

Submitted by
J.M. Honig
Clerk of Session


Worship Information

December  4, 2016
The Outside Man
Luke 1:26-38

December  11, 2016
The Mothers Confer
Luke 1:39-56

December  18, 2016
The Prophet of the Most High
Luke 1:57-80

December  24, 2016
The Birth of the King
Luke 2:1-7

December  25, 2016
The Sign
Luke 2:8-20


December       1  SueAnne Bergmann 
December       1  Vera Lee Castleberry
December     13  Carol Fillmore
December     13  Caryn Sidharta    
December     13  Valentina Hinkel
December     14  David Czerwonky
December     15  Alexandra Dubikovsky Golden  
December     15  Laura Hersheberger Wilcoxson
December     16  Jakob Housley
December     20  Sarah White
December     27  Alex Dale
December     27  Lillian Faith Parker
December     28  Myra Leap
December     29  Elias Cress


December      20  Rev. Stuart & Bonnie Robertson
December      20  Ron Smith & Carol


Community Worship Services

Sunday, December 4
St. Mary’s Healthcare
2:30 p.m.

Sunday, December  11
Tippecanoe Villa
1:30 p.m.
Friendship House
3:00 p.m.

Sunday, December  18
Cumberland Pointe
3:00 p.m.


A heartfelt thank you to the greeters and ushers
for the month of November.

November    6  The Kirby Family

November   13  The Dubikovsky Family

November    20  Kevin & LouAnn Johnston

November   27  The Johnson Family

For the Deacons,
Andy Kirby


Greeters for December:

December    4  Don & Carol Gentry

December   11  The Kain Family

December    18  Rob & Betsy Wagner


* The last meeting of the Sunday Evening Bible Study for the semester will be Sunday, December 18 @ 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The class will resume in January. Questions? Contact  Steve Varys. 


* Please join us for Adult Choir practice on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 p.m.


* Men’s breakfast Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. at Christos New City Grill West Side. All men are invited to join us for food, fun, and fellowship. 


* Thursday evening Bible study at 7:00 p.m. at the Horner’s. We are studying the book of Hebrews. All are welcome to join us.


* L2 Single Ladies Group is planning to have lunch at the Village Pub at Westminster Village Monday, December 5th at 11:30 a.m. All single women are invited to join our group. See you then. Questions? Contact Jean McCoy.


* Youth Discipleship Christmas Party — Friday, December 9th, all teenagers are invited to come to the fellowship hall from 6:30-8:00 p.m. We will be closing out the year by baking cookies and helping with the setup for Jubilee Christmas. Come and bring friends!


* Attention Parents! December 11th, the children of Faith Presbyterian will be presenting a Christmas program immediately after worship. Please make plans so that your child can participate. A note will be distributed in Sunday school classes in order to gauge potential attendance. We love to celebrate our children and celebrate God with them, and this is another fantastic opportunity to do so.


* Family Fellowship Dinner - Our last Family Fellowship Dinner of the year will take place on Sunday, December 18th at 5:30 p.m. For a suggested donation of $2 a meal, come and join with church family to experience one another's company and conversation. Don't forget to invite guests. If you are planning on attending, please contact Scott .


* Jubilee Christmas – Saturday, December 10th

Jubilee Christmas is coming!  We will be hosting up to 16 families this year. The parents will be invited to   select gifts for their children, so they can be the "heroes" on Christmas morning. We will be celebrating Jubilee Christmas on Saturday, December 10th at 10 a.m. Breakfast will be served at 9:00 a.m. for guests and hosts, and all helpers are invited.

We need a lot of help to make this a special day for our guests.

Here's how you can help:

Pray.  That it will be a day filled with love and blessings.

1.  Toys — There is a Christmas tree in the fellowship hall with tags representing large gifts ($25-$30 each). If the toy requires batteries please include 2 sets. There's also a bowl with tags for stocking stuffers ($1-$5 each). Attach the tag to the unwrapped gift and place it in the box in the fellowship hall no later than Sunday, December 4th.

2. Cookies and Refreshments*

3. Family Gifts* — Things like laundry detergent and paper products.

4. Volunteers*
a. Each family needs a host.
b. Friday night setup, cleanup, and general help

5. Money — This helps us to pay for the hams and gift certificates provided by LUM, a hat and mittens for each child, and a gift for each family, as well as purchase any last-minute toys or supplies.  Place your gift in the morning offering or in the donations box in the fellowship hall.

*Signup sheets for these are in the fellowship hall.

Through Jubilee Christmas, we not only serve others in the community, but also grow as a community of believers in the Lord.  We appreciate and eagerly anticipate your help – Thank you!

Questions?  Carol Goodrich or Ron Smith


* Christmas poinsettias are available for purchase for $7.50 each. If you are interested in  purchasing a poinsettia, please leave your money and name in an envelope on the church office desk with any information you would like included in the bulletin if you wish to note they are in memory or honor of someone. They are placed in the sanctuary during the Christmas season and you are welcome to take them home after Christmas.


* Ladies… Please join me for a Christmas Tea

with our members & friends of Westminster Village.

When:  Wednesday, December 21st
                     2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Where:   Cardinal Room
            Westminster Village

Diane Horner

  RSVP Dec. 18th
There will be a sign-up sheet n Fellowship Hall


* ʾTis the season of giving - Could you give a little of your time to help out at the food pantry?  Our church will be working at the Tippecanoe County United Food Pantry, 1320 Tippecanoe Street on December 22 from 12-3:00 p.m. and December 23 from  4-7:00 p.m.  We need 3 volunteers each day.  If you are interested and/or have questions please call Ann Freeman at 476-1879.


* CHRISTMAS is coming! - A beautiful tradition at Faith Presbyterian Church is our Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols. Hopefully you’re planning to come and bring your family and friends.

AFTER the service, we also enjoy another tradition: A bountiful buffet of good things to eat!

A Sign-up sheet will be appearing in Fellowship Hall very soon. Please make a note if you intend to bring something to eat.

It’s nice to know what that will be, but if you don’t know, just write “something” beside your name. It helps us to know whether we’ll need to send John Miller to the grocery quickly on December 24th.

Thank you bakers, cooks, candy-makers, and also, those of you who eat it all.

Season’s Greetings!
Congregational Life Committee


* A Special THANK YOU to all who have helped with our nursing home services in 2016.  Faith Church provides a monthly or bi-monthly church service at St. Mary’s, Cumberland Pointe, Friendship House and Tippecanoe Villas. We very much appreciate your participation in this outreach to the elderly in our community. Please forgive my oversight if I’ve missed someone in the following list.

THANK YOU:  Pastor Horner, Dan Trinkle, Nancy Dunn, Jurgen Honig, Ron Smith and Steve Varys for providing the sermons and leading the residents in worship.

THANK YOU:  Donna Lofgren, Nancy Dunn, Mark Johnson, and Grieke Toebes for helping “Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord” by providing piano accompaniment for hymns.  

If others in the congregation would like to be involved in the nursing home services, please talk to Lonni Kucik.

Lonni Kucik on behalf of the Board of Deacons


* Library News: This month shelves in fellowship hall feature literature selections from our library.  Take a look and settle down with a book!


* Resurrection Presbyterian Church Mom's Group - A couple of Faith Presbyterian Church members regularly get together with other mom's from the area. They typically meet at 10 a.m. on Friday mornings at a local park or playground. We will be meeting here at Faith Presbyterian Church in the winter. This is a fun way to socialize with other moms! Questions? Contact Shana for specific date/locations.