Watercolor painting by E. J. Kirsch

January 2019 Newsletter

Dec 28, 2018

Pastor’s Pen
Rev. Paul Copeland

God-sized Goals

One thing I have observed about leaders in the Bible is that they took on God-sized goals-- goals that can only be attained if God steps in and somehow sees them through.  Joshua, for example, took on the God-sized goal of conquering the Promised Land.   The majority of the spies sent out by Moses reported that conquest was impossible.  Canaan’s cities were walled “to the sky” and the Israelites were no more than “grasshoppers” compared to the Nephilim giants who defended them.   Nevertheless, Joshua’s minority stance, “The Lord is with us; do not fear them,” (Numbers 14:10) ultimately prevailed when forty years later Joshua led the conquest of the hill-country of Canaan.   Another example.   The apostles took on the God-sized goal of the Great Commission: “Go, make disciples of all the nations.”  (Matthew 28:19)   A more unlikely scenario is hard to imagine.   Eleven unsophisticated, ethno-centric Galileans would go and win disciples for Jesus from among all peoples.   What could possibly persuade them to risk and invest their lives in something so clearly beyond them?   The same reality that Joshua lived by: “And remember, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) 

I believe that one of the reasons the church struggles today is that leaders no longer challenge congregations to discern and commit to God-sized goals.   God-sized goals usually begin with some form of the word “GO.”  They drive us into domains where we have little understanding of “the rules,” where we face inherent opposition and where we have no “clout” of our own to gain so much as a foothold.   “The Lord is with us” does not seem like a good reason to venture into the strongholds of giants, even to the most pious among us.   So, rather than face the tension that an “impossible” God-sized goal inevitably generates, leaders find it easier to play it safe.   Rather than venturing out in mission where only God can safely take us, we keep trying to   improve (or at least maintain) the safe confines of church.   This safe strategy is known as the “attractional” model.  It assumes that we will attract people to the church with our friendliness, our well-run programs, and our ___________ (fill in the blank as you please) pastor.   It is safe.   Where people give money and time    sacrificially, it may even keep some church doors open into another generation.

I’m not against friendly people, well-run programs, and _________ pastors.   I’m all for them.   But, here is the trend.  75% of all churches in the US have either plateaued or declined in membership.   24% of growing churches grow almost entirely by transfer growth.   Only 1% of churches in the US grow mainly by bringing unchurched people to Christ.   The latter operate out of a “missional,” rather than an “attractional” strategy.   As I contemplate the reality that our neighbors are increasingly un-churched and religiously “unaffiliated,” I doubt that it is because we haven’t found the right formula to “attract” them.   We will only begin to reach them when we commit to a God-sized goal that starts with “GO.”   Moving beyond “being friendly” to building significant friendships with unchurched people may be the first step.   Willingness to invest in the goal for a generation, rather than be satisfied to see the church last another generation, may be the commitment level needed to see it through. A new year could be just the time to embrace the goal!
                                 Grace and Peace, Pastor Paul


Clerks Corner

At its December 18, 2018 regular meeting the Session:


  • Examined the following previously ordained office-bearers concerning their views of the confessional standards of the EPC: Elders-elect Jan Hem, Jean McCoy and Steve Varys and Deacon-elect Jerry Matthews.
  • Examined Deacons-elect Deb Johnson and Rob Donaldson concerning their faith in Christ, understanding of the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition and the office of Deacon, and adherence to the confessional standards of the EPC.
  • Moved unanimously to approve the examinations of all the Elders and Deacons elected to serve in the Class of 2021.
  • Was informed that the Presbytery of the Midwest has been notified of the unanimous vote by the Congregation to accord Reverend David Horner the title of Pastor Emeritus.
  • Granted a request by Pastor Copeland to attend and to be reimbursed for expenses pertaining to a continuing education event for transitional pastors.
  • Accepted the financial report submitted by Treasurer Carol Gentry; income and expenditures are in balance
  • Reappointed Carol Gentry as Treasurer for the calendar year 2019.
  • Engaged in discussions concerning the need for regular attendance at all session meetings unless unavoidably absent.
  • Thanked Jurgen Honig for his services as Clerk of Session for fifteen years, and noted that Elder Jane Stewart will assume the office on January 1, 2019.

Scheduled the next Session meeting for January 14, 2019.

Submitted by
J.M. Honig
Clerk of Session


Worship Information

January 6, 2019
Sharers in God’s Grace
Proverbs 2:1-10, Philippians 1:1-11

January 13, 2019
Prison’s Upside
Proverbs 3:1-8, Philippians 1:12-18a

January 20, 2019
In Life and Death
Proverbs 6:6-19, Philippians 1:18b-26

January 27, 2019
Worthy of the Gospel
Proverbs 9:1-12, Philippians 1:27-30



January    3   Jack Wood  
January    6   Leonard Sidharta
January    8   Mark Varys
January   12   Austin Sandel
January   12   Mike Lockwood
January   13   Carol Gentry
January   14   Issac Old
January   15   Frank Saputo
January   16   Alyssa Kirby
January   16   Dan Trinkle
January   16   Jennifer White
January   17   Corrine Janovitz
January   21   Jessica Hem
January   24   John Miller
January   26   Celine Sidharta
January   26   Penny Winship
January   27   Dale Housley
January   27   Holly Donaldson
January   31   Samuel Trinkle


Community Worship Services

Sunday, January 6
St. Mary’s Worship
2:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 13
Tippecanoe Villa
1:30 p.m.
Friendship House
3:00 p.m.


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

If you would like to volunteer to greet fellow worshippers, please contact Emily Matthews or 583-4111.

Thanks for the consideration.

December     2  Don & Carol Gentry

December     9  Dorothy Bethel & Frank Saputo

December   16  Darrell & Kari Clase

December   23  Kevin & Lou Ann Johnston

December   24   Dennis & Nancy Dunn

December   30   Mary Ann Combs & Barbara Knox


Greeters for January

January        6   Morgan & Melissa Sparks

January      13   The White Family

January      20   Opportunity to serve

January      27   Opportunity to serve


* Please keep in mind, all charitable giving must be postmarked by December 31st. Any envelopes that come into the office after January 1st, 2019 and have a postmark prior to December 31st, 2018 will be considered in the 2018 giving year. If you have any questions, please call the office.


* Adult Choir practice Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 pm.


* Men’s breakfast Fridays, 7:30 a.m. at Christos New City Grill West Side. Join us for food, fun, and fellowship. 


* Sunday School will resume on January 6th.


* Beginning January 6th, 2019, Pastor Copeland will begin a sermon series on St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  He will also begin an adult Sunday School class that will explore the preaching text in greater detail, particularly in relation to the theme of congregational life and leadership.  The series through Philippians will run from January 6th though April 7th, the last Sunday in Lent.  Please contact Pastor Copeland for further information.


* We will taking down the Christmas decorations Sunday, January 6th after the Worship Service, except for the Poinsettias. So have some coffee, then help us to un-green the church and pack up everything. Many hands make light work.


* Sunday Evening Bible Study will resume January 6th at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Come Join us for light refreshment and conversation, then promptly at 6:45 p.m. begin with prayer followed by study. We end promptly at 8:00 p.m.


* L2 Single Ladies Group is planning to have lunch at the Village Pub at Westminster Village Monday, January 7th  at 11:30 a.m. All single women are invited to join our group.  Questions?   Contact Jean McCoy.


* The ordination and installation of elders- and deacons-elect will take place during worship on Sunday, January 13th, 2019.  Jan Hem, Jean McCoy, and Steve Varys will be installed to serve as Ruling Elders in the Class of 2021.  Rob Donaldson, Deb Johnson and Jerry Matthews will be ordained to the office of Deacon and installed to serve in the Class of 2021.  Please remember these brothers and sisters in prayer as they prepare for this important day.


* The bulletin board in the Christian Ed wing has been updated!  Thanks to SueAnne Bergmann there are new photos of our children and youth.  Take a walk back into the hallway and take a look!


* Mission of the Month for January, 2019 is the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter for homeless people.

Wish list

  • Paper Supplies — Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Paper napkins, Facial Tissues (Kleenex), Paper plates, Disposable cups
  • Cleaning Supplies — Disinfectant Spray (Lysol), All Purpose Cleaner (Simply Green), Bleach (Clorox), Laundry Detergent, Dishwashing Liquid, Dishwasher Detergent, Trash bags (13 gallon/tall kitchen draw-string)
  • Medical supplies — Band-Aids, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Gauze pads, Neosporin, First Aid Antiseptic Spray


  • Personal Care — Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Tampons, Sanitary napkins, Foot powder, Disposable Razors, Combs, Nail Clippers, Pocket facial tissues, Liquid Hand Soap, Disinfecting Wipes (Clorox ), Hand sanitizer
  • Food items — Peanut butter, Snack Bars (Granola Bars, Fruit Bars, Breakfast Bars, Cereal Bars, Rice Krispies Treats), Hot Cocoa – powdered mix
  • Coffee Set Up — Coffee (Caffeinated), Coffee filters, Sweetener packets (sugar, Splenda, Sweet’N Low, Equal), Powdered Creamer
  • Clothing — Socks; Underwear; Winter gloves, hats, socks, scarves (men’s & women’s)

Questions? Contact Dave Stith


* Ladies of Faith Church were celebrating the birth of Jesus at the new restaurant called, The Bryant.

Peggy Housley, Karen Gilliom, Lois Wark, Jean McCoy and Gayle Weast attended.


* Jubilee Christmas was once again a huge success, thanks to all the support and contributions received from the Faith Church congregation. Members of sixteen local families gathered at our church on Saturday, December 8, to eat breakfast together, learn why we celebrate Jubilee Christmas, and then choose and wrap presents for their fifty-eight children and teenagers.  Over fifty people were able to attend the event, including thirteen members of Purdue Crew. The volunteers included hosts and hostesses, wrapping assistants, piano players who provided a festive atmosphere, Santa, the emcee for the event, and others who helped where   needed.

Lots of work by many hands before December 8 was required. We thank all of you who prayed for us, shopped, donated money, baked, and helped set-up on Friday evening. We want to recognize five individuals whose efforts insured Jubilee’s success. Lou Ann Johnston and Dorothy Bethel spent countless hours on such tasks as making gift tags, sorting presents, assigning families to hosts and hostesses, purchasing the major children’s gifts as well as family gifts, and set-up and clean-up. Dave and Kris Stith organized and prepared the breakfast, kept tasty treats available throughout the morning, and prepared the bins of homemade cookies. And once again Dan Trinkle was brilliant as Santa, directing traffic throughout the busy morning. Thank you so much.

As co-chairs of Jubilee Christmas, we want to express our appreciation to Faith Church for its support of Jubilee Christmas. Because of your generosity, fifty-eight children received a special Christmas from their parents.
Ron Smith and Carol Goodrich