April 2016 Newsletter

You can read the current newsletter here or you can download a more colorful copy toward the bottom of the page.  Simply click the blue arrow to download.

At a district meeting recently, someone told of a community event envisioned to reach non-church-affiliated persons.  The question reflectively pondered was, “What will we do if some of these people    show up at our church?   They may seem different, not looking or acting as we typically appear.”  

This caused me to think about our own church.   When people come inside, who will they find?    What do people expect to find inside our very traditional-looking, nearly two-hundred-year-old building?   What might be some assumptions, pre-conceptions and attitudes people might possess?   We’re probably all familiar with attitudes viewing those within the church as thinking of themselves to be perfect, when in fact we are not, or as if there needs to be a certain level of ‘goodness’ necessary to be qualified to be in the church, when in fact there is not, or simply that there exists within the church a plague of hypocrisy, which is desired not.  

The Bible asserts that the church was established to be and remains the Body of Christ in and for the world beyond Christ’s time on earth.   Thinking a little more on this, it occurs to me that for all the notions, attitudes and pre-conceptions outside church walls (and sometimes even within), our church body is also bruised, wounded, afflicted and scarred, imperfect but perfected in God’s Love through Christ.  “Greatly blessed, highly favored, imperfect but forgiven child(ren) of God” (thank you Bill Gaither)   “But by the Grace of God” (thank you John Bradford), there go any and all of us in life-circumstances that may suggest differences in appearance even social placement, but whose experiences and individual spirits actually share more in common with each other and those not among any church family than ‘we’ and ‘they’ might think.  

On that evening on the first day of the week (following Christ’s Resurrection) while the disciples were gathered together in a closed and locked room, Jesus came and appeared among them.  He showed them the wound marks of His hands and side.   He told them, “Peace be with you,”  then added,       “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”   Sometime at least a week later when Thomas saw Jesus and was invited to touch the places He was wounded, Thomas became overjoyed as the other disciples had at the confirmation that Jesus lives.   [see John 20:19-31]

Another pastor recently shared how a visitor who had begun attending his church said to him,             “I don’t know Jesus, but by the way the people in this church have welcomed and received and treated me and each other, I want to get to know Him.”   “What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms;  what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.”   (Elisha A. Hoffman, 1887)  

We are the Body of Christ, in our own ways:  battered, bruised and scarred, but redeemed and resurrected to Life-Renewed.   We are sent to be and convey this Good News.   See You Sunday!

Pastor Dave

APRIL   2016
















8 am Heritage Worship

9 am Fellowship

9:15am Adult study

10:30 am Blended


11:45 am Fellowship


6:00 pm Bible n Burger


7 pm Bible Study

6:00 pm Worship Team meeting


7 pm Choir




10 am LOAF at

  @ Nazarene Ch

10 am – Bible Study





9am – 3 pm

Book/bake Sale


10 am Bible Study.



8:30 am

Men’s Breakfast meeting


9 -1

Book/ Bake Sale


8 am Heritage      


9 am Fellowship

 9:15 am 

        Adult study

10:30 am Blended


 11:45 am.    

       Fellowship &




6 pm Bible-n-Burger


6 pm – Trustee


7 pm –Staff Parish



7 pm Sister Act Bible Study



7 pm. Choir  



10 am Bible Study


10 am Bible Study




UM Women Spring Gathering

at  First UMC in




8 am Heritage


9:15 am Breakfast in fellowship hall

10:30 am  Blended


 11:45 am

        Fellowship &




6 pm Bible-n- Burger


7 pm – Staff Parish



7 pm Sister Act Bible Study



10:30 am UM Women meeting


7 pm Choir



10 am – Bible Study





10am Bible Study



8 am Heritage


9 am Fellowship

9:15 am

     Adult study

10:30 am. Blended 


11:45 am

       Fellowship &




6 pm Bible-n-Burger



7pm Sister Act Bible Study



7 pm  Choir


10 am Bible Study


10 am Bible Study












April 3                                                     April 10                                                   April 17                                                 April 24

Acts 5:27-32                                            Acts 9:1-6                                                Acts 9:36-43                                          Acts 11:1-8

Psalm 150                                               Psalm 30                                                 Psalm 23                                               Psalm 148

Revelation 1:4-8                                     Revelation 5:11-14                                Revelation 7:9-17                                Revelation 21:1-6

John 20:19-31                                        John 21:1-9                                             John 10:22-30                                        John 13:31-35


Happy New Year!  I wanted to take this time to thank you for your efforts in paying your apportioned shared ministry funds at 100% for 2015. Those funds are impacting lives and are greatly appreciated! Best wishes to your congregation in 2016.

                                                Jessica Vargo, Conference Treasurer



 A New Song is currently offering Music Enrichment and Movement classes for families of 6 month to 6 year olds.  The hourly class will use the National and International Music Together Program. Free demos will be offered at Cortland United Methodist Church every Tuesday evening from 6-7 p.m.  Early registration begins April 1, 2016. An 8 week Spring Semester will be offered beginning April 12 on Tuesday evenings from 6-7 p.m. For further information regarding registration, cost and discounts please contact Priscilla Beck at 330-518-0536.  Cost is based on family and not individual child. There is no additional cost for older or younger siblings and they are welcome to attend.  This is an excellent opportunity to allow families to bond and participate through the joy of music together. See you there!  Also catch A New Song on Facebook.




         An update about Campbell’s Labels for Education program.  For the past 42 years, Campbell has proudly offered Labels for Education which has contributed more than $110 million in school supplies to tens of thousands of schools across the U.S.  It is one of a number of ways in which we support America’s kids and families as part of our commitment to being responsible corporate citizens.

        During the past year, we’ve been assessing the impact of these programs and through this; we’ve seen that participation in Labels for Education has declined considerably. Sadly, it is at the point where we have no choice but to make the very difficult decision to wind down the program.

        The program will continue exactly as is for the remainder of the 2015-2016 LFE program years.   There will be changes for next year’s program starting AUGUST 1, 2016. Until then, there will be no changes to the bonus offer calendar or the participating products.

 We will keep you up to date as to what the changes will be.


 Donna Pate



           The community after-school program recently received approval of our request of $2500 to provide this program to more children.  We have received approval from the Lakeview School Superintendent, Robert Wilson to hold the program in the Cortland Elementary School serving children from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  In 2017 we will meet in the new elementary building on the main campus. We project to serve at least 30 children.

          This program and block grant was recently approved by the Western Reserve District Superintendent, Rev. Snode and the Western Reserve District Mission Committee.  It will now go to the Conference committee and they expect amount will be decided by them and presented to Conference members for approval. We will not receive the amount approved till January 2017.

          In the meantime we will start the program in September 2016 at the Cortland Elementary. This outreach will take time, money and support by our church for the next year. We will be presenting our plans to LOAF with the hope that other churches church members will support the program as it is meant to be a Community Outreach program.

          The school feels our program outline meets the needs and values of love and compassion for each other, sharing, sportsmanship, anti-bullying and Spirit of cooperation with all children regardless of their religion, ethnicity, disability, the same values they are incorporating in their programs.  During our  summer programs for families we will end with that last, advertise and take applications for fall.  For the present we ask for your prayers and commitment. Thanks for your inspiration.


God Bless

Shirley DiVencenzo



           I send my thanks to all for the lovely cards and get well wishes and Pastor Dave’s visits during my recent heart surgery. I am feeling better and I am back home to my place.


          Francis Jones


UMCOR –    United Methodist committee on Relief is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Theme “Being with those in time of Crisis”. Most if not the time UMCOR is often the first one on any crisis situation. Start planning to collect items for Pastor and Bertha to take to Annual Conference in June. Lists are posted on board in fellowship hall.


The following items are to be wrapped in the hand towel and placed in a new, one-gallon plastic zip closure bag.


1 hand towel (15”x25” up to 17” x 27”.  NO kitchen towels)

1 washcloth

1 comb (large and sturdy, not pocket-sized)

1 nail file or fingernail clippers (no emery board or toenail clippers)

1 bath-size bar of soap (3 oz. and up)

1 toothbrush (single brushes only in original wrapper, on child-size brushes)

6 adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages

$1 to purchase toothpaste



6 Cloth diapers –prefolded or plain diapers only NO disposable diapers

2 Shirts –undershirts or onsies

2 Wash cloths – infant size only no adult wash cloths

2 Gowns or Sleepers

2 Diaper pins =must have protective plastic closures, NO regular safety pins

1 Sweater or jacket-must open from front, may be hand knitted,   

       Crocheted or sewn (hooded sweatshirts acceptable)

2 Receiving blankets – 30”x30” or 30”x32” sizes only, NO crib blankets



          Lay one of the receiving blankets flat on a table. Set aside the diaper pins and place all remaining items on top of the blanket. Fold the blanket around the items and secure the bundle with the diaper pins.


          . All items must be new

          . Do not wash any of the items as they will be considered used.

          . Please remove all packaging.

          . All emergency kits are carefully planned to make them usable in the greatest

                number of situations. Since strict rules often govern product entry into

                International countries, it is important that kits contain only the requested

                items-nothing more

DO NOT include any personal notes, money or additional material in the kits. These things must be painstakingly removed and will delay the shipment.



1 pair blunt scissors – rounded tip only, no plastic scissors please

3 pads of paper – 8-1/2 x 11 spiral notebooks or top-bound pads -150 sheets loose

        leaf can be substituted for 1 pad

1 Hand held pencil sharpener – must be at least one inch long, remove from


1-30cm ruler-hard or flexible, cartoon characters are acceptable, no advertisements

6 unsharpened pencils – no advertisements, religious, patriotic military or

     Camouflage symbols please – cartoon characters are ok

1-2 ½ inch eraser – no advertisements, religious, patriotic military or camouflage

      symbols please – cartoon characters are okay

1 24 count box of crayons – no other sizes only 24 count please

1-14” x 16” cloth bag – homemade or purchases bags are both acceptable, heavy

     duty fabric only – denim, corduroy etc. no advertisements, religious, patriotic

     military or camouflage symbols please- cartoon characters are ok…closures are

     optional but must be buttons, snaps or Velcro sewn in middle of opening if used


Please all loose items on top of paper. Turn items sideways and slide into the cloth bag. Fold over the top of the bag so loose items don’t fall out.



UMCOR Cleaning Bucket

Kit contains:

5 gal bucket w re-sealable lid (clean)            24-bag roll of heavy duty

5 scouring pads (not steel wool)                                         trash bags  33-45 gal

7 sponges                                                                        (remove roll from box & roll

1 scrub brush                                                                        into 2 sets of 12)

18 cleaning towels (reusable wipes)                          1 can air freshener (aerosol/pump                                                                     

Liquid laundry detergent (2-25 oz. or 1-50 oz. bottle)

1 household cleaner, 12-16 oz. bottle that can         1 insect repellent spray

         be mixed w water  (no spray bottles)                       (non-killer) 6-14 oz can

Dish soap 10 to 28 oz. bottle                                            (aerosol spray or pump with

Clothes line (2-50 ft. or 1-100 foot                                        protective cover)      

5 dust masks (disposable) (sealed in a bag)                   

2 pair reusable waterproof gloves (Playtex type)    50 clothes pins

CLEANING AGENTS: All cleaning agents must be liquid and in plastic bottles. No


Place all items in bucket.  Sizes are important as all items must fit in bucket.




        The April meeting of the Cortland United Methodist Women will be held on Wednesday, April 20th at 10:30 am in the church parlor. After devotions and a business meeting, we will go out to lunch. All women of the church are invited to join us.

        The Western Reserve District United Methodist Women Spring Gathering will be held on Saturday, April 16th at the Ashtabula First United Methodist Church. The theme of the meeting is  “For the Beauty of the Earth.”  Any ladies interested in attending should call the church office before April 8th so you can be included on the reservation form. The fee for the breakfast is $3. We will be taking items for the Beatitude House with us.  Items needed: include dish detergent, all-purpose cleaner, HE liquid laundry detergent, 13 gallon and 30 gallon trash bags, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, feminine products, diapers (large size) and baby wipes. Anyone wishing to donation any of these items may leave them in the church office.


   The UMW BOOK SALE AND BAKE SALE will be held on Friday, April 8th from 9 to 3 and Saturday, April 9th from 9 to 1. All day Saturday is $2 a bag day and we provide the bags.  The Bake Sale will be held during the Book Sale.  Come visit the sale and pick up some summer reading! We are still in need of items  for the sale.  We accept gently used books, specialty magazines, puzzles, videos, DVDs and CDs.

Please leave donations in the room next to the nursery before April 6th. Thank you.


   The women of UMW plan to hold their annual spring plant sale again this year. At this time, we do not have a final price list or order forms but will make them available as soon as possible.





                                     LIL’ LAMBS CLOSET SALE





Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 Lil’ Lambs Closet Sale.  Huge selection of like-new, quality infants’ and children’s clothing, nursery items, toys and more.    Sale hours Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Opera House. This is a great event which helps buyers, seller, and others in our community.      We appreciate your continued support. See “ewe” there!

We need volunteers to help set up prior to the sale, work the sale days and close down the sale on Friday afternoon. Please contact any committee member to schedule your time. Thank you kindly.


Committee Members include:  Janet Burkey, Donna Pate,

                                 Debbie Miller, Mel Chapin, Diane Bumstead


The following schedule will be confirmed as dates draw near.

Volunteers are needed on Sunday, May 1) Sort and inspection of sellers’ goods on Monday, May 2 through Wednesday May 4. 




Special thanks go out to all who helped make Easter so special. The Pastor for his inspiring sermons and energy to meet all the special needs of Holy Week, George and the choir that inspire us with their special music, the parade of palms by the children and the crosses made by Chrissie Ross, that were passed out to each one attending worship. Thanks to all who provided the beautiful altar flowers that let us know spring is here by God’s plan – the empty cross on Sunday to remind us He is not in the tomb – He is risen for us, reminding us that He will  forgive our sins – is ready to meet the faithful one day. Those who attended the Lenten Study at Jim and Paula Mizner’s. We were truly inspired by the study which made Easter’s meaning even more important and real. Thank you both for opening your home. When you see Debbie Moore and Jan Stocz thank them for taking time to arrange the flowers so beautifully, and to Pam O’Dell, Ann Fetrow, Mel Chapin for the beautiful new butterflies you see around the church. And to Pam O’Dell who does a beautiful job on our bulletin boards in fellowship hall.   All reminds us HE IS ALIVE!




        The Worship Planning Team will be meeting on Tuesday, April 5th at 6:00 pm. Please note date change. We will be planning worship in church, worship activities and worship outside the church walls for the months of May, June, July and August.

        We are asking each of you in the congregation and each group to share with us your ideas, things you would like to see, changes and activities you would like us to try. Include outside activities that include the pavilion, church lawn and community areas.   Remember worship of our Lord can be anywhere.

        God is looking to us.  The Cortland United Methodist Church Congregation to spread His good news to all who will listen.


Up-coming activities:

Women’s Rally in the Valley – Victory Christian Center –

                     April 28, 2016 9 am to 4 pm





        Once again we ask you to give us names of teens, college students, and young adults for us to reach out to through programs, letters, phone calls, etc.  Give names of them to Shirley or Bertha or just drop their name in the offering plate or in the office door slot.





        School is close to ending and so is the formal part of our After School Program held on Wednesdays 4-6 pm in the church fellowship hall.

Dates have been changed slightly due to conflicts. We will be meeting Wednesday, April 13th from 4-6 pm and April 27 from 4-6 pm. This will be our last formal day for this year as May becomes very involved with school activities. On April 27th we will be taking the students to the Dairy Queen for snack time.



        Junior Church will continue to meet throughout the spring and summer as part of the Morning Worship.  Please encourage children of all ages to join us.  At present we have started a new program. For the first three Sundays, Debbie Miller will be incorporating in the time “How to Read the Bible” on your tablets.

        On the last Sunday of the month other people of the church will share God’s love and journey with story time, music and craft time.

        We ask all of you to reach out, see if you can encourage a child or teen to come to church with you. God wants all to know Him and His love for them. Please place this outreach in your prayers and tell yourself to take action.





Through March, we have received $29,252.84 in tithes and offerings and $2,329.50 in shared ministry donations.  $40,054.86 has been incurred in operating expenses. As you can see there was a significant shortfall. The Finance Committee in conjunction with the Administrative Council has decided to use Reserve funds that have been held in savings to cover any shortfalls incurred for the time being. However, unless there is an increase in income, eventually adjustments will need to be made.

     Giving statements will be mailed in the next week, please review them carefully and contact me with any questions at 330-638-0062.

     Have you considered the option of making your donation online?  You can make a one-time donation or set up a recurring donation at an interval of your choice by visiting our church web site at www.cortlandumc.org and clicking on the red “donate now” link. This is an easy, safe and convenient way to stay current on your giving. Several people are currently using this option and it has worked well.







                         Cortland United Methodist Church          155 North High Street                      Cortland, OH 44410

                         Church Office  (330) 637-2571                     Pastor David Vensel                          (330)  637-2571

                                                                E-mail: cortlandumc@centurylink.net






Friday, April 8 from 9am – 3 pm and Saturday, April 9 from 9 am – 1pm we will have many books, etc. and baked goods for sale.   

Men’s Monthly Breakfast will be on Saturday, April 16, at 8:30 am.

WESTERN RESERVE DISTRICT UNION MEETING  and  SPRING CONFERENCE          April 23rd at Chardon UMC from 9:30 am to Noon.                    Registration begins at 9 am

Worship will lead us into our business followed by our leadership development time-led this year by Kristy Frieden who will help reenergize us a leaders who guide the church using our strengths. It will be a great day to be together!

Please allow a few extra minutes for detours, the Maple Festival is taking place on the Chardon Square


 Saturday, April 30th  9 am – 4 pm

Free Admission at the Covelli Centre  Youngstown, OH 

                  “Jesus Born to be a Champion”

Special music by Recording Artist Jared Anderson

Speakers: Jim Tressel, Devon McDonald, Roy Hall, Eric Douglas, Mark Hoobler, Matt & Melanie Miller, Bob Popa         www.mensrally.org

David Vensel,
Apr 25, 2016, 5:47 PM