September 2016 Newsletter

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If you’ve been in worship here any of the past three Sundays, you might have heard what I find to be some disturbing findings of a Pew Research Center (PRC) study on current trends regarding Christian faith and mainline church participation.   The PRC claims to be a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to discovering and providing demographic information on prevailing issues, attitudes, opinions and trends reflecting the United States and world.   Study results disturb me.  
It’s no secret and the trend is not unique to any locality, but mainline church participation continues to decline as congregations grow older and younger generation members grow fewer.   You may have heard of terms representing groups of people such as: ‘Generation X,’  ‘Generation Y,’ ‘Baby Boomers,’ and so on.   Now we have ‘Nones’ representing the trending group of individuals being identified as ‘unaff iliated with any religious organization,’ and so designated due to their consistent religious survey responses as ‘none’ or ‘none of the above.’    Nearly half of those who have left church since childhood claim they no longer believe in God, 20% dislike/distrust organized religion, nearly 20% now consider themselves “open-minded” toward spiritual beliefs and 10% simply view themselves as “inactive” or “too busy” to practice.   Since reading of this, it’s still bothersome to me.  
Here are some similar demographic data for our own little corner of Creation.   Nearly 52% of our population considers itself ‘Spiritual.’   Nearly 36% identify as ‘Conservative Evangelical Christian.’ Interestingly, only about 20% feel it is ‘Important to Attend Religious Services’ and less than 17% claim ‘My Faith Is Important to Me.’    Really?!!    How important can my faith be if it’s not important enough to practice it, particularly in community with others?   What was it the writer encouraged in the Letter to the Hebrews [10:25]  “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”    Oh, and what was going on in that vibrant church so iconically revered in Acts 2 (42,46)?  “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer….  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts…”    Oh my, what a radical concept.   
I care enough about this Cortland United Methodist Church and congregation to write this with passion.  Friends, we are in challenging times spiritually, socially, morally, interpersonally, politically, economically, ethically, worldly and more.    Jesus offers His Way, His Truth, His Life to be the foundation upon which we can dependably-stand to make our way in true life through our time in this world.   As the hymn, “We Are the Church” sings,  “The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.  I am the church!  You are the church!  We are the church together!  All who follow Jesus, all around the world!  We are the church together.”   All reading this are needed to be this church, in this time, for all the community of people, near and far, turning-toward and away, in the present and for the future.   Read about your church in these pages;  celebrate her working; claim her identity;  participate in her activity and provide for her needs.   We are the church together, now and for the future.   Be the church:  See You Sunday.                   Pastor Dave              

Choir practice will begin on Wednesday, September 14 at 7:00 pm for all those who like to sing. We invite you to come and be part of the choir.
Beginning Sunday, September 4th we will resume two worship services.   They will be held at 8:00 am and at 10:30 am with children’s time. Bible study at 9:15 am.  Fellowship time will be at 9:15 and 11:45 am.  Please circle the date on your calendar.   
The Sympathy of the congregation was extended to Lori Laukhart family in the death of Lori who passed on July 28, 2016.  And to the John Lowry family in the death of John on Sunday, August 28, 2016 

THANK YOU  Our thanks to you our church family. You’ve provided us with your prayers, comfort and sympathy. Words cannot express our appreciation for your comfort the day of Lori’s funeral, the wonderful fruit and veggie trays from United Methodist women, cakes, paper products and the list goes on!  Last, but certainly not least, for Pastor Dave and Becky for driving to UPMC, for going above and beyond to offer comfort and solace as they always do. Thank you all. The Laukharts and Scott Corley families 

TO: Lil’ Lambs Committee,  Thank you for your commitment to the community, your support is a credit to your group.  We can’t express our appreciation enough for the donation to Camelot in Lori’s memory, she would be so happy!    Sincerely, the Laukharts, and Scott Corley Families

LIL’ LAMBS CLOSET SALE  The fall Lil’ Lambs closet Sale is Thursday, October 6, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, October 7, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Opera House. We need worker bees, sellers  and of course buyers!  Spread the word. You may contact Donna Pate or Debbie Miller if you are interest in working or know anyone who may want to sell. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to another successful sale. Thank you.  
CLEANING OUT YOUR CLOSET CAN HELP KIDS AROUND THE WORLD  Imagine you receive a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child several months ago. It holds many precious items. But it is falling apart. How will you keep your possessions safe when you hear the cry that there is danger? You must grab whatever you can and run for your life. These are realities for millions of children around the world. Sturdy cloth drawstring bags can be the answer. They will help children keep their possession together and clean. They can be emergency bags, shopping bags or hold school supplies. They can be used as a pillow. They possibilities are as varied as the children who will receive them. Karen Corbett is helping make that happen by sewing drawstring bags for Operation Christmas Child volunteers to pack into the shoeboxes that are collected in Warren.  HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP 
I need fabric – most types can be used either for the bag itself or for the pocket             inside.     Yardage, Sheets, Tablecloths, Curtains I need drawstrings – any size, type or color Shoestrings, ribbon Hoodie strings, any thin flexible cord that can be threaded into a casing. I need Trim (to make each bag different so children can tell them apart) any size              or color ribbon, flat trims, bias tape, appliques I need Thread – all colors, all types, all ages The Center Need Shoeboxes and Wrapping paper (for any occasions) The Warren center collects and packs boxes year round. 

Please see Karen Corbett if you can provide any of these supplies or if you would like to have bags to pack in your Christmas Child boxes. Her phone number is 330-397-3290.  
United Methodist Men 
 The men meet for a breakfast meeting on Saturday, September 10th in fellowship hall.  All men of the church are invited to come and enjoy a delicious breakfast and fellowship with one another.      
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN   HOPE YOU FOLLOW THE ROAD TO THE FALL RETREAT!!  The retreat will be held Thursday, September 22nd from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm at Big creek Park in Chardon at 9160 Robinson Road. We will meet in the Meyer Center in the beautiful Cherry room. A continental breakfast will be served, and beverages will be provided. Please bring a bag lunch, your Bible and a notebook. The topic for this year’s study is   “The Bible and Human Sexuality, Claiming God’s Good Gift” by Ellen A. Brubaker.  We will have people sharing from Hannah’s House for crisis pregnancies as well as a speaker on Human Trafficking.  As always, it will be wonderful to share ideas and thought together as Christian women in fellowship. During the retreat there will be time for fellowship, praising God and learning together, with plenty of time for fun and laughter.  Also time to enjoy nature in the peaceful surroundings of the park. Please dress comfortably and prepare to be renewed and refreshed.  If you have questions please feel free to contact me at 440-897-5096 or e-mail me at  Hope to see you at Big Creek in September! Blessings, Mary Jane Scott Spiritual Growth Coordinator Western Reserve District UMW  
 Tuesday, September 6th at 9:00 am we will meet in fellowship hall to make place mats.  All ladies are invited to come and work.  

Our September meeting of Cortland United Methodist Women will be on Wednesday, September 14th at 10:30 am. We invite all ladies of the church to come and be a part of the group.  We will work on our October Turkey dinner.  We have devotions, a business meeting and then travel somewhere for lunch and fellowship.   

Three Community programs were held this summer. – “Come Fly a Kite with Us”, “Craft Day for Shoebox Ministries” and “Pet Parade/Blessing the Animals.”  These could not have been available to the community without the support of the United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men groups, many volunteers, Pastor Dave and parents who saw their children got here to participate. Much fun was enjoyed by the children on craft day, as they made many items to be placed in the shoeboxes for the children. – Even the adults present learned some new ways to do things. 

Two special treats was meeting Vicki’s Italian Greyhound, Donna Pate’s cats and Don and Debbie Harper’s five Sheltie dogs. We were also honored by attendance of Jeri from the Western Reserve District, her granddaughter and her dog.  Look forward to planning new events for next year. Got any ideas?  Please share them or offer to plan an event. 

The group will meet on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00 pm in the church parlor. Plans will be made for the fall: All Saints, Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day and Christmas.  Discussion regarding: morning worship time, evaluated and suggestions offered to Ad Council for consideration. Please contact any member regarding your wishes and suggestions. New ideas are great. Our Discipleship starts here. Be a part of it.     

Remember time change – 9:25 am until 10:15 am in the Parlor. Leaders Jim Miner and Debbie Miller always plan a very good Bible Study that stimulates discussion and Bible Study learning. Plan your day so you too can share in the ministry that prepares us to be God’s Disciples, more equipped to meet the Christian need and respond to them. Drop in – try it. You might be surprised – You’ll enjoy it, and it will become a habit. 

Special music was presented during the worship hour be several groups and vocalists. Special thanks to Jean Davis and Dr. Harvey Fenestra for their sharing of their great voices in solo.  We were also spirit filled by the women’s choir during their United Methodist Women’s Day. Looking forward to hearing the Men’s choir in September.  God has truly blessed us with many talented people. 

 Our program starts Wednesday, October 12th at the Lakeview Elementary  School on Bazetta Road. Time is 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm.   We will have access to the school cafeteria and gym with opportunity for storage. Volunteers are still needed. We anticipate approximately 30 children; Kindergarten through third grade with 4th, 5th, 6th as helpers. Also needed are Teen helpers: Perhaps you could fulfill your community service requirements by helping. Those wishing to go into education would find it a good way to develop these skills – good place for Teachers of America students – Please consider for church goers. There are two clip boards at the back of the sanctuary for you to sign up. Please consider this or let me know someone in the community who would be good with the children, crafts, etc. Remember this is a community based program sponsored by the Cortland United Methodist Church.  Program will run for six weeks in fall and six weeks in spring with a Community Christmas party at the church. Keep this program on your daily prayer list and search your heart as to how you can help. Needed are both men and women.  Thank you.  Next After School meeting will be: Wednesday, September  21 @2:30 pm  
Remember to keep bringing your box tops and place them in the Campbell Soup container in the north narthex. Our Red Bird Team will take them when the go on their trip in October.

Recently God called home 2 loyal members of the Cortland Community and his church at 155 North High Street.  Lori Laukhart passed on July 28, 2016 and John Lowry on August 28, 2016. Both were well known and well-loved by not only our church members but by the community as well. Lori was an activist who made her life known in the Cortland saddle horse community.  She gave much of herself in a very quiet but permanent way. John had been a long time member of the church. He was also well respected as a coach and teacher. His love for God – his strong faith showed through even in his failing health years. He loved his wife and family.  Was a loyal visitation team member who never quit till his physical health prevented it.  Both will be deeply missed by us but we know God has two very special people in his home above.  

God’s helpers are needed everywhere. Please look at your prayer life. Each week those needing prayer are listed in the bulletin. Suggest you cut them out – add other names requested at church.  Place them on the side of the refrigerator or where it is good for you. As you open the door or pass by them  say a little prayer. God hears them all. You may not know their need but God does. Become a faithful prayer warrior. You will be blessed as your prayer life grows.  

  “Special people are gifts that bring happiness        And treasures that money can’t buy”

SPPRC has been meeting diligently the past several Mondays reviewing our goals, past year concerns and actions, staffing positions and the needs of the church congregation. This report will be sent the District Superintendent in Painesville. The SPRRC committee will meet with D.S. Sondra Snode  on Sunday, September 25th at 3:30 p.m. and review our activity. Also remember to mark your personal calendar for Sunday, November 13th at 4:30 p.m. at the Wildare United Methodist Church. This is an open meeting for all church members.  Election of church officers and opportunities to share in the discussion.  Refreshments are served and fellowship with others is good.

MY TRIP TO HAITI      Debbie Miller 
 In July I traveled with Samaritan’s Purse to Haiti for one week. Along with seven other women from the U.S. I stayed at the Greta home and Academy to minister to the children and staff there. Haiti is in an extreme impoverished situation and this home was established to help families of children that cannot care for their child/children or for children that have lost one or both of their parents.  In addition to having a Vacation Bible School for the children we enjoyed worshiping alongside of them, having a talent show and a water day for them and simply playing and loving them. I also was able to spend some time teaching the kids and staff about dental hygiene and nutrition.  Our team enjoyed morning devotions with one another, worship at a local church, a couple trips to the market, having dinner and having worship time at the Samaritian’s Purse base, a few hours at the beach and a very special surprise of participating in an Operation Christmas Child distribution of shoe boxes. Since our church has participated in OCC for so many years and we are a relay center for our community to drop off boxes this opportunity to actually see children receive boxes was so amazing.
 Preparing for a trip can sometimes be almost as exciting as the trip itself and this preparation time was no different. I love to make little dresses for shoe boxes so I decided it would be great to take lots with me. People from the church I knew I had a personal goal of 100 in mind. With all I was doing to prepare for the trip and life in general I was far off from my goal and fellow parishioners suggested that I ask the church for help and boy there was help. On July 7 an enthusiastic group of women met in the parlor to make dresses.  Thank you to these women who were there: Anita Shaw and her mother Carol Porter, Ann Fetrow, Melodee Chapin, Pam O’Dell, Janet Burkey, Diane Bumstead, Vicki Kirkland, Shirley DiVencenzo, Bertha Cyphert.  Other beautiful dresses/skirts were sewn and given to me by Margaret Nisula and Micki Semroc. So much love was poured into these dresses and skirts and I was so thrilled to see the excitement of these ladies to participate and also see the girls react to be able to choose a couple new items for their wardrobes. Not only did many members contribute through the dress making but also the outpouring of love from my church family to donate books, school supplies, toys, clothing items and monetary donations to help to pay for my additional suitcase, crafts items and other donations was overwhelming. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and love shown to help the children in Haiti and to help me on this adventure that God wanted me to go on.  This trip has had such a lasting impact on my life and I pray that one day I can return to do more. Your prayers and blessings mean the world to me and I know they made a difference while I was gone.  Samaritan’s Purse offers many rescue mission trips and I want to encourage you to prayerfully consider traveling with SP. They are an amazing organization and group to travel with to help others and to spread the gospel both locally in the US and around the world. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart and God bless you. 
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and    of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  

TO: Lil’ Lambs Closet 
Dear Diane and Friends: 
Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! We are so blessed by your outpouring of generosity on our women and children.  You already know how busy it is here at Someplace Safe. Summer is especially busy. We had more families needing shelter. And children. Lots of children.  Our “house” was full all summer with moms and children who felt safe and loved thanks to the generosity of people like you.  We used your donation to buy underwear and socks and shorts and bathing suits for women and children.  The children had fun with the outdoor toys to ride on outside and toys to play in like tents.  I wish you could have heard how excited the children were the first time we turned on the sprinklers! While this might not sound like anything special to most of us, sadly our kids don’t often get the chance to just be kids and have the kind of fun they had at Someplace Safe this summer thanks to you and your wonderful donation.  You make it possible for us to be here for the families, for the women and for the children, who have fled an abusive situation and taken that first step to rebuild their lives.  Thank you so much for your generous gift to support the women and children we serve here at Someplace Safe.  With gratitude,  Bonnie Wilson  Director     
This is just one of the organizations that Lil’ Lambs helps when they have their sale.  

Although we fell short of our goal for an ark ($5,000) we did have successful sale and continued to educate the community about Heifer International. I cannot calculate the man-hours donated but I know that at least 8-10 volunteers were on site at all times all day Friday and Saturday while several others helped before and after the sale to care for the tents and donations. Representatives from all seven LOAF churches were involved. The weather (both rain and heat) hampered the sale but, at this point, it looks like we will mail a check to Heifer for over $3,000.   CHOW and Emmanuel Clothes Closet received many boxes of unsold clothes, while Goodwill took books and numerous miscellaneous items. The flea market on Youngstown Road picked up toys, lines, and household items.     Jean Bolinger  

This year’s event is the eighth for Trumbull County. The first few were held at Lakeview High School, before former Cortland Mayor Curt Moll and Warren Doug Franklin cooperated to move the celebration to the Warren Amphitheater. Now, the event that started in Cortland and has been supported faithfully by Cortland-area residents is back in Cortland.  

The program, which  will explore why each of us should pursue peace, examine how the cause of peace is doing, and offer recommendations on how each of us can bring peace to our world every day. Refreshments and a keepsake each attendee will be offered following the event.  
Please plan to join us and encourage others to be a part of supporting Peace on Earth. The Prince of Peace Lutheran Church located at 490 N. High Street will host the event on Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m.   

CROP HUNGER WALK  Please mark your calendars, and join us for the CROP HUNGER WALK on Sunday, October 9! Registration will be at 1:30 in our fellowship hall, followed by our 2:00 walk.  Like last year, we will offer two different routes.  A longer route will take us to Mosquito Lake, where we will fill our 5-gallon bucket with lake water (or a couple plastic jugs) and carry them back to the church. An alternate, shorter route will just be “around the Block”, if that suits you better. Upon our return to the church, our Cortland Lions’ Club will serve us hot dogs, chips and a drink! 

Last year, we as a church, raised $600 towards the fight against hunger worldwide! 25% of this was donated to our Cortland Area Cares Food Pantry. With the other 7 churches that participated in our walk, we raised a total of $5611.17! The Church World Service (CWS) organizers would like for each church family to try to increase their amount of donations by at least $100. So, now we have a GOAL of $700 to help stamp out hunger around the world!  The organizers are encouraging online donations. Walkers can easily track their progress, and donors get an email receipt automatically. If you would like to start recruiting family and friends this way, you can go to: 

CROP WALK participants who register and raise funds online are eligible for recognition gifts (baseball cap or t-shirt) based on their online fundraising totals. Please check out the web site if you are interested.  If you are not that “tech savvy” then you can participate by getting a “Donation Envelope” from me. I will also give you a “Donor Sheet” so you can keep trach of all your family and friends who donate money towards your walk against hunger….and be sure to invite them to join us on the October 9th CROP WALK!  If any of your donors ask about a receipt for tax purposes, please ask them to write a check payable to “CWS/CROP”.  As was done last year, I will place the 5-gallon “CROP HUNGER WALK” bucket near the sanctuary for any “spare cash and coin”. If you cannot join us for the walk, but would like to donate, you may write a check payable to “CWS/CROP” and leave in church office with Bertha.  Please see me before or following the 8:00 church service if you would like a participating “Donation Envelope”, or ask Bertha for one if you are at the 10:30 service.  Thank You for your support! 
    CROP WALK REPRESENTATIVE: Mary Bumstead 330-638-6413 or 330-719-75 

August 28, 2016   Please take a moment to review the Income and Expense summary provided. Currently there are several expenses that have not been paid. Please keep the Finance Committee and Administrative Council in your prayers as they will be dealing with these issues at the upcoming September meetings.   Have you considered the option of online/mobile donations? You can set a recurring donation at an interval of your choice or make a one-time donation by visiting our church website at and clicking on the red “donate Now” button. Authorization may be changed or discontinued at any time by simply logging into your online/mobile account. 
Sincerely, Jill Freeman    
Summary of 2016 Finances Year to Date 
Income/Receipts: Tithes and Offerings Received   73,261 Shared Ministry Donations      5,452 Housing Withdrawal         2,400 Other Income            811                  100,068  
            (continued next page)
Expenses: Salary Expense      70,583 Shared Ministry Expense    12,994 Finance/Stewardship Expense        106 Program Expense               680 Utilities:   Telephone        1,069    Electric          1,844    Gas                          839    Water & Sewer                 210 Building & Property Expenses        991 Elevator. Equipment Maintenance           2,314 Building & Property Insurance     2,826 Office Supplies                  279 Copier Maintenance                 822 Postage                           405 Miscellaneous Expense                 590                                              105,551    

NET INCOME (EXPENSE)   (5,483)   
Outstanding Bills/Expenses as of 08/28/2016 
FICA/Payroll Expenses            866.86 Health Care (August)                1,940.50  
Shared Ministry (July & August)       1,814.50 
Electric               209.24 Copier/Computer             516.00 Upper Room Books        65.91              5,413.01  
David Vensel,
Oct 8, 2016, 10:20 AM