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Plainfield United Methodist Church

December 2016

Merry Christmas



A child has been born for us! So, do we have to wait until Jesus grows up in order to receive some wise counsel, direction, and peace? The last year has been especially stressful with our unusual campaign and election. Remember the scriptures. When the Magi ‒ the Wise Men ‒ came searching for Jesus from far away, this is how they asked about him in Matthew 2:2. “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?” Born king. Jesus was born as King. He came into this world as King of all. Not confined to a department store window or limited by our ability to understand what it all means. Jesus is King! I said it both before and after the election. Jesus was King on November 7. Jesus was King on November 8. Jesus was King on November 9. Jesus is King today. Jesus will be King next week, next month, next year, and forever more! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. - Hebrews 13:8 Not only is Jesus King, but he is here. (continued on page 3)


t’s Advent, the season of the Christian Year when we anticipate and celebrate the arrival of Jesus into the world. Manger scenes will dominate. Your decorations for the season are probably in place or soon will be. Their familiarity is a welcome comfort. We will consider, visualize, and sing about the Baby Jesus. In some ways the season compartmentalizes Jesus in the manger like a department store window display. But, I think Christ eclipses all of that. Four weeks each year hardly seem adequate to fully explore and consider what it means for God to visit us in the confines of a human being. We confess that Jesus is the fullness of God in human flesh. We proclaim Jesus as Messiah, meaning Anointed One and Christ. He is also Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, according to Isaiah 9:6. This description in Isaiah is a reference to the “child . . . born for us.” And each title is rich with meaning. In Jesus Christ, the one we so desperately need and long for has arrived.


ave the dates for these special worship experiences through the end of 2016! Dec. 9 Christmas in Plainfield

Plainfield High School

Dec. 21 Longest Night Worship 7:00 p.m. PUMC Dec. 24 Christmas Eve at PUMC 4:00 p.m. Family Celebration 5:00 p.m. 7 & 9:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve Celebration with NewDay Praise Candlelight Worship with Choir & Orchestra Christmas Eve Worship with Candlelight & Communion

Dec. 25 Christmas Day Worship 10:00 a.m. only in both Classic and

NewDay Praise

Serving the Children of Plainfield

600 Simmons Street Plainfield, Indiana 46168-2264 Telephone: 317.839.2319 Sundays Classic Worship: 8:30, 9:50 & 11:10 a.m. NewDay Praise Worship: 9:50 a.m. Youth Worship (grades 6-12): 9:45 a.m. Bible Explorers (grades K-5): 9:45 a.m. Office Hours: 8:30a.m. – 3:30p.m. (M–F)

Index Senior Pastor’s Letter Newday Pastor’s Letter Preparing for Christmas Mission News Christmas Schedule Worship Arts Finish Faithfully Consecration Sunday Report Church Council Update Finance Update Giving Report Notes to the Congregation

1 4 5 7 9 11 13 14 15 16 17 18


(continued from page 1) Matthew 1:23 declares about Jesus, “and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.’” Emmanuel can also be understood as the ‘With-us God.’ How will you celebrate Jesus this season? Will you seek and worship him like the Magi? Will you proclaim him like the Shepherds? Will you welcome him like Mary and Joseph? I invite you to find meaningful ways to celebrate Jesus, to embrace

him, and to surrender to his kingship this season and always. Take Jesus out of the department store window and allow him to reign and rule on the royal dais of your heart and life. Merry Christmas! Go in peace. Go with God. And be well. Shalom,

DECEMBER Sundays in December: Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Worship 4, 5, 7, 9, and 11:00 p.m. Find details on page 9 Dec. 25 Worship at 10:00 a.m. only in both the Sanctuary and the Worship Annex.

Weekly Sunday Classic Worship 8:30, 9:50 and 11:10 a.m. – Sanctuary




un television this time of year are the shows that look back over the year to remember highlights (and low-lights) of the year, celebrate significant achievements in a particular area, and put the events of the last twelve months in some sort of perspective. If you were to look back over this year in your life, what would you highlight, celebrate and remember? What if you were to take some time to reflect on your whole life? What events do you remember most clearly? What highlights and achievements would you celebrate? What stands out to you now as formational and significant, though at the time seemed disappointing, painful, or even tragic? This Advent season (the weeks leading up to Christmas), we’ll be preparing our hearts and spirits for Christmas by look at Jesus’ life through the eyes of his mother, Mary. We’ll let Scripture and tradition tell the story by starting not at the beginning - at Jesus’ birth - but at the end. As Mary in her old age might reflect back on her life, what would she remember most about Jesus? What events of his – and her life with him – would still hold meaning for her? What of her son’s life, ministry, death and resurrection were formational Serving the Children of Plainfield

for her and for others? In worship on the Sundays leading to Christmas we’ll start with the last mention of Mary in Scripture and move back in time each week until we arrive with Mary at her son’s birth in Bethlehem. We’ll travel back through Mary’s experiences and memories to a not-so-silent night, when a young mother was unexpectedly chosen by God to bring the Christ Child into the world. In looking back over her life, Mary would have discovered that God doesn’t promise a perfect, peaceful life, nor too many silent, holy nights. Scripture tells us that she was blessed, God-favored, and grace-filled, yet endured hardship and heartache. That’s how life is for us, too. Yet, in the messiness of life, God is at work, bringing blessing out of pain. That’s the word for us this Christmas. If you’ve not yet, we hope you’ll join us some Sunday in December at 9:50 a.m. in the Worship Annex. It’s a new day in NewDay Praise and we’d love you to be a part of it! Blessings,


DECEMBER NEWDAY PRAISE WORSHIP Not a Silent Night: The Story of Christmas through Mary’s Eyes November 27 Beginning with the End December 4 The Piercing of Mary’s Soul December 11 Amazed, Astounded, and Astonished December 18 Mary, Full of Grace Christmas Eve It Was Not a Silent Night Dec 24, 5:00 p.m. December 25 NewDay Christmas Worship 10:00 a.m. Worship

Weekly Sunday NewDay Praise Worship 9:50 a.m. – Worship Annex in Clayton Hall

Preparing for Christmas by Marge Welker


grocery list for the big Christmas dinner! You wrap your gifts and put them under the tree. Here, we pause to remember what Christmas is all about… Christmas is all about the coming of the Christ Child, bringing salvation, hope, peace, and love to our lives. Prayer: Thank you, dear God, for sending your only Son, Jesus, that we might have a more abundant life. Please shower us with you love. Bless our families as we strive to serve you better every day! Amen.


n preparing for Christmas one might start by setting up the Christmas tree. Then hang the ornaments that your children and friends have made. Next, the manger scene with Joseph, Mary, and of course, baby Jesus in the manager. Put the shepherds around with their sheep and other animals that might be in the place where Jesus was born. Then, the three kings that came to worship Jesus. That done, you could start writing out your Christmas Cards. Make a list of gifts you want to buy for everyone, and you will need a

Christmas Eve Poinsettia Orders I wish to order

poinsettia(s) at $9/plant to grace PUMC’s sanctuary

for Christmas worship. Included with my order is $ Name: Email or Phone: In memory of: In celebration of: Please enclose cash or check for the correct amount with your order. Make checks payable to PUMC and note “For Poinsettias” on the memo line. Orders are due no later than December 13. Your dedication will be printed in the December 18 Sunday Worship Folder. Please help us avoid errors in publishing by printing clearly. In order that all may enjoy the beauty of these plants, we ask that you pick up your plant(s) any time after 11 p.m. Christmas Eve worship. Plants remaining after December 31 will be dispersed.

Holiday Volunteers Needed Christmas Eve Worship brings many friends, families and guests to PUMC and many opportunities to serve. Please indicate which of the following ways you can serve. Thank you! Usher at one or more Christmas Eve Worship experiences: 4 p.m. 5 p.m. 7 p.m. 9 p.m. 11 p.m. Help tidy the sanctuary and main lobby after each Christmas Eve worship Provide nursery care on Christmas Eve while parents attend 7 & 9 p.m. worship Greet and distribute candles on Christmas Eve 4 p.m. 5 p.m. 7 p.m. 9 p.m. 11 p.m. Name: Email/Phone: Serving the Children of Plainfield


Mission News

Ruth Ellen Stone, Committee Chair,

Alternative Christmas Gifts


gain this year the PUMC Mission Committee is offering a Christmas shopping option that is quick and easy – and supports PUMC mission! Beginning in early December you will be able to choose “the gift” you wish at a display in the main lobby at PUMC. With your check to “PUMC” you may choose one of the following to give as a gift to a friend or loved one: • Family Promise (Hendricks County Homeless Mission) • PUMC Family Assistance (to aid local families in need) • PUMC Last Saturday Lunch • Feeding the Hungry, PUMC’s Homeless Outreach • Madina Village School in Sierra Leone. With your purchase you will receive an attractive Christmas card with a printed description of the project which you may give or send to the person you want to honor. Thank you for your special gift this Christmas! PUMC Supports Africa University Student UMC has recently been notified that their Ushawira (Special Friendship in Shona language) Scholarship at Africa University (in Zimbabwe) has been assigned to Rosette Ngoy Kilumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a third year student enrolled in the Faculty of Theology. PUMC provides financial support for a student each school year. Please pray for her in this new year of classes.



Warmth and Love Delivered Word has come from the Plainfield Church Federation that over 500 coats were given to children and adults the last Saturday of October through the efforts of churches in Brownsburg and Plainfield. Thanks for helping to make this possible. Cold days are coming and the warmth of these garments will be appreciated! Thanks for sharing God’s BIG Love with coats, hats, and gloves for PUMC neighbors.

Henderson Settlement Volunteer Report


group of six PUMC-ers traveled to Henderson Settlement in October. Three men worked on a room addition for a family, and they also replaced a storm door on another home and sorted donated auto and truck tires in the settlement barn. The PUMC women worked on several quilts to be sold in the craft shop to help pay expenses at Henderson Settlement. Tuesday evening we were entertained by a local group that played good ol’ mountain music. The Thursday evening communion service was especially meaningful with 50 – 60 volunteers sharing their stories of friendships made with the families they served. Thank you to the faithful PUMC servants who shared God’s BIG Love on this mission work trip: Les and Karen Taber, Bill and Diane Kirchoff, and Don and Jean Sanders. There are many ways to serve at Henderson Settlement in addition to construction or quilting. The next PUMC trip to Henderson Settlement will be May 14-20, 2017. If you might be interested in joining the group, contact Ken Loudenback at or Don Sanders through the church office for more information. Presentations to your Sunday School class, men’s or women’s groups, or other organizations can also be arranged through these contacts.

Purdue Students Share Warmth and Love this Fall


or the fifteenth year students from the UMC Wesley Foundation at Purdue sponsored a Winterization Project during which student volunteers took on projects such as leaf raking for neighbors who were unable to do the work themselves. Reports from this Serving the Children of Plainfield

year indicated that at least 1400 student volunteers worked at 350 different homes and used 900 or more rakes. What a great way to show God’s BIG Love! 8

Dec. 9: Dec. 21: Dec. 24: 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

7 & 9:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.

Christmas in Plainfield

Plainfield High School

Longest Night Worship

7:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve Family Celebration

Designed specifically for the little ones and their families.

Christmas Eve Celebration with NewDay Praise

Christmas Eve Celebration with a contemporary feel in the Worship Annex.

Candlelight Worship with Choir & Orchestra

Traditional Christmas Eve Celebration

Christmas Eve Worship with Candles & Communion

Traditional Christmas Eve Celebration


Pew Sisters


omen of all ages are invited to participate in Pew Sisters, a Bible study starting on Tuesday, January 17, 7:00 p.m. − 8:30 p.m. in the church library at PUMC. Study meets the first, third and fifth Tuesday of the month. A small group is an excellent way to get to know others in a deeper way and share in each other’s faith journey together. This twelve-session study shares stories of what God is doing in the lives of real women today. From depression to grief to cancer, women share their stories in Pew Sisters for the consolation and encouragement of their sisters in faith. Join them in the pages of this study. Not only does each lesson relate to someone’s life, but it also

shows how to give comfort to our Pew Sisters, our sisters in Christ, who struggle and need our shoulders to lean on. If you’d like to preorder the book for $11.00 or have questions, please contact Diane Preusch, J-O-Y Group Facilitator, at 317.837.0443 or email: dpreusch@

Israel’s Mission


hat’s Your Mission? God gave an assignment to His people thousands of years ago. Bring “lost sheep” back into the love and safety of His kingdom. It’s still our task today. In this 13th volume of author Ray Vander Laan’s That the World May Know, you’ll glimpse the urgency and rewards of welcoming the strangers and prodigals the Lord longs to embrace. Discover the mission that can give your life –and the lives of those around you—greater meaning than you ever imagined. Serving the Children of Plainfield

This DVD based study began on November 27, but you can still join! Please join this study in the Wesley Room (#21), located in the south education wing, on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. See you there! 10

Worship Arts

Michael Pettry, Director,

Sing On Christmas Eve


oin the Adult Choir in singing at the 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. worship services on Christmas Eve. There is no audition, and the two anthems – “O Holy Night” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful” – are both musically accessible so that you will feel prepared and comfortable. Anyone from 6th grade through the adult years is invited to sing. Rehearsals are Thursdays in December from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Whether you sang many years ago in school, college, church choir or community chorus, we need your voice this Christmas season. For more information or to join the Adult Choir for Christmas Eve worship, contact Director of Music Michael Pettry at Less than one-half of the funds needed to support PUMC’s music ministry comes from our annual operating budget. It is through the additional (above and beyond) support of our congregation that we are able to offer brass ensembles, new anthems, evening concerts, etc. Thank you for your additional giving through the “PUMC Music Guild Fund.” 11

Pipe Organ Update


ur new pipe organ will be includes the trumpet en chamade, fully completed by the end a fanfare trumpet that is mounted of December, and it will play a horizontally rather than vertically. prominent A triumphant musical role and declamatory Come forward during the postlude in worship statement of each week to get a closer look at the on Christmas pipe organ. The organ console –where praise indeed! Eve at the the organist sits– has dozens of knobs As a reminder, 7:00, 9:00 and and keys, a fascinating sight to behold the entirety of 11:00 p.m. and explore. the $575,000 of services. The our pipe organ pipes located at restoration project was funded the front of the sanctuary are all through your generosity. There is installed, tuned and voiced. Those zero debt and with the completion are the primary pipes that lead of the project, all vendors have most of worship on a weekly basis. been compensated. Not only did The pipes located on the rear PUMC take the step to bolster its wall of the sanctuary – also known worship through the beauty of as the antiphonal organ – were music, but this congregation also completed late in November and took the wise step to cover all are now fully installed and inexpenses today, with zero burden use. The antiphonal pipework for future generations. Thank you!

Pipe Organ Lessons: Perfect Christmas Gift


UMC is now offering pipe organ lessons – and one of the few churches in the area to do so. If you, or someone you know, would like to explore the King of Instruments, contact PUMC Organ Scholar Jaime Carini,, to arrange a no-pressure introductory lesson. Winter months offer the perfect opportunity to explore hobbies and interests.

Serving the Children of Plainfield


Finish Faithfully PUMC Families and Friends, Grace and Peace to you. We recently celebrated our Consecration Sunday when we asked the spiritual question of stewardship, “What percentage of your income is God calling you to give?” What we can anticipate PUMC members and friends giving in 2017 will be a 5.10% increase over what was given in the last twelve months. Thank you for giving to the Lord! A year ago, the Council balanced the 2016 Basic Ministry Budget to match anticipated giving for the first time in living memory. That is an encouraging accomplishment and a testimony to your faithfulness! Through October, 2016, the congregation has given $841,308 whereas we anticipated gifts of $883,984 based on last year’s Consecration Sunday and the best projections. So, we have received $42,626 less than what we anticipated and budgeted. Staff and leadership are careful in spending. Even so, through October, expenses exceeded giving by $6,409. As you plan for your year-end gifts, remember the safe and easy ways to give at PUMC: • Sunday morning offering plates using check or cash in the giving envelopes you received earlier this year. • Setup an automatic withdrawal from your bank account. Just contact Brenda Barnett in the church office to do this. • Online giving via SecureGive is just that – secure – and easy. You’ll find a link at where you can setup regular, recurring gifts (and make one-time special gifts). I am asking you to Finish Faithfully in your financial stewardship in 2016. Please be prayerful about what God is calling you to give. You can help us to fulfill our ministries with confidence and begin 2017 well. I am also asking you to pray daily for our ministries and those who lead them that PUMC might share them faithfully so that Christ’s BIG Love might be clearly revealed. Because God gives, we give. Thank you for your generosity that demonstrates the love of Jesus! Shalom,

Charles D. Wilfong, Senior Pastor 13

PUMC Consecration Sunday Report


hank you for being a part of an amazing experience on November 13, for PUMC’s Consecration Sunday. Worship was spectacular, lunch was delicious, and fellowship was very special. Thanks to Bob Milligan, his committee, staff, worship hospitality and technical teams, and everyone who contributed to an amazing day of worship and celebration. Because of your generosity, PUMC leadership is pleased to make the following report. • A total of 231 giving units (husbands and wives or single persons) completed Estimate of Giving Cards this year. • A total of 120 of these giving units increased their financial commitment above their last year’s amount. • A total of 231 giving units have filled out Estimate of Giving Cards totaling $904,019. Based on last year’s giving records, we can expect to receive $147,854 during the coming year from people who have consistent giving patterns during the past twelve months but have not completed an Estimate of Giving Card. • Based on the average total of loose offerings during the past three years, we can expect to receive $ 7,198 during the coming year from that source. • This gives us a grand total of $1,059,071 anticipated income for the next twelve months. The total income for our general operating budget during the last twelve months was $1,007,668. • Next year, we can expect our operating budget income to increase by $51,403 • This is a 5.10 percent increase in total giving above last year. Glory to God! Glory to God! Glory to God! If you would still like to participate and complete an Estimate of Giving Card, please contact the Church Office. Additional updates will be made as additional commitments are received. Because God gives, we give. Thank you for your generosity!

Serving the Children of Plainfield


Church Council Report

Mike Rohrer, Committee Chair,


he Church Council met for its regular monthly meeting on November 9. In addition to hearing devotions and praying, receiving regular reports from committee chairs and lay leaders, the Council celebrated Glory Sightings, evidences of God’s work for good around us. Additionally, the Council received the following reports and made the following actions: In September Church Council elected an ad hoc team of staff and laity to guide PUMC in discovering and clarifying its core values. This will aid PUMC in uniquely and

effectively living out its vision of serving the children of Plainfield. The team met for the first time in October with instruction on what are core values. The team will meet again in December to continue its work together. Mary Raver reported that PUMC’s Family Promise (Hendricks County Homeless Mission) weeks of service in 2017 are the weeks of January 8, March 26, September 10, December 24. Thank you for your ongoing prayerful support of the ministry and mission of the Church Council and PUMC.

Christmas in Plainfield The Plainfield Federation of Churches invites the community to Christmas in Plainfield on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. in the Plainfield High School Auditorium, located at 1 Red Pride Drive. Musical groups from several Plainfield churches will present an evening of songs and special music to usher in the Christmas season. Admission is free. A freewill offering will be taken for the Weekday Religious Education program and the Christian Support Center.


Finance Committee Update John Baer, Committee Chair,


raise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow is a familiar worship song for many of us, but it’s true every day of our lives. Many thanks to each of you who completed a pledge of financial support on Consecration Sunday to the basic ministry funding of this church for 2017 so that we all may have a place to worship God and enjoy fellowship and seek pastoral guidance and praise God with our music. Without your commitment of continued support we couldn’t accomplish so much together. This is my last month writing to you as chair of the Finance Committee. It has been my pleasure to serve again in this capacity. Bill Edie will take charge of the Committee beginning January 1. PUMC has so many active ministries and hearts to serve. I pray that we financially support all we want to accomplish, and I know we can. The Finance Committee currently has the task of matching pledged and estimated unpledged giving with spending requests for ministry, mission, programs, outreach and the facility. We

Serving the Children of Plainfield

covet your prayers as we seek to understand giving patterns and commitments, discern the greatest needs of the ministry, and prepared a balanced spending plan for 2017. We are near the end of 2016, but it’s not too late for your generous gifts to make a difference…Glory to God! Thank you for all you give. If you have questions, feel free to drop me a note or email me at


Because God Gives, We Give. Thank You for You Generosity!


renda Barnett, PUMC Financial Administrator, reports the following giving in July-August, 2016, to ministry and mission beyond the Basic Ministry Budget. Give easily and safely online any time at Thank you for your generosity! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Family Assistance Fund (direct aid to local families in need): $1250.00 Family Assistance Fund (via PUMC Pops Concert): $2083.51 Madina Village School, Sierra Leone: $770.00 PUMC Music Ministry: $1,762.50 Henderson Settlement (UM Mission in Appalachia): $760.00 PUMC Homeless Outreach: $862.50 World Communion Sunday/UMCOR: $195.00 Lebanon UM Children’s Home: $300.00 Imagine No Malaria: $20.00 UMCOR/General: $175.00 Kokomo, Indiana, Storm Aid: $485.00 UMCOR/Haiti: $250.00 UMCOR/Hurricane Matthew: $155.00 PUMC Children’s Ministry: $39.00 PUMC Kids Connection: $100.00 PUMC Youth: $155.00 CROP (Hunger) Walk: $561.00 Family Promise of Hendricks County: $10.00 PUMC Memorial Gifts – Family Assistance: $400.00 PUMC Memorial Gifts – Homeless Outreach: $25.00 PUMC Memorial Gifts: $300.00 Total Giving in Sept-Oct, 2016, beyond the Basic Ministry Budget: $10,658.51

Do you want to order a prayer blanket or bandanna? Prayer blankets and bandannas are tangible ways to express God’s love and give those in need comfort and support from the PUMC congregation. If you would like to order a blanket or bandanna, please contact Carol Foxworthy at or 317.838.7588. Blanket: $20; Bandanna: $10. Make your check payable to PUMC and mark it Prayer Blanket Ministry.


In the Hospital this Past Month • Mark Blackwelder • Carol Foxworthy • Jim Vogel • Mike Laver • Joe Stephens

• Steve Heeger • Mary Lew Taylor • Steve Heeger • Howard Little • Don Gouldsmith

Love & Sympathy • Family & friends of Jerry Dean Weaver on his death.

In Our Prayers Prayer Blanket Ministry • Belinda Hayes in memory of her late husband, Bill. • Carol Foxworthy from the Stephen Ministry Team with prayers for God’s healing, strength and peace. • Shannon from Dori Logan with prayers for God’s strength and healing. • Rick Clark from Scott and Marty with prayers of healing, comfort, and hope. • Jimmie L. Richardson from the Hancock family with prayers of strength and peace. • Jessie from Constance, Grady, Addisen and Avah with prayers of love, hope, strength, and guidance.

Serving the Children of Plainfield

Notes to the Congregation Thanks for all the prayers, well-wishes, and cards after my recent surgery. It’s great to have such a caring church family. Thanks to Pastor Charlie for the hospital visit as well! Carol Bilyeu Foxworthy Thanks to all for the prayers for my daughter, Shannon. Dori Logan Thank you to the United Methodist Women’s group and an anonymous donor for the new 12 oz clear tumblers for use by the congregation. The larger size will be appreciated. Shana Schreiner The staff and families of Eleanor Skillen School #34 thank you for your support of Eleanor’s Christmas Shop and Food Pantry. Because of your support, we are able to open our pantry the last Thursday of every month and help many of our families this Christmas. We want to especially thank the UMW, the FUN class, and the Mission Committee for your contributions. We appreciate your kindness and continued support. The Staff of Eleanor Skillen School #34


Serving the Children of Plainfield

December 2016 Plainfield United Methodist Church 600 Simmons Street Plainfield, IN 46168

December 2016 Circuit Rider  
December 2016 Circuit Rider