The Memo from Memorial
Weekly Newsletter from Memorial Presbyterian Church, Appleton, WI
November 22, 2017
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!   For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. - Psalm 95:2-3

This Sunday's bulletin is available here .
Click here for the church calendar.
The October - December issue of the quarterly Chimes newsletter is available here .

Please note that the church office will be closed on Thursday and Friday of this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Pastor's Message
Thanksgiving is a tough one. On the one hand its history is, well, complicated. On the other, celebrating Thanksgiving can seem like singing Kumbaya, pretending everything's okay when it isn’t. And as someone who doesn’t like shopping to begin with, the consumerism attached to Thanksgiving is too much for me. 

However, practicing gratitude and taking a day to count our blessings can be life-giving. So on Thanksgiving, I will gather with people I love, share delicious food, and call to mind God’s blessings in the past year. I pray for you a day of peace and gratitude, filled with the people and things you love. 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Pastor Mike
Mission in Action
MPC Named as Hunger Action Congregation
In recognition of World Food Day, the  Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP)  has announced that more than 70 Presbyterian churches have become Hunger Action Congregations since the initiative was announced last summer. MPC is one of these congregations.

“Presbyterian congregations are tirelessly feeding people and many are acting to address the root causes of hunger,” said Rebecca Barnes, PHP coordinator. “In response to the covenant launched on June 1, already 72 churches have become Hunger Action Congregations. Thirty-five of those are certified, which means they do activities in all six designated areas.” Read the full article here .
MPC will once again support the Salvation Army's Adopt-a-Family program. Sign-up and gift suggestion envelopes will be available before and after church this Sunday and continuing through December 3. Gifts are due back to the church, unwrapped, by December 10. Cash donations are also accepted and will be used to buy grocery cards.
Do you like to travel and explore other parts of the world? Would you like to be a part of MPC’s global mission efforts? Last spring four members of our church traveled to Nicaragua to learn about the work being done by the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD). Read more here about the possibility of MPC members traveling to Nicaragua in March of 2018.
Poinsettia Orders

It's time to order Christmas poinsettias!
If you would like to contribute money toward decorating the church with poinsettias and greenery for the Christmas Eve services, fill out this form and send in with your payment by Sunday, December 17.

Saturday, December 9
SERRV Sale at MPC open to the community, as well as MPC members
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Also before and after Encore Handbell Choir Concert, 7 PM
 
Sunday, December 10
SERRV Sale at MPC before and after Worship
 
Do you like opening packages and discovering treasures? Did you enjoy playing store as a child? Then we have a job for you! We are excited to be offering the SERRV sale of fair trade food and gifts to the community the second weekend in December. We need your help to accomplish this and to do it well. If you are able to help out with any of the activities listed here , please contact Beth Lepinski via email or 730-9670, or sign up on the Friendship Table just outside the church office. 

What is the SERRV Sale?  Crafts made in fair trade conditions by artisans struggling with poverty in the US and many other countries are sold through SERRV. We have held SERRV sales at MPC during Advent for decades. At this sale you can find unique, hand-crafted gifts, food (chocolate, soups, etc.) and decor and know that the person who made the item has decent working conditions and fair compensation for the work.  
Hanging of the Greens
The congregation is invited to participate in the Hanging of the Greens on Sunday, December 3 immediately following the worship service. We will be decorating the church for the season, and after we've finished, we'll enjoy pizza and lemonade in the Narthex!

If you'd like to join in, there's a sign-up sheet on the Fellowship Table, or send an email to let us know you'll be participating in the fun.
A Note from the Handbell Director
The Handbell Choir is looking for one more ringer to play the lower octaves starting in January. If you're unsure about ringing, or even if you don't know how to read music but think that playing bells looks really cool, contact me via email and I'll be happy to work with you and teach you everything you could possibly want to know about ringing handbells. I look forward to hearing from you. - Phillip Knisely.
Invitation: Meet Mission Co-worker Justin Sundberg

Justin and his wife, the Rev. Renee Sundberg and their four children, have recently returned to the US after serving in Nicaragua since 2014. They partnered with CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches in Nicaragua) coordinating visits by US groups to observe and help with CEPAD’s educational and development work in villages.
 
You are invited to meet Justin at the following events:
 
Sunday, Dec. 3, 8:45 - 9:45 am – Adult Education
“Doing Good: Together” – Sharing information about the PC(USA) Mission Program, how the Sundbergs became involved, and why Nicaragua.
 
Sunday, Dec. 3, 10:00 am Worship – Justin will be participating in the worship service.
 
Sunday, Dec. 3, 7:00-8:00 pm
“Nicaragua: Happiest Country on Earth?” - What life is like for Nicaraguans, some history on the United States role there, and answer the question, “Why do mission work in Nicaragua?”
 
Monday, Dec. 4, 6:30 am Breakfast  
A discussion of two articles, “ The Power of Empty Hands ,” by Hunter Farrell and “ Staying for Tea ,” by Aaron Ausland.

All are invited to the Holiday Fantastia Concert, featuring the Encore Handbell Ensemble, directed by Paul McKlveen, with the MPC Handbell Choir on Saturday, December 9, 7:00 pm in the MPC Sanctuary.
A freewill offering will be taken.
Children and Youth Ministries
Sunday School (Age 4 - Grade 6)

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Sunday School this Sunday. Beginning on December 3, the children will be rehearsing their Christmas program during the Education Hour, from 8:45 - 9:45 a.m. In the meantime, we ask that the parents help their children learn the songs so that they are well prepared for rehearsal. Thank you.

Kinderchurch (Age 3 - Grade 2)

Children participate in this age-appropriate worship service by attending worship with their parents for about 15 minutes, and then move to the Kinderchurch room as a group. Kinderchurch will not be held this Sunday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. It is also not held on those Sundays when communion is served, so that children will be able to participate in communion with their parents' approval.

Youth Fellowship (Grades 7-12)

Because of Thanksgiving this week, there was no Youth Fellowship. Join us in the upcoming weeks for a series on Advent, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, and Christmas party to wrap up 2017 in style! - Joel Screnock
Is an IRA rollover right for you?
In December 2015, Congress passed the IRA Charitable Rollover Act, permanently extending the provision for individuals age 70½ and older to be able to make tax-free distributions from IRAs to a qualified charitable organization, with a maximum of $100,000 per taxpayer each year. The amount transferred can be used to meet the donor's required minimum distribution. Amounts greater than $100,000 must be included in income but may be taken as an itemized charitable deduction. If you are 70½ and older, contact your financial advisor to see if an IRA Charitable Rollover is right for you, and consider MPC for your charitable contribution.  
Fellowship Events
Lights of Love: Advent by Candlelight
Thursday, December 7, 6:30 pm
MPC Fellowship Hall
All woman and young ladies (Grade 3 and up) of Memorial Presbyterian Church are invited to set aside the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations and focus your mind and heart on the birth of Christ. Enjoy a delicious dessert, followed by a meaningful Advent Program. To RSVP, click here or fill out this form and return by Sunday, December 3. For more information contact the church office.
Spirit of the Holidays Concert
Saturday, December 16, 1:00 pm
Xavier Fine Arts Center
Join us for Barb's Centre for Dance's Fifth Annual Fox Valley Spirit of the Holidays. The program includes many holiday dance numbers, plus The Nutcracker with Lauren Podlasek dancing as Clara. Tickets are $12.50, but for this event, the Fellowship Team will cover half of the cost, making tickets $6.25 per person. Sign up at MPC or send an emai l to reserve your ticket by Sunday, December 3. Questions? Contact Nancy Umland at 903-8981 or by email .
The MPC Prayer Group meets every Wednesday morning from 9-10 am in the Chapel, praying for our families, our church, our community, and our world. If you have a prayer request, please email it to the church office .
 
This week, let us pray for:

  • Dick Calder and his family, on the passing of his brother, Edward, last week.
  • Nathan Roth, who continues his recovery from heart valve replacement surgery last week.
  • Betty Lockhart's brother, Bob, who has begun chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer.
  • Norm Colson, who continues his recovery and welcomes visitors.
  • Carolyn Zuehls, who will soon undergo a stem cell transplant in Milwaukee.
  • Jane Slater's brother-in-law, Al, who awaits a double lung transplant.
  • Nelson and Bev Craig, as they ready their home in preparation for a move.
  • Judy, a friend of the congregation, has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
  • Tony, the son of Roy Hoglund's colleague, who has brain cancer, as he nears the end of his earthly journey.

Sunday Morning Volunteers
Christmas Eve Volunteers Needed : We are in need of greeters, ushers, a head usher and communion preparers for the 9:00 pm Christmas Eve Candlelight service. If you are able to help out in one of these areas, please contact Paula in the church office. Thank you!

Many thanks to all of our Sunday Morning volunteers! Contact the church office for a full schedule through January 2018. If you are unable to serve on the day you are scheduled, please arrange for substitute and email the church office.
Sunday, November 26

Greeters: L'Esperance Family, Mike Harer
Head Usher: Les Angell
Ushers : Mary Peterson, Jane Stevenson, Andy & Connie Ogilvie
Reader: Lowell Peterson
Kinderchurch:  N/A
Fellowship Hosts : Laurie McCulloch, Linda Boldt
Counters: Patti Athanas, Mike Harer
Sunday, December 3, 2017

Greeters: Telfer Family
Head Usher: Richard Dodge
Ushers : Pam Dodge, Gayle Hardt, Walt Kleman, Sharon McElrath
Reader: Beth Podlasek
Kinderchurch:  N/A
Fellowship Hosts : Megan Biese, Jane Slater
Counters: Lee Parker, Mark Smith
Community Notices
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Lawrence Memorial Chapel
December 2, 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Join the Appleton Boychoir as they ring in the season with the music of Christmas. The massive pipes of the Brombaugh organ resonate as the soaring treble voices of the choir lead the audience in song, and the Copper Street Brass quintet of Minneapolis will be joining the boys for a second season. For tickets, visit this site.

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John McCutcheon Benefit Concert for Shared Sanctuary
Saturday, December 2, 7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Suggested Donation: $20.00
Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2600 E. Philip Lane, Appleton

The Fellowship recently voted to become a sanctuary congregation, willing to house someone who is in immediate danger of being deported. All donations for this concert will go to the Fellowship's Shared Sanctuary Legal Fund. John McCutcheon is a master instrumentalist, a powerful singer-songwriter, a gifted storyteller, and a long-term activist and author who, through his concerts, shares his passion for people, justice, and the joyful celebration of making music.


"The Memo from Memorial" is published every Thursday.
Deadline for notices is Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
Send all information to Paula Hoglund or contact the church office at 920-734-1787.