August 2019 PPAC Newsletter

“If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word;   if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon."
(Isaiah 58:9-10)

To everyone who has chipped in over this summer to help our family welcome Holly & Hudson into our lives, I want to say a big, "waita hako"! What? You didn't understand that? I just said "thank you" in Shona (a Bantu language commonly used in Zimbabwe). Here's the thing: we often do the exact same thing to each other all of the time. Someone does something nice for us and we want to say "thank you" back to them, but for some strange reason it comes out as "salamat" or "gracias" or "takk skal du ha" (Filipino, Spanish, and Norwegian).

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a bestselling book, The Five Love Languages , which unpacks the fact that God made us all different when it comes to how to reach our hearts. Some of us hear "love" from a partner through gifts, or in kind words, or with a physical touch, etc. Based on that work, they've recently expanded the ministry to go beyond our home environment and into our other environments too. "The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace" adapts this theory to help bosses say "thank you" for the job that you do, and I want to adapt it again so that your pastor can properly say "thank you" for the ministry that you do.
PPAC would not be the outstanding church that it is without each of you ministering as God has called you. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and I appreciate everything y'all do. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate y'all. And I'd like to make sure to say "thank you" in a language that speaks to your heart.

If you haven't ever taken a "5 Love Languages" inventory, you can do so by clicking here. And do me a favor: reply to this email and let me know your language (or languages, if you're "bilingual" and have 2 co-primary appreciation languages).

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers."
(Paul, in Ephesians 1:15-16)

Pr. Michael Taylor
Paw Paw Adventist Church has experienced some significant growth over the past several years. Often people cite the friendliness, the welcoming Church of Refuge spirit, when they are listing the draw to PPAC. In that light, the church has been divided into parishes, with a vague nod to geography. These parishes don't replace the church; we are all still part of one big church family. However, parish groups can have a powerful focus. If you do a Google search, you find these concepts as central to small groups within a church:

  • Upward: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:38). We study together to draw closer to God.
  • Inward: “Love your neighbor as your self.” (Matthew 22:39). We are sensitive to needs so we can take care of each other.
  • Outward: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). We work together to share the good news with our communities near and far.
  • Forward: “Teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:20). We move forward as His followers.

So, be ready for a note or call letting you know about your new family! While parish groups don't take the place of Sabbath School classes, various ministries, or Refresh groups, they do provide an additional venue for deepening relationships, caring for others and drawing closer to God.
ALL-CHURCH FELLOWSHIP LUNCHES return on Sabbath, August 10. Plan to join your church family for lunch in the pavilion with foods that won't need to be heated. The Green Parish (Heidi Griggs, leader) will be in charge of the logistics, but they welcome assistance from everyone!

FELLOWSHIP LUNCHES will continue to be on the Second Sabbath of every month.
On the 4th Sabbath of the next few months, we will be adding a fellowship lunch for specific parishes and visitors at church. It is easier to meet the needs of others when you sit at a table with them and share conversations about real life. Other members who would like to bring a dish and make some friends are encouraged to come, as well. In fact, you are welcome to come to all 4th Sabbath meals.

Watch for more information.

September 28: Blue (Bermingham) and Russet (Janelle Randall)
October 26: Magenta (Mills) and Green (Griggs)
None in November or December because of holidays at the end of the month
January 25: Brown (Burghart) and Canary (Campbell)
The Future of PPAC
Join the church for the semi-annual business meeting on August 25th at 10am.

In addition to adopting the budget for 2019-20 which will begin on September 1, you will have a chance to look at some plans for expansion and contribute your ideas to the next steps in fund raising, such as:

  • Additional Sabbath School Classrooms
  • An Elevator
  • Enlarged Foyer
  • Additional Seating/space in the Sanctuary

The current goal of $250,000 in 2019 will give PPAC a start on realizing the dream of expansion as further fundraising will continue, including eventually petitioning a matching loan from the conference. A team of architects is working on the preliminary plans, which will be part of the August 25 - 2019 Business Meeting agenda. Pledge forms are available on the table in the foyer or you may simply let Tony Belcher or Chris Randall know of your plans.
I f you want to be part of a vital discussion on Bible topics that speak to TODAY, come to Sabbath School each week, promptly at 10:00. If you want your children to have a rich foundation for life, bring them to Sabbath School each week, promptly at 10:00. Of course, Sabbath School is always better when you have studied the weekly lessons at home and have sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the principles to your life. Note the changes in the children's divisions, particularly since we are moving from ages to grades for the divisions. Some are significantly different. If you have questions, please speak to one of the leaders or Barb Carpenter, the Sabbath School Superintendent.
BEGINNERS/CRADLE ROLL:  Birth – Age 4 . Leader: Don & Kim Saldia
KINDERGARTEN:  Age 4 - end of 1st grade . Leader: Maribeth Henry
ELEMENTARY:   2nd Grade – mid 5th grade . Leader: Janelle Randall
MIDDLE SCHOOL:  Late 5th grade – 8th grade . Leader: Geetha Selvadas
HIGH SCHOOL: 9th – 12th grades . Leader: Micole Dyson
YOUNG ADULT: College - Young Adult . Leader: David Mayor
ADULT (SANCTUARY): Heather Bergmann
Taylor, Family of 7
On June 26, 2019, Holly Renee and Hudson Russell became the newest members of the Taylor family, joining sisters, Hannah, Heidi and Hayley.

They have already been to church a couple of times and are willing to be held and admired. God's creations are amazing!
Twins, asleep.
Okay, we can do that! Holly makes a good pillow, says Hudson.
Plenty of work for the big sisters! They are taking turns holding and entertaining.

Congratulations, Pastor Mike and Anndrea. We are so excited for your family.
Wondering about available lap space for two more!!!
Have you been challenged by the lessons for this quarter? Do you wonder how you can be who Jesus is calling you to be? Would you like to put into action what you believe Christians should be doing? The Porch and Lydia's Clothing Closet are local opportunities to make a difference.

D a ve Burghart and Janelle Randall headed up the July 29 Feeding America event at PPAC. Again, people from the area came to receive fresh produce and baked goods donated by various establishments. Many PPACers assisted in selecting and transporting a wagon of food for each family. This project has some cost, so you may want to increase your giving for Community Services in preparation for the Fall Feeding America. It is a GREAT SERVICE opportunity.
Fadzai Chigogora and Geetha Selvadas, employees at Charles River Inc. in Mattawan are excited to share what their company has been doing. Join them in helping! Here is a communication from Charles River, Inc. about Rise Against Hunger.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the destination of the Rise Against Hunger meals you helped package on 4/11/2019. A shipping container, holding 285,120 meals, has been sent to Mozambique for our partner Adventist Development and Relief Agency. If you happen to receive more than one of these announcements, your meals have gone to impact multiple partners. 
Adventist Development and Relief Agency ADRA is an organization that nourishes lives through food assistance and other services in Mozambique. To learn more, please visit our partner/country spotlight on the Impact Stories tab and click on our World Hunger Map
Ending hunger is only possible if we continue to grow the movement. We encourage you to share the news about this shipment. Since 2005, volunteers like you have helped us distribute over 455 million meals worldwide. We can end hunger by 2030, but we can't do it without you.
Please visit and continue your involvement. Consider making a donation, planning another meal packaging event (at your place of worship, school, company, civic club, etc), joining our advocacy efforts, or even inviting us to speak to a group.

Helping in Mozambique

What does hunger feel like?Maybe your family would like to take on a family project. Have a conversation around your dinner table. Skip a meal or two and have a conversation around an empty dinner table. Then take a look at ADRA's Feed a Hungry Child Today
Women's Ministries is working on starting monthly gatherings this Fall! Please take just a few minutes to complete our survey at Women's Ministries Survey so we can fine tune our events to your preferences. We're looking forward to some special moments of fellowship, community and fun!

Gwyne Kramer, leader for Women's Ministries, will be publishing more information soon.
Our monthly challenges from Health Ministries

The Food and Agriculture Organization reported in 2018 that the average American eats of 3000 calories per day, well above recommendations. 40% of those calories come from refined, processed sugars and fats, leaving little room for the nutritious foods our bodies need.
  • In your pantry, get rid of chips, crackers, cookies, refined cereals, white flour, white bread, candy and hydrogenated oils.
  • REPLACE with olive oil, whole grains, high fiber breads, walnuts, pistachios and beans
  • In your refrigerator, get rid of whole dairy products, processed deli meats, sugary sodas and juices
  • Replace with low fat proteins such as tofu, hummus, and eggs, vegetables, mineral or sparkling water,, olives
  • At work, bring healthy snacks like fruit and nuts to keep you away from the donuts! Don't forget your WATER!
STEP SEVEN : (July's Challenge) READ 20 PAGES EVERY DAY!
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. Sir Richard Steele. Sitting down with a good book (or THE GOOD BOOK) is a favorite for many of us. Here are some of the benefits of reading:
  • You learn something! Reading makes you smarter.
  • Your focus and concentration improve.
  • Your memory improves.
  • Read with your child, grandchild or any child and strengthen the bond.
  • Your fluency improves. The more you read, the better you read.

STEP SIX: (June's Challenge ) : STRETCH for 5-10 minutes every day!




Jim Merrills, Personal Ministries
Ellen White once noted that many will accept the truths of Bible prophecy in the last days because of what they read in the book The Great Controversy . This unique work follows the history of the Christian church from its beginning to the end, highlighting the issues of religious liberty in the light of Revelation 13 and the Three Angel’s Messages of Revelation 14.
After our Sabbath School study of Revelation last spring, the 4th quarter will examine prophecies closely related to Revelation, followed by a study of Daniel in 2020. Clearly, we are challenged by the importance of Bible prophecies - we need to KNOW them.
Jim Merrills will be leading a study of T he Great Controversy this fall. Jim, who is the leader for Personal Ministries/Religious Liberty, will be providing details for the when and where soon. Books will be available for the study. Plan to come!

CHOSEN: International Pathfinder Camporee 2019
AUGUST 12-17, 2019
Click here for more information about

Picture yourself with 53,000 Pathfinders and leaders from around the globe, in full uniforms, marching as mighty ambassadors for Jesus in this world. What a sight!

Fun Facts:
  • Pathfinders can select from nearly 200 different activities, most of which lead to an honor
  • Some of the activities and honors are taught in the gigantic hangers on site. Others take place outside.
  • Drill Teams and Drum Corps will compete each day
  • Clubs can sign up for flights, basketball competitions, time at Lake Winnebago and the water park, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, golf, a trip to a Wisconsin Dairy Farm, sailing, soccer and much more.
  • Project Chosen will involve 2000 Pathfinders handing out literature door to door in the Oshkosh area
  • Over 40 Compassion Projects will be featured for Pathfinder participation.
  • Projections are that over 2000 Pathfinders will be baptized at Oshkosh, indicating they are, indeed, CHOSEN!
  • Our own Harvesters are sponsoring 23 International Pathfinders who will be flying in from South America. They are responsible for feeding and housing the Pathfinders and providing the supplies that won't fit on an airplane. Way to shine your lights, Harvesters!

June 2019
By Chris Randall, Treasury Chair
T ake a careful look at the Treasurer's Report each month - and prayerfully consider your family's contributions. PPAC has been trending behind recently, particularly in Title, so this section is worth your attention.
Treasurers' Report for JUNE 2019 . Here are some items of interest:
  • Tithe was $43,249 for the month. This results in a fiscal year total that is 11.4% behind the previous year. Remember that 100% of Tithe is remitted directly tot eh Michigan Conference and represents nearly 60% of our receipts for the year.
  • Income / Giving to Church Budget was $18,630 for the month. This is worthy of fireworks as it is $3,967 above our monthly goal and brings our YTD total 1.7% better than budget!
  • Cornerstone (capital / building projects) received $16,667 in June. This brings the total since our "Vision 2019" meeting to $84,201 toward the initial $250,000 goal. It is encouraging to see wide support of those pledging and systematically giving toward this project. Hopefully, our pace will pick up as more detailed plans are presented in the August Business Meeting.
  • The PPSDA Promise (education endowment) received $1,021 last month bringing the YTD total to $10,726. This program is intended to bring long-term sustainability to our education support at PPAC.
  • Pathfinders received $1,705 in June as they continue special fundraising for Oshkosh and the sponsorship of international clubs.
  • Our reserves continue to be healthy and earning interest in the Revolving Fund at the Lake Union Conference. In total our cash on hand, general operating reserve, and capital replacement reserve has increased 24.9% comparing 6/30/19 to 6/30/18 (mostly due to fundraising for Cornerstone).
  • Roughly 75% of our giving (in dollar value) came through online giving. This is certainly easier for Deacons and Treasurers as it reduces the time for counting, possibilities for errors, and ultimately time and travel to the bank. If you haven't yet tried online giving please give it a try! Find "Adventist Giving" in the app store; visit> Paw Paw Seventh-Day Adventist Church; or www.PawPaw.Church--> Members--> Give.

Over the last couple of months we have discussed the apparent downward trend in giving. Overall giving is actually down over the last 12+ months with Tithe being the driving factor. Budget is holding to a slight upward trend; other local offerings have more variability, but are responsive to special appeals for Pathfinders and Cornerstone. As a ratio our giving to local projects has grown from 50% of Tithe to now 81%.
Zoraya Cunat has been part of PPAC since 2009. She says that she used to drive by the church every weekend as she traveled from her home in Detroit to care for her in-laws who lived on Gravel Lake. She often wondered about PPAC and determined to stop in someday. That day came when the family moved to Paw Paw and she brought her boys to check out the church. They quickly made PPAC their home and we have been blessed by the three of them.
Zoraya was born in the Dominican Republic and has wonderful memories of growing up in what she describes as a more relaxed life. She basked in her only-child status until her sister arrived when she was 13. Her favorite summers are the ones when she returns home to her family, friends and her beloved DR.
As a self-proclaimed lover of learning, she can back up that claim with her degree in Business, earned in the Dominican and an advanced degree from WMU that includes her credentials for teaching Spanish. Zoraya says, “If I could afford it, I would be enrolled in school all of the time.” Her eventual dreams include pursuing a doctorate.
Although she identifies as being shy, she loves acting – this comes as no surprise to those who know her. In fact, she is an extra in a couple of movies that will be released soon. She is a reader and enjoys watching some genre of movies and dancing Salsa, merengue and bachata.
But clearly, Zoraya saves most of her dedication for her boys. Gabriel (Gabe) is the older son and recently graduated from Grand Valley with a degree in Computer Science. Football has kept him occupied for many years and he played college football for both Eastern Michigan University and Grand Valley. Daniel is two years younger (they share the same birthday) and graduated from Michigan State University in May with a major in Health Science. He dreams of being in the medical field so he is currently spending his time preparing for the MCAT. She describes her sons as being very kind and thoughtful, with some age-appropriate shenanigans thrown in to keep life interesting.
God is the Giver of peace and hope for Zoraya. She notes that while everything else eventually fails, He never does; her favorite thing about God is that He has her. She continues to serve as a deaconess for PPAC. Gratitude helps her keep the proper perspective on life and she has a long list for which she gives thanks. Of course, at the top of the list are her boys, her biggest joys. She is thankful for her church family, friends and all of the blessings that God pours over her. The promise of Heaven keeps her going, she says, “I am not worthy, but He loves me abundantly.”
People often say that PPAC is home for them and that is definitely true for the Newkirk family. They first started attending in 1994, before any of their children had come to bless their lives. After a lengthy "Sabbatical" where they tried to claim Arizona and Northern Michigan as home, they eventually returned to the area and made their way home the first week to rejoin their church family.

Although Tim was born in an Army Hospital in Maryland, he spent most of his growing up years in Michigan. Lorena's family is from Chile, but she only spent her first six years there before they moved to the US. The couple met at Andrews University and will be celebrating their 27th anniversary next month.

Tim is a professor in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Department at Andrews. Lorena is a physical therapist and specializes in vestibular/concussion rehabilitation. Her love of all things healthy led her to become certified as a health coach and many people in our church have benefited from her knowledge and encouragement.

Their three talented daughters complete the family. Jessica is looking forward to finishing her Andrews degree in nursing, with a second major in Spanish. Steffanie is starting her second year at AU, aiming at becoming a physical therapist, like her mom. Her minor in Art speaks to her creativity. Dynae, a sixth grader at Ruth Murdoch, is described as adventurous, artistic and a natural architect.

The girls love art and athletics and have shared their musical and drama talents at PPAC many times. Jessica and Steffanie have participated in short term mission trips to Guatemala, Chile and Thailand and did a study tour to Europe early this summer. Tim loves all outdoor activities, particularly backpacking and mountain biking. Lorena's enthusiasm for running, biking and generally all forms of exercise is contagious - many of her friends have caught the bug. She has run in several marathons and has just completed her second triathlon.

PPAC is grateful for the family's commitment to God and the church. Tim is continuing as an elder and has spent many years teaching Teens and playing piano in Cradle Roll. Lorena has just completed leadership of Health Ministries and is now our Head Deaconess. The August trip to Oshkosh is the major item on their summer calendar because Tim is an assistant leader and Dynae has been counting down the days until they leave for the best time ever. But first comes VBS, where the ladies of the family are heavily involved. They give God the glory for his blessings to them.
Do we have the most current directory information for you and your family? To make sure you are up to date, please go to
Sara Merrills and her dad, Jim, at her July 14 wedding to Sanjay Swamidass.
Enjoying the amazing camp gourmet meals prepared by Mona, Cynthia, Veronica and others.
CHURCH FAMILY WORSHIP led by the Sanchez family on Friday night and the Leonors on Sabbath evening centered on the theme, KNOW HIM 2019. Thanks also to Jason Randall and Dave Hill for the music.

There is nothing like sitting with your friends around a fire and contemplating the marvels of our Creator to bring you closer to Him and your church family. Make sure to come to Campout 2020!
Fun for all ages!
Those bonds of great friends!
Look very carefully at this ingenious rescue - it was successful. It wasn't that hard to get IN the hammock - it was the escape that was tough!
Cora showing us the art of hammock twirling!
August 3: VBS FINAL PROGRAM, 11:00, PPAC
August 7: Fabulous 50s, 11:45, Fireside Room
August 10: Speaker: Pr. Taylor Baptism of Hannah Boothby and Paul Finkel
August 10: ALL CHURCH FELLOWSHIP LUNCH, following church
August 11: Pathfinders leave for Oshkosh
August 17: Speaker TBD
August 18: Pathfinders return from Oshkosh
August 19: Church Finance Committee, 6:30, Church Board - 7:00
August 24: Speaker: Pr. Taylor Special event: Rebaptism of Lindsey Olson, and Profession of Faith of Erik Olson
August 25: All Church Business Meeting
August 31: Speaker: Elder Gerald Babanezhad will present about ministering to the Muslim community during Sabbath School AND the worship service

  • Dave, Kathy and Amy Hill - Stop by and wish Amy well as she continues to rehab from her hip surgery. Amy would love a card. 60652 West Oak Drive, Decatur, MI 49045.
  • Liam/Meredith Steele - Continuing health challenges, 616 Benson Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • Nancy Boothby - Health challenges, 3060 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • Anita Ashton - Send a card or come and visit! 6600 Constitution Blvd, Unit 8, Portage, MI, 49024
  • David Scofield - Health Challenges, 10640 Paw Paw Lake Dr, Paw Paw, MI 49079
  • Becky Lynn, Karl and James Driskel - Karl continues to experience significant health issues
  • Mary Kay Bever, 4220 Leisure Lane, Apt E435, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • Lewis and Ardyth Owen, 6154 Valley Drive, Paw Paw 49079
Don't miss anything that might be going on - even if you aren't there, you can be there! 

Check out the Facebook page, which has very frequent updates, videos, pictures, and other posts.

Check out the Paw Paw SDA website,  where you will find a variety of information about past and upcoming events, including links to other church related sites.

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