May 2019 PPAC Newsletter

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

(This month's Pastor's Corner is a follow-up on an item in our bulletin on April 27.)

Few phrases bring more excitement and joy in our church family than "fellowship meal". Our church is full of fantastic cooks who generously share food, and (other than how crowded the Fellowship Hall is; see the article on "Vision 2019") the gatherings are often great opportunities to catch up with church families who may live an hour (or more) away.

Unfortunately, "fellowship meal" doesn't bring excitement and joy for everyone. For several families, fellowship meal means frantic work, a very late afternoon, and going home sore and tired. There's a saying, "Many hands make light work," but we have been challenged by increasingly large meals (as our church family grows) yet fewer hands staying after the meal to help with cleaning up tables, chairs, and food stuff (serving ware, pots & pans, etc.). We've had a number of families privately say that they don't want to go to potluck at all anymore because was just too emotionally and physically difficult to shoulder the responsibilities. It came to a breaking point a few weeks ago, and several church leaders realized that we can't keep going in this direction without causing some serious damage to church families.

Let me pause here and say that if you have already been hurt by the way things have been going with fellowship meals, please accept an apology from me on behalf of the church leadership. We're sorry for what has happened, and we want to change.

We don't know what the final changes look like yet, but here are a few things that we want to do until we have a healthier strategy for our fellowship meals:
1) In the past, we've just automatically assigned most of the work of running meals to our deaconesses, but that is changing. Deaconesses are no longer automatically running our meals.
2) Until we know for sure who IS running meals, we have "paused" our 2nd Sabbath Fellowship Meals effective immediately. That doesn't mean we won't have fellowship opportunities; thanks to better weather & some strategically-placed holidays, we'll be doing a few different types of food-related gatherings.
3) We've established a committee who will work together to make a recommendation on how we can more effectively and efficiently host fellowship gatherings. We expect to be able to tell you our new plans later this spring or early this summer.

We look forward to better serving our church family! Thanks for your patience and understanding.

"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it;
or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."
-1 Corinthians 12:26

Pr. Michael Taylor
(P.S.: We may, or may not, have accidentally broken the old newsletter template by sharing so many stories about what God is doing in and through PPAC families. Oops! I hope this template works better for you!)
The Future of PPAC
Goal: $250K raised in 2019!
Thanks for your generosity in considering Cornerstone! Nearly $20,000 was donated in March ($90,000 in pledges at this point). The lofty goal is possible and we have placed our faith in the One who generously blesses us. 

We have had several consecutive weeks where the sanctuary has been filled to overflowing. Each week we see faces that are new and we need space to accommodate our growing church.
  • Fellowship Space
  • 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. Pledge forms are available on the table in the foyer or you may simply let Tony Belcher or Chris Randall know of your plans.
Did you hear the Children's Story on April 13? Janelle Randall told the children (with a nod to the adults) about many kinds of 'taters - with great illustrations. There were a couple of very relevant 'taters, according to the Nominating Committee: the HesiTATER who says he/she will think about the position, but never gets back with an answer and the SpecTATOR, who would rather watch than work.

Please pray for the Nominating Committee each day - and consider what God may be equipping you to do. Is there a ministry that would stretch you a bit as you followed His lead?

The 2019 Committee members: Barb Carpenter, Heidi Griggs, Maribeth Henry, John Khillah, Gwyne Kramer, Kerry Mattson, Barb Randall, Geetha Selvadas, and Pr. Taylor, chair of the Nominating Commmittee.
Starting April 27
ON SABBATH, APRIL 27, those in attendance had a chance to select Jesus in Jeans assignment to be completed by May 11. If you weren't at church or ff you want to do something else, take a look at the following websites for further ideas. Thanks to Pauletta Johnson, Jan Steffen, and Doug Campbell for organizing our second annual Jesus in Jeans .


More Resources:
Random Acts of Kindness:
Be the Sermon (SDA Global Youth):
This is what the Lord Almighty said: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'
  Zechariah 7:9-10
Sunday, April 28
  • It isn't too late to donate!!! You may donate online through PPAC, or directly through the Eastern Van Buren CROP HUNGER WALK website. 
  • It isn't too late to walk!! Just show up on Sunday, April 28 at the ! Registration is at 1:00 and the walk begins at 2:00.  

  • 50 years of walking. 50 years of ending hunger together. Join this legacy to step out for the next generation.
  • On October 17, 1969, a thousand people in Bismarck, ND, walked in what may have been the start of the hunger walks related to CROP – and raised $25,000 to help stop hunger.

  • Stats for 2018 CROP HUNGER WALKS:
  • 800+ Walks
  • $8,300,000+ donated
  • 87,000 participants

  • 795 million people worldwide do not have enough food to lead healthy, active lives

  • Learn more about CROP
(Our 2018 CROP Hunger Walkers - over $1800 raised!)
  1. You may have noticed the boxes in the foyer. We have been collecting non-perishables during the month of April for CROP DONATIONS. Please bring your contributions on Sabbath, April 27 - the last day of collection. We would like these boxes to be OVERFLOWING!
  2. Can you give a few hours of your day to help solve food insufficiency in Van Buren County? Contact Jan Steffen to volunteer - or 269-808-4706.
  3. FEEDING AMERICA was a great success in April and our church will likely be involved in more mobile food distribution. If you are interested in assisting, either with your donations or your efforts, please let Jan Steffen or Dave Burghart know. For more information about Feeding America in West Michigan, check out the website.  
  4. Report from Feeding America, Southwestern Michigan, April 11:
  • 20 volunteers
  • 5,000 lbs of food @ $.12/lbs
  • Served 69 families with fresh fruits and vegetables, bread items and much more
  • 186 individual people served, including 58 seniors, 52 kids, and 4 veterans
  • The extra food went to Eleanor's Pantry
A semi-load of fresh food
A team of willing volunteers
A group of grateful people
Our monthly challenges from Health Ministries
By Lorena Newkirk
May's challenge :Gratitude turns what we have into enough”. Anonymous. Each day think of a least one thing (or three) for which you are grateful.

This may seem simple or difficult, depending on your perspective. You could write about people, who have inspired, encouraged or helped you. The people and events can be from the past or present, preferably both. Become more mindful of little things like a warm cozy bed, a favorite destination, the seasons, the senses of smell, sight and taste, music or art. Once you get started, it gets easier. You may want to go beyond your list and express the gratitude directly to people and, of course, to God.

How is gratitude related to health? Some of the benefits include lowering stress, increasing your sense of calmness and you begin to recognize blessings in disguise.




We were all praying when we heard that our own Amy Hill fell on February 19 which led to an ER visit and a hospital stay. After rounds of testing, the medical team diagnosed her with pneumonia, a pulmonary embolism and a fractured hip. Because of the complications, they were unable to do surgery for the hip fracture. Her son and daughter-in-law, Dave and Kathy, were told she would last less than a week, so comfort care was the treatment plan. 
However God and Amy had other plans! As her family, friends and church prayed for her, her health began to improve. To prove her resilience, she returned to walking in less than 9 weeks! Amy's 96th birthday was a time of joyous celebration during her recovery. 
She is currently at White Oaks, Birch Hall, Room 60 and says to let everyone know she loves company. If you are a reader, she will be happy to talk books with you. Her family plans to bring her home by the middle of May and we look forward to seeing her back at church soon!
In the past, a Sunday in April or May has been designated for church cleaning and yard readiness. This year, the plans are somewhat different. Watch for announcements about opportunities you may schedule on your own time. Pick a project or several for your family to complete. Good news; the windows are already done!
Casey will have environmental friendly cleaners ready for your jobs.
Our presence from the road is important. That means many people spend time mowing lawn, weeding and tending areas of plantings and general cleaning up. These projects start now and continue all summer. Joe Sarcona and other deacons welcome your regular assistance.
The Pathfinders had their first campout on April 12-14 on the church campus. Friday night was unseasonably chilly, but they toughed it out and made it through the night. Because of the weather forecast for rain, they took the tents down Saturday night and slept inside. The weather forecast was correct, so they were grateful they didn't have to deal with wet tents to dismantle on Sunday.

The Harvesters participated in sorting and dispensing food for Feeding America that weekend as well.

Pathfinder Investiture is scheduled for Sabbath, May 11.

Check out the Michigan Pathfinders site for information about activities and preparation for the summer Oshkosh trip:
March 2019
By Chris Randall, Treasury Chair
Take a careful look at the Treasurer's Report each month - and prayerfully consider your family's contributions. PPAC has been trending behind recently, so this section is worth your attention.
Treasurers' Report for MARCH 2019. Here are some items of interest:
  • Tithe was $36,340 for March. This results in a fiscal year total that is 14.7% behind the previous year. Remember that 100% of Tithe is remitted directly to the Michigan Conference and represents nearly 60% of our receipts for the year.
  • Income / giving to Church Budget was $12,048 in March. Compared to our monthly target of $14,663 we are now $10,427 or 10.2% behind our YTD goal and 11.1% behind the previous year.
  • Cornerstone (capital / building projects) received $19,721 in March. This is a significant increase from previous months ($9,525 in Feb; $2,360 avg previous 3 months) and is an indication of the growing interest and support for Vision 2019.
  • The PPSDA Promise (education endowment) investment account has a current value of $155,903 with an additional $4,520 in the PPAC trust account.
  • 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 is essentially flat comparing 3/31/18 to 3/31/19.
  • Roughly 75% of our giving (dollar value) is now coming via the web. This is certainly easier for Deacons and Treasurers as it reduces time for counting, possibility for error, and ultimately time and travel to the bank. If you haven't yet tried online giving please give it a try! Look for "Adventist Giving" in your phone's app store, go to, or visit  and click on Members to find the tab for giving.  
APRIL'S WINNER: OUR FAITHFUL DEACONESSES (Actually, they are winners every month!)

As we near the near of another term of offices, we especially want to thank the tireless deaconesses who have served PPAC so well for the past two years. They are currently short staffed and are operating without a leader, but still are fulfilling the duties, which include member care (illnesses, bereavement dinners, etc), Communion preparation, special events and fellowship meals.

THANK YOU, LADIES - your care and kindness are appreciated. Here are a few who have gone way above and beyond in the last term.
If you read the article above or if you ever look in the kitchen during a fellowship meal, you will know that we have worn out our deaconesses! Changes to remedy burn-out are now underway - and they no doubt will include you in the ideas for solutions! We will likely be spreading the joy of setting up fellowship meals and cleaning up afterwards with everyone through a team approach. Watch for further details.

A committee is putting together a new plan for Fellowship Meals. If you have some ideas to share, contact the Pastor who will put you in touch with the committee.

The good news is that if you are asked to be a deaconess for the 2019-2021 term, you can say yes to doing some really helpful things without taking a risk of burning yourself out.

In the meantime, we will be doing something simple to celebrate our mothers on May 11, Mother's Day weekend - something that doesn't include having our moms prepare food and manage a meal at church. In June, the Social Committee is planning a picnic in the park day and July's fellowship meal will be part of the church weekend campout.

Sara Merrills 

Sunday, May 5 

11:00 a.m.
Sunday, May 19
4:00 p.m.
Paw Paw Adventist Church
John and Lori Clement
John and Lori Clement may hold the local international travel record, having visited 38 countries on 6 continents. Their passion for far away places goes beyond the love of new vistas to a genuine interest in the people of various cultures. So if you want to know more than Google can tell you about Morocco, Nepal, Tasmania or Thailand, just corner them with your questions.

John grew up in Hastings and Lori is a graduate of Kalamazoo Christian, so this neck of the woods has always been home for them. John's undergraduate degree is from Albion College and he has a double Master's from WMU in Organizational and Clinical Psychology. Before he started his formal career, he spent two years as a VISTA volunteer in Appalachia. After four years as a psychologist with Borgess Hospital, he accepted a management position with Van Buren County Community Health. He later served as the Clinical Director of Outpatient Services, Deputy Director and a 15 year stint as CEO before he retired in 2008. His list of accomplishments at VBCMH are lengthy, particularly highlighting the use of his expertise in governance and organization. Not content to be fully retired, he continues to serve others through his independent consulting practice focusing primarily on board development, governance training and suicide prevention gatekeeper training.

Lori earned an Associate's at KVCC and decided to marry at the end of her junior year at Western. She has a son, David and the sweetest granddaughter, Sophia, who make trips to Seattle her favorite place to go. Her other son, Mark, lives in Kalamazoo. She tragically lost her husband at a very young age, so knows the challenges and joys of being a single mom. Her professional career was with Kalsec Incorporated in Kalamazoo, where she was an international buyer before retiring in 2018 after 37 years.

John and Lori met through mutual friends, were married in December 2004 and call Paw Paw home. John says, "After living 25 years alone, God decided it was time for me to share my life with another and through His grace, Lori entered my life."

Their hobbies are quite impressive; hiking/walking, weight lifting, ornithology, big game hunting and trying to read 100 books a year.

John started attending PPAC in 1997 as a friend of Chuck and Barb Randall. Although Lori and John weren't together then, she says a date she will never forget also happened that year, "I was baptized on April 13, 1997 and claimed Jesus as my only hope in life and death".

Early mornings find the couple immersed in two different versions of the Bible, studying, reading and discussing the Word of God. John's favorite books are Romans and John. Lori says it is almost impossible for her to choose a favorite text, but she singles out 1 John 3:2-3 and Colossians 1:15-20 as verses that bring particular meaning to her life. She has been a volunteer for Vacation Bible School and has helped out with Beginner Sabbath School for over ten years. Sharing stories of Jesus, watching them change and grow, has been a wonderful treat for her, she says.
Celebrating the Resurrection
Children's Choir Singing
Ho, Ho, Hosanna!
"Rise Again" by John Hood
The women mourn the loss of Jesus.
The Roman Guards place Jesus in the tomb donated by Joseph of Arimathea.
Thanks to Jesus for saving us!
Lucifer and her minions
The Dyson priests
By Jim Merrills
Mr. Reinach, an SDA lawyer and executive director of the Church State Council in California, noted that religious intolerance has reached epidemic proportions around the world and that 80 % of the global population lives in countries with little or no religious freedom. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see how the anticipated prophecies of Revelation could come to pass around the world with little friction.

We should certainly spend time in prayer for those who are experiencing religious persecution or restriction.
April 27:         Speaker: Pastor Taylor, Jesus in Jeans Sabbath - CHOOSE A SERVICE PROJECT to complete by May 11
April 28:         CROP WALK, 1:00 - Registration, 2:00 - Walk, United Methodist Church
May 1: Fab 50's, 11:45, Fireside Room
May 4: Gobles Junior Academy
May 5: Andrews University Graduation (Chad Angusson, Prescott Khair)
May 5:            Breakfast Brunch Bridal Bash for Sara Merrills, noon, Lower Level, 11:00
May 11: Pathfinder Sabbath, Muffins with Mom immediately following church (no Fellowship Meal)
May 18:
May 17-19: Pathfinder Fair, Camp AuSable
May 19: Kelsey Street's Baby Shower, 9:00 a.m.
May 20: Finance Committee, 6:30; Church Board 7:00
May 25:
  • Dave, Kathy and Amy Hill - Amy is now at White Oaks
  • Anna Freeman - Still healing from complications from her February 19 surgery
  • Jan Steffen, who lost her beloved mom in early April
  • Donelle and Caleb O'Connor - Health Challenges and thank you prayers
  • Meredith (Liam) Steele - Making improvements, but in need of continued recovery, 616 Benson Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • The Kniss Family, 723 E. Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw, 49079
  • 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
  • Emilie Bermingham - Jim's mother in declining health under Hospice care
  • 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.

The Paw Paw YouTube Channel can be found at    Beg Balance
¼ Tax
End Balancedroppable-1556414205900