Newsletters and Notes

Newsletters and Meeting Notes


January Newsletter

To Plainwell First United Methodist Church Family:

In Mark, chapter 6, it mentions several times that during his ministry, Jesus went off to a quiet place for physical and spiritual rest. The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church also provides for clergy to take time during their ministry for continuing education and spiritual growth. The Discipline calls these opportunities for pastoral renewal “professional formation leaves” and stipulates that “such leaves shall not be considered as part of the ministers’ vacations”.

As a result of the 2018 Pastor Assessment Process for our Pastor, Kathy Brown and in consultation with Reverend Dwayne Bagley, Greater Southwest District Superintendent, the Staff Parish Relations Committee, as well as the Church Council and Vision Team agree that Kathy should take a professional formation / spiritual renewal leave in 2019.

The Book of Discipline states that a clergy member’s continuing education and spiritual growth program shall include professional formation leaves of at least 1 week per year and may include at least 1 month every 4 years. A clergy member may also request a professional formation / spiritual renewal leave of 6 months, while continuing to hold an appointment in the local church.

The last time Kathy took a professional formation leave of more than a week in a year was three weeks in 2009. Kathy’s renewal leave for 2019 will be 6 weeks. When reviewing major events of the busy church calendar for 2019, January 1 thru February 12, emerged as the most suitable time for Kathy’s time away.

Pastor Kathy has chosen to use this time to focus on growing the church in the age of accelerating technology and declining church attendance. She will be reading books, investigating ways churches can use live streaming, as well as speaking with a pastor who has started a new church this month. Staff Parish Relations Committee is excited to see what Pastor Kathy learns and how this will benefit the church in years to come.

Please join Staff Parish Relations Committee, Vision Team and the Church Council in praying for Kathy during this restorative time, as she seeks further spiritual growth and enlightenment.

In Christ’s Love,

Darcia Artz

Staff Parish Relations Committee, Chairperson


Thank you Plainwell First United Methodist Church! Your generous donations helped the Plainwell Volunteer Christmas Project serve 170 families!


A Big thank you to all who donated cookies for the Christmas Tree Lighting that took place on November 30th. We served candy canes, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and water to 400 plus this year and the community so appreciated it. 

Many asked questions about, where did all the cookies come from, who sponsors this? People wanting to make donations, with a response from the crew, “No donations it's free and Merry Christmas from Plainwell First United Methodist Church”. It was a very blessed time. 

And a big thank you to the women’s group (UMW) who purchased the coffee/hot chocolate servers, they were wonderful.

The Lamorandier Family


Christian Neighbors

Collection for January: Soup Beans: Kidney, Navy, Black, etc.

Soup Supper Wednesday, January 30, 5-7pm @ Hope Lutheran Church with Calvary Community Church


Worship in January

January 6

Sue Ellen Nelson

January 13

Rev. Dwayne Bagley, District Superintendent

January 20

Kyle Randall

Human Relations Day Special Sunday Offering

January 27




The spring work trip will be to Taroboro, North Carolina. We will be leaving on April 26 at 6pm and arriving back on May 4. If you are interested in joining the team, please contact Dave Kuitert at 685-6050 or catch him at church.


We're on Instagram!

Follow us and invite your friends!




Marcia Bommerscheim


Denise Bell


Barb Bradley

Bryan Palmer

Marv Shook

Jim Smalley


Kathy Brown

Doug Metzer


Carol Koch

Dave Stowell


Sue Ann Smilanich


John F. Artz

Ethan Levine


Liz Jones


Judy E. Shumaker


Jeff Allen

Lisa Heikes

Gary Lamorandier


Judy Holt


Ben Zimont


Amaria Kuiper


Gail Hill


Bonnie Ellinger


Lauren Koch


Nina Fontana

Tonya Killick


Emma Scott


Molly Sell





Paul & Donna Thayer, 58


Jim & Carol Smalley, 60


Be Still

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".  Jeremiah 29:11

As your loving father, I have plans for you; plans of peace and harmony, plans of prosperity, plans of a future filled with hope. I see your future with me, side by side. Together we can do this.

Don't put your future hopes in the things of this world, but set your future hopes on the eternal hope. The hope of my salvation and a place in my kingdom.

I have created you for a relationship with me. I am your past, present and future. Rest in my assurance.

-Rhonda Ramsey



December Newsletter

Dear Pastor, Lay Leader, and Lay Member to Annual Conference,

     As the Greater Southwest District Lay Leader, I have the opportunity to invite 20 laity as well as a youth and a young adult to Annual Conference May 30-June 2, 2019 at Grand Traverse Resort.

     They would be voting members to equalize the number of the clergy that attend. We would like to see laity that have never experienced Annual Conference to prayerfully consider going. Their basic expenses would be paid for by the Conference.

     These people must commit by the end of this year to attending the entire Conference.

     Please share the attached (inquire in the office) 2019 Annual Conference Laity Application with anyone that might be interested. It must be completed and returned to me by December 25. You will be notified by January 12 if your application has been approved.

     Please pray and consider carefully before filling this out and potentially committing to attend the entire Conference May 30-June 2. It is a big commitment and should not be looked at lightly.

     I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 269.720.0741.


Wynne Hurlbut





It was another successful year with Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child at PFUMC! During this collection period we collected 54 boxes and all of the shipping costs to ship our boxes. We are blessed to be able to share Jesus’ love by preparing and sending such a generous gift to children all over the world. These simple and thoughtful boxes impact each child for a lifetime!

Just remember it is never too early to start collecting items for OCC Project 2019! As you start to gather items for next year, we could use the following items:

~Wash Cloths, shirts, bar soap and soap holders, Ziploc bags, Toothbrushes and toothbrush holders, plastic shoe boxes, rubber bands, socks, combs, pencil sharpeners.

Thanks for your continued support PFUMC,

Tonya Killick and Kelly Meyer



Hearts n Hands NOW OPEN!  Same lounge location, just a new name AND in time for your Christmas shopping!  New items will be arriving along with a link to purchase even more of a variety of items on-line.  Best of all, this link can be shared with family and friends for their purchases as well!   Our church will receive 20% of the price for each item purchased online. 

This is your custom Serrv & Earn web link:


1st Responders/Plainwell Police Department fundraiser raised $180. It was so much fun! Thank you to all who participated. Special thanks to Zelda Schippers from the Calico Rabbit and Berta Kuitert and Hope DeJong for providing the delicious snacks!


Worship on December 16 will be a special morning of Christmas music, with a concert by Marty Miller.  Marty did a concert here in 2013, and we look forward to his return.  In addition to the songs that Marty will perform, the congregation will be joining him in singing some familiar Christmas Carols.  Worship will last longer than usual that morning, so please plan on staying until approximately 11:30.

Following worship, everyone is invited to a Turkey Dinner, with all the trimmings.  Berta Kuitert and her crew will be serving dinner at 11:30. Freewill donations will be accepted.  Sign up on the Connection Card, on the signup sheet in the lobby, or by contacting the church office by December 9 to reserve your seat(s).

Invite your friends and family to join you for a great concert and dinner!


Welcome to the Advent Conspiracy

Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering. But doing this means doing things a little differently. A little creatively.

Love all. It all boils down to love. Love from a savior. Love to a neighbor in need. By spending just a little less on gifts we free up our resources to love as Jesus loves by giving to those who really need help. This is the conspiracy three churches began a few years ago, and has since grown to an international movement where thousands of churches have raised millions of dollars to love others in life-changing ways.

This year our Church will once again be joining The Advent Conspiracy! Here is a list of the organizations that we will be supporting:

Bridges of Hope                                              Heifer International

Christian Neighbors                                              Justice for our Neighbors - Michigan

Community Free Lunch at our Church                    Red Bird Mission - Kentucky

Good Hands Plainwell                                            UMCOR Disaster Relief

There will be a table set up in the lobby with detailed information about each of the organizations above. On December 2, 9 and 16, you will be able “purchase” your gifts at the table. Checks should be made out to the church. We will have cards available for you to use to notify your loved one of your gift.

Think about it. Pray about it. Make it a different Christmas! Join the Advent Conspiracy!!             


Be Still

Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath.... -Isaiah 56:2

God has given me so many blessings and gifts and one of the first was the Sabbath. He knew I would need a day to rest and sit quietly with him. He knew that my happiness would come from catching up with him on what's happening in my life. He also knew that it is another choice for me to make. Do I trust him to give me enough hours to get everything done in six days, which now seems to take seven plus? If I trust God to provide financially by being obedient with my tithe, can I not also trust him with my time? He expands the 80%, why not the six days? What blessings am I missing by not resting? Lord I'm ready to be blessed and happy on this day you set aside for us.

-Rhonda Ramsey


Christian Neighbors

Collection for December: Ramen Noodles & Assorted Soups.


Worship in December

Worship Series for Advent

A free Advent Devotional to go along with our worship series for Advent is available. The devotional begins on December 1 and has daily readings for 25 days. Hard copies are on a table in the lobby near the chapel.  Digital copies can be downloaded from our website – .  On the homepage, click on the photo – Carols, or at the top of the sermons page, click on Carols.

December 2

Carols of Christmas:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

December 9

Carols of Christmas:

O Holy Night

December 16

Concert with Marty Miller


December 23

Carols of Christmas: Away in a Manager


December 24

7:00pm Christmas Eve Service


December 30

Rhonda Ramsey


Advent Devotional link:


“UMCOR US Disaster Response and Recovery” or “California Fires” -  #901670

 If you would like to give to the California Fires recovery, write your check to Plainwell FUMC and enter the above on the memo line.




Jake Banks

Katelynd Dreger


Seth McPherson

Croy Mossman

Peter Roush


Jeremy Simmonds


Emery Meyer

Kathy Zimont


John Artz


Kaleb Himmelein

Mary Moulder

Raegan Rieman


Matt Evers


Faith Bitely


Mya McPherson

Nancy White


Leo Moran

Matthew Prentice-Sao

Allison Singh


Mary Surine


Angelique Camfield-Kuiper

Jenny Ernst


Peggy Barker


Thomas Engelmann

Julie Stickels


Matthew Engel

Nick Jones


Amber Widner






Keith & Debby Trimner, 36


Rex & Lori Schmeler, 35


Matt & Kristin Evers, 26


Doug & Evie Metzer, 48


Ben & Kathy Zimont, 31



We would like to replace the tables in the lounge with lighter, easier to move tables. If you have a use for one or both heavy duty tables, please contact the church office. 



November Newsletter

Church Conference Monday, November 19, at 7 PM, with SPRC at 6:30 PM


OCC Shoebox Time!

It is hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner, which means it is once again time to pack and deliver your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. OCC shoeboxes will be due by the end of the church service on Sunday, November 18th.  Immediately after church they will be sorted and delivered to our specified drop location.

I read an article that reminded me how fortunate we are to be able to share Jesus’ love by preparing and sending such a generous gift to children all over the world. I thought I would share a little background about the shoeboxes along with some tips for gifts that I got out of the article.

The article expressed how much the children love receiving the boxes and feel blessed to receive such a generous gift, as these children don’t really expect gifts and don’t get presents at Christmas or on any other holidays. Most of them never receive new things or presents at all. In addition to what we pack in the boxes, a booklet is added to each shoebox, which is written in a comic book form sharing stories of Jesus.

Some of the BEST gifts include:

~Soccer ball (mini) or a deflated ball with a hand-pump

~Short sleeved shirts with no writing on them – Kids have few clothes and often wear old, ripped shifts.

~Small flashlight with batteries – most families don’t have electricity

~Good quality melamine plate, bowl, and/or cup

~Soap AND plastic Soap dish with a cover

~Toothbrush and toothbrush holder

~Pencils, erasers, colored pencils, and sharpeners. Pens in black, red, green, and blue ink.


There are many other items that you could include but these just highlight some of the BEST gift options. Items NOT to include consist of: candy including chocolate, toothpaste, lotions/liquids, breakable items, and aerosol cans. Shipping costs of each shoebox is $9.

Please be sure to check out the display in the church lobby and/or reach out to Kelly Meyer or Tonya Killick with any questions on this year’s OCC project.


Sign-up now for a fun time and support our First Responders! Limited seats available.



Dear Partners in Mission,

All over the world, children are living and thriving because of the people called United Methodists who have responded to the call for help. With your donations we now celebrate Abundant Health for 400,000 children. Your gifts to Abundant Health have transformed lives and places around the world, watch the video to see how your gifts have been used.

  There are more children who need us and we remain committed to Abundant Health for All. On Nov. 27, 2018, we invite you to extend the spirit of giving thanks into the Advent through your gifts to Abundant Health #3021770

Help us continue this ministry of health and healing! Thank you for your faithful support! #GiveUMC  #GivingTuesday.




Be Still

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8

Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Exodus 31:14

The Sabbath is a holy day. A day of awe and wonder. A day set apart as holy to and for me. A day that commands absolute adoration and reverence. The all-powerful and mighty God is sharing a little of his holiness with me, granting me a bit of heaven. A time to walk in the garden together. What a privilege and an honor.

-Rhonda Ramsey


Thank You!


Thank you for hosting us with our PATH Walk this year. We raised over $7,000 which will help to restock our shelves after the busy summer we had. We are forever grateful for the support and continuous prayers from our local church communities. Thank you again for everything! -Christian Neighbors Staff

Thank you from a client: Thank you for providing a meal to feed the family. The kids think its Christmas whenever we get food. Without food stamps and low income we live day to day.


Christian Neighbors

Collection for November: Soup Beans: Kidney, Navy, Black, etc.

Soup Suppers

Wednesday, 11/07,

5-7pm Friendship Wesleyan

Wednesday, 11/14,

4-6pm Otsego Church of God


Worship in November

 How does it feel to know someone's in your corner - coaching you and cheering you on? Now imagine if entire generations could experience support like this. We'll be looking at how we can help mentor and develop relationships with those around us, especially those who are younger.

November 4 - All Saints' Sunday

I Believe in You: Planting Spiritual Seeds

Psalm 71:18; Deuteronomy 6:4-9


November 11

I Believe in You: Really Doing It

Philippians 4:9;

1 Thessalonians 2:8; Psalm 145:4, 6


November 18

Cultivating Gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 118:1; Colossians 3:15b


November 25

United Methodist Student Sunday - special offering


Veterans Day

On Monday, 12 November 2018, 11:00am, Plainwell-area veterans will recognize the official observance of Veterans Day, by assembling at the Greater Plainwell Veterans' Memorial in Sherwood Park to conduct a ceremony commemorating the service that all America's veterans have rendered to their nation, from the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism. -VFW Post 9377, Arthur M. Teitgen, Post Commander




Kristi Ransbottom


Alli Zimont


Alivia Kuiper


Katelyn Stralkowski


Tim Roush


Kevin Koch


Colleen Griffin


Don Schuiteboer


Mark Bommerscheim

Larry Mastenbrook


Ron Francisco


Doris Laverack

Theresa Sours


Harold Boysen


Anna Anderson


Susan Prentice-Sao




Ted & Kristi Ransbottom, 33


Mark & Marcia Bommerscheim, 28

Dylan & Amy Steele, 22


Bob & Beth Loftus, 24


Dan & Heidi Hale, 14


Leo & Nancy Moran, 58


Ken & Joey Klumpp, 50


Mark & Kaleigh Drake, 3



We would like to replace the tables in the lounge with lighter, easier to move tables. If you have a use for one or both heavy duty tables, please contact the church office. 



September Newsletter



It's time for a new church directory.

Thursday, Friday & Saturday, October 4, 5, & 6

Sign-up for photos will begin soon. Watch for more details.

Any Questions see Debby Trimner or Tom Doss


GENESIS Youth News

Genesis Re-wind Sunday's after church 11:15a - 12:30p

September 15th Airway Fun 6p-10p

$10 / sponsorships available if needed

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! It's going to be a good time.


October 7th Path Walk   

Genesis will be involved in walking, as well as serving the ice cream after the walk. Youth will need to be at the church by 12:30p to help set-up for the event and we will help clean-up afterward.

Questions or concerns? Call, text, or email 269-986-0840 /



Dear First UMC,

Thank you for choosing to partner with Midwest Mission in Ministry. Your gift will be a blessing to so many people in their time of need. You are a blessing!

Chantel Curie

Rex Bell delivered 40 Dignity Kits to Annual Conference. Thank you to all who donated!


Thank you for your support with the Community Backpacks. We were able to help 240 students to be equipped and ready for school!

Love & blessings,

Amy VanPutten

North Point Church


Save the Date!!!


Poverty is Not Just a Lack of Money – But a Lack of Resources.”

Our next Getting Ahead workshop has been scheduled!

Date: October 2 – November 15, 2018

Day & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5:00PM – 7:30PM

Place: Renaissance Adult Education

@ 798 E. Bridge Street, Plainwell


Together, Participants and the Facilitator(s) investigate life issues, set goals, build resources, and create a plan of action to achieve stability and self-sufficiency. Community friends, called Encouragers, partner with participants during the Getting Ahead workshop and, upon completion, in the optional Staying Ahead program. Participants are paid $10 at each session attended and an additional $50 upon conclusion of the workshop with the expectation that follow-up assessments will be completed. A light meal is provided at each session. Transportation and on-site childcare are available as needed.

Do you know someone who could benefit from attending? Call or email us so that we can reserve a place for them.

Can you contribute your time or resources to help us? We need volunteers to provide meals, childcare, transportation, and most of all, encouragement to participants as they build their own bridge out of poverty.

Bridges of Hope, Allegan County

108 E Grant Street, Plainwell, MI 49080

Phone: 269-204-6041 Fax: 269-204-6582

A 501(c)3 Non-Profit


Be Still

If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable...then you will find joy in the Lord. Isaiah 58:13

Sabbath, not a day set apart for God but to God. The Sabbath doesn't do God any good, the day is for our benefit. A day to draw closer to our Lord, a day to delight in his presence, to celebrate his goodness. It's not a punishment, rather a one on one time with the creator and you.

Sabbath doesn't need to be a solemn experience, instead consider the joy and delight of spending time together. This should not be considered a sacrifice but a time of holy communion with your best friend and support.

-Rhonda Ramsey


Christian Neighbors

Collection for September: Assorted tomato products

Soup Supper, Wednesday, September 19, 5-7pm

First Congregational Church Otsego


“Unafraid” – New Worship Series Starts September 9

We know Jesus tells us, “Do not be afraid,” but with everything going on in the world, how is it possible not to be anxious? In this series, based on a book by Adam Hamilton, we’ll explore the worries and fears most of us experience.

September 9

Unafraid: Age of High Anxiety

September 16 

Unafraid: Fear of the Other

September 23

Unafraid: Friendless and Alone

September 30 

Unafraid: Fear of Failure

October 7

Unafraid: The Sky Is Falling

October 14

Unafraid: Life, Health, and Whatever Comes Next


Church Conference Monday, November 19, at 7 PM, with SPRC at 6:30 PM.



Seth Bommerscheim

Kristin Evers


Mitchell Fiebiger


Mallory Comerford

Jim Grant


Tina Jenkins

Marsha Mahan

Nancy Mossman


Evie Metzer


Debbi Coleman

Carson Spratt


Sandy Willis


Ron Smilanich


Sandy Lamorandier


David Roush


Linda Shook

Amy Simmonds


Rex Bell

Peter Leahy


Deb Agne


Nick Evers

Catherine Koch

Audrey Thom


Pat Pallett


Dan Agne




Marv & Linda Shook, 63


Ron & Sue Smilanich, 40


Tony & Pat Gless, 57


Larry & Lexanne Mastenbrook, 36


Dale & Becky Burns, 28

Paul & Anita Pagano, 39


Dave & Dana Stowell, 22


Brian & Jenny Ernst, 27


John & Darcia Artz, 34


Dan & Amy Simmonds, 29


Mike & Liz Jones, 25


Andy & Faith Bitely, 11


The Allen Family Concert

Southern Gospel


September 5th at 7pm

12th Street Baptist Church

3911 South 12th St.

Kalamazoo 49009



JUNE 2018

June Newsletter

Job Posting: Middle School/High School Youth Ministry Coordinator

Plainwell First United Methodist Church is seeking a part-time (10 hours per week) Youth Ministry Coordinator position for the 2018-2019 school year. This person will be responsible for coordinating, administrating, recruiting and training volunteers for a spirit-filled youth ministry program. This is accomplished through weekly meetings, service projects, mission trips and social events.

Job description is available upon request. Apply by contacting the church office at 269-685-5113 or


Small Group Summer Study on the Book of John

Join Randy and Debi Newsome in their home at 511 Gladys St., Plainwell. Monday evenings at 7:00 pm beginning June 4th. Contact Liz Jones at or Randy & Debi directly



for Teen Serve Mission Trip

Thursday, May 31

4:30-6:30 pm (teens & volunteers to help set up)

Friday, June 1

9 am -12 pm (2 or 3 volunteers)

1-4 pm (2 or 3 volunteers)

 Saturday, June 2

9 am -12 pm (4-5 volunteers)

12 pm -3:30 pm (depending on how many teens we can get, maybe just 1 other adult volunteer)

3:30 pm-? to help clean up and load my van with anything that doesn't sell to be donated

Contact Hope DeJong at


District Baseball Games

Join us for two fun-filled days at the ball park! Bring your whole family to one or both games: Battle Creek Bombers on Friday, July 13 and Kalamazoo Growlers on Sunday, August 12. Come early and enjoy a tailgate party with lots of food, fun and friends. All kids 12 and younger are FREE! Download the flyer to see all of the ticket options. Purchase tickets by June 18.


Michigan UMC Baseball Night

Calling all United Methodist baseball fans! Now is the time to reserve your tickets for this year’s Michigan UMC Tiger Baseball Night on Friday, July 27. We are excited to offer an “Early Bird” price of $25 per ticket. These tickets are lower deck in “Kaline’s Corner.” Please note the tickets available in our primary block are limited and will be held on a first come, first served basis. Once gone, additional tickets will be in the surrounding outfield. Ticket orders after June 15 will be $28. Download the order form. For more info, contact Don Archambeau at (734)422-2227.


Christian Neighbors

Collection for June: Ramen Noodles & Assorted Soups


Worship for June

June 3 - Graduation Sunday / Why Smile? - Dana Levine

June 10 - I Quit: Making Excuses - Kathy Brown

June 17 - I Quit: Complaining - Kathy Brown

June 24 - Pastor Joshua Amaezechi




John Klempnow

Jan Sell-Kimble


Dave Smith


Pam Roush


Al Coleman


Andy Bird

Ned Roethlisberger


Donnie Newman


Denise Fultz


Emily Sell-Kimble


Char Bailey


Carol Smalley

Pat Wilcox


Ryan Burns


Ben Loftus


Sandy Fiebiger


Ted Ransbottom


Zoan Allen


Jacob Sell


Jay Connor


Wendy McCracken




Brad & Julie Fiebiger, 34

Matt & Robin Scott, 17


Kevin & Carol Koch, 27


Tim & Pam Roush, 36


Morgan & Laura Sullivan, 26


Al & Debbi Coleman, 50


APRIL 2018

April Newsletter

Christian Neighbors

Collection for April: Assorted Dry & Canned Pasta and Cereal             

Soup Supper -       

Wednesday, May 2, Martin/Shelbyville UMC, 4:30-6:30pm at Martin


Community Easter Egg Hunt    

Thank You to everyone who helped with the Plainwell Community Easter Egg Hunt. We could not do this without you.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. There were five churches involved this year, First Baptist of Plainwell, St. Stephens, Faithway, Friendship Wesleyan and Plainwell Methodist. We had about 200 kids, 15 businesses sponsored the event, also both fire departments and the Plainwell ambulance along with EMTs and Firemen. Every year there is more community involvement, what a great place to live!

I am so grateful to this church for all the people here who volunteer, inspire and support all the Outreach in the church and the community.

Thank you,   



Personal Dignity Kit

($14 Value)

Plan now to help fill the Midwest Mission Distribution Center trailer at Annual Conference.

Midwest Mission Distribution Center is trucking to Michigan May 31-June 3, 2018. A 26-foot trailer will be parked at the site of the 2018 Annual Conference in Acme, Michigan.

Conference members are asked to focus primarily on Personal Dignity Kits.

Personal Dignity Kits contain: (in a ziploc bag)

Hand towel-bath



Nail Clippers


Shampoo-3-4 oz.

Deodorant-2-3 oz.

Bar Soap-3 oz. or larger


Toothpaste-2.5 oz. or larger

The following items may also be brought in bulk to be loaded on the trailer: glue sticks, dry erase markers and erasers; blue or black pens; 1-subject spiral notebooks.

In addition, churches may send along any other kits or donations they have for delivery to MMDC.

Further instructions are forthcoming. Start now with collection of goods.


Be Still

Musing of the Holy Spirit and me on scripture

     Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. -Psalm 63:7

     It is because of God who is my help that I can sing with joy knowing that he is always near protecting me, under the covering of his wing. There is safety, comfort, warmth and the security of his closeness that allows me freedom to enjoy life. It is the assurance of being loved and protected yet with the ability to wander and explore. He is always close enough to get back to quickly when troubles lurk. He is big enough to cover me securely in his love. He never holds me back from venturing out or never refuses to let me return, even if I bring trouble with me. He is patient as we work through things, until I am free to sing again. God is my superhero, who makes everything right.

Rhonda Ramsey


Worship in April

Defying Gravity: Break Free from the Culture of More

In Defying Gravity, Tom Berlin takes a look at the difference between "want" and "need" and illustrates how possessions can create an unbearable weight on our lives. He shows us how too much stuff affects our ability to serve and thrive, and then he helps us explore what is required to sustain a vibrant life.

April 1

Easter Sunday - "On the Road"

April 8

Sue Ellen Nelson

April 15

Defying Gravity: Discovering Gravity

April 22 -

Defying Gravity: Breaking Free

April 29

Defying Gravity: Tethered to God

May 6

Defying Gravity: When We Get It Right




Julia Bitely


Rhonda Ramsey


Becky Burns


Brandon Fiebiger


Paul Thayer


Hailee Lamorandier


Dana Stowell


Abby Ernst

Brian Ernst


Pat Banks

Andy Bitely

Annalise Kuiper

Drew Levine


Karen Anderson

Maggie Gless

David Gless, II


Bonnie Albertson




Mike & Sue Ellen Nelson, 48


Howard & Marilyn Brainerd, 19


Is Sao & Susan Prentice-Sao, 17


Jake & Pat Banks, 45


Al & Barb Bradley, 56


Mike Kimble & Jan Sell-Kimble, 35


MARCH 2018

March Newsletter

1 Cor. 12:6 reminds us that:

God is completely involved in the giving, using, and empowering of gifts. Specific gifts, places of service, and activity vary, but they all have their best effect when they build up the body of Christ—the church. God creates a unique place in the body for every believer. Gifts and ministries may overlap, but each believer has a specialized, God-designed role.

Thanks you! Thank You! Thank you, to all the church family who give their time and their talents to keep our church functioning inside and outside the church.

With that being said…. “Thank you” to the following persons who were instrumental in helping in the downstairs kitchen over Thanksgiving weekend. It was a four day project.

New drawer facings and cupboard doors were built, sanded, stained and replaced back on cupboards and drawers. Doors have new hinges. Everything looks so new and welcoming.

Thank you Jeff Ramsey, Don Schuiteboer, and Dave Kuitert. Don also cut press down tile for each shelf so we can clean them easier. It was a tedious process.

Other volunteers were instrumental in:

● Removing all the dishes/pot/pans, silverware, etc.  

● Washing all the above items.

●Once shelves had tile put on everything was put away.   

Rex Rouse, Lexanne Mastenbrook, Irene Smith, Carrol Tiller, Dave Kuitert

In November 2017 a group of volunteers cleaned the inside of kitchen cupboards downstairs and washed all the dishes/pot/pans.

-Carrol Tiller


Personal Dignity Kit

($14 Value)

Plan now to help fill the Midwest Mission Distribution Center trailer at Annual Conference.

Midwest Mission Distribution Center is trucking to Michigan May 31-June 3, 2018. A 26-foot trailer will be parked at the site of the 2018 Annual Conference in Acme, Michigan.

Conference members are asked to focus primarily on Personal Dignity Kits.

Personal Dignity Kits contain: (in a ziploc bag)

Hand towel-bath



Nail Clippers


Shampoo-3-4 oz.

Deodorant-2-3 oz.

Bar Soap-3 oz. or larger


Toothpaste-2.5 oz. or larger

The following items may also be brought in bulk to be loaded on the trailer: glue sticks, dry erase markers and erasers; blue or black pens; 1-subject spiral notebooks.

In addition, churches may send along any other kits or donations they have for delivery to MMDC.

Further instructions are forthcoming. Start now with collection of goods.


Annual Lenten Breakfast

Dear Sisters in Christ,

The United Methodist Women of Otsego invite the ladies of your church and community to our annual Lenten Breakfast, Wednesday, March 29, 2018 at 9:30am. We will be serving breakfast casseroles, with a variety of flavors including gluten free and vegetarian.

Our program will feature Miss Marsha Martin. Marsha will talk about her extraordinary journey to her Christian Faith.

Please plan on joining us on March 29th and renew old friendships, receive spiritual comfort and enjoy Christian fellowship. Please contact the church office to let us know how many will be attending from your church by Monday, March 26th at 269.694.2939 or by email at

A nursery will not be provided.

Hopefully you will be able to join us for our Lenten Breakfast.


Kay Strong

United Methodist Women of Otsego

Kay Strong, Secretary UMW


Be Still

Musing of the Holy Spirit and me on scripture

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. 2 Samuel 12:2

The Lord's fortress is a strong, safe and secure place to go when I am fearful or in trouble. The walls are tall and the gate is always open for me to enter. Once inside, the gates are secured and my safety is guaranteed. But to be inside the fortress does not consist of time only for leisure, but instead it's an active time.

It's a place in which to reflect on my decisions, to store up things I need to survive. It's a time of working together for the good of all and not only for self. It's relying on God's protection while together we work on living outside of the fortress, for I can't stay behind the walls. Eventually I need to open the gates and come out.

However, God's fortress can be carried within my heart. I can be safe and secure in the fortress of God no matter where I go.

Rhonda Ramsey


Worship in March

Final Words from the Cross

March 4

Final Words: Behold Your Son

March 11 - Final Words: My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

UMCOR Sunday special offering

March 18

Final Words: I Thirst

March 25 - Palm Sunday

Final Words: Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit

March 29 - Maundy Thursday


Christian Neighbors

Collection for March: Laundry & Dish Soap

Soup Suppers -

Wednesday, March 7 at Otsego UMC, 5-7pm

and  Wednesday March 21 at Plainwell UMC, 5-7pm         


Thank You

Dear Members of the First United Methodist Church of Plainwell,

I would like to thank you for giving so generously to my Eagle Scout Fundraiser, on February 11th. My pancake breakfast raised enough to get me close to the amount I need for my project. My goal is to put up a flagpole on the western entrance of the church, and redo the landscaping on the north wall. None of this would be possible without your support, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

-Colin Burns


The Station

Thank you everyone for your purchases and support of The Station last November and December. Sales were a success! Movement forward has been slow but sure as we check off the boxes of opening the downtown location. Currently we are awaiting approval from the Health Department for coffee sales. In the meantime, books and gifts remain available for purchase on Sunday's in the lounge. Stop in and shop!

-Liz Jones




Lydia Bitely


Linda Palmer

Matt Scott


Tyler Bommerscheim

Paul Pagano


Beth Loftus


Chauntel Spratt


Bob Loftus


Catelyn Engel


Chelsea Leahy

Todd Mossman


Mike Jones


Amy Steele


Stacy Levine


Joey Klumpp


Collin McPherson


Nate Nelson


Don Clawson

Nancy VanderPloeg


Joyce Thompson


Jeff Engel


Jody Barna


Carolyn Howard

Cassidy Steele



Mike & Tina Jenkins, 19


Steve & Irene Bennett, 30


Don & Dolores Clawson, 59


Rex & Denise Bell, 44



February Newsletter

Kalamazoo District Spring 2018 Lay Servant Classes

Classes are free - order your own book and bring a sack lunch. Classes with fewer than 4 people will be canceled.  Registration deadline for each class is one week prior to the first session. Register online at

Basic Course

March 10 & 24 (You must attend both full days to earn credit for this class.)


Vicksburg UMC

Led by Cyndi Trobeck

Required book: Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course Participant’s Book by Sandy Jackson

This course is foundational for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in their discipleship.

Leading Worship

March 10 & 24 (You must attend both full days to earn credit for this class.)


Vicksburg UMC

Led by Rev. Buff Coe

Required book: Worshiping with United Methodists (REVISED) by Hoyt Hickman

This course focuses on the ministry of the Lay Servant who either regularly or occasionally leads a group or congregation in worship. This class fulfills the “Leading Worship” requirement for Certified Lay Speaker status.

Transforming Evangelism

March 10 & 24 (You must attend both full days to earn credit for this class.)