The Pres - First Presbyterian Church



The Pres - First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church
Ministry from the heart of Oshkosh serving with
energy, intelligence, imagination, and love
April 1, 2016
Volume 39, Issue 27
The Pres
Ληρος Laros
The sermon I preached on Easter started with the Greek word which only
appears once in the Bible. It’s the word the male disciples used when the
women who had gone to the tomb at first light Sunday told them that Christ
is risen. [He is risen indeed!] There are a few different English words that
are frequently used to translate the Greek term, “nonsense” and “an idle
tale” are the two most common. Some of the older versions I consulted
used words like “piffle” and “twaddle.”
None of these terms, however, conveys the disdain that the male disciples
hurled at the woman who were the first witnesses to the resurrection. They
were probably not only sad, but irritated with what the women were trying
to tell them. I spent several minutes in my sermon on Easter not saying the
kinds of words that Ληρος could be translated into in modern English.
I’ve been thinking about these modern terms a lot in the last few weeks as
our congregation has been responding to Moriah Munsch’s death. A lot of
things people say following tragedies like that are simply not helpful at best,
sometimes they are quite painful and too often they are Ληρος.
Several years ago a friend told me that someone told her “You can’t be sad
that your father died, because he’s in heaven!” This person was trying to
comfort my friend, but this sentiment was not perceived as comforting! It
made my friend feel like she wasn’t grieving correctly, or that her faith was
being called into question. No matter what she believed about her father’s
status after death, she still missed him terribly and continues to miss him.
The fact is no one has to choose between imagining the comfort of life eternal with the Living God, and missing a loved one on earth.
Another thing people often say after a tragedy or difficult news is “God only
gives us as much as we can handle.” Ληρος ! I am living proof that this is
not true. I have been overwhelmed by sorrow, despair and grief on several
occasions. I had more than I could handle. Could it be that God made a mistake, and weighed me down with too much?
This image troubles me for another reason. It makes me imagine God as
watching us all from above with something like an eye-dropper containing
trouble and gently, carefully squeezing…just the right…amount…so Tom
doesn’t get too…much.
I find it much more comforting to imagine that God suffers with us. In this
Easter season, I draw comfort from these lyrics from “Christ Is Alive!” “Not
throned afar, remotely high, untouched, unmoved by human pains, but daily, in the midst of life, Our Savior in the godhead reigns.”
Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!
Inside this issue
April Deacon Responsibilities ..... ……2
2016 Session Committee
Assignments .............................. …..2
April Birthdays ............................ …..2
Ministry Assignments……………………..3
Kwik Trip Cards ........................... ……3
Community Breakfast……………………..3
Presbytery News…………………………….4
March Session News……………………….4
Christian Education…………………………5
Worship Committee……………………….6
Newsletter Information………………….7
Upcoming Events……………………………7
April Calendar………………………………..8
Special points of interest
Further information on Interfaith
Laughter Night……………………………7
2016 Session Committee
April Deacon
Flowers: Sue Clark
Coffee Hour: Romi Norton & Barb Gusick
Deacon Moderator—Patti Waldecker
Deacon Treasurer—Sue Clark
Nominating Committee—
Jen Ollanketo & Doug Norton
Property & Finance—
Jack Starrett
Stephanie Lenz
Membership Enrichment—
Carol Foust
Thank You for all that you do!
Mission Interpretation—
Tim Gaubatz
Investment Committee—
John Vette
Christian Education—
Jennifer Ollanketo
Community Outreach—
Joann Cross
Worship—Doug Norton
Personnel—Hillory Davila
“ Have a bunch of old, crusty paint brushes? Toss them in a bowl of vinegar for 30
minutes, they’ll be good as new!”
1- Jonathan Binder
25- Adam Bauer
2- Cindy Habich
10- Martin Wesenberg
3-Gabryel Matelski
11- Chelsea Peabody
3- Cale Simes
11- Michelle Olejniczak
4- Colleen Fitzpatrick
11- Ava Botterman
4- Missy Engel
12- Jeremy Fleck
6- Andrew Binder
13- Nick Zillges
6- Mike Ruhl
14- Kenneth Liske
8- Isaiah Merrill
19- Garnell Powers
9- Andrew Bosma
21- Vi Tews
April 1, 2016
26- Addison Davila
28- Augie Helgerson
28- Lois Folck
29- Jaxon Galica
29- Faith Galica
30- Emily Fleck
30- Jessica Mathe
Kwik Trip Cards
Kwik Trip cards will be for sale on the 2nd and 4th
Sunday of every month. A different person will be
selling those cards each time. We will announce
well in advance when we plan to have Kwik Trip
Card bonanza’s (i.e. special extra pressure sales
Lay Readers
3-- Otacilio Berbert
10-- Caitlin Patton
17-- Jennifer Ollanketo
24-- Bethany Rink
3 & 10-- Ken & Marie Potterton
Barbara Goldthwaite
17 & 24-- Nancy & Bill Macksam
Debbie & Dick Strange
3-- Jaxson Galica &
Carter Norton
10-- Finn Luaders & Domanic
17-- Elise Liske & Eli Davila
24-- Teagan Patton & Emma
The schedule of sale dates are as follows:
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Jen Ollanketo
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Lisa Dorn
Community Breakfast
The next Community Breakfast will be Saturday, April 23rd.
We served nearly 80 guests at Community Breakfast, March 12!
3-- Binder Habich Family- The
Blessing of Family
10-- Dick & Debbie StrangeAnniversary
17-- Gregg Zillges- Honor my
24-- Chuck & Barbara Burr- In
Memory of Newell & Ruth Burr
Thanks to our great crew: Julie Ehrenbrg, Matt Brewer, Doug Berge, Debbie
Bunker, Pastor Tom, Sharon Koerner, Bill Macksam, Michael & Caitlin Patton,
Jeff Lammers, Dick Strange, Hyangsoo Kim, John Evans, Pat Shugars & Terri
Starting in April, Community Breakfasts will be on the 4th Saturday of the
month, through October.
Invite your friends!
3-10-17-- Hillory Davila
Remember, your Church needs you!
Consider volunteering for your Church!
April 1, 2016
Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
8:00a.m. – 12:15p.m.
1:15p.m. – 3:00p.m.
8:00a.m. - NOON
Youth Sing!
This is a call to all middle school and high school First Pres youth, to come together and sing in worship later this spring –
date to be announced. In preparation for this, there will be a first rehearsal on Sunday, April 10, at 11:00 a.m.
Many of you sing in choir at school - or other places. Even if you’re not in a choir and want to be part of this, please
Let Carmen Shaw know if you will join in, or have questions.
Hope to see - and hear – many of you on April 10!
Carmen Shaw – [email protected] or 233-6943.
Session News
Your Session met on Tuesday, March 15 in the Westminster Room Pastor Tom read the first paragraph of The Brief Statement of
Faith. The congregation really came together to support Moriah Munsch’ family; and we will need to continue to support and
comfort them. The statement begins with a phrase from Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “In life and death we belong to God.”
New Ruling Elders Jamie Glover, and Carol and Connor Foust attended their first meetings and Bethany Rink returned to Session
after a few years off.
Clerk of Session, Joann Cross gave a thorough tutorial on church finances. Her passion and knowledge were on display. New Ruling Elders and those in continuing service all came away with a much more complete understanding of the churches financial
affairs and bookkeeping. As Joann said, “We need to do this systematically…because that makes me feel better.”
Property & Finance chair Jack Starrett reported that about a dozen pledges have come in since the annual meeting February 28.
The total number of pledges is about ten fewer than last year, but most of those families are expected to pledge in the next few
Jack also reported that DealerSocket, an internet company whose offices are on Main Street has begun leasing parking spaces
from the church Monday through Friday. These are spaces that are seldom used for church events.
Session approved sponsoring Interfaith Laughter Night, Friday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the New Moon Café, this is a fund raiser for
The Hub. More information on this event is on page 7.
So goes the work of your Session.
April 1, 2016
Christian Education News
Youth Group:
Youth Group is meeting again on April 17th. It’s time to start planning the details of our summer mission trip to Denver. While we do have commitments from some of the youth members already, it is not too late to decide to participate in what should be a memorable and rewarding experience.
The new worship bags that Pat Shugars and Terri Zillges made look fantastic, and the youth continue to keep them updated. It’s great to see the kids using them during worship!
A.S.A.P. (After School Activities Program):
Our after school program met again on March 16th. We had 14
children attend that afternoon, and three families stayed for dinner. Cheryl Rosenthal from the Oshkosh Area Humane
Society gave a presentation about animal care and safety, which was well received. Thank you again to the wonderful
volunteers: those that provided snacks and drinks, those that spent time interacting with the kids, those that provided
dinner, and those that helped with the cleanup and organization. None of this would be possible without you!
Kids’ Power Hour: The Lectionary connection for Kids’ Power Hour on April 10th is Acts 9:1-20.
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and
asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether
men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light
from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute
me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the
city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound
but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him
by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered.
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people
in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the
Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to
the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who
appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he
began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
Paul’s life was forever changed by this event, and he went on from there to spread the good news about Jesus.
We all have events that have altered our lives. Take some time this week to reflect on things that have happened over
the course of your lives that have changed you. Perhaps an event has changed how you look at the world, perhaps an
event has changed how you treat other people, or perhaps an event has changed your hopes and dreams for the future.
As you examine these events and their effects on your lives, you may find some surprises along the way, or you may
even find a greater sense of clarity.
April 1, 2016
“Sub Sunday”
We are again planning a “Sub Sunday”. Join us for a morning of outdoor worship, followed by lunch and
music. Please keep this event in mind!
about sitting around...we are doing a project with old crayons and markers. We will take and use them all, up-cycling
(hooray, hooray). Please look for collection boxes in the Westminster Room or above the coat rack in the Preschool
hall. Thank you so much!
Preschool Culver’s Day
Monday April, 18 from
5-7 p.m. Westowne Culver’s
Beginner Bells
Is starting again for the final time this school year. We will begin rehearsals Sunday, April 24, and continue until we ring in
worship. We will meet on Sundays, upstairs in the bell room, from 11 am to noon. We are tentatively scheduled to ring in
worship May 15.
As usual, no previous experience is required. Just an interest in learning about the bells, and the ability to participate in scheduled rehearsals as well as when we ring in worship. Anyone from 6th grade and up is welcome. Please contact
Mary Willadsen by April 10 if you are interested in ringing. I can be reached at 303-2926, or [email protected] if you
have any questions or are planning on ringing.
1, 2016
6 AprilMarch
1, 2016
The news letter deadline will be set for April 25th.
Corn Roast
Mark your calendars now! The Corn Roast is scheduled for Sunday, August 28.
Interfaith Laughter Night
How many United Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?
How many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb?
How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?
How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb?
You can find the answers to these and many other questions at Interfaith Laughter Night, Friday, April 1, at 7:00 p.m. at
the New Moon Café, 401 N. Main Street.
The event is a fundraiser for The Hub a newly organized initiative in Oshkosh to help families reach financial stability.
There will be a $5 cover charge, and raffles for prizes donated by local businesses. Beverages of all kinds will be available for purchase; many of which have the magical power of making bad jokes funny.
Everyone will be encouraged to tell a joke about his or her own faith tradition.
Just to give you a taste of what awaits you on April 1, I’ll reveal one punchline:
How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb? Trick question!
Membership Enrichment
We're going out for dinner at the Roxy on Saturday night, April 16, 6:00p.m. Please join us but we need to make reservations so let Ginny Evans ( 231-3994) know if you'll be with us. Your choice off the menu. See you there!
April 1, 2016
Dear Friends,
Chuck and Barb Burr of Oshkosh are honoring the memory of their daughter, Tami, and her unconditional love of
animals with an amazing gift. From February 15 to May 15, 2016 they are matching dollar-for-dollar, up to
$10,000, for donations to Tami's Humane Hope Campaign. This campaign will benefit the Oshkosh Area Humane
Society Live to Play Program, a new dog playgroup program that allows groups of dogs to play together freely with
minimal human interaction. Dogs given the freedom to run and play are calmer and more settled when back in
their kennels. Not only is it physical and mental exercise for the dogs, Live to Play gives shelter staff more personality information about each dog making it easier to match them with their new family.
Please consider making a donation to Tami's Humane Hope by going to the OAHS website at and
clicking on the pink paw on the right side. You can also send a campaign check to: Oshkosh Area Humane Society
(OAHS) - Tami's Humane Hope; 1925 Shelter Ct., Oshkosh, WI 54901. The campaign will conclude at the Humane
Hope Celebration at the Oshkosh Area Humane Society on Sunday, May 15 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.
No Bake Strawberry Shortcake Dessert
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
*1 box (3.4oz) vanilla instant pudding
* 1 -1/2C nonfat milk
*25 Golden Oreos (or another vanilla cookie/graham cracker)
*1-1/2 containers (8oz each) Cool Whip Topping
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*2 tablespoons unsalted butter
*1lb fresh strawberries, hulled & sliced
Whisk pudding, milk, & vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Crush cookies in a gallon bag using rolling pin. Reserve 1/2c of
the cookie crumbs. Place melted butter in the bag and press with hands to work butter through remaining crumbs. Pour
into a 9” square baking dish. Crust will be crumbly. Fold 8oz of the whipped topping into the pudding on top of the
crust. Place strawberries in a single layer over the pudding. Spread remaining pudding mix over the berries. Top with
more whip topping, sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Chill for at least 4 hours.
April 1, 2016
8:30am Membership
9:30am Worship
10:30am Fellowship
10:45am Power Hour
11:00am Beginner Bells
11:00am L.O.L
1-5pm Piano Recital by
Carmen Shaw
7:30pm Narcotics Anon
9:30am Worship
10:30am Fellowship
10:45am Power Hour
11:00am Youth Group
7:30pm Narcotics Anon
Newsletter Deadline
Culver’s Day
5-7pm Preschool
9:30am Worship
10:30am Fellowship
10:45am Power Hour
11:00am L.O.L
7:30pm Narcotics Anon
Enrichment Committee Meets
9:30am Worship
10:30am Fellowship
NO Power Hour or LOL
7:30pm Narcotics Anon
First Presbyterian Church (920) 235-6180
Tom on vacation until
May 2nd
9:00am Staff Meeting
12Noon Brown Bag
Bible Exploration
6:30pm Allocation
7:00pm Session
12:30 ASAP
6:30pm Bell Rehearsal
7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
5pm Simple Supper
10am Learning in
7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
6:00pm Deacons Meet
6:00pm Encore! Bell
5pm Simple Supper
6:30pm Bell Rehearsal
6:00pm Encore! Bell
6:00pm Encore! Bell
7pm Interfaith Laughter
Night- New Moon Café
Community Breakfast
Pastor Tom on
vacation through
April 8th
[email protected]
7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
6:30pm Bell Rehearsal
Committee Meeting
6pm Personnel
5pm Simple Supper
7:30pm Choir Rehearsal
1:30pm Quilting Group 5:00pm Simple Supper
7:00pm Session
6:30pm Bell Rehearsal
April 2016
“Ministry from the heart of Oshkosh, serving with energy, intelligence, imagination and love.”
First Presbyterian Church Office Hours ● Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm ● Friday 8am-12pm