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Newsletter – January 2018

It’s difficult leaving a church where you have enjoyed your stay. The last 5 years have been good years and I will always have some great memories. Let me list some things that have been special (in no particular order):
1. Making apple butter really was a good time. It was a time when I got to know you more and a time of great fellowship. The whole process is something to see and the participation by the church is to be commended. I must admit that I will miss standing around the processor bothering people. I told someone that it was fun and they said that they will have me come back next year. Well, it was fun….but not that fun. Lol
2. The Thanksgiving meal and bazaar is another instance where the participation and fellowship is great. It’s a great way for a pastor to meet a lot of community people too. What is amazing is that so many participate in the preparing and serving.
3. The Thanksgiving Day meal is also a great thing. The look on the faces of the people served here and at their homes is wonderful. I suggest you consider expanding that and serving more.
4. The Free Yard sale is a great community outreach. I admit I did little as far as preparation yet to see the many who truly can use the items be happy, that is a blessing.
5. The free produce giveaway was another thing started that truly benefits people as many in the community appreciate the food.
6. Tuesday night Bible study. For the many who did not attend, you don’t know what you missed! I pray your new pastor continues and more people come study.
7. The music, specifically the great piano and organ musicians you have. Many, many churches that are your size and smaller struggle to have musicians. Kathy, Nedra, and Debbie do a great job and they are dependable. Give them an “atta-girl” more. You may not understand how good you have it until they stop.
8. Sunday morning worship. I must say that I felt almost all of you truly listened to the sermon. I never saw many sleeping.
9. The children’s moments volunteers do a great job, especially when I heard them talking to the children with a message that applied to the adults. Yes, the muppets are really special too.
10. You provide a ton of food for the food pantry that is truly an exceptional food pantry, don’t stop.
11. The amount of banquets you do is amazing and I enjoyed them. I will be going through fried chicken withdrawal but I am guessing my arteries will be happy.
12. Working with Melissa has been a pleasure. I don’t think you understand how much she cares about Patoka United Methodist Church and how much she desires to do a good job for you.

Now I am sure I have missed something, that’s the problem with making lists. I am guessing I will think of something I missed after this is published. I have a few more thoughts.
1. I wish I could have done a better job with expanding Sunday school. Church is a community and Sunday school is a major part of that. Consider what can expand that.
2. Youth group. How can there be a fire lit in the church for that? How can you help?
3. I regret not becoming more involved in the community and touching the community. By this I mean what could have been done to show Jesus more to the people that surround us. A church that is missional is always a church that grows.

So, my final points are that you should definitely “love on” my replacement, especially in the beginning. Grant them grace as they begin. I am sure they will enter into the flow of the church with great enthusiasm, and help them maintain that.

Finally, myself and Bonnie have grown to truly appreciate and enjoy many of you here and the many friends we have made. There are no words that can describe that effectively. We will always be praying for you and I pray that Patoka United Methodist Church thrives now and well into the future. God Bless!

Dear God, Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day. We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.

We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run, and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.

We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways.

We ask that you would keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a close walk with you. Forgive us for the times we have worked so hard to be self-sufficient, forgetting our need for you, living independent of your spirit. Forgive us for letting fear and worry control our minds, and for allowing pride and selfishness wreak havoc over our lives. Forgive us for not following your ways and for living distant from your presence.

We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again. We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for your refreshing over us. Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been, hissing his lies and attacks our way, we trust that your voice speaks louder and stronger, as you remind us we are safe with you and your purposes and plans will not fail. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground.

We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us, we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed. We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.” Help us to be known as great givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own.

May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives – your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed so that we may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.

To you be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Chairperson – Mildred Heidenreich, Secretary – Melissa Gaines, Treasurer – Amber May, Co-Financial Secretary – Laura Heidenreich, Co-Financial Secretary – Rick Hudson, Membership Secretary – Melissa Gaines, Lay Member to Annual Conference – Jim Bishop,
Co-Lay Leaders – Debbie Bryant & Ron Hudson, Church Historian – David Hudson & Sue Ellen Parker, Sanctuary Stewards – Patty Craig & Laura Heidenreich, Muppet Coordinators – Mark & Stephanie Berry, Sunday School Superintendent – Jeanne Bishop,
Missions Chairperson – Kathy Hudson, Nurture Chairperson – Jamie Schafer, Staff-Parish Relations Chairperson – Buddy Rogers, Trustees Chairperson – Mike Berry, Finance Chairperson – Mike Phares

PUMC Ad. Council met in regular session on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 6:30pm with the following present – Melissa Gaines, Mildred Heidenreich, Pastor Jeff Pinney, Mike Phares, Ron Hudson, Kathy Hudson. The minutes from last month’s meeting, as well as the treasurer’s report, were approved as presented.

Finance – had not met
Lay Leadership/Nominations – had not met
Missions – had not met
Nurture – had not met
Staff-Parish Relations – met December 16th to discuss the departure of Pastor Jeff Pinney from his position at Patoka UMC. Pastor Jeff will be taking a church in Otwell as of January 1st. A pastor profile will be compiled by Buddy Rogers and Ron Hudson for Conference use in filling the position at PUMC.
Trustees – had not met

Use of the Family Life Center – the current rules & regulations list will be updated by the end of the year and a cover letter with specific details will be issued with every reservation form beginning January 1, 2018. Failure to comply with new regulations will determine future use of the building. Also beginning January 1, 2018, appointments will be required to pick up and to return keys and other paperwork.

Sound Improvements for Family Life Center – It was reported that the sound panels for the Family Life Center are in and will be installed very soon. A scissor lift will be available the week after Christmas.

Christmas Gift for District Superintendent – A motion was made and approved to participate in a District-wide monetary Christmas gift for our Southwest District Superintendent, Mitch Gieselman.

Internet/Cable – A motion was made and approved to switch PUMC’s current service agreement from the pastor’s name to the church’s name, at $60/month for 1 year + $99 install fee and $80/month after 1 year. Also, disengaging current cable TV service, and re-engaging cable TV service when pastor’s position is filled and parsonage made ready. That cost would be cable TV at $51/month + $99 install fee.

Pastor Jeff told the Council that he and Bonnie would be moving out of the parsonage on Christmas day but he would be available at the church throughout the week. Keys have been marked and left with Melissa. Church information from Pastor’s 5 years at PUMC will be available on USB for the incoming pastor, as well as files coordinated and made available. Pastor Jeff will come back to do Check Day reports, which are due by February 15th. He also suggested that the church make available new and/or updated software for the incoming pastor’s use. Pastor Jeff will be performing a baby dedication on December 27th.
With no further business, the meeting was closed with prayer.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 17th at 6:30pm.

Ad. Council Meetings Are Open To All Who Wish To Attend
We Invite And Encourage Everyone To Participate In The Plans And Business Of Our Church

The family & friends of Mike Ellis
The family & friends of Lois Krackenberger(grandmother of Stephanie Conway & Shelby Anderson)
The family & friends of Irene Williams(friend of David Hudson)
The family & friends of Connie Cross(daughter of friend of Frank & Flo Conner)
The family & friends of Jeff Stenfenagel(co-worker of Greg Ault)

Our Nation, Our Government, Our Leaders, Our Schools, Our Churches, Our Homes & Families
Our Military
Christopher Cook & family (New Mexico); Brad Hale (Nephew of Dick & Babs Johnson / re-deployed)
Mark Ambrose, Jr. (Grand big of Kevin Meyer / on alert status with U.S. Coast Guard / completing degree at Ball State)
Unspoken Health Concerns, Unspoken Requests
Trinity Cluster Churches – Decker, Decker Chapel, Hazleton, Mt. Olive, Patoka, and Wheeling
Gary Kinnaman, Chris MacKay, Ruth Knust, Tina Porter, Retta Gaines, Judy Lawson, Karen Muncy, Ted Thompson,
Darvin Hulfachor, Greg Nixon, Megan Miller, Patty Pflug, Bonnie Potts, Romaine McCabe, Matt Harper,
Toni Whitehouse, Karen Gress, Harold Cox, Harlan Scott, Jeff Stenfenagel, Jewell Pressley, Vic Welch, Red Miller,
Jim Bishop, Ed Prior, Rev. Randy Anderson, Heather Luttrell’s family, Mark DeBord

Ellen Roach(sister of Jim Bishop)-Parkview Care Center-Evansville
Jean Boyles-Evansville,
Margaret Dodson-Gentle Care-Vincennes
Rev. Patricia Greffey-Rocky Mountain Manor-Wyoming
Frank Eads – assisted living
Steve Sullivan (brother of Faith Livermore)-Amber Manor-Petersburg
Ellen Vinson (friend of Jack & Eleanor McDowell)-Amber Manor-Petersburg
Betty Bateman-at grandson’s in Evansville
Mary Lou Broadwater (sister-in-law of Mildred Heidenreich)-Brookside Village-Jasper

***Congratulations to Emma Ault, a PCHS Star of Indiana – a program to honor high school juniors for their academic achievement!

2-Allison May
2-Sue Ellen Parker
5-Andrew May
9-Micah Braden
10-Nedra West
10-Debby Phares
11-Grace Luttrell
14-Jennifer MacKay
14-Alyssa Koberstein
14-Patti Davis
17-Brad Stith
18-Bethney Anthis
22-Ellyn Horrall
28-Trevor Cotterman
29-Marty Bishop

14-Ed & Laura Prior
16-Frank & Flo Conner

If You Are Unable To Meet This Obligation It Is Your Responsibility To
Find A Replacement And To Notify The Pastor and Melissa Of The Change Prior To Your Sunday

Jan. 7 Kathy H. Debbie B.
Jan. 14 Nedra W. Mike P.
Jan. 21 Nedra W. Mark B.
Jan. 28 Kathy H. Barb S.

Jan. 7 Jim B. Colton D. & Ryder D.
Jan. 14 Mark B. Addison S. & Camden M.
Jan. 21 David H. Jamison M. & Brandon L.
Jan. 28 Becky L. Aadin L. & Kimberly C.

Jan. 7 Chris H. family Mike P.
Jan. 14 Jeff & Donna C. Buddy R.
Jan. 21 Greg A. family Debby P.
Jan. 28 Maria S. Muppets

Jan. 7 Jim A., Chris H., Mark B., Greg A.
Jan. 14 Eric W., Shane H., Ethan M., Andy S.
Jan. 21 Frank C., John A., Mike P., Don D.
Jan. 28 Ben H., Emma A., Olivia M., Andrew M.

Jan. 7 (need volunteer)
Jan. 14 Jamie S.
Jan. 21 Amanda S.
Jan. 28 Shea D.


BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR: Copies of the monthly “Bible-In-A-Year” readings have been placed near the entry. Feel free to pick one up!!

BRA BANK APPEAL: We continue collecting gently used bras (leave in designated container by front doors) for a special project designed to aid African women in the prevention of sexual assaults [less likely to be attacked if wearing undergarments] and human trafficking. For more info go to, or and click on ‘Mozambique Or Bust’.

We continue to collect Bibles, Sunday School lessons, Upper Rooms, Our Daily Bread, Hymnals… basically any Christian literature, to be distributed to third world countries where so many are hungry for the word of God that they take our excess, out of date items and cherish them. Instead of throwing out these things, place them in the designated container near the front entrance and we will get them to people who need them.

SOUND PERSONNEL SUBS NEEDED: We are always in need of a few volunteers who will agree to fill in when a sub is needed to run our sound board and power point presentation on Sunday morning. It is a very important job but one that is easily mastered after a lesson or two. If interested contact the pastor.

DON’T FORGET $$$: The refrigerator (soft drinks) is a great convenience for many. The proceeds go to our youth. Please be sure to pay as you buy or we may need to discontinue.

WHEN BORROWING ITEMS from the church or Family Life Center, we ask that you let the pastor or Melissa know so that we don’t over extend our lending. Folks borrow tables for yard sales (old brown tables in attached garage) or tables & chairs for family events, even walkers & wheel chairs, and we try to keep a record of who needs what, when, so that everyone benefits from what we have available. We wouldn’t want to promise tables or equipment to someone and find that they aren’t there because someone else borrowed them on the spur of the moment and forgot to let us know. Thanks for helping us keep things running smoothly!

DEADLINE FOR BULLETIN is Wednesday (12:00 noon). Deadline for the next monthly Newsletter is the 3rd Monday (12:00 noon) of the current month.

Anyone who would like to become a member of Patoka UMC, please contact the pastor for more information.

All men, all ages are invited to breakfast & fellowship on the last Saturday of the month at 7:00am in the Family Life Center. Invite a friend!!

HELP KEEP US CURRENT… we strive to keep all information in newsletters, bulletins, directory books, on file, and in the computer up to date, but we need your help. If your personal information – phone #, email address, etc. – changes please let us know in the church office while you’re updating other pertinent sources. If someone needs to be added or removed from our birthday & anniversary list, directory listings, or even the prayer list, your input is needed. We may or may not ‘hear through the grapevine’ that something changes, so we ask that you help us serve you best by taking just a minute to keep us current. We appreciate any and all assistance and updates.
DONATE OLD CELL PHONES – Albion Fellows Bacon Center can benefit from your old, unwanted cell phones, to be reprogrammed for 911 calls to assist victims of domestic abuse & other emergencies. PUMC has a basket in the entryway specifically for discarded cell phones. The chargers would be appreciated as well, but are not required.

APPLE BUTTER is still available in both regular & Splenda varieties.
Quarts – $8.00; Pints – $6.00; ½ Pints – $4.00

HOLY COMMUNION is normally observed on the first Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted in the bulletin or Newsletter.

PANTRY SUNDAY: January 7th is Pantry Sunday… each Communion Sunday [1st Sunday of the month] we ask that you bring canned goods and non-perishable items [especially canned meats and/or box dinners] to be placed in the container near the front doors for the Patoka Food Pantry. We are fed by Jesus Christ on Communion Sunday, therefore we need to feed others. Items always needed (that cannot be purchased with food stamps) – soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, dish soap, deodorant, paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste.

2018 OFFERING ENVELOPES: An individual offering envelope system is available at PUMC for your convenience. This allows you to designate on the envelope where you prefer your tithes & offerings to go each week – such as General Fund, Missions, etc. Use of these envelopes is confidential. They may also be used for tax purposes. For 2018 envelopes, contact Laura Heidenreich or Rick Hudson.
AUCTION ITEMS / AFTER CHRISTMAS SALES!! After Christmas sales are the perfect time to pick up a few items for the church’s annual auction – which is closer than you think! Questions? Contact Jamie Schafer.

UN-DECORATING OF THE CHURCH will take place on Wednesday, January 10th at 5:00pm. Any and all help would be appreciated.

Patoka UMC will once again observe Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday on Sunday February 4, 2018 – which is our regular Pantry Sunday. We hope to gather in even more food and items than we did last year, for the Patoka Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, which we share in stocking for outreach to our community. More than 25 years ago the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group: “Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those without a bowl of soup to eat”. Since that day, more than $110million has been raised for local charities across the country. Be part of this movement that’s sharing God’s love with those in need… please give generously on February 4th and help us exceed last year’s totals – 395 items.

FAT TUESDAY PANCAKE SUPPER: This year’s Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper is scheduled for February 13th from 4:30-6:00pm in the Family Life Center. A free-will offering will be taken as a fundraiser for our youth. YOUTH – put this on your calendar now – we need you here to work!!! The menu includes pancakes, sausage, juice, coffee and milk. Save yourself the trouble of cooking that evening and come and support our youth!
ASH WEDNESDAY will be observed with a special service at Patoka UMC on February 14th at 7:00pm. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time of reflection on our individual relationship with God and a re-dedication to purpose our lives in following Him completely. Ashes rubbed on the forehead of those who attend are a reminder of our mortality and an expression of our repentance. All are invited to share this very special evening. We hope you will invite someone to join us as well.

 Where: Ford Center, Evansville, Indiana
 When: Thursday, February 15th
 Starts: 7:00pm / Doors Open: 6:00pm
 Cost: $15 at the door / no tickets required
 Artists: Building 429; Skillet; Kari Jobe; Jordan Feliz; John Crist; and more!
 For more information: 812-422-1515 or go to

NU-VISION WORK TRIP: For those who are interested in or have supported Pastor Jeff Pinney’s work trips to Rwanda in the past, he & Bonnie will travel to Rwanda in February to work on phase 2 of the kitchen upgrade for the 1,000-student Nu-Vision School. Donated funds will supply labor & materials when Pastor Jeff helps workers there, and would be a supplement to the funds THEY (workers there) put into the project. Work will be done on the food prep/dishwashing/frying areas during this portion of the project. A donor will match up to $5000 of funds raised for the school. Another way to help Nu-Vision is to sponsor a child(ren) for $25/month or $300/year. Most students can only attend school via sponsorship. Nu-Vision is a non-profit 501c3 corporation dedicated to ministry in Rwanda. 99% of funds received are directed there. Donations are tax deductible. Pastor Jeff will happily supply you with more info if you have questions about the school, its students or Nu-Vision. Donations can be sent to Pastor Jeff Pinney, P.O. Box 146, Otwell, Indiana 47564. Or email to learn more.

• Pecans – Class #7 has pecans – pieces and halves, as well as a wide variety of knives and kitchen items for sale. Pecans/cutlery can be purchased in the Family Life Center, thru any member of the class.
• Meetings – All meetings, except Staff-Parish, are open to everyone in the congregation. [contact any member of the Staff-Parish Committee at any time however, with relevant concerns] We invite all to participate in the business & ministries of the church. Committees and chairpersons are listed in the back of the Directory Book.
• Cookbooks – A Taste of Heaven – Patoka UMC Church Family & Friends Cookbooks – are available for purchase in the Family Life Center and on the front entrance table. Books are $10 each.
• Pew Pads – Please sign the pew pad each Sunday morning with the names of each family member in attendance… and make sure your neighbor has signed also. If you do not sign we assume you are not in attendance and bulletins/newsletters will be sent. It is also vital that you sign for accurate record keeping. Pew pads can also be used to list prayer requests. It only takes a minute to sign and pass the book.
• Web Site – Visit regularly for up-to-date information. It is also compatible with your phone! If you would like to help maintain the web site, please let the pastor know.
• PUMC Endowment Fund: In the bulletin’s financial section you see “PUMC Endowment Fund” balance each week… funds given by members & friends of PUMC. This is a great way to benefit the church! The principle generates interest annually to be used as we see fit. It is backed by the Lilly Foundation, conservatively invested, and managed by the Gibson Co. Comm. Foundation. Each of the 92 counties in IN has this (safe investment). With $100,000 in the fund, we would receive at least $4,000 annually, as long as the fund exists. This fund would be an excellent choice for estate planning or giving now. If you have immediate questions, please contact the pastor.

• Pray for patience. Pray that the committee would wait upon God’s timing. Pray that your search committee will have the mind of Christ and agree.
• Much of the process is subjective. Personal opinions and preferences are involved. Differences can divide. Pray that the search committee would heed Paul’s advice for unity, having the humble attitude of Jesus Christ [Philippians 2:1-12].
• Pray for wisdom to choose the right man/woman. Pray the committee will renew their minds in the Bible so that they can have Word-centered wisdom [Romans 12:1-2].
• Pray for discipline for the search committee and other church leaders. The search process will require a great deal of follow-through on the parts of individuals.

• Pray that God would increase his/her passion for the Word of God.
• Pray that God would give him/her a love for your church and the strength to leave his/her current position.
• Pray that he/she would begin new relationships at your church in the right way.
• Pray that God would prepare him/her to shepherd your church through the trials and blessings he/she has faced and currently faces.
• Pray for his/her family. This is SO very important. You hire a pastor, not the family, but ministry IS a family calling.

• Pray for patience. The search process might take a while. It is hard work for those carrying out the process. Pray for trust in the leadership.
• Pray that your church would learn to place a high priority on the Word of God, the glory of Christ, and a love for His church. It is easy to gravitate towards personality, programs, or an ideal when receiving a new pastor. Pray to focus on what matters: a man/woman who loves Christ, His Word, and His church. Pray the new pastor will be a man/woman of Christ-like character.
• Pray that your church would not react to your previous pastor. You will not get a pastor like your old one, nor should you expect to. Pray he/she will be loved by your church.
• Pray for “self” – from each member of the congregation – to get out of the way and to not form opinions or prejudices based on personal feelings before the new pastor even has a chance to become a part of the community of believers he/she will lead.
• Pray that even if you don’t agree with every decision or ministry vision the new pastor proposes, you will have the grace, maturity, and kindness to allow for something “new” or “different”. It might just be an improvement instead of a loss.
• Pray that the God you have believed in and trusted all along will bring the shepherd that this flock needs. God has never failed you in the past, why doubt that He will now?
• Pray that you will be a blessing to the new pastor and his/her family and not a burden. Encourage more than criticize. Lift up more than condemn. Show love more than try to teach lessons. Remember that the congregation and the pastor have the same goal – to reach the lost and build the Kingdom. It’s not a competition.
• Pray that every aspect of ministry shared together will represent unity in the body, and will glorify and magnify God!

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