Pastor Lynne McQuown
july Calendar and Newsletter
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FPC NOVEMBER Newsletter 2020: Letter From the Pastor
Rejoice in the Lord always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Dear JFPC Friends and Family –
Happy November! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in, coping with, and continually re-adjusting to living in a pandemic for almost 8 months now. So much has changed, so much has been asked of us as we moved from 100% in-person church operations/ worship/ meetings to being 100% online. Your flexibility, patience, adaptability, and faithfulness over these months have been so appreciated and have been exemplary in our community, our Presbytery, and our world. As your Pastor, I am so thankful for you and your witness to loving one another.
As we continue to navigate how to be the church in these unprecedented times, some of you have asked for a re-print of the Q and A email that was sent a few weeks ago. I’m including it at the end of this message. But first, we have some exciting things to talk about.
We are faced with the prospect that this (Covid/online worship, etc) could last much longer than any of us would like. That could be a reason to lament. BUT, instead of focusing on all that we CAN’T do, we at JFPC are putting our heads together and imagining what we CAN do to make online worship vibrant, meaningful, connecting, and worshipful. I’m pleased to tell you that our church is planning a virtual Advent and Christmas season with our very skilled, thoughtful, creative leadership and membership. I think we will all be blessed by the efforts of so very many faithful folks.
Before we get to Advent/Christmas, however, we have the month of November. Many of you know that it is my personal discipline throughout the month of Thanksgiving to reflect upon at least 3 things each day for which I am thankful. I post them publicly on Facebook, and privately in my own “Attitude of Gratitude Journal.” This year, more than ever, I believe it is essential that we choose to reflect and focus on our blessings. It’s easy to overlook what we take for granted when the whole world feels out of control. I invite you this November to keep track of your “blessings,” the things for which you are grateful – friends, good health, the beauty of nature, loved ones, etc. I believe you’ll find this practice to be rewarding, fulfilling, and eye-opening!
After Thanksgiving comes…..Advent and Christmas! Even in pandemic. One of the biggest questions we’ve faced has been, “HOW CAN WE DO CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE THIS YEAR? WHAT ABOUT SILENT NIGHT?” We know it won’t be the same, but we are going to try to keep as much of our traditional service as possible, as safely as possible.
Session has given approval to schedule an opportunity for each person/family to come (separately, masked and sanitized) to the church sanctuary, dressed in your Christmas Eve attire, and to have a short video pre-recorded of you/your family lighting your Christmas Eve candles (which you may take home to light on Christmas Eve). We will be scheduling time slots throughout November and early December to allow for significant spacing and sanitizing between sessions. We anticipate this process will take less than 10 minutes per person/ family, with only 2 to 3 recordings per day, 2-3 times a week, with at least 30 minutes between sessions. For those who do not feel comfortable participating at this level, we could also offer recording outside in our Memorial Garden. Some may prefer not to come to the church at all, in which case photos could be sent in from home. We will then compile these individual videos and photos to form a continuous stream so that when the Christmas Eve worship service is broadcast, Silent Night will play, showing everyone, in their regular pews, (or from home, if preferred) lighting their candles, as if we were all together in person, in our sanctuary. Please let Pastor Lynne know if you have questions/concerns. You will be contacted soon to schedule your preferred time slot. Grace, flexibility, and patience are appreciated as we try this new thing!
Please know you are always in my thoughts and prayers.
In Christ’s Love,
Q: When will our church re-open?
A: The short answer is, “When it’s deemed safe.”
The longer answer, of course, is far more complicated. As of right now, we really don’t know when we’ll be able to return to in-person worship. Please know that we ALL miss being together in person, as well as in spirit. However, with COVID numbers in Michigan reaching a staggering 3000ish new cases per day, and with churches being a transmission hotspot, it is currently unsafe and unwise to consider re-opening. Our church is blessed with a very thoughtful, faithful and wise Session that is in constant prayer and discernment over this question. In the meantime, we are doing our best to stay connected, to offer meaningful worship and fellowship opportunities, and to continue to learn how to be the church now.
Q: Why can’t Pastor Lynne just make the decision to re-open?
A: Because that’s not how our denominational polity (big words for our church government and structure) work. We are part of a connectional church. We aren’t just an independent and isolated congregation where the Pastor is the “boss.” The Presbyterian Church USA is a national church that is comprised of regional bodies (much like our national government has federal, state, and local branches). Currently, our Presbytery of Lake Michigan (comprised of 61 churches from Cadillac to Indiana, and Lake Michigan to Lansing/Brooklyn) and the Synod which oversees our Presbytery, are strongly recommending that churches stay online only in worship through the end of this year. Out of the 61 member churches, only about 6 are worshipping solely in person (outdoors), and they are largely in rural areas where the majority of their membership do not have internet connections. One of these churches unfortunately experienced a COVID outbreak. So, first of all, we take direction (not orders, but direction) from our larger church leadership.
Second, in Presbyterian polity the pastor is not the decision maker for the congregation. Session, which is comprised of folks nominated and elected by the congregation and ordained to serve as the church leadership, is the ruling body of a PCUSA congregation. Session, of course, works with the pastor, but ultimately, authority rests upon Session to make wise and faithful decisions on behalf o the church body. Our Session has been very faithful to listening to the Presbytery leadership, as well as the CDC and Governor’s guidelines in these ever-changing times.
Q: We miss worshipping in our church. Can we livestream from the sanctuary instead of Pastor Lynne’s living room?
A: Technically speaking? Yes………. But
We would need a tech team to run the camera, monitor the zoom meeting, and continually adjust settings. Some of the churches you may have attended (Lansing, Jackson/Westminster) have staff who do this job. Our current Tech Support Expert (Haley) cannot leave the Albion College campus bubble due to COVID. So, if we had the right people and could run this safely, the answer is yes.
Q: What if I don’t like online worship? Other churches in our community are worshipping in person.
A: Everyone has to make their own decisions about what is best for them and their families. We have members who are living life pretty much as they were before this pandemic hit. We have members who have not left their homes since March. We have folks who are everywhere in between. Each of us has different circumstances, needs, and risks.
Online worship is new to all of us, pastors and Sessions included! It’s new, it’s different, and it isn’t what we’re used to.
If you need to worship in person, our siblings in the faith at the Jonesville United Methodist Church and at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsdale are worshipping in limited numbers in person. We are members of the same body of Christ with them, and we have relationships with both congregations and their pastors. If you feel the benefits to your mental health and need for community outweigh the risks of COVID, and you just can’t wait for JFPC to re-open in person, you are welcome to worship with them.
No matter how you are coping with these changes and challenges, we must all remember to extend grace to one another.
Coronavirus has caused the church to be closed thru 2020. Please join us for services online on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am. You will find us on Facebook Live or Zoom.Stay tuned to email, Facebook and this website for updates. You will find Pastor Lynne weekdays at 9:30 am on Facebook Live as she provides short messages of insight and devotions.
Inquiring minds would like to know if there will be a pickle sale or Christmas Bazaar this year at Jonesvillle First Presbyterian.
Sadly, in the current state of affairs, as the physical church is closed until further notice we will not be making our sweet dills or holding our bazaar and luncheon.
Services are held in the main Church:
Sunday Morning Services are at 10:30 AM
Sunday School for youth will be held during church services.
Communion is held on Easter Sunday and the first Sunday of each month.
Nursery is available during church services.
Current Events On Hold
100 Women Who Care - Jonesville Chapter - 2nd Monday in January, April, July and October at 6:15 p.m.
Take a Break Tuesday - Second Tuesday of each month, 1:00 p.m.
Bible Study-Wed at 10:30am
Grief Recovery Group-1:15pm
Faith in Fitness..Thurs. noon to 1pm Hillsdale College
Knit Wits - 1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
Pub Theology - TBD
Adult Choir - Rehearsals every Wednesday 6pm
Songwriters: First Monday of each month
Young at Heart - TBA
Grounded in Grace Coffee House..W,Th,Fr from 9am to 1pm
Do you need prayer? Pastor Lynne McQuown is working from home and sharing daily devotionals and prayer times on Facebook. She is available for you!
Welcome Baby Dow!
Welcome to the Jonesville
First Presbyterian Church family,
Miss Dylan Dow, daughter of Shea and Emily Dow.
Welcome , also, Master Bennett Barrett, son of Brian and Sydney Barrett.
Your church family is delighted to have you join us.
Holy Land Bound
Take a Break Tuesday
(2nd Tuesday of the month 1pm)
January Saucy Dog
March El Cerrito
April Hillside Lanes
July Johnny T's
August Burgers Unlocked
Sept. Local Eatery
October Pizza Hut
November Cottage Inn
December Hillsdale Brewery
Happy Birthday Jeanine!
1st Sunday of the month
Grief Group Our congregation has suffered significant losses in the past couple of years. Many in our midst are grieving – the loss of loved ones, jobs, relationships, health. If you are in grief, (over anything), you are invited to JFPC’s Grief Group. We have no curriculum, no agenda, no purpose other than to listen, to support each other, and to offer a safe place to grieve openly. We will meet Wednesdays at 1:15pm. (Come earlier for a crêpe and coffee
Back by popular demand – Wednesday 10:30 am Bible Study begins May 8. In May and June we will be journeying through the book of Genesis. All are welcome
FEB. calendar of events
3 Songwriters 6:30pm
7 Holy Land travelers return
11 Take A Break at Olivia's1pm
12 Bible Study 10:30am, Grief Group 1:15pm
13 Faith and Fitness noon
16 Pub Theology
19 Bible Study 10:30 am,Grief Group 1:15pm
20 Faith and Fitness
26 Lenten Lunch--JUMC noon
26 Bible Study 10:30, Grief Group 1:15
29 Body and Soul Day 10_2pm
Crepes for a Cause
Made to order savory and dessert crepes. We make our own fillings and use fresh ingredients. By donation. Proceeds are used for outreach to support local non profits.
Grounded in Grace
We are open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM!
We are now serving crepes each day!
Located in the Church Fellowship Room - enter through the back door
Coffee and Tea (Keurig) for a suggested donation
All are welcome – bring a friend or neighbor; meet a new friend or neighbor!
This ministry of hospitality began with a desire to provide a Christian environment, in which people can congregate, to develop relationships leading to greater self and interpersonal relationships with each other and God. 10% of the proceeds each month will be given to local, non-proift and service organizations such as Hope House, Community Action Agency, Domestic Harmony, Youth trips, or a food pantry.
Leigh and Jason Raddatz
Pastor Lynne McQuown and family
Bill and Kathy Adams
Grounded in Grace Coffee House
The Mick Sisters
Sharon and Scott Dow
Kathi and Ron Boyle
Mary and Tim Skupinski
Please email us.
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