—to the Welcome Class and helpers for beautifully decorating the sanctuary for the Christmas season, and to the Friends who helped put away the decorations in late December;
—to the Friends and family members who provided 27 beautiful memorial poinsettias in the sanctuary during Advent;
—to Linda Campbell for telling the congregation her personal Advent story of Christ’s arrival into her life, and placing a wreath ornament on the parlor tree to symbolize what she said;
—to Brian Lilly, Mary Clark, the cantata choir’s singers from Winchester and Rural Friends and other local churches, and all who attended the Christmas Program on December 15 and enjoyed fellowship around Holiday Desserts (facilitated by the Christian Fellowship Committee) afterward;
—to the many Friends and others who donated to and helped conduct the Angel Tree project that provided Christmas gifts for at least 170 area kids in around 60 families during December;
—to all who donated to and helped with the Community Christmas Basket project that provided significant extra food for over 350 area families on December 21;
—to the generous Friends who donated a total of $1009 during December to the Christmas Envelope Offering for Missions, to be matched with $500 of Best Special Projects funds. Winchester Friends will send at least $500 to Belize Friends Mission, significant gifts to the local Gas Help Fund and the community food pantry, and possibly to other needs to be determined by the Missions & Social Concerns Committee. Thank you, kind Friends!
—to Dave Longnecker for spending long hours helping technicians to diagnose and repair the sanctuary sound system after it malfunctioned in early December;
—to Al Groth for his help with snow removal at the church in mid-December, and for many hours spent in late December repairing water damage to the plaster walls and ceiling in the meetinghouse northeast entrance
Winchester Friends’ treasurer in early January will prepare annual charitable contribution summaries for individuals’ 2019 tax return purposes. They should be handed to you on a Sunday morning or mailed to you by mid-January. Please contact the church office (584-8276) if you have questions regarding your report, or if you have not received your expected report by January 26.
Winchester Friends offers a preprinted, numbered offering envelope system (1) to enable the bookkeeper to provide year-end charitable contribution reports to Friends for income tax purposes; (2) to provide a measure of privacy in giving; and (3) to maintain an accountability system for those who handle the church’s offerings each week. For the first half of 2020, the treasurer has prepared “repurposed” envelope sets from previous years’ leftovers, rather than recycling them unused and buying new ones. Those January-June 2020 envelopes were distributed in December, and most have been picked up by Friends. If you expected but did not receive a set, or if you don’t currently use envelopes but would like to start, please contact the church office.
During 2019, $400 was donated for produce grown in the Compassion Garden or in Friends’ home gardens. Thank you to everyone who contributed generously for many kinds of vegetables and fruits from the table. Just before Christmas, Heifer International announced that an anonymous donor would double-match year-end donations. That means our $400 became a $1,200 donation to help families around the world to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty by providing them cows and chickens. This continues a Winchester Friends concern dating back to 1946 when Sunday School classes raised $140 to purchase a heifer here and sent it by ship to Poland to help restock livestock herds decimated during World War II. Thank you for your help once again to make a difference in the world!
phone, email, birthday, and anniversary information. Thanks!
At Christmas, Winchester Friends gave small monetary gifts of appreciation to seventeen Friends who regularly apply their skills, time, and energy to staff and nurture the Meeting’s administrative, musical, technical, instructional, and other ministries. Those staffers send their thanks for your kind gifts. The pastors also thank the many individual Friends who have shared generous gifts with them this Christmas. None of the church’s work is possible without the stewardship and commitment of the whole faith community. Thank you to all for your gifts, and for your vital participation in the life of the Meeting all year long!
The Winchester Friends USFW held a sewing day on December 11 to help Western Yearly Meeting USFW’s project of making 250 kits for the Kenya Pad Project. The government there subsidizes the cost of sanitary pads to make them more affordable, but there are many girls and women who still cannot afford to buy them. That often means they miss school, work, church, or other public gatherings when they have their periods. There are times when women must choose between buying pads or buying food for their children. They fashion makeshift pads from rags or household items, and some resort to using corn husks or leaves.
Friends are welcome during January and February to bring secondhand clothing, household and kitchen items, furniture, electronics, and other sale goods to the meetinghouse annex attic in preparation for the USFW’s Spring rummage sale, to be held in March. Proceeds from the rummage sale help to fund the USFW’s many outreach activities throughout the year. For assistance in transporting your donations to the meetinghouse, please call the church office.
—to Janet Ross in the death of her husband Don on December 1;
—to Letha and Austin Cox on the death of their grandson Ben Ely on December 9
The Monthly Meeting for Business held on December 1 approved a 2020 budget totaling $147,946, about $1000 (.7%) higher than 2019’s budget. The new budget includes small cost-of-living increases for the Meeting’s paid staff, and it anticipates using $17,650 of existing reserves for college scholarships, trustees’ contingencies, conferences/ trainings, and Christian education activities. The remaining $130,296 is to be raised through Friends’ contributions of tithes and offerings through the year (average $10,858 per month or $2508 per week). The 2020 budget includes approximately $90 per adult member to fund Friends United Meeting missions activities. Thanks to everyone for your faithful stewardship and investment for releasing ministry into the world through Winchester Friends.
to IUPUI senior Kendra Holliger, who learned in early December of her acceptance as a first-year dental student at Indiana University’s School of Dentistry beginning in July!
The Missions & Social Concerns Committee in December chose “practical spiritual responses to climate change” as their focus during the first half of 2020. Please watch in coming months for opportunities to learn and participate!
In three weeks of December 2019, the Pantry provided food to 256 Randolph County households. (The Pantry closed from December 20 through January 1.) For comparison, 349 households were served in November 2019, and 302 a year ago in December 2018. The Pantry board thanks the many Friends who tangibly expressed God’s love in our community by generously giving time, effort, food, and money to help staff and resource the Pantry in 2019.
The following policy was adopted in 2007-2008 to help Friends understand how decisions regarding possible service cancellations
Winchester Friends Church 765-584-8276
124 E. Washington St. Winchester, IN 47394
for people struggling against substance abuse and addiction, and for the people working to help them
The Lord’s Table, Not Ellen’s
The very best “face time” is around an old maple table of mine that now sits in the dining room of the parsonage. That table began as a tree in a north woods and stood there far longer than it has been a table. I first saw it in a furniture store in Minot, North Dakota, in 1967. I was convinced that it should stand in a dining room on Tangley Rd at Minot AFB where Dale and I lived at the time. That was the last time it stood in a dining room in my home — it has always shared a spot in the living room with whatever other furniture had to be moved when it was needed as a table. Its drop-leaf feature allowed me to keep it in several homes through 30 years. (That same feature requires anyone sitting at this table to fight with its legs.) When Ron and Pam arrived in Winchester almost 20 years ago with a waterbed and little else, I quickly decided that the maple table had a new home. As you may have guessed, I have had a 50-year (and 50-pound) relationship with this table. It has been the bearer of many good meals and the center of many good conversations. But blessings even greater than those come from being face to face with people around this old table. On Wednesday evenings we gather around that table to pray for members of our Meeting, our community, and for many other concerns. And oh yes, we have Prayer Soup or Intercession Salad. There always seems to be room for more people around “Ellen’s Table.” Perhaps you should come and see.