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January Newsletter/Calendar

Has another year come and gone already?  I find it hard to believe the time has passed so quickly, until I gaze out a window and see the bleak winter scene before me.  Just to be sure, I check my calendar, and sure enough, another new year has begun.  It is also a time to reflect upon the past year, and prepare for the future.

Normally, at this time of year, we find many articles in newspapers and magazines reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year, and re-examining those things that didn’t work out so well.  Allow me a few moments here to recap some of the highlights of 2017, and to comment on expectations for 2018.

One of the first things I noticed is that Sunday morning worship attendance has been slowly growing.  Our average attendance for all of 2017 was 66, compared to an average of about 57 or less for all of 2016.  I have also noticed that our Wednesday evening youth program has continued to grow, with youth of all ages exceeding 30 on most Wednesday’s. Further, the average age of our congregation has dropped as we continue to attract younger families.  The influx of a younger generation combined with renewed energy from the older members speaks well to the future hopes and obligations of Kingsley UMC.

Other existing programs and services also remain strong, such as our weekly Bible study programs, both the Wednesday morning sessions and the Wednesday evening group.  The discussions provided by these groups are proving enlightening and fun, and the fellowship generated has only brought many closer together.  But what has pleasantly surprised me is the increase in our Vacation Bible School program.  In 2017, we averaged almost 85 children each day, assisted by eager and helpful youth, and directed by loving and dedicated adults. I eagerly look forward to the 2018 VBS program, knowing that it will continue to grow, and can only get better.

As we venture into 2018, we continue to seek new thoughts and ideas.  And although thoughts and ideas are always welcome, what is essential is your support and prayers.  Perhaps it is time to ask what do we as a church want to accomplish in 2018?  Growth is nice, but growth without keeping God as the centerpiece of everything we do is pointless.  God is great in 2018; pray for His favor and guidance as this new year begins.

In His Service,

Pastor Gary Ginter

January 2018 Calendar

Monday 01/01             New Year’s Day

Wednesday 01/3         Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am

Wednesday 01/3         Church supper at 6:00 pm

Wednesday 01/3         Kingsley Kids and Youth at 6:30 pm

Wednesday 01/3         Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm

Sunday 01/7                Church Breakfast served from 9-9:30 am

Sunday 01/7                Confirmation Class at 9:30 am

Sunday 01/7                Communion served during morning worship

Wednesday 01/10       Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am

Wednesday 01/10       Church supper at 6:00 pm

Wednesday 01/10       Kingsley Kids and Youth at 6:30 pm

Wednesday 01/10       Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm

Wednesday 01/17       Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am

Wednesday 01/17       Church supper at 6:00 pm

Wednesday 01/17       Kingsley Kids and Youth at 6:30 pm

Wednesday 01/17       Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm

Sunday 01/21              Confirmation Class at 9:30 am

Sunday 01/21              Puppets during morning worship

Wednesday 01/24       Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am

Wednesday 01/24       Church supper at 6:00 pm

Wednesday 01/24       Kingsley Kids and Youth at 6:30 pm

Wednesday 01/24       Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm

Sunday 01/28              Youth Laser Tag in Ft. Wayne

Wednesday 01/31       Adult Bible Study at 10:00 am

Wednesday 01/31       Church supper at 6:00 pm

Wednesday 01/31       Kingsley Kids and Youth at 6:30 pm

Wednesday 01/31       Adult Bible Study at 6:30 pm

** Pastor Gary has church office hours every Wednesday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Pastor Gary N. Ginter

So, who is this new pastor coming your way? Perhaps the best way to introduce myself is to share a bit of my journey into ministry. Born in Decatur, Indiana and raised in New Haven, Indiana, my introduction to church life began as a child. My earliest memories are of attending church with my family. For the Ginter family, church was much more than just something you did on Sunday morning. We were a family actively engaged in worship, whether it was Sunday school, youth group, weekday services, or potluck gatherings.

In 1977 I met the young woman who would be my wife, Nola Thomas of rural Grover Hill. Married in the summer of 1978, we made Middle Creek United Methodist Church our home church, and raised our three children in its pews.

Looking back, at the age of 13, I was granted a vision of myself preaching in front of a congregation of people. Keeping that in the back of my mind, I became actively involved in our local church as I accepted roles as Sunday school teacher, Lay Leader, and served as members of the Pastor Parish Relations Committee and the Administrative Council. At the age of 30, remembering my vision, I became a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church, filling pulpit on occasion for other pastors.

In 2000 I finally heeded my call into the ministry and began the process of seeking to be a licensed pastor in the United Methodist Church. On January 1, 2001 I was appointed to my first church, St. John’s UMC in Columbus Grove, Ohio as a licensed Local Pastor. Nola and I served St. John’s for over 14 years, during which I completed the United Methodist Course of Study program at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Delaware, Ohio, a five year program specifically designed for United Methodist Local Pastors.

On May 1, 2015 I was appointed to Kingsley UMC in rural Van Wert County. To the Kingsley Church, Nola and I bring a love of God and a firm belief in the Bible, along with an enthusiasm for youth and an appreciation for the saints of the church. We believe that church should be fun and exciting, and offer a sense of humor combined with a deep spiritual belief in God as we tell the stories of the Bible that still impact our lives today.

We invite you to come join us and be prepared for fun, excitement, and warm welcoming fellowship as we seek the Will of God together as a church and as friends.

In His Service… Pastor Gary Ginter

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