August 2016 Newsletter

From the Pastor

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a];

believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.    John 14

            20 … And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”              Matthew 28:20b

Life seems to be made up of events….  Events that have passed, and those to which we are headed.  Events that I was focused on were the end of school party, Annual Conference, VBS, our annual family vacation, and the election of a new Bishop for our conference.  All have passed and are now reality / history.  Future events that I am focusing on are ~160 youth and adults from a Methodist Church in Illinois returning from a week of mission work in New York, using our church as an overnight stay on their way home, and on our upcoming praise fest 2016, and our 200th Anniversary celebration which will take place on Rally Day, our first Sunday back from the Lake.  In the midst of all of that we will be taking Joshua for his “move in” date on August 24th… Josiah’s first day back to school at St. John.

Life seems to be made up of events….   Things we are looking forward to… things that we may be feeling apprehensive about.  Things that made us smile… and things that brought us tears.  As I write that sentence I am reminded of my clown personality, Paradox, and his face.  If you have not seen him, he is a white faced clown with a big red smile, below his one eye are three blue tears, and on his cheek is a red heart.

Paradox came into my life early in my seminary experience.  It was a confusing, new adventurous time.  In the beginning two years of seminary my dad, grandmother, and

grandfather died.  But I was also embarking on the excitement of ministry.  I was busy.  I was a seminary student, the director of food services at the seminary, and held a part time position at a church, working with the youth and with some older adult shut ins.  It was a time of constantly looking back… and looking forward.

Back to Paradox’s face, the smile and tears to me are obvious, they represent the

fullness of life, the fullness of love.  At times life brings us huge smiles, at others times it brings tears.  I believe that a full life contains both.  I share often something I learned while in seminary (not in class).  If I have ministered with you at the time of a death, you probably have heard me say this.  When you laugh your body releases certain hormones, and when you cry it releases the exact same ones.  That my friends is God’s touch (my words).  And so, the heart on Paradox’s face… it represents the love of God, which is always there.  IT IS ALWAYS WITH US.  And it helps to keep in balance the tears and the laughter.

Summer vacation for me is over… sure we are still at the Lake, and my Sunday schedule is still in summer mode, but the rest of the week I am preparing for departures and celebrations, charge conference and the welcoming of a new bishop.  Shoot, I may even begin to look at things for Advent and Christmas…   And in the midst of it all there is God– revealed through His creation, revealed through the loving, saving grace of His Son, and breathed in through the guiding, sustaining presence of His Spirit.  Between and in the midst of tears and laughter…  there is God.




1          Hunter Loudermilk

1          Korey Stoneman

2          Janet Farman

3          Pat Sovine

5          Paul Miklos

8          Virginia Harris

9          Delilah Butler

10       Hunter Stiltner

11       Ed Gray

11       Bill Swanson

15       William Laurila

16       Marian Alderman

16       Scott Solomon

18       Norma Lambert

19       Mary Lee Verdi

20       Audrey Loudermilk

21       Trish Stanford

23       Mary Platt

23       Beth Sasso

24       Karen Keesler

25       Brian MacNaughton

26       Cheryl McLaren

27       Jessie Craft


Thank you to everyone and anyone that helped, donated, was a guest, or was a worker, … in any way to make the 37th Annual Strawberry Festival at Saybrook United Methodist Church a success. The numbers aren’t final but after expenses we cleared approximately  $1,700.  Always so welcoming to have fun, good food, & fellowship. Sue Nelson, Mike Hawk, Myrna Osten & myself, Earline Stiltner appreciate everything very much and are so proud to be members of this Christian Church family…


I submitted to the Administrative Council an idea to use our bus as a mobile church. The setup would be similar to how we do our Nursing Home ministry. We would put the bulletin and music in a Power Point presentation. The message would be presented by one of the lay servants. And we would drive the bus to where the people are. If you are interested in learning more about the mobile church, I have a short proposal that I would be glad to get a copy to you. Please call me at 964-6781 or email me at or see me at church.  If enough people are interested I will set up a meeting to discuss the proposal.

Peter D. Kovalesky


The Wheels on the Bus  Go Round & Round

to the Lake County Captain’s Game AUGUST 7, 2016

Leaving the church at 5:00p.m. The game begins at 7:00p.m.

Come and join us on Our own Church Bus driven by Mike Prickett along with 26

passengers traveling to the game.  We have purchased 40 tickets and 20 food vouchers. Tickets are $9.00 and Food Vouchers are $7.00. Hopefully an appearance by Pedro to run the bases and fireworks to  enjoy.

Thank you for your support and God Bless.

Membership & Evangelism Committee


“SAYBROOK PRAISE FEST 2016    August 21, from 2:00 – 5:00.

Tentatively, there are eight musical groups planning to perform right here at the church, they will be set up in two areas.

The music will range from bluegrass to gospel.  You may come and go at your leisure.

Refreshments will be available.

Bring your lawn chairs to guarantee comfortable seating.




Come Celebrate 200 Years with

The Saybrook Methodist Episcopal Congregation formed in 1816

We hope you will join us and dress in Long Dresses or Skirts & Blouses with

Mop Caps or Bonnets if you can.

Come Worship, Sing, Study the Bible, Pray & Share with Fellowship & Love …………………………still the same 200 years later!

Praise God Always!

it’s still important in our daily lives


 Our Prayers

Service Men & Women, Our Police, Our Country, Our Leaders, Our Courts, Our County, Our Local Cities, Our Churches, Our Shut Ins, DeeAnn Rich (Missionary), Mary Simmons, Erik Pimentel, Jean Hornbeck, Danny Craft, Kurt Brindley, Sylvia Slaybaugh, Pete & Sharyn Kovalesky, Phil Verdi, Linda Gray, Joyce White, Kami Powell, John & Martha Laurila, Grant Lewis, Estel & Sue Matthews, Lorain Reese, Virginia Harris, Josh Midgley, Jim Beitel, Milan Conrad , Sue Morse Kitty James, Karen Williams, Jenny Wallace, Ed Gathagan, Ken Livingston, Bob & Carol Loudermilk & Family, Priscilla Loudermilk, Sarah, Judy. Allison Smith, Penny, Richard & Donald Clugh, The Clugh Family. Jeff Powell & Garrod Powell, Robert Light, 2 yr. old Mason, Robert MacNaughton, Debbie Armstrong, Rob Blakeslee, Joy Miller (Charmaine Brink-Smith’s Mother)


Our Presence

Date               Sunday    WOW

6/26/2016     144                26

7/3/2016       104                24

7/10/2016     103                18

7/17/2016     132                20


Our Gifts

Stewardship Update

Monthly Report  for 3 weeks in July 2016

Offerings & Income                      $14,882.42

Expenses                                       $6,163.20

Income: Expenses Deficit      $ +8,719.22

Year to Date

Offerings & Income                      $95,924.39

Expenses                                       $84,304.79

Income: Expenses Deficit $ -9,006.65


Our Service


Liturgist                         Children’s message

08/07  Karen Klimek                 Rev. Jeff

08/14  Pete Kovalesky             Lou Buck

08/21  Martha Laurila               Rev. Jeff

08/28  Bobbi Heil                      Martha Laurila

Greeters 8:00 A.M.

08/07    Mary Lewis / Mary Ann Gage/

Mike Hawk

08/14    Mary Lewis/Julie Fields

Mary Clugh/Sylvia Slaybaugh

08/21    Roy & Earline Stiltner

Mary Ann Gage

08/28    Barb Laughlin / Mary Ann Gage

Patty & Dean Moore

and Our Witness

Some Thoughts

from Sharyn Kovalesky

This is part of an article I found online entitled “5 Things Starbucks Can Teach Christians about Evangelism”

by Greg Stier at

Currently there are about 12,000 Starbucks stores across the U.S. They are strategically located in high end strip malls, busy corners and Target store

entrances. They are designed to draw us in and give us coffee, snacks and

atmosphere. Starbucks has done the best job of any coffee company of

penetrating the market and saturating the nation. So how can Starbucks

saturate the physical cravings of

decaffeinated Americans and the church

cannot satisfy the spiritual thirst of

Americans with the living water? There are over 300,000 Protestant church in the U.S. so we outnumber Starbucks by 25 to 1!

So, with this as a backdrop, here’s what Starbucks can teach the Church when it comes to evangelism:

  1. Train more “Baristas” to serve

excellent drinks consistently.

Too many times the pastor is the only Barista in the church. Yes, pastors should share the Gospel in their sermons but the primary job of the pastor according to Ephesians 4:11,12 is to “equip God’s people for works of service.” Part of this is equipping their congregations to share the Gospel with their friends,

family, neighbors, co-workers, classmates and teammates. Do you have a plan to train your people to share the Gospel?

  1. Only buy the best beans.

Starbucks takes great care to buy the best. We need to make sure we are

serving the best Gospel! As Paul wrote to the Galatian believers, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an

angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed”

Galatians 1:6-8.

Too many times too many churches preach a “gospel” which is no gospel at all. It is a works based “turn, try, cry”

gospel which robs the cross of it’s power and make salvation about what we do for Jesus instead of what Jesus has done for us. This kind of Gospel is accursed and will leave a bitter aftertaste in the soul’s of the thirsty sinner.

Preach a faith alone in Christ alone

message of hope and redemption through the finished work of Christ and the empty tomb. This too-good-to-be-true message is too good and true too. It is the kind of message sinners will line up for like customers in a busy Starbucks on a Monday morning.

  1. Focus on the thirstiest


Young people are more likely to trust in Jesus than older people. (not sure I

totally agree with that). Of course that doesn’t mean that we forsake the older for the younger but if we are serious about saturating a community with the hope of Jesus Christ then we need to put our best drinks forward with the children, teens and twenty somethings

  1. Create an above-and-beyond

culture of love in your store.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were

together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

People lined up out the door of the early church (so to speak since, technically, they had no buildings!) Why? Because of the good news message and the good news people! There was such an

attractive setting of love, hope and

selflessness that people were drawn into their numbers daily!

  1. Stay connected to Headquarters to get the latest and greatest.

Starbucks stores stay tuned to HQ to get the latest drinks, designs, campaigns, etc. Usually this works out really well for every store in the field. But once in a while even Starbucks stumbles with their ideas.

Our HQ (aka “heaven”) never stumbles with the latest and greatest initiatives. We must continually be communicating with our heavenly Father to get the

wisdom we need to run these initiatives with prudence, precision and power! Our

access to God through prayer is what creates this line of communication.

Oh my, after I found this article I found there is a book called The Gospel

According to Starbucks (There are lots of books about the gospel of something!) by Leonard Sweet. He says what

Starbucks gets and some church leaders don’t, is passion and meaning.

Starbucks, any business or church that is working in our culture is becoming more EPIC – experiential, participatory, image-rich and connective. Starbucks took coffee, a catalyst for making good things happen, and made it an EPIC beverage that people feel they can’t live without. That, Sweet says, captures the contextual intelligence that Christians can gain from studying the Starbucks way of doing business.

Whether you believe any of this or not, it’s something to think about. Some

businesses and certainly sports have found something in evangelizing to the public that we in the church need to find. Too bad the Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t seem to excite us as coffee and football do.

Jesus said in Matthew 28:  19 So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of time.” That’s EPIC.


We were Blessed to have Rev. Ray Music as guest speaker July 10th. The following is a thank you note to all who were there at worship.


Dear Friends

Thank you for giving Rose Marie and  me the privilege and opportunity to be in worship last Sunday. It was good to see many friends and renew our friendships. I wish you the very best as you celebrate the upcoming 200 year church


          Best to All               Ray Music


Sales Tax Holiday August 5th-7th

During the holiday, the following items are exempt from sales and use tax:

  • Clothing priced at $75 per item or less;
  • School supplies priced at $20 per item or less; and
  • School instructional material priced at $20 per item or less.



The Students of Ashtabula City Schools Need Your Help.

We are collecting school supplies for the Ashtabula City Schools.

August 5th & 6th,12th & 13th ,

19th & 20th.  We will be here

Fridays from 4:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.

& Sat. 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Bus will be parked at

Tony’s Dog House located at

528 Lake Ave. Ashtabula

Tomorrows future depend on

Our students of today!