Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year’s Eve


Remember, New Year’s Eve Watch Night at Marcia Little’s home 6:00 p.m.     Bring a snack and a game of your choice. Come join us as we welcome in New Year 2013!

Recipe for a Happy New Year

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all the specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past-have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time.  Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts.  Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many people spoil the whole lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing- don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution.  Put about one teaspoon of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday School Program

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Thank you to these little angels for delivering the Christmas message to us Sunday. They did a great job! I only wish I could have got a better picture. My camera was not cooperating.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pastor’s Christmas Message

The sounds of Christmas are beautiful, music fills the air.  In congregations large and small we sing the hymns of Christmas; “Silent Night” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “What Child Is This, Who, Laid to Rest?” just to name a few.  Shopping malls play music as we walk and shop from store to store.  Outdoor malls like Village Point play their music through outdoor speakers, and although the air is chilly the music warms our hearts and memories.  Radio stations air the top 100 songs of Christmas from Elvis, Andy Williams, Perry Como and countless others that allow us to reminisce about our childhood memories of Christmases long ago.

However the greatest lyrics composed for the world were the ones sung by angels to the shepherds; “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth Peace Goodwill to All Men.”  The anthem still rings today, for peace and goodwill is still the elusive dream of all nations and people.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.  Let us ascribe to be peacemakers in and to our world.

Pastor Blaine Pritchett

Monday, December 10, 2012


So many times in our lives we have a “Gem” that we do not recognize enough and say, “thank you” to our God.  In this Thanksgiving time (everyday should be) but in my story I come forward to share what our Church Community Building has meant to me and my family.

I awoke to this “Gem” in our community the night I arrived home from the recent Halloween Party.  Rev. Pritchett and his committee had gone to lots of work to provide fun for 26 youths in attendance.  All of the material was provided to each one to decorate a pumpkin, also 4 sugar cookies were decorated by each one.  Lots of “finger licking good” going on.  Decorations for the room were furnished by the D.J. Graham family.  Parents and Grandparents enjoyed the hayrack ride with the youth.  The men oversaw the firepit for roasting hot dogs, marshmallows and Smores.

When I sat down to have my sandwich last Sunday I looked around Fellowship Hall witnessing family and friends and with many hugs homoring lifetime Percival resident Isal Bohlen with a Memorial Service.  How many of those gatherings have we witnessed in past years.  There has been a community church to provide services to worship God, Sunday School, receptions, weddings, Boy Scouts, 4-H clubs, funerals, voting and dinners.  At one time high school plays were put on-on the stage.

I will never forget the one night of our Christmas party and a blizzard was brewing.  We could not get our car out of the garage.  You know what?  The party was held and Santa made it from Nebraska City.  Imagine at one time there were 3 churches in Percival.  Rev. F.M. Sisson a pastor in 1927 believed in the need for a community building and a fund drive was started and became a reality.  The on section of the building (dining room and Sunday School room) was the original Methodist Church built in 1888.  The Sanctuary was constructed from the Congregational Church built in 1896.  The Baptist Church built in 1876 was dismantled and used for a parsonage which is Violet Berry’s home now.  The home of the Don Shipley’s was also built with material from the Baptist Church.

In the year 2000 a celebration was held of the Tri Federation of these churches, history proves this is very historical.  Our programs read “Faithfulness Sustains the Generations.”  In recent years a wonderful display on walls in glass cases was prepared by Lynn Handy.  In picture we could view history of Percival and especially our men and women who served in the armed forces.  This “Gem” was a top priority to keep safe with the approaching flood and after returning home.  May each one of us show our gratitude to the volunteers and congregation who worked so hard to help us feel we were “going home!”

Mary Lou Sherwood

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Caroling We Will Go ♪ ♫

This Sunday, December 9th, we will meet at the church at 2:30 p.m. to go caroling.  Hot soup, sandwiches and dessert after caroling at Park Washington. Everyone welcome! Please join us!

A Note from the Board Secretary
It is time to think of the Christmas season, as Advent is upon us, and other events, including caroling on the 9th-meeting at the church at 2:30 p.m., a children’s program on the 16th, and a Christmas Eve Service at 5 o’clock in the evening.  Then, of course, everyone is invited to bring a snack and game to Marcia’s home on New Year’s Eve, starting at 6:00 p.m. for rousing fellowship. And remember, Bible Study is discontinued during December.
Please enjoy these special holiday moments with family and friends and stay safe.  Take extra time while traveling. Buckle the seat belt.  Remember, often, less is more; so take it easy, rather than race through the season.
Board Secretary
Marcia Little

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Student Profile, Katelyn Johnson


Hi everyone!  This year I’m a senior at the University of Iowa.  I plan on graduating in May, with a BA in English, a complete 180 from the Pre-Med focus that I started college with.  Until I graduate, I will be finishing up with classes and job hunting, mainly in the big cities in the Midwest or on the East Coast.  As of now, I am planning on working for a few years in college admissions or academic advising before returning to graduate school to get my Masters in teaching or higher education.  I’ve loved my experience at the University of Iowa and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  However, I’m also really excited about graduating and taking the next step forward in my life.

Katelyn Johnson

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

College Transition, Iowa Link Program

Undergraduate English Student

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Katie would love to hear from you! Here is her address:

Katelyn Johnson

332 Linn Street Place- #416

Iowa City, Iowa 52240

The congregation of Percival Community Church wishes Katie every success as she pursues her chosen career.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Prayer Request

Please keep Pastor Blaine and family in your prayers as his father passed away yesterday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Journey of Some…

I have been thinking a lot lately about our new friends from Sidney who have been coming to worship with us.  It is wonderful to have you here and we enjoy each and every person we have had the pleasure to get to know.  I have to feel bad though about what they have been thru and the things that brought to the point of leaving a church they had been in for years and years to strike out to something new.

There are some similarities to the journey of these people and the journey those of us from Hamburg went thru years ago. There was a group in the church we left that wanted total control of what went on. They felt they knew what was best for the church and would stop at nothing to make sure what they wanted was what happened. 

At the time it was an awful thing to have to deal with and live thru.  At times it indeed felt like a nightmare I may never wake up from.  It was painful and sad in many different ways.  I was shocked to see how cruel Christians can be to one another. It was hard to believe that God was watching over us during this time but he really was.  God had a hand to all that happened.  For if all that happened had not there is every chance many of us would have still been at that church fighting with those people wondering why church had to be that way and why we just never felt comfortable.                       

Instead God sent us to Percival where we were welcomed by a small group who were so warm and accepting.  Everyone was willing to let us talk and share what had happened.  The change we made was so much for the better.  I am in hopes that all the new people who have joined us have always felt that God was with them.  We may not always understand how he is working but we have to always know he is with us and has a plan for our lives.       

My hope is always that every person who enters our doors feels as welcomed as we did when we came. Also know that by attending church here you are a part of our family so you can always voice your opinion or ask any question.

Paul Bennett                                              

Board President

Monday, November 12, 2012

From the Board Secretary


It is a bit nippy out there! As my father taught me: Bundle up your overcoat, let the wind blow free.  Take good care of yourself, you belong to me!  Eat an apple everyday, get to bed by three.  Take good care of yourself, you belong to me! An old song from back in the day, by Helen Kane.  The apples at Mincer’s Orchard might fill the bill, in this respect, or a good pint of apple cider, spiced up with a cinnamon stick.  So that after cleaning out rain gutters for the third time, to keep winter’s ice from pulling up the shingles on the roof, there will be something to warm up your insides.

The church is looking forward to another Thanksgiving potluck in the Fellowship room on Sunday, November 18th.  That is before the actual Turkey Day on Thursday the 22nd.  It all seems rather early this year, so watch out and be ready, before it slips by without your paying attention!  The church bulletin and Pastor Blaine from the pulpit, will keep us advised as to any updates for this event.

The November board meeting will be the second Sunday of the month, as to not interfere with our potluck.  That would be the 11th.  Caroling is planned for the 9th of December, at 3 o’clock, and a get-together with soup afterwards.  But maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves talking about that.  Let’s slow down the season and enjoy it mindfully, and not hop from one activity to another.  In Houston, it was reported on the television, Christmas decorations with music piped over loudspeakers, were already up before Halloween.

As for now, the autumn decor about the church makes for a festive ambiance.  We thank Paul Bennett and other elves for their thoughtful and creative endeavors.


Board Secretary

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our 94 year old faithful member Isal Bohlen passed away November 4,
2012.  A luncheon for family and friends to celebrate her life will be
held at Percival Community Church on Sunday November11, at 2:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Student Profile…Doug Raymond

Doug Raymond is a sophomore student at Northwest Missouri State University.

He is the son of Rusty and Mindy Raymond.

Doug lists his favorite movie as “Remember the Titans.”

In answer to the question, What have you learned about your career choice, he responded that the medical field is a growing field and they are always needing new employees.

He loves freedom and meeting new people as the best part of his college experience so far. His words of wisdom are to live life to the fullest and look back with no regrets.

This is Doug’s last year at NWMSU taking general educations and his plan is to attend Medical School(undecided) next year to begin his journey of becoming a Radiologic  Technologist.

The congregation of Percival Community Church wishes Doug every success as he pursues his chosen career.


 If you would like to send a note of encouragement to Doug, you can do so at the following address:

                       Doug Raymond

                       310 Tower Suites West

                       900 College Park Dr.

                       Maryville, MO  64468

October Student of the month:

  Joel DeLong  103 Stanton Ave. Apt. 35  Ames, IA 50010

September Student of the month:

 Ethan Burge                                        2500 College Road Village 4-H-2   Council Bluffs, IA 51503




Friday, November 2, 2012

Pastor Blaine Celebrates His Ministry

On October 28th, Pastor Blaine celebrated thirty-six years of pastoral ministry, when he stood for the first time at Mills Baptist Church, Mills, Wyoming.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is giving thanks and remembering the labor of love, and praying for those small groups of early Christians who sought to live and serve in light of the Gospel truths.

So it’s in Thanksgiving that I recall those churches that I have been privileged to serve.

From that first church we moved to Timber Lake, South Dakota; my first rural farming congregation where I learned dinner was not at 6:00 p.m. but 12:00 noon and that north, south, east and west were the directions to visiting someone and not right or left.  It took awhile! Daughter Larissa was born during this tenure.

Next was Buena Baptist Church in Buena, Washington, the heart of apple and Bing cherry orchards.

Following there we located at Immanuel Baptist Church in downtown Phoenix, AZ.  Living in Tempe, AZ. The memories here for at least our middle child Aaron, was living in five different locations and his attending three different schools in three years.

Our next journey was to Simla Baptist Church in Simla, Colorado. This is where Daniel was introduced and met his very best friend Jarrod Ackley. This friendship continues to this day and Daniel travels to visit him and his family now living in Florida.

Moving then to Viborg Baptist Church, Viborg, South Dakota. This was my first and only two church ministries pastoring both Turkey Valley Baptist Church and Viborg.

On to Hamburg, Iowa for 15 years of serving the Lord, during the best of times and through some darker moments. Realizing that " All things work together for good."

Then Albion, NE in Boone County where the Lord challenged both the congregation and me to ministering to others and to look outside the “Box.” The Lord used all of us to accomplish many ministries involving local outreach missions. Here the Wednesday night meals both in and out of the church began the catalyst for serving the community.

Finally Percival Community Church for four years and God has re-united me with special friends. The work here continues to grow and confound. Not even a flood can thwart the work for which all of us are called. The one thing I know is this will be the final act, whenever God dictates. You can feel the love of God here and the desire to serve Him even in the smallest of things.

So I thank God for all these congregations, even thought some have closed their doors.  But I’ll be forever grateful to the Percival Community Church which has made the last better than the first.

Let us continue to serve the Lord in both word and deed.

 Pastor Blaine

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More of the Harvest Festival

Next we decorated some pumpkin sugar cookies to take home and share with our families. Don’t forget you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

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We also got to decorate some pumpkins!

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Once we got all that accomplished we were pretty hungry so we started to roast our hot dogs and then we got to make some yummy smores!! 

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I think it’s safe to say everyone had a pretty good time!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Harvest Festival

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Pastor Blaine started the evening off with two teams having to pass an apple behind their back to the next person in line.

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Then the last person had to drop their apple from behind their back into the bucket.

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Blaine is helping them get started.

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Here we have some visiting going on while waiting for the fun to begin.

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Time to load up for the hay rack ride.

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Ok, we made it back from the hayride, brrrr….it was cold! Now we’re coming in to warm up and receive our instructions from Blaine!

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Too many pictures for one post, so stay tuned for more to come and see what Blaine has us doing next!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Harvest Festival- Sunday, October 28th



 Don’t forget!  Sunday Oct. 28th we will be having a Harvest Festival from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.  This event is for everyone of all ages; young-old and in between.  Come and enjoy the food, fellowship and fun! 

A weiner roast…


Marshmallow roast…


and hay-rack ride will be part of the activities.


Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pastor’s Thoughts

Many of you know that we have a 39 year old son with special needs.  As a child most of our moves in the pastorate have been in seeking to provide for his educational opportunities. Now, as an adult Dan is truly “special.”  He works approximately 20 hours a week at a Sports Bowling Center in Elkhorn, helps manage the D.C. West football and basketball team league and has made friends that I can count from Idaho to Florida to Malvern and Hamburg.  The other night he and I were playing “Wheel of Fortune” and with very few letters revealed he spelled out the answer, “Quantum Physics.” I asked him how he knew the answer and he replied, “I’m smart you know and Mrs. Raggow taught me how to spell.” NUH! For a moment I thought who has special needs?

I began thinking, aren’t we all needy in more ways than one? We have emotional needs, mental needs, physical needs and social needs and the list grows longer.  Our heavenly Father says needy children believe in me, trust in me, have faith in me, and I will provide abundantly above anything you would desire. In other words, “I the Lord God, creator of all things, will provide and supply All Your Needs.”

One thing I need to mention, Dan attends worship at the bowling alley at a satellite outreach of Westside Church.

As a child; He trusts’ He believes and has put his faith in his Heavenly Father and his Heavenly Father is providing very well for him.

In His Care and Keeping,

Pastor Blaine Pritchett

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame 2012

Fremont County

JoAnn Birkby

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JoAnn Birkby started out as a nine year 4-H er’ in Nodaway County Missouri.  During that time, she had cattle, cooking, sewing and home improvement projects.   Her fair career in Fremont County started as a newlywed.. The first year she was married she attended and viewed the open class exhibits.  The following year JoAnn an avid gardener entered her onions and won a blue ribbon. The rest as they say is history. She has been a prominent fixture of the Fremont County 4-H program fair for many years. She helped as a 4-H mom, as a 4-H leader for 12 years, as a fair board member for 24 years and 35 years as the cherry pie superintendent. To some it may not seem like a major or stressful job, however, the 4-H’ers (70) last year made their pie crusts in front of an audience, added the filling to the crust, and handed the pies over to JoAnn to bake.  They are then sold at auction to raise funds for the Citizenship Washington Focus trip. The pies are a major fundraiser for the CWF4-H’ers. Some families request JoAnn to have her picture taken with the cherry pie bakers every year. Asked about her involvement with the fair, JoAnn responded that she most enjoys BEING at the fair.  Seeing the beautiful paintings and fabulous wood working things is another source of enjoyment.  The most unusual  exhibit was a child size bull dozer that actually worked.  She loves to visit with people of all ages who make entries in the open class,

Thank you JoAnn for your many years of dedication, enthusiasm and support!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly


Nancy Newlon has written and shared this amazing information with us about the Monarch Butterfly.  It is so very interesting! Thanks Nancy!

When God created the wonders of nature, he shrouded one of his most fragile creations, the monarch butterfly, in mystery.

A few years ago I read an article about an organization called Monarch Watch and their tagging program of the monarch butterfly.  By tagging, scientists were learning the story of the monarch’s remarkable migration.  For several years I had noticed in the fall there were large numbers of monarchs hanging from my trees and floating through my back yard. After reading the article I realized my home was on the fall migration route of the monarch. I signed up for the tagging program and on September 11, 2000, I tagged my first monarch. Since that time I have tagged 100’s of monarchs. In 2003 I was excited to get a letter from Monarch Watching saying that a butterfly I had tagged had been recovered.  It said that monarch No. BGW512 which I had tagged on 9/11/2002 had been recovered in ElRosario, Mexico by Leonel Garcia Martinez on 3/7/2003.  This monarch traveled 1,485 miles.   WOW!

Since I started tagging monarchs I have learned so many interesting facts about this butterfly.  During the monarch’s migration to its winter home in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico, it can travel up to 3,000 miles. This winter home is only 70 square miles. If you combined the Iowa counties of Fremont, Page, Taylor, Pottawattamie, Montgomery, and Adams, it would be an area approximately 70 square miles.   The monarch migration is also amazing because the monarch returning to Mexico each fall is the great-great-great grandchild of the butterfly that left the previous spring. Monarchs who breed early in the summer live only a few weeks and are called summer monarchs. Adults die shortly after mating and laying eggs. Females lay their eggs only on milkweed plants and each female lays about 400 eggs. The egg is no bigger than the head of a pin.

Several generations of short lived monarchs are produced in early to mid-summer. However, in late August, shorter days and colder temperatures cause the emerging monarchs to postpone reproductive maturity. This generation is called the winter monarch and they migrate to the little 70 square mile winter home in Mexico. Remember, this is a place they have never been. When the weather starts to warm in the early spring, these winter monarchs will start heading north and after mating and laying eggs, they will die. The monarchs born are the short lived summer monarchs and they are the start of a new generation of monarchs.

For 100’s of years the monarch butterfly has found its way home to where its great-great-great grandparents lived the winter before.  Scientists are baffled how a frail butterfly finds its way to the wintering grounds from a summer birthplace half a continent away.  It can’t be from memory because this generation of monarchs has never been there.  Scientists speculate the butterfly might rely on celestial navigation-possibly the rays of the sun to guide its flight. I am not baffled by the monarch’s precise navigation mechanism.  It is just one of the wonders of nature created by God.

--Nancy Newlon