Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!


Here are a couple of pictures from our children’s Christmas program. You can click on photo to enlarge.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Memories Continued

In April 1963, I went into the Air Force.  In November of 63 I was stationed at Chanute AFB, Rantoul, Illinois, for 32 weeks of training.  My wife and I lived in a  fourplex with 3 other couples.  We attended a Bible Baptist church.  Our total income was $150.00 a month.  We were as poor as church mice.

The Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving there was a knock at our door.  We opened the door and standing there was a couple from our church.  They were carrying a large box of food including a turkey and a ham with all the fixings.  The box of food fed four couples for a week.  We were greatly blessed by that congregations generosity.  I am thankful everyday for the gifts that God continues to provide.  Mel Hurst

There are 100’s of things I am thankful for and it is hard to put them into any kind of order or down on paper.  The first would have to be our God and his patience with us.  Next would probably be having been born into such a great family, and then of course the wonderful family we have.  They are all so loving and kind to us as we grow older.  But when I think of such things the first thing that comes to my mind is my brother David.  He is gone now but few days go by that I don’t think about him and the impact he made on my life.  He was 22 months older than I but he never did lord it over me and for the most part just took care of me and got me out of a lot of jams as we grew up.   A few things I remember were getting me down from the pine tree when I was too scared to come back down after climbing up to follow him.  He helped me pull my boots out of the mud when they pulled off my feet on the way to the corner to catch the bus on rainy and snowy days.  As we got older he was always there for me and I think I learned to be patient with everyone from him.  This is not very well written but the sentiment is clear I loved him so much and miss him every time I think of him.  Lots of tears are shed but still I’m glad to have had him as long as I did.  JoAnn Birkby


Thank you to all who have shared their special Memories with us!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

More Memory Sharing

I remember a Christmas party my family went to when I was very young and people encouraged me to speak to Santa.  I refused to do so, and had a fit in order to impress upon them my feelings.  Not wanting to have anything to do with the strange man.  Later I was encouraged to give a hug and kiss to my father, which was not a problem.  Years later, looking back, I realized my father was playing Santa.  Also one year my parents canceled Christmas because of their children’s bad behavior.  Fortunately at the last minute Santa came through for us with nary a cinder in our stocking.  Marcia Little

I have very fond childhood memories of Christmas.  We had definite family traditions that we followed every year.  The Sunday School program was always on the 23rd, we went to my maternal grandparents’ home on Christmas Eve, and to my paternal grandparents’ home on Christmas Day.  We always had special Norwegian and English food.  My favorite was lefsa.  It is made from mashed potatoes, flour and lard.  It is rolled out like pie crust and cooked on a dry grill.  After it cools, it is buttered, sprinkled with sugar, and rolled up.  Yum! Yum!  This will be my first Christmas without Mom, but I will do my best to carry on the lefsa tradition.  Christmas was all about family traditions, not presents.  Thanks Mom and Dad for all the wonderful memories!  Mary Zach

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sharing Memories

As a child my parents and I spent Christmases in Quebec, Canada with my dad’s family.  It was always a very white Christmas and after a wonderful meal, we all walked to midnight mass.  We’d open presents when we got back to my aunt’s house after church.  I loved the tradition and the pageantry of the service which was all in french.  Nancy Hurst

Memory 1:  When watching WOWTV news and listening to Christmas music during the Christmas season, memories flood back to when Grace was in NICU in Methodist Hospital in Omaha.  When I was there with her coming off the elevator into the sitting room, Channel 6 was always on TV’s and while driving to the hospital I always listened to the Christmas station.

Memory 2:  Christmas Eve, we always went to Grandma and Grandpa Zach’s house after church service when I was a kid.  We had chili and cinnamon rolls.  To this day we still continue that tradition.  Sara Zach

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Secretary Snippets

The first cold snap has come and gone, introducing the holiday season in the usual manner of the Great Plains.  Down under in Australia the population greets Christmas time in shorts and swimsuits.  In Jerusalem the climate is also temperate.  It is nice that the baby Jesus did not need a down comforter to keep him warm, so many years ago.  But to me it seems natural to have a frosty snowman somewhere nearby to help usher in the season.  The Percival Community Church welcomed my out-of-town family the other day so nicely that a non-church going clan is considering more visits to our house of worship.  It proves that evangelism does not need to be fancy proselytizing, but good old fashioned warm words of common sense and encouragement, peppered with some funny personal stories from the pastor and a bit of clamoring from the congregation.  The invitation from Barb Handy to join the delicious Thanksgiving feast was also a big draw.  Thank you all for doing so easily what has been a stumble block for so long.  At a recent board meeting the financial report reflects the healthy standing of our congregation.  Therefore we will be investing in a new sound system, carefully researched by and recommended by Jan and Aaron Zach.  Thank you to both of you.

Our holiday schedule has been confirmed.  Caroling will take place on Saturday the 14th gathering at the church around noontime and concluding at Washington Park Plaza community room for song and snacks.  The Childrens program is the next day, the 15th.  Christmas Eve service will commence at 4:00 p.m. allowing everyone to get home before dark.  Finally don’t forget New Year’s Eve fellowship at Marcia’s home on the bluff road.  Bring an appetizer to share and be ready for fun and games.

Marcia Little, Board Secretary

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pastor’s Thoughts

Decorating of our homes, yards, Sanctuaries, shopping malls, store fronts, main streets, city parks and of course the Christmas tree has begun in earnest.  All of it is done to create a sense of awe, joy, happiness and splendor that is often short lived.  Decorations are a facade they cover up or hide the reality of what is seen.  You can have a ‘Charlie Brown’ tree and cover it with enough lights, ornaments and tinsel to make it look beautiful.  Shopping malls and store fronts construct elaborate displays to entice us to spend money or to a least walk through the doors.

But does it create a sense of well- being?  For many people Christmas is a time of despair, hopelessness and loneliness.  A husband taking care of his wife who no longer knows her name, visiting a spouse in a nursing home, a loved one battling cancer, a father in need of a job, a single mother trying to feed and care for her children, a broken marriage, the death of a loved one, hunger, finances and the list is endless.  We mask our hurts and smile; we decorate our lives believing no one will see the hopelessness we feel.

Into this Christmas story breaks the voices and the message of the angels. “Fear Not, for behold I bring you  good tidings of great joy.”  A savior is to be born that brings the promise of HOPE.

May the love of Christ “Surround” you.  The joy of the Lord “Strengthen” you.  The peace of the Savior “Comfort” you, the “Light” of God’s glory fill and radiate in your life anew.

Pastor Blaine

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a very nice turnout for our Thanksgiving meal last Sunday after church. There were so many good things to eat, no one should have left hungry! Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends.
Click on the link above for some Thanksgiving coloring pages.  Something fun for the little ones to do while you’re finishing up that pumpkin pie!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas Card Making

Those of us who got together to make some Christmas cards had a great time.  Thank you Joan and Marcia for sharing all your supplies and talent with us!  Even Pastor Blaine joined in the fun, he was pretty proud of his creations and rightly so!  You can click on images to enlarge.

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You know how it is when you are so involved in what you are doing that you tend to forget things, well I forgot to take some pictures of all the different cards everyone made so all I could do when I got home was was to show you the ones I made. Marcia gave me a couple she had done, the one that says “Believe” and the white card was to show what you can do when you use a embossing tool.

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There has been a rumor that we may have another card making party in our future, perhaps New Year’s or possibly a Valentine one so if you missed out on the fun this time be sure to join in next time!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Card Making

Join us November 17th 11:30 to 4:00. Anyone interested in making Christmas cards please come and join the fun! Bring your imagination!


Picture source

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Harvest Party

A fun evening for everyone.  Here are some pictures.  More to come.  Click on the images to enlarge.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Let’s Go On A Hayride

We will be having a hayride, games, smores and a hot dog roast in celebration and thanksgiving of Harvest. This activity is for family and children of all ages and will be held October 27th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Come join us for a “Fun” afternoon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Church Window


Sunrise through a window at the ruin of St Marys Church in Nottingham, England.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

This and That

The other day one of the pastors at our church in Omaha talked to me about helping with the food drives during the year at church.  We talked about different things that all pertained to food banks and the great need there always seemed to be and somehow it was mentioned how nice it would be if someday the children of the world would have to be told what a food drive was and why they were done.  It would be so wonderful if we could work ourselves out of this mission and that there would never again be such a thing as hunger.  It is such a nice dream but one I don’t think we will see in our lifetime.  India is spending a lot of money on food for it’s people while some of the leaders in our country want to take food away from those who need it most.  Yes, I am sure there is some abuse of the system but there are also elderly children, and veterans that depend on food stamps in order to eat and feed their families.

It just seems to me if we can give big companies subsidy money when they make record profits and money to millionaires who don’t need it we can take care of those who are most in need.  I saw a little piece somewhere about how Joel Olsteen lives in a  $13 million dollar home.  So when he is asking people to send money to his ministry, where exactly is that money going? Just wondering?!?!

I sat outside this afternoon with several of my people at the apartments and had a really nice time.  we had perfect weather and chatted and did a lot of laughing.  It sometimes is simple things like this that are really very precious.

We are entering a lovely time of the year.  Fall can be so beautiful.  I love cool evenings with the windows open for good sleep but yet lovely warm days.  I enjoy the great colors that we can see.  I love how pumpkin flavored things start appearing everywhere.  I am sure there is some change of season everywhere to some extent but I can’t imagine living in one of those warm climates where it is sunny and warm all the time and miss out on autumn and even winter and the rebirth of spring every year.  It is nice to see God’s handiwork all year long.

Paul Bennett, Board President

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Secretary Snippets

The Church Board was so busy winding down the summer season that we failed to gather for a meeting in September.  Though by means of a Church Mouse, it has been heard that the Popcorn Festival in Hamburg successfully earned funds for our coffers.  Lessons learned from this year’s experience include the fact that cookies don’t sell well, although water and pies do.  It was suggested to curtail the grilling of hotdogs in the hot weather, and replace them with something else, which slips my mind at the moment.  Also, to have on hand lots and lots of ice next time.

October brings to the fore preparations for a harvest gathering October 27th, which will include a hayride, along with other fun & games!  Watch for more details.

Remember that the Pastor will be absent on the 27th in order to celebrate his birthday with family. Paul Bennett will lead the service that day.  Thank you to Pastor Mel Hurst, who gave a thought provoking sermon in September when Pastor Blaine was with visiting relatives.  The situation of the comprised sound system crossed my mind during the message, as not a problem on that particular day.

Enjoy the beautiful weather!

Marcia Little, Board Secretary

Monday, September 30, 2013

Pastor’s Thoughts

On October 24th, 1976; Dale and I with our two sons Daniel 3 years old and Aaron 9 months pulled our car and U-Haul trailer in front of our new home in Mills, Wyoming where we began my pastoral ministry at Mills Baptist Church, a small congregation of 45 to 50 members.

Thirty seven years later the service to the Lord continues at Percival Community Church among another congregation of loving, supportive and faithful people of God.

For me, the years have been all to fleeting but the opportunities to serve 9 congregations in good times and difficult times has been the greatest blessing of my life.

To realize that God could call and use me as an agent of His love, grace and message of salvation is often overwhelming.  All I can say is “Glory to God, Praise the Lord and Thank You Jesus for all you have done.

To each and every person of the Percival Community Church; thank you for your friendship and let us continue in the work and labor on behalf of the Kingdom of God.

Pastor Blaine

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Church Window


As I said I would be sharing with you many different church windows. Maybe I’ll refer to it as Church Window Wednesdays.  Here is a Gothic stained glass window in Sublimity, Oregon at the St. Boniface Catholic Church built in 1889.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rodeo Stand Group

Here are a few of the volunteers that helped run a concession stand at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo this year.  Click on pictures to enlarge.



Monday, September 9, 2013

This and That

As a young child we moved into the house I grew up in and a neighborhood with no other children.  All the people who lived around us were older.  They all were wonderful neighbors.  Mrs. Werner across the street still had a pump outside her house to get water, that fascinated me.  I would go and visit with Mrs. Finnell and Mrs. Zach when they were outside in their yards.  Mrs. Ware always had Christmas cactus around her trees in the summer.  The Dooley’s lived right to the south and Ed and Virginia Hamilton down the street became very special to me.  It was a few years before there were others our age close by to spend time with.

At the house I lived in Hamburg my neighbors were limited because of the location, businesses in the area, and rentals so close by.  There were not many children around for a very long time.  Now in Omaha there are children two houses down on one side and next door on the other and I have seen some out back and many more out and about when I take the dog for a walk.  The ones who live close to us are very nice children.  They like Grace very much and always ask first if they can pet her.  It is a joy to hear them outside and watch them riding scooters down the hill.  It is nice to be able to watch the future right in front of you and hoping that the future they all have is full of wonder and joy.

I also have the hope they won’t feel cheated having two boring middle aged guys move in by them.  I enjoyed my older neighbors a great deal and hope I can be as good a neighbor to the children around me as all those who were to me.  They are all gone now but I can still remember.  We all can learn from one another and not just one certain group.  We just have to be  open to the experiences that are presented to us.

Paul Bennett, Board President

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Secretary Snippets

“It’s all happening at the zoo, I do believe it, I do believe it’s true.”These melodie words, from Simon and Garfunkle, often come to mind when the house is full of family, and things get kind of crazy.  Also, as my dad would say, “there are all sorts of people in this world”, which is evident even in a small group such as family.  That must have been what God was thinking when he sent Christ Jesus into the world to help us work things out together.  Just an errant thought. 

The board seems satisfied that the mystery of the unusual electric bills has been resolved, through shutting off a high wattage light and maintaining a close eye on the thermostat switch.  The debacle of the sound system leaves us still in a quandary, which perhaps may be cleared with a review of it by Tom’s Radio, as recommended by Jerry Birkby.

Anticipated by the Board is the manning of a booth in front of Stoner’s in Hamburg on Popcorn Day, Saturday, Sept. 7.  Also another autumn gathering in October is in planning stages, with hayride managed by Jim Layman.  Perhaps some different activities than those of last year might be enjoyed, so if you have ideas, let Pastor Blaine know.

Marcia Little, Board Secretary

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pastor’s Thoughts

Summer is almost over and having been raised in southeastern Washington where summers were hot and dry with temperatures often rising above 100 degrees for several weeks, the swimming pool was a place of relief or running through the sprinklers in your yard.

Bible study has been focused on the wilderness or desert experience that occurs in our lives.  Walking through the desert can be dangerous and hazardous.  Heat, little food or water can make the desert a place for only the most adventurous person.  However in most deserts or wilderness areas an oasis can be found.  A place to refresh us with cool shade and water.

The same is true in those spiritually dry times that occur in our lives; health issues, unemployment, a sick child, a rebellious teenager, a failed relationship, financial struggles, loss of crops, the death of a family member just to name a few can be a catalyst that propels us into the dry and weary land that is wilderness.

A hymn states “O Jesus is a rock in a very weary land,” we need to be reminded that His hand is strength for us to lead us to a spiritual oasis where we can drink in the living waters of His presence and grace and find shade and rest for our body and soul.

Pastor Blaine

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Through The Church Window

Windows have long been a defining feature of a church since the beginning of Christianity.  Whether they are old or new, the beauty of a church window is often breathtaking.  From the older more simpler windows to the most ornate stained glass, they all speak to our hearts as we gather within.

I believe what speaks to me most is the smaller, simpler churches from days past.  They are not adorned with the fanciest of colored glass or the many other materialistic items know to man but were built simply to allow families a place to gather in worship and praise being ever mindful of what truly is important.

I thought I would start sharing with you some beautiful church windows I have come across so that you too can enjoy their beauty. 

Here is a stained glass window from an old abandoned country church. Can’t you just imagine the many people who once gathered within.



Sunday, August 11, 2013



Where there is faith, there is love;  Where there is love, there is peace;  Where there is peace, there is God; And where there is God, there is no need.

--Leo Tolstoy

August 15th  Wendy’s Birthday Gathering 11:30

August 18th Board Meeting After Church

Bible Study 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Try This


Try this:  the next time you feel disappointed or cheated in life, make a conscious decision to be cheerful.  Force a smile and thank God for the good things he is doing for you.  As your heart fills with cheer; the misery has nowhere to go, but out.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rodeo Stand


July 30th – August 3rd

Sidney Iowa Rodeo

We will be working the Rodeo concession stand Friday night, Aug. 2nd.  If you would like to help please be there at 6:00 p.m.