First United Methodist Church - Yankton
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
207 W 11th St Yankton SD 57078 (605) 665-2991

Pastor’s Word

by Rev. Ron

We are about to enter the season that bears the name of Advent, for it is the season in which we celebrate the advent of God in history in a special way.  God reveals himself, but he reveals himself as God He is both present and hidden, he is both imminent and transcendent.  He whispers rather than shouts.  But the way he is revealed is so strange, so unexpected, so unbecoming of our idea of a god that we often miss him.

He comes to us in weakness and we expect him in strength; he comes as a crying baby, and we expect him as a triumphant general; he is lifted to a cross, and we expect him to reign from a throne.  Both in his familiarity and in his strangeness, he is our God.

John Thompson asks if we have ever pondered this fact that God is both present and hidden in everything all the time?  This is what Christmas is about-the presence and the hiddeness of God.  In that first Advent season he came, but he came in a way that not only revealed but also hid him from the sight of many-a helpless little baby born in a cattle stall in an obscure village on the very outskirts of the Roman Empire.

But is not God's coming always like that?  Is that not the reason we often miss him?  He is active in every event of one's life, in the interactions among people and nations, present in everything, but always hidden while present.  We may wonder why it is so.  In part, it is no doubt to keep us humble, for there is nothing more damaging in life than  the kind of pride that over reaches itself, that refuses to acknowledge its own limitations, its own sin.  We so often miss him, because the God of glory is really the God of the most commonplace.  And when "the ultimate becomes intimate" it is in a tiny baby who both reveals and hides his presence.

Phillip Brooks, the writer of that beloved carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem" has caught the mystery of God's coming in the Christmas season, and in every season, in his third verse: How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given!  So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.  No ear may hear his coming, but in the world of sin, where meek souls should will receive him, still, the dear Christ enters in.

Three days before Christmas, a certain mother was busy getting ready for the big day.  She asked her little son to shine her good shoes for her.  A little later, with a smile that only a seven year old can muster, the little boy presented the shoes for inspection.  The mother was pleased with the result and rewarded him with a quarter.  On Christmas Day, as she was putting on her shoes to go to church, she noticed a lump in one shoe.  Taking it off, she found a quarter wrapped in paper.  Written on the paper in a child's scrawl were these words: 'I done it for love."

My friends, those words sum up for me why God entered the human scene in Jesus of Nazareth.  When I look at the manger and at the smiling baby, I hear God saying: "I done it for love."  St Irenaeus, the founder of Christian theology, wrote: "The word of God, Jesus Christ, on account of His great love for humankind, became what we are in order to make us what he is himself.


“How Did Christmas Get to be this Way?”

Dr. Bruce Forbes is a Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College and was a guest preacher in our Sunday worship a couple of weeks ago.  He is the author of the book Christmas: A Candid History, and he will present a program this Sunday, December 1st. There will be a light supper at 5:00pm with the presentation at 6pm in the Sanctuary. He will be sharing highlights from the book, including some of the most surprising things he learned.  His talk, with discussion following, is titled “How Did Christmas Get to be this Way?” and it will be accompanied by the projection of visual images.  He will also have copies of his book available for sale, if you are interested for yourself or for Christmas gifts.

  One reviewer called the book “a forthright, accessible, informative, and interesting account of the evolution of Christmas customs and celebrations.  Thoroughly engaging and studded with fascinating details, this book will reward any reader who picks it up.”




Consecration Sunday

 Sherry Daugherty, Chairman

I want to thank all those that participated in the Celebration of Consecration Sunday. Those that assisted in the planning, did the telephoning, made flyers, served the meal, did the clean-up, and the list goes on and on. A special thank you for our Ministry Leaders offering guidance and prayers, Evangelism Committee in helping set-up the tables and conducting the Prayer Vigil, the Ladies Night Club for pouring coffee/water and assisting as needed, KFC for wrapping silverware and the Confirmation Class for cleaning tables, and especially to the entire church family.

Thank you also to the entire Consecration Sunday Committee. None of this would have been possible without the grace of God and our congregations willingness to Reach In, Reach Up, Reach Out by Reaching a Conclusion for your continuing commitment to the success of the First United Methodist Church. Be Blessed



New Adult Sunday School class starting December 1st at 9am in the Adult Sunday School room. Based on the Upper Room and Our Daily Bread devotions. Contact Bob Thue at 660-6051 or


United Methodist Women

The December meeting of UMW will be Monday, December 2nd at 1:30pm in the lounge. The program will include two parts, first, a follow-up from our November meeting. At that time all members were asked to do something this month to help alleviate the suffering and plight of women and children. Please write the record of your activity on the reflection card (an index card) and bring it to the annual Christmas Party. All women are invited and encouraged to be part of this mission oriented group.


Special Mission Recognition

Two UMW Members were recognized on Sunday, October 12th, for their service to UMW and our church. Lyla Gukeisen and Margie Stengle were presented Special Mission Recognition certificates and pins by UMW President Dee Carson. Lyla has been an active member of UMW since moving to Yankton. She has been the unit secretary and sent our greeting cards for several years. Lyla also helps with the monthly HSC parties and works at the Soup Kitchen annually. Margie Stengle is a past officer of UMW, including being President, she has helped with monthly HSC parties since they began and has delivered Meals on Wheels for our church ever since the program began. Congratulations Lyla and Margie.


Mission Moments


An Invitation to provide Gifts for Patients at HSC

HSC is requesting donations to make Christmas merrier for the HSC Patients by providing gifts. The patients need & enjoy: For Men & Women: T shirts, sweatshirts (all sizes needed), XL & XXL flannel shirts, sweat pants, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, handkerchiefs, gloves, hats, scarfs, pajamas, socks, playing cards, board games, stationary, candy bars, snack crackers in individual sizes, snack cakes, individual size bags of chips, pudding, decaf pop or coffee, sugar-free sweets, 30 minute phone cards, DVDs and crossword puzzle books. For Teens: T shirts (all sizes needed), socks, card games, board games, photo albums, word find and crossword puzzle books, coloring books, crayons, markers, stationary, candy bars, snack crackers in individual sizes, snack cakes, individual size bags of chips, pudding, decaf pop, and sugar-free sweets. Gifts must be received by December 5th, delivered to the switch board area located by the front entrance. Please do not wrap the gifts. Place them in a box with your name and address on the box. Thank you for caring & sharing.


Miles of Pennies Update

Miles of Pennies Update the Mission’s Committee is committed to donating the first mile of pennies to the Tree of Life Ministry; $850.  To date, the Miles of Pennies has raised about 1/3 of a mile totaling $269!!  Please help us reach the mile mark by making a contribution today!!  Donations accepted until December 1st.


Bell Ringers

The Salvation Army in Yankton will soon be ringing bells at local businesses in Yankton.  90% of funds raised locally are used to provide temporary, emergency assistance to residents and transients in Yankton. You can make a difference in the lives of those in need either by donating when you see a Red Kettle or by volunteering 2 hours (or more) to staff a Red Kettle at a local business Nov. 29th - Dec. 21st. If you are interested in bell-ringing or have questions about The Salvation Army in Yankton, please call Carol Pooler at 661-5153.


Butter Braids are coming! 

The Sr. High Youth are selling butter braids through Dec 4th.   If you order a butter braid from a youth they will be picking them up on Dec 10th, so you will have them in time for Christmas.  Cost of the Butter Braids is $11.  Flavors available are Cinnamon, Blueberry-Cream Cheese, Strawberry-Cream Cheese, Apple, Bavarian Crème, Raspberry and Caramel Rolls.   If you have questions please call Diane Kisch at 660-1242.


Christmas Program Practices

 Just a note to let you know when and where Christmas Practices will be held.

 Dec. 1st- 10:30-11:45am in child’s classroom

Dec. 8th- 10:30-11:45am in child’s classroom

Dec. 15th-10:30-11:15am in child’s classroom

11:15-11:45am eat pizza in child’s classroom

11:45-12:30pm practice all together in sanctuary


Christmas Program

Christmas Program, Our Version of the Nativity Story will be Dec. 15th 6:30pm. Please have your children to the church and in classrooms by 6:10pm. Christmas Birthday Party for Jesus in Wesley Hall at 7:30pm. If you have any questions at all or would like to volunteer your time please contact Denise Willman or Barb Hirsch.


Sr. High Youth News

By Diane Kisch

Here are the December dates you will want to mark on your calendar

*Wed., Dec. 4thRegular Youth Group 7:30 – 9:00 – Butter Braid orders and money are due!

*Sat., Dec. 7th/Sun., Dec. 8th – Sr. High Lock-in – 6:30 (we will eat supper together).

*Wed., Dec. 11thYouth Group 7:30 – 9:00 – we will be going shopping for Angel Tree gifts.

* Sun., Dec. 15th – Youth/Parent meeting in the Sr. High Youth Room following the 10:45 service to talk about the mission trip to Seattle (June of 2014). Christmas Program - 6:30pm followed by a Birthday Party for Jesus.

*Wed., Dec. 18th – Youth Group Christmas Party 7:30 – 9:00

*Wed., Dec. 25th – NO Youth Group – Have a Blessed Christmas

Sr. High Youth will again be selling Butter Braids.  If you want to sell and do not have an order form contact me so I can get you one.  $3 will go into the youths Personal Account for each Butter Braid they sell to be used for church related events like Mission Trips, Summer Camps, etc. Order forms and money must be turned in Wed., Dec. 4th.  The Butter Braids will be delivered to Yankton on Tues., Dec. 10th. 

We will have our Lock-in Sat., Dec. 7th/Sun., Dec. 8th.  We will meet at the church for supper at 6:30pm.  I need to know numbers to plan for supper – so if you plan to attend let me know by Sun., Dec. 1st.  I know that there are out of town sport events that day - those of you involved please join us when you get home.  If you have questions call me (660-1242).

There is interest in going on the Conference Mission Trip to Seattle in June 2014.  I would like to get an idea of who is planning to go so I will hold an informational meeting in the Sr. High youth room on Sun., Dec. 15th after the 10:45 service.  I hope to have more details from the Deans of the trip by then.

The Sr. High Youth will be hosting a Birthday Party for Jesus following the Christmas Program.  We will be in charge of games and food.  We will be serving cake so if your family is willing to bring a cake let me know.

We will be holding our Christmas Party on Wed., Dec. 18th – watch for details in the bulletin and on Facebook.

Diane's office hours are usually on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:00pm I will not have office hours Thurs., Dec. 26th or Jan. 2nd.

Contact info for me is 

665-1500 or 660-1242

Youth and Parents here are some ways you can stay up to date with what is going on or we have a group on Facebook – First UMC Sr. High Youth Group (Yankton). We also send out e-mails, so youth & parents if we do not have your e-mail address please get it to me.



We are doing great on creating our camel.  Check for yourselves.  It is half way there and we are excited. Our goal is to complete the camel and purchase it from the Heifer project by the end of December. I really think we can do it with the great effort of all the Sunday School students.  Thanks again for all your effort in helping us purchase a Camel.


Night Club Christmas Tree
            The Night Club Ladies have once again decorated a Christmas Tree at the mall.  This is a contest to see who receives the most votes by grocery donations to the Contact Center.   Please take some time to stop out at the mall and see the tree and drop off a few items.  Last year we won the contest and received a $100 and passed it on to the family that choose our tree.  We hope to bring in some good votes this year as well.  You may also bring grocery items and place them in the box located in Wesley Hall and we will take them to the mall for you.  Thanks in advance for all your support.


Financial Peace

We will once again begin a new study group for the Financial Peace course.  We will be starting this 9 week course in January.  This course is open to any new comers and the cost is $99.  Any past members that have already taken the course are welcome to come and review the course with us at no cost.  Financial Peace is a wonderful financial course that teaches you how to spend and budget God's way.  This course is written and designed by Dave Ramsey.  If you are the least bit curious, just come and check it out and do not be afraid to ask questions.  Contact Denise Willman or Laurie Baily for further information.


Meals for families and friends of 1st United Methodist Church

Another Mission of the church is providing a meal or meals for persons or families that have recently come home from the hospital, have illness, tragedy or other misfortune in their lives. Jane Gilmore and Carol Becker are the resource persons to arrange for meals after they have been contacted by the Pastors, Parish Nurse or family member.

We then contact the family and find out their needs and food preferences. Sometimes it is only 1 meal, sometimes meals for a longer period of time. However we do not overload the person with too much food, so usually a meal every other day is enough.

When you sign up please let it be known if you will do the whole meal or you wish to partner with someone for the meal. We have had a list of interested individuals, but it needs updating with name, current phone number, and best time we can contact you. There will be a sign up sheet on the table in Wesley Hall. Thank you for being generous with your time and talent and helping our neighbors and friends. Jane & Carol.


Drawing a Circle Around Women 

We meet on Tuesdays at the Fryin` Pan.  It will be from 7am-8am.  Come have coffee or breakfast and join us to where God is leading us.  We will be using the book “Draw the Circle” by Mark Batterson. You may bring it if you already have it; download on your kindle, or iPad.  If you don’t have it, come anyway.  If you can’t make it that week but want to join us please email me, call 605-660-2465, or text me and let me know. I am excited to share my story. See you there Laurie Baily


Reach Out 

By Don & Carole Hurley, Evangelism Committee

As we enter into the holiday season, I want to paraphrase a bit of “Thanksgiving,” written by Loraine Mueller (Pastor Stan married Don & I)

It is American to trust, to want to give what’s fair and just. To dream of bigger, better things, to fan the fire of faith’s brightening. To kneel, - remembering God’s grace, and rise - His Glory on our face.

The Gift that Remains

The multitudes are with us yet in traffic speeding down a road.  In shoppers searching, list in hand, each purchase adding to their load.

Recorded carols softly chime, recalling scenes of childhood past. Our little homemade gifts would stand - against today’s -sharp contrast.

The only Gift we really need, if all our things would disappear, is Jesus - who left everything to save a people He held dear.

No words convey the mystery or glory Christmas Eve contains, it towers over thrones that fall and Christ: EMMAUAL remains.

We are wishing all of you Blessed Holidays.


Having a New Baby?

“Watching Your Baby Grow” is a great resource for parents who have just had a birth of a new baby or adoption of a child.  This resource helps prepare you as your child grows to provide insight into the spiritual needs of your child.  There are many changes in the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a child from birth to five.  You can keep track if the development and well baby check ups, as well as your thoughts and feelings toward parenting in the resource.

It is often said “it takes a village to raise a child.”  Ask for help when needed.  Arrange for the parish nurse to visit you after the new baby to answer questions and learn about services in the community.  To request a free copy of “Watching Your Baby Grow” contact parish nurse, Susan Thorson, R.N. at the church office at 665-2991.


Calendars Available

2014 calendars, compliments of Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home, are now available. You can pick them up from the table in the Church Lounge or outside the Church Office. 

History Notes

140 years ago “The First (Methodist) Conference  held in Dakota Territory.

The Northwest Iowa Conference met at Yankton, SD Sept. 25, 1873, Bishop Bowman presiding. Twenty members answered to the roll call. A Class of eight men was received on probation for the ministry. Rev. A. Jamison, afterwards a pastor in Yankton, was one. Rev. J.T. Walker was the pastor in charge, and he and his people gave the conference royal entertainment. The average salary of the ministers reported that year was $383. The Church expected to have their new building ready for the Conference, but being disappointed, they accepted the kind offer of the Congregationalists, and occupied the building of the sister denomination.

From Church Tidings Newsletter


45yeas ago, Program for Consecration of Education Unit, May 26, 1968


I would like to thank the members and friends of our church family for the uplifting cards and expressions of love and affirmation offered to Marsha and myself during Pastor Appreciation Month in October.  We are truly blessed to be serving Christ with you!  

Rev. Ron


Thanks to members & friends at First UMC for your help with serving The Banquet on November 7th. We served 307 souls. The staff tells us our church has been serving this project since its beginning. Your faithfulness is greatly appreciated.

Missions Committee


Thanks to the KFC group for Community Service. Words are not enough to express my warm appreciation for your help. You are a cheerful, friendly, happy, ambitious group and I really loved having you and your parents in my “yard”. These services you do are deeply appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you and God Bless you.

Rose Nedved


I would like to give a BIG Thank You to Rev. Ron, Pastor Bob and the members that visited me while I was in the hospital along with the phone calls, cards, gifts, flowers and prayers.   It seemed like when I was getting down, someone would show up and brighten my day.  I can’t begin to tell you what that meant to me.  I appreciated the visits at home too.  God Bless You All for taking your time to think of me.   Thanks Again,

 Linda Fox


We would like to thank you for serving at the Yankton Banquet, and also for the very generous contribution. We appreciate your support of the Banquet. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful group. Thank you

The Yankton Area Banquet


December Birthdays

1 - Dustin Gusso, Dava Mier, Vicki Tanner,

  Emma Gobel, Steve Crawford, Jesse Giblin


2 - Samuel Willman, Rose Cap, Rodger Johnson,       

      Richard Maska


3 - Loy Gravholt, Terry Mier


4 - Alleysia Ugofsky


5 - Merle Brandt, Jordyn Cunningham,

     Connie VanDeWalle, Jane Gilmore,

     Sarah Karnes, Jean Schmer

6 - Mark Giziewski, Katrina Hackworth,

      Shaylor Platt, Ardis Henderson,

      Bonnie Gusso, John Iverson


7 - Gail Kudrna, Mary Hladky,

     Carol Schnebel, Shanna Helgeland,

      Dixie Foss, Madeline Nooney

8 - Haden Adam, Bruce Dutrow

9 - Jane Hornstra, Samantha Wampol,

      Dawn Popma


10 - Robert D. Lindsay


11 - Shawn Rabenberg, Kayla Odom

12 - Mary Lepp

13 - Michael Miller


14 - Denise Willman


16 - Michael Hunhoff, Suzanne Dahlberg

17 - Julie Dykstra, Michael Burgeson, Steve King,

       Lorraine Taylor


18 - Brenda Jensen

19 - Jeff Skonhovd, Melissa Rempfer


20 - Jim Sawatzke, Mark Droppers

21 - Carla Mentele


22 - Dan Guthmiller

24 - Darlene Ireland


25 - Aaron Dodd, Bob Stouffer


26 - Jeff May, Jerry Willman, Brook Thurman,

Jessica Landwehr, Dennis Kisch,

        Bailey Wieseler


27 - Jace Guthmiller, Andrea Jaquith,

       Madisyn Jaquith, Rebecca Pearman,

       Stephanie Dohrman


28 - Valerie Hummel, Eric Pratt


29 - Carolyn Teichroew, Lance Palecek,

        Darla Pasch


30 - Susan Becker, Linda Fox, Troy True

31 - Don Parish


In Our Thoughts & Prayers:


Blake Sime, son of Evie and Brett


Terry Triebwasser, older brother of Julie Moderegger is being deployed to Afghanistan


Faith Vandertuig


Vanice Johnson passed away Nov. 2nd


Sarah Anderson, Bob & Jane Walsers’ daughter


Helen Mischke


Sue May’s mom, Laurel Eberhart


Mary King


Connie VanDeWalle


Katheryn Hickey


Vi Waters


People of Thailand and Southeast Asia after the destruction by a typhoon

UMCOR who has a field office in Thailand.


Linda Fox


Ken Philippi


Marian Buchholz, Calvin Buchholz mother


Gene Alexander is at Sr. James Nursing Home  


Doug Baily


Kaitlyn Erickson, daughter of Tony and Lisa Erickson


Jean Droppers


Russell Peirce


Jennifer Rokusek


Chase, who had surgery


2 year old nephew of Leah Gratzfeld has been diagnosed with cancer


Joshua Scott Family       


Roland Wesch, classmate of Pastor Bob’s


Karen a friend of Jean Droppers


Kari Beil has breast cancer.  She is the mother of Logan Beil, Kids Hope.


Margaret Bartels' cousin Joan    


Mikael Pietila's cousin Ileah Guiterrez     


Scott Williams, son-in-law of Warren Peterson


Julie Dykstra’s nephew Chase Michael Oja


Erin Olson, Daughter of Tami Blum/Kevin Olson.


Text Box: Send your comments or questions to:
Rev. Ron email:
Church Office:
Tony and Shawna Fiechuck’s granddaughter Alexis Haggan.


Mindy Reining’s mother, Barb Wohl


Shirley Bogue


Howard Relf


Shirley Nelson


Josh, Mariah




Luke Pomeroy


Pat Keller 


Karen Droppers


Pastor Bob Cappel


Mark Giziewski


Velma Decker


Dena Heeney


Lee & Phyllis Skalberg


Don Boyd


Vivian VanEssen's sister Robbi, Peggy Johnson


Church family serving in the military: all men & women serving in the military and their families. Carla Mentele, Blaine, Mona Mulligan's son