Current Newsletter



1455 S. 97th St., West Allis, WI 53214

Church Office (414) 453-3710     Pastor Kevin G. Tarvid    

Pastor’s Cell Phone for Emergencies   (414) 588-0159

Sunday Morning Worship                 Sunday Church School

 9:30 AM                                              10:45 AM  

“Friends Moving Forward, Focused on Faith”


Worship Schedule:

October 4 – October 25, 2015


Sun Oct 4 – 9:30 AM   World Communion

First Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4

Second Reading: Psalm 26

Sermon: “On Level Ground”

Liturgist/Children’s Message: Sally Tarvid


Sun Oct 11 - 9:30 AM      “Penny Sunday”

First Reading:  Psalm 22:1-5      

Second Reading: Hebrews 4:12-16

Sermon:  “We Get to be Bold!”

Liturgist/Children’s Message: Sue Smith

Sun Oct 18 - 9:30 AM      

First Reading: Psalm 104:1-6

Second Reading: Mark 10:35-45

Sermon: “So Much for Ego!”

Liturgist/Children’s Message: Jay Saugstad


Sun Oct 25 - 9:30 AM    “Penny Sunday”

First Reading:  Mark 10:46-52         

Second Reading:  Psalm 34:1-8

Sermon:  “Look to God & Be Radiant!”

Liturgist/Children’s Message: Sandy Reichert


PEACEMAKING  LUNCHEON is Sun., Oct. 4, & we have a have a visitor, Trace Metabele, from the Hunger Task Force.  She’ll take part in the sermon with Pastor Kevin,  & will be available to answer your questions at the luncheon!  Tickets are SUCH A DEAL!  For this delicious “Potato Topper” lunch, a HUGE baked potato, with MANY delicious toppings --just $7 for adults, & $3 for kids under age 12, on sale at the luncheon!


FALL  FEST, our BIGGEST, most amazing fund-raiser of the year is on Sat., Oct. 31  -- (Halloween!)  It’s from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, & there’s a HUGE RUMMAGE SALE, a RAFFLE filled with wonderful prizes (GRAND PRIZE is $1,000.00!!), a GIANT BAKE SALE (with some of the tastiest sweet treats this side of heaven …), a café featuring hot beef sandwiches & pulled pork sandwiches (& other yummy stuff …)  There are GREETING CARDS available, plus the chance to visit with church family folks AND members of the community.

   We NEED: 

  YOUR card tables, loaned for the CAFE.  

  Help moving rummage from Sandy’s to the church (on Mon. Oct. 26)

  Help SETTING UP the rummage in the church building, plus PRICING the things that Sandy hasn’t had time to take care of.

  RAFFLE PRIZE DONATIONS.  We know we already have the GRAND PRIZE; & a beautifully framed original water color by New Berlin art teacher & artist Leona Roesch; a “Bath & Body Works” basket; a WINE basket; a BOOK LOVER’S basket (which includes 6 mysteries & an autographed copy of our own Amy Reichert’s new novel, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake); & more.  BUT – we want this to be our best raffle yet, so your donation of a basket filled with tempting items will be gratefully accepted.

  BAKERS, who’ll whip up pastries that will make Fest-goers line up to purchase!  LOTS & LOTS of bakery is needed!

  Folks to set-up (6:00 PM on Fri. Oct 30) in Jack Reichert Hall.


  Pass the word!  Invite everyone you know!


BLESSING of the CREATURES is a special time of worship at GAPC, & this year we’ve scheduled it for Sunday, Oct. 25, at 2:00 PM.  Because some of the folks are allergic to our “furry family members”, the “blessing” is set for an hour when only pet-owners & non-allergic friends will want to be present.  This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our wondrous connection with members of species other than our own … Invite your friends to bring THEIR pets, too!  And, please remember to bring everything Fido, Miss Kitty, Bugs, Polly or B’rer Terrapin will need for their comfort: leashes or crates (for we want the pets to be under your control at all times); water & bowls; treats; “scoopers”, etc.  It’s going to be TERRIFIC!


SAVE THE DATE!  Sat. Nov. 14, at 4:00 & 7:00 PM, we’re having a “Wine & Canvas” party at the church.  Our April session with UW-Whitewater art teacher Kristen Monday was such a hit, we’re doing it again – TWICE,  in the same day!  The cost of $35.00 per person at each session  includes canvas, acrylics, & all other art supplies – though the WINE, (which Session has approved for this occasion) will be extra.  At this writing it looks as if Kristen will provide an AUTUMN painting, plus a Christmas one, for us to copy.  Plan to do BOTH sessions! WHAT  FUN!   (Limited to 35 persons per session.)  Additional details will follow.


FROM  OUR  PASTOR :   Happy October, Beloved!

            I’d like to continue our “Critical Mass” conversation with some thoughts on our motivation for church attendance…

            You know, back in the simpler day, from a purely crass commercialism point of view, the “business product” the church supplied was what some have called “Fire Insurance.”   The assumption was that, through regular church attendance, and adherence to all the expectations, a person could raise their level of confidence that eternal damnation was less likely in their future.

            I don’t know that such was ever a valid or decent point of view, but in any case, today it is even less considered.

Today, only about 61% of Americans believe in Hell, and disagree widely about how to skip the train headed there.  Most Americans believe that God forgives “little sins”, and therefore figure they are fine. 

Folks also don’t recognize much role for the church – many figure that individual or family faith/worship practices are sufficient…

I wonder.  Even if God is so gracious that everybody has a ticket for Heaven… (Universalism), I would still think that pleasing God is an important part of life.

If that is true, I have to believe that an ultra-individualistic faith practice isn’t something that thrills God.  Jesus main point was that we are called to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor.  Faith is a life that calls people to work, celebrate, and love together.

So, just in case there is a Hell, from how I’ve heard it described, I want to make every effort to steer clear.  And if there is something magical about people getting together to share faith, I’m all for it!

But I would be, wouldn’t I.  What do you think?  (God loves you.  Me too!)   - Pastor Kevin



Ed Griffith, who helped in planning & implementing the move of the church organ from the chancel to just in front of the pulpit.  What a difference in sound!

                and …

Janice Pendergast, our C.E. chairperson, who planned the lunch during the “Despicable Me” movie on Rally Day.  She’s been busy working on the balcony, as a space for the Sunday School kids to meet.  Applause to you, Janice!

                and …

Lee Larson, who barbequed hot dogs for us on Rally Day.   YUM!

                and …

Jay Saugstad, JT Gall & Ed Griffith, who got rid of a huge utility pole right behind church building.  JT tells us it’s been a thorn in his side for 15 years or more, as he tried to find out who it belonged to so we could find a way to get rid of it …& the phone company & WE energies claimed it didn’t belong to

either one of them.  Anyway, the issue has been resolved, the pole is DOWN.   Thanks, also, to Jay’s company,Basement Specialists, for loaning us the equipment needed to take the pole down.  We’re being ecologically friendly by RECYCLING the pole for use as landscape timber.

                and …

Sandy Reichert, who checked the office phone & emails while Sue Smith was on vacation.

                and …

Ed Griffith, who coordinated the sealcoating of the church parking lot. Doesn’t it look fabulous?

                and …

Music Minister Sheri Masiakowski, whose “Special Music” on Aug. 30 gave the congregation the opportunity to choose a favorite hymn to sing in that spot!  (“Here I Am, Lord” won by a huge margin.)

                and …

Kathy Doty, who sang for us on Aug. 23.  It was beautiful!

                and …

Mark Brodaczynski, who filled in as “guest preacher” for Pastor Kevin on August 30 & September 13.  Mark’s process into becoming an “inquirer” for ministry in the PCUSA continues.

                and …

Gail & Dick Kloes, whose help is greatly valued as church office volunteers! 


FOOD PANTRY CHALLENGE:  Remember the Peace  & Justice Committee’s challenge to us, to gather as many of each month’s  SUGGESTED items as possible, to be taken to Good Samaritan Food Pantry.   Here’s the line-up of suggested items for the remainder of 2015:

October: Beans      November: Holiday meal items (such as cranberries, stuffing, package potatoes, corn, green beans, gravy mix, etc.       December: Baking items (Flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, baking soda, baking powder, canned milk, nuts, chocolate chips, oil/shortening, etc.)  And remember, you may donate anything you wish at any time, for ALL non-perishable food items are needed, & gratefully received!


Please remember that the St. Ben’s Meal Program, in which we participate with the Chili Mac project, tells us that they’ve lost one of the churches which has been providing food for them for the second Monday of the month.  We’re HOPING to pick up the slack for them, by making TWICE AS MUCH Chili Mac when we cook on the Sunday BEFORE the second Monday … can YOU help out?  Mick Payton & Kristina Tarvid have been doing the lion’s share of food preparation, but your help would be welcome!  We’re thinking perhaps we can get together a GROUP on “cooking Sunday”, to enjoy eating a pizza while doing the cooking!  (Speak to Barb Brunett, Mick or Kristina, if YOU can help!) Additionally, if you’d be willing to provide SUPPLIES for making Chili Mac, there’s a list on the Peace & Justice Committee bulletin board in the narthex … anything you can contribute (including a check to pay for supplies) would be most welcome!  St. Ben’s typically feeds between 250 & 300 people, on the 2nd Monday of each month.  There’s great need for our help.  (Also – We WON’T need to provide Chili Mac in November – the Milwaukee Bucks have volunteered to make it, that time.)


Thanks to all who brought School Supplies for Wilson School, the WAWM elementary school we’ve helped for the past two years.  Before school even started, we heard from the principal that MANY parents had contacted the school, explaining that their families simply didn’t have financial resources to provide the necessary school supplies. Janice Pendergast brought the many back packs, pencils, notebooks & other supplies we’d collected to the school on August 17, & our donation was gratefully received.  So many of the 460 children there, through no fault of their own, lack access to essential school supplies, & the need for supplies is year-round.  There’s a list of needed school supplies posted on the VERY brightly-colored box located on top of the table in the narthex --  in which you may place the supplies you donate.  What a great way to reach out to children (& through them, their families), who need help getting the best-possible educational start!  Let’s keep those school supplies coming!


October, 2015





SUNDAYS  8:15 – 9:15 – Chancel Choir practices


SUNDAY   9:30 AM   -   WORSHIP

and  at

10:45 AM -  Church School for all ages

11:10 AM – Handbell Choir practices

Communion 1st  Sunday  of each month,

Easter, & Christmas Eve

2nd & 4th SUNDAYS - “Penny Sunday”


MONDAYS  6:00 PM - “Fit & Faithful Exercise”


3rd & 4th  WEDNESDAYS from

7:00-8:30 PM – Chancel Choir

practices in the sanctuary


THURSDAYS - 1:30 PM -People w/Arthritis Can Exercise

2nd THURSDAY of each month from 7:00 - 9:00 PM,

“Friends of Multiple Sclerosis” meet



“Spinning Yarns” knitting ministry


Pastor Kevin’s USUAL “Day Off” is Friday


NOTE:  Regular calendar events listed in the box above are NOT included below.


Sun Oct 4    8:15 AM – Chancel Choir meets

               9:30 AM – World Communion Worship

             10:45 AM – Brief Sunday School

             11:00 AM – “Potato Topper” Luncheon of  the Peace & Justice Committee *

Tues Oct 6         5:30 PM – Personnel Committee

                            6:30 PM – Nurture Committee meets  

                           7:00 PM – Resources Committee

Thurs Oct 8      7:00 PM – Friends of MS meet

Tues Oct 13      7:00 PM – Session meets

Sun Oct 25  2:00 PM –  CRITTER SUNDAY *

Mon Oct 26      9:00 AM – We bring Rummage to church, from Sandy’s * , & there’s rummage set-

                                              up during this entire week

Fri Oct 30        6:00 PM – Set-up for FALL FEST

Sat Oct 31   9:00 AM – 3:00 PM – FALL  FEST *



Be  sure  to  turn  your clocks BACK  an hour, before heading for bed on Oct. 31! 



(You’ll want to be here!)

 Sat. Nov. 7 – Work Day  - 9:00 AM until we’re done

 Sat Nov 14 – Paint with Kristen Monday at our “Wine & Canvas” event, 4:00 & 7:00 PM

 Sun Nov 15 – We begin a KRINGLE  SALE

 Sat Nov 21 – “Hang the Greens & Deck the Halls” – 9:00 AM

 Sun Nov 22 – Special Sunday School talk presented by Harry Koroghlanian

 Tues Nov 24 – 6:30 PM  Thanksgiving Service, followed by     Pie Fest

 Sun Nov 29 – Kringle sale ENDS at 10:45 AM