Celebrate! [December Edition]
More than 120 faculty and staff members gathered together on November 21 for the Faculty-hosted potluck. Faculty members made and brought dozens of dishes from casseroles to cakes to share with their staff colleagues, and all were delighted to dig in and have a good time of fellowship with one another.
Many faculty members wished to share their appreciation for the staff - one card addressed "To the Staff of Houghton College" shared, "Thank you for all the things you do to make this college a success. You are deeply appreciated and respected."
All who attended were thankful for the gesture and for the opportunity to connect with faculty colleagues on a social level. We hope to enjoy similar events together in the future.
L to R: Andrew Roorbach (Custodian); Nick McKinney (HVAC Technician); David Mayle (Painter); Chad Plymale (Director of Facilities); Don Taylor (Custodian); Paul Lowrey (Carpenter); Terry Fisher (HVAC Technician); Charlie Smith (Mechanical Trades Supervisor); Pat Collins (Custodian, Pool Operator); Dennis Erdmann (Grounds Supervisor); Jon Ellis (Plumber); Tom Finch (Custodian); Jamie Zuver (Custodian, Pool Operator); Josh Derck (Building Trades Supervisor); Toby Keeler (Carpenter); Linda Perry (Office Manager); Jessica Miller (Office Assistant); Sarah Lashley (Custodian); Rene Stempert (Lead Custodian, Pool Operator); Andrew Cahill (Custodial Manager, Pool Operator); Not in picture- Amanda Tullar (Custodian); Steve Tullar (Electrician); Dan Wolcott (Grounds); Jim Sylor (Grounds); Mitch Jones (Mechanic); Mitch Liddick (Object Relocation)
Sodexo Campus Services - Facilities, located at the Fiegel Maintenance Building (across Rt. 19 from campus) coordinates the efforts of the Grounds, Building Trades, Mechanical Trades and Custodial Departments as they provide daily cleaning, routine and preventive maintenance, emergency repairs, grounds care and project management to ensure that the students, faculty, staff and community are able to fully use and enjoy the facilities at Houghton College. For more details, please feel free to speak with any of our staff and visit our web page at http://www.houghton.edu/campus/campus-services/facilities/.
Chad Plymale lives in Bliss, NY with his wife, Jaime Plymale and three children Sam, Marissa and Makayla. He has worked for Sodexo for almost 10 years and moved to NY from WV. When he can make time for it, Chad enjoys getting outside and hunting and fishing.
Charlie Smith lives in Fillmore with his wife Connie. They have five adult children and four grandchildren. Charlie enjoys kayaking and sailing and is the Paddlesports club advisor on campus.
Jessica Miller lives in Belfast with her son and daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys playing basketball, doing crafts and cross stitching.
Linda Perry lives in Black Creek, NY with her husband Ron. They have four children. Kurtis, a HC student, will be getting married on December 14. In her spare time, Linda enjoys reading and traveling.
Josh Derck and his wife, Sarah, a faculty member, live in Houghton with their son and daughter. Josh enjoys woodworking as one of his hobbies.
Mitch Jones lives in Houghton with his wife Christine. Mitch enjoys tinkering with anything mechanical and traveling to see children and grandchildren.
Mitch Liddick lives in Houghton with his wife Karen and their five sons. When he isn’t moving furniture or plowing snow on campus, Mitch enjoys raising farm animals and cutting firewood.
Nick McKinney lives in Allegany, NY. In his spare time, he enjoys fixing things and playing with his dog.
Terry Fisher lives in Franklinville with his wife Lorrie. They have three daughters and two grandkids. Terry enjoys playing tennis and softball.
Steve Tullar lives in Rushford with his wife Linda. They have two adult children, one grandson, and one son at home. Steve enjoys tinkering with anything involving electricity.
John Ellis lives in Fillmore with his wife Viva. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Dave Mayle lives in Castile with his wife.
Toby Keeler lives in Hume with his wife Claudia. They enjoy time with their children and grandchildren, along with cultivating a large garden.
Paul Lowery and his wife Ellen live in Bolivar. They have two children and two grandchildren. Paul enjoys playing golf whenever he can get out on the course.
Pat Collins and his wife Janice live in Franklinville. They have four children. Pat enjoys playing basketball and spending time helping out the New Life Christian School in Olean.
Tom Finch lives in Farmersville with his wife Lorraine. They have three daughters. Tom recently “retired” from a lifetime of dairy farming to join us on staff. Tom enjoys being outdoors and caring for their animals.
Jamie Zuver and his wife Crystal reside in Belfast with their two sons. Jamie enjoys spending time outside hunting and serving at his church.
Sarah Lashley and her husband Tom reside in Portageville, NY with their two ferocious felines.
Amanda Tullar lives in Fillmore with her son. Amanda joined our staff this summer after several years of service at the Houghton Subway, most recently as manager.
Rene Stempert lives in Belfast with several cats and a dog. Rene has one son and two step-children along with three grandchildren. In her spare time, Rene enjoys ministering to local youth through her involvement with Youth for Christ.
Don Taylor resides in Caneadea with his wife Darlene. They have two grown children with five grandchildren and another on the way. In his spare time, Don enjoys gardening and traveling to Korea and Kansas with Darlene to visit his children and grandchildren. Don will be retiring this spring after 39+ years of service!
Andy Cahill and his wife Melissa reside in Houghton with their three sons and one daughter. When he is not attending a play or musical concert or watching or coaching a game that one of his kids is involved with, Andy enjoys watching any level of soccer and even referees for local high schools and summer leagues.
Jim Sylor resides in Hunt, NY where he and wife Bonnie raise their three daughters. He is a member of the Fillmore Wesleyan Church. Jim likes to listen to Christian, country, and oldies music. He enjoys playing golf and is a girls’ high school softball umpire.
Dan Wolcott is from Wiscoy, NY, married and has five daughters. Dan enjoys hunting and gun collecting. He attends Fillmore Wesleyan Church. He also operates a beef farm and has spent countless hours coaching youth sports in Fillmore.
Denny Erdmann is from Whitesville, NY where he and wife Julie raise their two daughters and one son. He attends the Living Hope Center. Denny enjoys Christian music on his commute to and from work. He really enjoys all aspects of the out-of-doors with a strong emphasis on family-oriented outings including sports, hunting, and camping. In the fall of the year, Denny is a high school girls' soccer official.
Andrew Roorbach and his wife, Susie, live in Houghton. In his spare time, he enjoys running half-marathons.
Dean of the Chapel Mike Jordan Holds Twice-Daily Prayer - All Welcome
Every day that classes are in session, Mike Jordan leads a brief time of morning and evening prayer, at 8 AM and 4:45 PM, in the Marjorie Paine Prayer Chapel (basement of the chapel). They follow a book of responsive prayers, pray for family and friends and read Scripture. The service runs no longer than 15 minutes. All are welcome - staff, faculty, students and community members.
Two Ministry Opportunities to Bless Local Children and Seniors
The Nursing Home ministry is coordinated by the Staff Cabinet and is an opportunity to minister to the people at Absolut Care here in Houghton. Various building representatives (noted below) have a list of names and gift ideas for residents. You can purchase one or two items of the gift idea list – you DO NOT have to buy everything listed. Be sure to put the resident name & room number on your package so it can be delivered to the correct person. Gifts are due to your building representative by Wednesday, December 11.
You are welcome to attend the Christmas Open House Celebration on December 17 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the nursing home if you would like.
Campus Center/McMillen House/ Science/Health Center – Kim Cockle
Operation Candy Cane is a new ministry invitation to staff. In the past, this project has been run through our Student Government Association (SGA) and has been primarily an opportunity for our students to minister to local children in conjunction with the Fillmore Central School Secret Santa program. Since the SGA was unable to take on this project this year, the Office of Community Relations and CAB are coordinating sponsorship. Due to the increased numbers of families asking for assistance and a decrease in sponsors, we are opening up this opportunity to faculty and staff too.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child or a family as either an individual or a group, you can check out the candy cane tree in the Campus Center lounge. The tree has tags for boys and girls of various ages along with their needs such as clothing and likes. You keep the top tag and middle tag that tells the store of the candy cane. Put your name on the 3rd (bottom) tag and either leave that on the tree or bring it to Kim Cockle in the Student Life Office.
Gifts are due in the Student Life Office on Friday, December 13. The conference room will be open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. so you can stop by and drop off your already wrapped or unwrapped gift, you can wrap a gift with supplies we provide, and enjoy a homemade Christmas cookie (or two).
If you have questions about either of these ministries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This month, we feature a devotional shared by Steve Dunmire, Director of Church Relations.
Traditions. If there is ever a time of year for traditions, Christmas is it. Most of us have traditions that are unique to our own families and it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas without those traditions. Jesus, of course, did not have any Christmas traditions. Christmas was not a holiday during Jesus’ lifetime, obviously, so Jesus did not have any Christmas traditions, but Jesus’ family had one thing they did every year as a family. It was sort of like a tradition to them. It’s described for us in Luke 2:41-52.
All Jewish men were required to make the trip to the temple three times per year – Passover, Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles. For people who were spread out at greater distances, this was very difficult, so some of these people would make the trip once every year instead of three times every year (so, yes, Jesus grew up in a household that was part of the Christmas and Easter crowd).
In Luke 2, Jesus’ family made the trip when he was twelve years old, and after Mary and Joseph left to go home they realized that Jesus was not with him. After a frantic search for three days they find him in the temple talking with the priests.
What really catches my attention is the first verse, which may not look like much at first, but hang with me and let me explain. Luke 2:41 says, “Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.” I never noticed this little remark before: Jesus made this trip every year for the Passover with his family. Why is it so significant? Because Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover. In fact some scholars believe Jesus was being killed on the cross at the exact same time that the Passover lambs would have been killed throughout Jerusalem.
I wonder how many childhood memories came back to Jesus when he made that final trip to Jerusalem for the Passover as an adult. Perhaps memories of Joseph, especially. Joseph was the honorable man who had raised him and been a father to him. We don’t know when Joseph died, but he was still alive when Jesus was twelve years old in Luke 2, and out of the picture by the time Jesus began his earthly ministry. When Jesus made that final trip to Jerusalem all those years later I wonder if he was remembering times when he made that trip with his father, Joseph.
Just as Jesus had travelled with his family to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Passover as a child, as a man Jesus travelled with his disciples to Jerusalem as a man and became the Passover Lamb. Just as Jesus frustrated the intelligence of the chief priests in Jerusalem as a twelve year old, as a man Jesus frustrated the authority of the chief priests when he returned to Jerusalem many years later. Just as his parents found him on the third day after he was lost in Jerusalem as a boy, as a man his disciples discovered the empty tomb on the third day after he had been crucified.
Whatever traditions you have this Christmas, the most important ones must be the ones that lead you, your children, and your grandchildren into the Father’s house, and help you to realize and remember who Jesus is.