“Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” – Acts 17:22-23 (NRSV)  

 My sense is that a large part of Paul’s missionary work (and most missionary work since) is about studying the community, and listening to the people.  Before bringing his message, Paul spent time studying and listening.  If you continue to read in the Bible after verse 23, you find that he preaches a message unique to the Athenians, because of what he has learned about them. 

 When I look at the state of Maple Street Church I see a situation reflected in most churches through this country, Canada, Europe, and Australia:  a church that is in decline, largely due to fewer of the younger generations being involved.  While individual churches are exceptions, overall there are a growing number of persons under 40 who have never connected with church life, and large numbers of young people who have left the church (and some of those have left faith entirely). 

 What I find striking is that while this has been going on right in front of us, we of the “older generations” have done little about it.  It’s not like this is a problem way out there, beyond our everyday life.  Most of us know plenty of young people, even within our own families, and have never addressed the issue of why church and faith do not seem to interest them.  Or, if they have told us that church is boring or irrelevant to their lives, we simply shrug our shoulders like we can’t do anything to change it. 

 Those of us in smaller churches sometimes assume that all young people, if they have any interest in faith, are interested only in being consumers of large gatherings, professional “entertainment-style” worship, and children's programs.  We may think that we have to cater to the younger generations in a way that loses the essence of church and faith.  Yet even these large church programs are also finding young people leaving the church.    

 In 2011, David Kinnaman published You Lost Me (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books), in which he shared the results of a major study done on young Christians (ages 18-29 at the time) who had left the church.  Since the study is now ten years old, those persons are 28-39 now, but I suspect because the trends have continued, most of what he discovered would relate to young Christians under 40.   

 The bottom line as I see it is that most churches (large and small) have failed young people because we have not listened.  Most young people are not looking for the church to cater to them, but they often felt ignored or simply a commodity within church life. 

 I think that the book is helpful as a guide to open discussions with the younger members of our family, and other young people that might be a part of your life.  My suspicion is that even if neither of you have read the book, you would get a reaction if you brought up any one or more of these six points: 

        1.      Overprotective:  Many young Christians have left the church because their parents and the church seemed to be                    afraid of the outside world, even movies and music, and they did not want to deal with the complexities of real world              living. 

       2.      Shallow: Many young Christians have left the church because the church seemed only to care about their being                    there while the church continued the same old things.  They felt bored; the church did little to prepare them for a                  career, for finding their purpose in life, for growing spiritually, or to be prepared for real life. 


3.      Anti-Science: Young Christians are educated in science, and many choose careers that depend on science, but many have left the church because the church seemed out of step with the scientific world, fixated on creation vs. evolution, making complex things too simple, and too confident that they have all the answers. 


4.      Repressive:  Many young Christians have left the church because the traditional view of sexuality and the “rules” of the church seemed out of date to them, that they had to lead a double life between their faith and real life, that they were continually being judged. 


5.      Exclusive: Many young Christians have left the church because the church felt more like a country club, only for insiders; the church was not open to their friends who were of a different religion or race or orientation – even forcing them to choose faith or friends. 


6.      Doubtless: Many young Christians have left the church because many things in life have caused them to doubt their faith: a crisis, death of a loved one, intellectual questions, depression, college experience; and they did not feel they could ask their questions or talk about their doubts in church. 


I believe that the feedback you get from your connections will be helpful for all of us as we seek to be a church that not only meets the needs of this community, but trains people so that they can make a difference.  I don’t believe there is one right answer: each church has its unique calling, and none of them are meant to be the same.  But I believe they all start with careful listening to our community and listening for the Holy Spirit.   

So I would be very interesting in hearing about what you hear. 

                             Yours in Christ,




Trunk-or-Treat will be on Thursday, October 28, from 6-7:30.  There will be a sign up sheet for those that wish to hand out candy in our parking lot.  If you would like to drop off candy, we will be happy to hand it out.  If it rains, we will be inside in the basement.

Contact Dennice with questions.



We are collecting label-free used pill bottles.  You have heard about this project from John Morrison.  These bottles are being collected, as a service project, by the Tarhe Lions and shipped to medical sites in disadvantaged countries.  They are used to distribute medication to patients. You may deposit your old bottles with caps attached in the marked brown can, in the work room, anytime you are at church.  (Be sure to remove all labels.)

Thank you,

Curt Kruse for Tarhe Lions 


Coloring Fellowship

Maple Street Ladies and friends,

We will meet on the third Tuesday of each month in the gathering area. 

Please bring coloring books and coloring pencils; otherwise, the books and pencils will be provided if you don’t have them.  Snacks and drinks will also be provided.

Our time together will include a devotion, prayer, and lots of laughter, sharing, and fellowship.  Remember, that coloring is a good source of exercise for hands and fingers.

For any information, please contact Becky Fairchild at 740-654-2668.


  • October Celebrations

October Birthdays

     4 Sandy Williams

   6 Chuck Haley (83)

   7 Sandra Wince

   9 Eric Craiglow

   9 Michael Williams

  20 David Donald

  25 Robyn McBroom

  29 Dennice Mattlin

  30 Linda Bankes


The Message was on Christian friends at the Primrose Worship Service in September.
What a wonderful church service we had on September 19th.  Josh Morrison from R.I.S.E., in the Dominican Republic, was the guest speaker.  Josh spoke of how God had led him to his work there after several attempts to figure where and how he was to make his life’s work serving others and bringing them to know God and the love He has for all of us.  Maple Street Church through the Missions Committee has supported the work of R.I.S.E. for several years.   Sunday was no exception.  We thank you for the support you showed Josh.
A special thanks to “Last Chance” for providing special music making the morning complete. 

Oct. 3 - World Communion Sunday ~~ Your giving helps to provide scholarships for national and international graduate students whom God has gifted to learn and serve.*

We are pleased to welcome Ginny Donley and Elaine Nixon to the Missions committee.  Welcome!! 

Oct. 4 - MARK YOUR CALENDAR:  There will be a Gospel Concert and Sing-a-Long on Sunday,

October 24th, at 4, with a light supper to follow.  bring your family and friends!

Please contact the church office at 740-687-6384 to make your reservations.  Tickets will

cost Adults $ 10, Children $ 5, free for children under 6.  Payment must be received by October 18th;

write Missions on the check memo line. 


Contact Kaye Russo with any questions.



Friends in Christ will have one more outing in October before we all get caught up in the holidays.  Destination — Laurelville Fruit Farm. 

Apples! Cider! This is a cash only market!  Then we will head across the street to the Ridge Inn Restaurant for some good food and Fellowship. 

We will meet in the parking lot at 11:30, then off for a  25-30 minute short drive.  Please let Dennice know if you will be joining us on this trip. 

​​​​​​​Questions should be directed to Dennice.



Budget for 2022

Your Finance Team is working to prepare the budget for 2022.  Budget request information sheets have been given to all of the team/ministry chairs.  These budget request forms for 2022 need to be returned to the Finance Team by October 8th.  The Finance Team will present the proposed budget to the Administrative Council for their approval on October 19th. 


Monday, October 4th, at 1 pm we will be making our PB & J bags at
Mt. Pleasant Elementary School.  We would love for more to come
and help fill these bags for the kids!

 It’s been a long year but with all your help and generosity the Free Store is up and running.  We are in need of men’s clothing, from pants, shirts, underwear, socks, and shoes (tennis shoes are preferred).

Also a thank you to all that give their time to clean, sort, and hang things.  You are a great help!

Blessings and prayers to you all, Dennice.



The Community Kitchen has been so blessed this year with donations from Pacer’s, the Vineyard, Curt Kruse with his Lions Club, and all of you that remember us when we reach out and ask for help.

Our team in the Kitchen seems to keep getting smaller, but we are still busting out 2 meals per week, serving anywhere from 30 to 50 individuals.

Breakfast comes from the help of Kroger, so a big thank you to Dave Starner and Mark Renko for their help with picking up and putting away the donated items.

 We just want to thank everyone for their support!

 The Kitchen Team


  Community Outreach                               
The Community Block Party was a great time for all that attended, helped, worked, and sang.
Our baskets were a big hit making us over $ 200.
Thanks from the Community Outreach Team