The Chimes A publication of United Presbyterian Church
. Peoria, IL
Volume.12 Issue.2 February 25, 2015
You are invited to……..
In this issue: Page 2 Those in Uniform Website Prayer List Page 3 Message from Pastor Stephen Page 4 Message from Pastor Patricia Page 5 Children Connecting Point Page 6 Health & Wellness Library News Page 7 Christian Education Page 8 Christian Education Cont’d Worship & the Arts Page 9 Worship & the Arts Cont’d Stephen Ministry Page 10 Worship & the Arts Page 11 Prayer Corner Mission Page 12 Sharing Our Stories Page 13 Stewardship & Giving Thank You Notes Page 14 Church Life Quest Page 15 News and Notes Insert Calendar Insert Lenten Devotional
Tony Anthony Eunice Andrews Robert Avery Jack Bensing Dorothy Bloom Leonard & Ellie Brown Lorraine Bunker Fern Deemie Fred Dickinson Betty Dixon Delores Fogler Bob & Carolyn Gnepper Margaret Greiner Midge Hillard Margaret Hochstrasser Loretta Horst Mary Johnson Dwight & Corda Jones Nancy Jones Mike Kelley Vicki Kirchgessner Helen Kreighbaum Maureen Leuba Ray Long Bill Maule Ethel Moore Annie Nichols Nathan Pennington Althea Rauen Helen Sandman Sherry Shedenhelm
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LTC Jim Pugh SETAF CMR 427, Box 3778 APO, AE 09630 SGT Scranton, Joseph H. IS1 Chris Davis Capt. Elton Herrick
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A Trip to the Desert Lent is a wilderness time. It’s a time of preparation and fasting modeled after Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness before his time of temptation. Have you been to the wilderness? Maybe it just looked like a hospital waiting room to you, or the painfully empty and quiet house after your spouse decided to leave, or maybe it looked like a single line – when you’ve been hoping for a + for too long. It may even have been a kind of desert in your own soul in which you felt like nothing but dry bones whose vibrant life had long since decayed. Barbara Brown Taylor says, “Wildernesses come in so many shapes and sizes that the only way you can really tell you are in one is to look around for what you normally count on to save your life and come up empty. No food. No earthly power. No special protection-just a Bible-quoting devil and a whole bunch of sand.” Most of us want to avoid the wilderness at all costs, so we spend a lot of time and money trying to stay out of it; but eventually we’ll find ourselves there, suddenly, upon turning a corner, blinking a eye, just making it over the next horizon. Sooner or later, every one of us will take our own trip to the desert to discover who we really are and what our lives are really about. That could be bad news, something we just resign ourselves to and are anxious about until it comes and goes. But God has a way of taking bad news and turning it into good. There is no other way to explain Good Friday. So it is with the wilderness. The desert is one of the most reality-based, spirit-filled, life-changing places a person can be. Take Jesus, for instance. What came of Jesus’ trip to the wilderness at the end of his forty days? Freedom. He was freed from all devilish attempts to distract him from his true purpose, freed from shortcuts to love that end in enslavement, freed from hungering for things with no power to give him life, freed from the voices that challenged his identity as the Son of God and his own faith in what he came here to do. After forty days in the wilderness, says Taylor, “Jesus had not only learned to manage his appetites; he had also learned to trust the Spirit that had led him there to lead him out again, with the kind of clarity and grit he could not have found anywhere else.” What’s the point of Lent? Why do we encourage a visit to the wilderness through prayer, fasting, and repentance? Because anyone who wants to follow Jesus all the way to the cross needs the kind of clarity and grit that is found only in the wilderness. From Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, you are invited to do without, fast from, some things you are perfectly capable of having-such as rich food, alcohol, guilty pleasure TV shows, or quick and easy electronic distractions-and to take on some things that you are just as capable of avoiding-such as a moral inventory, honest conversations, a deeper contemplative prayer life, or lunch with someone you are mad at. "Lent," derived from an English word meaning "spring,” is not just a reference to the season of the year. It speaks to the hope we have for new life. If you have spent a lot of time and/or money trying to acquire whatever it takes to grow your soul without seeing any new buds, then maybe a little trip to the desert is worth a try to be freed from anything that keeps you from being the real you and live the life you long to live and the one God made you for, which can be hard to do when you're taking shortcuts and filling up and empty calories and promises. A voluntary trip to the desert this Lent is a great way to practice getting free of those devils for life, not only because it is where you lose your appetite for things that cannot save you, but also because it is where you learn to trust the Spirit that led you there to lead you out again and into new life. In Common Calling, Pastor Stephen
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Deserts, Fasting, and Lent Lent! At the time I am writing this, Lent is just beginning. My anticipation of the season is heightened, particularly after spending a week in the desert of Northern New Mexico. I am acutely aware of the importance of a “desert experience” during Lent as a means of drawing close to God. It is not the desert, not the fasting, not the ashes that cause any formation of our faith, any increase in faith. They are merely the conduit, the space for formation to take place. The desert means that there is a lack of something that we are accustomed to, like water, shade, lush foliage, people, shopping, WiFi, cell phones. The stark dryness leaves the skin, mouth, and nose feeling scratchy and dry. The desert, at an elevation like that of Ghost Ranch, also changes one’s equilibrium and ability to take in oxygen. It can be uncomfortable. Without all the normal distractions of our technology, social networks, eating, drinking, and shopping life can feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because of our longings for the familiar, the comforting, the distracting. So fasting is likened to entering a desert. It creates a pseudo-desert experience by leaving behind a comfortable routine, a favorite food, a regular pastime. Why? Why make myself uncomfortable? What’s the point? Perhaps the story of Martha and Mary from Luke 10 will help here. Martha invites Jesus into their home. She is busy preparing things. Most likely meals and accommodations. She is busy being a good hostess. But she is also distressed by the fact that her sister Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to him. Martha interrupts to ask Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus answers, telling Martha that she is distracted and worried about many things. But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her. (my paraphrase). Martha is doing lots of very good things! She is hostessing and preparing meals! We all love it when there are Marthas in our lives. We need Marthas. We also see Mary who is said to have chosen the better thing. To sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him. Certainly Mary is well acquainted with the usual Jewish woman’s work. But at this moment, she is sitting. To Martha, sitting means uncomfortable. Here is Jesus, sitting and teaching inside her home, and yet she is so preoccupied with being hostess that she cannot sit, nor can she bear it that Mary has chosen to sit. Distracted and worried about many things! Deserts, Fasting, and Lent. It helps us see how we, too, are distracted and worried about many things. It is the opportunity to set aside the distraction, detach from it, “fast” from it, an intentional choice for the purpose of the better thing. Our relationship with God, our prayer-life, devotions, scripture reading, all too often gets pushed to the left-over time. And who has any of that in our busy world? It is so we remember our most important relationship! The one with our creator, our redeemer, our light and our guide, our comforter. Deserts, Fasting and Lent! Entering the “desert” to spend time with God! To Remember! And to be a receiver of God’s graces. May it feel like a Sabbath rest from the things that have been distracting you and worrying you. And may you be filled! I pray for you! I thank God for you! May God’s blessings abound to you this Lenten season! Pastor Patricia
Children Rotation Sunday School Age 3 – 3rd grade Rotation Sunday school in March will focus on Jesus and the Disciples. We will learn through art, games, science, and Lego’s. We are always in need of teachers. Please prayerfully consider how you can help with Children’s ministry and sign up in the Narthex or talk to Karen. *Sunday, March 29 is a Fifth Sunday where children will remain in the Sanctuary to worship with their families. 4th Grade and Up Worship Preparation Class after the Time for Young Disciples In the Youth Room In March we will be exploring Scripture in worship through some videos, Bible games, and study. On 4th Sundays, we will worship with our families. Please see Karen before service for a worship worksheet on those days. If any adults would be interested in helping with this program, let Karen know. Parents Night Out Friday, March 13 6:00 – 8:30 PM Sign up today for a night out while we watch the kids! Contact Karen Miller to reserve your spot today.
Every Wednesday Evening (Sept-April) Dinner @ 5:30 PM Young Explorers and Music Rehearsals @ 6:15 PM Adult Class @ 6:30 PM Come and Get Connected! Young Explorers @ Connecting Point Wednesdays at Connecting Point While parents are getting their mid-week recharge, children are invited to the Sunday school rooms for a brief lesson and activity just for them. We always end with some fun time in the gym. Join us for a nice break in the middle of the wek. Connecting Point Connecting Point is a great way to connect with God and neighbor. This month Pastor Stephen will lead discussions about our neighbors, and we will welcome in our neighbors to share their stories and experiences with us in a class called “Understanding the Other.” We each come from a certain background, a certain culture, and have certain experiences. It is hard for us to understand people who have chosen or had to lead much different lives whether they are of a different race, religion, lifestyle, or whether they have different abilities, gifts, and challenges. In this class we will get to discuss the differences around us and hear from those who live different lives and who work to bridge some of the gaps between neighbors. We will welcome guests who will share about life as a Jew, as an Arab Muslim, as a black Christian, and about life with mental or physical disabilities. Dinner is served at 5:30 PM, and class begins at 6:30 PM. Young Explorers for children starts at 6:15 PM and nursery care is provided. If you do not want to go to class, you can also come for dinner and stay in the Fellowship Hall and converse with others or unwind from a busy week. Connecting Point is your time to connect in the ways you need to connect.
Health & Wellness Measles Update Measles is making headlines, and not in a good way. In 2014, the US saw more measles cases than it had in 20 years. As of this writing, 14 measles cases have been confirmed in Illinois in 2015. What does this mean? First a little background. Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. Measles symptoms usually begin ten to twelve days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash. People at high risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age, and those with weakened immune systems. People born before 1957 were exposed to measles epidemics and have likely developed immunity to the disease, so no further vaccination is needed. However, individuals who received an inactivated measles vaccine in the 1960s or were never vaccinated as a child are recommended to get another round of shots, as is anyone born after 1957 who has no record of ever receiving the MMR vaccine. Immunization is the very best way to protect your family and others from measles. Children get their first measles immunization when they’re a year old and then a booster shot when starting kindergarten. With the recent outbreak, everyone should check with your primary care physician to make sure all of your vaccinations are up to date! Be WELL, Kirsten Tharp, Parish Nurse www.cdc.gov
Library News What The Staff is Reading A new display on one of the tables in the Library will highlight books the church staff is currently reading or has just read. This is a great way to discover some of the books that have been meaningful to church staff and may have inspired sermons, classes, and articles. The purchase of these books was made possible through a gift in memory of John Covey given by the Covey family. This month there are three books you are invited to check out. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber is a book Pastor Stephen just finished reading. Using life stories-from living in a hopeful-but-haggard commune of slackers to surviving the wobbly chairs and war stories of a group for recovering alcoholics, from her unusual but undeniable spiritual calling to pastoring a notorious con artist-Nadia uses stunning narrative and poignant honesty to portray a woman who is both deeply faithful and deeply flawed, giving hope to the rest of us along the way. Wildly entertaining and deeply resonant, this is the book for people who hunger for a bit of hope that doesn't come from vapid consumerism or navel-gazing; for women who talk too loud, and guys who love chick flicks; for the gay man who loves Jesus and won't allow himself to be shunned by the church. In short, this book is for every thinking misfit suspicious of institutionalized religion, but who is still seeking transcendence and mystery. God For Us edited by Greg Pennoyer and contributed to by many prolific Christian writers and thinkers is a book the entire program staff is reading this Lent as suggested by Pastor Patricia. God For Us explores the meaning of Lent, its importance in spiritual formation, its significance in preparation for Easter, and the holy season of Easter itself. By delving deeply into the Christian tradition, the contributing authors reveal what one theologian has called the “bright sadness” of Lent—that it is not about becoming lost in feelings of brokenness, but about cleansing the palate so that we can taste life more fully. Lent and Easter reveal the God who is for us in all of life—for our liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness. Lent and Easter remind us that even in death there can be found resurrection. The Last Week by John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg is the book that inspired this Lent’s sermon series that explores Jesus’ last week day by day. Using the gospel of Mark as their guide, Borg and Crossan present a day-by-day account of Jesus's final week of life. The Last Week depicts Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor. In this vein, at the end of the week, Jesus marches up Calvary, offering himself as a model for others to do the same when they are confronted by similar issues. Informed, challenged, and inspired, we not only meet the historical Jesus but meet a new Jesus who engages us and invites us to follow him.
Christian Education Adul
9 AM Enrichment Hour Every Sunday has 4 choices for adults! The Story: The Bible in chronological and easy to read format as Story. This Month: The Israelites after the time of the fall of Jerusalem and exile to Babylon. Weekly discussion will be led by Pastor Patricia based on a chapter from The Story and a DVD presentation. You are welcome to join the discussion even if you have not read the chapter. March 1: Chapter 21: Rebuilding the Walls March 8: Chapter 22: The Birth of the King March 15: Chapter 23: Jesus’ Ministry Begins March 22: Chapter 24: No Ordinary Man March 29: Chapter 25: Jesus the Son of God The Wired Word: is a discussion on current events and relevant Scripture passages led by Betty Pugh and Gordon Selling. This is a great place to get started with a Sunday class. No preparation is needed. The Wired Word is an email subscription newsletter that invites conversation on a relevant current event. Bring your thoughts and opinions! If you like, bring your electronic device and the downloaded lesson. Journey Through the Bible: II Samuel (the end of King Saul and beginning of King David) This is led by Don Baker and John Warning. It is an insightful study offers questions to help the reader dig into the message of the Biblical text, providing information on the historical and cultural setting, insight from the original language, what the passage meant to its first readers, and it invites insight into life applications of individuals, our church, and our community. 3:16 Bible Study Group Sunday March 8 & 22, 11:30 AM in Room 100 This Month: We complete the Old Testament narratives and enter into the Life and Times of Jesus the Christ (The Messiah, The Anointed One.)A DVD based group Bible Study. The group is beginning THE STORY by Max Lucado. 10 AM Thursday Morning Bible Study: Isaiah Isaiah chapters 40-55 and God’s redemption plan for Israel. This section of Isaiah is full of prophecies of the Messiah which describe Jesus as the Suffering Servant. How timely for Lent! Bring your Bible and join the discussion led by Pastor Patricia.
7 Faith and Family Class The Faith and Family Class is engaged in a new series this Lent using short (5 minute) videos of poetry, art, and music that reflects on the themes of Lent. Lent is the forty days that we set aside to enter into the wilderness of our souls and find that place of quiet, openness, and emptiness. Lent is more than about selfdenial and giving up indulgences; it is about preparation and encounter. It was in the desert where Jesus encountered the demons of his deepest temptations, but it was also where he found God’s sustaining presence and love. These poems are stories about finding home. Jesus’ journey is also like our journey, an attempt to capture the place of longing in every heart; it is an attempt to go back to the garden. However, as we make our way through life, we come to realize that Eden is a distant dream, a reality that we might not ever come into being. We either become cynical or attempt to build our own paradise. In contrast, Jesus’ life was not about this long lost garden but something greater-a new Eden, a new Jerusalem, a new Kingdom. However, in order to find this new home, the journey might take a detour through the wilderness, and what we may find there might test the very core of who we are. This series reflects on poems for Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Holy Week. We hope that our discussions give us a place to begin the journey of our hearts, a journey that will lead us out of Lent and to Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and into the hope of Easter. 11-Minute Lessons 11-Minute Lessons is digging into our series “What is the Bible?” We are discussing the nature of the Bible and how we are to understand it. We are digging into the stories of the Bible and why they were written. We’re looking at who wrote the stories, who they wrote to, what was happening at the time, and why this particular story was thought important enough to pass on. The Bible is a library of books that tell stories, and stories are filled with truth. You are invited to join us and push past the facts to discover the deeper and most important truths of the Bible. If you miss any lessons, you can contact Pastor Stephen to receive any handouts. 11-Minute Lessons meets in Room 107 after worship.
Christian Education Cont’d Spiritual Book Club: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom The time is 1927. The place is a rundown recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. It is a riveting portrayal of black rage ... of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation. There are questions of God’s presence or absence in pain and suffering, and if God really does still act and help those whom God loves. It’s a powerful play to read, even more powerful to see live on stage. Join us to discuss this classic of 20th century theatre and its many themes and questions on Tuesday, March 24, at 6:00 PM.
Worship & Arts
March 2015 Preaching Schedule March 1: Mark 11:12-19 “Monday” Pastor Stephen March 8: Mark 11:20-Mark 12 “Tuesday” Pastor Stephen March 15: Mark 14:1-11 “Wednesday” Pastor Patricia “A Beautiful Thing” March 22: Mark 14:12-72 “Thursday” Pastor Stephen March 29: Mark 15 “Friday” Pastor Stephen LENTEN WORSHIP AND PRAYER Communion Sunday: March communion will be Sunday March 22 to coincide with the “Thursday” message of the Last Week of Jesus series. Weekly Wednesday Lenten Worship Noon & 5 PM: in Room 100 Chapel Daily Lenten Devotions: See the insert in the Chimes. Prayer Stations: Each week throughout Lent, a prayer station will be set up in the Room 100 Chapel. A different prayer station will be set up each week based on the Sunday Worship Scripture reading. A prayer station is a place to stop and pray in the Contemplative Tradition of the Christian Church. You will find in the station a suggested reading, prayer, or activity for your prayer time. Holy Week: Daily Noon Prayer service will be held Monday-Thursday based on the passion narratives; Wednesday Lenten Service at 5 PM; Good Friday Worship Service at 7 PM.
The Last Week: Walking with Jesus from Palm Sunday through Easter This Lent we will be walking with Jesus during his Last Week according to the Gospel of Mark starting with his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey surrounded by crowds waving palms. We’ll get to see day by day what Jesus said and did during his Last Week before his death and resurrection. Some of the common stories we hear about Jesus happened in this last week, but we don’t always get to hear and experience them in this context. Please join us each Sunday as we walk with Jesus through Jerusalem to the cross and to the empty tomb.
Celtic Worship Service will be held Tuesday, March 17, at 6 PM prior to the Session Meeting. This communion service will be in the theme of St. Patrick and the Breastplate Prayer of St. Patrick. Come! Let us Worship God in the Celtic Tradition! Wear green! Let us celebrate God with our many musicians in the spirit of the Irish and the Celts.
Worship & Arts Cont’d Room 100 Chapel The new Chapel in Room 100 was dedicated in worship Sunday, Feb 15. Please stop by to see it if you have not already done so. You are welcome to use our new chapel space for prayer whenever the classroom is not scheduled for use. See schedule posted outside Room 100.
9 Heart Songs of UPC Come join us for a concert on Saturday, March 21, at 7:00 PM. United Presbyterian Church is partnering with Epiphany Anglican Mission Church, First Baptist Church, First Federated Church, Imago Dei Church, and Zion Baptist Church to present an evening full of Lenten music. There will also be opportunities for those attending to sing some of their favorite Lent songs. Admission is free and there will be a free will offering for a local charity. A light reception is to follow.
Stephen Ministry Do gray, cold winter days make you SAD? Do you find yourself feeling “down in the dumps” during the winter months? The Stephen Ministers invite all to join them for their continuing education session on Tuesday, March 24, at 6:30 PM in Room 100. The Chapel was designed by a team consisting of Jim and Betty Pugh, Colleen Rouzer, Bob McDowell, Debbie Hanson, Pastor Patricia, Pastor Stephen and Aaron Schultz. The design was built upon 2 stained glass windows from the education wing of First Presbyterian Church. Many thanks to Jim Pugh who then designed and crafted a beautiful Celtic cross for the center of the chapel wall and lighted shadow boxes for the stained glass. John Madden used his electrical gifts for the lighting of the items and to make alterations to the room lighting to accentuate the Chapel space. Bob McDowell coordinated the activity which began with removal of built-in cupboards and desk, wall repairs, and painting by Bill Seelye, carpet repairs by Ralph Krall, and assistance to the project from Nick Nott and others on the properties committee. Please take a moment to tell them thank you for the gift of their time and talents. Furnishings for the chapel include the communion table and 2 pulpit chairs from the old Madison and Main location of First Presbyterian Church that were used in the chapel at the Hamilton location. The historical podium was crafted to compliment the table and chairs. The couch and chair are from the Arcadia Presbyterian Church pastor’s study, and the Bible is the pulpit Bible from Arcadia Presbyterian Church. Again, many thanks to Jim Pugh, John Madden, Bob McDowell, and the many others who were instrumental in the creation of this inspiring chapel space. Many thanks to Nick Nott for capturing its beauty on film.
Parish Nurse Kirsten Tharp will give the group information on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Come and learn how you can take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.
Worship & Arts Angels and Demons: Songs of Prayer before Bedtime When I was a little kid, I was scared of the dark. To be honest, I still do not like it. My mom and dad would tuck me into bed and pray with me. They would then proceed to slowly inch back out of the room, shut off the lights, and whisper a faint “sleep tight” while gently closing the bedroom door. Soon after this bedtime ritual, a very real and present fear would slowly start to emerge in my mind. Nighttime was scary. Darkness represented the unknown, and my imagination would attempt to fill the undeniable void with my repertoire of amateur horror studies gained from watching television, reading the “Goosebumps” book series, and hearing the apocalyptic narratives in the Bible. The period between my parents’ departure after our tuck-in ritual and the moment when I surrendered to sleep was the time when darkness ruled. This is actually consistent with historical understanding of the differences between day and night. The canonical hours (or the Divine Offices) are prescribed liturgies of prayer scheduled at certain times during the day. The canonical hours structure the day of both monastic and church life. Each of these offices of prayer has a centralized theme around the life and work of Christ. The office of prayer before bedtime (called Compline) uses the image of sleep to talk metaphorically about death while looking ahead to the promise of resurrection as represented in the first morning hour of prayer (called Matins). The theology in the services of Compline is marvelously displayed in some of the old evening hymns of the Christian tradition. The hours of evening are a symbol of sin and death and are held in tension with the cosmic realm of divine protection. The following are stanzas from a hymnal published in 1930 given to me by my grandmother: Example 1: Let mercy fall on us like dew/And angel pinions play/ Around us while the hours of night/In silence pass away Example 2: We rest secure beneath Thy hand/Protector of our home and land/To guard Thy children’s peaceful rest/Around them stand Thine angels blest Example 3: Through the long night-watches/May Thine angels spread/Their white wings above me/Watching round my head There are some common themes here. First, the time we call evening is something we need protection from. Second, God in some miraculous and celestial way is offering this protection. Third, there is a longing for some kind of serenity during sleeping in the midst of an ominous situation. Whether you are parents saying prayers with your kids before bedtime or adults who are praying by yourselves at evening, there are truths we can take away from these hymns of old.
I think it is appropriate to admit to ourselves and our children that evil exists in very real ways within us and surrounding us. There is a point where we exhaust our individual efforts to protect ourselves and our children from these present realities. At some point, we come to the vulnerable place of exposing our need before God and asking for divine protection and supernatural shelter. We admit the fragility of life. The moment we close our eyes, we are helpless in the pursuit of protection ourselves. We are laid bare to the elements of this world; the good, the evil, the inevitable, and the unknown. This is the reality of living in a world where we need God in every single possible way imaginable. This place of vulnerability is made evident in the period that falls before the passing into sleep. In some ways it is a foreshadowing of our passing between life and death. In both instances we are solely relying on the grace, protection, and love of God. When we pray at night with our kids or ourselves, we do not need to retreat into panic or fear because we have the news of the resurrection of Christ; for He did not descend into an eternal slumber but rose again and ascended to heaven. We also do not need to act as though we are turning a blind eye toward the evils of this world. We need protection, we need to be loved, and we long to be at peace. Even in our prayer lives, we can be formed in such a way where God remains the source of hope, life, and strength. In our passing from waking to sleeping, we see the protection and love of God in the faces of our parents, our children, our spouses and friends. We see God all around us, and we can be assured that God is acting in ways known and unknown as God moves to protect all those gathered under God’s care. This is the God we take refuge in. Every day and every night, forever and ever. Aaron Schultz
Prayer Corner A Prayer For Lent Henri Nouwen offers a reflection and prayer for Lent that can be our own prayer during this season of the church. Try printing this out and reflecting on it everyday during Lent. The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, Lord, in a special way, a time to pray, to fast, and thus to follow you on your way to Jerusalem, to Golgotha, and to the final victory over death. I am still so divided. I truly want to follow you, but I also want to follow my own desires and lend an ear to the voices that speak about prestige, success, pleasure, power, and influence. Help me to become deaf to these voices and more attentive to your voice, which calls me to choose the narrow road to life. I know that Lent is going to be a very hard time for me. The choice for your way has to be made every moment of my life. I have to choose thoughts that are your thoughts, words that are your words, and actions that are your actions. There are not times or places without choices. And I know how deeply I resist choosing you. Please, Lord, be with me at every moment and in every place. Give me the strength and the courage to live this season faithfully, so that, when Easter comes, I will be able to taste with joy the new life that you have prepared for me. Amen. We continue to lift in prayer Debra Kutter, Bob Avery, Bill Pollitz, Dwight Jones, Loretta Horst, Jeanne Noetzel, Betty Keller, Leonard & Ellie Brown, Eugenia Ofori, Mac McIntosh, Steve Wrigley, Carolyn Gnepper, Claire Kreid, Leonard Brown, Rick Tremper, the family of Edith Dickinson, Stephanie Murray, Alice Bremner, Dale Warren, Joan Sathoff, and those known only to you, O Lord.
Mission Snack Pack Program We will fill Snack Packs again on Sunday, March 22, after worship in the Sewing Room. This is a great missional opportunity for all ages and a great family activity. It’s easy and fun to do together. Some of our current needs are: brown paper bags, 100% juice boxes, fruit cups, apple sauce, cheese or peanut butter crackers, and protein bars.
One Great Hour of Sharing: Brazil Mission Partnership We are continuing our partnership in Brazil with Projeto Amar for our One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Onehundred percent of your gifts will go to help support our Brazil partnership. This year we are raising money to help the Projeto Amar Learning Center pay for enough teachers so all the children currently benefitting from the program can continue to have a safe place where they receive nurture, education, and care. The Projeto Amar Learning Center is making a big difference in children’s lives, and you are a big part of that. Our goal this year is to raise $4000 for One Great Hour of Sharing. We’ll mark our progress by counting apples for teachers! Every $100 will mean one more apple on the large glass wall at the front of the church. When people ask why we have so many apples on the wall, we can share our mission with them and how we believe in the importance of education. Thank you for your generous giving to One Great Hour of Sharing. Southside Tool Library The Southside Tool Library was created to give Southside residents, especially renters the tools to maintain their properties. Many homeowners already have the necessary tools, but given that 60% of the households on the Southside are rental, many renters don't have the means to properly maintain their home and the landlords do not maintain the property. This leads to blight and a host of other ills that come with it. We felt that if we established a Tool Library, we could inspire residents to maintain their properties as well as give them a means to do so. We would also have a community resource for volunteer groups to use when developing pocket parks and community gardens. The neighborhood associations can use the tools for projects like the Great American Clean Up and other beautification projects. Eventually, we would also like to establish a network where we can help take care of our seniors who may need help mowing lawns etc. We will be collecting tools throughout the month of March. What is needed most are outdoor tools such as lawnmowers, weed trimmers, rakes, shovels, clippers, etc. While the Southside Tool library doesn’t have a place to store other tools, we can find homes for the tools you no longer need or that are duplicates.
Sharing Our Stories Cindy Shipley My name is Cindy (Troester) Shipley. I was a member of Arcadia Presbyterian Church and served on the committee to unite First Presbyterian and Arcadia. I have been an Elder, Deacon, Sunday school teacher, Stephen Minister and member of several committees. I recently became a member of the Christian Ed. Committee and belong to Anna Circle. I help organize “Sharing the Warmth” blanket making mission project. The highlight of my summer is working in the kitchen at VBS. One of my favorite memories at UPC is teaching confirmation and watching the students grow into awesome young men and women; teachers, nurses, musicians, soldiers, and active church members. I am fortunate to be part of such a caring, loving, diverse church. I have resided in Peoria for a little over 30 years with my husband Bill. We have a son, Brent and a Beagle named Lucy. I am originally from Naperville, IL. My family was transplanted to Morton, IL. (This is how I met my husband). I was raised in the Lutheran Church and became a Methodist after I got married. Brent was invited to youth group at Arcadia Presbyterian and we started attending church there. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, making it easy to get involved. I actually looked forward to going to church. For me becoming Presbyterian was like “coming home”. I am an accomplished seamstress and also enjoy crocheting, drawing and reading in my spare time. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I have 10 siblings (sisters and brothers from other mothers) 27 nieces and nephews, and one great nephew. I will be unemployed soon, after 21 years with Market Day, due to company reorganization and I am looking forward to beginning my next journey.
March 2015 Tim Cole I came to United Presbyterian in December of 2012, and was warned that Christmas programs are REALLY long here. As I sat there with dreams of the glazed ham awaiting me, I watched as a church family celebrated Christmas together, right in front of me. Reverently focused on the birth of Jesus, and celebrating His life collectively, I learned that this church loves God and each other. I am able to personally see how it shows that love in the breadth of volunteers that commit to rehearsing, preparing, and worshiping together on Sundays. It is evident in the interpersonal ministry of life groups outside of the regular interaction of the pleasantries exchanged in the pews. It is played out in diverse, welcoming, yet competitive sports groups that meet for a couple of hours over shared enjoyment, then walk/stumble away with a deeper friendship from time spent interacting with each other. I was able to join UPC last month. Not only do I get to check a new box in the register on Sunday morning, I also get the privilege to be welcome in this family that now celebrates shorter Christmas Eve programs, and each other. I started coming to UPC to know the Ghidina family better, since I am blessed to be marrying Erin Ghidina, and now, I have a church family that has welcomed me and the 4 children we are raising. From cookies on Sunday, Parents Night Out each month, to sitting on the steps learning from Mrs. Scranton and Mrs. Miller, the kids feel welcome and say “I see our church!” when we turn onto Allen Road. Piper, who is 2 years old, asks every time we turn in, “I go to the nursery and play?” While there may be times still where I sit in church and daydream about some variation of bacon, I know that I am deeply blessed to love a woman who introduced me to the people she loved, who in turn have wrapped their arms around me in fellowship. I am thankful for the relationship that has begun, and will continue to grow here, at our home church, United Presbyterian Church.
Stewardship & Giving 2015 Per Capita Payments Our obligation to the Presbytery and denomination is over $10,000. This money is given to help our Presbytery and National Church support all the churches. We have benefited in many ways from the larger church through grants and resources. Please consider contributing to the church’s Per Capita share by contributing $28 per church member in your family. Checks can be made payable to UPC, but please mark them for Per Capita or use your special Per Capita envelopes. Thank you for helping the work of the larger church in this way.
Thank You Notes The family of John Covey want to thank the members and staff of UPC for their love and support during a very difficult time. Pastor Stephen, Pastor Patricia, and Kirsten were always there when we needed them most. John’s service was a great tribute to him and done very well. We are truly blessed to have such a caring and supportive church. Kay, Chris Covey, and Family Thank you to our church family for all the cards and well wished as we celebrated outt 70 years of marriage. Special thanks to those who contributed in our name to the UPC Snack Pack program. Please know that all of you mean so much to our family. Gladie and George Neal Thank you to everyone who wore red, visited the Heart Health table, and had their blood pressure checked. It was a fun Sunday celebrating Healthy Hearts! Congratulations to our prize winners: Heart Pillow: Clea Jennings; Cookbook: Theresa Buley; and Water Bottle: Betty Pugh. Also thank you to everyone who brought valentines for the shut-ins. The bags were filled and brought much caring and joy straight from UPC to those who received them. Kirsten Tharp, RN, BSN, Parish Nurse Thank you to Pastor Stephen, Pastor Patricia, and Kirsten for their visits with me and my family while I was in the hospital for surgery. Thank you also to the church for the rose and the many cards, calls, Facebook messages, and prayers! We are blessed with a caring church family and your thoughts and prayers were much appreciated. Jenna Hague Dear Brothers and Sisters, We are grateful for your gracious hospitality for all the times we meet at your church. We value our partnership with United and this check is an acknowledgement of how you go above and beyond in helping us. Shalom, Felipe Martinez
I am so excited about your donation to Early Head Start. After placing an ad in the paper about the desperate need for gloves, mittens, etc, with no response, I was elated when the Boekers dropped off such a generous donation only two days before Christmas. These items were for children birth to 3 years old, a group that is at most risk. Nearly every child in our program received something. Our families were so very appreciative. It was more than I could have wished for. Please keep Early Head Start in mind next year during your Holiday Season. Sincerely Yours, Betty Dixon Family Development Specialist UPC My thanks to the thoughtful folks who gave time for Valentine’s Day– Deacons Debbie & Mark Hanson for their visit, the member care committee and to all who filled the sack with cards and candies! It was all very kind and I am blessed by it. Again, many thanks. Janet McKinty Thank you for the Valentines and the treats. Derrick was delightful. Bill Maule Thank you to the people who contributed to my “Valentine Bag”. It was very nice to receive the notes, cards & candy from all of you. I’ll enjoy them all. Wanda Tauber Dear UPC Friends, Thank you much for all the beautiful Valentine cards, and for the goodies. I enjoyed reading the cards and eating a couple of the goodies. God Bless You. Bertha Mueller Thank You! A huge thanks to everyone who came out for the youth pancake supper fundraiser. We served over 120 people and raised some wonderful funds for our mission trip this summer. A huge thanks to all the youth who worked so hard, their parents who helped,and our special volunteers who gave up their evening to help out with this event. Your kindness is so appreciated. Karen Miller
Church Life Local Lunch Local Lunch on Monday, March 16, is at the Fresh Table Café; a farm to table café with Pastor Patricia. It is located in the Oak Cliff Park at 201 E. Lake. (Just off Knoxville) Please call the office to sign up. Ladies Night Out Date: March 19 at 6:00 PM Where: TBD RSVP: Eunice Andrews at 688-8458 or Betty Pugh at 8228500. BUNCO Date: March 13 at 7:00 PM Where: Church Fellowship Hall Bring snacks if you want and a dollar for prizes. Come and bring your honey and celebrate Valentine’s Day playing BUNCO. Anna Circle When: March 12 at 6:00 PM Where: WeaverRidge Lesson: Bad Girls of the Bible Mark Your Calendars Money Smart Kids Read “Lemonade for Sale!” Saturday, April 18, 2015 More info in next month’s Chimes. ABCs of Home Ownership Free and open to the public April 23, 2014 More info in next month’s Chimes.
How to Cook a (Delicious) Australian Dinner Learning the way of Australia is more than a few meals at a national steakhouse and a few twists on words! Join Lilli and Ross Nettle on Saturday, March 21, as the two coordinate to teach you about the food and culture of Australia. Lilli and all participants will cook a traditional Australian meal. Ross will provide a brief talk about the region, and will provide a booklet to all participants. Limit 15 Attendees; $10/person.
Easter Egg Hunt Candy Collection An Easter Egg Hunt is all the more fun with candy! Please help UPC provide this fun experience to community children by dropping off candy for the April 4 Easter Egg Hunt. All candy should be individually wrapped. Candy can be dropped off beginning March 15; “Egg Stuffing” is April 2 at 6:30 pm. The annual UPC Easter Egg Hunt is a lighthearted activity open to all community youth and families and is a wonderful outreach activity. Kids who attend enjoy a photo opportunity (print mailed to their home), a Jelly Bean Count guessing game, and a comparing “loot” event after their age hunt. Parents enjoy seeing smiling faces at a no-cost morning activity.
Men’s Breakfast Men of all ages are invited to gather together to strengthen community and relationships at Wildberries on the second Thursday of the month at 9:00 AM. QUEST MIDDLE SCHOOL This is a youth group for grades 5-8 to learn, serve and enjoy fellowship. It is a place where everyone is able to be themselves amongst friends. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Miller.
Ruth Circle When: March 9 at 1:00 PM Hostesses: Delores Fogler & Ulla Baird Devotions: Mary Etta Hanson Program: Karen Woods
UPCOMING EVENTS Quest Middle Gathering Sundays, March 8 & 22 3:30-5:00 PM Join us for snacks, games, and devotion! We may be spending some time working on redoing our youth room during these meetings.
AARP Driver Safety Class March 19 & 20, 2015, at United Presbyterian Church. Sign up in the church office today. 8:30-12:30 PM AARP Members: $15.00 Non-Members: $20.00 Class size is limited, so call today.
QUEST HIGH SCHOOL Quest High School Gathering Sundays, March 8 & 22 5:00-6:30 PM Join us for snacks, games, and devotion! We may be spending some time working on redoing our youth room during these meetings.
News and Notes Nursery Help Needed We are looking for volunteers to help in the nursery on Sunday mornings. Thank you to all who have helped on a Sunday morning. If we can get several people willing to do one Sunday, no one would have to do more than one Sunday every several months. If you are willing to spend one Sunday in the nursery in March or April, please talk with Pastor Stephen. Save the Date – Sunday, April 12, 5:00 PM The Board of Deacons along with the Member Care Committee are hosting Meet Your Deacon Night on April 12, immediately following a Worship and the Arts program at 5:00 PM. This is your opportunity to meet your deacon and have fellowship with other members that live in your same parish. The main entrée will be Ham and Turkey provided by our Stewardship and Finance & Mission committees. Bring your favorite side dish to share. Sign up will be available at the Welcome Center or you may call the office. Family and friends welcome. RSVP required for seating purposes. New Sanctuary Handrails We have two beautiful new handrails in the sanctuary that add to the beautiful aesthetic of our worship space and provide safety and stability for ascending the chancel stairs. We appreciate all the planning, design, and work the Properties Committee put in to make this project happen. The handrails were made possible by two gifts, one in memory of Barry Dace given by his sister Kelly Dace, and one in memory of John Covey given by his family. We appreciate these generous gifts that made this project possible. Thank you. Congratulations Congratulations to Randy & Anna Saxon on the birth of a grandson, Saxon Kanner Friedman. Saxon was born Feb. 18, to Josh & Jenni Friedman in Colorado. All are well.
Upcoming Baptisms Please join us on March 15, as we celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism for Kara Harrison and on March 22, as we celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism for Ian Heilman. New Part-Time Custodian We are excited and thankful to welcome Dan Dickerson as UPC’s new part-time custodian. Dan has many years of custodial experience and expertise with the equipment and protocols followed by UPC. Dan’s hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 AM –11:30 AM. Dan has already proven himself a reliable and wonderful addition to the UPC staff. UPC Trap Shooting The UPC Trap Shooting group will start up again this April. If you are interested in trap shooting please talk to Pastor Stephen or Chris Martin. We shoot at Peoria Skeet and Trap on select Sunday afternoons. We have men and women of all ages join us for this fun outing, and you're welcome to join us, too. Congratulations Congratulations to Daniel and Eugenia Ofori on the birth of their daughter, Lauren. Lauren was born Feb. 12. Both Mother and daughter are doing very well.