The Chimes A publication of United Presbyterian Church
. Peoria, IL
Volume.12 Issue.1 January 29, 2015
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 New Members Page 6 Youth and Children UPC Discovery Registration Page 7 Children Connecting Point Quest Page 8 Christian Education Adult Classes Page 9 Worship & the Arts Page 10 Worship & the Arts Cont’d Page 11 Prayer Corner Mission Page 12 Sharing Our Stories Page 13 Stewardship & Giving Thank You Notes Page 14 Church Life Thank You Notes Page 15 Health & Wellness News and Notes Insert Calendar Insert Lenten Devotional
Tony Anthony Eunice Andrews Robert Avery Jack Bensing Dorothy Bloom Lorraine Bunker Fern Deemie Fred & Edith 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 Gladys Neal Annie Nichols Nathan Pennington Althea Rauen Helen Sandman Sherry Shedenhelm
Interested in joining United Presbyterian Church? Contact a pastor or visit our website at: www.unitedpc.org.
LTC Jim Pugh SETAF CMR 427, Box 3778 APO, AE 09630 SGT Scranton, Joseph H. IS1 Chris Davis Capt. Elton Herrick
______ _ _ 3
To Feast or Fast Growing up, I experienced Lent as little more than a joke. “What are you giving up for Lent?” my friends would ask. “Homework,” I’d say with a smirk, or “Obeying my parents.” Lent was some strange church thing that people from “other” churches did, or it was just a way to kick-start a diet because you had a reason to give up chocolate and look particularly pious. It never even occurred to me that Lent was something I might actually be interested in, or benefit from, or decide to keep, or come to value as a way of getting to know God better. Lent (the word comes from the Middle English word for “spring”) is a six-week season in the Christian year prior to Easter. (Technically, Lent comprises the 40 days before Easter, not counting the Sundays, or 46 days in total.) In the ancient church, Lent was a time for new converts to be instructed for baptism and for believers caught in sin to focus on repentance. In time, all Christians came to see Lent as a season to be reminded of their need for penitence and to prepare spiritually for the celebration of Easter. Part of this preparation involved the Lenten “fast,” giving up something special during the six weeks of Lent (but not on Sundays, in some traditions). Historically, many Protestants rejected the practice of Lent, pointing out, truly, that it was nowhere required in Scripture. Some of these Protestants were also the ones who refused to celebrate Christmas, by the way. They wanted to avoid some of the excessive aspects of Catholic penitence that tended to obscure the gospel of grace. These Protestants saw Lent, at best, as something completely optional for believers, and at worst, as a superfluous Catholic practice that true believers should avoid altogether. Some segments of Protestantism did continue to recognize a season of preparation for Easter, however. Their emphasis was not so much on penitence and fasting as on intentional devotion to God. Protestant churches sometimes added special Lenten Bible studies or prayer meetings so their members would be primed for a deeper experience of Good Friday and Easter. Lent was a season to do something extra for God, not to give something up. I’ve experience Lent in different ways through the years. Sometimes I’ve given up something, like eating fried food or playing video games, in order to be more holistically healthy and devote more time to Bible study and prayer. Sometimes I’ve added extra devotional reading, prayer time, or a time to listen to sermons by other pastors every morning. I can’t claim to have had any mystical experiences during Lent, but I have found that fasting from something has helped me focus on God. Sometimes when I really wanted to break that fast I had to remember why I was doing it and redirect my energy and hunger. It has also helped me to look ahead to Good Friday and Easter, thus appreciating more deeply the meaning of the cross and the victory of the resurrection (not that giving up meat, or chocolate, or anything like that comes close to the sacrifice of the cross; let’s not kid ourselves). Before I began honoring Lent, Good Friday and Easter always seemed to rush by before I could give them the attention they deserved. Now I find myself much more ready to meditate upon the depth of Christ’s sacrifice and to celebrate his victory over sin and death on Easter. To feast or fast? That is the question. Will you feast on something this Lent by adding a new spiritual discipline such as reading a selection from one of the Gospels every day and meditating on it, or setting aside a time for prayer, or serving others each week? Will you fast from something you are used to enjoying on a daily basis such as a food or entertainment item? Or perhaps you will fast so you can truly appreciate the feast. Maybe you can give something up and replace the desire for that thing with a new thing, something you add to your life. I am grateful for the fasts and the feasts in my life. I believe I appreciate the feast of the Last Supper and the feast of grace and hope that is Easter when I have spent some time fasting and feasting on the opportunities to grow and be nurtured as a follower of Christ during Lent. No matter what you do during this Lenten season, I pray that God will draw us closer to God and prepare us for a fresh experience of Good Friday and Easter. In common calling, Pastor Stephen
4__________________________________ The Chimes
Inviting God IN during Lent Dear Friends in Christ, The season of Lent will be here very soon. Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent is February 18. Lent is a time of preparation for celebrating the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus and Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Historically, Easter Sunday was a day for baptisms, so Lent was the season of preparation for baptism which included fasting and prayer. Later it was adopted as a season of fasting and prayer for all Christians. Most of us are familiar with the discipline of prayer. We pray often when we gather. Many of us are less familiar with the historical practice of fasting, or perhaps thought it only a practice of certain sects of Christians. By the medieval times, the Christian practice of fasting had become distorted and was seen as a means of extreme piety and a way of taming the desires of the body. More recently, it was seen as simply the season when we are supposed to give up things. In the 1970’s Richard Foster wrote a book called the Celebration of Discipline. In it was a call to Christians at large to embrace in our times some of the ancient disciplines of the church-one of them Fasting. Since that time there has been a resurgence in the discipline of fasting with Protestants. The benefits of Fasting and Prayer coupled together are being made available to us again through the writings of Foster and others. I am relying on some books by Presbyterian minister Lynne Baab and liturgies from Westminster John Know Press for the following descriptions of the benefits. Now I am not talking physical benefits, but benefits for the Christian soul: soul food. Christian fasting and prayer go together. Let me explain why. Fasting is the denial of something for a specific time for spiritual benefit: to draw us nearer to the Triune God. It can be done by an individual, a family, a community, or even a nation. It means that we remove something in order to make room for something else. We remove something to disrupt our habits and routines so that something new can be experienced. That is why fasting is always coupled with prayer. Fasting is a discipline for making space for God. When we open our Bibles we see many examples of fasting and prayer. Sometimes as an expression of mourning, other times repentance, other times worship, and other times requests for guidance, protection, healing. It has spiritual benefit. Perhaps as you are reading this, you are sensing a resistance to fasting! We live in a culture that tells us our every desire should be fulfilled as soon as possible. In fact we many have begun to fear deprivation of any kind. Fasting counters that with a denial of desire for the purpose of making space for God. Period! Motivation is key. Perhaps by stating it this way: “During Lent I am making space for God in my life by_________.” It helps us to remain clear on the purpose. What would fasting look like? Fasting most frequently involves food. However, it can be something other than food. One type of food fast is to not eat any food for a specific time, like a single meal, or for 24 hours and then repeat that at defined intervals during Lent. (If you choose this type of fast please pick up the “Guidelines and Precautions for Fasting from Food” from the Parish Nurse office. Do not fast from food if you are pregnant, have a history of eating disorder, or are diabetic. Children under 12 should not fast from all food.) Another option for food fast is to abstain from eating a favorite food item for a period of time. Another type of food fast is to drink water and juice only for a specified time. During the time you normally eat or spend time preparing that meal or that item you can do Bible reading or prayer. Another option is to follow an Eastern Orthodox fast from meat, fish, dairy, eggs, oil, and alcohol for the season of Lent. Other fasts can be from technology, TV, shopping, newspaper, novels, etc., things which occupy time. This creates the space, for something new with God.
This Lenten Season we are inviting members of the congregation to a communal practice of fasting and prayer at UPC that joins Christians all over the world in our time, as well as over the course of Christian history; the practice of making space for God in preparation for Easter. To assist us in our fasting and prayer practice, there is a devotional insert in the Chimes that has prayers, scripture readings and prayer reflections. Additionally, on Wednesdays during Lent, we invite you to attend a Noon prayer service or a 5PM Vespers service; the prayers scriptures and message will focus on the Lenten theme for the week. And lastly, in the new Chapel space in room 100 there will be a prayer station set up each week that will be based on the Sunday scripture and message. You can come in and pray at a time convenient for you. In your small groups, if you desire, it can be a time to share your fasting and prayer experience, pray for one another, and encourage one another in the practice. You will hear words of encouragement along the way in the Weekly Ringer and in the classes that meet. It is my prayer for you that this Lent be a time in which you make space for God, preparing yourself and your family for the great mystery of our Christian Faith: the Cross and Resurrection and our future hope. May the Grace and Peace of Christ be with you, Pastor Patricia
New Members Please welcome from left to right Tim Cole and Stanley Strickler. Both Tim and Stan met with Session on January 20, 2015 and joined our United Presbyterian Church membership role. Tim’s hobbies include music and sports, and he is looking forward to learning more about our church choirs and sports ministries. We have already been blessed with his musical talents during worship along with his fiancé Erin Ghidina. I might also mention that Tim is not a “teacher”. You might ask him about that when you meet him. I think we may have another “hidden” talent in Tim. Stan lives not too far from UPC which is one reason why he visited our church. He enjoys gardening, reading, and theatre (duly noted). Stan is a retired teacher, but keeps active working as a test proctor part time for ICC. Both Stan and Tim look forward to building new relationships here at United Presbyterian church. Let’s make sure they have that opportunity by giving them a warm welcome.
Youth and Children Christian Education has been actively working on ways to make the children and youth part of the worshipping community. This means I have been reading a lot, talking to friends at other churches to see what they do, taking classes to learn new strategies, and brainstorming with the committee. Making sure everyone gets the most out of worship is a priority of ours. We started a wonderful new class during worship for 4th graders and up in the youth room that helps them transition into worship by learning why we worship, the elements of the service, digging deeper into scripture as well as worshipping as a group once a month. It is amazing to see the knowledge these kids have and their desire to be a part of that group sitting in the sanctuary. They just need the tools, the time, and the patience to get there. Our younger children get to experience part of worship before they are led upstairs for Rotation Sunday School. It may not seem like a lot of time, but these few moments in worship are so important to set that foundation. Helping children find the hymns in the hymnal, shaking hands and greeting others in the sanctuary, taking their own bulletin and learning to follow along are all wonderful ways to introduce worship in a way that is not overwhelming and not simplified for them. Children learn to worship by worshipping. They learn through participation, practice, and patience. Some of you are thinking that church is your weekly recharge. Your time to be with God. Children can sometimes hinder our worship experience. They distract and frustrate us. I get that. I also think that worship is not a time for relaxation or Christian entertainment. Worship is not these traditions in place so everyone in the pews is comfortable. Worship is first and foremost a blessing to God, and God truly values the presence and praise of children. We cannot possibly just check out and relax during worship because worship takes work, and with children, we will have to work harder.
We can worship and we can teach our children to worship with us. Sitting with our children in worship can be a hassle. What will people think of me when my kids act up? What if I end up resenting their presence or become frustrated with them? This is not an uncommon way to feel, but the experience can be holy. I will continue working very hard as a Christian Educator to prepare the children and youth of UPC for the pews, but it all starts with family and experiencing worship together. Beginning Sunday, February 15, children will remain with their parents in the pews until they are invited forward for the Time for Young Disciples. There will no longer be chaperones in the front pew. This is an opportunity to introduce your children to worship. Do those things that help them feel like a member of the whole community, not just the front pew. Children bring amazing gifts of grace to a church family. Sitting in the pew with them allows them to participate in the life of the church and share their gifts of unwavering faith. Children enhance our worship for the whole congregation. Karen Miller
Announcing Registration for the 2015/2016 School Year!
We are now registering current families and UPC congregation members for the 2015/2016 school year. If you are interested in registering your child for our toddler class, half-day preschool class, or our full-day preschool class, you can find the forms online at www.unitedpc.org Please turn in registration forms, along with the $100 registration fee to Pam Scranton. Registration forms can also be picked up in the church office. Community Registration Day is Friday, February 6. Information about UPC Discovery and its programs can be found online.
Children Rotation Sunday School Age 3 – 3rd grade Rotation Sunday school in January will focus on the Sermon on the Mount. We will learn through art, Godly Play and Lego’s, Science and Video. 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. 4th Grade and Up Worship Preparation Class Begins January 4 after the Time for Young Disciples In the Youth Room To better serve the needs of our upper elementary and middle school friends, we are beginning a new class during worship. In this class we will spend time preparing this age group for their transition into worship in fun and creative ways. They will learn about the parts of the worship service, learn why we do certain things, and write some of their own that they will eventually lead in worship services. We will spend some Sundays in class and some in the pews as a group where we will be listening and learning. We hope this class will create a group of youth that doesn’t just go to church, they worship. If any adults would be interested in helping with this program, let Karen know. Parents Night Out Friday, February 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 Patricia will continue her class on Understanding Ourselves and Others. This month’s tool to do that is the Enneagram. It is a marvelous spiritual tool for understanding ourselves and others. In it we will learn some of the underlying motives of the 9 personality types and where grace is the answer to our greatest need. 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. 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 among friends. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Miller.
UPCOMING EVENTS Quest Middle Gathering Sundays, February 8 & February 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. QUEST HIGH SCHOOL Quest High School Gathering Sundays, February 8 & February 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. MARK YOUR CALENDARS MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLERS! SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE SUPPER Tuesday, February 17 Mission trip fundraiser! Please be here any times you can between 4:45 & 8 PM Put the date on your calendars now as we will be preparing a sausage and pancake dinner to raise money for our summer mission trip. It is important that everyone plans to come and help!
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. February 1: Chapter 18: Daniel in Exile February 8: Chapter 19: The Return Home February 15: Chapter 20: The Queen of Beauty and Courage February 22: Chapter 21: Rebuilding the Walls 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: I Samuel (the story of Saul and of David) led by Don Baker and John Warning. It is an insightful study offering 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 meeting Sunday Feb 8 and 22 at 11:30 in room 100 A DVD based group Bible Study using 3:16 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.
February 2015 Faith and Family Class The Family and Family Class will continue discussions on race, culture, and otherness in February. We have had some really great conversations so far and invite you to be a part of them. The Faith and Family class meets at 9:00am in the Library. 11-Minute Lessons 11-Minute Lessons is digging into our series “What is the Bible?” So far we have talked about Why these books? Why was there a huge flood? And what’s up with a giant fish swallowing people? 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 missed lessons. 11-Minutes Lessons meets in room 107 after worship. Spiritual Book Club: Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behavior through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures. The Little Prince is a short, yet profound book about questions, love, passion, friendship, responsibility, and what really matters. The first book Courtney and I read aloud to Verity was The Little Prince. It has long been a favorite of ours, and we look forward to sharing it with you. The Book Club will meet Tuesday, February 24 at 6:00 PM.
Worship & Arts Turning Points: Moments That Matter We will finish our winter sermon series “Turning Points: Moments That Matter” on February 15. We have been looking at key events that were turning points in the life and ministry of Jesus and how those events speak to the turning points in our lives. The last three stories we’ll look at are: Peter’s declaration of faith at Caesarea Philippi, the transfiguration of Jesus, and the raising of Lazarus. The sermon series will lead directly into our Lenten series “The Last Week of Jesus: Walking With Jesus From Palm Sunday Through Easter.”
LENTEN WORSHIP AND PRAYER Ash Wednesday Services: February 18, 2015, at Noon and 6:15 PM Noon Service: in Room 100 Chapel followed by a potluck soup and bread meal in fellowship hall. Bus transportation is available upon request. Sign up for soup and bread in the office. 6:15 Service: in the Sanctuary after Connecting Point meal. Sunday Worship: Sermon series: Each day of Holy Week leading up to the Crucifixion. Weekly Lenten Worship Noon & 5PM: in Room 100 Chapel Daily Lenten Devotions: See the insert in the Chimes (Weeks 4 through Holy Week will be in the March Chimes)
Preaching Schedule February 1: Mark 8:27-38 “At the Mouth of Hell” Pastor Stephen February 8: Mark 9:2-12 “Strength for the Climb ” Pastor Stephen February 15: John 11:45-57 “The Walking Dead” Pastor Stephen February 18 (Ash Wednesday): “Set Free for God” Pastor Patricia February 22: Mark 11:1-11 “Protest March” Pastor Stephen Room 100 Chapel Dedication A Chapel space has been created for our use in a portion of Room 100. Dedication of the Chapel space at the end of Sunday worship is on February 15 followed by an “open house” of the Chapel for folks to come see and offer prayers for the Chapel.
Prayer Stations: A prayer station will be set up in Room 100 Chapel each week during Lent. You are welcome to use this space for prayer whenever the classroom is not scheduled for use. See schedule posted outside Room 100. (A prayer station is a place to stop and pray; you will find, at the station, a suggested reading, prayer, or activity for your prayer time) Requested Songs Last month, you had the opportunity to share with us some of the songs you would like to sing in church during worship. We have compiled a list of those songs and are trying to work as many of them as possible into worship services where appropriate. When you see "requested" next to a song or hymn, it means that someone shared that song title with us. Thank you for sharing the songs that are meaningful to you with us.
Worship & Arts Why I Do Not Make My Singers Smile I say a lot of things during music rehearsals. Sometimes too many things. Sometimes not enough. But this is something you will never hear me say in a worship band rehearsal: “I think you need to smile more. You really need to convey to the congregation how happy you are to be worshipping.” Many of my formative Christian years have been spent in circles where statements likes these would be used without second thought or consideration. In order for a worship leader to be leading to his/ her greatest ability, the person needs to engage a group with voice, instrument, body, presence, and overall communication. I agree with this fully. But how is this communication on a chancel different than an actor/actress on a stage? This is too big a question to tackle in this article, so if you are reading this and want a more detailed analysis, please find me at church and ask me to buy you a coffee. I would love that. I will suggest this, however. One of the main differences between the roles of worship leaders and actors/actresses is located in the murky territory between “performance” and “presentation”. In worship we see a continually morphing pattern of performance and presentation. Certain things scream performance: people leading other people from a raised platform, people intentionally altering their voices to achieve a dramatic oration, music during offertory, and the process of breaking the bread in half and pouring the juice of communion into the chalice. These all invoke an experience of performance. But they also contain elements of presentation. You see, performance requires something of the catalyst that presentation does not (at least in my experience of these two phenomena). In performance, the expectation for quality of experience (on behalf of the audience) falls upon the performer and his/her capacity to embody and express a given material. The performer has the power. In presentation, the expectation for quality of experience is less on the performer and more on the content being showcased. Performance does matter in presentation, but the presenter takes a subordinate role to the element being presented. The goal for a presenter is to facilitate an experience with the consumer and a given product. The product has the power.
As a worship leader I am not trying to lure you into an experience of worship by my ability to embody and enact what a meaningful moment of worship looks like. My performance, the physical action of my worship, is not the gateway into your experience with God. As worship leaders, we are presenting the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (through words, prayers, music, movement, taste, sight, sound, silence, etc.) for all of us, the people of God. The emphasis falls not on the individual performer but rather on the content of worship and the community who are actualizing and transforming that content into concrete practices of faith. The packaging matters. If leaders of worship look like they are having a bad time singing in a service, it does matter. And in an environment where performance is emphasized to a fault, it potentially impacts the “quality” of worship more than it should. However, the answer is not to change their outward appearances. This would be painfully misdirected and inauthentic. I would invite them to participate with greater focus and awareness into what they are presenting to and with the congregation. Where this leads us to, I do not know. But it looks more than a forced grin. Aaron Schultz Director of Worship & the Arts
Prayer Corner Prayer for Shrove Tuesday and Lent Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins – It has a long history in our church and our culture. Over 1,000 years ago it was written ‘In the week immediately before Lent, everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him’ (AngloSaxon Ecc Institutes). To shrive was to confess sins and to receive absolution (forgiveness). In French, we speak of Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), in southern Germany, Fasching (probably from fasten, to fast), in English speaking countries we speak of Pancake Tuesday! Food like eggs, milk and cream were traditionally given up for Lent – but not wasted! So, the day before Lent, the pancake was the ideal way to empty the stores of rich food. Shrove Tuesday is a day of letting go joyfully and facing Lent in hope. We eat well as part of that letting go – rather than simply to fill ourselves. We may recognize that while our lives, our minds, our hearts, and our stomachs are full to bursting, they are not always full of that which is best for us. Pancakes taste best when eaten with family and friends ... have I spent much time like this with those I love in the months since Christmas? Do I need to reprioritize so I can? We hope you will join us for our Shrove Tuesday Pancake meal and say this prayer over your pancakes and over every meal you eat or share throughout Lent. For food in a world where many walk in hunger For faith in a world where many walk in fear For friends in a world where many walk alone We give you thanks O Lord. Help me to walk with you this Lent through your last week, to the cross where you died so that I may feast upon love and grace. Amen We continue to lift in prayer Henry Noetzel, Bella Goergen, Jenna Hague, Bill Pollitz, Mary Kay McDowell, Barb Livingston, Ron Kirchgessner, the families of Joe Bender, Phil Engstrom at his Mother’s passing, John Covey, and Fannie Ort. PRAYER Join Pastor Patricia in the Room 100 Chapel on Wednesdays for Noon Prayer: a time for mid-day prayer and intercession.
Mission Snack Pack Program Our Snack Pack Program has been a great success. We provide snack packs to 40 children a week. Last year we made about 1000 bags, and this year we’ll double that! We fill Snack Packs on the fourth Sunday of the month after worship in the sewing room (105). All ages can participate in this mission to the children of our community. Some of our current needs are: brown paper bags, 100% juice boxes, fruit cups, apple sauce, cheese or peanut butter crackers, and turkey sticks. Thank you for your generosity. We are making a difference to students, families, and our community. We hope to continue to add more children to the program as the year progresses. Share the Warmth Do you know about the Share the Warmth ministry at UPC? Once a month members of UPC get together on a Saturday morning to make fleece tie blankets to give to those in need of a little warmth. Last year blankets were given to members in the hospital or hospice, to the Red Cross, and to the Sugar Plum Project which provides beds to children without one. You will have the opportunity to hear more about Share the Warmth in worship on Sunday, February 22 and how you can get involved and help. 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.
Sharing Our Stories Lindsey Hanson My name is Lindsey Hanson and I was born and raised in Peoria, IL. I graduated from the University of Iowa last May with a degree in Elementary Education and I am currently a first grade teacher in the IVC school district. I love traveling, swimming, playing fantasy football, and cheering for the New York Giants. Growing up, I attended Arcadia Avenue Presbyterian Church before uniting with First Presbyterian Church so I have always felt a part of this church community. The first activity I became involved at a young age were the church dramas. I looked forward to doing it every year growing up because it was a way I would show my passion for the church and what I was experiencing through it. My excitement for theater in the church continues to grow as I will still participate in any drama I can. I enjoy volunteering at Vacation Bible School in the summers because it gives me a chance to get kids excited about church and what it has to offer. At UPC, I participated in youth group as much as I could which included going on a Mission Trip and going skiing for the first time. These experiences allowed me to challenge myself in ways I didn’t know were possible and build relationships with my peers and leaders in the church. It wasn’t until I left for school that I realized how much I loved everything United Presbyterian Church had to offer. While I was away at school, I couldn’t find a church that I felt I was welcomed and belonged in. So when I graduated, I was happy I had the chance to come back to Peoria and become more involved in this church family. I recently volunteered with the Family Fun Night and Family Christmas Shop. These were a great chance to not only interact with people from our own church, but with people from the community as well. I really enjoyed getting the chance to talk to people from all different walks of life. It made me realize how important some of the programs we provide through our church really change the lives of those in the surrounding community. I also participate in some of the church sports on Sundays such as volleyball and basketball even though it’s a little out of my comfort zone. I love going to these events because it gives me a chance to interact with people from our church community in a different setting. Through all of these activities I have met people that I have been able to spend time with out of church. We have gone out to eat, watched movies, and even tried ice skating. Every week, I am so excited to celebrate my church community and see the people that have had such a positive influence on my life. I am so thankful for all of the things I have been able to do within the church and the people I have had the opportunity to meet.
February 2015 Neill Marshall I have been attending UPC now for a little over 5 years maybe longer along with my parents Christi and Alex Marshall. When I first started attending I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as getting involved with church functions or even how the members of the church would welcome my family; however, from the very beginning we were greeted with open arms. I was a sophomore in high school when we first started attending UPC so the youth group I found was the place for me. I enjoyed going to youth group every other Sunday and doing skits and playing crazy games, but also learning more about God and how he can be a positive influence in your life. I was also fortunate enough to go on a trip with the Youth Group down to Gatlinburg Tennessee and do awesome things like race go-carts, play capture the flag, and enjoy spending time with friends. I was pretty active in the youth group until I graduated high school, and found I was a little too old to stick around as a “youth” although I still enjoy all those things. From there I was looking for my next adventure at UPC and came across the wonderful world of sound. I have always done sound for theatre at places such as Cornstock, Peoria Players, and all four years of high school. So doing sound at church was always an interest of mine and it wasn't until our new worship and arts director Aaron Schultz came along that I was able to put my skills to good use. Along with all the other sound board, camera, and computer operators, we enjoy making service enjoyable for everyone who attends even if we forget to turn on Stephen’s or Patricia’s mics every once in a while. Outside of sound I greatly enjoy playing Basketball every Sunday at 4 (for those of you interested in playing). It’s a great time for a good cardio workout but also a great way to meet new people and have fun at the same time; it is definitely one of the highlights of my week. Through UPC and the work of God, I have met some life long friends and have countless memories that I am thankful for every day.
Stewardship & Giving 2015 Budget Update What is Per Capita? The Presbyterian Church is an agent of mission and an evangelist telling the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is, according to the words of our constitution, a community of faith, of hope, of love, and of witness. It is also an organization with a worldwide reach that, like any organization, needs money to allow for these functions. Just as other organizations find equitable ways to share those costs, so has the church. That equitable way is called "per capita" which, of course, literally means "by head." That is, every PCUSA congregation contributes to the expenses of the overall organization by paying an amount per person based on its membership numbers. That means that larger churches pay a higher total than smaller ones, but the cost per member is the same whether a church is large or small. The money gathered together from all of the congregations allows the PCUSA to function according to our understanding of God's call to us as a gathered body. For instance, a part of it pays for the meetings that we believe to be crucial to understanding God's intentions for us. When we gather in presbyteries, synods, or as the General Assembly, we meet together to discern God's desire for us. Those who attend are not expected to bear the burden of the expense of their attendance. Instead, that is covered by per capita. Searching for a pastor is a function in which a congregation is aided by the whole denomination. The expenses of this network of assistance are paid by per capita. When there is trouble in a church-whether a fire or an issue with pastoral leadership-the presbytery, backed up by the whole denomination-is available to provide help and counsel. The presbytery can also assist with all of the myriad questions that arise from time to time in the administration of any congregation. Being a part of an organization has its privileges and its expectations. Sharing the expenses of the PCUSA and sharing in its benefits is accomplished through the per capita contribution. 2014 Per Capita Payments 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 We want to pass along our sincere thanks to the members and staff of UPC for all the love and support we received upon the passing of Joe Bender. The staff wasted no time coming to our aid and let us lean on their strength and compassion. The service for him was a wonderful tribute and beautiful dignified way to say goodbye. We received many cards, letters, and most gratefully, kind words and hugs from our brothers and sisters in Christ! My wife, Theresa, and I do not know the words to thank you, our church family, for being there when we needed you. Joe and Theresa Bender We thank you for all the positive thoughts, prayers, and cards received during and following Kent’s cardiac event on November 26, 2014. Big thanks to Pastor Stephen for arriving at the hospital during Kent’s surgery and praying for and with our family. Thanks to Kirsten, Parish Nurse, for her phone call too! THANKS to those I contacted individually and those praying via the prayer chain. All of this has, we are certain, and with God’s grace, made Kent’s strong recovery possible! Our HEARTS are grateful! Kent and Dawn Higgins Dear Friends at UPC, The beautiful balloon helped decorate my apartment and also helped cheer me while I was suffering with sinus infection on my Christmas Eve birthday and on Christmas Day. Thank you, Rina Krall, for the nice visit we had. May God Bless all of you and keep you in his loving care. Evelyn Humphrey
Church Life Family Movie Night Get your super suits together for Family Movie Night! The Incredibles will be showing Friday, February 20, 2015. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the show will begin at 6:30 PM. Popcorn and water will be available! Bring the whole family and enjoy a super evening! Local Lunch Local Lunch is a great time to connect with church friends, meet new friends, and share your thoughts with church staff. This month we’ll meet downtown at Café 401 on SW Water street at 12:00 PM on February 23. Please call the church office and let us know you’re coming. Ladies Night Out Date: February 19 at 6:00 PM Where: Avanti's on N Knoxville RSVP: Eunice Andrews at 688-8458 or Betty Pugh at 8228500. BUNCO Date: February 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.
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. Supper Club Sign-Ups February 1 & 8 after worship in the Fellowship Hall What is a Supper Club, you ask? It’s a group of hungry people who get together once a month or so and dine together in each other’s homes or out and about at one of Peoria’s many fine restaurants. The groups are put together in no particular order-just a good mix of young and not so young, male & female, singles, and couples. New members—this is your chance to make some really good new friendships at UPC! Coming soon to a kitchen near you! How To Cook an Australian Dinner March 21, 2015, in the UPC Kitchen Hosted by Lilli & Ross Nettle (with a little help from last year’s Irish dinner host Linda Kelley) A scrumptious meal from the land down under and you cook it yourself! More details next month. Mark your calendars today!
Thank you Notes
Anna Circle When: February 12 at 6:00 PM Where: WeaverRidge Lesson: Chapter 10, Bad Girls of the Bible. Final review by Pastor Patricia.
Thank you for the generous donation of toys your congregation collected to support our annual Toy Shop event. The Salvation Army would not be able to serve as many members of our community were it not for the generosity and support of congregations like UPC. Christopher L. Kennedy, Dir. Of Development
Mark Your Calendars Money Smart Kids Read “Lemonade for Sale!” Saturday, April 18, 2015 More info in next month’s Chimes.
Thank for your recent gift of $802.00 received from The Soul of the Soldier presentation commemorating Veterans’ Day. This will enable us to fly our Veterans on the next flight in 2015. Lesley Matuszak, President, Greater Peoria Honor Flight
ABCs of Home Ownership Free and open to the public April 23, 2014 More info in next month’s Chimes.
Thank you for your recent contribution of $974. Every contribution is of utmost importance in furthering our goal of providing books to primary Children. Janet Roth, President Look. It’s my Book!
Ruth Circle When: February 9 at 1:00 PM Hostesses: Sara Stotts & Karen Woods Devotions: Betty Welch Program: Lesson 8 of Bad Girls of the Bible led by Marianne Devore
Thank you for hosting a Christmas party that helped us meet the needs of our clients at the Children’s Home. Through your gift, you are partnering with us to make a change and improve the lives of children in our community. Matt George, President & CEO, Children’s Home
Health & Wellness Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms February is not just the month we get chocolate for Valentine’s Day-February is also recognized as “Heart Month” by the American Heart Association. Why all the fuss about the heart? Here are very sobering statistics about heart disease: about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year-that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 190,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack. So, that’s why it is important to repeat information about heart attacks in men and women. The symptoms of heart attack include: Chest discomfort-discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It may feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body-pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach Shortness of breath – may occur with or without chest discomfort Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptoms are chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. If you suspect a heart attack, call 9-1-1!!! Do not wait more than 5 minutes before calling for help. Source: www.heart.org Kirsten Tharp, RN Heart Sunday Sunday, February 1, 2015, is Heart Sunday. There will be a special display in the Fellowship Hall focusing on heart health, and all are reminded to “Wear Red”. Valentine’s For Shut-Ins UPC has several members we are unable to see on a regular basis. Please take a moment to share a card or note with them this Valentine’s Day. You will be able to put your Valentine’s in the bags in Fellowship Hall on February 1 and February 8. There will also be a sign-up sheet by the Valentine bags for anyone interested in helping to deliver.
The following are the shut-ins who will be receiving: Gladys Abraham, Bob/Carolyn Gnepper, Ray Long, Becky Garrels, Jeanette Herink, Arlene Lister, Helen Sandman, Mary Lou Troth, Bill Maule, Alice Prentiss, Pat Popelar, Grace Bossingham, Cyrene Eberle, Jack Bensing, Margaret Hochstrasser, Evelyn Humphrey, Helen Kreighbaum, Betty Beall, Miriam Hawk, Fred/Edith Dickinson, Marjorie Wilkerson, Harriet Bensing, Althea Rauen, Margaret Serup, Ethel Moore, John Parks, Mary Johnson, Dorothy Bloom, Fern Deemie, Corda Jones, Tony Anthony, Virginia Cully, Midge Hillard, Loretta Horst, Janet McKinty, Jack/Betty Dixon, Margaret Greiner, Wanda Tauber, Jeannie Noetzel, and Bertha Mueller. “Let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God…” 1 John 4:7 Kirsten Tharp, RN
News and Notes Star Gifts We hope you each have received a Star Gift and you have it somewhere special in your house. How might God use the word on your star to be a gift to you, and how might God use that word for you to be a gift to others? If you would be willing to share your Star Gift word and how God has been speaking to you through that word in an upcoming Chimes, Ringer, or Worship Service, please let Pastor Stephen know. Nursery Help Needed We are looking for volunteers to help in the nursery on Sunday mornings. Ideally, we would have a rotation so no one had to miss worship often. We still have one paid nursery worker, but our second nursery attendant is no longer available on Sunday mornings. If you are interested in helping, please talk to Pastor Stephen or Karen Miller.