The Chimes


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The Chimes A publication of United Presbyterian Church Peoria, IL

Volume.12 Issue.10 October 28, 2015

2 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 Christian Education Connecting Point Page 6 UPC Discovery Youth Christian Education Quest Page 7 Sharing Our Stories Page 8 Worship & the Arts Page 9 Church Life News and Notes Page 10 Stewardship & Giving Mission Page 11 Mission Cont’d Health & Wellness Stephen Ministry Insert Calendar

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Eunice Andrews Robert Avery Jack Bensing Dorothy Bloom Bryce Brand Leonard Brown Lorraine Bunker Fern Deemie Dan Dickerson Fred Dickinson Bob & Carolyn Gnepper Margaret Greiner Pam Harrison Midge Hillard Margaret Hochstrasser Loretta Horst Al Hultgren Mary Johnson Dwight & Corda Jones Mike Kelley Ken Krancher Maureen Leuba Ray Long Ethel Moore Stephanie Murray Nathan Pennington Sherry Shedenhelm Steve Stella Deb Sullivan Dale Warren Dick West

Interested in joining United Presbyterian Church? Contact a pastor or visit our website at: www.unitedpc.org.

July 2015

Joseph Scranton

October 2015

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A Bucket or Pipe? Are you living like a “bucket” or a “pipe”? A bucket is designed to hold things (liquids, dirt, etc.). A pipe is designed to convey things through it (fluids, gases, etc.). The bucket holds what it receives and the pipe transfers on what it receives. So, in regards to the wealth that God has graciously entrusted to you: are you living your life like a bucket or a pipe? Are you holding on or passing on? It’s easy enough to live like a bucket. I saw a bumper sticker some time ago that read, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” I thought, “What an accurate way to express the world’s view of life and possessions.” But it immediately occurred to me that yes, this is true if the game of life is all about accumulation, but the sad tragedy is that he who dies with the most toys still dies and then someone else will get to play with all his toys. God condemns the rich farmer we’ll talk about Sunday for this very thing: “God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared(what is left in your bucket)? So is the man who stores up treasure for himself (kept his own bucket full), and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:20-21). What we keep in our bucket will eventually leak out, be stolen, taxed, evaporate, or spilled out when you “kick the bucket.” Is that worth living for? Is that truly life? John D. Rockefeller honestly admitted, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” However, we still want to believe the lie that “happy is the man whose bucket is full.” Henry Ford confessed after becoming a multi-millionaire, “I was happier doing a mechanic’s job.” Yet we still want to believe that “happy is the man whose bucket is full.” Solomon—who was perhaps the richest man to have ever lived— observed in Ecclesiastes 5:13 what happens when people try to keep what is in their bucket for their own selfish enjoyment, “I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of the owner.” But we still want to believe that “happy is the man whose bucket is full.” In God’s economy, a pipe is infinitely more useful than a bucket! God created us to be conduits and not receptacles of God’s blessings. In fact, “What happens if a pipe gets confused and starts thinking it is a bucket?” What is supposed to pass through gets stuck, becoming clogged and in need of being roto-rooted—so it can go back to doing what it was made to do—which is to let things flow through it, not just to it. God has created many of us to be high-capacity pipes because he wants to pump huge amounts through us to support Kingdom causes worldwide. Let’s look again at what Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Instruct those who are rich in this present world (high capacity pipes) not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share (let it flow freely), storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. Nothing produces “that which is truly life” like doing what God has created us to do. God has positioned us to turn on our spigot and let it flow! In common calling, Pastor Stephen

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October 2015

Counting Using New Math We are entering the season when many of us will be counting our blessings. This year I am going to count using new math. A math we are learning in the Sunday School Follower class. We are just a few chapters into the book What’s So Amazing About Grace? It is showing in our faces, and the lively discussion that we are more and more amazed at God’s grace. And also more and more aware of how much we are suffering in this world because of ungrace. A recent chapter was particularly enlightening: the New Math of Grace. Yancey says that God’s grace is atrocious mathematics. It is outrageous that Jesus would teach in his parables about a God who would leave 99 well behaved sheep (and leave them undefended and vulnerable) for the sake of finding the stray 1 sheep. It is outrageous math that when a religious faithful Pharisee is praying that Jesus says the repentant sinner is the one God sees as righteous. It is ghastly arithmetic that Jesus would teach about a vineyard owner who hired workers for a day’s wages, and then would pay the ones hired early in the day the same wage to the slackers who only worked for the final hour of the day. And the Old Testament also reminds us of God’s bizarre arithmetic. God chose deceiving Jacob over hardworking Esau. God gave the incredible gifts of power to Samson, who struggled with lust and passion. And what about King David? Yahweh selected Solomon (son of Bathsheba with whom David committed adultery) to be the succeeding King of Israel. Outrageous Mathematics! Yancey points out that “God dispenses gifts, not wages. None of us gets paid according to merit, for none of us come close to satisfying God’s requirements for a perfect life. If paid on the basis of fairness, we would all end up in hell.” In other words “If the world could have been saved by good bookkeeping, it would have been saved by Moses, not Jesus.” –Robert Farrar Capon, an American Episcopal priest and author. We all want grace. And yet what we learn very early as Americans is more like ungrace. “The early bird gets the worm.” “No pain, no gain.” “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” “Demand your rights.” “You get what you pay for.” Yancey reminds us all that whether we are aware of it or not, we live by these kinds of “rules.” We like to win. We demand our rights and we want people to get what they deserve. As Americans we have become much better at the comfortable math of ungrace. So it is not surprising that Christians like you and me struggle when face to face with this new math. Just think of how far this could go, Jesus! Shall we call him good teacher? Perhaps only if the outrageous arithmetic of grace applies to myself. Author Brennan Manning, for the sake of repairing his self-image in this world of ungrace, has begun to describe himself using the words of the evangelist and apostle John of Patmos who referred to himself in the gospel of John: “I am one whom Jesus loves.” Not because John or Brennan live a perfect life, not because of anything they have earned. But because they have come to know that they are loved because of who God is. God is love. The perfect love that is described by Paul in the First letter to the Corinthians: “love is patient, love is kind, love bears all things, believes all things, and keeps no record of wrongs.” As you and I draw near to the season of Thanksgiving, let us give thanks for the outrageous and atrocious mathematics of God’s grace. A grace which means we can say in unison, “I am one whom Jesus loves.” And it does not stop there. We then can turn to one another, others who likewise need to hear this new math of God; who desperately need to hear those amazing words: “You too, are one whom Jesus loves!” May this amazing grace bear much fruit in all our lives, Patricia

October 2015

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Adul Classes 9AM Sunday Morning Adult Education Hour Classes and discussion groups to help us to live into our mission statement to: “We Grow and Nurture Followers of Christ in a Welcoming Community” All classes welcome newcomers at any time. Followers: led by Pastor Patricia in Room 107 Followers is a book with DVD discussion group. We are discussing the award winning book What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey. Nov 1 Chapter 6: Unbroken Chain; A Story Nov 8 Chapter 7: An Unnatural Act Nov 15 Chapter 8: Why Forgive? Nov 22 Chapter 9: Getting Even Nov 29 Chapter 10: The Arsenal of Grace Wired Word: led by Betty Pugh and John Warning in Room 105 The Wired Word is a vibrant and conversational class where we discuss current events in the light of the Scriptures. The Journey: led by Don Baker and Gordon Selling in Room 100 A Bible Study group dedicated to growing in knowledge of God through what is revealed in the Bible one book at a time. Currently studying 1 and 11 Chronicles. LYF Class (Living Your Faith): led by Pastor Stephen in Room 106 The LYF (Living Your Faith) class uses video resources from Darkwood Brew, The Work of the People, and NOOMA to spark discussions about how we understand, live, and share our faith. 10AM Thursday Morning Bible Study with Pastor Patricia We have just begun our study of the gospel of Luke. It looks to be enlightening. Bring your Bible or use one of ours. This class is open to newcomers anytime.

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Parent’s Night Out Friday, November 6 & December 4 6:00 – 8:30PM High School youth will babysit so the parents can have a night out. Reservations are required by the WEDNESDAY BEFORE as space is limited. This is a free service, but donations are gladly accepted and will be used to sponsor our friend Laurent in Tanzania. Pancake Supper Fundraiser and Advent Celebration Sunday, November 29 5:00 – 7:00PM Start the season of Advent off with pancakes and wreaths! The youth will be serving up pancakes and sausage to raise money for a summer trip. We will also have a very special Advent activity for all ages. Details to come!

Connecting Point is every Wednesday beginning with a meal at 5:30PM. Activities for children begin at 6:15 and the adult class begins at 6:30PM. Music rehearsals are also on Wednesday evenings. Come and get connected! Connecting Point Adult Class The Connecting Point Adult Class for November (the 4, 11th, and 18th) is on the Four Gospels. We’ll discuss why we only have four Gospels in the Bible and how and why those four were chosen out of many in existence. We’ll also talk about why each Gospel is unique, who wrote it, when it was written, and who it was written to. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the Four Gospels, then come on Wednesday Nights at 6:30pm Connecting Point Kids! Children are welcome upstairs for Faith 5, prayer, games, crafts and gym time. Youth room open for middle school and up! The youth room will be open during Connecting Point for 5th graders and up only. Bring your homework, a book or game and make yourself some hot chocolate. Make sure to clean up after yourself! Parent’s Gathering Parents will meet after dinner until 7:15 in the Library. We will discuss current parenting topics and issues. We will also spend time exploring how we can bring faith home through seasonal traditions. We are just starting up and you can join us whenever you like!

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New Additions to the Nature Classroom! On Saturday, October 3, UPC Discovery hosted a Nature Classroom Workday. Over thirty-five parents, committee members, Nature Rangers, and congregation members attended! In three hours we designed and planted a grassy maze, placed & leveled new storage sheds, constructed enhancements for the Tree House, designed a new trail leading to the woods, and planted several perennial plants by the memorial bricks. Thanks to everyone for their hard work and dedication to connecting children, youth, and adults to God’s world!

September 2015

Children’s Sunday School Living Inside Out Ages 3 – 3rd grade Children will be escorted from worship after the Time for Young Disciples upstairs to the Sunday school rooms where they will learn how to live their faith inside out! With a monthly theme, the children will experience the Bible through fun, high-energy learning experiences that will be memorable. The excitement will begin with a fun large group time and then take the lesson deeper with small group time by age. 4th Grade and Up Sunday School In the Youth Room after the Time for Young Disciples We will be beginning a new curriculum called “CONNECT” that uses technology and Bible study to take the middle school youth through the Bible in a fun and memorable way. QUEST Youth Groups We are back to our normal schedule of 2nd and 4th Sunday afternoons/evenings. If we have special events or things we need to prepare for at other times, I will notify you in advance. If you would like weekly email updates, please email [email protected] to get all the youth news fast.

Quest

Exploring the Grassy Maze

Constructing with our new Outlast Blocks

Youth Christian Education Children’s Education Hour: Holy Moly! Main Sunday School Room Children will experience the Bible through HOLY MOLY! Holy Moly follows a four-part sequence: Discover, Relate, Connect, and Create. Each week, kids will watch an animated Bible story video, talk about the story, read their Bibles, and try a creative activity. We are so excited to begin this new journey in our faith! Middle & High School Education Hour Harry Potter Discussion Class in the Youth Room We will be studying Harry Potter books and movies and their connection to our faith.

QUEST Middle & High School Quest Middle School Meetings Sundays, November 8 & 22 3:30 – 5:00PM We will have devotions where the kids can express their feelings, faith and questions in an accepting and creative environment. As always, there will be time for games, hot chocolate, snacks and more. Bring a friend and join us at Quest where everyone is welcome. Quest High School Meetings Sundays, November 8 & 22 5:00 – 6:30PM We will be embarking on various devotions that explore polity, current events, our lives today, and more as well as have some fun! The Keurig will be fully stocked as well as snacks in our new youth room. Bring a friend and join us at Quest where everyone is welcome. QUEST Middle & High School Important Upcoming Events Pancake Supper Fundraiser Sunday, November 29 5:00 – 7:00PM Youth will arrive around 4:00PM to begin set up and getting pancakes and sausage started. This will be a fundraiser for a summer trip next year.

October 2015

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After our first several visits to UPC we were convinced this was the church were we wanted to be! The sincere and warm welcoming was evident. Pastors Stephen and Randy displayed a great balance as church leaders, and impressed us with their respective sermons during our Floyd & Marlene Boeker visits. We were greeted by friends (the Sullivans and Hello. We are Floyd and Marlene Boeker and we have lived in Metamora since1971. Prior to that we had lived our entire lives Nixons) who indicated they were long time members-and showed us around. Other church members were in St. Louis. We have three children and six grandchildren--all most friendly and also made us feel “at home”. The whom live nearby except for our youngest who moved to Birchurch grounds and church building truly impressed us. mingham, Alabama last year. Pastor Stephen personally called us, and we were We started attending First Presbyterian Church approximately 24 “hooked”. years ago. We had visited several other churches before 1st Pastor Stephen wasted no time in getting us involved in Presby, but it didn't take long to know this was the place for various volunteer activities almost immediately. Bob us. Two of our children were in college, so Ross was our only became involved as an usher and a member of the child who was involved in youth activities there. We were so Growth Committee. We both assisted as greeters, and pleased with the activities he participated in under the leaderassisted with “fellowship” as needed and assigned. Durship of Jim and Gloria Berry. We were quite active in the married couples group, and it is the friends in that group that started ing the past two years, Bob became an Elder, and was co -chair of the HR Committee. Both are volunteer commitus traveling to Gulf Shores, Alabama many years ago. Many of tee activities he really enjoyed. We also like attending them are no longer with us, but we continue the tradition. Pastor Stephen’s 11-Minute Lessons when possible. This Now we are members of United Presbyterian Church, and what a year, Judy assisted as a UPC Deacon. It became most evident from our personal involvement that UPC has joy that is. We've made new friends but kept the old. We have many wonderful and giving volunteers who really help watched a church that was mainly "white haired," grow into a things go well at church due to their efforts and support. church with young families whom we embrace wholeheartedly. It is such a joy to see the children in church on Sunday, and Also, in our opinion, the church pastors, and staff have done a terrific job with their respective responsibilities all around the building during our many activities. We believe our church's enthusiastic staff help keep us "young at heart" and and in their areas of expertise. involved. We have both been deacons, sang in choir, served at dinners, helped with VBS, and served on committees. Floyd de- Recently, the Pastors have asked the Elders and other “Why do you give to UPC? More specifically, we give so rives much joy from choir and Marlene so enjoys working with that_____”. Judy and I discussed our “whys” and came the wonderful library committee. It is heartening to watch the up with a lengthy list of reasons and feelings. Our sumreadership in the library increase bit by bit. mary of those reasons is: WE GIVE TO UPC TO FINANCIALLY SUPPORT ITS LEADERS AND STAFF, PROGRAMS, Many of our Metamora friends wonder why we don't attend MINISTRY, AND GOD’S MISSIONS. We would hope that church nearer home, but there is a pull to United that keeps us all church members and frequent visitors would consider from doing what is easy and comfortable. If we lived closer, we would be able to attend more activities, but United is too special making a generous pledge for 2016, and also become involved in volunteer work at UPC. to give up. God has blessed us with a loving family, a loving church family; and we find great joy in worshiping at United Approximately five weeks ago, one of our daughters, Presbyterian Church, listening to inspiring sermons each week, and helping the church in whatever areas we are able. We treas- who lives in Florida with two children, indicated a need for our help and assistance. We are responding to her ure the many friendships we have made at this wonderful place request, and will be leaving UPC and the area for an unof worship. determined time period. We have enjoyed our years at UPC, the renewed friendship, and the many new friends Bob & Judy Carruthers we have met and bonded with during our time here. Judy and I were pleased to become members of UPC over four God’s blessings and our best wishes to all of you. years ago. We had left a much larger Peoria church and were seeking a church with a congregation of around 400-500, with the opportunities for greater involvement as well as a place to grow and lead as followers of Christ.

Sharing Our Stories

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October 2015

Then I entered the closed doors.

Hanging of the Greens November 22nd Join us as we prepare the worship space and fellowship hall for Advent during the Hanging of the Greens on Sunday, November 22nd directly following the worship service. We can use anyone who can hang decorations, unload and load boxes, and unravel lights! Please sign up in the fellowship hall or check in with Trish at the office. We will have lunch provided for all those who help with the Hanging of the Greens.

It was a split level building; upstairs was the sanctuary and downstairs was the fellowship hall. As I walked upstairs, a wonderfully sweet aroma greeted me with a faint glow of lights illumining glorious iconography adorning the walls and behind the altar. There was a hushed calm over the gathered people as if they were silently yet expectantly awaiting something where the only appropriate action is refrained anticipation.

Worship Studio The Worship Studio is Monday, November 9th at 6:00PM at the Art Garage on Main Street. Guest artist Mary Claire Marck will join us as we talk about the use of images in Biblical narratives. All are welcome to join us for this worship experience that utilizes art and creative expression.

When we think of the word “worship”, it is usually in reference to a set of songs, a religious gathering, a type of music, or a posture to communicate or solidify personal belief/devotion. These understandings of worship are very contemporary. Worship as used in the Bible and early church practice had less to do with our personal response and had more to do with what the actions signified; more importantly, what the actions said about the God they were done for. In ancient times, worship was about the intersection of action and devotion. In the New Testament, translations use “worship” to talk about feeding the hungry, taking care of widows, and healing the afflicted. The actions of doing these was less about a personal conviction, but more about communicating through action that God cares for those whom everyone else has forgotten.

Mid-month Communion Worship Service, November 17th On Tuesday, November 17th at 6:00PM we will be hosting a Taizé service that will center on the Presence of God. The Taizé community is a group in France who are devoted to monastic principles of living. They welcome in guests from all over the world to worship with them and attend classes. The Taizé Community has created resources to aid worshiping communities in the songs, prayers, and practices that shape Taizé worship. The songs are often short, repetitive, harmony-filled, and use a lot of different instruments. The prayers are poetic and beautiful. Please join us in this service of worship.

Rituals at their best are much more than routine practices. They both form and enrich the person practicing the ritual while acknowledging the ritual itself points to a greater mystery beyond itself.

Unity Worship at Zion Baptist Church United Presbyterian is invited to join Zion Baptist Church in worship on Sunday, November 15th at 10:45AM. Pastor Stephen will be preaching at Zion. We will also have our regular worship at United Presbyterian Church at 10:00AM with Pastor Patricia preaching. If you would like to worship with Zion, you may meet at Zion Baptist or meet in the church Fellowship Hall at 10:15am to carpool.

Smells and Bells I remember the first time walking into an Eastern orthodox parish. It was in Chicago tucked back into an unassuming side street. The exterior was plain and unremarkable. A slight nervousness came over me because I did not know what to expect at all.

Worship & Arts

This is what I experienced at the Eastern Orthodox parish. Everything was infused with meaning. There was nothing that happened in the space and in the liturgy that didn’t have meaning for the worshiper and meaning to the God the rituals pointed to. The incense, the bells, the a capella choir, the iconography…it all lead worshipers within themselves and without themselves. It fed their soul yet pointed them in a direction of feeding the world with God’s love. When we sing songs at church, pray prayers, light the candles on the Table, pour water into the font, or invite children to come up towards the chancel during the service; these actions all form and inspire us, but they also have other meanings. They signify a God who is solely worthy of our praise, a Divine Presence that promises to never leave us or forsake us, waters that cleanse our living soul, and a God who makes a home for everyone. Aaron Schultz

Worship in November November 1: Luke 12:13-21 “Taking it With You” Pastor Stephen November 8: John1:35-39; Mark1:16-20 “Follow the Teacher” Pastor Patricia November 15: John 13:34-35; Romans 13:8-10 “Everyone will know if you…” Pastor Patricia (Pastor Stephen will be preaching at Zion Baptist Church in Peoria) November 22: John 18:33-37 “The Interrogation” Pastor Stephen November 29: Matthew 1:1-17 “Who Are These People?” Pastor Stephen

October 2015

Church Life

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Eating Together Men’s Breakfast: November 12th at 9:00AM at LePeep

Bus Trips We will begin our planning for 2016 Bus Trips soon. If you would like to make a suggestion for a destination, please contact Pastor Patricia, Rose Schmollinger, or Charlotte Cronin. BUNCO When: November 13, 2015, 7:00PM Where: Church Fellowship Hall Bring a friend, a dollar, a snack and a plan to have fun. For more info contact: Euince @ 688-8458 or Betty @ 822-8500. Anna Circle When: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6:00PM Where: WeaverRidge Lesson: Chapter 4, Really Bad Girls of the Bible Mission: Share the Warmth Blanket Ministry Book Club The book club will meet on Tuesday, November 24 at 7:00PM. We will discuss “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story is available online, copies at the church office, or Stan can e-mail you a copy. You can reach him at 309-573-3440 or [email protected]. Everyone is invited to attend.

Local Lunch: November 16th at 12:00PM at Childers Bakery Ladies Night Out: November 19th at 6:00PM at Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano

News and Notes UPC Christmas Cookie Exchange Saturday, December 12, 10:00AM-12:00PM UPC Fellowship Hall Bake once, yet have a variety of Christmas cookies for your families and guests! Bring your cookies in packages of 6, along with the recipe, and exchange your bag of 6 for other bags of 6. the more you bring, the more you get to take home! Church will do sign-ups on Nov. 15, 22, and 29. We’ll need to know what kind of cookie you’ll be bringing and how many so that we don't’ end up with an over-abundance of any one kind of cookie. Watch the Church Life bulletin board for more details. Thanks to several member for their recent book donations. Trish Deppermann and Mary Buesing have given the library some of their favorite books. Just a sampling of recent donations would include: Tea Time with God, Breakthrough Prayers for Women, The Endless Forest, Life Lessons, And One More Thing Before You Go, In His GripFoundations for Life and Golf, God’s Guest List, and Bringing Elizabeth Home (A Journey of Faith and Hope). The library staff so appreciates the many people who make both book and monetary donations. Thanks to you all. Have a great fall! From the Library Committee Thank You Thanks for the beautiful red rose (it lasted my 2 weeks in the hospital), the lovely prayer shawl, visits from Kirsten, Pastors Patricia and Stephen and friends of UPC. I know how fortunate I am to be a member. Bless you all. Mary Everett THANK YOU to all who came to the October blood drive. We had more people come out to donate than we have ever had before! The Red Cross was able to collect 22 units of blood.

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Stewardship & Giving We Give 2016 Update: Pledges totaling $192,664.00 Thank you for sharing your gifts so that we may grow and nurture followers of Christ in a welcoming community. Pledge Dedication We will dedicate our 2016 Giving Pledges on Sunday, November 22nd during worship. Please consider turning in your intentions for giving to the work of Christ in 2016 so the church leadership can complete a church budget for 2016. The 10% Challenge The 10% challenge is a request to the membership and friends of UPC to increase their giving to the work of God through UPC by 10%. There are several reasons for this request. In the past two years, UPC has seen a record number of deaths. We have mourned the death of over sixty members the last two years. In addition, many of our most generous givers have moved in retirement to be in warmer climates or near families. This has meant the loss of good friends, faithful leaders, and generous givers. We have also grown accustomed to using 8% of our undesignated funds from the Foundation each year. Unfortunately, using 8% is not sustainable or recommended. Our brokers, The Presbyterian Foundation, and most entities that draw from an endowment recommend using no more that 5% of undesignated funds in a given year. That is a difference of about $45,000. While we have about the same number of active members at UPC, we have experienced this decrease in available funds and giving. This may mean we need to carefully look at our staffing, program, and management of property models over this next year and make some changes to reflect the new realities for our church. Every church goes through this. We have more and more younger members, but often younger members do not have as much disposable income, and many of our long-time members have passed away, moved, or have had their own life situations change which have prevented them from giving to the church at their past levels.

October 2015 It is for these reasons the church is asking for an increase of 10% for those who are able. The church leadership will also carefully look at longrange planning and mission over the next year to determine where God is calling this church and what God is calling this church to do. The leadership, with input from the whole congregation, will discern how to best use your gifts to accomplish the mission and vision God has given us. Rev. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

Mission Family Christmas Shop It won’t be long before we welcome over 50 families into our church to celebrate Christmas with them. One way we share God’s love is through the sharing of gifts. Each family is able to pick out Christmas gifts for their child and each child can pick out a gift for her or her parents. We need your help to make this happen. We are collecting items for the Family Christmas Shop for infants through age 12. Suggested items are toys, books, science stuff, arts & crafts, coats, mittens, and hats, dolls, sports equipment, nerf stuff, action figures, cars, and more. Please make sure to mark the cost of each item with a note or the receipt. We use the prices for sorting purposes. This year’s Family Christmas Shop will be on Saturday, December 5th from 4:00-6:00PM. We will need lots of help that day so a sign up sheet will be at the Welcome Center throughout November. Snack Pack We provide 40 students from Northmoor Elementary with Snack Pack bags every week so that they may have nutritious food and snacks over the weekend. We fill a month’s worth of bags every fourth Sunday of the month after worship, and we need help. We also need donations of the following items, especially at least 40 of each: Snack Pack Needs: Extra Large Brown Paper Bags 100% Juice Boxes Fruit Cups Applesauce Granola or Protein Bars Beef Sticks Dehydrated Fruit Snacks Cheese or Peanut Butter Crackers Breakfast Cereal Bars

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Mission Continued Lifelines to Syria Update UPC gave over $12,500 which was matched by the Presbytery of Great Rivers. That means $25,000 was given to help refugee families because of your generosity and love for God’s children. SugarPlum Project Volunteers who work with children in family court have come to know many don’t have a bed to sleep on. This has a huge impact on their daily lives. Hence the SugarPlum Project was born. UPC donates “Share the Warmth” blankets for this project. Of course, donations to purchase the beds, pillows, mattress’, etc., are also accepted. This year 70 children are expected to receive this awesome gift. It will be the best gift you will ever give; offering help and hope to a child. If you are able to help, please make your check out to the SugarPlum Project and leave it in the church office or mail to Terry Taylor, 7425 N. Knoxville Ave, Peoria, IL 61614.

Health & Wellness Grief Seminar “When Grief Doesn’t Take a Holiday” is a FREE educational seminar offered by UnityPoint Hospice and is for persons who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The seminar is focused on understanding the special challenges of coping with the winter holidays, including Thanksgiving, the entire Christmas season, New Year’s Eve and Day and Valentine’s Day. Practical suggestions will be provided for each holiday. The seminar will take place on Saturday, November 14 at the UnityPointMethodist Atrium Building. Please RSVP at 309-672-5746 by Monday, November 9, 2015. Flu Shot No More Excuses! Everyone ages 6 months and older should receive the flu shot or flu mist. The flu is a respiratory illness that can be serious. It is not too late to protect yourself and others around you by receiving the flu vaccine. You can receive the vaccine through your doctor, pharmacy or local health department. Contact your primary care physician with questions.

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November is Caregiver Month November is Caregiver Month. Everyone reading this either has been, currently is or will be called to be a caregiver at some point in their lifetime. The journey of being a caregiver is not easy and the path is often winding, long and bumpy. The following Caregiver Tips 101 is written from the perspective of an adult child caring for an aging parent, but the information is applicable to caregivers in general.  Get Help Early by learning about caregiver assistance programs, counseling, financial advice, and support groups.  Involve All Family Members in the caregiver process.  Educate Yourself about the aging process and/or the disease.  Respect the dignity of your parent.  Recognize Your Own Emotions as well as those of your parent.  Acknowledge Your Need to care for yourself and your own family first.  Forgive Your Parent for not being perfect and for not being in control.  Forgive Yourself for your perceived inadequacies or emotions.  Accept the Changing Roles and circumstances involved in the situation.  Communicate with your parent first, then with siblings, the healthcare team and friends.  Allowas much independence as possible.  Keep Accurate Records of your parent’s health, finances (keep receipts!), and legal matters.  For more information contact Kirsten Tharp, Parish Nurse.

Stephen Ministry Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower the church.