The Chimes A publication of United Presbyterian Church
. Peoria, IL
Volume.12 Issue 4. April 29, 2015
Baptism Confirmation of Youth Art Installation of Prayers Teacher Appreciation Spirit-centered Worship
Come Catch the Fire Sunday, May 24th
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 Notes of Gratitude Page 6 Christian Education Quest Page 7 Health & Wellness News and Notes Page 8 Worship & the Arts Page 9 Worship & the Arts Cont’d Prayer Corner Page 10 Library News Stewardship & Fianance Notes of Gratitude Page 11 New Members Page 12 Sharing Our Stories News and Notes Page 13 Mission News and Notes Page 14 Church Life Page 15 News and Notes Notes of Gratitude Insert Calendar
Tony Anthony Eunice Andrews Robert Avery Audrey Beeney Jack Bensing Dorothy Bloom Bryce Brand Leonard & Ellie Brown Lorraine Bunker Fern Deemie Fred Dickinson Betty Dixon Delores Fogler Bob & Carolyn Gnepper Margaret Greiner Pam Harrison Midge Hillard Margaret Hochstrasser Loretta Horst Mary Johnson Dwight & Corda Jones Nancy Jones Betty Keller Mike Kelley Vicki Kirchgessner Maureen Leuba Ray Long Bill Maule Ethel Moore Stephanie Murray Annie Nichols Nathan Pennington Althea Rauen
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 Joseph Scranton 7882 Drum Street Ft Riley Kansas 66442 IS1 Chris Davis Capt. Elton Herrick
______ _ _ 3
You Will See Him There We don’t meet the risen Jesus in Mark. The women flee in terror and dread. Jesus doesn’t meet us at the empty tomb on Easter Sunday or on the road as we share the good news. We have only the word of a young man in a white robe that Jesus is raised. But that’s exactly true, isn’t it? We have Jesus’ word. He told us three times he would be raised from the dead. Jesus is going ahead of us to Galilee, just as he said. I love Easter Sunday. I love getting up early and singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!” as the sun rises above the horizon. I am filled with joy as children place white flowers on an empty cross and the sanctuary rings with the triumphant sounds of brass and tympani proclaiming “Thine is the Glory!” But sometimes I don’t see Jesus in those services. I know he’s there, but I don’t see him. Perhaps I’m too distracted by orchestrating the service and making sure I have the Biblical story memorized for retelling. Maybe I’m so focused on proclaiming a powerful, Jesus-filled message to the people I know won’t return to church until Christmas that I miss seeing Jesus. I get up very early on the first day of the week just after sunrise, but I don’t see Jesus. I go and tell the good news to Jesus’ followers, but I still don’t see Jesus. Mark tells me that’s okay: Jesus is going ahead of me to Galilee. I will see him there. Jesus meets us in the Galilees of our lives. Not just at empty tombs on Sunday mornings. Not just churches filled with the organ swell of triumphant hymns. Not just in contemplative prayer or mission work or evangelism or in any of those holy places and activities where we expect to see Jesus. Jesus meets us in Galilee. He meets us in our hometowns doing the things we’ve always done. He meets us at work, at home, and at play. That’s the best news of Eastertide. Jesus doesn’t meet us only on Easter morning. Jesus doesn’t wait for us in church. Jesus doesn’t wait for us to and proclaim the good news to make himself known to us. Jesus meets us where we are. The Word of God who became flesh and dwelt among us still lives among us. He still comes to be with us in Galilee where we fish and work and cry and laugh and live. We don’t come to Jesus. Jesus comes to us. Perhaps you saw Jesus in a beautiful Easter morning service. I hope so. But maybe you saw only the evidence of the risen Lord. You saw the empty tomb and the place where he was laid. You saw a flowered cross and a filled sanctuary, but you didn’t see Jesus. You worshipped him and you thanked him, but if in all the fanfare and lilies and pretty dresses and chocolate bunnies you missed seeing Jesus, you are not alone. Mark didn’t see Jesus on Easter morning either. But somewhere, somehow, Mark saw the risen Jesus. Maybe Mark saw him in Galilee. Maybe you will, too. Sometime in these fifty days of Eastertide, you will see him, perhaps when you least expect it, but when you need him most. You will see Jesus as you care for your child, reading the same book for the hundredth time. You will see Jesus at school when everyone else is gone, but you still need to prepare lesson plans for the substitute. You will see Jesus while you crunch numbers to balance the books, when you deliver the pizza, or make the big staffing decision. You will see Jesus as your visit your friend or sit down at a table to share a meal with your family. These, too, are holy times and places, and Jesus meets us then and there. Easter Sunday is over. Christ the Lord is risen, but we are still called to follow to Galilee. And we will see him there, just as he promised. Pastor Stephen
4__________________________________ The Chimes
Remembering when… Memorial Day. A time of fond childhood memories. My summer vacation at Grammy and Grampy’s on the farm in western Nebraska always began just before Memorial Day. Each year we would be watching the Peonies burst through the earth, and then sprout up and bear beautiful multicolored flowers just in time for Memorial Day. It was like they were made for Memorial Day. We would prepare buckets of water to place them in and then snip the stems into bucket sized bouquets and off we would go to the cemetery just a few miles outside of town. We had dozens of coffee cans and wires to secure the coffee cans and extra water to hold our Peony prizes; an array of fresh color to adorn the many gravesites. All my grandparents were born in the area of this small town of Crawford, NE, so it was a sizable project to attend to the many ancestors and deceased relatives. A couple of my favorites were my great-great grandparents Isaiah and Aurelia Stetson. I just loved their names and the fact that they lived so long ago and died around the turn of the century (20th). There were also many babies and children who received flowers. Almost every family and every generation had one or two. It seemed so common for children to die then. Grammy would tell me the story of her little baby boy, and her sister who died in the fire. The kind of things that rarely happened in the life of a girl like me born long after Penicillin and Sulfa and so many other medical treatments. And we would finish with Grammy showing me where she and Grampy would be buried some day. The place where they have been now for decades. Memorial Day did help me to see that death was a part of living. Something we don’t like to think of much, yet each of us eventually cross over from life to death and death to resurrection life. Grammy didn’t know it, but she was preparing me to be a pastor. As you all know in my vocation, I frequent the cemeteries, mausoleums, memorial gardens, hospice care centers, hospitals and nursing homes. She didn’t know it but she was preparing me to walk alongside others in the journey from life to death to life. Already I have journeyed to these places with many of our congregation. She trained me way back then to believe that yes, we live and we also die and yet death is not the end, it is swallowed up in the victory of the cross and resurrection. Grammy and I would linger (Grammy would actually keep me from lingering too long) reading and pondering the scriptures on many of the tombstones; words of encouragement to those of us visiting. “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” – John 14:19 and “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live.” – John 11:25 and “The Lord is My Shepherd…”--- the 23rd Psalm. Words we still use today. It’s how we go there peacefully, and can even plan for our own death peacefully. The Lord knows we need them. And yet at Memorial Day and numerous other anniversaries or other special dates throughout the year we grieve, because we have loved and been loved. God created us in love for the purpose of love. I am remembering the many members I have already said good-bye to in the short time I have been your pastor. I am remembering the many of you who will be visiting those resting places of loved ones. I am remembering and praying for you and with you. I invite you to gather with me and others in remembering. You are invited to attend a Service of Remembrance and Hope on Tuesday May 19 at 6pm (read the full description in Worship and Arts section). I am praying for you and with you. May the Lord comfort and strengthen you. God Bless You, Pastor Patricia
Children Rotation Sunday School Age 3 – 3rd grade Rotation Sunday school in Maywill focus on Noah. We will learn through art, Lego and video rotations. 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. Summer Rotation for 3 years – 3rd Grade June – August will bring us an exciting opportunity to use our grounds for Rotation Sunday School. We will explore nature and God’s creation all around us through 2 week rotations. That means teachers are only committed to 2 weeks at a time. This is great for our busy summer schedules. If you are interested in teaching, this would be such a wonderful time to do so!
4th Grade and Up Worship Preparation Class after the Time for Young Disciples In the Youth Room In May we will be exploring the sermon/message 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. They will always be located in a basket outside the door where the children exit for Rotation Sunday school. Parents Night Out Friday, May 8 6:00 – 8:30pm Contact Karen to make your reservation today.
Connecting Point Connecting Point is finished for the year until September. Thank you to everyone who participated this year as we learned about spirituality types, love languages, the Enneagram, stories behind favorite Christmas Carols, how to better understand our neighbors, and how to be good Christian friends through tragedy. A special thank you to Stephanie Randall and Steve and Kathy Nordvall for preparing our meals this year. We look forward to seeing you again on Wednesday nights in September.
Notes of Gratitude Dear UPC, From the Presbyter of Great Rivers, Thank your church for its partnership in making ministry happen in our presbytery Your congregation contributed $11,999.99 in per capita in 2014. Thank you for helping support the ministry of our staff, our committees, and our general assemblies. Secondly, your shared mission giving was $4600 last year. Thank you! This is the money which helps your sister churches reach out to their community. Children are taught and fed; seniors are supported; communities grown through dialogue; and so much more. Shalom, Rev. Felipe Martinez Transitional General Presbyter and Stated Clerk Dear Pastoral Staff, I want to thank you for the wonderful Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, on Grandview Drive. I have found this worship service to be very meaningful as it depicts what the Bible tells us of the first Easter when Christ was resurrected. Though it is chilly usually, I am inspired and reminded that Christ died for me and all others who accept His sacrifice for their sin. When the sun comes up I am reminded that Christ is alive in the world today for all of us. The message of how we are so fearful was so true and reminded me to be more trusting. Thank you all for hosting this Easter Service. Sincerely, In Christ, Marilyn Anderson Thank you so much for your generous donation to Neighborhood House. Your support is greatly appreciated. Becky Rossman
Thank you so much for the beautiful blankets! Our patients are always cold and nothing makes them feel warmer than your special blankets. We really appreciate all your hard work. Thanks again for thinking of us. Dena Keenan, & the Volunteers Illinois Cancer Care, Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with this year’s Easter Egg Hunt! Thank you to the many who donated candy, and thank you to the many who joined in the fun of stuffing eggs! The Church Life Committee
Christian Education Adul
The Story The Bible in chronological and easy to read format as Story. This Month: Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, and then the PostPentecost Church. 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. May 3: Chapter 28: New Beginnings May 10: Chapter 29: Paul’s Mission May 17: Chapter 30: Paul’s Final Days May 24: Chapter 31: The End of Time The Wired Word This class 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 1 Kings (the days of King Solomon) Don Baker and John Warning lead this class. It is an insightful study and offers questions to help the reader dig into the message of the Biblical text, provides 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. 11-Minute Lessons We are continuing our series on Marriage in the Bible and Church throughout May, though we will not have class on May 17. We are looking at what the Bible says about marriage and how we are to interpret the texts that do speak about marriage. We are letting the Biblical mandate of hospitality be a lens through which we read and understand the texts.
May 2015 Spiritual Book Club: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe This month, we’ll be discussing C.S. Lewis’s classic children’s book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. There is a copy available in the church library. The book is a wonderful fairy tale with numerous religious themes and symbolism. It is a wonderful story of good versus evil, the nature of sacrifice, and the problem of human sin and pride. It is a story of coming to life and meeting God. Everyone is invited to join us on Tuesday, May 26 at 6:00pm to discuss this classic work.
QUEST QUEST MIDDLE SCHOOL This is a youth group for grades 5th-8th 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. QUEST MIDDLE SCHOOL Quest Middle at Summits Edge for Rock Climbing and High Ropes Course Sunday, May 3 2:15pm meet in church parking lot We will return by 6:00pm RSVP to Karen so we have enough transportation. Quest Middle Gathering Sunday, May 17 3:30 – 5:00pm Devotion and fun! QUEST HIGH SCHOOL Quest High School at Summits Edge for Rock Climbing and High Ropes Course Sunday, May 3 2:1 5pm meet in church parking lot We will return by 6 pm RSVP to Karen so we have enough transportation. Quest High School Gathering Sunday, May 17 5:00 – 6:30pm Devotion and fun!
Health & Wellness SUN SENSE ….. Skin Cancer Prevention & Detection May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Awareness and Detection month. Do you know the signs and are you taking the steps to keep you and your family protected? Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In general if you have skin you are at risk. Individuals with light-colored skin with freckles, blonde or red hair and blue or green eyes are even more at risk. One or more blistering sunburns in childhood can result in the development of skin cancer as an adult. Most skin cancer appears after age 50, but skin damage from the sun can start during childhood. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most important factor in the development of skin cancer. UV rays from artificial sources of light, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, are just as dangerous and those from the sun, and should also be avoided. The most effective ways to reduce exposure to sunlight are to: Minimize exposure to the sun during peak hours of 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants to cover as much skin as possible. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that protects the face, neck and ears. Wear wrap-around sunglasses that block close to 100% of UV rays. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a sun protection factor(SPF) of at least 15 or higher. Some prescription drugs increase your sensitivity to the sun. Check with your pharmacist. Detecting skin cancer is just as important as prevention. The American Cancer Society recommends getting to know our skin through a monthly self-exam. Learn your own pattern of moles, freckles, blemishes, and birthmarks. A change in a mole’s appearance is a sign that you should see your doctor.
Use the ABCD rule to helps identify signs of melanoma: A is for ASYMMETRY: One-half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other. B is for BORDER: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred. C is for COLOR: The color is not the same all over, but may have shades of brown or black, sometimes with patches of red, white, and blue. D is for DIAMETER: The area is larger than 6 millimeters (1/4 inch—the size of a pencil eraser) or is growing larger. Enjoy the outdoors and use good SUN SENSE this spring and summer to protect yourselves and your loved-ones. Be safe and Be WELL, Kirsten Tharp, RN, BSN Parish Nurse
UPC BLOOD DRIVE Monday, May 11 3:00pm – 7:00pm Please join us for the May blood drive. Sign up will be available on Sunday, April 26 and Sunday, May 3 or by calling the church office.
ONE blood donation can save the lives of up to THREE people. Every TWO seconds someone in the U.S. is in need of blood.
Please support your congregation and the Red Cross and help save a life. Questions please contact Kirsten Tharp, Parish Nurse
News and Notes The quilt raffle last year was a huge success, mainly due to the fact many benefited from its proceeds: Friendship House $200 Southside Mission $150 Neighborhood House $150 Center for Prevention of Abuse $100 Common Place $100 Home for Veterans $100 MAP $400 Total $1200
Worship & Arts Visualizing Prayers of the People on Pentecost Easter morning is the culmination of the events of Holy Week and is really the pinnacle of the liturgical year as begun in the season of Advent. Throughout Eastertide (the Great 50 Days) we are led through the work of the Holy Spirit as the Church of Christ takes form. The season of Eastertide ultimately leads up to the celebration of Pentecost. The most significant symbol of Pentecost is the flame; indicating the showering upon God’s people with the power and gift of the Holy Spirit. Most times, we think of a descending motion. God sends us the Spirit of Godself, showering us with divine presence. But I believe there is also a movement upwards where humanity becomes better equipped to share the love of Christ through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. With God’s presence we are affirmed in the goodness of what it means to be human and made in God’s image. During Pentecost we rejoice in God’s gracious offering of the Holy Spirit, but we also rejoice in the fact that our communities of faith are the ones who are responding to God’s Spirit. In an attempt to visually aid us in this understanding, there will be an art installation on the Sunday of Pentecost (Sunday May 24th). As an extension of the prayers of the people, everyone from the church is invited to participate in this project. During fellowship hour on Sunday May 17th there will be paper and writing utensils on each of the tables in the fellowship hall. You will be instructed to write down prayers on the paper. Following this, there will be instructions to fold the paper into an origami bird. Each person can make as many as they feel led. During the week, we will be suspending these origami birds in the sanctuary as a symbol of God’s gifting of the Holy Spirit and our prayers rising heavenward. If you are unable to fold the paper but still want to participate, we will have paper available on May 10th after the service for you to write down your prayer requests. Youth from the church proceed to fold these prayer requests into the birds. After Pentecost is over and the installation is taken down, there will be a further honoring of these prayers. On a date yet to be determined, we will take the folded birds outside of the building on the church grounds and burn the birds as another symbol of our prayers rising like incense (see Psalm 141:2). Hopefully you will be able to participate in this communal interactive installation! Aaron Schultz
May 2015 Worship Studio in May The Worship Studio will be having another gathering on Monday May 11. It will take place at 6:00pm at the Art Garage (712 W Main St, Peoria, IL 61606). Consistent with the previous gatherings, this evening will be a participatory worship event. We will be composing a text and music that will be used on Epiphany Sunday (you do not need to be musical to attend because this activity will be done as a group). We will also be doing a similar activity to the one described in the article “Visualizing Prayers of the People in Pentecost” in this edition of the Chimes. If you have any questions, please contact Aaron Schultz ([email protected]
). “Music Sunday”…or a Sunday Service Utilizing Music in Worship On Sunday, June 7 at 10:00am there will be a service of worship that greater utilizes music in communal worship. Traditionally this has been called “Music Sunday.” Music has been and continues to be an important component to how our community worships. Each Sunday we participate in a rhythm of worship. Some people call it the Biblical pattern of worship, the Four-fold pattern, or other things. Simply stated, we gather together, we confess our sins, we are assured of Gods grace, we hear the Word, we respond to the Word, and we are sent out into the world to proclaim the Word with our lives. This not only is the pattern of our communal worship, but this fluid motion exists in our daily living. We wake up in the morning with an awareness of God, we habitually sin and need forgiveness for it, we are guided by the Word (as made manifest in different forms) and we respond to this Word through our active proclamation of the Word. In our attempts to preserve this important pattern in communal worship, we will be having a service of worship that works within this framework while using a lot of music to accomplish it. We will be using music in new ways during this service, including a communion liturgy that is sung by the leaders, choir, and congregation. I hope you are able to attend this service!
Worship & Arts
A Service of Remembrance and Hope On Tuesday, May 19, at 6:00pm we are holding a Communion Service of Remembrance and Hope. Many in our congregation are mourning the death of a loved one. May is a time when we remember our servicemen and women who have died in service to our country. On Memorial Day families and friends gather and visit gravesides to remember loved ones who have died. We want to remember the many in our congregation as well as family and friends of our congregation who have died, and gone before us joining the communion of saints. All are welcome to join us in prayers of remembrance, celebration and hope. We encourage attendees to bring an article or picture of remembrance to the service. We will be placing them on the table during the remembering time of the service.
Sermon Series- A.E. After Easter Throughout Lent we followed Jesus during his Last Week, from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to the cross on Calvary, and to the empty tomb, but what now? What happens after Easter? From the first Sunday after Easter until Pentecost, we will look at what happens after Easter when Jesus appears to his disciples and prepares them to become the church.
Noon Prayer Every Wednesday at 12:00pm join Pastor Patricia in the Rm 100 Chapel for a brief time of Midday Prayer.
Seminary Student Preaching Alexandra Lysdahl is a member of UPC who is going to seminary, and who we support and endorse to become an ordained minister. She is what is termed “under care” of our Session as she goes through the ordination process. We have the opportunity to welcome her back to UPC on Sunday, May 3 and hear her preach. We hope you will be able to attend to show your support of Alexandra. Favorites on the Fifth May 31 is a fifth Sunday which means you get to pick the hymns we sing. Come to church prepared to request your favorite hymn at the beginning of worship. Preaching Schedule May 3: John 21:15-19 “If, Then” Alexandra Lysdahl May 10: Matthew 28:16-20 “Teach Them” Pastor Stephen May 17: Acts 1:6-11 “Have We Forgotten?” Pastor Patricia May 24: Acts 2:1-11 “Where’s My Real Gift?” Pastor Stephen
Prayer Corner Prayer for Pentecost Pentecost is May 24, and it is the Sunday we remember that God fulfilled God’s promises and gave to us, the church, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray this month that the gift of the Holy Spirit may bring peace and unity to all the world. Almighty and ever-living God, you fulfilled the Easter promise by sending us your Holy Spirit. May that Spirit unite the races and nations on earth to proclaim your glory. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Prayers Needed We continue to lift in prayer Steve Nordvall, Peggy Hill, Margaret Serup Daniel & Jessica Foster and baby, Jud & Megan Swan and baby, Richard Sathoff, Les Casali, and the family of Jean Cuthbertson.
Library News What The Staff is Reading A display on one of the tables in the Library highlights books the church staff is currently reading or have just read. This is a great way to discover some of the books that have been meaningful to church staff and what has gotten them thinking. In addition to the books added last month, we have a new addition this month that Pastor Stephen is reading (in fact Pastor Stephen gave the author the title of the book and is mentioned in the acknowledgements). Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it. Centered around seven sacraments, Evans' quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest. This memoir about making do, taking risks, and about the messiness of community and the power of grace. Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.
Stewardship & Finance Per Capita If you have not paid the Per Capita of $28 per church member in your family, please consider doing so soon. This helps us meet our obligations to the denomination and helps the work of the larger church. We receive many wonderful benefits from the Presbytery, including grants of $3000 this year to do some of our mission projects. Thank you for your generosity.
Notes of Gratitude Thank you to our wonderful musicians and vocalists who blessed us in the month of March and April with Celtic music at St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Service, and the With-God Life Service; who blessed so many the night of the Community Lenten Concert (it was amazing); who blessed us Easter Sunday with vibrant and enlivening Resurrection Day worship; and who blessed us during A Night at the Theatre (Meet Your Deacon night). We at UPC are truly blessed by our Worship Band, Chancel Choir, Bell Choir and Special Ensembles; thank you for sharing your gifts, and for your dedication to rehearsals and preparation. Pastor Patricia UPC, Thank-you so much for the blanket. It is so warm an soft—it will be perfect for Tyler. This blanket will great for tummy time! That is very awesome that you have a “Sharing the Warmth” blanket ministry. We love United Presbyterian Church and everything you do. Thanks for thinking of us. Kelley & Matt Ryan Dear UPC, Many thanks for all your prayers. The rose was beautiful and the many visits from Pastor Patricia was deeply appreciated. Many thanks to Cindy Shipley for the blanket. I had it on all the time, it was so warm. It was nice to back to Connecting Point on March 31. Many were glad to see me and it felt so good. Thanks a million. Betty Keller Dear Friends, Sincere thanks to you for all your beautiful cards, and prayers. My knee is healing very well, and I’m learning to manage a walker. Blessings to you for all your kind thoughts! Sincerely, Audrey Beeney
David & Bernice Labeda
Welcome to all our new members. Ellen is already involved in a Life Group and shares her love of music with our choirs. Dave & Bernice became familiar with UPC by attending programs at the Discovery Center with their grandson, Jonah, and his family. They felt that UPC is where they belong after attending Sunday services.
A.J. & Megan Marsh , also became familiar with UPC, because their son went to UPC Discovery.
A.J. & Megan Marsh
Sharing Our Stories David and Bernice (Dave and Bernie) Labeda have lived in the Peoria area since 1983 when we relocated here for Dave's position as a research microbiologist with the ARS Culture Collection at the National Center for Agricultural Research (better known locally as “the Ag Lab”). We grew up in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, were high school sweethearts and will be married 45 years in June. We lived in State College, PA for 5 years while Dave finished his graduate degrees at Penn State and then moved to Ithaca, NY in 1975 where Dave did postdoctoral research at Cornell University and where our older son, Joshua (Josh) was born. A move to Lake County, IL followed after Dave was offered a permanent job at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago and the birth of our younger son, Michael, occurred after we had been there about a year. Dave was offered a job with Lederle Laboratories in Pearl River, New York and we decided that we would like to be closer to our parents so that Josh and Michael could spend time with their grandparents and cousins in Pennsylvania. The stress of life in suburban New York City and intense pressures of Dave's job made the move to Peoria an easy choice when his current position became available and we have never regretted the decision. Retirement for Dave is in sight, but still a few years away. Bernice worked for the Dunlap School District in a number of capacities including driving school bus for 14 years. She then worked at the Dunlap Bank for 5 years until our first grandchild, Caleb, was born since we took frequent trips to North Carolina where he and his family lived until 2 years ago. Our sons Josh and Michael graduated from the Dunlap School District and both now work at Caterpillar. Josh and his wife Jessica have three sons, Caleb, Jonah, and Zachariah and Michael and his wife Kate also have three children, sons Samuel and Drew and daughter Sydney. Dave and Bernie were members of United Methodist churches in Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois over the course of 30 years and then joined Northminster PC about 13 years ago. We became familiar with UPC by attending programs at the Discovery Center with our grandson Jonah and his family. We feel that UPC is where we belong after attending Sunday services, finding the congregation very welcoming and enjoying the music in worship and Rev. Stephen's inspirational sermons.
News and Notes Nature Experts Needed! We are starting to plan for Vacation Bible School and this year’s theme will be “A Trek Through Welcome Woods”. We will learn all about how God welcomes us and we can welcome others. We also plan to base our activities on teaching the children how to leave the earth welcoming for others. We plan to do this by teaching them about (but not limited to) recycling, gardening, animals/bugs, the ecosystem and possibly composting. We are looking for individuals who may have a passion for these to spend one evening the week of July 19th teaching the children about them. If you love to garden and want to share that passion, we would love to have you! If you are knowledgeable about recycling, making art from nature, know a cool way to share the ecosystem, know about making clean water or anything like that, we would love to talk with you. The commitment would be one night the week of July 19, sharing the same 15 minute activity/ lesson 4 to 5 times. We also love ideas! If you have a great idea of a lesson or project, but do not want to teach, please let us know. This is a wonderful way to teach the children in our church and community about how precious God’s earth is. If you have a gift or great idea, please share it with Karen Miller at [email protected]
. Confirmation Reception and Teacher Appreciation Fellowship Sunday, May 24 immediately after worship in Fellowship Hall Join us after worship as we celebrate our newly confirmed members as well as celebrate all those who donated time to teach this year. It is an important job and we so appreciate those who give their time to share their gifts.
Mission Snack Pack Program Thank you to everyone who helped fill Snack Packs this year and who donated food or funds. We will not be filling snack packs in May since the school year will be over. We will start again in August. A special thanks to Al and Lois Hultgren for their time organizing the snack packs, making sure they are ready each week, and overseeing the filling of bags. Pentecost Offering We will receive the Pentecost Offering on Sunday, May 24th. 100% of what you give will be used to help fund the Foster Family Celebration day we are having at the church on Saturday, May 30th in conjunction with May being Foster Family Appreciation Month. Thank you for your generous giving that will help us reach out to the Foster families and children in our community. Foster Family Celebration May is Foster Family Appreciation Month and UPC is showing our appreciation for foster families by hosting a party for children and parents on Saturday, May 30 from 11:00am-1:00pm. Children will be treated to stories, games, and music outside in our nature classroom and around the grounds followed by a pizza party. Every child will receive a free book donated by Look! It’s My Book. Parents will enjoy a lunch inside catered by Cracked Pepper and be able to receive two hours of needed training while we go share gifts bags with each family filled with ideas for free family summer activities, coupons and vouchers for food and entertainment, and other special goodies. Parents will also get to play Bingo to win some gift cards. We need your help to show these families our appreciation and support. We need volunteers to read stories, help lead music, pick up or serve pizza, lead games, just be extra hands with all those kids, and pass out books for the children’s Story Time. We also need volunteers to help serve lunch to the parents, be hosts at tables to make our guests feel welcome, and help lead Bingo. If you are interested in helping, please talk to Pastor Stephen.
One Great Hour of Sharing Thank You Dear United Presbyterian, On behalf of the staff and children of Projeto Amar, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your church community’s generosity during this year’s One Great Hour of Sharing. The funds collected will be used to meet two very important needs. Firstly, the staff will be purchasing a television they can use to show educational videos and spiritual discipleship programming to the children. Secondly, a significant portion of the offering will help fund the salaries of the dedicated, faithful teaching staff that serve the children of Projeto Amar day in and day out. Words cannot express what a blessing these resources will be! Thank you for bringing hope to the children of Goiania, Brazil and for your love, prayers and support! Together, we’re part of VisionTrust! Ashley Hentrich VisionTrust Relationship Development Team
News and Notes ALS Walk Dear Friends, Mark the date, June 13, 2015. Join Shannon and me at the Dozer Park for the “Walk to Defeat ALS” at 9:00am. Become one of “Bill’s Buddies”. If any questions, call me at 697-3320. Blessings, Bill Maule. NADC Selection Scott W. Mach, son of Duane and Virleen Mach and child of the congregation, has been selected to the 2015 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a benchmark for other lawyers to emulate. Congratulations to all!
Easter Egg Hunt Highlights of the Easter Egg Hunt April 5, 2015
Game Night You are invited to a Table Top Game Night on Saturday, May 2 starting at 5:00pm. Come whenever you can make it. You are invited to bring a sack dinner with you and any favorite table top games. Please let Pastor Stephen know if you are planning to attend. Local Lunch There will be no local lunch in May. We hope to see you for lunch again in June. Men’s Breakfast Men of all ages are invited to gather together to strengthen community and relationships at Le Peep on the second Thursday of the month at 9:00am.
Bus Trip to Arthur 20 folks from UPC went to Arthur IL for an Amish cultural experience. Thank you to Kirsten Tharp who carpooled the overflow! A great time was had by all!
Bus Trip to Pontiac Church Life is sponsoring a walking tour of Pontiac IL. on Saturday, June 13. This city is full of charm and nostalgia. Among the 5 museums are the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum and the Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum. There are more than 30 unique and specialty stores. The city boasts 22 murals painted on buildings, 18 of which are located within a seven block radius. Best of all, there are no admission fees to the museums! Our bus leaves from the parking lot at 8:30 am and returns at 5 pm. The cost is $10 for transportation. Please sign up in the church office and join us for a fun-filled day! BUNCO May 8, 2015 7:00pm in Fellowship Hall Bring snacks, and a dollar for prizes. Questions? Contact Betty @ 822-8500 or Eunice @ 688-8458. Ladies Night Out May 21, 2015 6:00pm at Bob Evans Restaurant on Allen Rd. RSVP to Eunice @ 688-8458 or Betty @ 822-8500.
Anna Circle Thursday, May 14, 2105, 6:00pm WeaverRidge Lesson: Chapter 2, Really Bad Girls of the Bible Mission: Share the Warmth Blanket Ministry Ruth Circle May 11, 2015 12:00 Noon Hostess: Sara Stotts and Karen Woods Lesson: Karen Woods
News and Notes Pastor Stephen asked me to write another update, and I excitedly wondered what to say. I thought maybe I should just detail what my program is, because some may have forgotten? But I decided that’s too boring. How about I give you a glimpse into a week in my life? Last week began on Monday with a class on Substance Abuse, and it involved a discussion on what gives our potential “clients,” or people in general, value. The class was struggling to answer, and I raised my hand and shared that for me, what gives every human being value was that they were a daughter or son of God, and at a basic level, even for non-Christians, people have value because they are a human being, regardless of who they are or what they have done. Next, I go to my Psychopathology and Social Deviance class, which is always fascinating as we learn about different disorders (schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, etc.). This past week I did a group presentation on schizophrenia in the movie Benny and Joon. I eventually came home and spend some time with Zach, my husband, before bed. Tuesday morning I had my Cohort class, which is an online Google Chat with the other people in my program (some are in Colorado). Our professor who teaches it is a pastor with his M.S.W. He engaged us in a conversation surrounding the intersection of theology and 12 step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. I then hopped in the car and drove to Grand Rapids for my Social Work Foundations class, where my professor is continuously making us talk about our values, history, and religion, and engaging myself and another Christian in intense conversations about hope in humanity, and if change is possible. Wednesday I worked as a hostess at a restaurant in downtown Holland, did homework, and brought my husband dinner at the seminary library (where he works). Thursday I had my Research I class, in which I have focused my semester long research project on the prevalence of medication errors in the elderly in nursing homes. After Research, I go to a one-on-one bible study with an undergraduate student whom I met three years ago at my campus ministry internship. This semester we are going through the book of Revelation together! Friday and Saturday I worked at the restaurant, and Sunday was full of church, grocery shopping, and some quality gym time! I do homework throughout the week as I have time. So that is what a week looks like lately, although things are about to change since Zach, is graduating from seminary in May! I still have one year left of school, but having him done is very exciting! I look forward to seeing you all when I come and join you in worship in May. Alexandra Lysdahl
Notes of Gratitude Thank you so much for the prayer shawl. It is a beautiful shade of blue and very soft. The flower arrangement cheered me up. The cares are great and have added color to my room. You are a very thoughtful congregation. I am really happy I belong to the United Presbyterian Church. Jean Cuthbertson Dear UPC Friends, On behalf of my parents, Carolyn & Bob Gnepper, many thanks to Pastor Patricia, Sara Stotts, Shirley Poshard, Ken Krancher, & Kirsten Tharp for their visits. I know they have certainly enjoyed the holiday treats, dinner, & monthly communion. Mom had her cast removed on St. Patrick’s Day, which was sooner than expected. She continues to recover and is able to do a little more with her hand and arm each day, for which I am most thankful. Cheryl Gnepper Thank you so much for my colorful balloon. It love watching it swirl around. I feel so blessed to be a member of UPC. Thanks again and blessings to all. Harriet Bensing I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during my recent illness. Your prayers really helped me and my family. Steve Nordvall Thanks so much for my Easter balloon. It was cheery and I so appreciate everyone at my church. Mary L. Johnson Dear Fiends, I so appreciate your prayers and the blessing of the beautiful prayer shawl. It touched my heart. I miss all of you and hope that I will be able to join you in the near future. Pam Harrison