The Chimes


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The Chimes A publication of United Presbyterian Church

. Peoria, IL

Volume.11 Issue.11 November 26, 2014

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The Chimes

December 2014

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 Children Page 7 Prayer Corner Library News Page 8 Quest Page 9 Worship & the Arts Page 10 Worship & the Arts Cont’d Page 11 Mission Stephen Ministry Page 12 Mission Cont’d Page 13 Parish Nurse Stewardship & Giving Page 14 Church Life News and Notes Page 15 A Christmas Carol Insert Calendar Advent Meditations

Tony Anthony Eunice Andrews Robert Avery Jack Bensing Dorothy Bloom Margaret Brunner Lorraine Bunker Fern Deemie Betty Dixon Delores Fogler Bob & Carolyn Gnepper Margaret Greiner Midge Hillard Margaret Hochstrasser Loretta Horst Mary Johnson Dwight & Corda Jones Mike Kelley Vicki Kirchgessner Helen Kreighbaum Maureen Leuba Bill Maule Stephanie Murray Gladys Neal Annie Nichols Eber Pennington 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

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Too Good To Keep To Yourself I read an article by Shane Claiborne the other day about how God calls us to handle money. Shane tells a story that strikes me as a beautiful illustration not only of what stewardship is all about but also of what church is all about. Shane writes: I will never forget learning one of my best lessons in economics -- from a homeless kid in India. Every week we would throw a party for the street kids, kids 8-10 years old who were homeless, begging all day to survive. Each Tuesday we would get about 100 of them together and throw a party, play games, eat a big meal. One week, one of the kids I had grown close to told me it was his birthday. So I got him an ice cream. He was so excited he stared at it mesmerized. I have no idea how long it had been since he had eaten ice cream. But what he did next was brilliant. He yelled at all the other kids and told them to come over. He lined them up and gave them all a lick. His instinct was: this is so good I can’t keep it for myself. In the end, that’s what this whole idea of generosity is all about. Not guilt. It’s about the joy of sharing. It’s about realizing the good things in life – like ice cream – are too good to keep for ourselves. We are fortunate to have and experience many great things in this world. Our first instinct should be to share them. I hope that United Presbyterian—our worship, education, mission, and fellowship—is something you believe is too good not to share. Sometimes we have guests come into our church, perhaps a preschool parent or someone who has arrived early to one of our many community functions. How can we make them feel welcome? I hope what we have here is so good you’ll want to share our space, our resources, and our friendship. I love fellowship time. We are blessed to have deacons who volunteer to put out the cookies, make the drinks, and clean up after a lot of people! I know sometimes we want to make sure we get a cookie before they run out, but how can we make sure visitors, or those who are unable physically to stand in line too long, to be served first? How can we share our appreciation for those who work so hard to make fellowship happen? We often don’t appreciate those who share their time with us as much as we should. Like the cookies, a grateful heart is just too good to keep to yourself. The Family Christmas Shop is a great example of sharing the best of what we have. We don’t donate old or worn out toys—we go out and buy the hottest toys, the best coats, the most popular books. We share the best. We enjoy Christmas and the gifts we have received through the years so much that we can’t help but share the joy of that experience with others. At Christmas, we celebrate God's sharing of God’s self with us. God loved us so much God sent God’s only son because God knew God’s own love was too good to keep to God’s self. God shares that love with us through Jesus Christ. Some things are too good to keep to ourselves, like the good news of the Gospel: God is with us and for us. The gifts you share with this church through your financial pledges and through your service share the love and grace of God. Why? Because the love and grace of God is so good and so amazing, you just have to call everyone over to experience it. It’s too good to keep to yourself.

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December 2014

Grace and Peace to you and your Family! My year of firsts @ UPC is quickly drawing to a close as my first Advent and Christmas season with you begins. I look forward to the Advent services, the Dramatic Reading of the Christmas Carol, the Christmas music, the children’s dramatization of the Christmas story, The Family Christmas Shoppe, and of course Christmas Eve with you and your families in worship. I count you all, and our shared experiences of life and faith as one of my greatest blessings! I have always loved the season of Advent, and the call to deeper faith and prayer that come with it as a means of preparing for Christ. It is a way of celebrating with Christians through the centuries past and in the age to come. We joyfully and prayerfully prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, as well as the promise that Christ is coming again. Advent is a time of waiting, not idle waiting, but intentional preparatory waiting; Preparing our hearts and minds for the wonder of Christ who became one of us, and part of God’s eternal plan for our restored oneness with God and with one another. Lighting candles of the Advent Wreath and saying special prayers help us to keep our focus on Christ during the hustle and bustle of Christmas in America. So I have 2 gifts for you. You will find an insert with suggested prayers, scripture readings and music for Advent. And I invite you to a special worship service. A Service of Light & Hope on Dec. 16. May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts this season, Pastor Patricia

A Service of Light & Hope On December 16 @ 6pm we are holding a special Service of Light & Hope. A Service of Light & Hope is a service of scripture, stories, special music, silent reflection and healing prayer. A Service of Light & Hope is a time to recognize that Christmas can be a bittersweet time of the year for those of us for whom the holidays are not joyful; but instead are lonely, because of grief, or feeling alienated or cast apart from family celebrations; or are experiencing depression and sadness. Any of these can make us feel very much alone in the midst of the festive season which is compounded by the deepening darkness of the year. We need to know that we are not alone. We need to know God's love and God’s presence during this season. The holy solemnity A Service of Light & Hope can be a soothing balm amidst the atmosphere of the "holidays." Join with us to hear scripture, offer prayers for healing and wholeness, and to hear song that acknowledges that God's presence is for those who mourn, for those who grieve, for those who struggle. God's Word comes to shines light in our darkness and to inspire authentic and honest hopefulness rooted in the birth of the Christ-child. So in A Service of Light & Hope we invite you to experience a meditative worship service that takes time for remembering, sharing our hurting places with God, and preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ. Everyone is welcome.

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Christian Education Adul

t Classes

9 am Enrichment Hour Every Sunday has 4 choices for adults! The Story: The Bible in chronological and easy to read format as a Story. Weekly discussion will be led by Pastor Patricia based on a chapter from The Story and a DVD presentation. You are welcome to join in even if you have not read the chapter. December 7: Chapter 12: The Trials of a King December 14: A Kingdom Torn in Two December 21: begins Christmas Break. Class resumes January 4 The Wired Word: A discussion on current events and relevant Scripture passages. Led by Betty Pugh and Gordon Selling. Wired Word works to keep our Christian Faith grounded to a current and fast changing world. Bring your thoughts and opinions! If you like, bring your electronic device and the downloaded lesson. Journey Through the Bible: Ruth Led by Don Baker and John Warning. It is an insightful study offers questions to help the reader dig into the message of the Biblical text, 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. Faith and Family Class The Faith and Family Class plays games, shares stories of the week, and discusses the intersection of our faith and home life. It is a class full of discussion, sharing, and fun. Pastor Stephen leads the class in the library on Sunday mornings at 9:00am.

5 3:16 Bible Study Group meeting Sunday, Dec 7 & 21 @ 11:30 in Room 100 A DVD based group Bible Study using 3:16 by Max Lucado. Child care is available. 10am Thursday Morning Bible Study: Isaiah We are digging deep into this rich theological book. Bring your Bible and join the discussion led by Pastor Patricia. 11-Minute Lessons The series Understanding Christian Spirituality: Definitions, History, and Traditions will conclude this month on December 21. There will be no 11Minute Lessons on December 28. We will start our new series What is the Bible? on January 4. 11-Minute Lessons meets in the Heritage Room (107) at 11:11am each Sunday morning. Spiritual Book Club: No Meeting This Month We will have no Spiritual Book club this month due to the Christmas schedule. We will meet again on January 27 to discuss. December 28 Enrichment Hour There will be no 9:00amEducation Hour on Sunday, December 28. We will meet for Connecting Point the first three Wednesdays of December only (December 3, 10, and 17). We will continue to have dinner at 5:30, Young Explorers and music rehearsals at 6:15, and the adult class at 6:30. This month’s class is “Behind the Music: The Stories Behind Popular Christmas Carols.” We will look at the stories behind the composition of some of the most beloved carols and the meanings of those songs. Some of the songs we will be discussing are Good King Wenceslas, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, I Saw Three Ships, O Holy Night, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night.

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Children Rotation Sunday School Ages 3yrs. old–5th grade (3yrs. old–3rd grade starting January 4) Rotation Sunday school in October will focus on learning about the story of David and Goliath and how God is always with us. We will learn through the following rotations: December Rotation-Advent We will explore the story of Christmas through many creative activities. Note: There will be no Rotation Sunday School on December 14 due to the children participating in the drama in the worship service and December 28 where children are encouraged to worship with their families. 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 liturgy that they will eventually lead in worship services. We will spend 2 Sundays in class and 2 in the pews as a group where we will be listening and learning. We hope this class will create a group of youth that don’t just go to church-they worship. If any adults would be interested in helping with this program, let Karen know.

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Parents Night Out Friday, December 12 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. Children’s Drama During Worship December 14 Rehearsals are taking place after Rotation Sunday School, and there is a part for everyone! This year, the children will lead the beginning of the worship service and participate in a dramatization of the Christmas Story. They will exit before the sermon to get un-costumed. Parents can pick them up in the Rotation room following the service. On December 14, Children will need to arrive at 9:00 amto get costumes and rehearse one last time. Enrichment Hour for Children While parents attend adult Enrichment Hour, the children will be participating in Faith5 and some creative fellowship time. Faith5 is a simple way to share our “highs and lows” of our day or week with one another. This teaches the kids to learn to be a community, to listen to one another and to feel safe to share what excites them or worries them. This is not always easy with children who all want to share, but they are working very hard to really listen and support one another. Once we share those moments, we hear God’s word for us that day. We try to connect how that Scripture can speak to those “highs and lows”. We close with a prayer and the blessing of each child and move on to some fellowship.

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Prayer Corner An Advent Prayer Advent, anglicized from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming", is a season we observe in the church, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder, both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah and of the waiting of Christians for Christ's return from Heaven where he now sits at the Right Hand of God. But Advent is also about waiting and expecting God to enter our lives right now as a God with us and for us. In Advent, we watch, we wait and we welcome God. Let us pray for that watching, waiting and welcoming this Advent season. In this season of expectation we prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah, into the bustle of our lives and the hard to find moments of solitude. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah, into our homes and situations along with friends and families. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah, into our hearts and those often hidden parts of our lives. We prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah, for beneath the surface of your story is an inescapable fact. You entered this world as vulnerable as any one of us in order to nail that vulnerability to the cross. Our fears, our insecurities and our sins, all that can separate us from God exchanged by your Grace for Love. We cannot comprehend the reasoning, only marvel that Salvation comes to us through a baby born in a stable, who reaches out to a world in need. In this season of anticipation, we prepare to welcome Christ Jesus, Messiah. Amen

We continue to lift up in prayer Ethel Moore; Ray Long; Peggy & Bill Hill; Grace Hofmann; Ava Schmollinger; Gary Stalnaker; Betty Keller; Sally Maubach’s family; Donna Selling; the Shaun Plummer family; Don Lingles greatniece, Kristah; Rose Dickerson; Cal Vobroucek; Jerry Pini; Althea Rauen and those known and unknown to us. Noon Prayer Join Pastor Patricia in her office for Noon Prayer: a time for mid-day prayer and intercession on Wednesdays, December 3, 10, & 17.

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Library News From the Library We are pleased to report that "The Choice" by Frank A. Thomas, is now available in our church library. Hearing him give the sermon recently was such an inspiration to me, and I hope, to many of you. We hope you take advantage of being able to read his book. Another new book which I enjoyed reading is "The Rescuer," by Dee Henderson. This is Book 6 of the O'Malley series. It is the story of Meghan, who is blind, and of her friend, Stephen O'Malley (a paramedic), who is attempting to run away from his profession, the grief of losing his sister and from a God he doesn't want to trust. We are so glad that many of you are regularly checking out the great books we have to offer. P.S. It sounds like we may have another cold winter. Please remember to bring some warm outerwear for our Cap and Mitten tree this holiday season. New Books in the Library Rose Harbor in Bloom by Debbie Macomber Inspirational stories of faith, hope and love for the holiday season: An Amish Gift by Cynthia Keller One ImPerfect Christmas by Myra Johnson Love Blooms in Winter by Lori Copeland And coming to the library very soon is the book "The Last Sister," authored by our own Courtney McKinney Whitaker! Watch for it.

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Quest QUEST MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL UPCOMING EVENTS Note that December Quest dates are 1st and 3rd Sundays instead of the 2nd and 4th. Quest Shopping for Family Christmas Shop Sunday, December 7 @ 5:00 – 7:00 pm Middle and High School groups will meet in the church lot before heading out to dinner at Steak & Shake. We will then head to the Dollar Tree to shop for the newest additions four our Family Christmas Shop. This year, the children of the parents shopping will have their own opportunity to buy for special people in their lives. They will get to choose from small items to place in a bag decorated by them to put under the tree for Christmas. We get to be an important part in giving these children the opportunity to not just receive this Christmas, but also feel the joy of being able to give. Bring $5 for dinner. Quest Christmas Party! Sunday, December 21 4:00 – 6:00 pm Middle and High School groups will meet together for games, food and fun! VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL Sunday, December 13 Help with Family Christmas Shop Sign up in the Narthex to be a part of a wonderful opportunity to serve children in need this Holiday. Saturday, December 20 Help with Kid’s Activities During “A Christmas Carol” Come help with children’s games, crafts and more. A great way to connect with our younger kids. Have you ever wondered… What do they do in Quest? I am sure many of you have. Some may think they just run around the building making messes. Maybe you think they are involved in deep Bible Study and then maybe some pizza. Some of you may have no idea. As someone who has led youth groups for over 10 years, it changes all the time. This isn’t because we are looking for the latest and coolest way to reach youth.

December 2014 We have to adapt our approach to youth depending on who is in our group, or at least that is how I like to do it. I have never been numbers driven. More youth does not always mean better. Of course, we love to pack the place, to reach out to as many youth as possible to let them know that we and God love them. A lot of times it does not work out that way. Currently, we have a group that ranges from 8-13 for High School. This group is unlike any other I have had before. They are truly connected. They care about one another. They value one another and support each other. We set a little time aside to do Faith5 (you can read more about it on the children and youth page). We share our “highs and lows” for the week. We did this a couple of weeks ago. One girl spent her time thanking the others in the group for making this a safe place for her. It was the highlight of the week. Many of the others shared the same thoughts. Sometimes we look at these youth and think they are older, they don’t need us as much anymore, but they do. They need acceptance from adults that care about them and true friends. They need a place where they can be themselves, without judgment. We provide that here. No matter what the numbers, we have love and support for all who need it.

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Worship & the Arts The Nuanced Rhythm of Christian Living Musical time can be conceived in many different ways. In a very practical sense, music has different meters (triple meter, common meter, duple meter, etc.), different durations of notes (quarter, eighth, sixteenth, etc.), and sections divided up into shorter and longer parts. In a more abstract sense, music does something more interesting with time; it simultaneously attempts to control time while remaining completely dependent upon the thing in which it seeks to transform. Take a Mahler symphony, a Mozart sonata, or a Steve Reich Piano Phase for example. These pieces invite the listener into another realm of created time that is constructed by the sum of its parts. But this musical construction, in order for it to be transformative, must solely depend on the time in which the listeners are tuned in (i.e. clock time, social time, biological time, etc.) so that it can move into a musical time that is compatible yet other-worldly. In our lives, we see a similar relationship to time. On one hand, we seem to have control of our pace, rhythm, how much we fit into our schedules, dynamics of living, and states of “productivity” and leisure. On the other hand, our “control of time” rests on the realities of time that remain completely beyond our conception or manipulation. In music or lived experience, we cannot compete with time. Instead, we have the opportunity to live in the fullness of time in such a way that mirrors the unfolding of time in music. You don’t fight against it, you don’t race it and you don’t envy it. Instead, you join in the cycle of the musical time that takes you through moments of building, intensity, anticipation, tension, resolution and repose. In simple terms, we enter into a cycle of time that is nuanced. It is not always rapidly paced, it is not valued in terms of productivity and it is not measured by how many things one can accomplish in a lifetime. The Christian life, or the simple life if you will, is measured in terms of our being transformed into the image of God as we walk with others as they, in turn, become more transformed into the image of God. This Christian life is a life of creative nuance.

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It has moments of preparation-the long and often grueling task of equipping, learning and improving. It has moments of inward and outward reflection where we find space within our lives to track how God is working and transforming our lives, the lives of others and our society. It has moments of surrender. It has moments of spontaneity. It has moments of crisis, tension and unpredictable circumstances. And it has moments of leisure, rest and repose. This last part is a missing key to many of our lives. We either confuse leisure with laziness or ruin leisure by making ourselves feel guilty for taking rest. But without moments of slowing down (we call this ritardano or rubato in music), our song becomes nothing more than a metronomic march of monotony that is both uninteresting to perform and unbearable to listen to. Both lifegiving music and life-giving walks of life are nuanced and creative. Moreover, the diverse stages of this nuanced time are taken seriously for what they are, regardless of whether they are repetitive, spontaneous, anticipatory, fast, slow or restful. They all are necessary because they all come together to create a transcendent movement within and outside of time itself. What does leisure look like in your life now? What can leisure look like when it fits into the pattern of our Christian daily living? What are the nuances in our life, and how can we see our lives as mirroring the unfolding of musical time that is full of rich variety and nuance, full of life and vitality, full of hardship and difficulty, and full of rest and calm? Aaron Schultz

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Worship & the Arts Cont’d Caroling at Rosewood and Independence Village Join us for some festive caroling at Rosewood and Independence Village on Sunday, December 7 at 2:00pm. All ages are welcome to join us as we sing some favorite Christmas carols. We will meet at the church and then drive up the road to Rosewood in order to spread some Christmas cheer. After Rosewood, we will head over to Independence Village. We should be back to the church around 3:30 pm, just in time for volleyball.

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Favorite Christmas Carol Sing We will sing some of your favorite Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 28, during worship. Come prepared to request your favorite carols we didn’t get to sing at other times during this Christmas season. Celebrating Baptism This month we will celebrate the baptism of Verity Grace McKinney-Whitaker on December 28.

Children’s Christmas Drama During Worship Sunday, December 14 Join the children as they lead us in Worship and present a dramatization of the Christmas Story before the sermon. They have worked so hard on this presentation, so make sure you tell them how great they did.

Preaching Schedule December 7: Luke 1:26-55 “Giving Birth to a Miracle” Pastor Stephen

A Service of Light and Hope On December 16 @ 6pm The Pastoral Care Team is holding a special Service of Light & Hope for those who are hurting during the holiday season. We invite you to experience this meditative worship service that will focus on remembering, sharing our hurting places with God and preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ. See Pastor Patricia's page for more details.

December 21: Matthew 1:18-24 “Christmas Comes” Pastor Stephen

Family Christmas Eve Service at 4:00pm Join us for “The Journey,” a special worship service designed for families with children. This service is informal and invites the children to come up and participate as we unfold the journey of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Christ. We will bring the story to life with stories, songs, and a real-life Mary and Joseph. After the service, everyone is invited to the Fellowship Hall for cookies and cocoa. Please invite friends, family, or neighbors to worship with you! Traditional Candlelight Service at 7:00pm UPC will host our annual Candlelight service at 7:00pm with Scripture Lessons, Carols, Special Music, a brief Message, and Silent Night in Candlelight. The service will last approximately an hour. After the service you are invited to the Fellowship Hall to enjoy refreshments and great company.

December 14: Children’s Christmas Program Isaiah 60:1-4 “Not An Ordinary Star” Pastor Patricia

December 28: Luke 2:25-32 “A Finished Life” Pastor Stephen

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Mission Snack Pack Program Our Snack Pack Program that partners with Northmoor elementary has been a great success. We provide Snack Packs to 37 children, and the majority of these families will be joining us for the Family Christmas Shop this year. Families have been so grateful to us for this mission. We will fill our next set of bags on Wednesday, December 17 at 10:00am. Listed below are some of the items we need: Vegetable Chips Dried Fruit/Boxed Raisins Apple Sauce and Assorted Fruit in 100% Fruit Juice containers Cheese or Peanut Butter Crackers Beef Sticks Breakfast bars with protein 100% Juice Boxes Granola Bars 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. Family Christmas Shop Our annual Family Christmas Shop is Saturday, December 13, from 4:00-6:00pm. We need a lot of help to make this event a success. There are sign-up sheets on the bulletin board by the Welcome Center with all the areas we need help and the time you’d need to be here for that job. We are still 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, action figures, cars and more. We have many stuffed animals and puzzles left over from last year, so we do not need any of those. Please include the receipt for the gift or mark how much each item cost to assist us with sorting. We could also use some nice rolls of wrapping paper, gift bags, and extra large shopping bags for guests to carry their items.

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Gifts for the Forgotten United Presbyterian will again sponsor “Gifts for the Forgotten”. It is targeted to elderly people or the disabled living in Heddington Oaks, the former “Bel-Wood Nursing Home”. These people have no friends or family to remember them at Christmas, so 25 names are obtained with a suggestion for a present and size if applicable. These names will be distributed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in the Fellowship hall. The gifts are to be wrapped and returned to the Old Kitchen (which is right off Fellowship Hall). The gifts will then be transported to Heddington Oaks.

Stephen Ministry Do You Find Yourself Dreading the Upcoming Holidays? Feeling Down in the Dumps? Maybe a Stephen Minister Can Help! Stephen Ministry is a ministry in our congregation in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers, provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. The Stephen Minister is a caring Christian friend who really takes time to listen and who will walk beside a person who is hurting. If you would like to consider having a Stephen Minister help you through a difficult time, talk to Pastor Stephen or Pastor Patricia. They will assign a Stephen Minister who will meet with you on a weekly basis and provide strictly confidential care.

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December 2014

Mission Continued

In the first week of Christmas sign-up for assistance, The Salvation Army:

Mission of the Month: Salvation Army This month’s Mission of the Month is the Salvation Army. We will welcome a representative from the Salvation Army to share what they are doing in Peoria on Sunday, December 14. We will also be receiving the Christmas Joy offering that Sunday. 100% of what is donated will go to the Peoria Salvation Army.



From the Salvation Army: The Salvation Army was founded by William Booth, a Methodist Minister. His crusade was to win the lost multitudes of London to Christ. He went into the streets to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. In 1865, William Booth held a series of evangelistic meetings in the east end of London and soon began what would become The Salvation Army.

Thank You Dear Friends, Thank you for helping to support the vision of building a safe, peaceful community. We are very thankful for each and every gift to The Center for Prevention of Abuse. We are constantly amazed at the generosity and support of our community as we work to end abuse in our area. The Center not only provides safety, counseling and therapy, and advocacy for women, men, and children who have been affected by violence and abuse, but also works to prevent abuse from happening. Our prevention educators are in as many classrooms as possible teaching students how to be safe, how to identify healthy relationships, and how to be respectful of themselves and others. Your donation of $920.00 will help us continue these efforts. What a most generous blessing! Thank you all for supporting the thousands we serve. Martha Herm Executive Director The Center for Prevention of Abuse

Peoria was an early Salvation Army outpost, first hosting a Salvation Army unit on the 4th floor of the old Metzger Hotel in 1886. Now, the downtown campus includes 5 buildings on Adams and Jefferson, consisting of a Child Care Center, Sylvia Fites Family Service Center, Veterans Outreach Center, Family Shelter/ Warehouse & a headquarters building. The Child Care Center is Peoria’s longest continuously running child care program and services in the various programs continue to provide much needed help throughout the year. IN the first 10 months of 2014, the Salvation Army has provided the following:  Family Shelter-6,755 meals & 4.906 nights of shelter.  Safety Net Shelter-21,497 meals & 17,943 nights of shelter for homeless men  Lunch with Love soup kitchen-34,423 meals on site and another 6,180 delivered  Drop-In Center-28,489 meals & advocacy & referral services for homeless individuals  Veterans Outreach Center-1,677 male & Female veterans or their spouses have been assisted with advocacy, referral or financial assistance  Food Pantry-67,392 meals for 5,616 individuals



Provided coats to 729 households, representing 2,650 individuals for food baskets, toys & Christmas parties More than 30% of The Salvation Army annual funding is derived from the Tree of Lights Campaign.

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Parish Nurse Healthy Holiday Eating The holidays are here and so are the parties, get-togethers and decadent delights we enjoy but once a year. Did you know during the holiday season the average person gains 5 to 10 pounds? Here are some helpful tips to help you prevent the holiday bulge:  Eat a healthy meal before a holiday party so you are not hungry when you arrive.  Take a small portion on a small plate at buffet style parties. If you take seconds, choose only one or two particularly delectable items.  Limit alcohol consumption since alcohol is empty calories and increases appetite.  Alternate alcohol intake with water to decrease your consumption.  Drink water with meals.  Ask for a "go box" at a restaurant when you order. Place half of your meal in it before eating. You save calories and have another great meal to enjoy later.  Ask for salad dressing on the side when dining out. Salads are low-calorie without a lot of high-fat salad dressing.  Share your dessert. A couple of bites of a decadent dessert are highly satisfying. Eat Smart and Be WELL, Kirsten Tharp, RN

Stewardship & Giving Stewardship Campaign Update We are entering the closing weeks of our stewardship campaign to commit our financial gifts to the work of God through United Presbyterian Church in 2015. Our church Session will be meeting in December to finalize the budget and ministry plans for 2015, and we hope we can continue all the great worship, education, mission, and fellowship we have done in 2014 and feel called to do in 2015. It is our hope we do.

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Dedication of Gifts and Pledges We will dedicate the pledges and gifts we intend to give to God’s work through United Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 21. On the last Sunday of Advent, as we prepare to welcome and receive anew the gift of God’s son, we celebrate the ways we can give praise, give thanks and give back to God. We hope and pray that we will receive the pledged gifts we need to do the work God has called this church to do, and that we will not have to look at cutting programs, missions, resources, etc. So far we have received $305,000 pledges toward the Operating Budget of the Church out of a needed $480,000. We have receive $67,000 in pledges toward the Mortgage Abatement Plan (MAP) totaling out of a needed $100,000. Thank you for your generous giving in 2014 and your commitments in 2015. You are the church. It is your hands and your gifts that bring the love and grace of God to each other and to our community. Thank you. Contribution Reminder All 2014 contributions must be in the church office by 12 Noon December 31, 2014, to be recorded as a 2014 contribution. If you are mailing them, please have them postmarked by December 23, 2014. Thank you. Thank You Thank you for all your gifts to the church in 2014. We are so blessed to have faithful, generous and cheerful givers. We typically receive about 90% of the gifts pledged to the church, which is really great. Many churches only receive about 75% of pledged gifts. Thank you for your faithfulness. Your gifts make a difference, and they are appreciated. Our church is healthy in finances and ministries because of you. Thank you.

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The Chimes

Church Life Ruth Circle Date: Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 @ 1:00 pm Hostesses: Ann Canham & Betty Welch Devotions: Karen Woods Lesson: Remember to bring items for the 2nd graders at Roosevelt Magnet School. We will be filling Christmas bags. Ladies Night Out Date: Dec. 11, 2014 @ 6:00 pm Where: Steak n Shake in East Peoria Bring a gift to share for a white elephant gift exchange. RSVP: Betty Pugh @ 822-8500 or Eunice Andrews @ 688-8458 No December BUNCO….see you all in January No December Anna Circle. Our next meeting will be January 8, 2015 @ Weaver Ridge @ 6:00 pm. No December Blanket Making. Our next time to make blankets will be January 24, 2015. 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 at Donnelly’s Shamrock Pub on Monday, December 15, at 12:00 pm. Come enjoy some Fish N’ Chips with us! Indoor Soccer Interested in having a little evening of fun and fellowship? Join us for indoor soccer on Sunday, December 7 @ 4:00 pm in the gym. Pickup Basketball A game of pickup basketball will be Sunday, December 21, 2014 @ 4:00 pm. Come join us!

December 2014

News and Notes Annual Reports Annual Reports to be included in the compiled report for the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 25, 2015, are due by Friday, January 9, 2015. Please send them electronically to the office in 12pt Calibri font at [email protected]. Of course, you can send them in earlier! Thank You Our family would like to thank all of you-the staff, the lunch crew, Pastor Stephen– for your care and support during these pst weeks with the death of our parents. It was such a relief to have the church as our “base camp” during our trips to Peoria. Your support has made this difficult time easier to bear. Alex & Nancy Tucker Charles & Susan Conibear UPC, I wish to thank all for your prayers and visits from the Parish Nurse and Pastor Patricia. I still have out patient surgery for my kidney stone and major surgery for the hernia. I’ll be out for awhile, so please keep in touch. Also, thank you for the beautiful red rose. Betty Keller Thanks to everyone for all your cards, calls and prayers at the passing of my Father, Gene Larsen. UPC is a very loving and caring church, and I miss you all. Blessings, Judy Custer My wife Corda and myself & daughter Nancy, would all like to thank everyone for their thoughts, cards and prayers in regards to the death of my sister, Dorothy Taylor. Dwight Jones

Advent Meditations We light a candle every week during Advent season in preparation for Christmas. It is progressive lighting, beginning each week with the lighting of the previous week’s candle or candles and ending with the current week’s candle lighting. It is a long Tradition in the church. Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens with a white candle in the center. The evergreen boughs symbolize everlasting life. The circle represents the continuous love of God with no beginning and no end as well as the soul’s immortality. 1st Week of Advent: Light the first purple candle: Candle of Hope One: We light this candle of Hope which symbolizes faith in God keeping his promises to humanity. Along with Isaiah and Jeremiah, prophets of Israel, All: we await the promised salvation of the Lord and look for the coming of the one who will bring justice and righteousness to the earth. One: On this day we bear witness to the light of Christ with all the faithful of every time and place. The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory. All: Alleluia! Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5, 7:14 Hymn: O Come Immanuel 2nd Week of Advent: Light the second purple candle: Candle of Preparation One: We light this candle of Preparation reminding us to “get ready” to receive God. With John the Baptist, calling from the Wilderness, we cry: All: Prepare the way of the Lord! Repent! For the kingdom of heaven has come near. One: The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory. All: Alleluia! Scripture: Isaiah 7:14, Luke 1: 26-38 Hymn: Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence 3rd Week of Advent: Light the Pink candle: Candle of Joy. One: We light this candle of Joy, recalling the angels joyfully singing about the birth of Christ. With Mary, the mother of Jesus: All: We magnify the Lord, rejoicing in God our Savior. One: For the Mighty One has done great things for us, and holy is God’s name. The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory. All: Alleluia! Scripture: Luke 1:39-55 Hymn: O Come all ye Faithful 4th Week of Advent: Light the final purple candle: Candle of Love. One: We light this candle of Love which reminds us that God loves us enough to send his only Son to Earth. With the writers of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: All: We tell the good news of Jesus Christ, the child of Bethlehem One: who came to save us and is coming again to rule in glory. The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory. All: Alleluia! Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25 Hymn: Silent Night Christmas, and the Christmas season afterwards: After lighting the Advent candles, light the white candle in the middle: The Christ Candle. One: We light the Christ Candle which stands for Jesus Christ himself. With the choirs of angels and with all the heavenly host we proclaim: All: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on Earth, peace and goodwill to all! One: The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory. All: Alleluia! Scripture: Luke 2:1-7; Luke 2:8-20; Matt 2:1-12 Hymns: Joy to the World, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Away in a Manger, Angels We have Heard on High, O Little Town of Bethlehem

A Christmas Carol: Dramatic Reading and Christmas Music Since its publication in 1843, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol has been adapted for stage, screen and print hundreds of times. Dickens intended to prick his readers' consciences with what he called the "Carol Philosophy," a few lines spoken early in the book by Scrooge's nephew, Fred. "There are many things from which I have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say… Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it! The Carol Philosophy introduces the two major themes of A Christmas Carol on which the iconic ghosts expound: personal connections with other people, including those beyond our immediate interest, and the proper function of money. An actor before he became a writer, Dickens believed A Christmas Carol was best experienced through the spoken word and gave many public readings throughout his life in order to promote the Carol Philosophy and inspire listeners to share their financial and social blessings with those less fortunate. On Saturday, December 20, at 3:00 pm, "Look! It's My Book!" and United Presbyterian Church will partner to bring the Carol Philosophy to Peoria through a public reading of A Christmas Carol. Listeners will encounter the story the way Dickens preferred and will have the opportunity to put the Carol Philosophy into action. Several local favorites (Maria Chandler—WMBD; Courtney McKinneyWhitaker—local author; Lee Ranson—retired local weatherman; Charles Roth—"Look! It’s My Book!; and Lee Wenger—WCBU) will perform A Christmas Carol while UPC's music groups provide live festive music consisting of classic and original renditions of Christmas carols! No tickets are needed, but an offering during the event will benefit "Look! It's My Book!" and further the organization's mission of providing all the children of Peoria District 150 with new books of their very own, a goal Dickens surely would have found consistent with the Carol Philosophy. A children’s event at the same time as the concert will give children ages 3 and up some Christmas fun of their own, and a nursery will be provided for younger children. Plan to join the performers, members of UPC, and "Look! It's My Book!" volunteers for seasonal refreshments after the concert.