The Chimes A publication of United Presbyterian Church Peoria, IL
Volume.12 Issue.9 September 30 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 Page 6 Connecting Point Youth Christian Education News and Notes Page 7 Quest News and Notes Page 8 Worship & the Arts Church Life Page 9 Worship & the Arts Cont’d Page 10 Church Life Cont’d Prayer Corner Page 11 Mission Page 12 Health and Wellness Library News Page 13 News and Notes Insert Calendar Stewardship and Finance
Tony Anthony 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 Dick Schwarz 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.
Joseph Scranton IS1 Chris Davis
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So That… This is a great time in the life of our church. Our worship services are vibrant, diverse, participatory, and full of grace and love. We have more people participating in worship, missions, education, and fellowship opportunities. There is a positive energy throughout the congregation as new visitors are attending, new ministries are starting and new dreams are forming. We have some great days ahead. The Stewardship Theme this year is “So That…” taken from 1 Timothy 6:18-19 which says, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation, SO THAT they may take hold of that which is truly life.” The reason we give of ourselves and our funds to UPC is not for our own benefit, but So That our children can learn about Jesus; So That there is a community of faith where all are welcome; So That our youth can become more grounded in their faith; So That our worship can bring glory to God; So That local and foreign missions can thrive; So That our community can hear the good news that God is with them and for them; So That members are cared for in times of need; So That we can all grow in our faith; “So That we may take hold of that which is truly life.” We are no longer asking you to make a pledge that splits your gift between the Mortgage Abatement Plan and the Operating Budget. We don’t want to split up the work of this church because it is all part of the ministry of one united church. Our mortgage is part of the cost of our ministry, so we really need make sure we can make our monthly payments. While you can still designate your gifts if you wish, we are asking you to combine your giving into one gift to United Presbyterian Church: One Pledge, One Vision, One Goal, One United Church. The goal this year is to receive $575,000 in pledges to underwrite the vital ministries of our church. That’s a ten percent increase over what was pledged in 2015. This amount will allow each ministry of the church to grow, enable us to fix, maintain, replace some old capital resources, and keep us from having to make cuts to programs, missions, or staff. Last year, we saw a dip in giving to the church for a variety of reasons. In order to maintain the staff, programs, and mission of UPC, we need your help to increase pledged financial gifts to UPC. We are asking you to participate in the 10% Challenge and increase your gift to UPC by ten percent. Together, we can meet our financial goals so that we can meet our ministry goals. Throughout October and November you will hear much more about our plans for 2016 and how you can participate. You will hear many So That stories, and we hope you will share yours. Pledge cards will be available at the beginning of October, but we ask you to start thinking about why you give now, and all the good it does. We ask you to pray that your gifts might be given “so that we may take hold of that which is truly life.” I ask that you think about giving generously this year so that UPC can continue to be a place to worship, a place to serve, and a place to belong. God asks you to give so that we may grow and nurture followers of Christ in a welcoming community. That is our mission. It is why we exist. It’s what Christ has called and commissioned us to do. It is God’s So That. In common calling, Pastor Stephen
Letting Go and Reaching for the Light Fall is one of my favorite seasons. My birthday and our wedding anniversary are in the fall. Our best vacations have been in the fall. Baseball play-offs, the World Series, and championship golf are a few other highlights of fall. But the changing of seasons with the foliage being transformed into magnificent colors is my favorite. To be honest, I miss the mountainsides of aspen groves transformed into golden yellow and shades of orange. One particular October day 13 years ago, I drove up a mountain road, one unfamiliar to me. I felt drawn to a grove of golden aspen trees that I could see from the distance. I wanted to walk among them and experience their glory. This was our second fall in Colorado and I was not yet familiar with the ideal locations for my quest. After driving up the curving and dipping mountain road quite a ways, I came to a steep hill and wisely parked the pickup camper and began to hike up the road toward my quest. It was beautiful. The air was crisp and fresh, the cottonwoods were also golden yellow in the meadows. But there were no aspens. I sat down; weary from the elevation and distance of my travels and feeling discouraged. No Aspens! The sun was beginning its descent behind the mountains; I would need to return to the truck soon. But I looked ahead and the road I was hiking made a turn. I couldn’t see beyond the turn. I felt compelled to a least see what was around the turn. So I hiked the extra yardage and, because of the hillside, I had to fully make the turn before I could get a glimpse up the hill. And there they were! Aspens! Tall aspens on either side of the road lining the steep hill. I walked among them, mesmerized by their beauty. The tops of the golden yellow aspens were brilliantly gleaming in the late day sunlight and trunks in the shadows below. Never had I seen anything of such glorious beauty. And then, it was as if God spoke to me (although I heard no voice). I was studying the scarred trunks of the aspens, the scars where all the dead branches had fallen off and I heard, “Just like these trees, you need to let go of what is dead in you. Only when you let go of them can you reach like the living gleaming leaves and branches above are reaching for my glory.” The brilliant glory of God was so very bright, right before my eyes. May I never forget this encounter. This picture and these words were just what I needed. Because in the weeks and months to come I came face to face with the burden of unforgiveness that I had been holding onto. I had to let go in order to reach for the glory. It is impossible to do both. Over these past weeks our Sunday messages have been centered around Forgiveness: the Heart of the Gospel. It is our hope and prayer that each of us moves further into the abundant life of Christ now. The life freed from the paralytic burden of unforgiveness. What branches do we need to let go of so that we can reach for the light? To reach for the glory we are intended to have in this life. We cannot hold on and reach with the same arms. Lord, may your grace abound to us, that we can let go and shine with the light of Forgiveness. Pastor Patricia
11-Minute Lessons We are continuing our study of “What is the Bible” after worship in room 107 at 11:11am. This month, we’ll be looking at some specific texts of Scripture and applying what we’ve learned about reading and interpreting the Bible to them. You’ll never look at these stories and passages in the same way again! At the end of the class you can ask questions about the class or about that morning’s sermon.
Adul Classes 9AM SUNDAY MORNING ADULT EDUCATION HOUR Features four classes and discussion groups to help us to live into our mission statement to “Grow As 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. In it he points out how we speak of grace often, but do we understand it? More importantly, do we truly believe in it? Do our lives proclaim it as powerfully as our words? Oct 4 Chapter 3: A World without Grace Oct 11 Chapter 4: Lovesick Father Oct 18 Chapter 5: The New Math of Grace Oct 25 Chapter 6: Unbroken Chain; A Story If you would like a copy of the book, please contact the church office; cost is $9.50. 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; in other words, the newspaper in one hand, the Bible in the other. Headline news gives us much to think about and talk about through the lens of Scripture. So it is a class that naturally stirs thought-provoking and stimulating conversations and discussion.
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. The goal is to grow in critical thinking as we interpret the stories for their relevance then, and their relevance today. Bring your Bible, or use one of ours. We examine the details of the stories, and seek to understand what the stories meant in that day and time, and interpret the stories for how they apply to us today, in our time and place and culture. 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. We’ll dig into the complex questions of Scripture and life, and we’ll discuss how our faith shapes how we respond to the world around us and the events in our lives. The videos spark questions and conversation about Scripture, faith, and theology and feature well known and respected theologians and church leaders. All are welcome to join us for LYF. 10AM THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY WITH PASTOR PATRICIA No Class on October 1. October 8 and 15 we will be wrapping up our study of Marriage, the Church and the Bible. October 22 we will begin a new study on the Gospel of Luke. Bring your Bibles, bring your inquiring minds and we will see what God has in store for us. Are you interested in doing a book/DVD study with your small group or Life Group? Pastor Patricia has the materials you would need for The Story by Max Lucado. We have the DVD, Participant Guide and Exploring the Story for loan and 2 copies of The Story for $5 each. Please contact Pastor Patricia for more information. Parents’ Night Out Friday, October 2 6:00 – 8:30 pm High School youth will babysit so the parents can have a night out. Reservations are required 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.
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. OCTOBER CONNECTING POINT CLASS “Poems, Prayers and Practices” led by Pastor Patricia. October 7: Prayers: Bring your favorite prayers. We will be sharing prayers from our childhood and from other meaningful times in our lives. Pastor Patricia will collect them and assemble them into a booklet for each class member at the end of the month. October 14: Poems: Bring your favorite poems, or hymn verse, or inspirational quote to share. These too will be added to the collections. October 21: Practices: Bring your favorite scripture verse or verses to share. Pastor Patricia will lead the class in learning a new prayer practice of praying with the Scriptures. Scriptures will also be added to the collections. October 28: Practices: What is a prayer station? Youth will share about their experience with prayer stations. There will be a prayer station set up for the class to experience. 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!
Youth Christian Education CHILDREN’S EDUCATION HOUR HOLY MOLY! 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 School Education Hour Sundays at 9:00 a.m. Sunday School Rooms We will have a class for 4th grade & up based on the Harry Potter books and films. Join us for a fun and lively class. 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.
News and Notes 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.
Quest 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 MIDDLE SCHOOL Big Barn Bash! Sunday, October 11 Middle and High School 4:00 – 8:00pm Hope you all can make it as we travel to Trish & Rodger Deppermann’s farm for a bonfire, hay rack ride, games and more. Families are welcome. RSVP to Karen by October 7. As always, friends are welcome. Quest Middle School Meeting Sunday, October 25 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 Sunday, October 25 5:00 – 6:30pm We will be embarking on various devotions that explore polity, current events, our lives today, and more as well as having 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.
News and Notes Many thanks for the beautiful red rose. It certainly perked up my hospital room and was a lovely surprise! I enjoyed the beauty of the color and bloom. Sincerely, Sonja Kerrihard I want to thank you for your generous contribution to our “Newspapers in Education” program. We at the Journal Star appreciate your support of this worthwhile educational endeavor. Thanks to you we will be able to provide newspapers for students and teachers at Northmoor Elementary. As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a series of institutional recognition ads in our Newspapers in Education page which honors you as a partner in education. Angie Lyons, Newspapers in Education Supervisor Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate Verity’s first birthday on Saturday, September 12th. Verity had a wonderfull time at the party with music, games, cake, and passing the ball back and forth to everyone. Thank you for all the cards and for your donations to help children in need. We were able to take a giant load of stuff to Crittenton Center, whose supplies of essential items like these were nearly depleted. They were so grateful for your generosity. Thank you for being such a loving church family to our child and to children around the world. Stephen, Courtney, and Verity McKinney-Whitaker Dear UPC, Thank you so much for celebrating the baptism of Caleb David with us. The gifts received will remind us of this joyous day for years to come. Thanks again, Megan, Jud & Caleb Swan Dear UPC, Thanks so much for all the prayers and the red rose after my accident. Ron Schmollinger Thanks to our friends at UPC for their cards, prayers, visits and phone calls during my recent hospitalization and ongoing recovery. The rose lasted for 2 weeks. Special thanks to Stephen, Patricia, Kirsten and Chip for all their visits. The prayers are working! Floyd Boeker
Worship & Arts
Sermon Series- Let’s Talk About Money From October 11th to November 1st, we’re going to talk about money on Sunday mornings. We’re going to look at what the Bible tells us about money: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’re going to celebrate what money can do and lament what it can do to us. We don’t talk about money in church much because we’re afraid it’s too awkward or that people will believe the church just cares about money and not people. Yet, as taboo as it is to us, Jesus talked about it a lot, more than any other subject. Taking everything He discussed throughout His ministry, as told by the Gospels, Jesus talked about money 15% of the time. That's a higher percentage than His discussion on faith, or prayer, or heaven & hell combined. Think about how much we talk about those things, and how little we talk about money. Sometimes I think we focus so much on talking about Jesus, that we forget to talk about the things Jesus talked about. Jesus talked about money.
BUS TRIPS Saturday October 3 In light of the Illinois State Museum closure we are going to change the direction of the Bus Trip. On Saturday the bus will be traveling to Dixon IL. Featured stops include: Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home and Visitor Center ($5 admission), John Deere Historic Site ($5 admission), lunch at Basil Tree Ristorante, and other interesting historic sites as time permits. Cost of transportation is $10. Please contact the church office to reserve your seat on the bus.
This sermon series is not about you giving more money to this church. It’s not about giving money to our building. It’s about your heart. It’s about us being a people who love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind and with all our soul.
HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL Join us for the Halloween Carnival, October 23 from 6:00 –8:30pm. Lots of candy is needed. Please bring bags of individually wrapped candy to the church office anytime.
Worship in August October 4: Matthew 6:9-15, 18:21-22 “The Hardest Thing” Pastor Stephen October 11: Matthew 6:19-21,24 “The Bottom Line” Pastor Stephen October 18: John 12:1-8 “What A Waste” Pastor Stephen October 25: 1 Timothy 6:17-19 “So That” Pastor Stephen MID-MONTH COMMUNION: A SPECIAL SERVICE OF WORSHIP September through May we will offer a communion service in the middle of the month. Why do we call it a Special Service? Each month the liturgy and music will be of a Special Type, or follow a Special Theme, or a Seasonal Theme. Tuesday October 20, 2015 at 6:00pm Celtic Worship…. “When I Survey the Celtic Cross” Our Celtic Worship services feature liturgy and music from the Celtic Tradition. Our musicians bless us with the lively songs, using the hammered dulcimer, mandolin, flute, and sometimes the bagpipes. Come, and receive a Celtic blessing!
Saturday October 17 the bus is traveling north to Starved Rock State Park for a day of hiking, sight-seeing and adventuring. Sign up in the Church office. $10 covers the cost of transportation.
Lots of cupcakes are needed. Please bring in groups of 6 cupcakes to the church office October 21-23. Lots of volunteers are needed. Please sign up in the foyer starting October 1. There will be hot dogs, games (25 free tickets per child), prizes, cupcake walk, pictures, balloon artist, and FUN FUN FUN. Come dressed in your costume! BUNCO Date: October 9, 2015 Time: 7:00pm Where: Church Fellowship Hall Bring a friend, a dollar, a snack, and plan to have fun. For more info contact: Eunice @688-8458 or Betty @ 822-8500. LADIES NIGHT OUT Date: October 15, 2015, 6:00pm Where: Jubilee Café, Kickapoo-Edwards Exit 82 Contact Eunice @688-8458 or Betty @ 822-8500 to RSVP or receive more information.
Worship & Arts Cont’d Sound has a particular way of sending us back in time. It can transport us to vivid memories, places, or feelings otherwise inaccessible. The sound of rushing water may bring the city-dweller back to moments of serenity when remembering the childhood brook they used to play in. Or the sound of birds chirping would, for a moment, bring a grandparent back to life who used to sit on the porch with binoculars bird-watching for an afternoon. For me, being away from family during Christmastime is difficult. But when I play some of the albums my mom used to listen to setting up the Christmas tree, it is as if they are surrounding me in some mysterious way. A similar experience occurs when it comes to matters of faith and church music. In congregational worship, a bond is formed between expressions of faith and the music in which that faith is communicated. What I described earlier with the sounds of water, birds, and Christmas music would be categorized as “nostalgia”. What happens when our understanding and experience of God becomes internalized by music moves far beyond nostalgia into some mysterious category. This mystical bond heightens over time, and most times it is only identified when the music of one’s faith is slowly taken away in worship. This has been the crime of the “worship wars”. In order to appeal to the modern person, churches are taking away traditional expressions of the faith in order to force contemporary music in the church walls. This practice completely neglects the needs of people who have grown up singing hymns, hearing the organ, and listening to the choirs that have shaped their experience and understanding of God. At UPC, we understand how important these traditional sounds and expressions are to people. It is not a matter of musical taste. It is a matter of respecting experience. Many people in our congregation have gone their entire lives singing hymns out of the hymnal accompanied by an organ. Because of this history, it has formed a bond within them concerning the faith they practice and the music they love.
On the fifth Sundays of the month when they occur, we will only be singing hymns with the organ. Similarly, we will remain committed to having at least one hymn with the organ every Sunday unless we have some special guest musicians or service. For people who may not like the organ, I invite you to not just tolerate this sound. When we do this, we are not respecting the tradition, liturgical memory, or faith of our brothers and sisters. We need to participate in this tradition in order to connect with it and fully respect those to whom it is important, The same can be said for those who love hymns on the organ. New bonds of faith with new forms of music are being fashioned in the hearts and minds of people within our community, just as the bonds of faith have been formed in you. In order to fully respect this process, we cannot simply move aside and let them sing their songs. We need to find participation in this faith expression to fully welcome them in. Together, we can form new bonds of faith while resting securely in the bonds we have been shaped in over time. Jericho Brass Returns Jericho Brass will be making a return engagement at the October 25 worship service. This is a music ministry of about a dozen local brass players from several different churches. They performed at UPC over a year ago and raised a joyful sound to the Lord. We look forward to a repeat experience! The group includes two from UPC-Jerry Randall on trumpet and Rich Helm on tuba.
The Worship Studio meets Monday, October 12th at 6:00pm. This month local guest artist Mary Claire Marck will talk to us about the use of imagery in Biblical narratives and lead us in a project in which we’ll get to engage imagery in some specific stories. All are welcome to join us for this unique and arts-based worship experience.
Church Life Cont’d Pet Blessing Our annual Blessing of the Animals is Sunday, October 4th at 4:00pm at the lower Bradley Park Dog Park. We will have a short service with song and scripture, followed by a blessing for each animal. We will have treat bags for dogs and cats to give to each participant. We will also be taking donations to give to Peoria Foster Pet Outreach. Please invite any animal lovers you know to this service that recognizes the important role animals play in our lives. Local Lunch Local Lunch this month will be Monday, October 19th at 12:00pm at the River Beach Pub in Chillicothe. If it’s nice weather we can sit outside with beautiful views of the river. We hope to see you there. 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 (October 8th) at 9:00am. Ruth Circle Ruth Circle started out a new year recently. They will be using the book “A Woman of Prayer” by Cynthia Heald. The next meeting will be October 12, 2015 beginning at 1:00pm. Hostesses will be Marianne DeVore and Sara Stotts. Plan to read Chapter 1. Interested in joining? Contact the church office to order a book. Family Christmas Shop It’s hard to believe that we need to start thinking about our Annual Family Christmas Shop again, but it’s that time of year. This year’s Family Christmas Shop will be on Saturday, December 5th from 4:00-6:00pm. We will begin collecting presents and gifts on October 11th. 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, 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.
Prayer Corner A Prayer for Syrian Refugees This month we continue to pray for, advocate for, and give to refugees displaced by the crisis in Syria. As we continue to approach our goal of $10,000 in immediate relief, we need to continue to be in prayer for all those affected. Join us in prayer this month for the Syrian refugees. Prayer For the People of Syria Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion, the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope. Hear the cries of the people of Syria; bring healing to those suffering from the violence, and comfort to those mourning the dead. Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors in their care and welcome for refugees. Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms, and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace. O God of hope and Father of mercy, your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs. Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with enemies. Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria, and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. Prayers Needed We continue to lift in prayer, Dan Dickerson, Ken Krancher, Duane Mach, Al Hultgren, Debbie Sullivan, Steve Stella, Dick Schwarz, Mike David, Ron Schmollinger, Floyd Boeker, Carol Hicks, Joan Sathoff, Pat Hagenbuch, Sean Leuba, Mary Everett, the fathers of Jason Carr, Kent Higgins, Dan Thornton and AJ Marsh, Mary Lou Troth’s daughter, Jan, and the families of those affected by the changes in CAT employment.
Lifelines to Syria: Families For Families We are called to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world, to reach out in generosity and love. Thousands of families, just like our own, are in dire need of a lifeline. We can help these families. In Jordan, over 84% of Syrian refugee families live outside camps, in host communities in Jordan’s urban areas. They have faced extreme trauma fleeing from the violence of war in their homeland and are now struggling to pay for very basic life essentials including rent, food and healthcare. To help these refugees, UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) has responded with an innovative program providing cash assistance directly and efficiently to the most vulnerable Syrian families to help them survive. Working directly with refugees in Jordan, the UNHRC is committed to helping refugee families under the poverty line, with more than 97% of your donation going directly into the hands of families in need. The UNHCR has been able to secure assistance for more than 3,000 families but there are still 9,000 families waiting for a lifeline to help provide them with a dignified living. “We kept moving from one house to the next because we couldn’t afford the rent,” says Alaa a father to three children, and a fourth on the way. “My daughters haven’t had fruit in a month, and I’m suffering depression. I only sleep once every three nights.” He pleads with anyone who can donate to UNHCR’s Lifeline Campaign. “Do not forget us, our situation is very desperate… we only have God, and you.” Your donation will give refugee families the freedom to choose what is best for their children and how to manage their daily needs. Our families can help their families. Our challenge is for every family at UPC, whether a family of one or six, to support at least one refugee family for a month with a $70 or $140 donation or more. Help us reach our goal of providing lifelines to 100 families for at least a month, which means a goal of $10,000. Donate today and be a lifeline. The Presbytery of Great Rivers will match member churches gifts up to $25,000 so your can make a double impact with a gift through UPC. Checks can be mailed or delivered to United Presbyterian Church and made payable to UPC. Please mark on the Memo Line “Syria.” Snack Pack We provide 40 students from Northmoor Elementary with Peacemaking Offering and the Center for Prevention Snack Pack bags every week so that they may have nutriof Abuse tious food and snacks over the weekend. We fill a month’s The Peacemaking Offering was created in 1980 to worth of bags every fourth Sunday of the month after worsupport the efforts of the Presbyterian Church ship, and we need help. We also need donations of the (U.S.A.) to live out a deeper commitment to peacefollowing items: making as part of our faithfulness to God. We receive Granola or Protein Snack Pack Needs: this offering on World Communion Sunday, on OctoExtra Large Brown Paper Bags Bars ber 4th. UPC uses the offering gifts to promote Beef Sticks 100% Juice Boxes peace in Peoria through The Center for Prevention of Dehydrated Fruit Fruit Cups Abuse. Snacks Applesauce Cheese/Peanut Butter Crackers Breakfast Cereal Bars
Health & Wellness STRESS RELIEF FROM LAUGHTER? IT IS NO JOKE! When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered. Whether you are guiltily guffawing at an episode of your favorite sitcom or quietly giggling at the latest New Yorker cartoon, laughing does you good. Did you know laughter is a great form of stress relief? Short-term benefits of laughter include: Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Activates and relieves your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The results? A good, relaxed feeling. Soothes tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. Laugher is more than just a quick pick-me-up, though. It is also food for you over the long haul. Laughter may also: Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more serious illnesses. Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders. Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people. Improve your mood. Many people experience depression - sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier. A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but there is mounting data about the many things laughter can do. Even better, laughter is free! Do yourself a favor and laugh today!!!
CALLING ALL SUPERHEROES! UPC children are invited to join the Health and Wellness Team during worship on Sunday, October 4 for the Children’s Health Fair. The children will play games, have snacks and learn how to be a “Superhero of Health”. HELP SAVE A LIFE—DONATE BLOOD Did you know a single blood donation can help save up to three lives? The fall UPC blood drive will be held on Monday, October 19 from 2pm – 6pm. If you are concerned you may not qualify to donate because of illness or medications just ask! There are very few reasons a person does not qualify to donate. Sign-ups will be held in the fellowship hall on Sunday mornings in October or contact the church office to sign up. Questions- contact Kirsten Tharp, RN
Library News FROM THE LIBRARY Oh my, we have had so many outstanding books donated I don't know where to start. A large number of Christian fiction books were donated by the family of Althea Rauen, including several by Karen Kingsbury. They also included all four books in The Four Seasons series by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman. This series is based on the ever-changing cycles of relationships detailed in Gary Chapman's nonfiction book, The Four Seasons of Marriage. The novels focus on four couples, each moving in and out of a different season. I just finished this set and found it an excellent read. Most of these books are paperbacks and can be found on the revolving rack in the library. Mary Buesing also donated several books. And then, of course, some books just appear and we don't know where they came from! Please know that we appreciate all of you who remember the library when you have books to pass on. Our policy is that if we have two copies of a book already, we give any additional we receive to an appropriate organization. Thank you for visiting the church library and checking out books. It makes our work worthwhile. Note: Remember, we also have some great children's books. Bring in those children and grandchildren!
News and Notes New Pew Offering Envelopes Starting Sunday, October 4th, there will be new offering envelopes in the pews. We’ll have one envelope that can be used by members who pledge, members who do not pledge, and visitors. The envelope will allow you to split up one check to the General Fund, MAP, or any special offerings, or you can place multiple checks in the envelope. If you pledge, your gifts will automatically be counted toward your pledge unless you note otherwise. Having one envelope will cut down on the amount of envelopes in the pews and will save money because we won’t have to order special envelopes anymore. If you have requested offering envelopes you are still welcome to use those and will receive them next year, too. If you have any questions, please talk to Pastor Stephen.
Thank You Thank you so much for coming to our 50th Anniversary Party. We were both overwhelmed with all the love shown to both of us. Special thanks to Trish who organized and helped plan this special day and her hubby, Rodger. The Bell Choir sounded wonderful and we enjoyed it very much. Special thanks to Kirsten, Pastor Patricia and Pastor Stephen for all your encouragement and prayers. Thanks to all for your prayers. We have a long road ahead of us but we know we have a lot of love and support from our church family. Al and Lois Hultgren Thank you to the congregation of UPC for all your support and prayers these last few months. It has been a little overwhelming with Mother’s surgery and recovery, but we are on the road back. I can’t say enough about the support I always get. Once again your prayers for our whole family have been heard. What a blessing you
Deacon Quarterly Meeting The next deacon quarterly meeting will be a joint meeting with Session, on October 11, 2015. We will meet in the sanctuary following worship for the joint meeting and then have a regular meeting in Room 100.