November Newsletter 2018

Prospect United Methodist Church

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"Givers, Stewards and Being Thankful"

I recently read an article about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The headline to the article stated, “Amazon CEO pledges $2 Billion to Charitable Causes.” I immediately thought to myself, “How cool would it be to wealthy enough to give that much money towards making the world a better place.”

The article, however, was not written to celebrate Bezos’ commitment to building preschools and shelters for the homeless in and around the Seattle area. On the contrary, the article was questioning his generosity. The article noted that Bezos and his wife had previously given more than $15 million to his college alma mater (Princeton)…likely as a precursor to having a building constructed that would bear his name, and several millions to cancer research in Washington state.

But the article also noted that these donations and pledges represented mere “drops in the bucket” of Bezos’ estimated $163 Billion net worth. Moreover, the article noted that Bezos’ $2 billion pledge (less than 1.25% of his net worth) came only after receiving “strong pressure” from the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg. Their question to Bezos: “How much does one have to have before they can decide to be really generous?”

For us in the Church of Jesus Christ, we already have that answer. The Apostle Paul reminds us, in Ephesians 1:3, that God, our Father, “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” In his letter to the Colossians, Paul declares that, ‘In Christ, we not only behold the fullness of God, we are brought to fullness.” In Christ we have the forgiveness of sins; reconciliation with the Father and with creation; New Life; Eternal Life; Every Spiritual Blessing…and so much more.

How are we to respond? We are to continue to live our lives in Christ. We are to be rooted and built up in Christ (DEEP and WIDE!!!). We are to find our strength in living out our faith. And we are to be overflowing in thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)

As Thanksgiving approaches, and our 2019 Stewardship Campaign wraps up (we already have more than $200,000 in pledges towards our 2019 budget and mortgage needs), please join us in regularly praying this simple prayer: “Thank you, Good Father, for My Time, My Talent, and My Treasure. Lord, help me to recognize all that I am and all that I have is a gift from you. Help me to be thankful. And help me to steward every good gift well…for your glory and your Kingdom purposes. Amen.”

* If you have not yet returned your 2019 Every Member Commitment Stewardship Campaign pledge sheet, we hope that you will be able to do so soon. If you have not received the 2019 Stewardship Campaign Binder (from your neighborhood group) or a pledge card in the mail, feel free to contact the church office. We will get pledge information (that includes both service opportunities and the opportunity to make a financial pledge to Prospect in 2019) to you.

To God Be The Glory,

<><, Pastor Steve

P.S. I still wouldn't mind having $2 billion to give away!

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November calendar below!

You can also download the printable version by clicking on the link!

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Treasurer's Report

By the time some of you read this article the turkey supper and silent auction will be over. Many thanks to all those who have worked so hard to put these special events on and for those who helped in any way. We will let you know how each event went and what we will do with the funds raised.

The stewardship drive is ending and again many thanks to those of you that have decided to support the church in reaching out to spread the Gospel message in 2019.

PUMC has done quite well in giving to the disaster relief fund for UMCOR to be used in Florida and the East Coast. That money has been sent to UMCOR for them to decide where it is needed.

Our Charge Conference will be Monday November 5, 2019 and we will be voting on the budget for next year as well as the nominations report. Hope to see all that are on the Administrative Board there for this important meeting.

Financially the church is doing quite well and all the financial obligations have been paid, this is due to the generous giving of all of you.

I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving this month and let us not forget to be thankful for the many Blessings we have all had.

God Bless, Bonnie Mankle, Treasurer

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*During weekdays, you must now "buzz in" to gain access to the building. Enter through the northwest doors, and the button will be on the wall to your right.*

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Our annual "Charge Conference" with District Superintendent, Rev. Jim Barnett is set for Monday, November 5th at 6:00pm. All administration, Board Members and Committee Chairs should plan to attend. ALL PUMC members and friends are invited.
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Come get your goodies at the annual Mary Martha Bake Sale on Sunday, November 18th before and after services!

This is one of our big fundraisers for the year with all proceeds going towards missions. If you would like to prepare something for our bake sale we will take any baked good: cookies or bars, pies, rolls, breads, pastries, cakes (anything that could be served over Thanksgiving). Bake Sale prep is set for 2:00pm on Nov. 17. See you at the sale!


Hanging of the Greens will be held on Sunday, November 25th following our JOINT worship service at 9:45 AM.

The United Methodist Men will be serving a light lunch around 11:30 AM. We will plan to decorate after worship and finish up following lunch.

The Hanging of the Greens is a great family event and is a wonderful opportunity to fine tune our focus on the Advent season. All are welcome to attend and we look forward to kicking off the Advent season with all of our PUMC Family and Friends!

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If you would like to purchase a poinsettia to help decorate the church sanctuary during the Christmas season, please sign-up from November 18th-December 2nd. Cost of the poinsettias will be $10/plant. Sign-Up Sheet will be available in the gathering area.


March to the Manger/Christmas Eve offering

This year’s March to the Manger is scheduled for Sunday, December 16th during the 8:45 AM service. Each year, following the choir’s cantata, the congregation is given an opportunity to bring a special offering to the manger as a present for Christ and his work through the Missions Ministries/Partnerships of Prospect UMC. This offering, along with the entirety of the offering received during our 7:00 Christmas Eve service will go to support the

missions budget of the church (i.e. We do not keep any of these special offerings for our own budget needs. We give them away as a means of reminding ourselves that“Christmas is not our birthday.”).

This year’s missions budget has been approved at $13,300. Of course, realizing the

vision of this budget is fully dependent upon your generosity. As you pray about your gift to the manger & Christmas Eve offering, you might consider a contribution that is equal in value to the most expensive gift you plan to purchase this Christmas or you might consider offering a tithe (10%) of your entire Christmas present budget.

Either way, let us all work together to ensure that Jesus remains at the center

of our Christmas focus. Thank you for your gift to the Christ child… a gift that will spread Christmas love to those in need!


Join us at 7:00 pm on December 24th for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service as we celebrate the birth of King Jesus!

This service will include our bell and vocal choirs and the proclaiming of the Gospel Story. Join us for communion, along with our tradition of singing Silent Night as candlelight fills the sanctuary.

ONE SERVICE-December 30th

PUMC will have one service on Sunday, December 30th at 8:45. There will be no education hour on this Sunday.


We will be de-decorating the church on Sunday, January 6th, 2019. Early service helpers will be packing up the Fellowship Hall and Gathering Area following the 8:45 service. Second service helpers will be packing up the Sanctuary and any other spots still needing de-decorated following the 10:45 service. All are invited to stay and help.
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“Share a little Christmas!”

November 11th begins ours annual opportunity to provide Christmas gifts for the residential youth at Chaddock Children’s Home in Quincy, IL. Chaddock is one of five (non-profit) agencies supported by the Methodist Great Rivers Conference. These children (grade school age through teens) have experienced trauma and neglect in their young lives. The caring staff at Chaddock have been working with each child trying to create a “wish list” of first, second and third choice clothing sizes when possible.

The process: Select a child. (Approximately 50 will be available.) We at PUMC must have your name and contact information and know who you selected. Lists will be available in the Gathering Area before and after worship services on November 11th.

Shop: It is not necessary to buy all gift choices listed. Often, gift choices have been expensive. You are encouraged to partner with others (even non-PUMC friends) and share the shopping and expense.

Include: Clothing items (with gift receipts) and a Christmas stocking with miscellaneous items (ex: gloves, candy, chapstick, fast food gift cards).

Return your unwrapped gifts in a new duffle bag by December 2nd visibly labeled with the child’s name and cottage name.

Options: You may include a Christmas card with only first names revealed. Return gifts by December 3rd to the outer office. Gift cards are always acceptable. You can contact the church office and request a volunteer shopper (you pay, they shop). If puzzled, contact Vicky Brown (243-5497/397-1564).

Have fun, be creative, it’s Christmas after all! Thank you for taking the opportunity to “love” our neighbors at Chaddock!

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Working for Christ: ‘Tis the Season for Serving and here are a few opportunities to serve through our “Prospect Partners” in November/December:


South Side Mission Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations

Join Pastor Steve and the Pichaske’s as they help assemble 3500 Thanksgiving Meals at South Side Mission on Wednesday, November 21st from 8:00-11:00 am. Contact Pastor Steve if interested!

You may also sign up to be a meal deliverer on Thanksgiving morning (shifts begin at 8:30).


Join us on Saturday, December 8th from 9:30-1:30 @ Peoria First UMC.

Loaves and Fish is a weekly feeding ministry providing a free hot meal, food pantry, worship service, educational assistance, clothing room & medical clinic to those in need each Saturday. Loaves & Fish serves from 250 - 375 guests weekly.


Let's join with the Salvation Army’s efforts to “do the most good” for those in need around our community and the world by joining with them this Christmas season.

We would again like to support the Salvation Army by “ringing the bells” again this holiday season.

We are looking for a lay member to champion the Salvation Army Bell Ringing effort this year. If you would be interested in stepping up as the "event coordinator" for this mission, please contact the office asap!

Holiday Food Baskets

We have been blessed with the opportunity to again offer holiday food baskets with ham, perishables and food staples for the holidays. We will prepare the food baskets after church on Sunday, December 9th-come join us!

Approximately 30 baskets will be distributed on Tuesday, December 11th and Thursday, December 13th from 9-11:00am. We need 3-4 helpers on both days. Let Gloria know when you can help!

If your team, small group or family would like to purchase an item for our baskets (ie: 30 cartons of eggs, 30 gallons of milk, ect.) contact the church office or contact Pastor Steve.

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United Methodist Student Sunday


“Let’s also think about how to show love and to do good works...Encourage each other.”

-Hebrews 10:24, 25b, Common English Bible


Right now there are UMC young people—who might not have had the resources to attend a school of their choice, or, for some, any school at all—who’ve been sent by you into the world God loves because of your giving to United Methodist Student Day. When you give generously you are support these students as they prepare for a life that unites faith with knowledge. What no one person or congregation can do alone, we’re doing together.

On Sunday, November 25th, PUMC will be celebrating United Methodist Student Day. Many young people from PUMC have been recipients of scholarships and grants because of this special offering. Please give generously. Thank you!


We will be rolling bandages for Global Health Ministries on November 14th and November 28th at the church at 3:30 pm. Global Health Ministries sends containers of medical supplies to mission hospitals all over the world. Please join us!!!

Hurricane Disaster Relief

If you would like to donate to this cause, please send/bring your checks to the church. Your checks should be made out to Prospect United Methodist Church with UMCOR # "901670" on the memo line.


Because of your continual support, the pantry is able to meet the year-round needs of our guests from the community. There will always be a constant need for some items, though.

We could still use the following items: Paper Towels, Boxed Pasta, Chicken & Rice Soup & Ketchup.

Thanks again, for coming to the Pantry's rescue, regularly! -Gloria & Nancy

“COATS FOR KIDS” Sponsored by the Salvation Army

THANK YOU for all the coat donations! Because of your generosity, we were able to donate 68 coats to children in need!

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Our 525 Worship service celebrated its first baptism Sunday on October 21st, as we welcomed Avery Lynn (Applen) Herring into both the family of God and Prospect family. Thank you to everyone who was present for Avery’s baptism…and to everyone who will be helping surround her with a community of love and grace as she grows in both stature and faith in the years to come!
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New Members and Baptism

We know how difficult it is to get everyone together on the same Sunday, so are excited to announce that we will work to welcome new members/schedule baptisms based on the best options for your family schedules. Please contact Pastor Steve (or the church office) if you are interested in learning more about membership and/or baptism (for yourself or your children).


Miss a Sunday?!

No problem! Our Sunday sermons are now posted on-line! You can find them on our website and Facebook page!

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Two recent thoughts from the Music Director...


2- My desire for our music program is to “reach wide and grow deep.” (In line with our 20/20 vision) I was discussing recently which of these two things (growing deep or reaching wide) should come first? Should we invite “unchurched” or “outsiders” to church and once they are invested, THEN ask them to serve? OR should we invite our friends to serve, and by serving, they meet new friends, feel needed, and desire to be “invested”? I think it is an either/or.

Maybe think about inviting friends, acquaintances, or new neighbors to church and ask them to get involved.... (singing in choir, volunteering at turkey dinner, grilling at an event, or anything they are already GOOD at!) Then, as they feel needed, valued, and appreciated, we can grow deeper as the Spirit leads.

My encouragement for this month is to be creative with your friends. Invite them to church. Invite them to sing in choir. And although I joke about the soprano “emergency”, it is true we do need sopranos. If you are interested in singing with us, please don’t even ask. Just show up! Wednesday’s at 7pm in the choir room. (Back door will be unlocked.) And maybe invite a friend from Community theater or Community choir who would enjoy some extra singing time! -Kirsten (309-361-5200)


For anyone interested in participating in this year's Christmas Cantata, here is the schedule! The rehearsal nights specifically dedicated to practicing the Cantata are: Nov 28, Dec 5, 12. The sharing of the Cantata will be on December 16th! If you would like a book, email or text Kirsten 309-361-5200. There are 20 members in the choir, but we need 30 in order to perform a cantata, so we are looking for a few people to help!


Nov 4: Song of Remembrance

Nov 7: Rehearsal

Nov 11: Jesus Loves Even Me (w/ Prospect Kids)

Nov 14: Rehearsal

Nov 18: Joyful Thanksgiving


Nov 25: OFF/Special Music


Dec 2: There is a Rose


Dec 9: Did you Hear the Good News?


Dec 16: CANTATA- The First Noel

Dec 19: Rehearsal

Dec 23: Celebrate the Dawn, Alleluia

Dec 24: Carol of the Little Angel/Peace, Peace


Dec 30: BREAK


Rehearsals (Wednesdays @ 6:00pm):

Nov 7, 14, 28 (not the 21st due to Thanksgiving)

Dec 5, 12, 19

Performances will be Nov 25th through Christmas Eve!

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Our kids aren’t (or shouldn’t be) the only ones still in school. As a church that wants to help you grow deep in Jesus so that we can reach wide for Jesus, we believe that Bible study and small groups are essential for our individual and corporate lives. You can join at any time, there is always room for you!

KYLE SMALL GROUP at PUMC, 6:00PM every other Monday (11/12 & 11/26), open invitation, CO-ED

CAMILLA SMALL GROUP, Wednesday evenings @ 7:00 PM - Camilla’s house, women's group, open invitation (meeting Thursday Nov. 1st this month--will start up again in 2019)

DEEPER STILL 10:00 Sunday mornings - Conference room, open invitation

PARENTING THROUGH THE STAGES 10:00 Sunday mornings - Currently meeting in our lower level, open invitation

BIBLE STUDIES: Breakfast with Jesus

Tuesday mornings from 8:30-9:30, open invitation (more details below)

(Feel free to contact the church if you're interested in starting/hosting a group at another time and/or location.)

Breakfast with Jesus: the Book of Colossians

Our Tuesday morning Bible study is in the midst of an 8-week study through Paul's Letter to the Church. There is no homework to do between sessions (although many choose to “read ahead”) and nothing to purchase. Each week we will read the text for the day, study it as a group, watch a short video led by Pastor Louie Giglio, and close with some more discussion and prayer. And, just like the early disciples, we’ll eat together as we study together! Even if you have to miss a week, the videos are available to watch at home through the RightNowMedia website. (Contact the office if you need help accessing our church account.) We would love to have you join us!


Our next meeting will be on November 5th at 6:00 pm in the fellowship hall. A light meal will be provided.

Thank you to all who helped with Trunk-or-Treat!

Please consider joining us for our meetings and events. All are welcome-young and old!!! Enjoy the good food & company! If there are questions, let Perry Camp know @ 309-678-5767 or


Next Meeting: Monday, November 26th at 7:00pm.

We chose the name Mary-Martha after we remembered the story in Luke 10: 38-42. Some of us in the group feel we’re like Martha moving from task to task. But we aim to be like Mary too, able to be still and learn from Jesus.

We give to ministries that include Crittenten, Lessie Bates Neighborhood House East St. Louis, Cunningham Children's home, Silent Auction, Chaddock Christmas Child, 100% of our funds are given to mission.

We welcome all ladies to join us!

Mary Martha Bake Sale on Sunday, November 18th before and after services! Bake sale prep and set-up is on Saturday, November 17th at 2:00pm.


Everyone is welcome to join us as we talk about the PUMC book of the month. You don’t have to say anything if you’d rather not. You don’t even have to read the book!

Our last meeting of 2018 will be Thursday, November 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lounge to discuss Forty Autumns: A Family’s Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall by Nina Willner, 2016, 416 pp including dozens of photographs.

Willner, a former American military intelligence officer, tells about her intelligence work in East Berlin as well as the story of five women in her family. These five were separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years. They fought to preserve family and finally were able to reunite after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Questions? Suggestions for books to discuss? Contact Nancy Varness at 274-8124 or

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With the kick-off of our second service, Soul Cafe now takes place in between services. Children receive their soul cafe treat in their Sunday school classroom. The soul cafe volunteers bring the treats and beverages to the Sunday school classrooms right before 1st service is ending. Interested in becoming a Soul cafe volunteer? Don't worry, Camilla & Mary will be available to help with this for the first several weeks!


We are also in the works of getting home communion up and going. Please see Mary Pietreniak if you are interested in serving or receiving in this ministry.

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Jerry and I would like to thank all of you for your visits, food, prayers and love that was shown us while in Peoria for chemo treatment. Not surprising but very much appreciated.

Sincerely, Neva Townsend and Jerry Peschke


We would like to thank our church family for the prayers, cards, and food that we received especially over the last 12 months. It always brought a smile to her face as it was so hard on her to get to church.

Thanks so much, The family of Barb Applen

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Youth News

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Hey Prospect!

We’re working towards trying to get our students from being disciples to ministers at their schools. We are doing this with intentional discipleship, as we are going through the book “In The Name of Jesus” by Henri Nouwen. This book deals with what it’s like to be Christian leaders and intentional followers of Jesus, as well as why life with Christ is worthwhile. Please be praying for our students and leaders as we travel through this book together!

There will also be a parent group going through this book as well! Contact Evan if you are interested!

As for Fuel Sunday mornings, we are going through the book of Acts. Please pray for our students as we continue to learn about what it could mean to live the adventure that having a life in Christ entails. We will also be having our monthly Fuel Sunday night gathering on November 25 from 5pm to 7:30pm!

Would you be interested in helping students learning to be more like Christ? If you are interested in becoming a disciple-maker of students to follow Jesus, please give Evan a text or call at 309-258-9917!

Thanks and God Bless! Evan Penn


Sunday morning Bible Study at 9:45am

November 16th - Family Movie Night (K-12th grade & families)

November 25th - FUEL from 5:00-7:30pm

December 8th - Loaves & Fish from 9:30-1:30

Children's Ministry NEWS

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Trunk-or-Treat Thank You

Thanks to everyone who made Trunk or Treat such a huge success. The temperatures were mild, but the very strong winds forced us inside. Nonetheless, a great time was had by all. Thanks to the United Methodist Men for providing, cooking and serving the hot dogs. And thanks to Bonnie Mankle, Ann Christophel, and Judy Lowery for the delicious mac ‘n cheese!!! And special thanks to all our Prospect family for providing thrilling decorations and costumes (especially Ann Christophel!) and yummy treats!!

Family Movie Night!

Mark your calendars! On Friday, November 16, all are invited to join us for a Family Movie Night at 5:30 p.m. Join us for dinner, fun, and a movie. A sign-up sheet will be available at the hospitality center.

"Happy Birthday, Jesus" Party!

Also mark your calendars for our annual "Happy Birthday, Jesus" party on Saturday, December 8. More details to follow.

If you have any questions/concerns/comments/ideas, please contact Pat at 677-3979.


Purple Panda Preschool celebrated Halloween with a costume parade in the Fellowship Hall and class parties. Our students had the cutest costumes and everyone had a great time! The classes have been busy learning about fall, and have done hands on activities with apples and pumpkins. The Dunlap Fire Department visited our preschool and we learned about fire safety and practiced fire drills. The Pre-K planted bulbs in the PUMC Memorial Garden with Barb and Dave Wickness. Our Three Year olds learned about community helpers and have really been enjoying lots of hands on projects and their sensory table. Our upcoming Thanksgiving break will be through Wednesday, November 22 until Sunday, November 25th. Classes will resume on Monday, November 26. We still have some openings for three year olds in the Thursday-Friday class.

Please contact me through Dani in the Church Office at 243-7300 or e-mail me at if you have any questions or you would like a tour or if you are interested in enrolling a child in preschool. Nikki Pollard—Director, Purple Panda Preschool

After Care is also in full force, but we will still take applications for new students. Contact Dani if you would like to register your child for after care!

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Right Now Ministry (online small group and devotional resources)

Prospect subscribes to the RightNowMinistry (“the Netflix of Christian Bible study”) resource, which provides all of our members with access to 1000’s of video led curriculums including offerings specifically geared towards books of the Bible, Parenting, Marriage, Single Living, Men, Women, Teens, Children, Leadership and Finances from a Christian perspective, and more.

Contact Pastor Steve if you do not have access to the site (or have forgotten your log-in).


Click the link below to download the 52-week Bible reading plan!

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Prospect UMC

Lifting Up Christ; Looking In to meet one another’s spiritual and physical needs; Reaching Out to love and serve others.
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