MARCH 2019 Newsletter

Prospect United Methodist Church

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"Take up the Sword" for Lent!

My last at-sea job in the Navy included an assignment as a Damage Control Assistant for our ship. When you are floating in the middle of the ocean, you cannot call the fire & rescue company to come to your aid in an emergency. You must become your own fire & rescue team. I was assigned with leading a group that was trained in putting out fires, fixing leaks, and eradicating flooding…the kind of fires, leaks and floods that could sink the entire ship. We had a pretty detailed playbook, that when mastered, practiced, and wielded (executed) left us feeling confident in our ability to overcome some pretty perilous scenarios.

Last Sunday, was our next to last message in our Suit Up sermon series on the Armor of God. Our first five weeks focused on the "defensive tools" God offers us in our efforts to “stand firm” when the perils of life threaten to beat us up or break us down. Last Sunday, we received God's weapon for "going on the offensive" in the spiritual battles that present themselves in the material struggles that can sink each of our lives. That weapon: the Sword of God's Spirit...which is the Word of God.

God has given us His Word in Scripture and in the person of Jesus. But the Word doesn't have any power until we wield it. We have to master it, practice it and wield it in the power of the Holy Spirit if we are to keep our (individual and collective) spiritual ships from sinking.

So, my prayer for Prospect is that we will allow the 40 days of Lent (Ash Wednesday, March 6 - Easter Sunday, April 21) to become a season of battle preparedness training. Let’s join together in an effort to practice wielding the Sword more effectively and diligently. As with my Navy experience, we have some crew members who may feel like they are barely out of Bible reading boot camp. Others among us feel like seasoned sailors when it comes to our familiarity with God’s Word. Most of us fall somewhere in between. All of us have much of value to share as well as new things to learn.

Christians often fast during Lent (giving something up as a sign of God’s sufficiency for their lives). This year, in the midst of your Fasting, I'd invite you to do some additional Feasting.

JD Walt and our friends at Seedbed Publishing (the publishing house of Asbury Seminary) offer what has become my favorite morning devotional: the Seedbed Daily Text. This year, Seedbed's resources will lead us through our Lenten Journey with the series: Listen to Him.

Our children, youth, adult Bible studies and sermon focus each week will draw from the daily texts that chronicle Jesus' journey from the Mount of Transfiguration to the Cross of Calvary.

I'd invite you to join the journey a few days early... register using the link below and you can join me in the daily text. Don't just read the daily text from Luke’s account of the Good News; meditate upon the texts and reflections...and then share your thoughts with someone close to you in holy dialogue (include me if you'd like). I'll try to share my thoughts in regular reflection (most likely through email).

Let’s get our Prospect flotilla sailing in the same direction…into the battle, fully suited up with God’s armor, wielding the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and “Listening to Him” who is worthy of not only our ears but all of our lives. It’s not just a good idea for Lent…it’s the only way to keep from sinking!

<><, Pastor Steve

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March 2019 calendar below!

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

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Treasurer's Report

I am looking forward to Spring as I’m sure a lot of you are too. January was a good month for PUMC. We were able to make a substantial payment on the mortgage which brings the balance down to $190,000.00. Good News.

Our snow removal account has taken a hit as you can imagine with all the snow and ice we have received, but we have to keep the parking lot safe for all who come to this church. A big thank you to those that have shoveled the walks for us and kept them clear. The

Trustees have been in conversation with Rev. Steve and there are some things that need to be done at the parsonage and they will be deciding what to do first. Our mission team will be meeting soon and then part of their budget will be paid with the money received from the March to the Manger and Christmas Eve offering.

I want to share with you from 2 Corinthians 9:11: God will make you rich enough so that you can always be generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God because of this. Members and friends, you have been generous and I am thankful that we have been able to meet all of our financial obligations and will be paying to missions. Thank you all.

God Bless, Bonnie Mankle, Treasurer

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Make plans to join us for our traditional Ash Wednesday service on the evening of March 6th at 6:30.

This service, complete with the imposition of ashes, marks the start of our 40-day journey through the season of Lent (culminating with Easter Sunday’s services of Resurrection!).

Our Love Feast on this Ash Wednesday will be conducted in a similar manner to those celebrations in the early Methodist movement. We will gather around tables and feast on hot tea and hot cross buns.

Childcare will be available. See you there!


Don’t forget to “spring forward” before going to bed the night of Saturday, March 9th. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00am on Sunday, March 10th!


Plans are in the works for Prospect’s Annual Chicken Noodle Dinner! Mark your calendars for March 31st following ONE COMBINED WORSHIP SERVICE at 9:45!

This early lunch is a free-will offering with proceeds going to help support the congregational operating budget and mission’s budget.

**VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: A table will be set up in the Gathering Area for volunteer sign-ups!**

Dunlap Senior Center at Prospect UMC!

PUMC is the proud host location for the new Senior Citizen Activity Center here in the Village of Dunlap.

Located in church Fellowship Hall, the Senior Activity Center is open every Tuesday and Thursday (except for holidays) from 9:00am-3:00pm for men and women 50 years.

The Senior Center provides a warm & free setting where you can meet people, join a card game, put together a puzzle, play Mexican Train dominoes, or just sit and chat with a cup of coffee. We also have a pool table and ping pong available!

Eventually they will also be offering classes such as easy exercise, line dancing, sewing, women's and men's crafts and other activities that may interest you.

Questions? Please email the coordinators at

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Lent will soon arrive and Palm Sunday is April 14th. Of course, the Christian faith celebrates Palm Sunday as the beginning of Holy Week-the week of intense passion. On this day of worship, palms will be waved and displayed to remind all of us of the journey that arrived in Jerusalem with great fanfare. As post-New Testament people, we know the account, the participants, and the results. Today we are called to follow Jesus in the servant role he revealed on the first Palm Sunday. Our servant role calls us to remember His sacrifice as we determine what we are able to sacrificially give to help and assist others.

At our 8:45 worship service you will be invited to bring an envelope with your sacrificial offering of money to be left at the altar. The total of these gifts will complete the remaining half of our 2019 Mission Budget at Prospect. Holy Week is all about “passion” - the deepest feelings God chose to share with all of us. May the depth of our care for others demonstrate our passion for God’s people.

Easter Lily Sign-Up

An Easter Lily Sign-up sheet will be available to you beginning March 10th located on the table in the Gathering Area. Lilies are $10 each. The last chance to sign-up will be Sunday, April 14th! You may call to place your order with Dani via email.

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UMCOR Sunday

UMCOR Sunday—March 31, 2019

“I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothes to wear. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.” -Mt. 25:35-36


When You Give You Equip Christ’s Body to Serve in His Name. That’s because your generous giving to UMCOR is what allows UMCOR to act as the arms and legs of Christ’s church, moving toward the most vulnerable in their darkest days. Convinced that all people have God-given worth and dignity—without regard to race, religion or gender—together we are assisting those impacted by crisis or chronic need.

UMCOR will be able to offer aid in Jesus’ name to those who suffer because United Methodists give through UMCOR. In fact, it’s your generous giving that allows us to respond when disaster strikes.


The Adult Mission Trip team is headed back to the Chaddock Children's Home in Quincy, IL the week of Sunday, July 21st-Thursday July 25th. All are welcome to join us! Come for the entire week or for a couple days. If interested, contact the office and we will get you connected.

*The Chaddock Mission Trip Brunch Fundraiser is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 30th, following ONE COMBINED worship service. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!


The Prospect food pantry recently received a nice donation from the middle school. However, we are still in need of the following items: mixed fruit, applesauce, spinach, carrots, canned chicken, brownie/cake/cookie mixes, cereal, Ramen noodles, ketchup, body wash .

Thank you for your support! -Gloria & Nancy


We will resume rolling bandages for Global Health Ministries in March (dates coming soon). Global Health Ministries sends containers of medical supplies to mission hospitals all over the world. We would love to have you join us!!!

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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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As I sit to write my "notes" to share with the congregation, I want to take a moment to be grateful. I often feel that all I do is ask for help, ask for more people to sing, ask for more involvement. And while it is true, we could use a few more singers in the choir, or a few more instrumentalists on Sundays... we have some wonderful people working very hard. I would like to say thank you to those who faithfully come to choir practice. Thank you to those who babysit the children. Thank you to Judy Lowery for being so faithfully prepared. Thank you to those members who are currently busy, but plan to return soon. We are definitely in a transition period in the music area. We have some musicians phasing out and we are looking for fresh new faces to join the team. Please be patient as we work through things and bring any ideas or inspiration you have to Kirsten :)

*Choir meets Wednesdays 7-8pm.

*Choir Cantata is April 14th at the 845am Service.

*Handbells will meet only April 3, 10, and 17.

*Handbells will play for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services.



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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!

CAMILLA SMALL GROUP, Wednesday evenings @ 7:00 PM - Mary Pietreniak's house, women's group, open invitation

DEEPER STILL 10:00 Sunday mornings - Conference room, 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

Breakfast With Jesus and Wednesday Evening Women’s Bible Study

Both our Tuesday morning “Breakfast with Jesus” Bible study and Wednesday Women’s Study are following Prospect’s current sermon series on the Armor of God from Ephesians 6. Using the DVD and book resources of Priscilla Shirer, both groups are helping discern what it means to “suit up” for the battles we face in life…with hope for victory over the darkness!

Our Tuesday morning group meets at 8:30 am in the church’s conference room. The Wednesday evening group is hosted by Camilla and Mary Peitreniak. Contact the church office if you would like more information about either group, or would like to talk to Pastor Steve about forming your own midweek or Sunday morning small group for intentional Bible study, Christian discipleship and fellowship!


Our next meeting will be on Monday, March 4th at 6:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Dave Moore is scheduled to speak about his experiences working at Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington.

The UM Men last met on Monday February 4th.We wrapped up final plans for the Sausage and Pancake breakfast that was rescheduled for Feb 10th. Thanks to all who helped prepare and serve the meal and also thanks to everyone who showed up and enjoyed the breakfast and fellowship.

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 Randy Juskiv know @


Next Meeting: Monday, March 25th, 2019 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!


The Prospect Book Discussion group is on winter break.

The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Lounge on Monday, April 1, 2019, to discuss Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? A Memoir by Roz Chast. With drawings, photographs, and text, Chast shows us her life as her parents age and need more and more assistance. The book has won many awards and is the 2019 Peoria Reads selection. Community events connected to the book are scheduled February - April.

We will also meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13, to talk about Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Westover grew up with parents who were survivalists in rural Idaho. She did not go to school until she was seventeen, and her mother had not been diligent with home schooling. After much sacrifice and hard work, she eventually excelled in school and earned a PhD from Cambridge.

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

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Thanks for all who donated for the valentine boxes we sent out a total of 9 packages!

Please let Mary Pietreniak know of any meal needs or wants and she will organize and notify the pertinent angels who help make this ministry happen. She can be called or texted at 309-258-4941 or you can email Camilla Pietreniak at

Looking forward to Easter breakfast in April!


We would just like to thank everyone who signs up to help with Soul Cafe, whether it be bringing treats/drinks or serving it is VERY appreciated. Many have truly been enjoying the fellowship in between the services!


Please see Mary Pietreniak if you are interested in serving or receiving home communion.

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Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and sent wonderful cards of cheer. It is not possible for me to tell you how very much that meant to me. My Church friends are the best!

-Amy Ulrich

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Youth News

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Hey Prospect UMC!

We’re gearing up to go to Chaddock with the crew from PUMC! Please pray for our students as they are deciding to go to this trip, and that hearts will be changed through our gearing up to go there!

As for Fuel Sunday mornings, we are finishing up our series on the Armor of God. 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 March 31 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, where we will be answering some student questions about God, faith, and life.

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

March 31st - FUEL from 5:30-7:30pm

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Children's Ministry NEWS


I would also like to invite all kids to join Brittany Schwindenhammer, Jackie Benningfield, and me for Kingdom Quest on Sunday morning following kids choir practice. We have a fun time learning about the Bible, doing fun activities and crafts, and enjoying delicious snacks. All kids four-years old through 5th grade are welcome.

Contact Pat Campbell if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.


The Kids Choir is up and running!! Thanks to all of the kids who joined the adult choir for the anthem on February 10. It was great!! I would like to invite all kids to join Miss Grace on Sunday mornings at 9:45 in the choir room. We will be learning exciting new songs and receive a CD and lyrics to take home. So if you can’t be here every week, we still want you to have the opportunity to learn the song and sing with us.


Kids Choir sings on Sunday, April 7 during the 8:45 service.

Kids Choir sings on Sunday, May 19 during the 8:45 service.


Looking ahead, our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be on Easter Sunday, April 21st at 10:15!

The Easter Schedule is as follows:

8:45--Traditional Easter Service

9:45-10:45--Easter Breakfast

10:15--Easter Egg Hunt

11:00--Contemporary Easter Service


And believe it or not, we have started planning for Vacation Bible School! Be on the lookout for dates and the exciting theme.


Did you know that there are several summer camping opportunities available for kids of all ages? Contact Pat Campbell for more information about summer camping programs!


Purple Panda Preschool is excited about spring! Our preschool students will spend March studying Dr. Seuss books and doing crafts and activities that go along with some of his most famous books, and theme days including a pajama day celebrating Wacky Wednesday! Registration is currently underway for the 2019-20 school year, we still have some openings for three year olds in our 2 day (Th-Fri) program (child must be potty trained). We also have openings in Pre-K and we will potentially be adding a four day afternoon Pre-K class if there is enough interest.

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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