September Newsletter 2018

Prospect United Methodist Church

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5:25 church in the heart of the 61525 community

When the Pichaske’s first moved to Dunlap (more than 4 ½ years ago!!!) we were surprised to discover that Prospect UMC is the only area church that is actually located in the village. We know that there are lots of wonderful congregations lifting up Christ throughout the North Peoria area…but none besides ours doing ministry from within the heart of the Dunlap 61525 community. Let me emphasize that point one more time: Prospect UMC is the only church within walking distance of many Dunlap residents, 4 Dunlap schools, the Dunlap Village Hall, Fire Station, Library, ballfields, etc.

And we immediately began to pray, “What does the church in the heart of the 61525 area code need to do to be the church that truly serves the 61525 area code (and beyond)?” Answers to that prayer have come in the form of growing partnerships with our schools and community leaders, opening our doors for community groups and events (like Scouts, 4H, Chinese Dance and Culture training, blood drives, and more)…and starting on September 16th, we will be offering the community a new worship opportunity with our 10:45 “contemporary” worship service. If you’ve been worshipping with us over the past 2 months, you’ve probably experienced the giftedness and passion for Jesus Brett Strasma, Rebekah Strasma, and Kirsten Jones have been offering through some special music selections at our 9:00 service. Beginning on September 16th, they’ll be offering these gifts to our 10:45 service in hopes of helping us Reach WIDEr for Jesus as a worshipping faith community.

A month or two ago, in the midst of my daily Scripture reading, I was inspired to do a 5:25 search…looking for Scripture texts with 5:25. I was immediately led to Galatians 5:25, where the Apostle Paul declares, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” I knew, right then, that this is part of the vision God has for Prospect, and this new worship service, in particular. God wants us to pursue worship and spiritual growth that will help us “follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (Growing DEEPer so that we can Reach WIDEr).

Join me in praying for our Kingdom Quest Kick-Off Sunday on September 9th…and the launch of our “525 Worship” service on September 16th! Together, we’re becoming a 5:25 church in the heart of the 61525 community!

<><, Pastor Steve

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September calendar below!

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

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Treasurer's Report

We have had a good summer here at PUMC. The trustees had the parking lot repaved which I'm sure you have seen. Through the generosity of the people at PUMC we were able to make an initial payment of over $51,000.00 for the first year. That makes the next two payments less and we say THANK YOU.

We have all the financial obligations paid to date and the Conference askings are current.

It is now time to start thinking of the fall start up of programs. A quote by Anatole France says "To accomplish great thinks, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe." A new venture will be the second service which is to start September 16, 2018. This has taken much planning for many people. We will also be starting the Church School year which will be September 9, 2018. We hope to see all of you involved.

The committees are busy doing their budgets for next year so if you have any questions please contact a committee member before September 17, 2018.

We are also planning the Turkey Supper and this will take the work of everyone to make it a real success, so don't wait to sign up when asked, do it now.

The annual Stewardship drive will begin shortly so be in prayer for the ways you can help PUMC and be a part of a succesful drive.

Have a great fall.

God Bless, Bonnie Mankle, Treasurer


A new school year, choir rehearsals and Turkey Dinner preparations have all just begun...but it's not too early to begin planning for 2019! Our Nominations/Lay Leadership Committee is meeting and praying to discern our leadership team members for next year. Our Finance Committee and Stewardship Team are also beginning the process of discerning our 2019 budget and details for our "Every Member Commitment Stewardship Drive." Individual ministry teams are submitting their goals and finance visions and the Stewardship Team will be inviting you to help turn these dreams into life-transforming realities! Be ready for our stewardship campaign kick off on September 30th, and begin praying now for the way God would use you to make a difference for Christ through Prospect UMC in 2019!
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Come visit the ladies of Mary Martha in the Gathering Area on Sunday, September 9th to purchase your homemade goodies!!! All monies raised will be used to support mission projects of Mary/Martha.
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The Methodist Men and Congregational Care Team will be serving hot dogs, chili and lemonade under the pavilion during the DHS Homecoming Parade on September 20th. Stop on by for free refreshments and good food!

HIGHWAY CLEAN-UP: September 29th.

Highway Clean-Up Needs your Help!!!

For all of you new members and friends, PUMC is responsible for cleaning Cedar Hills Dr. From Knoxville/Rt. 40 to Bland Rd. (See map below.)

We need 6-10 people meeting in the Banner School parking lot at 9:00 a.m. for approximately 1 hour on usually the last Saturday of the month. If there is a Sunday School class or family that would like to do it as a group but at a different time/day, that is great -- just get in touch with Lois Yoches (243-5062).

The county supplies the neon, reflective vests and trash bags; each person should bring working gloves and sturdy shoes. The cleanup works best if one person stays on the top portion of the ditch and one covers the lower part so no one has to walk up and down the steep ditch.

Next date of the season is Saturday, September 29th! See you in the Banner School parking lot at 9:00 am!

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When: Saturday, November 3rd

Time: (Silent Auction) 3:30-7:00 PM & (Dinner) 4:00-7:00 PM

Help needed: Approximately 140

Ticket Sale & Help Sign-ups: Beginning of October


It’s not too early to start thinking about our Annual PUMC SILENT AUCTION held during the Turkey Dinner. We had so much fun last year, but for us to be successful again this year, we need your help. Please prayerfully consider what you and your family or business will donate. In October, we will begin accepting your donated items.

Need an idea on what to donate? Below are items that where a huge success in the past: antiques and collectibles, trips, or use of vacation homes or time shares, gift certificates to anywhere, artwork, photography, floral arrangements, themed baskets, handcrafted items, sports equipment or sport packages, event tickets, and services (donate your time or talents i.e.), baked goods, catered meals, lawn care, snow removal, baby-sitting, handyman for a day, painting, or a lesson. We will accept new items only, except for any antiques or collectibles pre-approved by the auction committee.

Also, we ask you to prayerfully consider helping with the auction. If you are interested, the Auction Committee would love to have 5-6 new members to share in soliciting businesses for donations, coordinating the congregations donations, paperwork, communications, set up and clean up after the event.

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We will be rolling bandages for Global Health Ministries on September 6th and September 20th at the church at 3:30 pm. Global Health Ministries sends containers of medical supplies to mission hospitals all over the world.


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: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Cream of Chicken Soup, Tuna, Chicken Breast, Ketchup & Ramen Noodles.

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

World Communion Sunday: A Time of Thanksgiving

When we come together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper old energies are to be centered on the marvelous works of grace God has so extravagantly given us. Today Communion is more often referred to as the Eucharist. Eucharist means Thanksgiving. The most important thing we do when we come to the Communion Table is say, “Thanks!” to Christ for the gift of mercy.

World Communion Sunday, October 7th, is an event that transcends denominations and writes all to the community in the Body of Christ. This world would really be enhanced if all focused on that which is held in common rather than differences, Holy Communion reunites the Church. “Because there is one loaf, we who are many, are one body in Christ.” Therefore, our focus on October 1st will be on how to get over our differences and find common power to live in Christ. The Eucharist is to be a positive celebration, reunion, prayer for healing, and a sacred time to put others before ourselves. As a part of doing so, there will be an opportunity to give a special offering to bless the lives of all God’s children.

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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 we kick off this school year, we have lots of exciting new things happening, as well as some old favorites! The traditional choir will be practicing on Wednesday nights weekly at 7pm beginning September 5th. Even if you have not participated before, come join us in fellowship and learning in music. Wednesday nights are an intimate time of music, worship, and fellowship. If you would like to sing, play, or worship with the Strasma’s, there will be worship time every Wednesday of September at 6pm.

In summary, come join us every Wednesday in September at 6pm for Worship and 7pm for Choir!

-Kirsten (309-361-5200)

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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 (9/10 & 9/24), open invitation, CO-ED

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

ADULT GROUP 10:00(-ish) 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: the Book of Galatians

Our Tuesday morning Bible study is in the midst of a 6-week study through Paul's Letter to the Church in Galatia. 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 Matt Chandler, 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!


The August meeting was awesome! We went to Blue Ridge Community Farm, had a cookout, learned some the history of Blue Ridge, and toured the farm. If you have a chance to go see what Jim and Laura f Blue Ridge have done, you need to do it! Thanks to Randy for cooking, it was delicious.

The next meeting will be September 10th at 6:00 pm in the fellowship hall. A light meal will be provided.

Mark your calendars for September 20th. We will again be serving hot dogs and chili in the park during the Dunlap Homecoming Parade.

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, September 24th at 7:00pm.

FALL BAKE SALE: Sunday, September 9th before and after worship. Bake Sale Prep is set for Saturday, September 8th from 8:00-2:00.

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 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!


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!

We will meet again on Thursday, September 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lounge to discuss the nonfiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, 2017, 400 pp. In the 1920s, members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma became wealthy by selling oil from beneath their land. But one by one, more than twenty-four Osage members died, killed by unknown persons. The newly formed FBI took on the case, its first major homicide investigations. At first, the FBI failed to make progress. Finally J. Edgar Hoover assigned a former Texas Ranger, who organized an undercover team to expose a chilling conspiracy.

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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Lots of exciting things happening in our church! Your congregational care team is very excited for the upcoming contemporary service starting September 16, 2018 @ 10:45. It is so exciting to see what God has planned for the future of PUMC and this opportunity to reach more disciples for Jesus.

Soul cafe will take place in between services & I'm sure after the first couple weeks the kinks will be worked out. However we would like parents to know that the children will be getting their soul cafe treat in their Sunday school classroom. The soul cafe volunteers will take treats and beverages to the Sunday school classrooms right before 1st service is ending. Soul cafe volunteers, don't worry, Camilla & Mary will be available to help with this for the first several weeks starting on Sunday September 16, 2018.

DHS Homecoming Parade

On Thursday September 20, 2018 we will be providing lemonade and water at this years homecoming parade. Any assistance in serving would be greatly appreciated. Last year we ran out fairly quickly but we hope to provide an abundance this year and have "backup ready".


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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We would like to thank our church family for the prayers, cards and condolences offered when Connie (Mom) passed away. Thanks to the kitchen help that served a wonderful luncheon. And a special thank you to Pastor Steve for all of his support through a difficult time.

-Nancy Shaw and the O'Kane family


Thank you to all who participated in our first annual summer SUKKAH. Your generous donations helped re-stock the Food Pantry when it was much needed!
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Youth News

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Hey Prospect!

For Fuel, we’ll be meeting Sunday mornings to finish up our Snippets before going into our next series!

For Sunday nights, we’re switching to Once a Month, the last Sunday of the month.

We’re also beginning weekly small groups with leaders and students, going to the book “In the Name of Jesus” by Henri Nouwen. Those groups will meet at times that are convenient for the leaders and students throughout the week!

Thanks and God Bless! Evan Penn


Sunday morning Bible Study at 9:45am

September 30 - Fall Kick-Off Night

Children's Ministry NEWS

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We have had quite a busy and exciting summer. A great time was had at VBS with 45 kids attending, 12 youth helping out with various activities, and 25 adult members giving of their time and talents to make this week such a huge success!! Thanks to everyone!! And a special thanks to the women of the Mary Martha group for providing snacks!!


Attendance at Kingdom Quest this summer remains very strong with an average of 10 kids each Sunday. I have had a great time leading this group and getting to know all the wonderful kids!!

Beginning Sunday, September 16, Kingdom Quest will be from 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Children will go to the lower level where they will have their own special Soul Café, music with Miss Pam and Miss Amy, and attend Kingdom Quest classes. We also have a new room in the lower level, which will be used for music and an activity room for our kids ages 3 – 6 during the worship service. We are encouraging all children 7 years and older stay in worship and use the activity bags.

We will also be initiating the Bible Buddies Program, where an adult is paired with a youth for a Bible study. If you are interested in participating, please contact Pat Campbell.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! Lots of activities and celebrations are planned for Sunday, September 9.

Kids in third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade will be receiving Bibles from Pastor Steve.

Following the worship service on September 9, we will move outside for the Kingdom Quest and Youth Kick-Off Celebration where we will participate in fun-filled activities such as a bouncy house obstacle course, bike rodeo (bring your bikes to Church), fire truck and fire department activities, bike parade led by the Dunlap Fire Department and enjoy hot dogs, chips, and drinks.


We are in need of a decent sized area rug to go in one of our youth Kingdom Quest classes downstairs. If you have a spare, in good condition, that you would be willing to donate, we would greatly appreciate it!


Purple Panda Preschool will begin classes on Tuesday, September 4th. Our staff has spent the summer working on curriculum, purchasing new toys and supplies, and decorating the classrooms. Our Pre-K classroom bathroom got newly updated this summer and our three year old classroom and library got painted. New chairs were purchased for the three year old classroom also! Mrs. Nikki Pollard and Mrs. Jamie Hafele will return as our Pre-K Teachers and Mrs. Cheryl Wolfe, Mrs. PJ Hagerdorn, and Mrs. Missy Utley will return as the three year old classroom teachers. We are looking forward to a great school year! At this time we do have a couple of openings available in our Thursday Friday three year old preschool class.

After Care has resumed, but we will still take applications for new students. Contact Dani if you would like to register your child for after care!

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

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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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