APRIL 2019 Newsletter

Prospect United Methodist Church

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Last week was Spring Break week for the Pichaske kids and all of the other youth in Dunlap. Unfortunately, Spring Break for the Peoria District 150 schools where Beth teaches won’t roll around for another few weeks. So it was a pretty boring week for the Pichaskes. In fact, the highlight of my week probably occurred Friday evening in the Dwight Dairy Queen. If you’ve never been to the Dwight Dairy Queen, you’re not missing anything too special (although our hostess, Jenny, was quite pleasant). What made an early dinner of overly crispy chicken tenders and fries the highlight of my week? The answer was simple: Beth, Addison, Alex and I met our college students, Megan and Matt there for a quick meal. The six of us are all in pretty different life stages, and it’s easy for each of us to get self-absorbed. As all four kids spent a few minutes together laughing and telling stories, I was reminded of what every parent already knows: Nothing makes a father’s heart happier than seeing all of his kids demonstrate their love for one another.

It’s no different with our heavenly Father.

Prospect family, we are half-way through our 2019 Lenten Journey. Many of us have been reading through the “Listen to Him” daily devotions from Luke’s Gospel. Several of us are studying these words from Jesus in Bible study together. Others of you are processing His powerful statements at home with your families. We’ve all been trying to Listen to Him in worship on Sunday mornings.

And the cross of Good Friday’s Calvary is getting ever closer. It is usually at about this time each year, folks start asking, “Steve, why do we really need to cross…I’m not asking for myself, of course, but my kids/grandkids want to know.”

My stock, and doctrinally sound, answer usually attempts to unpack the necessity of “Christ’s atoning sacrifice as a payment for our sins.” We all sin and fall short of God’s glorious, holy, righteous and perfect standard. Our sin creates a relational separation, or debt, between us and a God. Our debt requires a payment, in the form of a perfect, unblemished sacrifice. But in our imperfection, we have nothing sufficient to offer. Without Jesus and the cross, we have an unsolvable dilemma. So Jesus humbled Himself, taking on human flesh. While both fully human and full divine, Jesus became the only possible sacrifice that could “atone” for our debt. Humanity had to pay a debt that only God had the funds to cover. So Jesus, covering both realities, became the only possible sacrifice that opens the door for us to have our debt with God forgiven. That’s big…really BIG! Eternal life big!

But what if that isn’t all there is to the story?

What if we need the cross to become even more for us…in the here and now?

What if the cross of Christ is meant to speak about both our need for vertical realignment (i.e. my relationship with our Father in heaven) AND our horizontal alignment (our relationship with one another)?

On His Journey from the Mount of Transfiguration to the cross of Calvary, Jesus says things like, ‘Go and be a good neighbor, even if it’s to someone you once considered an enemy’ (Luke 10:30-37), ‘Don’t build up storehouses for yourself…share with those in need’ (Luke 12:13-21), ‘Do everything in your power to help set others free from whatever brokenness is binding them up’ (Luke 13:10-17), ‘When you are hosting a dinner party, invite those who cannot possibly repay you, and you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous’ (Luke 14:7-24), ‘Have compassion for those who have wronged you and pray earnestly for their return to a right relationship with you,’ (Luke 15:1-32), ‘Sell everything you own and give to the poor’ (Luke 18:18-30), and ‘Salvation comes to the house of those who repay those they have wronged and those in need,’ (Luke 19:1-10). Can I get a “Gulp!” from the people of God?

As Jesus speaks to us from Luke’s Gospel, he is offering a clear and incredibly challenging message: If you love God, you had better be demonstrating it through your love of neighbor.

It sounds over the top…until we remember that Jesus’ actions speak even louder than His words. For in His “resolute journey” to the cross, Jesus demonstrates His love of the Father through His perfect love of you and me. And in the cross of Christ, we are reminded to “Listen with our Eyes” to what it actually looks like to live as children within the Kingdom of God. And we are commanded to live not only according to what Jesus says, but also after the example of what He has done.

Yes, I’m convinced that there’s nothing our Father in Heaven loves more than seeing His children love one another as a sign of how much they love being a part of His family. “Father in Heaven, may thy Kingdom come, to us and through us hear on earth as it already exists up in heaven.”

<><, Pastor Steve

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love that you have for one another.” - John 14:34-35

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Holy Land Experience

You’ve heard the stories before…in fact, we’ve retold many of them within the past year:

David defeating Goliath in the Valley of Elah;

David and Solomon making and fulfilling plans for a Temple to YAHWEH in Jerusalem;

The birth of Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem;

Jesus being baptized in the waters of the Jordan River and calming a storm on the Sea of Galilee;

Jesus preaching and feeding crowds of thousands on the mountainsides near Capernaum;

Jesus healing the crippled at the Pool of Bethesda and blessing a wedding in Cana;

Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and walking the road to Calvary;

Jesus carried to a tomb in the hands of His followers before being raised to new life by the hand of His Father!

Maybe you have longed to actually see with your eyes the places where these stories actually took place! Perhaps you want to walk the steps that Jesus walked; pray were He prayed; remember your baptism where the Savior was baptized; renew your wedding vows on the spot where Jesus performed His first miracle; worship and take communion at the site of the actual resurrection of our Lord!

We would like to help make that happen for you! Pastor Steve and Beth have been invited to host a trip to the Holy Land this coming November (4th-13th). And you, along with any friends you would like to experience this life-changing/faith-transforming experience with, are invited to join us!

We have brochures available at the church and a (no-commitment) informational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24th at 6:30 pm at Mt. Hawley Country Club.

In addition, here’s a short video with some additional information about the trip:


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April 2019 calendar below!

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

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Treasurer's Report

I do believe that Spring is actually going to happen. Thank God! We have started the year quite well and I am thankful. The insurance has been paid for the year, the conference askings are up to date, and the mission budget will be paid as soon as I am instructed to do so. We have a new chairman of the finance committee and that is Jacob Bevill. I do believe that he will do a great job. Bob Johnson has led this team for over five years and has given many hours of time to help all of us. We will miss you Bob, but wish you the very best on your move to the Chicago area. A BIG Thank you for all you have done for us and the church.

Elbert Hubbard says “ All success consists in this: You are doing something for somebody—benefiting humanity—and the feeling of success comes from the consciousness of this.” I feel that we here at PUMC continue to strive to benefit humanity both physically and spiritually and we can continue through the generous giving of all of you.

Remember THINK SPRING! God Bless, Bonnie Mankle, Treasurer

Thankful Hearts Update

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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.

“A Simple Seder”

Join us on Sunday evening, April 14th for a “simple” experience of the Jewish Seder meal.

We will reflect on the significance of the Passover Lamb in our spiritual history,

as we prepare our hearts to experience the gift of our new Passover Lamb, Jesus.

Simple Seder: 5:00 - 6:00

Potluck and Communion: 6:00 - 7:00

Receive the Lamb Worship: 7:00 - 8:00

Easter Lily Sign-Up

An Easter Lily Sign-up sheet is available to you at the Welcome Desk table in the Gathering Area. Lilies are $10 each. The last chance to sign-up will be Sunday, April 14th! You can also call to place your order with Dani or shoot her an email!

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“Inside Prospect”

Interested in learning more about Prospect? Thinking of becoming a member? We would love to have you join us for “Inside Prospect” on Sunday, April 28th. We will gather in the church’s Library between worship services (10:00-10:35). You will have a chance to hear about Prospect’s 2020 Vision while also meeting leaders from our Missions, Outreach, Congregational Care, Worship, Children’s Ministry and Youth teams. You’ll also get to meet other “new to Prospect” families and ask questions of our leaders. Make plans to join us, and join the team at Prospect, on April 28th. Contact the church office, or Pastor Steve, for more information.
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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 dunlapscac@gmail.com.

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Prospect Rummage Sale and Turkey Dinner

After organizing/leading our Spring Rummage Sale for the past two years, Teri Durand is ready to pass the baton on to someone else. If you would be interested in organizing this year’s sale or being part of the leadership team, please contact the church. Without a new point-person for the sale, we will likely take a year off (allowing you to restock your donatable items).

And speaking of major Prospect outreach and fundraising events, we are also looking for 2019 Turkey Dinner Chairpersons. Please prayerfully consider being a part of this year’s Turkey Dinner Team, and contact Pastor Steve (and/or Jim Durand) if you would like to learn more about serving as a chairperson (i.e. chief organizer) for this event.

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Dr. Mark Teasdale, Associate Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical

Theological Seminary and author of "Evangelism for Non-Evangelists" will present a

full day workshop on Evangelism. Cost is $10 and includes lunch (we will cover the registration fee).

This event is sponsored by the Illinois River District, Sangamon River District, Spoon River District,IGRC Committee on Evangelism and IGRC Congregational Development.

Click the link below to register!

*Remember, we will cover your registration!

Cookies by the Pound

Mark your calendars! Mary Martha will have a cookie sale on Sunday, May 5th before and between services. Cookies will be $6.00 per pound and the money raised will be used for mission giving.

Mother’s Day Carnations

In celebration of Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019, all friends and members of Prospect are encouraged to help build the glorious bouquet.

Each carnation purchased at a cost of $1.00 will create the bouquet.

If you wish to order carnations, please download an order form from the link below. Copies will also be available in the gathering area on Sundays.

Last chance to order carnations will be Sunday, May 5th.

Highway Clean-up Needs your Help!!!

Spring is here and May will soon arrive, too. The good weather means that Highway Cleanup time is upon us. 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.

Watch for dates to be posted soon!

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Easter Food Baskets

The Food Pantry will be assembling Easter Baskets on Sunday, April 7th between worship services. Food Basket pick-up will be on Tuesday, April 9th and Thursday, April 11th from 9-11:00am. If you would like to help, please see Gloria or Nancy!



Your gifts on Native American Ministries Sunday fund ministries that pave the way for those who aspire to serve Christ’s Church by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

When you support Native American Ministries Sunday, you equip seminary students who will honor and celebrate Native American culture in their ministries. And you empower congregations that are finding fresh new ways to minister to their communities with the love of Christ. Our Giving Allows Native Americans to Encounter, Worship and Serve Jesus.


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.

*CHADDOCK INFORMATIONAL MEETING: We will have a informational meeting on Sunday, May 5th. Anyone interested in going please try to attend! We would like to have the set number of people going as early as possible so we have enough time to book additional hotel rooms in advance.

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

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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 May (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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Looking forward to the Easter season! Please join us on Sunday, April 14th at the 845am Service. The choir will be offering a Lenten Cantata for the congregation. For anyone interested in singing, practices are April 3rd, and April 10th at 7pm. CD's and booklets are on the mini-fridge in the choir room if you would like to practice on your own and join for the dress rehearsal/performance. Looking forward to seeing everyone gather together over the next month!




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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

Our Tuesday morning group meets at 8:30 am in the church’s conference room. 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!


The Methodist Men met on Monday, April 1st at 6:00 pm in the fellowship hall. This month's speaker was BJ Kyle - he spoke about the safety and security plans for the church, with a specific focus on providing help on Sunday mornings.

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 @ randaljday@yahoo.com


Next Meeting: We will have speaker from The Center for Prevention of Abuse at our April 29 meeting 7:00pm. We would like to invite the whole church to attend. We are also collecting donation items for the Center for Prevention of Abuse!

Below is a list of our most-needed items:

Toilet paper, Paper towels, Full-size shampoo, Full-size conditioner, Full-size body wash, Full-size deodorant, Full-size toothpaste, Coffee, Coffee filters, Canned chicken, Canned tuna, Peanut butter, Large cereal boxes, Oatmeal, Clorox Wipes, Windex, New/unused pillows & New/unused sheets.

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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Calling all Volunteers who are ready to experience fellowship and love!!!

Congregational Care has 2 VERY special opportunities coming up for all of us to experience the fellowship, joy, and love of our PUMC family

Easter Breakfast- Sunday April 21, 2019 @ 9:45am

Anyone able to help prepare and set up for the breakfast are asked to meet in the fellowship hall on Saturday April 20th @ 2pm.

Dunlap High school Senior Brunch- Friday May 10, 2019 around 10:30am

Anyone willing to help prepare& set up is asked to meet in the fellowship hall on Thursday May 9, 2019 @ 5pm.

Any questions on either of these opportunities- please contact Mary Pietreniak @ 309-258-4941


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 so much for all the prayers, concern, notes, calls, emails, and offers of help as we’ve moved through our (successful!) surgeries and continue to recover. We are very grateful. Nancy and Harv Varness

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Youth News

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Hey Prospect UMC!

We’re working towards trying to get our students from being disciples to ministers at their schools. We are doing this with intentional discipleship, and answering student questions about the Bible, faith, and life. Please be praying for our students and leaders!

As for Fuel Sunday mornings, we are going through a series that Seedbed has put out, with a focus on being intentional with our faith. 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.

As for Fuel, we’re going to Chaddock with the rest of the team for PUMC! With that, instead of our normal end-of-the-month-gathering, we will be putting on a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on April 28 from 5-7pm! The cost will be $15 a person. Also, students will be able to steal bread / drinks from other tables, tell jokes, sing songs, or do something silly for tips! RSVP with Evan if you would like to come!

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

April 28th - Chaddock Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser from 5:00-7:00pm

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Children's Ministry NEWS

Mark your calendars for the following exciting upcoming events:

Kids Choir – practice on Sunday mornings at 10:00 in the choir room

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

Easter Sunday and our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 21

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

Vacation Bible School – July 29 – August 2

Please contact Pat if you have any questions, comments, or concern.

Easter Egg Hunt

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


Our Illinois Great Rivers Conference United Methodist Summer Camp brochures have arrived! Camp brochures are available in the church office and at the welcome center (under the tv screen in our gathering area). A variety of camps are once again being offered around the state for children and youth in grades 1-12. Register soon before camps fill up. Prospect is once again offering to help cover the camp registration costs for the children of our congregation. Contact Pat Campbell for more information about summer camping programs!


As the weather warms up, our preschool students are learning about spring. Pre-K is finishing up learning their letters and numbers and will be starting to prepare for graduation! Easter break will be from Friday, April 19-Monday, April 22.

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 purplepandapreschool@gmail.com 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 rightnowmedia.org 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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