FEBRUARY 2019 Newsletter
Prospect United Methodist Church
It’s been really COLD outside! You already know that. But I have been reminded that my “natural” armor is no match for sub-zero temperatures and wind-chill factors nearing -40*. Every evening on the news, I have been reminded that it would only take a few minutes of exposure for me to succumb to frostbite and other nastiness if I am not properly covered. In fact, the news this morning has stated that the deaths of 7 Midwesterners have already attributed to the cold temperatures we are experiencing.
As powerful and devastating as these cold temperatures may be, however, their power is nothing compared to the destructive power of our spiritual adversary, Satan. The cold here in Illinois only lasts a season (albeit a looonnng season, if you ask me), but our spiritual battle never ends. Satan has one job and one purpose, and he is relentless in his pursuit. Satan wants to bring you down! Satan wants to separate you from the love of God. And Satan is ready to throw everything at us to ensure our defeat.
If I try to take on Satan with my own (spiritual) covering, the result will be no different than walking outside when it’s 40* below zero without a cold. I won’t make it. But Satan is no match for God’s strength and God’s provision, offered to us in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Satan may be able to take us down if we’re fighting on our own, but we can stand firm if we’re properly fitted with the Belt of God’s Truth, the Breastplate of God’s Righteousness, the Gospel of Peace on our Feet, the Helmet of Salvation on our Head, the Shield of Faith, the Sword of the Spirit and a life of Prayer. In fact, our victory is assured.
Are you tired of the battle? Are you feeling defeated? Are you about to fall down under the weight of your struggles? God has a plan for you…a plan to give you victory!
(Just a little insight on the not-so-secret plan: It’s Jesus!)
I have found that a few extra layers of clothing, a warm jacket, a hat, scarf, good gloves and some boots will enable me to “overcome” the cold conditions when I have to be outside. So, too, will the Armor of God help us experience victory over the powerful forces of our spiritual enemy! I hope you will be able to join us as we “Suit Up” with God’s armor…to experience the victory won for us through Jesus.
<><, Pastor Steve
February 3 - The Gospel of Peace on our Feet
February 10 - The Helmet of Salvation
February 17 - The Shield of Faith
February 24 - The Sword of the Spirit
March 3 - Putting on the Armor…with Prayer
(Previous messages may be found online.)
Another year has past and it has been a good one for PUMC. We
have paid all of our obligations to the conference, to our vendors, and to our missions. The March to the Manger and the Christmas Eve service brought in over $7000.00 for the mission team to begin to pay their budget for 2019. We have been blessed this year! We were able to have the parking lot repaved and paid over $52,000.00 towards that total Pledges over the next two years will help us pay the remaining cost. We have paid down the mortgage so it is now less than $200,000.00 and you will have heard about this before this newsletter is out. Our food pantry has been very busy and handed out over 30 food baskets for Christmas. We have added a second service to Sunday morning and funded that. There are items that could be mentioned, but I hope you get the picture that this would have happened if it was not for the generous giving of our member and friends. I want to share a quote by Napoleon Hill “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” We have much planned for 2019 and with your help these will happen. I hope you all had a Blessed Holiday Season and are looking forward to what we can do together to further the Gospel message in 2019.
God Bless, Bonnie Mankle, Treasurer
2018 PUMC ENDOWMENT FUND ANNUAL REPORT
SCOUT & CAMPING SUNDAY
Prospect will celebrate Scout Sunday on February 10th. We will welcome the kids and adult leaders of our host pack to help lead us in worship, while celebrating the work of Scouting ministries and their commitment to help form young men and women who are dedicated to service to God and country.
That same Sunday, we plan to share both the blessings of, and opportunities, for United Methodist Camping experiences throughout our Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
All of our Scouts, both young and old, are invited to display their scouting pride on February 10th.
Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church Meeting
As United Methodists, we are part of a “connectional church.” If you’ve been around Prospect, or our denomination, for any length of time you have seen this connectionalism in action. We are part of the Peoria-area district of churches, within the Illinois “Great Rivers” Conference (every United Methodist Church in Illinois south of interstate 80), within a global denomination of more than 12.5 million members. As United Methodists, we share a “common language” and common ministries/agencies serving the needs of the world. We even share pastors (hence the familiar “appointment-based” moving of pastors).
Much like our nation, the United Methodist Church is organized under a shared leadership model that includes an executive branch, a judicial branch and a legislative branch. In addition to these leadership branches, the denomination is led by Scripture (God’s Holy Word) and the United Methodist Book of Discipline.
Every four years, the legislative branch of the UMC gathers to revisit and reevaluate the language of our Discipline. Much like our nation’s congress, elected church leaders serve as representatives from specific, individual, geographic conferences to give voice to these discussions.
Topics related to human sexuality have been an ongoing part of this dialogue for nearly 40 years within the United Methodist Church. In fact, discussions related to human sexuality effectively brought the denomination’s 2016 General Conference to a stand-still. As such, a “special” General Conference has been scheduled for February 23-26th (in St. Louis) for the sole purpose of decision-making solely related to this important (but not most important) topic within the life of the Church.
Prospect will be hosting an informational meeting from 3:00-4:00 pm on Sunday, February 10th. We will review our denomination’s organizational leadership structure, the function of our Book of Discipline, basics of the 3 principal plans being proposed as part of the UMC’s “Way Forward” with regard to human sexuality, and Prospect’s vision for a “Way Forward” with regard to its 2020 Vision. You are all invited to attend this informational gathering. RSVP’s are welcomed, but not required.
In the meantime, we are all asked to be in prayer for this special session of our General Conference. To coincide with the conference’s February 23-26 meeting dates, perhaps you can set an alarm reminding you to pray each day from 2:23 to 2:26.
Here are a few online links to help educate us on the Way Forward process.
The first is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for “General Conference beginners.”
This is a video of our Bishop’s (Bishop Frank Beard) 90-minute presentation on the Way Forward and the specific plans being presented to the Special General Conference (each plan in their “pre-revised” form):
For some more “abbreviated” resources, check out this page from the Minnesota annual conference. In particular, you might want to check out the links listed under “Legislation and ‘Way Forward’ Possible Plans” for a brief oversight of the plans being proposed.
Bloom Women's Conference
Tickets can be purchased @ riversidepeoria.churchcenter.com or you can let Camilla know if you are interested as she will be attending.
Click the link below to get more info!
2019 Special Session of the General Conference
Dunlap Senior Center at Prospect UMC!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANNUAL CHICKEN AND NOODLE DINNER
This early lunch is a free-will offering with proceeds going to help support the congregational operating budget and missions budget.
ASH WEDNESDAY LOVE FEAST
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!
CHADDOCK MISSION TRIP PLANNING MEETING
*The Chaddock Mission Trip Brunch Fundraiser is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 30th, following ONE COMBINED worship service.
*The Chaddock mission trip is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, July 21st-Thursday July 25th.
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
TOGETHER, WE REACH CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED DEVASTATION IN THE WAKE OF DISASTER.
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.
FOOD PANTRY NEWS
The Prospect food pantry recently received a nice donation from the middle school. However, we are still in need of the following items: Spinach, Carrots, Ketchup, Pop Tarts, Peaches, Mandarin Oranges, Pork 'n Beans, French style Green Beans, Cookie-Cake-Brownie Mix, Pancake Mix and Cereal.
Thank you for your support! -Gloria & Nancy
New Members and Baptism
Due to a few of our choir member retiring, we are in need of a few replacements. Of course, we can never replace those retiring, but we can always welcome more friends to the group!
First, THANK YOU, to these members who have faithfully served for years in the choir and who have retired in the past year:
Helen Lewis (tenor)
Ted Lewis (tenor)
Karen Ruse (alto)
Second, NOW we are in need of these voice parts:
Please help Kirsten by emailing suggested members to Kirsten at email@example.com or texting to 309-361-5200. Thank you!
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, February 4th at 6:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Staff from Chatham's Midwest Distribution Center will be joining us! We will also discuss several other church & community service possibilities.
Thank you to all who helped de-decorate and all who attended the annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast fundraiser!
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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Meeting: Monday, February 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!
PROSPECT BOOK DISCUSSIONS
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
Valentine Collection ends on Sunday, February 10th! The Valentine's table will be in the Gathering Area. If you would like to donate items, please bring pre-packaged goodies: crackers, candy, peanuts, gum, mints, microwave popcorn, granola bars....the list goes on! Labels will be provided for names/addresses of those you wish to receive boxes. There will also be a box available for monetary donations to go towards postage to mail the packages.
Congregational Care will be meeting BETWEEN services around 1030 AM in the fellowship hall on Sunday, February 10th. We will be taking donations and names of recipients up until that date as well. Thank you to everyone that has already donated and/or submitted names. We appreciate your support of this ministry of love.
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’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 finishing up going through the book “In The Name of Jesus” by Henri Nouwen. Please be praying for our students and leaders as we travel through this book together!
As for Fuel Sunday mornings, we are going through a 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 February 24 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
Children's Ministry NEWS
Our Kingdom Quest classes are learning about the Armor of God, in conjunction with Pastor Steve’s current sermon series.
Jamie Hafele and Nikki Pollard, have stepped aside from their roles as long-time Kingdom Quest teachers. We extend to Jamie and Nikki our sincere thanks and gratitude for all they have done for the children of Prospect. Thank you, Jamie and Nikki!!
Contact Pat Campbell if you have any questions.
PURPLE PANDA PRE-SCHOOL & AFTER CARE
Registration for the 2019-20 school year is underway for current Purple Panda students and their families. We are looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day in February with parties, crafts, and other activities. We also have scheduled Just Kidz dentistry to come in and teach our Pre-K students about oral hygiene.
Please contact me through Dani in the Church Office at 243-7300 or e-mail me at email@example.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!
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).
FUEL Student Ministries
Junior and Senior Youth Group on Sunday Evenings.
Small Groups for youth through adults available weekly.
Nursery, Children's Room, Kingdom Quest & many other opportunities available.