March 2020 Newsletter

Prospect United Methodist Church

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Leap of Faith Christians with a Resurrection Mindset

I’ve never given too much thought to the whole Leap Year concept, other than to wonder what it would be like to be born on February 29th. As a youth I thought that a birthday every four years would be a rip-off, but now I’m thinking that birthdays come much too frequently and slowing down the aging process might be an OK thing.

We all know the leap year math... since each year contains 365.242374 days, every fourth year something different needs to happen. We add an extra day to the calendar, February gets a little closer to being a “full month,” and Easter is kept in its proper place. (The vernal equinox signifies the beginning of Spring in the Northern hemisphere…and Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur after the vernal equinox. Talk about confusing calendars!) This “Paschal Full Moon” always falls between March 21 - April 18. In 2020, the Paschal full moon will be observed on April 8th…with Easter falling on Sunday, April 12th.)

Adding in a Leap Year February 29th + Dating Easter = Confusing stuff!

But keeping our focus on being “Leap of Faith Christians with a Resurrection Mindset,” that’s much more important!

How do we give what we celebrate on Easter the proper place in our lives?

Easter is, of course, the celebration of Jesus’ victory over the power of sin and death, but what does that mean for us? Simply put, this amazing and wondrous victory won for us by Jesus means that we don’t have to fight against or fear the darkness of sin and death, but are free to live our lives as a “leap of faith” kind of people. Our lives are defined not by what we fear, nor by the effects of those things, but rather by what we do with our freedom. Our choices, our responses, our paths... these things all change and are made new because of our freedom in Christ.

Are you feeling weighed down with worry and sorrow? Perhaps, your 2020 has started more with a whimper than a celebratory bang?

Maybe you need a “Resurrection focused leap of faith.” Perhaps, that’s what we’re moving towards as a people who call Prospect UMC home.

What would it look like for the church to take a few “leaps of faith”?

What would it look like for you to take a Leap of Faith, the kind of leap that would be doomed to failure if not for the victory of Jesus?

I know…just asking the question makes some people nervous.

And daring to answer the question makes some people downright anxious.

“Must we leap?”

“Can’t we just shuffle a little?

“Do I actually have to change anything?”

But I truly believe that Prospect is ready for a leap year in its faith journey.

Our mortgage debt should creep below $100,000 in 2020 with light at the end of our

indebtedness tunnel.

We have a talented and energetic staff in place leading us to realize new visions of

God’s goodness in worship, children’s ministry, youth ministry, and administration.

Prayer teams have been birthed…Spring is coming, along with visions of prayer walks

and renewed community engagement.

Small groups and Bible studies are helping members Grow DEEP into God’s Word to

help prepare us to Reach WIDE with Jesus’ love.

And opportunities are springing up like Spring flowers for us to take a few leaps of faith for


After 50 years of effective, life-transforming ministry on Dunlap’s Ash Street, Prospect is looking ahead to the next 50 years, asking, “How can we minister to our community today?”

What about you…where have you heard the resurrected Jesus, the conqueror of the grave, whisper in your ear with an invitation to take a leap of faith of your own?

Let’s all dig in, pray for guidance, clarity and wisdom, and take the leap…all because we serve a God of resurrection life!

<><, Pastor Steve

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March 2020 calendar below!

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

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Endowment Committee

Prospect’s Endowment Funds had a historically good investment year in 2019. Our fund value now stands at more than $170,000, providing an ongoing source of “special project” and charitable giving funds for our congregation. Every year, a portion of the growth from these Endowment Funds are made available for distribution. Last year, the fund helped purchase new blinds in the choir room and new microphones/receivers for the sanctuary. The “tithe” portion of our funds has helped provide generous support to the Illinois Great Rivers Conference’s “Our Conference, Our Kids” campaign, Chaddock Children’s Home and the Dunlap-Prospect Food Pantry. This year, more than $12,000 will be available to fund ministry needs that go beyond what our operating budget is able to cover.

With every $500 contributed to the Endowment Fund, a leaf may be requested for our “Living Gifts” tree that is located in the gathering area. You might want to contribute towards a leaf in honor of Prospect’s 50th anniversary of ministry on Ash Street, an anniversary within your family, the birth of a new family member, or to honor a loved one. If you would like to contribute to Prospect’s legacy-enabling Endowment Fund, simply contact a member of the committee or Pastor Steve.

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Join us for Prospect’s Annual Chicken Noodle Dinner! Mark your calendars for Sunday March 8th following our ALL TOGETHER Worship Service at 9:45!

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


One of the greatest gifts you can give doesn’t cost a thing.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center

Prospect United Methodist Fellowship Hall

Saturday, March 14

8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

**We will have a sign-up table and volunteer available on Sunday, March 8th before and after the 9:45 service for those who would like to sign up for the drive. Come find Marti in the gathering area to sign up!**

You can also follow the link to sign up below. Walk-ins welcome!

Thank you on behalf of patients like Lorelei who received lifesaving transfusions from donors like you. To learn more about Lorelei story, click here!


Glenn Oertley’s 100th birthday is March 28!

Please join Glenn and his family to celebrate with birthday cake in the Fellowship Hall between services on Sunday, March 29.

Glenn enjoys getting cards and notes, so consider bringing one that day or mailing it to him at 404 Stillwater Drive, Chillicothe, IL 61523.


Life Line Screening, a preventive stroke and vascular disease screening organization, is coming to PUMC on Friday, May 22nd from 9:00-5:30.

On average, they identify more than 25,000 individuals each year with critical findings of which they were completely unaware. The good news is that the majority of strokes can be avoided through affordable preventive screening programs. Since half of all strokes and 75 percent of all abdominal aortic aneurysms occur with no symptoms, it's a tremendous service to both the congregation and community.

More details below.

You can contact the office for paperwork and survey information!

Health Screening to Identify Risk of Diseases that Lead to Stroke by Life Line Screening
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Lent will soon arrive and Palm Sunday is April 5th. 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 2020 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 8th located on the table in the Gathering Area. Lilies are $10 each. The last chance to sign-up will be Sunday, April 5th! You may call to place your order with Dani via email.

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The Adult Mission Trip team is headed back to the Chaddock Children's Home in Quincy, IL the week of Sunday, July 26th-Friday July 31st. All are welcome to join us! Come for the entire week or for a couple days. There are jobs for all talents-from yard work to office help! If interested, see Perry Camp, Vicky Brown, or contact the office and we will get you connected!

*The Chaddock Mission Trip Brunch Fundraiser is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 28th, following our ALL TOGETHER Worship Service. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us!



“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.

Click the link below to learn more!


PANTRY HELP NEEDED: Due to health issues, my fabulous helper (Nancy Shaw) is stepping back to part-time help. We are in need of some extra helpers to fill the void. It's a rewarding job with a wide variety of things to do.The Pantry runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11:00am. We need help both during pantry hours as well as volunteers to help with shopping. Please give it a thought and let Dani or Gloria know if you're interested. Thank you! -Gloria

ITEMS IN NEED: Ketchup, mustard, beef soups, clam chowder, ramen noodles (chicken and beef), carrots & mushrooms.


We continue to collect snack items for students at Dunlap Grade School. All snacks must be individually packaged and nut free. This month, we will be collecting breakfast bars and goldfish. You can drop off your donations to the church office and we will deliver the items once a month.
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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 under the "videos" tab!

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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!

ALL-CHURCH LUNCHEON: Meets on the last Tuesday of the month at Noon; potluck, open invitation

CAMILLA SMALL GROUP, Wednesday evenings @ 7:00 PM - Mary Pietreniak's house, women's group, open invitation. We will be reading the book One Minute After You Die by: Erwin Lutzer

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!


Methodist Men will meet again on Monday, March 2nd at 6:00pm, a light meal will be provided.

I want to thank everybody that helped with the pancake brunch, it was a great success! A special thanks to Amy, Bev, Mel & Bayaraa.

Please consider joining us for our meetings and events. All are welcome-young and old!!! Enjoy the good food & company! Thank you, in advance, to all who helped with the pancake and sausage breakfast. Any questions? Talk with Perry!


Mary Martha will meet on Monday, March 30th at 7:00pm!

Please consider joining us this fall! 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 discussion group is on winter break.

Our first gathering in 2020 will be 6:30 Thursday, March 19. We will discuss the Peoria Reads book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

In this book, Thomas explores the world of Starr Carter, a teenage black girl, who lives in a poor, urban, predominantly black neighborhood and attends an elite, mostly white suburban prep school. She is drawn into issues of racism, police brutality, and racism after witnessing a white police officer shoot and kill her black friend. The repercussions of this violence spiral into national controversy.

As part of this year’s Peoria Reads, the book and the issues it raises will be considered at a number of community gatherings and activities. Those will be posted on the Peoria Reads 2020 website and advertised in the newspaper and library publications.

Our May book (date to be determined) is Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.

Questions? Contact Nancy Varness at 309-231-3263

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Many thanks for all who helped make the Valentine remembrance boxes such a success. We mailed out ten boxes. Your generosity of food items, postage money and preparation time was very much appreciated. God has truly blessed us.

Easter is fast approaching and we will again be serving an Easter brunch that morning. Brunch preparation will be on Saturday 4/11/20. Further details to follow in April newsletter. Any and all hands are welcome to help prepare, set up, serve and clean up on the 11th and 12th of April. Just let Camilla or Mary know if you are available.

God’s blessings to all of you. Stay safe and well.


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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Some great news right off the bat, I’m getting in touch with over 10 different youth in the church and it’s making my world go round! The last few weeks in a row we’ve had some big success with the growing youth ministry and I’m excited to see where it goes, but for now I’m just thrilled to see it working!

Sundays- Right now we’re covering the enemy and their domain, how to combat evil, and what Jesus has done for us to avoid such pain. These aren’t easy talking points, but important to be covered. It’s fun for me to teach the kids something new but it’s way more enjoyable when the kids teach one another, and to be completely honest, they teach me (Aaron) quite a bit also.

Tuesdays- from 3-5 we’ve been offering a boys' bible study. The first couple weeks we had 3 boys but last Tuesday we had 7, and we had a good time. We’d be more than happy to see more kids come if they’re interested, we provide them with sugary snacks, and we keep promising once we reach 10 boys we'll be getting pizza!

Confirmation- this is a confirmation year, so let’s make that happen. It’ll be 8 weeks of classes, which is a commitment, but this is to lead kids to their eternity. The leaders will hit a variety of topics such as: what is the trinity and how does it function in our lives, what is sin, who is Jesus, why come to church if we believe in Jesus, and so on. There’s a solid group of kids around Prospect that have yet to verify if they’ll participate in confirmation, and time is running out! The start of classes is March 1st! If you or someone you know in the church hasn’t been confirmed yet, please reach out to me and I’d be more than happy to give you the information.

Have a warm March!

Aaron Hisey

(309) 338-7042

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The 2nd – 5th grade Sunday School class has been learning about the book of Genesis and the creation. During March we will focus on learning to play the bells. Our little friends have been busy painting and learning Bible stories with Miss Marti.

All kids will have the opportunity to participate in the Parade of Palms on Palm Sunday, April 5 And everyone is looking forward to our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 12.


Light Kids Conference: Saturday, March 7th

First United Methodist Church will host an exciting children’s event on Saturday, March 7 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Light Kids Conference is a one-day event designed for children in grades 1 – 5. The purpose of the Light Kids Conference is to get kids excited about the faith and the walk with Jesus. Please contact Pat for more details. Information will be available at the welcome center desk.


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 hat day, silly sock day, and Wacky Wednesday!

Registration is currently underway for the 20120-21 school year, we still have some openings for three year olds in our 3 day (M-Tu-W) and 2 day (Th-Fri) program (child must be potty trained). We also have a couple of openings in Pre-K for students that will be 4 years old by September 1.

If you are interested in enrollment, please contact me through Dani in the Church office at 243-7300 or E-mail me at

After Care is going well and we have a great group of kiddos! Registration remains open for full time, part time and drop-in students. Applications for new/returning students for the 2019-2020 school year are available in the church office. Contact Dani if you would like to register your child for after care!

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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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