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2013 August Current - Illinois Great Rivers Conference of The ...

2013 August Current - Illinois Great Rivers Conference of The ...

Local Church

Local Church NewsBraceville UMC to celebrate 150 yearsBracevillle UMC will celebrate 150 years of Christian loveand service on Sunday, Aug. 11 following the church’s 9:30a.m. worship.At 11 a.m., a potluck will start the celebration followedby old fashioned games and a cake walk. Homemade icecream, lemonade and iced tea will be served. A countrystore selling old fashioned candies ,pickles, beets and freshbaked breads and pies will be open. A room will be setup with a historical display. A DVD with the history of thechurch will be playing in the sanctuary. This DVD, along withan engraved metal bookmark , will be for sale at the countrystore.Elwin UMW making a differenceBy Gay ClarkELWIN – The Elwin UMW strives to help people locally andglobally to have a better life. They work diligently to raiseand donate to missions and have two district officers intheir local UMW circle – Barbara Norem and Bonnie Davis.For the past three years, the local unit has been recognizedas a Love unit. There are seven women that take part inthe UMW reading program and several more who knit orcrochet squares for blankets. They have limited resourcesof ways to earn money. Through the winter holidays, theymake homemade noodles and sell them. It is clear profit asall the ingredients are donated and they also host a bakesale that brings in $600 to $700. Another money maker isthe ongoing sale of knives – butcher to paring knives.From the proceeds of these fundraisers the unit donates toGod’s Shelter of Love, Good Samaritan Soup Kitchen, Dove,Cunningham Children’s Home, New Life Pregnancy Center,UMCOR, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and others.Christmas gifts are purchased for families that are unableto provide gifts for their children. Names are providedby the local health department.This year, the UMW took on a new project called “Tree ina Bag.” They are collecting artificial Christmas trees, ornaments,garland and lights. At Christmas, they will put a treeand all the decorations into a bag, tie it with a ribbon anddeliver it to someone who might not be able to have one.Soon after the holidays, the collection for the following yearbegins, making this an ongoing project. It takes some work,not too much money and makes someone’s holiday a littlebrighter.Halle Hobbs and Deputy Dawg Loveland make the rounds at Son Roundup VBS at the Golconda UMC. Loveland was kept busy makingarrests all week. To be arrested, children had to memorize a Bible verse before the arrest so they could recite it to get out of jail. Theylooked forward to being arrested by Deputy Dawg and worked hard on their Bible verses. Photo by Farrah Hobbs.Dalton City UMC Hosts City Wide Family Eventby Rev. Tony PaulsonDalton City UMC and its N.O.W. (Nurture, Outreach and Witness)Ministry Team helped host a citywide “Summer Family Fun Day!”A letter was sent to every resident in Dalton City (population ofapproximately 600) inviting them to come for food, fun and fellowshipon Saturday, June 8. Rev. Danny Cox, pastor at DecaturGrace UMC, who volunteers at Scovill Children’s Zoo, brought anumber of animals from their petting zoo for children and adultsto enjoy. Shirley Harris, a local farmer, brought her prize-winningmilking shorthorns, as well.About 80 to 90 people participated in the event, which includedfree hot dogs, chips and ice cream, and games for all! Crafts andother activities for children were also highlighted with volunteersto help each individually create their own unique designs!A fun time was had by all, and at the same time, the church wasreaching out to everyone in the community!Dalton City UMC also raised more than $2,600 for the MoultrieCounty Relay for Life event held recently at Sullivan High SchoolJune 14-15. The Heroes of Faith team, comprised of members andnon-members, raised more than $1,400 of the goal within thecongregation. A support team of non-walkers brought cookies,cakes and cards of encouragement for those participating in therelay. The team is pictured with church pastor Tony Paulson.Family Fun Day photo courtesy of Dalton City UMC.Alton Main Street UMC was honored for its TWIGS ministry at the Alton NAACP Banquet, May 6.Alan, Kathy and Becky Abert joined Pastor Jame and Donna Hahs at the banquet. The plaque reads, "In recognition of your support of thelunch program for the Boys and Girls Club and Alton Housing Authority."TWIGS is a summer sack lunch program for the children. In 2012, more than 14,000 sack lunches were distributed to school age childrenfrom the end of school in May to the beginning of school in August. Our ministry began with the question, "What do children who receivefree or reduced eat during the summer?" Alton Main Street UMC partnered with TWIGS at Granite City Trinity UMC to distribute a sacklunch to school-aged children from the end of school to the beginning of school. The sack lunch included a lunchable, a snack and adrink. TWIGS is currently underway for this summer.Pictured in the photo , from left, are: Alan Abert, Main Street UMC's lay director of TWIGS; James Gray, President of the Alton Chapter ofthe NAACP, and Rev. Jame Hahs. Photo courtesy of Jame Hahs.6 |August 2013 | The Current local church news

Local Church NewsDecatur:VBS puts new twist on summer traditionBy Karen RiveraDECATUR -- What does a garland of balloons inthe sanctuary, cream pies on the church’s front lawn, andlots of enthusiastic children have in common? They arecomponents of a fun-filled and spirit-centered week ofVacation Bible School at Christ UMC (Decatur) underthe direction of Kathy Cox.During opening exercises of the first evening,students were given the challenge of bringing fifty cansof food during the week; the food was designated to begiven for a local mission, Northeast Community FoodBank. Pastor Kelly Cox added to the excitement of thecheering group of fifty pre-Kindergarten through sixgraders by stating that there was “no way” they couldcollect 50 cans of food . When the children learned thatone of them would be chosen to smash a cream pie inthe pastor’s face if they reached the goal, the crowd’senthusiasm raised the roof of the sanctuary.At the end of a week of learning about God’s wordand how it can be applied to the students’ neighborhoodsand in understanding other countries, the finaltally of cans was announced. After reading about thechallenge on the church’s Facebook page, a check topurchase 50 cans of food was sent to Christ UMC bya citizen of Cairo, Pastor Cox’s former pastoral assignment;thus, a total of 503 cans was collected. Ten studentnames were drawn from a hat, and each one took a turnat squishing and smashing a pie in the pastor’s face.As if on cue, the sun peeked through the misty dusk,and a large rainbow appeared in front of the gatheringof children, parents, and VBS staff. This was a beautifulsign from God at the end of a special summer tradition:Vacation Bible School.Murphysboro UMC offering ‘Little Free Library’By Adam Testa, The SouthernMURPHYSBORO - A Murphysboro church is offeringa service unique to the area and asking membersof the community to pay good will forward.Members of the United Methodist Church installeda Little Free Library box in early June near its pavilionon 16th Street.Little Free Library is an international program,where books are placed in a decorative outdoor box.Community members can borrow books to read andreturn them at will. They're also asked to deposit anybooks they wish to get rid of."We hope people from the church will use it; wehope people from the community will use it," saidSusan Patterson, one of the church members who organizedthe project. "It's a real community thing."The idea came from a March issue of American Profileand inspired Watt and a team of others, includingTrina and Bob Eaton and Perry Patterson and CandaceWatt, to pursue it.Eaton constructed the housing structure, which isattached to a post along the sidewalk. It was filled withdonated books and overflow materials from the churchlibrary.While the project is run by the United MethodistChurch, the Little Free Library was initially stockedwith a variety of books for kids and adults alike, from"Harry Potter" to James Patterson novels."There are all kinds of books for people who like toread," Patterson said.Susan Patterson carries books out to the new Little Free Libraryat the United Methodist Church in Murphysboro. The librarycontains a variety of books for both adults and children. Photoby Adam Testa, The Southern.(Reprinted with permission from the June 15 issue of The SouthernIllinoisan, www.thesouthern.com)Twins follow similar path innursing, parish nurse ministryBy Adam Testa, The SouthernGOREVILLE — Ask any set of twins and they’ll tell you about inexplicableconnections between them.Jean Todd and Jane Butzler spent most of their adult lives separated.Todd moved to central Illinois, while Butzler stayed closer tohome in the southern part of the state.Both twins, though, pursued the same career, nursing, and followedthrough until retirement. Todd retired from St. John’s Hospital inSpringfield, and Butzler from Herrin Hospital.While living in Auburn, Todd launched a parish nursing program atthe Auburn UMC. A few years before her retirement, Butzler helpedlaunch a similar program at Goreville UMCThe parallels between their lives became more and more prominent,but it wouldn’t be much longer before the lines of their livesdiverged and crossed again. Todd, feeling compelled for a changein life, began looking to move back to Southern Illinois, closer toher sister. Moving to a home in rural Carbondale, closer to Goreville,though, the sisters were together again.“After all these years, suddenly we were seven miles apart,” Toddsaid.With her sister back in the area, Butzler recruited Todd to help withthe parish nursing initiative at the Goreville church. Parish nursingenhances, not replaces, the role of a visiting nurse. Volunteer nurseswho feel called to service aid in their local congregations witheducation, advocacy and support, allowing them to employ boththe medical skills God gave them and their faith.Todd and Butzler host seminars for children and adults in thechurch focusing on health topics, visit parishioners in hospitals andnursing homes and offer free monthly blood-pressure screenings.They also launched a “prayer shawl ministry” in earlier this year.Volunteers have made seven shawls to be given to people in thecommunity, not limited to the congregation.“When there’s someone who has a need or is sick, everyone getstogether and prays over the shawl for this specific person,” Butzlersaid. “We know there’s no power in the shawl itself; that comesfrom the prayer.”Both sisters said they often feel like they get more from the programthan they give to others. The church membership has beenvery accepting and supportive of the parish nursing initiative, asthe twins have worked to grow it. Butzler started working undersomeone else, but having her current partner has helped make thetask easier.“It’s given us both renewal and a new enthusiasm for it,” Todd said.Southern Illinois Healthcare currenly hosts a parish nursing trainingclass that began July 10 and continues weekly on Wednesdaythrough Aug. 7 at John A. Logan College in Carterville. Todd andButzler said those nurses considering becoming parish nursesshould pray about the decision. They said it can be very rewardingand gratifying, but one has to make sure the time is right.“God will lead them, so they know this is the right path,” Todd said.“There comes a time when you’re ready for it,” Butzler added. “Ifthey do this, they will have such a blessing, for their church and forthemselves personally.”For more information on parish nursing, contact Jo Sanders at 618-457-5200 ext. 67830 or jo.sanders@sih.net.(Reprinted with permission from the June 8 issue of The Southern Illinoisan newspaper,www.thesouthern.com)West Eden (condintued from pg. 6)coming from the mid-1950s. For many in thecongregation, the church has been an integral part oftheir lives. Anderson hopes it stays that way for futuregenerations.“From a personal standpoint, I’m concerned,” hesaid. “But we’re in God’s hands. It’s not up to us. WhateverGod has in mind for this church is what’s going tohappen.”Every Sunday is another chapter in West Eden’s history.The building where the congregation gathers hasbeen used since its construction in 1877, and the originalpews remain in use today.As part of the anniversary celebration, Bibles andlocal church newsother books from the church’s past are on display in theentryway, along with photo collages of pictures takenthrough the years.Sunday’s celebration is the third phase in a four-partanniversary celebration. Earlier this year, the churchreleased a commemorative cookbook and hosted a historypresentation focusing on the Cypress area and thechurch’s early days. This fall, church members will entera float in the Fall Festival parade in Vienna.“It’s through God’s grace that we’re here and throughno human effort as far as I’m concerned,” Anderson said.(Reprinted with permission from the June 22 issue of TheSouthern Illinoisan newspaper, www.thesouthern.com. Theverb tenses were modified to past tense to reflect publica-Twins Jane Butzler and Jean Todd serve as parish nurses at the GorevilleUnited Methodist Church. Both are retired nurses - Todd from St. John'sHospital in Springfield and Butzler from Herrin Hospital. As parish nurses,they organize a number of educational programs for adults and youth,host monthly blood-pressure screenings and provide support and adviceto their fellow parishioners. Photo by Adam Testa, The Southern.The Current | August 2013 | 7

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