Arthur UMC provides sewing machines for Haiti

published 8/28/2012
ARTHUR – United Methodist Women at Arthur UMC joined a sewing machine drive that’s helping Haitian women help their families. “Our president, Beth Bartholomew, attended a fall UMW meeting in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and heard our Midwest Mission Distribution Center was collecting used or new operating or non-operating machines for women in Haiti,” reported Marilyn Allison, local vice president. “God placed this need on her heart, and she came back to our unit explaining the ...

Benefit concert raises $6,000 for Imagine No Malaria

published 8/28/2012
ALEDO -- A June 30 Malaria No More Concert in Aledo raised $6,000 for Imagine No Malaria. In all, five hours of Christian music combined with testimonies of personal contact with malaria and games for children complemented cooperative weather.

Caseyville UMM honors Green

published 8/28/2012
The Orville N. Mueth Chapter of the UMM in Caseyville presented to one of its members the chapter’s 13th John Wesley Fellowship Award. President Rick Penny, right, presented the award July 15 to Larry Green, pictured left. Green has been a UMM member for more than 50 years and a diligent worker at the church behind the scenes.   Green was presented with his plaque and tie pin during the morning worship service. His family was in attendance and as is tradition, he did not know of the award in ...

Fans for Fairfield keep everything cool this summer

published 8/28/2012
FAIRFIELD -- Because Southern Illinois summers are very hot and humid, members of Fairfield First UMC decided they would help those in the community that either do not have air conditioning or perhaps their air conditioning is substandard. Members purchased three-speed box fans and distributed them. As a way to keep the financial burden off the church budget, the congregation held a rummage sale in the church’s fellowship hall and a pork burger sale. More than $2,200 was raised during this ...

Fithian honors long-time Sunday School teacher

published 8/28/2012
Fithian UMC recently honored Joy Love Johnston, who has taught first and second grade Sunday School since 1955. She is still teaching after turning 90 in January 2012 and has no plans to retire anytime soon. The July 15 celebration included two of her students from the first class as well as students from her current class. Two of those students – Mason High, left, and Lacey Harrison, right, are pictured with Johnston. Both Mason and Lacey’s parents were former students of Johnston’s. The ...

Marshall First UMC joins in Change the World Day

published 8/28/2012
Marshall First UMC sponsored three community projects for Change the World Day May 19. A group of volunteers headed by Joe Schroder, lay leader, painted the office building at the Marshall Cemetery. The Cemetery Board provided the paint and the group provided the labor on the hottest day of the year so far. A second volunteer group headed by Alan Gossmann, church member, participated in a sidewalk survey for the City of Marshall. Participants chose various routes to walk and chart where the ...

New Salem VBS raises $130 for Imagine No Malaria

published 8/28/2012
NEW BERLIN -- Proving that they may have been small in number, but big in heart, the 16 children who participated in New Salem United Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School held the week of July 9, collected $130.41 for the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign. Each Vacation Bible School participant was given a special bank to collect donations from friends, neighbors, family members, and at the end of the week, the donations were totaled. Throughout the week, the children learned about how lives of ...

Rankin UMC celebrates 100 years of ministry

published 8/28/2012
Ninety members and guests enjoyed the Centennial Celebration of the Rankin United Methodist Church July 22. The original church building burned on Dec. 31, 1911, and in November 1912, the new building was dedicated. Iroquois River District Superintendent Rev. In-Sook Hwang gave the message during the morning worship service, after which everyone enjoyed an old fashioned potluck dinner with homemade ice cream. Many guests participated in a cake walk and, although it was a very hot day, some ...

Renew the Green VBS at Cahokia Park UMC

published 8/28/2012
CAHOKIA – A total of 49 children and 27 adults learned about the Parable of the Sower, growing in faith, having fun and learning how to change the world together at Cahokia Park UMC June 18-22. In all, the adult leadership represented nine different congregations. Through hands-on activities, creative snacks story-telling and lively songs, the children in attendance learned how the Parable of the Sower related to their own hearts, and how they could apply the lessons they learned to their ...

Laketown Ministries gives away bicycles, school supplies

published 8/18/2012
SPRINGFIELD -- Springfield Woodside UMC hosted a bicycle/school supply give-away at Laketown Ministries Resale Shop Aug. 25. A total of 15 bicycles, donated by Midwest Mission Distribution Center, were given to needy children. Twenty backpacks loaded with school supplies were also distributed with 12 other back packs were donated to local schools.   Laketown Ministries is an outreach of Woodside that sells donated gently used clothing and household items.   All proceeds go to provide support to ...

Beardstown celebrates 175 years of ministry

published 1/26/2012
Beardstown First UMC celebrated its 175th anniversary of service to God and community throughout 2011. Before the completion of its building, Beardstown First UMC was used as emergency hospital during a cholera outbreak in the area. In what is now “Wesley Hall” there was a basketball court where the public high school used to play their games. There was also a projector booth for viewing movies. Since its inception, Beardstown FUMC has always been at the forefront of serving God and community. ...

Fairview Heights planting church in Honduras

published 1/26/2012
Fairview Heights Christ UMC is working with Bishop Palmer, Bishop Elias Galvan and Honduran Superintendent Juan Gurrereo to plant the first United Methodist church in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Senior Pastor Shane Bishop, Administrative Council Chair Ben Belvin and ministry leaders Marvin Steinke and Brian Safarian traveled to Honduras last week to meet the newly appointed Pastor Jonathan and dream about the future partnership. Rev. Bishop first visited San Pedro Sula in 1985 and has dreamed of ...

Grandpa Sharp Mans the Kettle

published 1/26/2012
Carl Sharp, 98, a member of Chatsworth UMC, mans the Salvation Army kettle during the Christmas holidays. Two weekends in December, the United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church rings the bell for the Greater Heartland Division of the Salvation Army based out of Peoria. Sharp will turn 99 in March. Photo courtesy of David Reynolds

Decatur First UMC offers intergenerational mission trip

published 8/26/2011
By Kathy King-Nobles Decatur First UMC DECATUR -- For the second year in a row, members of Decatur First UMC joined together in an intergenerational effort to serve the people of Oakville, Iowa. Oakville was one of the many communities damaged by the floods of 2008, leaving an already struggling community in worse shape.             In June, 36 members and friends of Decatur First spent a week in Oakville working on five different homes. The homes were in varying stages of re-building. One team...

Geneseo man never drives, witnesses without a license

published 8/26/2011
By Claudia Loucks Moline Dispatch GENESEO -- Look in the Bible and find 28 chapters in the Book of Acts. But look at the license plate on the vehicle Geneseo resident Clarke Barnes drives, and find ''Acts 29." A 29th chapter may not be in the Bible, but it has been a major part in the ''Bible of Life'' of this retired Marine colonel and in this retired circuit court judge's witnessing of his faith. It has been a good conversation starter for Mr. Barnes when sharing his faith with others. ...

Zander honored by Methodist Medical Center

published 5/24/2011
IGRC retired pastor Bill Zander and his wife Nancy were recently honored by the Methodist Medical Center Foundation for exemplary long-term service. The Zanders have served Methodist Medical Center and the Methodist College of Nursing both jointly and individually for more than 25 years. Bill Zander has served as a hospital board member, corporation board member and an advisor to the pastoral care program, which is partially funded by Golden Cross offering gifts. A registered nurse, Nancy Zander...

Carlyle First UMC feeds 200-plus at Food Fair

published 5/20/2011
    Carlyle First UMC fed more than 200 Clinton County families on Monday, May 16, with a food fair. Once a month, the church receives shipment of food from the St. Louis Food Bank for distribution to those in need in Clinton County. Matthew 25, a ministry group within the church receives the shipment , unloads it and organizes it for distribution. The May 16 distribution had more than 150 cars come through the distribution line where it was loaded into the vehicles. The food fair is in ...

New Tradition at Peoria First UMC

published 5/15/2011
The Senior Walk, a tradition of Peoria, Illinois’ Bradley University, has become the basis of a new tradition at Peoria’s First United Methodist Church. As Bradley students walked Peoria’s downtown on May 12 in celebration of graduation, the church served them a free meal of brats in their parking lot. This was the fourth year for the church to do this, in part to thank those students who have volunteered at the church’s soup kitchen and pantry, Loaves & Fish. “Bradley students have been doing ...

Belleville Union to celebrate its sanctuary renovation

published 4/26/2011
Belleville Union UMC will celebrate the completion of its sanctuary renovation May 1 at 2 p.m.  The congregation has been worshipping in its McKinley Christian Center for the past three months and is ready to consecrate the revised space. The church’s music program will lead the special worship service.    The decision to remodel the sanctuary was approved in 2010, along with the creation of new nursery space and a new gathering/welcoming area. The pipe organ has been digitalized, and a new ...

Jacksonville Grace hosting fire-displaced First Christian Church

published 4/26/2011
By Greg Olson Jacksonville Courier-Journal JACKSONVILLE -- A Jacksonville church is welcoming a fire-displaced First Christian Church congregation to use its church building for worship services and other activities.   “Grace [United Methodist Church] has extended an invitation to First Christian as a kindness to fellow Christians,” said J. Cook, pastor of First Christian Church.   First Christian will hold its first worship service at Grace United Methodist on Easter Sunday, April 24.   “There ...

McKendree University students engage in a mission to remember

published 4/26/2011
         Front Row: Jared Winters, Jake Smith, Blessing Tupiri, Brad Gebbon, Tricia Straub Second Row: Chanel Taylor, Tim Harrison, Erica Blair, Chelsea Lehr, Courtney Motl, Ben Pollard, Erin Totten, Nykhala Coston, Ashish Bhandari, Adam Schwind.   Photo courtesy of Erin Totten          By Nykhala Coston  McKendree University   CHICAGO -- Early on a Saturday morning, 14 students from McKendree University were up and ready to embark on a trip to Chicago with McKendree Campus Ministries.   ...

New Directions Warming Center dedicated at Jacksonville Grace UMC

published 4/26/2011
By Greg Olson Jacksonville Courier-Journal JACKSONVILLE -- As brightly colored balloons rose heavenward, dozens of people gave thanks for the blessings bestowed on New Directions of Jacksonville. About 80 people turned out Sunday afternoon to dedicate a warming/cooling center for the homeless the local not-for-profit organization has opened in Grace United Methodist Church. “It was heartwarming to see so many people who care to come out and join others in this dedication ceremony,” said Alan ...

Passing the Faith Along

published 4/26/2011
BRIGHTON -- Amy Tuey is a remarkable woman. At 94 years old, she lives in her own home, drives her own car, and has been an active member of St Paul’s United Methodist Church in Brighton IL since 1953. What is perhaps even more remarkable about Mrs Tuey is her devotion to education and children. She has been the nursery director now at St Paul’s for 15 years, and has been teaching Sunday School since she was a teenager. There are few hospitality ministries at St Paul’s that remain untouched by ...

President Obama congratulates Knoxville youth

published 4/26/2011
By Jay Redfern Galesburg Register-Mail KNOXVILLE -- If Alec Lester thought it was cool to be cited by state legislators for his efforts in raising funds for the Knoxville Food Pantry, imagine what the 13-year-old Knoxville boy was feeling when an envelope from the White House was awaiting him after school one day last month. In the brown envelope was a personally signed thank-you letter and an autographed photo from President Barack Obama, congratulating Alec for his charitable efforts. In ...

Project School Room: Outreach and In Reach

published 4/26/2011
East St. Louis Trinity UMC has been working to find ways to grow its Sunday School program while at the same time looking for ways to embrace the community. The church made a decision to take Sunday School to where the children are – at school. The congregation donated 30 coats to warm the school children this past Christmas and served more than 400 children and their parents at the Lilly Freeman Elementary School. Pictured in the photo are Rev. Robert Freeman, the school’s principal and members...

Quincy Union UMC conducts online Bible Study

published 4/26/2011
QUINCY -- One of the constant complaints, excuses or alibis for not attending Bible Studies is that they don't meet at convenient times or places. The Rev. Bob Morwell of Union UMC in Quincy, is trying to overcome that obstacle by offering a study that is available at any time, anywhere there is an internet connection.   Morwell has instituted a study of the Gospel According to Luke, entitled CyberBible 2.0, that is updated weekly and appears in episodes of ten minutes, or less, on You Tube.  ...

Youth, confirmands experience of day of mission at Cunningham

published 4/26/2011
"Thanks for hosting us. It was an awesome day!” –Judy Vidakovich By Liz Jumper Cunningham Children’s Home   URBANA -- A total of 76 guests from across the IGRC participated in Cunningham Children’s Home’s annual Mission Day for United Methodist youth March 26.   Mission Day invites youth groups and confirmation classes to experience a day of mission close to home by fostering a better understanding of the Cunningham mission and ministry.   Throughout the day, youth participated in therapeutic ...

Blessing of the Animals

published 4/25/2011
  Decatur Christ UMC observed the second Blessing of the Animals service on Holy Saturday. Pastor Kelly Cox, who conducted the blessing said, “Pets are part of the family for many people,” he said. “It’s good to remember the importance of animal life in our own lives.” Each person bringing a pet received a copy of “The Ten Commandments from a Pet’s Point of View.” More than half of the cats and dogs at the event were rescue animals. Photo by Mike Carr

Washington Evangelical UMC Hosts Easter Party

published 4/25/2011
Washington Evangelical UMC hosted the Good News Club community-wide Easter Party. More than 80 children and families were welcomed into the church through this ministry. The day was filled with outdoor activities, games, crafts and worship. Photo courtesy of Washington Evangelical UMC

Stepping Up and Stepping Out

published 3/26/2011
Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is easy to believe what we see. It is easy for us to have faith in God when we have always done things the same way with seemingly successful results.   It reminds me of the old saying, “If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.” Thus, when we are challenged to try something new or enhance what we have been doing, reluctance and fear can keep us ...

Imagine No Malaria at Hull UMC

published 3/23/2011
The Sunday School of Hull UMC chose INM as its spring mission. Each time someone makes a donation, s/he puts a mosquito sticker on a large map of Africa and then "kills" it by marking it out. For each $10 collecting a sticker of an African child is added to the map. The class that had the greatest percentage of giving the Sunday before chooses someone to wear the IGRC shirt. – Linda Dunker

Lock-in saves 50 lives through Imagine No Malaria.

published 3/23/2011
The Dunlap Prospect United Methodist Youth participated in a B1 lock-in and raised $500 - 50 lives!

M & M tubes raise money for Imagine No Malaria

published 3/23/2011
United Church of Altona handed out mini M&M tubes (full of candy) to children in their after school program and to the youth group. Here's the cool thing. One tube full of quarters = $10 = 1 life saved. How fun is that? At Port Byron First they came up with the idea of changing the '&" in M&M to a '4'; as in Money For Malaria.

Multiply Your Talents

published 3/23/2011
The McLean UMC has spawned a program that other churches in the conference might like to copy with their own version.  The concept is simple.  Following the Parable of the Talents of multiplying what the Lord gives us found in Matthew 25 one of our families has made $1,000 available to members in the Atlanta, Ebenezer, McLean and Waynesville UMCs.  This $1,000 is to be given out in $50 "talents" that people apply for with a simple application.  The money is worked with until Sept. 1 at which ...

Port Byron youth sets $5,000 goal for Imagine No Malaria

published 3/23/2011
Imagine No Malaria is going to be the mission focus of the children/youth at Port Byron First UMC with the support of the Missions Teams (who will be pledging to save 2000 lives over 3 years and do a Change for Change collection once a quarter). The Youth set a goal of wanting to save 500 lives this year. They already have ideas of how they want to achieve this goal. On a recent Sunday, during morning announcements, children and youth stood in front of the church. To build awareness, every 45 ...

Port Byron youth team up with Chick Fil-A

published 3/23/2011
Rising Christian Youth Group from Port Byron First UMC will be hosting an event April 6 at the Chick fil A in Davenport, IA. If you come and eat dinner (or order and pay for a party tray!!) and say you are there supporting Spirit Night, 10% of your purchase will go to the youth. Money raised that evening will be going to INM. Feel free to share this with anyone who may be up in this area and interested!!!! THANKS!!!!

Lynnville holds Early Methodism Celebration

published 11/29/2010
LYNNVILLE – The Lynnville UMC in the LaMoine River District recently reflected on nearly 200 years of Methodism with an Early Methodism Celebration Nov. 14. Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, resident bishop, was on hand to deliver the morning message and also celebrate Holy Communion, assisted by LaMoine River District Superintendent Randy Robinson, church pastor Nancy Wood and former Lynnwood pastor and retired IGRC clergy Phil Icenogle.   Methodism was introduced into the area now known as Lynnville ...

Volunteers help with chores to serve neighbors in Chenoa

published 11/29/2010
By M. K. Guetersloh Bloomington Pantagraph CHENOA -- Marilyn Kauffman was delighted to see Amy Butler and Janet Quan at her door, asking if there was anything they could do to help her. Butler and Quan were two of about 40 volunteers who met Saturday morning to help their neighbors in the community of about 1,800.   “It’s just a tremendous help,” Kauffman said as Butler, Quan and about six other volunteers raked the leaves in her yard. “At 80 years old, I just can’t do that anymore.”   ...

Unger spotlighted in Religious Leaders feature

published 11/19/2010
(Editor’s note: Lisa Unger, who serves as Church Council chair and certified lay speaker at Galesburg Faith UMC, was recently spotlighted in the Religion section of the Galesburg newspaper as part of a weekly Religious Leader 10 Questions feature.) What is your religious background? I grew up in the Bishop Hill UMC. I attended regularly until I entered college at which time I began only attending church for Christmas, Easter and special family events/occasions. I began attending Galesburg Faith ...

Belleville St. Matthew sends team to Paraguay

published 11/9/2010
Belleville St. Matthew UMC’s Medical Team ministered in Paraguay Sept. 3-12. The September trip was the 12th  time that the church has sent a team since 1998. Many of the same personnel have gone on each of the trips and have been able to develop ongoing relationships with the missionaries living there. Each of the medical teams consists of two to three doctors, a pharmacist, an optometrist and two to three dentists. The church collects used glasses throughout the year that the optometrist fits ...

Cahokia churches join together in park celebration

published 11/9/2010
     The youth of New Vision World Ministries prepare to share with those gathered at the Cahokia Connections 2010 celebration. Nearly 300 attended the event representing some 50 area churches.   Photo by Marian McCray           By Beth McLaughlin Pastor, Cahokia Park UMC CAHOKIA – Some 300 people turned out Sept. 24-25 as part of Cahokia Connections 2010 – a joint celebration of the area churches in and around Cahokia.   The event gave participants the opportunity to worship God together, to ...

Good Shepherd Parish sewing for missions

published 11/9/2010
    On Oct.14 Cheryl Randel, Carol Hartman and Joyce Shelton loaded up 185 finished children's hospital gowns gowns from the "Sewing for Missions" project at the Witt United Methodist Church and delivered themto the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham.  Pictured in the photo are, from left: Johanne McDonald, Coordinator for MMDC, Cheryl Randel, coordinator of Sewing for Missions, Carol Hartman, a Sewing for Missions volunteer and Pat Fowler, MMDC monthly volunteer. The gowns and ...

Greenwood UMC celebrates 165 years of ministry

published 11/9/2010
By Marty Hargraves Greenwood UMC MULKEYTOWN – The Greenwood UMC celebrated 165 years of service on Sept. 26. The 2010 Homecoming celebration with current pastor, Rev. Jean Webster, officiating . A noon meal followed by an afternoon service with former Greenwood pastor Mike Sanders preaching and special music was provided by Beaucoup Creek.   The Greenwood Episcopal Church was organized by Rev. Braxton Parrish at the home of Carter Greenwood in 1845. Rev. Parrish and other pioneer preachers ...

Illiopolis UMC celebrates 40th anniversary of church building

published 11/9/2010
By Shirley Winters ILLIOPOLIS – Illiopolis UMC recently celebrated its 40th anniversary of the current church facility. The church’s sanctuary was decorated with fresh flowers on the altar and blue, silver and white balloons down the center aisle. Several persons from Illiopolis’ sister church in Niantic as well as former members of the church joined in the celebration. Dr. Terry Harter, Sangamon River District Superintendent, and his wife, Dr. Martha Harter were also present for the ...

Williamsville celebrates one year after the tornado

published 11/9/2010
By Carole Piscatelli Williamsville UMC WILLIAMSVILLE – An outdoor ecumenical service on Sept. 19 capped off a weekend of celebration in Williamsville, just 13 months after a devastating tornado leveled several buildings in town, including the Williamsville Christian Church.   The Williamsville UMC joined with the Christian Church in the service to thank the LORD for His provision during and after the tornado. Pastor Dave Beals, pastor of the Christian Church and Rev. Dick Piscatelli, pastor of ...

Challenge Leads to 'Beast' of a Trip

published 9/22/2010
By Robert Schoolcraft Pastor, Beardstown UMC BEARDSTOWN -- It was a “beast” of a trip! The trip entered the planning, and planting, stage nearly a year and a half ago.   The Sunday School Superintendent began questioning as to why there wasn’t a Junior High/Senior High Sunday School class anymore. The answer was simple; there were no youth and, therefore, no teacher. I took the concern to the Church Council. They, too, were concerned that we had no Junior  High/Senior High Sunday School class....

Decatur First members offer helping hand to flood-ravaged Iowa town

published 9/22/2010
By Sheila Smith Decatur Herald & Review                 DECATUR -- More than two years after flood waters swamped the town of Oakville, Iowa, efforts to rebuild are still under way, thanks to federal funds and help from church groups such as Decatur First UMC.   This summer, 26 church members went to Oakville, 55 miles southwest of the Quad-Cities, to lend a hand.   "It was such a huge blessing to give a little back in helping those folks who have been through so much, as well as spend time ...

Johnstown UMC completes its mission

published 9/22/2010
(Editor’s note: The following history has read by Martha Roberts as part of the closing service at the Johnstown UMC on Sept. 12). JOHNSTOWN – The Johnstown class of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized by Rev. A Rider of Westfield in 1887. He was serving as a supply pastor for the Toledo Circuit.   From the date of its organization, the Johnstown Class was served by Rev. Rider as an appointment on the Toledo Circuit. During the annual conference session held in Westfield in...

"¿Te gustaria que le ayudara?"

published 9/2/2010
By Lynda Zimmer Champaign News-Gazette URBANA -- "Te gustaria que le ayudara?" has replaced "Would you like me to help you?" at one area food pantry.   Two dozen volunteers at the pantry offered by Urbana Wesley United Methodist Church have taken a basic Spanish class to learn how to communicate with Hispanic clients.   "I decided I would feel more comfortable if I have a few phrases to share – to make them feel welcome," said David Sattazahn of Savoy, one of the class members.   His wife, Ruth,...

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