September 2021 Newsletter
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September 1, 2021
As you surely remember, when COVID-19 first broke out, we spent 3 months worshipping remotely. When we resumed gathering in person, in accordance with the state’s requirements, we went from having one service on Sunday mornings to two. It wasn't ideal, but it was a blessing to be able to gather in person again. We continued doing that throughout the time of the indoor mask mandates and attendance restrictions. When those were lifted, we moved back to having one service. However, as of this week, the state of Illinois has reintroduced the masking requirements. No one, whether they see mask wearing as necessary or not, is *happy* for this mandate to be back in place. It feels safe to say that we would all *prefer* to not have to wear them at all. But, as The Rolling Stones once told us, we can’t always get what we want. And so, in order to be consistent in regards to our practice while there is a mask mandate in place, we will be returning to having two services.
As was the case before, the first service will be with masks being mandatory. At the second service they will be recommended, but we will not turn anyone away from worship who attends without one.
What will be different from how we had done things the last year is in the time of those services. Under the former schedule, the time available for Bible class was reduced to 15-20 minutes, which was not ideal. Accordingly, until the mandate is again lifted, Bible Study/Sunday School will continue to be at 9 am, with worship following at 10. The early service, which formerly began at 9, will now start at *8 am*. This earlier starting time not only allows for a less congested exit/entrance between the two services, but for a more substantial time for studies/classes between services.
Our prayer is that this schedule will not need to remain in place for long, but it will be what we do for the time being. If you have any questions, please contact pastor or one of the elders.
Because I know this has been an issue that has been and continues to be a source of frustration to us all for any number of reasons, I would like to close by directing your attention to these verses from Titus 3:1-7:
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
May the Holy Spirit guard us against division and quarreling, and fill our hearts and minds with the love of Christ, that we would be strengthened and moved to speak and act in grace and love toward one another in all things. Amen.
NEEDING OUR CONTINUING PRAYER
Terry Colston [nephew of Fred Rhoda, healing and recovering since he received his liver]
Dr.Jim May [cousin of Pat Wahls]
Carla Nobis [at Good Samaritan Home]
Thom Palmer [high school friend of Pat Wahls]
Donna Price [Ramona Schuler’s sister]
Roger Shiflett [at the Nursing Home in El Paso]
Jalene Wollford [grade school student at St. Mary’s, Pontiac]
Please notify Joy if anyone could be removed from the Prayer List.
HOLY ACTS AND RITES OF THE CHURCH
Linda Grandon has had her membership transferred to First Methodist Church in Fairbury. We ask God’s blessings upon Linda in her new fellowship.
Diane is looking for some special music to add to our worship services like perhaps a vocal duet or an instrumental piece? Talk with Diane or call her at 309-287-8598.
Men’s Breakfast will be held at the Chenoa Family Restaurant on Thursday, September 2nd, 16th, and 30th 8 AM. The breakfasts will be held every other Thursday. Mark your calendar.
Our congregation is going to be needing to fill some positions on our Church Council. A chairman, three Elders are needed and the position of Parish Nurse is open and we need to know if anyone wants to fill it. If anyone is interested, please talk to Pastor.
Looking for Volunteers:
--landscaping clean up
front of church
--paint roof of lean to on rental garage
--paint porches of rental house
Contact one of the trustees if you can help—Kurt Rhoda, Greg Pulaski, or Mark Schuler
This month is our turn to deliver Peace Meals. There is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board at church. If you can deliver just one day, that would be most helpful.
After 35 years of flying the friendly skies of United it has come time for me to hang it up. With that, Janis and I are having a retirement party FlyIn/HogRoast at our place on September 4th. We will have flying and fun throughout the day and plan to serve pulled pork and beans at approximately 630 PM with music set to start at 8 PM. No need to bring anything except maybe a lawn chair. Camping is available to anyone that wants to stay the night.
Bill and Janis Thacker
On Sunday, September 12th, Sunday School will start again at 9 AM. After worship there will be a Rally Day Picnic. Meat will be furnished and you are asked to bring a dish or two to share. Plan to attend.
On Wednesday, September 29th, the Book Club will meet to discuss the book, “Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah. The group will meet at 6:30 PM.