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Volume X II Issue 2

February 2009

From Pastor Keck. . . Are You Ready For This? Whenever I take a trip or am part of some large church outing or event, I must admit, I secretly hope that something unexpected happens, that some challenging event occurs. Usually I am not disappointed. If you wait long enough or take enough trips, eventually there is going to arise some crisis or event that requires that people come together and deal with a common threat or problem. And, as long as it is not too challenging, I am grateful for the opportunity to suffer. Why, you may ask, do you wish for some problem to arise? Why would you ever want to suffer? It is simple really. Because challenges are the means by which we grow and progress in life. As the saying goes, No pain, no gain. Or as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:2-4 . . . we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. When life is too easy for us, we often indulge ourselves in personal and social excesses and vices. Without realizing, we become spiritually weak, sinful and lazy. Untested and unchallenged, we assume that all is well, until

that day when a crisis comes upon us. Then we find out what we are made of. We all like to assume that we are people of good character, integrity and moral strength that we are true Christians. In unchallenging times it is easy to sustain such beliefs. However, when life changes on us, when tough times come, we are often shocked to find out just how quickly our moral pretensions collapse under the weight of fear, uncertainty and change. A professor of mine at the University of Chicago, Langdon Gilkey, was imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp during World War II. This was a civilian camp in China. Westerners of all different stations in life were herded into these camps for the duration of the war. Professor Gilkey wrote a book about his experiences in this camp, Shantung Compound. In this book, he describes how people were forced to deal with the deprivation and fear of being locked away in this war camp. Gilkey paints a vivid picture of what humans are like under stressful situations; and it is not pretty. He describes how most people in the camp demonstrated a selfish, base, mean spirited and quarrelsome character. When tested, most failed.

How long has it been since we were really tested as a nation and a people? Are we ready for what may lay ahead? What about Marengo? Is the town prepared to deal with the economic and social challenges it now faces? How long has it been since we have been tested as a church or a congregation? Are we prepared for the changes and the challenges that are ahead for us? Will we quarrel, hoard and fight? Or are we prepared to sacrifice and suffer, calling upon our better natures and inner spiritual strength? Are we prepared to turn toward God to help us in our weakness and seek to be strengthened and changed? In our own church we are confronted with a serious financial situation. How will we respond to this challenge? Time will tell. However, I personally believe that we have the character to meet this challenge. It will require sacrifice on our part. Yet I truly believe that this sacrifice will make us stronger and more hopeful. I pray the same for our country and world. I pray that we will recognize our true natures and seek God s help. For Christ has taught us that suffering can be a path to character, peace and security. This is my hope.




Thank you! I am enjoying the poinsettia very much! Catharine (Kate) Loomis We want to say a special thanks to Pastor Keck for a great service for Dale. Also all the ladies and men who put on the luncheon and for all your prayers, cards, condolences, phone calls, and memorials. It is greatly appreciated. A thank you to Ed Richards on the organ and solo. God Bless you all.



To Our Church Family, Once again I thank you for all of the prayers and comfort given to my family and me during the death of my brother, Louie McDonald. It seems since 2006 I have been on this downward spiral with family deaths and tragedies and it is my faith and knowing that I have this wonderful church family that continues to get me through each day. My brother is now at peace and that is all anyone can ask. Sally, Pat, and Joshua Hoesel

The family of Dale Jenne Thank you for my new Bible and for the nice notes inside! Emily Hoffman

Faith In Action The Freeform musicians, under the direction of Mr. Jim Eckland, will provide entertainment for the Evening in Italy event scheduled for February 21, 2009. Entertainment, a delicious Chicken Cacciatore meal, and a Silent Auction will round out the evening. The event will be held at the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church community room located on the corner of Oak and Route 176 in Crystal Lake. (451 W. Terra Cotta Avenue) Appetizers will be served at 5:30 PM and guests will be seated at 6:30 PM. Silent auction items will include Americana items, art glass, copperware, costume jewelry, glassware, silver-plate pieces, small furniture, art and more.

Funds obtained will be utilized to benefit needy elderly throughout McHenry County. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from the Faith in Action office by phoning 815-455-3120 or they may be requested from their web site: FIAMC is a nonprofit organization committed to the purpose of working with the seniors of our community who live at home, and their families in maintaining their independence, dignity, and quality of life.

BRRR is it ever cold outside! Here at PDO we are taking advantage of the frigid weather to learn about snow, snowflakes, and polar animals. We are learning about cold things, but trying our best to stay warm! Even though next school year seems so far away it is already time to start preparing for it. We will hold early registration for returning families from April 1st through April 30th. A $35 registration fee and completed registration form will hold a spot for your child(ren) for the 20092010 school year. Registration will become open to new families as of May 1st. Current PDO families should look for registration information to come home with your child in the next couple of weeks.

God's Blessing Liz Fischer PDO Director




U nited Methodist W omen Condolences to Alice Jenne on the death of her husband Dale. UMW Meeting Wednesday, February 11th 1:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall Program: Bishop's Interfaith Tour Highlights Serving and Devotions by Ruth Circle

This is a great opportunity to learn more about faiths other than our own. Some of our members have attended this program and highly recommended it. Esther Circle will dedicate February to visiting shut-ins. Ruth Circle will meet at the home of Gaye Anne Anderson on Thursday, February 19th

Lifting up our church family in prayer Prayers for Health and Healing: Sheri Johnstone; Judy Andrews; Lauri Monti, Bonnie Voller s sister; Judi Alden; LaVerne Ryman, Debbie Oakes mother; Marge, Bruce Elliott s mother; Sean Romine; Joe Mangano, Tom Mangano s father; Brenda Ferreira; Karen Apel; Gary Stoklosa; Tom Anderson; Judy, Susan Gieseler s sister in law; Frank E. Gualillo of Yorkville, NY, father of Frank D. Gualillo; Jackie Roberts, Brenda Ferriera s Aunt; Emily Hill, friend of Betty Jacoby; Jan Crisman, Lynette Paradiso s mother; Donna Oakes, Chris Oakes mother; Scott Kominowski, friend of the Hoffman s; Sydney Ives, friend of Bonnie Voller; Arthur Overhage, friend of Brenda Ferreira; Ann Locovare; Don Duthron, friend of Audrey Anderson; Fred & Barb Trask; Shirley Vaughan, friend of the Hoffman family; Janet Swonguer s father


BIRTHDAYS Tiffany McKinley Tara Oakes Anna Marie Jenne Matthew Zenk McKenna Skow Braxton Angelo Marcia Simons Luann Hanelt Nicole Misiura Erlyn Genot Jeanne Kelly Harvey Huftalin Joyce Shepard Sally Gailloreto Ashleigh Oranger Carol Mueller Benjamin Skow Ryan Justen Celeste Loudenbeck Tyler Oranger Catharine Loomis Kenneth Dennison Sue Evans Lois Garcia Donald Urban Betty Struckmeier

2 2 3 3 4 5 7 9 11 13 14 15 15 17 18 19 20 22 22 22 23 24 24 24 24 27

ANNIVERSARIES Gene & Connie Boxleitner David & Sylvia Bohlander John & Penny Collins

8 14 18

Prayers for Comfort and Support For Sally Hoesel and family on the death of her brother Lewis McDonald; For Alice Jenne and family and friends of Dale Jenne; For those facing unemployment; Cindy Clavey; Steve Tradewell; Our Country s leaders; Military Men & Women and their families Prayers for the Homebound: Katie Loomis Prayers for those in Nursing/Rehab: Sheri Johnstone; Ann Locovare; Bev Parke; Norm Finnell; Robert Grass; Genelle Skeels; Mildred Walters

Ou r love a n d pr a yer s a r e wit h Alice J en n e, fa m ily a n d fr ien ds on t h e dea t h Da le J en n e on F ebr u a r y 15, 2009





Come Celebrate God s Presence W ith U s!

Sanctuary Altar Remodeling

Sermon Series:T he Path

For the last ten years or so, the area at the front of the sanctuary referred to as the choir loft has been unused and has been essentially wasted space. Late last year, through the combined work and approval of the worship committee, the trustees, and the Lead Team, a plan was devised to move the front panel walls back seven feet and lower the choir loft floor level down to the podium floor level, without changing the aesthetics of the area. This more than doubled the podium floor area making it more useful for Christmas and Easter programs and for the praise and chancel choirs. The remodeling (complete to the point of recarpeting) has been accomplished by donations of all labor and materials from members of the congregation. The carpeting is scheduled be completed in the last week of January or the first week in February.

Sunday, February 1, 2009 Scripture: Ruth 1:11-18; Luke 24:13-18, 28-32 Message: Travel Guide . Sunday, February 8, 2009 Scripture: Mark 6:7-11 Message: Apartment Church Sunday, February 15, 2009 Scripture: Acts 2:44-47 Message: Kansas Land Rush Sunday, February 22, 2009 Scripture: Matthew 4:18-22 Message: Travel Destination


Pretzel Sunday Sunday, February 22nd our Sunday School classes will learn the Story of the Pretzel. A fun day of making pretzels and learning the tradition of using up all your fat prior to lent.

February 25, 2009

Reminder In an effort to cut costs, when in the church, please remember to turn off all lights when you leave a room. Also, keep in mind that room temperatures have been turned back a little. Please remember to bring a sweater so that you will be more comfortable.

Worship 7:30 pm

Thank you. Trustees





From Roots to Wings $220,000.00 Total offering received to date


Pledges received from pledge drive

$120,000.00 $70,000.00


1 2 3 4


$20,000.00 1




In the beginning were the Revival Boys. It started with the idea to have a bunch of men sing a song. About 40 non-traditional singers (including at least one self-avowed lip-syncher) filled the sanctuary with a glorious sound. They liked it. And God said it was good.

The next year more joined in to bring us Days of Elijah. They liked it again. And God said that was good, too.

This year more will be invited to be part of something new: in fact, A New Hallelujah with a special invitation to all the children as well as all the men at MUMC to join the crowd of non-traditional men singers. And God said, This is going to be GREAT!

WHEN: Sunday, February 8th: 8:30 & 10:15 a.m. services PRACTICES: Kids: Feb. 1 at 10 am in the Pre-K/K Room - MEN and kids: Feb. 5: 6:30 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary (CDs and lyrics sheets are available: see Jane McDonald, Director) QUESTIONS? see Betty Meinders, Director of Music Ministry-

Come make a New Hallelujah with us this year!




A Senior Moment


by Ann Stein

"By the breath of God, ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast ... Job 37:10 Ahh, January in Illinois! We Midwestern AARP members treasure (?) our memories of the winters of long, long ago! In our lifetime we have had many weather-related experiences: earthquakes (albeit mild), tornadoes, floods, BIG snows especially the snow of 1969, etc. The best way to handle these situations is with prayer and preparation Preparation for us often means hunkering down! The "young-us" today are warned of impending weather situations via TV, newspapers, weather radios, computer information, sirens of Marengo, etc. Ken and I also use our Vermont weather stick! A number of years ago one of Ken's coworkers gave him this weather stick. We have it mounted on our garage. During fair weather the stick just sticks straight out. During impending bad weather the stick droops downward. Our history dictated a different way of predicting the weather -- grandma's (now our own) rheumatism was acting up, the color of the sky, the direction of the wind which was determined by spitting on your finger and holding it up in the air, the Farmers Almanac and even a sense of impending doom! And if we were really fortunate we had some old-timers around to give us the benefit of their experience! Despite our personal preference for determining the weather, we handle it as we handle our lives ...prayer and preparation! I am in charge of stockpiling supplies in the event we can't make it to Wisteds! Ken handles home and automobile preparations. Back in-the-day it was skid chains as well as anti-freeze and a supply of cinders. I'll bet today's "kids" have never used cinders. The anti-freeze could boil over if it got too warm. Fast forward to 2009: our snow is handled with snow blowers and the community road maintenance. Our girls always liked to go sledding on school "snow days" We still have the wooden sled with narrow steel runners in our garage in case Ken wants to give it another try! He especially remembers "belly flops"! This past week brought us the miracle on the Hudson! The pilot was perfectly prepared. I do not know if he is a man of faith, but I do know the outcome was surely a combination of prayer and preparation. "Just as winter turns to spring, our lives have changing seasons too. So when a gloomy forecast comes, remember God has plans for you. "

Date N ight For children ages 2 - 6 accompanied by a parent, parents or grandparent. Tuesday, February 24th 6:00 p.m. at MUMC Call Gaye Anne & Richard Anderson at 815-5688806 or Barb & Jack Carder at 815-568-5716. We are planning to have a Date Night the last Tuesday night of each month in 2009. Hope to see you there!

Church Library We are doing a little spring cleaning. Perhaps if we get spring cleaning out of the way, spring will arrive! We still encourage you to read the Bible. The guidance sheets are there for your convenience. To date, I have read more than 250 chapters! (Note: I did not say books!!) For me, I had to commit in this manner and use a suggested guide. Whatever the method we choose, it is the most important book we will ever read and it was written especially for us!





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119 East Washington Street Marengo, IL 60152 815-568-7162 Fax: 815-568-7163 Email:

Food Pantry Never know what to donate to the food pantry? Are you stuck on Mac and Cheese or Ramen Noodles? (We really get a lot of those products, and they are fillers, so it is GOOD.) BUT, we came up with some ideas for rotating your donated products on a monthly basis to fill our high need items. Now, don t get me wrong; we ll take whatever you have to give! The majority of the people who use the food pantry leave saying thank you and they mean it! These are just some suggestions to look for these items during certain months to assist us in filling some real vacancies of need.

May Shampoos, toothpaste, toothbrushes, conditioners (all sizes, big and small) June

Canned meals or meals in a box

July Pancake mix and syrup August

Paper towels, toilet paper, tissues

September October

Canned fruit

November Cereal (all and any kinds, including farina and oatmeal) December

January Canned meals or meals in a box (i.e. beef stew, meat ravioli, Hamburger Helper) February Baby Needs diapers (any size), baby food, cereal, wipes. (we also will take your left over formula (unopened) or if you have three diapers left that a child has outgrown, put them in a zip lock and leave them!) March April

Pasta, rice, beans Laundry detergent

coffee, flour, sugar, tea

Laundry detergent

I will have a list on the food pantry basket in the Narthex, as a reminder (it will also be listed on the church website: The needs of the Food Pantry are growing with the economy downturn we appreciate all that you give to us.

Doris and Joseph Mangano

February Mustard Seed 2009  
February Mustard Seed 2009  

February newsletter