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St. John UCC “Bringing the Healing Love of Christ To Our Community for the Glory of God”



J A N U A R Y 2011


OFFICE HOURS MONDAY– FRIDAY...…8:30 A.M. TO 12:30 P.M.…&.1:00 TO 4:00 P.M.

Church (815) 235-2824



The deadline for submitting articles in the monthly Tidings is the Third Tuesday of the month by noon. (January 18th) THE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED JANURAY 3rd.


AS THE SPIRIT MOVES ME….. Once again, as I sit down to write this article, I wonder what I’m going to write about. What will my spirit or God’s Spirit move me to write? Some months it’s more difficult than others, after having written more than 400 of them over the years, with an additional 1800+ sermons (having repeated only 2 sermons). So, today, I’m just going to begin with the first thoughts that come to me and follow the rabbit down the trail to discover what’s at the end. Follow along, if you want. I wonder what this coming year will bring. What crises will we face? What joys will fill our hearts? When and how will we feel the power and holiness of God’s presence, rather than just living in the knowledge and faith of that Holy Presence?... What opportunities will we have to share God’s love and grace through our actions and our caring? When will we notice those moments and respond with faithful action; when will we notice and not respond; when will we not even notice, because we’ve become momentarily deaf, blind and/or insensitive to others needs?... What will be the moments of fellowship and serving that strengthen the bonds of our unity in Christ and our community? How will we grow in our healing and wholeness, our faith, our forgiveness and love, the higher ethics of the Gospel, our caring for the hungry and poor, our personal and spiritual gifts, and more?... Oh, so many questions. Maybe too many questions. .. Well, my mother always told me I was the one of her three children who always stood close by the television repairman, the telephone man, the appliance repairman, the worker on the street, etc., etc., asking one question after another, as long as the person was there. Thankfully, I have no memory of any one of them getting angry with me, shooing me off, rejecting or disrespecting me, 3

though I imagine some of them wanted to do any or all of those things, at times. Yet, as I ask all those questions, would any of us really want to have the answers, now? ... What if we could truly foresee all the joys, pains, crises and holy moments that will come? In some ways, it would be overwhelming. We would also not be able to enjoy, process or resolve them, individually. They would become so inner-twined and connected that it would be difficult for us to separate them or distinguish the life lessons to be gleaned from each of them. I think of this, specifically, in regards to what it would have been like for me if three years ago, on January 1, 2007, I would have known that my parents, Sandy’s mother, an aunt and an uncle, our dog, and 34 people in the life of the church would die in the four ensuing years. Oh, there were many joys along the way – the births of babies, new members in the life of the church, church and personal spiritual retreats, new financial resources and stability in the church, special events, a mission trip to New Orleans, and much, much more. But to know all those things ahead of time would detract from the holiness and significance of each of them, individually, and be overwhelming, emotionally and spiritually – too much to handle. It may be why several of the powerful Old Testament prophets are now considered to have likely struggled with issues of mental illness. Knowing everything that is coming before us could almost drive us insane. So, as we look to the future and catch glimpses of what is before us, it is probably most important that we remember that ―there is a season for every matter under heaven;‖ and that in the year/s before us we will experience the breadth and depth of life – all its joys and sorrows, birthing and dying and rebirth, stagnation and growth, etc., etc. The question is: Are you going to have God in Christ as your companion along the way? Will you allow yourself to, both, recognize your need for God to be with you along the way, as well 4

as call upon and depend upon God? Or, are you going to try and go it, alone? As for me, I’m going to live to strengthen and deepen my faith and relationship with God – my love for God and my neighbor as myself. May God help me along the way.

SPIRITUAL RETREAT We have reserved rooms at Sinsinawa Mound Center for Friday evening, January 28 through Saturday afternoon, January 29, for our next spiritual retreat. This is a beautiful place for rest and spiritual rejuvenation. Please speak with Pastor Donnley if you have questions about or interest in the retreat. A sign-up sheet will be on the bulletin board in the narthex soon.

REV. LTC PETER BAUER PRESENTS February 5th 8:30-4:30 A special Event for Veterans, their families, friends, and professionals who deal with Veterans. This seminar will deal with the Spiritual Effects of Combat—How to Help Someone Returning from War—and Ministry to those Effected by War. Registration is free. Lunch is $10 and will be available with an RSVP by Jan 26th. Please call or email the office with any questions and/or an RSVP.


Kevin’s Korner….. Many of you know that Kirsten and I were away at the beginning of December. We were at the Youth Workers Summit. Every four years several of like minded denominations unite to offer training for youth workers. The 2010 summit was awesome. I walked away recharged and ready to bring new life to our youth and children’s ministries. I had time to reflect on what has worked in the past and what hasn't. I took part in an affinity group for long time youth workers. Basically anyone who stays in youth ministry past three years has beaten the odds. Most youth workers leave the ministry before three years. I was proud to take my spot in this group. We shared stories, had some laughs and really pooled our experiences. We are also sharing resources with each other through e-mail and the web. The affinity group was quite memorable, as was a workshop I took on Social Media in Ministry. The workshop has changed my perspective on how to use social media (facebook, Twitter, txt, etc...) for the glory of God. I’m hoping to teach a series in 2011 for adults on this subject. I’m looking forward to my vacation to NJ. I haven’t been with my family for Christmas in over five years and I know my mom is really looking forward to having us. I’m looking forward to some great RR with no church responsibilities. The reality is those who work for the church are always thinking and doing ministry. It’s really hard to shut that off and often times I get calls late or on my ―day off‖ that require my attention. My goal while on vacation this year is to leave that ministry side of me in Freeport and just relax. I’m also super excited to share with you that Kirsten and I will be expanding our fitness classes at the church. Starting in January we will be offering two classes. Zumba on Monday nights at 6pm and on Wednesday nights at 6pm we will be offering a class to try different fitness dvd’s. We will be trying a variety of workouts like yoga, Pilate's, TaeBo, Tai Chi, and whatever else our fitness 6

buddies suggest. We will also be starting a new Christ First class and welcoming new members to our existing classes. All our classes will begin a new book from New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson. The book is entitled: A course in weight loss 21 spiritual lessons for surrendering your weight forever. We will begin this new study the week of January 19th. If you’re interested in joining a class we have three options. Monday night 5:30pm. This class is geared for those who have under 50lbs to lose or are close to maintenance. We also offer a Wednesday night class at 6pm and a new Saturday morning class that will start at 10am (flexible). These classes are open to all but will have a strong weight loss emphasis. These classes are for those who have 50+ lbs. to lose. You are invited to join any class that works for your schedule. Give the office a call and get signed-up today.

“Expect a Miracle” Sign-up for your new beginning today.

CONGREGATIONAL MEETING! January 23, 2010 following service. The agenda for this meeting will include the year end report for 2010


FACIAL ACUPRESSURE SEMINAR Susie Michaelsen is offering a hands on seminar teaching you Facial Acupressure. Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure®, combination of pressing specific acu-points, breathing, body focusing and stretching to relieve tension, balance energy, promote relaxation, accessing awareness of body, feelings and inner wisdom. This class is open to the public. It is a day of pampering and learning these acupressure techniques to benefit yourself and others. January 8th from 10:30 AM-7:30 PM here at St. John's Church of Christ, Please call the church office to enroll. The cost is $86 but all proceeds go to St. John so don’t let the cost inhibit you from coming. Just come!

2010 CONTRIBUTIONS The last day to submit contributions to be applied in 2010 is NOON on December 30th. All contributions made after noon on Dec 30th will be applied to the 2011 calendar year.

ANNUAL REPORTS All Ministries and social groups are asked to submit a report of their activities for the past year. All reports will be due to the church office by February 14th, for the Congregational Meeting in March. Please check with your group and/or Ministry to see who is responsible for turning in the report.

LIFE LINE SCREENING Friday, January 14th there will be a Life Line Screening preventive health event to scan for the risk of stroke and other vascular conditions. There are package tests or individual tests. If you preregister you get a discount on the package testing. There is a sign up and info on the bulleting board or call the office for more details. 8

L AYCAR E M I NIST RY If you were among the 86 members of our congregation in attendance at church on December 12th, you will now read my observations of that morning. If you were absent, due to the weather, I get to tell you how it all came together. Justin Mapes, according to the December Tidings, was to be Liturgist and Carol Ahrens was to lead the LOF Class for Sarah Knapp. Neither of them could get to church that morning. As Pastor walked down the aisle, I see - walking beside him is Keith - our fill-in for Acolyte. Russ took care of the nursery. During ―The Sharing Our Greetings in Christ‖, I made it over to Pastor and asked if he needed a Liturgist. He told me I was the second person to volunteer - thanked me - and said he could handle it alone. The choir was pretty full - Hugh and Sarah were in Florida - Oh, by the way, Hugh and Sarah, don’t think about us up here, at all, while you are sunning in a warmer climate - I didn’t see Lisa and Ruth in their seats - probably the weather kept them home too. Music was good. Thanks choir! The Atz family did the Lighting of the Advent Candles. Heath, Graham and Hallie lit the candles (with a little help from mom).I got a kick out of them - they were so excited to be a part of our service. Now we’re ready for The Children’s Sermon. Barb Copus didn’t miss a beat. She and Phil were ushering, so she just came down, called the children down and did an improv message for the kids. Thanks Barb - job well done! Don’t we have a wonderful ―church family?‖ Just like home when someone can’t fulfill a commitment, another family member takes over! I just love our church family. As I looked around (before worship started, of course) I noticed a lot of empty pews and I pretty much know where people sit, so I missed all of you. 9

It’s like having a family dinner, and a few chairs are empty around the table. You feel that emptiness, because we’re family. Then Kevin had Pastor’s image up on the big screen - larger than life. Pastor said Kevin told him it was so members could see the facial twitches and tics of a speaker. I didn’t see any. I think Pastor is pretty confident. Well, there you have it! Happy New Year! See you in church! Peace and Love Marilyn Ruthe, Coordinator-Laycare Ministry

FELLOWSHIP MINISTRY LUNCH AND A MOVIE Sunday January 30th at 11:45 am. Following Sunday School hour, there will be a soup, salad, and sandwich luncheon provided by Fellowship Ministry followed by a movie in the theater room. Please sign up on the bulletin board so we know how many to plan for. A freewill donation will be accepted.

MISSIONS MINISTRY RED CAN SUNDAY Please bring your donations of can goods, cereal, pasta, food items as well as the much needed personal items to church each month. We will also be receiving monetary donations on January 2nd for the FACC emergency fund. $267 was collected in December.


S T EWARDSHIP M I NIST RY ~ Ken W illia ms One of the most familiar of all Bible passages is 1 Corinthians 13, which is known by many as the ―Love Chapter.‖ Many people — Christians and non-Christians alike — have committed part or all of these thirteen wonderful verses to memory. But most people probably do not realize that one of the greatest truths concerning giving is taught in this passage. The Apostle Paul, writing under the direct and divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, ―If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.‖ In other words, according to this verse, our giving is to be motivated by love. If it is not, then it has absolutely no value to us. The question here is not how much we give, or how frequently we give, or the manner in which we give, but why we give. And it is based on the principle taught so clearly in Romans 5:8, ―But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners, Christ died for us.‖ When we were nothing but sinners, Christ died for us. When we had nothing but the refuse of sin in our lives, Christ died for us. When we were ―strangers‖ to God’s promises, Christ died for us. Long before we could ever love Him, He provided convincing evidence of His love for us by dying for us on Calvary. And that’s why ―We love because he first loved us‖ (1 John 4:19). One of the ways in which we demonstrate our love for God is through giving. If we give out of a sense of obligation or because ―the church needs the money‖ or because we feel we have to give, we miss the point of 1 Corinthians 13:3. We also miss the blessing that comes from giving out of a heart motivated by our love for the Lord. When we give because of that motivation, our giving provides a tangible expression of our love for Him as we give in response to His love and grace. As the offering plate passes by you next Sunday at church, you might want to pray this prayer of thanksgiving and commitment: ―Lord, thank you for loving me before I could love you. Thank you for demonstrating your love by dying on Calvary for me. And 11

thank you for the privilege of giving to you today as I worship you through this expression of my love for you.‖ As you consider not only next Sunday’s offering, but equally important, your on-going financial support of the ministry at St. John United Church of Christ, what is your response to God’s love for you?

ONGOING ACT IVIT IES PRAYER SERVICE Rev. Carol Ahrens will be hosting the monthly prayer service on January12th at 5:30 PM in Chapel Hearth.

LOF Learning our Faith Sunday School class meets in Chapel Hearth every Sunday after worship. They are stating a new book: Journey Through the Bible, Colossians thru Jude.

BIBLE STUDY We meet at 9 a.m. every Wednesday in the Library. We are studying the book, ―Grace in a Tree Stump‖ by J. Ellsworth Kalas, come and join us.

CARD CLUB Card Club will not meet until March.

PING PONG We meet every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. (the second week of the month on Tuesday) in the Game Room (North Wing). We would love to have more men & women join in on the fun! 12

RESOURCE GROUP Join us on Thursdays at 9 a.m. for coffee, treats, friendship, & to do volunteer work! We assemble the Tidings on the last Thursday of the month.

TAU ALPHA We will not be meeting in January or February

STITCH, SEW & QUILT We will meet Fri. Jan. 14th at 1:30 in the Sun. School Wing’s Temple Room.

JOIN US AT OUR ST. JOHN UCC MEN’S GROUP We will not be meeting in January or February Come join us in March! We’re not ―holier than thou,‖ nor is all the talk just ―God-talk.‖ It’s a wonderful blend of maleness, conversation, laughter, the spiritual and the unspiritual. Please stay tuned for the next meeting date.

MEALS ON WHEELS January 3-7th If you would like to help with Meals on Wheels please contact Sherrill Spaide or the church office. 13

SERVING Being a servant of the church is a great way to get to know fellow members. If you’re interested in serving please call the church office or fill out a pew card.

COFFEE HOUR Coffee Hour is a time for fellowship. You may not get a reminder call when it’s your turn to bring a treat, but please, if your name is on the list for this month, bring in about 3 dozen cookies, bars, mini muffins etc. or please consider bringing fruit to share. Everyone enjoys the treats and the social time together. JANUARY COFFEE HOUR– individuals will be asked to host! 01/02 - Dorothy Ness, Bradley & Jody Nieman, Paula Nieman, Tim & Angela Newkirk, Larae Olson, Ruth Olson, Edward & Connie Orde, Lee & Nancy Otte. 01/09 Ferne Ottenhausen, Diane & Dwight Peterson, Janet & Royce Piefer, Donna Polhill, Gary Polhill, Cindy & Ulan Price, Kellly & Dale Priewe, Betty Pruitt , Rodney Pruitt 01/16 Kristin & Trent Rademaker, Paula & John Rawleigh, Marilyn Rawleigh, Debra & John Rice, Shaun Rice, Floyd & Marsha Roberts, Doris Roberts 01/23 Carol & Nelson Robieson, Joyce & Wes Robinson, Ruth Rockey, Karen Roemer, Edith Rosenstiel, Amanda Rubin, Cherie Rucker


01/30 Marilyn Ruthe, Vivian & Floyd Schlickman, Patricia & Gerald Schneiderman, Lisa & Steve Schubert, Deb Scott, Sybill Scovill, Olivia Shaffer FEBRUARY COFFEE HOUR—Tau Alpha will host 02/06 Sharon & Jerry Simler, Michael Simler, Karen & Mike Smith, Carol & Stan Smith, Sherrill & Jim Spaide, Vickie and Steve Spyrison, Jackie Stewart, Amy & Dan Stowe

GREETERS January 2 – Dorothy Ness & Larae Olson January 9 – Ulan & Cindy Price January 16 – Priewe Family January 23 – Shirley Ifert & Maida Gimple January 30 – Royce & Janet Piefer

WELCOMERS January 2 – Wes & Joyce Robinson January 9 – Claire Biesemeier & Rosie Cosgrove January 16 – Keith & Cherryl Hinrichs January 23 – Trent & Kristen Rademaker January 30 – Dana Brill & Mary Frazee


NURSERY January 2 – Anita & Rachel Bicksler January 9 - Denny & Carla Meyer January 16 – Clyde & Jeanne Cross January 23 – Ebbers Family January 30 – Tom & Melinda Ferguson USHERS 1/02 Tim, Colin & Kristi Ebbers, Dennis Manus, Jim Drew, Jerald Watson 1/09 John & Paula Rawleigh, Phil & Barb Copus, Mike Smith, James & Tom Priewe 1/16 Ray & Jeri Neiman, Tom & Melinda Ferguson, Wes & Joyce Robinson, Dana Brill 1/23 Lee & Nancy Otte,, Keith & Kathy Moffatt, Jane Krug, Jeanne Koch 1/30 Doris Last, Ben Lee, Sharon Simler, Diane Heilman, DRIVERS January 2 – Lucille Lee


January 9 – Don Valkema


January 16 – Jack Criddle


January 23 – Mike Smith


January 30 – Lucille Lee


If you are in need of a ride to church please contact the person designated for driving. If you are a regular pick up and not planning to ride, please call the driver to let them know! 16

LAST MONTH WORSHIP ATTENDANCE 11/28/10 — 165 12/05/10 — 164 12/12/10 — 82

P LEASE I NCLUD E I N YOUR P R AYERS DEATHS: Our sympathy goes to all of the family and friends of Leona Bilotto (Sandy Dutcher’s Mother) who passed away on November 30, 2010, Rachael Rutter who passed on October 30th, 2010, and Allen Hazzard who passed on December 2nd 2010.

Thank you to Glen and Betty Mogle, the parents of Stephen H. Mogle, who made a donation in his memory. -Scholarship Committee ************************************************************************* Thank you St. John members and friends for donating items to be sent to the troops in Afghanistan. We were able to package and ship 25 boxes with all of the donations we received. This was a great service project to recognize citizenship, the core value scouts learned about this month. Sincerely Tim Watson - Cub Scout Master ************************************************************************* 17

A special Thank you to everyone for the generous donations of stocking hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves for the Christmas Mitten Tree—Mitten Tree Committee, Gina and Doris ************************************************************************* Thank you to everyone who came to help decorate the church for this advent season. It was wonderful to see so many people and families. ************************************************************************* Thank you to all of the kids and choir members and leaders that made the Christmas Program Worship so meaningful. ************************************************************************* Thank you to everyone who donated pasta for the FACC baskets and took a name of a person for a gift. They are have been delivered in time for Christmas and will surely make someone’s holiday that much more special.


January Scripture Readings 01

Romans 1:1-17




Romans 5:1-21




Romans 6:1-23




Romans 10:5-17




Matthew 1:1-25




Matthew 2:1-15


Acts 8:4-25


Matthew 2:16-23




Matthew 3:1-17


Acts 8:26-40


Matthew 4:12-25


Acts 9:1-25


Matthew 8:1-17


Acts 9:26-43


Matthew 8:18-34


Acts 26:1-18


Matthew 9:1-17


Acts 26:19-27:12


Matthew 9:18-38


Acts 27:13-38


Matthew 10:1-25


Acts 27:39-28:10


Matthew 10:26-42


Acts 28:11-31


Matthew 11:1-19 19

ST . JOHN UCC COUNCIL MINUT ES P R E S I D E NT Perry Cowan V I C E P R E S I DE NT Daryl Tessmann S E C R E T AR Y Patty Weik T R E AS UR E R Ulan Price C HR I S T I A N E D . Lisa Ebbers CHURC HGR OWT H & M E M BE R S H I P John Hendren F E L L OW S HI P Carla Meyer MISSIONS Bill Condie PROPERTY M A N AG E M E NT Daryl Tessmann Bruce Dykstra S T AF F R E L AT I O N S Jeanne Cross S T E W AR D S HI P Ulan Price W OR S HI P Patty Weik Mary Arnold

December 13, 2010 Members Present: Perry Cowan, Bill Condie, Carla Meyer, Jeanne Cross, Patty Weik, John Hendren, Daryl Tessmann, Mary Arnold, Bruce Dykstra, Ulan Price, Lisa Ebbers, Ben Lee and Pastor Dutcher. President Perry Cowan called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. Pastor Dutcher opened the meeting with prayer. Minutes: Minutes of the November Council meeting were approved as presented. Financial Reports: The financial reports were reviewed. Bill Condie moved and Ulan Price seconded a motion to approve the reports as presented. Motion carried. Policy for the use of the funds received from the Janshen Estate were reviewed. The St John UCC Endowment Board asked that clarification be added to the previously suggested policy.

Suggestions from the staff for clarification of the employee handbook were discussed. Concerns were the vacation policy, sick leave policy, holidays, when is compensation due if the staff person is assisting with a ministry, mileage reimbursement, and job evaluation forms. Vacation policy, when pay is due for assisting a ministry and job evaluation forms were referred back to Staff Relations Ministry. It was determined that sick days can not be carried forward into the next year. When holidays fall on the weekend, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday. 20

Insurance for Kevin Eckert was suggested at the Congregational Meeting in November. There was discussion about the cost. It was determined that communication with Kevin was needed before any decisions were made. Marsha Roberts will be hired as a part time organist to assist Carole Bertram. Ruth Kuntz has been the church bookkeeper for many years. She suggested that a backup for her position be considered. Ulan Price moved and Daryl Tessmann seconded a motion that Pam Wessel and Kirsten Eckert be trained as backups for Ruth. Motion carried. A discussion of Chapter 7 of the book ―If The Church Were Christian‖ was led Pastor Dutcher. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm with the Mizpah Benediction.

Carla Meyer Acting Secretary


FINANCIAL STATEMENT Beginning Balance January 1, 2010 11/01 General Fund Beginning Balance 11/01 GF Income 11/08 GF Income 11/15 GF Income 11/19 11/19 11/19

Less GF Payroll & Compensation GF Other Checks GF Current Bills Outstanding

$28,364.92 $28,411.06 $5,059.53 $6,221.20 $7,135.40 $10,672.22 $6,012.69 $1,971.10

11/19 Ending Balance $28,171.18 _________________________________________________ Beginning Balance January 1, 2010 $29,559.65 11/01 11/01 11/08 11/15

Building Fund Beginning Balance $19,060.41 BD Income $62.00 BD Income $471.00 BD Income $379.00

11/19 11/19 11/19

Less BD Checks BD Current Bills Outstanding Ending Balance


$3,591.24 $0.00 $16,381.17

RECIPE FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR Take twelve whole months. Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate, and jealousy. Make them just as fresh and clean as possible. Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or thirty-one different parts, but don’t make up the whole batch at once. Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients. Mix well into each day one part of faith, one part of patience, one part of courage, and one part of work. Add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity, and kindness. Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation, and one good deed. Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play, and a cupful of good humor. Pour all of this into a vessel of love. Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile, and serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness. You’re bound to have a happy new year. ~ Author Unknown ~ 23


January Tidings 2011  
January Tidings 2011