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The TIDINGS J u ly 2012

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



J ULY 2012


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

Church (815) 235-2824


Website: The deadline for submitting articles in the monthly Tidings is July 17th by noon. 2

AS THE SPIRIT MOVES ME….. I began this article two days after the news article appeared in the Journal Standard about our church members voting to be an “Open and Affirming” congregation. I’ve modified it since those first days after the article’s publication. Our perspective and voice often changes with the passage of time, as the heightened energy of the moment subsides. Part I I am very aware of and sensitive to the fact that 23% of the people in attendance at the congregational meeting voted against this action. Some of you may feel anger, discomfort or even estrangement from the church because of this decision and direction of the congregation. Some of you may even be questioning whether you still want St. John to be your church. Personally, I want you to be an active, vital, involved member of St. John. Every person who is a part of St. John, member or friend, is important to me and the church, though I know I/we do not always show it as well as we could. Still, I am willing and eager to talk with you, or any member or friend of the church, who feels any level of anger, discomfort or estrangement with the church, or me. I am reaching out to you. Please call or speak with me! Part II In the larger public regard, the outward negative public reaction has been, essentially, non-existent. In fact, I received more “positive” comments from church members and the public (probably about 25) through in-person conversation, email, or Facebook “likes” than “negative” comments (2). We’ve had two members remove their membership, though they gave six other reasons, as well, including matters relating to Sunday School and the music ministry of the church. We’ve also 3

had two people specifically express interest in becoming a member of the church; one who never previously attended St. John Church, to my recollection. The first public response surprised me, in particular. Sunday evening of the article’s publication I received a phone call from a woman in her mid-80’s. (She is not a member of the church.) She asked me why I married my wife and why I didn’t marry a man, because, obviously, I “go both ways,” as she said. After a few brief moments of conversation, I offered to sit and have a cup of coffee with her at a restaurant to talk. She said, “I wouldn’t want to be seen in public with you!” A few moments later she said, “You’re going to hell!,” and hung up. Tuesday morning after the article’s publication, I received a letter at church saying that “some ‘spirit’ other than the Holy Spirit has been misleading and deceiving you concerning the understanding of the whole Bible’s context…” I imagine the other ‘spirit’ is a reference to an evil spirit, since the word is in quotes; but the person did not clarify that. I wrote him a letter in which I said, “I appreciate your spirit of faithfulness to your understanding of Jesus Christ. I am also very appreciative that you wrote your words without being meanspirited or hateful.” After a few more sentences, I said, “I am very confident, through many months of prayer and study, that the Holy Spirit of God, the very Breath of God, has been and is moving in the midst of this congregation of God’s people in Jesus Christ, as we live out our faithfulness to Him.” I also invited him to sit down for a cup of coffee, if he wants. I have not heard from him, yet. I wonder, “If I, a very heterosexual individual, have received these kinds of communications, what must it be like for those people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?” .. If other “Christians” have given me such treatment because St. John UCC voted to “invite all to join and fully participate in the life and ministry of this church,” including persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, then I imagine the kind of treatment they have received when they have “come out” in churches not as “open and affirming,” has been even more harsh. 4

For me, this is all the more reason why what St. John UCC chose to do, by the movement of the Holy Spirit and faith, was important and necessary, in spite of what others might say. I am grateful that we live in a nation that from its origin has valued the freedom of religious thought, diversity and expression; and that we are a church that values the same. I am so very proud of the spirit and faith of this congregation of God’s people in Jesus Christ - St. John UCC, Freeport. Thank you, and God bless you! God bless St. John UCC of Freeport, IL!!!

HOLY COMMUNION CLASS Pastor Dutcher is offering an informational Holy Communion class geared for children who want to know more about the meanings of Holy Communion. Also, parents often want their children to better understand its meaning before they take their “first communion.” This will be a time in which the children will have their questions answered. He will also explain its meanings and why we serve it. St. John has an “Open Holy Communion Table.” This means that anyone and everyone is invited and welcome to take part in Holy Communion. There are no membership or age requirements. The class will be held following worship on Sunday, July 22nd. There will be an impromptu coffee hour for the parents of these children in Fellowship Hall.


KEVIN’S KORNER… This month has been productive. As we move forward with plans for children’s worship and a dedicated worship space for the children, I’ve made some great progress. The pews have been scrubbed primed and have two coats of paint on them. I’m hoping to get the rest of the paint on and several coats of polyurethane on by the end of July. I’m also hoping to have most of the upholstery and reassembly done as well. I used post -it notes to make a “stained glass” mural on the window to mimic our sanctuary. There is still a bunch of work to be done in that space. I’m looking for wall painters to help me prime and paint the space. I’d also love to brainstorm some wall art ideas. If anyone has any ideas for making large art pieces for kids (colorful) on the cheap, I’d love to talk with you. Another project in that space is the platform and altar. I intend to use the three platforms already in the space and recover them with some “newer” carpet. If you are willing to prime and paint please let me know. It’s a big room and we could use your help making this children’s worship space new, vibrant, and fresh. The Helix Summer program is meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5pm and is open to students entering 5th grade thru those just graduating eighth. We have had about 25 students coming each day for our survivor themed program. The kids are having a great time. Many of the kids are walking from home just to be part of our programming. I wasn’t sure how successful our program would be during the summer, but I’m happy to report that it is a hit with the youth. VBS is in the final weeks of preparation. Online registration is open now and is available for volunteers and children. http:// , please consider supporting this Bible School program. We need your help. I’m very excited about the changes we are working on behind the scenes for this fall. Along with all these behind the scenes prep 6

work I’m in the process of training several new Audio/Visual techs for Sunday Worship. If you are interested in helping with this ministry please join us on July 8th after worship. Consumed by the Call Kevin T. Eckert Director of Children and Youth/ Director of Technologies

OPERATION OVERBOARD July 15th - 19th, 6-8pm First UMC on Lily Creek Rd., is hosting this year and St. John is co-directing. Please register online if you are able. If you need a paper copy of the registration form contact the church office at 815-235-2824 7

LAYCARE MINISTRY “Then Jesus said “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows - he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps - harvest time!” Mark 4: 26-29 Yes, the garden is planted! Thank you Marv DeBoer for tilling the garden and thank you Sandy DeBoer for helping me plant the garden. The more I “garden”, I realize how little I know about gardening. I plant the seeds the same way I did before. Sometimes the seeds grow and sometimes the seeds do not grow. Why is that? I would like to be able to see what’s going on under the rows and hills that we planted. Are the seeds just laying there or did they get washed away. Or, am I impatient? I think a good gardener is probably a very patient person. I am a determined person. I will work and work until, somehow, I get it all growing out there. After all, I am “in charge” of that garden. HA!! I know it’s a project between us who planted it and God. Some might say I am ‘romancing’ the earth, cultivating, planting and coaxing. I really find it therapeutic - being out there, sharing this project with God and knowing, somehow, those tiny seeds will grow into beautiful carrots. It really is a miracle, don’t you agree? There is a stone with these words painted on it “My garden was at its best last week. Sorry you missed it.” I’m going to see if I can find that stone again. Our lives are like gardens, we too, require a lot of ongoing care. Take good care of yourself! Peace and Love, Marilyn Ruthe, Coordinator Laycare Ministry 8

“SUMMER EVENTS 2012” FUND DRIVE At its May 2012 meeting, the Church Council discussed the importance of and its commitment to supporting participation by members in two upcoming events - the UCC National Youth Event and the UCC Coalition National Gathering. Also, the return of Rick and Laura Hall for our end of summer-beginning of fall celebration. We have 4 members who will be attending the UCC National Youth Event: Colin and Kristi Ebbers, and Tommy Priewe, as youth, and Lisa Ebbers as adult chaperone. The cost is $1700. We have 5 members/friends and 4 staff who will have attended the UCC Coalition National Gathering on June 26-27 in Elmhurst: Jim Burcham, Betty Carpenter, Donnley Dutcher, Kevin & Kirsten Eckert, Shelly Griswold, Deb Scott, Pam Wessel and J.C. Wilson. The cost for 3 of these 9, plus mileage is $650. (The cost for 6 was paid from church budget funds.) Rick and Laura Hall will be here on Saturday-Sunday, September 8-9. The projected cost is $1500. We will benefit from the energy, excitement and learning of from these events. As of the writing of this article we have received $500. We give thanks for what has been given and look forward to reaching our goal of $3,850. Your gift now will help you feel the joy of having been a part of a great experience for three of our youth, learning and growth for them and others, and for bringing an exciting, fun event to St. John and our community. Please give the gift you are able to give. (Please note your gift with “Summer Events 2012.”)


NEW MEMBERS On Sunday, July 8, following the worship service, Pastor Donnley will hold an initial meeting for anyone wanting to know more about becoming a member of St. John Church. Please contact the church office (815-235-2824 or to let them know you are planning on attending. Invite your friends to come!

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS St. John UCC has money available for college scholarships through the Kampmeier Endowment Fund, memorials and gifts designated for college scholarships. Persons who are active members, as defined by the church constitution, are invited to apply for an award. While we cannot specify the exact amount of the awards until all applications are received, applicants should anticipate some assistance with books and supplies, rather than a substantial grant. Persons wishing to apply should pick up an application in the church office. Once completed, they should be returned to the church office in an envelope marked “College Scholarship�. You will also need to submit an acceptance letter or fall schedule from your school, plus a written paragraph or two, stating your intended course of study and what your career plans are once you have graduated from college. The deadline for application is July 20th.

COMPUTER CLASS Do you have questions about your computer? How to use the internet? How to use some of the software that is on it? We are starting a basic computer class here at St. John. The first meeting will be Tuesday, July 10th at 10 am. This will be a beginner class, all are welcome. 10

MISSONS MINISTRY RED CAN SUNDAY We will be receiving monetary donations on July 1st for the FACC emergency fund. $271 was collected in June.

FOOD FOR FACC They have restructured the donation requests for FACC food pantry and in order to make things more streamlined they have given each church an assigned food item for each month. In July our food item to collect is 250 cans of tuna. In case you are looking for sales to stock up August’s food item will be cans of Spaghetti O’s.

UNDERWARE DRIVE There is a great need for new underwear for underprivileged families in our community. We want to reach out to these families and let them know that St. John UCC cares for them and their children. We will be sponsoring an undergarment drive that will run during the month of July. We will be working with Amity, whom will distribute the items on a need basis. Let’s help the children start school with new underwear this year. You can bring your packages of children’s underwear, sizes 2 Toddler through size 16 to church and place them in the laundry baskets in the narthex. Thank you for helping the children in our community.


STEWARDSHIP REMEMBER YOUR GIVING Church budgets and income seem to always be more flexible and fluid than our own personal budgets and income. Most of us live on, essentially, fixed incomes, because we are either in jobs, living on disability income, or in retirement years in which we have little determination on what our employer, government, or pension pays. Most of us have a pretty accurate idea what our income for the year will be, though all of us have unexpected expenses that arise throughout the year. Sometimes, those unexpected expenses really throw our budget out of line. Church budgets seem to be even more fluid than our personal budget, mainly, because we have over 80 line items in our monthly budget. Most of them have expenses every month. Our church income is also more fluid, because people see their giving as “gifts” rather than the repayment of a loan. Besides, we don’t pull people’s membership because they aren’t able to give as much as expected, like the bank taking your car or home if you fail to pay your loan. We also have giving that ends due to deaths. (We’ve had 10 members die since last November’s Totenfest.) We have currently spent $16,000+ less in our church budget expenses than were projected through May. However, our congregational giving is $9,400+ down from what we projected. Please be mindful of this as you continue your giving to St. John, so we stay in a strong financially healthy position. Thank You.


FELLOWSHIP MINISTRY UPCOMEING EVENTS SAVE THE DATE: August 8th - Ice Cream Social August 12th - Little Cubs Field

O N G O I N G WAY S T O PA R T I C I PAT E I N THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH C . A . T. s Caregivers And Toddlers Please join us for our play group geared for toddlers and the adults that care for them. We get together in St. John’s nursery Tuesday mornings 10-11am, Bring your friends, all are welcome.

GOLF OUTINGS Set Sunday July 8th aside for some fun for St. John golfers! Hoping for favorable weather...our first tee time at Park Hills Golf course is 3pm. There is a sign up sheet in the Narthex. Plan to eat after we work up an appetite. Call Mavis Clark or Sarah Knapp if you have any questions.


We meet at 9 a.m. every Wednesday in the Library. Please join us.

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!

RESOURCE GROUP Join us on Thursdays at 9 a.m. for coffee, treats, friendship, & to do volunteer work! We assemble the Tidings on July 26th.

MEN’S GROUP We’re having a great time! Come join us! 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. Our next gathering is Saturday, July 7th at 8 a.m. in the Temple Sunday School room. We meet until about 9:30 a.m. Come check us out!

HELIX MIDDLE SCHOOL (grades 5-8th) Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-5 pm all summer There will be a Survivor theme to all of the planned activities! HIGH SCHOOL (grades 9-12th) Watch for a new schedule and times this fall! 14

This is an ongoing Faith Based Weight loss program that meets Monday evenings from 56 or Wednesday evenings from 6-7pm. Please contact Kevin Eckert 815-218-0286 for more information.

WORKOUT NIGHTS Monday at 6pm will be a DVD workout open to everyone Free! Zumba with Jacqui Davenport on Wed 5-6pm and Zumba Toning on Friday evenings from 5-6pm . First Class is $5 Drop in rate after that is $7 or buy a 10 class punch card for $50.

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. All of the members of St. John (unless requested otherwise) are alphabetically listed to bring a treat to share. 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. There is only Coffee Hour the first Sunday of the Month during the months of June, July, and August 15

JULY - Resource 7/1 - Donna & Zael Klapp, Sarah and Hugh Knapp, Jeanne Koch, Dan & Marla Kreeger, Jill Kuntz, Larry & Lana Kuntz, Bill & Ruth Kuntz AUGUST 8/5 - Nancy Lassiter, Doris Last, Ben & Lucille Lee, Jane Lehman, Lannie & Scott Lehman, Robert & Barb Luedeke, Shan & Vicki MacAdam GREETERS July 1 – Marilyn Rawleigh & Carol Ahrens July 8 – Claire Biesemeier & Dana Brill July 15 – Rosie Cosgrove & Marg Criddle July 22 – Clyde & Jeanne Cross July 29- Sandy Dutcher & Mavis Clark WELCOMERS July 1 – Arnold & Mary Eder July 8 – Russ & Bonnie Gennusa July 15 – Audrey Gianquinto & Eunice HIldebrandt July 22 – Betty & John Heiden July 29- Jeri & Ray Nieman NURSERY July 1 – Amy Doll, Mark Swanson, Cherryl Hinrichs July 8 – Tom & Melinda Ferguson July 15 – Jill & Logan Kuntz July 22 – Newkirks, Jeanne Cross July 29 – Bonnie & Russ Gennusa


USHERS 7/01 Tim, Colin & Kristi Ebbers, Dennis Manus, Jim Drew 7/08 John & Paula Rawleigh, Phil & Barb Copus, Mike Smith, James & Tom Priewe 7/15 Ray & Jeri Nieman, Tom & Melinda Ferguson, Wes & Joyce Robinson, Dana Brill 7/22 Lee & Nancy Otte, Keith & Kathy Moffatt, Jeanne Koch, 7/29 Doris Last, Sharon Simler, Ben Lee, Diane Heilman DRIVERS W e have several drivers available, if you are in need of a ride please contact the office before noon on Friday, 815 235-2824 and talk to Pam WORSHIP ATTENDANCE 5/27








SHUT-INS: The following is a list of people that either can’t get out and may love a visit or a card from those thinking of them. Dorothy Miller and Laura Uthlaut at Parkview Nettie Hendren, Jim Fry and Nada Scheisser at Liberty Village Bob Heilman at Lena Living Center June Nagel, Joyce Kaiser and Holly Genant at Stephenson Nursing Center Katherene Benson at Provena In their homes are, Karen Salter, Vivian Pals, Phyllis Cohen, Esther Dickman, and Maida Gimple, Shirley Durrstein 17




PRAYER CHAIN: Rick Newkirk, Ray & Donna Kerr, Gary Dickers HOSPITALIZED: Joyce Bloyer, Lucille Lee DEATHS: Our prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Jeannine Bennehoff who passes away on May 30th, and also Ed Rafferty who passed on June 10th, and Frances Heck who passes on June 15th.

To all my church family and friends thanks again for your kindness and caring. For your concern and continued prayers, for your cards and messages. Your encouragement brings peace, hope and strength to my heart. May God bless each and everyone of you. Phyllis Cohen ************************************************************************* To all of the ladies and gentleman, along with Sandy Dutcher, Jackie Steart, Patty Weik, Ruth Olson, Donna Klapp & Vicki MacAdam. We are very grateful for all you did, setting up, providing food, serving and cleaning up, following our mom’s funeral. Everything was very good and very nice. - With appreciation, daughters of Jeannine Bennehoff ************************************************************************* Your recent gift of $400 has arrived, and I am so grateful you’ve chosen to support The Salvation Army’s life-changing work. With Gratitude– Dennis M. Hale ************************************************************************* Please accept our sincerest thanks for the gift of $250 you have given in support of our ministries here at Back Bay Mission. – Rev. Shari Prestemon 18

PRESIDENT Bill Condie VICE PRESIDENT Joyce Robinson S E C R E T AR Y Deb Hartman T R E AS U R E R Ulan Price C H R I S T I AN E D . Lisa Ebbers CHURCHGROWTH Maril yn Ruthe FELLOWSHIP Ben Lee Jane Krug MISSIONS Dennis Manus PROPERTY M AN AG E M E N T Keith Hinrichs S T AF F R E L AT I O N S Joyce Robinson S TE W AR D S H I P Ulan Price WORSHIP Mary Arnold BOLD Deb Hartman

St. John UCC Council Minutes 6-18-12 Members Present: Bill Condie, President, Mary Arnold, Lisa Ebbers, Deb Hartman, Keith Hinrichs, Jane Krug, Shan MacAdam, Dennis Manus, Joyce Robinson, Marilyn Ruthe, Pastor Donnley, ex-offcio. Opening Prayer: Pastor Donnley May Minutes: Previously confirmed via email. Treasurer’s Report: Marilyn made the motion to accept the report as presented, 2nd by Mary. Discussion. Motion carried.

Health Insurance Issue: Kevin Eckert, St. John Youth Director, and his wife Kirsten were very recently informed that they would be losing their state health insurance. Council discussed how best to provide coverage for them in terms of the impact of adding this to a benefits package. Options for covering the costs were discussed. Keith made the motion to enroll Kevin in the Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) for the year 20122013 beginning 7-1-12 with the insurance coverage to be reevaluated at the 2014 budget process as to cost and need. Jane 2nd. Discussion followed Motion carried. Since the children are currently insured through the state program, the Council discussed how best to provided Kirsten with coverage. It is the Council’s intention to cover her but to try to control costs while providing adequate coverage. This will be researched and evaluated for cost and any potential legal issues pertaining to staff benefits. Options will be sent to Council 19

members via email for approval. Joint Meeting with Property Management and Worship Ministries: In the process of planning some changes in the sanctuary, Property Management Ministry and Worship Ministry are working together and it was decided that it would be beneficial to have an overall plan for improvements so that the changes would compliment each other and work well as a whole. As a result, we have a professional plan from the architectural firm of Gelhausen & Assoc. There are several areas that need attention including the outside east entrance area (concrete and paving in need of repair, etc.), the narthex (in need of updating and remodeling) and the sanctuary (which also needs some reconfiguring and remodeling/updates). It was decided to form a small group of two representatives, each, from Council, Property Ministry, Worship Ministry, B.O.L.D. and “at large� to organize the projects according to priority, timing (in terms of church year), cost and impact, into phases. They will then be responsible for making their recommendations, developing a timeline and informing the congregation of these improvements by means of visual presentations. Capital fund drives will be necessary at each phase and if we hope to accomplish any of these projects yet this year, it will need to begin as soon as possible. A congregational meeting will be scheduled in August. The core committee is: Council rep:

Joyce Robinson

Property Management:

Phil Copus


Barb Copus


Marilyn Ruthe


Pastor Donnley

Justin Mapes Ordination Process: Justin Mapes is in the final stages of his ordination process and, as part of this, is required to have a psychological evaluation. The cost is $1800 and is 20

typically paid for by the “home” church. In this case, it was proposed that the cost be split 3 ways with each paying $600. St. John, Prairie Association, and Open Prairie (in Princeton) splitting 50/50 with Justin (each paying $300). (Justin has been participating in both St. John and Open Prairie Church). Keith made the motion to support Justin in the $600 toward the evaluation for his ordination process. Mary 2nd. Discussion followed. Motion carried. Worship Service Time Change: The voting process that occurred at the last congregational meeting was discussed. There is some concern that there was confusion on what exactly the time change would “look” like, ballot votes were found in pews following the meeting (with votes on them), and the length and large content of the meeting may have left some members unclear as to how the change would impact the Sunday morning schedule. It was decided that to clarify the changes it was necessary to have a written schedule—how it would look. The B.O.L.D. team will put this together in time for presentation at the August congregational meeting. 2013 Budget Process: Ministries will be notified that their proposed 2013 budgets need to be prepared for Council review by the next Council meeting (8-13-12). Insurance Board Report: Per the last Council meeting, Mark Swanson reported on the insurance audit. His estimate was that it might be a little higher, but worst case scenarios by cutting cost could end up being much more costly. We will wait for the actual quote before taking any action. Adjournment: Adjourned with the Mizpah Benediction. Next Meeting August 13, 2012 Respectfully submitted, Deb Hartman Council Secretary 21

FINANCIAL STATEMENT Beginning Balance January 1, 2012


6/01 General Fund Beginning Balance 6/04 GF Income 6/11 GF Income 6/18 GF Income

$19,742.34 $4,965.41 $3,254.00 $5,381.95

Less 6/20 6/20 6/20

GF Payroll & Compensation GF Other Checks GF Current Bills Outstanding

$12,136.26 $7,268.08 $870.35 -————

6/20 Ending Balance $13,069.01 ____________________________________________ ____________________________________________ Beginning Balance January 1, 2012


6/01 Building Fund Beginning Balance 6/04 BD Income 6/11 BD Income 6/18 BD Income 06/04 Tnsfr from reserve

$1,858.38 $247.00 $377.00 $254.00 $4,034.16

Less 6/20

BD Checks

$4,272.50 _________

6/20 Ending Balance

$2,498.04 22

July Scripture Readings 01

Genesis 1:1-2:4a


Genesis 25:1-34


Genesis 2:4b-25


Genesis 27:1-29


Genesis 3:1-24


Genesis 27:30-45


Genesis 6:1-22


Genesis 27:46-28:22


Genesis 7:1-24


Genesis 32:1-32


Genesis 8:1-22


Genesis 33:1-20


Genesis 9:1-17


Genesis 35:1-21


Genesis 12:1-20


Genesis 37:1-36


Genesis 13:1-18


Genesis 39:1-23


Genesis 14:1-24


Genesis 40:1-23


Genesis 15:1-21


Genesis 41:1-36


Genesis 16:1-16


Genesis 41:37-57


Genesis 17:1-27


Genesis 42:1-38


Genesis 18:1-33


Genesis 43:1-34


Genesis 21:1-21


Genesis 44:1-34


Genesis 22:1-19 23

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Tidings July 2012  
Tidings July 2012  

Church Newsletter