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



M AY 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 May 22nd by noon. 2

AS THE SPIRIT MOVES ME‌.. Easter morning, some of you heard me speak of the power and memory of places which evoke strong memories and emotions in us. Places in our personal past where significant, life-shaping events occurred, or places we visit, like the waters of Pearl Harbor, the beaches of Normandy, or the memorial of the World Trade Center. I also spoke of anniversary dates and times, such as the birth days of our children and grandchildren, wedding anniversaries, or the day of a significant death. For me, another most significant dynamic of my life is the number of times I moved in my childhood and youth, and the length of years I lived in any one place, until I was 47 years old. Similar to many military families and some clergy families, though different. I often mark or measure my life by having lived in 6 states by the time I graduated from high school, or in 10 houses in 7 cities by the time I got married, or no longer than 6-1/3 years in any city before I was 47. On June 5th, I will have lived in Freeport 13 yrs., 8 months, twice as long as anyplace in my first 47 years of life; yet, nothing compared to many of you. I know I have spoken of this before, because it is a narrative of my life; but as defining as that story is in my life, it is secondary to my having been married 41 years on June 12 th, and third to my active years in the church - at least 55 yrs. When I stop to think to about it, the number of times I have moved in my life and the number of places I have lived have not had near the impact on my life that my marriage and faith have had, even as significant as those moves and places were. Without any intention of disrespecting Sandy and our marriage, my faith in 3

God through Jesus Christ has been a more significant factor in defining who I am; at least, in the length of years. I mention this, not to present myself as holier-than-thou, because I am not. It is, rather, for the purpose of challenging you to consider the ways in which you mark, measure, and define yourself and your life. How much does your life and faith in Jesus Christ mark and define who you are? ‌ Is it the primary determinant of who you are and who you have become, or is it second, third, or further back in relation to the other ways you mark, measure and define yourself? .. How are you defined by others? Would they say you are marked and defined most by where you work, or what you used to do, or the school from which you graduated, or the house in which you live, the sports team you support, or the political affiliation for which you are more well-known? Would others say of you and me that we are equally or more defined by our lives and faith in Jesus Christ than anything else? .. Or are you and I just assuming that this goes without saying. It may not.

SPIRITUAL RETREAT We have reserved rooms at Sinsinawa Mound Center for Friday evening, May 20th through Saturday afternoon, May 21st , 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. There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the narthex.


ANSWERING EASTER EGG $$ QUESTIONS The money that was hidden in the Easter eggs on Easter morning came from the “Seeds of Love” Fund in our Mission Fund, with the full support and enthusiasm of our Mission Ministry. It was they who came in on Wednesday of Holy Week to fill the eggs. The “Seeds of Love” monies have always been given for developing or supporting our missional efforts in or through the church. No monies came from the General Fund or the offerings of the congregation for this Easter surprise; only from monies specifically given for missions.

WHO ARE YOU? You recently sent me an anonymous letter. I do not know everything you're feeling, but I know you are very angry. You have questions and concerns that are very important to you. I want to listen to you. I want to hear your concerns. I want to meet with you in a place where you will be comfortable, which can be someplace away from the church to protect your anonymity before others, if this would make you more comfortable. But, I will take no action in response to your remarks, other than these words in the Tidings, without you and me sitting down to talk personally, face-to-face. We can have a third person, who is a neutral party and of your choosing, if you wish. I am in accord with the policy of the Church Council, as it has been the stated policy of the Church Council, since before I became pastor at St. John, that no action is taken in response to anonymous letters. The anonymity of the letter prevents any reconciliation or healing of the relationship or the deeper concerns of the remarks. I hope you will speak with me. I'm looking forward to meeting with you. 5

I'm pleased to let you know about an exciting project that will benefit the community! Our Middle School (5-8th grades) Helix Youth Group is partnering with Carl Sandburg Middle School to help raise money to replace 6 basketball backboards, hoops and nets on the school's outdoor courts, which are currently in very poor shape. In addition to soliciting corporate sponsors to help with the upgrades, the youth are hosting a Lasagna dinner on Friday, May 11th at St. John United Church of Christ. The sitdown dinner will be served by the youth at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from participating youth or weekday mornings in the church office at 1010 S. Park Blvd. or by calling 815-235-2824. Coordinating this project is our Director of Children & Youth Ministries at St. John UCC, Kevin Eckert, and his email address is Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We hope you will consider supporting this project.


LAYCARE MINISTRY Psalm 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands. Spring has sprung! Well actually, it pounced upon us…We have a lot to do! I am proud to say that the ‘spring cleaning’ that I intended to do, is done. You see, I had to hurry, because I was hosting the Easter Dinner this year and I wanted everything to look nice - both inside the house and outside on the lawn. Whew! Now that’s over and I can take a couple trips before it’s time to start the garden. Whoa, wait a minute! I looked at the calendar of events that are planned for St. John this coming year and you/me/we have a lot to do. There is a Chinese Proverb that goes like this “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” I’m gonna follow that one. We can look forward to a good year of fun and fellowship - things like watching the new flower bed grow out in the front lawn, the Ice Cream Social, maybe a Mardi Gras event, a Pig Roast, video of The Children of Uganda - just to name a few….So hop in and fasten your seat belts - Woo Hoo What a Ride! I know we all feel overwhelmed at times, but the fact that there is so much to do, that our days are so packed with life is a gift, a form of grace. There is also a plan for some “Small Groups” to be formed. Possibly a Book Study, A PC Internet Learning Class, a Monthly Lunch Group and a few more small groups to draw from. If there are some things you have in mind, please pass your thoughts on to Kirsten. I am looking forward to the computer class. So much to learn! So we say to God “Whatever You want me to do today, the answer is YES.” Peace and Love, Marilyn Ruthe, Coordinator Laycare Ministry 7

MISSONS MINISTRY RED CAN SUNDAY We will be receiving monetary donations on May 6th for the FACC emergency fund. $185 was collected in April.

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 and assigned food item for each month. In May our food item to collect is GRAPE JELLY. In case you are looking for sales to stock up June’s food item will be Peanut Butter.

MEALS ON WHEELS We are schedule for Meals May 21—25. If you would like to help deliver meals please contact the office or Sherrill Spaide.

FELLOWSHIP MINISTRY NO COOK POTLUCK AND MOVIE May 6th at 11:45 am, Please come and enjoy a time of fellowship and stay for a movie, “The Help”. There is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board. No need to bring a dish to pass just come and enjoy! A free will offering will be taken benefiting Relay for Life.


RELAY FOR LIFE This Year’s Relay is scheduled for June 15th. If you are interested in forming a team or being part of the event, please contact Pam Wessel here in the church office 2352824 or Cathy Williams. There is also a need for High School volunteers to help set up and clean up for the Survivors Dinner. Please call the office for contact info.

S TEWARDSHIP M INISTRY The Steinway piano has been the instrument of choice by masters of the keyboard for many years. Pianists such as Rubinstein, Cliburn, Horowitz, Rachmaninoff, and Liszt knew that a skillfully crafted instrument such as the Steinway produces a rich, wonderful sound. Steinway pianos are built today the same way they were when Henry Steinway started the company in 1845. Two hundred craftsmen and 12,000 parts are required to produce one of these instruments. Most crucial is the rim-bending process where 18 layers of maple are bent around an iron press to create the shape of a Steinway grand. Five coats of lacquer are applied and handrubbed to give the piano its outer glow. Each key is tested 10,000 times to ensure quality and durability. In a similar manner, Christians — followers of Jesus Christ — are being “handcrafted.” We are pressed, formed and shaped to make us more and more like Him. We are polished until we “glow.” We are tested in the laboratory of human experience to ensure quality and durability. One of the ways in which we are made in Christ’s image concerns our giving. 1 John 3:17 (why not take time to look it up in your Bible?) says that we demonstrate God’s love when we see our brother in need and give to meet that need. In fact, the Lord Jesus said that we are to love our neighbor just as we love 9

ourselves, and the illustration He provided was that of the Good Samaritan. Yes, we are to give to the Lord’s work here at St. John United Church of Christ. Yes, we are to place a priority in our lives on supporting this ministry financially. But let’s not limit ourselves and our service for Christ to the walls of our church. Instead, let’s be alert to opportunities to demonstrate God’s love to fellow-travelers on the road of life. When we do that, we are demonstrating to ourselves and to all who observe that we have been “handcrafted” in the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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 CHOIRS The adult Chancel Choir meets every Thursday at 7pm. Please come and join us if you have a love for music and enjoy making a joyful noise! The Bell Choir meets every Thursday at 6 pm. Please consider joining us. An ability to read music is helpful but not required.

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

TAU ALPHA Please join us May 21st 1pm here in Fellowship Hall.

CARD CLUB Card Club will be meeting May 7th at 1 pm. 10

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 Thursday, May 31st.

LEARNING OUR FAITH We meet in the Chapel Hearth Sunday mornings during the Sunday School hour following service. Please feel free to join us.

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, May 5th at 8 a.m. in the Temple Sunday School room. We meet until about 9:30 a.m. Come check us out!

STITCH SEW QUILT All of the ladies really accomplished a lot on our raffle quilt at our April meeting. Looking forward to another successful work session Friday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m. to make more progress with the completion of this bright and cheery quilt. We have come a long way and fun to see it all coming together. We can always use extra help!


MONTHLY PRAYER SERVI CE The Monthly Prayer Service for uplifting the mentally ill is at 6pm on the second Wednesday of each month. Rev. Carol Ahrens will be leading the service on May in Chapel Hearth. This service is offered for those who struggle with mental illness as well as their loved ones and concerned others.

HELIX MIDDLE SCHOOL (grades 5-8th) Thursdays after school 3-5 pm Starting this summer MS Helix will be meeting Tues and Thurs from 3-5 pm. There will be a Survivor theme to all of the planned activities! HIGH SCHOOL (grades 9-12th) Sunday May 27th 6-8pm

CHRIST FIRST WEIGHTLOSS This is an ongoing Faith Based Weight loss program that meets Monday evenings from 5-6 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. 12

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. MAY—VOLUNTEERS NEEDED 5/6 - Clyde & Jeanne Cross Marv & Sandy DeBoer, Valerie DeBoer, Dory DeFrane, Monty & Carolee Dietmeier, Todd & LaVonne Dietmeier, Laurie & Rick Ditsworth, Ray & Dorothy Ditsworth, Jim & Gwen Drew 5/13 - Shirley Durrstein, Donnley & Sandy Dutcher, Tim & Lisa Ebbers, Kevin & Kirsten Eckert, Arnold & Mary Eder, Holly Edler, Kim Evans, Mike & Sue Feagan 5/20 - Tom & Melinda Ferguson, Jack & Diana Fox, Don & Vickie Franz, Mary Frazee, Clyde Fruth, Kristy Fruth, Melinda Fruth, Denny & Judy Garkey, Jack & Jill Gastel 5/27 - Russ & Bonnie Gennusa, Audrey Gianquinto, Maida Gimple, Stephen & Lorrie Gitz, Shelly Griswold, Brian Hamon, Deb Hartman, Richard & Mary Heffner JUNE—Tau Alpha There is only Cookie Hour the first Sunday of the Month during the months of June, July, and August 13

6/3 - John & Betty Heiden, Diane Heilman, Eunice Hildebrandt, Keith & Cherryl Hinrichs, Sharon Hull, Shirley Ifert, Sally Kahler, Della Kirkpatrick GREETERS May 6 –Lyle & Jane Krug May 13 – Royce & Janet Piefer May 20 – Priewe Family May 27 – Ben & Lucille Lee WELCOMERS May 6 –Rosie Cosgrove & Dorothy Ness May 13 –Nancy & Lee Otte May 20 – Lisa & Steve Schubert May 27 – Stan & Carol Smith NURSERY May 6 – Marla Kreeger & Olivia Shaffer May 13 – Carla Meyer, Mark Swanson, Amy Doll May 20 – Jill & Logan Kuntz May 27- Cherryl Hinrichs, Newkirks USHERS 5/06 Tim, Colin & Kristi Ebbers, Dennis Manus, Jim Drew 5/13 John Rawleigh, Phil & Barb Copus, Mike Smith, James & Tom Priewe 5/20 Ray & Jeri Nieman, Tom & Melinda Ferguson, Wes & Joyce Robinson, Dana Brill 5/27 Lee & Nancy Otte, Keith & Kathy Moffatt, Jeanne Koch, Jane Krug 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 14


04/08 –258

04/01 - 148

04/15 –160

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




PRAYER CHAIN: Betty Wessel, Michael Schlickman, Cindy R. HOSPITALIZED: J. Bennehoff DEATHS: Our Prayers and Condolences go out to the family of Betty Wessel who passed away on April 17th. BIRTHS/BAPTISMS: Charli Lynn Trimble (Daughter of Amy Schneiderman) was baptized here at St. John on April 15th.


Thank you so much for supporting Children of Uganda. Your $285 donation will help us provide school fees, nutritious food, safe shelter and medical care for the hundreds of orphaned and vulnerable children we care for daily. On behalf of everyone at COU thank you, Pamela Brannon Exec. Dir. ************************************************************************* Ted and I would like to thank Pastor Donnley and Members for their prayers for Ted’s recovery. Bless you all. Joan Wootan ************************************************************************* Thank you to each of you who remembered me and my family at the time of Denny’s funeral. Your continued prayers and concern are greatly appreciated. Memorial funds will be donated to St. John, the Forreston FFA and the Forrestville Valley School District Foundation. ~ Carla Meyer ************************************************************************** I would like to say a giant THANK YOU to everyone who supported my bake sale to raise money for my Eagle Scout project. I really appreciate everyone who baked items for the sale and for the many very generous donations I received toward my project. We have started finishing the inside of the concession stand and it’s really looking great! Thanks so much for everything. Colin Ebbers *************************************************************************** From the Family of Marg Shewman to Our St. John Family: While this is late in coming it is not lacking in thanks and gratitude for the many things you have done for Mom and our family over the last couple of years; you all know who you are: 16

To those of you who were patient and joyful in the time you spent with her as she tried so hard to be at church every Sunday,  To those of you who took the time to stop at Provena and visit though she may not have known it was you,  To those of you who faithfully, and lovingly, sent her cards and notes though she couldn’t see them; each one was read aloud and held in her hands,  To those of you who gave support and prayer as we tried to keep her at home as long as we could, and  To those of you who opened your hearts, souls, and arms when it just wouldn’t work anymore. A special thank you to Donnley for the heartfelt service. If she could have voiced her opinion, which she did often, she would have told you how much she enjoyed the message. And a big thank you to Keith and Marcia for the beautiful music; she always loved it when Keith sang during service. Her last, physical presence at St. John was very, very special. And last, but far from least, thank you to Pam and all of her friends who provided the food and service for the luncheon. All of it meant so much to us. God Bless and Keep you all. John, Paula and Justin Rawleigh

CHURCH WOMEN UNITED - M AY FRIENDSHIP DAY! Church Women United luncheon will be at Faith UMC on Friday May 4th at 12:30 PM. Call 232-6533 for reservations. The theme is Listening to My sisters.


PENTECOST SUNDAY FLOWERS We will have a “flower garden” of all red flowers for Pentecost Sunday, May 27th . If you would like to order through the church (Demeesters), please turn in the form below with your money by May18th . Feel free to bring in your own flowers before noon on May 25th. FLOWERS MUST BE RED! (Be sure to mark yours with your name.) Fill out the sheet below if you want them in memory or in honor of someone and turn it in by noon on May 18th so it will get in the book. You may pick up your flowers after the service. I/We will bring RED flowers from home or have them delivered before noon on June 10th . I/We wish to order ____ red geraniums through the church. (8” pot with foil, red geraniums (3-5 blooms) at a cost of $7.50) Enclosed is $__________________ IN MEMORY OF______________________________________ ____________________________________________________ IN HONOR OF________________________________________ PRESENTED BY______________________________________ ____________________________________________________ please take to a shut-in: ___________________________________________________ I will pick up the flower.


PRESIDENT Perry Cowan VICE PRESIDENT Bill Condie 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 TI AN E D . Lisa Ebbers CHURCHGROWTH M AR I L Y N R U T H E FELLOWSHIP Ben Lee MISSIONS Bill Condie 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

St. John UCC Council Minutes 4-9-12 Members Present: Perry Cowan, President, Bill Condie, Lisa Ebbers, Deb Hartman, Keith Hinrichs, Jane Krug, Ben Lee, Shan Macadam, Dennis Manus, Ulan Price, Joyce Robinson, Marilyn Ruthe, Pastor Donnley, ex-officio. Motion made by Joyce to invite new members (Jane, Shan, Dennis) to participate in decision making at this meeting. 2nd by Marilyn, Discussion, Motion carried. Prayer: Pastor Donnley March Minutes: Previously approved via email. Treasurer’s Report: Clarifications and some areas of possible concern were made by Pastor Donnley Motion to approve as presented made by Keith, 2nd by Lisa. Discussion, motion carried.

Credit Card Giving: Council discussed the idea of making credit card payments an option for giving. The bank fees would be between $300-$400 per year and beyond a given level there is also a percentage that is charged by the bank. Motion made by Joyce not to accept credit cards at this time. Marilyn 2 nd. Discussion followed. Motion carried. Culinary Arts Program: The HOYA (Health Occupations Youth Apprenticeship) Program, currently renting space in the north educational wing, is growing and in need of more space. They are developing a culinary arts program and would like to be able to use our kitchen for this purpose. They have suggested the idea of partnering with us to provide dinners prepared by participants in the new program. Discussion followed on the 19

impact this would have for us and the program. We will get more information on the details and needs of this new program and their plans for the current program in terms of space and its use within our facility. Paul Nixon Follow-up: The BOLD team continues meeting and will be creating a 12 month calendar of projects/plans based on Paul Nixon’s recommendations. Another meeting is scheduled with him on 4-30-12, following the congregational meeting on the 29th. Projects already in motion from his list are: Architect Guy Gehlhausen will be here on 4-11-12 to present his initial concepts for renovations to the sanctuary and narthex areas and will be presenting his finalized design on 4-25-12. The new flower beds for the front are in the planning stages. Demeester’s has presented design ideas and Stewardship Ministry will discuss releasing $2000 in Memorials for flowers, bushes, etc. and a memorial relating to the presentation of the flagpole. Worship time change to 10 am from September through May was discussed. It was decided to have an informal meeting during April 22 worship to keep congregation updated on decisions, changes and impact of all on our moving forward toward a positive and strong future for St. John. New signage for the front was discussed. We will be receiving estimates on cost soon and it will be important to evaluate options weighing quality, cost and level of positive impact. Again, decision making information and coaching per Paul Nixon will be shared with the congregation. To finance the cost of the new sign, Keith made a motion to request that Endowment consider releasing 10% of principle of regular endowment (not Janshen Fund) plus this year’s earned income. Marilyn 2nd. Discussion followed. Motion carried. 20

The next Congregational meeting will be 4-29-12, following worship. Items on the agenda are: 1. Open & Affirming statement (vote by paper ballot) 2. Architect Guy Gehlhausen proposal 3. Worship time change 4. Discussion of support for Paul Nixon suggestions 5. Approval for Ulan Price to fill vacant position on Council Election of officers: Keith and Donnley reviewed the responsibilities of each office. Suggestions were made for the offices on Council. Final decisions will be made at the next Council meeting. Marilyn made the motion and Bill 2nd to approve Betty Carpenter’s request to serve on Growth Ministry. Discussion followed. Motion carried. Adjournment: Keith made the motion to adjourn, Bill 2nd. Motion carried. Adjourned with the Mizpah Benediction. Next meeting May 14, 2012 Closing Prayer: Pastor Donnley Respectfully submitted, Deb Hartman Council Secretary


FINANCIAL STATEMENT Beginning Balance January 1, 2012



General Fund Beginning Balance


4/02 4/11 4/16

GF Income GF Income GF Income

$ 3,931.25 $ 8,554.76 $ 3,826.00

4/20 4/20 4/20

Less GF Payroll & Compensation GF Other Checks Current Bills Outstanding

$ 11,161.28 $ 7,976.97 $ 74.47

4/20 Ending Balance $ 19,767.59 __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Beginning Balance January 1, 2012

$ 6,962.17


Building Fund Beginning Balance

$ 3,173.40

4/02 4/11 4/16

BD Income BD Income BD Income

$ $ $

259.00 285.00 497.00


Less BD Checks




Ending Balance

$ 3,249.73


May Scripture Readings 01

Revelation 21:1-27


Acts 1:1-26


Revelation 22:1-21


Romans 8:1-17


Joel 1:1-20


Romans 8:18-39


Joel 2:1-32


Romans 12:1-21


Joel 3:1-21


Romans 13:1-14


Ezekiel 1:1-28


Romans 14:1-23


Ezekiel 2:1-10


1 Corinthians 3:1-23


Ezekiel 3:1-27


1 Corinthians 4:1-21


Ezekiel 34:1-31


1 Corinthians 5:1-13


Ezekiel 36:1-15


1 Corinthians 6:1-20


Ezekiel 36:16-38


Acts 2:1-21


Ezekiel 37:1-28


Acts 2:22-47


Ezekiel 39:1-29


Acts 3:1-26


Ezekiel 43:1-27


Acts 4:1-22


Ezekiel 47:1-23


Acts 4:23-37


Ezekiel 48:1-35 23

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May Tidings 2012  

Church Newsletter

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