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Are we

there yet?

DECEMBER 2017 / Volume 51 / Issue 12

Our church staff is here to help each of us live as a disciple of Jesus Christ who transforms the world. Feel free to contact them.

G rowing up, I know Dad and Mom hated taking me on trips. I always asked the same question over and over again, “Are we there yet?” I think kids coming out of the womb are hard-wired to ask that question from the time they can talk: “Mom, Dad, are we there yet?”


Many of the Old Testament prophets foretold the birth of Jesus 800 years before He came. Two such prophets were Micah and Isaiah.


“But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” (Micah 5:2)

Dr. Roger Grimmett | Lead Pastor Rev. Mike Whitaker | Pastor Rev. Nicole Cox | Pastor

MINISTRY STAFF Brennan Pappas | Director of Technical Arts Carli Burton | Director of Senior Ministries Chase Carlisle | Director of Contemporary Music Ministries Elyssa Carlisle | Director of Children's & Youth Choirs Lana Salomonson | Executive Director Matt Cleveland | Director of StudentLife Dr. See Tsai Chan | Director of New Life Choir & Handbells Ministries Stacy Kuhlmann | Director of Children's Ministry

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF Aaron Havard | Information Technology Dennie Canny | Facilities Manager Jenny Hutcherson | Financial & Admin. Assistant Kristi Osmond | Admin. Assistant Molly Bettis | Accountant Rachel Dempsey | Print Shop Sharon Sweeney | Executive Assistant Zach Pappas | Technical Arts Assistant

custodial STAFF Renoldo Gayton | Lead Custodian

STAFF emails: First initial and Last

2 G o o d T i d i n g s / DECEMBER 2017

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) Each of these prophecies has meaning in the context of Micah and Isaiah’s time, but they are reclaimed with new meaning in the context of Jesus’ birth. Though Micah and Isaiah didn’t live to see the fulfillment of their Messianic prophecy, they remained faithful to God. Can’t you hear them saying, “God, are we there yet? Will we live to see the fulfillment of your Word spoken through us?” I remember my great-grandmother, Nona Best, praying for me and my siblings. She was a wonderful Christian woman. She prayed for me constantly but never lived to see me make a decision for Christ and then respond to God’s call to become a United Methodist clergy. I love Christmas and the characters in the Christmas story. I think of Isaiah, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and Jesus, who all took a circuitous journey that led to the manger. Their journeys chronicled in the gospels of Matthew and Luke were not necessarily easy ones. There were divine detours and then each Biblical character’s own unique internal struggle with doubt, fear, acceptance, and obedience. They didn’t have GPS that would roadmap the easiest route to their destination. There was nothing easy about their journey, and certainly it wasn’t comfortable either. I bet they said to God: “Are we there yet?” Join us this Advent/Christmas season as we journey to the manger. Our journey will be life-changing! “Are we there yet?” Not quite - Advent is here, but Christmas is coming!

O ur God Reigns!

Roger Grimmett

Ae we th ee yet?

message series


Christmas is about kids. I can’t think of a better focus for our Christmas offering than providing for the spiritual life needs of kids at Cunningham Children’s Home in Champaign/Urbana; the Baby Fold in Bloomington-Normal; Lessie Bates in East St. Louis; Spero Family Services (formerly UM Children’s Home) in Mt. Vernon; and Chaddock children’s home in Quincy. Each of these United Methodist institutions exists to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional, and temporal needs of children that have been neglected and have experienced varying degrees of distress in their young lives. Our Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference has embarked on an ambitious $2.5 million initiative called Our Conference, Our Kids. The monies that Springfield First gives to this initiative go 100% to meeting the spiritual life needs of children in these institutions. Just as I am excited about our work with the $6.5 Generosity Initiative, I am equally excited about the role we can play as a large church in the IGRC supporting Our Conference, Our Kids. Please pray and give generously. Thank you! DECEMBER 2017 3

C h r i s t m a s Season I s Here!

To help you in your planning, here is the schedule for our services and events in December.

Carrollton Live in Concert: Friday, December 1, at 7:00pm Christmas Cantata: Sunday, December 10, at the 9:00am traditional service Children’s Christmas Musical: Sunday, December 17, at 4:00pm in the Community Life Center Eve Before You Leave: Wednesday, December 20, at 7:00pm Traditional carols with Communion and candlelight (for those who have other commitments on Christmas Eve) Christmas Eve Weekend (4th Sunday of Advent): December 23/24 • Saturday, 5:30pm – regular service • Sunday, 10:00am – ONE combined service Christmas Eve Services: Sunday, December 24 • 3:00pm, 5:00pm & 7:00pm – Contemporary music and candlelight • 9:00pm – Traditional carols and candlelight Childcare for infants through kindergarten will be provided at all services. A special children’s Christmas celebration will take place during the 3:00pm and 5:00pm services. New Year’s Weekend: December 30/31 • Saturday, 5:30pm – regular service • Sunday, 10:00am – ONE combined service We look forward to celebrating this Christmas season with you!

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Christmas Cantata: Promises and Proclamations “Gloria in Excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.” The New Life Adult Choir, Handbell Choir, PreK-6th grade children’s choirs, OneVoice Youth Choir and the Lincoln Land Community College Choir will present the Christmas Cantata, accompanied by a full orchestra on December 10 at the 9:00am traditional service. We will be singing beautiful and exciting music from various musical styles, including selections from Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” Michael W. Smith’s “Christmastime,” exciting spirituals in contemporary style, and favorite carols and hymn arrangements in symphonic style. So come and let your heart be filled with the joy of Christmas! And as we proclaim the grace and glory of God our Father, invite your friends and neighbors to experience this reviving and uplifting worship together!



LIVE IN CONCERT SPRINGFIELD FIRST IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION WCIC IN HOSTING INDIE-ROCK CHRISTIAN BAND, CARROLLTON, ON DECEMBER 1ST! Come and celebrate the new Christmas season with Carrollton as they perform a blend of original music and Christmas Classics!  This concert will take place at Springfield First on Friday, December 1, at 7:00pm; doors open at 6:15pm. Carrollton has a passion to spread the love of Christ through their music. They are most known for hits such as, "Let Love Win," "Tell Me," and "Holding on to You."  Tickets are $5 per person and are available for purchase through the WCIC website (, or contact Matt Cleveland ( to purchase tickets at the church. Tickets will also be available at the door.

KIDS’ CHRISTMAS MUSICAL: THE SECRET OF SNOWFLAKE COUNTY! Come and take a rollicking ride with us to Snowflake County, a place where Christmas celebrations have become so extravagant that they threaten to overshadow the simplicity of Christmas' true meaning. It seems the only one who understands the secret of Jesus' simple birth is little Suzy Hallmark, but no one is listening. It will take a series of crazy mishaps during the community's annual seasonal program before the noise stops and everyone realizes what Christmas is truly about. Mark your calendars for December 17 at 4:00pm in the Community Life Center to see our Springfield First kids perform The Secret of Snowflake County! The show is approximately 35 minutes, and there will be a dessert reception to follow. Please contact Elyssa Carlisle at or Stacy Kuhlmann at if you’d like to help with the reception. 6 G o o d T i d i n g s / DECEMBER 2017





Christmas Spirit!

Opportunity to serve:

We are in need of volunteers to visit a shut-in while delivering a poinsettia that graced our sanctuary. We ask that the visit and delivery be made during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Please sign-up in the Atrium. The information needed to make a visit and deliver the poinsettia will be mailed to you prior to Christmas. The plants may be picked up following the 9:00pm service on Christmas Eve or later that week. (The church will be closed Monday, December 25).

C h r i s t m a s Hospitality

Christmas is our busiest time of the year. We want to offer extraordinary hospitality as we welcome the many guests who will be coming for our worship experiences. Volunteers are needed during all Christmas Eve services in the following areas: ushers, greeters, Communion servers, children’s ministry, Welcome Center, and coffee servers. Sign up in the Atrium or on our website at, or contact Kristi Osmond at 793-9760 x231 or


(REVERSE)First Fruits Offering . December 2 & 3 Mark your calendar for December 2 & 3 when we receive our First Fruits Offering. We will announce our Unfinished commitment total on that weekend and celebrate what God has done in our lives to that point. This is also when each of us will be challenged to take a step forward in initiating our commitment.


Many who are committing stored resources gifts or savings are encouraged to give those that day in order to accelerate the vision God has for Springfield First. Others may choose to accelerate current giving by offering more than usual on this weekend to help us jump-start our initiative in a big way. We encourage everyone to participate in our First Fruits Offering so, together, we can begin to make a tremendous impact on God’s kingdom through our generosity.

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Wear your T-shir t on First Frui ts Offering Wee kend!

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Forms are available in the Atrium if you would like to give a poinsettia in honor of or in memory of someone this Christmas. The cost for each poinsettia is $12. If you are paying by check, please note in the memo area “poinsettia.” The deadline to receive requests is Wednesday, December 6. If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Sweeney at 793-9760 x131 or

Christmas Shopping Made Easy! Need a mustard seed stone? A purse made from aluminum can

tops? Or how about Christmas ornaments and gifts? From holiday kitchen items, ornaments, and decorations, to Fair Trade items made by people in third-world countries from around the world – the Springfield First Bookstore is a must-see for this holiday season! Books, puzzles, play sets, and ornaments that can be colored are available for children. Bibles, books, jewelry, shirts, and many, many holiday gifts are available for adults. Be sure and stop by the bookstore!  We are bursting at the seams with all sorts of unique things! The bookstore helps to fund the many ministries in the church and is located near the west entrance by the sanctuary. We accept credit cards, checks, and cash. All prices include sales tax.



Watch for posted curriculum information:



If you would like to be a part of helping children on their faith journey, contact Stacy Kuhlmann at 793-9760 x227 or

Parents, contact Stacy Kuhlmann at or 217-793-9760 x227 with any questions. Follow us on Facebook at and

WHY CHILDREN’S MINISTRY? The children’s ministry is designed for children to grow in their faith by experiencing God’s Word at an age-appropriate level. We invite all children, birth to 5th grade, to come and check out the area of church designed just for them!

(Birth to 5 Years)

(Kindergarten-3rd grade)

(4th-5th grade)

December brings great excitement to the children in all three ministries! During this month, we will be going on a grand adventure with Hillsong’s Christmas Mystery curriculum. Children will become detectives and discover and solve three mysteries: Mystery of the Messengers, Mystery of the Manger, and Mystery of the Star. Our first mystery will unfold during the weekend of December 2nd-3rd. See you then! CHILDREN WILL WRAP UP THEIR MYSTERY ADVENTURES ON DECEMBER 24TH. YES, CHRISTMAS EVE! We will celebrate the birth of Jesus with a birthday party of course! The birthday celebrations for Jesus will take place at the following times:

December 24 at 10:00am, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm – drop off in Room 13. Childcare for ages birth to 5 will be available in Room 18 for all services. Elementary children in K-5th grades will join their families in service at 7:00pm and 9:00pm. Children will be doing a live nativity on December 10th at 10:00am outside the sanctuary. Pictures are welcome!

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Each classroom has a small container for our children’s mighty mission offerings. All that we collect will go to providing clean water for children in Liberia! Children are understanding that they can make a difference even through spare change! At the end of this month, we will announce the total offering for clean water that children gave from June through December!

CONNECT WITH STUDENTLIFE: Facebook: StudentLife FUMC Twitter: @FUSION_SM Instagram: STUDNT_LFE PARENTS: If you are new or would like to receive periodic parent

email updates, please go to, and under the ‘Youth’ tab sign up for our email list! You can also email StudentLife Director Matt Cleveland at

Here is our Sunday schedule for December 3rd & 10th: 5:00-6:00pm - FUSION: Middle & High School Small Groups 6:00-6:30pm - Dinner for all ages! 6:30-7:30pm - FUSION: High & Middle School Small Groups!

TAKE A LOOK AT A FEW DATES YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO REMEMBER THIS MONTH: December 1st: Carrollton LIVE in concert at Springfield First! Tickets are $5.00! Doors open at 6:15pm, show begins 7:00pm. It’s general admission, so be here early! December 17th: Annual Student Christmas Party! Times will be from 6:00-8:00pm! Students are asked to bring a cheap/found/crazy gift for our ministry-wide white elephant gift exchange! The crazier the better! Note: The OneVoice Youth Choir will rehearse at 5:00pm instead of 4:00pm on this date. December 24th & 31st: NO FUSION! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


It’s Christmas! Nativity scenes are everywhere: Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels, and the drummer boy (who wasn’t actually there). Maybe you grew up seeing these scenes and wondered what they were all about. Or maybe you’ve heard the story a million times. Either way, there’s another story we bet you haven’t heard, characters you barely know, scenes you don’t see in the plastic nativity on your neighbor’s lawn. As we explore two often-untold parts of the Christmas story, we discover that God had something bigger in mind from the very beginning. And, just as it was true for those at the first Christmas, He may just have a bigger story in mind for us as well.

DECEMBER 2017 11

SENIOR MINISTRIES For information regarding Senior Ministries’ events or trips, or if you or a loved one are moving to a care facility, please contact Carli Burton at or 793-9760 x121.

TURE: N E V D A E L B A T E H T D N CHRISTMAS AROU S 55+) E G (A IP H S W O L L E F R IO SEN s 5/6 re: Room am -1 2: 30 pm · W he 30 9: e: m Ti · 14 ber Date: Thursday, Decem es, s card games, board gam ou er um (n n fu , od fo p, ) Why: Fellowshi e of your favorite games on g in br to e m lco we e and dominoes – you ar t treats and coffee will be ee Sw ll. Ba le ro Ca d an 5am. Hostesses: Ruth Long eal will be served at 11:4 m ay lid ho a d an e, riv ar ready when you s gone. all you can eat or until it’ r fo 0 .0 $7 is n tio na do Suggested d gift for a needy Please bring an unwrappe me a tradition of boy or girl. This has beco d has been so the Senior Fellowship an tle boys and girls. fun to see the gifts for lit

Christmas Communion

Communion will be available to all those who are shut-in. If you or a loved one wish to receive

“We Care” Parking Ministry Our weather is changing and we want to invite you to

Communion and have not been notified by us,

use our parking ministry staffed by wonderful volunteers

please contact Carli Burton at 793-9760x121

from our congregation. The purpose of the ministry is to


be of assistance to those who have mobility challenges

Christmas in the Chapel at Lincoln Christian University Saturday, December 2

of any kind or during slippery pavement making unsure

Day trip to Lincoln Christian University to see their

and 10 to 15 minutes following the services on Sunday

Christmas in the Chapel presentation. We will depart

mornings. Just pull up under the east canopy door

at 1:00pm from our parking lot for a 2:30pm showing.

and exit your vehicle. No prior notice is needed.

Following, we will dine at Bonanza Steakhouse (from menu or food bar) and arrive back home around 5:30pm. Cost for travel and Christmas

footing. Our goal is to make your worship experience at Springfield First the best it can be. The parking ministry will be available 15 to 20 minutes prior to the services

Coming in January

Something NEW. Something FUN. Something

pageant is $37.00. Please sign up in the Atrium

APPRECIATED. All are invited to meet and make

and deposit your check made out to FUMC

Valentines to put in our Valentine packets for our

in the black box. Contact Carli Burton at

homebound and those in care facilities. Watch for or 793-9760x121.

dates and times in the January Good Tidings.

12 G o o d T i d i n g s / DECEMBER 2017


. welcome .

We are Faith, Love and Joy in action at Springfield First. Come and join us for any activity. This is a good time to get involved with the United Methodist Women; you will find a warm group of women in many activities. Contact Crystal Russell, UMW President, at 801-2573 with any questions. We welcome you. LYDIA AND RACHEL CIRCLES Rachel Circle meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm. Lydia Circle meets on the 3rd Friday at 9:30am. NOVEMBER 3 LUNCHEON We welcomed Pastor Nicole Cox as our speaker. Pastor Nicole gave an overview of the Missions Counsel and its broad range of mission activities. She reviewed the many ways mission work has been accomplished locally as a congregation of faith. She also discussed the many mission trips that will be occurring next year. DECEMBER 6 CHRISTMAS SOUP LUNCHEON/COOKIES FOR SHUT-INS On December 6 at 11:00am, we will be enjoying a Christmas soup luncheon and packing cookies for the shut-ins in the Atrium. Bring a friend and 2 dozen cookies to pack in Christmas tins or containers for our ill friends and shut-ins. If you don’t bake, store-bought cookies are fine. This has been a UMW activity for many years. Be prepared to take some cookies for a shut-in you may know. A variety of soups and other goodies will be available for lunch. Everyone is welcome.

DECEMBER SCHEDULE OF EVENTS December 6 Soup Luncheon/Cookies for Shut-Ins 11:00am · Atrium December 15 Lydia Circle 9:30am · Room 5/6

JANUARY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS January 17 Rachel Circle 7:00pm · Atrium 2 *No Luncheons in January or February

WORLD THANK OFFERING In November, the United Methodist Women collected a World Thank Offering from our church. This year, that gift will be given to the program Water for Life to help 3rd World Nations to have clean drinking water, Kumler Outreach Ministries which serves locally with food and medicine for people in need, and the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund that helps people in need. We love the generosity of our members. Thank you so much! NUTS, NUTS, AND MORE NUTS On December 9/10, we are selling our fresh Georgia nuts ripe off the trees. We have whole pecans, pecan pieces, black walnuts, English walnuts, cashews, mixed nuts, and almonds, just in time for holiday baking. The prices are $12 for pecans (whole or pieces) and black walnuts and $10 for English walnuts, cashews, mixed nuts, and almonds. Any profit from the nut sales will apply to our mission projects. Contact Barb Zuspann at 741-2550 for orders or any questions. QUILTING/SEWING/KNITTING/CROCHETING GROUP The quilting group is encouraging anyone with any type of project (sewing, quilting, crocheting, knitting, etc.) to join them for a fun day full of activity. It’s the 3rd Thursday in the month at 10:15am to 2:30pm. Bring your lunch and meet in Rooms 5/6. Members of the group have donated 4 beautiful quilts for the children of Cunningham Home. DECEMBER 2017 13

STAFF NEWS FROM PASTOR ROGER More than likely, you have noticed that I walk with a limp. Jokingly, I tell people I wrestled with an angel of the Lord and was left with a limp. Seriously, though, my limp isn’t from wrestling with God; rather, I had an MRI two months ago and have severe arthritis in my right hip. Therefore, I have decided to have a right hip replacement. I have some discomfort and I don’t want this to be an impediment to my life and ministry. The surgery will be on December 27, and I will probably be out for 4-6 weeks. When I’m able and not feeling pain, I will do work from home, but I will probably be out of the pulpit until the end of January or the first of February. The good news is we have one combined service on the last Sunday of December. Bishop Beard had already been scheduled to preach the first weekend of January, and Mike and Nicole will take the four remaining Sundays. When I’m 100%, I guarantee I will make up for it. Bishop Beard, DS Sylvester Weatherall, Pastors Mike and Nicole, Staff-Parish, and all staff are aware of this and are supportive. Keep me in prayers and I will do the same for you. God bless, and thanks for your understanding.


BUILDING AND GROUNDS UPDATE A fall landscaping project located on the north end of the building is almost complete. The project enhances the grounds from our new entrance that connects to Wabash Avenue. It includes new trees, a combination of perennial and annual plants, stone edging, and a water feature. The trustees' project is one that will welcome members and guests to our church for many years to come. 14 G o o d T i d i n g s /


IRS Charitable Contribution Deadline


According to IRS regulations, donors must mail

Please hold in prayer the families of: Dorcas Fergusson Bonita Turley Cole Weaver

checks by December 31, 2017, in order to claim a charitable contribution deduction for 2017. Checks received in the church or placed in the offering on or after January 1, 2018, will


Welcome to God's family: Brian Nelson Becker Megan Brooke Becker Rachel Jane Becker Maddox Grace Colwell Nicolle Fleck Luke Presley Hanauer Erin Hollinshead Rick Hollinshead Cameron Richard Huff Warrick James Looker

not qualify for a charitable deduction in 2017, even if the check was dated 2017. All checks that are written, mailed, and postmarked in 2017 may be deducted in 2017. The church offices are closed on December 29 so all donations not mailed MUST be received in the office by 4:00pm on Thursday, December 28, in order to be included in your 2017 giving statement. If you have any questions, please contact Jenny Hutcherson at 793-9760 x235 or

Is Jesus in your will? Our time in this world doesn’t last forever, but our influence can. As you plan for the future, prayerfully consider tithing 10% of your estate to the church for which Jesus gave his life.

december REAL Scriptures December 1 – Isaiah 11:1-10

December 11 – Isaiah 60:19-22

December 22 – Luke 1:67-80

December 2 – Isaiah 9:1-7

December 12 – Isaiah 60:1-7

December 23 – Luke 2:1-7

December 3 – Philippians 2:1-11

December 13 – John 1:1-9

December 24 – Luke 2:8-20

December 4 – Malachi 3:1-5

December 14 – John 1:10-18

December 25 – Matthew 1:18-25

December 5 – Isaiah 52:7-10

December 15 – Luke 1:1-10

December 26 – Matthew 2:1-12

December 6 – Titus 2:11-14

December 16 – Luke 1:11-20

December 27 – Luke 2:21-27

December 7 – Jeremiah 33:14 -16

December 17 – Luke 1:21-25

December 28 – Luke 2:28-35

December 8 – Psalm 43:3-6

December 18 – Luke 1:26-38

December 29 – Luke 2:36-40

December 9 – Psalm 27

December 19 – Luke 1:39-45

December 30 – Luke 2:41-46

December 10 – Zephaniah 3:14 -17

December 20 – Luke 1:46-56

December 31 – Luke 2:47-52

December 21 – Luke 1:57-66

DECEMBER 2017 15

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 2941 South Koke Mill Road · Springfield, IL 62711

Springfield, IL Permit No. 578


To receive Tidings via mail OR email, contact the main office at 217-793-9760. Connect with us online at for more resources.

Upcoming Events



Carrollton Live in Concert (7:00pm)


Christmas Cantata (9:00pm)


Children’s Christmas Musical (4:00pm)


Eve Before You Leave Service (7:00pm)


Combined Morning Service (10:00pm)


Christmas Eve Services (3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00pm)


Building Closed – Merry Christmas!


Building Closed


Combined Morning Service (10:00am)


Building Closed – Happy New Year


Building Closed for MLK, Jr. Day


Prayer Retreat at the Chiara Center (8:30am)


WEEKEND WORSHIP EXPERIENCES Saturday / 5:30PM Sunday / 9:00 & 10:30AM Facebook SpringfieldFUMC Instagram springfieldfumc Twitter SpringfieldFUMC

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December 2017  
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