What's Happening

NO IN-Person Activities FOR THE WEEKS OF 11/22, 11/29, 12/6, and 12/13.

This decision came from a pastoral letter from our Bishop, Frank J. Beard, dated 11/17/2020.  His instructions for all IGRC churches to pause all in-person worship, activities, and meetings is based on data recently issued from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the fact that the entire state is entering Tier-3 Mitigations on 11/20.  On 12/9, a reassessment will be made for the following Sundays.

Sunday Mornings

Sunday, November 22ndThird Sunday of Extended Advent / Harvest Sunday.  SCRIPTURE: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 AND Luke 11:9-13.
                                                NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP THIS WEEK — WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK.
                                                Non-perishable foods (collected now through this Sunday) will be displayed and blessed for the food pantry.
                                                NO STONINGTON COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE THIS YEAR!

Sunday, November 29thFourth Sunday of Extended Advent / Hanging of the Greens Service.
                                                  SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 36:1-8, 21-23, 27-28; 31:31-34 AND Luke 22:19-20.
                                                 NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP THIS WEEK – WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK.
                                                 Special Fifth Sunday.

Sunday, December 6thFifth Sunday of Extended Advent. SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61 and Luke.
                                              NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP THIS WEEK – WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK.
                                              Spiritual Communion Sunday – (It is not expected or encouraged for anyone to use ‘household’ foods for Communion).

Sunday, December 13thSixth Sunday of Extended Advent. SCRIPTURE: Daniel and Luke.
                                                NO IN-PERSON WORSHIP THIS WEEK – WILL BE LIVE STREAMED ON FACEBOOK.
                                                THE 2020 CHRISTMAS CANTATA HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Sunday, December 20thSeventh and Last Sunday of Extended Advent.  SCRIPTURE: Luke 1.

Sunday, December 27thFirst Sunday of Christmas.  SCRIPTURE: Luke 2

OUR CURRENT FINANCIAL REALITY

As of 9/30/2020, the Stonington United Methodist Church financial condition is very stable.  Church income and expenses are very similar to this time last year despite COVID-19-related events.  Thank you for your faithful support for our church!  
–Church Treasurer, R. Steiner

Dates & Meetings

(all meetings are open)

Wednesday, November 18th – Building Committee – 7:00 pm (Tentatively rescheduled)

Monday, December 21stBlue and Busy Christmas7:00 pmThis service WILL be held in-person (regardless if the Sunday service on the 20th is
                                                 cancelled) AND will be live streamed.  This service is a respectful, reflective, and pastoral service for anyone who is
                                                 having a blue (or busy) holiday season.  It doesn’t matter the reason, you are invited!  If you know of someone who may 
                                                 benefit from this service of healing, please invite them and attend with them!  The average attendance for this service is
                                                 around 10 people.

Thursday, December 24thChristmas Eve ServiceThis service will NOT be in-person but ONLINE ONLY.  The decision to not host it in-person is
                                               due to the fact that it is often attended by extended families seated in tight groups AND the heavy use of singing involved
                                               in the service.  A shortened version, featuring the telling of the nativity narrative and traditional Christmas carols (but 
                                               without Holy Communion or a sermon) will be available on Facebook for your convenience.

Thursday, December 31stWesley’s Watch NightONLINE ONLY.  This special New Years Eve service will be available on Facebook for your
                                               convenience.  The origins of this service precedes the Wesleys, but John Wesley adapted it for his own Methodists.  This
                                               service will look back on the past year and ask for blessings on the new year.

NO STONINGTON COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING SERVICE THIS YEAR DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS!
NO CHRISTMAS CANTATA THIS YEAR DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS!

Announcements

HARVEST SUNDAY COLLECTION – We are now beginning our annual collection of non-perishable foods to be displayed and blessed on 11/22 for the Interchurch Food Pantry which service the Stonington area.  Start collecting and bringing them to the church now!

SHOPPING-FOR-SAFETY MINISTRY – Cannot order online?  Having trouble getting out?  Nervous about public spaces and crowds?  Let SUMC do the shopping for you!  Recently, individuals of our church created the “Shopping-for-Safety Ministry.”  If you are even remotely concerned for your health or the health of a loved one in your house, give us a call and we will pick up some groceries or other necessities for you.  We don’t want you making unnecessary risks!  A group of volunteers are making themselves available for you!  This ministry is for any Stonington area resident.  Sam’s Club, Kroger’s, and Walmart are among the places we will frequent on your behalf.  Contact Laurie L. (217-820-7733).

BUILDING USAGE AND FUNERAL DINNERS – On 8/12/2020, our Church Council clarified how our church facilities are to be used during the pandemic.  Until we reach Stage 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, we must observe the guideline of 50 people or fewer (Stage 4) and 10 people or fewer (Stage 3) for any single event.  Fifty persons is over 50% of our downstairs fellowship hall capacity.  While we’d love to extend a formal funeral dinner to all who need (and will continue to do so following the restrictions) for now we must put a hold on potluck/buffet style meals in the church. NOTE: FOR THE WEEKS OF 11/22, 11/29, 12/6, and 12/13, THE BUILDING CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY GATHERING OF ANY SIZE.

Weekly - Monthly Prayers

Weekly Prayer Requests:

The following are the prayer requests brought forward during the worship service (first names only).
     From 9/20: our farmers moving out into the field for harvest; those affected by the fires out west and the hurricanes in the south; those affected by the riots and for the rioting to stop.  
     From 9/27: farmers in the field; those affected by the fires out West and the hurricane damage along the southern shore; Pastor Ray (losing weight, in hospital, doing a study); Lydia (fluid around the heart)
     From 10/4: prayers for Pat Garrett whose husband, Bill, died in accident on 104 yesterday; farmers in the field; those affected by the wildfires and hurricane damage; social unrest and racial tensions; Lydia; Pastor Ray; JOYS: Jacob made Student of the Month
     From 10/11: (shared verbally)
     From 10/18: (shared verbally)
     From 10/25: Richard Kerns (cancer has spread to the lungs); DeeDee’s nephew Jimmi McKinney is in the hospital with COVID and pneumonia; prayers for Taylorville schools going back with hybrid learning; Brian Bach’s parents driving across the US to a new home in Oregon; continued prayers for Lydia McChristy who is home from the hospital, but her immune system is non-functioning [UPDATE–she is back in the hospital]; Lois Hesse (Swearingen’s housemate) has COVID and pneumonia and is in the hospital.  JOY: Katie O’Brien is living on her own!
     From 11/1: the Sue Lyr family; Ellen has cancer of the blood (84-years-old); the Chad Wright family

Weekly Member:

Each week during the worship service we draw the name of a household associated with our congregation.
The congregation is invited to include this household in their daily prayers for the week.

     From 8/2: Carol
     From 8/9: Linda
     From 8/16: Cody + family
     From 8/23: Austin
     From 8/30: Megan
     From 9/13: Jody + family
     From 9/20: Leslie
     From 9/27: The Rogers family
     From 10/4: (did not draw)
     From 10/11: (did not draw)
     From 10/18: (did not draw)
     From 10/25: Chuck Jr. and Kathy Guthrie family
     From 11/1: (did not draw)
     From 11/8: The Ramie and Samantha family.
     From 11/15: Helen Covington

Churches and World Regions of the Month:

Every month we pray for a collection of churches in our area (equivalent of 1 per week).
     Churches for November:
          1. Old Fountain of Life United Methodist, Buffalo – Rev. Aletha Weatherall
          2. Mt. Davis Memorial, Taylorville – Rev. Bill Kerns
          3. Farmersville United Methodist – Rev. Ellen Dixon
          4. Bethel Baptist, Sharpsburg – Rev. Steven Robinson
          5. First United Methodist Church, Pana – Rev. Amanda Richards

Every month we pray for a region of the world.
     Region for November:
          Easter Asia (China [Hong Kong, Macau], Mongolia, North and South Korea, Japan, Taiwan)

Our Church Family Pictured . . .

Enjoy our gallery.