In-person worship resumes on Sunday, January 10th, 2021.
This decision was made on Thursday, January 7th by the pastor and the Church Council Chairs of both EUMC and SUMC. This decision was based on generally declining COVID-19 case numbers in the state, region, and county. There remains some red-flag metrics in our area and our decision to return to in-person worship does not assume that “everything is back to normal” or that “Everything is okay now.” We are currently in a “25 persons or fewer in gatherings” (recommended by the state for churches). But we are projecting that our in-person numbers will not be much higher than this threshold. We continue state: “attend at your own risk” and “use your best judgment.”
Sunday, January 17th – Wesley’s Covenant Renewal Service Sunday. SCRIPTURE: 4:14-30.
The first of six United Methodist special offerings for 2021 (Human Relations Day) will be picked up today.
In-person worship continues today. Online options remain available.
Sunday, January 24th – Ecumenical Sunday. SCRIPTURE: 5:1-11.
Sunday, January 31st – Fifth Sunday. SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:1-16. Benevolence Fund Offering to be picked up today.
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)
SUMC Building Committee is planning on meeting in early January to receive Dave Libe’s preliminary plans. As soon as the Building Committee meet, copies of the plan will be mailed to every professing member and constituent of SUMC. Prepare for a congregational meeting and vote on these preliminary plans in the spring.
Tuesdays, January 19th, and 26th + Thursdays, January 14th, 21st, and 28th – “How to Be the Church in a Post-Pandemic World” – 6 sessions of discussions – via ZOOM (link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9023341747?pwd=ZjlZS2UySGpocnhTd0VhOFNtbDgzQT09 / Passcode: 500568)
Worship Team – Wednesday at 6:00
Building Committee – Wednesday at 7:00
United Methodist Women – RESCHEDULED for Thursday, January 21st at 7:00 pm.
Souper Bowl Collection – Throughout January we are once again collecting soup cans of all kinds to be blessed and sent on their way on 2/7 for the Interchurch Food Pantry.
Human Relations Special Offering (United Methodist Offering – 1 of 6 for 2021) – JANUARY 17th. This offering calls the Church to recognize the right of all God’s children in realizing their potential as human beings in relationship with each other. The purpose of this offering is to further the developing of better human relations and helping overcome injustice and empower those struggling to survive. The entirely of the offering will fund ministries in the U.S. and around the world; a portion will help strengthen racial/ethnic minority congregations; a portion supports the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission–the official volunteer service of the denomination; a final portion goes to the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program to educate and rehabilitate non-violent youth offenders.
January-February Upper Rooms are available in a Rubbermaid on attached to the ramp outside the church. Pick up a copy at your own convenience.
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 10 people or fewer (Stage 4 – Tier 3 Mitigations). 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: THE BUILDING CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY GATHERING OF ANY SIZE THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.
Weekly - Monthly Prayers
Weekly Prayer Requests:
The following are the prayer requests brought forward during the worship service (first names only).
From 1/3/21: Linda (continue prayers for recovery); all those suffering from the effects of the pandemic, quarantining, and symptoms of the virus.
From 1/10/21: Linda; Rebecca; all those suffering from COVID-19; Glenna (as she celebrates her 95th on Wed.).
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.
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 January
1. Chatham United Methodist – Rev. Miriam Snider
2. Calvary Baptist, Taylorville – Rev. Steve Switzer
3. Springfield-Area UMCs – Rev. Tom Young / Owaneco UMC – no pastor / South Fork UMC – Rev Dayle Badman
4. Mt. Auburn Church of Christ – Revs. Dan Armstrong & Mike Smith
Every month we pray for a region of the world.
Region for January:
Southeast Africa (Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
Every month is full of “special observances”; the ones listed below may help you stretch your prayer life.
January Special Observances:
1st – World Day of Peace / New Years Day / Global Human Family Day
2nd – National Motivation and Inspiration Day (pray for those who need them)
4th – National Braille Day (pray for the blind)
6th – Arrival of the Wise Men (Epiphany)
8th – War on Poverty Day (pray for those in cycles of poverty)
9th – Nat’l Law Enforcement Awareness Day
11th – Nat’l Human Trafficking Awareness (pray against modern slavery)
16th – Nat’l Religious Freedom Day / Civil Service Day (pray for responsible citizenship)
17th – Celebration of Life Day (pray for those contemplating abortion)
18th – MLK Jr. Day (pray for those who fight for justice)
20th – Nat’l Day of Service (pray for those who serve others) / Inauguration Day (pray for the new presidential administration)
27th – Int’l Holocaust Remembrance (pray for the elimination of genocide)
30th – Street Children Day (pray for homeless children and youth)
Our Church Family Pictured . . .
Enjoy our gallery.