"Let us unite the two
so long divided:
knowledge and vital piety."
Charles Wesley, cofounder of Methodism
"watching over one another in love,
building up one another with love."
The Purpose of Home Groups is "to engage and strengthen its members through intentional, spiritual, unconditional fellowship as a form of mutual care and growth in spirituality and discipleship."
We currently have 2 Home Groups:
1. Sunday mornings – 9:00-9:45 am – Jeannine Covington (leader)
2. Tues. mornings – 10:30-11:30 am – Joan Swearingen (leader)
The gatherings are structured loosely and are largely guided by what matters most to you as a group member. The gatherings are designed to help each member feel heard and known by the group, to apply Scripture to life and relate life to Scripture, and to offer prayer partners. The Groups are about maintaining fellowship and care in the congregation in creative ways. Contact any one of the group leaders, the pastor, or the church office for more information and ways to join.
Adults meet upstairs in the office where they utilize movies and quarterly studies for growing in the spirit and knowledge of the Lord.
Contact Rita or Marilyn, who lead the class, for more information.
Children meet downstairs in the fellowship hall where adult leaders lead creative Bible lessons that are age-appropriate.
Contact DeeDee or Edie, who lead the class, for more information.
UMW meets every second Thursday at 7:00 pm in the downstairs fellowship hall.
UMW's Purpose: We are "a community of women whose PURPOSE is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ, to develop a creative, supportive fellowship, and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church."
Contact DeeDee, the UMW president, for more information.
Bible Studies and Small Groups
Other short-term studies and groups, often led by the pastor, are scheduled throughout the year. Each study is between 4-6 weeks and sometimes utilizes a book or study. The theme will focus on the Bible, Jesus, or modern life issues.
This is a series of teaching units called “modules” which can be taken as a whole series or individually (according to one’s availability). There are nine modules covering general Christian topics. The course is led by the pastor and satisfies the requirements for Confirmation (youth confirming their baptisms) and adult membership (adults seeking professing membership). The course begins in September and ends in May. Each module is associated with a single month and involves reading material (and/or YouTube videos of the same material), and 2 to 4 in-person sessions.
The modules are:
Worship, Communion, Baptism, The Bible, Methodism I: History and Practice, Methodism II: Major Beliefs, Spiritual Giftedness and Call, and the Church.
The use of modules makes it possible to begin mid-year and is gracious to changing schedules. In-person sessions are scheduled at the convenience of the participants.
As people gather and leave our worship service, they have the chance to sign cards for people in a variety of situations. Do you know of someone whom the church should send a card? Let Rita (217-827-5807) or Marilyn (217-827-5882) know and they will see that a card is set out to be signed.
Occasionally, as major natural disasters hit the U.S., we collect $10 per blanket to support Church World Service ministry.
When someone is going through major health issues, the members of the church are invited to help tie the frills of a double-layered fleece blanket. The blanket is prayed over and sent to the person in need with a blessing.
Twice a year, our church participates in the community-wide rummage sale and we offer a lunch on those weekends as well.
Several times a year, we host the Central Illinois Blood Bank mobile unit at the church.
Fifth Sundays & Other Game Nights
We love to eat, drink (coffee & tea), and be merry! We usually find ourselves having cookouts, potlucks, evenings of entertainment, or game nights on the months with a Fifth Sunday. (We do not serve alcohol at any church function or anywhere on church property.)
Summerfest Pie Stand
Our pie stand is a popular presence at our annual Summerfest festivities, which usually takes place during the Father’s Day weekend in June. We also participate in the theme parade that weekend.
Beyond our local community, we also help support clergy salaries in Liberia and sponsor a missionary. In the past, we have helped support the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, the DOVE Inc. in Decatur, Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana, the Veterans Affair in Danville, and Asbury UMC’s Children Supper Hour and Wooden It Be Lovely in Springfield, The Baby Fold in Bloomington, and Loving Arms and Shadow Home in Taylorville. We also give to the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems (ILCAAAP). We pick up several denominational offerings every year to help support regional, national, and global ministries like scholarships, work among the marginalized, Native American ministries, humanitarian and disaster relief efforts through UMCOR, among many other worthy ministries. We also proudly pay 100% of our Conference apportionments every year which helps support the ministries in our area like camps and family services.
Food Pantry/Wee Care
The Interchurch Food Pantry is located in the old elementary school building in Blue Mound and is open every Saturday from 8:00-10:10 am. We participate regularly in this amazing ministry both financially and with volunteers. Due to COVID this has become a drive up only ministry.
Our congregation maintains funds to help those associated with our church who are struggling financially. Contact the pastor for access to this fund.
Our congregation also helps support the Stonington Ministerial Alliance’s Good Samaritan fund which is a community effort and is maintained for the benefit of transient persons and all residents of Stonington. The contact for access to this fund is Pastor Caleb, who serves as the treasurer of the SMA.