What's Happening


We are in Phase 4 of Region 3 in Illinois.  This allows for 50 persons or fewer for in-person assembly.

FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF SUNDAY AND MEMBERSHIP VOTE #1 REGARDING SUMC’S BUILDING PROJECT–please go to the “New Building Project” tab or click here.  Please refer to the blue and green buttons for more details about what to expect Sunday morning (4/25/2021).

Sunday Mornings

Sunday, April 4th – Easter SundayReaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant. SCRIPTURE: Luke 24:1-12 (The Resurrection).

                                    ***No early SonRise service or UMM Breakfast.
                                    Join Pastor Caleb and others at the Old Stonington Cemetery at 6:30 am for a viewing of the sunrise.
                                          (in the back of the cemetery, facing East.  No formal service.  Bring a lawn chair.)

Sunday, April 11th – Second Sunday of Eastertide. Holy Communion (rescheduled). SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 1-2.  SERMON: ‘Who Can We Trust?’ SERIES: Worthy of Our Trust–Six Fundamental Beliefs of Christianity, Part 1 of 6.

Sunday, April 18thThird Sunday of Eastertide.  SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 3-4.  SERMON: ‘The Risk of Love’ SERIES: Worthy of Our Trust–Six Fundamental Beliefs of Christianity, Part 2 of 6. Native American Ministries Sunday  (special UMC offering – rescheduled from 4/25 as advertised in the April newsletter.)

Sunday, April 25th – Fourth Sunday in Easter. ***Campaign Kick-Off Sunday & Congregational Vote***  D.S. Bradley Watkins to preach.
                                      (see below under “Announcements” for more information about the vote and how to prepare for it.)

Sunday, May 2nd Fifth Sunday of Eastertide. SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 7-8.  SERMON: ‘The Peace Dividend’ SERIES: Worthy of Our Trust–Six Fundamental Beliefs of Christianity, Part 4 of 6.  Holy Communion service (prepacked elements)

Sunday, May 9th Sixth Sunday of Eastertide. SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 9-10.  SERMON: ‘God in Company’ SERIES: Worthy of Our Trust–Six Fundamental Beliefs of Christianity, Part 5 of 6.

Sunday, May 16th – Seventh Sunday of Eastertide/Ascension Sunday. SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 11-13.  SERMON: ‘Love, Actually’ SERIES: Worthy of Our Trust–Six Fundamental Beliefs of Christianity, Part 6 of 6.

Sunday, May 23rd DAY OF PENTECOST / Heritage Sunday. SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:1-4.  WEAR RED TODAY!
                                     Combined service with Edinburg UMC – at the Ponting Field Pavilion – 10:30 am
                                     Angelo’s to cater meal – Stonington to provide desserts.

Sunday, May 30th TRINITY SUNDAY / Memorial Sunday.  SERIES: ‘My Final Messages to You’, Part 1 of 3

Sunday, June 6th – SERIES: ‘My Final Messages to You’, Part 2 of 3

Sunday, June 13th – PASTOR CALEB’S FINAL SUNDAY (IN THE PULPIT).  SERIES: ‘My Final Messages to You’, Part 3 of 3.
                                      Holy Communion (rescheduled – Revs. Caleb and Brennan will serve)

Sunday, June 20th – STONINGTON SUMMERFEST COMMUNITY SERVICE – 10:30 am – Pastor Brennan will represent SUMC.  Joy Assembly to lead service.

Sunday, June 27th – 


Dates & Meetings

(all meetings are open)

Ministry Team – 6:00 pm – Wednesday, April 14th
Church Council
– 7:00 pm – Wednesday, April 14th
United Methodist Women – 7:00 pm – Thursday, April 8th
Building Committee – 7:00 pm – Wednesday, April 28th



PASTOR CALEB REAPPOINTED TO WISCONSIN.  On Sunday, March 28th, Pastor Caleb announced during the church service that the Wisconsin Annual Conference reached out to him on behalf of a group of close friends of his.  He pursued this opportunity in late fall of 2020.  After a formal letter of request was sent to our Bishop, Frank J. Beard, Beard approved Pastor Caleb to “explore appointments beyond the bounds of the Conference.”  Pastor Caleb was interviewed in late January by representatives of the WI Board of Ordained Ministry and their Episcopal Cabinet.  Two weeks later, they announced that Bishop Hee-Soo Jung (WI Bishop) and the WI Cabinet of District Superintendents had discerned an appointment for him.  On Thursday, February 18th, Pastor Caleb was introduced to the members of the Port Edwards United Methodist Church Staff-Parish Relations Committee in Port Edwards, WI.  This SPRC unanimously approved the bishop’s discernment that night.  Pastor Caleb cannot emphasize enough how bittersweet this move is to him.  He is excited to be moving closer to some of his closest colleagues and friends but is also grieving the separation of the relationships he has developed at Edinburg and Stonington–not to mention his own family in Mount Carmel, IL.  But–he knows well that this is the life and choice of every Methodist ministry.  It is a burden to bear for the Lord’s sake.  Neither the Bishop nor the DS wanted to see him leave, but he has made this choice for the benefit of his own future ministry in a context he believes will enable flourishment on a personal level.  He hopes Edinburg and Stonington will come to understand the depth of this important life decision he has made. 

PASTOR BRENNAN TO SERVE SUMC JULY 1ST.  It was announced on Sunday, March 21st that Rev. Brennan Hurley will be SUMC’s new pastor effective July 1st.  His wife is Jenna and their daughter-to-be is Caroline (due early-to-mid July).  Their four-legged family member is a dog named Max.  Brennan is currently finishing up his Masters of Divinity degree at Duke University’s Theological School (a great United Methodist seminary)!  He is currently serving two rural churches in North Carolina.  He will be returning to Illinois in early June and moving in to the Stonington parsonage around the second full-week of June.  Brennan is from Carlinville and Jenna is from Virden.  Brennan will also be serving at Taylorville First United Methodist Church as their part-time associate pastor even as he is our part-time “senior” pastor.  He writes: “It is a new season at Stonington UMC–a new building, a new pastor, and I hope, a renewed sense of mission and passion for the good news of Jesus Christ.  My family comes to you from North Carolina with hopes, dreams, and a calling to serve God and neighbor alongside you. . . . These are certainly strange times.  However, it is precisely these times in which the circumstances of life knock us off our horses (see Acts 9) that Jesus appears to us and beckons us to chart a new course in faith.  Our world needs good news.  The gospel of Jesus Christ offers that good news, and we get to be a part of it together.  We’ll see you in June! -Brennan Hurley” 

Campaign Kick-Off Sunday and Congregational VoteApril 25th.  The SUMC Building Committee has scheduled the first of two votes on our proposed New Church Building.  This vote is seeking approval from the congregation on the current building proposal, but it is NOT the FINAL vote to approve the building of a new church structure.  It is a vote to go forward with the Capital Campaign.  The second and final vote has yet to be scheduled (and will come when we have collected enough cash on hand to enter into contracts and satisfy bank requirements for loans).  Now that our pastoral change is finalized and with our new alignment with Taylorville UMC, we are excited to proceed with our Building Project.
What does Vote #1 Mean:
(1) Do you approve of the architectural plans as provided by the architect? AND
(2) Do you approve of our financial game plan (the capital campaign)? 
[In our denomination, capital campaigns require a congregational vote.] 
    (1) Voting must be limited to Professing/Full Members Only (have been confirmed/professed as a young adult or adult) (as per our Book of Discipline.
    (2) Members must be present at the time of voting (ZOOM participants are considered “present”).
    (3) The District Superintendent must be present and lead the voting.
    (4) The vote is done by private, paper ballot.  Ballots cannot be given out beforehand but will be passed out at the time of voting.  There will be several official ballot-counters for it.  Those on ZOOM must have video on and give a visible sign of approval/disapproval.
NOTE: Family and friends need to help those professing members who cannot/should not physical attend in-person but would also have trouble using ZOOM on their own.  To have their voices and vote count, we are asking you to plan for this now so that they can participant in a viable way.  
—-The worship service will be shortened and the vote will take place after. 
—-The service will be on Facebook Live AND on ZOOM. 
—-Participants can ZOOM for the entirety of the service
—-Participants must have “Video On” in order to vote, therefore the call-in option via a phone cannot be used.
ZOOM INFORMATION: click here for a direct link to meeting:
(Meeting ID: 902 334 1747 / Passcode: 500528)

SUMC’s Preliminary Architectural Plans can be found on the “New Building Project” Tab of our website.

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.  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: ALL EVENTS MUST BE 50 PERSONS OR FEWER FOR THE TIME BEING.

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.).
     From 1/17/21: Zander D. and all called offer security at the inauguration; Rebecca S.; Laurie’s mom, Dar (foot surgery); Madelyn L. (broken arm); Leslie (surgery); Aleana; Tom F.; John W.; Penny S.
     From 1/24/21: Vicky J. (two family members lost to COVID-19); Tanner Mitchell family (fatal car accident); Caleb S. (in hospital since July with COVID-19).
     From 1/31/21: Jo (Marilyn’s granddaughter); Tom F. family; Linda D.; Leslie D.; Rebecca S.
     From 2/7/21: Linda D. (recovering from knee replacement surgery); Vicky Johnson (from Shadow Home; lost 4 family members in 4 weeks to COVID-19).
     From 2/14/21: Marilyn R.; Linda D.
     From 2/21/21: Ella (hit head hard); Linda D. (in Meadow Manor with blood clot); Audrey D.’s sister’s family; Leslie D.; Alex C. Family; Brittany C.; Bill T. + family AND Ella L. + family (both received cancer diagnoses recently); Emma B. Family; 
      From 2/28/21:
      From 3/7/21: Meredith B. (gallbladder surgery); Alan R.
      (From 3/10 Council Mtg.: Linda D., Alan, Meredith, John C., Dan C., Randy M., Madelyn L., Bob S., Marilyn R.)
      From 3/14/21: Clare C.
      From 3/21/21: Glenna L., Linda D., Cunningham Children’s Home, Bobbie H. and family (COVID difficulties); Dan C. (broken ribs and punctured lung); Rian E. (broken ankle)
      From 3/28/21: Shawna (Shadow Home – in hospital); Cynthia M.; Laurie’s niece, Alexa; Glenna L.; Ava M.
      From 4/4/21: No prayer concerns shared.
      From 4/11/21: Don M.; Glenna L.; Linda D.; Cynthia M.; Mac M.; for the ladies at Shadow Home; family members going to court this week.

Households, Churches, and World Regions of the Month:

In preparation for each month, 4-5 households from our church family are drawn from a jar filled with slips of paper.
The congregation is invited to include these households in their daily prayers for the month (or one household per week).

     Households for April:
           1. Dan C.
           2. Cody G.
           3. DeeDee and Jim M. Family
           4. Alan and Mindy R. Family

Every month we pray for a collection of churches in our area (equivalent of 1 per week).
      Churches for April:
          1. Chestnut, Latham, Mt. Pulaski UMCs – Rev. David Hutton and associates
          2. Church of the Nazarene, Taylorville – Rev. Steve Switzer
          3. Fairview United Methodist Church, Nokomis – Rev. Richard Miles

          4. Memorial Presbyterian, Assumption – Rev. Tom Mulch

Every month we pray for a region of the world.
     Region for April:
          Middle East (Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, 
                                   United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia)

Every month is full of “special observances”; the ones listed below may help you stretch your prayer life.
     April Special Observances:
1st – Maundy Thursday / Paraprofessional Appreciation Day / April Fools / Nat’l Walking Day
2nd – Good Friday / Nat’l Reconciliation Day / Children’s Book Day / World Autism Day
3rd – Nat’l Love Our Children Day / Nat’l Film Score Day
4th – Easter! / School Librarian Day
6th – Sexual Assault Awareness Day of Action
7th – ChildHelp Day of Hope / World Health Day
10th – Nat’l Sibling Day (Pastor C’s birthday)
11th – World Parkinson’s Disease Day / Global Day to End Child Sexual Abuse
13th – Int’l Plant Appreciation
15th – Titanic Remembrance / Nat’l ASL Day / Nat’l D.A.R.E. Day
16th – Stress Awareness Day / Nat’l High-Five Day / Nat’l Librarian Day
20th – Volunteer Recognition Day / Patriot Day
21st – Administrative Professional’s Day
22nd – Earth Day
24th – Arbor Day / Nat’l Rebuilding Day
25th – Hairstylist Appreciation Day / World Malaria Day / Native American Ministries Day
28th – Nat’l Occupational Safety & Health Day

Our Church Family Pictured . . .

Enjoy our gallery.