From: Pastor Kevin Drane,
309-525-3863 Date: August 1, 2021
THE CHURCH ELEVATOR is
still out of order. The repair attempts were not successful, and our Insurance
Carrier has authorized us to seek replacement bids. We appreciate your patience and understanding
as we work through this issue.
CHANNEL 13 BROADCASTS
have resumed. Join us at 9am, 11:30am, and again
at 1:30pm and 3pm on Channel 13 each Sunday.
THE AWAKENING SERVICE has
resumed. Join us at 11:30am in Fellowship Hall.
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL is
meeting on Sunday beginning at 10:30am in the Sanctuary. It will run until
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL HAS
RESUMED on Sunday at 10:30am in the Gym. It will run until
THE POTTERS MEN’S GROUP will
meet on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 6pm in Jonah Room.
Contact Don Hendrick with questions.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL: Wednesday, July 28th
– Sunday, August 1st.
BACK 2 SCHOOL BASH will
be held on Saturday, August 14th. Check our Facebook Page and
website for more details!
The 2021 HENRY-STARK
COUNTY RELAY for LIFE
luminary forms are available at the Church.
The form and money can be mailed to Marcia Dragolovich, Luminary Chair,
or leave it with the church office to be picked up.
CROP WALK will be held Sunday, October 3.
More information to come.
CHOIR If you are interested in participating in choir, please let the church
office know. Plans are to start rehearsing in September.
M&M’s will be meeting the first Monday of each month, 2 p.m., in Fellowship
Hall. Any and all are welcome to join
us. Currently we have a couple sewing
projects ongoing, and at August 2nd meeting we’ll make plans for
visiting our shut-ins and delivering gifts we have made for them. We need cutters, sewers, and even welcome
those who just enjoy warm fellowship!
Upcoming Saturday Night
You are invited to join us
in the Chapel beginning at 5:30pm Saturday Evening.
July 31 – Donna Boardman
Aug 7 – Pastor Kevin
Aug 14 – Donna Boardman
Thoughts from my burrow to yours… A Prairie Dog Blog… 08.01.21
Appalachian Trail Update
Cait, and her friend Robert decided to come off the AT. They were about 800 miles into their hike of
2100 total miles. Think about it; 800
miles is like walking from Kewanee to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (772 miles) or
Houston, Texas (about 850 miles). I
think they had some really tough days and some really glorious days. They have memories that will last them a
lifetime and met a lot of really good people.
The “people” part of it is always a blessing… mostly. They met a unique blend of folks. Some, like them, hoping to make the entire
2100 mile hike and others that were just trying to hike a particular section of
the Trail. Lots of “day” hikers; folks
that are just out for a day of hiking… 1-2 miles or maybe even 20-30 miles
depending on their level of fitness and stamina.
why did they decide to stop? Good
question… Robert is from Hawaii. He has lived there his entire life. Before
joining Cait and Marlene on the Trail he had only been to the mainland a couple
of times. He needs to get back home (and
back to work) by the first of October.
They decided it would be better to come off the trail so he can
see/visit more of the continental United States. They are currently hiking a two day trail in
the Ozarks and will then cut through Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota
and Wisconsin. Then they will head to
Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida and then over to New
Orleans circling back to the west coast where Robert will catch a plane back to
guess Cait could have said, “No, I want to finish this walk” but Robert might
have missed an opportunity to really see more of the U.S. mainland. I guess from that standpoint I’m proud of the
800 miles they accomplished on the trail but prouder of her for wanting Rob to
have his chance to experience other things & places. It was nice of her to think of his needs too.
to all of you that prayed for them… Thank You very much. Maybe your prayers kept them safe, or kept
them hiking or anointed their time with fellow hikers… we never really know, do
we? And thanks to Marlene who’s
planning and preparations enabled them to be as successful as they were… BUT we know that many of you had a part that
you were willing to play in an Appalachian Trail experience.
Thanks and God Bless,
Pastor Kevin & Marlene
First UMC Prayer List & Prayer Community
Our prayer list for the
week: E mail or call us with updates and requests.
You, God!!! WE praise your Holy &
- For a God that never leaves us or forsakes us!!!
- Less COVID restrictions
- Praises as our worship continues to grow
in your mercy, hear our prayers…
- Pray for our country to seek justice for ALL…
- Essential workers; love, service, and care. (Pray for their
safety & their family’s)
Shimmin as she continues to be monitored after Cancer treatment
- Everly (three-year-old
great-niece of Rich & Kelli Murphy) is currently in maintenance treatment
- Dan Fairbanks has been on dialysis for two and a half years
and is now in need of
a kidney transplant.
- Ralph Senteney as he continues with home chemotherapy treatments.
- Harold Anderson, wife Pat, and family. He has been diagnosed
Pray for Harold and family as they
minister to him.
- Lee Lehman and wife Gladys as Lee undergoes chemotherapy
- Jay DeValkenaere as he deals with some physical issues.
- Pray for a young child battling cancer, and his family.
lift up an anonymous family that is struggling with dissension between parents
and older sibling(s).
Bob Herath who was just diagnosed with cancer.
Jontz as she recovers from knee surgery.
Billiet as she recovers from knee surgery.
- The Currier
family as they grieve the loss of both Dan Currier and Donna Culler.
- The Crabtree
family as they grieve the loss of Kay’s mother, Pearl Duncan.
Nanninga as she recovers from back surgeries.
Kremzow as he recovers from leg surgery.
Williams and Hasse families as they grieve the loss of Laura McKee.
Jeanne Ouart family as they mourn Jeanne’s passing.
Thomson family as they grieve the passing of Shirley’s brother.
- A teenage
niece and all teenagers who struggle with severe anxiety/depression.
- Family & friends with addictions.
- All our service men & women.
- Bishop Frank Beard (and his wife Melissa) as he recovers from
major eye surgery.
- A woman named Kay, as she struggles with physical issues in
- Heidi, Everly, Drew, Harley, Harold, Janet,
Jean, Lee, Nancy, Ralph, Pastor Bob Herath
Those who grieve:
Coronavirus losses, other
deaths, lost freedom, jobs, income, routines, social health…
7.25.21 Eph 3.14-21 Geared up for Life: Rooted
and grounded in love
In his book, Who Needs God, Harold
Kushner writes: The next time you go to
the zoo, notice where the lines are longest and people take the most time in
front of the cage. We tend to walk briskly past the deer and the antelope, with
only a passing glance at their graceful beauty. If we have children, we may
pause to enjoy the antics of the seals and the monkeys. But we find
ourselves irresistibly drawn to the lions, tigers, elephants, and
gorillas. Why? I suspect that without realizing or understanding it,
we are strangely reassured at seeing creatures bigger or stronger than
ourselves. It gives us the message, at once humbling and comforting, that we
are not the ultimate power.
souls are so starved for that sense of awe, that encounter with grandeur which
helps to remind us of our real place in the universe, that if we can’t get it
in church, we will search for it and find it someplace else.
Lewis used to say that we are born with a hole in our soul and most of us spend
our life trying to fill the hole in our soul.
I know I spent too many years looking for things that would fill the
hole I felt and came up empty over and over again. Some of us try to fill the hole in our soul
with alcohol or drugs, some with money or things, others with power and
control. The list could go on and on,
couldn’t it? But the fact is; only God
can fill the hole in our soul. Yet, so
many of us waste so much time trying to fill that God shaped hole within us
with a plethora of others things. What
a waste of time. Why won’t we
understand the power of God’s love and grace?
There was a lady
who lived out in the boondocks. She did not have electricity, but she wanted
it. She called the electric company and they made arrangements so that a line
could be gotten out to her so that she could have the benefits of
electricity. After delivering
electricity to her home for almost six months, someone at the company noticed
that only one unit of electricity was used. A serviceman was sent out to check
and make sure there was no problem. He knocked at her door, and when she
answered, he asked, “Hello, Miss. Are you using your electricity?” She said, “Why, yes, I am!” “May I ask what you are using it for?” “Well, when it gets dark I turn it on long
enough for me to light my kerosene lamp.”
Isn’t that just crazy? This
woman was using her electricity to help her light her kerosene lamps!
This woman didn’t
understand the power she had. She had all this power that could keep things
illuminated all night long, but she was settling for a kerosene existence. Sadly, many of us, as Christians, are
settling for taking this great power that God has given them only to light
their own human efforts. They are not maximizing the power of His
presence. Let’s see what God has for us
says) Eph 3.14-21 NIV 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, [The
opening statement — “For this reason I kneel before the Father” — may not get
our attention, especially if kneeling is part of our normal prayer discipline.
But, in fact, it is remarkable because it was not customary for Jews to
kneel in prayer. The ordinary posture was standing, just as we see pious
Jews doing today before the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, rocking back and forth
as they intone their prayers. Kneeling indicated an extraordinary event or
an unusual passion. For example, when King Solomon prayed at the dedication of
the Temple, he knelt on a wooden platform before all the people and lifted his
hands to Heaven in prayer (2 Chronicles 6:13). In Gethsemane on the eve of his
death Jesus fell to the ground in agonized emotion as he prayed to his father
(Mark 14:35, 36). And when Paul made his tearful good-bye to the elders of
Ephesus, he knelt with them and prayed (Acts 20:36–38). This first phrase was significant.]
14 For this reason I kneel before
the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth
derives its name. [Some of you have the cutest kids or grandkids, but I have to
say, that next to mine yours are probably the cutest… after mine. Isn’t that the way it is. We tend to be and feel closest or best about
OUR family, Amen? Well, God wants you
in the family. What do you think that
says about how God FEELS about you?] 16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with
power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that
Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. [Paul is praying for you to
be strengthened. RK Hughes states; The main idea is this: just as the sick,
diseased or infirm need to be strengthened so they can take in all that life
has to offer, so also God’s children need to be inwardly strengthened to
receive all the blessings God desires for them. Paper bags are not proper
containers for valuables and weak humans aren’t the best containers for the
Spirit of God.
This is all so
logical if you have been following Paul’s exposition of the wonderful things
God wants to do for his family. We need to be like the little boy who was about
to dunked in a barrel of molasses. He
looked up to the heavens and prayed; Lord, give me the tongue to match this
And I pray that
you, being rooted and established in love, [“Rooted” is
agricultural, and “established” (literally, founded)
is architectural, but their significance is perfectly parallel. Like trees, our
lives are to send down roots deep and wide into the soil of love. Like
buildings, the edifices of our lives here on earth are to have deep, solid
foundations of love. If we are properly
rooted and properly constructed on a foundation of love, nothing will be able
to shake us.]
18 may have power, together with
all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of
Christ [wide, length, height, depth] suggest that God’s love is:
1) A love which
is wide enough to embrace the world.
John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only
Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2) A love which
is long enough to last forever (1
Corinthians 13:8). As Spurgeon said, “It is so long that your old age cannot
wear it out, so long your continual tribulation cannot exhaust it, your
successive temptations shall not drain it dry; like eternity itself it knows no
3) A love which
is high enough to take sinners to
Heaven (1 John 3:1, 2).
4) A love which
is deep enough to take Christ to the
very depths to reach the lowest sinner (Philippians 2:8).
19 and to know this love that
surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness
[We are frail
containers pulsating with divine power!
In this way we become full of Christ. He “dwells in [our] hearts through
faith.” This is a beautiful upward spiral: our capacity is strengthened
according to his riches so we can appropriate more of his life; his life thus
fills us and thus enlarges our capacity so can we hold more of him within. And
so it goes onward and upward with Christ.
This prayer for inner strengthening was not a mere wish, but the
petition of the Apostle Paul for the Church. It is my prayer for myself and my
20 Now to him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at
work within us, [Years ago Dr. Barnhouse pointed out
that love is intrinsic to all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians
5:22. He said, “Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness.
Self-control is love holding the
reins.” There are no fruits of the Spirit without love! We must be rooted and
founded in love with all the depth and symbolism of these examples.
21 to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!
NT Wright says; “The danger here is that
it’s easy for people, particularly when they are soaked in the culture of
Western-style individualism, to imagine that being a Christian consists simply
in being able to feel, or believe, that Jesus has somehow taken up residence
within. In fact, Paul speaks far more often of Christians being ‘in Christ’
than of Christ being ‘in Christians’.”
Many of us, in
the Western church, have sometimes allowed ourselves to be lulled into thinking that prayer and
action are at opposite ends of the scale of Christian activity. On the
contrary. Those who want their actions to be effective for God’s kingdom should
redouble their time and effort in prayer. Prayer brings together love and
power: the relation of love that grows up between God and the person who prays,
and the flowing of power from God to, and especially through, that person.
have learned that there are three things the third race must put on its prayer
list: 1) prayer for an inner
strengthening so as to enhance our capacity to hold what he has for us, 2)
prayer for love so our practical
lives will be rooted in love and so we will further understand and experience
his unfathomable love, and, 3) prayer for ever-growing fullness in this life and in eternity.
boy one day was trying to pick up a rock. He said “Dad, it’s too heavy.” He said, “Son, you can do it.” The boy strained and tried, but he said,
“Dad, it’s too heavy.” The father
insisted, “Son, you can do it.” He tried
again. “Dad, it’s too heavy.” He said,
“Son, you’re not using all your strength.”
“Dad, I am. I am. It’s too heavy.” “Son, you’re not using all your strength.”
“Dad, why are you continually saying I’m not
using all my strength? It’s too heavy.”
“I know you’re not using all your strength, because you haven’t asked me
to help yet.” IS THAT HOW WE ARE AS
CHRISTIANS? There is more strength
available to you than what you have. Be strong in the strength of His
might. Eph. 6:10; Col. 1:29 If it’s the
true God we’ve been worshipping, we should be filled with a sense of new
possibilities: of new tasks and new energy to accomplish them.
Read verse 20 carefully. 20 Now
to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us. So, think of what God
might do in you and through you—you as a community, you as a church and you as
an individual. Now reflect on the fact that God is perfectly capable of
doubling or tripling that… going so far beyond it that you would look back at
the present moment and wonder how you could be so short-sighted.
Morrison, the first missionary to go to China, disembarked from his ship in a
Chinese port, the captain sneeringly said, “So you think you are going to make
an impression upon China.” Morrison
quietly replied, “No, sir, but I believe God will.” Did you hear that? When Robert Morrison, the first missionary to
go to China, disembarked from his ship in a Chinese port, the captain
sneeringly said, “So you think you are going to make an impression upon
China.” Morrison quietly replied, “No,
sir, but I believe God will.” The
question today is what will you do for this church as God works through
YOU? What will YOU do for the Kingdom of
God as God works through YOU? And all
Gods people said. Amen.
May God keep you
firmly in the grip of His GRACE!!!