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In Touch - June 13, 2021

Please see below for this week's edition. Pastor Kevin's Prairie Dog Blog can also be found on "From PK's Desk"... click here

In Touch: The sixty-Fifth Weekly Publication from First UMC

From: Pastor Kevin Drane, 309-525-3863                                                                                                          Date: June 13, 2021


 Announcements


-         Channel 13 Broadcasts are still on hiatus due to delays in the work being completed in the TV studio area. We will let you know when we are able to resume broadcasting on Channel 13. Thank you for your patience.

-         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.

-         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 approximately 11:15am.

-         CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL HAS RESUMED on Sunday at 10:30am in the Gym. It will run until approximately 11:00am.

-         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 will be held Wednesday, July 28th – Sunday, August 1st. More information coming next week! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Church Office.

-         BACK 2 SCHOOL BASH will be held on Saturday, August 14th. More information coming soon! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Church Office.

-         SUMMER FUN! Dates have been for July 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd. More information and registration information will be published within the next couple weeks! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Church Office.

-         WE ARE HIRING! Kewanee First UMC is searching for a Youth Pastor to lead our Children’s and Youth Programs. Check out our job posting on Handshake, our website, or contact the Church Office for more information.

-         JOB OPENING: Kewanee First UMC has begun to search for candidates to fill a custodial position. If you are interested, please check out our posting on the church website or contact the Church Office for an application packet.

-         The 2021 CROP Walk will be held Sunday, October 3. More information to come.

-         Jay DeValkenaere would like to thank everyone for all the prayers on his behalf as he has worked through his health issues over the past month. He is improving and would like to let his church family know the prayers are appreciated.

-         Pastor Bruce Rushing has announced his retirement after 45 years of ministry. Wesley United Methodist Church in Canton has extended an invitation to a Retirement Open House and Reception being held in his honor on Saturday, June 26th from 2-5pm. If you would like to send cards, please send them to Wesley UMC, 120 North Avenue A, Canton, IL 61520.

-          Not a Fan Book Study: Sessions meet on Tuesday at 6pm, Wednesday at 9:30am, and Sunday at 3:30pm. NO class Sunday 6/20/21, Father’s Day. You need only attend one session per week. E-mail recaps are being sent out after the class sessions. If you do not receive one, please contact the church office to verify your e-mail address.

Week 6 Assignment: Please read Chapters 13-14

 

Upcoming Saturday Night Worship Schedule

You are invited to join us in the Chapel beginning at 5:30pm Saturday Evening. 

 

Saturday, June 12 – Linda Orr

Saturday, June 19 – Linda Bolls

Saturday, June 26 – Donna Boardman

 

Media Update #10

From Media & Technology Program Facilitator, Linda Orr

 

Change is coming…

 

Construction dust will be floating around KFUMC in short order. Construction will begin on the studio area next week as things really start to ramp up.

 

As they start to pick up, once again I am asking for those interested in being part of the AV program to contact the Church Office. Now is the time to start assembling our team and start preparing for how things will look when everything is completed.

 

However, we can’t neglect the other projects around here. Dan Kirtley and the Building, Grounds & Maintenance Team have been working diligently handling bids for other projects that go alongside the Media and Technology renovation project. Currently, they are looking at bids for work on having the gutters cleared to eliminate water issues and looking at repairs in the nursery. Previously, they handled bids for several small jobs around the church and projects at the Parsonage.

 

Additionally, we are looking at the elevator project and working toward a resolution. Over the past two weeks, KFUMC has met with five different contractors to discuss the required modifications that will go along with replacing our elevator. We are in the process of waiting for bids and working with the insurance company to determine coverage amounts. Once we have specifics from insurance, we can proceed with determining how we are going to move forward with the elevator replacement.

 

This is going to be another large-scale project at Kewanee First. 2021 is turning out to be a year of change around here… stay tuned!

 

         

 

Thoughts from my burrow to yours…   A Prairie Dog Blog   06.13.21

 

God desires love, compassion and unity…

My cousin-in-law, Debbie Drane, posted this Nelson Mandela quote on Facebook: “Our world is not divided by race, color, gender or religion.   Our world is divided into wise people and fools.  Fools divide people by race, color, gender or religion.”

We are NOT united.  There are so many divisions in our country, our community, sadly, even in our churches.  Think of the divisions we experience so frequently.   Issues like; social justice, racial, ethnicity, politics, gender, and the economy… all causing injustice, strife and divisions.

          It would appear we are coming out of COVID restrictions, yet another divisive issue.  Divided by those working and those not working, those infected and those unaffected, those wearing masks and those refusing to wear masks, those that could afford to purchase protective equipment and sanitizer and those that couldn’t afford it or even find it.   We all have had divisions thrust upon us.

          Consider Kewanee; we have all the above divisions… as a community we are kind of normal.  I’m amazed at the school division that exists in this community.  It appears that the students are not passionate these divisions.   They seem willing to look past where someone attends school.   That division seems to infect those that are out of school, later in life.  Why have we stopped doing some of the joint activities that used to be in place a decade or two ago?

          Our churches are divided by theology (the study of the nature of God and religious belief).  We have division based on what this group wants or that group wants and the differences between those desires.  Sadly, often in the church, we focus on the differences and forget to consider our common beliefs and desires.   Desires that should prioritize such as; worshipping God, believing in Jesus Christ, loving God and one another, listening for the Holy Spirit, promoting social justice, helping the down trodden in our society… the list could go on and on, couldn’t it?  I wonder what the Bible says about all this divisiveness.

 

1 Corinthians 1.10

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Galatians 3.28

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

John 13.35

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

 

Philippians 2.3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

 

Ephesians 4.11-13

So, Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

 

Mark 3.24-25 (Jesus said) If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Is this indicating our country, our community or our churches will not stand if we remain divided. I, in my opinion, believe that’s exactly what it means.  Our God is not about chaos, strife and division.   Satan spreads strife, chaos and divides.   God is a God of love, grace and unity.   May God’s love fill us all and may the brokenness of this world be healed by our loving, grace filled, forgiving, merciful and compassionate God.

 

pk & Marlene

 

 

Here is the AT prayer list for the week of June 13th – June20th. If you would like to participate, contact Linda or Donna in the office to sign up. Feel free to sign up for multiple days!


June 13 - 

June 14 - Prayer Posse/Unity/Lisa Washburn/Jay & Annette DeValkenaere

June 15 - April Calhoun & Jill Wager

June 16 - Linda Bolls

June 17 - 

June 18 - Pat & Jr. Brown

June 19 - 

June 20 - Mike Haptonstall 

 

 

Kewanee First UMC Prayer List & Prayer Community

Our prayer list for the week: E mail or call us with updates and requests.

PRAISES:  Thank You, God!!!  WE praise your Holy & Righteous name…

-        For a God that never leaves us or forsakes us!!!

-        Less COVID restrictions

-        Praises as our worship continues to grow

CONCERNS:  Lord, 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)

-        Heidi 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 for Leukemia.

-        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 with cancer. Pray for Harold and family as they minister to him.

-        Lee Lehman and wife Gladys as Lee undergoes chemotherapy treatments.

-        Kerinda Mercer – open-heart surgery.

-        Jay DeValkenaere as he deals with some physical issues.

-        Jena Young and her family as she recovers in the hospital from complications after surgery.

-        The family and friends of John Pence

-        The family and friends of Gloria Pemble

-         The family and friends of Teresa Carlton

-        Ken Vincent as he recovers from an illness.

-        Carrie Washburn as she travels for progress tests. Pray for positive results.

-        Pray for a young child battling cancer, and his family.

-        Please lift up a young lady dealing with a difficult situation.

-        Please lift up an anonymous family that is struggling with dissension between parents and older sibling(s).

-        Family & friends with addictions.

-        All our service men & women

 

          Cancer battles:

-        Heidi, Everly, Drew, Harley, Janet, Nancy, Ralph, Lee & Harold

 

Those who grieve:

Coronavirus losses, Other deaths, lost freedom, jobs, income, routines, social health…

 

Last Week’s Sermon

6.6.21 Mark 3.20-35 When the Spirit Moves: Being Renewed

INTRO (me-us)  There are parts of the Bible that are hard for me to read… sometimes I wish they were not there.   Within God’s word, we can read about how Jesus preached and because of what he was saying people began to turn away from him.  Suddenly he wasn’t doing the miracles and he wasn’t feeding people with miraculous free food.  He began sharing how they needed to rely on the Son of Man, the Messiah, referring to himself.   His ideas were quite radical for the culture at that time.  That wasn’t a message they wanted to receive.

John 6.52-66   Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can

this man give us his flesh to eat?”  53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 

54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.  57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.  60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”  61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?  62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”  For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”  66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

          In some way shape or form all of us are like the people that decided to turn away from Jesus and head back home… they stopped following him.   They were fans of Jesus, but, not followers of Jesus. Let’s look at today’s scriptures.

BODY (God says)  Mark 3. 20-35 (NIV)  Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. [People were following, crowds were so large that Jesus and the disciples couldn’t even eat.  This was a culture where meals and hospitality were very important.  When his family heard of the crowds and his lack of food and hospitality they probably wanted to save him; from the crowds and himself.]   21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” [Greek terminology used here could have easily been translated as he needed arrested… arrested for his own protection.]

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub!  [Lord of flies or Lord of filth] By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”   23 So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?  24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.  27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. 28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.  29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” [This is a scary scripture.   Who wants to commit an UNPARDONABLE sin?]  30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.” 

[According to RK Hughes’ commentary Mark: Jesus, Servant and Savior; “The question is: what is this unforgivable sin, this unforgivable blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? First, let us note what it is not. It is not cursing the Holy Spirit. It is not taking the Lord’s name in vain, though that is certainly a vile sin. It is not adultery or sexual perversion.

It is not murder, even multiple murders, or genocide. Very simply it is is the ongoing, continual rejection of the witness of the Holy Spirit to the Divinity and Saviorhood of Christ. It is the perversion in the heart which chooses to call light darkness and darkness light. It is continuing rejection of the witness of the Holy Spirit, whether that witness be a quiet witness in the conscience, the rational witness of the Word, or even miracles and wonders.  The scribes here were at the very brink of committing this sin, because they were saying that the Holy Spirit’s witness to Christ through his exorcisms and miracles were really the work of Satan.” 

Cranfield stated it this way: It is not the ignorant blasphemer on the street who is in danger of committing the unforgivable sin, but the man or woman in the Church who knows the Scriptures, has heard the Word held forth with accuracy, has seen something of the miraculous power of God in changed lives, and yet rejects it all, even identifying what he has seen with the power of Satan. He calls light darkness and good evil, in testimony to a massive perversion of spirit (cf. Isaiah 5:20).”]

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in

to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”  33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

CONCLUSION (us-you)

          What did Jesus mean when he said this?   Did Jesus mean our biological families are not worth worrying about?   Absolutely not!  What he did mean was that there is

a deeper kinship than flesh and blood, a spiritual kinship which is characterized by obedience to God the Father. For this reason he said, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Obedience does not originate relationship with God, faith does that, but obedience is a sign of faith in God. Jesus was saying that there is

a new family which is far superior to the human family, for it is eternal. Its ties are far stronger. It is far more satisfying. It is far more demanding. Those who are in his spiritual family are far more dear to him than his human family, with whom he lived

for thirty years! What Jesus said here has massive importance.

          Alexander Maclaren paraphrased this: “Whoever does God’s will is [and feels himself to be] my brother and sister and mother.” It is no wonder that in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus commanded us to pray, “Your will be done,” for in obeying God we open our souls to the fullness of being his family. Obey the Lord, and an unparalleled family experience awaits you.

          But there is, especially among Christians, another reason why the family is in trouble: its worship. In a valiant effort to stem the tide of family decline in this country, many Christians and non-Christians alike have made the family everything. Every moment of every day, every involvement, every commitment, every engagement is measured and judged by the question, “How will this benefit my family?” While this is generally commendable, it can degenerate into an idolatry of family… we, in essence, begin worshipping family instead of worshipping God.    This is an immense tragedy.

The tragedy is this: every earthly loyalty, if it is made central, if it becomes more important or a greater focus than we have on God, becomes idolatry, and all idolatries eventually destroy their worshipers.

What can we do to preserve and elevate our families? The answer begins with the family putting love and obedience to Christ above everything else. What does this mean? For example: none of us can love our spouses as they ought to be loved. Only Christ can do that. However, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Thus, we are able to love him and appropriately love others as we respond to his love. Most of us need to be better lovers, but being a better lover begins, for the believer, by loving God the most. Christ must be first!   And all God’s people said.   Amen.


May God keep you firmly in the grip of His GRACE!!!