January 8, 2021
If you need access to the building or would like to schedule a meeting or time in the sanctuary to pray, we ask that you contact the office by calling 309-827-8046 Monday through Thursday from 9am - 3 pm and Friday 9 am through 1 pm or sending an e-mail to connect@wesley-umc.com. Currently most staff members are working from home, please use phone or e-mail to contact them.
{ WORSHIP SCHEDULE }
Join us for Worship this Sunday!
(Sunday's worship service will be posted on our website by 9 am)

Remember Your Baptism and Be Thankful
Scripture: Mark 1:4-11

Join Pastor Justin as we discuss the importance of baptism and our place in the church. We will celebrate the ritual of remembering our baptism by sprinkling water on our own foreheads during the sermon time.  You are invited to have a bowl of water and towel on hand.
Epiphany: Spiritual Re-Set

The New Year brings us a fresh opportunity to start anew and re-center with purpose and intention. Whether you are a person who likes to make “New Year’s Resolutions” or not, our Epiphany Series, “Spiritual Re-Set,” will help you get your spiritual life and relationship with the God who loves and empowers you, back on track.
Join us in January and February as we:
  • Renew Our Covenant (Jan. 3)
  • Remember Our Baptism (Jan. 10)
  • Recharge through Prayer (Jan. 17)
  • Reconnect with Scripture (Jan. 24)
  • Refresh through Generosity (Jan. 31)
  • Re-energize through Service (Feb. 7)
  • Revive our Witness (Feb. 14)

Better yet, you don’t have to do this on your own. COVID has been a lonely season, but the Church is about Community. If the year 2020 wore you out, a short-term sermon series, paired with the support of a small Covenant Group, will help get you back on track! Join together with a group of 6-12 friends for a weekly uplift. Covenant groups pray for each other, encourage each other, and help each other remember to trust in God. 
Choose your own group – maybe a small group you’re already part of, maybe a few friends you miss seeing at church. Or contact Kathi Pritts to be connected with some new friends. You can find the meeting plan attached here. For more information contact Kathi Pritts or Pastor Sara.
HUMAN RELATIONS DAY - SUNDAY, JANUARY 17

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, 
Human Relations Day gives us an opportunity to make an impact in communities where people struggle because they don’t have the tools or resources to reach their God-given potential.
CRISIS AT THE CAPITOL 
A Practical and Peaceful Response

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, violence threatened to disrupt our democratic process. Pastors Sara and Justin released a brief response that evening; you can find it here. As we continue to work through the events of that evening and their implications for our nation, we invite you to consider some of these practical and peaceful responses:

  1. Reach Out – think about persons you know who may be particularly hurt or frightened right now. Reach out to them and offer assurance and friendship.
  2. Remember – go back to high school civics class in your mind (or use the internet!) and remember how our democracy was founded, and how it works.
  3. Read – read news sources other than your own favorites, in order to understand “how the other side can think that way.” We’ll need to understand how we got here as a nation, if we want to move beyond it.
  4. Recommit to non-violence (Read some of the works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or Mahatma Ghandi. Talk about it with family and friends)
  5. Resist injustice – this is one of our baptismal vows. Refuse to accept policies and practices that discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, sexuality, status, etc. Find out what America feels like to a person of a different skin color (or background) than yourself, and why. Write to your congresspersons encouraging them to legislate in ways that treat people fairly.
  6. Return to God – if it’s been awhile since you knelt to pray, this is a good time to ask for Divine strength. Pray – for peace, for wisdom, for changed hearts and minds. Make this prayer a regular part of your day – not just in crisis – but every day.

In addition, our upcoming Paint the Town Wesley events offer opportunities to witness to justice and peace for all. See Paint the Town article, below, for invitations to the “I Have a Dream” and “Peace Poles” events.

{ LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS – LOVING OUR CHURCH
STEWARDSHIP UPDATE }
Thanks to the generosity of so many faithful members, we have received (as of Jan. 5) 200 “Love God, Love Neighbor, Love You” commitment cards, representing $829,220 for the coming year’s ministries. That brings us to about 64% of our budget goal of $1.3M. Thank you, Wesley, for your generosity!
Your Ad Council and Finance Committee will meet this month to determine next steps. If you have any questions or would like to submit a commitment card, please contact Myrna Simpson or Pastor Sara. We’d love to hear from you!

Commitment cards may be submitted in any of the following ways:
  1. Mail your commitment card to 502 E. Front St., Bloomington IL 61701
  2. Use the electronic commitment card found here.  
  3. E-mail our Business Manager, Myrna Simpson 
  4. Drop off the commitment card in a sealed envelope at the church
Monday - Thursday - 9am – 3 pm and Friday 9am - 1 pm
(Please call before coming)
{ WEDNESDAY NIGHT PROGRAMMING! }
Paint The Town WESLEY  

Paint the Town WESLEY is for everyone: families with kids, 
empty-nesters, individuals, the young at heart, etc. 

ALL are encouraged to participate and are welcome to invite friends!
Remember church, we're in this together! We can't wait to see you soon!

This week, January 13 – is entitled, “I Have a Dream.” 
Gather your paints, markers, colored pencils and a bit of creativity, and help us share our dreams for our community, nation and world in the form of a special church-wide art project that will be on display at the Washington St. entrance. Be sure to watch Pastor Justin’s devo on Monday, January 11 for details. After the craziness of 2020, let us lean into the hopeful teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and dream about the possibilities for a brighter future!

January 20 – Peace Poles
Join us on January 20th as we make Peace Poles for your front porch! In this season of uncertainty, we hope to spread the message of God's prevailing peace on earth by adorning our front porches with a message of hope. Swing by Wesley West to get your materials between 6-7pm then join us via zoom for a step by step tutorial together at 7!
{ PAINT THE TOWN WESLEY REPORT }

Five families gathered over Zoom on December 30 for A Treat and a Tale. We read several fun kids books and enjoyed each other's company. It was fun to see church friends over the holidays and stay comfy and warm at home. Hope to see you next time!!
ADULT STUDY OPPORTUNITIES

In early January (Wednesdays at noon) the men’s group will study Words of Life: Jesus and the Promises of the Ten Commandments Today. In this book of scripture and inspiration, bestselling author Adam Hamilton brings modern eyes to the most famous set of rules in history, recovering the Ten Commandments as more than just a set of onerous prohibitions. He considers the commandments in their historical context, unpacking the meaning of each commandment in Hebrew, how Jesus reinterpreted them, and how Jews and Christians have understood them over the millennia. He also explores how the latest research in science and psychology illuminates these commandments, rightly understood as a way of ordering one's life beautifully in the present day. In a culture marked by workaholism, materialism, and social media-driven envy, God has given us a time-tested path that leads to gratitude, confidence, and peace. Contact Greg Yount to get the zoom link.
Everybody Always by popular author Bob Goff will be offered each week beginning January 13th. What happens when we give away love like we're made of it? In his entertaining and inspiring book, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. In Everybody, Always, Bob shows us the simple truths that:
  • it’s easy to love kind, lovely, humble people, but you have to tackle fear to love people who are difficult;
  • dark and scary places are filled with beautiful people who need our unconditional love; and
  • extravagant love has extraordinary power to change lives, including your own.

The study will meet for five weeks on -Tuesday evenings, 6-7 pm beginning January 19th. Contact Kathi Pritts for more information and the zoom link.


COVENANT GROUPS
On Tuesday January 12th from 6-7 pm join Kathi Pritts in a zoom session on starting your own covenant group--a group of people gathering together to carry one another through life. She will be glad to walk you step by step through the process and give you resources to begin and even set up your zoom calls if you need. If you are not available at this time Kathi would be glad to send these resources to you. Contact Kathi Pritts for more information and the zoom link.
SURGE will continue to meet online until further notice. ALL ages are invited to join our zoom meeting at 6:00 pm on Sundays for a game until 6:30, then small group lessons until 7. We are continuing with our "Bonfires of Belonging" series for this school year and invite EVERYONE in 6th-12th grade to join us and be a part of our Surge family! Click this link to join.
WINTERFEST 2021 IS ON! 
We are having a 1-day "Parking Lot Retreat” held at Wesley UMC featuring Rev. Roxy Delong as our speaker on January 16th! ALL high school students and friends are invited to join us for a day of worship, fellowship and fun winter activities! 

Students will be responsible for meal times at noon and 5:00 pm on their own to allow social distancing. Please arrange for students to have some form of transportation around town for our different activities throughout the day (carpooling with other students is allowed, with permission from both parents). We are asking for a $20 donation from all participants to offset the cost of our speaker and materials. (Encouraged, not required)
Follow this link to register.

Please feel free to reach out to Kelsey with any questions or concerns 618-558-0748 or via e-mail.
DRIVE-THRU EVENT AT WESLEY WEST

 Saturday, January 16th from 9-11:30 am

Free Paper Items & Food Boxes!
Paper items available will include
toilet paper, napkins, facial tissues,
diapers (all sizes) and diaper wipes!

We still need your help!
Needs: Facial tissue, Diapers sizes: Newborn, 4,5 & 6, Depends (Men’s & Women’s), Feminine Hygiene items (pads), pens, scarves, ear warmers, face masks 
You may drop off the items in the collection box
located at the entrance door of Wesley West
at any time, Monday - Friday.

Monetary donations are welcome!
CLICK HERE to give online
(be sure to note WDM in the memo)
OR mail to the church at:
502 E. Front Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
 
For questions and to volunteer
(newcomers welcome!)
please contact Karen Daudelin at
or call 309-838-5723
It is the desire of Wesley UMC to minimize potential exposure to the Covid-19 virus. As we gather, both indoors and outdoors, we ask that you remember the following:--
  • Wear a facemask.
  • Maintain a minimum of 6-ft distance from other persons.
  • Practice frequent hand-washing or use of hand-sanitizer
  • Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have other illnesses.
  • Stay home if you have been exposed to Covid-19 within the past 14 days.
  • Stay home if you have a compromising condition due to age or other health conditions.
January Just One collection for
Carle BroMenn Compassion Closet 
Church & Society Committee has selected the Compassion Closet at Carle BroMenn Hospital as the January Just One Project.
 
When accident victims are ready to be released, they frequently do not have anything to wear. The Compassion Closet collects and provides sweat clothes to meet this need. 
Current needs: Adult sweatpants & sweatshirts – sizes small, medium, large
Monetary gifts are also accepted.
(please be sure to mark your donation with the notation: Just One Project.)
 
Donations can be dropped off during the month of January in the collection box that is outside the East entry of the church on Tuesdays, 10 am – 2 pm and Thursdays, 2 pm – 6 pm.
To the family of Reva Schildman who passed away on December 19th.

To the family of Darlene Jones who passed away on December 26th.

To the family of Ione Crandall who passed away on December 29th.
(daughter Darla Ruch, granddaughter Tiffany (Kevin) Oganovich, great-grandchildren, Ashley, Austin, Allyson, and Allyssa)

To the family of Helen Wilson who passed away on December 29th.

To Pastor Justin & family on the December 24th death of his Grandmother.

If you have news to share with the Wesley family
let us know by e-mailing
connect@wesley-umc.com or calling 309-827-8046.
CHURCHES PLAN UNITY SERVICE FOR MLK Day

The Three Rivers Parish (Pleasant Grove, Ellsworth and Colfax UMC’s) and East Alton First UMC will host a virtual Unity Service in observance of Martin Luther King Day on Sunday,
Jan. 17 at 4 p.m.

Bishop Frank J. Beard, episcopal leader of the Illinois Area, will be the guest speaker for the event. Pastor Bobby Davis is the host pastor along with Pastor Ken Burgard of Downs UMC and Pastor Ed Granadosin of East Alton First UMC.

If there are questions, you may contact Davis at 618-409-2914, the Ellsworth UMC office at 309-724-8266 or the Colfax UMC office at 309-723-6551 for more information.
Watch for a link to this service in next week’s Alive!
LET YOUR SHOPPING HELP OTHERS!

Are you shopping online with Amazon this year? Remember to shop Amazon using AmazonSmile to generate funds for Wesley UMC!

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support Wesley every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same prices and selection as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Wesley! Simply go to www.smile.amazon.com and enter "Wesley United Methodist Church" in the search bar and scroll down to the Wesley UMC in Bloomington, IL as your designated charitable organization. Happy shopping!
{ DAILY DEVOTIONS }
Click here to enjoy a daily devotion from Pastor Sara,
Pastor Justin and other leaders in our church.

Ways to Connect:
Visit us online at www.wesley-umc.com
subscribe to our YouTube channel,
follow us on facebook or continue to
look for our emails in your inbox.
COVID-19 UPDATE FOR BLOOMINGTON WESLEY UMC   

On December 9, Bishop Beard released a new statement for the churches of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. The statement advises IGRC churches to refrain from in-house worship “until further notice.” Read the full letter here. We acknowledge the disappointment and grief that many Wesley members are feeling as the pandemic stretches into 2021. But Wesley Church will continue to keep the safety and health of our members and staff at the top of our priority list, and will continue to offer regular worship and children’s Sunday School, daily devotions, weekly study opportunities, terrific “Paint The Town Wesley” events, and so much more, via internet. We are all in this together, Church, and we’re going to make it through!  Click here to see Tier3 mitigations.
Wesley Emergency Numbers after Office Hours:
Rev. Sara L. Isbell  217.299.4870
Rev. Justin Iverson  701.809.1203 
Rev. Sally Hamon 217.853.9117

Wesley United Methodist Church:
502 E. Front Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
Office 309.827.8046
 
Visit www.wesley-umc.com for more information about our news and events.
You can also visit us on Facebook and YouTube