Read Aloud: Lector’s Training!

lector-training

After the scripture reading during worship, we always say: “This is the Word of God for the people of God, Thanks be to God!” But in what ways do we actually say them?

Karen Bonnell led a wonderful training for our lectors today. Karen began with the question: “Why do we read the Bible out loud in church?” You know there is a very long history of public reading of the scripture; it helps us know God, educates, and challenges us. And it blesses us.

We learned Ms de Haveland’s preparation of being a lector- starting Monday with prayer, printing out the scripture in large print, and she re-reads the scripture to find out what she hadn’t noticed the first read through.

At the end of the training, Karen asked us: What would happen in our church, if we really apply Ms de Haveland’s preparation? What is your answer?

Thank you, Karen!!!

Senior Social Connections: July field Trip

The July gathering of Senior Social Connections in Steward UMC was the field trip to the Billy Graham Center Museum in Wheaton, IL. We learned about the history of evangelism/preachers in America. Especially, we’re glad to see the saddlebag with sermons used by the 19th century Methodist circuit rider, along with a copy of George Whitefield’s book “The Nature and Nenecessity of Our New Birth in Jesus Christ” (1737). Special thanks to the Keagy grant and John who is the bus driver of the Eden Express bus!

July Gathering of SSC

“God Cares for US, Thank God!”

My five-year-old son has always been fearful of animals, and his fear of dogs has become a real safety issue; I’ve seen several times that he tried to run into the street to avoid a dog. I was wondering if I should encourage him to overcome his fear or just let it go. When I heard that VBS for this year will be dealing with pets, I thought to myself, “Oh no! My son wouldn’t be interested in this VBS at all.”  When I told my son that VBS for this year has to do with animals, he responded to me: “Dad! I guess I should be fine with them if they will be kept on a leash.” But the theme of VBS was: “Pets Unleashed!” Again I thought “Oh no!” But I wanted my son to learn God’s care for him through the theme of VBS, “Pets Unleashed.”

VBS started on Friday (June 10) and ended on Sunday (June 12). Kids experienced God’s word in surprising and unforgettable ways, and they learned that Jesus lovingly cares for us each day. Even though pets were unleashed, my son fully participated in three days of VBS and enjoyed the activities of VBS because the animals are not real but fake.

On the second day of VBS, however, my son was challenged to play with the real pets which were unleashed. Surprisingly, he even touched them, and learned the lesson that we should take care of pets as Jesus has cared for us.

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The key Bible verse for VBS was 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your worries to God, for he cares for you.” This is a message of comfort and hope. The imperative, “Cast,” does not offer a new command, but it defines how we could respond in the midst of pain, suffering, worry, anxiety, and burden. Whenever the kids heard the phrase, “God cares for you,” during VBS, they responded, “Thank Him!”

Special thanks to Tonica, Pat, Bridget, Cheryl, Beth, and Dente! Thank you to everyone who was a part of VBS this year! Let us also thank God for taking care of us! May this summer be filled with moments that we can cherish, be refreshing, and fun in God’s care for us!  God cares for us. And all the people of God will say… “THANK YOU GOD!”

Pastor Jin Yang Kim

3rd Annual Art Show: ACE

The children of After Class Enrichment (ACE) invited their parents to their 3rd Annual Art Show. It was the best carnival and actually much better than last year. I was so grateful for the opportunity to be with their parents. Special thanks to Tonica Smith and Cheryl Fasulo for their faithful caring for the children, to Walmart in Rochelle and our UMW for their monetary donation, and to Bridget, Mil, Pat, Karen, Ron, and Curtis for their volunteer work.

 

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1st Anniversary of Steeple Dedication

When we gathered on Mother’s Day last year to dedicate our new steeple and carillon, we lifted up our eyes together on the very symbol of love and connection.

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Over the past year Bishop Sally Dyck has always greeted me saying, “How are the steeple people doing?” I think this is a rhetorical question which makes the point that we should practice the love of God and the love of neighbor here at Steward.

At the dedication service, it was my hope that the new steeple and carillon would give us an opportunity to renew our relationship with God and with our
neighbor. Now, as we celebrate the 1st anniversary of steeple and carillon dedication, it’s a time to review and ask: “How are we as the steeple people doing?”

I believe that the community of Steward has been blessed by the steeple and carillon. Karen Bonnell (Lay Leader) once heard a Steward resident express that the sound of  the carillon helps her refocus from her problems to God. As the psalmist of the Song of Pilgrimage confesses, “I lift up my eyes to the hills- from where will my help come?” (Ps 121:1, NRSV).

The ministry focus for this year in Steward UMC is connection. As the steeple and carillon connect the people in Steward to God, the Good Neighbor Fund has also connected people to our church providing assistance for families in need.

It is our joyful task to introduce the gracious God to the people in Steward through the steeple & carillon and the Good Neighbor Fund. Again, as we celebrate the 1st anniversary of steeple and carillon dedication, we are reminded that we are called to share with our neighbors from God’s abundant bounty.

May God continue to bless us for the building of the Kingdom of God and help us to see we are rich in his love and grace! May our love reach to all corners of our village Steward and the world!

Pastor Jin Yang Kim