You're receiving this newsletter because you previously subscribed.
Click here to unsubscribe. Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser
First United Presbyterian Church
Sunday December 4, 2016


Advent: Sound, Silence, Rhythm, Light, Dark, Movement 

As many of you know I spent a significant amount of time in the concert production and the performing arts.  For years I worked in a theater and traveling across the country setting up stages, sound systems, and light shows.  I worked with amateurs just beginning, top performers in the height of their popularity, and aging acts still trying to make a buck long after their glory had faded.  This life, this work, was busy with ebbs and flows, it had seasons of indoor and outdoor, seasons of mostly concerts and times of musicals, plays, and dance.  All of these fulfilled in their own way with sound, silence, rhythm, light, dark, movement.  My part was to create a safe place for the performance, then support the sound and the silence, then overcome the darkness with light and allow the light to fade to darkness, always creating and supporting the rhythm of the music and the show, the movement of the actors, dancers, and musicians amid the show. 

Perhaps it is Advent that most reminds of this life.  Taken apart from the rest of life, focusing solely on its part in the life of the church, Advent is a season.  It is a season that reminds us of the movement of God in history.  A season that reminds us of light and dark.  A season that makes us feel the rhythm.  A season of sound and silence.  This special marking of the Christian year brings a fullness of the story of the people of God into a broad and complex arrangement.  By itself, it is a time for reflecting on life before Christ, a time in which silence and darkness fill the world with seemingly no hope.  It is also that time in which amid the silence and darkness the beginning sounds of glory may be heard as a light in the distance grows.  Movement: the rhythm of the Trinity coming forth and breaking into a world desperate to know hope, peace, joy, and love. 

Now, combine that with the rest of life, the rest of the yearly calendar.  Advent comes upon in a flurry of single day celebrations that include furious movement to travel to family, to rush to stores, to finalize the year.  Rhythm is knocked off time amid the cacophony that disrupts the silence.  We are overwhelmed by the light with barely an ounce of darkness for rest.  Budgets to fulfill for the year, budgets to prepare for the next year.  Plans for celebrations.  Plans for spending.  Plans for next year’s resolutions that will not be fulfilled.  Final service projects.  Plans for new service projects.  Last minute preparations.  Quickly they come, stress overflowing.  Request after request.  Donate. Give. Support. Do. Do. Do. Spend. Spend. Spend.  Hurry. Rush. Zoom.  Compete to save the most.  Get. Get. Get. 

Maybe, just maybe, Advent is not so bad a season after all.  Maybe amid its scary silence and darkness, where we hope for light and sound, we can actually make a movement in rhythm and come away from the blaring light and cacophonous sound to find a bit of darkness and quiet where we may encounter the peace, joy, and love of the season as we prepare to welcome into the world the One who creates, the One who gives and sustains life, the One born to be the Prince of Peace, Immanuel, God with us.

A blessed Advent to you, and Merry Christmas!

Pastor Jeff  


There is a basket in the Narthex for mittens, scarfs, and hats for the toy drive.  The basket replaces our annual mitten tree.  The distribution of toys and food will be Friday, Dec. 16.  Volunteers always needed and appreciated.
Poinsettias this year are $9 each.  You may call the office with your order.
The Children's Christmas program is Sunday, Dec. 11 followed by the Church Christmas Dinner.  We would like an approximation of persons for the dinner, so please call the office or sign the sheet in the Narthex on Sunday morning.
The Choir Christmas Cantata will be Sunday, Dec 18.
The Red Cross blood drive is slated for January 2.  Plan to sign up on the sheet in the Narthex or call the office.
The Christmas Candlelight Service will be Saturday, Dec 24 at 7:00 PM.
Christmas will be celebrated at Worship on Sunday, Dec 25 at the regular time (no coffee).
The end of the fiscal year is December 31.  All monies received after that date will be applied to 2017.
Thank you for the Thanksgiving Day bag of sweets and fruit.  I am sharing it with my brother-in-law.  We are enjoying all the delicious goodies very much.  Opal Rost

Dear Church Members,
Thank you so much for the crayons and crayola art caddy you donated for my classroom at Webster.  We appreciate your generosity and support!  In appreciation, Lee Curtis

Dear Extended Classroom Family,
Thank you so much for your generous gifts of crayons and play-doh.  We at Webster are very lucky to have such kind members of our community.  Mrs. Bowling & my students

A big "Thank You" to those who are sponsoring a Kreitner School student/s in the Read-Right-Run program.  These fourth graders will have Read 26 books, have done 26 Right acts of Kindness, and Run 26 miles.  Your donation will buy T-shirts and medals that will be awarded in May at the end of the school year.
Thanks again, Carol McFall & Thilerna French

Thank you to everyone who participated in any way with the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection for 2016.  We collected a total of 89 boxes which is up from last year.  In fact, FYI, for the last three years we collected:  2015- 70; 2014 - 83; 2013-63.  

Special thanks to Gary in helping set up and know down; to our Thursday night Small Group who helped prepare boxes; and to Debbie for her assistance in finding what we needed.  Also to Pastor Jeff for the stories played as part of each church service.  The one about Malawi especially touched my heart.  The buildings, the dirt roads and the joyous smiles of the children brought back wonderful memories of the mission trip Calvin and I took part in way back in 2004  Blessings to all, Janet Butts

A HUGE THANK YOU to Bonnie Krupp & Joe Smith for painting the Chapel.  It was a more and a job than expected and was beautifully done.  Blessings on you both!

The Outreach Committee would like to thank all who donated to the Kindercottage diaper drive and to the Webster School supply collection.  Both these organizations really appreciate the items.


The Session met on November 15, and we approved many items that were brought to the table.

 Approve Budget – There was discussion on several line items in the budget.  After each item was explained to Session’s satisfaction, the budget for 2017 was M/S/A.  It will be presented to the Congregation at the January 29, 2017 annual meeting.

It was M/S/A that we accept as New Members – Kim Zellers and Melanie Moritz.  They will  join the church on Sunday, January 20th.  Judy Tillman returned to our church by transfer of membership at this time.

Pastor Jeff requested time off – November 23rd – 26th and December 26 – January 3, 2017.  It was M/S/A to grant his request.

It was M/S/A that Communion to be served on January 8th and not January 1, 2017.

It was M/S/A that the date for Congregational Meeting be held on January 29,2017.

We reviewed Elder positions and needs for next year.  There are three positions open, Building and Grounds, Fellowship and Christian Education.  Karen Kneedler, chair of the Nominating Committee will nominate new Elders to fill these positions. Pastor Jeff requested that Elders remain on Session through the meeting in January, 2017 

It was M/S/A that there be no December, 2016 meeting. 

It was M/S/A that the Elders remain on the Session through the January, 2017 meeting. 

The new dates for the Session Meetings will be the second (2nd) Thursday of the month at 6:30PM in the in the Meeting Room.

It was M/S/A that we purchase a new drinking fountain in the amount of $1000, to be installed by members of our church, for the front hallway and will be covered by a donation and funds from Capital Needs. 

It was M/S/A that we purchase chairs for meeting room, chapel, and two new carts for folding chairs, and new high chairs for Westminster Hall. The funds for this purchase will come from a Capital Needs fund drive. These will be purchased when funding is available.

As you can see we continue to upgrade areas and items for our church.  The Session thanks you for your contributions to the Capital Needs fund and wishes you Happy Holidays. 

Jodee Kleb, Clerk of Session


The Collinsville Food Pantry Toy Drive is quickly upon us.  We will be distributing toys and Christmas dinners on Friday December 16th starting at 6:00 p.m.  Please join us on Thursday the 15th at 6:30 p.m. to help sort and prepare the toys, coats, hats, and gloves.  We will also be sorting on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.  There are several ways of helping: donating new unwrapped toys for children between newborn and 16 years old, helping sort, helping set up, helping with toy distribution, and helping with drinks and snacks.  Please see Pastor Jeff or the office staff for more information.  Blessings of the season to you.





Presbytery E-News
Read the Weekly E-News from Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery.  Subscribe to the Presbytery E-news.
Weekly Worship Opportunities
Sunday Morning Worship
Sunday Service:
Coffee 7:45 - 8:45
Sunday School 9:00
Worship Service & Children's Church 10:00
Please email Birthday Updates to: or call 344-1109

1 - Eli Kneedler
5 - Dottie Rudis; Evelyn Breeze (98 this year)
11 - Brian Brown
14 - Cindy Jones
15 - Katie Brown
22 - Chuck Tennant
24 - Elizabeth Burr
26 - Ryan Kneedler
27 - Stacy Kneedler; Jeffrey Bender, Jr.
28 - John Burr
29 - Laurie Carter
30 - Mallory Bader 

Please email Anniversary Updates to: or call 344-1109

1 - Matt & Vivian Bader
3 - John & Lesley Drenkhahn
5 - Joe & Susan Smith
22 - Bob & Judy Field

Your gracious giving to the church makes our work possible.  As a reminder, if you have not yet fulfilled your pledge for this year, now is a perfect time.  Especially if you are looking at year end giving and finalizing for 2016 taxes, your donations to the church will need to be in before the end of the year December 31st.  With January 1st being on a Sunday this year, we would like to remind you that the offering on that day will counted in 2017 records.  Again, thank you for your commitment to this church family as we work together to celebrate, worship and cherish Jesus Christ, God Almighty, and the Holy Spirit; and to respond in our outward actions of care and compassion for the community around us.     


We Lift Up in Prayer to God the following: John Burr, Ron Thomas, Jodee Kleb, Jo Kunz, Jeff Dalton, Val Close.
Please email your prayer concerns and updates to: or call 344-1109

Dec 7 - Advent Bible Study 
Dec 11 - Children's Christmas Program during Worship
            Church Christmas Dinner following Worship
Dec 14 -Toy Sortomg 5:30 PM
           Advent Bible Study 6:30 PM
Dec 15 - Toy Sorting & Setup 6:30 PM
Dec 16 - Toy & Food Distribution 6:00 PM
Dec 18 - Choir Cantata during Worship
Dec 20 - Thrift Shop Sale
Dec 21 - 3rd Wednesday Dinner
            Advent Bible Study
Dec 24 - Christmas Eve Service
Dec 25 - Worship
Dec 26 - Office Closed
Jan 1 - Rev Joy Myers, guest minister
Jan 2 - Office Close
Jan 8 - Confirmation Sunday during Worship
If you want information placed in the January 2017 Presenter please send your information to the office by Tuesday, December 27.

 With a big thank you to Joe Smith and Bonnie Krupp for painting the ceiling and walls, we are pleased to announce that we are on schedule for the Chapel to be finished by the New Year.  The ceiling needed a little more paint than at first thought, but is a vast improvement along with painting the duct work.  The walls have been refreshed with new paint.  Thank you to Larry and Bonnie Krupp for beginning the process of removing the old carpet.  Collins flooring will be coming on Tuesday December 6th to install the new carpet.  The stained glass display that will be at front of the chapel will be getting new lighting and electrical done in the next few weeks.  Chairs will ordered very soon, pending a few more donations, and should arrive the week of December 19th.  We will soon have a frame for the artwork that creates by Austin Dellamano during worship several months ago, and it will be a prominent part of this space.  

We are nearing the completion of the work to update and refresh the lower level of the Education Wing.  While there are other changes that could be done to the bathrooms, at this time we believe we will be done once we have painted the hallways.  The meeting room will be receiving its new chairs at the same time as the chapel, and it has a new painting that was created during the Cozy Café fundraiser for the Food Pantry.  This artwork has been donated in memory of John Finke.  The former Men’ Sunday School room that was used both as a meeting space and for the Thrift Shop has now been placed solely as use for the Thrift Shop giving them more floor and storage space without constantly needing to reset the room.

In early January we are hopeful to have a dedication/rededication service for these spaces, equipment, and artwork.  Our hope is that these spaces will not only encourage our continued spiritual growth and development, but that they will help us engage our community and offer space for various groups to meet.  Thank you for your support of this work and transformation.




Find Us on Facebook!
Follow First United Presbyterian Church on Facebook Find us on Facebook!
First United Presbyterian Church in Collinsville IL is a Member of the PC(USA)Connect with

Giddings Lovejoy Presbytery
Know someone who might be interested in the email? [FORWARD] to forward.
If you no longer wish to receive this email click here to unsubscribe.

First United Presbyterian Church

201 E. Church Street
Collinsville, Illinois
618-344-1109 Email: