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First United Presbyterian Church
Monday May 1, 2017



I often reflect on the seasons of the Christian Year.  I enjoy the coming and going of each as they can help us focus on our relationship with and devotion to the Triune God.  The Christian New Year begins in the bleak midwinter with Advent.  This time brings us back to a world that had not known Christ.  We become antsy looking forward to God breaking forth into our world, and with tension and great anticipation we wait for the birth of a baby on Christmas.  With all the joy this season brings, we are still in the bleakness of winter, and often the good feelings slowly fade away.  Before winter ends, we come to a new season of the Christian Year, Lent.  This time of reflection and spiritual practices is marked by the somber Ash Wednesday.  This day calls us to remember our mortality and look to the place from where our help comes.  Lent itself is a long journey fraught with challenges of introspection and contemplation of our discipleship.  This season is also pregnant with anticipation. 

As many of you may now be aware, I really enjoy Star Wars, from the films to books, toys, television shows, toys, games, toys, comic books (I mean graphic novels), toys, clothing, and toys.  A few years ago I eagerly anticipated the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  I was finally able to take my son to a Star Wars film in the theaters, like my father before me.  This past Fall and Winter I even more eagerly awaited the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  After seeing it the first time I anticipated seeing it again, and was already anticipating the fiftieth time I would see in the theaters (I only went twice, apparently I still need permission to go to the movies, even by myself.  I guess it would not have been wise to have spent all that money, but we will never know).  Even before the final credits began to roll during my first viewing, I was anticipating the release of the Blu-ray version.  This morning anticipation turned to reality.  It was strange because I could have purchased the digital version two weeks ago, but I just could not click the buy button, I had spent too much time preparing for the Blu-ray.  Perhaps it’s the tangible nature of the disc, or the presence of the packaging; they just seem reassuring.  Besides, with the purchase of the Blu-ray, I also get the digital copy.  Maybe you have noticed I am a little excited.

Soon, anticipation will turn to reality for the Christian Year.  Yet, despite its joyfully entry on Palm Sunday, the week will be difficult, and the tension will build before the following Sunday.  The celebration will soon dry up, as the sobering reality of Maundy Thursday brings us face to face with Jesus’ calling and mission.  By the next afternoon we will really see what has become of humanity and the lengths that God will go through to reconcile us back into relationship.  It is Saturday that is the most difficult of all.  Many Christians celebrate and keep the Great Vigil of Easter, a time of prayer and anticipation.  It is a watch on the tomb as we mourn the death of Christ, but still hold hope for a new day.  For many of us, it will be a day like any other, and we will hardly notice the difference of this day.  But it is a day of birth pangs and labor as we look for the birth of a new day and a new life.  Anticipation will nearly overwhelm us.  So what glorious day will it be on Easter morning as our anticipation turns into reality and Christ is no longer in the tomb, and we are no longer slaves to death.  This is the most beautiful and precious day of the year, and perhaps we do not give it enough consideration, especially if we have not fully anticipated its coming.  Come and let us together grow in anticipation. 

Pastor Jeff    

There is a basket in the Narthex for S.O.S. donations.  Always needed are:  peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, and fruit cups, also fresh fruit.  We also need volunteers to help on Tuesday Soup Kitchen nights to serve, clean up and assist various groups.

We will be hosting the S.O.S. dinner on April 11.  The list in the Narthex asks for food donations, monitary donations and kitchen and serving volunteers.  Sherri Finke is in chanrge if you have questions.

The Flower calendar for Chancel Flowers is on the office bulletin board or you may call the office if you wish to order flowers in honor or memory of someone.

Call the office if you wish to order an Easter lily.  Cost is $9 each.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) envelopes are available for donations for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Partnering in Progress.  This is the Lenten mission program of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).

Elder Connection of Collinsville Faith In Action needs volunteer drivers.  If you are willing to help, please call 618-799-9085 for Nancy Kaprelian, Outreach Coordinator.

MONDAY-FRIDAY, April 10-14 - Meals on Wheels
Tueseay, April 11 - Host SOS Soup Kitchen, 5 PM
                         Adult Lent Study 6:45 PM
Wednesday, April 12 - Movie Night, 6 PM
Thursday, April 13 - Maundy Thursday Service, 6:45 PM
Friday, April 14 - Good Friday Services, Noon & 6:45 PM
Sunday, April 16 - Easter Breakfast, 8:45 AM
                        Sunday School, 9 AM
                        Worship & Cantata, 10 AM
                        Easter Egg Hunt, 11:30 AM      
Join us with your family and friends for a joyful Easter Celebration on April 16!  A joint children and adult cantata will be presented,  Please note that the Easter Egg Hunt for the children will be after Worship.

Breakfast w/Police and Kids

 Our church will be hosting a Saturday breakfast with the students of Webster School and the Collinsville Police Department.  The purpose of this breakfast is to present the police department in a more positive personal light.  So many things are circulating about the police department we want the children to know that they are people with jobs that are to protect us.  Hopefully the weather will be great and they will be able to look at the inside of a cruiser and meet the K-9 unit of their department. 

We will hold the first breakfast, pancakes and sausage, on April 22 from 8:30AM to 10:30AM.  We are inviting students from the third and fourth grades, their parents, and brothers/sisters.  Hopefully we will be able to have all 4 grades attend the breakfast.  We are not asking the kindergarten and 2nd grade at this time, but hope to include them in a breakfast later this year.

We would really appreciate any help you can give us.  Your time would be especially welcome as we will need people to walk the kids to the squad car and watch them while they are outside.

It would be our hope that this will make it easier for the police department to interact with the community and give the community an introduction to the facilities of our church.

The Evangelism Committee

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

10 - Asher Young
11 - Garrett Kneedler
13 - Anna Dellamano
16 - Barbara Esker
18 - Allyson Burr
21 - Grant Benson
24 - Kendallyn Kneedler 

Please email Anniversary Updates to: or call 344-1109

8 - Brad & Stacy Kneedler
11 - Tom & Sarah Ross
18 - Larry & Val Close 
Many thanks to all who helped with grounds upkeep on Saturday, March 25th.  The weather held off and a lot was accomplished.  Thanks again!!!

We Lift Up in Prayer to God the following: Lisa Linders. Jesse Pegues, Richard Cole, Sandy Pearson, Ruby Campbell, Geraldine Kolassa, Lloyd Shaw, Michelle Pickering.
Please email your prayer concerns and updates to: or call 344-1109


On April 12, the Evangelism Committee will show the movie “War Room”.  It will start at 6:30 and we invite all to come and bring their snack and drink.

Good News! We have not had to borrow funds from the investment account to pay any bills this month!

The Session will meet with the committees on Thursday, April 6, before we have the Elder meeting so that we can be brought up to date with the plans for each committee. 

Our thanks to all that are participating in the SOS meal program!  We have about 60 people attending each dinner

Jodee Kleb, Clerk of Session

Apr 2 - Youth Lent Study
Apr 4 - Adult Lent Study
Apr 6 - Session with Committees
Apr 9 - Palm Sunday
Apr 10-14 - Meals on Wheels week
Apr 11 - Adult Lent Study
           Host S.O.S. Soup Kitchen
Apr 12 - Movie Night, 6 PM
Apr 13 - Maundy Thursda6y Service, 6:45 PM
Apr 14 - Good Friday Service, Noon & 6:45 PM
Apr 16 - Breakfast
           Easter Service with Children's Cantata
           Easter Egg Hunt
Apr 19 - 3rd Wednesday Dinner 

If you want information placed in the May 2017 Presenter please send your information to the office by Tuesday, April 25th.
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First United Presbyterian Church

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