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First United Presbyterian Church
Wednesday March 31, 2021

Competitive Spirit

In recent conversation with a friend, I was kindly reminded how sometimes my competitive spirit gets the better of me. My friend sent me a picture of some beautiful flowers for Easter and a tasty seasonal drink. I replied by saying, “I don’t know which one is better.” Two completely different things and I wanted to rank them; to know which one was better, which one I would choose given the option. They told me, “It’s not a competition.” They were right. 

That conversation got me thinking about how there is a lifelong internal competition within each of us. The reformer, Martin Luther, said we are both “sinner and saint.” The Apostle Paul said, “There is the new self and the old self.” Both were pointing out the same thing. Our sinful nature competes with our righteous nature for supremacy. There are times when the old self wins out. There are times when the new self is victorious. It is a constant back and forth. Martin was so concerned about his old self he spent eight, ten, or more hours per day in the confessional. He did not want his sinner nature to win out and keep him from eternal life. 

Eventually, Martin came to understand that nothing he could do or not do, say or not say would separate him from the love of God in Jesus Christ. He realized there wasn’t an internal competition anymore. Victory had been won by Jesus when he was crucified on the cross. When he was buried in the grave. When he raised back to life. Victory was one and the internal competition between the sinner and the saint came to a close. The final victory had been won by Jesus!

I’m hanging on to the picture my friend sent me as a reminder that everything is not a competition. There once was an internal competition between the old self and new self in all of us. That competition has come to a close, because Jesus won and now nothing, not ever the sinner in us, can keep us from God and eternal life. When your competitive spirit pops up, I pray it reminds you that victory has already been won for you and you don’t have to rank everything and pick what is best. The best has already been won for you. 


Working on behalf of the Church
If you have a question or comment relating to any FUPC ministry or program please contact an elder listed below:


Building & Grounds—Brad Kunz

Christian Education—Susie Benson

Evangelism—Mary Lee Muniz

Fellowship—Matt Bader

Finance—Bonnie Krupp

New Members/Visitors—Lyle Hill

Outreach—Sherri Finke

Personnel—Jodee Kleb

Worship—Clark Evers

This month we lift up in our hearts and prayers
Todd Tillman and family in the passing of Todd's father.
Chuck and Anne Tennant.
Mary Beth Dellamano and family in the passing of Mary Beth's father.

Do you have a prayer concerns that you would like listed in the Presenter? If you have persmission from that person to be added and published, please email the office at
If you have something you would like to share in the presenter for next month, please email it to the church office email address before Tuesday April 27, 2021
Giddings Lovejoy Presbytery
First United Presbyterian Church in Collinsville IL is a Member of the PC(USA)Connect with

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Follow First United Presbyterian Church on Facebook Find us on Facebook!  Also #FUPCLIFE

We will be hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross.

Monday, April 5, 2021
12:00 PM - 05:00 PM
First United Presbyterian Church, Westminster Hall.

Masks are required for all staff and donors.  Everyone entering the drive will be screened and all donors must have an appointment, which can be made through the Red Cross website ( or by calling Warren Carter at 344-0730.


The worship committee has been busy preparing for Holy week.  There will be worship services  (in-person and online) for Maundy Thursday at 7PM and Good Friday at 7 PM as well. On Easter Sunday we will have in-person and virtual worship, there will be room for 50 attendees in the sanctuary, and we will have room set up in Westminster Hall as well. You will still be able to hear and see the worship service from Westminster Hall.  Please remember to wear your mask, and maintain social distancing when joining us for in person worship.  And let us all rejoice in the knowledge that Christ has risen!

I worked with the Building & Grounds committee to order supplies for William the church custodian and informed them when the pump in the Food Pantry basement quit working.  Al Nicol was available to repair the problem and asked Maxons Plumbing for a bid to replace and upgrade the pump so that rather set the alarm only in the church, it could be programmed to call someone to check on what was going wrong.  The Personnel Committee will form and start to have the employment forms, job requirements and papers associated with the hiring of a new employee reviewed. -Jodee Kleb
Update of Sunday School rooms: last phase has been completed, blinds have been installed. Currently getting bids on HVAC for Westminister Hall and education building. In addition, getting bids on floor replacement in Westminster Hall.
Online giving is available. Please visit You are now able to make a contribution to the church online via credit/debit card or EFT/ACH. There are many options available, you can make a one time, monthly, or even a weekly tithing.
You are welcome to mail in your checks to the church as well.  Please address them to the church administrator's home address:  

First United Presbyterian Church
c/o Sarah Evers
110 Greer Ct.
Collinsville, IL 62234

God is generous! God brought the heavens and the earth into being. God has brought us into being. We have life because God gave us life. Therefore, we offer back to God what God has given us, our being. We do so by giving to God our time, our talents, and our treasures. We do so not out of obligation or compulsion, but with joy and thanksgiving. God has given to us so we give back to God.

11 John Hunter
11 Garrett Kneedler
13 Anna Dellamano
14 Kendallyn Kneedler
16 Barb Esker
18 Allyson Burr
20 Natale' Muniz
21 Grant Benson
28 Cheryl Hardin
  8 Brad and Stacy Kneedler
11 John and Wanda Hunter
18 Larry and Val Close
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First United Presbyterian Church

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