Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres, 

Hope you all are having a great week.  We wanted to send you an email to remind you of a few things:

  • The Parables: We are rounding out our series on the Parables of the Kingdom.  In fact, counting this coming Sunday, we only have three more weeks of parable teachings.  This week we will be covering Luke 14:28-32.
  • Survey: If moving forward is the hope, a known starting point is necessary.  We have created a basic survey that we would like you to take.  It will only take you a few moments.  Please, click HERE to take the survey.  
  • Summer Hours: Beginning June 4th (this coming Sunday) we will begin gathering at 9am for our worship service.  We will follow this schedule through August, and then we will return to our normal worship times. 
  • Special Events: Although we will be gathering a 9am for most of the summer, we have two back-to-back worship events that will take the place of the 9am worship service:
    • VBS Sunday: On June 25th at 10:30am we will be joining all the other churches of Knoxville at the High School for a joint worship service to launch this year's Vacation Bible School. 
    • Worship in the Park: On July 2nd at 10:30am at the Pavilion in the center of town, we will be partnering with Community Bible Church for a Worship in the Park.  This service will be unique in that both churches are leaving the confines of their building to worship together as one body of Christ for the good of the city.  A special offering will be taken that day and 100% of that offering will go to Habitat for Humanity.  Immediately following the service, many of us will be heading over to James Knox Park for fellowship and food (be ready to bring one of your favorite dishes) - more info to come!

I believe that is all for now.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reply to this email.  Have a great week!

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres, 

Holy Week: We are quickly approaching Holy Week, and we will enter that with Palm Sunday this Sunday - we'll cover Matthew 21:1-11.  After that we will observe Maundy Thursday with a Seder dinner, we will have a good Friday Service, and then we will observe the resurrection with our Easter Service. Here is the challenge I want to lay out for you as we approach these special days, though St. Paul reminds us that there is no day more or less special than another in Romans 14:3-7, we do set these days aside for a reason.  You have all heard me say, the reason for Advent, Epiphany, Lent, and now, for Holy Week, is to assist us in remembering rightly what God has done and said, and live expectantly into what God is doing and will do.  These times invite us to slow down, pause, and reflect, which informs the way we live.  In other words, we don't observe Easter because tradition tells us to, we do it because Easter reminds us of what the Divine did through Jesus AND because it invites us to live the resurrection here and now.  So, my hope for this coming Palm Sunday is not that we just recount the story, but we recognize what our palm branches are.

Parables: In observation of Holy Week, we will hit the pause button on the parables for the next two weeks.  The last two weeks we have looked into parables of forgiveness.  These parables have helped us look at two sides of forgiveness.

  • Matthew 18:23-35 - The main idea in this text had to do with allowing Jesus' forgiveness gifted to us is to be our motive and model for forgiveness to the other rather than the offense of the other. 
  • Luke 7:36-50 - The way we love and see the other is directly related to the recognition of our own sin and our acceptance of God's love.  When we accept love and recognize our sin even when it is more socially and culturally acceptable, we see people as individuals rather than categories and issues to be solved.  

The week after Easter we will resume the parables.  We will probably stick with them till the Summer schedule begins.

 Have a great weekend! 

Matthew and Sarah

2017: February/March Edition

From the Editor:
Church administration is easier when you are not growing, changing, and engaging in life.
This is the realization I have come to recently. Things have been stirred up this last year and we are still evolving as a congregation under new leadership. It’s an energizing time. It’s exciting. And it’s exhausting as well. But it has reminded me again that life is not static: my own life, my spiritual life, and the life of our church.  And I am delighted that our small congregation here at Knoxville Pres is indeed ALIVE. It’s exciting to be a part of this new journey as we examine more deeply what we are called to be and to do here in Knoxville as God’s church.

We are the same, but we are different. It’s hard to put into words. It’s more of a feeling. We are becoming more receptive to the presence of the Holy Spirit at work amongst us.

We are a church family, working together to comfortand support each other through times of trial and sadness, rejoicing in times of joy and celebration, reaching out to make a difference in our community. Opportunities abound to witness to our Christian faith in our community through the Council of Churches, the school system, co-operative Vacation Bible School, the list is endless.

Administrative details are just a necessary by product of all this living life abundantly.  It’s a blessing, indeed!
Peg

Lifting up in Prayer

We continue to pray for those who are homebound: Fred Apsey, Pat Bivens and Clara King (Knox County Nursing Home), Ila Clark (Courtyard Estates), and Joyce Beardsley (Woodridge).  We offer continued prayers for healing for Deb Beardsley for her cardioversion procedure, Jerry Anderson as he continues recovery from a stroke, Andrea Palmer (daughter-in-law of CL and Linda Palmer), and Kathy Burgess (daughter-in-law of Rose Burgess) who are both undergoing treatment for cancers. We pray for all the members of our church family as they minister to their families and friends in the community throughout the month.

In Sympathy

We extend heartfelt sympathy to the family of Alice Thurman who died on February 20, 2017. Alice had the distinction of having been a member for the most years, and shared her memory of her mother waking her up to church and enrolling her in the nursery class at age 4.

Economy Corner
A great place to seek out re-purposed items
Continue your support of this ministry. Profits from the resale shop are transferred to the church general fund. Donate. Shop. Thank our volunteers!

Our Military
Remember the safety and well-being of our service personnel daily in your prayers including Mike Burgess (grandson of Rose Burgess) serving in the Navy, Army active-duty Joe Beardsley (he and his wife are expecting their first child soon) and Mikeal Redington (grandson of Harold Selman), Air Force.

Family Meetings
Wednesday, March 1 2017, 6:00 pm, potluck supper

Please plan to join us. We need everyone’s voice as we explore where we are headed as the church. Watch for dates for the upcoming 2017 meetings to soon be announced.

Church Budget
Final adoption will be done by the session in January, and will be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting on January 29, 2017. Total amount $56,375.00

2017 Per Capita
$32.00


Snow
Yes, we did have winter a bit here in Knoxville, Illinois. Thank you to our snow shovel-er, Jeff Bivens, for clearing the walkways.

Visit www.knoxvillepres.com. Sarah Hansen maintains this site for us. If you have info to post, please contact Sarah, or session clerk Ginny Kasser.

Bulletin Preparation
Peg Bivens is the volunteer handling this job January–April.

Baking for the Building
Tammy Boggs and Sherry Wallace conducted an extra fundraising effort for building maintenance during the holidays that was well-received by members. They offer homemade cookies, bread, pies, and coffee cakes. Contact Sherry at 309 289-4755 or Tammy at 309 342-3448 for more details or to place orders.

Special Music
Ginny Kasser will be arranging for special music during worship services. Sarah Hansen has offered to share piano selections and will be teaching us some new hymns and songs on the fourth Sunday each month. Please contact Ginny if you, or someone you know, would be willing to share music with us.

Annual Meeting
January 29, 2017
The Annual meeting of the Congregation and Corporation was held Sunday January 29, 2017 immediately following worship. Rev. Dr. Carolyn Weber moderated the meeting with 18 members present. Ginny Kasser and Linda Palmer were elected to 3 year terms on the session. Annual reports were received. Membership showed a decrease of one member due to the death of James Hutchcroft, total now of 58. Fellowship reported an active year with events including family meeting potlucks, ice cream social and stone soup fundraisers, bereavement meals, socials tied with worship services in the park and during Holy Week as well as the annual caroling party. Financial secretary Mary Dawson reported an average attendance of 21.64 with the highest number of 68 on Christmas Eve. The Economy Corner resale shop contributed $7000 to the church general fund in 2016. Building and Maintenance presented a lengthy written report detailing their activity during the year, chief of which was the roof repairs. They also listed proposed projects for 2017. The annual report of the treasurer showed us finishing the year in the black: receipts of $50,709.64 against expenses of $49,254.65.

Thank You from Linda Palmer
“Thank You to the session and congregation for your special gift at Christmas. It was very much appreciated." - Linda Palmer, organist

LENT BEGINS

ASH WEDNESDAY: MARCH 1, 2017

We will have a service for imposition of the ashes at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 1.
This will follow the family meeting potluck at 6:00 PM.
Members of the First Christian Church have been invited to join with us for this service.

Looking ahead to Holy Week...

April 9: Palm Sunday
April 13: Maundy Thursday Seder Meal
April 14: Good Friday Evening Worship Service
April 16: Easter Sunday - Potluck Breakfast at 10:00 AM, Worship at 11:00 AM

Congratulations...
To Knoxville’s robotics team, coached by Julian Inniss, for their competition accomplishments, and to Dustin Kasser on being recognized as a NationalMerit Scholar and on making the Dean’s Scholarship at University of Rochester.

LAITY SUNDAY
We observed Laity Sunday on February 19, 2017 with members of our congregation conducting the service in the absence of Pastor Matthew Hansen who was finishing some of his coursework in Portland, Oregon. Thank you to Peg Bivens for organizing the service and to those who helped lead: Ginny Kasser and Jack Ball spoke on the topic of the Beatitudes. Sarah Hansen provided special music.  Serena Hansen was liturgist; Barb Ball lead the prayers. The altar draping, alluding to the mountain top, added a different dimension and we managed to light the candles without setting anything on fire, thanks to Sherry Wallace’s skills as acolyte.

Pulpit Supply
Matthew will be gone March 12, and possibly March 19. He is traveling back to Austin to take care of selling their home there.

One Great Hour of Sharing 2017
“ You shall be called repairers of the breach.” (Isaiah 58)

Entering the season of Lent marks our annual participation in, and focus on, the mission of the interdenominational One Great Hour of Sharing program. Throughout this time we are asked to focus on examining and acknowledging our own resources and discerning how we might share those gifts with others. Money collected through the Presbyterian Church makes a difference in the world through three impactful programs: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (32%), the Presbyterian Hunger Program (36%), and Self-Development of People (32%). We receive this special offering throughout the next six weeks, with formal dedication on Palm Sunday.

Easter Lily Garden
We will again be taking orders for lilies to be designated in honor or memory of your loved ones. The prepaid cost is $8.00. Orders should be placed by April 2, 2017 by sending to the church or contacting Mary Dawson, 216 N Market St. Knoxville IL61448

Number of plants______

In honor of _____________________________________________________________________

In memory of_____________________________________________________________________________

Community Opportunity

February 26:  Baked Potato Bar Lunch @ Orange Chapel 11-2
March 11: Fundraiser Tea for LaGrace Hall of Hope @ Lake Story Pavilion 1-4 PM
March 25: Elvis Gospel Concert @ KHS auditorium6-8 PM

Council of Churches Christmas Food Baskets delivered to 85 families this year, serving 318 individuals, 138 of which were children.  Thank you for your support of this project.

Birthdays
March
1: Julian Inniss
10: David Jenkins, Patty Rainey Sullivan
25: Vance Swope
29: John Beardsley
31: Grayson Palmer
April
9: Ashton Hansen
14: Ian Smith
16: Lucas Kasser
20: Audrey Martin, Harold Selman

Session will meet March 8, 2017.

Jack Ball (2017)
129 Westview Dr.
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 8279
jackball@grics.net

Tammy Boggs (2018)
1530 Beecher Avenue
Galesburg IL 61401
309 337 8830
3tboggs@gmail.com

Ginny Kasser (Clerk, 2019)
644 Knox Rd 1000N
Gilson IL 61436
309 335 3171
vgkasser@gmail.com

Mary Dawson (2018)
216 N. Market Street
Knoxville IL 61448
309 368 1384
connie_dahl@yahoo.com

Linda Palmer (2016)
1441 Knox Station Road
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4672
palmer1@centurytel.net

Julie Shaver (2017)
PO Box 594
Galesburg, IL 61448
309 343 5973
julie@grrc.net

Virginia Anderson (2017)
1239 West Losey St
Galesburg IL 61401
309 343 7352
anderson.jerry@comcast.net

Matthew Hansen, Pastor
4 Gilbert Park
Knoxville IL 61448
512 652 8793
liveordinarywell@gmail.com

Rev. Dr Carolyn Weber, Moderator
310 908 8396
Joyfl66.weber@gmail.com

Treasurer
Barbara Ball
289-8279
beebee_705@hotmail.com

 

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,

I'm sorry that you are receiving this so late, but we wanted to touch base before the weekend arrived.

First, this past Sunday we pressed pause on our Kingdom of God series, due to Session Sunday.  However this week we'll pick it back up.  So, take some time this week and read through the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Yeast, Matthew 13:31-33.   One of the things we are doing, as we go through each parable, is drawing out particular attributes of the Kingdom. Each week, I will attempt to remember to include them our weekly email.  The last parable we studied was the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, and the attribute we brought out, is that the Kingdom of God is here and now.  Remember each parable is being told to respond to a question, often an internal question based on a misperception about the Kingdom.  So, if the Kingdom of God is here and now, what might be the natural question from that, that this following parable set seeks to answer?  Remember, it is going to go against some of the common notions of the Kingdom.

Second, this month, February, is a travel month for me. I will be gone February 8th through the 21st.  We will pick back up on our discussion on the Kingdom of God when I return.

Matthew and Sarah

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,

We just wanted to take a moment and touch base with you all.

  • Parables of the Kingdom: As many of you know, we are slowly going through the Parables on the Kingdom.  Last week we discussed the parable of the wheat and weeds, and the attribute of the kingdom that we uncovered is that the Kingdom of God is not just a future reality, but it is here now, among us.  This coming Sunday, we will be discussing Matthew 13:31-33.  Take some time and read through it this week, make some notes on what may stand out to you and pull out a couple more attributes of the Kingdom.
  • Special Music: We are trying to put together a schedule for special music.  If you or someone you know would like to be involved, please contact Sarah at sarahdakinhansen@gmail.com.  

Have a great weekend and we'll see you Sunday!

Matthew and Sarah

2017: January Edition

Happy New Year!!!

I love that the new year begins with the season of Epiphany.  By definition, epiphany simply means, "a sudden and striking realization."  But the truth is, epiphanies are really just the "Aha" moments that come at the end of one committing to a more thoughtful life, to a life of learning (not simply reinforcing what we already think), to a life of adventure, to trying new things, to traveling and beyond. It's a continual commitment to new, smaller things that usually end up in a big "epiphany!"  In other words, epiphanies rarely come out of nowhere, rather they are a "sudden and striking realization" that comes to a point of realization after regularly allowing our conscious (and sometimes subconscious) mind and body to take in a steady diet of new information and/or practices.

If that is how epiphanies often come to be, this tells us we can set ourselves up to have moments of epiphany in our human growth.  So, to kick off this year I wanted to make a few suggestions:

  • Sarah and I love Richard Rohr's daily email. You can sign up for it by clicking the previous link or using the web address: https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/
  • Introduce yourself to new ideas. Take some time and pick out some books, documentaries, and/or articles that will challenge the way you currently think about God, life, people, and the world.
  • Introduce yourself to or try a few new habits including:
    • Try something like minimalism, there are several different projects you can attempt, like the 333 Project (HERE), or many others touted by some of the more public minimalists, such as The Minimalists, Joshua Becker, or Zen Habits, on Zen Habits, they have a pretty cool calendar breakdown according to the seasons, HERE.
    • Maybe commit to a more self-sufficient and sustainable way of being - gardening, or maybe gardening is too big of a jump, maybe trying to purchase as local as possible; buying clothes and food that benefit people all the way down the supply chain, taking the time to research this and then commit to it
    • Maybe you need to try to get into better health with exercise and a better diet...stewardship of the body
    • Journaling, in fact, I would add journaling to any new habit so you can go back and read through what you have learned
    • Commit to getting to know new/other people - people on the other side of the isle (whatever that isle is), not to convert them but to learn from them and just be friends

One of the things I like to do is set out a "1st quarter reading list" for myself, and then allow the rest of my annual reading to evolve from there (but I love reading and learning).  I take a lot of suggestions on books that fall into both old and new interests of mine, and from there form my list.  So, on that note, I also wanted to include my reading list for the first quarter of 2017, in case anyone wants to engage (but, these might not be in your place of interest).
o   Christianity after Religion by Diana Butler Bass
o   Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas
o   The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal
o   The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann
o   Mini-Farming by Brett Markham
o   A Human Being Died that Night, by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
o   The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler
o   Human Being and Becoming by David Benner


Finally, just a note as to where we are going this year in the scriptures.  For first six-months we have been with you, we studied Paul's manifesto on the church, Ephesians.  What was striking to me was not so much what was in Ephesians, but rather what was absent - the things that Paul didn't seem to think were primary for the gathered people of God.  It's not that these things, that we often consider to be primary, are wrong or bad, but it's that they land, as secondary or even tertiary issues for Paul and the early church.  The church is not the end.  God's goal was not to send his Son to die to create a well-ordered Sunday morning club.  The church is a means, a means, a signpost, a people to live out the kingdom of God on this earth.  The kingdom of God was Jesus' primary message, yet often a concept foreign to us.  We can talk all day about the secondary issues of the church yet never enjoy and live out the primary message of Jesus.  The life and message of Jesus is the epiphany of the Kingdom.  His life illustrates what it looks like to live as kingdom citizens, but his stories, or parables, tells us about the kingdom.  So, for the next several months we will be engaging Jesus' parables on the Kingdom of God.  And if I have enough foresight, I can imagine that we will talk about being citizens of that kingdom, also known as discipleship, the primary task given to the church.  Anyway, enough for now.  Have a great week!

Hope you all have a blessed new year and we'll see you on Sunday!

Matthew

Lifting up in Prayer
We continue to pray for those who are homebound: Fred Apsey, Pat Bivens and Clara King (Knox County Nursing Home), Ila Clark (Courtyard Estates), and Joyce Beardsley (Woodridge).  We offer continued prayers for healing for Deb Beardsley, Jerry Anderson and Don Wallace who are all at home now, continuing their recovery from strokes, Andrea Palmer (daughter-in-law of CL and Linda Palmer) who is undergoing treatment for leukemia , and Jane Smith who has had shingles among other health concerns last month. We pray for all the members of our church family as they minister to their families and friends in the community throughout the month.

Economy Corner
A great place to seek out re-purposed items
Continue your support of this ministry. Profits from the resale shop are transferred to the church general fund. Donate. Shop. Thank our volunteers!

Our Military
Remember the safety and well-being of our service personnel daily in your prayers including Mike Burgess (grandson of Rose Burgess) serving in the Navy, Army active-duty Joe Beardsley(he and his wife are expecting their first child soon) andMikeal Redington (grandson of Harold Selman), Air Force.

Knoxville Council of Churches will meet February 7, 2017.

Family Meetings
Please plan to join us. We need everyone’s voice as we explore where we are headed as the church. Watch for dates for the upcoming 2017 meetings to soon be announced.

Church Budget
Final adoption will be done by the session in January, and will be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting on January 29, 2017.

2017 Per Capita
$32.00

Building Maintenance
Yes, it is winter here in Knoxville, Illinois. Thank you to our snow shovel-ers last month, Peg and Jeff Bivens.

Visit www.knoxvillepres.com. Sarah Hansen maintains this site for us. If you have info to post, please contact Sarah, or session clerk Peg Bivens.

November was Tithing Month
$406.30 is the amount that will be awarded as our tithing grant from this year’s November receipts. The session will be considering grant recipients at the January meeting. If you have individuals or projects to be considered for the grant, please contact one of the session members.

Bulletin Preparation
Peg Bivens is the volunteer handling this job January–April.

Caroling
Thank you to Jack and Barb Ball for hosting again this year. The weather was COLD so we were especially glad to take advantage of modern technology to reach out and greet members and friends from the comfort of the Ball family room.

Christmas Eve Service
Scripture, song, candlelight and most importantly the communion of being together for this lovely worship service. Our poinsettia tree with memorial and honorarium tributes lent a special touch.

Christmas Food Baskets
Volunteers packed and distributed food baskets again this year in early December. Thank you to our church members who helps with this project through labor, food and cash donations.

Baking for the Building
Tammy Boggs and Sherry Wallaceconducted an extra fundraising effort for building maintenance during the holidays that was well-received by members. They offer homemade cookies, bread, pies, and coffee cakes. Contact Sherry at 309 289-4755 or Tammy at 309 342-3448 for more details or to place orders.

Special Music
Ginny Kasser will be arranging for special music during worship services. Please contact Ginny if you, or someone you know, would be willing to share music with us.


Annual Meeting
January 29, 2016
The Annual meeting of the Congregation and Corporation will be held Sunday January 29, 2016 immediately following worship. Rev. Dr. Carolyn Weber will moderate the meeting.

Thank You from the Hansens
“We wanted to thank everyone for the generous Christmas gift you gave our family, and again, just the opportunity to be a part of you all!" - Matthew, Sarah, Serena, Ashton, Eden and Elie

Birthdays
January
2: Adam Beardsley
5: Emily Huxtable
6: JulieShaver
13: Doug Beardsley
14: Shirley Payne
16: Amanda Huxtable
20: Jordan Huxtable
21: Sandy Wallace Voss
22: Jeff Bivens
February
2: Heather Smith
3:  Dennis Dean
8: Laura Beardsley Williams
10: Laura Duncan
14: Suzanne Reed Braden, Jack Ball
15: Jacob Rosene
16: Gina Beardsley
18: Wayne Allen Beardsley
19: Peg Bivens
23: Judy Zarn, Lea Brownless Cain
24: Linda Eck, Nathan Rouland

Session will meet at the church January 11, 2017.

Session Members:

Jack Ball (2017)
129 Westview Dr.
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 8279
jackball@grics.net

Tammy Boggs (2018)
1530 Beecher Avenue
Galesburg IL 61401
309 337 8830
3tboggs@gmail.com

Peg Bivens (Clerk, 2016)
101 Ivy Lane
PO Box 212
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4137 (work)
peg@leag.biz

Mary Dawson (2018)
216 N. Market Street
Knoxville IL 61448
309 368 1384
connie_dahl@yahoo.com

Linda Palmer (2016)
1441 Knox Station Road
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4672
palmer1@centurytel.net

Julie Shaver (2017)
PO Box 594
Galesburg, IL 61448
309 343 5973
julie@grrc.net

Virginia Anderson (2017)
1239 West Losey St
Galesburg IL 61401
309 343 7352
anderson.jerry@comcast.net

Matthew Hansen, Pastor
4 Gilbert Park
Knoxville IL 61448
512 652 8793
liveordinarywell@gmail.com

Rev. Dr Carolyn Weber, Moderator
310 908 8396
Joyfl66.weber@gmail.com

Treasurer
Barbara Ball
289-8279
beebee_705@hotmail.com

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres, 

Just wanted to touch base with you this week on a few items...

Epiphany: This Sunday the "sermon" time will be dedicated to shared stories of personal epiphany stories.  For those who are willing, please take some time this week to think of a time when God revealed himself to you in a small, big, silent, loud, or even strange way.  Taking time to remember the things God has done is one of the most important formative practices of the church.  This remembering informs the way we live in the present and ignites our future expectations of hope.  So, this Sunday, I want to dedicate some time to do just that, and then I will wrap up with a story of my own and a short summary of the new series we are going to begin.

New SeriesGod's great ambition was not to send his Son to die so that a well-ordered Sunday morning club could initiate (he already had a Saturday version of that); nor was it to provide a simple escape plan.  The church is a means, a means, a signpost, a tangible expression, a people to live out the kingdom of God on this earth.  The life and message of Jesus is the epiphany of the Kingdom.  His life illustrates what it looks like to live as kingdom citizens, and his stories, or parables, tells us about the kingdom.  So, for the next several months we will be engaging Jesus' parables on the Kingdom of God.  

Have a great week and we'll see you Sunday!

Matthew and Sarah

From the Pastor: The Examined Life

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres, 

I know this is Sunday.  We just worshiped together, but I wanted to send out an email regarding a few things and recommendations regarding the new year.  I'll be emailing again around mid-week to remind you about the first Sunday of Epiphany.

Below I have forwarded Richard Rohr's daily email.  This year he is starting a great series.  Today's email by him is a snapshot of where he plans on going with it.  If you have time, read through it, and if you would like to sign up for it, click HERE.

Sarah and I don't so much set "New Year's Resolutions," rather we try to use the new year as a time of reflection in order to reorient ourselves or create habits that are more reflective of our values.  I thought I would share some of the principle thoughts behind this:

Introduce yourself to new ideas: Take some time and pick out some books, documentaries, and/or articles that will challenge the way you currently think about God, life, people, and the world.  

Introduce yourself to or try a few new habits:

  • Try something like minimalism. There are several different projects you can attempt, like the 333 Project (HERE), or many others touted by some of the more public minimalists, such as The Minimalists, Joshua Becker, or Zen Habits. Zen Habits has a pretty cool calendar breakdown according to the seasons, HERE.
  • Maybe commit to a more self-sufficient and sustainable way of being - gardening, or maybe gardening is too big of a jump, maybe trying to purchase as local as possible; buying clothes and food that benefit people all the way down the supply chain, taking the time to research this and then commit to it.
  • Maybe you need to try to get into better health with exercise and a better diet - stewardship of the body
  • Journaling. in fact, I would add journalling to any new habit so you can go back and read through what you have learned
  • Commit to getting to know new/other people - people on the other side of the aisle (whatever that aisle is), not to convert them but to learn from them and just be friends.

Finally, today, today we talked about living an examined life.  For me that means the following, of course using the life and teaching of Jesus as the lens:

  • Being more intentional and thoughtful about the way we spend your time vs. allowing ourselves to be swept away by the assumed rhythms of our culture
  • Being more present with those around us, and put the screen down. Ever walk into a room full of people on screens? It's just sad. Turn them off.  Take the off the table when you are eating or visiting. Leave them in the living room when you go to bed.  Stop thinking about what is next...connect with the lives around you!
  • Being more outward focused - listen and think about the needs of others and their perspective
  • Being more responsible for learning what it means to live like Jesus

Anyway, we'll send out another email sometime mid week to go more in depth into next weeks epiphany assignment!

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,

We pray and hope you had a great Christmas day, celebrating the gift of family and life with those you love! 

We just wanted to touch base with you.  

First, we wanted to thank everyone for the generous Christmas gift you gave our family, and again, just the opportunity to be a part of you all!  Yesterday we had the opportunity to do a memorial/observation service for Jim Hutchcroft and his family.  We were very humbled to have the opportunity to be invited into that family moment.  

Second, I need a few more readers over the next couple of Sundays, so if this is something you can do, that would be lovely. 

I believe this all we have to touch base on.  If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to contact us.

Matthew and Sarah Hansen

From the Pastor: Advent Week Three

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,

Let me first apologize that this email is coming late in the week - the Hansens have been busy moving into our new Knoxville home! Yay!

Over the past three weeks we have talked about the first three postures of Advent:

Hope: We reflected on the walk to Emmaus in Luke 24. We said that to have biblical hope is to point our emotions toward something with such intensity that we begin to live as if that which we hope for is a reality now. 

Peace:  We said the observation of peace had a yin/yang perspective. The first meditation was around the art of lament (recognizing and naming where our lives work against God's peace) while the second was about recognizing the good (celebrating and taking note of where we leave as peacemakers in the world). 

  • Joy: We talked about joy being the fruit of focusing our attention on the eternal goodness of God (God's power, holiness and mercy) as opposed to our immediate circumstances.

4th Sunday of Advent: This Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Advent in which we will be discussing Love.  We need two more scripture readers for this Sunday.  The scriptures we need read are the following: Isaiah 7:10-16 and Matthew 1:18-25.  If you can read please reply to mdh1199@gmail.com

Weather:  Looks like it is supposed to get pretty nasty out there this weekend...stay inside, stay warm, and enjoy the beauty of the snow through your windows! Stay warm!

Prayer Requests:

  • Carolyn Weber: Carolyn is having some health issues and is having tests done to see if she may need a pacemaker. 
  • The Palmer's: Remember their daughter-in-law and keep their whole family in your prayers
  • Remember to pray for the continual recovery for both Jerry Anderson and Don Wallace.

Have a great weekend, and if you brave the cold, we'll see you on Sunday!

Matthew and Sarah

From the Pastor: Advent Week Two

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres.

 

We pray this email finds you doing well.  Just wanted to take a moment and remind you of a few things:

  • Christmas Baskets: This week we have two opportunities to volunteer with the Knoxville Council of Churches: Today and Tomorrow at the Legion.  We, Sarah and I, won't be able to make it today, but you should see one of us there tomorrow.  If you have time, come on out and serve.
  • Advent Week 2: Last week we talked about the idea of Peace.  The meditation we landed on was like a yin/yang perspective.  The first meditation was around the art of lament and the second was about recognizing the good. 
    • Art of Lament: We asked all of us to take stock of our own lives and name how we may be contributing to 'unpeace' or chaos through the way we live.  The examples we gave were about over-consumption, ignorance of and participation in unethical supply chains, ecological destruction, taking advantage of people, not slowing down enough to pay attention to those around you who may be less fortunate, etc, etc.  The call for lament is to first name it rather than excuse or deny it, the second was to repent of it.  This doesn't mean to say "I'm sorry" and keep on doing it, it means to change our ways. 
    • Recognizing the Good:  We asked all of us to take a second look into our lives and recognize where we are contributing to peace in our world, or as Jesus said, where we are being "peacemakers".  With lament, the action is naming and repenting, with recognizing the good, the action is acknowledging and celebrating the ways we are actively making peace, and then moving more intently into those actions.
  • Week 3: Joy - this next week we will talk about the elusive idea of Joy.  

Have a great week, and we'll see you Sunday!

Matthew and Sarah 

2016: December Edition

Birthdays

December

1: Tom Main
2: Linda Palmer, Harold Jenkins
3: Cody Jones, Whitney Beardsley, Matthew Hansen
6: Tammy Wallace Boggs
13: Rose Burgess
17: George Sterr
19: Jonathan Taylor, John Rosene
21: Robin Jenkins
27: Reese Innis
28: Phyliss Sterr

January

2: Adam Beardsley
5: Emily Huxtable
6: Julie Shaver
13: Doug Beardsley
14: Shirley Payne
16: Amanda Huxtable
20: Jordan Huxtable
21: Sandy Wallace Voss
22: Jeff Bivens

It’s been a busy time since Matthew and Sarah joined us in July, for us and them both. The first six months have gone well and the session and Matthew have agreed to extend his contract past the original December termination.  Yay! And the Hansens have purchased a home in Knoxville, with moving going on this month. We are still is the discovery period of holding our quarterly “Family Meetings.” These are informal supper get-togethers where we talk together and discuss where we have been as a church and what our vision might be for our future. Please make an effort to attend, especially if you have not already been able to. We need everyone’s voice in this process.

The sermon series on Ephesians has concluded and Matthew is now teaching from the lectionary, guiding us through the traditional Advent/Christmas/Epiphany scriptures.  Here is his overview of the lesson texts:

  • 1st Sunday of Advent: :

  • 2nd Sunday of Advent: Ps. 72:1-7, 18-19, Is 11:1-10, , Romans 15:4-13, Matthew 3:1-12

  • 3rd Sunday of Advent: Ps. 146:5-10; Is 35:1-10; Lk 1:46b-55, James 5:7-10

  • 4th Sunday of Advent: Ps. 80:1-7; Is. 7:10-16, 17-19; Ro. 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

  • Christmas Eve: Ps 96; Is. 9:2-7, Titus 2:11-14, Lk 2:1-14

  • New Year’s Day: Psalm 8; Ecclesiastes 3:1-13, Matthew 25:31-46

  • First Sunday of Epiphany: Psalm 29; Isaiah 42:1-9, Matthew 3:13-17

On the January 15, Matthew plans to begin teaching on the Parables.

Lifting up in Prayer
We continue to pray for those who are homebound:  Fred Apsey,  Pat Bivens & Clara King (Knox County Nursing Home), Ila Clark (Courtyard Estates), and Joyce Beardsley (Woodridge.)  We offer continued prayers for healing for Jerry Anderson and Don Wallace who are at home now, continuing their recovery from strokes, and for Andrea Palmer (daughter-in-law of CL and Linda Palmer) who was recently diagnosed with leukemia . We pray for Julian Inniss' family on Grand Bahama recovering from the hurricane damage. We pray for all the members of our church family as they minister to family and friends in the community throughout the month.

Economy Corner
A great place to seek out re-purposed items
Continue your support of this ministry. Profits from the resale shop are transferred to the church general fund. Donate. Shop. Thank our volunteers!

Our Military
Remember the safety and well-being of our service personnel daily in your prayers including Mike Burgess (grandson of Rose Burgess) serving in the Navy, Army active duty Joe Beardsley(he and his wife are expecting their first child soon) and Mikeal Redington (grandson of Harold Selman) Air Force,

Knoxville Council of Churches met on November 1 at Grace Lutheran Church. Reports were given on the conclusion of the school supplies and distribution and plans for the Christmas Food Basket ministry were finalized.

Family Meetings
We held oursecond Family Meeting of 2016 on November 17,  and willbe holding these once per-quarter.  We continued the discussion on who we are as the church; why we exist; where we want to go; and what it will take to do that.  Please plan to join us…we need everyone’s voice as we explore this.

Church Budget
The session considered the first draft of the 2017 Budget at their November meeting. Final adoption will be done in January , after year- end figures are in, and will be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting January 29, 2016.

2017 Per Capita
$32.00

Building Maintenance
Yay, the roof repairs have been completed! Thanks to Tammy Boggs and her committee for their hard work on this project determining the repairs and securing proposals. And thank you to all our members and friends who have made extra contributions to help fund the repairs. The steps on the South Entrance have been repaired and both sets of steps have been newly painted with caution yellow stripes for better visibility. Thank you Harold Jenkins!

Quilts of Valor
Our chapter has been very visible this fall: annual quilt show, receiving the Knoxville Community Fund grant, and making presentations of quilts to veterans at the Knoxville legion post. The group meets regularly on Tuesdays in the church dining room at 9:00 AM and welcomes new members.

www.knoxvillepres.com  Sarah Hansen has volunteered to maintain this site for us. If you have info to post, please contact Sarah, or session clerk Peg Bivens. Thanks to Sarah for taking this on, and also to David Shaver for his work on our initial site.

Community Thanksgiving Service
We gathered with members of the Knoxville Community on Sunday November 20 atCommunity Bible Church. Matthew was able to participate in the service and read the scripture. The message was delivered by Pastor Chet   who is the new minister at Knoxville Methodist Church. An offering was collected to support the Christmas Food Basket ministry of the Knoxville Council of Churches

November was Tithing Month
$406.30is the amount that will be awarded as our tithing grant from this year’s November receipts. The session will be considering grant recipients at their January meeting. If you have individuals or projects to be considered for the grant, please contact one of the session members.


Advent is here and we are ready!
Thank you to decorating chairman Barb Ball for organizing and guiding our decorating this year. We put things in place on Friday and Saturday November 25 and 26. The crew included Mary Dawson, Sherry Wallace, Tammy Boggs, Julien Inniss, Peg Bivens and Jack and Barb Ball.

Sermon Series for Advent
We have left the book of Ephesians and Matthew has begun a sermon series that will take us through Advent and conclude after Epiphany. This series includes lots of scripture texts and Matthew is asking for volunteers from the congregation to read during the worship service. Let him know if you would be willing to participate.

Bulletin preparation
Thank you to Jane Smith (and Ginny Kasser) who have been our bulletin production volunteers these last months. Peg Bivens will be doing this task starting in January.

Caroling
December 146:00 PM
You are invited to join usfor the annual Christmas Caroling party at the home of Jack and Barb Ball, 129Westview Drive, Knoxville. We will gather for a light supper and then share carols via telephone with friends and family both near and far.

Christmas Eve Service
December 245:30 PM
Scripture, song, candlelight.
Please join us for this special
worship service, noting that this year’s service will also be replacing Sunday worship since the last Sunday of the month falls on Christmas Day, December 25 and we will NOT be holding worship services that morning.

Christmas Food Baskets
We are participating in this annual mission projectdirected by the Knoxville Council of Churches. The baskets are being packed this week by volunteers.  Community groups have helped collect food items along with the donations from member churches. Money gifts are still being sought to help with the cost incurred for items purchased through the Riverbend food resource distribution center and the perishable items purchased at Hi-lo. These gifts should be directed to Council of Churches treasurer Tammy Baker, 518 Mill Street, Knoxville, IL61448.

Baking for the Building
Tammy Boggs and Sherry Wallace are conducting an extra fundraising effort forbuilding maintenance. They are offering holiday baking: homemade cookies, bread, pies, coffee cakes. Contact Sherry at 309 289-4755 or Tammy at 309 342-3448 for more details or to place orders.

Special Music
Ginny Kasser will be arranging for special music during worship service next year. Please contact Ginny if you, or someone you know, would be willing to share music with us.

Stone Soup….Results
This fundraiser is a success each year because of the teamwork efforts from our congregation.  $1379.10 was realized in profit, ½ which is sent off to Presbyterian Mission support, and ½ designated for the bill on the roof repairs. Unsold soup, pies, BBQ was donated to the Galesburg Rescue Mission and a good time was had by all.

Our efforts are appreciated…
Nice thank you notes were received from the Galesburg Rescue Mission “ Thanks so very, very much for your very large and delicious food donation! It is being enjoyed by everyone here!” and from Jordan Knight at Habitat “Partners like you have helped us work toward eliminating poverty housing in the Knox County Community. ..Thank you for enabling us to do so.”

Annual Meeting
January 29, 2016
 The Annual meeting of the Congregation and Corporation will be held Sunday January 29, 2016 immediately following worship. Rev. Dr. Carolyn Weber will moderate the meeting.

Christmas and New Year’s Day
Worship services
We will not be holding worship on Sunday December 25. Please join us for worship in the evening on December 24 at 5:30 PM. We will hold regular Sunday worship on Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM.

Poinsettias
We have ordered poinsettias again for decoration in the sanctuary. If you would like to purchase one in honor or in memory of family or friends, the cost is $8.00 each. Please contact Mary Dawson 309 368-1384 or send to the church before December 19.

Session Members:

Jack Ball (2017)
129 Westview Dr.
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 8279
jackball@grics.net

Tammy Boggs (2018)
1530 Beecher Avenue
Galesburg IL 61401
309 337 8830
3tboggs@gmail.com

Peg Bivens (Clerk, 2016)
101 Ivy Lane
PO Box 212
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4137 (work)
peg@leag.biz

Mary Dawson (2018)
216 N. Market Street
Knoxville IL 61448
309 368 1384
connie_dahl@yahoo.com

Linda Palmer (2016)
1441 Knox Station Road
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4672
palmer1@centurytel.net

Julie Shaver (2017)
PO Box 594
Galesburg, IL 61448
309 343 5973
julie@grrc.net

Virginia Anderson (2017)
1239 West Losey St
Galesburg IL 61401
309 343 7352
anderson.jerry@comcast.net

Matthew Hansen, Pastor
201 S Timber St
Knoxville IL 61448
512 652 8793
liveordinarywell@gmail.com

Rev. Dr Carolyn Weber, Moderator
310 908 8396
Joyfl66.weber@gmail.com

Treasurer
Barbara Ball
289-8279
beebee_705@hotmail.com

 

From the Pastor: Advent Week One

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres, 

We want to send a quick email as we are head into the weekend.  

This Sunday, Dec 4, we will be observing the second Sunday of Advent.  We need two extra volunteers for scripture reading this Sunday.   If you can volunteer to read, please contact me.

Sunday, November 27:  We entered Advent with a discussion on hope.  In summary, we said that:

  • Faith is Structured Hope!  
  • Faith deals more with the will, whereas hope deals more on the emotional side.  However, we can't really separate them from each other. 
  • Biblical hope is always revealed, not by words alone, but actions and lifestyle.  Here are just a few examples of what that means:
    • We can't say we hope for a renewed earth and then live in a way that is detrimental to our natural environment.  
    • We can't say we hope for Jesus to come and set all of creation free while participating in economies that enslave others.  
    • We can't say we have hope in a Christ who sacrificed for us poor, sinners out of his own wealth if we don't live lives that sacrifice for the poor around us.  
    • True biblical hope consistently fleshes itself out in the emotions, the will, and then the actions.  
  • To have biblical hope is to point our emotions toward something with such intensity that we begin to live as if that which we hope for is a reality now.  

We closed with the following meditation:  If those around us could not hear our proclamation of hope, and all they had to go off of was our actions, what do our actions reveal about our true hope? 

Enjoy the rest of your week, and we'll see you Sunday! 

Matthew and Sarah

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and members of Knoxville Pres, 

We hope all is well and wanted to take a moment and touch base with you on a few things:

  • Ephesians - Folks, we have four more weeks in the book of Ephesians and then we'll begin the season of Advent.  This next week we will be talking about Ephesians 5:1-14, take some time to read it in a few different translations and be ready for Sunday morning.
  • Translations - I had a few folks ask me about the translation I use. I believe the pew bible translation is the RSV.  I typically speak from either the NRSV (newer version of the pew bibles) and the NET.  When it comes studying I use these two along with the Message translation (which I will use every once in a while).  There is no such thing as a perfect translation, so when studying the bible it is best to use a couple different translations.  
  • Jerry Anderson - Many of you already know, but Jerry Anderson had a stroke almost two weeks ago.  We were able to go visit him in Peoria, and should be moving back this way soon.  He seemed to be doing well and Ginnie was in high spirits.  Please keep them in your prayers.
  • Family Meeting, pt. 2 - we will be hosting our next family meeting on November 17th from 6-8pm.  We will be continuing our conversation from the last family meeting

Have a great week...see you Sunday!

Matthew and Sarah

 

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Presbyterian Church,
As we said last month, we want to take this platform to recap our Sunday morning discussions. As many of you know, we are slowly and methodically working our way through the book of Ephesians, while it took us six weeks to make it through the first chapter of the book, only six weeks later and we are now half way through chapter four.  Here's a recap: Week Seven we discussed Ephesians 2:1-10.  We discussed Paul's geography of sin.  We contrasted that with Paul's robust idea of salvation through the following questions:  From what are saved? By whom are we saved? To whom are we saved? and For what are we saved?  Weeks Eight and Nine, we started a two-part-examination of Ephesians 2:11-17, around the Biblical idea of exclusion and embrace.  We closed out these two weeks by stating, "Church is where peace is understood and lived out comprehensively as Christ present and working among us - at the end of the day, this shows us that peace with humanity and peace with Christ are inseparable, and thus the result of Christ's work on the cross." Week Ten we did an overview of Ephesians 2:19-22 and 3:13-21.  First, we planted this text within the historical Jewish context through a timeline of Israel, focusing in on the building and meaning of the Temple along with the subsequent rhythm of destruction and exile.   We closed out this week saying, "we [the church] are the place where the activity of God in this world is embodied - we are the place, not a building, a people, where heaven and earth becomes one." Week Eleven concentrates on Ephesians 3:1-13 along with Proverbs 8:22-36, and the way Sofia, the divine feminine or Wisdom, takes up residence within the church and thus guides and forms the church into the people of God.Week Twelve, this past week, we studied Ephesians 4:1-16 and discussed the way cognitive bias gets in the way of Paul's original intent for Christian maturity.  From the very beginning, our cognitive bias causes us to read this text from an individualistic perspective, then through that bias, our various dispositions cause us to interpret the text, usually in one of two extremes.  Below are those two extremes along with a third way.

1. Autonomous Individualization: The lie here is that, like our forefather Cain, we declare, "I am not my brother's keeper"
2. Compartmentalized Outsourcing: We said the common motto here is, "I need to be fed so I can grow."
3. The Third Way: We said that we believe what Paul is calling for is an interdependent community made up of self-differentiated persons acting in mutual submission and transparency toward and with each other.

Welook forward to diving into the rest of Ephesians with you and digging deeper into life in Knoxville!  Have a blessed month!                                                   

Matthew and Sarah Hansen

2016: October Edition

Birthdays

October

1: Rae Griffith
2: Candy Rosene
8: Jane Smith
11: Ethan Inniss
12: Emilee Gilbert
17: Janet Selman
25: Serena Hansen
26: Deora Inniss, Kim Inniss

November

5: Ashley Boggs
6: Ron Hatch
7: Jim Rainey
11: Alice Thurman, Sarah Hansen
18: Aubree Bivens
19: Bill Beardsley, Barbara Ball
22: Kelly Wallace
27: C.L. Palmer, Jon Rainey, Ginny Kasser
28: Faron Wallace
30: Joe Beardsley, Gordon King

Anniversaries

Congratulations to George and Phyllis Sterr who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in August!

C.L. and Linda Palmer will be honored at an open house celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.
From their daughter Dawne Palmer Pilkington: You are invited on October 29, 2016 from 1:00 - 4:00, please join us in celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of C.L. and Linda Palmer at the First United Presbyterian Church of Knoxville.  Please bring memories, stories and any photos to share in lieu of gifts.

Lifting Up in Prayer

We continue to pray for those who are homebound: Fred Apsey, Pat Bivens and Clara King (Knox County Nursing Home), Ila Clark (Courtyard Estates), and Joyce Beardsley (Woodridge). We pray for all the members of our church family as they minister to family and friends in the community throughout the month.

Sympathy
We extend our sympathy to Sally Hutchcroft and her family. Sally’s husband, Jim, died September 13. Having been a member since 1948, Jim held the third longest membership in our congregation.

And our sympathy goes also to Lori Nyi and her family at the recent death of her brother.

Economy Corner
A great place to seek out re-purposed items

Resale Shop - Open Thursdays from 10 AM to 2 PM

Continue your support of this ministry. Profits from the resale shop are transferred to the church general fund. Donate. Shop. Thank our volunteers!

Our Military

Remember the safety and well-being of our service personnel daily in your prayers including Mike Burgess (grandson of Rose Burgess) serving in the Navy, Army active duty Joe Beardsley who has returned to his stateside base in Ft. Leonardwood, MO and Mikeal Redington (grandson of Harold Selman) Air Force.

Knoxville Council of Churches

Knoxville Council of Churches met on August 30, 2016 at 7:00 PM here at our church. The group discussed establishing a new meeting schedule rotation, distributing the excess school supplies from 2015 and planning for the 2016 Christmas Food Basket ministry.

Home Communion

Rev. Carolyn Weber and Elder Ginny Anderson have reached out on our behalf to some of our members unable to attend regular worship and offered communion on Sundays following our communion during worship. If you, or someone you know, would like to receive home communion, please let us know.

Family Meeting

We held our first of two Family Meetings for 2016 on September 21, 2016.  Over the next year, we are going to have four Family Meetings (one per-quarter).  We will be discussing who we are as the church, why we exist, where we want to go, and what it will take to do that.  Some highlights gleaned from the first session: “We really loved hearing what church meant to you.  We enjoyed hearing how each of you became part of Knoxville Pres.  The metaphors and adjectives you used to describe your home church were wonderful: family, home, welcoming. accepting, inviting, and more. We gave our definition of church: the people of God living on the mission of God together. We believe the avenues through which we live out the mission of God together to be: family, learners, and servant-missionaries within our context (we'll talk more about this one in early November).I believe, that if the church in small town Midwest is going to be the living embodiment of the gospel, to be the incarnate Christ, our good news is a call back to beauty and joy.  Not as secondary or tertiary, but primary.  Beauty for beauty sake.  Joy no matter the circumstances.  Beauty and joy as fuel for life.  Emerson said, "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.”

New Name for Adult Sunday School: Sunday Social

This group resumed meeting on Sunday, September 4. The first session was a time of discussiontalking about what topics we would like to focus on during the year, and why. We chose to examine the inspiration of scripture.  We will be launching this topic when we resume meetingOctober 16, after our two-week break during the Scenic Drive Fall Festival.  We have dropped the old “Sunday School” label and adopted “Sunday Social” going forward. We are breaking from tradition and may even enjoy some breakfast on occasion during our conversation time.  Join us whenever you can at 9:30 AM on Sunday mornings.

Church Budget

The session will soon bepreparing the church budget for 2017.  Some members have already responded with pledges for an increase in their 2017 giving. A $1000 donation was received from Joan Robertson Dudding in memory of her parents Sumner and Belle Robertson.

2017 Per Capita

The money that we pay, per member, for operating expenses at the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly will increase next year to an amount of $32.00.  $20.69 remains in our presbytery, $3.81 is sent to the Synod of Lincoln Trails, $7.50 funds the Office of General Assembly. The church plans for this amount as a budget item, and appreciates designated gifts from members for this expense.

Building Maintenance

The session approved replacement of the lower roof. The work will be done this fall by Armor Roofing at a cost of $7675.00. We will also be having some repairs done around the chimney on the upper roof by Rail City Roofing. Thank you to chairman Tammy Boggs and her committee for their work on getting this lined up.

Stone Soup

This annual fundraiser was held again during the annual Knox County Scenic Drive Fall Festival. Profit of $1371.10 was realized. Thank you to Sherry Wallace for obtaining a special Thrivent grant for supplies. This year’s proceeds have been designated ½ for our church-wide mission support and ½ to help pay for needed roof repairs.

Quilts of Valor

Knoxville’s Chapter of QOV received a $500 grant from the recently established Knoxville Community Fund.  A check was presented to the chapter during their weekly workday by community fund board members Tom England and Jim Wenstrom. The grant money is to be used to purchase supplies for quilts to be presented to Knoxville area veterans. The Knoxville Community Fund presents annual grants to groups and projects that positively impact the Knoxville community and its residents.  Thank you to QOV leader Linda Palmer for her work in writing this grant. Proceeds of $1251 were reported from the annual quilt show during Scenic Drive, which will go to offset costs for supplies.  7 quilts were presented during the show days.

2x4 Sundays raise money for Habitat

Our congregation raised $266.08 for this local mission during our awareness Sundays in September.  The work of Knox County Habitat was “drilled” into us and “hammered” homeduring Minute for Mission segments led by Jan Selman and Peg Bivens. Members present signed their names to the 2X4 which will go into the next Habitat home in Galesburg.

Food Pantry Receives Grant

Mary Dawson and Jack Ball completed paperwork that secured a $1000“Bucks for Blessings”  grant from the Presbytery of Great Rivers for use by the Knoxville Food Pantry. Thanks Mary and Jack for your work on this.

Website Revamped
Check out our new website URL and design. www.knoxvillepres.com.  Sarah Hansen has volunteered to maintain this site for us. If you have info to post, please contact Sarah, or session clerk Peg Bivens. Thanks to Sarah for taking this on, and also to David Shaver for his work on our initial site.

Community Thanksgiving Service
Sunday November 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church.

November is Tithing Month
Thiswas suggested by member Mary Goff and reinforced by the re-telling of “Josie’s Story”    Josie Andrist, wife of pastor Lane Andrist shared her experience of being a young, single mother of three children, living on a very limited income and angrily challenging God. She promised to tithe her “widow’s mite”  and trust that God would somehow see that she had what she needed. And, to her amazement, SHE DID!  That experience led her to become a faithful tither.  In lean times, and in times of plenty, our church continues to reach out and share our resources. We set aside the first 10% of offering receipts in the month of November each month for a project outside of our regular ministry. Over the years we have seen this small gift bring great joy to both the recipient and to our congregation.  We challenge you to consider making tithinga part of your spiritual life in November, or year-round.

Session Members:

Jack Ball (2017)
129 Westview Dr.
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 8279
jackball@grics.net

Tammy Boggs (2018)
1530 Beecher Avenue
Galesburg IL 61401
309 337 8830
3tboggs@gmail.com

Peg Bivens (Clerk, 2016)
101 Ivy Lane
PO Box 212
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4137 (work)
peg@leag.biz

Mary Dawson (2018)
216 N. Market Street
Knoxville IL 61448
309 368 1384
connie_dahl@yahoo.com

Linda Palmer (2016)
1441 Knox Station Road
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4672
palmer1@centurytel.net

Julie Shaver (2017)
PO Box 594
Galesburg, IL 61448
309 343 5973
julie@grrc.net

Virginia Anderson (2017)
1239 West Losey St
Galesburg IL 61401
309 343 7352
anderson.jerry@comcast.net

Matthew Hansen, Pastor
201 S Timber St
Knoxville IL 61448
512 652 8793
liveordinarywell@gmail.com

Rev. Dr Carolyn Weber, Moderator
310 908 8396
Joyfl66.weber@gmail.com

Treasurer
Barbara Ball
289-8279
beebee_705@hotmail.com

 

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,

We pray this email finds you doing well this week, and want to take some time and catch up with you about a few things:

Worship: Because of the Knox County Scenic Drive, worship on Sunday, October 2 and Sunday, October 9 will be held at 9:00 am in the downstairs fellowship area. For this same reason, there will be no Sunday Social.

Ephesians: Last week, we discussed Ephesians 3:1-13 and the way that wisdom (Sophia) takes its place in the church.  This coming Sunday, we will be talking about Ephesians 4:1-16.  Take some time and read through these texts this week and be ready for any conversation.

Sunday Social (formerly known as Sunday School): These past 2 weeks of discussion have been wonderful, and we have been all over the page on the topics we are covering. So far, our intent has been to cover doctrinal issues, starting with the inspiration of scripture, but we haven't been able to land there yet. Last week during social hour, we talked about several documentaries and books. These are listed below. If you click on the attached links, you will be directed to a place where you can either watch the films, or be given the opportunity to purchase.

Documentaries:

The Story of Stuff - this one is only 15 minutes, and can be watched online; it is worth your time to watch!
Poverty, Inc.
Food, Inc.
The True Cost
The Happy Movie
The Darkside of Chocolate - you can watch the whole 45 minutes documentary on YouTube

Authors:
Wendell Berry - I've not read any of his novels, but have read most of his other works - really good, and would be very relevant to this culture.  Berry is an old Kentucky farmer.  Some of my favorites would be: The Art of Common Place, and Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community. I own both of these if anyone wants to borrow them.
Bill McKibben

Family Meeting:  Thanks to all who came and submitted responses to the questions! A recap of the family meeting is available on our website.

Stone Soup: This weekend is the first for the Knox County Scenic Drive and our annual Stone Soup fundraiser. The Hansens will be serving homemade breakfast tacos, along side all the other homemade goods and of course, Stone Soup. We hope to see you there!

Have a great week and we'll see you Sunday!

Recap: Family Meeting

A big Thank You to those who made it out, and also to those who submitted responses to the questions.  

We really loved hearing what church means to you.  We enjoyed hearing how each of you became part of Knoxville Pres.  The metaphors and adjectives you used to describe your home church were wonderful: family, home, welcoming. accepting, inviting, and more.

We gave our definition of church. That being the people of God living on the mission of God together. The first part of that definition deals with the global church, the people of God living on the mission of God, and the final world assigns the general definition to the local - together.

We talked about the marks of the church. In holding with the Book of Order, we said that while on one hand, we agree with Knox and Calvin that the marks of the church are the Sacraments, the Scriptures, and Church Discipline, we believe this is an incomplete list.  We believe that the overarching reality of being the body of Christ is the incarnation.  As the Divine incarnated into humanity through the person of Jesus, so Jesus incarnates into our present world through the life of the church.  If we are not living out the "sent-ness" (or incarnation) of Christ, we can practice communion, preaching, and church discipline all we want, but we are not the church.

We believe the avenues through which we live out the mission of God together to be: family, learners, and servant-missionaries within our context (we'll talk more about this one in early November)

We talked about the lifespan of faith expressions. Everything has a life span.  We don't like this part, but it is true.  We discussed dealing with the idea of lifespan from two different vantage points:

1. Biological. This typically happens when we recognize that we are just too "old" to deal with the necessary change that is required to be the new expression of the church in a new time.  We said there is nothing wrong with this, as long as we accept it with dignity. 

2. Mythological. The example we use is the phoenix; the phoenix literally goes through a stage of deconstruction, to be resurrected anew.

We talked about the gospel as both bad news and good news. A good example of this is found in Acts 19:20-21:1, where Paul brings the Gospel to the people of Ephesus.  When Paul begins to teach the gospel of Jesus, it results in a riot. Why?  If it is good news, why a riot?  Simple. The good news of Jesus often conflicts with the "gods" or shallow platforms on which we have built our identity and way of life. In the case of Ephesus, the god is Artemis.  Like true religion, one cannot check faith at the door and enter the work world, or for that matter, any other arena. True faith threads itself through every fiber of our life, and the people of Ephesus understood this.  The worship of Artemis had a great effect on their business and political practices, and the effect was profit.  In other words, to live according to the way of Jesus was going to actually cost them financially.  The people of Ephesus understood, to "bow their knee" to a new god (Jesus), would not simply have eternal consequences, but would affect every other arena of their life - including their business practices.  Note: If Paul were to get in a time machine and travel to the twenty-first century United States, with no clue that some of us claim to worship Jesus, and was told, "Paul, we aren't going to tell you anything; we simply want you to observe, and then based on your observation, please tell us which god you believe we worship." Paul would simply look at our cathedrals, sports arenas, driving concern for bottom-line profit, gated communities that shield us from the poor, and consumerism, and he would conclude that we were either worshipers of Artemis or Mithra.  The idea that we claim to worship Jesus wouldn't even cross his mind.  Back to the point - the gospel assumes we don't compartmentalize our life.  If the gospel has eternal consequences, then even more so it must have immediate ramifications.  And those ramifications have to do with the entire scope of life - one cannot claim to be Christian and then practice the business ethics of Artemis, or the war principles of Mithra.  This is why Jesus said, Before you say yes to me, count the cost, because to follow me will effect every part of your life. And initially, this is bad news. (It shouldn't be lost on us that this counting cost conversation comes right before our call to be salt and light, in the book of Luke).  Typically the first part of our life that it effects is the "idol" - that being the thing, person, body image, education, relationship, hobby, or event we have built our identity and livelihood around and on - which is initially bad news! *If you want to read more about this, we recommend the book, The Idolatry of God. BEWARE: it is very theoretical and can get a bit abstract at times).

Who do we want to become?  We loved this part of the conversation, and we do not really have the space to rehash all of it.  So we want to summarize what we believe and what Peg brought up, which we believe to be true and have so for several weeks.  When we started the series on Ephesians, we talked about the utilitarian nature of this part of the country.  We are not so much talking about utilitarianism as a philosophy (which we aren't convinced leads to a much brighter path), but utilitarian as nature or adjective, which literally means, "designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive". Utilitarian as nature is opposite of the aesthetic life. When the utilitarian nature is lived out by a person or people, especially a people in survival mode, it becomes usefulness and practicality at the expense of beauty and joy, because they seem unnecessary components to survival.  The economic situation in small town Midwest is pretty bleak, especially right here in Knoxville.  When you look at what agri-business has done to farming (read Wendel Berry to get a better understanding of this, if you don't already) and the creativity that at one time was innate in this vocation and the mass exodus of manufacturing jobs, we have become a culture that finds its identity and viability in the ability to be useful and practical, at the expense of beauty and joy, and thus put our efforts to find life into things that continually under deliver.  This has become the norm.  I believe, that if the church in small town Midwest is going to be the living embodiment of the gospel, to be the incarnate Christ, our good news is a call back to beauty and joy.  Not as secondary or tertiary, but primary.  Beauty for beauty sake.  Joy no matter the circumstances.  Beauty and Joy as fuel for life.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."  Wouldn't it be amazing to help our culture read the handwriting of God again, and thus regain the joy that accompanies true beauty?  Many have called these ideas the transcendental values, because they can transcend all cultures and circumstances, and are the life blood of the soul.  

Here are a couple practical ways to engage this idea:
Movies: Have you seen Chocolat or Babette's Feast?  These are great modern-day parables for places that have lost the deep appreciation for beauty and joy and maybe a prophetic parable to those of us who want to see it restored.
Reading: Google C.S. Lewis on things like joy; the true, the good, and the beautiful.
Imagine: For us to lead any person anywhere, we have to model it in our persons.  For the church to lead a culture anywhere, we have to model it in our corporate personhood.  The task, if beauty and joy are the aim, is to discover together how we can, as Christ's local body in Knoxville, be expressions of beauty and joy. That, my friends, is worth imagining!   
 

From the Pastor

Friends, Family, and Members of Knoxville Pres,

As you know we are having our first family meeting on Wednesday, September 21, 6:30 pm at the church building.

We want to start this meeting by hearing from you. You'll see 3 questions posted below - they are simple questions, but we would like you to put some thought into them. These questions have a two-fold purpose:

1. If you can't attend the meeting, this allows you to participate to some degree.

2. If you are going to be at the meeting, this allows you to think through your responses in advance.

Because we don't know how many will attend, please keep your responses to around 1 minute. That said, you can use this platform or our new website to further expound if you wish.

Here are the instructions:

Read through the questions below. While they are simple questions, many of us have never taken the time to think about them. You should know that this is my spiritual gift - to annoy with questions - ha!

Reply. Once you've put some thought into the questions, simply post your responses below or reply to the church-wide email. The great thing about these questions is that there are no wrong answers!

Summarize. This portion is only for those who are going to be at the meeting. Because we don't know how many people will attend, we need to keep our responses to about 1-2 minutes maximum. Please determine a way to summarize your responses and respect this time frame, while retaining your main point.

Questions:

Why are you a presbyterian?

What does church mean to you?

What would like to see this church to become, and why?

**Also, if anyone has a white board that we can use for the meeting, please bring it (with dry erase markers).

See you Wednesday!

Matthew and Sarah