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!


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

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.

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

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
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

Tammy Boggs (2018)
1530 Beecher Avenue
Galesburg IL 61401
309 337 8830

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

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

Linda Palmer (2016)
1441 Knox Station Road
Knoxville IL 61448
309 289 4672

Julie Shaver (2017)
PO Box 594
Galesburg, IL 61448
309 343 5973

Virginia Anderson (2017)
1239 West Losey St
Galesburg IL 61401
309 343 7352

Matthew Hansen, Pastor
4 Gilbert Park
Knoxville IL 61448
512 652 8793

Rev. Dr Carolyn Weber, Moderator
310 908 8396

Barbara Ball