Weekly Messenger - December 24, 2021
Making and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ to serve the community and the world
It all starts in the dark.
 I appreciate the natural and theological wisdom Barbara Brown Taylor shares in the above quote (and her book). As Christians all of God's creating and recreating work begins in the dark. Our 6pm Christmas Eve service walks through this theological truth with the lights very low and candles not yet lit, then music stirs, a reading from Genesis 1"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." But then God speaks, and light comes into existence. 
The story of Jesus begins the same way in John 1 this time the universe isn't dark but is our... Read the rest of Rob's message here.
Upcoming Worship Services
Check graphic below for livestream times and dates.
Services are livestreamed to YouTube and to our Website and posted later to Facebook
Sunday, December 26 at 9 am
Pastor Lisa leads
"How Far is it to Bethlehem?" written by Mary Lou Williams, 2001
An audience participation drama
  • Holiday Schedule Adjustments
  • Family Worship on Dec. 26 and Jan 2 - No youth Sunday School.
  • No Pen and Paper on December 25, and Jan. 1. 
Please take note of Messenger & Bulletin Announcement Deadlines during the holiday weeks:
Monday, December 27 for Dec. 31 Messenger and Jan. 2 Bulletin

Holiday Church Office Closures: Thursday, December 23 through Monday, December 27
United Methodists Respond After Deadly Twisters

United Methodists in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and neighboring states are coming to terms with the devastation of a string of tornadoes Dec. 10-11, while also mobilizing quickly to provide food, emergency shelter and other relief.

The storm system that struck on Friday evening into Saturday morning — including one tornado that caused destruction across some 240 miles — is blamed for nearly 90 deaths and counting. Twisters sheared roofs and shattered windows at some United Methodist churches and parsonages, as well as badly damaging congregation members’ homes and local businesses.

How UMCG folks can help:
Give online to the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s U.S. Disaster Response and Recovery through Advance #901670. Or, give your contribution to our UMCG offering, with a note earmarking your gift to UMCOR disaster response, using this same Advance number.

The church building is expected to be closed Monday, January 3rd through Friday, January 28th as we finish this project.

Worship in this timeframe will be online only; no in-person worship, as well as no classes, studies or groups onsite. Look for updates from your group leaders for groups and studies. Contact information for each group can be found on the church calendar.

Please check future Messenger emails for updates on this project. Questions? Contact Debbie Sampiller.
Calling all 4th-8th graders (or older) Be an Acolyte in 2022!
Every 1st Sunday in 2022 needs 2 Acolytes. Sign up for January 2, 2022 or other 1st Sundays in 2022 with Jane. Acolytes arrive at 8:30 am on Sundays to get robes, practice lighting, and a brief prayer. Please sign up with Jane at jsiarny@att.net or by phone/text at 630/715-8590.
 For contributions to be considered as a 2021 tax deduction, they must be received in the church office by 4:30 pm on December 30th, or postmarked via the mail December 31, 2021. You may also make a donation online before midnight on December 31st or you can text 630-686-7120 and include donation amount in message. Donations received in the church office or postmarked January 1, 2022 or after, by IRS law, must be considered a 2022 donation even if the check is dated for 2021. Questions?, Please call Debbie Sampiller in the church office Monday through Thursday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
Attention all high school seniors and college undergraduate and graduate students! UMCG scholarship applications are now open. You can find the application form on our website under sign-ups or click this linkThe deadline to submit your application is May 6, 2022 at 11:59 PM. No application will be accepted after that date, and all parts of the application must be received by May 6. This year, the scholarship committee will only accept official transcripts, so please plan accordingly so that the transcripts are received prior to the May 6 deadline. Please contact a committee member with questions or if you need help: Colleen Fasbender, Barb Pribble, Suzanne Zefron, Gwen Powell, Don Mendenhall, and Nancy Tweed. 
Photographers Needed: We are a busy church with lots of great activities and events. Carolyn Burnham is looking for people that can help photograph activities held by the church including some in-service photography. You don't need to be a pro, but would love some people that enjoy photography to help out from time to time.

Livestream Volunteers: We are looking for people that might be able to assist Alex Johnson during worship services from time to time. We are still setting this up, so if you want to get in on the "ground floor" or can help later, let us know.

Contact: Carolyn Burnham
Spirits & Studies Update
Spirits & Studies is taking a break for the remainder of December. We welcome newcomers as we meet again on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. We'll be wrapping up our time with Kissing Fish by Roger Wolsey. Whether you've read some chapters or none of it, you will enjoy the fruitful discussion if you attend. For more information, contact Mary Gay McKinney, Coordinator of Congregational Care.
January Stephen MInistry Meeting
We'll be meeting online at 1:45 pm on Tuesday, January 4, 2022
For more information, contact Mary Gay McKinney, Coordinator of Congregational Care.
Tuesday Prayer Meeting Zooms during January
During January, Tuesday Prayer Partners will gather via Zoom on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm. Reach out to Mary Gay McKinney for the Zoom link. We pray for 30 minutes and we welcome YOU!
Are you a caregiver for a loved one? The Caregivers Support Group welcomes newcomers to monthly meetings. We'll meet on January 13, 2022 at 10:00 am. Check with Nancy Harrington or Mary Gay McKinney for details.

That doesn't adequately express the committee's reaction to the Afghan Welcome Kit collection, which culminated in a delivery to the World Relief offices on Thursday, December 16th. Our original intent was to collect enough household items to furnish one newly-arriving Afghan refugee family with basic household necessities. But due to the overwhelming generosity of you, the people of Geneva United Methodist Church, we surely supplied enough goods for 3-4 families. We happily packed loads of bath towels, bath rugs, sheets, blankets, shower curtains, dishes, silverware, pots, pans, glassware, cleaning supplies, paper and writing supplies, food, and hygiene items before delivering them to the World Relief warehouse in Carol Stream.

There are so many world situations that we can not begin to address...but in the case of Afghan refugees, we could and we DID! Our committee will be forever grateful for your generous hearts and spirits.
Blessings to all of you from the Committee on Missions/Church in Society.
Love Your Neighbor Group + Friends adopted a family at Christmas from TCFS. This generous and supportive group shared grace, love, and hope to a family of 6 meeting their wish list needs and more.

This is the thank-you that Colleen Fasbender received for the group from TriCity Family Services:

THANK YOU!!! A record year and you made it all happen. Thank you so much for adopting a family (or families!) for Christmas. You made so many children and adults happy and able to enjoy this festive season! Together, you adopted 110 families!!!
  • 227 Adults (about 1/2 of these are really grown children, over 18, of the parents!)
  • 229 Children
It is my honor and privilege to email, text, talk and work with all of you - you are so generous and kind. I love doing this and I love the mission of TCFS, and the staff. 

Have a wonderful, happy, joyous holiday.
All the best, and Happy New Year!

Joanne Spitz
TriCities Family Services
The NIC weekly eNews is here.

The NIC December/January Reporter is available here.
Submit information each week by Wednesday at 12pm for inclusion in Bulletin Announcements or the Weekly Messenger.  Please use the submission formThis form can also be found on the sign-ups page on our website. You may also send them to communications@genevaumc.org. Information sent to this email goes to Carolyn, Debbie, and Lorie. 
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211 Hamilton Street
Geneva, IL 60134
Phone: (630) 232-7120
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