December 31, 2021

Dear Prairie Avenue Family,

The year is coming to an end. And yes, it was just 12 months long. Or is it a long 12 months? On this last day of 2021, I spend a little time reflecting, writing down the blessings and the sorrows. As best as I can recall I note my thoughts and feelings about world events, the life, and ministry of Prairie Avenue, and the different family memories, adventures and challenges shared.

We have endured another pandemic year, ranging from hope and expectation as vaccines were approved and began to be distributed to the Delta surge and Omicron arrival. Livestream equipment became a part of our sanctuary fixtures, as well as a permanently mounted screen. Patrick Wayne Butterick joined through baptism just after this Easter. There was a congregational thanksgiving dinner. Our in-person worship returned to 75% of pre-Covid.

We have opportunities as well as challenges. There will be changes, losses, and gains. I am looking forward to our journey ahead, as we discern, decide, and act upon where the Spirit is leading us as a faithful part of the greater (and universal) body of Christ.

This Sunday we will join in the celebration of making a covenant partnership with the Michigan Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Dr. Teresa Dulyea-Parker will present the message via video, and I am excited about our upcoming worship series on Habits to begin on January 9.

Worship This Sunday: Covenant Sunday with Michigan Region
Join us in our welcome of the Michigan Region in partnership with the Christian Church in Illinois-Wisconsin. Rev. Dr. Teresa Dulyea-Parker, regional minister, will present the message. The Wise Men will arrive (a few days earlier than January 6) in the nativity scene.


New Sermon Series: Habits Begins January 9
All of us have certain behaviors and patterns of living that we do not even remember when they began. For better or worse, we are shaped by these behaviors or patterns. And it is not easy to change, is it? Beginning January 9, we will look at what it really takes to shape your future self. The secret? Small and consistent decisions. In a season of "resolutions," this is an excellent opportunity to invite those who do not regularly attend church. The bad news about resolutions: 92% will be former resolutions by Valentine's Day.

How Will You Grow Your Faith in 2022?
Speaking a little more about New Year Resolutions, things like eating healthier or exercising more. Iā€™d like to challenge you to make a resolution to grow spiritually. At Prairie Avenue, we center our life through five essential practices (worship, study, serving, giving, and sharing) that can change our lives in powerful ways and bring meaning and joy. Our website is filled with opportunities to help you to make these practices part of the rhythm of your life in 2022.

-- Worship every weekend with new sermon series on Habits beginning Jan. 9
-- Join a small group, study, when announced.
-- Complete your 2021 Giving commitments and return your pledge for 2022.
-- Follow Prairie Avenue Christian Church on Facebook and Instagram and share with your friends.

RIP Dover Elevator 1994-2021
On Wednesday, December 29, 2021, the Dover Elevator, our faithful conveyance of passengers, equipment, and more, ended its useful service as the motherboard permanently failed. Efforts by Otis Elevator technicians the following Thursday were unsuccessful. It is at this point permanently out of order.

Dover is no longer in business, although a new motherboard is likely still available for approximately $7,000. This would be a temporary fix, as the obsolescent control cards are also failing. The Trustees of Prairie Avenue approved the modernization bid of Otis Elevator Company this past Spring, but delays in getting our building's electrical service upgraded to the required 3-phase service supply have continued this past year. We have provided the 1/2 downpayment of $96,000 to do the modernization project, but have yet to receive a bid/estimate for the necessary service upgrade.

Parts are no longer possible to replace, and a substantial service upgrade is necessary.

We are seeking additional bids and estimates from other electricians to do the building service upgrade. There is no way to have an operable elevator without this substantial work completed first. Our current elevator has crossed beyond the limit of its serviceable life.

2021 Christmas Special Day Offering
Thank You for your generosity!
Thank you for revealing God's Love in your offering to support the ministries we share through The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin. Your offerings make a difference! 100% of your gifts to the Christmas Offering support the work and ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois-Wisconsin.

The congregation designates 10% of contributions on each designated Sunday for a special day offering. The congregational designation was $297.20. Individuals also provided financial support, totaling $220.00 Our total Christmas Special Day Offering: $517.20.

Invite someone to join you for worship this weekend, in person, online
In-person on Sunday mornings at 8 am or 9:30 am. Masks are encouraged regardless of vaccination status if social distancing cannot be kept.

Online at, and Facebook Sunday at 8 am or 9:30 am.

See you this weekend online or in person,

Blessings to you all,

As a church family, we care for and pray for one another.

As a matter of online privacy, we will only disclose public sympathy to a church friend or family member whose passing has also been publicly disclosed.

The Family of Maxine Van der Voort, who passed December 14, 2021.

If you would like prayer, please submit your prayer request online, and Pastor Jason and prayer team members will pray for you.
Prairie Avenue Christian Church | Website