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St. John's
United Church of Christ

216 North Street
PO Box 418
Brighton, Illinois 62012


Rev. Laurie Crelly, pastor

Sunday Worship:  10:15 am
Sunday School:  9:15 am

The Caller Newsletter 

October 2016

A Word From Our Pastor

Passionate Jesus

Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” - John 7: 37-38
What does it mean to have living water flowing within us. What does it mean when Jesus says "I have come to give you life and life more abundantly?" (John 10:10). These are some of the questions we will be exploring in our new worship series "Passionate Jesus". Sometimes we forget that Jesus was not only divine but he was also human and experienced the full range of human emotion: seething anger, groans of grief, whoops and hollers of joy. All very human. And all very Jesus. In our series we want to affirm the role of human emotions and that Jesus– fully human as well as divine–indeed had emotions, too. By taking a look at the emotional life of Jesus, what can we learn about owning our God-given emotions and responding authentically? For it is through our deeply-felt emotions that God is moving us to action!
In the coming weeks will be exploring: Love, Anger, Fear, Grief and Joy. (October 9th -November 6th)

Advent Series: SACRED!

Here is a sneak peak of our Advent Worship Series beginning November 27th: 

The Christmas season is a time when the juxtaposition of the sacred and secular feel sometimes blatantly opposed, and sometimes quite blurred. The word “sacred” points to something dedicated as “holy” and “set apart.” This year, we invite you on a spiritual journey of seeing all things pregnant with the possibility of the holy. What could your Christmas season experience be like if you lived it looking through the kaleidoscope of the sacred?

We will be exploring: Sacred Time, Sacred People, Sacred Space, Sacred Knowing, Sacred Being and Sacred Doing to prepare our hearts for Christmas. 


Remembering Dottie Lou Austin

September 17, 1935 - October 2, 2016


Dottie Lou Austin had been diagnosed with a fast growing terminal cancer and put on hospice care on September 19th. She was brought home and cared for by Melinda, Jim and other family members until her passing on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016. The family held a small private ceremony on Tuesday, October 4th at Traghetta and Woolridge Funeral home in Brighton. She was laid to rest in Brighton Cemetery.

A Memorial fund has been set up in honor of Dottie at St. John's UCC. 


Highlights from September

Bill Schafer's 90th Birthday
Bill's family held a wonderful luncheon with lots of friends and family in attendance. Bill received this beautiful Quilt made by the Schafer women. 

Blessing of the Animals Sunday

We had a beautiful day with a good crowd attending. The amazing highlight was the Monarch butterfly that went from person to person during the entire service and the free horse rides for the kids. 


The Pack-A-Sack Program

Pack-A-Sack has begun and we are seeking to assemble 300-400 bags a month. Thank you for everyone who has brought in food or have given a financial donation to help make this a success. Other area churches, businesses and the school district are helping meet the high need this year. Join us for Packing during the Loyal Daughters meeting on the first Monday evening of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Roof and Siding Work
have begun

As the church leaders were seeking bids for the parsonage roof we realized that we could submit a claim to the insurance company for the roof and siding on the church and for the roof on the Parsonage that has sustained hail damage from this spring. As most of you know we received a large check from our insurance to cover all of the repairs.
The Roofs have now been replaced and the siding work on the church should start around October 11th. Special thanks to Cardinal Catastrophe Services for doing a great job.

Upcoming Events In October

Sunday School Schedule

Oct. 9 Four Friends - Chris D.
Oct. 16 Four Friends - Brenda N.
Oct 23 Four Friends - Linda and Rick P.
Oct. 30 Four friends - Anne M.
Nov. 6 Lost Sheep - Janet S.


Trunk or Treat October 28th

Start planning your Halloween theme now and decorate your trunk for the annual Brighton Trick or Treat Night Friday, October 28th from 6-9 p.m..
St. John's Trunk or Treat event always offers a one stop, fun-filled evening with various trunks decked out, roasted hot dogs, s'mores and hot chocolate. Our youth are providing an added bonus--creating a haunted house in the Education room.
We need bags of Halloween candy and food donations. Even if you can't participate, please bring a bag of candy to donate or old decorations the kids can use in the haunted house.  

Bill Jones Memorial Service
October 29th 11 a.m.
Bill Jones requested that his memorial service be held in late October in memory of his parents' anniversary. The Jones family is gathering from across the country to celebrate his life. All are welcome and invited to attend a visitation at 10 a.m. and  memorial service at 11 a.m. at St. John's UCC.


Our Annual Toten Fest
October 30th in Worship
Jesus Wept! (John 11:35) The Bible reminds us that we are not alone in our grief. Jesus was well acquainted with sorrow, hardship, and grief, also. This past year, we have seen a number of deaths within our church family. We will be dedicating the worship service on October 30th to honor those members who have died in the past year and reflect on the how grief and loss is part of our life and the life of Christ. 

Building a Memorial Display
We will once again build a memorial table for all the people we have lost over this past year. Feel free to bring in a small (5x7 or smaller) picture or memento of a loved one you wish to remember during our Toten Fest Ritual. 

Please join us as we remember: 
Harvey Schroeder               Dec. 15, 2015
Marie Nurnberger               Jan. 9, 2016
Jeanne Bott                        March 3, 2016
Jackson Austin                   April 20, 2016
William "Bill" Jones             Aug. 2, 2016
Don "Butch" Gray Jr.          Aug. 31, 2016
Dorothy "Dottie" Austin      Oct. 2, 2016

The Patchwork Youth Gatherings

We started a new youth drop in night at St. John's UCC to offer a safe, fun and supportive place to gather and make new friends. We have had eight to ten youth attend from around the area.
This is open to all youth from the Tri-county area - Macoupin, Jersey, and Madison counties. Anyone aged 13-20 are welcome to attend.

Adult sponsors are also needed - contact pastor Laurie if you are interested.  
The next gathering is scheduled for Sunday, October 23rd, 6-8 p.m. We will be transforming the Education room into a haunted house for our Trunk or Treat event.
Bring your favorite Halloween decorations and your creativity. Also plan to dress up and help on Trunk or Treat night (October 28th) in the haunted house. (see above for details).

Visit our Facebook page if you want to see the latest updates. Find the Youth Gathering Page at
Monthly Meeting Schedule

Women’s Fellowship 
First Thursday 
of the month at 1:30 p.m.

Loyal Daughters
First Monday
of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Ad Team 
Third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.


Every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Cantata Rehearsals: 7:30 p.m.

Worship and WOW Team 
First Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

Volunteer Opportunities

Creative Minds Sought:

Our worship development team is also seeking a few creative minds to help us craft this special Advent series. If you like to work with visual arts, writing, creative things to engage the congregation or just want to help us brainstorm ideas to use during this series we would love to have you involved. Contact Pastor Laurie for details. 

Adult Youth Sponsors: 
Youth sponsors needed to help at our monthly Patchwork Gatherings. The commitment is 2-3 hours a month during gatherings or planning sessions with youth leaders. if you enjoy youthful energy and can be a supportive listening ear and affirming presence to our youth please talk to Pastor Laurie. 

Janitor Needed: 

After several years of being our janitor Lonnie Gamble is stepping down at the end of this year. We are seeking one or two volunteers willing to step in and take over the weekly duties of keeping the church building clean. This includes trash pick up, sweeping / vacuuming areas, occasional floor mopping or re-arranging tables and other duties as needed.
The work is flexible to your availability. There is occasional additional work when a wedding or funeral is scheduled. This is a volunteer position but an occasional stipend is provided for special events. 

Other Events of Interest

Community Meals at the Municipal Building



Sometimes budget cuts can make things better. In September the Illinois Valley program cut our Community meal program to once a month. But the area churches did not want to lose this ministry so we are supplementing the meal program creating our own menu.

Join us every Wednesday at the Municipal building at 11:45 a.m. for a hot meal and conversation. Suggested donation is $3 for seniors and $5 for people under 60 years old, kids under 12 are free. 

Oct. 12 - Pork Chops in Mushroom sauce
Oct. 19 - Potato Soup and Ham Salad 
Oct. 26 - Beef and Veg. kebabs
Nov. 2 -   Pork Roast with apples
Nov. 9 -   Shepherds Pie
Nov. 16 - Chefs delight
Nov. 23 - Thanksgiving meal
Nov. 30 - Taco salad and shells

Brighton Bistro

First Presbyterian Church in Brighton offers a free lunch on the third Saturday of the Month at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Meals delivered to the home are also available. Please call the church at 618-372-8241 during the week to sign up for delivery. 

Frighten Brighton

Oct. 22nd

The village of Brighton is holding their annual Halloween Festival on Saturday, October 22nd at Schneider Park. Costume contest for kids, haunted house, hay rides and food will be available. 

Chili Dinner at St. Paul UMC Oct. 30th

Following church on Sunday Oct. 30th, you can get a drive thru Chili dinner at St. Paul UMC. All proceeds go to support their Youth Program. Pick up or dine in from 11:30 - 2 p.m.

Presbyterian Annual Salad Luncheon and Country Store

Stop by First Presbyterian Church in Brighton, Saturday November 5th from 10 - 2 p.m. for Lunch and some wonderful fall gift items for purchase. 
Prayer Requests


Josephine, Micky and Lee H.
Debbie C.
Bill O. 
David and Helen S. 
Lonnie G.
Brenda N.

Relatives and Friends of Members
Pauline B - Jason
Don G - Bill J. Friend, 
Joyce W. - Friend of the congregation
Stacy Gibbs - Ryan's Grandmother, 
Mary C. & Joyce O - Janet S. 
Randy H - Ruth G 
Pam G. - Marcia and Lonnie
Joe P.-Friend of Pastor Laurie
Amy - Daughter of Pam G.

In Mourning
Dottie Lou Austin Family
Don "Butch" Gray family
Bill Jones Family
Mary Busch Family (Pastor Laurie's Family)
Jackson Austin Family 
Jeanie Bott Family
Bernice Meier Family 
Marie Nurnberger Family 
Harvey Schroeder Family 
Have a Prayer Request? Let us know.
Check us out on Facebook or our Website:
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