The latest news from St. John's!
View this email in your browser
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 

January, 2017

A Word From Our Pastor

On January 1st, I asked the congregation to list something new they wanted to learn in 2017, in regards to their faith and the answer came back clearly - Learn more about Jesus. So for the coming weeks we will take a closer look at Jesus as the person in a series called Wholly Human, Holy Divine. One of the tenants of orthodox Christianity is that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. It is a belief established in the third century and is a mystery to us how this could be. So over the coming six weeks we will look at areas of Jesus' life and ministry to consider ways that Jesus exhibited both human and divine attributes and why that is important for us today. We will seek to find the divine even in our own lives, as we are called children of God, and how Jesus, having also been human, understands our life and struggle in important and meaningful ways. Please Join us Sunday mornings at 10:15 a.m.
Wholly Human, Holy Divine
Worship Series January 22- February 26

In the Sundays after Epiphany, the narrative points us to the identity of Jesus. Having proclaimed the entry of light into the world at Advent and Christmas, we begin to discover, yet again, just who Jesus was. So, too, with the early church. In the 5th century, the Council of Chalcedon declared the teaching that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. In this series, we will explore this belief and see Jesus as a mirror reflecting our own deeply human nature and our own imago dei–that spark of God residing within us. In what feels like finite human circumstances, can we see that there is always something more? This is the ground of our hope and the source of our call as Christians.

Highlights from Advent and Christmas

Christmas Cantata
Our community Choir Cantata was a great success. We had sixteen people for the choir and a full house enjoying the evening. We raised over $700 between sponsors and donations the night of the Cantata. A special thank you to our sponsoring groups: First Presbyterian Church, First Bank, Gable-Moore Insurance, Puskar Plumbing, Little Italy's Pizza, Watson Law Office, Southwestern Eye Care, and G.W. Car wash.  

Children's Christmas Pageant


Despite the postponement of our Pageant till Jan. 8th, twelve kids came out for the pageant and shared a great story of Christmas from the shepherds' perspective. A special thanks to all of the families that participated and came out to enjoy this special children's Sunday. 

The Pack-A-Sack Program

Pack-A-Sack is in full swing, and we are seeking to assemble 300-400 bags a month. Thank you to everyone who has brought in food or given a financial donation to help make this a success. In December, we had Michelle Ernst and her Life Skills students purchase food for the bags and assemble them as part of their classroom field trip.
Join us on the first Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. to help assemble bags. 

Roof and Siding Work
is almost complete

Cardinal Catastrophe Services completed 90% of the work on the church and parsonage before the cold weather set in. They will come back this spring to do the bell tower, which is the final phase of the project. 

Upcoming Events In January

Sunday School Schedule

Jan.15 - Ten Men Healed - Erin M.
Jan. 22 - Ten Men Healed - Anne M. 
Jan. 29 - Mary & Martha - Janet S. 
Feb. 5 - Mary & Martha - Brenda N.
Feb. 12 - Mary & Martha - Anne M.


Annual Meeting January 22nd

The All church Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, January 22nd, following service. Approval of the 2017 budget and the election of officers are on the agenda. We will also have an all church Potluck following the meeting, so please bring a dish to share. 

Soups On! Luncheon
Sunday, January 29th
Join us for an All You Can Eat Soup Lunch, Sunday, January 29th, from 12-2:30 p.m.. We will have a large variety of soups to choose from plus delicious desserts. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 4- 10 years old. Kids 3 and under eat for free. 
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 is welcome to attend.

Adult sponsors are also needed - contact Pastor Laurie if you are interested.  
We had a great Christmas party at the end of December and had three new people attend. Our next meeting is yet to be announced, but watch the Patchwork Facebook page for updates or check with Pastor Laurie for details. 

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

Women’s Fellowship 
Not meeting until March 2nd, 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.


No choir in January
Every Wednesday at 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: 

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. A sign up sheet is on the entry hall bulletin board, across from the office.

Pantry Volunteer Coordinator:

Karen Porter is seeking an assistant to learn the duties of the Brighton Food Pantry and to help cover the hours the pantry operates. The Pantry is open every Thursday morning from 9-11 a.m. and the third Tuesday evening, from 6-7 p.m.. Call Karen at the Pantry (618-402-1849) or stop by the Pantry during open hours for more information.

Other Events of Interest

Community Meals at the Municipal Building



Sometimes budget cuts can make things better. In September, the Illinois Valley Economic Development Corporation 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. 

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. 

Day of Discipleship
February 25th


PURPOSE:  To take home an abundance of information to experience wonderful worship.

WHO:    Interested Church Members
Youth and Youth Leaders
Council/Consistory/Committee Members
Church Officers, Delegates
Christian Educators

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 2017
9:30 am - 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:  St. Paul UCC, 
330 N Buhrman St, Nashville, IL 62263

Cost: $35 

Register with Rev. Laurie to attend. 



Prayer Requests


Josephine, Micky and Lee H.
Debbie C.
Bill O. 
David and Helen S. 

Relatives and Friends of Members

Pauline B - Jason 
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.

John - Pastor Laurie's Brother
In Mourning

Dottie Lou and Jack Austin Family
Don Gray family
Bill Jones Family
Mary Busch Family (Pastor Laurie's Family) 
Jeanie Bott Family

Have a Prayer Request? Let us know.
Check us out on Facebook or our Website:
Copyright © 2017 St. John's United Church of Christ, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp