2019 CIY SuperStart Retreat for 4th & 5th Graders


The CIY SuperStart is a popular overnight retreat for 4th & 5th Graders that takes place Friday - Saturday, March 1-2. SuperStart is a national event designed specifically for preteens where they can learn and grow in their relationships with friends, leaders, and most importantly God! While the program portion of this event takes place locally at Eastview Christian Church, please note that kids who register through Calvary will spend the night at Calvary Friday night and will stay with the Calvary youth group throughout the event. Friends are welcome! Registration cost is $60 per student. Each student who registers must complete a separate registration form. SIGN-UP EARLY, AS REGISTRATIONS MAY BE LIMITED.

Leader Update - January 20, 2019

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As we close the books on 2018, we wanted to share a financial update with the congregation. In many ways, 2018 was a year to celebrate God’s provision financially at Calvary. Below are a few highlights:

  • The mortgage was paid off and the Good Samaritan Fund was endowed through a generous estate gift of $3,729,000.

  • We were able to increase our operating capital to the top end of our approved limit (3 months) by the end of 2018.

  • Our total expenses for 2018 were 10% under budget. This came without the assistance of the mortgage retirement gift and mortgage payoff.

  • Our total expenses for 2018 were also 3% lower than our total expenses for 2017; again, without the assistance of the mortgage gift.

  • We ended the year with a surplus of $228,116.

  • Even though pledged giving was down 18%, our non-pledged giving was up 76% for an overall reduction in giving by 3.5% from 2017.

Please take a moment to thank God for a good financial year for Calvary. Pray also for continued ways to partner together through the ministry of generosity to bless those in the community and around the world in the name of Jesus.

February's First Wednesday

Come join the fun on Wednesday, February 6th from 6-7pm in the gym as we gather as a church family. We'll begin with a meal (sign-up for a La Gondola meal, bring your own meal or eat before you come and simply enjoy the time with others). After we eat, we will assemble Blessing Bags and Fleece Blankets for Home Sweet Home Ministries. All people of all ages are welcome and encouraged to be part of this evening. If you have a pair of sewing scissors, please bring them to help cut fleece. Sign-up here or at a Connections Center Kiosk.

Leader Update - January 13, 2019

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Please keep these Calvary Leaders in prayer as they serve this congregation and Christ's church all over the world through ministry at Calvary.

Church Council

Chair: Jon Butler (2020)

Secretary: Barb Bills (2018)

Lay Leader: Joe Landon (2020)

Mark O'Flaherty (Finance)

Amy Davis (outreach)

Jill Jones, Jon Butler, Alice Staley (Lay Members to Annual Conference)

Matt Swingler (Stewardship)

David Bollivar (Trustees Chairperson)

Dale Herring (SPRC)

Diana Brown (Lay Leadership Vice Chairperson)

Alice Staley (UMW)

**Rev. Randy Reese (Pastor)

**Dr. Isaac Gaff, **Lori Short, **Ray Slaubaugh (Staff Managing Directors)

Lay Members of Annual Conference

(2020) Jon Butler

(2020) Alice Staley

(2020) Ralph Smith

Committee on Nominations and Leadership Development

Chair of Nominations and Leadership Development: Rev. Randy Reese

Lay Leader: Joe Landon

Vice Chair: Diana Brown

(2019) Diana Brown, Ellie Dew, Tracy Vincent

(2020) Joe Perring, Tina Carby, Ralph Smith

(2021) Lindsay Mitchell, Beth Wall, Sarah Craft

Staff Parish Relations Committee

Chair: Dale Herring

(2019) Matt Harr, Amy Moser

(2020) Grethe Armstrong, Dale Herring, Judie Bennett

(2021) Elizabeth Simpson, Kaye Schroeder

Finance Committee

Chair: Mark O'Flaherty

(2019) Mark O’Flaherty, Jim Brown

(2020) Cathe Carter, John Croft

(2021) Stephanie Mattson, Suzann Reid

*Randy Reese (Pastor)

*Ray Slaubaugh (Director of Operations)

*Jon Butler (Chairperson of Church Council)

*Sandy Theile (Accountant)

*Kevin Hoss (Treasurer)

*Dale Herring (or other representative of SPRC)

*Joe Landon (Lay Leader)

Chairperson of Trustees

* Matt Swingler (Chairperson of Stewardship)

*Member of Finance by Virtue of Office

Strategic Leadership Team

(2019) Dawn Sanner, Joe Landon

(2020) Heather Plattner

(2021) Stacey Tetzloff

Stewardship Committee

Chair: Matt Swingler

(2019) Jim Brown, Diana Brown

(2020) Matt Swingler

(2021) Steve Seibring, Nancy Behrens

Board of Trustees

Chair: Ted Coussens

(2019) Gary Dickson

(2020) Larry Phillips, Susan Hoss, Rebecca Craig, Sandy Whiteley

(2021) Larry Oleson, Greg Webb, Jan Murray

Memorial Committee

Chairs: Libby Burns

(2019) Libby Burns, Betty Dorsey

(2020) Jean Wetter

United Methodist Women

President: Alice Staley


Chair: Amy Davis

(2019) Rob Wall

(2020) Ron Kennedy, Peggy Kennedy, Jim Jones, Trevor Perring(2021) Andrew Short, Mindy Goodman, Leann Fujimoto

Preschool Board

Chair: Angie Bicknell

Treasurer: Marcy Dienslake

(2019) Sandy Dickson, Angie Bicknell

(2020) Brooke Frantz, Melanie Moody, Megan Lieb, Penny Brown

(2021) Sue Rutkowski, Carrie Green

Financial Peace University

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Do you worry about your debt? Do you have a plan for retirement? Do you want to know what God’s plan is for your money? 

Financial Peace University can answer all those questions and more! FPU is about learning how God wants us to handle our finances. If you've been thinking about trying it or coming for a refresher, now is the time. The program has been updated and has all new content in 2019! Calvary is EXCITED to be able to offer 2 ways to take this LIFE CHANGING course. Wednesday Nights from 6-8pm including the video and group discussion. Sunday Mornings from 9-10am for group discussion, and you watch the video on your own. Childcare is available with advanced registration. Join us and learn how to "Live like no one else, so that later, you can live AND GIVE like no one else"! Sign up at the Connections Center kiosk or by contacting Nicole Shake.

Red Cross Blood Drive

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After the holidays, blood is in especially short supply. Please sign up to give blood at Calvary on Monday, January 21st. It is so easy to give and you will know you are helping others in a very important way. The hours are 9am - 6pm, and you can sign up by calling the church office, emailing Angie Bicknell or by calling Nancy Behrens at 309-261-6407 or emailing Nancy. Please join us for this important post-holiday opportunity!

Leader Update - January 6, 2019

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Pastor Randy Reese - Directing Pastor

Looking ahead into 2019, here are some preaching - teaching plans that I’ve been working on.


  • The Words of Jesus - Who is Jesus?

  • The Ways of Jesus - How does Jesus do things?

  • The Witness of Jesus - To whom does Jesus witness or testify?

  • The Works of Jesus - What does Jesus do?

Series #1: Who Is Jesus?

  • 1/06 - “I AM the Light of the World” (John 8:12-20)

  • 1/13 - “I AM the Bread of Life” (John 6:22-35)

  • 1/20 - “I AM the Gate and the Good Shepherd (John 10:7-18)

  • 1/27 - “I AM the Way, the Truth, and The Life” (John 14:1-6) Ray Owens

Teaching/Conversation thoughts:

  • Sunday, 1/27 at 9:00am in the parlor - Special Called Session of General Conference information

  • “Living Faithfully - Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church” -Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm - 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, & 2/6

Parkside 100 Caring Adults - RESCHEDULED

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Due to the pile up of snow and side streets that have not yet been cleared, this event has been rescheduled for February 20th.

Parkside elementary is looking for 100 adults or more to line the sidewalks at Parkside to cheer on and encourage students as they return to school on Wednesday, February 20th from 7:15-8:15am. You can cheer, whistle, clap, sing, and shout words of encouragement along with the Parkside Promise Council members. Students who feel supported and encouraged do better in school. The Parkside Promise Council strives to give every student the opportunity to succeed through education. If you have questions or would like to sign up, you can contact the Promise Council.

Leader Update - December 23, 2018

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By Pastor Randy Reese - Directing Pastor

In light of the upcoming celebration of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, the office and building schedule for the next week or so looks like this:

Office Hours:

  • 12/24 & 12/25 - closed

  • 12/26 & 12/27 - 8am - 5pm

  • 12/28 - 8am - 1pm

  • 12/31 - 8am - 12pm

  • 1/1 - closed

Building Hours:

  • 12/24 - gym closed

  • 12/25 - closed

  • 12/26 & 12/27 - 8am - 5pm

  • 12/28 - 8am - 1pm

  • 12/29 - closed

  • 12/31 - 8am - 12pm

  • 1/1 - closed

We will return to regular office & building hours on 1/2/19. 

And …. From all of us called the staff at Calvary United Methodist Church, we wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God’s blessings and peace surround you.

Leader Update - December 16, 2018

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By Matt Swingler - Chair of Stewardship

Back in November, I provided an initial update on behalf of the Stewardship Committee to share Calvary's progress toward achieving the 2019 stewardship campaign goals. The yearly campaign plays a significant role in establishing the operational ministry budget which includes funding for ministry programs, facility needs, outreach initiatives, and congregational care.

Here we are one month later and rapidly approaching the start of a new year. While we continue to see the totals increase week over week, the number of pledges coming in has slowed in recent weeks. As a result, we still have a little bit of work to do to hit our target goals in order to position Calvary to continue its ministry and mission in the coming year. 

Stewardship campaign results thru December 5, 2018.

  • $1,041,487 in pledges target = $1,400,000

  • 19 new pledgers target = 30

  • 93 increased pledge amounts vs. prior year target = 150

  • 218 total pledges

For those individuals that haven't pledged yet, but still intend to do so, please visit the stewardship page on the Calvary website to learn more.

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace and joy as you celebrate Christ's birth this holiday season!

Leader Update - December 9, 2018

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By Pastor Randy Reese - Directing Pastor

Our Director of Building and Grounds, Larry Gamblin, is having hip replacement surgery on Monday, December 10th. We pray and wish him the best for the surgery and recovery. Our staff of custodians Karen, Darren, Javy, Anna, Noah, and Greg will handle the daily cleaning needs, set ups, lock-up, etc. Steve Paulin will oversee all maintenance related issues. For your needs, contact the church office Monday-Thursday, 8-5 and Fridays, 8-1. Should something arise outside of those hours, you can call Pastor Randy. Call the church number and in the message under emergencies it will ring to his cell phone or you can leave him a message.

Extra patience will be appreciated during this season. If you’d be willing to help with short notice should something arise (i.e. ice or snow during the week or Saturdays), send a note, an email, or talk to Amanda or Angie at the Connection Center kiosk.

Leader Update - December 2, 2018

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By Pastor Randy Reese - Directing Pastor

This past Sunday, I had a chance to meet with a number of folks who are interested in the matters before the 2019 Special Called Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. The conference is focused on one subject - the matter of human sexuality - and the search for a way to come to some agreement or direction or decision how we, the United Methodist Church can live with each other, even though we are separated by thought and theology on the LGBTQ matter.

The response to the two gatherings was good, and a request was made that I repeat the session at least once, or maybe twice more. I plan to offer a session on a Wednesday night early in January while Wednesday evening programming is going on and once more on a Sunday morning in January at 9:00am - this time with a time of explanation and then allowing for a time of testimony or sharing about this matter. 

For those of you who joined me last Sunday, thank you for your questions and your gracious spirit. I will at the next sessions again ask that we learn together what is coming before the General Conference without the debate of who’s right or wrong.

The notes from last Sunday can be found here. These are the Bishop’s notes from his gatherings.

I will also be leading (as may some others) a time of reflection and study using a book entitled “Living Faithfully - Human Sexuality and The United Methodist Church” from Abingdon Press. It can be used as a four week small group study for a short term group or an established small group. They can be found at Cokesbury and on Amazon. I have a few books left from last Sunday and have ordered another 25. They cost us about $10 if you want to make a donation or share in the cost, but I don’t want cost to be an issue - I would encourage you to just read with the hopes of understanding each other even if we never agree. Peace and Blessings!

Leader Update - November 25, 2018

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By Jon Butler - Chairperson of Church Council

The Church Council is a part of every United Methodist Church and is established by the Book of Discipline. The Council serves as the decision-making and oversight body for the church, except when votes of the entire membership are required. The council uses their meetings to focus on the issues that help to make Calvary the great church home that we all love. The council works with the appointed pastors as well as the Managing Directors from the staff to help guide the church through issues that range from the annual budget to strategic planning and goal setting.

The council is comprised of lay leaders, the pastors, the managing directors from the staff, as well as the chairs of the Finance, Stewardship, Board of Trustees, SPRC, Strategic Leadership and Outreach Committees. Because of the work of the Church Council, we have also been able to recently authorize and appoint members to our Safety Team as well as our Investment Team (thanks to a significant donation to the church).

The group takes time to discuss and consider recommendations and actions from these committees as well as take a “whole church” look at how we operate and how all of these pieces fit together. Please be assured that we take this work very seriously and that we do our best to help Calvary connect with God, with one another and with our world.

Leader Updates - November 18, 2018

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By Matt Swingler - Chairperson of Stewardship Team

Four weeks ago, we kicked off the 2019 Stewardship campaign here at Calvary - a campaign centered on the theme of Building on the Past, Looking to the Future. Each week, we've had an opportunity to hear first hand from fellow members what stewardship means to them and why they choose to make a financial commitment to Calvary.

This week, the Stewardship Committee would like to provide a quick update on where we currently stand in relation to our targeted goals.

  • $900,000 in pledges to date (target = $1,400,000)

  • 9 new pledgers (target = 30)

  • 58 increased pledge amounts vs. prior year (target = 150)

  • 118 total pledges

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it's only fitting that we express our thanks and gratitude to those of you that have already submitted your pledge for next year. Your partnership will enable Calvary to continue its ministry and mission. And if you haven't completed your pledge just yet, no worries.....you still have an opportunity to do so here or returning the pledge card.

Leader Updates - November 11, 2018

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By Pastor Randy Reese - Directing Pastor

Calvary UMC has been a long time partner with the ministry of the Baby Fold. The church tithes it’s income to outreach ministries - some through the United Methodist Church and the rest is shared through the work of the Outreach Team. We are a Guardian Sponsor of the Baby Fold which means a support level of $10,000 a year plus the extras given through special askings and gifts. 

While churches, businesses, and individuals support the work, their Festival of Trees event each year adds resources to the work done there. Here’s their invitation to you from Norris Porter, Assistant Vice President - Major Gifts and Planned Giving. Norris is one of many of Calvary’s family who work at the Baby Fold. We also have a good number of our church family who lead and serve there in a variety of ways.


The Baby Fold’s 25th annual Festival of Trees is November 16-18 at The Interstate Center. Calvary is a faithful Guardian Sponsor because we know the importance of The Baby Fold’s mission - to help children and families have hope in a bright future. Come and see the Christmas beauty - over 100 trees, 90 wreaths, 90 gingerbread houses, and so much more. Come for some family fun while helping families in our communities to become whole, healthy, and self-sufficient. Tickets may be purchased in advance on- line at www.festoftrees.org or at the door. See you there!