Leader Updates - October 14, 2018

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The generous mortgage retirement gift along with careful spending by the staff has allowed Calvary to experience a drop in expenses for the year. While this decrease in expenses is something to be thankful for, the finance committee is concerned that giving income for the year has decreased as well. Because of the reduction in expenses, we are in a stable financial position, even though giving income is less than anticipated. In order to fulfill our ministry plan for the year, we can not rely on expense budget cuts alone. Please prayerfully consider how you might be able to contribute to this shortfall as we finish the year strong. We want to accomplish all the ministry that God has called us to this year. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing here in Bloomington-Normal, across the country, and around the world through the ministry of Calvary.

Mark O’Flaherty - Finance Committee Chair

Family & Technology Night

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Parents (and adults of all ages) are invited to attend a workshop exploring technology within our families on Sunday, Nov. 4th from 6:30-8pm at Calvary. Leading our workshop is Tony Bianco, the Middle School Student Minister in Houston, Texas at Houston’s First Baptist Church and the creator of Family Technology Plan. Tony and his wife are originally from Springfield, IL and have been in ministry for over 10 years. Technology’s influence in our lives, and in the lives of our families, is increasingly complex and constantly in a state of change. No matter where one might fall on the technology spectrum, this workshop will help anybody become more familiar with the current landscape of technology and provide a starting point for creating healthy habits and boundaries at the intersections of life and technology.

Meeting on LGBTQ Debate

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Bishop Frank J. Beard will host meetings throughout the Illinois Great Rivers Conference discussing the three plans which have been offered as plans for A Way Forward with regard to the issues of human sexuality and unity. There is a special called session of the General Conference to make decisions on these issues in February of 2019. The meeting closest to us will be at the Chatsworth UMC from 10:00-Noon on Saturday, November 17th.

Leader Updates - October 7, 2018

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Larry Gamblin - Director of Building & Grounds

If you were at or by the church last week, you saw the big lift that was in the front of the building, in fact in the circle drive most of the week. 

Leaks at the main entrance of our building have been a problem for many years. Union Roofing was hired in the summer of 2018 to assess the steeple tower and look for the cause of these leaks. Water was found to be entering the building after running down the steel steeple frame. Thus, water soaked the carpet around the columns, especially the ones at the front of the building. There are aluminum drain pans at the base of the tower. These pans are suspended about 50’ from the ground, necessitating a 100 foot lift in order to reach the back side of the tower. The old sealant was removed and new black sealant was applied at the joints. When we had rain around September 1st, it became apparent that there was still a leak around the bottom of the column beam. After the Dryvit (finish on the exterior of the columns) was repaired on September 27th, the lift was available and Union Roofing returned on September 28th to search for the remaining leak. With water from a hose, this leak was located where a brace had been welded to one of the columns. A small hole from the welding process allowed water to come in. Now that the leak source has been determined and repaired, we will be able to repair the damaged drywall in the main entrance of the building.

Boy Scouts Chili Dinner

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Calvary’s own Boy Scout Troop 007 will be hosting a Chili dinner on Saturday, October 20th from 4-7 pm. The dinner will include all-you-care-to-eat chili, hot dogs, all the trimmings, drinks, plus dutch-oven cobbler with ice cream. The Scouts will also be demonstrating how to cook various types of cobbler in a dutch oven over coals. You can even pick up recipes of your favorite cobbler and learn more about Scouting. This is a fundraiser for the Troop's equipment and activities. A suggested donation at the door is $6 for adults and $3 for kids. Come join in on the fellowship and food on October 20th in Calvary’s gym. If you would like more information on Boy Scouts or how to get involved, please visit them at their Connections Center kiosk.

Flood Cleaning Bucket Items Being Collected

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Donations of specific items for flood cleaning buckets are currently being collected at the wall of windows in the Atrium. KidVenture Wednesday students and leaders will pack flood buckets for UMCOR on October 17. Please bring items from this specific list by October 14th. UMCOR cannot use items that are not on this specific list. Thank you for your help!

Leader Updates - September 30, 2018

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As many storms have taken their toll in different areas around the world, including hurricane Florence along the eastern coast of the United States and super typhoon Mangkhut near the Phillipines and mainland China, please join us in prayer for those who have been impacted. As of noon last Thursday, UMCOR and her partners deployed the Early Response Teams and supplies for communities along the East Coast. UMCOR International Response is in close communication with our partners in the Philippines.

Remember, using UMCOR as the avenue to giving means that 100% of you gift goes to the Carolina relief. No administrative expenses are taken from your gift.

Gifts to help in the relief effort can be given directly to Calvary UMC - Carolina Relief if you’re writing a check or by using our electronic means of giving through the website, the Calvary app or by following the instructions in the bulletin if you choose to text a gift. If you have any questions, check with Angie or Amanda at the Connections Center kiosk Sunday mornings, call the church office, or drop us an email.

Blessings and peace

Leader Updates - September 23, 2018

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As we approach Pastor Debbie’s retirement date, the Staff Parish Relations Committee has been diligently working with Pastor Randy, Calvary’s Staff and our District Superintendent in order to make sure Calvary’s spiritual needs and administrative requirements continue to be fulfilled. We do not want to make hurried decisions with Pastor Debbie’s departure but rather we are currently assessing the needs of our Church to look for a possible solution or solutions as we go forward into the fall. SPRC will continue assessing the many rolls and tasks that Debbie handled and determine how best to progress in meeting Calvary’s needs. As we continue this process we certainly ask for your continued prayers for wisdom and discernment during this time of transition for our Church. 

With Pastor Debbie’s retirement as of September 30th, SPRC is honoring her request to not have a retirement open house or celebration. However, we will have a collection box in the atrium over the next few weeks to collect retirement cards for her.

If anyone has any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact one of the SPRC members.

Leader Updates - September 16, 2018

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David Bolliver - Trustee Chair

The Trustees committee would like to make members aware of some current projects and give a glimpse into our future plans for maintaining the church. In the next few weeks, the towers below the steeple will be repaired and resealed. Larry Gamblin has been working to ensure that we had the areas above the towers properly sealed so that the repairs would be permanent. Flooring in the parlor, preschool rooms and nurseries will be removed and replaced within the next month or two. It has been ordered and once it arrives installation can be scheduled. 

Looking ahead, we are in the process of getting bids to replace our lighting with LED lights with the prospect of saving $1200.00 per month on electricity. In the next two years we are planning to have additional flooring replaced, reseal the parking lot and work with the safety team to install equipment to enhance safety. In addition, we will need to begin replacing some of the original equipment like water heaters that were installed in the building originally. We are blessed to have such a great facility and staff that maintain it so well.

Leader Updates - September 9, 2018

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Randy Reese

What happens next? That question is on a lot of people’s minds as the church digests the announcement of Pastor Deb’s retirement effective September 30th. 

The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC), our Lay Leader Joe Landon, the Managing Directors Team (Pastor Randy, Pastor Debbie (until 9/30), Isaac Gaff, Lori Short, Ray Slaubaugh), and our District Superintendent, Rev. Jim Barnett are in prayer, discussion, and discernment about what the next step is for Calvary. As I said last Sunday, the most important step is to pray - to wait upon the Lord - and then to pray some more. The compelling question is what is the best for God’s Kingdom church called Calvary. How do we care for the ministries over which Pastor Deb has primary responsible - like The Outreach Team, small groups, young adults group, and her counseling time. In addition, she and Pastor Randy partner on preaching, weddings, funerals, baptisms, new member process, worship planning, and the list goes on. The big picture view as well as the nuts, bolts, and details view are all on the table.

Please be assured that Deb is making sure that the ministries for which she is responsible are covered in this interim.

I’m encouraging you to be a part of the process of discernment by praying as well using, if you wish, the following framework:

1)Thank God that He is God and has His hand firmly on Calvary
2)Ask God to give His wisdom to those involved in the
Discernment process - the SPRC, Pastor Randy, Rev. Jim
Barnett, the Directing Team
3)Surrender to God’s will - pray against Satan causing confusion and chaos through this time of change in Jesus mighty name.

Your faithfulness in prayer is the most important piece as we work through this new season in ministry.

Blessings and peace,
Pastor Randy

Leader Updates - September 2, 2018

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Debbie Reese

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I want to share with you that my relationship with Calvary is going to change…..I’ll be around, but just not as often.  For the reasons I’ll state below, I have chosen to retire as of September 30, 2018.

The multiple health problems I’ve experienced over the past couple of years have left me with a much lower energy reserve than before.  While I continue to give Calvary 110%, it now takes more out of me than before.  Calvary is an awesome, active church that requires long hours and high energy.  I realize that my heart and soul are lively, but my body seems not to be able to keep up.  In fact, I have just scheduled a shoulder replacement surgery after my doctor told me that was the only viable option for me at this time. 

In addition, my mother-in-law lives with Randy’s brother, David, in Greenfield, Illinois. She is 95 years old and is home alone while David works as a carpenter in that area of the state.  She has recently suffered what we believe to be a TIA (transient ischemic attack) leaving her confused about where she is living (she lives in the home she and her husband built over 50 years ago).

While praying about next steps, both Randy and I felt that God was leading us to care for Mom in our home for the remainder of her days.  Since she has many ‘female’ needs, I suggested that it should be me who cares for her.

Randy and I have prayed long and hard about this decision and God has shown us ways in which we can make all of this happen.  Be assured that we are working with the Staff Parish Relations Committee to assure that my retirement will not create any lapses in ministry…..and that may mean that God will call some of you to take on ministries in a new way.  Whatever happens, God is still on the throne.

While I will not be at the church as often as before, I will be giving 100% of my heart.  Maybe I will even serve alongside of you as a volunteer sometime!

Thank you for understanding our choice for this next chapter in our lives.

In Christ,
Debbie Reese