This week’s announcements

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TECHNOLOGY DANGERS: Don’t Fall for Gift Card Fraud Did you get a text message or email from Pastor Jon asking for help? Or maybe from another family member or friend? Hackers occasionally get access to address lists or phone numbers and use that information using trusted names to try to steal money, often by requesting gift cards. Unfortunately, that happened to Pastor Jon’s account this week, with a number of church members or staff receiving requests supposedly from Pastor Jon asking for assistance. If you receive a request for assistance from any church staff, please always double check the email address or phone number or call the Church Office (815-756-6301).

SUNDAY WORSHIP REMINDER: This Sunday we begin a three-week series entitled: One Nation Under God – Godly Perspectives on National Concerns We will explore the intersection between our Christian calling and our rights and responsibilities as American citizens.

So please join us for Sunday Livestream Worship this Sunday, July 5, at 9:00 AM via our Church Facebook Page! The message will be Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Freedom From Freedom For What does “freedom” mean to us in Christ? And how does that freedom relate to our civil freedoms expressed in our national Constitution and laws?

TO WATCH ONLINE: You can watch the live feed even if you do not have a Facebook account. Simply click the link at the top of our church webpage:  Scroll down until you find the video feed. After the live feed, the recorded services will stay on the church’s Facebook page for later viewing.  Here’s a video tutorial that can help:

TO LISTEN ON THE RADIO: If you are not able to watch online, tune into WLBK radio (1360AM, 98.5FM or Sundays at 9 AM. This recording will also be available on our website ( under the “Worship” tab by Tuesday or Wednesday following each service.

Financial Support

Did you know your gifts help us continue our online livestream worship services and radio broadcasts that keep us connected during this pandemic?  Thank you for your amazing generosity through this crisis period that allows us to continue our mission and ministry! Here are two options for sharing your gifts:

Use our eGiving platform (a link can also be found on our church website main page) to make electronic gifts. Here’s a video tutorial to learn how to give online.

Download our NEW GIVING APP onto your smartphone! Make your online giving easier by downloading the church’s new online giving app here: or look for the App Store and Google Play icons at the bottom of our website.

Mail checks to the church at 317 N. 4th St., DeKalb, IL 60115. (Please do not mail cash.)

Donate on Facebook. Click the “Donate” button on our cover photo. All contributions made through Facebook are applied to the general fund giving. Designations cannot be made to specific funds.

Below are some of the ministries and missions you can choose on our eGiving site (please indicate which area you wish your check to support if mailing in your gift). You do not need to set up an account with eGiving, you are welcome to give as a ‘guest’.

GENERAL FUND Gifts to the general fund cover basic costs of doing ministry. Although we are not present in worship together, we still need to receive your offerings to meet basic needs like paying the electric bill so we can continue to live stream. This is also the fund to select for your annual pledged giving.

BUILDING CAMPAIGN FUND Gifts to this fund will continue to fulfill pledges to our Help Plant the Future campaign. If you did not make a pledge but wish to support this campaign, please give to this fund.

SPARE CHANGE MINISTRY Each month the loose coins collected in the offering plate support a different mission or ministry. Although we are not meeting in person, you can still give to this mission online or by check through the mail. June Spare Change will support Summer Lunch and More “Grab ‘n Go” lunches. See the June Messenger  newsletter for more information.

Miscellaneous Updates

CHURCH BUILDING REMAINS CLOSED Please respect the stay-at-home order made by Governor Pritzker and the instructions of the Northern Illinois Conference.Only essential workers and essential trips away from home are to be taken. The church building is to be occupied for limited time periods by staff and custodial/maintenance workers. It must remain closed to ALL other people and activities at this time.

R.E.A.L COMMUNITY MEAL, is cancelled during the stay at home order. Watch these announcements for updates about future meals.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL GOES ONLINE Vacation Bible School will look different this year as we bring it to our Facebook page. Registration closed on June 24 but you can still tune in to our Facebook page each weekday from July 13-17 and 20-24 to see a one hour VBS video

CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS: A STUDY AND CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE: Join Pastor Jonathan in July for some guided conversation based on the book Holding Up Your Corner – Talking About Race in Your Community by F. Willis Johnson. We will have participant books available soon ($9) and a one or two session conversation series with other church groups will take place most likely on two Saturdays in July. Watch for book orders and session details coming soon!

8:46 PRAYER: As we reflect on personal and systemic racism in our nation, you’re invited to prayer each day at 8:46 AM or PM for 8 minutes and 46 seconds (or round up to 9 min) through July 14. The Holy Spirit is moving among us to bring about a new day when all God’s children are treated with dignity, equality and respect. Prayer is a place when God can transform our hearts so we might go forth to transform our community.

KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS GRADUATING? Graduation ceremonies look different this year, but we want to continue our tradition of celebrating all graduates by recognizing them in an upcoming Messenger newsletter. Graduates from high school, community college, tech school, university, grad school, etc. may be included. But we don’t know who they are unless you tell us. Enter information about your graduate in the Honoring Graduates form by clicking here.

STAYING CONNECTED We continue to pray for each other and to reach out with phone calls and cards.

The First UMC prayer chain ministry is still very active. If you have a prayer need, please contact Linda Buhr ( and she will pass the prayer request along to the prayer warriors.

UPPER ROOM DEVOTIONAL The July-August 2020 Upper Room devotionals are available in the church office vestibule. Stop in the office weekdays from 9:00 to 10:30 am to pick up a copy. A donation of $1.00 is asked to help cover the cost of the devotional guide. If you would like a copy mailed to you, please send a check to cover the cost of the devotional guide ($1) and the postage ($0.70 for regular print edition or $1.80 for large print edition). If requesting more than one copy of the devotional, postage costs may need to be adjusted.

SLAM – Grab ‘n Go Lunches We are serving Summer Lunch from 11:30 am to 12:45 pm at Haish Gym each Monday through Thursday throughout the months of June and July. All youth ages 0-18 are eligible for lunch. Prepacked lunches from the Northern Illinois Foodbank will be received at the church each morning. Lunches will be placed in coolers. Volunteers with SUVs, vans, or large trucks are needed to help transport the coolers to Haish Gym (about 11 am) and to return, clean, and sanitize coolers between 12:45-1:15 pm. Please contact Vicki Boone (815.751.3397), if you are available to help some or all of the days or sign up at