All posts by Pat Gustafson

There Is A Time For Everything (Ecclesiastes 3)

June is a month of change for Bethel Wesley. We are saying goodbye to Pastor Stanley Evans and welcoming a new pastor, Janice Serifica.

There will be a special luncheon in the Activity Center to honor Pastor Stan on June 12 immediately after the worship service. (Reservations need to be in by June 5 to Mary Ann Harvey). The congregation may share cards/gifts at this event. Pastor Stan’s last day preaching will be June 26. He has served Bethel Wesley since July 2017, and is retiring after 43 years as a pastor. Pastor Stan, his wife Karen, and mother-in-law are moving to Rock Island.

Please pray for Pastor Stan as he begins retirement. – Staff Parish Committee

New Pastor, Janice Serifica

June 6 is the 36th anniversary of our merged church and Pastor Jan will be the 14th pastor who has served Bethel Wesley. The Methodist Church has an itinerant ministry, meaning the Conference Bishop and his Cabinet assign and move pastors, usually around 5 years. We have been privileged to see many different perspectives on sharing God’s Word.

The Trustees are preparing the parsonage for Pastor Jan who will move-in on June 25.  Her first Sunday preaching is July 3. There will be a reception for her after the service on July 10. <!–split–>

Please pray for Pastor Jan as she faces the challenge of leading our congregation. Also, pray for Bethel Wesley that we will continue to grow in our love of God and be a blessing to our community. – Staff  Parish Committee

Mission Project: Rice Meal Kits

Your help is needed Saturday, July 23 to  assemble Rice Meal Kits. The Midwest Mission Distribution Center provides all the supplies – Bethel Wesley volunteers will put the kits together assembly-line style in the Activity Center.  The completed kits are distributed by Midwest Mission Distribution Center to non-profits internationally.   Contact Carolyn Mesick to volunteer for this project.

Annual Conference 2022

The Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference will be held Thursday, June 9 – Saturday, June 11 at the Peoria Civic Center. This year’s theme is “A Time of Love, A Time of Peace” based on Ecclesiastics 3:8.

Rev. Dan Buck will be remembered at the Memorial Service at 7 pm Thursday, June 9, and Rev. Stanley Evans and Rev. Dan Crede will be honored at the Retirees Service at 11 am Friday, June 10.

Guests are welcome at the June 9-10 services. The entire conference can be watched live at www.igrc.org/ac2022live. <!–split–>

There will be a collection for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center. If you want to contribute, there is a laundry basket in the hall (across from pastor’s office) to collect laundry detergent, dish washing soap, and household cleaners.

The purpose of the IGRC Annual Conference is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church.” Your representatives from Bethel Wesley are Pastor Stan, Joyce Hein, and Tom Hein.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss. It’s also called age-related macular degeneration. Your macula is part of your retina — the area in the back of your eye that turns images into signals that go to your brain. It lets you see small details clearly. When the macula starts to break down, you have trouble seeing those kinds of things. For example, you might be able to see a clock’s outline, but not make out its hands. <!–split–>

Symptoms   Early signs include blurred vision and trouble seeing color and fine details. As the disease gets worse, you lose your center vision. You may have trouble reading, driving, and making out people’s faces. You will need brighter light to do daily tasks and will find it harder to judge distances or go up and down steps. Visual hallucinations — seeing things that aren’t really there – are also a sign.

 Who Gets It?   It affects more than 10 million Americans — more people have it than cataracts and glaucoma combined. This is not true in other parts of the world. People over 60 are diagnosed with macular degeneration the most. White people are more likely to get it than people of other races, and women more than men.

 Causes   Doctors don’t know exactly why macular degeneration happens, but your family history plays a part. Your chances of having it go up if you have a parent, sibling, or child with the disease. But your lifestyle matters, too. For example, smokers are twice as likely to have it as people who don’t light up. Other things that make it more likely include being female, being exposed to ultra-violet light, and getting older.

Different Types   Most people have a “dry” type of macular degeneration. That means small white or yellow fatty deposits, called drusen, have formed in your retina and are causing it to break down. The dry kind tends to get worse very slowly. With the “wet” version, abnormal blood vessels damage your macula and change the shape of your retina. While it’s less common, the wet type is the cause of 90% of legal blindness from macular degeneration.

 Diagnosis   Your eye doctor may put drops in your eyes to dilate (widen) your pupils. This let them use a special device called an ophthalmoscope to look for fatty deposits and other signs of trouble in the back of your retina. If your doctor thinks you have the wet type, they will take a special scan of your eye that can show any problem blood vessels. Yearly eye exams can help your doctor spot early signs before you have any symptoms.

Treatment for the Dry Type   This kind of macular degeneration may best be treated with a mix of vitamins C and E, and two kinds of antioxidants. Called lutein and zeaxanthin, they’re in green leafy vegetables, eggs, and other foods, and they help filter out high-energy blue wave-lengths of light that can harm cells in your eyes. They won’t cure the disease, but they might slow it down.

 Treatment for the Wet Type   For this kind, your doctor may recommend a drug that blocks a chemical in your body that makes problem blood vessels in your retina bigger. This chemical is called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Every few weeks or months, they’ll numb your eye and give you a shot of the medication – this is anti-VEGF therapy. How often you have the shots and how long you get them depend on the specific drug and how well it works for you.

 Laser Surgery   If you have wet macular degeneration, your doctor may recommend this. They’ll point a laser at the extra blood vessels in your eye to break up them up. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is another option. A special light-sensitive drug is put into your body through a vein in your arm, then triggered with a laser to destroy problem blood vessels.

 Regain Some Vision   In advanced cases of dry macular degeneration, your doctor may suggest replacing the lens of your eye with a telescope the size of a pea. This makes images larger so the healthy parts of your retina can see them. But it’s not right for everyone, including people who have had cataract surgery.

Technology   Plenty of high-tech devices can help you get through your daily life. You can get a telescope put on your eyeglasses so you can see things far away. Computer software can turn words on a screen into speech you can hear. And a closed-circuit television magnifier lets you see something like a book or needlepoint on a TV screen.

 Lifestyle Changes   There’s no cure for macular degeneration, but you can make healthy choices to slow it down and keep your symptoms from getting worse: Get regular exercise, protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses, and if you smoke, quit. Try to eat a healthy diet rich in leafy green vegetables and fish. Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check can help, too.

 Emotional Support   Vision loss can have a big effect on your life. You have to change the way you do everyday tasks, such as cooking or reading, and you may rely more on your friends and family than you used to. You may feel depressed. Talking with a counselor or finding a local support group can help you work through these emotions.

Research   Researchers are looking into many new treatments. Drugs that lower cholesterol have shown promise in cutting back on the fatty deposits that cause dry macular degeneration. And low doses of X-ray radiation might help break up problem blood vessels in the wet type. New drugs being tested may also improve your vision with fewer side effects.

Your Parish Nurse,   Kara

I Choose To Love

Some years ago I began a journey that involved sharing and spreading love. It was a decision that I’ve never regretted. While I have gone through a lot, personally and professionally, I have attempted to practice what I preach: a message of love, a message of hope, and a message anchored by faith. If it wasn’t for my faith and abiding trust in God, I don’t believe I would have made it.

Thanks to the members at Bethel Wesley for your love and continued support as I start my new chapter of retirement.

-Pastor Stan Evans

From The Trustees & Finance Committee:

We have several building repair projects coming up. We need to tuck-point and seal the bricks on the outside of the southeast corner of the Sanctuary. After that is done, we will need to repair the walls of the stairwell on the inside. Our pipe organ is in need of repair, and we have some electrical projects that need to be addressed. We are asking you to pray, pledge, and donate to This Old House fund to help our church pay for these projects.

Food Pantry

Remember to bring your donation for the local Food Pantry!  According to the Feeding America web site, 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger.  YOU CAN HELP!  Bring your donation any time, and place in the donation cart. We have two donation carts at Bethel Wesley:  one in the Activity Center (near the kitchen), and the other in the narthex (near coat racks).   Here’s a list of the top 20 food items recommended for donation:  <!–split–>

  • Applesauce
  • Canned beans
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned fish (tuna and salmon)
  • Canned meat (SPAM and ham)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cooking oils (olive and canola)
  • Crackers
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Fruit (canned or dried)
  • Granola bars
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Meals in a box
  • Nuts
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Rice
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Soup, stew, and chili
  • Whole grain cereal

Missions Giving

It’s not too late to contribute to the annual “Easter Offering.”  Part of the Easter tradition at Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church is to share our blessings with others. The Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church has suggested six special Ministries that we will support. All of them will be covered with a ONE TIME OFFERING which will be collected through mid May. <!–split–>

Following are our 6 special ministries:

  • One Great Hour of Sharing (UMCOR) 20%
  • Human Relations Day (community development programs in low income areas) 9%
  • Native American Ministries (recognizes and supports the contributions of Native Americans to the Church) 9%
  • World Communion (helps support education and training of Church Leadership) 9%
  • Peace and Justice Sunday (aids disciples who are changing lives and the world) 9%
  • United Methodist Student Day (helps students to continue education) 9%

In addition, the Mission Committee has selected two other agencies to support:

  • Churches of the Quad Cities Food Pantries 20%
  • Golden Cross Agencies of IGRC: Evenglow Lodge, Sunset Home, United Methodist Village, Wesley Village, pastoral care ministries at Alton Memorial Hospital and Methodist Medical Center of Illinois; Chaddock, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, The Baby Fold and United Methodist Children’s Home  -15%

Remember that your contribution is a one-time gift for this year that supports all eight agencies. Please mark “Easter” on the memo line of your check. We pray that you will give generously.

—- Easter Blessings, from the Mission Committee