All posts by Pat Gustafson

2019 Garden Sale

Church Women United (Moline/East Moline & Surrounding Communities)

2019 GARDEN SALE – May 13th-19th

Silvis & Moline HyVee Stores   (Outdoor Garden Centers)

Good on All purchases in the outdoor garden center (plants, flowers, mulch, shrubs, trees, lawn ornament, etc.)

10% of your purchase benefits go to:  Christian Friendliness,  Winnie’s Place,  Local Food Pantries,  Women’s Prison Ministries

May Fellowship Luncheon

Join those of retirement age (55 and older)

—  May Fellowship Luncheon —

Thursday, May 23rd at Noon in the Activity Center

This month’s menu:  Breakfast For Lunch ….. scrambled eggs, sausage gravy & biscuits, breads, fruit, and coffee.  Please RSVP to Steve or MaryAnn Harvey. $5/person.

Church Grounds Beautification Project

Spring is here and with it the Trustees have implemented a plan to keep our church grounds looking beautiful all year long.   Our grounds were divided into ‘plots’ that church members have volunteered to maintain.  Church gardeners decide what they will plant and tend in their individual areas as well as assume the responsibility for  watering, weeding and overall appearance.   When you see the areas beautify as plants mature, please offer your thanks to these volunteers: <!–split–>

Cindy Anderson,  Dan Haughey,  Sandy Lagomarcino,  Chris Baumann,  Maggie and Max Rensburger,  Mark and Becky Montgomery,  Denny and Carolyn Mesick,  and  Boy Scout Troop 119.

In conjunction with this program, we are looking to stockpile gardening tools (rakes, spades, hoes, hedge clippers, etc.) to store in the church garage for volunteer use.  If you have any available to donate or find something at an estate sale / thrift store, please keep us in mind.

—  The Board of Trustees

Food Label Reading

Step 1: Serving Size

Look at the serving size and servings per container. All of the information below is related to the portion for 1 serving.  Looking at the example, if you eat 10 crackers you should multiply all of the nutritional information by 2 because a serving size is 5 crackers.              <!–split–>

Step 2: Calories

As a general rule, your meals should range from 300-600 calories and snacks should be between 100-150 calories.  Looking at the example, 10 crackers would be 160 calories.

Step 3: % Daily Value

The %DV is the percentage of the listed nutrition information that you should consume daily based on a 2,000 calorie diet. This calorie level is not right for everyone so be sure to calculate what is best for you.

Step 4: Fat Total

Fat includes harmful and beneficial fats. Saturated fat and trans fat are the harmful fats. Aim for no more than 3 grams of saturated fat and 0 grams of trans fat per meal.

Step 5: Cholesterol Dietary

Cholesterol is found only in animal fats. Consume 300 mg or less per day. Step 6: Sodium Table salt = sodium chloride. Consume less than 2,300 mg sodium per day. One teaspoon of salt is equal to 2,300 mg sodium. When comparing food  labels, try to choose foods with 140 mg of sodium or less.

Step 7: Total Carbohydrate

Total carbohydrate includes sugar, fiber and starch. Almost all carbohydrate is formed into glucose (sugar) during digestion, which can accumulate in the blood in someone with diabetes. One serving of carbohydrate (or “carb choice”) is equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate. When reading a label, divide the grams of total carbohydrate by 15 to know how many carb choices you are eating in ONE serving of that product. Be sure to multiply that number by the number of servings you may be consuming. People with diabetes should try to eat no more than 45-60 grams or 3-4 carb choices at a meal.

Step 8: Fiber

A good source of dietary fiber contains 3 or more grams per serving. Try to get 25-35 grams of fiber per day.

Step 9: Protein

A good source of protein is 4 grams or more. If it is less than 4 grams, you should add another source of protein to your meal.

Step 10: Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are listed at the bottom of the label. They may be naturally occurring or added to the food.

Step 11: Ingredients

Ingredients are found alongside the nutrition facts. The ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest.

—  Kara Ade, Parish Nurse

A Love Story That Will Not End

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me … Go instead to my brothers and tell them ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”— John 20:16–17

The Resurrection is an unprecedented event in history. In the words of C. S. Lewis, it is a miracle of the New Creation. Something of which the world has had no previous experience at all has entered the old order and radically altered it. The great reversal has begun. The new wine has burst the old wineskins. Even familiar relations with Jesus in the old creation no longer suffice. Now, it seems he can only be recognized by those to whom he chooses to reveal himself. <!–split–>

The story of the Resurrection is also the story of human love at its best. When all else fails—even faith and hope—love comes through intact. It may be weak in comparison to divine love, but it is strong enough to move the heart of the Lover. Such is the love of Mary Magdalene.

What makes Mary’s devotion to Jesus unique may have begun early in his ministry when he cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:1–3). Mary had known the terrifying power of spiritual enslavement and the  exhilarating freedom of following Christ her teacher. Here was a Rabbi who treated women very differently. From that day, her admiration and love grew.

Mary followed Jesus to Jerusalem. When all the other disciples fled (Mark 14:50), she stood in solidarity with other women to witness his agonizing death on the cross (Matt. 27:55). Love refuses to be cowed. Love perseveres when hope is extinguished. Mary witnessed Jesus’ limp body being taken down from the cross. He was dead! But love will not give up.

She continued to follow Jesus to the point where she could go no further. The tomb was finally clamped shut. Sabbath was about to begin. She had to leave, but not without first taking note of where his body lay (Mark 15:47).

Mary could not wait for the Sabbath to be over. At the first streaks of dawn, she hurried to the tomb. Love drove her back. Perhaps all she wanted was to be with the Beloved—if only to run her hand over the cold, defiant rock that blocks the tomb’s entrance. But further dismay greeted her: The stone had been removed and the body was gone. Without a second thought, she hurried back and reported it to Peter and John.

John reached the tomb entrance first and hesitated, but Peter, true to form, barged in. The sight defied  explanation, for they “still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead” (John 20:9). Peter and John tried to figure out what might have happened. They were practical men looking for plausible explanations, and finding none, they decided to leave.

But Mary lingered. She would not give up so easily. But where is he? Why? No, it can’t be—perhaps a   jumble of foreboding thoughts filled her mind. Could it be the work of grave robbers? Perhaps anger welled up at the thought of unconscionable men desecrating Jesus’ body. Mary could take it no more; she broke down in tears.

She moved closer to the tomb and saw two angels. Their brief exchange suggests that they seemed harmless, ordinary folks. Just then Jesus appeared and asked: “Why are you crying?” But Mary could not recognize the voice. Thinking that he was the gardener, she pleaded with him to tell him where he might have carried away the body of Jesus, saying, “and I will get him”—I will carry him (John 20:15). She did not consider how she would do it. These are words of a determined woman. Whatever it took, she’d find the body and carry it back.

Was Mary so blinded by her tears that she could not recognize Jesus? Not likely. The Gospels record other instances when the resurrected Jesus was not recognized until he chose to make himself recognizable, such as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who only recognized Jesus through the breaking of bread. For Mary, the voice of the “gardener” suddenly sounded familiar when Jesus called her by name.

Mary’s love had been stretched to breaking point—almost. But then Jesus revealed himself and spoke her name in the familiar voice that she had heard countless times before. In the depth of despair, her “teacher” had found her. She recognized his reassuring voice. She instinctively clung to him, driven by love that will not let go.

But she could not make Christ exclusively her own. Love must at some point yield to the will of the Lover: “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’ ” (v. 17).

Following Jesus had brought Mary to the brink of despair, but love finally broke through the old order. She became the first witness of the risen Christ and the first bearer of the Good News: The Father of Jesus is now our Father and Jesus is now our brother (Heb. 2:11, 12). But Mary was not a witness in the formal sense, for in her culture a testimony was validated by at least two witnesses and among the Jews, the status of a woman as a witness was a contested issue. What Jesus did for her can only be understood as an act of pure love in response to her singular devotion.

Mary Magdalene’s relentless pursuit of her Beloved exemplifies the spiritual quest for deeper union with God. Like other contemplatives, mystics, and saints in subsequent Christian history, Mary teaches us that love never fails—even when hope fails. It sustained her through the dark night of Holy Saturday into the dawn of Easter. Even as Mary clings to Christ, she also learns to let go. The ecstasy of her reunion with the Beloved was not meant to be for her alone to enjoy. He called her to go into the world and bear witness to the Resurrection:   “I have seen the Lord!” From Mary, we begin to understand why love is the greatest theological virtue (1 Cor. 13:13). From her, too, we learn that however much we relish mountain-top experiences of intimacy with God, we must also descend to bring the Good News of the living Christ to a dying world.

— (from Christianity Today)


SUNDAY, April 14 – Palm Sunday

THURSDAY, April 18 – Maundy Thursday – 5:00 pm Worship Service

FRIDAY, April 19 – Good Friday – 6:00 pm Worship Service



Months ago we introduced the Our Conference Our Kids initiative to begin an endowment fund for the spiritual lives of the five organizations in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference that support children and families: The Baby Fold, Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, Spearo, Chaddock and Cunningham. On April 28th Gay Crede will lead a special worship service at 9:30 am immediately followed by a brunch of egg casseroles and breads prepared by the Missions and Outreach Committee members. Gay is an ambassador of the Our Conference Our Kids and will be bringing us some personal insight and poignant stories from the children she serves at Cunningham home.  <!–split–>

Leading up to April 28th please spend some time with God as you consider how much you can give as a positive and proactive support for the spiritual life and healing of the children of Illinois who have not gotten off to the best start, and are still yearning to know God, and to uncover and unlock potential yet undiscovered.

Missions and Outreach Committee urges you to not just toss in your loose change on April 28, but to plan ahead what you might sacrifice in order to truly support this cause. Perhaps you will eat at home once a week and donate the amount you would have spent eating out. Perhaps you will do an extra chore or job to earn your pledge.  Perhaps you will challenge a group of friends to match your donation. Be creative. Dig deep. Please, all come  together to hear Gay Crede and then fellowship together for brunch. While the brunch will be anonymous donation, we would like to have an idea for how many we should prepare. Please, let Karen know in the office, 764.0619 or write ‘brunch’ on the attendance sheet at church just once so we can compile a tally of guests.

Thank you!   Carolyn Mesick


Join those of retirement age (55 and older) for the April Fellowship Luncheon

Thursday, April 25 – Noon – in the Activity Center:

MENU:  Chicken Stir Fry with white rice  and oriental noodles, dinner rolls, Hawaiian cream pie and coffee.  $5/person.

Please RSVP to Steve or MaryAnn Harvey.

Connecting Campers, Nature, and Christ

2019 Camping Guide – Pick one up outside the office today!

The Illinois Great Rivers Conference camping program is an extension of the local church’s disciple-making process. Its mission is to provide transforming settings for recreation, spiritual formation, and hospitality to all. <!–split–>

In fulfillment of the camping ministry’s mission, programming at both East Bay Camp and Little Grassy Camp makes the most of their locations on lakes, which, along with plentiful timber, invites guests to explore God’s creative genius in a leisurely manner, enjoy prolonged experiences of Christian community, forge relationships with God and others through worship, study, mealtimes, and play, and foster growing relationships with Jesus Christ.