All posts by Pat Gustafson

Christmas Giving to Local Children

If you would like to donate toward a Christmas gift for a Learning Center or Hamilton School refugee child, we will be collecting cash or checks (designated to “Refugee gifts”) until December 11th.  You don’t have to shop – instead the Mission & Outreach Committee will shop for a $25 gift for each of the 22 children on our list. We thank you in advance for helping make their holiday season happier.

Cookie Walk & Bake Sale

Mark Your Calendars for Saturday, December 10th

Please Note Time Change: 10:00am til Noon in the Activity Center

Cookies Are 40 Cents Each -or- $4.80 A Dozen

Your Help Is Needed – Donate cookies or baked goods for the sale. Come help the day of the sale.  (All proceeds from the sale support womens’ & childrens’ missions of United Women in Faith.)

Special Christmas Offering for River Bend Food Bank

During December you’ll see a Christmas tree as you come to the top of the stairs of the main entrance to the church. This tree will be filled with Christmas offering envelopes. As you feel moved, take an envelope from the tree, place your Christmas offering in it, and then place it in the offering plate.  These offerings will be taken through the month of Dedember. All Christmas offerings will be sent to the River Bend Food Bank to help feed people with food insecurity during the coldest months of the year. Thank you for your generosity during this Christmas season.

Advent Bible Study

Pastor Jan will be leading a 4-week Advent Bible study – Fully Human, Fully Divine – on Wednesday’s during Advent beginning November 30th through December 21st. We will share soup and dessert at 5:30 pm in Wesley Hall followed by the Bible study at 6:00 pm. Volunteers are needed to provide one pot of soup on December 7th, 14th, and 21st.   A signup sheet is in the vestibule so please sign-up. Desserts will be provided by Kris Wainwright and the church will supply crackers and drink.  (Bell Choir/Chancel Choir rehearsal follows the Bible Study at 7:00-8:30 pm.)

From the desk of Parish Nurse Kara – Cold Weather Season and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Every year in Illinois, the glorious days of summer lead to the cooler days of fall and eventually the bone-chilling cold of winter. Hats, scarves, thick coats and gloves become a necessity when venturing outside. To keep our indoor spaces comfortable, the indoor thermostats are inched a little warmer and furnaces start to work more frequently.

Every year, like clockwork, this is the time that calls to poison centers regarding carbon monoxide start to rise. Calls to the Illinois Poison Center in the October- December time period are usually about 50% higher than the June-September months. Every year, over 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning, many during the cold weather season. <!–split–>

Why does carbon monoxide poisoning go up in the fall/winter months compared to summer?  Most commonly, it is due to inefficient, malfunctioning furnaces. When natural gas is burned, an efficient heater will create carbon dioxide (CO2) and water during combustion. A faulty heater that has incomplete burning of natural gas will create carbon monoxide (CO) and water.

 How bad is carbon monoxide?  Carbon Monoxide is a gas that causes injury and death in two ways. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. CO binds to hemoglobin in our red cells which prevents oxygen from binding to the hemoglobin. Since oxygen cannot be carried by the CO poisoned red cells, the organs of the body essentially suffocate from lack of oxygen. CO also binds to the energy producing machinery in the cells (the electron transport chain) and prevents cells from making ATP which is the energy needed for cells to function. Without ATP, the cells begins to malfunction and can die. Organs that are most sensitive to the effects of inhaled carbon monoxide include the heart and brain.

Common symptoms/signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Visual changes
  • Fainting
  • Seizure
  • Memory problems
  • Walking problems
  • Shortness of breath on exertion
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

So how can I prevent injury to myself and family this winter?  Here are some recommended ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning this winter.

  • Check and service furnaces and other heaters (e.g. space heater, water heater) on a yearly basis. Sometimes heaters that were working perfectly the last time they were used in April do not function correctly in November. Annual maintenance checks, prior to cold season, can save lives.
  • Gasoline powered generators are commonly used during an extended power loss and are a deadly source of carbon monoxide—one portable generator can produce the same amount of CO as 100 idling cars.
  • Never operate a generator in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space such as a basement, garage, barn, or enclosed porch.
  • Place generators at least 20 feet away from any doors or windows—buy an appropriate electrical cord that is sufficiently long.
  • Make sure there are functioning carbon monoxide detectors in the home. Even if the furnace was just checked, this will be a lifesaver if something happens and the furnace or other gas powered device malfunctions. It is Illinois law that every home should have a carbon monoxide detector installed within 15 feet of rooms used for sleeping.
  • Regular Checks: Perform regular checks on the detectors to ensure they are working properly and the batteries are up to date. A common recommendation from fire departments is to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at daylight savings time.
  • Expiration Dates: CO detectors have varied expiration dates, but if unsure, consider replacing it. Many newer COalarms have end-of-life indicators. Replace all CO detectors/alarms according to manufacturer’s instructions, orwhen the end-of-life signal sounds.
  • If your CO detector alarms, if you have any questions or are concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning, call the experts at the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for information and treatment advice.

May you have a safe and blessed Christmas.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

From the desk of Pastor Jan — Merry CHRISTmas, with lots of Love!

What is your favorite Christmas decor? Mine is the Manger Scene or the Nativity Scene. It depicts the birth of Jesus Christ, laying lowly in the manger with his human parents Mary and Joseph and with shepherds and animals as first visitors. Why is this my favorite? Because … The manger scene is a Christ-centered décor. Having an image of baby Jesus on the manger at the center of the scene reminds us of the reason of the season, Jesus Christ. Hence, we have CHRISTmas, a Mass of Christ, a worship service for Christ. Christmas is a time to reflect whom we truly worship, whom we truly adore; it’s the perfect time to ask ourselves: Who is in the center of my life? <!–split–>

The third stanza of the song Away In A Manger is a statement of faith. A hymn that tell about CHRISTmas:

Be near me Lord Jesus; I ask you to stay

Close by me forever and love me, I pray

Bless all the dear children in your tender care,

And take us to heaven to live with you there.

The manger scene is a family-centered décor. The scene depicts the image of a family close to each other. In subtle way it shows the love of parents to their child. Christmas is the manifestation of our Heavenly Father’s love to us, his children. As it is written in John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” Love is the gift people received on the first Christmas Day. Christmas is a time to love. We celebrate and gather on Christmas to love. It’s time to check your Christmas gifts. Do your gifts have love?

May this CHRISTmas makes us closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. May this CHRISTmas warm our hearts with love, flamed to share love to each other. May we all be gift-boxes of love this CHRISTmas! Have a Merry CHRISTmas with lots of love!

Cookie Walk & Bake Sale

Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 10th  from 10:00 until Noon.  Cookies are 40 cents each – $4.80 a dozen.  HELP IS NEEDED!  Please say “yes” when you’re called to donate cookies and/or baked goods and to help on Saturday morning.

Winter Clothing Needed!

From the director of the Community Resource and Learning Center:   We are collecting new or gently used winter clothing for our students and their children. Donations of hats, gloves, boots, coats, etc. will be gratefully accepted. Please drop donations off in the office.

Fundraising Night at Culvers in Silvis

Culver’s (608 22nd Avenue, Silvis) and Church Women United are sponsoring a Fundraising Night.  Between 5:00- 8:00 pm on Thursday, November 10th, Culvers (Silvis) will donate 10% of all sales to benefit the following:  Youth Hope, Local Food Pantries, Christian Care’s Martha House.  Please show your support and also enjoy a good meal!

A Call To Prayer

Bishop Beard and the IGRC Cabinet are inviting members of the church to join with them and commit to praying 1 minute each day asking God to “BREAKTHGOUGH” and reveal God’s will for new plans being made for the United Methodist Church. The Psalmist wrote “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.” Let us join together and pray this prayer, or one of our own, each day in November: <!–split–>

Gracious and Merciful God, we come before You acknowledging that Your ways are higher than ours and Your wisdom is greater than ours. While we love and care deeply for our communities and congregations, Your Love of the people of and in IGRC is greater than ours. So we are calling out to You and asking for You to breakthrough to new and fresh ways. Reveal to us and our leaders Your will, Your guidance, Your direction. Bring Your wisdom as we seek to restructure in ways that will allow us to be more faithful and fruitful in making disciples of Jesus Christ that will lead to our world being transformed in God-glorifying ways. Thank you for working in and through us to accomplish your plans and purposes. Please speak for Your servants are listening…….Amen.