All posts by Pat Gustafson

News from Illinois Great Rivers Conference (IGRC)

We are now in the countdown to the 2024 General Conference of the United Methodist Church! You are invited to learn more about our denomination’s upcoming global legislative meeting where elected delegates from around the world will meet in Charlotte NC, from April 23 to May 4 to deliberate policy, doctrine, and denominational statements for the United Methodist Church.

Curtis Brown, Director of Connectional Ministries for IGRC, will lead presentations and discussions on the following topics. Those in the future may be joined live; those in the past have been recorded.

The topics are:

March 6 – What is General Conference and How Does It Work?

March 13 – Revised Social Principles

March 20 – Global Regionalization Legislation

March 27 – New Clergy Pension Plan

April 3 – Continuance/Removal of LGBTQ Restrictive Language

April 10 – Discussion of Other Legislation and Actions

April 17 – General Conference Overview and Prayer for Delegates

The following link will take you to the recorded and live meetings:

Joyce Hein, Lay Member, IGRC Annual Conference


From the desk of Parish Nurse Kara …..

Blood Clot Awareness |by Susan Halli Demeter

Blood Clot Awareness provides cardiovascular health care professionals with an opportunity to refresh their knowledge, and help patients better understand—and reduce—their risk. <!–split–>

Blood Clot Development  When a blood vessel is damaged, the body responds to stop the bleeding by the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) of platelets, proteins, and blood cells. When bleeding stops and the body heals, the thrombus typically breaks down and is removed by the body. Sometimes, thrombi forms when they are not needed or do not dissolve as they should. This can cause a decrease or blockage in blood flow. When a thrombus or a piece of thrombus breaks off from where it is formed and travels to another part of the body where it blocks blood flow, it is called an embolism. An embolism is life-threatening and may cause a stroke, heart attack, or other complications. <!–split–>

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the development of blood clots in the veins. VTE is often undiagnosed but is often preventable. A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the development of a clot inside a deep vein—often in the lower leg or thigh. This usually affects one side of the body. A DVT can cause serious illness, disability, or even death. A Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is a clot that has traveled to the lungs. Clotting is not typically an isolated incident. Up to 30% of people who have had a blood clot will develop clots again within 10 years.

Blood Clots Can Kill  Clots affect around 900,000 Americans each year and are the cause of death for as many as 100,000 individuals per year. There often is no warning for those who have clots—in fact, 1 in 4 people who have a PE die without warning. Blood Clot Prevention Healthcare professionals have a critical role to play in the prevention of clot formation by helping patients understand and reduce their risks. Risk factors that can increase the production of a thrombus:

  • Major surgery
  • Bone or joint surgery
  • Fracture of a bone or joint
  • Major injury
  • Recent cancer diagnosis or treatment
  • Sitting or lying down for long periods of time, such as with long-distance travel, bed rest, or hospitaliazation
  • Pregnancy, recent childbirth
  • Taking birth control pills or other hormones
  • Family history of blood clots or a blood clotting disorder

Men and women of all ages and races can get blood clots.  Age can play a role in increasing risk, as after 40, the risk doubles with each additional 10 years of age. For some patients, a prescription for an anticoagulant, compression stockings, intermittent compression devices, or surgery may be appropriate.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of VTE   Shortness of breath for no reason; Fast breathing; Chest pain or tightness that may worsen with a deep breath; Fast pulse rate; Fast heartbeat; Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or weak; Fainting or blacking out; Cough, with or without producing blood; Pain extending to shoulder, arm, back, or jaw; Sudden weakness or numbness in face, arm, or leg; Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech; Sudden changes in vision; Changes in skin color—redness; Skin that feels warm or hot to the touch; Pain or tenderness—especially in the lower leg or calf.

Encourage smoking cessation, regular physical activity, and adherence to medication to decrease the development of clots.

Resources for Blood Clot Awareness and Beyond

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Impact of Blood Clots on the United States. 2023. Accessed February 23, 2024.

[ii] American Heart Association. Who Is at Risk for Venous Thromboembolism? 2023. Accessed February 26, 2024.


Your Parish Nurse, Kara

From the desk of Pastor Jan . . . “Jesus Loves Me; Easter Tells Me So”

Resurrection Sunday celebration came early this year. But we believe that its message is for all seasons, for all people. Resurrection Sunday is our declaration of God’s infinite love for all. 1 John 4:9-10 says, “God showed his love for us when he sent his only Son into the world to give us life. 10Real love isn’t our love for God, but his love for us. God sent his Son to be the sacrifice by which our sins are forgiven.”  CEV) <!–split–>

There is an Easter song by Joanna Fuchs in the tune of Jesus Loves Me This I Know. Let us sing with our child-like faith our Risen Savior’s love for all.

Jesus Loves Me, Easter Tells Me So

 Jesus loves me, this I know; The Easter story tells me so.

He died for me to bear my sin; He opened heaven to let me in.


Yes, Jesus loves me; Yes Jesus loves me;

Yes Jesus loves me; Easter tells me so.

 Jesus loved me when He died, Loved me enough to be crucified.

But His death didn’t last very long, Because His power is so strong.

Jesus’ came back from the dead I know because the Bible said.

Jesus is my Lord and King; Love and praise to Him I bring.

When I die, I’ll rise up, too. We’ll all be in heaven, me and you.

We’ll see Jesus face to face. Up in heaven, that happy place.

The Easter story brings much joy, To us all, each girl and boy.

Jesus is my Savior now; Heaven and earth to Him must bow.

May this Resurrection Song play in our hearts everywhere and every day!



Palm Sunday Service – March 24, 10 am

Maundy Thursday – Last Supper Agape Meal – March 28, 5:30 pm

Good Friday Retreat  – March 29, 5:30 pm

Easter Coffee Hour  – March 31, 8:30–9:30 am

Resurrection Sunday Service – March 31, 10 am

LENTEN STUDY:  Join us as we give up something bad for Lent on our journey to Resurrection Sunday. This study is being held on Wednesdays, 5:30 pm (Feb 21st – Mar 27th).  (Using the James W. Moore book, Give Up Something Bad for Lent.)


Get your homemade pecan pie for your Easter Celebration. UMF will be selling homemade pies for $15.00.  Funds raised will go to the making of a quilt for the children at Cunningham Childrens Home. If you have questions call Chris Baumann 563-349-2190, the church office 309-764-0619, or a UWF member.                                                                       Orders are due by Friday, March 22nd ; orders may be left at the church office. Pies will be ready be ready for pick-up on Friday, March 29 from 4-5:30 and on Saturday, March 30 from 9-10 in the Bethel Wesley Activity Center.


THIS MONTH . . . . .

FREE COMMUNITY MEAL:  Magical Muggles 4-H group invites all to a Spaghetti Dinner on Monday, March 11th, 5-7 pm in the Activity Center.  Donations accepted!

PANCAKE BREAKFAST:  Sunday, March 17th, 8:15-9:30 am in the Activity Center.  All proceeds support missions work.

FELLOWSHIP LUNCHEON:   All retirees welcome to the monthly Fellowship Luncheon at Noon on Thursday, March 28th in Activity Center.  RSVP to Mary Ann Harvey 309-786-2062.   $7.00.