Clergy Corner: What's new in the area |  news

Clergy Corner: What’s new in the area | news | Pro Club Bd

This story appeared in “Meeting Minutes & More,” a weekly six-page special in Friday’s print editions of the News-Gazette.

After a decade of trying to find a way to get more space, the community at Urbana’s Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas found it in an unlikely location – a former warehouse and offices at 1807 North Federal Drive.

The move came in August 2020, a few months after the pandemic and associated congregation size restrictions, so it will be just before Palm Sunday in April, when the Reverend James Ellison led services in the new sanctuary for the first time.

“We have more than doubled the capacity of our prayer room, added classrooms and will soon have a much larger warming kitchen and common room than at our previous location,” he says.

MMM Clergy Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas 1

The new home of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Urbana has one thing the old one didn’t have – lots of space.

“Through the generosity of members and donors, much of the work done through volunteer work, and with the help of some generous and skilled contractors, we now have a wonderful new location from which to serve our community. There’s still a lot to do, but we’re getting there.”


the community Walnut Grove Christian is working hard to collect items for an online auction planned for late summer. The goal: to raise $10,000 for adoption grants, says the Rev. Steven Sternwho himself plans to start an adoption-focused 501(c)(3) called God Will Make A Way.


Coming from 1pm-6pm Thursday at Arthur United Methodist‘s Fellowship Hall: a collaborative blood drive co-sponsored by the local Lions club Arthur Ministerial Association.


Three communities in Douglas County, one unique event: camargo, new man and Murdock United Methodist Churches are coming together for a joint service scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday at Camargo’s Taylor Haines Park.


Leah Robberts-Mosser was a proud pastor after her Community United Church of Christ The community raised more than $15,000 from Ash Wednesday through early June. All of the money went to the charity RIP Medical Debt, which used $15,000 to pay off more than $3 million in medical debt for those who needed the help.

MMM clergyman Leah Robberts-Mosser


“Because the debt was older, RIP was able to buy it more cheaply, which eliminated a lot more medical debt than we anticipated,” she says. “We expected it to relieve about $1.5 million.”

Best of all, 37 Champaign County families were among the beneficiaries, all of whom received a message from RIP letting them know the funds were “generously provided by members and friends of the community United Church of Christ.”

— Hot diggity: In honor of National Hot Dog Day, First Christian will serve dogs to all arrivals after Sunday services.

MMM Minister: Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal

From left: Samyra Leonard, Beth Maynard, Rector of the Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal, John Aquino, Karen Simms, Founding Director of the CU Trauma & Resilience Initiative, and James Warren.

– Downtown Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church has a new tenant: the CU Trauma and Resilience Initiativea key player in the city of Champaign’s gun violence reduction plan.

It was the perfect partnership for a church focused on community outreach, he says Rev. Beth Maynard; The organization signed a below-market lease for the north wing of the church building, which was being renovated after a fire in 2018.

— Happy 14th anniversary as Pastor of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist‘s Ricky Parkswhose congregation celebrates on July 24th.

Other dates worth circling: July 20, when the Berean Covenant Church-LED corner prayer Series ends at Beardsley Park (6.30pm-7.30pm) and on July 23rd when the Champaign Church of Christ organizes a flea market for a good cause (8 a.m. to 3 p.m., all proceeds go to the relief effort in Ukraine).


— Attention, parents and student sons from District 118: Mosaic City Church works with Danville Catch a Fade Barbershop To offer free haircuts to young men in grades K-12 on August 9, less than a month before school starts on September 2. In addition, the Church will host its first community picnic in Danville’s Lincoln Park on Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

– St James United Methodist has a new assistant pastor (the Pastor James Fielder Jr.whose ministry focuses on young adults and families) and two outdoor services on the calendar (July 24 and September 26, 10 a.m., both in Lincoln Park).

MMM minister Frank McCullough

Frank McCullough

— Featured in this week’s edition of the city’s clever I am, you are, we are feature: Army Veteran, member of the Three Kings of Peace, and Danville Police Department Chaplain Frank McCullough. A Danville native and the pastor at Mount Olive Baptist since 1987, McCullough says, “I owe Danville a debt of gratitude. These are my people. I am here to serve in any way I can; in schools, through crime prevention, mentoring, helping children to prepare for employment. … I believe in love and speaking the truth in love.”

MMM Farmer City Trinity Fellowship

Turnout for this week’s opening night was greater than ever for Trinity Community Fellowship’s Vacation Bible School.


The theme of Trinity Community Scholarship‘s Vacation Bible School, starting this week: “Adventure Island.” Opening night attracted a record 93 children and another 50 volunteers in the DeWitt County town of 1,828.


A $2,500 grant from Believe in place for a climate protection project has members Monticello First Presbyterian Preparation of the church garden and purchase of plants and trees.

MMM minister David Garver

Rev. Dave Garver


After 52 years as an ordained minister, more than 13 of them in Vermilion County Muncie Baptistthe Rev. Dave Garver is two Sunday services away from marriage Carol retired.

She is a former art teacher at schools in Danville. He is a former pastor at Danville Ridgeview Baptist (1982-2007), 26-year board member of the local Habitat for Humanity and Sunrise Club Rotarian since 1999.

They have four adult daughters, ten grandchildren, and “no permanent plans for the future other than doing some traveling while our health allows,” he says. But for now, there’s the closing service next week, followed by a church potluck to prepare for.

The theme of his final sermon: “If I had only one sermon to preach, it would be this.”


Oakwood’s Obie’s Arctic Chill is the location for ERIC’s next meeting (which is Churches in eastern rural Illinois). 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. July 24, leaders out Fithian United Methodist, Muncie Baptist, Oak wood UMC, Oak wood Christian and Oakwood’s first Evangelical Methodist will discuss how local churches support community service.


Paxton’s Church of the Nazarene picks up the bill for three hours of free afternoon swims — beginning Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. each week — at the city’s community pool. All are welcome.


— Just back from a two week missionary trip to West Africa: the Rev. Mark Wilkersonpastor at Maranatha Baptistwho visited pastors and missionaries in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso during his stay.

MMM Clergy Rantoul First Baptist

Check in at 10ft tall, 5.25 ton, by Thomasboro, the star of this month’s block party at Rantoul First Baptist: The Raminator.

– Two weeks after hosting a block party – complete with a monster truck (Hall Brothers Raminator), a sprint racer (by Ludlow’s Steve Thomas Racing) and a Rantoul police cruiser and fire truck – it’s time for Monumental Vacation Bible School First Baptist. Five days of classes for elementary school students begin next Wednesday, crowned by a Sunday lunch at church.

MMM Clergy Corner: Rantoul First UMC

Cross Camp Mission Trips is hosting its first annual work/service camp in Rantoul this week. The camp is sponsored by Rantoul First United Methodist and founded by his youth pastor, Pat Button, and his wife, Eboni.

Cross camp missionary travelThe first annual Work/Service Camp attracted 24 youth who spent this week serving in a variety of ways in Rantoul. The event is partially sponsored by First United Methodist youth pastor pat button and woman ebony.

MMM Jean Driscoll

Jean Driscoll


Booked to speak to Savoy First Baptist‘s Golden Opportunities Luncheon on September 6: Eight-time Boston Marathon wheelchair user and 12-time Paralympic medalist Jean Driscollnow Associate Dean of Promotions in UI’s Office of Corporate Relations.


MMM minister Ryan Rosser

Rev Ryan Rosser

In town this weekend to begin the next chapter in his ministerial career: Ryan Rosserwho is moving here from Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife Sarah and their three children to be the new senior pastor St. Joseph Church of Christ.

MMM Minister: Tuscola Immanuel Lutheran

Next stop for the bell that was removed from the old Immanuel Lutheran Church: the current home of the Tuscola Congregation.


explosions off Immanuel Lutheran‘s past will come back in Tuscola for the 125th anniversary of service in Douglas County on Sunday.

That Rev. Jason Braaten says parishioners will hear from 1980s pastor Doug Meyer, the guest preacher of the service; witnessed the blessing of the church bell by old Immanuel in the house of the church for the last 57 years; and meet with faith leaders of the past and future, including the Son of the Church Gunnar Campbellwho is a senior at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


— People helping people: As part of Salt and light serving daysmembers of CU Church will spend two hours on the morning of July 23 sorting clothes, emptying trash cans, helping collect donations and otherwise volunteering at the nonprofit’s Urbana location.

— Mark your calendar for July 31, when the Urbana chapter of the Knights of Columbus will hold their breakfast of pancakes and sausage St Patrick Catholic Church‘s St. BrigidHall with all proceeds going to the Fr. Charles Martell Scholarship.

— Debut at The Vineyard Church A week from today: a two-day children’s conference where campers ages six to eleven will “spend a fun weekend learning more about being forever friends with Jesus,” Pastor Mike Yoder says.

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