Wednesday, November 2, 2011



For those of you wishing to contribute money towards the Thanksgiving Baskets for the needy, please indicate this on your Love Offering envelope.   This year, $28, will provide a meal for a family of 6.   This year we will be feeding 50 families (with a total of 300 people).

The 32nd annual Thanksgiving Ingathering will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5.   The Thanksgiving Ingathering is a way for Iowa Methodists to help in addressing hunger problems locally and around the world.  1 John 3 says, “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother and sister in need yet refused to help.  Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action”.  Several ingathering kits are made throughout the year through the coordination and direction of Loretta Kono.  A big thank you to Loretta for all of her hard work.  In addition, during cinnamon roll Sunday in October, approximately 30 kits were completed  with several others that were almost complete but still missing a few items.   Postage will be needed for mailing of these kits and if you would like to contribute to the cost of postage please indicate “ingathering postage” in the memo of your check.    


Marion County gets to keep 90% of the funds raised by the Marion County Salvation Army Bell Ringers to assist those in need.   Last year over $37,000 was raised but those funds are now completely depleted.  The need is now greater than ever.  The bell ringers will begin ringing during the Living Windows in Knoxville on Thursday, November 17th and will continue throughout the Christmas season. You can help again this year in two ways:   1) If you would like to help those in need in Marion County please go to and select the Bell Ringers Marion County link.  This will show the times and places available for bell ringing.  To share your gift of time for those in need this Christmas Season, please contact Merna Furney at 641-842-3072 or 641-218-8026.   She keeps the master list and will gladly add your name to the list.   2)  Give generously.  Every penny adds up.

The simple mention of the name Bidwell Riverside in the company of Iowa United Methodists can elicit a murmur of recognition and respect.  For over 100 years, Bidwell has been providing hope to those in need and providing an outlet for the expression of our Christian commitment to the poor.  Each weekday, Bidwell bustles with energy as children are educated, families receive essential nutritional foods, and people obtain needed clothing.  It looks like the Kingdom.  But, as the needs continue to grow and the demands increase for Bidwell’s ministry we find ourselves (like most of America), struggling financially.  The economic challenges of the past few years have created a significant tension at Bidwell:  more people need help while fewer people are giving, and and those that do give less.  This fact along with the challenges of the past year that included another round of storm water damage, heating and cooling system issues, and all the other demands made by the aging facility have created a strain on Bidwell’s operating budget.   The cost of operating Bidwell Riverside, per day that the center is open, is just under $3,000.  With this $3,000, on a single typical day, 52 children receive early quality child care and preschool education, over 800 families are able to share in the joy of Christmas through our Christmas Sharing program.  Without Bidwell there is no doubt that some families’ most basic needs would not be met.   Please take a moment during this time of harvest to think of the rich ways you, your family, and congregation have been blessed this year, and set aside a portion of the abundance for your neighbors at Bidwell.  Be assured that your cash gift will be used to express Christ’s love to those in need.

Individuals are needed with digital cameras to volunteer to take quick snapshots before and/or after services for a few upcoming weekends for our new electronic directory.  If you are able to help out with this, please contact the church office.

The annual Fall Harvest dinner will be held on Saturday, November 19 in WFH from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  The meal will consist of ham balls, cheesy potatoes, green beans, salads, and pies.  A free will offering will be accepted with proceeds going to Montgomery Street Preschool and Fellowship Uniting Neighbors (FUN).

Dr. Richard Blackaby speaks on spiritual leadership, provides leadership training and inspiration for pastors, leads a coaching network, and works with Christian business leaders.   Dr. Blackaby will help you learn how to move your life, family, church, and those you lead on to God’s agenda.  Experiencing God:  Joining God in His Activity Around You is a Free open to the public event that will take place on Wed, Nov. 2 at 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Vermeer Global Pavilion.   On Nov. 3 at 8:30-4:00 there will be Spiritual Leadership:  Moving People on to God’s Agenda event at the Vermeer Global Pavilion in which registration is required with a cost of $35. 

Cokesbury will be holding a 25% off storewide sale November 10-12.

This year we will be using devotional booklets provided by the Society of St. Andrews entitled ‘Passing the Peace’ for our Advent devotions for the advent season November 27-December 25.  This program is designed to draw participants closer to God’s loving gift to the world – Jesus.   Advent is a special period of mental and spiritual preparation for the coming of Christ, encompassing the four Sundays before Christmas Day.  The devotional booklet provides a personal meditation for each day during Advent. Those who participate in the Advent devotions program are invited to give, in the name of the Christ Child, a gift of food by making a small donation to the Society of St. Andrew during this season.  These contributions will be used by the Society of St. Andrew to feed the nation’s hungry – at a cost of about 2 cents per serving!  Booklets will be available at the church office window ledge.

Jar mixes for sale to raise money for scholarships:   Fruited rice, pantry grain pancakes, chicken soup, bean soup, and sand art brownie jars are for sale at $5 per jar.   They will be sold between church services on November 13th as well as at living windows, the festival of trees, and the humane society bizarre.   They are great for gifts or for home meals.  Kay Jensen

HELP NEEDED Education cluster needs someone to help direct the Christmas program for Sunday school.   If you are interested, please contact Katie, Cheryl, or Pastor Lane. 

CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM The children’s Sunday School Christmas program will take place on Sunday, December 11 at 5:00 p.m. with punch and cookies to immediately follow.  

LIVING WINDOWS Join MSPS at Living Windows on Thursday, November 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the window at Doty Computers.  FESTIVAL OF TREES MSPS will be at the Festival of Trees at the Marion County Park on Nov.19 and 20.   Come vote for your favorite tree and support Marion County Community Action. 

The MSPS Christmas program will take place on Tues., Dec. 20 at 9:00 a.m.  All are welcome to attend.


I want to thank everyone for their prayers, visits, cards, and phone calls.   Thanks also for the prayer shawl and prayer square.  They are a comfort.  Everything is appreciated very much.  Betty McRoberts

Thank you to all of our friends for the 60th anniversary and 80th birthday wishes.  It was wonderful seeing so many of you.   Merle and Anna Mae Vickroy

Thank you for the birthday cards, telephone calls, and cookies for my 90th birthday.  Don Starr

Thank you to all who purchased MSPS hoagies!   Your support of our program is greatly appreciated!

Thanks to everyone that helped make the UNICEF party a success!

Condolences to the family of Wilda Long on her passing.  

Condolences to Mike Sullivan and family on the loss of a grandchild.

My name is Xenia, and I am a foreign exchange student looking to earn some extra-spending money.   I will take care of your kids or walk with your dog.  You can contact me at 641-218-9196.  I am responsible, and I have experience in both of these areas.

Fair Trade Equal Exchange chocolate bars (several flavors), tea, and coffee (new flavors)  Check out and buy from the display in the Narthex.

Giving is our reflection of Christ’s generosity.   We invite you to grow in giving by completing a faith commitment card and place it in the basket during the November 12 & 13 worship services. 

“…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”  James 5:15

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been in prayer for me and my family.  We all have felt your prayers and in no small part they have aided the actions and activities that have taken place during my time of leave.  I am pleased to announce that Alice and I are back together and continuing to work to strengthen our marriage and lives together.  Please continue to hold us in your prayers and thank you for your faithfulness and understanding.

Together in Christ,
Pastor Lane

First United Methodist Church has a received an honorable mention for the 2010 rainbow covenant award. 

The Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church recognizes and appreciates the commitment to Christian stewardship of Knoxville First United Methodist Church to the connectional system with 100% support in 2010 of:  Administration Ministries, Africa University Fund, Black College Fund, Ministerial Support, and World Service and Conference Benevolences.

A certificate of appreciation is awarded to Knoxville First United Methodist Church in recognition of 100% payment of South Central District Asking for 2010. 

For those of you who winter in a different location other than your usual residence, please contact the church office at 641-842-3712 or  and let us know your winter address so we can continue to send you the monthly “Link”.

november church office closures
The church office will be closed November 24th and 25th for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Copies of the November Lower Lights are now available on the ledge outside of the church office. 

inclement weather
If school has been cancelled, evening meetings will be cancelled.   KNIA will be the primary source for weather related cancellations.  Worshipers please use your discretion.  If you are worried, that may be an indication you may need to stay home.  

One of the goals of the church is to take advantage of electronic communication.
To stay in touch with news and events around the church, please visit and then click on the News Link to obtain current and previous announcements, monthly links, calendar of events, and a list of those scheduled for worship team (greeters, ushers, communion, hospitality, liturgists). We are also on Facebook at 

The Prayer Chain is a beautiful ministry that requires no time away from home. Our prayer requests are distributed via e-mail, AND WE PRAY.  This prayer chain is fast and immediate.  If you would like to sign up for the e-prayer chain to receive an email any time a request is made, please contact Heather at or 641-842-3712 with your name and e-mail information.

If you or a family member are in the hospital, please notify our church office so pastoral visits can be made as that information may not be released to the pastors otherwise due to the new health information guidelines.


John Wesley on Mutuality in Mission - F. Douglas Powe Jr.
one of the most unfortunate divides that separate people in the church today is the split between those who equate mission with proclaiming the gospel and those who focus mission on concern for social justice. The tendency of many is to present a forced choice: either you are concerned with evangelism or you are con­cerned with social justice. I believe that our Wesleyan tradition offers a more helpful third option—mutuality in mission.
John Wesley hands down several dimensions of mutuality in mission to us, though we must recognize that his own appreciation for these grew over time. For example, one of the reasons that Wesley wanted to come to North America was to evangelize the Native Americans. At the outset of this journey, he conceived of mis­sion as moving in one direction only—him taking the gospel to those who lacked it. As he returned from America, a chastened Wesley reflected in his Journal on January 29, 1738, "What have I learned myself in the meantime? Why (what I the least of all suspected), that I who went to America to convert others, was never myself converted to God." Here Wesley begins to understand that God is the true agent of all mission work and that when we participate in God's mission we often gain as much insight from those whom we approach as we are able, through God's grace, to share with them. Evangelistic mission at its best will always be open to this mutuality.
Wesley came to a similar understanding concerning the dimension of mission focused on social service. Ministry to those who were in prison was a central part of the commitments of the early Oxford Methodists, but they framed this ministry in a unilateral direction. There was little sense that the Oxford Methodists expected to benefit themselves from the time spent with the prisoners. By contrast, this became a central emphasis of Wesley in his later years. He insisted that works of mercy were vital for Methodists to practice, not just because of how they benefited others, but because they were a "means of grace" that nourished the benefactor as well. At least they can be so if we enter into a mutual relationship with those in need. That is why Wesley insisted in his sermon "On Visiting the Sick" that his Methodist people do more than just send aid to the sick (in body or soul); they should also visit them in person.
One needs to highlight another dimension of Wesley's seasoned wisdom about mutuality mission. The early ministry to prisoners at Oxford could be understood as merely instrumental in purpose—addressing physical needs in order to win a hearing for the gospel. In later years Wesley was clear that concern for physical, social, and justice issues was integral to Christian ministry. Following the model of Christ, we are to minister to all who are in need, and simply because of their need! At the same time, precisely because he understood ministry in truly mutual terms, Wesley could insist that it was both unfaithful and unloving to minister only to people's physical needs, neglecting to convey to them God's offer of gracious transformation of the spiritual dimensions of their lives as well.
This model of mutuality in ministry, in all of its dimensions, is a precious part of our heritage. It calls us to reject the common divisions along party lines (evangel­ism vs. social justice) and to
enter into every form of mission open to experiencing how God seeks to transform us as well as how God may work through us in trans­forming others.

A Time to Give Thanks and to Celebrate Our Missions  - Bishop Coyner
GIVING TO MISSIONS and engaging in missions are a part of our DNA as United Methodists. Nearly every local congregation is engaged in local mission work, includ­ing everything from a food pantry, to a clothing closet, to a counseling center, to relief efforts, and certainly to Thanksgiving offerings for missions. Most of our United Methodist churches have sent Volunteers in Mission (VIM) work teams or have engaged directly in other types of hands-on experiences of being in mission work to and with others.
What is the source of this "missions DNA" in our United Methodist churches? Clearly, it arises from the first Methodist people, led by the Wesley brothers and their Holy Club of students at Oxford, who saw that the Christian faith always involves car­ing for others. As noted in the study material by Douglas Powe, this original urge toward mission work was "missions to" the other person, but it grew into "missions with" the other person. Another way to express this difference is to say that we United Methodists today do not just practice charity, but we also work for an end to oppres­sion, hunger, and pain in the world. Why? Because we have a profound belief that the God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16) is the same God who sends us forth to love the world and to seek justice, mercy, and love for all. Our momentum towards missions, then, arises from our gratitude to God.
In order for November to be a time of Thanksgiving and emphasis on our missions, it will be helpful to offer hands-on experiences in giving and sharing. Simply receiving an offering for Thanksgiving or a designated offering for missions will not be enough to teach the Wesleyan model. Look for options that allow your congregation to be directly involved, perhaps working in a soup kitchen, taking a turn helping at a homeless shelter, or collecting and delivering food goods to a food pantry in the area.
Children can learn at an early age to be thankful, generous, and caring for oth­ers. The Parable of the Last Judgment in Matthew 25 allows for some dramatic read­ing and acting about the sheep and the goats that are separated based on "caring for the least of these." Some churches have involved children in a "noisy buckets" offer­ing each Sunday of November. Children—even very young children—take small metal buckets and roam through the congregation to collect change. Then they empty those small buckets into a large metal bucket in the front of the church. Using metal buckets allows the sound of giving to be heard. Oftentimes the children will go through the congregation together, bringing a whole line of buckets to each person to receive their gifts. The noisy and generous response can add to the learning expe­rience as people give repeatedly to each child.
November is also a good time to hear reports from previous mission trips and to recruit for upcoming trips. Having those reports set in a context of Thanksgiving and working for justice is an excellent way to teach the Wesleyan model of mutuality in mission. Nearly every person who reports about such a mission trip will share some­thing like, "I went on this trip to give to others, but I received so much more." Hearing such reports of mutuality in mission will help to reinforce our DNA about missions.

Will be December 3-4

Poinsettias will be available for $9.00 this year and the deadline for ordering is November 27. 

Please mark one of the options below and attach your check or cash to this form. 

____ I/We wish to donate
____ (designate how many) poinsettia(s) at $9.00 each to share in the worship service. 
(memory of) ______________________
(honor of) _________________________
Given by:  _________________________

Please Mark One of the Following:
____ Deliver the poinsettia(s) to a homebound member by the committee
____  I/We will pick up the poinsettia(s) & deliver to:  ____________
____ I/We will pick up the poinsettia(s)
Your name:   ________________
***Please complete the form and drop it off along with your payment the church office.***

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