May 23, 2024

Worship - May 26


“Baby Christians!"

Preacher: Reverend Sara L. Isbell 

Scripture: John 3:1-17 NRSVUE

THIS SUNDAY: During service this Sunday, we will be taking a special offering for Peace with Justice Sunday. We welcome you to give and thank you humbly for your generosity!

Note: The Wesley Offices will be closed this Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day. We will be open again the following morning

Last month, 5 Wesley UMC members (Steve & Judy Bute, Lori Hoffman, Liz Cooper, and Linda Olson) took a spiritual journey to the part of our nation best-known for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. They had a truly life-changing experience. 

To hear their stories, and those of the other congregations who participated (Normal First UMC, Moses Montefiore Temple), please join us in the sanctuary on “Juneteenth” (June 19).

Tim Zimmerman and the King's Brass!

Save the Date! Tim Zimmerman's Kings Brass will be performing this summer on August 1st at 7:00pm in the Wesley Sanctuary. Mark it in your calendars now so that you can join us for an unforgettable night of music and talent!

Vacation Bible School


This year's Vacation Bible School, ARK ADVENTURE, is starting soon! Join us on June 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 6:00pm - 7:15pm for great storytelling and a great time with family and friends.

We'll be meeting outside in the Green Space at Wesley. Be sure to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy while we hear the opening story each evening. Wear a swimsuit or something you don't mind getting wet in the water fun!

Book Studies!


by Colby Martin

INTERGENERATIONAL Study - following completion of The Difficult Words of Jesus

UnClobber examines six passages from the Bible, each frequently referenced by Christians for prohibition of gay marriage. The deep dives into these passages alternate with author Colby Martin's own story of being fired from an evangelical megachurch when they discovered his stance on homosexuality.

UnClobber (explores) what the Bible says (and does not say) about homosexuality in such a way that challenges some traditional assumptions and interpretations.

Join us for this study during Adult Sunday School between services, meeting in the Lounge or on Zoom. This will study will be open to both adults AND youth! Books are available for $10 donation on the Welcome Desk and in the Lounge. Contact Pastor Sara or Kelsey Ross for more information.


Inspired ("Called Good" Study)

by Rachel Held Evans

"Called Good" Study

"In Inspired, Evans explores contradictions and questions from her own experiences with the Bible, including:

  • If the Bible was supposed to explain the mysteries of life, why does it leave the reader with so many questions?
  • What does it mean to be chosen by God?
  • To what degree did the Holy Spirit guide the preservation of these narratives, and is there something sacred to be uncovered beneath all these human fingerprints?
  • If the Bible has given voice to the oppressed, why is it also used as justification by their oppressors?

Drawing on the best in biblical scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, and even a short screenplay."

We are currently reading "Inspired" in our Young-Adult Ministry group, "Called Good." Contact Kelsey Ross for more information.

We have fantastic Sunday School opportunities for all ages!

Our IGRC Annual Conference will be holding a Mission opportunity on the first meeting night June 6. Wesley Missions Committee offers you a chance to participate by donating selected items for the Midwest Distribution Center or by donating a whole kit (see flyer). With the recent tornados there is a special plea for flood bucket supplies - A donation container will be available in the Drop Center until June 4.

We haven't been getting much this year from Midwest Food Bank, mostly toilet paper. One month we got a few cases of napkins, another month a few diapers and hygiene items. Nothing like what we were getting. MFB just isn't receiving many donations of paper products. The good news is, Wesley and community friends, have kept up with the need.

 We served 688 families in April and are preparing to serve 700 in May. God and his people have provided. Several people have asked if we prefer cash or donated products. We always tell them, cash allows us to buy in bulk and tax exempt which makes their money go further; however, donated items are always a blessing and most appreciated. Do what you want to do, what is meaningful to you and that is best!

Our priority items will be diapers, toilet paper, diaper wipes and feminine hygiene items. If we don't have enough of these from donations and MFB, we will try to buy them each month:

• Diapers most needed: Newborn, Sizes 2, 3, 5, 7, 2T-3T, 3T-4T, 4T-5T

and Xsmall and Large Goodnites.

• Often requested: Shampoo, body wash, toothpaste/brushes, body lotion

- Karen Daudelin

Contact Karen Daudelin at [email protected] to volunteer or if you have any questions about our Wesley Distribution Ministry. 

Next Distribution Day is June 15!

Thank You!

We just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you, our congregation, for your spectacular generosity. Looking at the offerings and earnings we've received in opportunities like the Rummage Sale, Special Sundays, Bake Sales and more, you've continued to humble us with your support and kindness.

Some recent data on giving:

1 . Rummage Sale: Income $43,364, expenses $8,418, net $34,946. There could be a few more income or expense postings. Last year, income was $38,418, expenses $6,572, net $31,846.

2. Donations to the Lenten Offering totaled $9,200.00 from 85 donors and supported four mission causes through IGRC: UMCOR, Missionary Cristian Schlick, Midwest Mission, and Lakeview UMC in the Philippines.

3. Donations to the Native American Sunday Fund (April 21) totaled $810.00 from 25 donors.

4. Memorial gifts for the new Children's Ministry Fund, in honor of Gary Pritts, are $3,715 as of May 14.

5. Sales at the Handbell Bake Sale Fundraiser were $825.00 (May 12). This will help fund the cost of Bell Camp.

We will continue to do our absolute best to earn your generosity, and continue to make Wesley UMC a church that comforts, heals and grows!

There are many ways to give from the safety and comfort of your home. The easiest way is to click below to give online with our secure and SSL-encrypted donation site.

You may also submit an online offering by texting. To do this, simply text:

"${your donation amount}OFFERING"

to:(309) 822-4442

For mail-in offerings, please mail a check to: Wesley United Methodist Church - 502 East Front Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

If you're interested in giving a Memorial Offering to Wesley in honor of Gary Pritts, please click "GIVE HERE" below and then select the "Memorial/In Honor of" option. From there, you can designate your offering in the comment section with Gary Pritts' name, and/or by writing "For Children's Ministry Fund". Thank you for your kindness and generosity!

Note: vouchers must be redeemed the same day as purchase!


RMN Question Box (May 22, 2024)

Q: Why do some people introduce themselves with their pronouns now?

A: Great question! For many of us, our gender seems self-evident by our appearance, or our voice, or the way we dress. It appears “obvious” that we are male, or female, because that’s how we think we appear. But that’s not true for everybody. Some people have a strong sense that the gender they were assigned at birth doesn’t match with who they believe themselves to be. Some people don’t identify with either male or female gender designations. Some people are still discerning. And some people just present themselves in unique, or non-gender-specific, ways.

It's uncomfortable to be mis-identified, or “mis-gendered,” even if it’s an accident. I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend who identified as male but wore their hair long, when a waitress came up behind him and said, “good afternoon, ladies, how are we doing today?” It was meant well; no offense intended. But as soon as the waitress realized she had mis-gendered my friend, she was embarrassed and flustered. So were we.

Stating one’s pronouns when introducing oneself is just a way to avoid that embarrassment. It gets a person’s preferred pronouns out there from the very beginning, so the chances of making a mistake are minimized. 

You might ask – but if the gender you identify with matches the way you look – in other words, if your own appearance has never been mis-identified in this way because it’s “obvious,” then why would it be necessary to state your pronouns anyway? Why state the obvious, if everybody already knows who you are?

The best answer is: “for the sake of courtesy.” Persons whose perceived visual presentation doesn’t necessarily match their identified gender may feel very uncomfortable saying so, especially if they’re in an unfamiliar setting, or with people who don’t know them. Nobody wants to be judged for saying what they want to be called, and, as we’ve already noted, you can’t tell a book by its cover. In other words, you can’t always tell whether the group you’re meeting for the first time will accept you on your own terms. 

So, for a person whose gender may seem “obvious,” to introduce themselves with their preferred pronouns, simply sends a signal to anyone who may feel uncertain about being fully welcome, that choosing their own pronouns is OK in this setting. This is a place they can feel comfortable to be themselves. We see them, and we welcome them, just the way they are.

Do I have to start doing this? It feels uncomfortable to me, to state my pronouns?

No, you don’t have to start doing this. It’s just an act of courtesy – just one way to make some potentially more vulnerable people in the room feel better. There are lots of other ways to let people know they are welcome and loved. We encourage you to express hospitality in a variety of ways. This is just one option.

So, I don’t have to start referring to myself as “they/them” if I don’t want to?

Absolutely not. You get to choose what you want to be called. In fact, that’s the whole point!

Stay tuned for more information about events in June

and for more Questions and Answers!

Please continue to pray for Cheryl Parmenter, who served as our receptionist until she was taken ill in February. Cheryl’s health continues to be a struggle; please hold her and her family in prayer.

N e w s o f W e s l e y

You can view the most recent issue of News of Wesley online! Click the image to the left or right to view or download!

NOTE: The congregation deadline to reserve space in the June News of Wesley issue is May 19th

Email Pastor Sara L. Isbell for prayers and Pastoral concerns.

Wesley Emergency Number after Office Hours:

Rev. Sara L. Isbell  217.299.4870 

Wesley United Methodist Church:

502 E. Front Street

Bloomington, IL 61701

Office 309.827.8046


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