Ash Wednesday Service, March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday Service
   “The Stations of the Church” was the theme for our service on Ash Wednesday.  Those in attendance lit their individual candles by the light of Easter’s Christ Candle and made their way together to five locations/”stations” in our church building, including;
The Station of Gathering;
The Station of Giving Thanks for our Ancestors of Faith;
The Station of Gathering on the Journey of Life;
The Station of Communion;
The Station of Ashes.
     Candle light led the group through the darkened hallways of the church to pause and gather at every Station: each gathering opening with a verse of the hymn, “Be Still My Soul”.  At the final destination each person received the ashes upon their heads with the humbling words, “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return“: words to remind us that our lives will some day come to an end and we must choose to place our confidence in the Creator of the Universe.

Meet our new Music Director, Amy Wilkins!!

Born with a love for music, Amy Wilkins began piano lessons at the age of three. Both parents also loved music and sang in church choirs. Her dad had a degree in music and was associated with numerous churches during her childhood as a music or band director.

Amy was born and raised in Rockford, and graduated from East High School where she was active playing the viola, a member of the Swing Choir and also was a rehearsal pianist for several musicals. Her family were members of Rockford First Evangelical Free Church, and she was afforded many opportunities during her youth to participate in music competitions, large and small performances, work with the puppets, handbell choir, and holiday performances.

Music has always been a part of Amy’s life and will continue. While studying at Augustana College in the Quad Cities, she had the privilege of singing in Augie Choir (which had daily practices and travelled every spring break). Her emphasis was obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology, while music was her outlet. Amy later went on to earn her master’s degree from SIU – Carbondale in Counseling, and worked for the United Methodist Church on campus as the pianist.

 

Men’s Night Feb. 10!!

Sanctuary Spa presents “Men’s Night” on Friday, Feb. 10, from 6-8 p.m. at the spa at 175 Harwick St., Rockton.

Men can shop for Valentine gift ideas as well as enjoy appetizers, sports trivia and drink samples while helping to fill the Old Stone Church Food Pantry with nonperishable food donations. Men can enter to win an NFL Jersey just by bringing food donations.

Men, you do not want to miss this event! Call Sanctuary Spa for more information, 815-978-9792.

 

 

Christmas Services

Merry Christmas!!

We hope you and yours share many special, meaningful moments during this Christmas season!

Christmas Services Schedule

The only thing that truly keeps Christmas alive is for every generation to help the next to understand the coming of true Hope into the world when God’s son, Jesus, was born of Mary. While many complain about “Keeping Christ in Christmas” too many of us don’t actually live out our words or teach our children of the dream of the Christian faith.

It all begins with church!

This year we will be having two opportunities to worship Christmas Eve: one more personal and the other communal.

Christmas Vigil: Christmas Eve from 4-5 pm

Barry and Lynn Yontz will once again open the church for the Christmas Eve Vigil for a time of quiet and private meditation. The church will be open for a time of reading the Christmas texts, prayer, and receiving communion. Stop in the church for any amount of time that you’d like to enjoy the reverence of the evening and give thanks for the birth of Jesus the Christ.

Christmas Eve Worship, 7:00 pm

The service of readings and songs will be held at 7 pm for you to celebrate with your family and our church family. This is a service of hearing the texts of Christmas and singing some of our favorite, sacred Christmas carols. Please plan for your entire family to make this a part of your Christmas celebration.

Christmas Day Worship, 9:30 am

We will have our regular Christmas day worship for all those who are not able to make it to church on Christmas Eve. Though missing the reverence of the dark sanctuary and candles it is the same service of celebration and hope.

 

Immediate opening for Music Director

The Old Stone Church (UCC) in historic Rockton, Ill., is seeking a MUSIC DIRECTOR. The Congregation is a loving and inclusive community with a “relaxed traditional” style of worship. The applicant will work with the Pastor to develop and provide instrumental & vocal music. Excellent instruments and worship setting for their 9:30 am Sunday Worship and occasional special services.

Please submit resume and any questions to:

oldstonechurch@oldstonechurch.net

Salary is negotiable

Sunday School starts Sept. 18!!

You Can Teach Sunday School…

(but you likely don’t think you know enough)

There are a lot of jobs in the church that people don’t think they are qualified for…which gives them the “obvious” exemption from trying. The truth is, however, that most things aren’t that difficult…you’ve just never been given the tools to try them out. Teaching is likely at the top of that list.

The good news, however, is that the Sunday School materials we use are so easily laid out that you’ll do just fine! The lessons are clear, the activities are handy, very little preparation time is truly needed, and we team-teach to make schedules easier. We just need to be committed to teach each new generation the stories of Jesus and his Church to a new generation.

We all believe Christian Ed is important, so don’t be afraid to help: even if you’ve done so in years past. We’ll begin our Sunday School year the third week of September. Please give this your prayerful consideration and agree to team-teach a class this year. With two teachers you can set up any schedule for teaching you’d agree to. Speak with Cheryl Butler or Pastor Dan for more info, and keep our Sunday School teachers in your prayers for the new year ahead of us!

 

Be involved in your church!

Your Church is Only Strong With

Your Involvement

 

In large organizations and churches people can hide in the crowd and not get involved. However, in a small church you are missed and your participation is essential to keeping our church healthy and alive in ministries.

If you’ve been serving on committees, singing in the choir, ringing in the bell choir, or teaching Sunday School, thank you for your diligence and participation. If you haven’t served on a committee, sing, ring, or teach this may be your   opportunity to serve God and his Church in a manageable way.

If you are not too involved please know you can:

Help teach Sunday School…a commitment of an hour every other week (or two hours a month!). All of our classes team-teach for teacher flexibility. Materials are easily laid out each week.

You can sing in the choir…which currently looks at a commitment of an hour on the first Sunday of each month (although we hope for a new music director soon).

You can ring in the bell choir…which currently meets for 40 minutes after worship each week and performs in church every 6-weeks.

You can serve on a standing committee…which include the Church Council, Christian Education Committee, Diaconate, Building & Grounds, and Stewardship committees. Committee work can be drudgery, but there are everyday organization that needs to be done for any organization simply to survive…much less thrive!

 

The tendency is to just attend church when we feel like it rather than get involved in building the actual strength of the church. Push yourself to do more to help God’s church be more effective in your life and the life of our community!

 

Third Thursdays Start This Week!!

Third Thursday is Back!

Thursday, August 18th, 6 – 7:30 pm

“Religions of the World: Hinduism”

        The Diaconate would like you to know that the Third Thursday series is beginning again on Thursday, August 18th at 6 pm. These sessions are meant to present topics of conversation to look at areas of life which we may have thought about but haven’t had the opportunity to seriously look at.

This month will begin a series looking at other religions of our world: a series which we presented quite some number of years ago. We all hear about other religions…Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and others…but we haven’t had a chance to look at them. The materials will cover the basics of each religion so we can understand them in the realities of a multi-cultural and multi-religious world.

The Third Thursday sessions begin at 6 pm with a light meal. The topics are presented for discussion from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Please invite your neighbors to these sessions since it’s an opportunity for them to get acquainted with our members and issues of faith.

Reservations are taken so we can order enough food, and a free-will offering is received to cover the cost. Mark your calendar for participating on August 18th! Please call the church office to register, 815-624-6212.

 

Music Director position available

The Old Stone Church (UCC) in historic Rockton, Ill., is seeking a MUSIC DIRECTOR. The Congregation is a loving and inclusive community with a “relaxed traditional” style of worship. The applicant will work with the Pastor to develop and provide instrumental & vocal music. Excellent instruments and worship setting for their 9:30 am Sunday Worship and occasional special services.

Please submit resume and any questions to:

oldstonechurch@oldstonechurch.net

Salary is negotiable

May 22 is Fire Appreciation Sunday

Second Annual Fire Appreciation Sunday

May 22nd

Join us in worship May 22nd to recognize those active and retired firefighters and emergency personnel.

We will first recognize all those who have served in the fire service and have retired, then recognize those active-duty personnel from other departments.

We will end with a recognition of those who are active Rockton Fire Protection District personnel: The Support Staff, Board, Firefighters, Officers, EMTs, Paramedics, and Support Staff.

We will conclude the day with a memorial service to remember those who have lost their lives in the fire service to our communities and country.

“The Old Guys” will prepare and serve the fire department personnel and all those who worship with us that day.

Plan to share in this day as we thank those who train and respond to our community’s needs.