St. Elmo News

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By The Staff

Thursday, June 27
• Exxon Mobil Annuitants, noon, Vandalia Ponderosa.
• The St. Elmo Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
• All 4-H general projects have to be checked in at Brownstown Elementary School, 4-7 p.m.
Friday, June 28
• The Fayette County 4-H General Project Show, 5-8 p.m., Brownstown Elementary School.
Saturday, June 29
• St. Elmo Clothes Closet, 9 a.m.-noon, First United Methodist Church Parsonage.
• The Fayette County 4-H food and clothing shows, 1-4 p.m., and Fayette County 4-H public peaking, 2 p.m., at Brownstown Elementary School.
Sunday, June 30
• Vernon and Margery (Stine) Lovett of Orange Park, Fla., formerly of St. Elmo area, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at 2 p.m. at the Altamont Municipal Building, 202 N. Second St., Altamont. They look forward to seeing family and friends and hopefully some classmates. Please, no gifts. If you are unable to attend, you many send cards to RR 2, Box 207, Brownstown, Ill. 62418 or  3327 Hollycrest Blvd., Orange Park, Fla. 32073.
Monday, July 1
• The St. Elmo City Council, 7 p.m., Phillips Building.
• The St. Elmo Community Clothes Closet, 5-8 p.m., First United Methodist Parsonage.
• The Fayette County Extension Foundation, 7 p.m., Extension Office, Vandalia.
Tuesday, July 2
• Friendly Neighbors will not have a potluck, but will go “Dutch” at noon to the Brownstown Hitchin’ Post.
Wednesday, July 3
• Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education, 1 p.m., Loudon Town House.
• Reverb Youth, 6:30 p.m., St. Elmo Christian Church.
Thursday, July 4
Enjoy the 4th of July!
Community Clothes Closet News
The St. Elmo Community Clothes Closet will be open Monday evenings, beginning on July 1
It will be open 5-8 p.m. with a bang. On July 1 only, there will be half off of every item. Included are gently used clothing for all of the family, with particularly a large inventory for babies and toddlers through age 6.
Regular hours are 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays, but because of the 4th of July weekend, the Clothes Closet will not be open July 6.
In addition to the Saturday hours, the summer hours will include the 5-8 p.m. on Mondays.
Everyone is invited to “come, see and save” at 214 N. Walnut St., St. Elmo.
Historical Vandalia
Inc. Board
Historical Vandalia Inc. board members present at the June 17 meeting held in the Fayette County Museum were Steve Durbin, Allison Magnus, Joyce Mueller and Mary Truitt of Vandalia, Marilyn Beyes of Smithboro, Jim Brewer of Ramsey and Anna Jean Rhodes of St. Elmo.
There were 295 visitors at the museum in May, more than the 176 in April; tours help increase the attendance.
Several new items for the museum have been received. Weeding needs to be done in the garden, and volunteers are needed. Also, help is needed to harvest the gooseberries.
Picture restoration is on hold until the art show is over.
The Amateur Town and Country Art Show and Professional Art Show started June 15, and 54 people entered the combined shows, with a total of 193 pieces.
First-place entries in the amateur adult and youth divisions may be entered in the State Town and Country show in September.
Old business included the cookbook report. So far, 99 recipes have been submitted by 30 residents in seven Fayette County towns.
The way the recipes are typed and put in the book was shown. Members received the detailed info on the selling of ads to be put in the book, and prospects need to start being contacted.
Under new business, it was voted to help expand the Florence and Phillip Cocagne Endowment Fund by asking for donations to come to $5,000 that will be matched and held by the Old Capitol Foundation at the First National Bank Financial Center.
The fund will remain intact, and only the interest is spent yearly on the continuation of the Fayette County Museum.
The newsletter will be mailed in July and will include info on the cookbook and the $5,000 being sought to be matched.
Road Festival
Baking Contest
The National Road Festival events held on June 15 at Vandalia included a teen and adult divisions Baking Contest. It was sponsored by the Fayette County Home and Community Education and held at 11 a.m. at First National Bank at the Gallatin Street entrance.
First-place ribbon winners were Joyce Kwadras, pie division; Carrie Hill, muffin/cupcake division; Lexie Stuckwisch, cake division; and Marilyn Cole, cookie division.
Second-place ribbon winners were Joyce Moxey, pie division; Jolynn Garrett, muffin/cupcake division; Mary Stuckwisch, cake division; and Angie Garrison, cookie division.
In charge of the registration was Alvena Noffsinger of the Vandalia Day Unit of HCE. The judges were Debbie Segrest and Anita Smith of the Vandalia Day Unit of HCE and Flo Allen of the Sefton Unit of HCE.
HCE 65th Annual Meeting
Fayette County Home and Community Education held its 65th annual meeting on June 18 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Vandalia, with 28 members and four guests attending. One of the guests was the IAHCE president, Marilyn Daughhetee of Chrisman.
The tables were decorated with many hats; the year’s theme is “The Many Hats of IAHCE.”
Those who registered and received a program got to select a favor from a basket on the table– it held HCE bookmarks, magnets, pins, etc. Registration was at 11 a.m. with a potluck at 11:30 a.m.
Panzi Blackwell gave the meal blessing.
After the lunch, President Flo Allen opened the business meeting with the pledge of allegiance.
First Vice Phyllis Pryor was in charge of the memorial service. Karen Denning read memorials for two members of the St. Elmo Unit, Freda Willms and Joyce Drees, and Anita Smith read a memorial for Vandalia Day Unit member, Lucille Smith.
Flowers for the deceased members were put in a bud vase. Pryor closed the service with a prayer.
Secretary Mary Smith gave a report of the annual meeting held in June 2012. Treasurer Dorothy Harpster gave the treasurer’s report for the past year and then presented the 2013-14 budget that was approved as presented.
In addition to state membership dues, the University of Illinois Trust for $700 and expenses for the district workshop, conference, Get-Acquainted Day, International Night, annual meeting and state newsletters, the budget includes $200 to the Fayette County Extension Foundation for 4-H (this was just $100 in last year’s budget).
Next on the agenda were reports from the various officers. First Vice Phyllis Pryor reported that next year the program books will be from January through December. The current program books have programs listed from October 2012 through September 2013.
For the lessons in October, November and December of this year, the units will receive a booklet.
Second Vice Anna Jean Rhodes introduced the county HCE members who have been members for more than 60 years. There are only two charter members with 65 years – Martha O’Dell of the St. Peter Unit, who is active, and Ilene Sidwell of the Sefton Unit who is in Friendship Manor Nursing Home. O’Dell was able to be present.
Rhodes joined in 1949 and was present. MaryEllen Lovett of the Wheatland Unit joined in 1951, but was not present.
Those with 50 or more years are: Dorothy Harpster of the St. Peter Unit joined in 1957; Mary Stokes of the Bingham/Ramsey Unit joined in 1958; Sally Behrends and Lucille Fisher, both of the Sefton Unit joined in 1959; Ruth Schnake of the St. Peter Unit joined in 1961; Evelyn Probst of the Bingham/Ramsey Unit joined in 1962; and new 50-years members who joined in 1963 are Gert Garrett and Marilyn Magnus, both of the St. Peter Unit, and Elizabeth Kasten of the Sefton Unit.
Of the three 50-year members, only Kasten was present to receive the IAHCE 50-year member certificate. Other 50 years or more members present were Harpster and Probst.
Fisher was a charter member, but dropped out several years before re-joining. At age 100, she is the oldest Fayette County HCE member. The second oldest is Lovett, who is 99.
Next recognized were the nine members who joined HCE in June 2012 through May 2013. They received an Aims of the Homemaker card and a flower.
Present were Dee Dee Diveley of the Sefton Unit and Ashley Davis of the Vandalia Day Unit. Not present were Helen Klitzing of the Sefton Unit, Noma Moore and Anita Pagel of the St. Elmo Unit and Amy Hall, Tanya York, Donna Blair and Cindy Hof of the Vandalia Day Unit.
Those with perfect consecutive attendance were recognized. Irene Reed, not present, of the Wright’s Corner Unit has 19 years. Dorothy Harpster of the St. Peter Unit, Flo Allen of the Sefton Unit and Anita Smith of the Vandalia Day Unit each has 17 years. Karen Denning of the St. Elmo Unit and Kate Jennings of the Wright’s Corner Unit each has 15 years. Shirley Klitzing of the Sefton Unit has 14 years. Elizabeth Kasten of the Sefton Unit has 12 years.
From the various units, two have eight years, one has seven years, one has six years, three have five years, five have four years, one has three years, four have two years and six have one year of perfect attendance.
Community outreach chairwoman Anita Smith reported on the county projects, which include making bears for the hospital, garments for African children, etc.
Family issues chairwoman Debbie Segrest reported on collecting manufacturer’s coupons to be sent to an Air Force base in Japan, autism blankets, etc.
International chairwoman Shirley Klitzing reported that the October International Night will be a program on Africa.
Cultural enrichment chairwoman Debbie Swain was unable to be present.
Public relations chairwoman Panzi Blackwell said if the units have special activities, she can be called to take a picture of them and the activity.
Nominations from the board for the 2013-14 officers had no other nominees and were elected. The following were installed by the state president: Allen, president; Pryor, first vice; Anna Jean Rhodes, second vice; Joyce Mueller, secretary; Harpster, treasurer; Smith, community outreach; Blair, family issues; Klitzing, international; Segrest, cultural enrichment; and Blackwell, public relations. When each officer was installed, Daughhetee gave each one a small paper hat in a color related to her office (such as purple for president, gold for treasurer).
Retiring from the board were Mary Smith, secretary, and Debbie Swain, cultural enrichment chairwoman.
Homemaker of the Year was next on the agenda. Rhodes had each of the six nominees from the units go to the front, and presented each of them with a certificate. They were Karen Denning of the St. Elmo Unit, Joyce Mueller and Debbie Segrest of the Vandalia Day Unit, Phyllis Pryor of the Sefton Unit, Joan Schaal of the St. Peter Unit and Helen Wright of the Wright’s Corner Unit.
Rhodes then told how difficult it is to make a decision on the reports of their qualifications for one to receive a plaque. She went to an acquaintance in another county for help in making a decision.
Because two of the nominees were very close in scoring, instead of one Homemaker of the Year plaque, two were presented. Receiving them were Debbie Segrest of the Vandalia Day Unit and Phyllis Pryor of the Sefton Unit.
A Unit of the Year plaque has a space for the name of the unit winner each year, but this year two units were very close. Both unit names engraved on the plaque for 2013 are Vandalia Day and Sefton.
Each unit was given information sheets that told about each of the Homemaker of the Year nominees and listed what each of the units had accomplished during the year as reported on the unit score sheets that had to be filled out by June 1.
Guests present, in addition to the IAHCE president, were Brenda Dunn and Genelle Hachat from the Vandalia Day Unit and Lois Jackson from the Sefton Unit.
Members present were the following: Flo Allen, Panzi Blackwell, Dee Dee Diveley, Elizabeth Kasten, Shirley Klitzing, Shirley Mattes and Phyllis Pryor of the Sefton Unit that was in charge of the decorations; Karen Denning, Loretta Heischmidt and Anna Jean Rhodes of the St. Elmo Unit that was in charge of the registering; Ruth Brackenbush, Ashley Davis, Ruth Dees, Carrie Hill, Anita Smith, Joyce Mueller, Britanny Nichols (who became a member this June), Alvena Noffsinger and Debbie Segrest of the Vandalia Day that was in charge of the beverages and arranging food on the serving tables; Ina Abendroth, Kate Jennings and Mary Smith of the Wright’s Corner Unit; Dorothy Harpster and Martha O’Dell of the St. Peter Unit; and Audrey Probst, Evelyn Probst, May Della Probst and Veda Stout of the Bingham/Ramsey Unit.
Wright’s Corner, St. Peter and Bingham/Ramsey units were in charge of the cleanup.
Vit-Em-In Class Potluck
Present for the Vit-Em-In Sunday school class potluck held in the Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. on June 20 were: Elizabeth Bail, Bob Cox, Ed and Barb Lane, Dick Lowe (who gave the meal blessing), Frank and Delva Krost, Bob and Joanne Owen, Rosemary Owen, Anna Jean Rhodes, and Jack and Marilyn Sproat, and Bail’s sister, Kathryn Militello of East Alton.
Delva Krost conducted a short business meeting following the meal. She was the church’s lay delegate to the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference held June 5-8 in Peoria and gave a report.
She was able to talk to the following previous ministers of St. Elmo First: Greg Courtright, who now is pastor at Monticello; Richard Piscatelli, who now is pastor at Williamsville; Alice True, who now is pastor at West Salem Zion; and Eugene Black, who is retired and lives in Mattoon. She didn’t get to see James Wheeler, who now is pastor at Belleville Signal Hill..
She also got to visit with Lee Lovett, a former member of the St. Elmo First UMC and now the pastor at Kankankee Trinity/Aroma Park/Bradley Evangelical.
Rhodes read an article titled “Yes, This is Us!”
Rhodes-Side Gleanings on a Local Church
Ministerial and missionary connections to my local church, St. Elmo First United Methodist, have been going through my mind and I decided to report what I know.
Lee Lovett, son of Virginia Lovett of St. Elmo and late Ivan Lovett, now is a full-member elder at Kankankee Trinity/Aroma Park/ Bradley Evangelical. He is a graduate of St. Elmo High School and joined the church when a youth.
Cyndi Wiedman of Effingham, the daughter of Vicki Sinclair of St. Elmo and the late Joe Sinclair, is a graduate of St. Elmo High School and joined the church when a youth. She is the local pastor at Greenup/Cottonwood. A daughter, Jo Nicole Cox, is associate pastor of Alton Main Street UMC.
Todd Krost, son of a former St. Elmo church member Mike Krost, and grandson of members Frank and Delva Krost of St. Elmo, is a part-time local pastor at Tiskilwa Community Church UM/AB/Sheffield.
Mike, who now lives in Rome that is close to Chillicothe, served for several years as the Illinois Great Rivers Conference lay leader.
Gary Graham of St. Elmo, son of deceased W. N. and Flossie Graham of St. Elmo, graduated from St. Elmo High School. He is a certified lay speaker and is the supply pastor at Vandalia Luster Chapel.
Paul Black, son of Rev. Eugene and Helen Black of Mattoon, went to grade school and high school when his dad was pastor here for nine years, 1969-1978.
He is the supply pastor at Springfield Jerome. He also is the Communication Team Leader and writes many articles in each of the monthly IGR Conference Current.
One of his sons, Andrew Black, is a part-time local pastor at McDowell.
Gene Skipworth, son of the deceased Skipworths (I can’t think of his dad’s name, but I think his mom’s name was Hattie), graduated from St. Elmo High School.
In 2010, he published a book, “Wear Your Collar,” relating when he was a minister at Northside United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He now lives in Fairfield Glade, Tenn.
Dr. Dale Walker, son of the late George and Eleanor Walker of St. Elmo, graduated from St. Elmo High School and was a former member of the church.
After becoming a pastor he served as an overseas missionary – in Indonesia, Sumatra, Poland – for more than 35 years. He now resides in Wilmore, Ky., and is either teaching at Asbury College or Asbury Theological Seminary.
Frank Zajicek, a former agronomist at the Brownstown Experimental Farm, was a member of the church from the mid-1970s to 1983, when he decided to become a missionary– South America Missions – and still is serving in Bolivia, South America.
Pat Stevens Hamilton, who was a member the church and graduated from St. Elmo High School, became a missionary of the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission in 1982, a few years after her husband died.
She served for 25 years, but now resides with her daughter and son-in-law, Tonya and the Rev. Terry Sapp, minister of the Ramsey Christian Church.
My daughter, Phyllis Rhodes Lea, who now lives at Green Oaks, joined the church as a youth. In college she was a member of the Navigators, and before graduating in 1982 decided to become an associate Navigator staff member so she could teach at Faith Academy in the Philippines for two years.
I want to relate story that may have coincidence significance.
In 1982, Dale Walker and his wife Alice were transferred from Indonesia to Sumatra. When in Indonesia four of their children were able to live at home and attend schools in their area.
When they were transferred to Sumatra, hundreds of miles away, their children had to stay in the dorms at Faith Academy and Dale and Alice were only able to see them a few times a year.
Their youngest daughter was in the first grade, their two adopted Indonesian boys were in grade school and their son and other daughter were in high school.
This was Phyllis’s first year as a home economics teacher at Faith Academy, which is about 15 miles east of Manila. She didn’t have any of the Walker children in class, but was able to get to know them.
Previously, Frank Krost and I were certified lay speakers for several years.
If anyone knows of someone else who has ministerial, missionary or lay speaking connections to St. Elmo First United Methodist Church, let me know.