Wednesday, January 2
• Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education, 1 p.m., Loudon Town House.
Thursday, January 3
• St. Elmo Business Association, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p.m.
• The St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library. Dona Strullmyer of Altamont will give a travelogue. All persons interested are invited to attend.
Monday, January 7
• The St. Elmo City Council, 7 p.m., Phillips Building.
Tuesday, January 8
• The Avena Township Park Board, 6 p.m., St. Elmo Community Park Centennial Building.
• American Legion Post #420. 7 p.m., Legion Home.
• The Fayette County Board, 7 p.m., Fayette County Courthouse, Vandalia.
Wednesday, January 9
• Youth, 6:30 p.m., St. Elmo Christian Church.
• Kid’s Klub, 7 p.m., First Church of God S.H.E.D.
Thursday, January 10
• The Lunch Bunch, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The St. Elmo Library District Board, 7 p.m., St. Elmo Public Library.
• The Effingham Chapter #110 Order of the Eastern Star, 7:30 p.m., Effingham Masonic Temple.
Among those attending the Lunch Bunch on Dec.13 was Marjorie Sarver, not Arvilla.
Wheatland HCE Christmas Social
Instead of having a meeting the first Thursday this December, the Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education decided to go to the Vandalia Ponderosa on Tuesday, Dec. 18, for lunch with guests.
Those present were Karen and Noel Hyde of Edgewood, Fern and Mick Moore and their grandson, Mike, and Sandra and Wayne Lovett of Brownstown, and Joyce and Jim Moore of St. Elmo.
There was much visiting, and Karen read a poem.
Threads of Friendship Quilt Club Christmas Party
The Threads of Friendship Quilt Club had a Christmas party the evening of Dec. 20 at the St. Elmo Public Library.
Meat and tableware were furnished by the hostesses, Peggy Stolte and Rosalyn Stine of Farina. Those attending took potluck dishes to complete the meal. Joy Edwards of Altamont gave the meal blessing.
After the meal, Michelle Weaver of Vandalia gave a program, “Miss Daisy.”
Instead of a gift exchange, members took money for a charity and decided to donate the $106 collected to the St. Elmo Food Pantry.
The quilt club had been selling chances on a quilt, and the winner’s name was drawn at the December meeting; it went to Crystal Habing of Effingham. The quilt raffle made $279 for the club.
In addition to Stolte, Stine and Edwards, other members present were Julie Aderman and Judy Barnick of Farina, Barb Stewart of Brownstown, Karen Roedl of Altamont and Tonia Austin, Tamara Dougherty, Marie Durbin and Megan Porter of St. Elmo. Guests in addition to Weaver and her guest were Roedl’s husband, and Stolte’s husband and brother-in-law.
Koontz Family Christmas Get-togethers
Because Charlie and Erna Koontz live in a smaller home than they used to live in, it is hard to have all their family together at one time.
The night of Dec. 22, their grandson and family, Joss and Cassie Koontz, Gavin, Conner and Jordan, were there.
Sunday afternoon, Dec. 23, their son and daughter-in-law, David and Penny Koontz; granddaughter and family, Sarah and Kabe Wright, Lela and Sawyer; and grandson and family, Adam and Kayla Koontz and Quorra were there.
Quorra is the newest great-grandchild of Charlie and Erna. She was born Dec.18, weighed 9 pounds 3 ounces, and was 20 inches long.
All the relatives mentioned have a St. Elmo address. Charlie and Erna’s other son, Danny, lives in Effingham, and because of his work was unable to attend the family get-togethers, but they went to Effingham to visit with him on Dec. 24.
Advent Season at United Methodist Church
Each Advent Sunday, the worship service at First United Methodist Church had a candlelighting advent meditation. A large wreath on the altar held five candles – four represented hope, peace, joy and love, and the large one in the middle represented Christ.
After the prelude, announcements and a Christmas hymn, a family participated with a meditation and the candle lighting.
On Dec. 2, one of the candles was lighted by Frank and Delva Krost; on Dec. 9, two of the candles were lighted by the Carson family; on Dec. 16, three candles were lighted by the high school seniors; and on Dec. 23, four candles were lighted by the Lowe family.
A candlelighting liturgy led by David Maxey followed each lighting ceremony, and this was followed by the congregation singing another Christmas hymn.
The chancel choir, accompanied by Kathy Spitler, sang a special at each of the first three Sundays – “Carol for Advent,” “His Name Medley” and “Mary, Did You Know?”
The children’s program was presented during the Dec. 23 service. It was a play titled “God’s Gift to Us.”
The bulletin said “Our play takes place outside a busy shopping center, the St. Elmo Mall. Three weary shoppers find out the true meaning of this joyous season with a little help from some energetic carolers.”
Characters were the following: Gavin Koontz as Santa; Katelyn Maxey, Cassidy Moss and Eagan Christensen as the shoppers; Kelly Moss, Kinley Carson, Collin Maxey, Brady Maxey, Corbin Christensen, Karlie Fasnacht, Chase Laack and Alannah Anderson; Sierra Triplett as Mary; Zephanie Johnson as Joseph; and Odie Heltsley as an Angel. (Johnson was originally in the chorus, but had to substitute as Joseph because Conner Reynolds was sick).
Special thanks were given to Andra Carson, Shannon Moss and Penny Koontz for their dedication in serving the children each week and in directing the program.
A thank you also was given to the Pairs and Spares Sunday school class for providing the treats the children received after the service.
Teacher Lloyd Stanley’s class has provided the treat bags for many years.
For two Sundays and for the Christmas Eve Communion service, poinsettias were on the altar. Some were donated in memory of: Grandma Arnold by Dylan Myers, W. L. “Deke” Belden by the Belden family, Lloyd Carson by Luke and Andra Carson and Girls, Ayres, Bonnie and Gary Buzzard, Clarence and Norma Wolf and Marsha Greene by Randy Wolf and family, Bob Edwards by Rene Edwards, loved ones past and present by Helen Koonce and family; and Phil Rhodes (who died 35 years ago) by Anna Jean Rhodes.
Donated in honor were My Family, by Dylan Myers; and Our Family, by Randy and Linda Wolf.
For the Christmas Eve service, after the prelude by Kathy Spitler on the organ, the Rev. Dan Laack gave the welcome. After the hymn “Joy to the World” the Maxey family was in charge of relighting the candles for hope, peace, joy and love, and the large white Christ candle in the middle.
The special was a vocal solo, “O Holy Night,” by Katie Cox of Centralia. She was accompanied on the piano by Melissa Marchman of Antioch.
The chancel choir, directed by Spitler, sang “Emmanuel with Glory Medley.” Choir members had out-of-town family members who sang with the choir. They were base
LeMar Marchman’s daughter, Melissa of Antioch; and tenor Bob Cox’s son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Keith and Cheryl Cox of Antioch and Katie of Centralia and his other son and grandson of Effingham, Kevin and Andrew Cox. Bob’s deceased wife, Jeanne, directed the choir for many, many years. The Cox relatives also were related to alto Judy Gillaspie, sister of Bob Cox.
Laack’s message, “An Expected Unexpected Gift” (on scriptures from Isaiah and Luke), was followed by Communion. The service ended with candlelighting (each one had been given a small candle) to the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
Under a picture of the Holy Family in the bulletin it said, “May the peace and hope of Christ’s love be with you now and in the days ahead.”
St. Elmo Christian Church Christmas Program
“Just a Little Christmas” was a musical presented during the one worship service at the St. Elmo Christian Church on Dec. 23, and it involved children and adults.
The Water to Wine group – Miles McConkey, Pat Logsdon and Teresa Mayes – opened with group singing of Christmas hymns.
“Away in a Manger” was done in sign language by Laney Baldridge, Avery Myers, Anna Stine, Lane Stine and Sydney Stine.
In the nativity scenes were: Dalton Myers as Joseph; Laney Baldridge as Mary; Kaelyn Fedrigon as the main angel; Mitch Altman, Isaiah Ledbetter and Christian Logsdon as the three wise men; David Stine as the Rome Emperor; Nate Philpot as King Herod; Wyatt Stine and Lane Stine as soldiers; Ethan Schroeder, Logan Schroeder, Chad Ledbetter, Brenner Ledbetter and Lane Goodwin, shepherds; Shannon Johnson and Bri Johnson as sheep; Wade Stine and Kandan Tompkins as cows; Keith Booher as the camel; Caden Stewart as a sheep in the manger; Jenna Altman, Jenna Logsdon, Ava Logsdon, Ava Harre, Anna Stine, Sydney Stine, Presley Williams, Sadie Willenborg, Harvey Ledbetter, Lalela Teyes, Kennedy Goodwin and Maddie Dye, angels; Karley Kline, speaking angel; and Avery Myers, Ally Willenborg, McKaela Dye, narrators.
Music was by Margaret Haslett at the piano and Pat Logsdon at the organ. Tessa Philpot gave a scripture reading. Prayers were by Nate Philpot and Nick Bauer. Communion servers were Jenna Long, Jordan Fedrigon, Jordan Noll and Caitlyn Phillips. Cheri Myers and Krista Stine helped direct.
A special stable was built by Ron Myers and Jared Stine, with wood donated by Jill and Dial Murphy.
In addition to those mentioned, there were others who helped with the program.
Churches in the St. Elmo Ministerial Alliance prepared Christmas dinners for shut-ins and those who are alone on Christmas Day – 25 boxed dinners were prepared at the host church.
The dinner included ham that was furnished by Royal Neighbors of America #5784 and prepared by the host St. Elmo Christian Church, which furnished the boxes; corn casserole furnished by Assembly of God Church; sweet potatoes furnished by First United Methodist Church; deviled eggs furnished by Freedom Reigns in Christ Church, frozen fruit salad furnished by First Church of God; rolls (and napkins) furnished by First Baptist Church and cookies furnished by St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Several from various churches helped prepare the boxes and deliver them.