St. Elmo News

Thursday, January 1, 2015
• Happy New Year!
Sunday, January 4
• The  Central Illinois Wedding Show will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at two locations: Summer Breeze Wine House & Barn Venue at St. James and Carriage House Event Center at Altamont. More than 30 vendors will have booths. There is no admission charge. Those attending are asked to visit both locations for a chance to win a grand prize.
Monday, January 5
• The St. Elmo City Council, 7 p.m., Phillips Building.
Tuesday, January 6
• Friendly Neighbors potluck, noon, Phillips Building.
• Council of Catholic Women, 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall.
Wednesday, January 7
• Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education, 1 p.m., Loudon Town House.
Thursday, January 8
• SEBA, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• Lunch Bunch, noon, Mary Ann’s Restaurant.
• The Wheatland Unit of Home and Community Education, 1:30 p.m.
• St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Hall.
• 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.
First UMC Christmas Program
“A Wild West Christmas” was presented for the children’s program during the morning worship at First United Methodist Church.
After the prelude, the service opened with all singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The Fasnacht family did the lighting of the advent candle. After a prayer, the hymn was “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” “Emmanuel” was sung by the chancel choir.
Christmas songs the children sang during their program were “Jingle Bells,” “Away in a Manger,” “What Child Is This?” “Joy to the World” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
The angels were Karla Fasnacht, Bethany Hansford, Angel Schoenhoff, Alannah Anderson, Aubrey Wesnard, Audrey Burgess and Myra Pattillo.
Sierra Triplett was Mary, Colin Maxey was Joseph, Connor Reynolds was Doc, Gavin Koontz was Bob, Brady Maxey was Bill, Kinley Carson was Rose, Kelly Moss was Claire, Zephaniah Johnson was Clark and Quorra Koontz was Baby.
Pastor Dan Laack gave appreciation to the directors, Andra Carson, Penny Koontz and Shannon Moss, and the accompanist, Kathy Spitler.
FUMC Christmas Eve Service
The First United Methodist Church Christmas Eve Communion started at 6 p.m. with the ringing of the church bell and the organ prelude.
After the congregation sang “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” Zane and Bethany Belden did the Christmas Eve lighting of the Christ candle after the candles lighted during the advent Sundays – for hope, love, joy and peace – were lighted.
The choir, under the direction of Kathy Spitler, sang “Emmanuel with Glory Medley.” Rev. Dan Laack’s message was followed with Communion.
Each one then was given a Communion candle and each candle was lighted during the singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
After the closing prayer, candles were snuffed out during the postlude.
Ministerial Alliance Christmas Dinners
Forty-two people alone on Christmas Day received dinners from the Ministerial Alliance. The host church was the First Assembly of God, which cooked the ham that was provided by Royal Neighbors of America #5784. The boxes were filled at the church.
Other churches involved were: First Church of God provided hash brown potato casseroles; Freedom Reigns in Christ provided baked beans; First United Methodist Church provided frozen fruit salad; First Baptist Church provided cookies and candy; and St. Elmo Christian Church provided the rolls, boxes and napkins.
Volunteers from the various churches helped pack the boxes and deliver them. A large orange also was included with each dinner.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings
I am so thankful this December weather was much better than last December weather! No Christmas parties had to be canceled this year! I know we have had many cloudy days with no sunshine, but wasn’t this Dec. 25 a beautiful day?
I do miss not having just a little bit of snow for a “snow white Christmas,” but the sun was so welcome to observe the Son’s birthday!
I was alone Christmas day, but being an only child – no brothers or sisters – it doesn’t bother me to be by myself. I appreciate the Ministerial Alliance remembering people with Christmas dinners!
My daughter and family, Phyllis and Prentiss Lea, Soo Jin and Chae Rin of Green Oaks, came the afternoon of Dec. 26 and headed back home after lunch on Sunday, Dec. 28.
We had our gift exchange Friday evening.
My black cocker spaniel granddog, Ginger, was with them and also received a gift was me – I found a box of dog treats (vet-approved) that looked like cookies and tiny bones.
My son, Steve, and his friend, Scott Edmonds, both of Chicago, were here Dec. 5-6.
Christmas parties I attended were: St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club, Polio Survivors and Friends, Fayette County Home and Community Education Board, Lions Club, St. Elmo Home and Community Education, and St. Elmo Banner. I also had the bridge club in my home in December.
I start doing my decorating the first of November, so it is done by Thanksgiving. Years ago, I didn’t start until after Thanksgiving and sometimes had to miss going to the Christmas parties to get everything done at home!
Years ago, I took the Christmas tree down after New Year’s Day but, because I have many nativities, I leave them up through January.
My daughter went to the Philippines in July 1982 to teach and I spent that Christmas with her.
I brought back with me a wood nativity set and a tiny silver wire nativity – this really started me collecting nativities.
Many of the nativities are small and some are very small – one is in a tiny nut shell, one is in a walnut half shell.
Since this 2014 December weather did not repeat the 2013 December weather, I hope the 2015 January, February and March weather does not repeat the 2014 weather, when so many organization and church meetings had to be canceled!

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