"That they all may be one."

John 17:21

"President's Corner"

Mimi Llamas is President of the Church Council

From the President’s corner...


    Once again, we have had a busy, exciting month at St. Paul.  Sometimes I wonder how the building survives!   Early in the month, our walls and halls once again were alive with the sound of little voices, squeals with delight and a few tears as little ones left the comfort of Mommy and Daddy and came to their first day of Mother’s Day Out!   How very blessed we are here to have such a fantastic program to call our own!!  We should never take this wonderful program for granted.  Those little sweethearts can make a gloomy day sunny for everyone.  Jenna Smith and her amazing group of teachers and helpers add a spark of life and love to our building.  And in addition, the kids have a spectacular time!  Last week the fire department came and thrilled the little folks – you know about kids and fire trucks!!   If you are ever feeling a bit down or wondering what its all about, stop by the church on a weekday between 9:40 and 1pm and just soak it all in.  You will be revived – I guarantee it!

     Pastor Michelle began holding informal conversations with any of us who would like to attend.  They are taking place in a variety of locations – Balance Coffee and Tea, The Abbey, 4204 Main Street Brewing Company, etc.   They are at different times of day and evening, so you should be able to find a time that works for you.  I personally made the one at Balance Coffee and Tea and I can say I totally enjoyed the evening of just conversation.   No commitments, no reservations needed, just show up.  Give it a try.  You will not be disappointed.

    The sanctuary and our magnificent Steinway Grand Piano have also been getting a work out. Of course, this is the beginning of the concert season, so this is just a warm up.   The Belleville Philharmonic loves our piano and has once again scheduled a series of piano concerts to take advantage of that beautiful instrument.  Then on Sunday the 23rd, we kicked off our Fine Arts Series for 2018/2019 with the fantastic pianist Huntley Brown.  Any of you who attended church on that Sunday morning can attest to his incredible talent.  What a blessing!  He was quite impressed with our new piano – it wasn’t here the last time he played for a Fine Arts Concert.  He told Sandy Wagner he would be glad to come here anytime just for the pleasure of playing that wonderful piano.   So be proud people!  We have an incredible Schantz Organ and Steinway Piano.

    As long as I’m talking about the Sanctuary, I want to mention the work that is going on repairing the ends of our pews.  I know you all are aware that the ends of the pews are looking pretty rough.  The veneer on the ends is peeling off and looks pretty bad.  Our Business and Property Board, particularly Wayne Caughman and Laura Strohm-Armstrong have spent a LOT of hours working with craftsmen on the best way to repair them in such a way that it will last.  They have found a great solution and the work has officially begun.  It cost about $350 to fix each end.  They have enough in the budget to finish the ends of 22 pews.  They will work on the center aisle ends first.  You all know that a lot of folks have their own favorite pew – it’s a running joke in most churches that you know who is at church by looking for them in “their pews”.   Well, here is your opportunity to upgrade “Your Pew”!  Wayne and his crew would be glad to have your assistance in raising the money to do ALL of the pew ends!!!  So, if you’re so inclined, see Wayne, Laura, Lou Ryseff or any staff member about making a donation for your favorite pew.   

   While many of us were at the Cardinal Ballgame on Saturday the 22nd trying to decide if it was Fall or Summer, (we had both), the youth were holding a car wash and assisting at Crafty Mania.  For those who aren’t aware, Crafty Mania is a really big deal for a lot of ladies who love to get together and do their crafts for a day.  They chat, compare notes and techniques and all the things crafters love to do.  We owe a debt of gratitude to Rick and Diana Haar for providing this wonderful program twice a year.  The ladies who come are primarily not St. Paul church members.  It is a great opportunity to show off our church and share our hospitality.  In addition to the car wash, the youth helped the ladies get their gear into the church and assisted with the meals.

    We are in the beginning of a very busy time at St. Paul.  Well, it is always busy at St. Paul, but the fall and winter are especially busy.   The boards and groups planning events can always use help.  If you would like to be more involved in your church, there are a lot of ways to do it.  Just ask one of us.  We are blessed with a loving, positive environment here and we want to share it with all.   See you in church!



Mimi Llamas,

President St. Paul UCC Church Council