"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...

Well, January just went poof!!! It’s truly amazing to me how an entire month can zip by so fast. A good part of the month we have been shivering and shaking from the cold. We had a couple of Sundays that looked pretty iffy due to the weather, but we soldiered on and offered our church services.  It was cold and the snow was pretty high, but we were at church!!!  Thank you to all who braved the weather and also to you who listened on the radio.


And speaking of bad weather, our Youth Leaders braved the elements and chaperoned a group of 5 of our youth to the Winter Weekend at Camp DuBois. Even though the roads were a bit sketchy for the drive home, by all accounts our kids had a wonderful time and their chaperones enjoyed a couple of days of watching the youth interact with youth from other youth groups in Illinois South. A lot of new friendships were forged and opportunities for our youth groups to partner in the future for additional events. A huge thank you to Tyler Kohrs, our Youth Director, and Tina Lake-Hopper, our “Jill of all trades”, for spending your weekend with our wonderful youth group.

Most everyone is aware of our amazing With You program. There are a group of dedicated people who make hospital visits weekly. They are a Huge asset to St. Paul and to the Minister of Visitation. Starting in January, With You is presenting a series of 5 programs dealing with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Susan Relfe, the Chairman of With You, has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Society to present this series of 5 different programs, each on the 3rd Sunday of the month. January was the first program and was very well attended.  There will be a different subject each month.  The dates are 2/17, 3/17, 4/28 and 5/19. They are very informative and Susan is a terrific presenter on a very important subject!


Once again, Diana Haar and her Crafty Mania crew enjoyed a terrific and very successful day. Some super cooks from the Mingles and Singles group, led by Sandy Wagner, had a great day of cooking, conversation and fellowship as they prepared lunch and dinner for some 60 ladies who love to craft, and chat, and eat!! The money earned from the day will go to purchasing new tables for us. Some of our tables are looking pretty worn from all the use they get. The Youth Group also got involved by hauling all the crafters “stuff” into the Activity Center, then getting to work on a Community Service Project involving making blankets for our friends at St. Paul Home. Congratulations Kids – you did good!!!!!

At the beginning of January, we made a change in Security at St. Paul. Historically it has been noted that probably half of Belleville had a key to the church. While that sounds pretty “friendly”, it was really not a safe situation!  On January 4th; the locks to the main key doors were changed and a new pass code was added.  Going forward, only Staff, Executive Board Members and Head of Security will hold badge passes. This is a much safer situation for all of us.

And finally, looking to February, we will bid farewell to our wonderful Pastor Herb Schafale! I joked with him for a long time that we would never let him retire, but he certainly deserves some free time to spend with his amazing family. On February 3rd, there will be a wonderful celebration to honor this special man. Please put this date on your must attend schedule! The 9am service will honor Pastor Herb and there will be a wonderful reception after the service to allow you time to shake his hand or give him a hug. Craig Bielke, who we have all come to love, will be taking over for Pastor Herb. Craig will be there on the 3rd to share the day with everyone.


Well, we did a lot in January and we will be doing even more in February. We are always looking for folks to join in the fun. Just make your interest known – there is a place for you!! 

Have a great month!!


Mimi Llamas, President St. Paul UCC Church Council