The Online Magazine of First United Methodist Church

June 2020: LOVE From a Social Distance

Welcome to the online home of The Herald magazine

A publication of Peoria First United Methodist Church

Drive-Through Food Drive 2020

Here are some scenes from this year's Food Drive to help restock the Loaves & Fish pantry. Due to the pandemic-related restrictions, this year's drive became a drive-through, complete with masks and social distancing! Thanks to Dan Philips and Tim & Jennie Ozment for the pictures.
Andrew Foster is behind the mask, and on the cover of this month's Herald, helping make this year's Food Drive a success. Photo by Dan Philips


The World Will Never Be the Same Again

By the Rev. Dr. Tim Ozment
Our lives are so much different now than they were just a few months ago.

Who would have guessed that restaurants, retail stores, banks, churches, etc., would be closed to walk-in business? Who would have guessed that the way we shop, do church, and life in general would change this drastically?

At Pentecost, the disciples were all together, probably in Solomon’s Portico, which was part of the temple grounds located in Jerusalem. They were praying and seeking the power and presence of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus had instructed them. As they were praying, a sound like a mighty rushing wind blew through the area where they were meeting. What looked like tongues of fire descended from above and rested upon each of the disciples gathered there. Men and women, young and old received the gift of the Holy Spirit and began to boldly proclaim their faith in Jesus as the Son sent from God for the salvation of the world. From that moment on, the disciples and the world would never be the same again.

A Long Winter Harvest

By Dan Philips
It is hard to believe that about four months ago, Pastor Tim, Julie Rolffs, Amy Zeuhls, and I were at Ganta Station in Liberia touring the Ganta School of Nursing. It was an encouraging, uplifting, and eye opening experience seeing where our church’s support has been going, and to meet the students we have been supporting.

Much has happened in the world since then, and my mind and heart keep wondering how the students, administration, and population of Ganta and Liberia are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our Community Ministries

By Dan Philips
FUMC has continued to support our Community Ministries during these difficult times, and it has been a blessing for many. Here are some things we’ve been able to continue doing in order to reach out to our neighbors.

Honduras Devastated by COVID-19 Pandemic

While the Coronavirus pandemic has seriously impacted our local communities, the impact on our global partner churches and ministries has been even more devastating.

Click below to read the full story in both English and Spanish.

Amazon Smiles On Us

If you order from Amazon, the online retailer, here is important news about how your purchase can benefit our ministry work.

FUMC is now a part of the Amazon Smile program. If you order online from Amazon, please click the button below. Your selection and prices will be the same, but Amazon will donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to us.

This is not an endorsement of Amazon. However, if you are purchasing from them, this is a great way to route extra funds to our ministries without cost to you.


By Pastor Adrian Garcia
The Children of Israel were being held captive in Babylon, condemned to exile. Their captors requested them to sing joyful songs from their motherland. Yet, sitting silently by the riverbanks of the Tigris & Euphrates, they choose to hang their harps under the willow trees.

Greatly saddened, after losing everything: lands, homes, money, and freedom (their most prized possession), they dispiritedly replied to their captors, “How can we sing happy songs in this dire circumstance?'' The exiled Israelites believed that singing in a strange land betrayed their identity, culture, and faith. So, they kept silently immoble in honor of their people.

Is this the best attitude? Can they survive endless mourning?

A Summer To Remember

By Pastor Tanya Edwards-Evans

Wow! It is June already.

June is fun time, free time, me time, family time, and VBS time. It’s when summertime truly arrives. The sun is shining, and daylight is longer. But this year, we don’t know if summer will still hold all that we remember or expect.

This is the year of 2020. It has come with excitement, with anxiety, with good news, and even bad news.  

Be Patient, Take Courage, Don't Grumble

Greg Fish, our coordinator of communications, has released his second book, Be Patient, Take Courage, Don’t Grumble. This is an earlier than expected release due to the book’s relevance to the times we find ourselves in. Our sermon series, on our worship broadcasts, will loosely follow the book. You can also hear more about it as Pastor Tim interviews Greg on our Stories of the 116 podcast. The advance pdf is just $5, and that purchase may be used towards a credit to buy the print version once it is available in about a month. You may order the advance pdf, or the print version when available, at In the meantime, click here for an excerpt from the book:

Re-Focusing Summer Activities For Children

6 Ways 2 Praise and VBS are teaming up this summer to go virtual!  

Due to the pandemic, we won’t be able to host our annual Fine Arts Camp or Vacation Bible School at the church this year. But, we can offer a virtual experience that incorporates elements of both as we explore four different ways we can FOCUS on God: see, hear, talk, and live.

Our FOCUS VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE will help preschoolers through preteens dive deeper into their faith as they encounter God’s word through music, stories, and age-appropriate activities.

Click the button below to go to our children's web page to read the full story (scroll down once you arrive there), and to register.


By Christina Koeppel

You’ve been EGGED!

Miss Sue, Kara Bushong, and I began May with a quarantine adventure.

We missed seeing our church family so much that we decided to go to them. After traveling over 300 miles and spending four days in our cars, we were able to see 53 families. It was a huge blessing for us to see so many faces in person.

Gratitude From a Friend

Maintaining a healthy, safe, and clean building environment takes solid commitment from highly valued people. We recently received a note from our dear friend, Fernando, expressing his heart to you for the work he is able to do throughout the shutdown. We're passing his letter along to you to warm your hearts as well. 

View The Herald From May 2020

First United Methodist Church of Peoria

Greg Fish

Directing Pastor and Contributor
Rev. Dr. Timothy Ozment
Associate Pastors and Contributors
Adrian Garcia
Tanya Edwards-Evans
Miguel Rios

Copy Editing
Mindy LaHood
Kara Bushong
Douglas Grogan
Christina Koeppel
Mindy LaHood
Kevin Nelson
Dr. Carol McPherson
Dan Philips
Diane Pflederer
Deadlines: Articles to be considered for publication in The Herald must be submitted to Greg Fish at by 10 AM on the tenth day of the month preceding issue date. In the subject line of your email submission, type, "HERALD." All submissions are subject to editing and style standards, and their use is solely at the discretion of the editor. Picture submissions are encouraged to accompany your submission. Focus on individuals and smaller numbers of people who help tell the story.