Rockford United Methodist Church

A Message for You

July 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Living as wise people by PASTOR DICK RILEY Rockford United Methodist Church Once upon a time, there was a southern farmer who was sitting in front of his shack, smoking his corncob pipe. Along came a neighbor who asked him, “How’s your cotton coming?” “Ain’t got none,” said the farmer. “Didn’t plant none this year ‘cus I was ‘fraid of the boll weevil.” “Well, how’s your corn then?” asked the neighbor. “Didn’t plant no corn. ‘Fraid of the drought.” “How about your potatoes?” asked the neighbor. “Nope,” said the farmer. “Ain’t got none of them either. Scairt of the tater bugs.” “Well, then,” asked the neighbor, “what did you plant?” “Nuthin’ at all,” said the farmer. “I just played it safe.” How many times do we treat our spiritual lives just like that ol’ southern farmer? We avoid putting our faith on the line because we’re afraid of what might happen, and in so doing, we fail to remember that God doesn’t ask us to be successful. God simply asks that we be faithful! “Be careful, then, how you live,” said the Apostle Paul, “not as unwise people, but as wise people, making the most of every opportunity,” Ephesians 5:15-16. What are you planting in your life? Visit the church of your choice this weekend, and start planting the things of God in your life!  

No cigarette butt or candy wrapper left behind by Trash Team

June 16, 2011 // 0 Comments

Rockford church youth make clean sweep during SOS Celebration by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Perhaps the most popular of all of the events hosted by the City of Rockford, the Start of Summer (SOS) Celebration kicked off the summer vacation season this past weekend with a jam-packed three days of festivities. There was something for everyone. Thousands of people flocked downtown to enjoy the traditional Saturday morning SOS parade, food booths galore, a great touring carnival, fireworks, musical entertainment, and a humongous beer tent sponsored by the Rockford Lions Club. Needless to say, all this daily fun and frolic left in its wake a sea of trash on the streets and in the parks of the downtown area and along the entirety of the parade route. Did you ever wonder who cleans up the litter created each year during Rockford’s annual SOS Celebration? Enter the high school and college age youth of Rockford United Methodist Church (RUMC). SOS, now in its 43rd year, has for the past 10 years used the outreach services of the youth that comprise the RUMC Trash Team. Polly VonEschen, organizer of SOS for the past 24 years, said, “The RUMC Trash Team is the very best ever at what they do.” Working quietly behind the scenes, almost unnoticed, the RUMC Trash Team manages to repeatedly empty trash barrels along with picking up every discarded French fry, cigarette butt, candy wrapper, beverage container—you name it, they pick it up! By last Sunday evening, at the festivities’ close, the RUMC Trash Team had used well in excess of 200 60-gallon trash bags to contain discarded refuse. Immediately after Saturday morning’s SOS parade, the RUMC Trash Team “swept” the entire parade route. From start to finish they picked up every single piece of debris that inevitably follows in the wake of a parade, especially one that freely dispenses candy and treats to eager children in the crowd of spectators. Ruth Reickard (a.k.a. “The Trash Lady”) oversaw 30 high school and college age youth along with 14 adult crew leaders that comprised nine clean-up crews. Over the three days of the SOS Celebration, each crew worked a three-hour shift, some starting as early as 6:30 a.m. and others ending as late as 10 p.m. […]

Annual arts show highlights local talent

May 19, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rogue River Artist Association held its annual Spring Sale and Show on Saturday, April 30 at the Rockford United Methodist Church in downtown Rockford. There were thirteen participating artists displaying watercolor paintings, oils, acrylics, fabric arts and hand-crafted cement bird baths. A nice flow of shoppers enjoyed the displays throughout the day. Light refreshments and home-made goodies were available. Look for this talented group of individuals and their works at their next event, the Start of Summer with artists working at Herman’s Boy, and the annual Garden Art Show July 9 at 9620 Summit Avenue in Rockford. For artists that would like to consider becoming part of this friendly organization, feel free to sit in on meetings the second Tuesday of the month at the Rockford D&W in the upstairs dining area (stairs or elevator near the east entrance of the store). For more information contact Lila Harmon at (616) 866-0523 or email  

Church fundraiser has history of centuries

November 12, 2010 // 0 Comments

Food is portable, saved miners from eating arsenic by BETH ALTENA The Rockford United Methodist Church held its 33rd annual pasty sale last week from from ? to ? and baked and sold nearly 6,000 of the “pies” filled with beef, pork, rutabagas, onions, carrots, potatoes and secret seasonings. The tradition is a long one for the downtown church, but the history of the pasty itself is much longer. Pasties bring to mind Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where they are an established regional fare. Miners in the 1800s established them as the preferred lunch because they were easy to eat, carry and kept warm for a long time. The miners brought the food when they emigrated from Cornwall, England after mines there were depleted. It is speculated they may have been a variant of “star glazed pie,” which was a fish-filled pie with the head poking through the crust. It is also possible Vikings introduced the pies to the British Isles when they invaded. The earliest reference to the pasty is in Cornish writing dating back to 1150 and 1190. Author Chetien de Troyes wrote romances for the Countess of Champagne, and referred to the food, “Next Guivret opened a chest and took out two pasties.” The pasty is mentioned in Robin Hood ballads as well. When the wave of Cornish miners immigrated to the Upper Peninsula, their expertise was much admired and emulated, including their preference for pasties as their midday meal. Individual family members could request their own fillings for the versatile food, and to identify each pasty, the miner’s initial was stamped on the end. In eating the pasty, miners would start with the end without the initial so the correct pasty could be identified later if they didn’t eat the whole thing at once. Miners had a superstition that it was bad luck to eat the initial end of the pasty and should be thrown on the floor of the mine for the mine gremlins to eat. This tradition also is said to have come from the Cornish mines and, like many superstitions, had a basis in truth. The Cornish mines had high levels of arsenic and, by not eating the part of the pasty they touched with their hands, saved themselves […]

A Message for You — July 1, 2010

July 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

Church: safest place to be by PASTOR DICK RILEY  Rockford United Methodist Church I read an article last month about the safest places for us humans to be, and it had some very interesting statistics in it. For example: • Don’t ride in your car—they cause 20% of all fatal accidents! • Don’t stay at home—17% of all accidents happen there! • Don’t travel by air, rail or water—16% of all accidents result from these activities! • Don’t even walk in the streets—15% of all accidents happen to pedestrians! But did you know that only 0.001% of all accidents happen in church? Please remember these facts as you make your summer plans. The safest place for you to be is—yes—in church! However, I must tell you that some strange things have happened to people while attending church. For example: • Lives have been changed. • Burdens have been lifted. • Forgiveness has been given and received. • Commitments have been made that have lasted a person’s whole life! So, yes, there is some risk in coming to church—it could turn your life upside down. But I hope that you will visit the church of your choice this weekend, and all throughout the year, and be in that safest place—be in church!

1 2 3 4 5