April 2020 Newsletter


Church during COVID-19

We find ourselves in difficult times, most of us being regulated to our homes, many of us out of work, and none of us being able to gather together for worship. This is certainly not the Lenten Season or Eastertide I had imagined. That being said, we are still the Church, the Body of Christ for this time and place. We can still love God and love our neighbor. I have been so excited to hear of the many ways you all have been reaching out in love from your homes. Continue to love each other in these ways and use this time to refocus your walk as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Limit your exposure to the news and the coverage of this crisis; stay informed, but don’t spend hours a day feeding into fear and anxiety. Read your bible. Do your devotions. Listen to worship music and watch/listen to worship services. Call each other. Write cards. Do whatever you enjoy doing while at home. Lent is a season where we are called to reengage with our faith. What better time is there than now? My prayer is we will all leave this time of crisis and isolation stronger, more in love with God, and more in love with one another. Stay strong my friends, and may the peace of Christ be with you all!
Pastor Mark


Ways to Connect

Even though we are apart we can still connect. We will be sending more regular mailings to update everyone on what is going on. We can call and write each other. We are also using the internet to help during this time. I am offering daily video devotions as well as Sunday messages for your use. I am also live on Facebook every Wednesday morning from 9am-10am for a time of prayer, feel free to join live and chat.









You Tube: 



Giving to the Church

The church needs your financial support to keep its vital ministry alive; and this is true now more than ever. Because we are not meeting weekly, our offerings are likely to suffer. That being said I am encouraged by those who have sent in checks and offerings to support your church during this time. As of now is this the best way to support your church; by sending in checks via mail (or dropping them in the mailbox on the side of the church). We are checking the mail and making weekly deposits. We need to face the reality that some of our congregation members may not be able to give right now. People have lost jobs, financial situations have changed. So if you are in a position where this crisis has not impacted your financial situation, please continue to support the church. We are all likely to receive some support from our government. If you are not in need of this money, please consider using it to support your church, Pat’s Table, our Food Pantry and other charitable organizations.  


Welcome Pastor Joey Garcea (pronounced Gar-Sha)

As Shared in Around P-Town

A husband and wife, both ministers, are moving to the area to take over pastoral duties for the United Methodist Churches in Prophetstown and Erie. Rev. Joey Garcea and his wife Rev. Tiffany Garcea will begin their duties at their respective churches in July.

The Prophetstown United Methodist Church’s current Pastor Mark Meyers has been assigned to the United Methodist Church of New Lenox in New Lenox, Illinois. Meyer said,”We’ll miss Ptown but the Garcea’s are amazing and both towns will be blessed!”

Joey Garcea grew up in Rockford, Illinois and graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL in 2004 with a major in manufacturing engineering and a minor in management. After graduation, he continued in the manufacturing field for ten years while also serving as a youth group leader and in the praise band for his local church. It was at church that he met his future wife Tiffany and they were married on July 10″, 2010.

“My wife Tiffany and I are excited to be moving into the area. I have felt passionately called to rural ministry since I began ministering, said Garcea. When not engaged in the work of the church, Joey enjoys spending time with his family.

In 2014, Garcea went on to follow God’s call to serve as an elder in the United Methodist Church.  His first appointment was to Apple River UMC in Apple River, IL. While serving the church, Garcea pursued his Masters of Divinity Degree from The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA, graduating in 2017. After serving Apple River for his first year, his appointment was extended to a two-charge appointment including the neighboring Scales Mound UMC. The pastor continued in this appointment for two more years before being appointed to The First UMC of Savanna in Savanna, IL.  Garcea is currently a provisional elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church.

In addition to serving his rural churches, Joey has served in extension ministries in a variety of ways: He has spent time on the newly formed Rockford Praise Band team. He has partnered with his community’s local food pantry as well as a community-wide assistance program. He continues to seek new and innovative ways to partner ecumenically in the places where he has served.

Garcea has a passion for rural ministry and feels called to the rural church in particular.  He is passionate about getting to know people including their pasts, their current situation, their hopes and their dreams for the future. He loves working alongside of people and sharing in the work of ministry together. He is quick to find ways to make people feel comfortable, welcome, and loved by God. “I love getting to know new people and I look forward to meeting all of you,” said Garcea.

Joey and his wife Tiffany have five sons: Aidan 8, Brayden 7, Owen 5, Peyton 3, and Landen 11 months. Garcea says the family is looking forward to the move, “They are very excited to go to a new school and make new friends.” The Garceas are also licensed foster parents.

Joey loves working on motorcycles and enjoys restoration projects as well as traveling to car shows, building model cars, and playing instruments including guitar, drums, and ukulele. “It will be a lot of fun to explore new roads and have new adventures,” added Garcea.


Rev. Mark J. Meyers

Pastor – Prophetstown United Methodist Church

“Extending Christ’s Table to All through Authentic Community, Personal Growth, and Transforming Mission.”





Mission Chatter

      Isn’t it strange how quickly our lives can change!  The coronavirus certainly taught us this.  We hope all of you are taking care of yourselves and following the instructions the government has given us.  With the good Lords help, this to shall pass and we can get back to normal, whatever that is! 

        We are planning to have Muffins To Go in May, that is if we are no longer restricted.  If we are restricted, we will have to wait for a later date, but we will be having Muffins To Go sometime in the near (we hope) future.

        The Mission Committee thank you for all your support.  We; Judy, Sandy, Tammie, and Connie hope you stay connected by phone, mail, Facebook, etc.  stay safe, and stay well.



The crafters meetings will stop until further notice.



          Thank you for your kind words and condolences offered to our family during the loss of our father.  The Family of Robert J. Roman


          Since my bout with shingles I have been receiving cards, phone calls and prayer from you, my Church family.  It means so much to know you all care.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!  Connie


  This Saturday, April 4th, we will be placing our usual palm branches in a bucket in front of the drive-through entrance to the church so that you may drive up and pick up as many as you or your family would normally have taken on Palm Sunday. Who knows? Your children may want to have a little parade of their own? 🙂  Don’t forget! Regarding yesterday’s e-mail from Pastor Mark about possibly displaying the Easter flowers around the big sign: plans have changed.  On Saturday, April 11th a couple of us will be delivering your flowers to your doorstep – no contact, will keep our distance.  We will alert you by phone before doing this and will only leave the plant(s) if you are home.  Hopefully, everyone will be able to have and enjoy their flowers on Easter.  If you have questions or do not receive your plant on Saturday, please call Sally Renkes at 815-537-5231. Keep praying, keep hopeful and know that we are together in spirit!


2 – Ella Miller
4 – Frank Sebok
6 – Erin Sibley
11 – Jessica Wirsing
13 – Kyle Behrens
14 – Jackson Ames
15 – Khloe Gust
15 – Jason Taylor
17 – Gordon Francis
17 – Cash Wolf
18 – Mary Ann Smith
20 – Esther Wagenecht
20 – Norah Wirsing
21 – Sue Foltz
26 – Harvey Uhler
27 – Don Hand
28 – Jennifer Etheridge
3 – Louise & Richard Ackeberg
27 – Kathy & Joe Massingill