Five pastors from three Fox Valley churches teamed up to host “Start the New Year Right,” a New Year’s Day celebration on Sunday, Jan. 1.
The 9:30 a.m. service took place at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Charles.
Partners were Batavia UMC and United Methodist Church of Geneva. Combined, the trio calls itself Tri-City United Methodist Churches.
The joint service featured worship, a blessing of visitors’ households and group recitation of a vintage Methodist covenant prayer.
The prayer was a contemporary version of a 268-year-old prayer in the Wesleyan tradition originated by Methodism’s founders.
Participating pastors were Kim Neace and Mary Zajac, Baker Memorial; Rob Hamilton and Lisa Telomen, Geneva UMC; and Cynthia Anderson, Batavia UMC.
Pastor Neace opened the service with a welcome to visitors.
After an opening prayer, sharing of joys and concerns and a scripture reading, the pastors offered a blessing of households.
Geneva United Methodist Church’s Rev. Rob Hamilton, second from right, joins pastors at Baker Memorial United Methodist, St. Charles, for a joint New Year’s Day service. Background from left are Mary Zajac and Kim Neace, Baker Memorial; Lisa Telomen, Geneva UMC; and Cynthia Anderson, Batavia UMC.
– Courtesy of Al Benson
Household members were invited to receive a New Year-blessing and a gift from one of four pastors stationed at corners of the sanctuary.
The gift was a card that said in part, “Come in and stay awhile, …
“(this is) a place of rest.
“A place of love and laughter.
“A place to gather and share in all of God’s blessings … “
A reception concluded the service.
According to Baker Memorial’s website, Tri-City Methodist is the name used when the churches work together on a shared program, mission or ministry.
In 2021 the partners combined church-membership confirmation programs ” … so that students across the three cities can learn, grow, and have fun together.”
Future Tri-City Methodist programs include “Witness at the Cross,” a Lenten study on Tuesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. on March 8 through April 12.
Baker Memorial’s Pastor Zajac will lead the study on the Zoom platform.
Easter Holy Week events will also be hosted by Tri-City Methodist.
A Maundy Thursday service will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at Geneva UMC, 211 Hamilton St.
A Tri-City Easter sunrise service will be held at 6 a.m. Sunday, April 9, at the gazebo at Geneva Garden Club Park, 35 N. River Lane in Geneva. The public is invited.
Learn more at tricitymethodist.com.