From:                                         Woodridge United Methodist Church Communications <>

Sent:                                           Friday, March 12, 2021 11:18 AM


Subject:                                     "Why did it Have to be Snakes?" - Woodridge United Methodist Church Newsletter

Attachments:                          161556941103.14.21_Worship_Guide.pdf; 16155694292021_March_WUMC_Gift_Card_Form.pdf


            Woodridge United Methodist Church

Join us on ONLINE Sunday for worship services
at  10:00 am.

Instructions can be found below.
All are Welcome!







"Why did it Have to be Snakes?"

What happens when we start with a (near) universally beloved scripture verse — quite possibly the most famous verse of all time — and add a story that can only be described as bizarre, disturbing, and kinda icky??


What happens? Exactly what you think would happen: people stop being polite and start getting real. As in, real curious, real excited, real confused, or maybe just real put off.


I mean, honestly, who takes the nighttime encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus and pairs it with deadly, poisonous snakes (of fire!) as punishment for complaining in the desert??


The author of the Gospel of John, that’s who. Actually, it turns out we humans have been telling stories of snakes for a really long time. Are snakes good or bad? Tormentor or savior? Friend or foe? As usual, it is more complicated than those binary possibilities suggest.


So where does that leave us as followers of Jesus today? What could all these dang snake stories mean for us? Maybe that from which we most want to turn away deserves our focus, at least briefly?


Pastor Dave will attempt to puzzle it all out this Sunday, March 14th, in his sermon, “Why did it have to be Snakes?!”


Register to worship with us in person Sunday at 10:00 a.m. OR join us online as we live stream worship on our Woodridge UMC YouTube Channel.

Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend. Don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.


Woodridge UMC is an open and loving United Methodist community striving to:       

Welcoming to all;
Uniting in service toward greater social justice for all;
Moving forward with understanding and acceptance of all peoples;
Creating disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.       

Our purpose is to offer a safe place and community to all races, cultures, religions, genders, sexual identities, ethnicities, age groups and other beliefs.      





Friday, March 12th

  • Noon Lunch on Zoom
  • 6:45 pm Boy Scouts

Sunday, March 14th

  • 10:00 am Worship Service
  • Noon Communion
  • 1:30 pm Youth Group
  • 4:00 pm Filipino Baptist 

Tuesday, March 16th

  • 10:30 am Bible Study Online
  • 7:00 pm Finance Meeting

Wednesday, March 17th

  • 6:00 pm Lenten Study Online

Thursday, March 18th

  • 7:00 pm Boy Scouts

Friday, March 19th

  • Noon Lunch on Zoom
  • 6:45 pm Scouts Scouts

Sunday, March 21st

  • 10:00 am Worship Service
  • Noon Communion
  • 1:30 pm Eggstravaganza
  • 4:00 pm Filipino Baptist 


The spread of the COVID-19 virus requires our attention and immediate response to how we gather as a community of faith.  While serious, please know that we must refrain from becoming panicked.  Please be cautious and mindful of your own health and the safety of others.  Our Bishop and Annual Conference are regularly updating their website with information and resources for our church.  Please take a look at it for details:






Where to find the YouTube Live Stream
From the YouTube app or on the YouTube web page, search for: Woodridge UMC or follow this
link.  Join us early for Joys and Concerns and the Prelude with music starting around 9:50 am. Services at 10:00 am.  If you have questions or problems, please contact  Full assistance will be available prior to 10:00 am on Sunday morning.  After 10:00 am, assistance becomes more limited. If you are not available at 10:00 am or cannot get the live streaming to work, a recording of the video will be posted to the Woodridge UMC YouTube page

We are now ready to welcome a limited amount of persons in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. You must register to let us know you will be attending.  The link for registering is:
register for worship.  Please be sure to register no later than Friday at noon.  Should you change your mind after you have registered, you may cancel your registration at any time. When you register to attend, you will receive the guidelines that all must follow for everyone's safety and well-being. 

For ease of access, you can now find both formats of the weekly worship guide attached to this email.  This will take the place of the Saturday Connections email.


There are different options for getting your offering to the church while worship services are online.

  • Go to the website & click on the Giving tab at the top of the page or go straight there with this link.
  • Text 630.449.7121 with the amount
  • Drop off in the gold mail slot next to the east door of the church.
  • Mail your offering to the church.



If you watch the online service, please email the church office at and let us know that you joined us for worship, so that we might record your attendance.



If you want a prayer request shared during online worship, please email the Pastor Danita at by 8:00 am on Sundays.


Church Office Hours: Mondays & Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. – noon
                                     Wednesdays - Fridays 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Our building is not ready for full activity, so we ask that you call before visiting.




Pastor Danita's Vestment

Many people have asked about the purple vestment that Pastor Danita wears during the season of Lent.  It was a gift from her friend, Reverend J. Jeannette Cooper, retired clergywoman in South Carolina, which Pastor Danita wore as a part of Reverend Cooper's wedding ceremony.  It was handmade in Ghana, Africa and the symbol on the sleeve Means "believe in God".  There are only 12 of these vestments which were made exclusively for Reverend Cooper's Sisters in Spirit (S.O.S.) who served communion at the wedding ceremony.

Memorial Page Added

Please check the church's website to view a new page in memory of our beloved Jorie Manderfield.  Jorie was such an intricate part of the life of this church, we thought it only fitting to have a tribute to her life on our church's website.  You can also donate to the memorial fund set up in Jorie's memory on that same page.  The family will decide at a later date how the funds will be used.

Do You Know UMCOR?
UMCOR stands for United Methodist Committee on Relief and will be the focal point of a Special Sunday Service in March. When watching disaster unfold around the globe, many of us feel the call to help but are at a loss as to what we can actually do to help. UMCOR Sunday is the day for congregations around the globe to help.

Your donations to UMCOR on this Special Sunday help:
● Refugees in Clarkston, GA earn a living wage and get job training.
● Deliver food, water, shelter, and long-term recovery assistance to help many of the 68.5 million people displaced by war, persecution, and natural disaster.
● Distribute relief kits to those in need following the U.S. hurricanes of 2017.

The UMCOR Special Sunday is on March 31st, and we want to remind you that even though writing a check or putting cash in the offering doesn’t feel exciting, you really ARE making a difference.
Your gifts on UMCOR Special Sunday underwrite UMCOR’s “costs of doing business.” This helps UMCOR keep the promise that 100% of any gift to a specific project will go toward that mission, not administrative costs. If you want to learn more about UMCOR visit:

This is such an important gift and one that we can do together. Let’s make a difference, together.

Bible Study - Via Zoom


Join us Tuesday mornings at 10:30am on Zoom as we explore the Gospel of Mark.
Reading Assignment for Tuesday, March 16th
Chapter 14 of the book of Mark, plus any notes your bible provides.

Questions to consider:

—So much foreshadowing and talk of destruction. Why? What do you think Jesus hopes to achieve here? Or Mark (the author)?

—How does the fig tree in 13 relate to the cursed fig tree in 11?

—What are the best ways you’ve found to “stay awake and keep your eyes open”?

Due to the pandemic, this class is meeting online through Zoom on Tuesday mornings at 10:30AM. Please contact Pastor Dave ( to join the conversation. It is a great way to stay connected and all are welcome.
No prior bible reading or knowledge or expertise needed. No question is dumb and no one is forced to read the bible in one particular way. We will all learn as we go along exploring what the text says, what it leaves unsaid, what history and tradition tell us about the text, and how our own experience influences our reading.


This year our Wednesday Lenten study will be SAVIOR:  What the Bible Says About the Cross by Magrey Devega.  Please join us on Wednesday nights at 6:00 p.m..  The book is available at and Amazon in hard copy or Kindle/e-reader versions.  Please join us on ZOOM for the study.

Employment Opportunity

Small Miracles Preschool Open Director Position
Woodridge United Methodist Church's Small Miracles Preschool is seeking a Preschool Director to start immediately in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year. The Director is responsible for maintaining the daily operations of Small Miracles Preschool, a warm and friendly environment, and a quality Christian-based, child-centered program. The Director must meet and maintain the minimum State Licensing Requirements of Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for the State of Illinois, and lead and support the staff through teamwork and mutual respect to achieve individual and classroom goals. The Director reports to the Small Miracles Preschool Board of Directors with day-to-day accountability to the Lead Pastor of Woodridge United Methodist Church. You can find the requirements and how to apply at


Gift Cards to Feed People Experiencing Hunger

It’s an all star lineup: our Outreach Committee, the West Suburban Community Pantry, our Youth Ministries, and YOU!

Collecting food boxes for people experiencing hunger has been a staple of our Outreach effort for years. The pandemic meant we couldn’t do that in 2020. So, a new approach! For the next couple weeks, in lieu of food boxes and Easter baskets, we are collecting gift cards for Jewel to donate to our neighbors in need at the West Suburban Community Pantry.

Bonus: If you purchase gift cards through this program, you help our Youth Ministries at the very same time!

NOTE: If you purchases some gift cards to donate and some for personal use, please use separate forms marked [Your Name]/Outreach and [Your Name]/Personal Order. You still only need to write one check for the full order. Find the order form here and as an attachment to this email.

Orders due to the church office by Thursday, March 18th at 2:00pm.

WUMC Eggstravaganza
What’s an Eggstravaganza?? It’s our inaugural Easter Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, March 21st at 1:30 - 3:00 pm. In place of our traditional Easter Egg hunt this year we are happy to be hosting a scavenger hunt that the whole family can enjoy together.  Search the church grounds for hidden Easter egg clues!  Treat bags will be given out to all children who participate and light refreshments will be available.  Masks and social distancing are required.  We look forward to seeing you and having a chance to share in some of the joy of the season.  Please note that in the event of rain we will postpone the event until Sunday March 28 at the same time.  

Opportunity to Help the Manderfields with Meal Train
We all love the Manderfield family! They have done so much for so many people... Now it's our turn to be there to help support them during a most difficult time. is a free meal calendar tool that makes planning meals among a wide group easy and less stressful.
But it's also more than that! Meal Train allows you to cook and deliver a meal, or to make a monetary donation the family can use for dinners, groceries, or anything else they might need right now. And it also allows Kathy to let us know, via the calendar tool, when she needs any other assistance... errands run, a ride somewhere, a visit from friends, etc. There are so many ways to show your support!  Here is where to go:

Racism Awareness Zoom Workshop
Free Woodridge All Community Event
(Given by the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate Anti-Racism Committee (ARC)
Sponsored by St. Scholastica Parish
Supported by Village of Woodridge Mayor, Gina Cunningham)

Saturday, March 20, 2021 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
GOAL: To engage residents in nondenominational dialogue and educational initiatives that result in awareness of racial and social inequities. 
See attached flyer for details and how to register.

DuPage County CDC has set up a COVID Vaccine Registration page on its website as they transition to Phase 1b of the vaccination plan (adults age 65+ and front line workers). 
Please note: you will not be able to schedule an appointment until the time is right! Signing up here allows DuPage County CDC to contact you with specific information when appointments or clinics are available.  If you want to register please click here.  

  • Vaccination is  by appointment only  and  dependent on vaccine supply.
  • Eligible individuals will be asked to provide verification  of their eligibility through either photo ID to confirm age-based eligibility or employment verification (Employee ID Badge, check stub, state licensure or certificate) to identify occupational eligibility.


Youth Ministry Winter/Spring of 2021

Youth Group on Zoom this Sunday, March 14th at 1:30pm. All 7th-12th grade students are welcome. Contact Pastor Dave ( for the zoom link.

Youth Group on Zoom continues March 28th.

Special Event: Eggstravaganza! An Easter Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, March 21st at 1:30pm. Just for fun, in-person gathering for the whole family. Easter-themed scavenger hunt, candy, donuts — what more could one want for an outdoor, fun event in 2021?? Masks and social distancing required.

Puzzle Exchange (New Location)


Every puzzle deserves a second, third, or even fourth shot. Let’s share the wealth!

Due to the snow the bin is now on the east side of the building by the main entrance labelled "Puzzle Exchange" by the north narthex doors for easy exchange anytime you would like.  Bring a puzzle.  Take a puzzle.  Please make sure that the bin is closed properly.


Upper Room Devotionals

The Upper Rooms for March - April are in. Contact the church office  or call 630.968.6050 if you would like a copy.  There are a few available in the mailbox.


March Birthdays
     Jay Hoffman
5     Sam Arvanis
       Heather Kostov
7     Barbara Lutz
       Elsie Munar
10   Carrie Santucci
11    Tracy Mullane
12    Marilyn Purdy-Stern
13    Leslie Bell
15    Benjamin Bell
20    Jonathan Bonaguro
21    Matthew Waynick
22    Kathy Falout
        Gregory Lamorena
        Florence Wentworth
26    Sherrie Krughoff
27    Maya Santucci
29    Pat Ford
31    Courtney Byczynski
        Gillian Krughoff
       Lindsay Morton
       Taylor Morton


Outreach Opportunities

March Outreach Offering: UMCOR

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the humanitarian relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, operated under the auspices of the General Board of Global Ministries.
Vision: As the humanitarian relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, UMCOR strengthens and transforms people and communities.
Mission: Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodist, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.

UMCOR’s work can be categorized into three major areas
1) Humanitarian Relief / Disaster Response 
2) Sustainable Development
3) Global Health (in collaboration with Global Ministries)

The United Methodist Committee on Relief exists to assist United Methodists and churches to become involved globally in direct ministry to persons in need through programs of relief, rehabilitation, and service, including issues of displaced persons, hunger and poverty, disaster response, and disaster risk reduction; and to assist organizations, institutions, and programs related to annual conferences and other units of The United Methodist Church in their involvement in direct service to such persons in need.

Due to the continuing pandemic, DuPage Pads will not be using Downers Grove FUMC or any church to house Pads guests until late 2021.  They will continue to hotel guests at the guidance of the DuPage Health Department for both the Pads guests and the volunteers’ safety. 
DuPage Pads has enough funds to house 70 hotel rooms through March 31, 2021.  Their goal is 115 hotel rooms (approximately 150 guests) per night.  Each hotel room is approximately $45 a night which requires them to raise approximately $450,000.  Additional federal government funding is uncertain at the moment.
Cold weather has arrived, and people are still very much in need. There are several ways you can help:

  1. Food and Toiletry Donations: Please consider donating essential items using this link using curbside drop off boxes located in the DuPage PADS parking lot of 703 W. Liberty Wheaton, IL 60187. Drop off hours are Monday-Friday 8:00am-8:00pm and Saturday-Sunday 8:00am-4:00pm. Please do not leave donations outside of the scheduled times, especially food items overnight.


  1. Monetary Donations: A special fund has been set up for this purpose. PADS is working hard to maintain and add additional housing in hotels for guests, as well as provide them with food. This requires significant financial resources to sustain this long term.  Visit the PADS website here and look at the very top for the link to donate.


  1. Bring Food or Monetary Donations to DGFUMC:  First United Methodist in Downers Grove is collecting microwave meals to bring to PADS guests starting November 5th. Microwave meals may be brought to the church Monday thru Friday 10am-1pm and monetary donations can be made on the church website using the Giving tab. The church is located at 1032 Maple Avenue in Downers Grove.

Please call or email Larry Cash with questions at 630-808-8713.


Northern Illinois Conference 
Bishop John Hopkins Lenten Video

In a new 6-minute video, Bishop Hopkins greets all NIC churches while reflecting on the meaning of the Lenten season. Click here to view the video. 

 A transcript of the video 
is also available. 

Get to Know Interim Bishop John Hopkins
With the new year, we welcome retired Bishop John L. Hopkins, who is serving as the interim bishop for the Northern Illinois Conference through 2021.

Typically we would host a meet-and-greet event or a formal welcome, but because COVID-19 prevents us from gathering we are introducing him through a Zoom interview.

Did you know Bishop Hopkins served in campus ministries? NIC Dir. of Communications Anne Marie Gerhardt "sat down" with Bishop Hopkins to ask a few questions about his background and ministry to help all of us get to know him a little better.

Watch this video

Monthly Aurora District Lay Leader Virtual Meetings

There will be monthly Aurora District Lay Leader meetings on the Third Thursday of every month at 7 pm through May. "See" you there! If you are a lay leader and cannot make a meeting, invite another lay person from your church to attend. These meetings are not just for official lay leaders but any lay person who is a leader in a church! Your Zoom video conferencing invitation will be sent by Leola Tucker ( Contact Leola if you would like to join.

New District Boundaries Set
The new names of the districts, which go into effect July 2021, are Lake North, Lake South, Prairie Central, Prairie North, and Prairie South. Click here to read the list of churches in each district.

2021 Laity Convocation

Amazon Smile 

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Woodridge United Methodist Church whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.       

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.  Support WUMC by starting your shopping

Ways to Connect

Northern Illinois Conference
Find out about upcoming events in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church by clicking this link  

March 12th, 2021, Volume 12, Edition 11











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