Illinois South  Conference shares  the  inspiring  stories  that  show the  faith-filled  lives  within  our  Conference.  We  hope this  gives  you  comfort  during  this  time  of  sheltering  in  place.

If you know of stories that show people being the church, please send it to Share the stories that are warming your heart. #ISCspirit.

Thank You to the Steve and Emily Walton Family Foundation.  They sent a $5000 grant to DuBois Center, which will help the loss of summer camp income.

Thank you to the Hunger/Food Action Committee, who recently awarded grants of varying amounts to 23 different churches/organizations in our region.

Bethel UCC (Twigs Summer Lunch Program)
Cahokia Community Basket
CCBA Food Pantry
Community Interfaith Food Pantry
Dupo Community Backpack Angels Summer Lunch Program
Highland Area Christian Service Ministerial Alliance (Food Pantry)
House of Neighborly Service
Marion Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry
Mascoutah Food Pantry
Mascoutah Summer Lunch Program
Murphysboro Food Pantry
Trenton Council of Churches Food Pantry

Friedens UCC in Irvington has made over 800 face shields for local SSM hospitals.  They have also been sending cards, emails, and snacks to healthcare workers. The congregation recently had a car parade on Holy Humor Sunday to visit their homebound folks, delivering a Gerber daisy to each family to say “Friedens Loves You.” They continue to deliver food to the Irvington Grade School Weekend Backpack program, too.                                                                Submitted by Rev. Stacy Tate

New Athens St. John UCC
O’Fallon Weekly News recently shared a story about how many in our local communities are showing support for the medical personnel on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. Their article also mentions one of our own, Tarrah Vaupel, a student pastor at St. John UCC in New Athens, who displays a lit red heart in front of her home. Click here for the story

Highland Community - Hoyleton Youth & Family Services
Hoyleton Youth & Family Services, a mission partner of Illinois South Conference, recently asked for locally made face masks. Highland resident, Jan Firth, had already made several for a local hospital, and when she heard about the opportunity at Hoyleton, she jumped in. Jan involved her extended family by asking them to find elastic at local stores for her creations.  The Machine Shop in Highland donated 25 yards of elastic to the cause.  In short order, a Hoyleton representative picked up 70 handmade cloth face masks for their staff.  We are thankful to Jan and her family for supporting our friends at Hoyleton.

Marine UCC
A mother and her four-year-old daughter from the Marine congregation have been spreading some joy each week while in quarantine. They mail letters to great grandparents, mail paintings to local nursing homes and send coffee gift cards to nurses who are working so hard right now. They're looking for more ways to offer a "pick me up" to folks within their community that might need a wave through a window, or even some doughnuts left on a doorstep. Their goal is to stay positive and spread joy, while sharing how important it is to be kind to others.  Shared by Rev. Phil Kershner, Marine UCC

St. Paul UCC in Lebanon sent email cards to all the mothers in their congregation for Mother’s Day to let them know they were remembered and appreciated even in a time of social distancing.                    Submitted by Rev. Don Wagner

Funds for the Three Great Loves Vegetable Seeds Program:

Belleville - St. Paul UCC
Brighton - St. John’s UCC
Marissa- Friedens UCC
Mascoutah- St. John UCC
Marion - Zion UCC
Maeystown - St. John UCC
Moro- St. John’s UCC of Midway
New Hanover- Zoar UCC
Trenton - St. John UCC
Waterloo- St. John UCC
Waterloo- Zion UCC

Zion UCC in Marion recently made the news for all they’ve been doing in the community during the pandemic. The Marion Star and a local car dealership started airing videos of all the ways Marion has been supporting each other, and Zion was the first to be featured. Click here to see the video on The Marion Star’s Facebook page. Submitted by Rev. John Holst

Zion UCC in New Baden joyfully attempted their first online worship on May 3. Zion is designated an essential service in their area because they house the only food pantry in the area. Their office manager Austin Newton keeps that vital ministry going.               

Submitted by Rev. Janis Dashner, Interim Pastor

Alhambra Salem UCC
One of Alhambra Salem UCC's youngest parishioners is seen here with her hands folded in prayer in front of her iPad, virtually worshiping along with Rev. Jeremy Wood and the Salem Church faith family on Palm Sunday. "Hosanna, loud Hosanna, the little children sing..."

Cahokia Bethel UCC
David and Carol Shanks handed out lunches with TWIGS in Granite City to reach children who live on the outskirts and don't have a way to visit one of the Granite City schools that distribute lunches. They are doing the essential work of keeping kids fed while wearing protective gear and limiting interaction time to an absolute minimum. Bethel UCC in Cahokia is assisting these children with weekend food.