Christmas At Two Rivers

Wed. Dec. 21 6:30 p.m. Blue Christmas Service. This service is on the longest night of the year, and makes room for grief in the midst of Christmas preparations.

Sat. Dec. 24 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Service

Sun. Dec. 25 9:30 a.m. Christmas service. We will meet in the back of the sanctuary, seated around the round tables in a more intimate, interactive and “Family Style” Communion.

Sun. Jan. 1 9:30 a.m. Epiphany Sunday. We will give out “Star Words” that will provide a theme for guidance and reflection for the coming year.

Blue Christmas Service, Dec 21, 6:30 p.m.

Sometimes the holidays hurt. In many ways, it is the “most wonderful time of the year.” For some however, it can be the time of year when the pain of loss is the sharpest. Two Rivers United Methodist Church will have a Blue Christmas service on December 21 at 6:30 p.m. This service is open to everyone in the community who may have struggle with Christmas.

The date is significant as well. “We gather on the longest night of the year to acknowledge that the dawn will come. We speak the truth that the night can feel very long, but God often meets us in the dark. It is in the dark where healing often takes place,” said Pastor Robb McCoy.

Two Rivers United Methodist Church has been offering a Blue Christmas service since 2014, since McCoy started there. He has been offering a service like this at his churches for over ten years.

“The Blue Christmas service is an important part of the holiday season,” said McCoy, “because it is a chance for people to acknowledge an important truth. While Christmas is a joyful time, the reality of life is that it also brings pain.”

For those grieving, Christmas can be a difficult time, especially for those experiencing the holidays without a loved one or the first time.

“It’s not just about grief,” McCoy said. “For some, the holidays bring an additional array of anxieties. Financial stress and family discord can be heightened at this time, too. The Blue Christmas service is designed for people to have space to breathe a little deeper in the midst of a season that is often so shallow.”

The service is open to all people, and is designed around quiet reflection. There will be a short message of lamentation, some contemplative prayer, a ritual for healing, and Communion. All people are welcome to the Communion Table regardless of faith, age, belief, or sexual orientation.

Young Lions Roar volunteer meeting Monday, October 10 at 5:00 p.m.

A launch party for the Young Lions Roar program is set for Monday, October 24 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. The launch party will include food, refreshments, performances by several local artists and a chance for students and volunteers to meet and greet one another.

The program will then proceed on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30-6:00. It will include monthly showcases and performance opportunities. The students involved will be in grades 7-12. They will learn about emotional intelligence, process grief and trauma, and healthy channeling of emotional distress. Volunteers who are interested in learning more about the program should come to Two Rivers on Monday, Oct 10 at 5:00 p.m. Volunteer schedules can be built around your availability. Volunteers can be “behind the scenes” or “hands on” with the students. 

Students interested in the program can register now at YoungLionsRoar.com

Amani Café

Amani Cafe is a new ministry concept that is similar to the NEST Cafe model, but with members of Two Rivers Church and African food. The long-term dream is to open a non-profit restaurant in Rock Island that would employ and provide support to African immigrants in our community. 

     On September 11, the Amani Cafe team will host a fundraiser lunch after worship at 11:00 a.m. All are invited to Epworth Hall to sample a meal of East African food. Donations can be made as a love offering to help get this Amani Cafe started. 

     The seed money raised on September 11 will help fund a future pop-up restaurant.. The team hopes to host a pop-up restaurant every month to raise money and gauge the interest of an African restaurant in Rock Island. Much like what NEST Cafe did, Amani Cafe will serve a take-out meal from the church parking lot and accept donations. A portion of the money raised will go toward local services for African immigrants. Most of the money raised will go toward building the non-profit restaurant. Someday you may see Amani Cafe open as a brick and mortar restaurant in downtown Rock Island!

     It will all start on September 11. All are invited to Epworth Hall on this day to share in a wonderful meal, meet the Amani Café team, and learn more about the Amani Café dream.

Chopin: The Polonaises

     Pianist Andrzej Kozlowski will share a breathtaking performance at Two Rivers United Methodist Church on Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the event are $20 and can be purchased online by clicking here. This concert is a fundraiser that will be split between the Rock Island Music Scholarship Fund and the Two Rivers Church Youth Fund. 

     Kozlowski is the owner of the Sound Conservatory, a new music academy and shoppe in downtown Rock Island. Located at 2235 Third Avenue in Rock Island, the Conservatory features seven different instructors, including voice, piano, strings, brass, bassoon, and guitar. Recent concerts featuring Kozlowski and other area musicians have raised scholarships for students from both Edison and Washington Junior High. Pastor Robb and his daughter Lucy started taking piano lessons with Andzej in March.

     Andrzej Kozłowski was born in Gdynia, Poland but in 1992 he and his family emigrated to the United States permanently. At the age of 14, he began piano lessons with concert pianist Dwight Pelzter, but due to the teacher’s health complications the lessons ended after only 9 months. After a few months of self-teaching, Andrzej’s piano tuner referred him to a renowned pianist and composer Zaven Khatchadourian, with whom he further continued his studies till his sudden death in 2003. He went on to continue his studies at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University in music education but shortly after moved on to study piano performance at the Juilliard School.

     As a pianist, Andrzej has dedicated his career specializing in the music of Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin. One of the most important national dances of Poland, the polonaise’s majestic and ceremonial character allowed Chopin to express his own patriotism. Pianist Andrzej Kozlowski will share his vision on these iconic works by one of Poland’s greatest composers.

Youth Group Restart  

Youth Group and Kids Club will restart on Wednesday, May 25. This first meeting will be at Two Rivers UMC from 3:30 – 5:30pm. Starting June 1 we will meet at Camp Milan for games, discussion, and dinner. We will meet from 3:30-5:30 every Wednesday. We are happy to announce that we will be joined by the youth group from Trinity Lutheran Church of Moline. Volunteers are needed to help with dinner, games, and be a part of our discussions. If you are interested in volunteering or participating in Youth Group activities, please contact the church office at 309-788-9384.