Pet Fest

Pet Fest (1)

The Pet Fest is a celebration of animals and the humans who love them. On Sunday, May 21 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. vendors, bakers, crafters, animal lovers, veterinarians, and shelters will gather for the second annual Pet Fest at Two Rivers United Methodist Church at 1820 5th Avenue in Rock Island.

The Rock Island Animal Hospital is co-sponsoring the event. A doctor and staff from the hospital will attend. They will be available for questions, and can meet your animals – although they will not be able to do check-ups. Vendors of pet-related goods are invited to set up a booth in the parking lot. There will also be a photo booth for owners to pose with their animals.

At 3:30 there will be a special “Blessing of the Animals,” led by Pastor Robb McCoy. The blessing will include prayers, some readings, and a special time for prayer with each pet in attendance with their owner. At last year’s event, most of the animals were dogs, although one person brought a chicken and at least two people brought pictures of their cats.

All animals at the Pet Fest must be leashed or caged at all times. They must also be properly vaccinated, and well-socialized to other animals. For the safety of all animals and humans, retractable leads are not allowed.

A collection will also be taken for the Quad City Animal Welfare Center. Animals up for adoption will not be at the event, but information about how to find companions through the QCAWC will be available. Suggested donations for the shelters that come will include paper towels, treats, blankets, towels, disinfectant cleaners, Purina Puppy and/or Kitten Chow, and toys.

If there are vendors interested in reserving a free booth, or if you would like more information, please call 309-788-9384.

Vitality Survey

Dear brothers andSurvey sisters in Christ,

The purpose of the Congregational Vitality Survey is to take a snapshot at the life and ministry of Two Rivers United Methodist Church. The survey’s focus is on Christ’s Great Commission to “go and make disciples.” These questions relate to how this congregation is making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Frank Beard directed the District Superintendents to select a few churches in each district to participate in this survey. Sylvester Weatherall, our DS, selected TRUMC and invited us to be a part of this program. The Church Council approved this survey as a first step toward a larger vision-making process of Two Rivers Church.

A quick look at all that is happening at TRUMC reveals that there are many ways that the church is active. The Evangelism Team has a renewed focus on reaching out to Downtown Rock Island. The Mission Team continues to serve the meal site, operation safety net, and various other outreach programs. The Discipleship Team has developed a plan for welcoming new people. A Good Neighbor Team has recently been formed to work with World Relief to help settle refugee families in the Quad Cities.

The segment of African brothers and sisters is growing within the church, offering new talents in worship and outreach. The children and youth continue to develop ministries, fellowship, and encounters with Christ. The relationship with the arts community in the Quad Cities has grown, with new relationships with the Quad City institutions such as the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and the River Music Experience.

TRUMC has expanded its reach in the community, and continues to build ways to make disciples of Jesus Christ. There seems to be a new era of activity and growth. It is important however, to be good stewards of our energy, resources, and talents. There is a danger that with all the new things that are going on, we could spread ourselves too thin. The Church Council and I believe that there is a need for a congregational plan to set the vision, mission, and ministry priorities of Two Rivers. Clearly, this is not the first time this kind of thing has been proposed at Two Rivers.

This is a congregation that is over 180 years old. Many members have been a part of it for decades, and have seen many “Visioning Plans,” and “Strategic Meetings” over the years. But times change. People change. Communities change. Visions that were cast even five years ago can seem ancient to some. I believe that even now we are in a much different place then we were just three years ago. It is time to assess where we are, and where we want to head into the future.

The Congregational Vitality Survey is the first step of this process. It will help us see where we are right now. The survey will be offered over a few weeks in worship. A paper survey will be made available in bulletins at worship over the next few weeks. Another paper survey will be sent to everyone who receives a newsletter. You can also help speed the process by filling out the online survey by clicking here or the picture above.

The survey is fairly short. All we ask of you is an honest assessment of what you think about Two Rivers UMC. In a few weeks we will meet with someone from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference Congregational Development office. They will help us evaluate the results of the survey and guide us into the next step of the process of streamlining our efforts for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom.

In Christ,

Pastor Robb


Country Western Dance & Dinner

Square DanceSunday, April 30

Join in the fun of country western dancing. Come and boot scoot, or just kick back and watch. We’ll have professional instructors lead us through an hour of square dancing from 3-4, and an hour of line dancing from 4-5. Then, after we’ve all worked up an appetite, we’ll have a cowboy supper. Meet in Epworth Hall. Cowboy attire not required. Dance shoes not required either.

After Easter

RISEN flyer

The Easter season is a seven-week celebration of the Risen Christ. For this season, Two Rivers UMC will celebrate a new series called, “Risen.” Providing a strike contrast from the seven weeks of Lent called “Forsaken,” this new series will take a closer look at the stories of Jesus after the Resurrection.

April 23 – Sending – Matthew 28:16-20

April 30 – Empowering – John 20:19-31

May 7 – Fishing – John 21:1-14

May 14 – Forgiving (and Restoring) – John 21:15-19

May 21 – Teaching (and Revealing) – Luke 24:13-35

May 28 – Promising – Luke 24:44-53

More than a meal site.

Two RiversMore than a Meal SiteIt is more than a meal site. On this Saturday, there are about 72 people in the fellowship hall of Two Rivers United Methodist Church. Most have a meal before them. A few are still in line. It’s a hot, good meal. It could find its way to any middle class dinner table in the city. Yet it is more than this. It doesn’t take long to realize that this isn’t about food, it’s about the people.

After the meal, people can go through the line again to get fresh produce. This is a recent addition, and much appreciated. Another time through the line, and people can pick up prepared meals or baked goods from Hy-Vee.

There is a crew of four working in the kitchen. They have been there since 9:30 a.m., and a couple of them were there the night before getting things ready. They will probably be here until about 2:00 cleaning up.

This isn’t a particularly busy Saturday. Sometimes there are fewer people. Sometimes there are more. On the last Saturday of the month, there is definitely more. That is the day they call “Operation Safety Net.”

On these days, there will be more to give away. Every month there will be prepackaged bundles of food and hygiene bundles of soaps, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. Every once in a while there are household items. All year the church collects small appliances, dishes, and blankets. When there is enough to be spread around, they give it away. They are working on clearing enough storage space in the over 100-year-old building to store larger items like tables and couches to help families get started in new homes. Occasionally there will be laundry detergent and diapers. Those are the big-ticket items. People are noticeably excited when they find out there is laundry detergent and diapers.

There are a lot of people that make this happen every week. Two Rivers United Methodist Church is not a big church. Worshipping between 80-90 on most Sundays, most of the volunteers are members, but not all. And there is no way this Saturday meal site could happen without the dedication of a few key people.

There are Dave and Ellen. They are married. Fixtures on Saturday, they pick up a lot of the items donated by Hy-Vee and do the shopping at Riverbend Food Bank. “Without Dave and Ellen, the whole operation falls apart,” says Robb McCoy, pastor of Two Rivers. “Their commitment and compassion is truly inspiring.”

There is Claudia. She collects coats. She does more than collect them. She collects, washes, sorts, and stores winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves. If there is someone cold in Rock Island, it is because they have yet to meet Claudia. She talks to area schools to see what they need. She taps a mother on the shoulder and ask her if her kids need a coat. She will notice the teenager who came in with only a t-shirt and subtly ask him what size he is. She will see the man who is 6’3″ and probably has trouble finding coats that fit, and she’ll find him one to try on.

There are Dick, Kala, Brianna, Kevin, Emma, and Abby. Three generations that come together to serve. Theirs is the third Saturday of the month. So they are there with the same meal they have been cooking for several years. It is a favorite, so they don’t want to mess with it. Grandfather, two daughters, son-in-law, and two grandkids. Some families spend Saturdays on softball fields. Not this one.

There is Ruth. Ruth bakes up the scrumptious homemade desserts every week, sometimes seven different kinds. Everyone loves Ruth and her wonderful treats.

There is Frank. He’s in his 80s, and sometimes he can’t make it, but he hates it when that happens. He wants to keep moving, keep active, keep serving, “because who knows what will happen if I stop,” he says with a chuckle.

There are more people. Every Saturday has a different crew. One of the weeks it is a solo cook who is also caring for her aging mother. Another is a pair of sisters and their families. Another is an Augie professor and a pharmacist. Every week, they are there.

People slowly trickle out. There hasn’t been any problem. It is loud sometimes, but it’s almost all laughter. There is a crying kid or two. They get distracted and stop crying like kids do. As they leave, some people want to pay. That is refused.

Some people want to stay and help clean up. That is accepted. One of the patrons packs up to-go boxes to bring to friends who cannot get out of their homes. There is enough help this weekend, but there might not be enough next weekend. It will get done, but a couple of regular helpers are out of town, so that means someone (probably Dave and Ellen) are going to have to do a lot more than usual.

“Dependable people.”

That is the answer to the question, “What is the most important thing the meal site needs?” It’s not money. It’s not food. It’s all about the people. People indeed. This is clearly more than a meal site. It is a people site.

If you’re interested in helping, it is simple. Fill out the form below, or call 309-788-9384 and tell Brianna that you want to help with meal site. She’ll tell you to come at 10 a.m. and report to Dave to work for the next four hours. He’ll tell you when and where to come into the church at 1820 5th Ave in Rock Island. He’ll give you a few jobs to do. You will probably help fix the plates, then help distribute the Hy-Vee items, then help sweep and wipe tables.

It may be intimidating at first, but smile, and remember: It’s about the people. And now you’re one of them.

I want to help with