Grand Opening Plus One


Tomorrow a very special friend of mine will be preaching. Paul McNabb. Paul was a part of the congregation of the Woodstock First United Methodist Church and would often take a spot in my absence.


Paul preached here about two years ago so you may remember him. Paul has been an ordained Minister for 54 years. Paul pastored four churches in Arkansas and Wisconsin and was a Navy chaplain for 27 years. Additionally he was a Naval flight officer for 10 years and founder of the East Aurora ROTC.


Paul and Demaris have been married 52 years and have four children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Welcome Paul and Demaris.

We Hope You Will Join in Tomorrow at Sunday 10:15

Some questions some have asked


  • If you are vaccinated is it still okay to wear a mask?

Absolutely it is okay. we will continue to follow the

CDC guidelines as we have been. The guidelines

are that if you’re fully vaccinated you do not need to

wear a mask. If you are not fully vaccinated then we

hope you will wear a mask. we will operate on the

honor system. and there will be those who are fully

vaccinated will for a variety of reasons still choose to

wear mask.

  1. If you are not vaccinated, are you still welcome if you

wear mask? the short answer is absolutely. The long

answer is absolutely. We welcome welcome

welcome you and all.

  1. Will there be a designated area for people who

still want to be socially distanced? We are so

glad that you asked that question because we had

not thought about doing that. But because you do

that to our attention yes there will be six rows set

aside for social distancing. They will be the six rows

directly in front of the piano.

  1. Is singing allowed? Not only is it allowed it is

encouraged. We may even catch up on some of the

holiday songs that we have not been able to sing

together over the past year. Feel free to keep in mind

the fourth instruction that Wesley gave to his

congregation,” Sing lustily and with good courage.

Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half

asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no

more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of

its being heard, than when you sung the songs of



And as always our zoom link is


Adult Sunday School


A reminder

Adult Sunday School has resumed from 9-10 in the parlor. Colossians, chapter 3  Kysa Meek will be the facilitator. Welcome Back!













Town Hall Meeting


Keeping in touch with one anther.


In an age of instant communication it is still takes work to keep one another fully informed. The church council has thought about this and wants to try having a regular town hall type meeting to give an opportunity for the church leadership to hear from the church community and the church community to hear from the church leadership.


Our first Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Sunday, June 27th at 11:30. It will be held in the sanctuary and live via zoom. We hope you will attend,.


Worship Sunday, December 27th 10:15 Worship information

Morning Worship at Morning Worship at 10:15

Poor baby Jesus no rest for him….. We celebrate his birth and the story turns quickly to his family running for their lives….. Jesus on a “Wanted Poster.”

All a part of the great story of Jesus’ life.

Want to read ahead… Hebrews 2:10–18 and
Matthew 2:13–23


Again this year we will be collecting hats, mittens, scarfs and socks for local people in need. More information will be coming but start to think about how you might be a part of that outreach. THE mitten tree is growing. Thanks to those who have dropped off some hats, scarfs and gloves. If you have something you would like to donate, we would like to receive it. 


A huge word of thanks to Neal Waltmire for all of his help, we are finally up and running on our new web page. It is still a work in progress and as you see things that need updating – let us know and we will look for ways to get it done.

Joys and Concerns

If you would like to share a joy or concern ahead of time please respond to this email. Pastor Kurt


Christmas Eve Services and Advent Study

Advent Study Week 3 Tonight at 7pm

Christmas Eve at 4 and 7pm

The church leadership team met on Tuesday night and decided that out of an abundance of caution, care and love it is in the best interest to close the sanctuary for our two Christmas Eve services.

It was both a hard and an easy decision. We followed our church founders first rule; “do no harm.” While it will never be the same we are thankful for the technology we have that will enable us to experience in the safety of our homes our Christmas Eve services. One of the two services will also be posted later on Facebook and YouTube.

I will share the zoom link later so we do not get our zoom links confused. If you would like to be a reader at either of our services or read it ahead of time please let me know. It will be a great time to sit in front of some Christmas decorations and hear the story read. And it is always wonderful to hear the story read by children.

We will have live music at both services along with other special music. I appreciate all who responded to my survey of last week and those responses helped us in deciding when to hold our services. We will conclude in the traditional manner singing, ‘Silent Night’ we invite you will have a candle to light as we sing.

Thursday Night Advent Study

Tonight is the third week for our advent study Incarnation….. We will look at chapter 3. “Emmanuel in the Midst of a Pandemic.” If you need help getting a hold of the material please reach out to me(Pastor Kurt). Each week stands on its own so if you have yet to try the waters feel free to jump in Thursday night at 7pm. Missed the first week…. no problem.

Here is the link to our week three video…. we also watch it together at the start of the group…..

Here is our zoom link for our meeting

We continue our Advent time of waiting……

Pastor Kurt


Nov 29th Update

Look what made the Front Page of last Monday’s Herald…. Your church did… How neat is that. 
Okay on to tomorrow…. We have our annual visit with Claudine Cappelle-Harig who plays the harp. Claudine will play some solo material and she and Bryan will play a duet.
Also, tomorrow we are planning on using our new audio visual sanctuary set up which will make your home zoom experience just that much better.
Here is the zoom link for tomorrow….  
Join Zoom Meeting
Remember, because of the training on the new a/v equipment and the others participating in the service there is no general seating tomorrow. 
Also, because of the upsurge in the virus we are now limited to ten people in the sanctuary. To reserve your place for December 6th you may call anytime after 12pm tomorrow. Call 815-385-0931 X 101 to reserve your place. We can accept the first 7 places… sorry we don’t make the rules / guidelines…… Why 7 and not 10? Because there are three of us who are a part of the service and we count towards the 10……
Tomorrow is Advent 1 – Advent is a time of waiting… something we might have some familiarity with this year. We will ask – ‘where are you finding hope’?
I hope you can join us live but if not I will get the service posted on Facebook and YouTube somewhere around 2pm. I send out that information when it becomes available.
Joys and Concerns
If you would like to share a joy or concern ahead of time please respond to this email.
Pastor Kurt


Nov 7 Update

Don’t get confused. Remember tomorrow we are at 10:15 for our Sunday morning zoom worship. It’s going to be a great day.
There has been so much going on this week. I look forward to sending you pictures and an update at the start of next week….. St. Paul’s has moved in and brought some of their warmth and tradition. We have a big update to our audio visual and streaming capabilities….. So much… I will catch you up soon.
Tomorrow we begin with Psalm 72. It talks of the importance of a just King. And what a just King does, the responsibilities of a just King — helps the needy the poor, the weak. Pretty important…. in our world we can substitute president.
Matthew 25 is about responsibility and how it relates to fear. Fear can paralyze us and it can paralyze the church. Fear of change, fear of the other…. Love seeks out truth Jesus tells us that elsewhere but fear looks for safe quarters.
That’s where we are headed tomorrow……
Here is the zoom link for our Sunday 10:15 gathering…..
At 10:15 we will begin our virtual zoom service. The sanctuary is open to those who wish to be in the sanctuary while the zoom service takes place.
If you wish to call in +1.312.626.6799 then enter meeting ID ,, 847 8906 6391
Remember if you come to our on-site gathering at 10:15…. Please wear a face and practice social distancing. I love to see those who are attending.
Pastor Kurt
Joys and Concerns
If you would like to share a joy or concern ahead of time please respond to this email.
Pastor Kurt


Oct 31st Update

Tomorrow is All Saints Day
All Saint’s Day is one of the many gifts of the church. An opportunity to remember, reflect and give thanks for those who have come paved the way for us.
Here is our zoom link
Kurt Gamlin is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Join Zoom Meeting
Remember our change in service time 10:15….
And that we will have one service tomorrow. A Zoom Service. You are still welcome to come and sit in the sanctuary while the zoom service is conducted. The doors for the church will be open at and the service will begin at 10:15.
You are asked to sign in, wear a mask and social distance while here.
Being the first Sunday of the month it is also our celebration of holy communion so please prepare for that. It is a beautiful day – I hope you are able and take do take advantage of it……
If you have any joys or concerns please respond to this email.
Pastor Kurt
Like to Shop ? Check this Out….
You Can Donate to the church while you shop!!!
As we approach the Christmas season and begin to think of Christmas shopping and buying gifts for our loved ones, many people will shop online. If you use the website Amazon Smile, they will donate 0.5% of your total sales to our church. When you choose First United Methodist Church, McHenry, IL as your charity, it costs you nothing. Amazon is donating to our church. 
Amazon Smile is very simple to use. On your first visit to the site on your computer, you will be asked to log in using your Amazon account with your existing username and password (you do not need a separate account for Amazon Smile). During future visits to the site, Amazon Smile will remember your charity and apply the donation to our church. It is that easy. (Please note that this does not work on phone or “I PAD” apps). Shop and smile.
Thank you for thinking of our church during the Christmas season!  Arne Waltmire


Oct 24

Two Services Tomorrow
Zoom – 9:45 &
In Sanctuary 10:45
Zoom at 9:45
Tomorrow we resume full worship in the sanctuary. Here is our schedule.
Zoom begins at 9:45. Note the time change.
Here is our zoom link
Join Zoom Meeting
Then at 10:45 we will gather in the sanctuary. Following the guidelines given to us by our Bishop we will maintain social distancing, wear a mask at all times, not have any food before or after the service and not have any ‘live’ singing during the service. As the weather changes and outerwear is necessary, please take your coat to your seat and do not hang it up in the coat room. And please keep any socializing before or after the service to a minimum. There will also not be a nursery at the present time.
Churches have also been directed to keep the services shorter. We will have helpers present to give guidance with social distancing and other matters as they may arise.
For those without mobility issues we ask that you enter thru the doors closest to the two picnic tables. See the picture and there will be signage.  You will be asked to exit going past the administrative office, the pastor’s office and down the stairs – existing next to the flagpole. Anyone who needs to enter the church without stairs the Main Street double doors are available.
At this time as the infection rate is rising your church leadership will do all that it can to keep you safe. Upon arrival you will be asked to sign in. This is in case it is later discovered someone was infectious while at the service. By signing in we will be able to notify all present of the situation. The sanctuary will be cleaned prior to and following every service. The bathrooms have tissues on both sides of the door so it will be easy to not touch the door. Likewise, there is nothing to touch in the pews everything has been removed. There are hand sanitizing stations and bottles in various locations.
BUT the biggest thing we can do to keep one another safe is to make sure (as much as possible) that we are well when we arrive. That you are feeling well, no fever, cough, chills, loss of taste etc.. If so, please stay home and enjoy the service from home.
I look forward to seeing you at one of our two services tomorrow.
Together in Christ and Ministry,
Pastor Kurt
If you have any joys or concerns please let me know. You can do so by responding to this email. Thanks


What’s News? August 12, 2020

Hispanic Ministry
Sit in on Zoom Sanctuary Service
Re-Turn Team
Cheryl Peterson
Hispanic Ministry
Following discussions with the Church Council and the Trustees we were super excited to welcome a newly formed Hispanic congregation into our building on Sunday.
Blessed with such a large physical plant we are able to open up part of the lower level to them. The name of their fellowship is “En Cristo Somos Mas Que Vencedores.”
If you are as rusty with your Spanish as I am, it translates into, “In Christ we are more than Conquerors.” They began worshiping during the pandemic and this past Sunday was the first time they have been physically together. They had told us to expect about 15 and that was how many were there.
I have been told it was a dream of some here to have a ministry to the Hispanic population and with this group that prayer has been answered. They begin their worship at noon and the pastor and a few other leaders arrive before that for set up and prayer. They pray for us every time they gather and we shall do likewise.
“Watch the Zoom Service From In the Sanctuary”
You asked…. We listened and it is going to happen. Two weeks ago at the outdoor service it was asked, “can we just come in and sit in the sanctuary while ‘you’ do the zoom service? That got the conversation going and after a Church Council conversation and a ReTurn Team discussion the answer is yes. Beginning on Sunday, August 23rd people who want to attend the zoom service will be allowed to sit in the sanctuary. You will need to wear a face covering, social distancing will occur, there will be no food or drink and the music will be what has been taking place on Zoom. What you see on your computer at home is what will be displayed on the large screens in the sanctuary and the sound will come thru the sanctuary speakers. I will be seated up front as I have been and I (Pastor Kurt) will be viewed primarily on the screen. We will have hosts to help you know where to sit and how to move about the building. Tissues will be available everywhere you would need to open a door with wastebaskets close by.
This is a bridge event until we start to have a discussion about a ‘true sanctuary worship experience.’ But this does allow people into the sanctuary for a service. This will be a learning experience for all involved. We are beginning this with the expectation it will occur weekly. With the availability of the indoor experience this will conclude our outdoor lawn worship. So this Sunday August 16th there will still be an outdoor service at 10:45.
Thanks for your interest and we look forward to sharing the sanctuary time together and learning how to make it the very best possible experience for those who attend.
Questions? Reply to this email………
ReTurn Team Launch
Each United Methodist Church is required to have a ReTurn Team that explores the various aspects of how to resume activity in the building. As you see from the above article our team has met and begun their work.
There is still lots of work to be done. Cue the music, “we’ve only just begun……” The next step the team will consider is; once it is decided we are ready to return to actual in sanctuary worship, what are all the details and considerations for that. Add to that this church is committed to maintaining the same high-quality zoom service as we currently are ‘producing’.
Currently the ReTurn Team members are Nancy Johnson, Bonnie Rudolf, Brad and Annette Eyers, Craig Linebaugh, Arnie Waltmire, Karla Zander and Pastor Kurt. If you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions about this please direct it to one of the team members.
Cheryl Peterson – Administrative Assistant
Friday, August 7th was our final day with Cheryl Peterson our church administrator and assistant. Cheryl was hired about the 3rd week of February to take care of office matters.
It was three short weeks after that COVID-19 descended and the job that Cheryl was hired for went away. Two of her main responsibilities were the bulletin for Sunday and the Sunday visual material (the Power Point). In a blink, sneeze and cough those jobs went away. Cheryl then worked on some much-needed membership updating and finally worked on and helped with the clean-up of the basement.
Now all of that work is completed so apart from checking morning email and the occasional mailing there is no regular work to be had. We wish her well and thank her for the work she did and the flexible and gracious attitude she brought to the task.
That’s our UPdate
We continue to work on our church website with the help of Neil Waltmire. And did you hear? Right now Diane Waltmire and (son) Neal have teamed up and are giving everyone the opportunity to honor a teacher. Yes you can thank that teacher and support the ministry of this church at the same time. I will send out a seperate email on that shortly…. Thanks everyone……
Pastor Kurt