Little Utica United Methodist Church
Thursday, November 14, 2019

EJ Thomas Cluster of Churches

Posted February 17, 2019 
The Cluster’s last meeting was held in November and Bowens Corners UMC hosted us. We discussed ways of growing our group by getting other churches involved and what new missions we want to support. We would like to do more locally as there are so many needs in our communities. Devotions, prayers and stories were shared. Due to Granby Center UMC closing and now Hannibal UMC opting out, we do not have enough churches to host our meetings. We decided not to hold meetings in December due to Christmas being a busy time and January due to unsure weather. Our next meeting will be February 11th at noon hosted at Little Utica, weather permitting. As a group we are going to discuss the Cluster Easter Lenten services and what we want to support with the collections. If you are free for the day please bring a dish or dessert to share and come and join us. Our meetings are never boring and the food and fellowship can’t be beat.
Blessings, Elaine Phillips. Cluster Treasurer
Posted October 13, 2018 
EJ Thomas Cluster of Churches President, Margaret Hass and Elaine Phillips present a check for $700 to United Methodist Men President Paul Thompson during the UMM monthly breakfast held at Little Utica.  This donation supports the UMM mission to fund companion & service dogs for our Veterans through the Cpl. Kyle R. Schneider Foundation.
This Past Year’s Happenings
The E.J. Thomas Cluster of Churches consists of several local churches; Martville, Little Utica, Bowens Corners, Hannibal, Hannibal Center and Ira. We meet the second Monday of the month from September through May. We bring a dish to pass and enjoy lunch before the meeting. Besides discussing our old and new business we fellowship, pray, and hear devotions.
Some of what the Cluster has done this year:
The cluster raises money through a “Bakeless Bake Sale” to support Dr. Zimmerman’s mission in Nepal. In years past the cluster would hold a bake sale a couple times a year, but due to a decline in membership and members getting older it was decided to take up a voluntary collection yearly in each church and raise money to send to Dr. Zimmerman.  We now call this fundraiser our “Bakeless Bake Sale.”  We have been fortunate to send five hundred dollars annually thanks to all the  churches that participate and those of you who generously give.
Each Lenten season we do a 5 PM service every Sunday throughout the Lenten season. Each church participates and hosts a Sunday evening with a light meal after the service. The collection taken during these services previously went for Camperships to help young people attend camp. Due to the decline of young people in our churches we have not had any requests for camperships in the past several years.  A couple years ago we voted to leave some money in reserve in case we get a request for a campership, but money collected going forward would be used to help support our local vets or other good causes. 
The E.J. Thomas Men's Group has raised money to purchase DAV vans to transport our local vets to and from Dr appointments. They amazingly have purchased two vans. Last year the Men’s Group decided to help raise money for The Kyle R Schneider Foundation. This money would help purchase service dogs and the necessary training. The Cluster donated over nine hundred dollars from last years Lenten services. We have donated gift cards to The Kyle R Schneider Foundation to help purchase Christmas and Thanksgiving meals for our service men. We also sent money to help the hurricane victims. 
The E.J. Thomas Cluster of Churches is a small group who support missions locally and far away. We invite you to come and join us for a Monday meeting and get involved. 
I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
Elaine Phillips
Cluster Treasurer