Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Connect with Carol Cottingham

1.  How long have you been attending Troy UMC?
32 years beginning in the little white church on Main Street.

2.  What drew you to this church? 

The pastor and the friendliness of the people.  My husband as we were leaving, said this church needs us as much as we need them.  The lights kept going out during the service. He went home, got his meter and his electrical things, came back and fixed them.  As far as I know, they worked until we moved to this facility.

3.  Which service do you typically attend?

 I used to attend the 9:00 and 6:00pm on Sunday night, but now I'm teaching Sunday school at 9:00 and now attend 10:30 which most of my friends attend.

4.  Share a favorite Bible verse, and why this is a favorite.
The 100th Psalm, "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth," and John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  If it weren't for that, we'd all be doomed!

5.  Tell us about your family. 

My husband Ty and I have been married 54 years.  We were just kids 17 and 19.  He was in the military for 22 years, and I followed him all over the U.S. and Okinawa.  We have 3 boys, 51, 47, and 38.  All married to wonderful young women whom we love dearly.  They gave us 8 grandchildren and one of those 8 gave us 2 great-grandchildren! Our oldest lives in Godfrey and retired from the Alton Police Dept. and is now working security at one of the St. Louis Hospitals.  He has 3 girls, one getting married June 2013.  Our middle son lives in Flint, Texas, has 2 girls and a son.  His eldest daughter is the one that has a boy and a girl. He works as a Physical Therapist Assistant and teaches classes at the local junior college for Physical Therapist Technicians.

6.  Share a favorite Christmas recipe, and why this recipe is a favorite.
It's not very exciting, but sugar cookies because I used to help my mom, and my boys and the grandchildren always liked to help decorate.  Kind of a family thing.

7.  In what era would you most like to have grown up, and why?

I don't know why, but I guess the excitement of the old West.  I thought it would be great to travel in a Conestoga wagon across the valleys and mountains.  I know there was hardship, heat, death and wearin' those long dresses!  Oh my.  I guess I thought it was romantic somehow.

8. I found you behind a desk near the church entrance the other Tuesday busy at work.  Share your involvement at Troy UMC.

I am on the "care team,” the mission team, just went off after being 3 years on the Church council, Vice President of our local UMW unit and am secretary of the District, answer phones every other Tuesday, help with labeling the Newsletter for mailing, attend the Monday Afternoon Bible Study and occasionally lead a session have been a member of the choir years ago, have been in a couple of performances at Christmas, teach first grade Sunday school, attended Sunday school. We had another women's organization called Fidelis Circle. We met in the evening, and I was an active member of that until it dissolved. Helped start the now preschool program that is now called First Step.  Back then it was a Mother's Day Out Program where Mom's could drop their children from 10:30 – 2:30.  They learned to identify their own names, shapes, colors, etc. We had a great time!

9.  How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?
Email  or phone 667-2408 or cell 401-9872.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Connect with Heather Budwell

1.  How long have you attended Troy UMC?
Our family has been attending TUMC for almost two years now.  Our children, Jackson(8), Livia(7) and Austin(5), have attended Vacation Bible School for several years now. 

2.  What drew you to this church?
Our good friends, the Rodericks, invited us to visit their church family.  David Roderick was super excited about a new children's ministry curriculum that he was getting ready to launch and thought we would really like it.   My husband, Rich, has been in full-time ministry most of his adult life and has served as worship leader, children's ministry director, family pastor and lead pastor over the years, and although we are currently not in full-time ministry (he currently sells Medicare supplement insurance with Essence Healthcare), we were looking for a church with an excellent children's ministry program.  After learning about the TRU curriculum, we were hooked!  Pastor Dennis and his staff were extremely welcoming and have made us all feel right at home here at TUMC. 

3.  Which service do you typically attend?
Our family attends the 9am service where my husband and I rotate on the worship team.  Rich plays drums, guitar and sings, and I like to sing. 

4.  Share some information about yourself others may be surprised to learn.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to be one of the designers on the "Rebuild His House" project.  I have had a fun time picking out brick, tile, carpet, furniture, paint and decorating the Christmas tree.  I have a background in architectural interior design and currently own my own interior design and home staging company called Fresh Home Designs and Staging.  This has been a wonderful way that I can serve the body of Christ with my gifts and talents.

I also serve as the Saint Louis area coordinator for a non-profit organization called The SOLD Project, which raises awareness and works towards prevention of minor sex trafficking in Thailand, domestically and here locally.  I never know child sex trafficking was so prevalent even in Troy, IL, until I became affiliated with this organization.  I was appalled to learn that Saint Louis, MO, is the third largest trafficking hub in the United States.  I host public speaking seminars where I help raise awareness of this horrific crime.  I actually spoke at an evening service at TUMC in 2009 before we started attending.  Speaking out against minor sex trafficking is a passion the Lord gave me when I was a missionary with Youth with A Mission back in 2000.  We lived in Thailand for several months, and this was the first time I had ever experienced sex trafficking in person.  It changed my life.

5.  Share a favorite Bible verse, and why this is a favorite.

One of my favorite bible verses is "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and future. In those days when you pray I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,' says the Lord." Jeremiah 29:11-14.  These verses have brought me hope in time of great suffering.  The Lord's promises are so strong and true in these verses.  Even when I cannot make any sense of my circumstances or pain, I can rest assured that the Lord has full intentions of caring for me and giving me the best life possible here on earth and more importantly is preparing for me an eternal future with Him in His Kingdom.

6.  Tell us about your recent prayer retreat.
A few years ago a friend invited Rich and me to attend a contemplative prayer group called The New Day Monks.  We were not very familiar with contemplative prayer and after attending a few meetings we knew that the Lord was calling us to Himself through this lifestyle.  Similar to the monks, we employ silence, solitude and prayer to help create intimacy with the Lord.  One of the neat things we get to do with this group is attend a silent retreat at The Assumption Abbey in Ava, MO, a few times a year.  I just returned from my most recent silent retreat in November, and it was very powerful.  It always amazes me how very loud the Lord is when you choose so surround yourself with silence and meditation.  When you take the time to quiet your mind and heart, you can see circumstances and situations in your life so much more clearly, and I believe the Lord's instructions on the paths to take are so much louder. 

7.  Tell us about the weekly prayer group in which you belong.
Another neat way the Lord is allowing me to fellowship at this time in my life is I was invited to join with a handful of women that have started an MIT (Moms in Touch) prayer group.  MIT is an international organization that gathers moms to  pray for their children, their schools, their teachers and administrators.  It has been such a powerful time of blessing for us to come together once a week and commit an hour to praying for our children and their schools.  I have felt such a tight bond with these women over a very short period of time because we pour out our hearts to the Lord for our precious children together and give all praise, requests and intercession to Him.  I encourage anyone who might be interested in this prayer group to contact me for more details.  You and your family will feel the peace of his grace through interceding together.  

8.  How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?

I appreciate the opportunity to tell you about my life and my family.  I look forward to deepening my relationship in our church community and learning more about all of you as well!  Please feel free to e-mail me at

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Devotional Challenge by Dannette McKellar

Son of Man
comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit on his glorious throne.
All the nations will be gathered before him,
and he will separate the people one from another
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Matthew 25:31-33

Warm milk in a baby bottle is the ticket to popularity at Grant’s Farm, a St. Louis family attraction ... if you are brave enough to pass through the turnstile into the fenced area.  That’s where demanding baby goats crowd around you, stomp on your feet, tug at your clothing, and head butt your arms.  Pushing each other out of the way, they greedily clamor for the ultimate prize: sucking milk from your baby bottle.
That image appeared when I read Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats, and I wondered: Am I a sheep or a goat?  This time of year, crowds and holiday stress have a way of bringing out the goat in me.  It’s easy to become a goat when I’m in a hurry ... when I’m working my way through crowded stores trying to find everything on my list ... when I’m stuck in miserable traffic.  Unfortunately, being a goat means I’m focused on myself: what I need to do and where I need to be. 
My challenge this Christmas season is to be less like a goat so others can see Christ in me and in Christmas.  Will you take the challenge with me?

Submitted by Dannette McKellar

Easy and Healthy Chocolate Muffins

1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup water

Mix, bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Thank you, Sherri Volz, for this yummy, easy, healthy recipe!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

UMW Christmas Party for the Children of the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House

The UMW will hold a Christmas party for the children of Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House on December 20th. Homemade cookies are needed. If you would like to bake cookies for the party, contact Diane Jones at 288-7254.

Connect with Carol Pigg

1. How long have you attended Troy UMC?

20 years

2. What drew you to this church?

Went to Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon—the pastor was a friend of Dennis’ we later learned.  Listening to Tim at a woman’s Christmas dinner function sealed the deal.

3. Which service do you typically attend?

8 AM, although for about a month or more, been going to all 3 services.  It’s great meeting more people from the church.

4. Share a favorite Bible verse, and why this is a favorite.

Of course, Thes. 5:11. We are encouragers of each other through our gifts.

Another is Ephesians 4: 16-19

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you ….

How good is it that we have God and Jesus in our lives to give us love, grace and power to be sisters established in love.

5. What is one of your favorite hymns?

It Is Well with My Soul.  Always loved this, and it was the last hymn I sang to my Mom just hours before she went to meet Jesus and be with Dad, Grammie and Grampie again.

6. Name a hobby.

Sewing pillowcases for the deployed troops.

7. What are you passionate about?

My ministry to our troops. Currently I have 3 Air Force Families I have adopted, as well as many others through my monthly adoptions with Molly’s Adopt-a-Sailor. We adopt ALL branches of the military.

8. Tell us about your family. 

Husband of 30 years, Max. Met him while he was a student at Butler U in Indianapolis, and he was our summer interim organist at my church right out of high school. We will have known each other 40 years.

Son Andy. 24 and in the US Navy. Extremely talented with his hands and he loves music and art.

Two rescue dogs. Buttercup and Lucy.

I am only 2nd generation in the US. Grampie was from Estonia, escaped through Chezk, and immigrated to Boston. Grammie was 14 and came through Ellis Island from the Black Forest, Germany.   

9. What is one of the most thoughtful gifts you have ever received?

Gosh—so many. The year I had to go to church conference, and Andy and Max were in Washington DC. They bought me a necklace that is cherished.

My Mom giving me the love of reading books.

10. How may we contact you in order to make a further connection?

Cell phone/text at (618) 972-9131

The United Methodist Women at Troy UMC

Our purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.
Join this exciting group of women on the 2nd Thursday of each month. There is an afternoon group that meets at 1:00 pm, and an evening group that meets at 7:00pm. Both groups meet in rooms 116/117 (next to the kitchen).
For more information contact the church office (618) 667-6241.

Welcome to RUBY Magazine Troy UMC


Thank you for dropping by RUBY; you will be so happy to have found this new on-line magazine.

RUBY is the brainchild of Courtney Winkler one of our ladies at Troy UMC. I encourage you to make a comment or suggestion and to stop by as much as you would like.

RUBY will  give you another opportunity to be in the know about Ladies Ministries at the church.  There will be multiple interviews on ladies from Troy UMC so we can connect.

In the last few weeks, I have seen quizzes, comments, interviews and now a Secret Santa out on RUBY. There are also photos that are downloaded from our different events for all to share. We are encouraging ladies to list prayer requests so we can all pray with and for you.

Again thank you for stopping by for a visit.

This is just another opportunity to Love, Encourage & Hug each other, and now through cyberspace.

Thank you Courtney for allowing God to work in and through you to start RUBY.  Now that you have discovered RUBY, make sure to tell your girlfriends about it; they will be glad you shared with them.

Julie Ford, Troy UMC Women's Events
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  
-1 Thessalonians 5:11

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nativity-Centered Family Fun and Learning for All Ages

Looking for a FREE activity in which people of all ages can enjoy and participate? Then, save the date for the weekend after Thanksgiving. This past Thanksgiving weekend 2011 marked the fifth year of the annual Scenes of the Nativity event hosted by St. Joseph's in Cottleville, Missouri.  More than 250 Nativity scenes of various sizes and origins were on display in St. Joseph's school cafeteria.  This included designs spanning the traditional to the unique with use of materials from around the world.   
Carved from the Ash at Mount St. Helens
Nativity Created out of the Actual Story of the Birth of Jesus

While viewing the Nativity scenes, an accompanying scavenger hunt list was distributed at the entrance encouraging cooperative learning among visitors and strangers.  Following a group of high school students, our group- a couple, two children, an uncle, and a grandma- assisted them in finding the turtle in the Precious Moments Nativity while they gave hints as to the location of the Nativity scene constructed of corn husks.
After walking through the numerous rows of tables displaying the Nativities, a photo opportunity presented itself at the conclusion where visitors themselves became a part of the Nativity, thus experiencing the story of the birth of Jesus.
In addition, there was a craft area where children could create their own Nativity scene, listen to stories, play games, and have yet another photo opportunity. 

Submitted by Courtney Winkler

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Hot Curried Fruit" Recipe

"Hot Curried Fruit" was a big hit at the Ladies Christmas Brunch on Saturday, Dec. 3rd. I would like to share the recipe along with a few comments. "Hot" does not mean spicy hot from the curry, but rather hot from the oven. There were reservations from some individuals who were totally put off by the thought of curry mixed with fruit, but they were pleasantly surprised. Try it, you'll like it!

Hot Curried Fruit

1 can (29 oz.) apricot halves, drained
1 can (29 oz.) pear halves, drained
1 can (29 oz.) peach halves, drained - I used peach slices
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained
3/4 cup golden raisins - I substituted with maraschino cherries
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder

In a 2-1/2-quart casserole dish, combine fruit and raisins ("cherries").
Melt butter in a small saucepan; stir in brown sugar and curry powder.
Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over fruit
mixture; mix gently. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
or until heated through.
YIELD: 10-12 servings

Submitted by Cindy Whitcomb

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Confident Heart- Online Book Club Invitation

What’s the best gift you could give yourself this year? How about confidence? What about a faith in God that removes doubt and fears? Ladies, this is exactly what I am receiving via Renee Swope’s book, A Confident Heart. Now, if you haven’t heard about this book, listen up. If you have, listen up anyway, I have some exciting news! In January, Renee is doing an online Bible study and you can be part of it for FREE! You don’t have to dress up or leave that cozy spot at home. Get a copy of the book, grab your Bible, fix a nice warm drink and fire up that computer.

I am only through Chapter 3 right now, but let me tell you, I am inspired. In chapter 2 we meet Sam, a woman who lives as an outcast in a corrupted society. She doubts herself and her role on Earth. Alone and misunderstood, she goes about her daily routine trying to avoid conflict and judgment until she meets Him. One who waits there for her, knowingly, lovingly, patiently. He offers her something honest, deep and pure. Something Sam didn’t even know she was missing. My friends her name could have been Bethany Ann…well, let’s just say we understood each other.

Come read with me; let’s join Renee as she as she leads us beyond salvation to satisfaction in Jesus. Renee Swope

Reviewed by Beth Miramonti. Please contact Beth at if interested.