October 19, 2020

Ep. 15 - Greg Batton

Host of the area's top radio morning show, Greg Batton of WMBD, joins Greg Fish for a look at the topics that are driving life in the Peoria region right now. Join us for lots of laughs, some great stories, and a look at how we can best address some of the serious topics facing our region and world. Greg is a fantastic guest, a well-respected voice in our region, and a man of many important (and some not so important) insights. You'll want to hear his insights on tackling disagreements, COVID, racial tensions, and more.

Frankly, pastors have a seemingly impossible task set before them in navigating the COVID minefield and creating solutions that will honor Christ and provide care to as many people as possible. Today we tackle the weighty and highly controversial issue of reopening. Bearing in mind that it is nearly impossible to be timely with information since COVID responses are continually changing around us, we endeavor to give you as functional a response to the reopening question as possible. Pastor Tim bravely and wisely takes on some of the biggest questions of the day in regards to how FUMC will respond to ministering Jesus in a time of so many questions and issues at play. You may or may not hear what you want to hear, but know that you are about to receive a word that is preceded by much prayer, consultation, and study.

Fresh out of high school, our own Kate Rolffs joined the World Race Gap Year program, where she joined 36 other young people for a missions adventure to Swaziland, Thailand, and Nicaragua. Though the COVID-19 crisis brought an end to this trip a couple of months early, it was still a life-changing event for Kate. Tune in for a few of Kate's life-changing experiences, and hear how a mission-minded young lady from Peoria, IL took on the world as she carried the hope of Jesus, and brought back stories of His power. 

Read any good books lately? While we hope we're nearing the end of the shutdown, it's still possible that you're hungering for a good book to read, or material that can help you grow stronger. Church librarian Lori Herold joins us on this episode with the story of how a simple church library can make a big difference on our down days.

Associate Pastor Tanya Edward-Evans, along with Director of Fine Arts & Discipleship, Dr. Carol McPherson, join us at the table for a healing, helpful conversation on racism. It's the topic everyone is talking about right now, but the messaging regarding the appropriate response are mixed at best. What should be our response, and how can white people of faith do better? What is the key to building healthy relationships between the races? We take a deep breath, and allow the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts as we seek to find positive, workable approaches for seemingly impossible situations. These are important stories for th church today.

In this episode, the tables are turned, and 116 host Greg Fish is interviewed by Pastor Tim Ozment. Greg's new book, Be Patient, Take Courage, Don't Grumble, is being released early because of its relevance to the time we find ourselves in with the pandemic crisis. The book encourages us to change the way we face our challenges, and how to move forward into what is ahead of us when we might before to go back in time. The title of the book is a work in process for us all, but it encourages us to understand a simple pattern that God has given us for facing the realities of the day, and moving into the hope of the future. The book is available now at www.gregfish.me.

In another special edition dealing with our response to the mandated shutdown, we talk with Dr. Carol McPherson, our Director of Discipleship & Fine Arts Ministries, about how FUMC is taking its mission seriously even through the shutdown. Difficult times have necessitated creative and out-of-the-box thinking. Not only are we learning to survive, we are thriving in the way we are continuing to disciple believers and share God's beauty through the arts. This is a story that includes a lot of interesting information about how God's work cannot be stopped by a pandemic.

In this special installment of Stories from the 116, Greg talks with FUMC Director or Community Ministries & Mission, Dan Philips, about things we can do to help others whose personal struggles are not slowed down by the pandemic. Learn how our Loaves & Fish program has adapted to feed the needy around us, how Backpack Buddies is striving to continue to put meals in the hands of hungry young students, and what you can do to help. We may be social distancing, but the need around us is still close at hand.

This week we invite FUMC Director of Youth Ministries, Christina Koeppel, to the illustrious 116 studios to discuss how COVID-19 concerns and sheltering-in-place have effected our youth ministries. Christina gives us insight into the minds and hearts of our teens, discusses their incredible spiritual strength, and gives us ideas for communicating with them while hunkered down at home. Join us for a couple laughs and a some serious insight to the stories that are playing out in our homes during these strange times.

In our first podcast since COVID-19 has changed the way we live, our Director of Children and Family Ministries, Kara Bushong, shares uplifting stories of ways families are thriving despite social distancing. What can we do to keep our kids spiritually active during this time of confinement? How do we talk to our kids about Coronavirus? This quick look at how Kara is helping our parents stay connected will also offer all our listeners the chance to connect, learn, and grow.

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