Signal Hill United Methodist Church
Saturday, July 31, 2021



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Clean Up

About 10 people volunteered on the morning of August 2nd to tend to the shrubs and grounds.  Thank you everyone!






Image goes here.Image goes here.  Signal Hill UMC hosts Mission Camp 2013

SIgnal Hill UMC hosted over 80 youth volunteers and adults for Mission Camp 2013 for a week in June as they worked on completing repairs and maintenance projects in area residences.  Thank you Mission Camp for spreading God's love through your ministry!
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Clothes were sorted for women, men and children.

UMW hosts warm clothing give-away

By Janet Hollinberger
    The Warm Up the Winter Clothing Give-Away delighted people of all ages - from the little girl who chose a purple hat to the woman who was transformed as she tried on a well-fitting red jacket with a white fur collar saying, "Thank you, Lord." Approximately 30 people received clothing on Saturday, December 19.
    The idea grew out of discussion following the United Methodist Women (UMW) Advent program. Other people joind in to collect, sort, arrange and distribute warm clothing. Thanks to the many people from the community and Signal Hill UMC who donated. And thanks to those who helped: Edith & Paul Beach, Sue Beach, Barb Ford, Dowell Holdgraf, Bud & Janet Hollinberger, Fairy & Glenn Meek, Betty Mensing, Jeff Nelson, Joe Walker, Peter Wehrly, and Paul & Kanda Vallina. Items which were not given out on Saturday were donated to Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, E. St. Louis. Posted Dec 20, 2009

Temporary heating systems installed

    Technicians from TempAir installed temporary, gas-powered heating systems in the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, October 21.  The systems will heat these areas while the Trustees evaluate the next steps to replace or repair the boiler system.  
    The previous week, when Baer Heating and Cooling was working to switch the systems from cooling to heating for the winter season, they encountered problems with a sensor control box. Upon evaluating the repair needed, Baer noted the deteriorating condition of the boiler itself, and strongly recommended that it be replaced before it failed. Dennis Jobin, Trustee Chair, and the other members of the Trustees are evaluating options.
    In addition, TempAir installed an electric room heater in Memorial Hall to keep pipes from freezing. It is expected that enough warm air will enter the Upper Room to help that room stay above freezing as well.
   The boiler system under evaluation heats the Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, Memorial Hall and the Upper Room. The education wing/day care and office area are on a separate heating system.
    On Sunday, October 18, because of the lack of heat, worship was held in the former chapel. Cribs and other items from the Rainbow Kids Day Care Nursery were moved out for the day.  Members of the SHUMC Youth Group and Dowell Holdgraf helped on Saturday, and the congregation moved chairs and other items back into the Nursery after worship on Sunday. Sunday School classes were moved to Asbury Hall and the pastor's office for the day.
Posted October 21, 2009
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Rev. Wheeler with a prayer quilt.

Quilt ministry celebrates one-year anniversary

    Just one year ago, lay speaker Donna Reid spoke to the Signal Hill UMC congregation about the prayer quilt ministry she was involved in at Mount Olivet UMC in West Quincy, MO. Shortly thereafter, Joyce Burnette expressed her interest in the ministry to Pastor Wehrly, and the Signal Hill UMC Prayer Quilt Ministry was launched.
    The quilt Reid brought with her was tied and given to Dr. Phil Auner. The first SHUMC quilt was tied on November 16 and given to Richard Smith. Joyce reports that, over the past year, 25 quilts have been given to persons both within and outside the congregation.
    In August, guest speaker Beth Fender was so impressed by the ministry that she took a sample quilt back to her home church, Jacksonville Grace UMC. “I was so touched by the symbolism of the whole congregation coming forward to tie the quilt during the worship service,” she said.
     “This is when you know a ministry is making a difference!” exclaimed Pastor Peter Wehrly. “When you can ‘pay it forward’ – what a blessing!”

    Those who have cut quilt squares are Edith Beach, Lucy Sudol, and Velma Thompson.    Sewing them together are Burnette, Jan Hollinberger, Fairy Meek,and Lucy Sudol. Those contributing fabric include Janise Chamblin, Barb Ford, Helen Wimmer, Burnette, Thompson, Beach, and Hollinberger.

Posted September 14, 2009 



Signal Hill UMC hosts Mississippi River District UMW meeting

    On September 12, the Signal Hill unit of the United Methodist Women hosted a meeting for the Mississippi River District UMW. Guest speakers included Conference UMW President Sally Smith; Women’s Division representative Carolyn Yockey; Lucille Stevenson, Cunningham Children’s Home representative; and William Kreeb, executive director of Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House. Special collections were taken for Lessie Bates Davis and Cunningham.
    Click here for a full report by Edith Beach, UMW member from Signal Hill UMC.
Posted September 14, 2009

LIFE groups to begin meeting   

    Two LIFE (Living in Faith Everyday) groups will begin meeting this week. An afternoon group, hosted by Liz Reichert and assisted by Barb Martin, will meet at Liz's home on Tuesday, September 1. An evening group, hosted by Paul and Kanda Vallina, will meet on Sunday evenings at their home.  (A third adult group, originally scheduled to meet on Wednesdays, is temporarily suspended due to lack of leaders willing to host.)
    The SHUMC Senior High Youth Group will be a part of their own small group during their regular meetings on Thursday evenings. The youth group will begin its fall session on Thursday, September 10, at 6:30 pm. The meetings begin with a light meal. Pastor Peter Wehrly and Dowell Holdgraf meet with the youth every week.
    Pastor Wehrly will meet with both groups at their first session to introduce the small group initiative and answer any questions. "The groups are about two main things," Wehrly explained. "They mimic the early church's work at helping people develop meaningful relationships with each other and with God. I hope that these groups will thrive and multiply!"
Posted August 30, 2009

Utility work commences at Signal Hill UMC

    Crews from AmerenIP began digging in the church parking lot and parsonage driveway on Wednesday, April 26, to replace gas lines and valves.  This is follow-up work from last Christmas Eve, when a minor gas leak was discovered and repaired. On Thursday, crews expect to continue work inside the church building as well.
    The work at the church began just after several days of work in the Signal Hill School parking lot, which was resurfaced and restriped. School and day care traffic has been a bit hectic due to the heavy equipment and work crews in the area.
     The utility work continues several weeks of building maintenance issues. For several weeks, during heavy rainstorms, the north-south hallway next to the sanctuary flooded repeatedly. On one occasion, the flooding was severe enough to go into the glass office and ruin the carpeting, which was removed by the Trustees. After checks by the roofing company, plumbers, and heating/air conditioning firm, it was determined that the drain in the hallway air unit was backing up. While drains were cleaned, minor flooding occurred during the next storm.
    Earlier in the summer, the elevator from the entry area to Fellowship Hall stopped working. A technician fixed the faulty equipment after a couple of weeks of diagnostics and repair.
Posted August 26, 2009

Conference speaker emphasizes power of small groups for spiritual growth

    On Sunday, August 23, guest speaker Beth Fender (second from left, greeting after worship) spoke to the Signal Hill UMC congregation about the power of small groups for spiritual growth.  "Imagine that 3000 new people heard the message of your pastor and came to your church?" she smiled, referring to the reading from Acts 2. "Yes, they would come to worship, but would that be enough? The apostles didn't stop with repentance and baptism for the new converts, they divided themselves into small groups to build relationships with one another."  Fender explained that John Wesley continued in this ancient traditions when he formed bands of persons who held each other accountable for living and growing in their faith. "We need to go further up and further in," she said, "joining with others to form true fellowship in a way that socializing does not accomplish."
    Fender is the Coordinator of New Streams ministry for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. New Streams helps congregations devise their own unique disciple formation and spiritual leadership development process. Beth, her husband Mike, and three children live in Jacksonville, where Mike is the pastor of Grace UMC.
    Signal Hill UMC has embarked on its own small group initiative, with LIFE (Living in Faith Everyday) groups meeting beginning on September 1. For more information about joining a LIFE group, contact Pastor Wehrly.
Posted August 23, 2009

Church hosts Signal Hill School teachers and staff at appreciation luncheon

    On Monday, August 17, Signal Hill UMC hosted the teachers and staff from Signal Hill School for the second annual "Appreciation Luncheon" in Fellowship Hall. Members and friends of the Signal Lighters Sunday School Class prepared and served salad, lasagna, bread and dessert, with the help of the Senior High Youth Group.  Before the luncheon began, Pastor Peter Wehrly presented a prayer quilt to Principal R. Dane Gale.  "We tied this prayer quilt during our worship service yesterday," Wehrly explained. "We hope that it will remind teachers, staff and students that the church is praying for all of you this school year."  In addition to the prayer quilt, the church collected 50 boxes of facial tissue to present to the teachers as a gift.



Posted August 17, 2009

Original videos will support new small group initiative

    Sign up sheets will be available beginning August 9 for LIFE groups, the new small group initiative at Signal Hill UMC.  Groups will meet on the first and third Tuesday afternoons, first and third Sunday evenings, and first and third Wednesday evenings from September to December, for a total of eight sessions. The 1 1/2 hour meetings will include a video presentation by Pastor Peter Wehrly, prayer and sharing, and discussion. "Jesus was into small groups," Wehrly explained. "And with LIFE groups, we too can explore our relationships with each other and with God."
    The original videos were written and produced by Wehrly, in cooperation with the Communications Department of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Trained leaders, who will host the small groups in their homes, will use the videos to set the stage for discussion. Video titles include "Small Talk," "True Friends," "Three Rules," "Communes, Community and Compassion," "Food, Football and Family," "A Life of Love," and "God With Us."
    Sign up sheets will be available in the entry way to the church. For more information, email Wehrly or call the church at 397-7780.
Posted August 3, 2009 

Youth travel to Jesus es el Senor, Cobden, to help with Kids Camp

     Eight youth from Signal HIll UMC traveled to Jesus es el Senor in Cobden on a very hot weekend in June to help with their Kids Camp.  They served as assistant camp counselors and general helpers during the camp, which served sixty children, ages five through ten. Steve Brannan was an adult driver and helper, and Sue Stetzen helped with transportation.  The youth who attended were Shana Wehrly, Maureen Stetzen, Tony Conrath, Callie Spencer, Christian Spencer, Riley Brannan, Sam Brannan, and Kenyatta Crawford.
Posted August 24, 2009 (trip took place June, 2009)

Church spruced up on work day

On Saturday, June 13, eighteen persons worked a long morning on a variety of projects to spruce up the Signal Hill UMC church property. Projects included landscaping, weeding, and parking lot clean up; scraping and painting outside windows; clean up in the Memorial Hall kitchen; clean up of the stairway outside the Fellowship Hall kitchen; replacing light fixture covers in the Upper Room; and more. Dennis Jobin also spent time working on the back door at the parsonage. Participants included Trustee Chair Jobin, Lori Jobin, Jan Hollinberger, Paul Beach, Edith Beach, Marge Buser, Don Buser, Betty McBride, Quentin Thompson, Sue Beach, Kanda Vallina, Paul Vallina, Charlie Burnette, Joyce Burnette, Wanda Latina, Nancy Robards, Pastor Peter Wehrly and Susan Meister.


Posted June 13, 2009

June 7 a busy day for ministry and mission at SHUMC

    On June 7, Signal Hill UMC welcomed several guests for a day of celebration of Hispanic ministry. Evaristo Rodriguez from Nuevo Vida, Beardstown, led the music in Spanish and English with daughters Alma and Jackie, and also brought the morning message. Rodriguez urged the church to invite the Holy Spirit to be a part of our individual lives and the life of the church. "You can do great things as a church if you give your best to God!" he proclaimed. Rodriguez preached in Spanish; Annie Ramirez provided simultaneous translation.

    Following worship, volunteers from Jesus es el Senor in Cobden served an authentic Mexican lunch. Members and guests contributed nearly $600 to help Kids Camp, led by Annie and Rod Ramirez. SHUMC youth assisted at this camp in 2008, and will be helping again in 2009. Earlier, during worship, teen Alma Rodriguez gave testimony about how she had given her life to Jesus at a camp when she was just five years old!

    Prior to the worship service, Lay Delegate to Annual Conference Richard Rawlings gave a report on the 2009 conference. He noted that the main theme was "radical hospitality," where we treat all as honored guests. He also mentioned the impressive preaching of Bishop Gregory Palmer and some of the legislative actions taken. "The Bishop is a dynamic speaker," Rawlings said, "and he talked about how we must live together to have peace in this world. That's an important thing to hear in our world today." More on the conference is at

Posted June 8, 2009         

May celebration continues

    Worshippers at Signal Hill UMC on Sunday, May 31, celebrated Pentecost Sunday with liturgies of confirmation and membership. The church welcomed three confirmands: Trey Beckwith, Riley Brannan, and Callie Spencer. In addition, the church welcomed five new members - Allen Toberman, Ann Spencer, Matt Zipfel, Callie Spencer and Trey Beckwith - pictured here with Pastor Peter Wehrly.  A reception featured a cake adorned with a photo of the confirmands as part of the decoration.

Posted June 1, 2009


Signal Hill UMC congratulates graduates

    Signal Hill UMC celebrated graduates on Sunday, May 24. Three students are graduating from Signal Hill School - Riley Brannan, Katie Hettick, and Callie Spencer. Ben Hackmann has graduated from Belleville Township High School East, and Karen Linn has graduated from St. Louis University.

Posted May 24, 2009

Capital City Ringers in concert April 24

    The Capital City Ringers, Inc., under the direction of Jane C. Wright, will be in concert at Signal Hill United Methodist Church, Belleville, IL, on Friday, April 24, 2009 at 7 pm. CCR, a community nonprofit handbell ensemble from the mid-Michigan area, will feature a light-hearted show theme, "Traveling with CCR." With handbells range in size from small tower bells to key-ring ornaments, this group offers a unique experience of sight and sound. The comment most often made by those who hear them is: “I never knew bells could do that!” A freewill donation will be taken. Signal Hill UMC is located at 95th Street off West Main in Belleville. Call the church at 618-397-7780 for more information.

Posted March 10, 2009; revised March 14, 2009

Members enjoy beautiful Easter celebration

    Signal Hill UMC members and guests enjoyed a beautiful Easter celebration on Sunday, April 12. The worship service featured a decorated sanctuary, many musical styles, an inspiring message, and a service of Holy Communion. Assisting Pastor Peter Wehrly in the service were Lori Jobin, decorations; Fairy Meek, liturgist; Trey Beckwith, Susan Meister, and Diana Starr, music; Jim Bevirt and Sean Kratzer, audiovisuals; and Sue Beach, communion. 

   Earlier during Holy Week, Signal Hill UMC hosted a Holy Thursday service, commemorating the Last Supper and the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion. On Good Friday, five readers and Pastor Wehrly presented a powerful reading of "The Passion of Our Lord," complemented by the singing of verses from familiar hymns. The readers were Dowell Holdgraf, Betty McBride, Fairy Meek, Susan Meister, and Velma Thompson.

    On Palm Sunday, several ladies of the church prepared breakfast casseroles and other food for special refreshments during the Sunday School hour.

Posted April 12, 2009

Members & pastor attend Firefighter Appreciation Dinner

    On Saturday, March 14, Signal Hill Fire Protection District Chief Greg Render welcomed over 75 volunteer firefighters, associate members and guests at the annual Firefighter Appreciation Dinner at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. Several members of Signal Hill UMC were recognized for their service, and Pastor Peter Wehrly delivered the invocation and keynote address, "Life's Lessons & Overcoming Obstacles".  Those receiving recognition included Barb Brannan, Ralph and Debbie Conrath, and Joe Walker. Barb's spouse, Steve Brannan, was also recognized for his service as a volunteer firefighter. In addition, before the invocation, Rev. Wehrly asked those assembled to stand and observe a moment of silence for Norman Conrath, Ralph's father, who was also active with Signal Hill Fire Department before he died. 

    Chief Render reported that the Department has 31 volunteer firefighters and 21 associate members. He also noted that former SHUMC pastor, Rev. Scott Grulke, was active as a volunteer for the eight years he was appointed at the church. For more information about the Signal Hill Fire Department, go to their web site.         

Posted March 15, 2009

Congregation worships in Fellowship Hall

    On Sunday, March 8, Pastor Peter Wehrly had just begun his children's sermon, using Psalm 100. He pulled out a bin of percussion instruments and asked the children, "How can we make a joyful noise to the Lord?" At just that moment, the tornado siren began to wail. "Oops," Wehrly said. "Not that way! Let's all move downstairs." Seventy five persons in the sanctuary used the stairs and elevator to move to Fellowship Hall and continue the worship service. Betty Mensing remarked, "I've never done that in the sixty years I've attended this church!"

    The service in Fellowship Hall resumed with the children's sermon, and continued with the offering, sermon and Holy Communion. Afterwards, Wehrly talked about being able to worship even in unconventional and sometimes uncomfortable circumstances. "After all, where two or three are gathered, God promised to be in their midst," he said.  The congregation went back upstairs after the service to sunny skies and no apparent dangerous weather conditions, even though other areas were under severe storm watches earlier that morning.

Posted March 8, 2009

New Sunday schedule begins March 1

A new Sunday schedule began on the first Sunday of Lent, March 1, with Sunday School from 9:30 to 10:30 am, and worship at 10:45 am.  In a February letter to the Signal Hill UMC congregation, Pastor Peter Wehrly noted, "Sometimes you have to take a step back to take more steps forward. For that reason, effective Sunday, March 1, Signal Hill UMC will return to a single worship service at 10:45 am. This service will be a 'blended' worship service, with a variety of songs, hymns, liturgies, prayers and activities."   Rev. Wehrly delivered the first of a five-sermon series based on the book by Bishop Robert Schnase, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. He emphasized the need to "welcome the stranger" so that people in our community can come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Posted March 1, 2009

Youth attend Fire-Up Conference

    Four senior high youth from Signal Hill UMC joined with nearly 300 other teenagers from around Illinois at the annual Fire-Up Senior High Conference at Troy United Methodist Church on February 20-22. Fire-Up Conference, now in it's fourteenth year, is a discipleship weekend geared toward students in 9 -12 th grade and their ministry leaders.  The theme for this year was REFINE, focusing on three main aspects of discipleship – Prune, Purify and Perfect. 
    The speaker was David R. Smith from Tampa , Florida who is on staff with the source for Youth Ministry, a national youth ministry group out of California .  Harvest Worship Band led the music.  Sam Brannan, Brittany Reynolds, Maureen Stetzen, Shana Wehrly, and Pastor Peter Wehrly participated.
    More information is available online at .

Watkins brings message on Human Relations Day

    On Sunday, January 18, Signal Hill UMC celebrated Human Relations Day, the first of six special Sundays in the United Methodist calendar.  The celebration of this Sunday occurs before the observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday because, as United Methodists, we believe in the development of better human relations and we seek to empower others to become the whole persons God intended.  Pastor Peter Wehrly invited Rev. Bradley Watkins II to bring the message to the congregation on this day. Watkins in the Homeless Youth Coordinator for Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House. An ordained elder in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, he is appointed to extension ministry at Lessie Bates Davis and frequently brings the Sunday message to churches throughout the conference.  Watkins spoke about "Facing the Future with Courage," encouraging the congregation to believe that Jesus is real and reminding us that this belief calls us into activity in the world. By experiencing God one-on-one, we can move to action beyond our fears. More information about Human Relations Day and other special Sundays can be found at the United Methodist Church Connectional Giving web site.

Special Sundays in 2010:

Human Relations Day: January 17, 2010 (The 1972 General Conference established Human Relations Day to “recognize the right of all God’s children in realizing their potential as human beings in relationship with each other.” Every one of God’s children deserves justice and equality. Every one of God’s children deserves to open doors to success.)
One Great Hour of Sharing: March 14, 2010
Native American Ministries Sunday: April 18, 2010
Peace with Justice Sunday: May 30, 2010
World Communion Sunday: October 3, 2010
United Methodist Student Day: November 28, 2010

Posted January 17, 2010

Church completes sixth prayer quilt

The church has now tied and sent six prayer quilts to members and friends of the church who are in need of intentional prayer. For more information about the ministry, or to suggest someone who might be blessed by receiving a quilt, contact the church office.

Posted December 17, 2008

Church launches new prayer quilt ministry


    On Sunday, November 16, Signal Hill UMC launched a new prayer quilt ministry. Encouraged by the presentation by laywoman Donna Reid, who presented the idea during her message on Women in Ministry Sunday in September, a group led by Joyce Burnette decided to meet to piece quilts for members and friends of the church.  Seven women met later in the week to piece quilts. When a quilt is completed, those attended worship will be invited to come forward and "tie" it as they pray for the recipient. The quilt Donna brought in September has been given to Dr. Phil Auner; the first from the new ministry group was delivered to Richard Smith.  For more information or to suggest someone who might like to receive a prayer quilt, contact Joyce Burnette.

Posted November 17, 2008