Pastor Tanya Muzzarelli has been involved with Marengo’s First Presbyterian Church under a pastoral support agreement with Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rockford for a little over a year. She officially contracted with the church in September to become their pastor.

 “A couple of pastors at Westminster were coming here to preach but the position ended up being offered to me,” said Pastor Tanya.

 “Everyone here liked Tanya and she seemed to like us,” said Steve Kannaka. “So we offered her the position.”

 Muzzarelli trained at Dubuque Seminary. Since she began with Marengo’s First Presbyterian Church, the church is showing evidence of growth and new energy. “It takes time,” she said. “We want to maintain the Presbyterian Church for the community.”

 “We enjoy it very much here,” said Pastor Tanya of herself and her husband. “The people here are wonderful and down to earth. New people are joining. It’s exciting. We have made a home here. We are here and committed. It’s up to God now.”

 The Presbyterian Church offers their Stone Soup program on Tuesdays from noon to 6 p.m. This free meal offers at least two types of homemade soup and the donated breads, rolls, sandwiches, cookies, and more vary each week.

In this way, the church provides a place for the community, family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to gather, spend time together, discuss neighborhood, work, or family topics, and enjoy each other’s company. It is also a time when those in need of a hot meal can enjoy one at no cost. After school, kids can stop in for a snack or a meal. “It’s an outreach into the community and a ministry,” Pastor Tanya said.

“We have an after school program where the kids make crafts. Michelle Gallant teaches clay pottery for three weeks and then there is a break. Lately, we have made clay bust self-portraits and Christmas ornaments. The program is offered throughout the school year. Please call for information at 815-568-7441.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx “The church also runs the Presbyterian Thrift Shop, 119 S State St. which is open six days a week.

“We are also about to open a Sharing Center. People can call to make an appointment to receive food items. It will be similar to the M.O.R.E. Center, but less rigorous. It is planned as another outreach and ministry into the community.”

“We just want people to know that our doors are open and we are serving the community,” she said. “On Christmas Eve we will hold our Candlelight Service at 10:30 in the morning. The church is located at 203 W. Washington St.

“The First Presbyterian Church invites you to come. We have a place for you here.”

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