Through May 23 adults at FCC continue to have these opportunities for spiritual and personal growth. Each class begins at 9:15. Child care will be provided.
Faith on Foot
Neighborhood Church Tour
Find out why Elgin is called a "City of Churches" as we explore some of the many sanctuaries surrounding the First Congregational Church. Weekly we will visit the interiors of some of our neighboring sanctuaries. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for some stairs.
Facilitator: Jerry Turnquist
A New Religious America by Diana Eck
Bill Moyers says: "This is a book I recommend to everyone I see." The author, a leading religious scholar, shows how a "Christian Country" has become the world’s most religiously diverse nation. She says that religious diversity is now a Main Street phenomenon that many Americans are unaware of. An important question this book study will explore is: Can Americans of all faiths and beliefs share a positive and enriching diversity within our country and the world?
Facilitator: Paris Donehoo
On April 10 Rowena Swan turned 95. A special celebration was held during coffee hour on April 18.
May 04 Ryan Munson
May 08 Jeannine Burger
May 12 Leigh O'Connor
May 14 Dennis Hewitt
May 14 Karen Rothlisberger
May 16 Cherie Murphy
May 16 Lisa Martin
May 19 Jodie Stackowiak
May 19 Lorri Powell
May 21 Glenna Preradovic
May 21 Jodi Peterson
May 27 Mary Hewitt
May 28 Brianne Murphy
May 31 Larry Rothlisberger
May 31 Emerson Lewis
- Violet Lohse was admitted to Sherman Hospital for about a week with blood clot lodged in her leg. She has been released and continues to receive physical therapy at Manor Care.
- Jim Ellsworth had surgery to repair two aneurisms and remove his gall bladder. He is recuperating well.
- Mary Stark had surgery at Loyola Hospital on April 12th. She is home recuperating now.
- Elaine Munsch had surgery earlier in March. She is home recuperating and getting stronger each day.
- Gezim Toppali arrived safely in his homeland of Albania. Efforts continue to return him to the United States. (See Gezim's note below)
Despite the valiant efforts of many in our congregation, (particularly Pat Lindquist, Marcia Eichlor, and Representative Ruth Munson) on March 29th our friend from Albania, Gezim Topalli, was deported. On Gezim's last Sunday with us many of you contributed $300 to help him as he returned to his homeland. As of last report, Gezim arrived safely in Albania. Before leaving he left this note for all of us at FCC:
Dear First Congregational Church Community,
From my heart I have many wishes. Thank you, thank you for all the time I spent together with you
When I come here in the United States, I don't speak one word in English. I learned from your community, this church, not only to speak in English, but I learned the words of The God. I want to thank each of you by names, but your names are included in this community.
Thank you for your support, for your warm hospitality, and your prayers. In my memory all my life will stay the words, "The Grace is Free, but not Cheap".
Thank you, I don't forgot you.
Respectfully, Gezim Topalli
- Judy Leberecht, Dennis Leberecht's mother, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She is receiving treatment.
- Susan Lovingood's son is now serving with the Marines in Afghanistan.
- The father of Mary Hartwig's children died on April 10.
- Former member Frank McGinley died on March 27. A memorial service, led by Dr. Donehoo, was held on April 15.
Buy Stock in our Mission Trip
Want to buy some stock that will really increase in value?? We are selling stock to support our mission trip to Ludington, Michigan. Stock Certificates will be sold for $10 each. This money will help defray our travel expenses. As a stockholder you will have the opportunity to participate in the mission work we will be doing through Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County Michigan. Following our trip we will hold a stockholders meeting on Sunday, July 25th. As a stockholder your are invited to be our guest for dinner and a program that will highlight the stories of our work.
MISSION TRIP PLANS COMING TOGETHER
We currently have 23 youth and adults registered for our Summer Mission Trip to Ludington, MI. This group will be working with Monroe County Habitat for Humanity to complete one home and start construction of another. Dates for the trip are earlier this year than in the past, June 24-July 1. Be watching for ways to help out our group! If you are interested in attending, there are still slots available. See Pastor Lois or Mr. Brian for a registration form.
Sister To Sister
Our Sister to Sister group invites all the women of the church to an evening Celebrating Women on Thursday, May 15th (it's the third Thursday this month.) Our evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a salad supper. Bring your favorite salad to share (large enough to serve 8 people). Following dinner there will be a special program --watch for further details in the bulletin.
The Damaris Women's Fellowship Group will be meeting on May 15th with Sister to Sister for A Celebration of Women.
Confirmation will be held on Sunday, May 23rd during the 10:15 worship service. These young people will be confirming their faith during that service: Lindsay Iverson, Olivia Munson, Zachary Brictson, and Katelyn Hargrave. Please plan to be present for this special service. Cards and notes of encouragement may be sent to them at:
Lindsay Iverson, 365 Elm St. 60123
Olivia Munson, 1020 Willoby Lane 60120,
Zachary Brictson, 421 Wing Park Blvd. 60123,
Katelyn Hargrave 37W886 Jaguar Ct. 60123.
Grandma Mary Green and Alessandra and Diana Castillo will be going to "Grandparents and Me" camp at Tower Hill Church Camp on July 12. We would love to have some FCC grandchildren and grandparents to go with us. We had a fantastic time last year!
It's time to think about how the children will spend their summer vacation. We'd like to suggest that you consider a week away at one of the camps sponsored by our church. Brochures about camps are available from Lois. There are camps for all ages --Kindergarten ~ through senior adult. Our church offers scholarships to help defray the cost of camp because we know that these are important opportunities for folks to learn more about their faith. Our scholarships are for 1/2 of the registration fee up to $100.00.
We have many former campers that will be returning to camp again this year and who would be willing to talk about their camp experience to anyone who is questioning whether camp is something that they would like to try this summer.
If you want to be connected with one of these resource people or have any questions about the wonderful camping opportunities offered through our Illinois Conference Outdoor Ministry program please talk to Lois.
Our regular Sunday School classes will end on May 23rd. Many children have been bringing their friends and new faces have joined our classes. Our fresh approach to Sunday School, with biblical storytelling, crafts and music, has received many favorable comments. We have had a wonderful year! A BIG THANK YOU to our very dedicated teaching staff. If you've had a child in Sunday School this year please take a moment to say thank you to the teachers. We will recognize all teachers during the volunteer recognition on June 6th.
Vacation Bible School
Preparations are underway for an exciting adventure with VBS this summer. This year VBS will be held the week of June 14 ? 18th, 9:30 a.m. -12:00 at the Wing Park Shelter #2. Our theme for this year is SON Games. Our adventures will be using an Olympic theme. This program has something to offer all ages. Everyone will enjoy hearing Bible stories, playing games, singing songs, and making crafts. The older children will enjoy their camp-like experience which will include time for nature study, hikes, Olympic games, storytelling, and singing.
Please mark your calendar and make this week a priority for your summer. We need your help! Invite your neighbors and friends. We'd love to share SON Games with as many children as possible The more the merrier!
Can you volunteer some time to help with our Vacation Bible School Program. We need many people to make this week special. We provide very easy to follow materials and guarantee a week of fun. Call Lois or the church office if you can volunteer to help with our program.
NEW MEMBER CLASSES
If you are interested in joining. First Congregational Church Dr. Donehoo would like to meet with you after the 10:15 worship service on May 16 & 23 in the library. At these sessions you will get to know the pastor, meet the staff, and learn about FCC ministries and programs. Each session will last no more than an hour. We will even feed you lunch. Child care will be provided if you need let us know you need it. New members will be received on June 6.
Statistics can be boring, but here are a few that are pretty exciting. Right now we have 78 people meeting in 9 ChristCare groups. Of those 78 only five are involved in more than one group. Therefore, we have 73 different people meeting together in small groups—and 6 of them are not currently members of our church, but, because of their experience in ChristCare, some of them are considering joining our fellowship.
Perhaps the emphasis or interest of one of our ChristCare groups would meet your needs. Plus, with the success of this program we will need new group leaders. It’s not too early to think about leader training this coming Fall. See Pastors Paris or Lois if you want more information.
GAITHER HOMECOMING CONCERT
Our sister church two blocks away, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, has invited us to join them for a trip to the "Gaither Homecoming Concert" on Saturday, May 1 at the Allstate Arena. For $64 per person you will get round trip transportation by deluxe motorcoach, admission tickets, box dinner, and a beverage. The bus will depart St. Paul’s at 4:00 pm for the 6:00 pm show. To reserve tickets, or to get more information, call Margie Callahan at 847-741-8687.
Lost & Found
A set of keys have been lost. They were last seen next to the telephone in the kitchen on Sunday, 4-18-04. If you know where these keys are please call the office at 847-741-4045 or just drop them off in the church office.
LOCKING OF DOUBLE DOORS
Double doors equipped with floor and ceiling bolts are NOT secure unless the floor and ceiling bolts are in place. Please co-operate in replacing these bolts after double doors are completely opened.
Co-Chair ? Ministry of the Building
We'll be recognizing graduates on June 6th during our 10:15 a m worship service. Please call the church office and let us know if you have a high school, junior college, technical school, college, or advanced degree graduate in your family.
We will be thanking all those who volunteer for the various ministries in our church during the 10:15 church service on June 6th. Please come so that we can say thank you for being the church here in Elgin.
PRIME TIME NIGHT
The 2nd annual "Prime Time Night" is scheduled for Saturday, May 15th beginning at 6PM. The evening includes a delicious full turkey dinner served restaurant style (no buffet line!) with scrumptious desserts afterwards. Following your meal will be an evening of entertainment which includes: the Cross I'd Players, the Larkin High School Chamber Orchestra, and our own Paris Donehoo. This promises to be a wonderful evening of dining, entertainment and fellowship--and you'll be helping raise funds for our Mission Trip to Ludington, MI! Tickets are available NOW at $10 for adults, $5 for children. There is limited seating available and tickets WILL NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR. Reserve yours by calling the church, completing a reservation form, or purchasing them at the table in the lobby on Sunday.
YOUTH ZOO TRIP
The Youth will be traveling to Brookfield Zoo on Sunday, April 25, leaving from church at noon and arriving back at around 7PM. If you are interested in attending, be prepared to bring $8 for admission, snack and souvenir money, if you choose. Please call Mr. Brian at (847)468-7506 to RSVP or if you have questions. Come join us!!
The 27th Jane Hampton Chipman Lenten Organ Series concluded another successful season with the presentation on Good Friday of The Seven Last Words of Christ by Dubois. Our Chancel Choir plus outstanding vocal and instrumental guest artists and conducted by Jon Warfel thrilled more than 300 people with a beautiful and moving performance.
The other six concerts included guest performers Howard Bakken, former Music Director, of Hendersonville, NC; John Kevin linker of Lexington, KY returned for his tenth appearance and Jon Warfel with Carlyn Lloyd, flute.
Many community members commented that this series is a wonderful gift to the community ? certainly a successful out-reach program.
A special note of appreciation to Jon Warfel for not only performing and conducting but also for putting it all together. Thanks also to our faithful greeters Ann Schneck, Jan Embree, Jean Hempstead and to Pat Calvin for designing and producing the printed programs.
The Music Ministry
You're A Good Man Charlie Brown
105 East Main St.
Saturday, May 15 @ *2:00 pm
Sunday, May 16 @ 2:00 pm
Saturday, May 22 @ 2:00 pm
Sunday, May 23 @ 2:00 pm *Family Day
Special School Day Performances
FOR SCHOOL GROUPS OF 15 OR MORE
Teachers- this makes a great field trip!
Show Dates for Schools
Thursday, May 13 @ 9:30 & 11:45 am Friday, May 14 @ 10:00 am
Call Rae Gerber
Also Featured by CYT this Spring...
A LMe Princess in (Cook) at Prairie Center for the Arts Schaumburg, IL .
Godspell in (Lake) at Christ Community Church, Zion, IL
Alice from Wonderland through the Looking Glass in (McHenry) at Huntley HS, Huntley, IL
You may order your tickets from a CYT student or?.
- Tickets may be purchased at the box office, by mail or by phone.
- We accept Visa and Mastercard. There will be a $1.00 service fee for all credit card orders.
- Tickets may also be purchased at the door (call the CYT Box Office for availability) during regular business hours.
Suggested Ticket Donation
Children (2-12) $8.00
Seniors (55+) $7.00
Groups (15 or more) $7.00
*NEW-Family Day all seats $7
School Day Performance
School Groups (15 or more) $4.00 each
2 Free Admissions per 25 seats purchased
ALL TICKETS ARE
All seating is reserved.
A cat died and went to Heaven. God met him at the gate and said, "You've been a good cat all of these years. Anything you desire is yours, all you have to do is ask."
The cat replied, "Well, I lived all my life with a poor family on a farm and had to sleep on hardwood floors," God said, "Say no more." And instantly, a fluffy pillow appeared.
A few days later, six mice were killed in a tragic accident and they went to Heaven. God met them at the gate with the same offer that He made the cat.
The mice said, "All our lives we've had to run. We've been chased by cats, dogs and even women with brooms. If we could only have a pair of roller skates, we wouldn't have to run anymore. God said, "Say no more." And instantly, each mouse was fitted with a beautiful pair of tiny roller skates.
About a week later, God decided to check and see how the cat was doing. The cat was sound asleep on his new pillow. God gently awakened him and asked, "How are you doing? Are you happy here?"
The cat yawned and stretched and said, "Oh, I've never been happier in my life. And those Meals on Wheels you've been sending over are the best."
That's a fun fable but not exactly how it works here in the earthly world. Our church is responsible for delivering meals for two weeks each February, May, August and November. We deliver for two weeks from St. Joe's and one week from Sherman. Unfortunately, the one week at Sherman coincides with the last week at St. Joe's so we need two sets of folks for that one week.
There are three routes out of St. Joe's and we share them with either Kiwanis members or other churches, and two out of Sherman that are also shared. You pick up the meals at 11:00 am at either hospital, and return the empty trays at the end of the route.
Chuck and I really like to deliver the meals. Sometimes the only contact the recipients have with real people are when they get the deliveries, and since Chuck likes to talk he spends time with each of the folks, and they really seem to appreciate it. In spite of that, we usually finish a route in an hour. One person drives (and the directions are always excellent) and the other person delivers. It's easy, and very rewarding to know that you have helped to make someone's day better in many ways.
We have faithful volunteers who have helped for years, but due to jobs, age or illness some of them are no longer available. If you think you could help out with this good work, please call Dolores Zimmerman, 847/931-1606, and we'll put you on the contact list. You do not have to deliver every day of the week - just a day or days that are convenient for you. We're looking forward to hearing from you.
Dolores Zimmerman and Dorothy Cook, Co-Chairs
Faith on Foot
Learn about Elgin's Downtown Churches
Known by some as Holy Hill and the Hilltop Church area, Elgin's near east side has long been known for its concentration and variety of churches. This heritage traces its roots to Elgin's founder James T. Gifford, who helped establish Elgin's reputation as a "City of Churches" by offering a free lot to anyone wanting to locate a church in the city.
Learn more about this unique part of Elgin's history during a six week series of Sunday walking tours planned as an adult education series for First Congregational Church. Led by local historian Jerry Turnquist, the series will begin on April 18 with a walking tour of the near east side followed by weekly visits to four different congregations. The series will conclude on May 23rd with a general walk of the neighborhood including other historic sites.
Tours will begin at First Congregational Church at 256 E. Chicago Street at 9:15 am and conclude at 10:00. Some stairs will be required and participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes. Child care is available. This is no charge and persons may join any or all tours.
April 18 Walking tour of near east side churches
April 25 Tour of Templo Calvario Church
May 2 Tour of St. John Lutheran Church
May 9 Tour of Congregation Kneseth Israel
May 16 Tour of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
May 23 Walking tour of historic sites on near east Side
The Meanderings of the Moderator
It doesn't seem possible that four months have passed since our annual meeting. The snow has melted and the celebration of Easter and all the special events were inspiring.
The Church Council has been keeping up with the day-to-day needs of the church and has been working to keep us a growing and active member of the community.
At the annual meeting the Ministry of Finance stated that the council had asked them to look into alternative investment possibilities for some of our funds. As of the middle of April, we have consolidated many of those accounts at Edward Jones. We are still looking for long-term growth but in doing so we are now getting a better return on our money.
The Constitution and By-Laws were also discussed at the annual meeting. The Council had spent considerable time discussing the entire document. We have checked with other member churches in our area as to wording and other items of concern discussed at the annual meeting. Each of the Ministries was asked to look into any portion of the document that pertained to them. The Church Council has accepted the document and is bringing it to the congregation at a brief congregation meeting on June 6, 2004, at the beginning of the 10:15 service.
Before and after each of the services in May there will be question and answer opportunities. Bob Bayler has agreed to meet with anyone before and after the early services. I will be at coffee hour after each of the 10:15 services. If you are unable to make any of these informational meetings and have questions or concerns about the Constitution and By-Laws please don't hesitate to call me or leave a written message for me at the church office and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Copies of the proposed revisions to the Constitution and By-Laws will be available in the Narthex starting the first Sunday in May. We will also have some at the table during coffee hour after the 10:15 services. We are hoping that all questions will be addressed before the Congregational Meeting on June 6, 2004, so we can just vote on the motion.
I am quickly finding that the wheels of progress move at their own pace, no matter the good intentions of even the moderator.
Thank you for your patience,