Please mark your calendars now for our annual adult retreat to Pilgrim Park Church Camp. This is a refreshing winter get-away weekend on Friday evening, February 11th - late Saturday afternoon, February 12th. We'll gather in the winter beauty at our cozy retreat facility which is in Princeton, IL. The accommodations are motel-like and very comfortable. The cost will be $75 which will include one night of accommodations, meals and meeting space. You'll be asked to bring a snack to share. Watch for a brochure with registration information and more details. However, please mark the date on your calendar now so you can participate. You may turn in your deposit of $50 now to reserve your space. This will assure that you will get one of the nicest rooms in the retreat facility. Please make checks payable to the church. Scholarships are available, so please do not let the cost keep you from participating. Please talk to Lois or Paris if you have a financial need (it will be kept confidential). Any questions???? Please feel free to talk to Lois or Paris about this retreat.
Let's enjoy the holidays this year by bringing some holiday cheer to some of our older members. We will gather as a church family on Sunday, afternoon December 19th at 4:00 p.m. This tradition has become a favorite of both young and old (and not so old) as we all get in the Christmas spirit. We will carpool around Elgin, stopping at the homes of many of our long-time members to sing a few carols and then we will return to the church between 6:30 and 7:00 for some hot chocolate, a warm sandwich and some Christmas cookies. Please use the sign-up sheet on the insert in this issue of Church Life to let us know that you (and how many others) will be joining us.
Through December 12 adults at FCC have these opportunities for spiritual and personal growth. Each class begins at 9:15. Child care will be provided.
Always Home at Community Crisis Center
November 21 & 28
Community Crisis Center staff will describe domestic violence, CCC services and how members of our church can continue to support the center's important work. Founded in 1975 by a committed group of volunteers, the Center has expanded its services and programs to provide 24-hour, caring and professional services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crisis situations.
Facilitator: Susan Simpson
Faith & Affordable Housing
December 5 & 12
Protestants For the Common Good is a not-for-profit group whose mission is: "people of faith advancing justice in public life." PFTCG acts for social justice and the common good as essential to the Christian faith, educating and mobilizing people of faith to become effective participants in political democracy. PFTCG works through education and advocacy, to create healthy communities in which people of all races and economic classes live together in decent and affordable homes that are in proximity to their work, recreation, and worship. A representative from the agency will describe ways that members of FCC can reach out in the Elgin community to impact housing.
Facilitator: Ken Oliver
The Mystery of Holy Night
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned by the Gestapo in April 1943 and murdered two years later at the age of 39. This year's Advent study will focus on Bonhoeffer's meditations - selected from his writings and sermons - reflecting on that deepest meaning of Christmas that can shine through even the darkest moments of life. Our discussions will invite us to share Bonhoeffer's deep faith in the reality of Christmas, no matter what our circumstances. Copies of the book, The Mystery of Holy Night, will be available for purchase but are not required.
Facilitator: Paris Donehoo
Note there will be no adult education classes held December 19 or 26.
12/01 Elly MacKinney
12/01 Marissa Lewellyn
12/04 David Duncan
12/05 Lisa Boan
12/06 Caitlin Iverson
12/08 Katie Sharf
12/08 Mateo Castillo
12/11 Betty Ells
12/11 Brailey Kerber
12/13 Tiffany Holley
12/17 Donna Hostetler
12/17 Ruth Hanchette
12/17 Anna Marie Mitchell
12/18 Tim Bayler
12/20 Mark Hartwig
12/21 Dorothy Schock
12/25 Katelyn Hargrave
12/26 Hanna Brictson
12/28 Judy Steffen
12/28 Erin Powell
12/29 Ben Brictson
12/30 Gail Yauch
12/31 Nick Stackowiak
- Violet Lohse spent about a week at Sherman Hospital because of gall bladder trouble.
- Pam Swan continues to recover, slowly, from recent surgery.
- Betty Jones was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital for tests. She is home now and doing well.
- Hanna McClure, Helen McClure's granddaughter, was recently hospitalized with asthma problems.
In Our Prayers
- Pat Lindquist's sister, Chris Kazaza, is having a difficult time recovering from recent surgery.
- Donald Disque, son-in-law to Geneva Moody, has begun cancer treatment at his home in Hartford, CT.
On a happier note, Geneva has just become a great-grandmother for the first time?
Mission Trip Update
Plans are underway for the 2005 Mission Trip. We have selected the week of June 19th (probably leaving the night of June 16th and returning the night of June 26th.) We will be going to H.O.M.E. in Orland, Maine. Our week may include carpentry work, harvesting wood, repair of low-income housing, cooking, gardening, home construction, painting, retail craft sales, work in a bargain barn and farmwork. Registrations and non-refundable deposits of $50 are due by January 10th. Please let Lois or Brian Stark know if you are planning to join the group this summer.
Sister to Sister & Damaris
Sister to Sister and Damaris invite all of the women of the church to join us for AA Christmas Celebration of Women@ on Thursday, December 9th at the restaurant Erik and Me in St. Charles. (We will have directions to hand out at church on December 5th..) We will meet at 6:30 p.m. for dinner and conversation. Please plan to join us for this nice way to celebrate the holidays. Please complete the form to let us know that you will be attending. This is for ALL the women of the church B of course guest are welcome too.
Welcome New Members!
On November 14 these new members were welcomed into our church family:
Sponsor: Lee Ellsworth
Ruth was born in Harvard, Illinois but was raised and educated in the Belvidere and Rockford areas. She is currently working part-time as a "bell ringer," raising money for needy children and families. She has two grown children, Stephen and Rachel, and 3 grandchildren. Ruth enjoys reading, walking, hiking, camping, oil painting, arts and crafts, and solving puzzles.
Paul and Tracy Grote
Sponsors: Tom and Lorri Powell
Paul was born in Elmhurst and raised in Itasca, and holds degrees from the University of Iowa and DePaul University. He is employed by SBC as a project manager, and, in his free time, enjoys reading history, novels, and political "junk," along with playing and watching sports. He also enjoys camping with his family. Tracy spent her childhood on a farm outside of IowaCity, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa and Elgin Community College. She works part-time for Weight Watchers, but considers her "first and foremost" work to be a stay at home mom for Benjamin (4) and Olivia (19 months). Free time is at a premium with two preschoolers, but when she can manage it she enjoys reading novels, cooking and baking, and she is currently learning to make jewelry. Tracy is very involved in Benjamin's preschool.
Sponsor: Janet Aldred
Amy is a native of Elgin and has degrees from Ball State University and Concordia University. A former teacher, she works now as a homemaker as well as part-time with her husband's landscaping business. Amy has two children ? Brailey (7) and Cy (4). When not volunteering at her children's schools Amy likes to read and spend time with friends and family.
Charlie and Lauran Rantz
Sponsors: Jerry and Kathy Turnquist
Ron and Connie Reuter
Sponsors: John and Marilyn Kauffman
Ron grew up in Palatine and the Marengo/Union area. Currently he makes drill bits for Precision Drill in Crystal Lake. He enjoys movies, music, computers, being in and around nature, and playing with children. This coming Spring Ron will be installed as the moderator of the Fox Valley Association of the UCC. Says he: "I look forward to my spiritual journey here at my new church." Connie is a native of Sycamore and Burlington, and currently does day care in her home. She likes to read, do counted cross-stitch, and spend time with family and friends. She says, "The members at FCC are such warm and friendly people that I have felt right at home here since our first visit." For information on Ron's and Connie's children, read on.
Kate Reuter and Amanda Reuter
Sponsors: Stacie Widder and Erin Powell
Kate (17) attends Marengo Community High School and enjoys hanging out with friends, going to movies, playing basketball, singing, and listening to music. Amanda (14) also attends Marengo Community High School, and earns spending money by baby sitting. She likes chatting online with friends (as well as hanging out with them in person), shopping, church activities, and "family things."
Jerry and Sue Tranjanowski
Sponsors: John and Elly Hopkins
Jerry is a native Chicagoan and was educated at Illinois State University and Illinois Institute of Technology. A licensed home inspector, he owns a property inspection company. Jerry enjoys golf, maintaining his business, and playing with his pet cockapoo "Bailey." Sue is also a native of Chicago. Until this past September she worked as a sales coordinator by Toyocom USA, but is currently seeking other employment. Sue is very actively involved in efforts to raise funds for breast cancer research. Jerry and Sue have a son, Brad (34). Another son, Scott, sadly, died several years ago at the age of 21.
- Many thanks to Jeanne Rothlisberger, who cleaned and polished the bowl in the baptismal font.
As always, a big thank you for all the support from our membership, both walkers and the people who pledged.
The grand total collected during the Elgin Walk was $16,000. Of that 25% ($4,000), will stay in Elgin. We had 13 walkers and a total of $1,172 in pledges.
With the money we collected, it is possible to supply either of the below
- a building kit - which includes wooden beams, window frames, lintels, doors, nails, plastic, cement, and other materials - for an Afghan family rebuilding their home in the wake of war.
- a pump to bring clean, fresh water to a village, plus piping, tools, seals and community hygiene/sanitation training.
There is still money left over after either of the above two is provided, which could then provide 5 basic beehives for a family to begin beekeeping.
How marvelous to share our treasures with those less fortunate.
- David Dillenbeck and Julie Cimaglia were married on November 5. Congratulations!
- Elsie Burrichter, Lavon Bayler's mother, recently celebrated her 100th birthday!
Going South For The Winter?
For those of you who will be leaving for warmer climates please advise Pat Calvin in the office of your winter address. Also advise her of the date you will be leaving and the date you intend to return home. We will do our best to get the newsletter to you while you're gone.
Hanging of the Greens
Decorating the sanctuary for the advent season will take place on Saturday November 27th at 1:00 pm. Volunteers are needed to help hang greenery & lights. Please come and help. We would like our Church to look it's best for our Sunday evening program!
We are beginning to make plans for our annual Sunday School Christmas Program on Sunday, December 19th. We want all of the children to participate so please mark this date on your calendar now before it fills with other holiday activities. This year's program will feature a tableau of characters who gather at the manger. The children will be singing many favorite Christmas carols as they tell the story of Jesus' birth. It is really important that each child be present every Sunday during the next month so that we can practice parts and music. There will be a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 18th at 10:00 a.m. It will last until about 11:30. Please mark your calendar now so that your child can be present.
Sunday School B Perfect Attendance
We are encouraging the children to be present each week in Sunday School. Their regular attendance makes it easier for them to learn about our faith without gaps in their learning. We want to recognize these people for perfect attendance during the month of October: Drew Rantz, Bailey Stark, Cassie Kemmler, Brad Rantz, David Gerber, A.J. Mitchell, Grant Powell, Nick Kemmler, Danikka Preradovic, Stacie Widder and Erin Powell. Congratulations! We hope that more children will try to be present each week. We will be recognizing perfect attendance for November in the next newsletter.
When you are doing your baking this year for the holidays would you consider making a couple of dozen homemade cookies/bars (of one kind) for the church to deliver to those homes we visit when we go caroling. We will make up plates of assorted cookies from the variety we receive.
If you don't have time to bake the cookies before December 19th, the youth (and anyone willing to help us) will be meeting at the church at 1:00 in the afternoon to make cookies. We need donations of cookie dough for this project. Please consider mixing up a batch of cookies and sending the dough to the church with directions for making the cookies and we'll put them together. Please let Lois know you can help by providing cookies, dough, or your time for this project.
FROG (Friends Relying on God) Friday
Just a reminder that FROG Friday will NOT be meeting during the month of December. We will resume our FROG (Friends Relying on God) Friday program on the third Friday in January which is January 21st 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. The payment of $15.00 for the winter session (Jan., Feb., Mar.) Will be due at that time. The cost is $15.00 per person for three sessions. This cost includes dinner, craft, story and games. FROGS are having a hopping good time learning more about being faithful friends relying on God. Plan to come and invite someone new to join us too.
Join us for a hot soup and bread luncheon following church on December 5th sponsored by the Mission Trip group. This luncheon will cost $5 and will include a variety of homemade soups and breads as well as yummy desserts. Please come for lunch and support our mission trip group's efforts to raise funds for the Summer 2005 trip. Make your reservation using the form in this newsletter.
Youth Winter Retreat
The Youth Winter Retreat is scheduled for the weekend of January 14-16, 2005 at Pilgrim Park. Details and information will be mailed home in November, so watch for them. This will be a great weekend of fellowship, fun, and FOOD! Save the date NOW!
2004 Christmas Fund Offering - Keeping Faith with the Faithful
For 102 years, the Christmas Fund has helped provide a financial safety net for retired clergy, lay church employees, and their widowed spouses. Our gifts are used primarily for retired UCC clergy in low income brackets to give emergency assistance and to augment inadequate pension and health plans.
Look for the designated Christmas Fund envelope in the December newsletter and then give a special present to those who kept faith with us by sharing their ministries. Our checks should be made payable to the church but designated for the "2004 Christmas Fund." This is an important way for us to show compassion and care for a special group of people during Advent.
Thanks in advance from your
Ministry of Missions and Social Concerns
Start Your Holiday Shopping Early! Join Us at the ChristCare Boutique
There will be one more opportunity before the holidays to take advantage of excellent prices and convenient shopping at the ChristCare Boutique. It will take place Sunday, December 5th, the library (as before) from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm. We will feature toys (great for giving trees and the community toy drive,) stocking stuffers, men's and women's gift items, as well as Christmas decorations and party goods. Started as a mission outreach program, the proceeds of the Boutique will benefit the Adult Program of The Larkin Center. We hope to see you there!