- Pat Lindquist graduated on Friday, February 18, 2005 with high honors from Wright College with her Psychiatric/Rehabilitation Certificate.
- Congratulations to Jordan Sund who received the first place Kane County Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award. Jordan was nominated for this honor by her teacher, Mr. Hall. She had to write an essay on AOur American Heritage and Our Responsibility to Preserve It. She read her essay and was recognized as the first place recipient at a banquet on Sunday, February 13th. We are very proud of you, Jordan!
- Congratulations to David and Alice Phipps who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!
- Tom Powell's parents, Ed and Betty Powell, celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on February 15.
Through March 20th adults at First Congregational Church UCC continue to have these opportunities for spiritual and personal growth. Each class begins at 9:15 AM & ends at 10:00 AM. Child care will be provided. Note there are no adult education classes on Easter Sunday.
Study a Book of the Bible
Janet Aldred & Jennifer Green are offering another of their engaging Bible Book studies. They are studying the New Testament book of James. If you've ever wanted to, or have enjoyed it in the past, here is an opportunity to study a book of the Bible from start to finish. This class is a discussion class rather than a lecture class. Some historical and theological information is provided, but there are opportunities for all participants to share their thoughts on how this book speaks to them. Your Bible is the only book needed.
Facilitators: Janet Aldred and Jennifer Green
Dying to Live
The Lenten study, Dying to Live, is loosely based on a booklet of that name by James A. Harnish. Participants explore the meaning of Christ's death on the cross in the context that it signifies the central theme of the Gospel. As the Apostle Paul said, "Our firm decision is to work from the focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. "He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own." (2 Corinthians 5:14). Come explore our faith's themes as we move toward Easter.
Facilitator: Mich Barbezat
3/01 Hazel Smith
3/05 Dolores Zimmerman
3/08 Virginia Kellerman
3/09 Carol Olson
3/09 Virginia Koop
3/12 Stacie Widder
3/13 Mary Lou Whetstone
3/13 Mary Ellen Flaks
3/14 David McGee
3/16 Penny Donehoo
3/18 Roger Dieringer
3/18 Kristopher Hewitt
3/18 Cassie, Kemmler
3/20 Marjorie Bye
3/20 Savannah Lile
3/21 Philip Brictson
3/20 Janet Diaz
3/21 Cregen McMinn
- John Schneck had emergency surgery at Sherman Hospital for a perforated bowel. After an extended period of recuperation he is home and slowly getting better. He writes:
I never realized what get-well cards could mean when you're hurting, bewildered, and in pain. You are in my prayers too.
- Leonard Bye was at Sherman Hospital being treated for a pancreatic obstruction. He is home now and recuperating well.
- Troy Moore was recently at Sherman Hospital for a few days. He is home and doing better.
- Cecelia Snider, Glenna Preradovic's, mother, was admitted to Sherman Hospital with kidney problems.
- Ernie Ludwig had angioplasty on February 18. He is recuperating well.
- Angel Tippet, daughter of Tony Tippet and Andrea Szlapinski and granddaughter of Charlotte Flanagan, continues at Lutheran General Hospital.
- Shirley May Byrnes had serious problems related to her right eye. She is doing better now and will not lose her sight.
Sister to Sister
Sister to Sister meets on the second Thursday night of the month at 7p.m. in the library. Our March Sister to Sister program will be on Thursday, March 10th. We are very excited about the program for this month=s meeting. Our guest speaker will be Rowena Swan. She'll be telling the story of Lion of Gardiner's Island; a man who built the first fort in the Americas. He bartered for an island and ransomed an Indian princess. Captain Kidd buried treasure on the island, too. Ro has a wonderful style of telling stories that just draws in the listener. Come and be spellbound by her tale.
The Damaris group will meet on Thursday, March 17th (a week earlier this month) instead of March 24th due to Maundy Thursday. Please join us for dinner at 6:30 at Trefons at 1460 Main Lane, Elgin.
Sunday School's One Great Hour of Sharing Offering
The Sunday School children will be receiving fish banks on Sunday, February 27th. These banks are to collect their offerings for One Great Hour of Sharing. One Great Hour of Sharing is a disaster relief offering. Whenever and wherever there is a need OGHS money goes to help with the problem both here in the U.S. and world-wide. Children are encouraged to "Feed" their fish with loose coins and bring them back on Palm Sunday, March 20th (yes, this a different date than the offering of the congregation)
Perfect Attendance for January
1st & 2nd - Madeline Koldos
5th & 6th - Chris Taylor
Jr High - Mike Stackowiak & Mary Taylor
The last FROG Friday of the year will be held on Friday, March 18th at 6p.m. We'll begin as always with a pizza supper and then have a sing-a-long, story, games, and crafts. FROG Friday is for all kindergartners - sixth graders. The junior high and high school youth serve as group leaders for this program. Come and bring a friend. It is a lot of fun! The cost is $5 for dinner and craft.
Some enterprising members of FCC are attempting to record our 10:15 Sunday worship services and make tapes available to shut-ins and anyone else who wants them. Here are two ways you can help?
- Make the recording on Sunday morning. It's a simple matter of dropping a blank tape into the deck in the balcony (all levels are pre-set) and pressing the "record" button. After worship you retrieve the tape and take it to the church office. If you would be willing to help, contact David Duncan or call the church office.
- Take a tape to a shut-in. For some of our folks who can't get out anymore this could be a great way to re-connect with the church. It could do wonders for you too. Call the church office if you are willing to help.
Tapes would also be available to anyone in the church who wants one at a cost of $2.00 each. An order form will be in the narthex.
Acolytes for March
3/06 Alex Halfpenny & Samantha Kottmeier
3/16 Maggie Powers & Dennis Turnquist
3/20 Keaton Fahnestock & Taylor Powers
3/27 Phillip Brictson & Nicole Lewellyn
Youth Mission Trip
MISSION TRIP MEETING
Many people have expressed an interest in joining us on our mission trip to H.O.M.E., Inc. in Orland, Maine June 16 - 26th. We are receiving deposits to hold a place on the trip. If you have not made your deposit of $50 please do so as soon as possible. We are anticipating the total cost to be $150 - 200 per person. There will be a mission trip planning meeting on Sunday, March 13th following worship. All of those who are planning to go on the mission trip should plan to attend this meeting. Registration forms were mailed out to all those who have attended previous meetings. Those forms and the $50 deposit must be turned in at this meeting. If you did not receive a registration form please contact Lois or Brian Stark.
Jesus - The Movie (March 13)
We invite anyone interested to join the Confirmation Class and their mentors for the viewing of the movie Jesus on Sunday afternoon March 13th. This 90 minute movie uses the words of the Gospel of Luke as it tells the life of Jesus. It is a great movie. We will begin with a pizza lunch following the mission trip meeting on Sunday, March 13th (approx. 1:00) and conclude about 3:00. Please let Lois know if you'd like to join the group, so we order enough pizza.
One Great Hour of Sharing
The One Great Hour of Sharing special offering will be taken during worship on March 6 or can be sent in to the church office with the envelope that has been provided in this newsletter.
The One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering from 2004 enabled the UCC to respond to this year's Tsunami immediately. The work of international ministry and disaster response was there for the vast need without waiting for special offerings, which came later.
At the same time, OGHS helps make possible our work for Christ year round, all around the world--in Darfur (the Sudan), in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and more. OGHS also makes possible our immediate response to U.S. disasters like the multiple hurricanes and floods of last season. If we ever needed evidence of the reality of the needs, they have become all too real.
With You in Christ's Service,
Jane Fisler Hoffman,
Illinois Conference Minister
As part of our promotion and awareness campaign for the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering, the Cross I'd Players will be presenting brief skits during announcement times on February 20, 27 and finally on March 6. The March 6 presentation will be very special as it has been written by Betty Jones. We are grateful for the contribution of skill, time and energy from Betty. Thank you!!
The ChristCare Boutique "March"es On!
Although this year March features two holidays (St. Patrick's Day and Easter), there will be only one ChristCare Boutique session to purchase items with those themes. It will take place on Sunday, March 6th from 9:00am - 12:30pm in the library. Our buyers have again been scanning the globe to provide you with the best prices on quality merchandise. (Okay, so they were just looking at a desk globe. But they really do get great stuff at great prices!) This session we will feature Easter and St. Patrick's Day gifts, baby gifts, and other gift items. As before, the proceeds will benefit the Adult Program of The Larkin Center. Please stop by and say "How's your mom ?n ?em?!"
Sanctuary Clean Up Saturday March 19th ? 9:00 am to?
There will be a cleaning day for the Sanctuary and balcony on the Saturday before Palm Sunday beginning at 9:00 am. Any and all volunteers will be welcome and appreciated. Feel free to bring your own cleaning supplies. Refreshments will be served.
Prime Time Dinner! It is that great time of year when we all look forward to dinner and entertainment to assist with the Youth Mission Trip Funding. This year, the Youth Group and the Cross I'd Players are presenting the Prime Time Dinner as a dinner theater on Saturday evening, April 9. The play is "Murder, Mayhem and Marshmallow Salad." Just wait till you meet Rev. Peter Piper Porcupine and his wife, Sister Polly; Pastor Evan Keal and his wife Molly Devaro Keal; M. T. Socket; Tess T. Honcho; Lorraine the piano player and Phil the philosopher. Please mark your calendars for April 9 and have a great dinner with a play by the Cross I'd Players!! Join us for a fun filled evening and help the youth, too, at this Prime Time Dinner! Watch for more details next month.
Peace Pole comes to F.C.C.
Last December I read an interesting article in the United Church News about Peace poles. I did some research on the subject and came away with the feeling that FCC should be doing more about spreading hope for peace around the world. A Peace pole is one way that we can remind the public that there is an alternative to war. Peace poles come in various sizes and shapes and they all have a common inscription "May peace prevail on earth" on their 4, 6, or 8 sides. The inscription can be in nearly 1,000 translations of the prayer. Since FCC occupies a very prominent visual spot downtown I thought it would be an excellent site. I approached the Church Council on February 15th with a proposal to raise the funds to purchase and install a Peace pole at FCC. They concurred and now I am asking interested parties to contribute to fund the purchase of a Peace pole.
Donations should be turned into the Church Office. Checks should be made out to FCC and marked Peace pole. A special bulletin board with more information is down in Fellowship Hall.
One of my duties as an administrative assistant for the Fox Valley /Association is to read the newsletters from some of our 50 sister churches. I try to glean articles of interest for the Association's newsletter in order to give smaller churches some ideas and programs that work in some of our larger churches and that just might work for them. One thing I have noticed in my perusal of the various newsletters is the universal cry for financial support and a longing for commitment to the church by its members.
One of our churches, in a recent article, said their ministries were going into 2005 with no budgets, meaning the ministry members "would have to find creative ways to finance the ministry they are called to do." That church also broke down its giving units and 49 out of 164 units, almost 30%, gave $0 in 2004!
I realize that we do not have that problem. Fortunately, we have many dedicated members who not only give of their time and talent but are also extremely generous with their "treasure" as well. However we, too, have some members who attend regularly and give nothing. Even though no one has any idea who these individuals are, this disturbs me, not for the dollars they might contribute if they gave, but for the lack of commitment it shows.
I know that not everyone is in the same financial condition. Many of us live from paycheck to paycheck, have children to feed, clothe, and educate. We have homes and cars we must pay for; utilities, insurance and many of us have "those dreaded credit card bills" as well. That doesn't leave much for that offering envelope on Sunday mornings. What would happen if, instead of giving the church what is left over after the bills are paid, we wrote out our offering check to the church first? I am certain that the "necessities" would still get paid.
A tithe or pledge is a commitment that one makes not to a building, or a pastor, or a congregation. It is a commitment to God; a way of giving back to the one who has given us everything. It begins low and builds over time. When I first joined this church in 1982, I pledged a certain amount per month, which was an average gift at that time. Over the years, as my paycheck grew, my pledge grew also. In 2000, after I semi-retired from a 33 year career, my paycheck was slashed by 2/3. I wasn't certain I could continue to give what I had been giving in the past. I thought I'd try it and see what happens. Well it's five years later and I haven't lowered it. It hasn't grown at the rate it did in the past, but I haven't lowered it.
I don't tell you this to set myself up as some "shining example." Heaven knows, I'm far from that! But this church prides itself on the fact that it's a family, and families support one another. It is not the amount of the gift that matters, it's the commitment that g]l members of the family are doing whatever they can to support the ministry of Jesus Christ in His church.
Patti Scroggins Ministry of Stewardship