FCC will be joining with several other faith communities in Elgin for a Thanksgiving worship service on Sunday evening, November 20th at 7:00 at First United Methodist Church, 216 E. Highland Avenue. Don't miss this chance to celebrate all the blessings for which we are grateful in an ecumenical, interfaith setting.
Join us for a hot soup and bread luncheon following church on December 4th 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 fund for the Summer 2006 trip. Make your reservation using the form in this newsletter.
A great big THANK YOU to the children of our church who collected $290.82 in their water bottle banks for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This donation, along with the children's offerings for September and October, will be forwarded to Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi to help with the work they are doing to provide aid to folks in that area.
- Justin Carlson, son of Ron and Karen Carlson, and his bride, Stacia, were married on October 8 in Champaign, IL.
From November 6th through the 27th adults at First Congregational Church UCC will 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.
Finding God in Our Daily Lives
Pat Lindquist facilitates a three week study including a field trip. Participants consider the ways we seek to find God in our daily lives.
- Week #1: Spirituality is _________?
What is spirituality? Bring your
ideas and let's see what we come up with!
- Week #2: Spirituality of Imperfection! Can we learn spirituality? Where do we begin? What do we do and how do we do it?
- Week #3: Do What?? When?? Where????? Guest speakers from our midst will discuss various spiritual practices like meditation, yoga, and labyrinths.
- Field Trip: An outing for supper & to attend a Taize Worship Service is planned for Friday, November 18th.
Facilitator: Pat Lindquist
Footsteps of Peter and Paul:
An In-depth Study of the Book of Acts
We continue to look at the early church as a guide for how to - and how not to - live as Christians in the 21st century. No biblical expertise is necessary, and it doesn't matter if you haven't been in the class previously. Come join us for a close examination of a church filled with less than saintly saints and not-quite-unredeemable sinners. Chances are you will find plenty of familiar faces.
Facilitator: Paris Donehoo
11/02 Howard Bakken
11/03 Linda Dahl
11/05 Jennifer Bero
11/08 Denise Farley
11/10 Norbert Kurth
11/11 Elly Hopkins
11/12 Madeline Koldos
11/13 Kenzie Fahnestock
11/14 Rosella Menke
11/14 Marjorie Irion
11/17 Sue Trojanowski
11/17 Michael Barbezat
11/18 Jean Hempstead
11/19 Virginia Flentge
11/19 Jeanne Rothlisberger
11/23 Judith Leith
11/24 Jordan Sunday
11/27 Bob Steffen
11/27 Bailey Stark
11/30 James Breunlin
- Floyd and Betty Brown celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 22nd.
- After a brief stay at home Betty Jones was re-admitted to St. Joseph Hospital. She is currently receiving rehab therapy there.
- Dorothy Schock had surgery to install a cardiac pace-maker. She is home and doing well.
- Jackie Flood had outpatient knee surgery. She is home and doing well.
- Janet Banwart had surgery on October 11. She is home and recuperating well.
- Helen McClure's husband, David, has been admitted to Sherman West Court nursing facility.
- Just a few days before a six-month move to Texas for his company, Brian Carlson came down with pneumonia. He hopes to be able to take on his new duties soon.
- Administrative Assistant Pat Calvin had cataract surgery on October 6. After a few days of recuperation she back at work in the church office.
- Richard Farley, father of Brian Farley, and father-in-law of Denise Farley, passed away on October 13.
- Jeanne Stettner passed away on October 25.
Alyssa Kaitlyn Ekstrom, daughter of Eric and Kelly Ekstrom, and granddaughter of Tom & Caryl Bowers was baptized during the 10:15 service on October 16.
Plans are underway for the 2006 Mission Trip. We will be meeting on Sunday, November 20th immediately following church to discuss location and plans. Please plan to join us if you think you might be interested in joining the group on this year's trip or you just want to find out what it is all about. Registrations and non-refundable deposits of $50 are due by January 22nd.
Sister to Sister
The next meeting of our Sister to Sister group will be on Thursday, November 10th at 7 p.m. in the library.
Damaris is a women's fellowship group that meets each month to go out to dinner together. We normally meet on the fourth Thursday of every month. However, the November meeting will be on the 3rd Thursday (November 17th) because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday. We will meet at 6:30 p.m. at The Manor on Rte. 72, Dundee. For more information or for a ride please call Lois.
Our first Confirmation classes have gone well. We will continue to meet every other Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the office at church. We are very excited to welcome Alyssa Hargrave, Nick Kemmler, Anna Mitchell, Grant Powell, and Joanie Steffen, to this journey toward confirming their faith on May 21, 2006. During this year we will be learning more about the Christian faith and our local church as we study the Bible, memorize some passages of scripture, learn about the United Church of Christ, learn about the sacraments, participate in ecumenical and denominational events, work at PADS, and the Soup Kettle and... so much more. If you know of anyone else who should be a part of our class please let them know it is not too late to join the group. If you are interested in seeing a syllabus of our classes please feel free to ask Lois for a copy.
FROG (Friends Relying on God) Friday
Our first two Frog Fridays of the year have been a "hopping success". We meet on the third Friday of every month. Our next meeting will be on November 18th. Our time together begins at 6pm with a pizza dinner. The evening always includes story, songs, games, and crafts. It concludes at 8:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per session. Please invite your friends to come and participate.
ADVENT VESPERS SERVICE
Last November we began a new tradition here at FCC. To celebrate the real reason for the season we began this busy time of year with a quiet service reminding us what the coming of Christ means for our lives each and every day. This year's second annual choral vespers service will be your opportunity to reflect on faith's answer to what the season is all about. On Sunday, November 27th at 6:00 PM the Chancel Choir, Cherub Choir, Chapel Choir, and the pastors will join together to celebrate the beginning of Advent with lessons and anthems for this time of hope. Please join us for this very special service as we prepare for the coming season.
If you haven't looked at the wall outside the chapel lately be sure and notice the beautiful water-color painting of our church doors hanging there. It is an original work by Chuck Castle donated to us by the artist. Thanks, Chuck!
Elgin Cooperative Ministry (ECM) reports there has been a significant increase in requests for food at the All People's Interfaith Food Pantry, which is housed at FCC, as well as the pantry at Centro de Información. At the same time there has been a drop in food donations to these two agencies, which is not unusual during the Summer and early Fall months. ECM is requesting food donations for these two sister organizations. Donations can be placed in the box labeled "Food Pantry" located outside the church office, or they can be brought directly to the pantry between 9:30 and 11:30 AM Monday thru Friday. Call Joan Wesner for specific needs. Likewise, donations can be delivered to Centro de Información at 28 N. Grove Avenue between 9 AM and Noon or 1 to 4 PM. Call Cheryl Wilkins for specific needs.
PADS of Elgin is in need of a number of items. A list is posted outside the church office. Your generosity is much appreciated. For more information please contact the PADS office.
HURRICANE RELIEF CONCERT
A concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 240 Standish Street, in Elgin, on November 6th at 4:00 PM.
11/06 Emerson Lewis & Andrew Duncan
11/13 A.J. Mitchell & Nick Kemmler
11/20 Taylor Stark & Eric Turnquist
11/27 Marissa Lewellyn & Tianna Louaillier
We are beginning to make plans for our annual Sunday School Christmas Program on Sunday, December 18th. We want all of the children to participate so please mark this date on your calendar now before it fills with other holiday activities.
Do you want to help with this year's Christmas program? Deb Sell has volunteered to coordinate the program, but needs some people to assist with parts, costumes, and practices. There will be a couple of evening meetings (or Sunday morning coffee hour) to get things organized and then we will work with each grade level on Sunday mornings. Please call Deb Sell to volunteer, or talk to Lois.
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 September: Grace Anne Aldred, Ben Brictson, Kenzie Fahnestock, Bailey Stark, Cassie Kemmler, Brailey Kerber, Max Aldred, Chris Leberecht, Nicole Lewellyn, Taylor Stark, Eric Turnquist, Phillip Brictson, David Gerber, Cameron Leberecht and Dennis Turnquist.
Congratulations! We hope that more children will try to be present each week. We will be recognizing perfect attendance for October in the next newsletter.
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 10th - late Saturday afternoon, February 11th. 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.
Bibles for Third Graders
All third graders are invited and encouraged to come to Bible Blast 2005 on Friday, November 11th at 6:30 p.m. Please eat dinner at home before you come. Our evening will begin with ice cream sundaes. This special evening will include learning activities and games to help these young people discover the treasures within their Bibles. The Confirmation class will be assisting with this program. Please RSVP to Lois to let us know that you plan to attend.
The third graders will be receiving a Bible as a gift from their First Congregational Church family on Sunday, November 20th during the 10:15 worship service.
A new Membership Directory is in the works. Directory information lists will be available in the narthex beginning Sunday, November 6th for the purpose of information verification. Please check the list to ensure that your information is correct and up to date. We will keep the list out until the end of November.
The ChristCare Boutique Fall Session
Wow, where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday that we had our last ChristCare Boutique before the summer. But a quick passage of time that leads to enjoyable activities isn't all bad. And we hope that you've all been looking forward to attending the boutique again.
Well, the boutique will be in session on Sunday, November 13th from 9:00am - 12:30pm in the library. Once again, there will be a harvest's cornucopia of terrific buys encompassing Fall items and baby gifts, as well as holiday items and more. (You may have noticed that the "pre-holiday" shopping season has started)!
As before, the proceeds will benefit the Adult Program of The Larkin Center. We're looking forward to seeing you so please at least stop by and say "Hi!".
Writers in the Storm
Group Leader: Gina Orazi Green
Come and share:
- The characters you have created
- Poems you have penned
- Plots that you have proofed
- Journals you have journeyed through
- Sing your sonnets and short stories
- Time: 4:00 - 6:00pm
- When: November 8th
- Where: Library
Come and bring the thoughts that you have put down on paper. We will listen, offer positive thoughts and be a sounding board for your words in our writer's workshop.
Answers to MAD GABs
- Good News of Great Joy - Luke 2:10
- Make disciples of all nations - Matt. 28:19
- Come follow me - Mt. 19:21
Some years ago three small boys were engaged in a serious conversation about what they would like to inherit when their father died. The oldest son wanted his father's watch. It had a chain and fob with a fraternity key in the middle. The middle son was interested in his father's ring. It had some diamonds that had been in his mother's original wedding band. The youngest son realized there wasn=t much left, but with eyes as big as saucers he said, "I want all of Dad's checks!" His brothers laughed and said, "You wouldn't get a thing, they're worthless!"
Actually, they were the story of his father's life; the only autobiography he would ever write. His checks were a record of his hopes and dreams, values and priorities, purchases and expenditures. A story in every transaction; a signature on every page.
Consider your cancelled checks. What do they say of your life, your values, your hopes and dreams, your faith? Let's look through a month of cancelled checks and see what most of us earnestly believe in.
We believe in home: Here is a big one: the mortgage, including interest, taxes and insurance is 1/4 to 1/3 of the family income. Whether we rent or buy, we believe in the home and place great emphasis on the family residence. It is perhaps the most hopeful symbol in our culture today.
We believe in transportation: Here is another big one. Perhaps the second largest single purchase we make in our lifetime. Firm is our faith in the private car. Whether insurance or gasoline doubles in price, we are a mobile society and nothing will change that. Drive through suburbia. You will probably see two garage doors at each residence and several cars in each driveway.
We believe in education: Another large one. Whether through real estate taxes, state income taxes or tuition and fees paid directly to institutions of learning, education has a high priority in our society and provides a great challenge for parents to equip their children for opportunities and employment in their future.
We believe in the home, in transportation, in education. They are an obvious presence in our checkbooks and significant in our cancelled checks.
But where is the evidence of our faith in our checkbooks? When called for an audit by the IRS, we seek documentation for financial support of the church. When suggested that we consult our checkbooks the universal reply is, "We don't write checks for anything that small." Follow the offertory proceedings in hundreds of local churches. Nowhere in the world does the dollar bill march with greater dignity that the Christian Church. It is interesting how large a dollar bill looks behind stained glass. We say: We believe! Christ is the answer! Christ is the hope of the world! But where is evidence of that faith, of that hope, in our checkbooks?
here is your treasure? Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount were these, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." The home? Of course. The automobile? Surely. Education? Certainly. The Church? Well, hardly. We simply do not fund adequately the mission of Christ in these times.
We began the annual stewardship campaign on October 23rd to raise the funds needed to continue the mission of this church. Consecration Sunday will be November 13th. The success of this campaign lies in your hands. We have a goal of increasing the pledging units by 15 to 130, and increasing the total pledged dollars and overall giving by 10%.. It is an ambitious goal, but with all of us working together we can do it.
Let us look back to our checkbooks. Review your priorities. Examine your faith. Give the work of the Church a proper place in your fiscal concern. How deep is your commitment to Christ? His Church? The answer is in your cancelled checks.
Ministry of Stewardship