Thank you to our wonderful Church Family. Your cards, calls, flowers, and prayers are deeply appreciated. It was comforting to both of us to have your loving support.
An extra special thanks to the Crafty Christians for the beautiful Easter basket.
- Connor James Hodges was born premature on April 5 to parents Andre and Megan Hodges, and grandmother Bonnie Morrow. He is still in the neo-natal unit at Delnor Hospital but will probably be released soon.
- Jacob Phelps was born in Colorado to Brittany Phelps, and great-grandparents Violet and Bob Lohse.
Through May 21st 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.
Faith on Foot
Neighborhood Church Tour
Elgin has long been known as a "City of Churches," and no where is this heritage more evident than on the city's eastside skyline of churches. Find out more about the city's religious heritage during a five week walking tour series entitled "Faith on Foot." Sponsored by the First Congregational Church and open to the public, the series will kick off on April 23rd with a walk through the southern portion of the Elgin Historic District. Tour-goers will view various church buildings and other structures in the neighborhood.
Facilitator: Jerry Turnquist
Footsteps of Peter and Paul:
An In-depth Study of the Book of Acts
We are following Paul as he travels through modern-day Greece, laying the groundwork for the arrival of Christianity in Europe. Come sail into these biblical waters with us. 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. The class is discovering we all fit into the church quite nicely.
Facilitator: Paris Donehoo
- 5-01 Maggie Powers
- 5-02 Alessandra Castillo
- 5-04 Ryan Munson
- 5-04 Sydney Schmitendorf
- 5-07 Patrick Lile
- 5-08 Jeannine Burger
- 5-14 Dennis Hewitt
- 5-15 John Kauffman
- 5-16 Lori Kemmler
- 5-16 George Bero
- 5-16 Cherie Murphy
- 5-16 Madisen Erickson
- 5-18 Amanda Reuter
- 5-19 Lorri Powell
- 5-19 Jodie Stackowiak
- 5-21 Jodi Peterson
- 5-22 Margarete Schmoldt
- 5-25 James Deaton
- 5-25 Ronald Carlson
- 5-25 Thor Powers
- 5-27 Mary Hewitt
- 5-28 Brianne Murphy
- 5-31 Larry Rothlisberger
- 5-31 Alex Halfpenny
- 5-31 Emerson Lewis
- Bill Schmoldt had colon resection surgery at St. Joseph Hospital on April 14. He is home and recuperating well.
- Gina Green had rotator cuff surgery on April 6. The procedure was more extensive than expected and Gina's recuperation has been difficult.
- Doug McDonald continues to recuperate at Sherman West Court.
- Ron Reuter was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital for therapy and observation.
- Violet Lohse was hospitalized for several days at Sherman. She is home and doing well.
- Roger Dieringer spent several days in St. Joseph Hospital for tests. He is home and doing well.
- Gwen Metcalf, Lori Kemmler's grandmother, had a heart attack April 22. Her prognosis is unknown at this time.
- Kaden Peterson passed away on April 22 due to complications following open heart surgery. A funeral service led by Paris and Lois was held at the church on April 26. Pray for his parents, Ethan and Jodi.
- Jack Neukom, brother to Delores Kagel and uncle to Mike McMinn, passed away on April 17.
Sister to Sister
The Sister to Sister women's fellowship group will hold its final meeting of the season on Thursday, May 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the library. Bring pictures of your favorite place (or a couple of places) in the world. We'll share pictures and the stories that go with them.
Confirmation will be held on Sunday, May 21st during the 10:15 worship service. Four young people will be confirming their faith during this service: Alyssa Hargrave, Nicholas Kemmler, Anna Mitchell, and Grant Powell. Please plan to be present for this special service.
It's not too early to begin thinking about Summer Church Camp. The Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ has two camping facilities. Pilgrim Park is located in Princeton, Illinois in the beautiful Illinois River valley area -- not too far from Starved Rock. Tower Hill is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan in Sawyer, Michigan. Each camp is about a two hour drive from Elgin. Camps are offered throughout the summer for all age groups. Both camps offer a unique opportunity for children and adults to learn more about their faith as they play and learn with other campers. Camps are offered for children and youth age 5 through high school. There are also camps for first-time campers that are only 2 night - 3 day camps called Tenderfoot. In addition to camps for children, there are also camps for Grandparents and Grandchildren and also for Senior Adults. First Congregational offers a camp scholarship program to any camper attending one of our United Church of Christ camps. We will pay up to 1/2 of the camp cost (not to exceed $100). Please stop by Lois' office and pick up a camp brochure.
Our Sunday School classes will end on May 21st. We have had a wonderful year. A BIG "thank you" to our 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 of the teachers in worship on Sunday, April 30th and we'll have a special coffee hour in their honor on that day. Teachers please mark your calendars and plan to stay for coffee hour.
- 5-07 Marissa Lewellyn & Tianna Louaillier
- 5-14 Alex Halfpenny & Samantha Kottmeier
- 5-21 Maggie Powers & Dennis Turnquist
- 5-28 Keaton Fahnestock & Taylor Powers
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
On April 30th these new members were received into our church family:
Sponsor: Liz Sharf
Jami was born in Chicago and raised in Elgin. After graduation from Illinois State in 1975 she taught second grade for two and a half years in U-46. Since June of 1978 she has worked as a flight attendant with United Airlines. Jami and her husband, Kerry, have two children, both of whom are members of FCC - Jordan (19) who is a freshman at DePaul University, and Chase (15) who is a freshman at Larkin High School. Jami loves taking family photos and has all of them organized (negatives and digital). She also loves to travel. History and politics are two of her other passions (she reads two newspapers every day).
Walt and Carole Kilmanas
Sponsors: Steve and Janet Aldred
Walt was born in West Germany and emigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1952. He grew up in Detroit. After graduation from Wayne State University he spent his career in human resources with various industries. He loves traveling, reading (especially World War Two history), hockey, family and friends. Walt is also a volunteer reader for "Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic." Carole was born and raised on a farm in northwest Iowa. She attended Iowa State University ("Go Cyclones!"), and currently works for Diebold, Inc. as an administrative assistant. She loves to travel, garden, and dine out with friends and family. Walt and Carole have been married for 35 years. They have no children (pets either), but they have a large extended family (on Carole's side) of sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews whom they love to have stay with them from time to time.
Susan Lovingood's son, Brian Smith, is finally stateside after his third tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Spring Celebration of Women
We gather all the women of the church a few times each year for an evening of fellowship and fun. Our spring activity will be held at JuRin Japanese Steak House in the Silver Glen Shopping Area of South Elgin on Thursday, May 25th. We'll gather at 6:30 for an informal evening of dinner and conversation. Come and enjoy a nice relaxing evening. Contact Lois for more information.
Vacation Bible School
Preparations are underway for an exciting adventure with VBS this summer. We will be meeting the week of June 12th ? 16th 9:30 ? 12:30 at Wing Park in Pavilion #2. Our theme for the week is Treasure Seekers. We'll be discovering the buried treasures of our faith. So spread the word. Tell your friends that you want them to join you on a Treasure Hunt this summer. This program has something to offer all ages. Everyone will enjoy hearing Bible stories, playing games, singing those catchy songs, and making crafts. The older children will enjoy their camp-like experience which will include time for nature study, hikes, games and storytelling. Please make this week a priority for your family.
Of course we always need more volunteers so let Lois know if you are available to help with any aspect of the program.
Angel Loft Tours
Do you want to go to the angel loft? Would you like to see the inside of the giant pipe organ? It has long been a "rite-of-passage" in this church that the Confirmation classes get to visit the angel loft just prior to their Confirmation. However, some people who were not confirmed here or those that are new members have often expressed an interest in looking into the nooks and crannies of this old church. Tom Powell has graciously volunteered to conduct tours on Wednesday evening, May 10th between 5:30 and 6:30 for any church member (must be older than confirmation age) who would like to do some exploring. To visit the angel loft you need to climb a ladder that is about 9 feet high and climb into the attic area. Wear old clothing because it is dusty. The annual angel loft trip for the Confirmation class will happen that same evening at 6:30 p.m.
We will be recognizing graduates on June 4th during our 10:15 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.
Hiawatha Dancers and Silent Auction Raffle and Luncheon
Immediately following worship on Sunday, May 7th you are invited to join us in fellowship hall for a potluck luncheon, silent auction and raffle. We are very excited to be able to offer the Hiawatha Dancers as entertainment for the afternoon. This group has been performing Native American dances throughout Elgin for many, many years. This fundraising event will benefit this year's Mission Trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota where we will be working on the Native American reservation. We hope that you will bid on silent auction items, buy raffle tickets and join us for lunch and entertainment. The silent auction items and raffle tickets will also be on sale on Sunday, April 30th. Please stop by and see all of the items that are available and pick up some raffle tickets to sell for us. Tickets are $2 each or 3 tickets for $5. Two get away weekends and dining packages are being raffled. First Prize will have first choice of the item.
4's/Kindergarten and 1
2nd and 3rd
Ministry of Worship and Hospitality
Birthday Cake Sunday in Jeopardy
The Worship and Hospitality Committee regrets to report that donations to coffee hour have not been substantial enough for us to continue Birthday Cake Sunday indefinitely. The money you donate on a weekly basis to the "basket" provides funds for coffee, tea, juice & goodies at coffee hour. If you would like Birthday Cake Sunday to continue please increase your giving on that particular Sunday.
We have been made aware that some members have an allergy to wheat which interferes with full participation in communion. We will have available some wheat & gluten free crackers available at communion for those individuals.
Thank you from the Paul Jehle Family
As a young man, Paul Jehle worked hard, saved his earnings, and invested in stocks in the emerging telephone business. He and his wife Mildred continued to work and manage their finances so as to let these investments grow. Paul was a member of FCC Stewardship and Finance ministries for many years, carefully managing church resources, ever aware of the struggle to maintain an old building and a program meeting the needs of folks from birth to death. He and Mildred supported FCC generously and Paul planned to continue giving even after his death. The telephone investment made possible the Jehle Fund.
We have a letter from Paul and Mildred's family, the Zoebels. "Thanks so much for sending the mission grant allocations for First Congregational Church. Herb and I are still curious and interested in how the funds are spent. Paul would be proud!"
What would make Paul proud? His plan specifies that the Jehle Fund will continue to give to Missions and a savings account for expensive building repair for sixty years. In 2006 the Mission portion will be used for many great projects:
- Emergency assistance to families in the New Orleans area through Back Bay Mission.
- Children and Families in Crisis through PADS, Centro De Informacion, Community Crisis Center, Food Resources Bank, Lazarus House, and Bethesada Community Center.
- Assistance to orphans in countries affected by AIDS through Church World Service, UCC Global Ministries, and SARFAT (South Africa).
- A church based after-school tutoring program led by volunteers.
- Church youth group mission trips, FCC, and Ivanhoe UCC to build bunk beds for children on a South Dakota Indian Reservation and St.Paul's UCC, Crystal Lake to help youth in Appalachia.
- Advocating for peaceful solutions to avoid war: Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice.
Thank You, Paul, for trusting us to manage your generous gift responsibly.
Mission Grant News
12 of the 2006 recipients have sent us thank you acknowledgements. 2 of them have come to FCC to personally thank us. Back in February we hosted a meeting with Church World Service to learn about their children's program in Rwanda. It was very informative for those in attendance. On April 19th representatives from Sarfat, which has a children's program in South Africa, visited FCC. Paris and I spent an enjoyable hour talking with these people. They were so thankful for our support that they wanted to personally come to meet us.
2 vacancies will exist on the Mission Grants Committee this summer. These are for 3 year terms beginning in July of 2006. They are filled by appointment of the Church Council. The Committee meets 5-6 times a year. A Spring meeting selects the themes for the coming year and 4-5 meetings are held between November and January. This entails reviewing applications, selecting recipients, and determining dollar amounts. This list is then put before the congregation at the Annual Meeting. Interested FCC members need to submit their names to the Church Moderator before the June Council meeting. Additional information can be obtained from Carl Flaks.