BREAKFAST WITH THE BIBLE
We're drinking deeply from the Gospel According to John while we fill up our tummies too. Each Sunday morning we begin serving
breakfast at 9:00 in fellowship hall. Juice, fruit, milk, cereals, pastries, and coffee are available. Bring your whole family to the table and then settle in until 10:00 for a time of spiritual and intellectual growth as we study John's Gospel one verse at a time. Biblical expertise is not necessary, nor is prior experience in the
class. Child care is provided for your young ones after they have eaten breakfast.
FCC will be joining with several
other faith communities in Elgin for a Thanksgiving worship service on Sunday evening, November 19th at 7:00 at Congregation Kneseth Israel, 330 Division. Don't miss this chance to celebrate all the blessings for which we are grateful in an ecumenical, interfaith setting.
Are you already dreading the holiday rush and hassle? Are you already wishing you could find some way to "keep Christ in Christmas"? Then mark your calendars now for our third annual Advent
Vespers Service on December 3 at 6:00. Beautiful music and inspiration words will fill the night air and remind us of the reason for the season. More details will follow in next month's Church Life but make plans now to attend this special service. You'll be glad you did.
CHURCH DIRECTORY PHOTOS
If you missed the chance to have your picture taken for our new church directory, never fear. Make up photos will be taken on November 19 & 26 after both worship services in the second floor conference room. Our new directory will be produced "in house" and will be available either on a CD or in print. Please let the photographer know which format you prefer. A big thank you goes out to Ron Whetstone and Laura McMinn for taking the photos.
- Jim Ellsworth was hospitalized at Sherman during the week of
October 16 for breathing problems.
- After a brief stay at Rosewood Care Center for rehab, Betty Ells was admitted to Edward Hospital in Naperville. Her condition improved and she was released after a few days. She is currently staying with her son in Bolingbrook while she receives continuing treatment at Edward.
- Dale Ells was briefly hospitalized at Sherman with symptoms of a mini stroke. He is home and doing better.
- Laura McMinn had surgery on September 28 at Kishwaukee Hospital in Dekalb. She is recuperating well at home.
- Ron Reuter continues to struggle with the aftermath of carpal tunnel surgery. He may have to live with some numbness in his left hand.
- Margarete Schmoldt has been ill and in a great deal of pain for several weeks. She is having tests to determine the problem.
- Mary Hartwig will be having a biopsy soon.
- Taylor Powers had an emergency appendectomy at Sherman Hospital on September 26. She is home now and doing fine.
- Kay Durham has suffered a series of strokes lately. She is recuperating at home.
- Kyle Knight, son of Fox Valley Association Minister Jonathan Knight and his wife Diane, had back surgery in Florida on September 27. He is home and recuperating well.
- LeAnn Fisher, sister of Linda Armintrout, and daughter of Marcella Vesely, was seriously ill at Mercy Hospital. She is currently staying with Marcella for a period of
- Polly Hobbet, mother of our church housekeeper, Catherine Gotham, was hospitalized recently for tests. She is home and recuperating well.
Gladys Tison, Pam Widder's grandmother, died September 19.
and Owen Grote
, children of Paul and Tracy Grote
, were baptized by Pastors Paris and Lois in worship on October 15.
Robert Smith and Johanna Bero were united in marriage on October 7. Johanna is the daughter of Jennifer Bero
granddaughter of George and Joyce Albee
Christmas Program - December 17th
We are beginning to make plans for our annual Sunday School Christmas Program on Sunday, December 17th. 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? The Ministry of Christian Education is coordinating 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 let Lois know if you can help.
Sunday School - 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 September: Madisen Erickson, Maranda Lile, Savannah Lile, Lauren Powers, Drew Rantz, Cassidy Sell, Ashlyn Erickson, Bailey Stark, Cassie Kemmler, Chris Leberecht, Maggie Powers, Taylor Stark, Eric Turnquist, Taylor Powers, Brad Rantz, David Gerber, Dennis Turnquist, Alyssa Hargrave, Nick Kemmler, Anna Mitchell and Alessandra Castillo.
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.
(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 17th. 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.
Bibles for Third Graders
All third graders are invited and encouraged to come to Bible Blast 2006 on Friday, November 10th 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. 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 19st during the 10:15 worship service.
November 05: Keaton Fahnestock
November 12: Nicole Lewellyn
November 19: Andrew Duncan
November 26: A. J. Mitchell
NEW CHIME CHOIR FOR 3RD - 6TH GRADERS
All children in grades 3 through 6 are invited to become a part of a new hand chime choir. In order to ring chimes we'll need to learn a little about reading and counting musical notes. If this sounds like fun to you, join us! The first practice will be on Tuesday, November 7 from 4:30-5:00 pm in the church sanctuary. Watch for a sign-up sheet soon or contact Mary Ellen Flaks, Jeanne Rothlisberger, or Mary Lou Whetstone for more information.
Mission Trip Update
Plans are underway for the 2007 Mission Trip. We will be meeting on Sunday, November 19th immediately following church to discuss date, location and initial 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 to hold a place for you will be due in early January.
Join us for a hot soup and bread luncheon following church on December 3rd sponsored by the Mission Trip group. This luncheon will cost $5.00 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 2007 trip. Make your reservations using the form in this newsletter.
The winter Youth Retreat is planned for Martin Luther King weekend, January 12-14, 2007 at Pilgrim Park. We will leave Elgin at 5:30 pm, and return late Sunday afternoon (no school on Monday!) Details and information will be mailed home in early December, so watch for them. This will be a great weekend of fellowship, fun and food. Save the date now!
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 9th - late Saturday afternoon, February 10th. 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 $85 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.
The next meeting of our Sister to Sister group will be on Thursday, November 9th 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 16th) because Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday. We will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Baker's Square, 300 Randall Rd., South Elgin. For more information or for a ride please call Lois.
The Church Life deadlines are as follows for the next two months due to the holidays: November 10th, 2006 and December 8th,
We have participated in all five of the special UCC offerings, designating us as a FIVE FOR FIVE church. The next opportunity for us to make a special offering will be in December for the Christmas Fund for needy Ordained UCC pastors and their families. Here are some facts about the Fund's benefits.
- Some form of UCC Ministerial Assistance to approximately 1,400 persons during calendar year 2006.
- Christmas Gift Checks, which are scheduled to be given to 828 persons in 2006. Of those who will receive checks, 24 are over 100 years of age. The 828 gifts will total $228,250.
- Monthly pension supplementation to 578 persons, totaling $100,079 per month. A significant part of this total comes from the Christmas Fund.
- Quarterly health premium supplementation to 306 persons, totaling $154,298 per quarter.
- Emergency Grants to 42 individuals/families, which totaled $59,560 in the first six months of 2006. It is estimated that 60-70 persons will receive an Emergency Grant by year-end.
At this time I would like to thank you for all the lovely get well cards sent to me during my recent hospital stay.
What wonderful friends to have.
God Bless you all
Thank you to all my Church Family for your cards, calls and flowers while in Kishwaukee Hospital.
The value of my Church Family is priceless.
- 11-02Howard Bakken
- 11-03Linda Dahl
- 11-04Ceceilia Snider
- 11-05Jennifer Bero
- 11-08Denise Farley
- 11-12Madeline Koldos
- 11-13Kenzie Fahnestock
- 11-14Rosella Menke
- 11-14 Marjorie Irion
- 11-17Sue Trojanowski
- 11-17 Michael Barbezat
- 11-19 Steve
- 11-19 Jeanne
- 11-24Jordan Sund
- 11-27Robert Steffen
- 11-27 Bailey
- 11-30James Breunlin
As we begin this year's campaign, I don't think I have to remind you how important each one of you is to the life of this church. Your dedication in attending worship, in volunteering your time and talents, and your financial support have made First Congregational the wonderful "family" it is. All of us working together, as families do, is what makes us so special.
This year rather than focus on numbers or giving to meet a budget, let us think for a moment about why we give. Being a Christian, don't we profess to follow the teachings of Jesus and aren't we grateful for the sacrifice and the salvation He gave us? Don't we encounter God each week in countless ways? I encountered God last week in Tom Powell (it's a long story, ask him about it sometime). Don't we have a need to say thank you for our blessings? We, as Christians, need to give.as Tony Robinson puts it, "we are receivers who give."
Think about your own blessings. Your health, intelligence, talent, family, friends, church, job, home, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the sun that helps everything grow and the rain that nourishes. Everything is a gift and a blessing from God. Why does God give us all these gifts? Because He loves us; we are his children.
The theme of this year's stewardship drive is "Loving God Back." Each week in worship we have an encounter with God. We praise, we glorify, we petition Him. Shouldn't we express our gratitude for all that we have received by giving back a portion?
When you receive your stewardship letter and estimate of giving card, please prayerfully consider a faithful financial commitment to the church. Let us all "love God back" for the blessings He has given us.
Ministry of Stewardship