Begin the journey through Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 21st, in one of two ways. From 11:00 am until 1:00 Dr. Donehoo will be in the chapel to serve communion, pray for you, and impose ashes (if you would like to receive them). You may come by yourself, as a couple, or as a family at any time during those hours. Then at 7 pm there will be a service of worship in the chapel. This service will include communion and the imposition of ashes (if you like). Dr. Donehoo will be preaching.
Hopefully, one of these options will meet your needs on this solemn day. See you in the chapel on February 21st.
- 11:00 until 1:00 (come any time) - Individual communion and prayer.
- 7:00 pm - Corporate worship with communion.
BREAKFAST WITH THE BIBLE
Bring your family at 9:00 a.m. for a nice assortment of juice, fruit, milk, cereals, pastries, and coffee, and then stay for a time of spiritual and personal growth as we study together. Child care is available after your children have eaten breakfast.
We are continuing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and listen to his words in The Long-Winded Savior: Studies in the Gospel of John. Anyone can join the discussion at any time. Don't worry if you haven't been in the class before. Each Sunday is a new adventure.
This month's Help! I Need Somebody! session will focus on "Recovery Stories." Join us on February 11th for a video presentation and discussion of restoring a person to mental health.
Results of the Renovation Vote
A called meeting of the congregation was held on January 21. The question before the body was whether church members believed "God is calling Elgin First Congregational Church to fulfill a portion of our mission by means of the renovation of our educational facilities pending the raising of necessary funds." Here are the results:
101 written ballots cast.
We have some wonderful volunteers in our "First Faces" ministry. They go through the fellowship books in the sanctuary and chapel and find those people who checked "First Time Visitor" and then go to their home with some information about our church and an invitation to come again. The program has been very successful and fits in with our goal to "share God's extravagant welcome." However, if a newcomer doesn't write their address on the fellowship sheet for that day there is no way the First Faces team can visit them. This is where you come in! If you don't write down your address, chances are that newcomer will follow your lead and do the same. So, please, take an extra few seconds on Sunday morning to write your name and your address on the sheet. It's such a little thing, but it could bring a new member into our fellowship.
NEW MEMBER CLASSES
If you are interested in joining First Congregational Church Dr. Donehoo would like to meet with you after the 10:15 worship service on February 11 and 18 in the library. At these sessions you will get to know the pastors, meet the staff, and learn about FCC ministries and programs. Each session will last no more than an hour. We will even feed you lunch. Child care will be provided if you let us know you need it. New members will be received on February 25.
We now have a new sound system in the sanctuary. Though we are still learning how to use it, the sound quality on Sunday mornings has already improved. We also have the capacity to run many microphones at once and record services on CD as well as tape. Final installation will include a system whereby a worshipper with hearing impairment can put on headphones and listen to the service over their own private speakers. A big thank you goes out to Jean Hempstead and the Memorial Gifts Committee, as well as the families of those in whose memory funds were given, for making this possible.
We are in need of several people to operate the new sound system on Sunday mornings. Training will be provided for you. Call Paris or Lois if you are willing to help.
- Betty Butler had hip replacement surgery on January 4. She is currently receiving rehab therapy at Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles
- Lois Bucher had surgery to remove her gall bladder on January 16. She is home and recuperating well.
- Kathy Turnquist was admitted to Alexian Brothers Hospital twice during the week of January 14.
- Connie Reuter had outpatient surgery on her knee in late December. She is home and doing fine.
- Margaret Schmoldt continues to recuperate at home.
- Betty Ells is continuing with chemotherapy treatments.
- Frank Juvinall died on December 31. A memorial service, lead by Paris, was held at Wait-Ross-Allanson Funeral Home on January 6.
- Mary Muntz died on January 18. Dr. Donehoo conducted a graveside service at Lakewood cemetery on January 25.
Crop Walk Update
There were 181 walkers and 19 organizations that participated in the October Crop Walk. Total funds collected were $21,607.50. This is the best total amount in 3 years. The Epworth United Methodist Church collected the most dollars which was $2,262.00. First Congregational Church was 7th in the organizations that participated. Our total of dollars collected was $1,389.00. Our SUNDAY SCHOOL CHILDREN collected $257.00, which is awesome!!! 25% of the total money collected is split between the Interfaith Food Pantry and The Salvation Army Food Pantry in Elgin. The rest (75%) goes to help stop world hunger thru (CWS) Church World Service. Thank You for walking and pledging.
Mary Hewitt, Crop Walk coordinator
Annual Meeting Brunch
Join us this Sunday for a hot brunch featuring egg casseroles, hash brown casseroles, fruit, coffee cakes and breads as well as juice, milk and coffee. You won't find a better breakfast anywhere in town. So, plan to come early to the meeting and join us for a nice meal. Free-will donations will benefit the mission trip.
The 2007 mission trip will be to the H.O.M.E.S in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. H.O.M.E.S. is located in Neon, Kentucky on the Virginia border. While there our work will consist of helping on some new house construction as well as some finishing work and rehabbing of homes for low-income or elderly adults. We will leave on Saturday evening, June 23rd via Amtrak and return on Monday morning, July 2nd at 10:00 a.m. This trip is open to all adults and youth of our church. Deposits of $100 per person are due on January 28th. For more information please contact Lois or Lori Kemmler.
Dear Church Family,
I was surprised to find myself in the hospital having gall bladder surgery, but felt loved and nurtured by all your prayers, calls, cards, flowers, and notes. I am thankful to be a part of such a caring church family.
Our Sister to Sister group will meet on February 8th at 7p.m. in the library. We hope that you will join us. Bring something that really "touched" your heart to share with the group (story, poem, letter, picture, etc.)
Damaris, women's fellowship group, will be dining out at Jimmy's Charhouse (at Randall and 90) on Thursday, February 22nd at 6:30p.m. This is an informal group. We would love to have you join us for dinner and conversation. If you have any questions about this group please contact Lois or Lee Ellsworth.
Frog Friday, our youth group for those in kindergarten through 6th grade will be held on Friday, February 16th 6p.m. - 8:30p.m. The cost is $5 per person if you haven't already paid for the winter sessions. FROG Friday includes dinner, craft, story, music, and games. Our FROGs have been having a hopping good time. Come join us and bring a friend.
30 Hour Famine
The youth will be participating in a 30 hour famine to raise their awareness of world hunger and hunger in Elgin. The money raised this year will be going to help alleviate hunger right here in Elgin. Donations will be made to the food pantry, the soup kettles and to hunger programs throughout the city. Our 30 hour famine will begin after lunch on Friday, February 16th. Yes, that means we will be FASTING - not eating - going hungry for 30 hours. The youth will arrive at 6p.m. on Friday to help with FROG Friday and then stay afterward for our Famine program which will include a lock-in, scavenger hunt for the Food Pantry, and a great variety of activities. Our event will conclude at 6p.m. on Saturday with a dinner. This 30 Hour Famine is open to all of the youth of the church and their friends. We can make allowances for those who are unable to fast for 30 hours for a medical/health reason - so don't stay away for that reason. We still want your participation Please pick-up a pledge packet and start raising funds for world hunger.
Adult Retreat Time is Just Around the Corner
We hope that you're planning to join us for our annual adult retreat to Pilgrim Park on February 9th and 10th. Rev. Bob Wang will be our retreat leader. Our theme for the retreat is Knees to the Earth
. Bob Wang will inspire, challenge, and help us grow through the use of scripture, music, video, story and song. We'll gather in the winter beauty at our cozy retreat facility in Princeton, Illinois. The
accommodations are "motel-like" and very comfortable. The cost will be $85.00 which will include one night of accommodations, meals and meeting space. Please read the brochure located on the table in the vestibule (or call Lois or Paris) for more information and a registration form.
Moral Obligation Scholarship Loan Program
Our church is pleased to be able to offer Moral Obligation Scholarship Loans to church members who are taking college classes. These are interest free loans for any age student. Students are allowed to take out a loan of up to $500 per semester. These loans are then repaid to the church after graduation (or as soon as you stop taking classes). This repayment allows funds to be available for future students. With the high cost of education, this loan may not pay for a class, but it may help to cover book costs. For more detailed information and requirements please contact Lois or Pat Calvin.
Are you thinking about attending college, but haven't made up your mind about where? Think about attending a United Church of Christ related college. There are many in the United States. One such college is Elmhurst located in Elmhurst, IL. Elmhurst ranks high among Midwest liberal arts colleges. Students who are members of the United Church of Christ may apply for a United Church of Christ Scholarship. Talk to Lois for more information.
Souper Bowl of Caring
On Sunday, February 4th our church will be participating in the Souper Bowl of caring. Our youth will be taking up a special offering for the hungry in our community. On this Super Bowl Sunday congregations across the United States gather "Souper Bowl" offerings to be given to local soup kitchens. Last year more than 7 million dollars was collected across the USA in just one Sunday. We collected more than $350.00 at First Congregational. So bring your loose change and/or a dollar or two and we can make a difference.
Chili Luncheon - February 25th
Mark February 25th on your calendar for our Chili Luncheon. The mission trip group is sponsoring a Chili Cook-off after worship on Sunday, February 25th. Do you make a "mean" pot of chili? Would you be willing to cook up a pot to serve at this luncheon? We'll be serving everything from Midwestern sweet chili to the Texas hot and spicy chili. There will also be fresh bread and scrumptious desserts. So, come and do the taste test and enjoy a great lunch. Call Mr. Brian to volunteer to help.
| February 4|| Dennis Turnquist|
| || Keaton Fahnestock|
| February 11|| Emerson Lewis|
| || Taylor Stark|
| February 18|| Alex Halfpenny|
| || Brad Rantz|
| February 25|| Taylor Powers|
| || Maggie Powers|PERFECT ATTENDANCE FOR DECEMBER
| Aiden Garcia||Maranda Lile |
| Savannah Lile||Abby Garcia |
| Lauren Powers||Cassidy Sell |
| Ben Brictson||Max Powers |
| Kenzie Fahnestock||Maggie Powers |
| Emilie Kottmeier||Chris Leberecht |
| Kyle Stauffacher||Eric Turnquist |
| Diana Castillo||Emerson Lewis |
| Taylor Powers||Phillip Brictson |
| Keaton Fahnestock||David Gerber |
| Alex Halfpenny||A. J. Mitchell |
| Samantha Kottmeier||Chris Taylor |
| Cameron Leberecht||Clee McCracken |
| Dennis Turnquist||Jack McCracken |
Due to an overwhelming response to the Mental Health Ministry, we will meet on the 2nd Sunday of the month in the library from
9:15 - 10:00 am
The focus will be on Recovery from Mental Illness & Education topics:
Stories of Recovery
Journeys Toward Mental Wellness
Nobody knows mental illness like those who have lived through it. Once again, nobody knows recovery from mental illness like those who have achieved it, or maybe better said, those who have fought for it. When I was feeling my lowest I would often desperately wish to "just please feel better." Flip the switch and I'll be okay. I guess you could say my approach to improving my mental health was all too similar to my attempts in dieting. " Please just give me something that works quick, I don't want to change any of my behavior, and when I've achieved my goal I'll be all done." I have since learned that mental wellbeing is just like anything else in my life: I must work to first recover, and then work to maintain. Is this a bad thing.all this work? No - without a doubt. This journey I'm on, "recovery," is a learning process. It has taught me so much about who I am, my strengths, weaknesses, trigger points, joys, etc. I no longer "just want to feel better." I feel genuine happiness and with that I feel the strength of knowing I can face depression.
On February 11th we will be watching Stories of Recovery, Journeys Toward Mental Wellness. These are stories of individuals who have faced mental illnesses and have recovered and living happy lives.
On March 11th we will have a guest speaker, Desmond Raftery, who will speak on Spirituality & Mental Illness. Desmond is an LCSW and is the social worker for the Elk Grove Village Police Department. He also has a private practice for therapy, is a Spiritual Director and a former Catholic priest. We are very much looking forward to him being here and hope you can joint us.