LIFE KEYS: DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE
Have you ever said…?
I don’t have any gifts.
My gifts are unimportant.
I’m missing the right gifts.
It’s too late to develop whatever gifts I have.
If so, Life Keys can show you how gifted you are, how significant are your gifts, how you have just the right gifts for what God wants you to do, and how you can discover and hone your gifts. AND in the process you will discover ways to add meaning and purpose to your life. Check out the brochure in this month’s Church Life for when and where Life Keys will be offered in September. Come be a part of an event that will change your life and the life of our church. Registration forms are available in the church office.
ADULT CHRISTIAN FORMATION
Christians are made, not born, so our 9:15 Sunday morning offerings are designed to help your journey toward being shaped in the image of Christ. Remember, breakfast is served every Sunday morning, and childcare is always available
. To kick off a new year of learning and growth your opportunities are:Four Voices
(September 9, 16, 23, & 30) – Join Dr. Donehoo for an in-depth look each Sunday at each of the four Gospels in the New Testament. Come and discover why the Gospel accounts are all the same, yet different, and why it matters to us as Christians. During the month of September the class will also decide which book of the Bible will be our ongoing study in the weeks ahead. Stepping Stones
(September 9) – Formerly called “Help! I Need Somebody,” this growing, vital mental health ministry will kick off another year of education, empowerment, enlightenment, and encouragement. The sessions are intended for anyone struggling with mental illness or knows anyone who is, as well as those who wish to be better informed about this important subject. Controversial Conversations with Carl
(September 23) – New this year, these sessions with Carl Flaks are designed to engage persons on topics that are in the news and often get people hot and bothered. Come and express your opinion without having to call a talk radio station. This month’s issue: immigration.
We are thrilled to announce that Mrs. Letty Jocius will direct our children’s choirs. This year’s children’s choir program will begin rehearsing on Tuesday September 4th. The new choir times for this year will be Cherub Choir (kindergarten – second grade) at 6:00 – 6:45 and Joyful Noise Choir will meet at 7:00 – 7:45.
Both choirs will meet in the choir room in the church basement. See you there!
Calling all children ages kindergarten – 6th grade! Hop on down to church on the third Friday night of each month (Sept 21, Oct 19, Nov 16, Jan18, Feb 15. & Mar 21) for our FROG (Friends Relying on God) children’s youth group. We begin each session at 6:00 p.m. with a pizza dinner and then follow dinner with singing, story, games and crafts. Our evening concludes at 8:30 p.m. It is a great time for the children of the church to play, learn, and grow together. It provides an opportunity for parents to go out for a nice quiet dinner. We do ask that parents volunteer one Friday night during the year. Please complete the registration form and return it to the church office so we can plan accordingly. The cost remains $15 for the fall semester (Sept., Oct. and Nov.) if paid at one time. The cost if paid on a month by month basis will be $7.00 per time.
Please contact Lois if you have any questions or you’d be willing to volunteer to help with this program.
Damaris is a women’s group that meets on the fourth Thursday of every month to go out for dinner and conversation. Our September meeting will be on Thursday, September 27th, 6:30 p.m. at Café Magdalena in downtown Elgin. Please call Lee Ellsworth 847-888-1661 if you need directions or a ride.
For September, 2007
02 Alex Halfpenny
09 Emerson Lewis
16 Eric Turnquist
23 Taylor Stark
30 Phillip Brictson
Calling all 3rd – 7th graders
Would you like to be an acolyte? Acolytes are the young people who light the candles at the beginning of the worship service. This is a great way for our young people to participate in the worship service. We will have a training session on Sunday, September 16th following the 10:15 service. Once you have been trained, your name will be added to the acolyte rotation schedule. If you plan to attend the training session please call and leave a message for Lois at 847-741-4045 ext 19 (anytime of the day or night).
Our Confirmation classes for 8th graders will kick off on Wednesday September 26th at 7:30 in the library. This meeting is an orientation session for parents as well as students. The first regular class will be on October 3rd and continue every other Wednesday night 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. In addition, the Old Testament portion of the program will be taught during Jr. High Sunday School classes each Sunday morning. Confirmation classes provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the Christian faith and the United Church of Christ. At the conclusion of the classes( in the spring) confirmands will have an opportunity to affirm their faith through the Rite of Confirmation. If you have any questions about our program please contact Lois
Our new Sunday School program year will kick off on Sunday, September 9th at the 10:15 service. It will be a celebration you won’t want to miss. So bring the family to worship and don’t forget to invite neighbors and friends to join you at church and Sunday School this year. As in the past, after the children’s message the children will be dismissed to their Sunday School class. After the worship service children and families will gather outside to kick-off our new year.
FCC Minister of Music and Organist Jon Warfel
married Jane Rossom on July 21. Congratulations Jon and Jane!
Jason Michael Kawa was born August 17 to Jeff and Angel Kawa and great-grandparents Doug and Ellen McDonald
FCC Maintenance Man, Tom Bradley
, fell at home and broke his arm. He is healing well and is back at work.
Jill McMinn, daughter of Delores Kagel
and sister of Mike McMinn
, died on August 10. A memorial service, led by Pastor Donehoo, was held in the FCC chapel on August 13.
Peg Sund, Kerry Sund
’s mother, died on August 1.
Since January 21, 2007, when we voted to proceed with a building renovation, a quiet “Crusade” of planning has begun. There are three committees that will lead this endeavor. Those committees are Grant Writing, Creative Fund Raising, and Capital Campaign. The Capital Campaign, which collects direct contributions from members, is expected to raise the bulk of the money.
The Capital Campaign Committee (CCC), which began meeting in mid-April, has interviewed three professional consultants to help manage the campaign. The committee is considering a recommendation to hire a professional consultant based on research and the experience certain members have had with campaigns at other congregations. The CCC is currently evaluating the results of the interviews and following up with the candidates for clarifications on certain points.
We have met with our construction manager to review how the renovation could be conducted in various phases. We have learned that the costs for the renovation are estimated to increase by about 8.5% per year, and that phasing the renovation will cost more in terms of setting up, removing, and setting up the construction equipment and in terms of increased costs. The CCC will be meeting again next week to review our information and plan for a congregational meeting. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact Paul Grote, chair, or Letty Jocius, secretary.
Paul T. Grote
3 Kathryn Dearth
3 Kirsten Pedersen
3 James Schock
3 Mari Rahn
6 Dennis Leberecht
7 Susan Lewis
9 Curt Phillips
9 Max Aldred
9 Jordan Kawa
10 Bonnie Morrow
11 Robert Lohse
13 Patricia Henrys
14 Doug MacKinney
14 Sue Perrin
14 Andrew Banwart
17 Kathy Turnquist
19 Steve Aldred
20 Chris Mau
22 Mary Hartwig
23 Danikka Preradovic
27 Dale Ells
28 Jan Embree
Join us for a Sundae Celebration on September 9th as we kick-off our new programming year. The Ministry of Christian Education will be serving all the fixings for mighty fine sundaes. So, bring your appetites to coffee hour and come be creative.
Youth Update - Jr. High & Sr. High (7th - High School)
Fall Kick-Off on Sunday, Sept 16th
We’ll gather at church at 3p.m. to go mini golfing and out for Pizza at Nick’s Pizza. Bring $5 for mini golf and we’ll treat for Pizza.
A Youth Activity for 5th – 8th Graders
Calling all youth in 5th -8th grades to join us for a youth outing after FROG Friday on Friday, September 21st. We will leave church at 8:30 p.m. and go black light golfing and then return to church at 10:30 p.m. The cost should be less than $10
Although last year’s Chime Choir had a late start, the members progressed quickly and contributed some beautiful music to our worship experience. This year we hope that even more will be interested in joining us. We will need a minimum of six committed 4th – 8th graders in order to continue the program. FCC members and their friends are welcome to participate. Just sign up on the sheet outside the office by Sunday, September 9th. Practice this year will be on Monday from 6:30 – 7:15 pm in the Sanctuary. If there are enough people signed up, the first reshearsal will be on Monday, September 17th. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to talk to Mary Ellen Flaks (847-695-7306), Jeanne Rothlisberger (847-464-5856), or Mary Lou Whetstone (847-741-2087).
Once again it is time to get in on the fun of being part of a dinner group. We have had many very successful years of Dine with Nine (or Dinners for Eight) Each group consists of eight or nine adults. The group takes turns meeting for dinner in each other’s homes. The hostess decides on the menu for the evening and lets the other guests know what to bring. Following dinner there is time for games, discussion, movies or whatever. A couple of dining out groups are also available for those who do not like to cook. If you’d like to be part of a dinner group fill out the insert in this issue of Church Life. This is a great way to get to know the people you worship with each Sunday. Please sign-up by September 16th so our new groups can be up and running by mid October.
The Creative Fundraising group will be meeting on Thursday, August 30th at 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall.
We are looking for…
Ideas, ideas ideas. ideas
Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts,
(Thinking outside the box! Get It)
Help raise funds for the renovation.
Talk to: Jeanne Rothlisberger, Patti Scroggins, Walt Kilmanas, or Janet Banwart
9-09 John & Elly Hopkins
9-16 John & Elly Hopkins
9-23 Janet Banwart
9-30 Stewart Crockett
The Mental Health Ministry announces its new name:
Our mission statement: A mental health ministry focused on recovery to educate, enlighten, empower and encourage individuals living with mental illness, their families and the community.
To begin the new adult year, Stepping Stones presents:
Surviving and Thriving
A Workshop for Survivors Who Have Lost Someone to Suicide
Date: Saturday, September 8, 2007
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: First Congregational Church of Elgin
Continental breakfast to be served
The materials to be used for this workshop are:
• Fierce Goodbye
• Living in the Shadow of Suicide.
This is a faith-based perspective on suicide produced by Mennonite Media in cooperation with Faith & Values Media. Topics will include stories of suicide survivors, aftermath of suicide, faith communities and survivor support. Fierce Goodbye
focuses on stories from people who have experienced suicide in their families or among their loved ones, and how they have found hope amid terrible pain. The intention is to facilitate more open conversation in the church and society about the once-taboo topic of suicide, and thereby help survivors move toward healing. Throughout the workshop there will be large and small group discussion, time for reflection and sharing, and a celebration of life service to remember those we have lost.
For planning reasons we are asking anyone who will be participating to complete the registration form included in this newsletter. Additional registration forms will be available at FCC. The registration deadline is August 30, 2007. In addition, there is a $10.00 fee
due at the time of registration.
Scholarships are available upon request.
Unfortunately, almost every one of us has been touched by suicide. Whether we have experienced the loss ourselves or we have a friend, neighbor, co-worker, fellow parishioner…in some way we have witnessed the chain of events unleashed by suicide. This workshop is dedicated to exploring, learning and sharing how we’ve coped with the despair and grief associated with the aftermath of suicide.
By sharing these experiences we strive to share hope. Hope for healing. Hope for a better understanding. Hope for fewer loved ones lost to suicide.
We encourage anyone, whether you are a survivor or not, to participate.
I don’t know about all of you, but I am really enjoying Dr. Donehoo’s summer sermon series on the seven deadly sins, entitled “Sinning Like a Christian.” I especially liked the one on sloth.
I must admit I have been guilty of sloth, at least the way Paris describes it: “an unwillingness to expend the energy necessary to be a disciple of Jesus.” I find that as the weather improves here in the upper Midwest, it is much easier not to read my Bible every day, and pray and engage in Christian service with the same fervor I do when it’s cold and blustery outside. Oh, I’m good at justifying it by saying, “the summers are so short here, and I enjoy being outside when the weather is nice. I have the whole winter to be a good disciple of Christ.”
There are two marks of discipleship however, that I don’t falter on. Those are weekly worship and giving. Why? Because they are important to me. I find coming to worship helps me reflect on the past week and prepare for the challenges of the week ahead; and giving is my way of saying thank you for everything He has given to me.
With Rally Day approaching, this “sleeping giant” of a church will once again awaken, ready to celebrate, worship, educate and create disciples of Jesus. We have many challenges facing us, but with all of us working together, I have few doubts we will be able not only to meet them, but surmount them.
With the coming of Fall, school begins, educators return to work and we get back to the business of being the church. Between now and October 14th (Stewardship Sunday), please reflect on the things that are important in your life and how God has provided and continues to care for you.
I wish all of you peace and blessings,
Carolyn and I were most happy to hear that the memorial funds given in honor and memory of our parents were used to improve the sound system in the sanctuary. When approached about the possibility of using the funds for this cause, we were definitely in favor of the idea. Our parents were having difficulty hearing and we saw how frustrating that was for them. They came to church to hear the sermons and the music and wanted to experience all of it to the fullest. I believe that they know that these improvements have been made and are very happy that the funds were put to such great use.
Neither of us were able to be at the dedication, but we were there with all of you in spirit.
Alice Hove-Merrill and Carolyn Hove
Dear First Congregational Church,
Grandparents and Me camp (August 6-8) had 25 children (ages 4-12) and 30 grandparents (ages ??). An absolutely beautiful group of intergenerational humanity!
Diana Castillo and Grandma, Mary Green, had our very best camp experience. We loved every minute.
Why, oh why, don’t more grandparents join us in 2008?! The best time of your life! Just ask Diana!
Thank you, Christian Education
Diana Castillo and Mary Green
August 7, 2007
Dear First Congregational Church,
Thank you for your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. Your gifts dated 6/22/2007 in the amount of $2,498.62 will be used to support the initiatives of One Great Hour of Sharing as per your request.
Gifts to Wider Church Ministries and One Great Hour of Sharing® are utilized around the world around the year to change lives in profound ways. Some recent examples of supported ministries include:
• United Church of Christ congregations in Connecticut are welcoming Iraqi refugees to begin a new life in the United States through our ministry with Church World Service.
• The home of Jenise Green, a UCC member in New Orleans, was recently dedicated after being rebuilt by UCC volunteers from across the country. Hers is the first of many houses to be repaired, enabling countless families to return to home.
• Sudanese youth, living in the Hamediya refugee camp, are building a youth center where they can have a cultural library, watch TV, play football and learn skills such as carpentry, masonry and using computers.
Because of your gifts, we are sharing resources and changing lives!
Susan M. Sanders
Minister for Global Sharing of Resources
One Great Hour of Sharing Administrator
Church Life deadline is NOON on the third Friday of each month.
The next deadline is September 21st.