Last week a woman walked into our church office carrying a water bottle filled with change and bills. With limited English she said to Pat Calvin, “For the Children.” Pat took the gift and thanked her. The lady was on her way. No one knew who she was or where she came from. The bottle contained $100.35. What a generous gift! The money has been given to the Crisis Center “for the children.”
Because final authority for decision-making lies with you — the congregation of FCC — our church gathers once a year for our Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held this year on January 27. As has been our practice in the past, the meeting will be held immediately after the 10:15 worship service. Both the service and the annual meeting will take place in Fellowship Hall.
(The 8:15 service will be in the chapel as usual.) At the meeting you will be asked to approve nominations for officers, ministries, and committees. The 2008 budget will be presented for your approval. The Mission Grants Committee will present for approval their nominations for mission support at home and around the world. And all of this will take place around the tables with your family and friends and a delicious brunch provided by the Church Council. Please plan to attend. This is the business of your
ADULT CHRISTIAN FORMATION
Our offerings on Sunday morning at 9:15 are plentiful and exciting. Along with breakfast — served each week — you have these opportunities in January to learn and grow in your faith. Childcare is available.
IN-DEPTH BIBLE STUDY
(Each Sunday) – We are beginning to get into the heart of Mark’s Gospel. Did you ever think you might be living a parable? Come study with us and find why Mark thinks you do.
(January 13) — Sharon Grant from G.R.O.W. will be on hand to talk about the G.R.O.W. group that will be starting at FCC in January on Thursday evenings. Come get the details of this new addition to our church’s mental health ministry.
CONTROVERSIAL CONVERSATIONS WITH CARL
(January 27) – This month’s hot topic will be “What’s wrong with our presidential nomination process?” With the presidential campaign in full swing by then, this promises to be a very lively discussion.
PILGRIMAGE TO ISRAEL
Check out the brochure in this issue of Church Life
for information on the trip of a lifetime. Paris and Penny Donehoo are hosting a trip to Israel June 12-22 and would love for you to go along. Details are in the brochure, but suffice it to say, we will cover biblical sites all over the country with a few days in Jordan to visit Mt. Nebo and Petra. See Paris or Penny for a sign-up sheet. If you have questions, please ask. Several members of your FCC family have expressed strong interest so you won’t be traveling with strangers. This is a trip unlike any other you will ever take.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
On November 18th we welcomed these new members into the FCC family. More information on them will be included in a future issue of Church Life
. Chris Danzi
722 Douglas Ave.
Elgin, IL 60120
Sponsors: Curt and Jennifer PhillipsLois Robinson
2771 Cascade Falls Circle
Elgin, IL 60124
Sponsor: Leola Ellsworth
was released from St. Joseph Hospital during the week of November 19th. She is home and recuperating well. Pam Widder
developed complications from foot surgery she had in November and had to undergo another procedure. She is recuperating at home. Kathy Turnquist
continues to recuperate from a broken elbow. Sandy Taenzer
had surgery to remove a cataract on December 11. She is recuperating well.
continues to struggle with cancer.
’s mother passed away suddenly in California on November 26.
Susan Blackburn and Ernie Ludwig
were married on December 1. Dr. Donehoo performed the ceremony. Kathleen Kenny
and Chris Mau
were married on December 2. Pastors Paris and Lois performed the ceremony.
and Jackie Flood
are proud grandparents again. Eva (daughter of Betsy) was born November 15. Sandy Dalton
has a new great-grandchild: a new Danny Dalton.
Just a reminder that our FROG (Friends Relying on God)
Friday youth program will resume on the third Friday in January which is January 18th 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. The payment of $15.00 for the winter session (Jan., Feb., Mar.) will be due at that time. The cost is $15.00 per person for three sessions. This cost includes dinner, craft, story and games. FROGS are having a "hopping" good time learning more about being faithful friends relying on God. Plan to come and invite someone new to join us too.
All I Want for Christmas…is Jesus
, was our children’s Christmas program this year which was held on Sunday, December 16th. We want to thank all of our young people for taking part in this program and for making the Christmas story come to “life” once again for all of us. You all played your parts well. We want to say an extra word of thanks to Michael Blackwood and Adam McCoy for directing this program, and to Suzie Lewis and Letty Jocius for providing musical support. The members of the Ministry of Christian Education and Sunday School teachers offered helping hands as well as guidance and support for costuming, and props. It takes many people working together to make a meaningful program. Thanks to everyone who gave the “gift” of time.
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 November: Pre-school/K
Maranda Lile, Aiden Garcia,
Luke Robinson1st & 2nd
Savannah Lile3rd & 4th
Grace Anne Aldred, Abby Garcia,
Lauren Powers, Cassidy Sell,
Ben Brictson5th & 6th
Cassie Kemmler, Max Aldred,
Maggie PowersJr. High
Diana Castillo7th and 8th
A. J. Mitchell
Congratulations! We hope that more children will try to be present each week. We will be recognizing perfect attendance for December in the next newsletter.
Joyful Noise and Cherub Choir Rehearsals Time/Day Change
Christmas greetings to everyone – the Savior is born! I am so pleased with the choirs so far and would love to have more kids making joyful noises in each of them. In fact, due to the current rehearsal schedule, a few parents have expressed they’d like to have their children involved, but cannot because of weeknight conflicts. Thank you for your honesty. I have taken your requests to heart, and in order to make this happen and make it convenient for you and the kids, beginning January 13, both choirs will meet in the choir room at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. Really, it’s a win-win situation. This way, it’s convenient for you to attend Adult Formation classes just around the corner from the choir room in Fellowship Hall (breakfast is served!), and the kids can get their rehearsal in without interrupting your busy weeknight schedules. Please call Letty Jocius at 847.608.0653 to sign your child up to join either choirs – we’d love to have them and Easter’s right around the corner! Continuing on that joyful note, the choirs and I are so appreciative of the supportive response from everyone – THANK YOU! Remember, always make a joyful noise!
January 18th – 19th
The Jr. High and Senior High youth will have a Lock-In following FROG Friday on January 18 - 19th. Youth are invited to come and help with FROG Friday and then stay for games, movies and fun. Pick up will be on Saturday morning at 9a.m. Bring a snack to share, a bottle of pop, and your sleeping bag. We’ll plan the fun! Please note that energy drinks will not be allowed at any youth events.
Our annual youth retreat for Junior High and Senior High youth will be held at Pilgrim Park in Princeton, IL, the weekend of February 8th, 9th and 10th. We will meet at the church parking lot at 5:00 on Friday, Feb. 8th and leave by 5:30. We will return by 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Bring money for dinner on the way there and lunch on the way home. All other meals and lodging are covered by the $50.00 retreat fee. Cathy Jurgens is collecting the money for this trip. Checks should be made payable to First Congregational Church and paid as soon as possible to hold your place for this fun winter weekend.
Wilderness Weekend –
April 12th – 13th
Our annual Wilderness weekend for 7th – 12th grades will be held on April 12th and 13th at the Wilderness Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells. This resort has three large indoor waterparks. We will leave at about 9am on Saturday the 12th and return during the afternoon of Sunday, the 13th. We will begin collecting money for this on January 1st.
The cost is $30 for our youth group and $50 for a friend. You may only bring 1 friend
and they must have attended a previous youth event. (They can attend one before the trip too.) Money must be given to Lori Kemmler. Your spot is not reserved until Lori receives the money.
Please do not put your check in the collection plate. Grades 7-12 go on this trip April 12-13th. This is a popular trip. We are only taking 28 people so reserve your spot early.
This dining out women's group will be meeting on the fourth Thursday, January 24th to eat at Baker’s Square at 300 Randall Rd, South Elgin. _We will gather at 6:30 for an evening of dining and conversation. Please join us. If you have any questions talk to Lois or call Lee Ellsworth 847-888-1661.
06th Taylor Stark
13th Lauren Powers
20th Cassidy Sell
27th Grace Ann Aldred
We hope that all of the women of the church have marked January 25th and 26th
on their calendars for our second annual women’s retreat. Last year’s retreat was such a great success that we decided to do it again. We have been busy planning a variety of activities that will nurture your soul and pamper your body. This is a refreshing winter get-away weekend on Friday evening, January 25th and all day Saturday, January 26th. It is sure to be a “sweet” weekend. We sure hope that you will plan to join us. We’re sorry if you missed last year’s event, but you surely won’t want to miss this year’s retreat. Check out the brochure in this issue of Church Life. Invite your friends to join us too.
12-01 Eleanor MacKinney
12-01 Marissa Lewellyn
12-04 David Duncan
12-05 Lisa Boan
12-06 Caitlin Iverson
12-08 Katie Sharf
12-08 Mateo Castillo
12-09 Angel Tippett
12-11 Betty Ells
12-11 Brailey Kerber
12-17 Ruth Hanchette
12-17 Anna Marie Mitchell
12-18 Tim Bayler
12-20 Mark Hartwig
12-21 James Jocius
12-21 Dorothy Schock
12-24 Jo-Ann Brictson
12-25 Jeff Iverson
12-25 Katelyn Hargrave
12-26 Hanna Brictson
12-27 Carole Kilmanas
12-27 Heather Arnold
12-27 Brynn Addison Kerber
12-28 Judy Steffen
12-28 Erin Powell
12-29 Ben Brictson
12-30 Gail Yauch
12-31 Nick Stackowiak
01-01 Geneva Moody
01-02 Ron Schaaf
01-02 Walt Kilmanas
01-03 Angie Rea
01-08 Paul Rothlisberger
01-10 Kaylen Bye
01-11 Abby Kottmeier
01-12 Leola Ellsworth
01-13 Nicole Steffen
01-16 William Sell
01-17 Lavon Bayler
01-17 Michael McMinn
01-17 Laura McMinn
01-21 Paul Mason
01-22 Martina Preradovic
01-24 Camille Rea
01-25 John Hopkins
01-25 Mary Barbezat
01-28 Lindsay Iverson
Fox Valley Elgin Crop Walk collected $26,944.00 with 242 walkers. First Congregational UCC collected $1159.00 with 15 walkers. Carl Flaks collected the most dollars for our church. Thank you Carl! Crop Walkers and those who pledged walkers, thank-you. Fox Valley collected $5387.00 more than we collected in 2006. The Inter-Faith Food Pantry, Salvation Army and the Elgin Cooperative Ministries will benefit 25% of the total with Church World Service getting 75%. Reminder - Communities Responding to Poverty is CROP.
The beginning of a new year. Maybe this is the year that you would like to check out Stepping Stones. Yes, Stepping Stones is the mental health ministry of FCC. But we are more than that. You don't have to have a mental illness to pre-qualify. We meet on a monthly basis. Our topic is always related to the topic of mental health. Our focus however, is always to help inform and educate people about mental illness. We always focus on the topic. No one ever has to disclose anything that they would feel uncomfortable sharing.
Our January meeting will be on Sunday, January 13, 2008. We will be meeting in the library. We will have a guest speaker, Sharon Grant from GROW. Grow is a group of people "who've found a way through distress and depression towards the best in life and love and happiness; who want to share that way with everyone else who is down or is finding life hard to handle." Plans are under way for a GROW group to begin meeting at FCC on Thursday evenings. Come and find out what it's all about. Better yet, come and bring a friend!
Anyone who can help prep food (slice and chop) and stir is needed in our Soup Kettle. We need at least 2 volunteers, Jr. High School and older, every Wednesday at 4:00 pm to 5:30 or 6:00 pm. Please call Jim Lewis at 847-742-4838. God Bless You.
The November Meals on Wheels program went like clockwork with the addition of three new volunteers.
Many thanks to the following:Provena-St. Joseph
Hank & Marilyn Speers
Carl & Mary Ellen Flaks
Chuck & Dolores ZimmermanSherman
Mary Ellen &Mich Barbezat
Our next session is scheduled for the weeks of February 4 and 11.
The Creative Fund Raising group has been hard at work during the last month. We were pleased with the fruit sale which brought in just over $1000. We hope you are enjoying your fruit and will remember this when it is time to order next year.
We had a second Pizza night on December 12, thanks to Danny's Pizza. The weather wasn't too good, but the food was outstanding. We are indebted to Sandy Dalton for her generosity. Please add your thanks to ours when you see her.
We have decided to go ahead with the ebay auction idea. Look for details in January. In February you will be getting details of a July outing to Fireside Theater. And in May we are planning to hold a garage sale, so set things aside for us and watch Church Life for details. Please do not bring any items to church until we indicate we are ready to receive them. Thank you.
We have been given many ideas, and we have a list of them all and discuss them all. We can still use more ideas and we certainly can use more help. We are trying to find ideas that will appeal to our members as well as those who are not members. Implementing the ideas involves quite a bit of time and planning and we could certainly use your help with that. Think about attending our next meeting on Monday, January 21 at 7:00 pm in Fellowship Hall. Bring your ideas and help in implementing them. Talk to Jeanne Rothlisberger if you cannot make it but have some good ideas.
The people at FCC are awesome! I know I don't have to tell all of you that but it's true. I was planning a Festival of Thanks, at Elgin Mental Health Center, for the patients and their visitors. Invitations were posted. Part of my vision for that event was a social. I pictured people with a beverage and a little napkin with some goodies and of course if we were going to extend gracious hospitality, the cookies needed to be homemade. There were people at the hospital on board to supply those homemade treats, however, the week before the event those plans fell apart. People from FCC graciously stepped forward to offer batches of cookies, bars and coffee cakes. We had enough cookies for the patients and their visitors and we were able to send a large tray of goodies to individuals who remained on their units. Thank you all for helping to make this special event a resounding success.
847-742-1040 ext 2300
LIFEKEYS: DISCOVER WHO YOU ARE
This fall we offered a series of retreats called LifeKeys
. They were were very well received by those who participated. Many of you mentioned that you wanted to participate, but couldn’t do it in the fall. Others said that the weekend format just didn’t work for them. So, we have arranged another series of sessions with those requests in mind. The winter version of LifeKeys
will be held on five consecutive Monday nights beginning on January 14 (21st, 28th, Feb. 4th, & 11th). LifeKeys
is a program designed to help participants look at their lives through five different lenses: Life Gifts, Personality Type, Spiritual Gifts, Values and Passions. It is a time to discover more about who you are and how you view the world. This program will help provide participants with the tools they need to make their life most fulfilling. Even if you already know what you want to do with your life, this program can give you skills for enhancing your understanding of yourself as well as those around you. So clear your calendars now, and plan to join us. See the brochure included in this issue of Church Life.
January 06 Karen Carlson
January 13 Charlie Rantz
January 20 Shirley May Byrnes
January 27 Jennifer Phillips
To the Christmas Carol Group,
It is hard for me to express how much you made my Christmas season something special. I can’t thank you enough for what you did. Also, for the cookies and the Santa sock, thank you so much.
We so enjoyed your caroling in our home Sunday! Bob and I were unable to attend your morning Christmas program even though Taylor and Bailey were in it. Your visit here was truly a happy experience.
After you left, in so many cars, we investigated your holiday cookies and filled red stocking. How pretty and what fun! Diabetic Bob immediately ate the candy bar and enjoyed it!
Merry Christmas to all of you
Bob and Eunice Stark