Lent is a season of preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. During this time we are invited to take a 40 day faith journey to look inside our hearts. It invites us to see ourselves with compassion and truth — to see both our brokenness and our beauty, our failings and our faithfulness Too often we want to arrive at Easter. without having taken the journey through the Lenten season. When we do that we prevent ourselves from experiencing the growth that occurs along the way. This year won’t you commit yourselves to participate in the WHOLE journey? See you in church on Ash Wednesday!Two Opportunities for Ash Wednesday
Individual Communion and Ashes
From 11:00 am until 1:00p.m. Pastor Lois will be in the chapel to serve communion, pray with 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. Ash Wednesday Worship Service
Please join us for a special service of worship on Wednesday evening, February 6th at 7p.m. in the chapel. This service will be a time of quiet reflection and an invitation to enter into a deeper journey of discipleship. It will include readings, candlelight, prayer, quiet music, silence, communion and imposition of ashes (for those who desire them). Please bring the whole family to this service so that we can all begin this journey through the Lenten season together.
ADULT CHRISTIAN FORMATION
Feed your body, mind, and spirit each Sunday morning at 9:15. Breakfast is served each week, and then there are these opportunities for growing in your faith. Childcare is available. In-depth Bible Study (Each Sunday)
– Mark’s Gospel continues to offer ample opportunities for thoughtful discussion. Come find out why any one of us could have been among the twelve who followed Jesus. No biblical scholarship necessary. Stepping Stones (February 10)
— The group will discuss the book, In The Shadow of God’s Wings: Grace in the Midst of Depression
by Susan Gregg-Schroeder. Our discussion will focus on what Susan calls, “gifts of the shadow.” The gift of vulnerability; of discovering one’s authentic self; of patience; of living with paradox; of creativity, and the gift of hope. Come and be inspired by Susan’s journey of recovery.
CONTROVERSIAL CONVERSATIONS WITH CARL
(February 24) – After last month’s discussion about our presidential selection system, this month’s topic will continue in that same vein. The group will try to assess where we are after the February 5th primaries and then move to the process we employ to select a president — the electoral college. Come prepared for a lively time!
TUESDAYS WITH JESUS
During this Lenten season you are invited to join us on Tuesday evenings for a time of study, reflection and growth. Our sessions will be on Tuesdays, February 12th, 19th, 26th, March 4th, 11th, and 18th. This year, two groups will be meeting simultaneously. A men’s group will gather in the Fellowship Hall while a women’s group gathers in the library. Both groups will be using a book called Disciple’s Joy: Six Practices for Spiritual Growth
, written by Michael Foss (author of PowerSurge
and Real Faith for Real Life: Six Marks of Discipleship
). The cost of the book is $12. Please complete the registration form on the insert in this issue of Church Life or in the bulletin to reserve your space in one of these groups and to order a book.
PILGRIMAGE TO ISRAEL
Folks are signing up for this trip of a lifetime, and your place is waiting! Paris and Penny Donehoo are hosting a trip to Israel June 12-22 and would love for you to go along. 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 brochure and/or a sign-up sheet. If you have questions, please ask. Deadline is March 10 so make your reservation soon. This is a trip unlike any other you will ever take.
ORGAN RECITAL SERIES
The Music Ministry of First Congregational Church, Elgin proudly presents
2008 Jane Hampton Chipman Memorial Organ Recital SeriesFebruary 8
John Kevin LinkerFebruary 15
Charlie SegaFebruary 22
Jon WarfelFebruary 29
Marsha WebsterMarch 7
Phyllis Lange-ConnellyMarch 14
with Michael Surrat, organ.
Music from Rachmaninoff
Vespers (8:00 pm)*March 20 St. Matthew Passion
by Heinrich Schütz
*Note time change for March 14 only. All other concerts will begin at 12 noon.
had knee replacement surgery on January 23 at St. Joseph Hospital. She is recuperating well. Betty Ells
had an extensive stay at Northwestern Memorial Hospital following severe intestinal problems. She is home now and recuperating well. Walt Kilmanas
had knee replacement surgery at Sherman Hospital on January 15. He is home and recuperating well.
spent a week at Delnor Hospital suffering from pneumonia and other problems. She has been transferred to Rosewood Care Center in St. Charles for rehab.
Former member Barbara Kovach
passed away on January 1.
and Mary Hartwig
celebrated the completion of major home repairs in their basement following severe water damage. On January 13 they rededicated their home.
At the annual meeting, The Ministry of Youth and Young Adults will be asking the congregation for permission to use some of the excess funds they raised for the 2007 mission trip to attend this year's United Church of Christ National Youth Event. We have $9,304.11 left in our mission trip fund and would like permission to use 1/2 of that amount to help subsidize some the cost of travel and registration for the youth event which will be held July 24th - 28th in Knoxville, Tennessee. The other half of the mission trip money would remain in the account as seed money for next year's mission trip.
Damaris, women's fellowship group will be dining out at Bennigan’s, 495 Airport Rd. on Thursday, February 28th 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
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.
On Sunday, February 3rd 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 people gather "Souper Bowl" offerings to be given to local soup kitchens. More than 8 million dollars was collected last year by 14,000 congregations across the USA. It all was donated to local food pantries. So bring your loose change and/or a dollar or two and we can make a difference.
SOUP LUNCH - FEBRUARY 3RD
Please mark February 3rd on your calendar for our Soup Luncheon. This is a fund-raiser to support our church renovation project and sponsored by the youth and young adult ministry of the church. There will also be fresh bread and scrumptious desserts. So, plan to join us for lunch and help support the renovation project. Please let us know if you'd like to contribute a pot of soup. Call Sandy Dalton (847)841-1024 or Beth Iverson (847)695-6580 to volunteer to help.
Jr. High and Sr. High Youth Retreat February 8th -9th
The youth will be leaving church at 5:30 (note change of time) on Friday, February 8th for our youth retreat to Pilgrim Park in Princeton, IL. This is a great winter get-away and group building weekend. There are all kinds of activities planned including times of discussion and reflection, movies, games, and outside activities. It is always a fun-filled weekend. We will return on Sunday, February 10th about 3 p.m. The cost of this trip is $50 which includes lodging for 2 nights and meals on Saturday and Sunday. Registration money for this event should be given to Cathy Jurgens as soon as possible. Youth should bring: a Bible, a sleeping bag, pillow, towel, toiletries, winter clothing for being outside, a snack to share and a bottle of pop (NO high caffeine drinks - including Mountain Dew, Red Bull, Jolt, etc.).After FROG Friday
Junior High and Senior High Youth are invited to come and help with FROG Friday on February 15th and then stay for games and a movie afterward at church. Pick-up will be at 11p.m. Bring a snack to share and a bottle of pop. Wilderness Lodge
27 people have signed up to join us for our Wilderness Lodge waterpark trip on April 12th and 13th. That means that there is only one space left – is that for you? If so, get your money to Lori Kemmler to snag the last space. National Youth Event - July 24th - 28th
This year the youth will not be participating in a mission trip. Instead we will be traveling to the University of Kentucky in Knoxville, Tennessee to take part in the National Youth Event of the United Church of Christ - July 24 - July 28th. We will be there with thousands of youth from all over the United States. There will be music worship, games, workshops, service opportunities, Bible studies and much more, all geared just for senior high youth and their leaders. Please mark this date on your calendar and plan to participate. It will be awesome!
Frog Friday, our youth group for those in kindergarten through 6th grade will be held on Friday, February 15th 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. Looking ahead - Please note that the March FROG Friday will be held on 2nd Friday instead of the 3rd because of Good Friday.
Come join us and bring a friend.
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 December: Maranda Lile, Aiden Garcia, Luke Robinson, Anna Halfpenny, Savannah Lile, Grace Anne Aldred, Abby Garcia, Lauren Powers, Drew Rantz, Rachel Ruf, Ben Brictson, Kenzie Fahnestock, Matthew Halfpenny, Bailey Stark, Brailey Kerber, Max Powers, Max Aldred, Chris Leberecht, Maggie Powers, Taylor Stark, Emerson Lewis, Taylor Powers, Brad Rantz, Phillip Brictson, Keaton Fahnestock, Alex Halfpenny, Cameron Leberecht and Dennis Turnquist Congratulations! We hope that more children will try to be present each week. We will be recognizing perfect attendance for January in the next newsletter.
Kenzie Fahnestock, Abby KottmeierFebruary 10
Bailey Stark, Matthew HalfpennyFebruary 17
Chris Leberecht, Brad RantzFebruary 24
Taylor Stark, Emerson Lewis
“All I did was listen. For I believe full surely that God’s spirit is in us all….(Julian of Norwich 1342-1417)” A ChristCare group focused on listening for God in today’s often noisy world will meet for six sessions from February 14th -- April 24th 2008. Discover God’s presence through listening experiences with others. The group will be using: The Stillspeaking Bible Study
(UCC); interpersonal listening, and quiet reflection. The Comma Group: Listening for God
begins meeting on February 14th @ 6:45 – 8:00 PM at First Congregational Church/UCC in the Library. Meetings are: February 14th & 28th; March 13th and 27th; and April 10th and 24th. Come have a cup of tea, coffee, or cider to soothe your spirit. Sandy Taenzer is the ChristCare leader. For further information contact her at 847-888-
8867 (home) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stepping Stones for February 2008 will be a discussion of the book, In The Shadow of God's Wings: Grace in the Midst of Depression
by Susan Gregg-Schroeder. Susan is an ordained United Methodist minister and writes from a faith based perspective. Susan writes about her experience with a deep and recurring depression and yet she is able to identify gifts that she discovered on her journey. Our discussion will focus on what Susan calls "gifts of the shadow:" The gift of vulnerability; of discovering one's authentic self; of patience; of living with paradox; of creativity, and the gift of hope. Come and be inspired by Susan's journey of recovery.
"GOLDEN YEARS" NEWS
Many, many thanks for the clean, used sheets, mattress pads, blankets, and fabric to be used to make our disposable comfort pads. The pads are 12x17 inches and could be used on chairs, in beds, etc. – especially useful since they’re disposable.
If you know anyone who can use these pads, please call Margarete Schmoldt at 847-742-8794.
2-01 Sandy Dalton
2-01 Taylor Stark
2-04 Elizabeth Sharf
2-06 Pat Segel
2-06 Kathleen Mau
2-09 Sandra Taenzer
2-10 Orval Volkening
2-14 Kristian Zoerhoff
2-14 Zachary Brictson
2-16 Betty Butler
2-16 Diane Mason
2-16 Jeffrey Vesely
2-17 Thomas Leith
2-19 Kyle Ehret
2-12 Kyle Breunlin
2-22 Brian Stark
2-23 Mary Stark
2-25 Michael Leith
2-26 Gene McGinnis
2-26 Olivia Munson
2-28 Ruth Munson