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 25. 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 2009 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) – No one ever said discipleship is supposed to be easy, and our study of 1 Corinthians is confirming that sentiment. We are discovering challenges that are stretching our faith in ways we never thought possible. Come join the discussion. No biblical expertise is necessary. Stepping Stones
(January 11) — This month Stepping Stones will be meeting to discuss future programs and emphases. If good mental health is important to you and your family, please come on the 11th to suggest topics for discussion and instruction. Your input is very important. Controversial Conversations with Carl
(January 25) – This month’s hot topic will be “Can the Middle Class Be Saved?” Is the gap between rich and poor getting wider? If so, is there anything that can be done to reverse the situation? Come and bring your opinions on the 25th.
NEW MEMBER CLASSES
If you are interested in joining First Con-gregational Church, Paris and Lois would like to meet with you after the 10:15 worship service on January 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 at the Annual Meeting on January 25.
The Renovation Appeal Follow-up committee met this week to discuss the status of the appeal as well as go over construction efforts. Concerning the financial end, we are just about on target at six months in, which doesn’t mean we can slow down on the giving; our consistent commitments will make this renovation happen! We are working on making sure the appropriate funds are tabulated so we can further report to you where we stand on the appeal financially. Work is taking place, be assured! Currently, we are gaining approval of permits and Chuck Cassel is keeping us informed each step of the way. We will have a more complete update on both items at the Congregational Meeting on January 25 following the 10:15 service. Please mark your calendars for this important date. Lunch will be served, so there’s even better incentive to attend! Have a wonderful, joy-filled Christmas.
COMMUNITY CRISIS CENTER WINTER WEAR DRIVE
The Community Crisis Center collects and distributes warm winter wear to those in need. The following items are most needed and should be new or in good condition*
• Winter coats for men, women & children**
• Heavy weight gloves for men/boys
• Hats for men/boys in neutral colors
• Hats, gloves, mittens, scarves for all
• Winter boots — especially for children
* Please, no lightweight coats, sweatshirts or sweaters
** Men’s coats and large women’s plus sizes are most needed
Donations can be delivered to FCC on Sundays or during office hours, or directly to the Crisis Center at 37 S. Geneva Street, Elgin, at any time.
had surgery at Sherman Hospital to remove a thyroid tumor. It was benign and she is recuperating at home. Shirley May Brynes
had knee replacement surgery on December 17. She is now in rehab. Chris Danzi
had reconstructive surgery at Alexian Brothers Hospital on November 24. She is home and recuperating well. Alyssa Hargrave
will have foot surgery on December 19.
passed away on December 4. A graveside service for immediate family, led by Dr. Donehoo, was held on December 13 at Lakewood Cemetery.
David McClure, Helen McClure
’s husband, passed away on December 14. A funeral service is scheduled for December 19 at 12:30.
Bob Bird, Jennifer Phillips
' father, passed away on December 12. A memorial service, led by Dr. Donehoo, was held at FCC on December 18.
Former member Shirley Hokinson
has been admitted to hospice care.
Administrative Assistant, Pat Calvin
, fell and broke her wrist and middle finger on her left hand. She is at work every day making a valiant effort at typing office documents with one hand.
FROG (Friends Relying on God) Friday
Just a reminder that our FROG (Friends Relying on God
) Friday youth program will resume on the third Friday in January which is January 16th 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, or $7 for each session if paid month by month. 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.
This dining out women's group will be meeting on the fourth Thursday, January 22nd to eat at Applebee’s on 125 S. Randall Rd.. 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.
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: Greta Franke, Susan Lopez, Aidan Garcia, Savannah Lile, Abby Garcia, Rachel Ruf, Ben Brictson, Max Aldred, Chris Leberecht, and Jack McCracken, 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.
HEARTSPA WEEKEND FOR WOMEN
We hope that all of the women of the church have marked January 23rd and 24th
on their calendars for our third annual women’s retreat at Comfort Inn & Suites in Elgin (near Panera Bread on North Randall). Our previous retreats were 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 23rd and all day Saturday, January 24th. It is sure to be a “relaxing” 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. Bring an appetizer, beverage of choice (wine or soft drink), swimsuit, and a white elephant gift.
The Jr. High and Senior High youth will have a game night/movie following FROG Friday on January 16th. Youth are invited to come and help with FROG Friday and then stay for games, movies and fun. Pick up will be on Friday evening at 11p.mFebruary 6th -8th
Our annual youth retreat for Junior High and Senior High youth will be held at Pilgrim Park in Princeton, IL, the weekend of February 6th, 7th and 8th. We will meet at the church parking lot at 5:00 on Friday, Feb. 8th and leave by 5:30.
We will return during the afternoon 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.
Last year we offered a series of retreats called LifeKeys
. They were very well received by those who participated. Many of you mentioned that you wanted to participate, but couldn’t do it last year. Read on for another opportunity to participate.LifeKeys
is 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.
The 2009 winter version of LifeKeys
will begin with a retreat on Friday night, January 30th and conclude at 12:30 on Saturday, January 31st. This retreat will be held at Country Inn & Suites in Elgin. The classes will continue then on three consecutive Thursday nights February 12th, 19th & 26th.
So clear your calendars now, and plan to join us. See the brochure included in this issue of Church Life, and complete the registration form.
Once again our valiant volunteers did a great job. Those delivering were:St. Joseph
Carl and Mary Ellen Flaks, Bonnie Turk,
Diane Menke, Jeanne Rothlisberger,
Shirley May Byrnes, Hank and Marilyn Speer,Tom Powell, Ron Whetstone, Janet Banwart, and Chuck Zimmerman.Sherman
Mich and Mary Barbezat, Bonnie Turk,
Diane Menke, Susan & Lynn Humbrecht,
and Chuck & Dolores Zimmerman.
Thanks folks – you do good work!
THINK SPRING!! This is what the Creative Fund Raising Committee wants you to do amid the bustle and chill of winter. We will be placing custom orders to Kleins this year. The seeds of your flowers’ color choices will be planted in February. Order forms will be available January 11, 2009. Orders will be due in February. So sit back by a cozy fire and dream up a fabulous spring garden!
JOIN THE FUN, RING CHIMES!
Chime Choir will meet for the first time in 2009 in the Sanctuary on Tuesday, January 6th from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. This would be a perfect time for new members to join. All Fourth Graders and older are welcome to take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to read music and enrich our worship experience. If interested, please give your name to Mary Ellen Flaks or Jeanne Rothlisberger.
PHOTOGRAPHY GROUP MEETING
The FCC Photography Group will have its first official meeting Sunday, January 11 at 2:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Anyone with an interest in photography is welcome. No previous experience or knowledge or camera gear is necessary.
We’ll talk about what we would all like to get out of this group. We have some exciting things planned for future meetings, such as hands-on tutorials (from camera buying tips to improving photos with a computer), learning how to take better photos and maybe even taking some field trips and outings. Most importantly the group will be whatever you want it to be provided you come and share your wishes and ideas.
Bring a camera, if you have one, and any photos you’d like to share or learn how to improve
From you I received strength because of your love and concern during my recent health issue.
I wish to thank you for your prayers, visits, e-mails, phone calls, cards, meals, etc. and transportation needs.
Remembering me was like giving me a little gift of yourself. Thank you very much.
Dear Friends at First Congregational
I want to thank you so very much for everything you have done: visits, calls, cards, food, and flowers. It has meant so much to me during my healing process.
To My Family at FCC,
I wish to thank you for all your prayers, thoughts, and cards over this long last year. A special thanks to Janet Banwart, Jeanne Rothlisberger, and Jim Lewis for their time, rides, and equipment. There is light at the end of this tunnel. I have felt God’s Hand on my shoulder and see his love shine from all of your faces.
Dear First Congregational Church,
Attn: Junior High
With the assistance of people and groups the All People’s Inter-Faith Pantry has been providing emergency food for individuals and families who are in need since 1969. During this month of November, many of you have redoubled your efforts to make many contributions.
The Pantry Board thanks you very much for your contribution and we are sure the recipients of the food we distribute would thank you if they could.
As is true with virtually all pantries across the country, our task is becoming increasingly difficult. In November 2007, we served 300 families for a total of 969 individuals. This year the totals were 392 families and 1411 individuals. Through November 2008, the Pantry has served 3079 families and 10,632 individuals. Since we have always limited our distribution to people who have been cleared in advance and for six visits, we know that the needs are ever greater than our figures indicate.
Again we thank you very much for your contributions and wish the best for you during the Holidays.
The Pantry Board
1-04 Cassidy Sell, Emilie Kottmeier
1-11 Grace Ann Aldred, Abby Garcia
1-18 Kenzie Fahnestock, Abby Kottmeier
1-25 Bailey Stark, Matthew Halfpenny
1-04 Paul & Tracy Grote
1-11 Pat Henrys
1-18 Tom & Lorri Powell
1-25 Ron & Liz Schaaf
1-04 Dennis & Mary Hewitt
1-11 Jen Phillips
1-18 Liz Shaaf
1-25 Katy Powers
1-04 Rob & Tracie Fahnestock
1-11 David & Matt Gerber
1-18 Jennifer Green-Castillo & Family
1-25 Paul & Tracy Grote & Family
1-04 Brian Stark
1-11 Jennifer Green
1-18 Dolores Zimmerman
1-25 Jim Schock
1-04 Jodie Stackowiak, Kirsten Pedersen, Laura McMinn, Cherie Murphy, & Sandy Dalton
1-11 Chase Sund, Anna Mitchell, Mary Taylor, Grant Powell, & Alessandra Castillo
1-18 Walt & Carole Kilmanas, Ron Banwart, Ron & Karen Carlson
1-25 Jim Schock, Deborah Treacy, Chuck Zimmerman, Sandy Dalton
1-01 Geneva Moody
1-02 Ron Schaaf
1-02 Walt Kilmanas
1-03 Angie Rea
1-08 Paul Rothlisberger
1-10 Kaylen Bye
1-11 Abby Kottmeier
1-12 Leola Ellsworth
1-13 Nicole Steffen
1-16 William Sell
1-17 Cody Taylor
1-17 Lavon Bayler
1-17 Michael McMinn
1-17 Laura McMinn
1-21 Paul Mason
1-22 Martina Preradovic
1-24 Camille Rea
1-28 John Hopkins
1-25 Mary Barbezat
1-28 Lindsay Iverson