PARTNERS IN PAGES
Lots of FCC folks have picked up copies of Power Surge
and started reading it. Have you? We are encouraging everybody in the church to read this book and share your thoughts about it. On July 26 and on August 23, at either 9:15 or 11:30, please come and share your impressions of the book and its implications for our life together at FCC. Copies are available for $12, but copies can also be shared, or if sharing isn’t an option, you can get one for free. Call the church office, or contact Paris or Lois. We want everyone’s
The Church Council has approved the option of online giving to our church. Now you can choose to have your regular offering, or renovation pledge, or any other gift automatically transferred from any bank account. This service is available through the United Church of Christ and will operate just like your online bill payments. It will promote consistent giving and make it easier to forecast cash flow. FCC will have complete control over contribution information, and confidentiality will be maintained as in the past. No one will be required to participate in online giving. If you wish to give as you always have in the past you may continue to do so. However, if you wish to give electronically, you now have that option.
Here’s how it works. Go to the church website http://www.fcc-elgin.org/online_giving/
, and download the authorization form. Or you can pick up the form at church on Sunday. Fill out the form and return it to the church office and your budget pledge, and/or your “Transforming the Church – Brick by Brick” pledge will be automatically deducted from your checking or savings account on one or more dates each month. Just as the expenses of our church continue, so will your gift — even if you are unable to be in worship when you would normally give.
FCC will be charged twenty-five cents for every transaction. Therefore, you might want to consider raising your pledge commensurate with the cost of providing this service. For example, if you give twice each month then you could increase your giving by an additional fifty cents each month. Think of it like paying for your offering envelopes at the beginning of each year, only now you won’t have to fill one out each time you give.
In these difficult economic times it is sometimes difficult to know how to be good stewards of the gifts God has given us. Hopefully, online giving will be a helpful resource for the continuing journey of discipleship.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
Anne was born and raised on a dairy farm in Maine and graduated from the University of Maine with a B.S. in nursing. She worked at Northwest Community Hospital for 35 years before retiring in 2000. She is the mother of FCC member Jennifer Phillips and is looking forward to moving to Elgin as soon as possible to be near her only grandchild, Ricky. Anne loves to cook, travel, and study history. She is particularly interested in Elgin’s rich historical background.
Syd and Dee Bowcott
Syd was born in Edmonton, Alberta and lived there until he was 16 when he moved to San Jose, California. He is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley and works for URS Corporation planning, designing, and operating traffic management systems and traveler information systems. He enjoys woodworking, hiking, bicycling, and reading. Dee is a native of Hastings, Nebraska and graduated from nurse’s training at the same hospital where she was born. She is retired after a career in nursing where her specialty was cardiac care. She enjoys reading, cottage life/living, gardening and being with friends and family. She is looking forward to meeting more people at FCC. Syd and Dee have two children: Jamie (31) and Sarah (28).
Matt is a native Elginite and was educated at Larkin High School and Elgin Community College. He is currently employed as a firefighter and paramedic in Carpenters-ville. In his off time he enjoys baseball, softball, biking, weight lifting, and travel. He is engaged to FCC’s Lauren Schaaf and they plan to be married this Fall.
Mary was raised in Northbrook, IL and Hopkins, MN. She is a graduate of Glenbard East High School in Lombard and Judson University here in Elgin. Mary is a sale rep. for WRMN Radio in Elgin and enjoys stamping, making cards, scrapbooking, and reading.
Sheila Salaman, daughter of Chuck Zimmerman
, passed away at her home in Oregon. A memorial service for her was held at FCC on June 7.
Kathryn Donehoo, daughter of Paris Donehoo
and step-daughter of Penny Donehoo
, was married to Chris Keenon on June 26.
Damaris, women’s fellowship group will be dining out at Bennigans’s, 495 Airport Road at the Holiday Inn and Suites Thursday, July 23rd 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.
ATTENTION MISSION TRIP PARTICIPANTS
The Mission Trip participants will be commissioned during the 10:15 worship service on Sunday, June 28th. Please plan to be in worship that day.
PRAYER PARTNERS FOR MISSION TRIP
We are in need of a few more prayer partners to commit to pray for one of our mission trip participants during our service time July 2 – July 12th while we are in Washington, DC. As a prayer partner you would be asked to remember your partner in prayer each day. You might also send a note or card to let your partner know you are thinking of him/her. If you’d be willing to do this call Lois right away so she can assign your partner.
CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES AT THE HEMMENS
You are invited to join us at the Hemmens Auditorium for the musical comedy, Church Basement Ladies on August 16th at 2 pm. We have reserved a block of 25 tickets at the group rate of $32 each. Tickets are going fast, so if you are interested please sign-up now to reserve your spot.
For 11 years, William Christopher played Father Mulcahy on what many consider the best sitcom of all time, M*A*S*H. William is coming to Elgin for this musical comedy that mixes the silliness of Nunsense with the homespun humor of Prairie Home Companion.
This hilarious musical comedy is a celebration of the church basement kitchens everywhere and the wonderful, unsung women who work there. The script is dead-on, the music is toe tapping, the humor is delicious and the cast includes some very funny people.
SPIRITUALITY OF FINANCE
At our June meeting, David Segel shared a wealth (excuse the pun) of information about saving money on utility bills, including – but (as they say) not limited to - tips to reduce electricity usage in our homes; business and government incentives to invest in home improvements; programs and organizations that work to influence public policy and legislation. Carol Olsen also shared a number of handouts full of information regarding ways to save energy.
The group has decided to take a recess until September, at which time you might want to be on the lookout for a new emphasis and a new name to accompany it. Stay tuned!
If you have questions, please call Mark or Mary Hartwig 847-608-1731.
“Stewardship is everything I do after I say I believe.”
St. Francis of Assisi
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.
What-to-do-what-to-do? Life is complex. Or, to quote the first line of Scott Peck’s classic, The Road Less Traveled: “Life is difficult.” Choosing can be difficult. We have so many choices in our country that making a choice can be overwhelming.
Saying “No” is a choice. Sometimes we have to say “No” to one thing in order to say “Yes” to something else. There’s a lot of that going on these days, with salary freezes, or salary cuts or, worse yet, job loss. One might think that such things reduce our choices. Maybe yes, and maybe no. Some people have continued to spend at levels their income can’t support. So, even there, you actually have a choice.
But there’s actually some interesting potential for newness even when intentionally limiting choice. I’ve heard parents explain the benefits of requiring school uniforms for their children. Everybody has the same outfit; less fashion competition. Less time required to figure out what to wear each day. Fewer clothes actually needed due to higher quality materials, so the same or less money spent on wardrobes. What appears to be a loss of choice – or freedom – actually results in freeing up resources for saying “yes” to something else.
How many choices do we make out of fear of losing something, or having less? Like what we feel we can afford to contribute to church. This is dangerous territory, and I want to be clear that I don’t think all fears are irrational or simply weakness. I believe God works through endless means to enrich our lives, including fears of consequences resulting from putting people, property, or resources at risk. The idea of free will seems to imply that God trusts us to make decisions, whatever they are.
I’m just wondering what possibilities are awaiting me when I can look beyond my fears with discernment to step out a little bit. And what support might be available to me through my faith family to help me in taking that step?
Ministry of Stewardship
I heard someone say that this is the wettest spring in 80 years. I won't argue that the rain is not good, however, the timing could use a little improvement. These rain days are slowing us down. Lucky for us, the spray foam insulator guys came between rain days and now the east side is covered. The masons have the base course of stone on the west, north and east sides. Now they can really move on the brick that is to follow. All the windows are in, except the big ones (and we are talking about 9' at the tip of the arch). Those bad boys will be in the stairwells as opposed to the regular ones that are only 6' 6". We haven't moved on the south side yet. Hargrave builders have done an excellent job. The plan called for pine sills. The decorating committee chose to stain rather that paint the windows. FYI, the stain is "Puritan Pine" and they look great. We asked to upgrade to oak sills because they look better, and well, it’s oak. Dale Hargrave gave that to us for no extra charge. We love Dale.
There have been plumbing issues on the lower floor - water to bring in for the sprinkler system, that nasty freezing pipe in the kitchen, and back flow regulators back in the catacombs. I think that's all dealt with.
The toilet rooms have been primed, tiled, and grouted. The floors are covered right now so the plumbers can get back in to install the toilets, urinals, sinks etc. The stall dividers should be installed soon also. I believe we are waiting on a delivery date.
Ron Banwart's buddy, Mike, is the painter in charge on our job. He comes and goes because his trade is more on the finishing side of things. He was in this week to do what staining he could. He will be back after the plumbers and the drywall guys are through with their parts, then again after the rest of the windows are put in.
On the main floor along the east side we have a new configuration. The room formerly know as the nursery, is now the "Room of Requirement" - which actually means we don't know what it's for. As you can imagine, everyone has an opinion. Here are some suggestions: a Sunday School room for 4-5 yr olds, (Lois), supply & copy machine room (Pat), Paris' new larger-than-Lois' office (Paris), party room with a wet bar (Beth) and after this issue of Church Life is mailed I'm sure I’ll have more suggestions.
We also have the rooms formerly known as the 2-3 yr. old classroom and Storytelling I room. They used to be divided by the very smooth temporary wall put up by Steve Stauffacher and Paul Turk. Said wall is gone. At the last Church Council meeting I brought up a recommendation from the renovation committee to move the conference room downstairs. I feel the flow of having most all of the Sunday School rooms upstairs is better. In the evenings, the upstairs can be locked off for security purposes. The disruption and mess is best done while it's all disruption and mess. The council agreed, and so, like Jericho's wall, it came tumbling down. BIG BIG thank you to Steve & Kyle. With some paint and carpet, I believe we can turn it into a decent conference room. Finances for decorating are pending. In the next phase of the renovation, the conference room and offices are shifted around but in this same general area.
When you are driving by, keep a look out. The exterior is changing quickly. While you are coming in (through the front door, please) take a look around. It's really impressive.
Dear FCC Friends,
Over the past years we have had our share of health problems. Throughout all of this time our church family has kept us in their prayers. We are grateful for this and many acts of kindness.
God Bless you all,
Bill & Margarete Schmoldt
Thank you for your prayers, cards and help after the death of our daughter, Sheila. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
Chuck and Dolores Zimmerman & Family
CHURCH LIFE TAKING TIME OFF
Watch for the next issue of Church Life to arrive on August 21st. That issue will highlight all of the worship, educational, service, and fellowship opportunities for fall. Please note that Church Life will not be published in late July, so check your church bulletin and email for updates about August events.
ACOLYTES FOR JULY
7-5 Cassidy Sell, Rachel Ruf
7-12 Lauren Powers, Drew Rantz
7-19 Abby Kottmeier, Emilie Kottmeier
7-26 Savannah Lile, Anna Halfpenny
7-5 Letty Jocius
7-12 Dennis and Mary Hewitt
7-19 Jen Phillips
7-26 Barb Halfpenny
7-5 Charlie & Lauren Rantz
7-12 Tom & Lorri Powell
7-19 Ron & Liz Schaaf
7-26 Janet Banwart & Sandy Dalton
7-5 Lee Ellsworth
7-12 Janet Banwart
7-19 Karen Carlson & Linda Taylor
7-26 Jennifer & Curt Phillips
7-5 John Hopkins
7-12 Penny Donehoo
7-19 Jeanne Rothlisberger
7-26 Tom Powell
7-5 Jodie Stackowiak, Kirsten
Pedersen, Laura McMinn, Cherie
Murphy, and Sandy Dalton
7-12 Chase Sund, Anna Mitchell,
Mary Taylor, and Grant Powell
7-19 Walt Kilmanas, Ron Banwart,
Ron & Karen Carlson, and
7-26 Jim Schock, Deborah Treacy, Lorri
Powell, Chuck Zimmerman, and