2023 Spring Concert Series

First Congregational Church of Elgin invites the wider community to our annual Spring Concert Series, featuring four performances from local and international musical artists. All concerts are free admission and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected for donations to the Music Program at First Congregational.



Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Lindsay Garritson, concert pianist

Dr. Lindsay Garritson has performed throughout the United States and abroad since the age of four. She has appeared on stages such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Place des Arts (Montreal), and has been featured as soloist with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra (Texas), Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfônica Barra Mansa (Brazil), the Yale Philharmonic Orchestra, and the European Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. An award-winning performer, Lindsay has received top prizes at the Montreal International Piano Competition, USASU Bösendorfer International Piano Competition, and the Mozarteum International Chopin Competition (Salzburg).


Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Elgin Symphony String Quartet

Eleanor Bartsch is a violinist with a diverse and vibrant career as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, Concertmaster, soloist, educator, and entrepreneur. In addition to serving as Associate Concertmaster of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, she is Concertmaster of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2018 was named first violinist of the critically acclaimed Kontras Quartet.

Eric Pidluski is a native of Fairfield, CT, where he began playing the violin at age 9. He is currently a member of the first violin sections of Elgin and Rockford Symphonies. He attended the DePaul University School of Music, where he received a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a certificate in violin performance.

Rebecca Swan received her Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. She is a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and is principal violist with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Philharmonic. She is also a member of the Elgin Symphony and Chicago Sinfonietta.

Sara Sitzer is an active and versatile freelance cellist and entrepreneur in Chicago. A member of the Elgin Symphony, Sara also performs regularly with orchestras and ensembles including the Milwaukee Symphony and Chicago Opera Theater. 



Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4:00 PM

Harper College Steel Drum Band

Paul Ross, director

The Harper College Steel Bands have been entertaining audiences for over 35 years. They perform on a family of instruments called steel pans which were invented and developed in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. These instruments are hand crafted from 55 gallon oil drums/barrels. Harper owns ten steel pans made for them by legendary pan builder and Trinid native Cliff Alexis. Caribbean styles such as calypso, reggae, ska, cha cha, and mambo along with rock, bossa nova, samba, and pop make up the heart of their musical repertoire. Director Paul G. Ross arranges most of their music and has also written many original pieces for them over the years.


Friday, April 7, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Good Friday Choral Concert and Service

Several church choirs in the area join to perform Faure's Requiem, including liturgical elements of scriptures and prayer.


Mission Grants

The Mission Statement of First Congregational United Church of Christ Elgin, Illinois is “To seek God’s truth, practice Christ’s teachings, and love other unconditionally."



Through the identification and use of our diverse gifts, we fulfill a mission of reconciliation, love, and service. We strive to serve the church, the community and the world, through education and spiritual growth, fellowship, sharing the Word, social responsibility and stewardship.


Through the generosity and thoughtfulness of Paul & Mildred Jehle via the Paul L. Jehle Trust, the Endowment Fund of First Congregational United Church of Christ has some means to help fulfill this mission. In working to be good stewards of this money, we are seeking members and organizations that have programs with a similar philosophy. The Mission Grants Committee will consider programs/projects for grants which are administered by either religious or secular organizations. We ask that the programs/projects relate to our focus issues for the current year.



All Applicants must be current 501 (C) (3) certified Non-profits *


-  Applications are to be received by the Mission Grant Committee between July 1st and October 1st of 2022. The Committee will review the requests and notification will be made by mail following the church’s Annual Meeting in late January. The majority of Grant Awards will be limited to $15,000.00. No requests exceeding $30,000.00 will be considered. 


– If a request is submitted by an individual member of First Congregational United Church of Christ, it must have the endorsement of a Ministry or the Church Council of FCC.


– Please remember that NO endowment funds may be used to support the church budget except in dire circumstances and by two-thirds vote of the congregation.


– The Mission Grant Committee has selected the following areas of focus, which reflect First Congregational United Church of Christ’s Mission and Ministry. These focus areas will be reviewed from year to year. Please Note focus changes from last year.


a. Community Engagement/Empowerment/Education (Non-school entities)

b. Income Inequality/Poverty

c. Mental Health

d. Senior Citizens


-All requests will be evaluated in the light of FCC's Mission Statement and it's theological understandings of mission.


In applications being mailed, please print or type answers to the numbered list below:

Applicants must be IRS 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organizations. New applicants must submit a copy that is less than 3 years old. Repeating applicants do not need to submit a copy if one is on file.

  1. Name of Organization/Project
  2. Name and Title of Contact Person
  3. Address
  4. Phone Number
  5. Email Address
  6. Brief history of the organization
  7. Mission statement of the organization
  8. Description and projected budget of the program or project (please submit a complete budget)
  9. Amount requested
  10. Number of people directly and indirectly benefitted by the program or project
  11. The useful life of the program or project
  12. Indicate any revenue from other sources
  13. Indicate how the program or project addresses the focus issues

Applications being mailed, please send to the following address:
First Congregational United Church of Christ
256 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL 60120
(847) 741 4045

Organizations submitting their application by email, please send application information and materials to office@fcc-elgin.org. Applicants must be IRS 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organizations. New applicants must submit a copy that if less than 3 years old. Repeating applicants do not need to submit a copy if one is on file.