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April 28, 2016
    


Grace to you and peace from Carly, called to be servant leader amongst and beside the saints in La Grange and beyond.

I give thanks to God for the many gifted and passionate ministers in this congregation; many have stepped forward to "fill the gap" created by the health challenges I am facing. Thank you. My journey toward "maintenance" has begun with the knowledge that the work of the Body of Christ will continue while my body heals.

In the meantime, there are a number of areas where our member ministers are filling in where my energy is lacking. Here is a summary of some changes that have or will soon happen.
  • Remodeling Project - Our Vice Moderator, Jerry Palmer, has taken on the role of coordinating the many aspects of this project. He will keep the communication open and the projects on task and target. Look for updates on the progress in the Tidings from Jerry.
  • Transition to the new janitorial service. Beginning very soon, we will have a new janitorial service. John Moellman is the point person for this transition.
  • Caring for One Another:  Whether it is calling on people who are sick, sending cards to folks who have dropped out of sight, or phoning people who are recovering, we need to be caring and reaching out. On Tuesday evenings in May, Called to Care offer some training to assist in our confidence in this. If you're a caring person, please sign up for the training either in the office or on line.
  • Volunteer Coordination: With Jo-Anne on board as our new Volunteer Coordinator, more ministry opportunities will be made known to you. Let's put our hearts and hands in action!
As many of you know from your own life journeys, the road to health is not a straight path. I appreciate the many cards and well wishes I've received. I covet your prayers as I step forth in faith that this hemochromatosis will be soon under control.

Blessings,
Carly
Touch List

Your Cards and Prayers Will Comfort and Touch...
 
Maria Balz, who is recovering from hip surgery.
Please keep the Schroeder family in your prayers with strength for Eileen (sister of Mary Bart) and peace for Ron (Eileen's husband) who died on March 7th.
Kathy Bloom.
Our thoughts are with Marjorie Duhatschek who is recovering from surgery.
LuAnn Hall, who is recovering from surgery.
Our thoughts are with LuAnn Hall's niece Jessica.
Bert Happel, Jim Happel's brother.
The family and friends of Lois Hindman, who died on April 2nd.
Linda Lauterbach's friend Sophia, her husband, and 22 month old son; Sophia has a brain tumor.
Petra Palmer's granddaughter's friend Summer who is having chemotherapy for leukemia.
Helen Pancner, Viola Clayton's daughter, who has continuing health struggles.
Jennifer Powers as she deals with health issues.
Ron Sander, Erik Sander's father, as he and his family manage his ongoing illness.
The family of Michael Smith and the residents of Brookfield rocked by gun violence, random and too close to home.
Ben Walker, 14, son of Carly's friend Kurt who is struggling with Major Depressive Disorder.
Vera Weiss.
 
 
Music News

Choral Sermon - join the congregation on May 22 for the exuberant African Mass by Norman Luboff.  The Chancel Choir, Treble Choir and soloists will be accompanied by a one person orchestra - the fabulous percussionist Angela Kepley on tuned drums.  Come celebrate with the choirs on their last full Sunday until the fall.

Summer Musical Camp registrations are available in the church office.  This program is for students in 1st-8th grades and will take place from July 25-29 from 2-6pm. Performances will be 7pm on 7/29 and 10am on 7/31.  This year's show will be "The Old Testament Fast Forward" which attempts to tell the entire history contained in the Old Testament in 35 minutes.  We will likely not succeed, however we will have fun trying! Please contact Ryan Cox for more information.

Volunteer Opportunity


THANK YOU!  
Many thanks to the hardy and big hearted folks who helped make the Spring Clean Up Day a huge success! Together, we cleaned the flower beds and light wells; scraped and primed the light pole, handrails, and entry doors; did some gardening and some general cleaning. Thank you!
  • Chris Bart
  • Chris and Renee Bryant
  • Jan and John Moellman
  • Jim Happel
  • John Hoo
  • Marie Koche
  • Jo-Anne Konkle
  • Dawn Macke Kruke
  • Dick Lauterbach
  • Dave and Penny Miller
  • Bobbi Nunez
  • Terry Owens
  • Sherry and Dave Ries
  • Eric, Nancy, Ben, and Jadon Sanders
  • Gail Harris Schmidt
 
BEDS Plus Summer Volunteer Opportunities
 
This summer BEDS Plus is offering a transitional summer shelter. The program is modeled after other successful programs around the region that provide a smaller-scale summer shelter program for clients who need additional time to achieve stability. 

Here is how it works  -

-   Clients must apply for transitional shelter with our
    program manager and comply with the same rules that
    apply during the regular season. Priority will be given to
    those who are employed and those waiting for
    permanent supportive housing placement.

-   Clients must agree to stay at the shelter each night
    unless otherwise prearranged with their case manager.

-   Up to 15 clients will qualify.  As each client gets 
    housing, another client may qualify.

-   Volunteer crews will be smaller, with longer shifts.
    Clients will help with set up and clean up each day. 
    Staff will be on-site each evening.

-   Hours will be 7pm - 7am, just like the regular shelter
    season.

-   Shelter is not advertised or open to new clients
    unless they go through the application process and
    there is an open spot.

Shelter will rotate to a new church each week from
   June 6 through August 14 (10 weeks).

Our Congregation will host this transitional program for the week of July 10-17. While we are not responsible for providing volunteers, you are welcome to volunteer for the many tasks that hospitality of this kind requires. Volunteers are required to attend one Volunteer Orientation session prior to volunteering. Our next sessions are May 9th and June 13th. If you'd like to volunteer, or need more information email volunteer@beds-plus.org or please click here.
Church News and Reminders

INTRODUCING OUR
VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

Retirement from a career leaves room to follow your passions. Jo-Anne Konkle is exploring what those passions may be for her. She has stepped up to the position of Volunteer Coordinator for our congregation. She will be recruiting members to fill a number of ministry and volunteer positions. If you have a passion for a ministry or just want to try something new, let Jo-Anne know and she'll help you find what makes your heart sing. You can contact Jo-Anne through email at VolunteerCoordinator@fcclg.org, or by calling the office. Thank you Jo-Anne!

MESSY CHURCH
On May 1st, Messy Church will be moving to the first Sunday of the month at 4:30pm. Our theme this month is New Life in the Spirit Pentecost Celebration. We hope to see you there!

4:30-5:15pm: Crafts
5:15-5:30pm: Celebration
5:30-6:00: Dinner
6:00-7:00: Yzal/Zackleys
 
SAVE THE DATE! 
May 8 will be "Ask the Question Sunday." Instead of a sermon, Carly will answer questions from the congregation. Bring your questions, doubts, wonderings, and queries about faith, the Bible, mission, ministry, or church and we'll give it a go.

STRENGTHEN THE CHURCH OFFERING
There will be a special offering on Pentecost Sunday, May 15. It is the day UCC traditionally celebrates the birth of the church. Your gifts for this offering are going to be used to awaken new ideas in existing churches and develop spiritual life in our youth and young adults. The offerings are directed to our church's conference, the local Church Ministries, and The Stillspeaking Ministry to accomplish these purposes. Please give generously to Strengthen our Church!

Thanks to all who gave to One Great Hour of Sharing in March. We collected a total of $830.73 to help the refugee crisis, disaster ministries, and sustainable development in different parts of the world. Thanks for being so generous to those who are in need!

REMINDER: ALL TEAMS MEETING FOR MAY
Please remember that the May meeting happens on the third Sunday ( May 15) instead of the Second so that everyone can take their mother's out to brunch following worship on Mothers' Day.   

How Do We Talk To Our Kids About The Tough Issues?
Whether it's about who uses what restrooms or how our children understand their own gender identity, the conversation is not easy. To not talk about these issues is to tell our kids, by omission, that these things are either not important to us or are taboo. We need to break the silence. We need to talk. But where to begin?

Starting the Conversation... How to Talk to Your Kids About LGBTQ+ Issues
A guided discussion for parents and caregivers to learn how to navigate conversations about LGBTQ+ news, people and creating welcoming homes and communities for your children and their friends

Topics will include:
  • Understanding terminology  
  • Using age-appropriate language 
  • Identifying resources
Often times we hear that parents and supportive adults wish they had more tools for having conversations about diversity with their children. Join us for the opportunity to ask questions and learn terminology that young people are using, tactics for having age-appropriate conversations that promote greater understanding and inclusion and have a chance to network with community resources available for you and your family.

This evening is appropriate for families with children and adolescents ages K-12 or other adult allies who interact with young people. 

For more information, please email Carolyn Wahlskog at cwahlskog@360youthservices.org or call 331-215-7388 ext 1168.

WHEN
Monday, May 16, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)

WHERE
Hope United Church of Christ - 1701 Quincy Avenue #27, Naperville, IL 60540

REGISTER
Call, or visit the Evenbrite website.
  
HOOKS AND NEEDLES  
Join us as we knit and crochet for charity. Beginners are welcome - we will be glad to give instruction. We meet every Monday except the first Monday of the month in the Family Room off the Chapel at 7pm 

BOOK CLUB
Evening book club will meet on Thursday, June 2nd to discuss The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. This work of fiction entwines two love stories set ninety years apart. All are invited to the chapel conference room at 7:30 for discussion and light snacks. And yes, we really do discuss our reading selections!
 
A STEWARDSHIP MOMENT:
Electronic Giving is an Awesome Option
In the 1950's, churches had to decide whether or not to accept paper checks in the offering plate. Up to that time, tithes and offerings were received by cash only. Today, we are going through another transition as more and more people handle their finances electronically through on line banking, cell phone apps, and electronic fund transfers.
To date this year, we've received roughly 33% of our member giving through the giving portal on our website or through EFTs arranged through the office. There are a number of advantages for the church and for members in this method of giving.
  • Paper checks, while still in use, are becoming obsolete. Airlines, Amazon, and many businesses have stopped accepting checks, and the paper coupons once called "food stamps" have become a thing of the past. The Federal Reserve anticipates that within 10 years, paper checks will be eliminated; they replaced paper checks with electronic images of the checks we write in 2011.
  • Electronic giving ensures your tithes get to the church even when you are on vacation. This is particularly helpful in the summer months when the church's cash flow suffers as many people get away to summer places over the weekends.
  • Electronic giving costs the church less to process than cash or paper checks. It takes staff and volunteer time to open envelopes, record giving, reconcile the deposit ticket, take it to the bank, and return with the deposit slip. While there is a small fee for the processing of electronic gifts, they are automatically recorded in each member's giving record, and electronically deposited. This cuts down on errors as well.
  • Electronic giving, especially when set up through the member login on the church's website, ensures that your gifts go exactly where you want them to go; the funds are automatically deposited into the fund of your choosing without room for error or misinterpretation.
  • Members can give anytime, 24/7/365.
As you consider your summer plans, please consider moving your gift to FCCLG to the electronic option. You can sign up on line, through the office, or through your bank's payment options.  
   
                   
THIS  WEEK IN OUR CHURCH
Ministry Opportunities

Chicago Metropolitan Association  
Spring Meeting
"Unleashing Ministry"
Saturday, May 7th, 2016 
8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 
Click here for the event flyer!

---------------------------------------------------------

Are You A Caring Person?
Is Caring about others your passion? Do you enjoy visiting with others? Called To Care is a program that will enhance the skills for and ministries of caring by church members. It will be offered over four Tuesday evening events in May. They will begin at 7 p.m. and will finish before or by 9 p.m. each week. The sessions will build upon one another.

May 10: Entering into the Space of Others. Caring is a selfless act. How do we set our own agendas, feelings, opinions, issues aside and enter into someone else's space?

May 17: Communicating and Nurturing. Once we've learned to put our own "stuff" aside and enter into someone else's space, how do we listen? How do we show our caring? How might we let them see the Christ in us without being a pushy televangelist?

May 24: Care Giving Situations. What might we encounter in caring for others? How might we prepare ourselves? How do we help in unusual situations? How do we maintain healthy boundaries?

May 31: Faith in Action. Ministry is an authentic extension of our very selves. How might the skills, gifts, and graces we've explored be expressed within and outside of our own congregation? What are the needs, gaps, opportunities, and challenges within our community of faith? How are you being sent?

These sessions are designed to be very practical and will offer practice in the skills we are learning. There is no obligation on the part of participants to any specific role within the congregation; so if you'd like to come and learn, you are most welcome.

There are two methods of signing up for Called to Care training: On the church website, or in the office.

USED CLOTHING COLLECTION 
San Lucas Church in Humbolt Park is in need of gently used, laundered clothing for their community closet - specifically for adult and teen males. Let's clean our closets and help men in need of clothes for work or play. Please drop off bags in the closet by the entrance of the Chapel by May 15th.


Invitation to Congregation to Join Conversation Circles
Please join us on May 22nd, 2016 when the Ministry of Missions will sponsor Conversation Circles*. Immediately after the church service and coffee hour, the World Café format will be used to explore any local community concerns which our participants wish to discuss. Topics may include but are not limited to subjects such as youth and young adult substance abuse, racial and ethnic educational inequalities, or issues of the homeless. The format is a very flexible way of identifying and discussing problems. There will be a group welcome and explanation of the process. Afterwards we will break into three to four separate tables with facilitators for the discussions. The groups will regather to determine how we want to move forward to create solutions for a chosen issue. The entire process will last 60 to 90 minutes. We hope to invite other area churches to work with us on a chosen issue later in the year. This is a wonderful opportunity to make our community a better place to live!
 
*Please note that this is not the same as a Peace Circle.

 
 
ST. BARBARA'S FOOD PANTRY COLLECTION
Thank you to those of who have donated to the St. Barbara's food pantry. Please know that your donations have been much appreciated. The need is ongoing, so let's try to fill the donation baskets this week! The pantry's shelves are well stocked with canned goods at present but have great need of the following: crackers (all types, including Ritz), snack packs of pudding, rice (brown and white), mayonnaise, and bottled salad dressings (1000 island, Italian, ranch). Thank you for helping! 
 
Children and Youth News


IT'S TIME FOR SUMMER CAMP!
No matter your age or your stage, our United Church of Christ Conference has a summer camp that is right for you. Whether at Tower Hill or Pilgrim Park, whether your interest is in sports or theater, whether you want to spend a few days or a full week, there is a camp for you. Check out the offerings on the posters outside Sylvia's office, or online at the Outdoor Ministries Website.

Yzals
 
The Yzals group (grades 6 to 8) continues to meet the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 6:30. 
 
Zackleys
The Zackleys group (grades 9 to 12) continues to meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month. The 1st Sunday of the month is at 6:00pm. and the 3rd Sunday is at 6:30pm.
 
On May 15 th the Zackleys will have their end of ye ar BBQ starting at 4:30pm. We invite the upcoming F reshman ( current  8th graders) to join! We'll meet  in  the church parking lot to BBQ. The church will provide the food. 
 
Summer Sunday School
The Ministry of Education has decided that with the casual atmosphere and smaller numbers during the summer, we will not have Summer Sunday School. Please encourage your children to grab a blessing bag or a toy from the back during service! We still need people to volunteer for the nursery though!