Little Home Church/UCC

By the Way



In February we will wrap up our series SAD (Spiritual Affective Disorder) and move into the holy and reflective season of Lent. This year our attention will be focused on the experience and history of Holy Communion or what some refer to as the Eucharist—the Greek word for Thanksgiving. We will do this starting with Ash Wednesday and end on Maundy Thursday. Every Sunday we will have communion and learn how it was celebrated in different time periods of the church and the fine arts.

We have a great team assembled—Rev. Jon Hutchison and Rev. Ron Purser for church and theology teachings, Emma Kaska and Jen Haseltine for visual arts, and Grace Bardsley and Nick Metzger for music, and we will need some bakers to bake bread from the various time periods for the service each week. We will partake in Holy Communion every Sunday. 


Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist (Holy Communion), come back to that Adoration.”

Mother Teresa

Friedrich Buechner wrote this about the sacrament:

“It is called Holy Communion because, when feeding at this implausible table, Christians believe that they are communing with the Holy One himself, his spirit enlivening their spirits, heating the blood, and gladdening the heart just the way wine, as spirits, can.

They are also, of course, communing with each other. To eat any meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic need. It is hard to preserve your dignity with butter on your chin, or to keep your distance when asking for the tomato ketchup.

To eat this particular meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic humanness, which involves our need not just for food but for each other. I need you to help fill my emptiness just as you need me to help fill yours. As for the emptiness that's still left over, well, we're in it together, or it in us. Maybe it's most of what makes us human and makes us brothers and sisters.

The next time you walk down the street, take a good look at every face you pass and in your mind say, "Christ died for thee." That girl. That slob. That phony. That crook. That saint. That damned fool. Christ died for thee. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee.”

Here is the schedule...

Feb. 22 Ash Wednesday (Potluck Supper at 6 pm and Service at 7:15 pm)

Feb. 26 Communion in the Early Church

Mar. 5 Communion in the Middle Ages 450-1450 / Renaissance 1450-1600

Mar. 12 Communion in the Baroque 1600-1750

Mar. 19 Communion in the Classical 1750-1820

Mar. 26 Communion in the Romantic 1820-1900

Apr. 2 Communion in the Modern Period 1900–

Apr. 6 Maundy Thursday (Potluck Supper at 6 pm and Service at 7:15 )

Apr. 7 Good Friday Service – TBD

Apr. 9 EASTER!

“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.”  ― Jesse Browner

In Christ,

Pastor Larry Dieffenbach

Connect with Pastor Larry

Connect With Pastor Larry




Ready for year two?

The all-church read will be The Delight of Being Ordinary by Roland Merullo. We will discuss the book in three sessions:

Sunday, March 5—Session No. 1

“Days One and Two” (pp. 3-149)

Sunday, April 16—Session No. 2

“Day Three” (pp.153 – 278)

Sunday, May 21—Session No. 3

“Days Four and Five” (pp. 281-367)


Location to be determined. Invite non-church members and friends! We will meet in the Pastor’s Study after fellowship hour for the first session.


Townhouse Books (105 N. 2nd Avenue, St. Charles) is offering a twenty-percent discount to anyone who comes in to purchase a book. Simply say you are with The Little Home Church by the Wayside book read.


“Roland Merullo’s playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the world’s two holiest men teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside--where they rediscover the everyday joys and challenges of ordinary life.


During the Dalai Lama’s highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist: they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon traveling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope’s neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who--to his terror—has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo’s estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure—or the fun.


Against a landscape of good humor, intrigue, and spiritual fulfillment, The Delight of Being Ordinary is part whimsical expedition, part love story, part spiritual search, this uplifting novel brings warmth and laughter to the universal concerns of family life, religious inspiration, and personal identity—all of which combine to transcend cultural and political barriers in the name of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.”


Get involved and join a group, an event, or a LHC initiative.

Worship Service

Sundays, 9:30 am (recorded and uploaded to YouTube during the week)

Bible Study—Wednesdays, In Person & Via Zoom resumes January 11

Choir Rehearsals—Wednesdays, 7 pm

Sisters in Spirit—Monthly Meeting—Sunday, February 5, 11 am

Contemplative ServicesThursday, February 9 & 23, 8 am & 7 pm

Men of LHC—Monthly Breakfast Meeting—Saturday, February 11, 8:30 am

A Book & A Prayer Book Club—Thursday, February 16, 7 pm via Zoom

Ash Wednesday Potluck & Worship—Wednesday, February 22,

6 pm (Potluck), 7:15 pm (Worship Service)

Church Council Meeting—Monday, February 27, 7 pm in Parish Hall

By the Way Submission Deadline - Wednesday, February 15

(Please note earlier deadline this month due to Lori's vacation)


Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm—630.584.4013



Love is in the air at the Little Home Church...

It has been said that 'Love is not what you say, Love is what you do.' In every way, The Little Home Church personifies 'love.' We see it on Sundays as smiling ushers greet us at the door and help us to our Pews. We hear it in Larry’s recurring message that there is a place at the Little Home Church for all. We see it in the time spent raising joys and concerns for our fellow parishioners, friends and neighbors. The flowers members provide for our altar every week celebrating or remembering those we love. The music so beautifully performed to lift our spirits. And finally, the act of fellowship—a feast lovingly prepared for all to enjoy. Each of these acts of kindness demonstrates the 'love' that fills our Sanctuary and our hearts at The Little Home Church. 

Susannah Lesswing, Moderator

Connect  With Susannah



February has always been my favorite month. Here are a few reasons that make it so.

—My sister and I both have February birthdays that surround Valentine’s Day and we always celebrated with a shared, heart-shaped Boston Cream Pie.

—Valentine’s Day. Chocolate, flowers, conversation hearts…

—It’s a bit quirky being the shortest month of the year even during leap years.

Googling explained that the name February came from a Roman festival of purification called Februa. Who knew? There is a lot more info to discover regarding the history of the month online but for now, just knowing this adds another bit of symbolic meaning to the Christian practice of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday but is preceded by Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday). 

In true Little Home Church by the Wayside fashion we celebrate Mardi Gras in our very own way…Mardi Bra Sunday on February 19! It is the perfect opportunity to incorporate New Orleans style music into our celebration. As in the past, our fabulous choir will be joined by a small group of fabulous instrumentalists who will get our toes tappin’ and our fingers snappin’. Mardi Bra Sunday is music centric and guaranteed to leave you smiling.

Part of the truth of life is that things and experiences which are seemingly opposite meet side by side at some point. And so, following Mardi Bra/Gras comes Ash Wednesday (February 22 at 7 pm). An evening service affords a time of quiet introspection as we prepare our hearts and minds for the days leading us to Good Friday and, finally, the celebration of Easter on the other side of the Lenten season. The music heard will reflect this time of introspection.

We strive for diversity of style and mood in the music we offer as we endeavor to enrich each worship experience. Ours is an open and affirming church. You are welcome. You are important to us. We look forward to sharing this Lenten time with you.

Peace be with you.

Grace Bardsley, Director of Music

Connect With Grace


Mission accomplished...

Thanks to 60 member/families who have pledged $196,000 to date for this year’s Stewardship Campaign, we have exceeded our stretch goal of $190,000. This is also a nice increase over last year’s results which at the same time reflected 52 members/families pledging $161,000. The increase is primarily due to nearly half our pledgers increasing their pledges from last year and a great response from our new members. We should all be proud as the results reflect the growing and vibrant congregation we enjoy. Let us all look forward to an engaging and joyful 2023. 


Pete Connolly, Stewardship Ministry Chair

Connect With Pete


Planet earth with some clouds. Americas view. Elements of image  like cloud map_ world map_ etc  are furnished by NASA and the sphere with added bump is created in Photoshop CS6 Extended.

Sunday School update...

Our Illustrated Earth Sunday School curriculum has resumed. Each week we feature an environmental-themed Bible story and do a craft together. All kids are welcome to participate. Please see the sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall to volunteer or contact me directly. Our Nursery is also up and running on an as-needed basis. If you would like nursery services, please contact Lori in the week leading up to Sunday. 

Katherine Brito, Christian Education Ministry Chair

Connect With Katherine


Food, fellowship & laughs...

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Congregational Life dinners which took place on January 21, either as a host or as a guest. The buzz is that everyone had a wonderful time with great food and abundant laughter! Special thanks to our hosts: Mary and Dan Roach; Ann McLaughlin; Barb and Chip Braulick; Susannah and Mark Lesswing; and Kristen and Chris Thornton. There are already plans in the works for a second dinner later this year.

Diane Dippner, Congregational Life Ministry Chair

Connect With Diane


Stupefied secret dark skinned woman makes gesture quietly_ asks remain silent_ gossips about something_ looks mysteriously as tells secret_ wears bright yellow t shirt_ stands indoor. Shh_ dont speak


Congregational Life invites you to participate in our Lenten season Secret Saints activity—an activity providing a fun means of connecting with one another while keeping identities secret until the Easter reveal. This is our third year doing it!


How it works:

Participants sign up with the understanding that matches will be made randomly among those joining in. Ideally, we’d love people to sign up to be both a giver and a receiver. We often hear that it is “better to give than to receive” but in order to experience the joy of giving it is important to remember that as a receiver we provide that opportunity for the giver. However, we realize that might not be convenient for everyone. So if you’d like to sign up to just be a receiver that is ok as well. Or if you prefer to just be a ‘giver’ that works too. We just want as many to participate as possible. Everyone had such fun last year when we did it.


Anonymously written cards or notes, home baked goodies, or small tokens of friendship are among suggestions of ways for Secret Saints to acknowledge their match. We ask that if Secret Saints choose to purchase something, the cost remain in the $5-$10 range. A once-a-week gesture is suggested but it is up to each individual participant. It’s open to all ages to participate.


For anyone who wishes to have an anonymous delivery made, we will provide that service once a week either as a pickup in the church office or by calling to make arrangements for pick up at your place of residence. It is our sincere wish that we have established parameters which will allow for ALL to participate.


Sign up Deadline Wednesday, February 15

Contact either the Church Office or Diane Dippner if you'd like to participate.

You will be notified of your match prior to Ash Wednesday, along with their address.

Sign-Up With Diane
Sign-Up With Office


Glow in the Light of Christ...

As my parents used to say to me "if at first you don't succeed try try again!" A big thank you to Wilkins Construction for getting our steeple lights up and running for both the New Year and for the weeks of Epiphany. As Pastor Larry has mentioned in several of his recent services the real and sometimes perceived lack of light in these long winter months can certainly be a challenge. Many of you have mentioned how happy it has made you to see the Steeple lit up once again, it is a visible reminder that we can all glow and grow in the Light of Christ. 


The Facilities Ministry continues to work on tending to the day-to-day needs of our beautiful church. The carpets in the sanctuary, parish hall, and offices were all recently cleaned, and the furnaces have been serviced.


Much time was spent in the past month researching and preparing the Budget for 2023. The Facilities Ministry is the largest budget expense of the Church hence the need to carefully review our ongoing expenses along with incorporating funds for projects identified for 2023. If anyone has any questions regarding the budget or suggestions for items that need our attention, please give me a call or drop me a note. 


Wishing you all a light filled month of February. 

Julie Graham, Facilities Ministry Chair

Connect With Julie


Loving back...

We’ve had many visitors lately, it’s so exciting. A big thank you to everyone who have extended a cordial greeting. When you greet a visitor, please invite them to fellowship and perhaps, walk them back to Parish Hall. Sometimes visitors are shy. I find walking a visitor to fellowship is fun and helpful to all and an opportunity for 'Meet and Greets.' We, as a church, have so much to offer, let’s continue to spread our good news!


This week as I was reading through our archives, and I found the following excerpt from a member who wrote in BTW in 1985 that I wanted to share with you, which remains 28 years later! It read, “Why do I love the Little Home Church? Because it loves back. Along with the joys and happiness we share with each other, there are griefs and sorrows we must help each other face. But there is a lot of comfort in knowing there are so many who care so much.”


If you have someone who might be interested in learning more about LHC, please never hesitate to let me know. A big thanks to all!

Please keep in touch with our Committee.

Carol Berger, Evangelism Ministry Chair

Committee Members: Mary Emily Anhalt, Grace Bardsley, Lori Haseltine, Jennifer Harmon, Ann McLaughlin, Mary Roach, and Rose Wade

Connect With Carol


Save the Date! Friday, May 19 'Grateful Gifts'

Dunham Woods Riding Club

Wayne, Illinois 60184

> Fine Dining

> Musical Entertainment

> Silent & Live Auction

> Major Prize Raffle

Grateful Gifts Committee:

Emily Miller, Chairperson; Kit DeWitt; Julie Graham; Kathleen Sullivan Kaska;

Susannah Lesswing; and Andrea Redmond

Connect With Emily

Grateful Gifts Silent Auction


The Grateful Gifts Silent Auction committee is looking for donations. Please consider providing one or more of the following:

—Themed baskets (example: Movie Night basket) Ideally valued over $50 each

—Items that can be placed in baskets (example: gift cards to embellish baskets, items valued over $20 each)

—Baskets and Cellophane Wrap

—Experiences: airline tickets, destination trips, use of condo/second home etc.

—Stand-alone items to auction (higher valued pieces over $100 to be considered for grand raffle)

Any questions, please contact Susannah Lesswing or Kit DeWitt. Thank You for your help!

Connect With Susannah
Connect With Kit


Spring IS coming...(after the snow)

The early bird gets the worm, so get that worm with an order from the annual Plant Sale, to be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, and sponsored by Sisters in Spirit. As in years past we will offer numerous annuals in flats, individual pots and planters, along with herbs, veggies, and strawberries. Weather permitting, we will also be offering hardy perennials fresh from our own gardens. If you have plants that need dividing, we may be able to help you dig.

Click Here for the Order Form

Please share the Order Form and plant sale information with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and any of the other plant-loving saints you meet on life’s path. SPECIAL NOTE: You must order at least 2 plants for each type of veggie, herb, or strawberries ordered.

Orders are due to the church office on Monday, March 13.

The sale and pick-up date is Saturday, May 6, from 1- 3 pm.

Contact Anne Bouchard for assistance or if you need additional information. 

Connect With Anne


You're invited...

Members of SiS, all LHC women, and friends are invited to join a Women’s Retreat on Saturday, February 18, sponsored by First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, 535 Forest Avenue, Glen Ellyn, 630-469-3096. The retreat is titled Resilient Woman, and will run from 9 am – 3:30 pm. The cost is $20.

Here is a summary of the planned content:

If you’re interested in building relationships, sharing stories, exploring your legacy, and connecting with your faith, this will be a safe space to do just that. We’ll explore the stories of resilient women of the Bible, in addition to contemporary women, and learn how their stories relate to ours and how they can make a difference in our lives.


Click Here to Register 

For more information contact Amy Stout (773-680-8993) or our own Anne Bouchard

Connect With Anne


Collection begins...

We are celebrating MARDI BRA! And we are excited to participate for the fourth year in a row. 'Mardi Bra' is an Outreach initiative where we collect new and very gently used bras during the time leading up to our Fat Sunday worship service. The bras are then donated to an organization, Free the Girls. They work with women who are survivors of sex trafficking in developing countries. These bras provide women an ability to earn a safe income selling them in a second-hand marketplace.

Ladies, please consider going through your drawers and donating your VERY gently used bras, or check out the clearance rack at a nearby store to pick up some new bras. Men, you can check out those clearance racks as well! We also accept financial donations which can help the organization offset some of their international shipping costs to the various countries.

In order to have the bras in time for the service, please drop them off at the LHC office by February 28. We plan to celebrate 'Mardi 'Bra' on Sunday, February 19 with a worship service filled with lively New Orleans style Mardi Gras music that Grace is planning!

So tell your friends and family...collect those bras...and 'Let the good times roll!' Contact the Church Office if you have any questions.

Connect With Lori


Book_ Reading_ Bible.

Wednesdays, 10 am

In person & via Zoom

The Wednesday Bible Study continues a method of exploring scripture known as Lectio Divina. The class began in January and will end as Lent begins. By examining the effect of selected scriptures on a person’s faith journey, the class will discover the spirit inspired meaning found in scripture. There is no outside preparation involved. Please bring your Bibles to each class. The premise of Lectio Divina is to hear the words of scripture as they are spoken, to concentrate on the effect of the words spoken, and to explore how scripture affects our understanding of the Bible. Rev. Jonathan Hutchison will lead this session.


During Lent, the Wednesday group will concentrate on how Christians prepare themselves for the joyful conclusion of Lent as the church celebrates Easter morning. Pastor Larry will be coordinating these class sessions.

This has been a great group participating both in person and via Zoom and they would love to have you join preparation is necessary!

Click here for Zoom link

Meeting ID: 883 5425 6478

Passcode: biblestudy

Click for Zoom Link


LHC Book Club—Via Zoom

Meets 3rd Thursday, 7 pm

Next Meeting—February 16

The selection for February is The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict. A powerful book based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist, Hedy Lamarr. The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece that celebrates the many women in science who history has overlooked.

Click here for Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 891 0088 0154

password: bookclub

Click here for the 2023 Book List

Click for Zoom Link


Congregational Life Ministry...

As Christians, one of the most powerful privileges of our spiritual life is the invitation to feel God’s grace and presence through ongoing prayer. Believing in the power of individual prayer, a prayer offered up by many becomes even more powerful. With that thought in mind, Congregational Life Ministry is happy to be introducing the inauguration of an email Prayer Chain to support the spiritual life of the members and friends of Little Home Church.

Diane Dippner, Congregational Life Ministry Chair

To Make a Prayer Request: Click Here



Click HERE to Join the Prayer Chain


Joyful progress...

Whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, the sun is shining for the Joyful Team and our progress on the Wayne Community House (WCH).

In late January, the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Village of Wayne reapproved the building code variances originally granted in 2021 which had expired before we began construction. The Village Board will (hopefully) agree with those reapprovals at their monthly meeting in February, clearing the way for a building permit.

A similar process has been followed with our loan application to the UCC Cornerstone Fund. Without a construction contract, we could not sign the first loan commitment letter by the December 8, 2022, deadline. Our loan rate has increased slightly to 5.5%—fixed for the first five years -- with interest only payments for the first year while construction is ongoing.

At the end of January we received bids from 6 firms interested in the WCH project. We were thrilled with the interest in the job, but not as thrilled with the bid amounts, all of which exceeded our hoped-for budget of $700,000. That said, we are neither defeated nor deterred in our Joyful work!

We anticipate a trifecta approach to 'getting to Yes!' First, we are actively investigating opportunities to 'value engineer' the project while holding on to our dreams for a fantastic new building. We are connecting with the two lowest bidders to find elements in the plans that could be scaled back, reconfigured, or eliminated to bring costs down. Second, we are looking at our finances: is there an existing church account to tap for a contribution? Can we, as individual and family congregation members provide additional donations? Third, we are considering an appeal to the wider community, who will share the WCH with us as future beneficiaries. Might the public be able to help close the gap?

Your prayers are welcome and hoped for as always. Know that your Joyful Team is committed to fulfilling our plans for the WCH, and for bringing our mission: Sharing our Home, to fruition. 

'Joyful, Joyful, We Restore Thee' Committee:

Anne Bouchard, Chairperson; Steve Anhalt; Larry Dieffenbach; Kit DeWitt; Bob Kaska; 

Kathleen Sullivan Kaska; Susannah Lesswing; and Susi Winquist

Connect With Anne


Cute dog with party hat and birthday cake

Feb 3 - Debra Galloway, Mary Sterner

Feb 5 - Jen Haseltine

Feb 9 - Donna Voigtmann

Feb 11 - Lewis Okey

Feb 13 - Carol Berger

Feb 14 - Leigh Bechet, Ruth Lishamer,

Lori Prang, Connor Walsh

Feb 15 - Brian Martisauski

Feb 17 - Grace Bardsley

Feb 19 - Maizy Soukup

Feb 20 - Clara Brito

Feb 21 - Andrea Redmond

Feb 23 - Joshua Winquist

Feb 26 - Frank Muno

Feb 27 - Jamie Casey

Feb 28 - Glen Galloway


Time to sign up!

A simple way to give the gift of your time and enhance our worship experience at the same time is by signing up to be an Usher or a Pulpit Associate! We have upcoming openings this winter where we can use your help! It's easy and appreciated. Our Fellowship coffee time after worship is in full swing. Consider hosting one Sunday. You provide the goodies, we provide the coffee and tea. You can also check out the flower sign up sheet to provide Flowers one Sunday to decorate our altar table. The sign up sheets are up in the Parish Hall. If you have any questions, just contact the Church Office.

Click for USHER/PULPIT ASSOC Sign-up
Click for FELLOWSHIP Sign-up
Click for FLOWERS Sign-Up


To those recently ill or hospitalized...

Nancy Alex; Cristina Kalomaris; Carli Zelaitis; Rev. Ron Purser; Ruth Lishamer; Janice Christiansen; Ray Prang; Tommy Napier; Maureen O'Donnell; Ned (Sharon Bergland's cousin); Colby; Lotje and her mother; People of Ukraine; and those affected by gun violence

Thank you for continuing to remember

Little Home Church by the Wayside.

Your support is greatly needed and appreciated.


Pastor - Larry Dieffenbach

Pastor Emeritus - Rev. Ronald Purser

Director of Music - Grace Bardsley

Office Manager - Lori Prang

Organist/Pianist - Nick Metzger

BTW Editors

Lori Prang and Kathleen Sullivan Kaska

Graphic Design

Kathleen Sullivan Kaska


Moderator - Susannah Lesswing

Moderator-elect - Emily Miller

Christian Education - Katherine Brito

Congregational Life - Diane Dippner

Evangelism - Carol Berger

Facilities - Julie Graham

Outreach - Andrea Redmond & Mary Fleischmann

Stewardship - Peter Connolly

Worship & Spiritual Growth - Jane Shelton & Sharon Bergland

Members at Large - Jen Haseltine & Kit DeWitt

Financial Treasurer - Susi Winquist

Financial Secretary - Ann McLaughlin

Clerk - Kristen Thornton




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