In This Issue
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April 27, 2017

Grace and peace to you from Carly, called to be prophet, preacher, teacher, and trainer among the saints, sinners, tired, and working of La Grange and beyond.
               Base Pace. Push. All Out. These are the words I hear in the mornings as a coach at the gym tells us the routine for the workouts. The terms refer to heart rate zones and how fast my heart is beating while I'm on the treadmill or rower. Up on the screen, the background color under my name tells me where I am: Gray - resting, Blue - Moderate Activity, Green - Base Pace, Orange - Push, Red - All Out. Since the gym is all about working out, we focus on the last three. The goal is to spend at least 12 minutes of the hour in the orange and red zones. I'm a bit of an over doer (really?) and my personal goal is to spend at least 24 minutes in that zone each time I work out.
That's fine for the gym and for an hour a day. It is not healthy to stay at that "Push" or "All Out" rate all day. It would be crazy to even try. Everyone and each body needs a time of rest and renewal, to re-tool and recharge.
               The same is true for the Body of Christ. Most of the time, we often operate at blue zone of moderate activity: the weekly schedule of Sunday School, worship, and fellowship. We get into the green zone when we throw in choir and bell rehearsals, meetings, fellowship groups, book club, or Messy Church. We take it up a notch into the Push range when we join a ministry team or committee, or in the weeks when we have special activities - fund raisers, holiday additions of activity, work trips, fellowship events. And, in the last 3 years we've had a couple of All Outs: a flooded church basement twice in 3 weeks, last minute preparations for renters, a huge clean - out of space, a long term remodeling project. This is a healthy balance for a congregation.
               When we factor in all the changes that have been made in the last 5 years at FCCLG, all the changes that continually happen in the community and world around us, and the adjustments we've made to adapt to these changes, we have spent a lot of time in the Push zone lately.
               We need our "workouts" with the base pace, pushes and all outs. But we also need our gray and blue zones. We need to take intentional time to just let it rest. If we don't take time to "walk it out," we will burn out - or worse, we will get hurt. Rest while still moving is important to the Body of Christ.
               Jesus did some intentional base pace time too. He took time to go off by himself and pray, to be alone with God, or just to get away from the crowds. In the blue and green zones, he regenerated himself, and retooled his mind for the coming challenges. Jesus' ultimate grey zone was between Good Friday and Easter morning. He did not just sit and do nothing in this time; he prepared for what was to come on Easter and following.
               Traditionally at FCCLG, the summers are our when the church schedule operates in the gray and blue zones and members recharge and retool. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, our Sunday attendance drops in half as many in our congregation spend weekends at summer homes, or doing activities that take them away from church activities. This is healthy and normal so long as we continue to feed our spirits, keep our souls in shape, and be ready for the Push that comes in late August.
               So what will you do to stay in good Spiritual shape this summer? Will you worship in churches near your weekend destinations? Make a goal of reading the Bible every day? Pray for each of the people on our Touch list each day? Will you look for the face of God in the faces and hearts of the strangers you meet in your travels? Will you do random acts of kindness for people who least deserve them? Or maybe you will make peace with a long time enemy.
Where ever the travels of your base pace take you, I wish you Godspeed.

Convergence Leadership Project    

FCCLG will be part of a number of congregations who will be intentionally growing leaders who are equipped to bring the church into the future. 

With the blessing of the John Biegert Lecture Fund,  we'll be a part of a nationwide program to stretch, grow, and shape leaders of the church.  And you are invited to be a part of the class of student leaders!

The Convergence Leadership Project is a regional and national ecumenical program to train and equip the saints of the church for ministry in our ever-changing times.  We will be a part of three symposiums that will bring together a faculty of leading edge Christian thinkers and trainers who will help you and our congregation to lead and thrive in the current world.  We will host the third of these symposiums at FCCLG.

The goals of the Convergence Leadership Project are to  
  • develop stronger, more confident, more energized leaders
  • help the church to be a unified, aligned, and alive witness to God's extravagant love
  • help lay leaders and staff grow stronger as a team, get more done, while enjoying the work
  • allow each of us to work, learn, dialogue, and dream with leading Christian thinkers, trainers, and change agents
  • help the church to provide a progressive, contemplative, Christian witness to our community
You will hear more about the details in the coming weeks.  For now, please set aside these dates.  All events will be on Friday evenings and Saturday days.    
  • May 19-20: Being Church in Dangerous Times--satellite participation
  • August 18-19: Seizing the Moment--satellite participation
  • October 27-29: In every Crisis there's an Opportunity--hosted by FCCLG! 

Messy Church

Messy Church will be this Sunday, May 7th at 4:30 pm. Our theme this month will be The Story of Ruth. Come and have a great time and grow in faith and in your love of others on the journey. See you there!  Click here for the flyer! 
4:30-5:15pm: Crafts and Stories  
5:15-5:30pm: Celebration  
5:30-6:00: Dinner  
Children and Youth News   

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.


The Zackleys will be selling water during the Pet Parade again this year! We will accept donated cases of bottled water in the office.

The Zackleys will be taking their annual Boundary Waters trip July 22-30, 2017. All registration forms with deposit are due on June 11. Some financial aid is available if you contact Sylvia before June 1st. Click   here for the information packet!
Music Opportunity 

Summer Musical Camp 
Each year children in 1st-8th grades come together to learn, memorize, and perform a musical based on stories from the bible in just one week! Save the date - this year's camp is July 31st - August 4th.
  Health Resources 

The FCCLG website now has mental health and substance abuse resources and services guides. Click here for the FCCLG website. This is a simple but comprehensive guide to obtain services. Please feel free to share this information. Brochures can be found in the Church Office and at the Sanctuary entrance.
Thank You

To everyone who pitched in and made Work Day 2017 a success...

Laurie Braun 
Erin and Adrienne Bryant 
Chris and Renee Bryant 
Claudia Byrne 
Kathy and Mike Donaldson 
Jim Happel 
Chris, Olivia, Atticus, and Elliot Hein 
John Hoo 
Dick Lauterbach 
Dawn Mackie 
John and Jan Moellmann 
Sheri Ries 
Marie Roche 
Erik Sander
Dan Sather 
FCCLG Church Calendar 

May 14 will be "Ask the Question Sunday." Inste ad 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.

We will discuss Hershey: Milton S. Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams by Michael D'Antonio tonight, April 27th at 7:30 pm in the chapel conference room. "If it's a rule that behind every great fortune lies a great crime, M. S. Hershey was the exception," Micha el D'Antonio writes in this thorough and highly readable biography of the candy magnate. "He was the good millionaire." You may be able to guess the flavor of snacks we will serve on this evening!

ADULT EDUCATION: A Day in the Ancient Mediterranean
This two-part Sunday morning series led by Charlie Cosgrove is a trip of the imagination into the ancient world of the earliest Christians. Please join us from 8:30-9:15 in the Drawing Room this Sunday, April 30 and again on May 7. Prior to the April 30 meeting, attendees are invited to read a short novella called A Day in the Ancient Mediterranean. Click here for a link to the novella or pick up a copy in the office. This will be the basis for conversation on April 30. On May 7 we will look at a scene in The Gospel of Luke in light of our "day in the ancient Mediterranean." Those who cannot attend are also welcome to a copy of the story.

Hooks and Needles meets in the Family Room off the Chapel on all but the first Monday of the month at 7:00 pm.
We make blankets for Project Linus and Still Missed along with prayer shawls, baby blankets and prayer squares for the church. Please join us in this valuable ministry. Beginners are welcome; we would love to teach you to knit or crochet. Email Linda Lauterbach or call the church office at 708-352-0800 if you need a code to get into the building.

BEDS Plus Summer Volunteer Opportunities  
BEDS Plus is again 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. Clients must apply for transitional shelter  and comply with the same rules that apply during the regular season. Priority is given to those who are employed and those waiting for permanent supportive housing placement.  The shelter will rotate to a new church each week from June 4 through August 12 (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.   The next training dates are May 8, 2017, and June 12, 2107 at First Presbyterian Church of La Grange.

Save the date and watch this space for coming news - the annual FCCLG Women's Retreat will be August 12th and 13th this year. Back again to Diamond Lake! Plans are in the works.

Share, learn, and grow on the Gulf Coast at the UCC's Back Bay Mission while meeting the urgent needs of those suffering from poverty and building pathways to social justice. FCCLG members and friends will serve there October 15-21, 2017.
We have reserved a limited number of spots, so please indicate your interest by the end of April. Join us at a designated table at coffee hour following worship on April 23 and 30to address your questions.
At Back Bay we work on a variety of projects during the daytime then join other volunteers at the Mission House where we sleep and prepare our meals. A highlight for volunteers is attending an evening worship service at the local Missionary Baptist Church where we are warmly welcomed. Email Bobbie or call her at 708-354-3816.
Ministry Opportunities  

We are still in need of several talented individuals in our leadership roster. Please see available positions below.

     We need two members for the Ministry of Membership. This team oversees our hospitality and nurture of guests and creates a climate of church growth within the congregation. They help to orient and integrate new members. If you like to meet new people, enjoy being a host, or want to introduce others to the congregation, this is a great team to join.
     We need two members for the Nominations Committee. This team matches the gifts and graces of members with the various offices and ministries of the church. It meets in November and December only. If you enjoy talking to people -- even if only by phone -- and you'd like to get to know the gifts and graces of others, this is a great match for you. 
      The Ministry of Education is in need of one member for a three year term.  The Ministry of Education meets once a month. It is responsible for the education of the children, youth and adults of the church. It envisions, plans, coordinates and executes a stimulating program of Christian education, youth groups, Messy Church, and coordinates the Nursery during weekly worship.  
     Anyone interested in any of these seven roles - whether a member or not - should contact JoAnne Konkle or Pastor Carly.
Click here  for the Updated Roster!
Fellowship Opportunities

READY TO PLAY BRIDGE? The church bridge group is beginning to play for the season. We always have room for more players. You are welcome no matter your level of play. We play once a month at a time mutually arranged between the two teams playing each other. If you have a partner, all the better. If not, we will see if we can find you a partner. If you are interested in playing, email Doris Bryant or call at 708-352-3034.
Service Opportunities

Please sign up for the following opportunities during Fellowship Hour in the Founders' Room. You can also call the church office at 708-352-0800! We'd be happy to sign you up!

Fellowship Hour

- Bring in treats of your choice and serve beverages and snacks after worship 
- Proclaim the scripture to the congregation during Sunday service
Flower Delivery
- Deliver the donated altar flowers to home-bound church members after worship
- Arrive at 9:30 am, pass out programs, collect the offering
-Arrive at 9:45 am, wear your name tag, smile!
Laundry Superheros 
- Pick up the Saturday Meals Program laundry outside the kitchen after worship and return it clean before next Saturday
Nursery Attendants 
- Attend the Nursery during worship on Sunday
Audio Visual Technicians -- training available! 
- Run the cameras as we transmit our services to Plymouth Place and then upload them to the web
The Saturday Meals Program is a ministry of our congregation that serves anyone who would like to share a hot meal.

There are two shifts of volunteer service available each Saturday:

Breakfast set up and serving is from 8 to 10 a.m. Breakfast volunteers cut and plate pastries, serve hot food to guests in a buffet line, run the dishwasher, make sandwiches and pack brown bag suppers for distribution after lunch.

Lunch set up and serving is from 10:45 to 1 p.m. Lunch volunteers plate desserts, serve hot foods to guests in a buffet line, run the dishwasher, and wipe down tables and chairs following the meal.

Email Volunteer Coordinator JoAnne Konkle for information.
  We are collecting canned vegetables for the Second Baptist Food Pantry in April. If you forget what to buy, any nonperishable grocery item wo uld be appreciated.  
FCCLG Fundraising 
Here's an easy way to give back to FCCLG! When you shop on Amazon, use and choose First Congregational Church of La Grange UCC as your charity. Consider making your purchases through Amazon which donates 0.5% of your purchase back to FCCLG. Thank you for supporting us!


Text Giving  
Text FCCLG100 to 73256 to give using your text messaging. Click the link and complete your gift. Standard text messaging rates may apply.
Community Events and News 

COMMUNITY DANCE - Saturday, April 29th  
 First United Methodist Church of La Grange at 100 West Cossitt Avenue will be hosting a community dance. All are welcome, children and adults, to come and dance at 4pm for the first hour, and at 5pm we will share in a potluck supper together.  Donation suggestion is $10 per person and $20 per family, to cover costs for the entertainment. Please click here for their event flyer!

ICN has many tools to assist job seekers, but we need your assistance to provide the most important element in a job search which is open positions. If you are a hiring manager or aware of open positions in your company, please email us this information. Any and all postings are welcome. ICN job seekers are at all stages of their career, in every industry, with a broad spectrum of education and experience. All job postings will be communicated to the over 400-member ICN Yahoo group.

Ideally it will be a WIN/WIN for your company and a qualified job seeker in your community. If you have any questions or for additional information you can also contact Judy Kennedy  at 708.352.8943 or Tom Rohan at 708.772.4231. Lastly, to learn more about ICN visit our website.
Touch List 

Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Ojo Adedji, seeking asylum in the U.S., whose court hearing has been postponed to June.

Emil and Maria Balz.

Renee Bryant's friend Melissa, diagnosed with breast cancer.

Prayers for the family of John Cepek, a former member who died on March 15th.

Prayers for Viola Clayton for strength and good mobility.

Fred Gonzalez, who is having heart surgery this week..

Joyce Hagen-McIntosh's nephew who is going through a challenging time.

Angie Crees, Olivia Hein's sister.

Ron Kloss, Janet Bednar's father.

Petra Palmer's granddaughter's friend Summer who is having chemotherapy for leukemia.

Prayers for Patricia Spencer for healing after breaking her arm in a fall.

Those living in fear and without hope, and those who use fear to control others.
UCC Quick Links  

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Into the Mystic: Listen to podcasts of the UCC General Minister, John Dorhauer, here.


Disaster Ministry Learn about the UCC's efforts and what you can do here