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August 18, 2016

Kick Off Sunday and Annual Picnic
We'll be kicking off the new year on Sunday, September 11 with a fun filled picnic and activities for all ages immediately after worship on the Sixth Avenue lawn. Get this on your calendar so you don't miss out on the fun!  

Confirmation launches @ 2:30 p.m.! All registrations are due by August 22nd.    
Flat Jesus 
Flat Jesus takes another trip!  
You are all invited to take a cutout of Flat Jesus, color and decorate him, and take him with you throughout the summer, sending pictures and stories back to the church via Facebook (tag the church!), email, or drop them by the office. We'll print photos and put them on the bulletin board in the Office corridor. Please keep your photos coming. We're enjoy seeing them!

Pew Cushion Repair Volunteers

Are you tired of hard pews and numb bottoms?  Want to enjoy some comfort that will help you to concentrate more fully on Carly's sermons?  Then come join us on Saturday mornings starting September 10th from 9am-12pm in the Founders Room for an upholstering party!
We are recovering the old pew pads with new, cushy foam and fabric.  We have 145 pads to recover and need all the help we can get.  Remember, many hands make light work!  Any age from Junior High and up is needed.
If anyone has an electric staple gun and would be willing to bring it or let us borrow it, that would be greatly appreciated.  We can also use manual staple guns.
Please sign up online or in the church office if you are able to give us some of your time.

Any questions, contact Debbie Llewellyn (708-602-0070) or Jan Ceranek  (708-784-3482)
Safe Church/Boundary Training - September 25
All volunteers and staff who work with and around children in the church are required to complete Safe Church and Boundary Training annually. The session is offered twice every year: in September and February. If you are a teacher, Messy Church volunteer, mentor, or youth leader, please register for training as soon as possible. Please sign up on clipboard during fellowship hour.
October 1 - Exploring Communion
Who can possibility understand the mystery that is the Lord's Supper? And yet the table celebration is deeply meaningful to us regardless of our age. In the Tradition of the Congregational Church, we welcome everyone to the table for communion. Since every family is different, we emphasize that each family and each person determines what is right for them: some parents choose to encourage their children to take communion; others wait until the child is a teenager and goes through confirmation/baptism classes.
Individuals and families who would like to explore the multiple layers of meaning of communion are invited to a 2 hour, hands on, multi-sensory workshop on October 1 from
10 a.m. to noon
. While we make bread and squeeze grapes, we will learn from where the tradition comes, what it might mean for each of us, and how we might participate in the common table.

This event is open to all, and is free. Reservations are required, however. Please sign up using the paper sign up sheet in the Opportunities corner at fellowship hour. The online sign-up will be available through Access soon.
Flowers For The Altar

Check your calendar and think about those special dates this year you could celebrate with altar flowers! You might like to celebrate a special occasion, honor a dear person, or maybe you'd just enjoy seeing live flowers on the altar. To reserve a Sunday, sign up at Fellowship Hour or contact the office. Dates are first-come, first-serve, so reserve early!

Below are a list of dates available through the end of 2016:  
September 25th
October 16th
October 23rd
October 30th
November 20th
December 4th
December 11th 
Air Conditioning Work update 

Work on the air conditioning system for the sanctuary continues at a slow pace. The wooden grilles on each side of the front of the sanctuary have been removed and are being stored in the Founder's room awaiting a recovering process. Over the next 4-5 weeks, work will continue on the installation of air conditioning equipment. The diffusers will arrive on September 13 and will be installed soon thereafter. During this time, there will be scaffolding erected in the sanctuary which may require relocation of our worship services to the chapel. Targeted completion of the air conditioning work is September 20.

Work continues on other project efforts in the Founder's room. The Request for Quotation has been completed and will be circulated for comment. Quotes are also being solicited for the repair and painting of the Founder's Room ceiling. Quotes have also been solicited for the carpet replacement in the Founder's Room.

At this point, we are waiting to see which of these projects will be funded. It all depends on the final cost of the air conditioning project. To date it looks as though there will be enough money to do the ceiling work, kitchen remodeling and Founder's Room carpet.

Jerry Palmer
Project Coordinator
Amazon Smile

Here's an easy way to give back to FCCLG! When you shop on Amazon, use and choose First Congregational Church of La Grange as your charity. Amazon then donates 0.5% of your purchase back to FCCLG.  
Saturday Meals Needs Your Help! 
The Saturday Meals Program is a ministry of our congregation that serves anyone who would like to share a hot meal. We have a variety of people who we serve: Elderly residents who choose to gather with friends, families who appreciate not having to cook a meal on the weekend, homeless men and women, people who are one paycheck away from being destitute, and church members who enjoy the company around the table. During the fall, winter, and spring, we serve a hot breakfast, a homemade and nutritious hot noon time dinner, and pack a light evening meal to send home with those who choose it.

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.
Messy Church
Messy Church will be Sunday, September 4th at 4:30. Our theme this month will be Abraham and Sarah. Come and have a great time and support our youth. See you there! Click here for our flyer! 
4:30-5:15pm: Crafts and Stories  
5:15-5:30pm: Celebration  
5:30-6:00: Dinner 
6:00-7:00: Yzal/Zackleys   
A big thank you to Susan Fagan and Renee Bryant for cleaning and organizing our craft closet! It looks amazing!
Tweet Home La Grange! Bid on our Birdhouse!! 

Heather Leininger painted a beautiful bird house and peace pole to represent our congregation in the La Grange Business Association annual Art Project. Now, YOU can bid to own it! All proceeds from the sale will go to the First Congregational Church!  To get to your opportunity to bid,   click here. The Live Auction is taking place Saturday, September 17 @
6 pm
at the Stone Ave station.
Confirmation Mentors Needed:
This Fall we are looking for 6 - 8 adults to mentor our youth.  Mentors are adults who are not related to the youth who will walk along side as we all journey into a deeper understanding of the faith.  Necessary qualities include:
  • An openness to explore your faith and grow it; 
  • A willingness to admit you don't have all the answers but will seek understanding alongside others on the journey;
  • An ability to ask and be asked hard questions;
  • Availability of 2 hours per month from September through May to spend conferencing with students, other mentors, and pastoral leadership (these will happen mostly on the first Sunday of the month);
  • Completion of Safe Church Boundary Training before November 1 (offered every Fall) with background check.
If you feel the tug of God on your sleeve to step out in faith into this role, please contact Carly.   
Serving at FCCLG
- Bring in treats of your choice and serve beverages and snacks after worship 
- Proclaim the scripture to the congregation during Sunday service
- 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!
- Pick up the Saturday Meals Program laundry outside the kitchen after worship and return it clean before next Saturday
Attend the Nursery during worship on Sunday
Fall Music Information!
Music for All Ages!
At FCCLG there is an ensemble for everyone.  All ensembles and programs are open to the larger community, so invite a friend or neighbor to check us out.  Several families and individuals have become members or regular church attenders by starting with an ensemble!
Chancel Choir rehearsal begins on Thursday, September 1 at 7:30pm in the Choir Room.  Membership is open to all singers, high-school on up.  All voice parts are needed, particularly, sopranos, altos, tenors and basses.  Not sure where you fit in?  Ryan will help you figure that out.  All new choir members are offered two free voice coachings with Ryan.  
Carillon Handbell Choir rehearsal begins on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:30pm.    Anyone high-school and up is welcome.  Previous ringing experience is not required, however, basic music reading is helpful (counting is the big thing!).  We need both regular ringers and those who would like to sub in from time to time. 
Ring 'n Sing It's back and it does what the name suggests.  We sing.  And, we ring.  Sometimes at the same time.  Children in 1st-8th grades are welcome to join the fun.  Rehearsals begin on September 18 from 11:15-11:45am.  This program is great for introducing new families to our great youth programming.
Treble Choir:
An extension of Ring n' Sing, this ensemble is designed for children in 3rd grade and up.  The focus is on voice development, music reading and singing more challenging music.  Normally we meet right after Ring n' Sing from 11:45am-12:15pm.  However, our first rehearsal will be combined with Ring n' Sing on September 18 from 11:15-11:45am.

Samuel Dewese Recital
Dear FCCLG family,
I came to FCCLG through my wonderful friends, the Burke family, at the age of six. I began my musical journey here, with instrumental music lessons in the First Conservatory. From Wacky Wednesdays (where I sang my first solo) all the way through Zackleys, I've stayed close to this church as I've grown. In my time at FCCLG, I've frequently had the pleasure of singing as a soloist and have always felt both welcome and encouraged to let my artistry and voice grow within this community. 

In September of this year I will begin studies at the Royal College of Music, London, working toward a masters degree in vocal performance and opera. Before my departure, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to the people who have supported me as I've worked toward this dream.  

Along with the fantastic accompanist Myron Silberstein at the piano, I'd like to invite every member of the phenomenal FCCLG community to an afternoon recital, entitled Firsts and Favorites, at 2:00PM in the Sanctuary on the August 28th, 2016. The songs we'll perform include the first assignments I studied in both high school and college, some of the first arias I took on auditions, and a number of my favorite pieces from the vocal repertoire. Each has touched me in some way and remains a favorite after countless performances. Expect to hear songs, arias, and showtunes from the likes of Copland, Foster, Mozart, Schubert, and many others.

Please join us for a joyful (and surely emotional) hour-ish of music, presented in thanks to this amazing community which has helped to foster the growth of a young singer as he embarks on a career abroad. Bonus: recital food! We'll have a light reception immediately following the performance.  
Sincerely, Samuel Dewese
First Conservatory has a new website!  Check us out at
St. Barbara's Food Pantry Collection 
This month St. Barbara's is especially in need of  t he following: peanut butter and jelly. Other nonperishable foods are appreciated as well. Thank you for your support!

Harvest Home dinner   
You can make Harvest Home a success! Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 16th at 6:30 pm and plan to attend the annual Harvest Home Dinner. Want to lend a hand? Sign up in the office to help prepare or serve food.  
Back Bay Mission Trip  
The Back Bay Mission Trip will be October 15 - 17, 2017. This is an opportunity to serve our UCC Mission partner with construction, food pantry, soup kitchen, and day shelter while growing in faith through devotions and fellowship. To join the mission trip, contact Bobbie Nunez.
Touch List 

Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
We lament the loss of innocent lives to fear, hatred, and bigotry in Baton Rouge, Chicago, Dallas, Minnesota, Nice, and Orlando.
Emil and Maria Balz, who are both in rehabilitation.
Our thoughts are with LuAnn Hall's niece Jessica.
Bert Happel, Jim Happel's brother.
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.
Thoughts and prayers for the Palmers' neighbor's brother, wife and newborn son, who need to gain strength and weight.
Thank you for all the well wishes for Helen Pancner, Viola Clayton's daughter, who is now cancer-free.
Jennifer Powers as she deals with health issues.
Thoughts and prayers for Fred Weiss, who is recovering at home.
Hooks And Needles

The knitting and crocheting ministry meets in ho mes
this summer at 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Mon d ays, June through August. It is a fun time to relax and sip le mon ade while working on lap blankets and prayer shawls. Please join us on August 22nd at Margaret Melkonian's home. All are welcome.  
Blooming Where You're Planted
If you can't make it to the FCCLG Women's Retreat, or you want to attend a bigger one, your opportunity to do so is on September 30. Click  here for the two-sided flyer/registration form for the Illinois Conference 6t h Annual Women's Retreat. Register no later than September 23rd. 
Summer Worship in the Chapel   

Due to construction in the Sanctuary, our Sunday services in August will take place in the Chapel.