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January 19, 2017

Grace to you and peace from Carly, called to be a servant leader among and beside the saints of La Grange and beyond.

It is that time of year again when things change. Not only is there a major change happening in our nation, there is the annual change in the teams, ministries, and committees of our congregation. The change in Washington is by far more dramatic and noticeable than the one at the corner of South La Grange Road at Cossitt Avenue; but with all change, there is uncertainty, a lack of clarity, and the great unknown.

You will find here a link to your copy of the list of all committees, teams, ministries, and leaders of our congregation for the year 2017. All these leaders will be officially commissioned in worship on February 12.

There are a number of positions within the congregational leadership that have not as yet been filled. Part of our stewardship drive in 2016 was that we asked each member to complete a participation inventory. We will refer to these surveys as a means to identify individuals who might be good fits for the openings. If you know of someone who might be a good fit, please speak to JoAnne Konkle, our Volunteer Coordinator, so that we might follow through with recruiting them. As vacancies are filled in our leadership roster, the updated roster will be made available to all members through the Tidings.

In the middle of his ministry, Jesus made a major change in direction: he began a journey to Jerusalem to speak truth to seat of power. His purpose was clear: the leaders of his day were not leading Israel into the Realm of God but rather were adrift in the tides of the culture around them - and he was called to bring the vision of God's Realm, the hope of God's radical love, and the assurance of God's affinity for the poor and the oppressed.

May we each feel the draw of God's presence as we walk through these days of transition.

Children and Youth News   

On January 22nd, the Yzals and Zacklesy (Jr. High and High School) will gather at 5pm to help missions pack Church World Service Hygiene Kits. All are welcome to join! Pizza and drinks will be provided. CWS Kits are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped to families and communities in need around the world. In the face of natural disasters, violence, or grinding poverty, hygiene kits can mean the difference between sickness and health for struggling families.

YZALS AND ZACKLEYS (Junior High and High School)  
Who: A ll those 6th grade through 12th grade welcome! Parents welcome too!
February 11th meeting at 7 am. Please let Sylvia know if you will be going and how many friends you will be bringing. Reservationa and paperwork must be in by February 5th.
We will be meeting in the church parking lot and driving together to Grand Geneva
How Much:
Group of 15 or more:    
Area ticket $39
Area ticket & ski/snowboard rental $54
Group beginner ski or snowboard lesson $2
Helmet Rental $5  
*What is needed: a copy of Grand Geneva's Release of Liability Form and the Rental Form signed for each participant and payment, before the trip. Please call the church office for rental forms. We need to pay with one check and turn in all the forms at the same time. If you are paying by check, please make it out to First Congregational Church.
Messy Church

Messy Church will be on February 12th at 4:30. Our theme this month will be A New Start. 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  
Music News

Generosity of Spirit
On December 18, as part of the Children's Musical, an offering of service and good deeds was taken and posted on ornaments on a bulletin board tree. There are too many to list, but here is a sampling from our children:
"Make people feel good"
"Help people who don't have homes" 
"Help neighbors"
"Shovel snow for an elderly neighbor"
"Share with classmates"
"Bake cookies for neighbors"
"Not annoy my sister"

And from our adults:
Several: "Volunteer in Saturday Meals" 
"Volunteer tutor/work with children"
"Time, treasure and talent for boys and girls club"
"Volunteer in messy church and Sunday school"
"Pray for those affected by war"
"Contact reps on social issues"
"Serve on church committee"
"Contribute to the Equal Justice Initiative"
  Health Resources 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Resources 
As the result of Conversation Circles last May, the Ministry of Missions and Chris Hein developed a webpage of mental health and substance abuse resources for the FCCLG website. Please go to our church website and look at the rotating colored messages near the top of the page. Click on the purple one stating "Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out." We have tried to provide a simple but comprehensive guide to obtain services. Please feel free to share this information. We plan to share our webpage so that other churches in the community may also use it as a template. Thank you to all of the participants of Conversation Circles. This continues to be a very worthwhile project.

Fellowship Opportunities

Crockpot Sunday Luncheon - This Sunday January 22
Please join us for our annual Crockpot Sunday. We will meet in the dining room for a delicious lunch immediately following our worship service. If you are able, plan to bring a crockpot dish of your choice to share with others. The Ministry of Nurture will provide bread, drinks and desserts. It will be a time to visit, dine and welcome in the New Year.
Book Club
Evening Book Club will next meet on Thursday, March 9 at 7:30pm in the chapel conference room.  We will discuss "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline. Between 1854 and 1929 trains would carry orphaned and abandoned children from the east to new homes on the frontier.  This novel is the story of upheaval, resilience and second chances. 

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, contact Doris Bryant, 708-352-3034 or
Service Opportunities

- 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
Winter is here and the Property Committee needs your shovel! Everyone can help, even those who can't shovel - operating the snow throwers and salt spreaders are noble and essential tasks. Please email Erik Sander to volunteer at or click here to sign up.

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.
Thank you to everyone who helped fill the food pantry basket last week! Your donations are much needed and m uch appreciated. Check the specials this week and pick up a few items for the food pantry at Second Baptist. 
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 holiday purchases through Amazon which donates 0.5% of your purchase back to FCCLG. Thank you for supporting us!

Text FCCLG100 to 73256 to give using your text messaging. Click the link and complete your gift. Standard text messaging rates may apply.
FCCLG Church Calendar 

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. Call Linda Lauterbach or the church office if you need a code to get into the building.

Volunteers are needed for School and Tutors on Wheels Adult Literacy/ English as a Second Language program. It is a Ministry sponsored by the Congregation of St. Joseph of La Grange Park.  Tutors are asked to teach one hour or more per week, during the hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at locations in Addison, Bloomingdale, Brookfield, Cicero, Downers Grove, Lombard, Naperville, Summit or Woodridge.  
No prior second language skills are needed, however, it is necessary to attend a free two-day tutor training sessions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, February 11, and February 18, 2017, at the First Congregational Church of La Grange, in La Grange, IL. For further information call (630)217-0396, (630)248-9594 or visit our website at:
Click here for flyer!
Community Events  
Please join BEDS Plus on January 29th from 3-7pm for their
4th Annual Soup and Bread Event. Click here for more event details.

The First Baptist Church of La Grange will be holding their Inaugural Chili Cook Off on February 4, 2017. You can register online at 
Touch List 

Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Thoughts and prayers for the family and friends of Joyce Allen, who died on January 11th.
Emil and Maria Balz who are recovering at home.
Prayers for Erin Markus-Bryant's nephew Emmett, who is suffering from kidney failure.
Prayers for Renee Bryant's friend Melissa, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.
Dawn Daft, friend of Susan Schwall
The family and friends of Margaret Fieldhouse, who died on December 16th.
The family and friends of Vivienne Holt, who died on December 26th.
The family of Colin Harris, the Lauterbach's godson, as they deal with Sophia's paralysis and personality change after removal of her largest brain tumor.
Ron Kloss, Janet Bednar's father who is recovering from a fall.
Prayers for Joe Lucas who is in the hospital struggling with health issues.
Petra Palmer's granddaughter's friend Summer who is having chemotherapy for leukemia.
Jennifer Powers as she deals with health issues.
Rev. Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, Carly's friend, who is struggling through chemo half a world from home.
Thoughts and prayers for Faith Ullrich's brother-in-law Richard Storm, diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Victims of hatred and terror; and those seduced in to believing violence is the only option.
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