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July 21, 2016

To the Church in La Grange, at home and vacationing: Peace to you and grace from Carly, called to be a servant leader beside, among, and with you as we work together to bring God's Realm to Earth as it is in Heaven.

Last week we finished a seven week series on Being the Church. The focus was how we Be The Church in a changing time. We explored the difference between Going to Churc h, Doing Church, and Being the Church:
  • "Going to Church" is an event where you show up and receive something. When we "go to church," we ask, "what's in it for me and what can I get out of this experience." "Church" is a place where you go to be moved, to be entertained, to receive inspiration for the rest of the week, or guidance, or maybe just to feel like you're an okay person by having been there. Going to church is an event  .
  • "Doing Church" is usually a list of programs that define for us what a church is. If the list isn't complete in a congregation, we can't "Do church" because the church isn't complete. Church is about having all the right things going on for all the right people: a women's group, a men's group, a children's group, a youth group, a choir, a mission trip, whatever that image is in your mind all those programs, and if we KEEP those programs going, we will be "Doing church" in the proper way. And everyone is working really hard to preserve the reality of that image of what the church should be. And doing all those things to keep "Doing church" list complete. When we "Do Church" we ask "what should we do to maintain our image of church? What programs should we create to meet the needs of our members?"
  • "Being the Church" is different. It begins with the question, "What must we be doing to show the extravagant love and lavish grace of God to one another and to our community?" Being the church isn't about a program or a worship experience, or a youth event or anything of the kind. It's about how we love God, how we love one another, and how we love those who live amongst us in the community around us. It's about loving what God loves: all of creation, all of the diverse people in creation but especially the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, the oppressed.
We are called to Be The Church; that is the great gift of God's promise of the future. Being the Church frees us to follow the call of Christ to make disciples of all peoples. Being the church leads us out of a building and into the streets and byways. Being the church enables us to carry our faith everywhere we go. Being the church is how we bring the faith into the future.

Let's Be The Church.

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Flat Jesus!
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. 

Messy Church
Our next Messy Church will be on August 7th at 4:30. Our theme this month will be Bible Seasides and we will also have a baptism. Come and have a great time and support our youth. See you there! Click here for our flyer!
4:30-5:15pm: Crafts 
5:15-5:30pm: Celebration  
5:30-6:00: Dinner 
6:00-7:00: Yzal/Zackleys    
Confirmation Mentors Needed:

As we move into the 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.  
Annual Women's Retreat

August 13 &14 - Nurturing Our Whole Selves
The search for Wholeness in the midst of the Hole: Do you feel there are holes in your wholeness? Something missing or you await something, which will satisfy the sense of incompleteness? Please join us as we explore Wholeness and the Hole. Our discussions will center on why, with lives filled with family, work, church, and other interests, there still seems to be a sense of something missing.

Transportation: it is about 90 miles to Diamond Lake, Mi. Carpooling is an important part of the retreat experience, the conversations and fun begin with a great road trip! Please let us know if you would be willing to drive.

Meals: Shared cooking and cleaning up. If you have a dish you would like to bring to share, let us know. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know so we can be sure your retreat is an enjoyable experience. Shopping will be done once we have a head count.

Costs: The cost is minimal and shared. Last year the expenses averaged $27.00 per person.  We have some excellent shoppers! Once we know what the food and ferry costs are, they are divided equally.

Registration Deadline is July 31st: Please click here to register online. Sign into Access to make your online registration. There will be information at the volunteer table and you can ask one of our hostesses, Jo-Anne Konkle.  Tel: 708-484-2099 / Em: [email protected]
Summer With Our Children
Since 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 are planning to have the nursery available for children 3 years and under, and we still  need people to volunteer for the nursery.
Community Worship Service

Worship in the Park!
What if all the churches in La Grange worshiped together some Sunday morning? Wouldn't that be great? Imagine all the people gathered in one place despite our differences! You won't have to imagine much longer because it will happen on August 7.

As part of La Grange's Endless Summer Celebration, the La Grange Churches will gather at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 7 at Gordon Park. Fantastic music, a combined choir, and a lot of energy will buzz together for worship.

LeaderShop School Supply Drive

It's that time of year... time to help children who may not be able to afford their required school supplies. Please bring new school supplies for the LeaderShop's annual drive. You may purchase any school supplies, but they particularly need three ring binders (1" or 1-1/2"), pens, pencils, folders, markers, and school glue. Place them in the boxes outside the sanctuary or chapel. They will be delivered on August 8.
Thank you for your support!
Summer In Song

Summer Musicians of all ages are invited to play, sing or ring starting in June. The choir is off for the Summer, so we need you!  Not a soloist, but want to lend your talents?  That's ok too.  Ryan will find an ensemble for you.  Please contact Ryan Cox to sign-up.

First Conservatory has a new website!  Check us out at

BEDS Plus Volunteers Needed 
We need your help! BEDS Plus Care is in immediate need of volunteers for some summer programs. If you can lend a hand, even for a few hours, please contact us at [email protected]. Thank you!
Saturday Meals Program Volunteers Needed 

Our Saturday Meals Program has been providing three meals to guests each Saturday since February 2000. If you are interested in volunteering please contact: 
Beth Colby (Volunteer Coordinator) 
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!

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.
The family & friends of William Hoff, who died on June 16.
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.
Helen Pancner, Viola Clayton's daughter, who has continuing health struggles.
Jennifer Powers as she deals with health issues.
The family and friends of Robert Crawford, Janet Roman's brother and Sandra McLaughlin's uncle, who died on June 17th.
Feeding The Spirit!

If you can't make it to FCCLG Women's Retreat in August or you want to attend a bigger retreat there's one that takes place 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 Friday, September 23rd. 
Feeding Your Mind!

September 16 & 17, 2016
Naperville, Illinois

Does the Reformation still matter? If so, why? 

What can religion offer a society that values science and reason?

How are we to explain the relationship between religion and politics?

Of what use is theology?

For hundreds of years, Christian theology served as the cornerstone of social, cultural, and economic relationships in the west. But with the Protestant Reformation that foundation began to shift. And questions raised back then, about secular society, Christianity, and the future of religion, still persist today. Here David Galston and Jeffrey Robbins will assess theology's past and its future.

The Event will be hosted by:
DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church
1828 Old Naperville Road
Naperville, IL 60563

Register on line at this link. 

For local information, contact:
Reverend Tom Capo
Hooks And Needles
The knitting and crocheting ministry meets in homes this summer at 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, June through August. It is a fun time to relax and sip lemonade while working on lap blankets and prayer shawls. Please join us on July 25th. All are welcome.

July 25: Claudia Byrne
August 8: Barb Hultman
August 22: Debbie Llewellyn
Fall Kick Off - Save the Date!

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!       
Worship Location Change  

Due to construction in the Sanctuary, our Sunday services starting July 24th will take place in the Chapel for the next three weeks or so.

Reminder: As part of La Grange's Endless Summer Celebration, the La Grange Churches will gather at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 7 at Gordon Park. There will be no services that morning at First Congregational Church. Please join us at the park!  
Air Conditioning Work

The work has finally begun! Last week the work began to install the air conditioning units in the Founders' Room. The anticipated completion date for the Founders' Room is Friday, July 22 +/- a day or two. Work to install the Sanctuary unit will start sometime next week. At certain times during this process, scaffolding will be constructed in order to install the air distribution equipment and work on either side of the altar area will be noticeable. There will be occasions when worship will move to the chapel to accommodate this work. We are hoping that all work on the air conditioning systems will be complete by or before the end of August. Please pay attention to the Tidings and notices posted in the church for further communications as to work progress and worship plans.

Jerry Palmer
Project Coordinator
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 special person, or maybe you'd just enjoy seeing live flowers on the altar! To reserve a Sunday, sign up here, or on the Opportunities Board in the Drawing Room during Fellowship Hour. Dates are first-come, first-serve, so reserve early! Below are a list of dates available through the end of 2016: