In This Issue
Feedback, corrections, or additions?
June 22, 2017

We ran out of time for a number of questions aske d in worship on  May 14th. Here is the second install ment on responses to those questions.
Why do some people quote the Bible when it suits them but don't follow all the "rules" in the 
   I cannot answer for all people, but I can respo n d for myself.  Everyone who reads the Bible with regularity has their favorite scriptures; most of us interpret the whole of the Bible through the lenses of our preferred readings. This is called one's "Canon within the Canon."  It is the filter through which we understand the faith.

   In the constitution of FCCLG quotes Matthew 22:37-39 when it states our purpose and covenant to be:
We acknowledge our belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior, and we take for our rule of life his great commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." We believe it is our privilege and duty to forward this teaching by union with those of like mind. We covenant to unite in this great mission of faith and service. We agree to maintain the institutions of the gospel, to promote the orderly administration of the life of the church, and to walk together in Christian love. We shall endeavor to fulfill these sacred obligations, God being our helper.
It is likely that many who were raised within this congregation use the quote from Matthew 22:37-39 as their "Canon within the Canon."

  My Canon within the Canon is Micah 6:8:
God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
I read the rest of scripture and form my beliefs and practices around this verse.  That does not mean that I ignore other verses; I read them in light of this tenant: that we first do justice, love kindness, and be humble in all walks of life.

   The Old Testament books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Leviticus contain extrapolations and interpretations of the 10 Commandments; these number 637 laws.  

   Jesus knew these laws and realized they had become the focus of determining who was "in" and who was "out."  What was a simple code of 10 rules had become a millstone around the neck of people who sought to live within God's community and a source of exclusion.  He told people he had not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.  His teachings emphasize God's extravagant love and inclusion.

   When asked which law is the greatest (of the 637 laws!), his reply in Matthew 22:37-39 encompasses the heart of the 10 commandments. 

   It is human nature to seek simple terms to understand complex ideas.  It is also a good debate technique to quote respected sources.  The problem with the Bible is that in it one can find justification for a lot of behavior - especially is one takes single sentences and short passages out of their context! 

   The best way that I know of to deal with individuals who choose to quote certain passages while ignoring the basic guidelines of faith is for each of us to know the Bible, to read it with regularity, to study it with others, and to learn as much about the social, literary, political and contextual contexts as possible.  Only then can we know for sure what is being appropriately quoted and what has been appropriated for reasons of ill.  And the added benefit is that we are more certain of what we believe and why we believe it.

(Did you catch that subtle hint that everyone needs to be in Bible Study?) 

Special Thank Yous!  

Community Nurse Health Center recently sent FCCLG a thank you letter for our support. This organization ensures health care services to local children and adults in our community. Click here for more information or if you'd like to donate to Community Nurse.

Community Renewal Society sent us a thank you letter for a recent donation. They strive for a vision for a just community. This organization helps in overcoming barriers of poverty and racism. For more information or to donate please click here.

Service Opportunities

Anyone interested in participating in pastoral care through card showers or reaching out to members of the congregation, please email or call  Carly or the  main office.
INTERFAITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS  is  a non-profit organization that works together with volunteers to provide rides to older adults and individ uals with disabilities in the Lyons, Proviso, and Riverside Townships. Over 85 volunteers provide escorted transportation to medical appointments, therapies, and life-enhancing errands such as the grocery store, bank, and church. We also take our clients with disabilities to their places of employment. There is no cost to our clients, and we rely solely on private donations, grants, fundraisers, and church support for funding.
And we need you! Please consider becoming a Volunteer driver. Contact us at 708-354-9328 for an information packet, visit us on the web  and like us on Facebook. Can you spare an hour a week? We will work around your busy life. 
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

Join us for the Back Bay Mission trip October 15-22, 2017 in Biloxi, MS. Pastor Carly and five others plan to go.
Mission trips at Back Bay are divided between work, learning, and time for play. Most volunteers will work with the housing rehabilitation ministry. There are also some opportunities to work in the Micah Day Center (a drop-in center supporting the homeless) and the food pantry. There's also plenty of time to enjoy the Mississippi Gulf Coast, eat southern grub and seafood, and fellowship with our group! We may plan an afternoon outing to explore the Coast or take a trip to New Orleans.
There's a $175 per person materials and lodging fee, and we share the cost of groceries and car expenses.
If you have questions, please call Bobbie Nunez at 708-354-3816. The final headcount is due August 10th.

Dear Friends,
We believe in the power of flowers to heal the spirit and nourish the soul.  We are seeking volunteers to deliver the donated altar flowers on Sunday.  Home-bound members of our church family are encouraged to know that we are thinking of them.  Please consider taking a Sunday and sign up on the 'Flower Delivery' board in the Founder's Room.  Call Kathy Donaldson @ (708) 341-0794 with any questions.

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.

Maybe summer days make you think of picnic baskets. Consider contributing food pantry baskets, too! There have been very few donations for the past several weeks, but the need is as great as ever. Any nonperishable food items will be greatly appreciated! If you shop for sale items, you can make a significant donation for less than five dollars. A few suggestions: breakfast cereal, canned tuna, canned vegetables, peanut butter. Thank you!   
Community Events and News 

INSIDE OUT - Celebrating Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Click here for more information and to register online!
Messy Church

Messy Church will be Sunday, July 2nd at 4:30 pm. Our theme this month will be Esther. 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  

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 work to find an ensemble for you. Please contact to Ryan Cox to sign-up.

Summer Musical Camp registrations are available in the church office.  A collaboration between the music and children's education, this program is for students in 1st-8th grade s and will take place from July 31 - August 4 from 2-6 pm.  The performance will be 7pm on 8/4.  We are going  back to our camp roots for this year's show! In 2010 we began with Oh Jonah and that landmark production will be remounted, complete with whale mouth! Please contact Ryan Cox for more information. 
FCCLG Church Calendar 

The knitting and crocheting ministry meets in homes this summer at 7pm on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, June through August. Our next gathering will be June 26th at Barbara Hultman's home.
Summer schedule
June 26: Barbara Hultman
July 10: Linda Lauterbach
July 24: Mary Forester
August 14: Debbie Llewellyn
August 28: Claudia Byrne

The Annu al Women's Retreat will be August 12th and 13th at Diamond Lake in Michigan. The Theme is Resistance, Insi stence, and Joy: In Remembrance of Her. The woman anointed Jesus with costly ointment and broke through the porcelain jars of her culture. We'll look at what bottles us up, what breaks us open, and how we can bring God's scented plans to a world in need of anointing. Plan for a meaningful and insightful weekend of Fun, Fellowship, and Mimosas! Sign up in the Founders' Room. Click here for a PDF with more event details!   
FCCLG Fundraising 
Here's an easy way to give back to FCCLG! When you shop on Amazon, use choose First Congregational Church of La Grange UCC as your charity. Consider making your purchases for your 4th of July festivities through Amazon and they will intern donate 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.
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 August 2nd.

Emil and Maria Balz.

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

Prayers for Sophia Harris, the wife of the Lauterbach's godson, who is in hospice care.

Angie Crees, Olivia Hein's sister.

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

Gail Mikenas, whose father, Roland Eisenbeis, died on May 15th.

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

Sherri Ries' brother John, for continued recovery and patience.
Nancy Coleman's friend Sharon Veltre, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

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