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March 3, 2016

We're doing Stocks Sales and Brunch a bit differently this year!

Each year to fund raise money for our work trip, the Zackleys sell stock to the members of the church. We are selling stocks again this year; however, we are doing things a bit differently. To connect our youth with our donors, rather than collecting one lump sum, each student is asked to fund raise the cost of his or her trip individually. The Zackleys will make their way around the Founders' Room during coffee hour asking for your help! Feel free to divide your gift between students or give to only one student. You will then receive a thank you note from the student(s) you donated to while we are in Edisto! We will also be doing our presentation after the Work Trip on Sunday, April 10th in the Founders' Room during the Zackley hosted coffee hour. We will still be showing pictures and letting the youth share their experience and we will still bring brunch goodies to share! This will allow those of us on Ministry Teams to make it to the All Ministry Meeting afterward. Thank you for your continued support of the Zackley youth group!

Touch List

Your Cards and Prayers Will Comfort and Touch...
The Balz family.
Please keep the Schroeder family in your prayers with strength for Eileen (sister of Mary Bart) and peace for Ron (Eileen's husband) in hospice care.
Kathy Bloom.
Our thoughts are with Marjorie Duhatschek who is recovering from surgery.
Our thoughts are with LuAnn Hall's niece Jessica.
Bert Happel, Jim Happel's brother.
Lois Hindman, who is house bound with a brain condition.
The family & friends of Josephine Welsch, David Kasnick's mother, who died on January 28th.
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.
Helen Pancner, Viola Clayton's daughter, who has continuing health struggles.
Jennifer Powers as she deals with health issues.
Ron Sander, Erik Sander's father, as he and his family manage his ongoing illness.
To the family and friends of Jerry Saulinski, our former florist who recently died.
The family of Michael Smith and the residents of Brookfield rocked by gun violence, random and too close to home.
Ben Walker, 14, son of Carly's friend Kurt who is struggling with Major Depressive Disorder.
The family and friends of William C. Van Horne Sr., the father of Bill Van Horne, Jr. and grandfather of Catherine Van Horne who died on January 29th.
Music News

Bail Out Your Music Director!  
Arrrgh!!! On March 11 Ryan Cox will be locked up at the LeaderShop's Pirate Party and needs your help to get out!

Ryan has set a goal of $500, 75% will support the LeaderShop and 25% to our Friends of Music program.

To post bail, and/or buy tickets to the event, go to 
Since 1978 , The LeaderShop has been providing a safe and welcoming environment for elementary through high school aged youth. Programs offered range from mentoring and leadership to performance groups, outreach/volunteer services and special community-based events. Involvement in The LeaderShop changes lives - for the participants and residents of the neighborhoods served. The LeaderShop takes a preventive position in helping today's youth grow into productive leaders in their communities.
Lenten Musical Sermon:  
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater is one of the m
ost beautiful settings of the text that describes Mary's experience of her son's crucifixion.  Michelle Areyzaga, soprano an d Ryan Belongie, alto, will share their vocal gifts, accompanied by string quintet and organ, during the 10am worship service on this Sunday, March 6th.  The Chancel Choir will sing Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus and a setting of "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded."  Please spread the word about this wonderful event in the worship life of our church.  
The Chancel Choir will do a true "Choral Sermon" on May 22nd - save the date! 
Holy Week Choir:  
Can't quite fit the Chancel Choir into your schedule for a year?  Holy Week is a great time to sing with us. Music for the following services will be rehearsed in the first hour:  Maundy Thursday (March 24), Good Friday (March 25) and Easter (March 27). Please contact Ryan for the full schedule and door code info.
Lent 2016: Small Groups

Oases on the Journey toward Redemption
and Resurrection
Refueling and Reimagining Discussions: Sunday 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. in the Drawing Room.
Letting Go and Moving On -- John 12:24, Acts 27:18-20 (Sunday March 6)
Of what do we let go? Upon what do we cling? What offers hope, and what drowns us? To what path is God leading us?
Seven Last Words -- the traditional Last Words of Christ (Sunday March 13)
The last words of Christ show us how to say good bye. How do we let go, walk away, and not forget? How do we forgive?
New Wine for New Wineskins - Luke 2:21-22, Hebrews 12:13-16 (Sunday March 20)
Who are we? What is our purpose? Does that change in more than form and function? Can we reinvent ourselves.
Lent 2016: Worship Opportunities

Worship in Lent: Sacred Discontent: the Journey toward Redemption and Resurrection
Sunday, March 6 - Lent 4 -Choral Sermon 
Sunday, March 13 - Lent 5 - The Gift of Temptation - (Baptism) - Corinthians 5: 16-19, Luke 4:1-13
The gift of temptation may bring images of resisting evil-sometimes in seriously dangerous form or as seemingly benign as the pastry in front of you. But instead, the temptation for this week is following the "shoulds" dictated only by logic, outside expectation or shiny "rewards" instead of following the path our intuition and imagination suggest is right for us-the path that helps us bring the best of our energy and joy to the world. Our Lent journey invites us to face the temptations that erode our fullness and steal us away from our wholeheartedness.

Sunday, March 20 - Lent 5 - Palm/Passion Sunday -(Receiving New Members) - The Gift of Misfits - Luke 19: 29-42a 
As our exploration of the Gifts of the Sacred Discontent begins to come to a close, we look around us to acknowledge the realm and kin-dom of God-the family-that has always and is already right here with us. Sojourners in holy tension do not go it alone but are blessed with the presence of others who help us see, reflect with us and discover together with us the riches of a life lived with intention. As Jesus comes into Jerusalem at the beginning of that fateful week, he is surrounded by those who will live the uncertainty, temptation and emptiness right alongside him.
March 24 -7 p.m. Maundy Thursday - The Gift of Darkness -Readings and hymns of the last supper and the darkest of nights. 
March 25 - 7 p.m. Good Friday - Gift of Disappearing
Days of Sacred Discontent are those times when uncertainty, emptiness, lostness and temptation become companions. No one is immune from these aspects of life. Even Jesus. Indeed, the story of Jesus' final days in this human life is a story of a journey through a dark night of the soul for all those that surrounded him.
Series based on Gifts of the Dark Wood by Eric Elnes.  
Church News and Reminders

The next Messy Church will be this Friday, March 4th at 5:00 p.m. Our theme is New Life In Jesus - Easter Celebration . We hope to see you there!

Evening Book Club will discuss
Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
by Hector Tobar on Thursday, March 10th. This story of disaster and rescue will keep you on the edge of your seat! Please join us at 7:30 in the Chapel conference room.
Join us as we knit and crochet for charity. Beginners are welcome - we will be glad to give instruction. We meet every Monday except the first Monday of the month in the Family Room off the Chapel at 7pm 

If you have a sense of belonging with our congregation, come and explore the next step in the life of the congregation: covenanting to grow together in faith and work toward our common goals. This is a way to formalize your affiliation with First Congregational Church.

You're invited to attend two events that will take place in the coming weeks. These are informal and informational gatherings:

Saturday, March 12
from 3 to 5 p.m Wine and Cheese at the Parsonage (105 S. La Grange Rd). We'll share our stories, our hopes, our dreams, and we'll explore what "belonging" means.

Then on March 20 in worship, we will covenant with one another in our mutual support.

If you are interested, please contact Carly and put these dates on your calendar.
Ministry Opportunities
One Great Hour of Sharing is this Sunday, March 6. This is a special Mission Offering of the United Church of Christ. By making a donation you will help fund the UCC's sustainable development, refugee and disaster ministries. We have all heard about the refugee crisis throughout the world and want to help. So please give on March 6 to One Great Hour of Sharing and help the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Your donation will also aid the disaster ministries which provide services wherever disaster strikes. We can start to make a difference with our donations !

You are invited to participate in a hands-on mission to make a difference in the lives of inner city residents in Cincinnati.
Washington United Church of Christ was founded about 10 years before FCCLG as a primarily middle class, German congregation in the Camp Washington area of Cincinnati. By the early 1970s, the neighborhood around the church had become largely low-income. The remaining members of the church decided that rather than close or relocate, they would develop a new mission focus. This focus has always meant ministering with neighborhood residents, not just ministering to them.
Washington UCC welcomes groups of young people and adults who want to experience a hands-on urban ministry immersion. Housing and most meals are provided; there is a per-person fee.
Activities include fix-up, clean-up projects at the church and in the neighborhood, and working with neighborhood children, while also serving Christ in many other ways that lead to spiritual growth with positive practical results seen throughout our community.
Washington Church engages in several inner city missions:
  • Summer Youth Program is provided free of charge to the neighborhood children for eight-weeks, Monday-Thursday program. It includes breakfast, lunch, worship, Christian education, stories, art, songs, games, recreation, loving relationships, and field trips.
  • Camp Community CafĂ© serves a free lunch from 12-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday to anyone who attends.
  • Camp Cupboard and Closet is a free store where people can shop for food, clothes, and household items.
Depending upon the skill set of those who register, our work could include working an any or all of these areas, and/or repairing ministry space within the church or the neighborhood.
We will be staying in apartments of 4 dorm rooms each immediately across the street from the church. If arranged ahead of time, families will be able to stay together. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day, and dinner will be provided one evening. Cooking facilities are available for other meals.
If you are interested in Reaching Out and Touching Lives through this mission trip, please see Carly for details, or click on Event Sign Up.
The Ministry of Nurture is compiling of list of volunteers willing to be contacted when needed for Memorial Services to assist with hosting and making baked goods. If you are willing to be contacted please sign up in the Founder's Room during coffee hour through the month of February or email   Amanda Ries. This is a great way to minister to families in their time of need.

St. Barbara's food pantry provides much-needed groceries to local families. The next time you're shopping, consider picking up an extra item for the pantry, which is in particular need of the following: peanut butter, jelly, canned pears or peaches, applesauce, and boxes of Jell-O gelatin. Donation baskets are located outside the sanctuary and the chapel. Your donation will be much appreciated!

Who: Anyone who can cut, sew, press, quilt, bind or who is int erested in learning. Any age or skill level welcome, and no registration required.
How: The fabric store supplies fabric, sewing machines, and irons. You bring basic supplies like pins and thread.

When: Every first and third Tuesday from 11 am until aro und 2 pm. Bring a lunch or try the Subway next door.
Where: (818 E. Ogden, Westmont at the St. James Crossing shopping center)
Why: Make quilts to donate to local charities!

Questions? email Chris Sass or call 630-321-9051.  
Children and Youth News

The Zackleys will be going to Edisto Island for their annual work trip! We will leave on March 26th and return on April 3rd.
Some dates to remember
  • Stock Sales: March 6th, March 13th, March 20th (10:00-Noon, Sanctuary/Founders Room)
  • **Registration Due Date with payment: Sunday, March 6th
Trip Cost before March 6th: $200
Trip Cost after March 6th: $250
  • Final Participant Meeting: March 13th (Chapel)
  • Work Trip: March 26th (5 am) - April 3rd (late afternoon). Departure and arrival in church parking lot.
  • April 10th: Stockholders' Breakfast, Work Trip Sunday in Worship
The Yzals group (grades 6 to 8) continues to meet the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month at 6:30. 
The Zackleys group (grades 9 to 12) continues to meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month at 6:30 pm.