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November 10, 2016

Grace and Peace to the saints in La Grange and beyond, from Carly, called to be prophet, teacher, and leader among you.

I am relieved that this election is finally over. Never in my lifetime have I seen such bad behavior on the part of everyone involved in a USAmerican election. Hatred, fear, misogyny, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and stretched truths if not dishonesty have been raised higher than respectful disagreement. Insults, put downs, and dehumanizing comments have replaced rational debate. Worse, our children have been shown that all of this behavior is acceptable from our leaders.

We have now seen the depth of anger in this country. And we know from where this anger has come. I have seen it in those people who have felt their lives and dreams have been undermined in the last 25 years or so by economic forces beyond their means, by greedy banks/businesses/CEOs, by politicians who care only about being re-elected, by parties and elites that seemed to ignore them because they lived in what is jokingly referred to as 'fly-over' America, by a Christianity that preached love, grace, and hope, but used them as examples of lovelessness, gracelessness, hopelessness . . . these are the people who were cranked up by the language and fervor of hatred in this election. And they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I mourn the loss of civility. I mourn the rampant injustices. I mourn with my brothers and sisters throughout this country who are feeling afraid, unsafe, powerless, hopeless, and unwelcome.   I will mourn until there is liberty and justice for all. For ALL. And I will continue to dedicate my life and work to being the voice of Love, the hands of Hope, and the arms of radical hospitality and welcome. For black and brown peoples, for Muslims, for women, for LGBTQ people, for immigrants, for those run over by greed and exclusion, for those of us who depend upon the Affordable Care Act, . ...the list is endless of those who feel threatened, unsafe in our communities and even in our own familie s.
Yes, I too have heard it said that it is time we come together for the unity of the country. But there can be no oneness so long as we live with racism, bigotry, ignorance, and a lack of decent humanity. I refuse to give into these false gods. Now more than ever, our communities need the progressive voice of hope, radical inclusivity, and God's extravagant love. Now more than ever, you and I must be the body of Christ. Now, more than ever in our lifetimes, we are called to step up bravely and speak the truth in love and of Love.

And so our work begins, and we need to work harder than ever. God is Love, and Love WILL prevail.

Gifts of Gratitude  

We have a wonderful way to show your thanks this holiday season. Buy a gift or two for a child in need. Gifts of Gratitude will be on Sunday December 4th. You can select an ornament or two from the tree for a child from Casa Central. Buy a gift between $20-$30 for the child you have chosen. If you buy clothes and want to include the gift receipt in case an exchange of sizes is needed, Target and Walmart are the closet stores to these families. Wrap or place the gift in a decorative bag (staple closed) and tape the tag to the package so it finds its way to the right child through Santa Claus at their holiday party.
Children and Youth News 

The Zackleys want to provide your baked good for Thanksgiving! Our annual Bake Sale Lock-In will be taking place
November 19th through the 20th! Sales continue this weekend after church during coffee hour. The deadline to order is Monday, November 14th. The lovingly made baked goods will be available for pick up on November 20th. The lock-in is open to all students 9th-12th grade. Permission slips available outside of Sylvia's door.
Edisto Island was in the path of hurricane Matthew. Our work trip will include recovery work at Edisto. To reduce the cost to participants, each Zackley will need to participate in our monthly gatherings and projects. If you are interested in being part of our work trip, please see Sylvia and join us at regularly scheduled Zackley meetings.
Sunday School needs people to fill teacher and shepherd positions. Please sign up through Access, on the clipboard during Fellowship Hour, or contact Sylvia at If you have children birth through 12th grade please fill out a Sunday School Registration form so we can keep up to date records!

To make these the best programming we can we need volunteers! If you are able to help plan or just be at these events please let Sylvia know!
First Sunday of the month:
    Confirmation: 2:30-4:30pm Drawing Room
     Messy Church: 4:30-6:30pm (Dinner at 5:45pm)  
Second Sunday:
    Yzals 6:30pm (6-8th grade)
Third Sunday:
    Zackleys 6:30pm
Fourth Sunday:
    Yzals and Zackleys service/outing 
Messy Church

Messy Church will be this Sunday, December 4th at 4:30. Our theme this month will be Messy Christmas! Come and have a great time and support our youth. See you there!
4:30-5:15pm: Crafts and Stories  
5:15-5:30pm: Celebration  
5:30-6:00: Dinner  
Music News
Tiny Toes Music is a newer addition to the music offerings housed at FCCLG. Tiny Toes is this area's organization offering Music Together classes.  The Fall session starts soon!  To enroll, visit  
Tiny Toes classes:
  • Are for children ages birth to kindergarten and their parents and caregivers.
  • Build on your child's natural enthusiasm for music and movement.
  • Provide you and your child with the basic musical skills needed to enjoy and participate in musical activities. 
  • 45 minutes of PURE FUN with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers every week!
Music for grades 1-8! We sing. And we ring. Sometimes at the same time. Join the fun! Rehearsals continue after worship from 11:15-11:45am. This program is great for introducing new families to our great youth programming.
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. Rehearsals continue Sunday 11:45am to 12:15pm.

Come to FCCLG this Saturday, November 12 at 10:30am for Baritones and Brunch. This is the next event in the alliterative concert series and it will feature Ryan and some of his baritone friends singing their favorite arias and sacred pieces. These concerts have been highlights in our church's musical life - you will not want to miss this one! Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Proceeds will go towards the Instrument Repair Fund to help with organ repairs. Your support is greatly appreciated. For more info, please contact  Ryan Cox.

"Joyful Noise" Hymn Sing will be during worship on 11/20 and you are invited to play the instrument you regularly practice, or the one you need to dust off. Pros and amateurs alike will combine their talents to joyfully accompany the hymns.  Children and youth who are confident players are invited too!  Let Ryan know if you would like to be a part of the ensemble.  You will get music ahead of time to practice at home, then we will rehearse as a group the morning of at 9:15am.   
Text Giving Is Now Available 

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

The work on the Founder's Room and Sanctuary air conditioning systems is complete and operable. It will be nice for our building use partners and outside groups in summer events, and for us to be able to worship in our sanctuary on hot Sundays.
Work has begun on the electrical and carpentry work for the Founder's Room kitchen renovation. All of the appliances for the kitchen have also been ordered. The kitchen will be complete and operable by December 2
The new Founder's room carpet will be installed on Monday and Tuesday of next week. We need volunteers on Sunday, November 13 after the church service to help move tables and boxes to the basement stage area and cloak room so the carpet installers have a clear space to install the new carpet. Your assistance will make this happen quickly.
Jerry Palmer
Project Coordinator
FCCLG Fundraising 

Who's hungry? Treat yourself to a meal at Di Nico's Pizza, Pasta, and Subs in La Grange on Sunday, Nov. 13th and 50% of your purchase comes back to FCCLG!  They are taking orders from 11am - 7pm.  Be sure to show the included flyer when placing your order.  Ciao! Click here for the flyer!

You are invited to UCC's annual Harvest Home dinner on Weds, November 16 at 6:30 pm in the dining room. Bring your family and friends, and enjoy a delicious turkey dinner! Tickets are available during fellowship time or in the office: Adults $8.00, Children 4-12 $4.00, under 4 free. There are volunteer opportunities for kitchen workers and servers. Check out the sign-up sheet during Fellowship Hour.

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. Consider making your holiday purchases through Amazon which donates 0.5% of your purchase back to FCCLG.

So far we've received $23.23 through Amazon Smile. Please help us continue raising funds for FCCLG!  
Fellowship Opportunities

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
LATTE, the LaGrange Area Teen Theater Ensemble

Gas Light 
Insanity lurks within.... Some dreams are too good to be true... All appears the essence of Victorian bliss and tranquility... Yet can this kind and suavely handsome husband, Mr. Jack Manningham, slowly be driving his gentle, devoted wife Bella, to the brink of insanity?  Insinuating kindness masks sinister motives. Sweet Bella becomes increasingly isolated, confused, and confined. Jack escalates accusations of Bella of playing wicked pranks and tricks that she can't recall, tormenting Bella to make her question her own sanity.  Frightened, Bella becomes paranoid and believes everyone is against her. Until one fateful evening when a keen police inspector pays her a visit, shedding light on information that could save her life. Could Mr. Manningham be the homicidal maniac wanted for a murder committed fifteen years earlier in this very house? Evidence against Manningham unfolds... Laying wake to a even more dangerous madness... Gaslight delivers a Gothic thriller that is brilliant, suspenseful!   

In this month of Domestic Violence Awareness, Gaslight also helps to shine a gentle light on emotional manipulation and the importance of friends helping friends to free themselves from unhealthy relationships. The teens of LATTE have had their lives influenced and are grateful they are now able to look honestly at the relationships of their friends and help them in the same way that they have seen on the stage.   

LATTE will be performing their next show November 11 at 7 PM and November 12 at 2 PM & 7 PM
Call now for tickets! Felicia Pfluger - 708-655-0989. To learn more about LATTE go to
Saturday Meals Needs Your Help! 
The Saturd ay 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.
St. Barbara's Food Pantry Collection 

Thank you to those of you who donate faithfully; even one item makes a difference. This month, donations of canned tuna, canned soup, and laundry detergent are especially appreciated.

Back Bay Mission Trip:      
October 15-21, 2017 - Save the date! Adult Mission Trip
Just think...
At this time next year you could be at the Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, MS where you would work to improve the home and the morale of a family in need. You would bunk with fellow UCC members in the comfortable Mission house, do rewarding work and make fast friendships.
Church Calendar 

What Can We Do About Racism?

Race Relations is the topic of a nine week study which is being discussed in Debby Irving's book, Waking Up White and Finding Myself In the Story of Race.

Adult Education meets at 8:30 each Sunday morning in the Drawing Room and goes till November 20th.

Pastor's Community Office Hours! 
Carly continues holding "office" from 4 to 6 p.m. on the first through third Thursdays in November at Owl and Lark Juice and Coffee Bar at 41 South La Grange Road in La Grange. This is an intentional effort to be available for church members and friends, as well as a community presence. Drop in and visit!
Thanksgiving Service - Nov. 20th    
Our Community Thanksgiving Service will be SUNDAY, November 20th at 7 pm. Come join us at Grace Lutheran Church.

200 N Catherine Ave, La Grange
Click here for map! 
Hooks And Needles

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.
Evening Book Club 

Evening Book Club will discuss "Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania" by Erik Larson.  Dead Wake  puts readers right aboard the famous Cunard liner and keeps them turning the pages until the book's final, breathless encounter.  We will meet on Thursday, December 1st at 7:30 in the Chapel conference room. 
Stewardship Sunday - Dec. 4th 
"Save Room For Dinner!"
On December 4 we will celebrate our Annual Campaign -- and christen our remodeled Founders Room -- with a dinner open to all members and friends of First Congregational Church. While there is no cost for this meal, reservations are needed.  Please call or email the office to make your reservation.  Let's Celebrate!
Touch List 

Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Charlotte Ansted, who was born very early and is being treated in the NICU.
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.
The family of Cheryl Buchignani, who's father died on October 9th.
The residents of Edisto Island, where we take our annual work trip, who were hit by Hurricane Matthew.
The family of Caroline Gifford, who died on October 13th.
The family of Carol LaSage, mother of Kathy Mazur, who died on October 24th.
Linda Lauterbach's friend Sophia, her husband, and young son; Sophia has a brain tumor.
Gary Melkonian, who is recovering at home .
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.
Jennifer Powers as she deals with health issues.
The family of Mary Roper, Julia Cunningham's grandmother, who died peacefully this week.
Frank Shannon, Brian Shannon's father, who died on November 9th.
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.
A Few UCC Quick Links  

Sign up here to receive the UCC Daily Devotional in your inbox!

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