For Everybody...
Worship on Sunday, January 24, 10:00
Accepting God (On God's Terms)

Today, January 20, a new president is taking office in our land. Even in corona-time, the inauguration is filled with grandeur, formality and tradition. As I (Mike) watched some of the proceedings today, I was struck with how an inauguration is a time to re-tell the story, re-tell the story of what America is - or, at least, of what the new leader wants people to think America is. There is an attempt to name x, y, and z, and say, "These are the things that make us who were are."

The same thing happens in the book of Ecclesiastes. Even with, or perhaps because of, his bleak rhetoric, the writer re-tells the story of what it means to live under the reality of God. His answer is: compassion, community, and simplicity. This Sunday, Mike will highlight these three characteristics of our story, of who we are as God's people, people who accept God (on God's terms).

The online service will premier at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, of course, and you can find the service on our YouTube Channel, here.

P.S. Speaking of the inauguration: Amanda Gorman, poet: OMG!
Important News About Our 9:07 Service, Now In-Person

We are now having our 9:07 service in-person, outdoors! It has been wonderful to see so many of you in person - even masked from a safe distance.

We are calling it, "Faithful by the Fireside!" Or Friluftsliv. That's the Norwegian word for "open-air-living" and it is first and foremost about feeling the joy of being in nature and doing something that is meaningful. Knowing that we all need joy and connection to others in the dark of winter and with the limitations of corona-time, we are taking inspiration from our Scandinavian neighbors of the north, embracing nature and having our 9:07 service outdoors in-person. 

Intended to be a point of connection for all members of our congregation and all ages, this is a multi-generational service. Join us in the Close weekly for a 20ish-minute service focusing on the lessons we learn from children of the Bible. This week, Samuel as a child! Winter through a child's eyes is magical and joyful! We'll capture that whimsical sense of wonder as we gather together, with safe social distancing, around a fire for this brief service. Bundle up and mask up. Fresh air and movement is good for us all!

We hope to see you there at 9:07 (and then perhaps "see" you again online at 10:00)! Please allow 10 feet distance between family units. Contact Carissa Kapcar for more information.
Annual Congregational Meeting
Sunday, January 31, via Zoom
We need you for a quorum!

Our Annual Congregational Meeting will be on Sunday, January 31, beginning at 11:00 a.m. (or immediately after the online 10:00 service). To continue to care for each other by not meeting in person, the meeting will be entirely online this year, via Zoom (here's the link - available in future emails also).

All reports and action items have been emailed to the congregation. Here's the link to all the documents again. Hardcopies are available at church (Gathering Place and office hallway), or can be mailed to you if you contact Melanie Burton (or call 630.590.6652). Here's a separate copy of the proposed church budget for 2021.

We will celebrate some of our mission and ministry in 2020, and vote on the important matters of our slate of officers and Ministry and committee members, our budget for 2021, and some minor changes to the Constitution.

We encourage you to be part of this important meeting. If you want to participate, but cannot use Zoom, please contact Moderator Marilyn Johnson, and we'll see if we can find an alternative.

We suspect it might be challenging to reach a quorum for the meeting, so we really need everyone to participate! We promise the meeting will go quickly, so please plan to login!

From the Ministry For Change
"Life's persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Get Involved with Contactless Volunteering!

Now, more than ever, we need to care for our neighbors.  Help The Night Ministry by making sandwiches and packing sacks of food, all from home.  We’ll drop the groceries at your door and pick them up the next day.  This is an easy project for families to do together in a few hours and kids make great helpers!

We also need drivers to deliver the food to The Night Ministry, located between Wicker Park and Bucktown in Chicago. Non-rush hour, it’s just over an hour round trip, and the staff will unload your car for you. With your help, we can continue to provide 140 sack suppers to people in need each month.  Please sign-up today!
Upcoming Events
Weekly Bible Study Each Wednesday - Online
Wednesdays, 3:00 - 4:15 p.m.

The truth is, the Bible is awesome. Not so sure about that? Then join us and give it another shot, at our weekly "everybody is welcome" Bible study. We meet online each Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. The sessions are about 75 minutes, and are led by Rev. Mike Solberg. All are welcome to join, consistently or sporadically, new to the Bible, or otherwise.
We meet online via Zoom. If you are interested in joining us, just save and click on this link (it will be in future emails too):
Email Mike if you have any questions. Again, all are welcome, and we look forward to learning together!
Authentic Woman Discussion Group - Caste
Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m.

America today and throughout history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. In Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson, the author discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against. Addressing the difficult realities, the author also looks at ways to move beyond the destructive separations of life divisions and work towards the hope of mending humanity.

The Authentic Women’s Discussion Group will continue our Zoom discussions, and you are welcome to join us in reading about 30 pages a week and having a hearty discussion each Wednesday morning at 10:00. The book Caste is currently on the New York Times Bestseller list and has been recommended by many organizations as the best Social Justice book of 2020. Jacki Peterson Sluder continues as our excellent discussion leader. How about taking an hour or so out of your schedule for friendship and “growth”! Email Sue Nibeck for more information.

Other Important Stuff
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