June 22, 2020

Cross in flowers
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.
~ 1 John 4:16

Our Common Life
During this unprecedented time fpcw is continuing to gather, support and care for each other in new an different ways. Please click this link to learn more about the unique opportunities available each week.

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First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette
600 Ninth Street
Wilmette, IL 60091-2779


Dear Friends,

Last week, I made a decision to come into the church to work for a few hours instead of working from home. It was so refreshing to be in my office space, surrounded by all the things that are comforting and familiar. It was very quiet, Jeff was out of town, and no one else on staff was there. I did the same thing today and it was good.
Being in the office gave me just a slight feeling of normal, like everything is going to be okay. Feelings of hope, need, connection, feelings we're all managing and everyone has a story, everyone is experiencing some kind of loss.
When I left the office today, I had an appointment for a Covid test. I scheduled this test so I could see my granddaughter in person. Seem extreme? I don't know, we're all asked to do things and to be different and that includes caring for ourselves and those we encounter, be it family, neighbor or stranger. I know for myself if I can recognize what I do have and what I can do, I'm more likely to experience less pain, doubt and frustration. And you know what, sometimes I can actually make this happen.
Years ago I came across a devotion titled "Standing Knee-Deep in a River and Dying of Thirst." This title leaped off the page for me. The idea that often times we have everything we need in life but sometimes we lack the conscious awareness to appreciate it. This was originally a song beautifully recorded by Kathy Mattea. I added a video of her recording, so totally  lovely. 

Let's choose today to acknowledge the good that exists in our lives and share with the world the gift of our grateful hearts. Sometimes it's just as simple as that.
"The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival."   ~Zephaniah 3:17
Blessings in Christ,
Madeline Weston

Kathy Mattea
 "Standing Knee Deep in a River
Dying of Thirst"

Last Sunday we had a Zoom coffee hour hosted by Stephanie Phelan This Sunday we will again offer another opportunity for all to gather via Zoom at 11 am. Coffee Hour is a wonderful opportunity for us all to share and reconnect with our friends. We hope you'll jump on board and be a part of this gathering.

Current Mission Needs and Opportunities

Interfaith Action, one of fpcw's mission partners, is looking for a volunteer to be the Soup Kitchen Coordinator for Monday lunches. For more information contact Pastor Erin at revraska@fpcw.org
Interfaith Action is also looking for volunteers to help with the Greater Chicago Food Depository's Producemobile which takes place every second Tuesday of the month, July 14th and August 11th at the Levy Center Parking Lot at 300 Dodge St, Evanston.

Approximately 30-35 volunteers are needed each month to unload produce from trucks, sort and bag food items, and then serve it to our guests.  To be elgible to volunteer for the June 9th  Producemobile you must meet the following guidelines: 
  • Cannot have been exposed to COVID-19 in the 14 days before June 9
  • Can have no COVID-19 symptoms; no fever, cough, nor shortness of breath
  • Must be age 18 - 59
 If you'd like to make breakfast sandwiches for Connections for the Homeless please click this link to sign up. 

Our mission partner and friends at C24/7 have set up a free store to serve those in their neighborhood who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Let's help stock their store! Here's what they need:

Hand and dish soap, deodorant, toothpaste, paper towels, toilet paper, spaghetti, pasta sauce, cereal, cooking oil, diapers, wipes, laundry detergent. 

Please put donations in the black box, labeled C247, outside the parking lot door at fpcw.

C24/7 hosted a zoom gathering for an in-depth and meaningful opportunity to share insight and experience around racial reconciliation. This gathering was recorded and took place on June 12th. Please click the link below to watch the  Racial Reconciliation Town Hall.

Stock the Shelves could use your support 
1. Order size 5 diapers to be delivered to fpcw.
2. Help make deliveries to refugee families. Please contact
  Tiffany Flannagan if you can help. Thank you

Summer Book Study
Begins this Sunday, June 28
Join us this summer as we read the 2014 book by Christopher Smith and John Pattison, Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus. The authors invite us to engage in nine spiritual practices that deepen community and help us to love our neighbors in fresh and authentic ways: terroir, stability, patience, wholeness, work, Sabbath, abundance, gratitude and hospitality. Beginning June 28, we'll discuss a chapter per week at 9 am on Sundays over Zoom (until further notice). Here is the Zoom link, Meeting ID (571 764 4007) and Password (1225) to join the call. Please purchase a copy online or from your local bookstore. Let Irris Boaz (iboaz@ameritech.net) know if you need help doing so!

Virtual Vacation Bible School is coming! Each week in July we'll be sending families a link to an at-home VBS experience, including videos of music, storytelling, and craft and activity ideas. You'll have the flexibility to enjoy the materials however and whenever suits your family!  
Children and Family Ministry will be sending a weekly text this summer to inspire thoughtful spiritual
conversation with your children, or.your own personal meditation. We use the Remind app, so your phone number will remain private. If you'd like to receive this weekly encouragement, please email Lindley Traynor.  
Week of June 21st, Zoom meetings

Wednesday, June 24th
    Chancel Choir, 7:30 pm

Thursday June 25th
    Bible Study, 10:00 am

If you are interested in learning more about these Zoom meetings please contact Madeline Weston.

If you need to reach a staff member please do so.
Staff email addresses and cell phone numbers
Pastor Jeff
jlehn@fpcw.org   260-740-4162 
Pastor Erin
revraska@fpcw.org   847-858-0925 
Peggy Massello
pmassello@fpcw.org   847-226-2614
Lindley Traynor
ltraynor@fpcw.org   224-522-2243 
Sue Sklansky
suesklansky@gmail.com  312-608-4909
Scott McElhenie
youth@fpcw.org   847-284-0946
Madeline Weston
office@fpcw.org  847-707-3745
Marvin Behm
finmanager@fpcw.org   773-715-5649