By the Way
MARCH 2020
Pastor's Message
Rev. Richard E. Malmberg

Friends:
On Sunday, February 23, the First Congregational Church of Walpole, New Hampshire voted to call their next settled pastor: Richard Malmberg. I am scheduled to start in Walpole in May. As with every such transition, there is excitement and sadness. Cherished relationships are hard to leave. Fortunately, we have several weeks to say our goodbyes and begin preparing for our respective futures.

First Congregational Church is a classic New England church, founded in 1761, located on the village square. Walpole is a town of about 4,000 souls in the southwest corner of the state, on the Connecticut River, near both Vermont and Massachusetts. More importantly, we will be near family again. Boston will be a two-hour drive, where both our sons now live.

I know change is complicated and can be difficult. Change offers opportunities as well. I hold you all in my prayers as we all navigate this uncertain time. I hope you will hold Jane, me and our family in yours.

In Christ,
Pastor Richard
WE ACCEPT, EMBRACE AND AFFIRM THE DIGNITY AND WORTH OF EVERY PERSON, AS WE ARE ALL CREATED IN GOD'S IMAGE.
What's Happening at Church...
Get involved and join a group, an event, or a LHC initiative.
Explore / Belong / Learn

Worship Service  - Sundays, 9:30 am
Bible Study  - Wednesdays, 10 am
Meditation Group - Thursdays, 9 - 10 am
Queen of Hearts Raffle - Wednesdays, 8 pm at Spotted Fox Ale House in St. Charles
Lenten Study - Sunday, Mar. 1 & 15, 11 am
Daylight Savings Time Begins - Sunday, Mar. 8
Plant Sale Orders Due - Sunday, Mar. 8
2ND SUNDAY - Food Pantry Offering  - Sunday, Mar. 8, 9:30 am
Theology on Tap - Sunday, Mar. 8, 11 am (location TBD)
Men of LHC Monthly Breakfast - Saturday, Mar. 14, 8:30 am
Sisters in Spirit (SiS) General Meeting - Sunday, Mar. 15, 11 am
A Book & A Prayer Book Club  - Thursday, Mar. 19, 7 pm
Friday Night at the Movies - Friday, Mar. 20, 7 pm
BTW Deadline  - Wednesday, Mar. 20
One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering - Sunday, Mar. 22
Church Council Meeting - Tuesday, Mar. 24, 7 pm

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS  - Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm, 630.584.4013
Lenten Study
Messiah
Don’t give up TV for Lent. At least not this year. I’m trying something different for the Lenten Study. I have previewed a Netflix original series entitled Messiah. When I previewed it, I found intelligent, and thoroughly engaging. It begins at what could be the deciding moment of the Syrian civil war. ISIS has Damascus surrounded and initiates the attack. As shelling begins, a mysterious figure steps forward and encourages the people. As a severe sandstorm kicks up, the man preaches through the sustained winds.  

The story is familiar, but not a copy. What I found so fascinating is the way it made me think about the historical Jesus would engage electronic media, geopolitics, while maintaining the common touch. This year’s Lenten Study will gather for three sessions Sundays during Lent, after worship in the Pastor’s office: ­March 1, 15, April 5. Sessions will include watching an episode and discussing it. If you are not a Netflix subscriber, and would like to watch the whole series, we can discuss ways of viewing between sessions.

In the Communion Words of Institution, the celebrant says, “Hear the old story which, in our sharing, becomes new once again.” My hope for each of us during Lent, is that our faith will be renewed and refreshed by this season of reflection in preparation for the new life of Easter.

Pastor Richard
The word  LENT  written in vintage metal letterpress type sitting in a wooden drawer.
Music Notes
Lent Begins
What a great start to our Lenten/Easter season with “Fat Sunday” and our Dixieland band and choir. We will begin chanting the Psalms starting on Ash Wednesday.

Here are this month’s anthems:
Mar. 1 - Kyrie Eleison by Greg Gilpin
Mar. 8 - Christ Hath A Garden by Gerald Near
Mar. 15 - Peace by Richard Nichols
Mar. 22 - The Call arr. by Doug Waner
Mar. 29 - Wondrous Love by Wes Cameron
More to come about Holy Week and Easter next month.

Peace,
Larry Dieffenbach,
Director of Music, Organist
Our Worship & Spiritual Growth Ministry wants to hear from YOU! What do you like about worship? What don't you like? What do you cringe at when you see it in the bulletin? What do you see and think "Oh yes! I love when we do this!?" We want to know! If you have any new ideas we'd love to hear them. Please let either Samantha Prang or Jane Shelton know your thoughts. All comments are confidential.
Moderator's Report
Karen Kaluzsa
We had a very well-attended  Janual  budget meeting on January 26, and for those of you who missed it here are the highlights.

2019 Treasurer’s Report
The wonderful news was that with end-of-year contributions to our Operations from both SiS and the Men of LHC, we ended 2019 with a budget deficit of only $17. We would have broken even without those contributions, but we didn’t receive one 2019 pledge until January, so it will be counted in 2020. So to make giving easier, we have implemented several new options for sending in your pledges, including electronic funds transfers and Venmo. Contact Ann McLaughlin or the church office for more information.
2020 Budget
The congregation approved a 2020 budget of $226,000 income and $243,370 expenses, for a deficit of $17,370 which hopefully will be greatly minimized by fundraising. Chip Braulick is chairing our 2020 Fundraising Committee, which is planning to maximize the amounts raised from traditional events like our rummage sale, and to introduce new events this year. The Fundraising Committee is still getting organized and your ideas, suggestions and participation are always welcome!
 
Thriving Pastors in Revitalizing Congregations (TPIRC)
As part of a grant from the Lilly Endowment, LHC is participating in TPIRC whose goal is to help churches like ours which are facing declining membership, attendance and revenue. Each participating church must select a project to help its revitalization, and our TPIRC team of Emily Miller, Jennifer Harmon, Susi Winquist, Carol Berger, Chip Braulick and Pastor Richard has chosen to create and more effectively promote a calendar of LHC events, making sure that each event receives the support it needs to be successful. Per TPIRC requirements, we must measure the success of our chosen project, which will be judged by increased attendance, participation and/or revenue from our events in 2020. A continually updated 2020 calendar is already available on our website, and each TPIRC team member is working with LHC staff and lay leaders to identify requirements for each event and define what is needed to allow maximum participation. Please remember to let Lori Prang know about any LHC meetings or events you schedule so we can keep the church calendar up-to-date.

Outreach
In 2019 we fulfilled our missionary commitments in all areas, and every organization we identified as a congregation received some form of support, monetary or otherwise. We made many types of donations and participated in a variety of fundraising (think holiday food baskets, prayer shawls, toiletries, Toys for Tots, Literacy Volunteers’ Trivia Bee, Easter baskets, second Sunday food pantry collections, CROP Walk, etc.) which is terrific but may not be the most effective way to be of service. So in 2020 we are reexamining our support of Outreach activities to make them more relevant and impactful for our members. At the 'Janual' meeting Karissa James, Outreach Ministry Chair, distributed a survey to determine how the congregation wants to support Outreach going forward. If you were unable to attend the meeting and would like to add your voice to the survey results, please contact Karissa .
 
As part of Outreach fundraising in June 2019 our congregation endorsed an offsite Queen of Hearts raffle but chose to not sell tickets on church property. Seven months later we have over $2,200 in the bank and the pot continues to grow. Several church members expressed an interest in buying tickets but are unable to attend the drawing, so the Queen of Hearts committee asked the congregation for permission to sell tickets at fellowship hour following worship on Sundays. The motion passed unanimously, so you may now purchase tickets during fellowship. We will continue with this fundraiser until the Queen is chosen and will then reassess if there is an interest to start again with a new board. Meanwhile, please join us each Wednesday night at the Spotted Fox for fellowship, a bite to eat and the drawing.
 
Yours faithfully,
Karen Kaluzsa
And your winners are...
Samantha Prang - 1st Place Chili
Lori Haseltine - 1st Place Dessert
Diane Dippner - 2nd Place Dessert
Kathleen Sullivan Kaska - 2nd Place Chili
Chili Cook-Off
& Dessert Bake-Off
Big Winners
Thank you to Congregational Life Ministry and to everyone who participated in our 15th Annual Chili Cook Off/Dessert Bake Off! Approximately 60 people attended with nine chili entries and 4 dessert entries. This year line dancing was added an extra element of fun for both dancers and onlookers. And the video became a Facebook sensation! The best news is we raised $930 for LHC!
Joyful, Joyful Campaign
Good News on the Restoration!
We have good news to share on 'Joyful, Joyful We Restore Thee' Campaign, Phase One. We are in the last touches of the design of this initial portion of the restoration and we are pleased to share our excitement with everyone on the new updated kitchen coming to the west side of the Parish Hall. As has been previously discussed, a passageway is to be built on the west side between the sanctuary and the Parish Hall, we will be including new ADA compliant restrooms and a new, updated kitchen. The design for the kitchen has benefited from the input of dozens of congregation members and has now proceeded far enough along to allow the production of several preliminary renderings... which I would like to share with you.
The new kitchen will have plenty of storage cabinets, counter tops, cooking surfaces and oven capacity to allow for an efficient, comfortable work environment.
As the image above shows there is a central counter/work area with several seats, windows on two sides to allow the sun into the room - and even a working exhaust hood!
As the two images above show, a pass-through window will provide easy access for both food and communication between the kitchen and the Parish Hall. The design will be finalized shortly and immediately thereafter converted into construction documents to be used for permits and the bidding process. We are eager for Spring and construction to arrive at Little Home Church. More for everyone soon!

Greg Hege
Stewardship
"I am the way..."
First, my sincere Thank You and grateful appreciation on behalf of Little Home Church
to the 51 families who pledged $151,000 during the recently concluded campaign. Your generosity helps provide the financial support needed for Little Home Church to fulfill its mission.

Although the Campaign is officially over, we gladly accept pledges throughout the year, whether they come from new members or members who have not yet returned their pledge cards. Hopefully, this subtle reminder will result in additional pledge cards being returned and/or requested. Click here if you'd like a pledge card. Just fill it out and return it to the church office!
Thanks also for those who contribute on a regular basis without pledging and all those who
give generously of their time and talent to support Little Home Church.

Pete Connolly
Stewardship Chair
Yippee...SiS Plant Sale!
Time to Order BIG...

Sisters in Spirit (SiS) will host a plant sale again this year, featuring annuals, hanging baskets and planters, herbs, vegetables, and strawberries. Last year’s sale was so successful that we met our goal of $500 and were able to donate over $1,000 to support LHC operations. With your help, we hope to increase our yield this year. Orders are due Sunday, March 8 . The plants will be ready for pick-up on Saturday, May 2, from 1-3 pm at church. Please share these forms with family, friends, and neighbors and 'Think Spring!' Questions? Contact Anne Bouchard.

We're Invited...!
Friday, April 24

Please join us as we visit Congregation Beth Shalom in Naperville. They have invited us to a regular worship service on Friday, April 24. The service will be explained to us beforehand, and at an informal refreshment gathering after the service we are invited to ask questions and meet others.

Children may attend the service with their parents.

There is a sign-ip sheet in the Parish Hall.

See Judy Hopkins with any questions.
A Book & A Prayer
Meets 3rd Thursday, 7 pm
NEXT MEETING is March 19

The Woman Who Smashed Codes
by Jason Fagone

J oining the ranks of  Hidden Figures  and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest code-breaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II.

In 1916, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the "Adam and Eve" of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told.

In The Woman Who Smashed Codes, Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizebeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma—and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.

Fagone unveils America’s code-breaking history through the prism of Smith’s life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence. The Woman Who Smashed Codes, a national best seller and NPR's book of the year is page-turning popular history at its finest.

Consider joining the book group for discussion, fellowship and snacks! There is always room for one more. The group meets at church in the Parish Hall. Any questions, please contact Kathy Haben .

Friday Night at the Movies
March 20, 7 pm

The Peanut Butter Falcon
The movie tells the story of a man with Down Syndrome who runs away from the residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler. Along the way he befriends an outlaw who becomes his coach and ally. It's a real 'feel good' movie that will pleasantly surprise you!

Join us in the pastor's office...we'll bring the popcorn. The group also meets at 6 pm for dinner at Portillo's, Rt. 64, in St. Charles. We invite you to join us...!
In support of our Outreach Ministry
Raffle Drawing on Wednesdays, 8 pm
Spotted Fox Ale House
3615 E. Main St., St. Charles

The Queen of Hearts had a good month, and the pot is now over $2,800! We continue to sell tickets and conduct the raffle each Wednesday at 8 pm at the Spotted Fox in St. Charles (across from Von Maur and Coopers Hawk)
Fifteen cards have been selected without the Queen chosen, so the raffle continues. We will also be selling tickets each week in our Parish Hall during our fellowship following worship to give LHC members an opportunity to participate in the raffle. Only cash is accepted. $5 will buy you six tickets and opportunity to select the Queen. We welcome your participation and support of our Outreach Ministry.

Tickets on sale all week at Spotted Fox or during fellowship at LHC on Sundays.

Or contact Carol Berger (630.363.8982) or Mary Roach (630.544.1881) for tickets. THANK YOU...!

Mardi 'BRA' Celebration!
THANK YOU!
Thank you to everyone who donated bras for our Mardi Bra. To date we collected 127 bras! The bras are shipped to women who are survivors of sex trafficking in developing countries and help provide women an ability to earn a safe income selling them in the second-hand marketplace. We are partnering with an organization called Free the Girls which has programs set up in Mozambique, Costa Rica and El Salvador. If you'd still like to help you may also make a monetary donation which will help offset shipping costs of the bras to the women. If you have any questions, contact Lori Prang in the Church Office .

Lori Prang
Fidget Quilts
A Thank You!
Dear Friend,
Thank you for the amazing Fidget Quilts that you and your friends made for the residents in our 5th Avenue Memory Care program. They were obviously made with great care and expertise; they will be used often. You certainly brought the joy of the holiday season right into our hearts!

Gratefully yours,
Staff and Residents of River Glen St. Charles
Sunday, March 22 has been designated by UCC as the day for churches to take up this special offering. Look for the envelope in your worship bulletin that day and into your heart and give generously.

If you prefer to donate online click here !
One Great Hour of Sharing
Invest in Futures
In Thailand, a 13-year-old girl arrives at the New Life Center, seeking relief from the cruel conditions that have brought her here. Her life up to this point has been mostly about survival. Here, she meets others like her. Some are survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence or human trafficking. Some have been forced to work when they wanted to go to school. What will the future be like when she is empowered to share her gifts with her community and the world? At the New Life Center, she is met with the investment of time, support, and resources. And she is loved. She is allowed to imagine a new future. Finishing school. Learning a trade. Even going to University to earn a degree.

In I Corinthians 3:9 Paul writes that we are all co-workers together in God’s service. Some of us plant. Some of us water. But God gives the growth. Paul reminds us that we are all called into the service of God, who cares for each
and every one of us. What could the future be like when we work to plant and water together, and trust God to give the growth?
When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing , you invest in the futures of these girls and countless others like them. Your gifts go to provide education, vocational training, basic necessities, and much-needed community support. When we share the love of Christ in this way, we see lives transformed. Not just their lives, but ours as well. Because when we empower girls to build a life for themselves, we help God build a better world for us all. As we invest in futures and serve as co-workers with God, the future becomes one of endless possibility and opportunity. What a great return on our investment!
Flowers, Fellowship,
Ushers & Pulpit Associate
 Sign-up to help decorate our altar table, provide fellowship, or assist with our weekly worship as an usher or pulpit associate. The calendar is in the Parish Hall and presently goes through March.

March 1
Pulpit Associate - Chip Braulick
Ushers - Ron & Maggie Purser
Flowers - The Miller Family
Fellowship - The Miller Family

March 8
Pulpit Associate - (Open)
Ushers - The Hochstetters
Flowers - Greg Hege
Fellowship - (Open)

March 15
Pulpit Associate - Kathy Haben
Ushers - Tim Haben &
Flowers - Harmon/Johnson
Fellowship - (Open)

March 22
Pulpit Associate - Samantha Prang
Ushers - Lori Prang &
Flowers - (Open)
Fellowship - (Open)

March 29
Pulpit Associate - (Open)
Ushers - The Miller Family
Flowers - (Open)
Fellowship - (Open)
March Birthdays
Mar. 1 - Mary Emily Anhalt
Mar. 4 - Gianna Marchese
Mar. 9 - Ann McLaughlin
Mar. 10 - Karen Kaluzsa
Mar. 12 - Emma Kaska, Kathleen O'Rourke
Mar. 16 - Louise Aughnay
Mar. 17 - Kathleen Sullivan Kaska
Mar. 19 - Carol Hancock
Mar. 23 - Gail Zwemke
Mar. 24 - Tim Shelton
Mar. 27 - Cadance Hendry
Mar. 30 - Brooks Allen, Tom Atkins
Love & Prayers
To those recently ill or hospitalized...
 Kathi Abell, Jeff Schramuk, Don Heinrich
Church Leadership
THANK YOU TO OUR CHURCH STAFF, COUNCIL, AND ALL VOLUNTEERS

Pastor   - Rev. Richard E. Malmberg
Pastor Emeritus  - Rev. Dr. Don Heinrich
Pastor Emeritus  - Rev. Ronald Purser
Director of Music/Organist  - Larry Dieffenbach
Office Manager  - Lori Prang
Custodian - Geraldine Fields

BTW Editors
Lori Prang and Kathleen Sullivan Kaska

Graphic Design
Kathleen Sullivan Kaska

CHURCH COUNCIL
Moderator  - Karen Kaluzsa
Moderator-elect  - Carol Berger
Stewardship  - Peter Connolly
Evangelism  - Mary Roach
Outreach  - Karissa James
Congregational Life  - Kathy Haben
Christian Education  - Nancy Schatzeder
Worship & Spiritual Growth  - Samantha Prang
Facilities  - Mark Lesswing
Members at Large  - Jen Haseltine and
Scott Johnson
Financial Treasurer  - Susi Winquist
Financial Secretary  - Ann McLaughlin
Clerk  - Kristen Thornton
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