Sunday, June 6, 2021
First Word: Friday Updates and Devotion**
Commitment to Grow
… Let’s grow in every way into Christ, who is the head. The whole body grows from him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part. – Ephesians 4:15-16

Some of the children I first baptized as a minister are now, decades later, raising families of their own. The question that has challenged me throughout all my years of ministry was framed by a colleague decades ago with his book title, “Will Our Children Have Faith?” This central question impacts the life that we share together.

The life of faith is meant to be lived in the present moment. But the life that we grow is founded upon faith that sees beyond the years. Too often I see individuals, families, and churches making choices of immediate expediency – as if the present moment will forever be the shape of our lives.

But each moment and age of our life is joined by the working of God’s Holy Spirit. We are a unity of life experience that structured by the love of God that we have known in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul was getting at this truth in his letter that I’ve quoted above.

It is Baccalaureate Sunday with an opportunity to look back over more than just the pandemic, but across the breadth or life experience we have shared with our children and youth. How have you contributed to the growth of our children? Where have you invested your time, talent, and treasure to build up the Body of Christ so that our children, and their children, will have faith?

We are learning that growing generations of Americans are less interested in faith as a statement, and more interested in faith as an action. The gift of a historic church such as ours is its capacity to link current action with continuing faith and the demonstration of God’s abiding love in Christ. I believe our children will have faith, even if the journey is filled with many surprising turns. But I believe this is true, only because I witness the willingness of each member to commit and make it so. Please pray for our commitment to grow.

Pastor Brian Paulson

**Formerly called "Weekly Word"
Worship in person or online
Join us at 10 a.m. for in person or online worship. The Rev. Kara Smith-Laubenstein is preaching and we're honoring our graduates. If you'd like to join us for in person worship, masks are required but you no longer need to register online or at the door. We will be singing this Sunday with our masks on. Please join us!

Fellowship Pad
Sign our Fellowship Pad and make a prayer request by clicking the Fellowship Pad link below.

Coffee Hour is back
Following worship, the Deacons are hosting an outdoor Coffee Hour with beverages and treats beneath the Sanctuary Portico. The Youth Ministry Team will be serving cake in honor of our graduates.

Join us in celebrating Carol Boyce
Please join us Sunday afternoon from 1-2:30 p.m. for an outdoor celebration of Carol Boyce, who is retiring from her position of Children's Ministry Coordinator. We will have games and treats. 

If you are planning to record a "thank you" message for Carol, please do so by midnight tonight (Friday, June 4). Click here for more information.
Family Sunday School: Breaking Down the Walls
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Chapter 2), he says we are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of the same household. There is much that divides us today; health concerns, politics, even religion. 

This week, our family Sunday School lesson explains we are to tear down barriers and dividing walls just as Jesus did. Remember He is the Prince of Peace. The lesson suggests that music and volunteering in organizations doing Christ’s work ways to tear down walls that divide us. 

A recent song by Tim McGraw & Tyler Hubbard states, “I think it's time to come together. You and I can make a change. Maybe we can make a difference; make the world a better place. Look around and love somebody; we've been hateful long enough. Let the Good Lord reunite us 'til this country that we love's – undivided.
Message from the Stewardship Committee
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

Stewardship is driven by love, joy, and generosity. But there are earthly “treasures” that compete for our attention and energy. When we choose to focus on God’s priorities (heavenly treasure), our actions will follow - reflecting our love for God and serving others. 

We are grateful for the many faithful stewards in our congregation who joyfully give of their time, talent and treasure. Look for many stewardship opportunities in Parish Life as well as the church website.
FIDE: Mythology in the Modern World
Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at First Pres Arlington Heights
Inspired by Joseph Campbell’s lectures on mythology, join Adam Hendrickson on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (through July 7) for a five-part series of classes examining the role mythology plays in our modern world. From a person’s occupation to their religious beliefs, you might be surprised how much mythology is ingrained into our genetic makeup and the society that we have created. This class is in-person at First Pres Arlington Heights, but you can watch the live stream at https://firstpresah.org/experience/livestream/
Let your spirit soar on June 12
Let your spirit soar from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. next Saturday, June 12 at the Women's Retreat at Ryerson Woods in Lincolnshire. Click here to learn more and register.
Fishing at Independence Grove on June 13
All ages are invited to join us from 1- 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 13 for fishing at Independence Grove. Email Bill Hicks bosoxwin2day@yahoo.com and Eric Schneider eschneider85@gmail.com for more information!
Juneteenth "Weekend of Learning" on June 19
The GROW team of the Anti-Racism and Equity Task Force is offering a weekend of learning for all ages on Saturday, June 19. Learn more by clicking here or you can register directly through the links below.
Adult Discussion: Watch the movie "12 Years a Slave" on your own, then join a discussion group on Saturday, June 19. Discussion groups will be facilitated by church members and held in various places, some in person and some online. This film is rated R.
Youth Discussion – Our youth are invited to join Rev. Kara on June 19 in her backyard for a discussion of the movie, “The Hate U Give” (rated PG-13). Watch the movie in advance, or watch it with Rev. Kara on Saturday. June 12 at 7 p.m. in her backyard.
For Families: Juneteenth for Mazie
Did you know there is a special Juneteenth flag? Do you know the significance of the symbols on the flag? Your children can learn more about it as they make one of their own.

This is just one of the Juneteenth activities, crafts and book discussion starters to do with your children at home, included in your family’s Juneteenth Goody Bag.
Summer 2021 Book Read
The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
 
The GROW sub-committee of the Anti-Racism & Equity Task Force invites you to join in an all-church summer book read. The book, The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby, is a powerful reminder of the Protestant church’s complicity in racism as it traces racism from the days of slavery to the current BLM movement. 

  • Monthly Discussion Groups. For those who want to pause and discuss the book in sections, we invite you to start reading in June and participate in monthly discussions throughout the summer. You can attend one, two, or all three sessions. This path provides the chance to pause, reflect, and discuss the material in three parts.   
  • July 7 - Discussion of Chapters 1 - 4.
  • August 11 - Discussion of Chapters 5 - 8.
  • September 8 - Discussion of Chapters 9 - 11.
 
  • Whole book discussion. Join us on September 12 to discuss and reflect on the book as a whole. This will be an opportunity to meet fellow readers and challenge each other on what we have learned.
 
  • Read it On Your Own. The Color of Compromise is an excellent book and just reading it will sharpen your awareness of the significant issues of race and the church.
 
Of course, you can mix and match all three of the above. The key is to read, learn, and be challenged. 
 
Please Come Join Us and GROW Together
Save the Date for more Faith and Fun outdoor events for all ages
Adults and children of all ages are invited to join us this summer for our intergenerational faith formation events!
 

Peace Like a River: Community Art Project
Sunday, June 27 (3-4:30 p.m.) at First Pres
Event chairs: LeAnn Malecha lmalecha1@gmail.com and Kristin Kenny, Kkenny0825@gmail.com
 
Talent Show
Saturday, July 10 (5-7 p.m.; Rain date: July 11) at First Pres
Event chairs: Jennie Bucciero jenbucciero@gmail.com and Lisa Mehta huron343@gmail.com
 
Scavenger Hunt
Sunday, July 25 (3:30-5 p.m.) at Independence Grove
Event chairs: Gail Starr starr.gail@gmail.com and Carol Braunschweig braunsch@uic.edu
Flower Dedications
Honor a loved one or celebrate a special occasion by dedicating a Sanctuary flower arrangement on Sunday morning.

Flower dedications and donations are our sole source of revenue for the flowers we display during worship, so your support is much appreciated.

To make a dedication, click the "Flower Dedication" button below, call the church office at 847-362-2174, or send an email to office@boxp.net. Thank you for supporting our efforts to have live plants and flowers in the Sanctuary each Sunday.
Libertyville Senior Center
The Libertyville Senior Center offers a number of programs and services for seniors in our community. You may access their monthly newsletter by clicking the blue button below.
Church Office Hours
The church office is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The doors, however, are locked so that we can monitor entry into the building. Call 847-362-2174 when you arrive and someone will come to the office entrance on Douglas Ave.
How to contact a pastor or staff member
Phone: Call 847-362-2174.
Email: Office@boxp.net (emails go to a member of the administrative team and will be forwarded to the appropriate person).

Pastoral Emergencies: Please call 847-367-6460 if you are church member and need to reach a pastor in an emergency. Leave a message and a pastor will return your call as soon as they are able.
Gather Round on June 9
Kindergartners - 3rd graders (or anyone who likes a good story) are invited to join Mrs. Boyce on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Zoom for a bedtime story.
Inquirers Class on June 30 & July 7
If you’re thinking about becoming a member of First Pres or just want to learn more about our church, please fill out the interest form below.

The classes will be held in Fellowship Hall from 6:30 p.m.- 9 p.m. on June 30 and July 7. If you decide you'd like to officially join the church, you'll meet with Session leaders at 8:30 a.m on Sunday, July 11 and then be presented to the congregation as New Members during our 10 a.m. worship service in the Sanctuary. Please click the link below to sign up.
Volunteers needed on June 26
On Saturday, June 26 , we need three volunteers to help move furniture and other household items from Love INC's Gurnee warehouse to the residence of a Lake County neighbor in need of a fresh start.