October 3, 2019
Week at a Glance: October 4 to October 13
Friday (October 4)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
7:30 pm: Alanon
Saturday (October 5)
8 am: Kindermusik
8 am: Saturday Meals Program
Sunday (October 6)
8:30 am: Adult Education - Acts
10 am: Worship
11:15 am: Fellowship Hour
11:15 am: Ring & Sing/Treble+ Choir
4:30 pm: Messy Church
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous
Monday (October 7)
7:30 pm: Alcoholics Anonymous
Wednesday (October 9 )
4 pm: Be Still and Know 12 Step Meeting
7:30 pm: Carillon Handbell rehearsal
Thursday (October 10)
7:30 pm: Chancel Choir rehearsal
Friday (October 11)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
10 am: Spiritual Directors
7:30 pm: Alanon
Saturday (October 12)
8 am: Kindermusik
8 am: Saturday Meals Program
Sunday (October 13)
8:30 am: Adult Education - Acts
10 am: Worship
11:15 am: All Teams Meeting
11:15 am: Fellowship Hour
11:15 am: Ring & Sing/Treble+ Choir
6:30 pm: Youth Group Meeting
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous

Pastor Carly Answers... Could God Be A Woman?
Another response to my Aug. 25 'Ask the Question' sermon:

It’s a mystery of faith that God is beyond gender. God has no gender, yet is all genders.

Genesis 1:27 says “ God created humanity in God's own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them.” If humanity is created in God’s image and not confined to a single gender, God cannot be confined to any gender lest the Creator not be reflected in the created ones.

There are masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral words that refer to God in the original languages of the Bible. Because English doesn’t assign genders to words except in pronouns, the Bible’s translators had to choose a gendered pronoun. Jesus called God “Father” (as well as a mother hen and a few other choice words), so the men translating the Bible into English chose male pronouns. However, we cannot assign a gender to God, because to do so is to exclude part of who God is.

To explore why we tend to "humanize" God, click here for details on an Oct. 10 discussion with Iranian-American religious studies scholar Reza Aslan at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs: "A God Who Looks Like Us."
Oct. 3-12: '(In)Justice for All' Film Festival (IFAFF)
Daryle Brown, director of this Trinity United Church of Christ-organized event , gave the sermon at our church several years ago. Feature films, documentaries, and topical shorts focus on the industries that support America's often-unjust criminal justice system. Click here for a schedule of these FREE movies.
Junk the Nasty Junk on Oct. 5 for FREE
Get rid of chemical cleaners, oil-based paints, thinners, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides, pesticides, old medication, fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps at an Illinois EPA household hazardous waste collection event. Not accepted: latex paint, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes.
When : 8:00 am to 3 pm
Where:  Village of Bensenville Public Works (717 E. Jefferson)
Oct. 6: A Movie for World Communion Sunday
Directed by two-time Emmy award-winning writer Linda Midgett, " Same God " is playing to sell-out crowds across the country. Tickets are $5 for a showing at American Islamic College in Chicago. Click here for details. 
Oct. 6: Join Us for 'Messy Church' Fun and Food
We meet in the dining room at 4:30 pm. E-mail Amanda Ries to help with crafts, message, and music.
CROP Walk Fund Raiser
Pick up a flyer in the Founders' Room and bring it to Panera at 439 North La Grange Road on Thursday, October 10th from 4-8 pm. Panera will donate a portion of your food bill to CROP.
Oct. 11, 12, 26 & 27: An 18-Track Playlist You Don't Want to Miss
National Public Radio has been sharing the backstories of songs that unite us, inspire us, or say something about what it means to be an American. First Congregational Music Director Ryan Cox is performing these iconic tunes as a member of the Chicago a Cappella ensemble at two concerts. Click here for "American Anthem" location and ticket info.
Galaxy Theater presents The Odd Couple
Shows are October 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday performance at 2 pm. Enter at the Cossitt Avenue entrance to the Dining Room. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors or students, and $10 for groups of 6 or more. They are available at the door or can be purchased in advance by email or buying them online.
CROP Walk Information
The CROP Hunger walk takes place on October 27 at 12:30 pm. The three mile walk starts at the First Congregational Church of Western Springs. Sign up to walk or donate here .
First Congregational Needs a Representative on Oct. 19
Explore organizational challenges and social justice opportunities with delegates from 90 other United Church of Christ churches at the Chicago Metropolitan Association's fall meeting. Click here for details on where and when and e-mail Pastor Carly if interested.
You Can Do A LOT More in 4 Hours Than You May Think
Help end homelessness in our community by staffing shelters, doing laundry, making meals, supporting fundraising events, and/or taking Support Center calls for just half a day each month. Sign up on the BEDS Plus website or contact breitbarth@beds-plus.org, 708-354-0858 (ext 137).
A Thank You from 'Feed My Starving Children'
The meals First Congregational members packed at Feed My Starving Children 's Aurora location on May 18, 2019, arrived in Nicaragua on Aug. 27 to help kids fed by  Convoy of Hope . Why so long? They cross the ocean by ship or plane; wait in line to clear customs; then journey by car, bike, canoe and/or donkey to reach the organization's partners.
Oct. 19 & 20: Meet a White House 'Champion of Change' & CNN 'Hero of the Year'
Episcopal priest, author, and sexual abuse survivor Becca Stevens founded Thistle Farms in Nashville to empower female survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction, where they make home and body products sold in stores like  Whole Foods. Hear her preach and have tea with survivors. Click here for details. Photo: Ryan Camp
It'll Be a Jazzy Worship Service on Oct. 20
Wynton Marsalis, Nina Simone, and John Coltrane (among others) had their earliest musical experiences in the church. Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck wrote sacred pieces. In their honor, Music Director Ryan Cox and Brian Shannon will lead us in singing favorite hymns re-imagined with fresh harmony and rhythm.
Oct. 24: Book Club Delves Into 'Little House on the Prairie' Author
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser covers three generations of the Ingalls Wilder family, homesteading, the history of broken treaties with Native Americans, and the politics that set the stage for the Dust Bowl.
When : 7:30 pm
Green Events
David Wallace-Wells, the author of The Uninhabitable Earth , will be speaking at the Harold Washington Library on Monday, October 28 at 6 pm. Doors will open at 5 pm. A climate scientist, columnist and editor, Wallace-Wells with reveal how different the lives we lead will be due to the global impacts of the climate crisis. Call Laurie Braun for more details.
Social Concerns Book Group
We are reading The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. Join us for the discussion on November 21 at 7:30 pm in the Drawing Room. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book predicts the future of the world and the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes.
$144 Is a Good Start, But We Can Do Even Better
First Congregational members and friends raised that at Church World Service's Aug. 4 CROP Hunger Walk fundraiser event with Oberweis Dairy in Western Springs, but the BIG event is yet to come: Oct. 27 is the walkathon's 50th anniversary. One-quarter of money raised locally is invested locally, including in our Saturday meals program (SMP). We'll kick off the event at 12:30 pm at our church. Click here to register or donate or stop by the registration table during coffee hour. Questions? E-mail Linda Lauterbach .
Help a Child Live a Better Life
Contact Cathy Pierson at 708-579-5898 or  cathyp@theleadershop.org to volunteer for two LeaderShop programs:
Mentors and mentee meet at mutually agreed-upon times and determine how that time is spent based on common interests, hobbies and favorite activities. We ask that mentors commit to at least 1 year and spend at least 4 hours a month with their match.
After-School volunteers help with homework, practice reading and math skills and help lead group activities and crafts. Times and locations:
  • La Grange Community Center (200 Lincoln, LG)             Tues. & Thurs. 3 – 5 pm
  • LeaderShop (4903 S. Willow Springs Road, LG)           Tues. & Thurs. 3 – 5 pm
  • Hollywood House (3435 Hollywood Ave., Brookfield)      Mon. & Wed.    3 – 5 pm
  • Summit Park District (5700 S. Archer Road)                   Mon. & Wed.    3 – 5 pm

If you have or know a child who’d like to make like-minded friends, tell them about LeaderShop’s fall high school retreats for junior high students and high school students .
FCCLG: 140 Years and Counting!
March 2021 marks our 140th anniversary and we'll start planning the celebration in October . If you'd like to help commemorate this momentous occasion, raise your hand! Better yet: Sign up in the church office.
There's No Excuse for Not Playing Bridge
Our bridge group begins a new season of play soon. The best part? You don't have to be an expert or have a partner to join in. Everyone's welcome! We play once a month on a date to be decided between the two teams playing each other that month. Questions? E-mail Doris Bryant .
Wanted: Water Purification Equipment for Recycling Program
Drop off old Brita (name brand only) filters, pitchers, bottles, faucet mounts, and other accessories for School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) in the labeled box in the Styrofoam/cork closet.
There's Plenty of Room for More Mentors (Not Tutors)
Many thanks to Kathy Donaldson for answering the call to oversee our Kids Hope USA partnership with Congress Park School in Brookfield. The program asks members of participating congregations to spend 1 hour each week (during the school day) building a supportive relationship with an at-risk elementary school student. Now we just need volunteer mentors! We won't just throw you in there; you'll receive training (done online and takes 1 hour, plus additional resources and support). 
Questions? E-mail Nancy Heil or call her at 708-482-3409.
  Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Emil Balz
Rev. Biegert
Jim and Vi Clayton
Debbie Cosgrove
The friends and family of Jason Esler, a former Zackley
The family and friends of Ida Hatke, a young relative of AnnLaura Tapia
Ron Kloss
Stephanie McCollough
Martha Ririe, who is both recovering from a painful time, and concerned about ther daughter-in-law's father
Christina Thomas, Joy Palomo-Clark's cousin, a young mother dealing with cancer
Peter and Kendra Van Kempen's twins John and Irene, born September 19 and being cared for in the NICU.
Those killed, the injured, and their families in acts of violence
Those at the border
Those living in fear and without hope, and those who use fear to control others

To send your thoughts / prayers to someone listed above, place a completed Touch Card (they're in your pew) in the offering plate and the office will address and mail it. Let us know if you or someone you know is hospitalized or receiving medical treatment because HIPAA privacy laws prohibit doctors and hospitals from contacting us. If you know someone who'd like a visit from the Called to Care Ministry team, contact Called to Care Ministry Leader Jennifer Burney by calling the church office at 708-352-0800.
C an’t Get To Church?   Join Us in Virtual Worship
Click here at 10 a.m. on Sunday to watch the service or follow these instructions to watch through your Roku Device. Made possible by the estate of Ginny Palansky and maintained by your gifts, offerings, and pledges, our Livestream viewership is much appreciated by members and families who can't attend in person. Contact the church office to have the bulletin emailed to you on Thursdays.