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August 20, 2015
Peace, grace, and joy to you from Carly, called to be pastor and teacher among the planted, budding, blooming, and spent faithful and doubtful in La Grange and beyond. May these last days of summertime bring you refreshment and renewal.
This week, our young people will bring the message of renewal to you. Three Zackleys shared with us their experience of the Boundary Waters on August 9. Since we were in the Chapel and many were not able to experience their stories, I'm sharing them here. May they bring you hope, laughter, and joy. And may you be just a tad bit covetous of their experience of heaven on earth.
Kendall Fresa:
Boundary waters, Sawbill Minnesota. Home to the pristine waters of the incredible Minnesota natural world. I was so lucky to have been persuaded over and over again to venture on the trip with the Zackleys. The trip up was exhausting and full of lip singing, pickle stops, laughter and of course sleeping, because it's not like we left at 4 in the morning...

       At first I was pretty nervous. The only people that I really had known were my brother Kitt and Sylvia. The other 5 people I knew of, but hadn't gotten to know them very well. Finally we had the chance to stretch our legs at Sawbill. The campsite we stayed at for the night. We practiced lifting up canoes and packs. OH. MY. GOODNESS. They were soooooo heavy but I was also the smallest one there, but that also changed. After the trip I became not nearly as strong as Paul Likness, who if you didn't know is a tank. That man can triple pack. I was lucky to lift one bag up on my own. Carrying the packs on portages and canoeing against the wind helped a lot with muscle building. The first day out on the water was beautiful. The weather was the best, it was warm and sunny and it made the forests light up like big green Christmas lights and the water was like a bath. As far as first impressions go, Sawbill was 100% perfect.  
           We got to the camp site and it was pretty basic, dirt and trees on a big rock in the middle of a lake, it was pretty cool though. We made it work with a few hammocks. Later that day we canoed to a big cliff on Cherokee. Then jumped off and 40 feet later we smacked the water. If you're curious what jumping off a cliff is like? First word of advice, don't try it. Second, when you are at the bottom on the water and think to yourself ppffft I can do that, that thing is tiny. Third, then you climb up. Fourth, you look at how beautiful everything is from up above. Fifth, you look down and quite frankly it feels like you're going to throw up your heart (don't worry none of that happened on this trip), also the longer of a fall it looks, and you're going to want to pee your pants. BADLY. You'll look at each other and then ask "well, who wants to go first?" *looks at dean* and he jumps in first and we all step back and release a collective 'Oooooooooh ' then out comes a previously submerged Zackleys and all of us laugh hysterically. Then well all jump in.

         After the first few days the weather turned kind of cold and windy. We still managed to have fun. Lots of singing on those rough paddling days. There were some 100 bottles of beer on the walls, yellow submarine, dancing queen, and you know all the other weird songs teenagers sing.

         Once we got "home" base camp for the night, we'd have dinner and a fire, which thanks to Cooper he brought a hatchet to make the amazing fires. My favorite part of those fires was that everyone was there, gathered as one big happy, sleepy family. Then Sylvia would ask "what line to the song did you come up with? Where did we all see god?" the song Sylvia was talking about is "he's got the whole world in his hands...." Then we would come up with the next verse. Some responses were ~on the mountain, the cliff we jumped off of, the little frogs I was told not to catch but caught and played with them anyways, the gentle giant moose that we gazed at, and lastly, the Zackleys our small dysfunctional churchy little group who makes inside jokes about pickles and hammocks and how one of the boys is a bed..... Never mind that last one. But I am apart of that small goofball Zackleys family and I feel accepted and 100% proud to be a Zackley.
Thank you Kitt, Sylvia, mom and dad and all of the others how helped encourage me to go on this trip. I was spoiled by the second world. Apart from phones and Netflix and candy crush. It sounds cliché but I feel like a different person. Happy, in touch, thankful, and blessed.
Jane Bell:
My experience going on my first Boundary Waters trip with the Zackley's was more than what I had expected. Expecting us to portage less and stay closer to Sawbill, I ended up feeling content with our trips route. Not only portaging longer distances but portaging farther while falling on your back looking like a turtle with the packs, that include all your week's' worth of camping and canoeing, and stepping in mud that makes you sink almost up to your torso, makes you feel so satisfied with the journey you have taken. The packs that are carried weigh around fifty pounds, feeling as if you are being dragged down for the first couple of days and eventually they feel twenty pounds lighter than what they had felt at the start of the week.

The weather on this trip turned out to be a lot nicer than what had been expected, having only gotten rain a few times, lasting less than ten minutes each time. When your whole pack gets wet, including all your clothing, it can lead for a miserable time. Sometimes having to set up camp and putting up tarps in less than four minutes, making sure your campfire doesn't get wet so you can make dinner that night is crucial.
When we had started the canoeing adventure, we all complained about our arms and how sore they were, thinking we were going super fast when half a mile up were Paul and Sylvia, who hauled it everyday. Me, personally, being in a canoe with Dean and Cooper was an interesting experience. Singing, joking, and just getting to talk about the most random things was an enjoyable time. This week, I felt I had bonded with everyone individually, trusting Kendall, Dean, and Kitt when they say the jump from the cliff wasn't too high. I, unfortunately, ended up with a huge bruise, because I thought sitting down mid jump was a great idea. At the end of the day, we had gotten Sylvia to jump off of the cliff, making us all so proud that she had done it. Helping keep the fire alive and getting to know the stories everyone had to share was a blast.

Being away from my phone and technology for a week really helped me to feel closer to God. There was so much more time to think, without distracting notifications every second. On the day before our last on the water, we had seen a moose, which I think was one of the coolest things on the trip, seeing all the beauty that is in front of me. I felt like God was truly there for me, motivating me to keep going even when I felt like stopping. I also helped be a motivator, helping Kendall push through all the long portages throughout the way. After the week, I felt like I had so much of a closer bond with God, making it even more worth the effort we all had used on this trip.

Then finally, the journey back to our homes in La Grange, Brookfield, and Riverside, I realized what a great time I had this week, spending it with some amazing people. Spending the night in the church was an escapade with trying some pizza with broccoli on top of it, as opposed to all the tortillas we had eaten that week( \(* *)/ ), dancing to songs playing on the boom-box (that we had requested), and staying up watching the movies we had got from the local red box. Honestly, getting back to all of our technology and out of the wilderness, I was a little disappointed, just wanting to go back to being in the wilderness. Other than swatting all the horse flies and mosquitoes away, making sure they don't get you, I had a great time on this trip, really enjoying the experience I had and feeling like I had bonded with everyone that had went on the trip.

Kitt Fresa:
In the spring of 2012 is where my journey here began. My parents had been going to church all of a sudden and had been raving about it. But me being me, a high school sophomore at the time, I wanted nothing to do with something like church. I had heard stories of great choirs and great people which sounded good but still... for my mom and dad.
Spring break was coming up and I couldn't wait to be liberated from school for an entire week. The idea of doing nothing for a week was exciting to me at the time, however it wasn't to my mom. She had found out here that there was a youth group, and I was eligible for it. She told me that during this spring break they were going to go to Tennessee for a week and work and do some fun stuff and come back.

The idea was terrifying to me. My spring break was going to be spent working in Tennessee? With a bunch of people I'd never met? I asked her if she was mad at me for something? She replied with a high pitched "it be funnnnnnn!" I said "there's no way I'm going to the middle of Tennessee to work with people I'd never met."

But my mother prevailed against my constant nagging of "please don't make me go" and sure enough I found myself in a couple of days standing in the church parking lot with a suitcase and nervous look on my face at 4 in the morning. A white van was running in the middle of the parking lot, silhouettes of people moved gear into the back of the trailer that connected to it. I realized those silhouettes were the people I'd be working and rooming with for the next week.
Shortly after everything was ready, we said a prayer, hopped in the van, and I managed to shoot my mom one last "nervous look" before the doors closed. The lights in the van turned on and I saw the people I was going to be with; they were people just like you and me and at that moment i felt much better. I knew that I was going to be ok.

That week ended up being one of the best weeks of my life. I felt a sense of pride, accomplishment and even love in helping the people we met. However what really was the best part of the week was the people I worked with. These people went from strangers to best friends in the span of a week, and that's what kept me coming back.

Every trip I've had with Zackleys has been the time of my life. I'm not kidding when i say some of the best days of my life were spent with the people in this group. No matter where we went I was happy I was there.

However all good things have to come to an end and just a few days ago was my last Zackleys trip. The trip would be at boundary waters in the Minnesota-Canada border. This would mark my 3rd trip there. To me boundary waters was a place next to heaven, and sometimes next to hell but in a good way. For a week you escape civilization and enter an entirely new place. The places you go and the sights you see don't exist nearby. There aren't many places so untouched and so beautiful as boundary waters. This trip I knew what was coming it would be no surprise as to what I'd have to do, but every year is different in its own way.

This year it was mainly just guys which I was totally fine because last year was all girls. We set off early in the morning and as we left the docks with all of our belongings, civilization stayed behind. A smile grew on my face and I paddled away. The trip was filled with laughs, adventure, and lots of paddling. And as I watched the stars glisten on the last night I knew my journey would soon come to end.

And so my journey ends here, today with all of you and I just wanted to thank everyone that had a part in making it possible. Without you I wouldn't be the person I am today. Thank you.

Church News and Reminders

All Church Work Day
You are invited to help ready our church for the new program year. There will be an all Church Work Day this Saturday, on August 22 from 9 am to 4 pm . This will be a come-as-you-are-able event, but we have a lengthy list of items that need to be accomplished both indoors and outside. We need all hands on deck! Check out the list on SignUp Genius and on the Opportunities Board in the Fellowship Hour space.  

Finding Meaning in Communion
No one but God fully understands the mystery of sacraments; the human mind cannot possibly grasp fully their meaning. Sacraments are not explainable. Our Puritan ancestors of Congregationalism felt strongly that each person's relationship with God is individual and unique. And so each of us are encouraged to have our own perspective on what it means to us.

Unlike some customs within Christendom, our tradition does not set aside a certain age at which people take their "first communion." It has been the pattern for some of our Sunday School classes to return to the sanctuary for communion on the Sundays when the sacrament is being celebrated. It is up to each family to decide when their child is ready to participate.

We will be offering an opportunity for singles, families, adults, and children to gather and explore together the sacrament of communion on Saturday, September 19th . We will spend the morning experiencing the mystery, baking the bread, and exploring what it all might mean in terms that children of all ages can begin to understand. All are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing!

All are invited. While there is no cost, reservations are needed. Please sign up on the Opportunities Board in the Fellowship area, on SignUp Genius, or by calling the church office.
Volunteer Opportunities

Lawn Mowing

Sign up to help keep the church lawns looking their best. We have both a self propelled mower and a rechargeable mower for you to use. This includes the front, back and side lawns.

The sign-up day and time are listed as Saturdays, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, but the actual day and time you mow is flexible.  

Laundry Heroes

Sign up to be a laundry hero. This is a simple, eco-friendly and meaningful project. Just pick up the laundry at your convenience, from outside the kitchen and bring it back the Saturday morning that follows by 7am. If you have any questions, call the church office or contact Marilyn Russell at

More Volunteer Opportunities

Have some extra time? We can use your help!

Your office staff are updating the church's membership database. Our hope is to have our data as complete as possible by the end of August. This will be a time-intensive process over the next 5 weeks that requires the cooperation of our friends and members in filling out the census, as well as individuals to help to do the updating. We need help in three areas. For each, volunteers will need to attend a training session to become familiar with the processes and the systems.

  • Member data and access to the updating process instructions distribution and collection. This will involve talking to people as they arrive, settle in, and leave worship, as well as in the time of fellowship. You will be needed on self-selected Sunday mornings between now and September 20. You'll need to attend a brief "training session" to become familiar with the process.
  • Data entry and synchronization. Work times are flexible. You'll need to be comfortable working on a computer in the church office and learning how to use new software. We need help in two ways: inputting the data from paper surveys from those members and friends who do not use computers; and following up on the data that is self entered by members. This work will happen during August and September.
  • Telephone follow up with friends and members who do not respond to the survey electronically or on paper. Work times are flexible. This will entail calling people from your home or from the church office, and completing the census survey over the phone. This work will also happen during September, but may run into early October.
In Our Church
This week in our Church
click here for calendar

Welcome to the Access Genius Bar!
Having trouble with the internet Login on Access?  No Problem -- We're here to help!  Find the paper form awkward and problematic? No Problem -- We'll take you information and enter it!  
The Church Census Database Update is at your fingertips with assistants to help you complete your update! Step into the office before or after worship any Sunday between August 23 and September 20 for your personal guide to help you update your information.

Is there an anniversary or special date coming up? There are Sundays open in September, October, November, and December to donate altar flowers. See the calendar in the Drawing Room or visit the office and sign up today!

In the summer, Hooks & Needles meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month at a member's house. The next meeting will be on August 24th at Margaret Melkonian's.
This month we honor Interfaith Community Partners, one of the local missions your pledge dollars support. They are a volunteer organization providing services to those 60 years and older. Volunteers do well being checks and provide transportation for clients to go to appointments (hair, shopping, doctor, etc.). Volunteers are screened and have background checks. They are always in need of volunteers!    

The ReelAbilities Film Festival, the largest film festival in the United States dedicated to sharing the human experience of disability through film, is coming to Chicago for the first time! On September 9 - 13, join us at locations around Chicago to see amazing films by and about people with disabilities. Also, over half of the films were directed by women! All events are FREE to the public. Go to for the schedule or pick up one in the church office.
Please call or email Linda Lauterbach for more information or for transportation sharing.

To kick-off the upcoming year, FCCLG is throwing a block party on Sunday, September 1 3th! The part y will begin on Sixth Ave immediately following worship and the celebrations will continue until 2pm. Kids are encouraged to bring bikes and scooters! We will have a bounce house, bean bag toss, and many more fun activities for kids of all ages! The Saturday Meals Program is providing lunch so we just ask that you bring a side dish or dessert to share. If possible, please also bring your own lawn chairs. Free tickets for the picnic will be available during coffee hour after worship or at the church office.  Please get your tickets in advance so we can plan the event accordingly. All tickets will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift certificate!  We look forward to seeing you on the 13th!

"The church bridge group will begin playing again in the fall. If you played last year, please let Doris Bryant know if you plan to play again in the coming year. The group is open to all skill levels. Each couple plays once a month at a time convenient for the players. If you would like to play but do not have a partner, please let Doris know as well. We will try to find a partner for you." 

Hooks and Needles is sponsoring an all ch urch cr
aft sale fundraiser on November 1st in the Founders' Room from 11:30 am to 3 pm.  We are calling on all church crafters to make this event a success by donating a wide variety of hand made items. All items are donations and all proceeds from the sale will go to the church. There will be information sheets in the office and available at coffee hours. Questions - talk to Linda Lauterbach, Claudia Byrne, Debbie Llewellyn, Barbara Hultman, Margaret Melkonian or Mary Forester. 

We have a photo album from the after-school program Whole in One for 2003 - 2006. If you would like any of these photos, stop in the office and they're yours!
Music News

Chancel Choir rehearsal begins on Thursday, September 3 at 7:30pm in the Choir Room.  Membership is open to all singers, high-school on up.  All voice parts are needed, particulalry, sopranos, altos, tenors and basses.  Not sure where you fit in?  Ryan will help you figure that out.  All new choir members are offered two free voice coachings with

Carillon Handbell Choir rehearsal begins on Wednesday, September 9 at 7:30pm. Anyone high-school and up is welcome.  Previous ringing experience is not required, however, basic music reading is helpful (counting is the big thing!).  We need both regular ringers and those who would like to sub in from time to time.

First Conservatory , offering private lessons on most instruments including piano and voice, is housed in YOUR church. For almost 20 years our expert teachers have instructed many of the area's youth and adults, including many fine musicians in our congregation. Contact Ryan Cox to start lessons or for information to pass along to a music lover you know. Taking lessons is first and foremost for the student. However, the Conservatory has a symbiotic relationship with FCCLG. Each month the Conservatory contributes $1125 for the use of space. It sponsors teachers to play occasionally during our services and also provides all of the piano tunings in the building, including the sanctuary. More students means more opportunities for the Conservatory to support the church. We hope you will help make that happen!
Did You Know?

Let's Start at the Beginning

Maria, from "The Sound of Music" reminds us to "start at the very beginning-a very good place to start." In that spirit, Carly will offer a Confirmation Refresher Course. This is an introduction/review of the faith traditions of Western
Christianity. Everyone is invited! 

We'll be using Martin Copenhaver's book, To Begin at the Beginning. This is an informal, conversational gathering. We will meet in the Drawing Room from 8:30 to 9:20 on Sunday Mornings. There will be coffee!

The book is available at the local bookstore, on Amazon,, or a limited number of copies from Carly . It is an easy read, but each week will require that you read the chapter before class. We'll follow the outline of the book in sections, taking a break between each section.
Part One: The God We Worship and Serve : Sept. 20 to Oct. 18
            September 20: Preface and Introductions
               September 27: The God of Creation and Covenant
            October 4: The Jesus of the Incarnation
               October 11: The Jesus of the Resurrection
            October 18: The Continuing Presence of the Holy  

Part Two: The Church as the Body of Christ: Nov 1 - Dec 6.
            November 1: Life Together as God's People
            November 8: The Church's Book
               November 15: The Church at Worship
               November 20: Baptism with Water and the Spirit
            November 27: No class (Thanksgiving weekend)
               December 6: Eating at Christ's Table

Part 3: What Is Promised, What is Required Jan 10 -Feb 7
            January 10: Conversing with God
            January 17: Resurrection to Eternal Life
               January 24: Doing Faith
               January 31: Sharing the News
               February 7: The Invitation

Touch List

Your Cards and Prayers Will Comfort and Touch...

The Balz family.
The family and friends of Sandra Bland.
Rita Baumann, Mary Cooper's aunt who is recovering from surgery.
Charlie Cosgrove and family of Marjorie Cosgrove, who died on July 23rd.
Nancy Haiman who is recovering from surgery to remove a melanoma .
Our thoughts are with LuAnn Hall's niece Jessica.
Lois Hindman, who is house bound with a brain condition.
Ronald Kloss, Janet Bednar 's father, who is recovering after surgery.
The family of Roger Leidigh who died on July 11th.
Ruth Martin , who has continuing medical issues.
Kathleen McConnellogue and Jennifer Powers who are each dealing with health issues.
Donna Moore , who is recovering from surgery.
Camilla Norby.
Helen Pancer, Viola Clayton's daughter who had surgery.
Erin Swan , daughter of Chris and Renee Bryant, who has ongoing medical issues.