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August 6, 2015

Grace to you and peace, from Carly, called to be prophet, teacher, pastor, and evangelist (barer of good news) among, to, and along side of the saints, sinners, sitters, and doers in La Grange and beyond.


There are no words to describe the miracle of miracles that has occurred in our midst in the last two weeks. Back up to the time of the last Tidings: we had just received word that our guests, School District 105, would need the space they share with us for this current school year. That space was nowhere near ready when we received this news. There were all kinds of accumulated stuff everywhere. It needed a major clean out, decluttering, cleaning, wall repair, and painting. The word from the head of the preschool program was that they needed the space to be ready by August 10. That gave us 19 days to get the space ready. There was no way I could see that happening. There was just too much to do!


Enter God's miracles: a plea was made for assistance. We asked for brute strength to move major stuff, delicate detail workers to clean, rapid repair-folk to reassemble and mend the broken, and organizers to declutter what was left. Within 4 days, the space was ready to be painted. Today, it is cleaned, painted, and almost ready to go!


Oh, we could say that there's no miracle here: humans came together and worked hard to get done what needed to be done. That would be anthropocentric explanation; it eliminates the role that God and our faith play in what we are and do. And it does not reflect the full truth. The full truth is that no one has the ability to accomplish alone what we can do together when united by God with a single purpose. The full truth is that we can accomplish nothing on our own, but we can do all things through God who strengthens us.


As it turns out, District 105 will not need the space until the Fall of 2016. But, we are ready for guests today. We have a fresh space for our children and our guests to explore life with God through Christian nurture and fellowship. God has made a way for us to be more effective in our ministry together and with the community. Thanks be to God!





Church News and Reminders


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 19. 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.



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 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 B oard in the Fellowship Hour space.

Volunteer Opportunities

Lawn Mowing

The grass is green and it's time to mow! 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.  

Reaching Out

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 7 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 August 23. 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 July and August.
  • 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 August, but may run into early September.
In Our Church

HELP NEEDED Following Worship on 8/9 

We need to move old TVs and electronics for recycling. These will be picked up on Monday, August 10th by a recycling company. We need help following worship on August 9th to move them from various places in the building into the hallway by the kitchen door, and then to rearrange the cloak room for the Saturday Meals Program's access to their closet.


HANG OUT WITH 'Flat' Jesus

You are all invited to take a cutout of Flat Jesus, color and decorate him, and take him with you throughout the summer, sending pictures and stories back to the church via Facebook (tag the church!), email, or drop them by the office. We'll print photos and put them on the bulletin board in the Office corridor.


What a great way to share our faith and remind us that Jesus is with us wherever we go. This is an easy-to-do outward expression of an inward faith. Keep an eye out for pictures of the adventures of Flat Jesus on Facebook!   


Moms Demand Action of Illinois

Eighty eight people are being killed a day. Many Chicago moms are fighting to save lives. More voices are needed. You are invited to a movie event at the the Gene Siskel Theater in Chicago. The movie, " 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets" will be playing Sun, Aug 9th 3:00pm, and Mon,.Aug 10th 8:00pm. This film is about the shooting in a gas station in Florida because of loud music. Lucy McBath, the mother of the young man who was killed in this shooting will be at the event on Sunday. Go to for more information.

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 10th at Claudia Byrne's.

The next Big Brunch meeting (without brunch) will be August 16. Mark your calendar!
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! Come on Sunday, August 16 to hear a Mission Moment from Aileen Pendleton, the Executive Director, who will tell us about the services they provide and how you might use their services or be able to help!   


At the end of summer we feel restless and on the verge of new and exciting possibilities: How to respond to the Spiritual callings we feel? Where do we fit into God's plan? There isn't a better place to explore these feelings than on the women's fellowship retreat. Women of FCCLG please mark your calendars for Aug 22 & 23. All are very welcomed. We have been graciously invited again to Doris Bryant's home on Diamond Lake in Michigan, to explore with Pastor Carly, how to be attuned to the Spirit which surrounds us and make it a part of our lives. There will be time to enjoy the lake, to read, to talk with each other and be away from lives filled with hindrances which steal time from us. For more information please see the volunteer table or contact one of our hostesses, Jo-Anne Konkle, at 708-484-2099 or


Hooks and Needles is sponsoring an all church craft 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.

Music News

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?



Membership Census Happening!
Be watching this week for your opportunity to update your personal and family information in the church's database. Each household should receive either an electronic (or paper if we have no e-mail on file) survey that will help us have correct and complete information on each member. This is important so that you can be invited to participate in ministries, included in updates, and receive church news. Please complete and return the survey as soon as possible!


Touch List

Your Cards and Prayers Will Comfort and Touch...

The Balz Family in transition.

The family and friends of Sandra Bland

The family of Dennis Burke who passed on June 16th.

Rita Baumann, Mary Cooper's aunt who is recovering from surgery. 

Charlie Cosgrove and family of Marjorie Cosgrove,
who passed away on July 23rd.
The family of Kenneth Berg who passed away on July 24th. 

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.

The family of Roger Leidigh who passed away on July 11th.

Kathleen McConnellogue, and Jennifer Powers who are each dealing with health issues.

Camilla Norby

Helen Pancer, Viola Clayton's daughter who will have surgery this week.

Erin Swan, daughter of Chris and Renee Bryant, who has ongoing medical issues.

Joyce Williams, Diane Kasnick's aunt who passed away peacefully on June 23rd.