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Grace and peace to you from Carly, called to be pastor and teacher among and beside the saints and sinners, winners and losers, peacemakers and war mongers, lovers and haters of La Grange and beyond. And I've seen, heard, and been amongst all of these and more in these past days. The climate within La Grange's community has been joyful, painful, and telling.
Joyful. This is a community of faith that celebrates and knows how to have fun! We enjoy excellent music and challenging thoughts both in church and outside of it. We appreciate theater and art, knitting and fine fabric crafts. And we love to eat! We bring joy to the lives of others by providing healthy meals through the Saturday Meals Program and our gifts to St. Barbara's food pantry; through our participation in and support of the safety, well being, and life-changing services of Pillars and the Constance Morris House; through safe passage and transportation we provide through our volunteers and support of Interfaith Community Partners; and through the shelter we provide through our volunteer hours and financial support of BEDS Plus. We are a community that gathers in joy, works in joy, and spreads God's joy. I thank God daily that this congregation is a witness to the La Grange community!
Painful. There have been multiple meetings and gatherings around the BEDS Plus proposed facility at the corner of Ogden and Washington. A three page anonymous letter appeared on the doors of local residents; and as anonymous letters tend to do, it relayed half truths, outright lies, and hateful language. At the gatherings these same themes- half truths and hatefulness- surfaced from people on both sides of this issue. Taking care of those who are the very people Jesus ministered to is the work of people of faith. And that makes this division all the more painful: people on both sides believe they are acting out of faith. When anger drives us, we become hateful and hurtful. Division in the community is painful. La Grange is a divided community. This is not the way of Christ. We are a community of faith Accepting All, Reaching Out, and Changing Lives, and we have work yet to do.
Three themes run through the language and attitudes of this BEDS debate; these things infect the rest of our community life as well.
: we are all afraid of people who are not like us, who don't think like us, who don't look like us. I am afraid of people who are suspicious of my homeless brother because I don't know what they might do to him. I am
uncomfortable around people who do not share my beliefs and practices because I don't know what drives them. This is fear of the "other" among us. Jesus said, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? .... whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:48-50).
There is Classism: we are inclined to favor those who live within or above our level of comfort over those who have less or choose to live beneath their means. We choose to live a certain way and expect others to meet our expectations for ourselves. We mean well when we offer our ideas for how others could improve their lives, but our "helpful suggestions" are patronizing and classist. When we seek to separate ourselves from others to preserve our own comfort level, we are elitist. The East/West divide in this community demonstrates this well. Paul reminds us "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
: yes, in this day and age we are still fighting the battle for liberty and justice for all. This comes through in our attitudes and practices around the "East side" of
La Grange: it was recently suggested to me that I might not want to walk "over there." It comes through in our assumptions about "those people" regarding their employment, work ethic, parenting, income, and home life. I've listened to people who assume that because a woman lives in a certain neighborhood she is a poor, unemployed, uneducated, single mother! In reality, that woman is none of these! Our underlying assumptions expose our racism. All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are affronts to the ministry and death of Jesus. "Christ put an end to this, destroying the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:14).
We have our work cut out for us, friends. Whether or not the village trustees pass the BEDS proposal, we are called to offer hope and healing to a community divided. What role will you take in healing this brokenness? What might you do, say, and be with others? How will you witness to the resurrection in these coming days?
| Holy Week Schedule
Thursday April 2 at 7:00 pm Tenebrae Service at FCCLG
Friday April 3 at 7:00 pm Good Friday community service with First Presbyterian and First United Methodist, at First Methodist
Sunday, April 5 at 10:00 am Easter Celebration with communion at FCCLG
| Volunteer Opportunities
St. Barbara's Food Pantry Collection
St. Barbara's Food Pantry collection item for March is cereal. Thanks for your support!
Crop Walk Coordinator Needed
Missions is looking for someone to lead a short term mission project, Crop Walk. This local fund raiser held on the 3rd Sunday in October raises money to fight hunger. The position is responsible for attending the planning meeting in April, the rally breakfast on the first Saturday in September, helping to sign up members to walk, and writing notices for the Tidings. If you could lead this mission (which provides financial support to our own Saturday Meals Program), contact Jill Tobin.
CNN/Meals on Wheels
Community Nutrition Network/Meals on Wheels provides meals and resources to older adults and persons with disabilities, and assists them in leading healthy and active lives. If you can
volunteer to help prepare or deliver meals to home-bound seniors, or have any questions, please call Tanya Harrison at 708-310-4434.
| In Our Church
|Easter Lily Plants
The Easter season is the beginning of spring, a time of renewal and rebirth. Spring-blooming flowers sing of hope and carry special meaning as we celebrate rebirth through Christ's resurrection. Legend holds that lilies grew where Jesus' tears fell, offering hope to believers. The Ministry of Worship invites you to share this hope by ordering an Easter lily to be displayed in the sanctuary on Easter Sunday in memory of or to honor a loved one. You may order by phone or sign-up sheet in the church office. The cost is $12 per plant. The lily is yours to take home after the service or we can deliver it to a home-bound member. Order deadline is Sunday, March 22nd.
One Great Hour of Sharing
One Great Hour of Sharing provides support for health, education, refugee, agriculture and emergency relief initiatives in 138 countries by working with local, national and global partners. The offering is received during Lent. We will be dedicating the offering today. Please give generously.
Ministry of Missions Seeking Congregation Input
The Ministry of Missions is seeking information about what excites you about your monetary giving, giving of your time & talents and what social justice issues are most important to you. We have a
for each church member to complete. Click the link or use the form in the Sunday bulletin (place in offering plate or in Missions mailbox in church office).
Please fill out one survey by March 31st. Maybe you have an organization that excites you that we don't know about and the church might want to support! This survey will help us with our Mission giving and planning some Missions events throughout the coming year. Thank you!
Book Club Meeting
The Conservative Case For Gay Marriage
The Evening Book Club meets on Thursday, March 12, at 7:30 pm in the Family Room off the Chapel to discuss the book
Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography by Jean Harvey Baker. This April marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Mary Todd Lincoln is still often portrayed in one dimension, as the stereotype of the best-hated faults of all women. Here her life is restored for us whole.
Journalist and author Andrew Sullivan wants to redeem American conservatism from what he sees as the fundamentalist excess of the Republican far right. Join Sullivan for his take on how the right has gone wrong on Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00 pm in the Frick Center, Founders Lounge at Elmhurst College. Info and tickets here.
Is there an anniversary or special date coming up in 2015? See the calendar in the Founder's Room or
the office and sign up today!
Calling all children for the Palm Processional! Meet in the Founder's Room at 9:45 am on Palm Sunday, March 29. There will be a brief rehearsal and then it's time for plenty of hosannas!
Easter Morning Continental Breakfast
The Ministry of Nurture invites you to a complimentary continental breakfast on Easter morning before church. Please come anytime between 8:30 am and 9:55 am in the Founders' Room. We look forward to seeing you!
Thank you to the 20 people who came to donate blood and to those who helped with the donation process. We were able to donate 17 pints to Heartland Blood Centers.
| Music News
Bell-y up to the Brunch Table is coming to the Founder's Room on April 25, 10:30am. This continues the occasional series of programs offered by church musicians and friends, followed by a light brunch. This version will feature the Carillon Handbell Choir, Michael Brozick, trumpet and Ryan Cox, baritone. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and will be available starting March 22. All proceeds will go towards the Instrument Repair Fund which helps maintain our organs and handbells. Our 5-octave set of handbells were fully refurbished in February and the next project is finishing the re-leathering work on the Van Daalen sanctuary organ. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Summer Musical Camp registrations will be available soon. This program is for students in 1st-8th grades and will take place from July 27-31 from 2-6pm. Performances will be 7pm on 7/31 and 10am on 8/2. This year's show will be Are We There Yet? (The Story of Moses and the Exodus). Please contact Ryan Cox for more information.
Thank you to those who helped install the purple banners for Lent - Chris Bart, Janet Bednar, John Bednar, and Robert Klestil. Thanks to Debbie Llewellyn and Jan Ceranek for sewing pockets and hems on the banners. Pulleys have been installed so future installations will be quick and without the need to be comfortable on a 30 foot ladder!
| Did You Know?
|Interfaith Community Partners
Interfaith Community Partners serves older adults living in their own homes but not able to drive themselves. They provide escorted transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other events as needed and without charge. Services also include visitation to provide companionship and support, as well as telephone contact to give well-being and safety checks. They also refer clients to other available services to maximize their independence and well-being.
There are 13 member congregations, and most of the volunteers are members of these churches. Do you have a few hours to spend with older adults in your community? Training is provided and scheduling is flexible! To volunteer, call 708-579-8929 or
| CYD News
Pancakes & PJs
Zackleys Work Trip
Celebrate with us on Saturday, March 14th as we welcome springtime with FCCLG's annual Pancakes and PJs brunch! Join us in the Founders Room at 9 am for pancakes, juice, and laughter! Don't forget your Easter basket as there will be an Easter egg hunt and a reading of the Easter story for children. PJs are encouraged! Please sign-up with
so we have a head count. We need electric skillets to cook the pancakes. If you have one we can borrow, please contact
for your hospitality to our children and youth! By donating to our youth you are letting them know that they are welcomed and loved by our church family!
Mary Cooper - For juice boxes and granola bars
John and Betsy Colombe - For granola bars
Sarah Gottermeyer - For the candy
Anonymous - Hot Chocolate packets
This year the Zackleys will be returning to Edisto Island for the 8th year. Edisto is between Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. In the past we have helped to improve the housing of families on the island. Our trip takes place during spring break: March 28th-April 5th. The trip will cost $250 to register after March 8th. More information can be found outside of Sylvia's office.
Important Dates for Work trip:
- March 15, March 22:Stock Sales 10:00-Noon, Sanctuary/Founders Room
- March 15: Final Participant Meeting, 6:30 pm in the Chapel
- March 28 (5 am) -April 5 (late afternoon): Work Trip: Departure and arrival in church parking lot
- April 12: Zackley Worship Service: meet at 9:30am, Service at 10
The Zackleys will be selling stock for their spring break trip to Edisto Island starting March 1st. This is a very important fundraiser for our work trip. Each stockholder will be invited to our stockholders brunch April 12th! There will also be a sign up to write letters to our Zackleys while on the trip. Thank you for all of your support!
Calling All Altoids lovers!
The Zackley youth group needs your help! We need Altoids cases (or similarly shaped metal boxes) for our work trip. Please bring your boxes to the office or Sylvia by March 22nd!
Call for Volunteers!
Our Yzals group is growing and will continue to grow in the next couple of years. We need volunteers to help support and love this group! If you would like to help out with this amazingly energetic group please contact Sylvia!
| Touch List
Your Cards and Prayers Will Comfort and Touch...
Evelyn Biegert,who is recovering from knee surgery.
Erin Bryant, who is recovering from pneumonia.The family of Cindy Carr, Sarah Carr's mother in law, who passed away.
Jim Clayton, who is doing better.
Our thoughts are with LuAnn Hall's niece Jessica.
Lois Hindman, who is house bound with a brain condition.
Paul Jones, friend of the Weiss family, who is in hospice.
The family of DeFord Schwall, Susan Schwall's father, who passed away.
Erin Swan, daughter of Chris and Renee Bryant, who has ongoing medical issues.
Mike Tobin, Char Tobin's son, Jill's brother who is being treated for cancer.
David Kasnick's friend Gary Wheeler, who has a brain tumor.
's son-in-law, who received a bone marrow transplant.