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Peace to you and grace from Carly, called to be a servant and teacher among the saints and sinners, doubters and believers, rationals and dreamers of La Grange and beyond.  


How do we make anything new out of the Easter narrative? How do we make it relevant to those who report no faith affiliation? How do we make it relevant to our scientific, rational selves? What can be said about the death and so-called resurrection of someone nearly 2000 years ago that might inspire people to consider this narrative as something that shows such profound love that can transform our hearts, minds, and spirits? We've heard it all more times than we can count.    


I like to think of the parables of Jesus as a means by which he reached those, who like us, were skeptical. So I'll share a parable - probably not literally or historically true, but full of truth nonetheless.  


He was 9-in a Sunday school class of 8-year-olds. Eight-year-olds can be cruel. The third-graders did not welcome Philip to their group. Not just because he was older. He was "different." He suffered from a developmental delay as a result of genetic disorder.  


One Sunday after Easter the Sunday school teacher gathered some of those plastic eggs that pull apart in the middle-the kind in which some ladies' pantyhose are packaged. The Sunday school teacher gave one of these plastic eggs to each child. On that beautiful spring day each child was to go outdoors and discover for himself some symbol of "new life" and place that symbolic seed or leaf or whatever inside his egg. They would then open their eggs one by one, and each youngster would explain how his find was a symbol of "new life."


So, the youngsters gathered 'round on the appointed day and put their eggs on a table, and the teacher began to open them. One child had found a flower. All the children "oohed" and "aahed" at the lovely symbol of new life. In another was a butterfly. "Beautiful," the girls said. Another egg was opened to reveal a rock. Some of the children laughed. "That's crazy!" one said. "How's a rock supposed to be like a 'new life'?" Immediately the little boy spoke up and said, "That's mine. I knew everybody would get flowers and leaves and butterflies and all that stuff, so I got a rock to be different.


Everyone laughed.

The teacher opened the last one, and there was nothing inside.


"That's not fair," someone said. "That's stupid," said another.

Teacher felt a tug on his shirt. It was Philip. Looking up he said, "It's mine. I did do it. It's empty. I have new life because the tomb is empty."


The class fell silent. From that day on Philip became part of the

group. They welcomed him. Whatever had made him different was never mentioned again.   


Philip's family had known he would not live a long life; just too many things wrong with the tiny body. That summer, overcome with infection, Philip died. On the day of his funeral nine 8-year-old boys and girls confronted the reality of death and marched up to the casket. Nine children with their Sunday school teacher placed on the casket of their friend their gift of love-an empty egg[1].


I gave up years ago trying to explain resurrection, let alone understand it. I cannot convince anyone that God's love for us is so strong that not even death can defeat it. I do not pretend to know all the ways in which that love touches people's lives and hearts. I only know from my own experience that once God's love has touched your heart - either as softly as a feather or through a shock as strong as an AED - we see and feel life so very differently than before.  


Sometimes God seeps into our souls and minds and gently transforms us into new beings. Sometimes God washes over us like a Tsunami and gives us nothing familiar upon which to hold. Either way, we are dead to our former selves and are resurrected as new beings filled with hope and possibility. Like the seed that falls to the ground, we are drenched in the waters of new life. Ours is the choice to allow that seed to sprout roots, grow, blossom, and bear fruit.


I'll see you in worship!



[1] Stories for the Heart compiled by Alice Gray (Portland: Multnomah, 1996), p. 15.

Ministry Meetings
Big Brunch Meetings for April and May will be on April 19th and May 17th to avoid conflicts with the Stockholder's Brunch on April 12th and Mother's Day on May 10th.

Holy Week Schedule
Holy Week: A Journey to Easter
Sunday, March 29, is Palm Sunday
, the day we celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. On this day, the implications of his life and ministry began to unfold in some amazing, inspiring, and tragic ways. Palm Sunday begins the final week of his earthly life. On Palm Sunday, Jesus was greeted by an adoring crowd whose attitude would change dramatically as they engaged Jesus in a new way.  


The children will lead us into worship on Palm Sunday as we sing praises and wave palms celebrating how the live and ministry of Jesus enters our lives in new and exciting ways.  Parents, children, and youth: meet us in the Founders' Room to help us celebrate the triumphal entry! We will process in during the opening hymn.


Later in the week, the next step on the journey to Easter will be a more solemn and darker experience as we gather on Maundy Thursday, April 2, to experience the Last Supper and the events of betrayal and desertion. The Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.


On Good Friday, April 3, we are invited to join our extended family of faith from both the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches at 7:00 pmat the First United Methodist Church of La Grange for a dramatic reading of the story of Jesus' death where our own Chris Bart will lead the role of Jesus.  


Be sure to make plans and invite others to join us for Easter worship on Sunday, April 5. Our own choir, musicians, and more will again help us celebrate this special day. We will join in turning the barren cross of death into the cross of new life, so be sure to bring flowers to share and to put on the cross.  

Worship is at the very core of our life of faith and the events of Jesus' last week are pivotal. Join us as we learn and open ourselves to the story that changed the world and history. 


Volunteer Opportunities
St. Barbara's Food Pantry Collection 

St. Barbara's Food Pantry collection item for March is cereal.  

In April, we will be collecting personal hygiene products: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, deodorant, or similar products.  

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
Missions Survey

Missions is looking for input from you about organizations to support monetarily or by volunteering.  While we will continue supporting those organizations we have been in the past, we are looking for new ideas too!  We have only had a few responses.  Please add your input. Surveys are available in the church office and can be placed in the Missions mailbox or click here.   

Please fill out one survey by March 31st.
Maybe you have an organization that excites you that we don't know about!  This survey will help us with our Mission giving and planning Missions events throughout the coming year.  Thank you!
One Great Hour of Sharing 
Thank you to those who donated to One Great Hour of Sharing!    
Saturday Meals Volunteer Day
Thank you to all who participated in the March 14 Saturday Meals Program volunteer day.  We had a bounty of food and smiles!  Did you know that 42 members of our congregation pitched in to supply food or volunteer?   Over 50 guests were fed and the leftovers went on to Constance Morris.  Thanks to all who share their Saturday morning in this meaningful way or help with laundry.  You make this program happen each week.

The Conservative Case For Gay Marriage
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


Altar Flowers 

Is there an anniversary or special date coming up in 2015? See the calendar in the Founder's Room or email the office and sign up today!

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!

Music News
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 are available in the office.  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.


Save the Date: Summer Musical Camp registrations are available. This program is for students in 1st to 8th grades and takes place July 27th to 31st from 2 - 6 pm. Performances will be at 7 pm on July 31st and 10 am on August 2nd. This year's show is Are We There Yet? (The Story of Moses and the Exodus). Please contact Ryan Cox for more information.  

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 email today.

CYD News
Thank You  

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


The Zackley Work Trip Worship Service will be on April 12, followed by the Stockholder's Brunch. Come and hear what the kids have to say about their trip!  


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...

The family of Mary Brabec, mother of LuAnn Hall, who died on March 16th.

Erin Bryant, who is recovering from pneumonia.

Bernie Casella.

Jim Clayton, who is doing better.

Devon, who had brain surgery.

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 died recently.

The family of John Nixon Stellwagen, who died on March 11th.

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.

Fred Weiss, as he recovers from health issues.

Chet Won, Viola Clayton's son-in-law, who is now at home.