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Confirming what faith?

Grace to you and peace from Carly, called to be prophet, teacher, pastor, and leader among the doubters and the faithful, the confirmed and infirmed, the lovers and the haters, and the pew warmers and active saints of La Grange and beyond.

Just what are we teaching our children these days?

  • A parent in the line at the grocery store slaps the 5 year old while saying, "Don't hit your sister."
  • Adoptive parents send their foreign born child alone on a plane back to his home country because they can't deal with his disabilities.
  • A homeless woman talking to the doll in her arms is the source of great fear for a mom and her children.
  • A church leader is convicted of hiring a hit man to kill the father of her granddaughter.

While these may be extremes, it's important to remember that we teach our young people more by our actions than by our words. Words are important. But actions are more important.

So what are we teaching our children about God? About Faith? About living The Way of Jesus?

  • Are we reading and learning and growing in faith along side of them?
  • Do we do things to intentionally stretch and grow in faith?
  • Are we taking time each day to spend with God in meaningful ways?
  • Are we teaching our children to be generous in all things by being generous ourselves?
  • Are we demonstrating a commitment to live differently than the values of the world in order to live by the values of God?
  • Are we practicing what we believe outside of church on Sunday?


  • Is our Faith a Sunday only affair?
  • Are our Bibles are lost somewhere on a bookshelf or in a box?
  • Do we place social and sports schedules ahead of our faith commitments?
  • Are we spending our hard earned cash on material signs of wealth and keeping up with our neighbors?
  • Are we hiding our faith life beneath the fa?ade of our professional or public personae?

Here's the thing: On Pentecost, we entered into a covenant relationship with 4 young people who spent 30 weeks learning and growing so that they feel ready to make a decision to follow the Way of Jesus in their lives. We promised to grow along side of them, to encourage their faithfulness, and to walk beside them on this journey through faithful living. Are you prepared to do that? Are you willing to commit to those things?


Or are we teaching our young people that our promises are only empty words, that it is acceptable to go through with these promises because we've always done it this way, that it's okay to graduate from growing in faith and faith life once those (empty) promises have been made and they've "joined the church?" Will they follow us as graduates of confirmation and bystanders to the work of God?


Because if we don't live by the promises we've made, if we don't exhibit the life of growing faith, how can we ever expect our children and future generations to have faith?




Church News and Reminders
Babies, Brunch, and Baptisms

We've had a lot of babies born this Spring! And all are invited to have their parents bring them to brunch on Saturday, June 13 to get to know one another and for their parents to connect and share in an informal atmosphere. There will be an exploration of the meaning of Baptism at First Congregational Church so that parents can make an informed decision about baptizing their children.


On Fathers' Day, we will celebrate the sacrament of Baptism for all who desire to participate.


The gathering will take place in the Drawing Room at 10:30 and is open to all families who wish to participate. Brunch will be provided by the fine cooks of the Saturday Meals Program. Parents are asked to let the office know by June 6 if you can join us.


Faith Statements

Our confirmation class shared their faith statements in worship on May 17. These are the starting point of their journey of faith.


Jane Bell is a freshman at Riverside Brookfield HS. She came to FCCLG through her friend and Zackley, Kara Nedvar. She was baptized at First United Church of Oak Park and is the daughter of Heidi Bell. Her sponsor is Mary Bart who writes about her: Jane is quiet and self-conscious, yet a confident young lady. She's looking forward to going on the high school canoe trip - has been up there before with her family and should be a definite asset to the group. Jane joined the class of her own free will [without a family connection to the church]. I've enjoyed her participation in the Confirmation class.


Jane's Faith Statement:

Ecclesiastes 3:1: Everything that happens in the world happens at the time God chooses.

I believe this describes my Christian journey because it gives an explanation of why something would happen. It shows that not everything is planned, that things can be spontaneous, and when that spontaneous moment is ready to occur, it will. Not everything happens in the blink of an eye and you have to wait for it to come. God helps us make certain decisions and leads us toward the right paths.

God to me is who I can look for to help, helping that he will through-out my life struggles. Jesus has helped, seeing the good and the bad decisions having done myself. God lets me see the greatness in everyone and what to do if someone is in need of help. Describing Jesus, I would say he has taught me a great deal of things, allowing me to understand all sorts of aspects. Jesus has allowed me to realize what a great person I am and to never get down on myself, to remember to be myself and that it is all right to change. He will help me with any mistakes along the way.

When I think of mission, I think about all the new and interesting things I can do for my community and continuing on living this faith. Thinking about mission, I think of all the trip you can do to help others and make me feel better as well as a tiny piece of this world.


Samuel (Sam) Klitchman is in his final year at Highlands Middle School. He is part of a large extended family of FCCLG members beginning with his grandmother, the late Marilyn Macek. He was baptized at FCCLG and is the son of Katie (Macek) Klitchman. His sponsor is John Bednar who writes about him: Sam is a good listener, writer and a great teen.   He enjoys soccer and a good barbeque; laughter came from some of our mentor discussions with the students.


Sam's Faith Statement:

Church to me a journey or a path to follow. I believe, if you believe in God, and you trust in him, he will do the same in return. Its kind of like the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated.

My verse is Psalm 105 verse 4 "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." I choose this verse because it describes so much, in so little. For one, it's saying, look for his strength. To me, this means look at your strengths and weaknesses. If you look to God and see his strengths, he will see yours. It also says, seek his face always. To me, this means to follow his advice. Even when things start to look bad, we should always keep an open mind and remember that God is with us. He might even make the good come out of the bad. One thing I've learned is things always happen for a reason. Sometimes things might be bad. For example, someone or something you love passes away. Nobody wants it to happen, but all things happen for a reason, you just have to believe in that.

To me, God is found in many people. For example, people who respect others, and people who help others. God doesn't have to be a magical man or woman that created the universe. He also doesn't have to be a person that stands in power over everybody. Jesus is the same way. He is found in people who believe in others, and is kind and respectful. I don't exactly believe in everything and everyone in the bible, but I do believe there are still people in this world who act like Jesus and God!

My Christian journey has come a long way. There has been a lot of mornings where I just don't want to go to church at all. There are some days were I just don't mind. I'm not a 100% how I would use this in my whole life, or at school, but I believe this is all just a path. I believe things happen for a reason. I think God gives you so many chances at things, and the choice is up to you. Maybe, you have a choice to study or go watch TV. Obviously we would all prefer to watch TV, but the choice is all up to you. I will take my life with God.


Nathan (Nate) Wallin is in his last year at Park Jr. High. His family has been a part of FCCLG for over 6 years. Nate was dedicated at the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills. He's the son of Randy and Sandy Wallin. His sponsor is Tom Dreffein who writes about him: Nate is a handsome young man, who has a quick, charming smile with a laid back personality. Do not let that fool you, as Nate is a very kind and caring person who lives his faith by sticking up for the underdog.


Nate's Faith Statement:

My Bible verse is Proverbs 4 verse 27: "Do not swerve to the left or right; keep our foot away from evil."

If you don't want to end up in a bad place, you can't do bad things. If you want to feel good about your life, you need to stay on a good path. So make your decisions and don't let people who tell you to do wrong or persuade you to think differently.

I'm still learning about Jesus but don't fully understand him yet. I'm trying to figure him out. I believe he was a very intelligent man that was possessed by God's soul so that God could come down from heaven and teach us many of the lessons he wants us to know.

I want to follow the teachings of Jesus but it is not easy for me. But I do believe that his teachings tell me that I should be looking for ways to have a meaningful life as I get older, where I'm helping people out and not just living for myself. I don't know what I will be doing, but I do know that I want as be as loving as I can even when I'm extremely frustrated.


Zachary (Zack) Wallin is also in his last year at Park Jr. High. He and Nate are fraternal twins, so he's also the son of Randy and Sandy Wallin. Zack has been a part of FCCLG since the family came here from Clarendon Hills in 2009. Zack was dedicated at the Christian Church of Clarendon Hills. Jerry Palmer is his sponsor who writes about him: Zack is a quiet guy, but one thing I can always count on is seeing a big welcoming smile every time I greet him. Like many of us Zak is earnestly searching for the role that faith and church will play in his life. Zak likes to run, play soccer and do activities with his friends. He also loves hamburgers and ribs.  


Zack's faith statement: 

The verse that describes my Christian journey is Exodus 14:14: "The Lord will fight for you, and you only have to keep still."

What that is telling me is that if you try hard enough and do the best you can do, God will be there for you. This means to me that wherever you are in your life, and whatever happens to you, God will never desert you; God will always be there to comfort you.

To me, God and Jesus are practically the same. God is the spiritual version of Jesus. God's role in my life includes the creation of the worlds, universes, humans, plants, and animals. If it weren't for that, we wouldn't be here right now. I would describe Jesus as a strong, unselfish living being.   What Jesus has done for all of us was to die on the cross so we would be forgiven of our sins. This brings us into a closer relationship with God.

When I think about mission, everything leads to believing in Jesus and the things he did. In life, I will get to know him better. How can I live out my Christian life? I can continue to go to church and learn about what Jesus stands for. I would do something I love to do rather than just doing something for more money. How can I do a mission to the world? I can help with the Zackleys on the work trips making houses and giving people a place to sleep and food; and I can also volunteer in the Saturday Meals program. For later in my life, I will be working behind the counter of Dunkin Donuts and making people's lives better in the morning.


Volunteer Opportunities
St. Barbara's Food Pantry Collection 

St. Barbara's Food Pantry collection item for May is canned beans (refried or whole) and canned meats (tuna, salmon, chicken, ham, spam, or hash). Thanks for your support!


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.  


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


As God calls our congregations to be the church in new ways, Strengthen The Church offering will plant new churches, awaken new ideas in existing churches, and develop the spiritual life in our youth and young adults. STC funds will also be used to award grants to help congregations communicate the "God is still speaking" message. Please give generously on June 7th when we will receive this special offering.


Enjoy great food and connect with your neighbors at the First Presbyterian Church of La Grange's Biggest Potluck Ever! Everyone is welcome, it's free, and lots of kids' activities have been planned. A pig roast and beverages are provided; bring a side, appetizer, salad, or dessert to share, and a blanket to sit on. Saturday, June 6th, 5:00 to 7:30 pm at 150 S. Ashland Ave. Sponsored by the La Grange Clergy & Church Leaders Alliance. Share a meal and build friendships in our village!   



On Saturday May 30th, gather on the lawn before the parade starts at 9:30. The Ministry of Nurture will put out chairs, help Zackleys and Membership provide water and treats for the dogs, and sell food and water for people. Remember to wear one of your FCCLG t-shirts!    

In Our Church


The next meeting of Evening Book Club will be on Thursday, June 18th at 7:30 pm in the Chapel meeting room. We will discuss The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. This mesmerizing Australian novel is a bestselling book around the world, and Hollywood movie rights were recently snapped up by Dreamworks. Copies are available at the La Grange library.




Pick up your beautiful new 2015 FCCLG Directory in the Founders' Room today! Please review your information and let the office know of any changes or corrections.  



There are no Big Brunch meetings in June or July. The next one will be August 16.



We have photo albums from the preschool for 1984, 1987, 1993, and 1994. If you would like any of these photos or albums, stop in the office and they're yours!

Music News
Music News

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.   


Come hear the Choral Sermon on May 31 at 10 am. The Chancel Choir, Brass Octet, Organ and Percussion bring to life John Rutter's exuberant Gloria. The ensemble also performs Ralph Vaughan Williams' classic O Clap Your Hands. The hymns will be stirring tunes arranged or composed by Vaughan Williams. This is the choir's last Sunday until the fall. Invite a guest to this musical celebration!


Summer Musicians of all ages are invited to play, sing or ring starting in June. The choir is off for the Summer, so we need you!  Not a soloist, but want to lend your talents? That's ok! Ryan will find an ensemble for you, just contact him for more information or to sign up. 


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!

CYD News

Family Camping: Painting the Colors of the Wind

Join us for camping at Tower Hill June 19th-21st! Learn about God's creation as we journey through the book God's Pa intbrus h together to see God in the loving acts of parents, in nature, and in ourselves. Please contact Sylvia if you and your family are interested! The deadline to sign up is May 31st. Camping with your own tent is $12 per person. For cottage rentals, check with Sylvia.  
Touch List

Your Cards and Prayers Will Comfort and Touch...

The family of Mary Crist who passed away May 12th.

Devon, who had brain surgery.

Dawn & Rick Geist, who lost their home in the tornado on April 12th.

Our thoughts are with LuAnn Hall's niece Jessica.

Lois Hindman, who is house bound with a brain condition.

Tony Kasnick, Dave Kasnick's nephew. 

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

Mike Tobin, his sister Jill, and mother Charlene who received good news.