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September 3, 2015

On September 27th, our church family will be embarking on a new adventure and things could get messy. Messy Church is a unique way of doing church that brings people from different generations and backgrounds together in worship. Because things are going to be a bit different, I wanted to let you know what to expect!

What to expect!
Craft/Game time: We will begin our time together doing crafts and games in the Founder's Room. Each game and craft will pertain to our theme for the morning. There will be multiple  tables set up with crafts and games for everyone to enjoy! So explore and pick a few activities to join! Remember this will be messy so makes sure to wear something that you do no mind getting dirty!

Celebration: We will move into the sanctuary to for the Celebration! During this time we will worship with music and hear the bible story told in a vibrant and enthusiastic way that allows members of all ages to see the story through new eyes.
The Meal: Time and time again we see Jesus sharing a meal with his disciples in the bible. Messy Church follows this example. We will be mimicking this in our own church family. "The meal feeds body and soul as the congregation sits around tables...together in a non-verbal expression of the feast of the kingdom of heaven, where all are accepted and everyone belongs without a need to earn their place..." (Messy Church, 20). Everyone is welcomed at this table, everyone is invited to join in our communion.

Why are we doing this?
What to expect: Expect mess. Expect noise. Expect learning. Expect fun. Expect God to show you something new. Isaiah 43:19 says, "Look! I'm doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don't you recognize it?..." Messy Church takes us out of our routines. By changing how we do church, by allowing something new into our worship, we create space for God to do something new. Messy Church takes the biblical theme of the day out of our cerebral knowledge and places in our experience, in our crafts, in our conversations and in our celebration. In each aspect of Messy Church we will build relationships and in doing so, show who God is in our words and actions.

Messy Church is extreme welcome. While working on crafts, we will be talking with fellow church family members, meeting new visitors and developing relationships. By worshiping in a different way, we welcome all to learn something new. By sharing a meal we evoke Christ and build relationships according to example set for us in the gospels.  On September 27th, we will have the pleasure of experiencing this new way of doing church during our normal worship time. After this, Messy Church will be on Friday nights once a week night and will be open to the community. It is our hope that by changing what it is to be the church, FCCLG will be reaching out and touching the lives of the members of our community.
Sylvia is a partner in ministry with FCCLG where she has worked at the Children and Youth Director for 2 years. Currently she is pursuing ordination in the United Church of Christ. She lives in Chicago where she loves to spend her free time watching Patrick perform comedy.

Church News and Reminders

All Church Work Day
Last Saturday at least 18 members of the congregation came together to donate their time to spruce up the church and grounds, make repairs, and perform much-needed maintenance.  Work accomplished includes the clearing out of two rooms to make space for rentals, scraping and painting the exterior benches and handrails, installing carpet and baseboard, clearing tall gutters, replacing the casters under a heavy piano, replacing the light bulbs in choir room, cleaning the pews, and general dusting and cleaning in the Sanctuary and Founders Room. 
Many folks put in over eight hours of sweat and Fellowship.  Those who contributed include Kris Kocek, Eva and Mark Stevens, John Bednar, Kent Llewellyn, Ryan Cox, Deb Gardiner, Bob Klestel, Jill Tobin, Char Tobin, Terry Owens, Gary Melkonian, Mike Donaldson, Jim Happel, John Moellman, Chris and Renee Bryant, and Erik Sander.  Our apologies if we forgot someone!
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
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 mid September. This will be a time-intensive process over the next 3 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 enter your information!    
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!
St.Barbara's Food Pantry needs help!
St. Barbara's Facebook page states that their food pantry shelves are in dire need of supplies. They can use toilet paper, soup, beans, peas, corn, jelly, tuna, chili, spaghetti sauce, pasta and hamburger/tuna helper. If you wish to donate, receptacles for the food are outside the sanctuary. It helps to have them in a bag to transport them. Thanks!
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.
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. Please sign up in advance during coffee hour after worship or at the church office so we can plan the event accordingly. Each sign up will get a ticket which will be entered into a raffle for a chance to receive 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. We will try to find a partner for you.

The book club will discuss The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman on Thursday, September 17th at 7:30 in the Chapel conference room. Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly-acclaimed works of poetry and nonfiction, including the bestseller A Natural History of the Senses and the Pulitzer Prize Finalist One Hundred Names for Love.
The Westchester Community Church (1840 Westchester Blvd.) is holding a fundraiser spaghetti dinner on Saturday, September 19th from 4 - 7:30 pm. Tickets are $8, children under 3 are free. Tickets are available at the door. Door prizes and raffles occurring throughout the evening.
Music News

Chancel Choir rehearsal continues on Thursday, September 10 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.

Ring 'n Sing : It's back and it does what the name suggests. We sing. And we ring. Sometimes at the same time. Children in 1st-6th grades are welcome to join the fun. Rehearsals begin on September 20 from 11:15-11:45 am. This program is great for introducing new families to our great youth programming.

Treble Choir : An extension of Ring n' Sing, this ensemble is designed for children in 3rd grade and up. The focus is on voice development, music reading and singing more challenging music. Normally we meet right after Ring n' Sing from 11:45 am-12:15 pm. However, our first rehearsal will be combined with Ring n' Sing on September 20 from 11:15-11:45 am.

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

Our Sunday School starts back up on September 13th. We need people to fill teacher and shepherd positions until we can hire Sunday School helpers. Please sign up through Sign-Up genius or contact Sylvia at sylvia@fcclg.o rg

September 27th
is our Messy Church kickoff! We need volunteers to help work craft tables and games. If you are willing to help us, please contact Sylvia. We also need help with our continued efforts in making Messy Church open to the community starting in November. Please think about how you can help in this new ministry of the church. Contact Sylvia at
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...

Ardell Arthur, Charlene Tobin's sister, who has lost her eyesight.
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 will be receiving chemotherapy. 
Erin Swan , daughter of Chris and Renee Bryant, who has ongoing medical issues.