February 15, 2018

The phrase “fear not” is scattered throughout scripture. We have the inclination to be afraid. We are living in fear-driven times. We are afraid of the economy. The state of the world. Terrorism. Personal finances. Fear has the potential to run our lives. Fear has the potential to drain the life and the love out of us.

But it can also feed our faith, compel us toward compassion, and fuel our fortitude to work for justice. Fear and Faith are a dangerous combination that has the potential to ignite a driving force toward change; a combination that fuels a movement to bring forth God’s unfettered justice, compassion, peace, and radical love.

Our Operating Plan for 2018 is a forthright response to the fear that inundates and permeates us. Each team, committee, and leader is focusing upon the question:

Are We:
  •  Attracting Friends
  • Retaining Members
  • Nurturing Spirits
  • Deploying Agents of Change (Kingdom Builders)
  • Growing Leaders
  • Developing Partners
to build a movement of revolutionary love? 

These are the benchmarks of our “being the church” for the coming year. We’ll begin by facing our fears. In the coming weeks, the Sunday morning messages will focus on turning fear into fuel and gaining resilience in these difficult times. Together, let’s build a movement of radical love!

February 18                                  Fear of Inadequacy                                                        Luke 5:1-10
February 25                                 Fear of Vulnerability                                                    Mark 4:35-41
March 4                                               Fear of Death               1Corinthians 15:51-55, Mark 5:35-43
March 11                                           Fear of Change              Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Mark 8:31-38
March 18                                      Fear of the Unknown                                                    Luke 10:1-17
March 25 - Palm Sunday                  Fear of Power                       Zechariah 9:9-14, John 12:12-16
April 1 - Easter                                   Fear and Folly                   1 Corinthians 1:18-25, Mark 16:1-8


Please Note: My cell phone has changed. If you need to reach out to me the new number is 708-294-3995.
Your Missions Team: Looking Ahead
The Missions team participated in strength in the February 11 leadership retreat. Much cross-fertilization of ideas with members of other teams occurred, with the aim of establishing priorities to help us work together to meet mutually agreed upon goals. Priorities that the full leadership supported and that fall under the area of Missions include the Saturday Meals Program, BEDS Plus, the Positively Green Team, service-oriented family events, community action, and outreach. We are excited about the support for these activities and are eager to accomplish the work of First Congregational in the world.

To achieve these goals, Missions has organized its activities and financial support for 2018 under four areas:
  • Poverty: hunger and homelessness
  • Social Justice: opioid crisis, gun violence, mass incarceration/racism
  • Disaster Relief: work trips
  • Environmental Issues: supporting the Positively Green Team

We invite anyone inspired by these goals to contact us and join our efforts!

Missions Team members: Nancy Heil and Dawn Mackie (co-chairs), Laurie Braun, Dawn Fresa, Linda Lauterbach, Bobbi Nunez

Nurturing Spirits Deploying Kingdom Builders Growing Leaders
Developing Partners
From our Volunteer Coordinator: 
The Saturday Meals Program (SMP) brings good news! Due to a generous grant last year, and with the blessing of the FCCLG Property Committee, we have been able to purchase 3 new freezers and 2 new rolling carts; And we were able to take on a much needed project -- the painting of the dining room kitchen. Our volunteers moved the equipment, sanded, plastered, primed with Kilz as needed and painted. This was a much needed update to our kitchen space. 

The next project: the single occupant restroom, which is just outside the kitchen. As volunteers, we use this restroom while the Kitchen is in operation. We have had volunteers remove the cubicle; thus making it truly accessible to people in wheel chairs.  Our FCCLG Property Chair, Erik Sander, will install a vertical grab bar, along with a toggle lock which would indicate the room was occupied. The restroom would then be compliant with the ADA regulations.

I invite you to please stop by any Saturday and see our progress! If you do stop by, I promise NOT to put you into aprons unless you really want to!! 

I wanted to share with you this good news as it effects not only the ministry of the Saturday Meals Program, but also the other ministries of First Congregational Church, which uses the kitchen.

Best Regards,
JoAnne Konkle

Attracting Friends Retaining Members Deploying Kingdom Builders
Deploying Partners
This Week:
Friday 2/16: OA at 9 am, Alanon at 7:30 pm
Saturday 2/17: Saturday Meals Program at 8 am, Kindermusik at 8 am
Sunday 2/18: The Last Week Discussion at 8:30 am, Worship with Baptisms at 10 am, Fellowship Hour at 11:15 am, Ring & Sing / Treble Choir at 11:15 am, Safe Church at 11:30 am, Zackleys Meeting at 6:30 pm, OA at 7 pm
Monday 2/19: Tiny Toes Music at 4:30 pm, AA for under 30s at 7 pm, Hooks & Needles at 7 pm,
AA at 8 pm
Wednesday 2/21: Be Still and Know 12 Step at 4 pm, Carillon Handbell Choir at 7:30 pm
Thursday 2/22: Chancel Choir at 7:30 pm
Friday 2/23: OA at 9 am, Alanon at 7:30 pm
Saturday 2/24: Saturday Meals Program at 8 am, Kindermusik at 8 am
Sunday 2/25: The Last Week Discussion at 8:30 am, Worship at 10 am, Fellowship Hour at 11:15 am, Ring & Sing / Treble Choir at 11:15am, OA at 7 pm
Memorial Service for Jeffrey Arnold
The memorial service for our organist Jeffrey Arnold will take place at First United Methodist Church in Gatesville, Texas on February 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm.

Note: We have tentatively set aside March 10, 2018 for a memorial service at First Congregational Church of La Grange. More information to follow.
Adult Discussion Group
  In the movie The Passion of the Christ we get Hollywood's interpretation of Jesus's last days. But what does the Bible really say about that week?

The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days

During this eight session discussion, we'll discuss the work of Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan by the same name. The book is available through the public library system, at Anderson Bookstore, on smile.Amazon.com, and other online sources. It is also available in Kindle and audible versions both online and through the library.

The book follows Jesus' from Palm Sunday to Easter in eight days through chapters. Join us as we wonder about this dangerous Jesus giving up his life to protest power without justice and to condemn the rich who lack concern for the poor.

February 18: Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11
February 25: Monday, Mark 11:12-19
March 4: Tuesday, Mark 11:20-25
March 11: Wednesday, Mark 14:1-11
March 18: Thursday, Mark 14:12-16
March 25: Good Friday, Mark 15
April 1 –    No Class
April 8:      Holy Saturday, Harrowing of Hell
April 15:    Sunday, Resurrection, Mark 16:1-8

We gather with Coffee and Snacks on Sundays from 8:30 to 9:15 am in the Drawing Room.
Nurturing Spirits Growing Leaders Deploying Kingdom Builders
H ooks and Needles
Our next scheduled meeting will be on Monday, February 19 . We meet every Monday except for the first Monday of the month. Feel free to drop in anytime and join us at 7 pm in the family room off the Chapel. Because of winter weather cancellations, please call Linda Lauterbach (352-5332) or email to confirm we are meeting. Winter is a great time for charity knitting!

Nurturing Spirits
C elebrate Ogden Avenue Supportive Housing
The day had finally arrived! Join them in celebrating the opening of the Ogden Avenue Supportive Housing
When: February 28, 2018 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm
(Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 3:30 pm)
Where: 9601 Ogden Avenue, La Grange, IL

UCC Summer Camps 2018
Illinois Conference UCC Outdoor Minitries sponsored events. Beyond Belief! The Universe of God! Contact 815-447-2390 or visit www.il-outdoorministries.org for more information. Click here for the full flyer!
Missions Book Discussion Group
We had to cancel our discussion on Evicted by Matthew Desmond due to snow. You now have time to read the book by March 5 th . Come to the drawing room at 7:30 to discuss this important book. It will forever change how you understand poverty.
Trivia Night
Think you're smart, or at least have smart friends? Put it to the test at another FCCLG Trivia Night. Join us on Saturday, March 10 for a night of fun and laughs, as we put all your knowledge to the test. Doors open at 7 and the questions begin at 7:30. Each team can have up to 10 players. Gather nine friends or come alone and join a team on the fly. Contact Mike Ries at 708-308-0426 to save your spot or table.
Evening Book Club
Evening Book Club will meet on Thursday, March 15th at 7:30 in the Chapel Conference Room. We will read “In the Garden of the Beasts” by Eric Larsen, love, terror and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin.
Food Pantry
Paper products month! During the month of February, we're collecting paper goods for the Second Baptist Food Pantry. Check the weekly ads for specials: this week, paper towels and bath tissue are on sale. Of course, any nonperishable food product is always welcome. If everyone donated just one item a month, the donation baskets would be filled! If everyone donated one item each week, the baskets would be overflowing! Many thanks to those who already contribute to this worthy local charity.
C an’t Get To Sunday Services?  
You can watch them live Sundays at 10 a.m. on the web.  Click here  to see Sunday worship streamed live and past worship services as well.  Or, check out these instructions on how to watch through your Roku Device. Contact the church office ( mainoffice@fcclg.org ) to have the worship bulletin emailed to you on Fridays. This ministry is brought to you by the estate of Ginny Palansky, and maintained by your gifts, offerings, and pledges.

Attracting Friends Retaining Members Nurturing Spririts  
Developing Partners

Winter Warriors
Do you ever wonder how the church entries, sidewalks, and parking lot are kept clear of snow? 

A.     The new glycol snow-melt system that was funded by the church's budget surplus
B.     Magical elves
C.     It doesn't really get cold enough to snow in La Grange
D.     None of the above 

Yes, D is the correct answer. The snow is cleared and entries salted from a pool of just eight volunteers who make time amid their full-time jobs, parenting, and/or other responsibilities in the community. Typically, only two are able to come out any given snowfall. If you think you're up to helping out occasionally, please contact Erik Sander 708-557-4859 to be added to the snow-alert text distribution list. Full article.
Music News
Ring 'n Sing : Children in K-8th grade are welcome. Rehearsals are from 11:15-11:45am in room 304.

Treble Choir : An extension of Ring n' Sing, this ensemble is for children in 3rd grade and up. We meet right after Ring n' Sing from 11:45am-12:15pm.
Singing in the Chancel Choir during Holy Week is a powerful experience and helps the choir and congregation alike. It truly is a gift where you can receive as well. Rehearsals will begin on Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter (3/25, 3/29 and 4/1).
Chancel Choir Survey:  Love to sing, but being a part of the Chancel Choir hasn’t worked out? Maybe it’s the rehearsal night, or your work schedule fluctuates, or maybe you like to sing a certain kind of music, or none of the above. Ryan would love to hear from you how he can help you become part of the music ministry.  
FCCLG Day Ski Trip to Lake Geneva
Who:  All are welcome! Those younger than 6th grade must have an adult with them.
When:  February 24 th meeting at 7 am. 
Payment and paperwork due by This Sunday!
Where: We will be meeting in the church parking lot and drive together to Grand Geneva
How Much:  Group of 15 or more:     
Area ticket $39
Area ticket & ski/snowboard rental $54
Group beginner ski or snowboard lesson - $2
Helmet Rental-$5
What is needed: a copy of Grand Geneva’s Release of Liability Form and the Rental Form signed for each participant and payment, before the trip. Those 6th-12th grade and not accompanied by an adult must turn in a permission slip. Please call the church office for rental forms. We need to pay with one check and turn in all the forms at the same time. If you are paying by check, please make it out to First Congregational Church.

Nurturing Spirits Developing Leaders Building Partnerships
Messy Church
Messy Church will be on Sunday, March 4th at 4:30 pm. Our theme is Love Rules! Come and have a great time and grow in faith and in your love of others on the journey. Click here for flyer. We need volunteers!
4:30-5:15pm: Crafts and Stories
5:15-5:30pm: Celebration
5:30-6:00: Dinner

Attracting Friends Retaining Members Nurturing Spirits
Developing Leaders   
Zackley Work Trip
The annual Zackley Work Trip is March 24th-April 1st ! We will be going to Edisto Island but to make this trip happen this year, we need help! We need safe church trained people to go on the trip but also people to help organize logistics for the trip and to help with stock sales! Please let Sylvia know if you are willing to help out this year!

Nurturing Spirits Deploying Kingdom Builders Developing Leaders
Give back to FCCLG when you shop on Amazon! Click here
  Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Prayers for the family and friends of our organist, Jeffrey Arnold, who died on February 6th.
Emil and Maria Balz, who have moved to Oak Brook Care.
Fred Bell, who is recovering from leukemia.
Karl Fresa at the loss of his uncle.
Prayers for Jane Heil to gain strength and comfort.
Prayers for Barbara Hultman as she recovers from hip surgery.
Dayne Hultman, Barbara Hultman’s grandson, who is recovering from a collapsed lung.
Renee Meier, who is dealing with cancer.
Margaret Melkonian.
Adrienne O’Toole, as she heals after having a liver transplant.
Petra Palmer’s granddaughter’s friend Summer who is having chemotherapy for leukemia.
Prayers for Billy Payne, who is in the hospital struggling with health issues.
Prayers for Tom Pitman, who is living with cancer and recovering from broken ribs.
Prayers for Steve Roper, as he recovers from open heart surgery.
Prayers for Mike Tobin as he recovers from cancer surgery.
Prayers of gratitude from Nancy Coleman’s friend Sharon Veltre, who is now in remission.
For Vera Weiss to regain her strength and fight cancer.
Those living in fear and without hope, and those who use fear to control others.