November 29, 2018
Greetings!
 
Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love to you from Carly, called to be prophet, preacher, pastor, and teacher alongside the saints of La Grange and beyond.
Sunday begins our Advent journey to that homeless, poor, Jewish boy child in a manger, toward the light we call Christmas. That child whose birthday we prepare to celebrate fled with his parents to seek asylum in Egypt because living in Israel was no longer safe. And because Egypt let them pass beyond their borders, that baby changed the history of the world. The very foundation of our faith and trust is based in the life narrative and teachings of this child.
  • A child not unlike the Central American migrant child fleeing tear gas while fleeing violence in her homeland and seeking asylum at the US border.
  • A child not unlike the many suffering in Puerto Rico without water, electricity, and school because of Hurricane Maria.
  • A child not unlike the one at the nearby Junior High who is bullied for not wearing the right shoes or not meeting the community norms.
  • A child just like the many living without drinkable water in their homes in Flint, Michigan.
  • A child just like our own children who gather each week on the chancel steps hearing again and again that they are loved by God no matter what.
As we prepare to welcome the Child of Bethlehem, I encourage you to see that child in the face of the many we see every day. I encourage you to make a safe place for them inside our walls; to stand for the rights of their LGBTQi family. To fight for their parents to make a living wage. To change the policies that leave them without water, electricity, and adequate housing. To campaign for health care and against racism. To offer groceries and hot meals on Saturdays to their caregivers and to make space for their loved ones to stay sober.
In the name of children everywhere, be the beaming light and love in the universe. Our children are watching and listening; they are impacted and influenced by how we respond to the Christ Child in our midst.
Be the Church!
Carly

Preparing for Christmas!
We have Advent Activity Books and Devotionals you can down load and print! Click the link for your choice:
This Week:
Friday 11/30: OA at 9 am, Alanon at 7:30 pm
Saturday 12/1: Saturday Meals Program at 8 am, Kindermusik at 8 am
Sunday 12/2: Confirmation Class at 8:15 am, Worship at 10 am, Fellowship Hour at 11:15 am, Children’s Musical Rehearsal at 11:15 am, Messy Church at 4:30 pm, OA at 7 pm
Monday 12/3: AA at 7:30 pm
Wednesday 12/5: Be Still and Know 12 Step Meeting at 4 pm, Carillon Handbell Choirl at 7:30 pm
Thursday 12/6: Chancel Choir Rehearsal at 7:30 pm
Friday 12/7: OA at 9 am, Alanon at 7 pm,
Saturday 12/8: Saturday Meals Program at 8 am, Kindermusik at 8 am, Children’s Musical Rehearsal at 10am
Sunday 12/9: Confirmation Class at 8:15 am, Worship - Choral Sermon at 10 am, Fellowship Hour at 11:15 am, All Teams Meeting at 11:15 am, OA at 7 pm
Messy Church
The next Messy Church is December 2 from 4:30-6pm in the Dining Room. The theme  Messy Christmas  will be explored through hands-on activities, message, music, and food. If you are willing to assist with Messy Church or have questions, please contact Amanda Ries .
Music News
Choral Sermon Sunday
Choral Sermon Sunday is next week, December 9, during the service. The musical selections bridge the centuries, pairing an early-Baroque gem, “O Beloved Shepherds” by Andreas Hammerschmidt with Daniel Pinkham’s homage to the Baroque, his “Christmas Cantata” published in 1958. Gustav Holst’s gorgeous setting of the ancient tune, “Picardy” and a recent anthem depicting John the Baptist’s prophesying complete the service. Guest musicians include a brass quartet, oboe, and cello. The soprano solo in “O Beloved Shepherds” will be our own Amanda Murphy.
 
Christmas Musical Sunday
Christmas Musical Sunday is during the December 16 service and is called Radio J-O-Y . Our youth have been working hard, singing great songs, and we can’t wait to share this musical with you. Our biggest pasture of wee sheep in several years will also be featured!
 
Christmas Eve Family Choir
Singers of all ages are invited to sing at the 5:30 Christmas Eve service. Please contact Ryan by December 10th if you’d like to participate in the choir. There will be a rehearsal before the service at 4:45pm and another, TBA depending on participants.

Music Program Rehearsals Start Dates
If you’d like to join an ensemble, contact Ryan Cox to be added to the mailing list for any of these programs:
Chancel Choir rehearsal continues on Thursdays at 7:30pm
Carillon Handbell Choir rehearsal continues on Wednesdays at 7:30pm

Tiny Toes Music
Tiny Toes Music continues its partnership with First Conservatory and is the local offering of the nationally recognized program, Music Together. This program is for children 0-6 and their guardians and meets at First Congregational on Wednesday mornings. More info and registration here.
Gifts of Gratitude
The last day to drop off your Gifts of Gratitude is Sunday, December 2 nd .
Hooks and Needles
The knitting and crocheting ministry meets at 7pm on the 2 nd and 4 th Monday each month in the Family Room off the Chapel. The next meeting is December 10. Call Claudia Byrne at 708-205-1409 or email her if you have questions.
Call to Care Ministry
Come and learn with others how to support families, friends, and loved ones with effective Pastoral Care training. Learn the techniques of Active Listening, the Spirit of Presence in silence, and comforting adults and children with words of prayers and encouragement. We will begin Session 1 on December 16th at 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m in the Family Room off the Chapel. Led by Marietta Hebert-Davis.
SMP Guest Gift Bags
This year our gift bags for our Saturday Meals Program are going to be assembled at the church. We are asking for individuals and families to purchase items to go into the bags. In the Founders' Room you will find a sign up list to buy specific items. Please bring these items to church on December 16. Following worship that day, we will have a family-centered workshop to assemble the bags for the SMP guest.
The sign up list is arranged so that you can spend as little as $20. It is important to sign up for items so that the gift bags are uniform.
Poinsettias
It’s time to order poinsettias to decorate our sanctuary for Advent! The cost is $13 per plant and you are welcome to take them home after Christmas Eve service. Place your order in the Founders’ Room after worship or in the office anytime. The last day to order is December 16 th .
Food Pantry
For December, please contribute what you wish for at this time of year: hearty soups with crackers, cookie-baking supplies, instant coffee or cocoa and other shelf-stable foods.
Green Team News
Soles4Souls
Soles4Souls believes everyone around the world deserves a good pair of shoes. Drop off your gently used shoes, rubber banded together, in the box provided at the Sixth Avenue entrance. Your donation will be shipped to needy souls in developing countries.

Holiday Lights Recycling
Recycle any unwanted Holiday Lights from December 2 to January 13 at these locations:
La Grange Village Hall, Police Dep’t., Public Library, Stone Ave & La Grange Road stations, La Grange Park Village Hall.

Wine Corks Recycling
Deposit your natural wine corks in the red box provided in the Styrofoam collection closet at the bottom of the stairs by the Sixth Ave/Parking Lot entrance. This natural cork is repurposed to make surfboards, footwear and insoles and helps provide a living to the workers.

Consider joining the Green Team. You and your ideas are welcome! .
FCCLG CROP Walkers Rock!
Preliminary figures indicate we raised $2,523 to make us the highest earning team in our area. We had thirteen walkers including five confirmands, who raised 28% of our total. A big thank you to all the walkers and people who supported them.  
C an’t Get To Sunday Services?  
You can watch them live on Sunday at 10 a.m. on the web.  Click here   to see Sunday worship streamed live and to view past worship services as well.  Or follow these instructions on how to watch through your Roku Device. Contact the church office 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 Spirits 
Developing Partners
Give to FCCLG when you shop on Amazon! Click the logo for our Amazon Smile page.
  Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Emil Balz.
Tom Pitman, doing rehab in Oak Park.
The family and friends of Jeff Berman, Carol Berman’s son.
Prayers for Jim and Vi Clayton.
The family of Joshua Glazov.
Audrey Johnson, a friend of Saturday Meals Program.
Renee Meier, who is dealing with cancer.
The Maley family who mourn the sudden loss of mother and grandmother Pat Maley.
Prayers for Margaret Melkonian.
Fred and Vera Weiss.
Brian White, who awaits healing.
The people of Indonesia.
Those impacted by wildfires here and abroad.
Those killed, the injured, and their families in acts of violence.
Those at the border.
Those living in fear and without hope, and those who use fear to control others.

If you would like to send your thoughts and prayers to someone listed above, please use one of the Touch Cards in your pew. Place the completed card in the offering plate and the office will address and mail it. Thank you for reaching out to others. We encourage you to let us know if you or someone you know is hospitalized or receiving medical treatment. Due to HIPAA privacy laws, we are not notified by hospitals or doctors. If you know someone who would like a visit from the church, please advise the minister or the office.