December 12, 2019

           Our Annual Pledge Campaign continues! On November 24 we dedicated our financial pledges, and explored opportunities for folks of every age and ability to be involved in the ministries of the congregation. As of today we have received 74 Pledges. Of these, 6 are first time pledges totaling $17,520. There are 68 repeat pledges, 30 of which increased from 2019, 32 carried over the same pledge, and 6 decreased their pledge. The net increase from these 68 pledges is $13,772.44. We have 32 households who pledged in 2019 but have not pledged yet for 2020. Of these, 6 will likely not pledge (death, change in family situation, left the area or stopped attending). The remaining 26 households pledged a total of $36,200.00 for 2019.
           So, bottom line: we have a 2020 pledge total of $264,482. I anticipate $36,200 more in pledges for a total of $300,682. That's a very fine hair between the $299,000 goal and my head being shaved.
There are some key people in the congregation on that list of "no pledge yet received”. If you have not yet sent in your pledge. please do so today!
Week at a Glance: December 13 to December 22
Friday (December 13)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
10 am: Spiritual Directors
7:30 pm: Alanon
Saturday (December 14)
8 am: Kindermusik
8 am: Saturday Meals Program
10 am: Cantata Dress Rehearsal
Sunday (December 15)
10 am: Worship
11:15 am: Fellowship Hour
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous
Monday (December 16)
7:30 pm: Alcoholics Anonymous
Wednesday (December 18 )
4 pm: Be Still and Know 12 Step Meeting
7 pm: Council
7:30 pm: Carillon Handbell Choir
Thursday (December 19)
7:30 pm: Chancel Choir rehearsal
Friday (December 20)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
7:30 pm: Alanon
Saturday (December 21)
8 am: Kindermusik
8 am: Saturday Meals Program
1:00 pm: Biegert Memorial service
Sunday (December 22)
10 am: Worship
11:15 am: Fellowship Hour
6:30 pm: Youth Group Meeting
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous
On November 30, Saturday Meals Program had Beth Mybergh and family as guest chefs. Beth was previously the volunteer coordinator and it was a lot of fun and good food with her and company back in the kitchen! SMP is blest to have good cooks and people who spend Saturdays cooking, feeding, and acting out their beliefs in giving back.
Reach out if you would like to assist on a Saturday!
JoAnne Konkle, aka Peach
Saturday Meals Program volunteer coordinator
Thank You, Coat Donors!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the coat drive this fall. We collected thirty coats and other outerwear items for BEDS Plus clients. Missions plans to repeat the coat drive next September, so consider setting aside outerwear you no longer need.
Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund
The 2019 theme of the Christmas Fund is The Light Shines in the Darkness -to help support these ministries of light and love. The recipients of these gifts have faithfully served the church and are now in need. We invite you to shepherd God’s light and help support this year’s offering.
     On Sunday Dec. 22, First Congregational Church will collect for the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund. Throughout the years, this fund has been a tangible expression of God’s love and light in the world. It provides an opportunity for our congregation to reach out to those who have faithfully shepherded our Church and now find themselves facing unexpected needs.
     The funds we collect enables the UCC Board for Ministerial Assistance to provide supplements of Small Annuities, Retiree Health Premium supplementation, Emergency Grants, and ‘Thank You’ gifts to retired individuals and families in need. These funds provide direct financial assistance to individual UCC clergy and lay church employees-these funds do not support programs or institutions, only people! So please give generously to those who have given generously to the church.
     You may remit your gift directly on Dec. 22 (or anytime until December 31-put a note in the memo of your check “Christmas Fund” so it will go to the Christmas Fund collection) Thank you for your generosity as it is appreciated by those who have served us throughout the years!
FCCLG Shirts
The office is selling shirts with the FCCLG logo. We have a variety of sizes and colors. Get one for that special someone this Christmas! Shirts are $15 each. Stop by the office to purchase.
New Christmas Eve Service Times
Thank you to everyone who responded to the recent survey. There were two clear preferences for our services. The Family Service will start at 4 pm with a carol-sing starting at 3:45. The Lessons and Carols service will begin at 10 pm with the prelude starting at 9:40. Note the slightly shorter duration of the prelude.
We hope these new times will allow more in our congregation to attend our beautiful services.
Adult Sunday School
Join us in discussing the C. S. Lewis classic The Screwtape Letters in the Drawing Room on Sundays at 8 a.m. beginning January 5. This satirical piece addresses temptation and resistance in a vivid, humorous, and powerful way. We'll have lively discussion over coffee and doughnuts. See Susan Steinmiller if you have questions.
Book club
The next book club meeting will be January 16. We will discuss The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee. In 1997 the author, aged 17, inadvertently escaped North Korea for China. Her mother's first words over the telephone to her daughter were "don't come back". The reprisals for all of them would have been lethal. This eloquent book offers a credible first-hand account of life in North Korea and gives an extraordinary insight into the life under one of the world's most ruthless and secretive dictatorships and the dangerous journey to freedom. Copies are available through the library. Please join us in the Chapel Family Room at 7:30. Light refreshments are served.
FCCLG: 140 Years and Counting!
March 2021 marks our 140th anniversary and we'll start planning the celebration in October . If you'd like to help commemorate this momentous occasion, raise your hand! Better yet: Sign up in the church office.
Green Team News
Drop off old Brita (name brand only) filters, pitchers, bottles, faucet mounts, and other accessories for School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) in the labeled box in the Styrofoam/cork closet.

Learn how to recycle Amazon packaging at Amazon Second Chance .
Green Team Tip: The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally the average is closer to 4 tons. To have the best chance of avoiding a 2 rise in global temperatures, the average global carbon footprint per year needs to drop under 2 tons by 2050. Lowering individual carbon footprints from 16 tons to 2 tons doesn’t happen overnight! By making small changes to our actions, like eating less meat, taking fewer connecting flights, and line drying our clothes, we can start making a big difference.
  Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
Emil Balz at Meadowbrook La Grange.
Charlotte Doerfert, Kim Bart’s mother, who is recovering from pneumonia.
Diane Biegert.
The family and friends of Rev. Biegert.
Lyle Brumley in hospice care in Texas.
Jim and Vi Clayton.
Ron Kloss at Plymouth Place.
Stephanie McCollough.
Margaret Melkonian.
Carol Svendsen, Fred Weiss’ daughter, who is recovering at home.
Christina Thomas, Joy Palomo-Clark’s cousin, a young mother dealing with cancer.
Dick Tobin, who is at Hines VA Hospital.
Peter and Kendra Van Kempen’s son John, being cared for in the PICU at Lurie Hospital.
The friends and family of Paul Watts.
Sarah Carr’s cousins, the Wilson family, with Liam, who was born 13 weeks early.
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.

To send your thoughts / prayers to someone listed above, place a completed Touch Card (they're in your pew) in the offering plate and the office will address and mail it. Let us know if you or someone you know is hospitalized or receiving medical treatment because HIPAA privacy laws prohibit doctors and hospitals from contacting us. If you know someone who'd like a visit from the Called to Care Ministry team, contact Called to Care Ministry Leader Jennifer Burney by calling the church office at 708-352-0800.
C an’t Get To Church?   Join Us in Virtual Worship
Click here at 10 a.m. on Sunday to watch the service or follow these instructions to watch through your Roku Device. Made possible by the estate of Ginny Palansky and maintained by your gifts, offerings, and pledges, our Livestream viewership is much appreciated by members and families who can't attend in person. Contact the church office to have the bulletin emailed to you on Thursdays.