March 5, 2020
Greetings!


Week at a Glance: March 5 to March 15
Friday (March 6)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
7:30 pm: Alanon
Saturday (March 7)
8 am: Saturday Meals Program
Sunday (March 8)
8:15 am: Adult Ed: The Screwtape Letters
10 am: Worship
11:15 am: Fellowship Hour
11:15 am: Ring & Sing/Treble Choir
6:30 pm: Youth Group Meeting
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous
Monday (March 9)
12 pm: Bridge Group
7 pm: Hooks and Needles
7:30 pm: Alcoholics Anonymous
Wednesday (March 11)
4 pm: Be Still and Know 12-Step Meeting
7 pm: Carillon Handbell rehearsal
Thursday (March 12)
7:30pm Chancel Choir rehearsal
Friday (March 13)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
10: Spiritual Directors
7:30 pm: Alanon
Saturday (March 14)
8 am: Saturday Meals Program
Sunday (March 15)
8:15 am: Adult Ed: T he Screwtape Letters
10 am: Worship
11:15 am: Fellowship Hour
11:15 am: Ring & Sing/Treble Choir
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous
Riding Into the Future
Our church is healthy, growing, and financially stable. You might say we’re flying high! So now is the time to plan for our future! And we need YOUR input!

Your Church Council has pulled together a long range planning team that will take on a R.I.D.E. The Acroynm stands for:

R eading about current trends in church development and Reviewing the trends within our congregation’s ministry. The team is currently at this stage. We will report to the Congregation our findings at a Town Hall meeting following worship in the Founders’ Room on April 5.
I nterviewing the congregation about your hopes and dreams, needs and interests. These interviews will happen within Teams and Committees, in Cottage Meetings, and other get-togethers. These will begin the week of April 5 and be complete by May 31.
D – (study the) Demographics of our area and reflect upon how that information effects, influences, and challenges the information gathered through reading and interviews.
E valuate what we’ve learned and identify themes. The team will present to a Town Hall Meeting in the Founders Room following worship on June 14 a summary of what we’ve learned, the themes, trends, needs, and directions identified. From the feedback offered, the team will then refine the plan with goals, objectives, benchmarks, and methodology. The refinement will continue with Congregational Input through the Fall. 

A final draft of a 5 -5 15 year plan will be presented for congregational approval at the Annual Meeting in January of 2021.

The Planning team is: Chris Bryant, Amanda Murphy, Amanda Ries, Erik Sander, Erik Toman, and Carly Stucklen Sather. Look for a lot of information about this process in the days ahead. Your input to this process is vital to its success.
What if the Unthinkable Happens Here?
The world is not always a safe place. As a community of Faith with an extravagant welcome, we are a potential target for angry people who do not agree with our Accepting All faith. We have a plan, should there be a disruption in our worship services. While this is something we hope will never happen at our church, FCCLG's leadership have proactively planned a response should our congregation become the target of these protests within our sacred space. Our goal is to do everything in our power to keep everyone safe. The response plan is outlined below. Parents should note that all the doors in the Sunday School area are "Sandy Hook" doors; additionally, the teachers and nursery attendants are familiar with our emergency procedures.

First Congregational Church of La Grange
Safety Plan

At the first indication that there is a problem, five things will happen as simultaneously as possible:
  • One of the worship leaders will cue the organist to play "Jesus Loves Me" as loudly as possible and the congregation will be encouraged to join in singing as loudly as possible.
  • A designated person will move downstairs to secure the nursery and Sunday School space, and into the restrooms in the nursery and Sunday School classroom if needed. If older children have not left the worship space, are gathered on the chancel steps, or performing music, they will be gathered by two members of the choir and escorted down the back stairs to the dining room and out of the building if necessary.
  • A Council Member will dial 911.
  • Two ushers escort the disruptors from the building.
  • The LiveStream video will stop broadcasting, though the video techs will continue recording the proceedings. 
As soon as the disruptors have exited, the service will pick up where it left off and broadcasting will resume.
It is important that no one engage the disruptors in any way; we will not touch or respond to the them; we will greet them in Christian love only:
  • share a smile, 
  • wish them peace, 
  • and move on.  
Let us respond to hatred with the gifts of love, grace, and peace.
Let us give them no fuel for their zealotry.
Let us always lead with love, and remind one another that Jesus and his followers also experienced the bullies of their day.
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.
Gardening, Anyone?
Carly has available 4'X4' raised beds for organic gardening in the yard of the parsonage. If you like to garden but don't have the space, see Carly for more information.
Lenten Home Visits
Pastor Carly has set aside time in her schedule during Lent to visit our homebound members. If you or a family member would like a visit and/or home communion, please call 708-352-0800 or email the church office to make arrangements.
Book club
Join us to discuss the intrigue and suspense of life in occupied France and the story of an architect who creates hiding places for Jews trying to escape Nazi persecution. Our book is The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure and the next book club meeting is Thursday, March 5 th at 7:30 in the Chapel Family Room. Hope you can join us!
Youth Group Meetings
The youth group meets twice a month; on the 2 nd and 4 th Sundays from 6:30-8 pm (in April and May, we will meet on the first and third Sundays to avoid holidays).
 
Our next meeting will be on March 8 th at 6:30 pm.
Thrive with Pride Cafe
Our next meeting is March 12 th at 1-3 pm in Rooms 100A and 100B. There will be a potluck lunch served, as well as a presentation by guest speaker Lucia Shah from the US Census Bureau. Ms. Shah will be speaking on the importance of the census and what role we have in being counted.
Galaxy Theater presents Steel Magnolias
Galaxy Theater is performing their next show "Steel Magnolias" here at the church this month. Some of you may be familiar with the show, but for those of you that aren't, it is set in a small town in Louisiana, and centers around 6 women who regularly gather at your local beauty shop Over the course of a few years, they offer each other friendship and support as the experience life's changes.  

There will be 5 performances over the weekend of March 13 th and 20 th. Flyers and coupons are placed around the church with more information on show dates and how to buy tickets. Galaxy Theater thanks you for your support!
Free Haircuts
We take for granted getting our hair styled... Saturday Meals guests were gifted with haircuts, beard trims... and for a few minutes, being treated like people. The guests really enjoyed Kate and the way her skills welcomed them to the chair. The start of something very special! Thanks Kate and Doris!

Guests can enjoy their next free haircut on March 21 st!
Exploring Membership
New members will be welcomed on March 22! As part of that journey, prospective members are invited to an Exploring Membership gathering on Sunday, March 15 at 11:30 am at Carly's house (next door to the church.) We will enjoy refreshments and chat, learning what the congregation is about, how we are structured, where the money comes from and where it goes, and how one gets involved in the congregation. RSVP to the office (mainoffice@fcclg.org or 708-352-0800) by March 8.
One Great Hour of Sharing
Please consider a donation to UCC's One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) on March 22. Through the OGHS offering, you will be planting seeds of new life.

Your donation will provide disaster relief and will support refugee initiatives. By donating, you also will be investing in communities worldwide: providing education to girls and boys, empowering communities through vocational training, supporting microcredit lending and seeing people through to self-sufficiency, empowering families with skills to support themselves and their neighbors, and participating in sustainable solutions that offer dignity to all.
Green Team News
Vegetarian Cooking Class
Save the date : Saturday, March 28 th at 11:00 AM
By popular request, Angela Harrison will give her second vegetarian cooking class in the Drawing Room kitchen. She will demonstrate the preparation of a healthy, tasty vegetarian meal, then we’ll enjoy lunch together and finish around 2:00pm. BYO beverage. A collection of $12 cash at the door will be taken to cover the cost of ingredients. Reserve your place in the church office (708-352-0800 OR mainoffice@fcclg.org) by March 20 th .

Green Tip
For an eco-minded lent, try one or more of the suggestions offered here.
Music News
Ring and Sing and Treble+ Choir
Rehearsal begins today after the postlude. Regular rehearsals will start next week. Ring and Sing is for all children and youth K-8 and rehearses 11:15-11:45. Treble+ Choir is for 3 rd -8 th and rehearses 11:45-12:15.
 
Chicago a cappella
Chicago a cappella, an ensemble of 10 voices, including our music director, presents Fiesta Coral Mexicana on February 21 and 23. Music from the 16th century to today will be presented in Chicago venues including the National Museum of Mexican Art. Visit chicagoacappella.org for dates, venues, and purchasing tickets.

Friends of Music
Our church is fortunate to have a vibrant music program with volunteers as the cornerstone. Augmenting our volunteers with guest players and singers for special services is made possible through the Friends of Music fund. Choral Sermons, Easter and Christmas Eve musicians, as well as regular Sunday morning guests would not be possible without these gifts. The 2020 giving drive has begun and brochures are being mailed. If you do not receive one, or would like to learn more, please ask Ryan Cox. 

Bach's Passion According to St. John
The Passion will be performed by the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra and the Apollo Chorus of Chicago along with five soloists – tenor Steven Soph, soprano Bahareh Poureslami, tenor Ryan Strand, countertenor and First Conservatory teacher Ryan Belongie, and bass/baritone Kyle Jensen. Sunday, March 15 th at 3 pm at the Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, 149 W. Brush Hill Rd., Elmhurst. Use the discount code “SACRED” when purchasing tickets online and by phone.
FCCLG Shirts
The office is selling shirts with the FCCLG logo. We have a variety of sizes and colors. Shirts are $15 each.
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.
  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.
Jim and Vi Clayton.
Tom Doyle, a longtime volunteer at Saturday Meals.
Nancy Heil’s friend Vanessa, a UCC member and restorative justice practitioner, who recently had
a kidney transplant
Ron Kloss at Plymouth Place.
Stephanie McCollough.
Margaret Melkonian, at home.
Jerry Palmer.
The family and friends of Pierre Dwyer Roche, Marie Roche’s father, who passed away
January 19.
Jason Safranek, recovering at home after surgery.
The family and friends of John Sayles, who passed away February 15.
Sister Marlene Schemmel, Congregation of St. Joseph, as she battles kidney cancer.
Bob Taylor, who is fighting stage IV liver cancer that has spread.
Dick Tobin, who is in hospice.
Peter and Kendra Van Kempen’s son John, being cared for at home.
The family and friends of Sylvia Stella Weigle, Lex Bart’s sister, who died January 17.
Sarah Carr’s cousins, the Wilson family, with Liam, who was born 13 weeks early and should be going home soon.
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.
Victims of wildfires.

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.