July 23, 2020

Saturday Meals Program Update
After a zoom coffee hour conversation, I realized there are people who are interested in the status of the Saturday Meals Program ... we’re still around, but different.
In March, Illinois closed down to curtail the spread of Covid-19, and the Saturday Meals Program also closed. We tried to remain open, but to respect efforts made to keep people safe, we just could not. For almost 20 years, we fed and nurtured people in need; it broke many of our hearts; but we had no choice, we could not fight a disease.
To help many of the folks we normally fed; those who would migrate from one BEDS location to another, St Barbara’s in Brookfield became a permanent location; feeding and housing them 24/7 for over 3 months. Those who were part of family groups were housed in several small area hotels; or were encouraged to finally complete the necessary paperwork to apply for permanent housing.
The population staying at St Barbara’s, finally became small enough that they could be housed elsewhere and in mid June, St Barbara’s closed their shelter. Everyone is grateful for the yeoman's job St Barbara’s did!
In the meantime; because, we could not host the regular Saturday Meals Program, we continued our mission of food and service, just differently. The freezers downstairs held a trove of soups and other donated meats, breads and other items. We had saved them for future use! Who knew that the virus would be our future? These items were used to provide meals to the folks at St Barbara’s. We also made continuing monetary donations to BEDS. So, we still fed folks!
The SMP board has met to try and figure out how to start the mission back up. But, social distancing would be almost impossible in the kitchen and dining area. And, while we could wear masks and gloves to serve, there’s really is no way to social distance the guests seating or to ensure they wear masks. Some guests can be very confrontational and to mandate they keep masks on, would be impossible.
We never imagined when we had to close in March, what Covid would mean for SMP. But until we can find a way to serve both the guests and volunteers safely, we just need to keep SMP operating differently for a while longer.
JoAnne Konkle (Peach)
SMP Volunteer Coordinator
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.
Welcome, Jessica!
Please welcome our video editor and producer Jessica. She will edit and prepare all the video clips that make up the broadcast of Sunday service.

“Hello everyone, my name is Jessica Angel and I am a rising senior studying Political Science and Geographic Information Systems at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be the congregation’s new video producer and I cannot wait to get started!”
Book Club
Have you been caught up in the Hamilton craze? Looking for a good read and some social interaction? We've got just the thing! My Dear Hamilton by S. Dray & L Kamoie picks up where the play leaves off - Hamilton's wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Based on letters and original sources, it transports the reader back in time to the pain and complications of the birth of a new nation. It's a hefty read (600+ pages) so we've allowed some reading time. Our next Zoom meeting is planned for Thursday, 9/10, at 7 p.m. Please contact Kathy Donaldson ( Kathygdonaldson@gmail.com ) for a Zoom invite if you're new to the group. Hope you can join us!
Food Pantry
The Ministry of Missions continues to collect donations for the Second Baptist Church’s food pantry. In July, we suggest canned vegetables and tuna. Other nonperishable items are also accepted. Please leave your donations in the bin on Bobbie Nunez’s front porch at 507 S. Spring, La Grange. Thanks!
School Supply Collection
Through August 5 th , we are collecting school supplies for the LeaderShop’s annual School Supply drive. This year, the need is likely to be greater than ever. This year we are collecting only notebooks and markers. Our goal is to collect 250 wide-ruled, single subject notebooks and 100 boxes of 8 count, washable, wide tip, classic colors marker sets . As of July 20 th , we have collected 131 notebooks and 68 marker sets. A big thank you to those who have already donated! There is a collection bin on Susan Schwall's front porch at 308 South Spring Ave. , La Grange. If you have questions or would like your donation picked up from your home, please call her at 630-258-2990. Thank you for helping students get a good start on a challenging school year!
Thrive With Pride
Upcoming Event:
A conversation with Paula Basta, Director of the Illinois Department of Aging on challenges and opportunities for LGBT+ older adults in Illinois.

*Tuesday, July 28th at 11 am.
*Join on Zoom: http://zoom.u/j/96661294106

Or by phone: (312)626-6799 (enter meeting ID 966 6129 4106 at prompt)

Thrive with Pride, a program of AgeOptions aims to connect old LGBT+ adults and caregivers in suburban Cook County to resources, information and benefits to help them thrive as they age. For more information, see their website.
Green Team
Styrofoam Recycling
While the Styrofoam drop-off in Western Springs is shut down because of the coronavirus, you can drop off Styrofoam at Laurie Braun’s house, across the street from the church, at 115 S. 6th Avenue, La Grange. Please separate food containers from block-type foam and place in separate bags or boxes. Remember that all Styrofoam should be clean and that foam peanuts and popcorn are not accepted.

Will you join the Green Team in volunteering one Saturday morning at the Styrofoam collection in Western Springs when it resumes, tentatively the first Saturday in September? We will be trained in new COVID-safe procedures. If you’re interested or would like more information, contact Laurie at editorbraun@gmail.com by August 3 rd .
Message from Missions
 Thanks to your generosity, this ministry is able to provide monetary help to many agencies, including Pillars and BEDS, both of which are providing needed services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Need Help?
The coronavirus pandemic is hard on everyone; for some, it can create an emotional crisis. Pillars Community Health is maintaining a COVID-19 Coping Help Line at 708-995-3898.
Music News
 First Conservatory
First Conservatory teachers continue to teach high quality lessons and new students are always welcome. Both online and in-person lessons in the First Congregational Church building are offered to all ages and ability levels. We offer lessons on piano, voice, violin, viola, cello, bass, trumpet, clarinet, oboe, saxophone and others upon request. Click here for more info and to set up a first lesson. 

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 .
Week at a Glance: July 23 to August 2
 Friday (July 24)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
Sunday (July 26)
10 am: Worship ( www.fcclg.org/videos )
10:45 am: Virtual Coffee Hour (Zoom)
Monday (July 27)
7:30 pm: Alcoholics Anonymous
Tuesday (July 28)
7:00 pm: Green Team Meeting (Zoom)
Friday (July 31)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
Sunday (August 2)
10 am: Worship ( www.fcclg.org/videos )
7 pm: Overeaters Anonymous
Monday (August 3)
7:30 pm: Alcoholics Anonymous
  Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God. Please lift these friends, family, and members in your prayers.
The Bain family at the death of Carol Bain.
The family of Emil Balz.
The family of James Brewer (father of Michael, Kim and Megan) who passed away on June 25 th .
Laura Brown (a friend of Renee Bryant since 5th grade), and her family, lost her brother Erik, probably due to COVID-19. She also lost her sister Lou Ann to cerebral hemorrhage two days later.
The family of Don Caruso, Jennifer Sabella’s husband, who passed away on June 23 rd .
George J Casson, a Saturday Meals Program Saint, was called home yesterday July 22, 2020. George and the St. Isaac volunteer group which he organized would bring the food, cook it and then serve it! His meatloaf and baked potatoes were as legendary as his kindness. He will be missed.
Jim and Vi Clayton.
Lulu Griffin, at Lurie Hospital after a car accident.
The family of Ron Kloss, Janet Bednar’s and Jim Kloss’ father.
Stephanie McCollough.
The friends and family of Dottie McCormick, who died on June 6 th .
Margaret Melkonian, at home.
Martha Ririe, recovering from home.
Sister Marlene Schemmel, Congregation of St. Joseph, as she battles kidney cancer.
Bob Taylor, who is fighting stage IV liver cancer that has spread.
The family of Richard Tobin.
Eric Wodicka, boyfriend of Erin Swan (Chris and Renee Bryant’s daughter) who was diagnosed and hospitalized with leukemia.
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.
Those in the path of COVID-19

If you would like to add your loved one to the touch list with their permission, email your concern to info@fcclg.org, or text it to 708-294-3997.