September 3, 2020

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.
Coffee Hour on Zoom
This is a real happening! Join in the conversation, see familiar faces, and laugh together! You must have a Zoom Invitation which is available by sending an email to Carly with the subject line "Coffee Hour Invite" without the quotes. They system is automated to reply with an invitation that is valid for the calendar month. We're not excluding those without computer access! For a telephone invitation, please call the church office. 
Back to Church Survey
The church council needs to hear from you! We re-opened the survey to give more people an opportunity to respond. If you have not already responded, please complete this survey by September 30th and let Council know what’s on your mind.
Masks, Hand Sanitizer, Safe Work Place
Please note that if you are in the building, you MUST wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, and are encouraged to use the hand sanitizer inside the door as you enter and leave. There are no exceptions! While it may seem like the building is empty, we have tenants, contracted workers, students, and staff who are in the building, and are required to practice CDC guidelines. We have a responsibility to keep our space safe for all who work, learn, and visit here. Please, use the hand sanitizer, and wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, call the office and we will meet you at the door with a mask.
What does Ministry Mean in the Time of COVID?
The answer to that is for your ministry team to discern. We need to gather each ministry team and brainstorm about how to to the ministry of the church in this difficult time. If you are on a team, be on the lookout for your invitation to a Zoom gathering of your ministry team to begin the process of exploring our way forward.
Adult Education
On August 28, we started studying "The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East" by Sandy Tolan. This book is even handed as it alternates between the points of view of a Jewish family and a Palestinian family, and their respective nations. Please sign up with Linda Lauterbach,, to get the reading assignments, Zoom invitations and supplemental material. We meet on Friday afternoons at 2 pm. The study will last for 5 weeks. The book is available at the library and online booksellers.
Another Thrive With Pride Event!
Join AgeOptions and the Center for Disability & Elder Law for a conversation about how you can plan ahead to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones. We'll hear from attorney Elisabeth Hieber (they/them) on the vital documents that can help ensure you thrive as you age. Plus, find out how to receive FREE legal help from CDEL. Elisabeth is a really terrific speaker and will be presenting a bit on the legal documents that can protect older adults & their loved ones as they age. Click here for more information.
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 ( for a Zoom invite if you're new to the group. Hope you can join us!
Confirmation Classes
Calling all students in grades 7 through 9 who have not been confirmed. Confirmation is happening this Fall on Sundays at 3 p.m.! Initially, we will meet via Zoom. Classes begin on September 20th. Please contact if you or someone you love are ready to start the journey of decisions about faith. For information about Confirmation, click here.
Food Pantry
The Ministry of Missions continues to collect donations for the Second Baptist Church’s food pantry. In September, we request canned fruit and vegetables. Any nonperishable items are accepted. Please leave your donations in the bin on Bobbie Nunez’s front porch at 507 S. Spring, La Grange.
Interfaith Community Partner Fall Fundraiser
Please go here for details.
Save the Date!
We are "hosting" the Ecclesiastical Council for Sylvia Miller on September 16th at 7 p.m. via Zoom. An Ecclesiastical Council is the opportunity for local churches in a region to hear from a candidate for ordination, ask questions, and affirm the individual's call to ordained ministry. Sylvia is a member of our congregation whose journey toward ordination we have been sponsoring since 2015. This is the final step before we (yes WE) ordain her. Register here to show your support for Sylvia.
White Privilege - Let's Talk
Recent events in our nation have increased awareness that many are treated unfairly by our social, economic, and justice systems. To examine these inequalities through the lens of faith, a five-week study of the UCC curriculum “White Privilege – Let’s Talk” will begin on Sunday, October 11th. Zoom discussion sessions will be held Sundays after church from 11:15 -12:15. Informative, thought-provoking material from UCC faith leaders will be available online. Discussions will be facilitated by Linda Lauterbach and Nancy Heil. Please contact Linda Lauterbach to receive links to the materials and a Zoom invitation.
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.

Green Team Tips
5 Fun Ways To Recycle Your Jeans | Earth 911: 
Use It Up!
Is your pantry stocked with ingredients you bought for the Covid siege and now don’t know what to do with? Here are some use-it-up recipe sites. (From Jonathan Bloom, American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food.)
Enter up to three ingredients, and BigOven will suggest recipe options.
Enter the ingredient you want to use up, and the site will suggest recipes.
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.

Ministry of Missions Summer Read
There's still time to participate in this year's Summer Read, co-sponsored by your Ministry of Missions and many local churches and other organizations. This year's book is How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Virtual discussions begins this month. Contact Laurie Braun if you have questions.
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. 

Musical Rehearsals Begin Soon
Chancel Choir will meet each Thursday at 7:30 pm via Zoom beginning September 10th. Each meeting will begin with vocal warmups followed by learning music for future online services. There will also be time to break out into groups for socializing and sectional work. The goal for the choir this fall is to enjoy singing as much as possible and share our voices during worship regularly. I look forward to meeting the challenges that distance learning presents, but also embracing the differences in what it means to be a choir right now.
All high school singers and adults are welcome. And since distance is no longer a barrier, invite your friends and family from anywhere to sing! Please contact Ryan for the Zoom invite. 
Carillon Handbell Choir will begin meeting on Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30pm. Location may be online via Zoom, but in-person rehearsal is possible too with proper safety protocols. Please contact Ryan if you would like to ring and be included in schedule and location updates.
Children and Youth will focus on bells and other non-vocal instruments in the coming months. Rehearsal can be in-person with proper precautions. Please let Ryan know you are interested and a rehearsal schedule will be created based on number and age of participants. Ryan would love to have a 7th-12th grade ensemble as well!
Week at a Glance: September 3 to September 13
Friday (September 4)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
Sunday (September 6)
10 am: Worship (
10:45 am: Virtual Coffee Hour (Zoom)
Monday (September 7)
Labor Day Holiday - Office Closed
Friday (September 11)
9 am: Overeaters Anonymous
Sunday (September 13)
10 am: Worship (
7 pm: Overeaters 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 25th.
Laura Brown 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 23rd.
George J Casson, a Saturday Meals Program Saint, who died July 22nd.
Jim and Vi Clayton.
The family of Bonnie Day.
The family of Jane Heil, Nancy Heil’s mother, who died on July 24th.
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 6th.
McKenzie, niece of Deb Gardner.
Margaret Melkonian, at home.
Martha Ririe, recovering at 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, or text it to 708-294-3997.