This Week at First Pres! March 17 thru March 23
Changed forever!
Free at last!

This week’s eNewsletter feature
was written by Rev. Raymond Hylton,
FPCE Senior Pastor.


Over my 33 years of pastoral ministry, I have been given a front row seat to scores of people’s lives, both here in America and in Jamaica, who came to faith in Jesus. What a joy to witness as they fully, consciously experienced forgiveness of sin through the sacrificial death of Jesus on their behalf.

A few Sundays ago, I told you about my father’s conversion from sinner to saint — from darkness to light. My father was spiritually dead, unable to help himself or change his condition — until he met Jesus.

Throughout my ministry, the question I ask over and over again is, “What
difference has Jesus made?” and the genuine answers given by the people I have met over these many years all go something like this:

“My life has completely changed. I now look at the world through different eyes… I feel love for everyone and a sense of inner peace that I never imagined could exist.”

All-Church Talent Show Saturday!

Join us for an awesome evening of song, poetry, dance, and instrumental joy! It all begins at 6 pm this Saturday in the Sanctuary!
Sunday at our 9 am worship service, we will confirm and welcome into membership eight FPCE youth: Mathilde Hogg*, Tom Lepley, Alexis McGhee*, Noah McLeod, Tessa Myatt, Sean Muganwa, George O’Carroll, Raphael Singh. *These noted will receive the sacrament of baptism.

The First Pres 20s/30s small group meets every other Sunday. Our next gathering is this Sunday afternoon. Good food, in-depth conversation, great times! If you’re interested in coming to check it out, reach out to Pastor Henry at for details.

Our Lenten series of Taizé Worship Services of Contemplative Sung Prayer will continue Wednesday, March 20, at 7 pm in Walker Chapel. Subsequent services will be held March 20 and 27, April 10 and 17. Child care is available for any Taizé service when reserved by the previous Tuesday at 5 pm.

Our next New Members Class led by Pastor Ray Hylton will be held on Saturday, May 4, from 9 am to 2 pm for all interested in membership at FPCE. Childcare will be available upon request. For more info or to sign up, please contact Janice at 847-864-1472 or at
We offer our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to May Khoury for the passing of her husband, Georges Khoury, on March 9. 

We celebrate the birth of Mateo Augustine Nix, February 20 at 9:19 am, to parents Abi and John Nix and older brother David.

Our new series of Adult Education classes is underway. Click here for information on the current class offerings, or visit the FPCE Adult Discipleship website at

A list of FPCE’s Lenten services and other special events is available at the front desk, or by visiting our website at . Lenten study guides are also available at the front desk or on the same web page.

Our next Pilgrimage weekend is coming soon! All are invited to take part in the May 30-June 2 retreat at DeKoven Center in Racine, WI. Pilgrimage is a 72 hour spiritual renewal experience. Check out the website for more info at

FPCE has reserved space to hold Family Camp at Stronghold Camp & Retreat Center, Oregon, IL, July 5, 6, and 7. Housing options include tent camping or staying in the lodge. Meals are provided. If this is something your family might be interested in, please reach out to Pastor Henry at Parents, Grandparents, children, and friends are all invited!
Please pray for our Syrian mothers this week. Thursday, March 21 is Mother’s Day in Syria. FPCE will be hosting the mothers, taking them to the Botanic Gardens on Friday, March 22. Pray these mothers will sense the love of Christ through our volunteers. And may they be encouraged as women raising their children in a culture foreign to their own, and sometimes difficult to navigate.
A new display highlighting in Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, Palestine, is up on the bulletin board outside the Sanctuary. The photos are images from David and Sally Ivaska’s trip there this January. You will learn of the church’s mission to share Christ among those in the land where He was born, as well see images of the lovely church and amazing stained glass. Please keep the church and its mission in your prayers.
All 1st-4th graders are encouraged to grab a friend and sign up to spend a week growing in Christ in God’s creation at Camp Timber-lee. The registration deadline is March 20. Registration details and instructions can be found on the Children’s table near the Front Desk, on the Children’s page of the website, or by contacting Pastor Amanda.
A St. Matthew Passion Concert will be held Saturday, April 13, from 5 to 9 pm in the FPCE Sanctuary. The professional Calyx Ensembles, joined by members of the FPCE Chancel Choir, the Trebles of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and local church choirs, share J.S. Bach’s epic choral masterpiece recounting and reflecting on the death and burial of Jesus Christ. Sung in German, with projections of the text in English. A chili dinner will be available at intermission for a $5 suggested donation.
A Good Friday Family Workshop will be held April 19, 10 – 11:30 a.m. Come for a pot luck brunch, child-friendly worship, and an Easter craft with church families and friends. Sign up at the front desk or by sending an email to Bev Bolsen at

First Kids Choir meets each Thursday afternoon! Children in 4-year-old pre-K through 5th grade meet from 4 to 4:45 pm to sing. From 4:45 to 5:15 pm, children in 2nd through 5th grades ring chimes. 

Planning for the summer? Remember to add FPCE’s Vacation Bible School to your plans. This year’s session will be held August 5 through 9, 9-11:45 am.
Middle School Youth Group (NUBS) meets each Friday, from 7-9 pm, on the top floor in the Middle School lounge. Friday, March 15, dress up as your favorite superhero! We will play some games, enjoy snacks and discuss who our superheros of faith are!

High School Youth Group (PYGS) meets each Sunday afternoon, from 4-6 pm, in the basement youth lounge. This Sunday, March 17, we will play some games, enjoy snack, and put together blessing bags for the homeless.

Spring middle school lock-In will be held Friday, April 5! All 6th-8th grade youth are invited for a fun all-nighter at the church. There will be pizza, games, and a late night outing to Brunswick Zone in Niles! Drop-off is at 7 pm, with pick-up Saturday at 9 am. Cost is $20. Registration required. Deadline Sunday, March 31. Contact Pastor Amanda at

Spring high school lock-In will be held Saturday, April 6! All 9th-12th grade youth are invited to spend an action packed night at the church. There will be pizza, games, very little sleep and an adventure to Locked Chicago Escape Room! Drop-off is 6:30, pick-up Sunday at 10:15. Cost is $20. Registration required. Deadline Sunday, March 31. Contact Pastor Amanda at
More details about Youth events can be found in our weekly email. Text YOUTHGROUP to 42828 to subscribe!
Family Open Gym
Thursdays, 4-7 pm, Roy Hall - Open for parents and their children to come run around, shoot some baskets, play some games. No need to RSVP; just show up and have a great time!

A women’s basketball pick-up game is held at 7:30 pm on the third Thursday of each month in Roy Hall. All skill levels and abilities are welcome! Reach out to Kathy Grant, with any questions.
The Deacons appreciate our church’s great generosity in making donations to the Deacons’ Closet, but do ask that certain guidelines be observed in the condition of items being considered as donations for the use of our visiting brothers and sisters in need. When choosing clothes or household items for donation, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are these items seasonally appropriate? (We have no storage space for off-season clothing.)
  • Are these clothes and shoes clean? (We can only accept and distribute clean things.)
  • Is this item in good enough condition that you yourself might wear it? (No tears, rips, holes, or lasting stains are presentable.)

At present time, we no longer have a need for paper bags to pack up our visitors’ selections.

We DO have a need for volunteers to help us out on Saturday mornings when the Closet is in operation. We are open the first and third Saturdays of each month. We sort donations from 8-10 am, and we assist our guests with finding clothing items from 10-noon. Please contact Cynthia Bridges,, if you are interested in pitching in and helping out.
Homework help at New Life!  FPCE is now providing homework help/tutoring to the children at the New Life shelter, only 5 minutes from the church. There are currently at least ten school-age kids in the shelter, and ideally we'd like to have one volunteer for each child (as well as volunteers to play with the younger kids). We are there Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7 to 8 PM. Tuesdays are also possible. Email Tom Alrich at or Dane Watkins at .

Are you interested in becoming a regular visitor to one of our homebound members? If so, Friends in Christ would love to hear from you! Whether you are an old pro at visiting, or are willing but would like a little training, please step forward and call Bonnie Kath (847-507-4146). There is someone out there who would love a visit from you!
We are looking for volunteers once a month to run our projection slides on Sundays at 10 am in the summer, and 9 am and 11:30 am during the school year. Training provided. Contact Neal Ostrovsky at
Do you need a ride, a meal or someone to run an errand for you? A member of Friends in Christ is ready to help with your need.  Please call Bonnie Kath at 847-507-4146.
Christ Caring for People through People. Stephen Ministers are lay people trained to care for someone going through a difficult time by listening, supporting, praying and encouraging. If you could benefit from this confidential ministry call RuthAnn Ostrowski at 312-613-0644 for more details.
The Counseling Center (TCC) provides professionally trained Christian counseling in our own facility. Contact TCC Director Charles Miyamoto at 847-864-9133. 
In cases of after-hour emergencies,
please call our emergency answering service
at 866-259-7088.  
Summary notes from the February Session Meeting are available  here .  

The most recent summary of the Chicago Presbytery Meeting is available  here .  

Paper copies are also available in our literature racks.
1427 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201