february church life

Church Life
First Congregational Church
256 Chicago Street
Elgin, IL 60120
Ph. 847-741-4045
February, 2015
Paris Originals
We met in the First
Grade when both of us retreated from a recess kickball game and took refuge
in a small thicket of pine
trees on the playground.
Thus was born a friendship.
His name was Keith,
and we were inseparable
during those elementary
school days. Vivid imaginations and similar interests (we both loved
horror movies) combined to produce countless battles against marauding Indians, invading aliens, heartless Yankee soldiers (this was
Decatur, Georgia in the fifties, after all), and
numerous other threats - each of whom we
vanquished handily. We laughed a lot, and
shared our darkest secrets with one another.
Then came the awful day when my family moved away to the edge of the earth: Roswell, Georgia. We saw each other sporadically
after that, and each time we were together I
noticed tension between us. Ultimately, arguments came to dominate our conversations.
Looking back on it I now know we were
entering into the teenage years when we
felt we had something to prove to the world.
And since we thought we each knew everything there was to know, we verbally clashed
like opposing hockey teams. Through our
college, graduate school, and early career
years Keith and I attempted various reunions,
but they always ended badly. For many years
we completely lost touch with one another.
Then about fifteen years ago Keith emailed me.
One contact led to another, and we met while both
of us were back in Georgia at Christmastime. And
something had happened. The years had mellowed us. I was no longer threatened by his choice
to become an apostate Presbyterian atheist, and
he was no longer angered by my dogged commitment to Christ and the Church. We discovered we
had much in common after all, and the ease in one
another’s presence, along with the laughter, returned like dog-eared pages from a familiar book.
This past Christmas, as Keith and I compared
notes about our respective work - he, a university
professor of philosophy; I, a local church pastor
- Keith said, “You know, it seems to me that you
and I are engaged in much the same work. We
both try to engage people in truth that will change
their lives.” I told him I could not agree more.
I suppose life has finally purged from us the need
to stake a claim and narrow the world to a choice
between “us” and “them.” As I reflect on the current divisions throughout the world between political, religious, ideological, and lifestyle factions,
I cannot help seeing them as manifestations of
immature thinking and behavior. Perhaps the day
will come when we humans stop seeing our differences as threats and learn to embrace each other.
Maybe, someday, we will grow up.
Page 2
Church Life
In Worship this Month
February 1: Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Preacher – Tom Howard
Scripture readings: Psalm 111
Mark 1:21-45
Sermon:
Who?
Anthem: How Lovely Are the Messengers
by Felix Mendelssohn
Sacrament of Baptism
Holy Communion
February 8: Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Preacher – Paris Donehoo
Scripture readings: Genesis 7:17-8:5
Genesis 8:8-17
Sermon:
In Remembrance
Anthem: Show Me The Way
by Lyle K. Neff
Sacrament of Baptism
February 15: Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
Preacher – Lois Bucher
Scripture readings: 2 Kings 2:1-12
Mark 9:2-9
Sermon:
Are You Listening?
Anthem:
Anthem for Transfiguration
Paul Hofreiter
Transfiguration Sunday
February 18: Ash Wednesday 11am-1pm
for individual Holy Communion, ashes
(if desired) and prayer
February 18: Ash Wednesday
7 pm
Serice of quiet reflection, prayer, silence, music, Holy Communion, ashes (if desired) and commitment to the Lenten Journey
February 22: First Sunday in Lent
Preacher – Paris Donehoo
Scripture readings: Psalm 25:1-10
Matthew 4:1-11
Sermon: Fool Me Once
Anthem: Lead Me, Lord
by Samuel Wesley
February, 2015
THE WAY
We’re off and running with “The Way.” As
of this writing we have
30+ new participants
and companions in five
different Bible study
groups each Sunday evening (or Monday morning). New connections
are being made, the Bible is being applied to
real life, and the Holy Spirit is moving. It’s not
too late to be a part of this process. Groups
can be joined until February 15. After that,
the groups will close for Lenten preparation,
moving toward a special celebration on April
12. Thanks to our group facilitators: Jane McCaffery, Lorri Powell, Lori Schultz, Sherry Maxson and Sherry Lenz. Thanks also to Rich Wagner for providing meals each week, and Vicki
and Jaylen Thomas for providing child care.
A Monday morning group has also formed,
meeting from 10:30-12:00. Sherry Lenz is the facilitator. Talk to Paris or Lois for more information.
BREAKFAST WITH THE BIBLE
Matthew is the most Jewish of the four
Gospels, and yet non-Jews play a major role
in the story. We are currently exploring this
and other paradoxes in our Sunday morning study. Come and find out what Jesus was
really talking about in the Sermon on the
Mount, if you dare. Breakfast is served, beginning at 9:00, and the study begins around
9:15 (or whenever Paris gets loose from
the early service). Childcare is available.
Page 3
Church LIfe
February, 2015
“SOUP”ER BOWL OF CARING
THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST
This simple prayer: "Lord, even as we enjoy
the Super Bowl football game, help us to be
mindful of those who are without a bowl of
soup to eat," delivered by Brad Smith, a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, and gave birth to
an idea. Why not use Super Bowl weekend, a
time when people come together for football
and fun, to also unify the nation for a higher good: collecting money to feed the hungry. The youth from this one church started
a movement that is now in it’s 25th year. All
the money raised stays in the local community
and is reported to Souper Bowl of Caring so
that they can total the amount raised for the
hungry. Last year 9 million dollars was collected from almost 10,000 groups. Over the past
25 years almost 100 million dollars has been
collected to address the needs of the hungry across the USA. That’s no small change!
THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST, our Sunday School children will be taking up a special offering for the hungry in our community. 100% of your donation will go
directly to our soup kettle and food pantry.
So bring your cash donations to throw in
the soup pot and we can make a difference!
ASH WEDNESDAY – FEBRUARY 18TH
Lent is a season of preparation for the death
and resurrection of Jesus. During this time we
are invited to take a 40-day faith journey to
look inside our hearts. It invites us to see ourselves with compassion and truth — to see our
brokenness and our beauty, our failings and our
faithfulness. Too often we want to arrive at Easter without having taken the journey through
the Lenten season. When we do that we prevent ourselves from experiencing the growth
that occurs along the way. This year won’t you
commit yourselves to participate in the WHOLE
journey? See you in church on Ash Wednesday!
TWO OPPORTUNITIES FOR ASH WEDNESDAY
INDIVIDUAL COMMUNION AND ASHES
From 11:00 am until 1:00p.m. Dr. Donehoo will
be in the chapel to serve communion, pray with
you, and impose ashes (if you would like to receive them). You may come by yourself, as a couple, or as a family at any time during those hours.
ASH WEDNESDAY WORSHIP SERVICE, 7PM
Please join us for a special service of worship
at 7p.m. This service will be a time of quiet reflection and an invitation to enter into a deeper journey of discipleship. It will include readings, candlelight, prayer, quiet music, silence,
communion and imposition of ashes (for those
who desire them). Please bring the whole family to this service so that we can all begin this
journey through the Lenten season together.
Page 4
Church Life
TACO BAR AND
SALAD LUNCHEON
FEBRUARY 15TH
The mission trip group is sponsoring a Taco Bar
luncheon immediately following worship on February 15th. This is a fund-raiser for our mission
trip to work at the Morgan-Scott Project in Deer
Lodge, TN during the summer of 2015. There
will be an assortment of meats and toppings to
build delicious tacos as well as a salad or a taco
salad. As always, we will also have a variety of
yummy desserts all for the low price of $5. Every
penny raised will help to defray the costs of the
Mission trip. Let Beth Iverson know if you’d be
willing to donate an item for the tacos, a salad or
a dessert by emailing [email protected] or signing
up in Weekly Window. Thanks for your support!
ADD MEANING THROUGH MUSIC!
As the many weeks of Lent draw near, are
you looking for ways to add meaning to this
reverent time? Why not take this opportunity to join
with our Chancel Choir for weekly, group rehearsals
of Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living? Rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 PM beginning
January 28th, and we will perform this beautifully
moving piece on Good Friday at Noon in our sanctuary. Please visit the choir room after the 10:15 service for more information.
February, 2015
S
S
TEPS FOR YOUR OUL – HEARTSPA
WOMEN’S RETREAT – FEBRUARY 27 – 28
Mark your calendars now to join us for our 9th
annual women’s retreat which will be held at the
Comfort Inn and Suites in Elgin. Our theme “Steps
for Your Soul”. We are very excited that our keynote speaker will be Sonia Solomonson. Our weekend will include Bible Study, keynote, small group
sessions, group activities, crafts, spa treatments,
pool time, and relaxation. Brochures, including registration forms, are available in the church office.
CRAFT NIGHT COMING
Do you have a craft project that is gathering
dust in a corner or closet? Or do you have a project that you are working on all by yourself? If so,
come join us on Fri., Feb. 6th in Fellowship Hall
beginning at 6 pm for an evening of fellowship
and crafting. Bring your own project and supplies. We will provide the space and company.
PAY IT FORWARD-SHARE YOUR STORIES
Have you “spent” your Pay It Forward coins yet? There is a basket of
coins in the Sanctuary for those who
would like more. Anytime of year is a
great time to spread some unexpected
joy with random acts of kindness!
Page 5
Church LIfe
February, 2015
FROG FRIDAY
Frog Friday, our youth group for
four year olds through sixth graders will be held on Friday, February
20th from 6 p.m. - 8:30p.m. The
cost is $7 per person or $10 if you want to pay
for February and March (our last two winter
sessions) together. FROG Friday includes dinner, craft, story, music, and games. We’ve been
blessed with lots of FROGs this year and they
have been having a great time. Come join us
and bring a friend.
MORAL OBLIGATION SCHOLARSHIP
Our church is pleased to be able to offer
Moral Obligation Scholarship Loans to church
members who are taking college classes.
These are interest free loans for any age student. Students are allowed to take out a loan
of up to $500 per semester. These loans are
then repaid to the church after graduation (or
as soon as you stop taking classes). This repayment allows funds to be available for future
students. With the high cost of education, this
loan may not pay for a class, but it may help
to cover book costs. For more detailed information and requirements please contact Lois.
WOMEN’S STUDY GROUP
NEW STUDY FOR LENT
Please consider joining the Women’s
Study Group on Thursday mornings as they
embark on a new study during the Lenten Season. This study will begin on February 19th and continue during the six weeks
of Lent. We meet on Thursday mornings in
the Conference Room. For more information
please contact Pastor Lois. All are welcome!
Betty Moore had surgery to remove
a tumor attached to her colon. She is
currently recuperating at Sherman West
Court.
Dale and Betty Ells continue in rehab at
Rosewood Care Center.
Patricia Margaret Norman, mother of
Chris Norman, passed away on January 5.
Frank Kottmeier’s step-father and
father passed away within a week of one
another.
Willie Payne had a knee replacement
on January 19th. He is recuperating at
home.
VOICES UNITE TO END VIOLENCE ON
FEBRUARY 14TH
You are invited to join the LONG RED
LINE – One Billion Rising for Change on
Saturday, February 14th 2 – 4 p.m. at Gail
Borden Library. On this day, usually dedicated to love, we will show our love and support for the women and men who suffer from
abuse and violence. Each person is asked to
bring a red cloth, any length, made of any
material, any shade of red. Knit it, crochet
it, sew it, buy it, or create your own artistic
version of it, to join The LONG RED LINE
that will surround Gail Borden library. One
Billion Rising/Elgin is part of the global campaign by women, for women, calling for an
end to violence, and for justice and gender
equality. Lois will be joining the LONG RED
LINE and would love to have a large group of
(women, men and youth) from FCC standing in solidarity with the abused. Let’s meet
at 1:30 at church so we can car pool to the library. Let Lois know if you plan to participate.
Page 6
Church Life
February, 2015
FEBRUARY SERVING SCHEDULE
FEBRUARY 1
Acolyte..................
First Faces.............
Reader..................
Sound System.......
Coffee Hour..........
Ushers...................
..............................
..............................
FEBRUARY 15
Jocelyn Wagner
Dennis & Deb Leberecht
Walt Kilmanas
Curt Phillips
Liz Schaaf
Kirsten Pedersen, Laura
McMinn, Jodie Stackowiak,
Cherie Murphy, Sandy Dalton
FEBRUARY 8
Acolyte..................
Bible Bearer..........
First Faces.............
Reader..................
Sound System.......
Coffee Hour..........
Ushers...................
..............................
..............................
Amanda Schultz
Clarice Dutton
Sandy Dalton/Laura McMinn
Shirley May Byrnes
Don Patterson
Mary Hewitt
Pablo Payne, Bailey Stark,
Abby Garcia, Savannah Lile,
Anna Halfpenny
WOMEN, WINE AND THE WORD
Women, Wine and the Word, our women’s fellowship group, will be meeting at Blues
BBQ at 102 N. River Street in East Dundee at
6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 26th. This
is an informal group. We would love to have
you join us for dinner, conversation, and a Bible Study. If you have any questions about this
group please contact Lois or Evelyn Johnson
Acolyte..................Maranda Lile
Bible Bearer..........Jaylen Thomas
First Faces.............Ron and Liz Schaaf
Reader..................Amanda Harris
Sound System.......Pam Patterson
Coffee Hour..........Mission Trip Luncheon
Ushers...................Willie Payne, Ron Carlson, ...............................Karen Carlson, Ron Banwart
FEBRUARY 22
Acolyte..................Chloe Underhill
Bible Bearer..........Toby Underhill
First Faces.............Dianna Shultz/Tamera Guilinger
Reader..................Rich Jacobs
Sound System.......Ben Brictson
Coffee Hour..........Lindsay Iverson
Ushers...................Colman Smith, Willie Payne,
.............................Jim Schock, Tom Phillips
BEER, BURGERS, AND THE
BIBLE
Calling all guys! Beer, Burgers and the Bible meets next on February 23rd. We meet
at 6:30 p.m. at Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago Street. Order something to eat (it’s halfprice burger night), if you like, and come upstairs for an hour of Bible study for dudes only.
Page 7
Church LIfe
February, 2015
First Congregational Staff
Dr. Paris Donehoo.................................................................................................................... Sr. Pastor
Rev. Lois Bucher............................................................................................................ Associate Pastor
Jon Warfel........................................................................................................................Music Director
Pam Patterson..................................................................................................Administrative Assistant
Pat Lindquist................................................................................................... Congregational Associate
Mark Velasquez.................................................................................................................... Custodian
First Congregational United Church of Christ
256 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL. 60120
847-741-4045
Website: www.fcc-elgin.org
WORSHIP TIMES:
8:15 & 10:15 a.m.
Christmas Eve
Offering Update
2/1
2/1
2/2
2/3
2/4
2/6
2/9
2/11
2/14
2/16
Sandy Dalton
2/17 Tom Leith
Taylor Stark
2/19 Alex Richardson
Jen Howver
2/22 Brian Stark
Rich Wagner
2/23 Mary Underhill
Elizabeth Sharf
2/25 Vivian Iverson
Pat Segel
2/25 Pamela Swan
Elizabeth Linquist 2/26 Rich Jacobs
Dahris Garcia
2/27 Jaxson Tsuji
Zachary Brictson 2/28 Ruth Munson
Betty Butler Wow! On Christmas Eve our congregation
was asked to consider giving a gift to the Christchild through two special mission projects. We
had hoped that we might raise $3,500 to purchase a bedroom at the Habitat for Humanity
house ($2,000)that we have been working on
at 114 Channing Street and a well for a village
($1,500) through the United Church of Christ’s
Congo Initiative. We knew that this was really
a stretch goal since the Christmas Eve offering
of 2013 was about $1,500. Much to our surprise
and awe this congregation donated $6,500.00
to these two projects. With this money we
were able to complete our building project at
the Habitat for Humanity house and purchase
three wells for villages in the Congo. Thank
you to everyone who participated! Together we
can do great things! Merry Christmas, Jesus!