Recent Blogs

Holy Moments and Tortillas

Wednesday of this week was the last full day that the team of women from the UPAVIM Cooperative in Guatemala City were going to be with us. They had shared with us in worship and Bible study; visiting a local public school, transition school, and shelter; serving at the People's Resource Center; touring Downers Grove and downtown Chicago; and then, on their last evening with us, they were going to work with the Wednesday evening Fellowship Dinner cooking crew to create an authentic Guatemalan meal for the church to share.

Justice and Joy... and Light

I am still thinking back to the final song of Choir Dedication Sunday,  "A Place at the Table" that all the choirs joined together to sing. The lyrics included "And God will delight when we are creators of justice - justice and joy!" I watched from the side of the sanctuary and was moved by the sincere and confident expressions of the youngest children, whose faces were particularly in my line of vision. Ah - what a beautiful and important message for them to sing, and let take root in their everyday lives; and what a beautiful and important message for us to hear in new ways!

The One at the Center

This Sunday, we will be honoring members and loved ones of our congregation who have died during the past year, and who in many ways, were a window to God's creative love - whether in the ways they served the church or loved your families into being.  We know and give thanks that they are all now safe with God.

When We Transform "All" into an “Alleluia”

We have a wonderful service of joyous music planned for this Sunday morning at our Together @ 10 - 10:00 a.m. service. Seven choirs, including our four children's choirs, our youth choir, our adult choir and our bell choir, will lead us in worship as we celebrate Choir Dedication Sunday. The scripture this Sunday will be Psalm 150 and I will preach on the threefold office of Jesus Christ as described in the Old Testament and more fully developed by John Calvin. I will relate the ideas of Jesus as a prophet, priest, and king to the arts and particularly singing.

A Dwelling Place for God

This warm, bright Friday afternoon is reminding me of the afternoon at the start of this week - when, on Sunday, Jim and I walked with others from our church and churches in the area on the CROP Walk.

The reminder of God's sure presence

There was much to savor last Sunday evening as I looked back through the day. There were the usual gifts of meaningful conversations with people after the worship services, of sharing the presence of Christ in communion and listening to scripture.

To Delight in the Child

When we begin life's journey, we ask or wonder about two questions.

The first is "who am I?" This question also gets raised at others times in the afternoon and evening of our lives, but here at the beginning, we wonder if we are wanted here in this place. Is this a safe place for me to flourish, to pay attention to my gifts?

Let up without letting go

This month Mother Nature let fly many arrows from her quiver. From multiple hurricanes, to the recent earthquake in Mexico, to the record heat in our own backyard, we continue to be reminded that life can often be unpredictable and messy.

The Evening Time of Our Lives

This month we have watched in sometimes shock and sometimes awe at how nature can inspire both fear and wonder in us. We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Due to the overwhelming response to the UMCOR donation challenge, the Mission, Justice and Community work area is once again offering a matching grant challenge of up to $2,500 for donations to disaster relief through UMCOR made starting this Sunday through the end of September. Thank you for your support of this important ministry.

Worship!

I knew one of our church sign-changers was going to update our new outdoor sign right after worship last Sunday to reflect our special Rally Day worship schedule. So I took a careful look when I drove past it later in the day.

It had the information I'd expected - the 8:15 Service, the 10:00 Together @10 Service, and 11:00 Messy Church, with one small detail I hadn't expected - an exclamation point after the word "Worship" at the top of the sign.

"Worship!"

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