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GoodNews The

January 10, 2010

A Publication of The Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C.

The Minister's Message


he last night of the year dawns bitter and snow blown. Dick Johnson just finished the NBC nightly news, telling of Christmas miracles, and Nebraska won their bowl game with no competition from Arizona. No one managed to blow up any airplanes, thank God. And if the world stays safe just a few more hours, we may end the year, at least for a few moments, in peace. The winter bugs came and went from our house, and Christmas brought all of us the much-anticipated awe of candles at midnight and carols dusting the earth like so many bells. By all accounts, Jesus is born and the world with it. We caught a glimpse of what can be, God’s peace on earth as in heaven. And the wise men, knowing how soon we forget the cost of peace, left Jesus by an alternative route, steering clear of the mixed motives and double talk of Herod. We need Christmas to remind us that no matter how wicked and insidious the ways of the world in fact,

of our own hearts, the goodness of God trumps our worst laid plans. There will always be Herods; there will always be those satisfied with nothing less than crafting the world in their own image. Nevertheless God makes clear that even a baby has more power than the greatest of kings when used as an agent for God’s work in the world. This makes me wonder what God might make of our humble talents, of our little gifts, of our little church in the year to come. We aren’t a mega church or a macro corporation. We’re just a bunch of 60 year married couples like the Armstrong’s, who celebrated their anniversary just months before Phyllis’ death this morning. We’re a gathering of single moms with half grown kids, and couples making a go of it, or not. and young adults just out of college looking for decent jobs. We’re retirees engaged in meaningful volunteer work, and high school youth volunteering for work tours from a dozen area schools. At the other end of it, we’re babies in the nursery just now living into our freshly minted baptisms.

Volume 42, Issue 1

peace and unafraid. God utterly depends on us human creatures to keep our end of the bargain, making peace with one another and for one another regardless of our differences. When I want to witness a Christmas miracle, I have only to look around me at the faces of those who have graced this church for generations. How remarkable that we have made room for one another regardless of our position on any number of issues over the decades. Perhaps the greatest mark of our fidelity to God is our willingness to come together here in the heart of the communities where we live, to tell and live the truth of our convictions for God’s sake. The whole world rejoices that our way is God’s way and that the ways of the world cannot prevail. We may not always know where we are going, but we do know that God leads us from Bethlehem by the light of a distant star that can illumine our way. Blessed Epiphany,

I don’t know what will become of our world in 2010, but I suspect that God has great things in store for this church, and all the people she touches in her long shadow. For all the Good News of God-With-Us through the life of Jesus this Christmas, God counts on us come January to get busy making a decent world into which all the babies of the world can be born in

Verlee A. Copeland Verlee A. Copeland Senior Minister Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C.

January 24 - 11:15 a.m. – Annual Meeting for all members of Union Church in the Sanctuary. New ministry members elected, all ministry members commissioned. January 30, 2010 - 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. – Leadership Retreat for all elected members of the ministries of The Union Church of Hinsdale, staff, ministers and officers. (coffee hour in Gathering Place at 8:30 a.m.)

OUR STAFF Senior Minister: Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Minister for Mission and Outreach: Rev. Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer Director of Children’s Christian Education: Penny Johnson Director of Youth Formation: Jeremy Hylen Director of Music Ministries: Michael Surratt Director of the Chancel Choir: Todd Diehl Director of Contemporary Music: Brad Nye Director of Children and Youth Choirs: Roberta Wentling Assistant Handbell Director: Elizabeth Jung Director of Early Childhood Programs: Jennifer Keldahl Executive Manager: Merrilee Hall Financial Manager: Chris Biank Project Manager: Joel Gratcyk Buildings and Grounds: Jim Vojtek

WORSHIP SERVICES Journey Worship Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. Sunday Worship 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. JAM - Youth Worship 2nd Sundays at 11:15 a.m. Prayer and Healing Service 3rd Sundays at 7:00 p.m.

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sundays 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Invitation to Faith: Transformative Worship

A Look Ahead to January, 2010 The month of January is a banner month in the life of The Union Church of Hinsdale, United Church of Christ. The baton of leadership passes to a fresh group of Union Church members who will be elected for ministries at the 2010 Annual Meeting. About one-third of our volunteers retire from leadership each year, taking a year off to consider new ways to serve through Union Church. The month of January presents opportunities to prepare the congregation for key issues facing the congregation in the coming year, to reflect on the achievement of ministry goals for 2009, and to thank God for all lay members, staff and ministers who have faithfully served the church in this past year. At the annual meeting, we will lift up the names of those have transitioned in 2009 from life to glory, those who have reached the celebrated 50 year mark as church members, and those who have joined us for the first time. Please post the following calendar of January events where it is convenient in your home, and plan to participate fully in the faith life and leadership of Union Church. We have many substantive issues before us, from the potential hiring of a new associate minister, to budget considerations, to setting priorities for the church in the year to come. We hope that you will make the leadership events of January, as well as worship, a priority in your life this year. January 9-10 – Regular Worship Schedule Resumes Journey – 5 p.m. Saturday in the Youth Room Worship - 8 a.m. Sunday in the Chapel Worship – 9 a.m. Sunday in Rowell Hall Worship – 10 a.m. Sunday in the Sanctuary J.A.M. Worship – 11:15 a.m. Sunday in the Sanctuary Budget Hearing – 11:15 a.m. in the Chapel January 12 – Ministry Night at 7 a.m. for current ministry members. January 16 – Memorial Service for Phyllis Armstrong, 10 a.m. January 16-17 – Regular Worship Schedule Welcome Statement Conversation, 11:15 a.m. in the Chapel Prayer and Healing Service 7 p.m. in the Chapel, Taize Style January 19 – Executive Council for current Executive Council members January 23 – Alice Bauder’s Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary January 23-24 – Regular Worship Schedule January 24, Annual Meeting for all members of Union Church 11:15 a.m. in the sanctuary. New ministry members elected, all ministry members commissioned. January 30, 2010 - Leadership Retreat for all elected members of the ministries of The Union Church of Hinsdale, staff, ministers and officers from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (coffee hour in Gathering Place at 8:30 a.m.) January 30-31 – Regular Worship Schedule


Sneak Preview of January 10 & 17 Sermons

137 South Garfield Avenue Hinsdale, IL 60521-4298 (630) 323.4303 (Telephone) (630) 323.4407 (Fax)

Sexuality: God's Good Gift •2•

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Children

Sunday School Christmas Stewardship Report

The Christian Formation Ministry bought gifts for two “Hope for the Homeless” families this Christmas. The Sunday School classes provided the Christmas dinner with their offerings. The classes had fun contributing to their favorite part of the Christmas dinner.

We had three jars in the classrooms, one for the main dish (the turkey or ham), another for the side dishes (mashed potatoes and vegetables) and the third for desserts. The contribution towards dessert was the highest, but the main dish came in second. We had $138 and change from the kid’s generosity.

Thank you!

The second session of LOGOS starts January 27 LOGOS is a Wednesday night program for children and youth from 1st - 8th grades. Kids have an opportunity to participate in a midweek camp of games, choir, worship, Bible study and through sharing a meal together — all experienced in the context of life at the church. Mark the date now: Registration night is January 13, 2010. For more information please contact Penny Johnson in the Church office. •3•

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Youth

Spring Work Tour '10

Thinking about Spring Work Tour 2009 to Pipestem, WV? Get your registration turned in or talk to Jer ASAP!!!

Here’s a snapshot of all the Christmas parties for 2009:

Youth Events: January 2010 .

Middle School TNT is Sunday Nights from 5:00 p.m - 6:30pm Sunday, January 10 Sardines and Pizza Sunday, January 17 Dinner and a Movie Sunday, January 24 Duct Tape Night (check out these pics from the last duct tape night—so start bringing in your duct tape!!!)

“This could be you!”

“Or this could be you!”

For High School High School Youth Group is Sunday nights 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday, January 10 Nooma Sunday, January 17 Really Bad Movie Night (complete with a really good dinner) •4•

Invitation to Faith: Community Life & Christian Formation for Adults

Women's Association Drop in Book Group The Drop In Book Group will meet on Tuesday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m to discuss The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. Publishers Weekly says this "original account of one writer's relationship with a member of a unique book club formed as an alibi to protect its members from arrest at the hands of the Nazis during WWII . . . is an almost theatrical experience." We gather at the home of Mary Bock (28 South Stough, Hinsdale) - come whether you've started, finished, or even contemplated the book!

Women's Association Presents 'The Facts and Fables of Good Eating' Join the Women’s Association as we investigate the Facts and Fables of good nutrition and healthy eating. Nutritionist Meg Moran will guide us into 2010 with a discussion of food science and help us separate FACT from FABLE! We'll gather in Rowell Hall at 9:30 a.m. on January 21 - hope to see you there!

Welcoming Statement Feedback Session After many months of congregational conversations and prayerful discernment, the Executive Council approved the following Welcoming Statement and Initiative for Union Church. This is an important step for our community of faith as we continue to grow as loyal disciples of Jesus. We hope this statement will more effectively communicate welcome and hospitality for all who seek a faith home. Please join us for a feedback session regarding this initiative on Sunday January 17 at 11:15 a.m. in Rowell Hall. Welcoming Statement and Initiative: We are all called by God as disciples of Christ. We affirm all persons as precious to God, just as God made them. As a community of faith in the service of God, we are enriched by our differences including diversity of gender, age, marital and economic status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, and physical and mental abilities. We pledge to love, support and serve one another as the Body of Christ.

¿Habla usted español? We are planning a new set of Spanish classes here at Union Church. The classes will be 90 minutes long and take place over 8 weeks starting February 2010. It will be beginner/intermediate – so if you know a little Spanish or none at all, you have a place here. The course will be taught through the College of DuPage at the Union Church. Cost will be somewhere between $200 and $250. Deadline for registration is January 15. Please contact Pastor Thom if you are interested.


Invitation to Faith: Expanding Mission and Social Justice for All People

Internship in Social Justice Advocacy The Christian Social Justice Ministry at Union Church is creating an internship program in Advocacy and Social Justice. This single internship is an annual full-time summer experience for an individual who is between junior year in high-school and a junior in college, who might be considering a vocation in advocacy. The purpose of the internship is to provide you with an experience in the field of Advocacy and Social Justice. We are presently working with our partnership agencies to create this fulltime position, it will be an agency like Citizen Action, Community Renewal Society or Protestants for the Common Good. The program comes with a stipend of $1,000 a month.

Mission Adventure to South Africa From May 22-31, 2010, we will be returning to Soweto, South Africa to once again work with the Bridgeman Center with their afterschool care program and make improvements to their infrastructure. We have begun the preparations; are you being called to service? We are forming the Africa Mission Team NOW, there is a lot of preparation. If you are interested in participating in this Adult Mission Trip, contact Pastor Thom to register and get the Adult Mission Participants form.

Deadline is January 24, 2010.

If you are interested applications are available in the church office or from Pastor Thom. The deadline for the application is February 15, 2010.

Cornerstone Mission Union Church is beginning to build a new relationship with Cornerstone Family Health (CFH), located in Hinsdale. CFH is medical practice founded by Dr. Irene Thomas Thevatheril, out of a calling to open a clinic that sees anyone who seeks care; wealthy and poor alike – insured and uninsured. Everyone is given quality care and is treated with dignity. CFH needs a staff of volunteers to continue to offer this needed care to residents of DuPage county. They need administrative help, front desk phone assistance, office filing, computer help, data entry, fundraising, and people to be trained for their Spiritual Care Team. If you can volunteer in any way please contact Linda van Schyaak or Pastor Thom.

Warm Coats Needed We are nearing the end of our Annual Coat Drive for Interfaith House. If you still have a donation of a warm, winter adult coat please bring it to church before February 1. There is a receptacle outside Pastor Thom’s office. The final delivery of the coats will be February 1, 2010.


Invitation to Faith: Community Life

BURRRRRRRR It's Cold Outside Capital Loan Legacy Opportunity As we enter this Thanksgiving season, the Trustees extend to you an opportunity to make it possible for the Union Church to pay off the remainder of the capital loan for our 2002 education wing and remodel project. Through the generosity of a $50,000 anonymous gift, we are within reach of completing this $9 million construction project that has strengthened our ministries for children and youth and completed essential capital improvements.

Dr. Stuart Johnson, Professor of Medicine, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine; Deputy Chief of Research at the Hines VA Hospital will be our guest speaker and we are most fortunate for this.

The remaining unpledged dollar amount to pay off this loan is $142,259. If you have been blessed with the capacity to make a contribution that will free resources for essential ministries and mission, we invite you to contact Senior Minister Verlee Copeland or Trustee Chair Winnie Leathers.

Dr. Johnson is widely recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for his research and clinical efforts in the field of infectious diseases and in particular, the most disconcerting and increasingly common and serious problem of colitis and diarrhea associated with the use of antibiotics.

Would you like to be the one?

Dr. Johnson is a key member of a dynamic research group, primarily located at the Hines Hospital VA. Their research efforts are both novel and exciting to both lay and professional. He will include some of the very real concern for the current financial status and its’ effect upon medical research and progress.

Men’s Club Meeting March 10, 2010

Candy Donations

Be a lucky Market Day customer and have your January order delivered to your home! Ten lucky customers will get to stay warm at home while a member of the Allegro Bell Choir delivers your January order. Customers who pay on line or submit payment prior to delivery day will be selected, sorry no COD orders. We will notify you Thursday evening prior to the January 23rd Market Day deliver -get your orders in now and stay warm!

Our other important fundraiser, the Spaghetti Dinner is around the corner, February 28. Tickets will be available for sale from the ABC members at both January and February Market Day pick ups. Union Church Allegro Bell members are always looking for ways to say thank you to our customers and welcome new ones for supporting this important fundraising effort. Last month during the cookie promotion, we earned over $300. The money we raise helps reduce our annual tour expenses and allows the Bell Choir to continue spreading their joyous music.

Thanks to all who donated leftover Halloween candy to the Women’s Association. In addition to filling mugs for the young shoppers to buy at Rudolph’s Boutique, Unit 7 used the candy to fill 140 stockings! Your thoughtful donation helped spread love and cheer to others in Chicago and in Africa. •7•

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Jan. 10, 2010- Union Church of Hinsdale's Good News  

A church newsletter published by the Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C.

Jan. 10, 2010- Union Church of Hinsdale's Good News  

A church newsletter published by the Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C.