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February 8, 2009

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

Message from the Minister

It’s easy to understand the Puritan sensibility to place public offenders in stocks and throw tomatoes at them. Watching the proceedings unfold in Springfield at the impeachment of former Gov. Blagojevich reminded us of the power of such public purging. The frustrations of a people appalled by his cavalier and reckless regard for public office and misuse of power alienated even his closest allies. Listening to some of the proceedings gave me pause however, to consider how we respond as a people to perceptions of greed and the abuse of power. We tend to project our fears on easy targets like the former governor. We want someone to blame for corruption in high places that have placed our economy and the financial stability of our government at risk. We lift up the names of CEO’s who grant themselves bonuses and continue to fly the corporate jet even after the ruinous demise of their companies.

Clearly there are people in the public square who need to be held accountable for their actions. Clearly there are egregious cases of corruption and abuse that will be settled in the courts of law. Clearly the State of Illinois needs a cultural shift in the way we do business. The day of mobster arm-twisting in the name of public good is over. It seems to me however, that as Christians, our reflection needs to run deeper than this. When we blame others for the struggles we face, we fail to repent of our own complicity in systems that have benefited us. Scripture rightly reminds us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” While the press offers us many examples of self-deluded narcissism and personality disorder, we are invited in such a time as this to look in the mirror and allow God to reveal to us the condition of our own heart. In such a time as this, self-examination is a more pressing need than recrimination and finger pointing. Yes, people need to be held accountable for their actions. Of course, Blagojevich set himself up for the consequences that took place in the capital this past week. However, we are not absolved from our own duplicity. Our collective greed and unabated grasp for power has resulted over time in the consequences we all feel so acutely in our businesses and in our retirement accounts. While we as a nation are in the midst of a necessary shift in leadership, we as Christians have other work to do as well.

Volume 41, Issue 3

God gave us the gift of Jesus, the divine healer, who invites us into the way, the truth and the life. The path to spiritual restoration requires comfort for the afflicted to be sure, as many among us suffer. But in truth, the gospel also afflicts the comfortable, calling us to change our minds and our ways, practice generosity and humility, and repent when we have claimed a greater portion of God’s riches than rightly belongs to us alone. This is work we can do together. It is work we must do as we pray for the day when abundance for all will mean scarcity for none. It is holy work that frees us from our captivity to material riches and allows us to hold lightly the gifts of God for all God’s people. The Lord of life promises to cast out all fear. When we allow God to create in us a new heart, God promises to restore in us a right spirit that leads to a life of peace, regardless of the state of the world. We can boldly claim Jesus words for us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” - John 14:27 God’s grace, mercy and peace, - Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Senior Minister, Union Church of Hinsdale, United Church of Christ

OUR STAFF Senior Minister: Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Minister for Mission: Rev. Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer Acting Associate Minister for Christian Formation and Family Life: Tassie Green Director of Youth Formation: Jeremy Hylen Director of Music Ministries: Michael Surratt Director of the Chancel Choir: Todd Diehl Director of Early Childhood Programs: Jennifer Keldahl Director of Children’s Christian Education: Penny Johnson 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, 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. Jesus And Me (JAM) 2nd Sundays at 11:15 a.m. Prayer and Healing Service 3rd Sundays at 7:00 p.m.

Invitation to Faith: Transformative Worship

Deepening Faith Through the Journey of Lent Please join us for mid-week worship through the season of Lent from 7:00 - 7:30 p.m each Wednesday evening in the chapel. We will begin with an Ash Wednesday service on February 25, led by Rev. Verlee A. Copeland and Rev. Thom ParrottSheffer. The weekly worship schedule follows this note for your planning purposes. We look forward to walking together through Lent, exploring the names for Jesus.

Lenten Worship Services for 2009 Theme: The Names of Jesus February 25: Jesus, The Door (Ash Wednesday) Rev. Verlee A. Copeland & Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer John 10:9, Luke 11:5-10 March 4: Jesus, The Good Shepherd Rev. Tassie Green John 10:14, Luke 15:3-7, Psalm 23 March 11: Jesus, The True Vine Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer John 15:5, Luke 13:6-9

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.

THE UNION CHURCH OF HINSDALE 137 South Garfield Avenue Hinsdale, IL 60521-4298 (630) 323.4303 (Telephone) (630) 323.4407 (Fax)

March 18: Jesus, The Great Physician Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Matthew 9:12,13b, Luke 5:17-20 March 25: Jesus, The Good Teacher Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer Mathew 4:23a, Matthew 6:28-34 April 1: Jesus, The Messiah Rev. Tassie Green John 18:36, Mark 11:10-17, Matthew 16:13-20 •2•

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Children

Holy Happenings in Christian Formation On this page, I am sharing Holy Happenings in Christian Formation, such as Sunday School, Confirmation, and LOGOS. It is the CF Ministry’s hope to provide families with information to help continue the Sunday morning learning throughout the week at home. The vision of Christian Formation is “A Family of Christians Growing by Embracing God’s Love and Passing it On.” We seek to support and equip parents, grandparents, and other members to teach, practice and pass on faith in their home and daily life. This page is one step in helping families put this into practice. 3s & 4s – Over the next four weeks, we will be learning some of the healing and miracle stories of Jesus. Upcoming are Jesus heals a little boy and the miracle of Jesus calming the storm. We will be making get well cards for shut ins. K-2 grades – For the next two weeks, we will continue with the parables of Jesus. The children will hear the Parable of the Leaven and the Parable of the Great Pearl. You can find these stories in the first book of the New Testament, Matthew 13:33 and Matthew 13:45-46. A couple of wondering questions the children will be exploring: • I wonder what this person was doing while the loaf was being leavened? • I wonder why this person put the leaven in the loaf? • I wonder how this pearl could be the Great Pearl, and all the other pearls could be just pearls? • I wonder what the Great Pearl could really be? 3rd – 5th grades – For the next two weeks, we are learning The Most Important Commandment and the Gift of the Poor Widow stories of Jesus’ teaching. Parents can find these stories in the Gospel of Mark Chapter 12:28-34 and March 12:4144. A couple of wondering questions the children will be exploring: • I wonder how Jesus feels when the people of Jerusalem wonder who he is? • I wonder how the priests and elders feel as Jesus tells what is the most important commandment? • I wonder why it is hard for them to love Jesus? • I wonder how Jesus feels watching the people put their offering into the Temple treasury? • I wonder how they decided how much money to put in? • I wonder how the poor widow feels giving all that she has?

LOGOS – On Wednesday, January 28, we began our second session of LOGOS. The upcoming weeks we will be learning the stories of Samson and Delilah and First Corinthians 13. Our themes for the two weeks are Crazy Hair day and Valentine’s Day. Come join us for worship at 6:30 on Wednesday evenings. If you would still like to get involved please contact Penny Johnson for more information: (630) 323.4303 ext. 6691 OR


Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Youth

Sign-Up for

Summer Work Tour '09 Feb. 2009 Youth Events: JAM Worship: Sun., Feb. 8 @ 11:15 a.m. High School Retreat Feb. 13-15, 2009

"Hearts Wide Open"

TNT (MS) Sun., Feb. 15 @ 5:00 p.m.

Register ASAP, we fill up fast!!! Mission Possible (HS) Sat., Feb. 7, PADS Sat., Feb. 21, Night Ministry

Who: High School Youth When: July 10 - 18, 2009 Where: Lame Deer, Montana (partnering with YouthWorks) Why: Make a difference in the world and have fun at the same time! Cost: $600 More information is available at

Sign up for all Mission Possible [MP] events on the youth website at Spaces are limited for certain events so sign up soon! Questions? Contact Jane Grimm at OR Jeremy Hylen at

For Full Coverage of All Youth Activities & Events Visit Our Website: Our Blog with PHOTO OF THE DAY posts: Parents and Youth... Sign-up online for our weekly youth e-newsletter to stay up to date automatically! •4•

Youth Ministry in Transition… Opportunities for Processing, Closure, and Celebration Sunday February 8, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. / Youth Room – Youth Ministry Celebration (hosted by the Youth Ministry Team). All youth, families and members of the congregation are invited. Details to follow. March 1, 2009, 11:30 a.m. / Youth Room – Parent/Youth Meeting to discuss the “Transition and Direction for Youth Ministry for 2009 and Beyond”, led by Director of Youth Formation, Jeremy Hylen and the Youth Ministry Team of Union Church.

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Adults

The Union Forum

Sundays from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in Rowell Hall Feb 8, 2009 “Dementia” presented by Jody Kanikula, M,S.W., Metropolitan Family Services of DuPage

Go Green – Get “The Good News Online”!

Feb 15, 2009 “Prison Ministry” with Connie Black and Edward Moore Feb 22, 2009 - TBA Mar. 1, 2009 "Early Childhood Education - Closing the Gap-A Social Justice Issue: The Illinois Story" presented by Diana Rauner, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Ounce of Prevention Fund Mar. 8, 2009 "The Diversities of Diversity" presented by Cecil Curtwright, Associate Vice Provost, University of Illinois at Chicago Mar. 15 , 2009 “Intergenerational Lenten Mission project,” sponsored by Christian Formation Ministry-in dining room 11:15-1 p.m.

Please contact Merrilee at to receive the church newsletter online. What that means is that you will receive a notice by email that the most recent issue of The Good News is available on the church’s website along with a link directly to the online issue. The benefits to YOU are: • You can read the news at the earliest possible opportunity. We upload the newsletter the same day that the hardcopy goes to the post office to be delivered to you. First class mail ($.42 each issue for postage) takes about 1-3 days to get to your home; while bulk mail delivery can take from 2-10 days at an average cost of $.16 per issue. • You feel good about reading the news without using paper (unless, of course, you would like to print one or more pages for your own use at home!)

Mar. 22, 2009 The Family Life Initiative, the Growing Edge of the Church” by Rev. Tassie Green, Acting Associate for Christian Formation and Family Life

• You feel good about saving the church some of the cost to prepare, process and post the newsletter – nearly $10,000 each year for paper copies. The benefits to the CHURCH are:

Apr. 5, 2009 “History of the Seder Meal” by Alan Becker

• We save some of the material cost to prepare, process and post the newsletter.

Apr. 12, 2009 Easter — No Union Forum

• We free up staff time to attend to other projects.

Go Green! •5•

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

Save the Date: Annual Youth Spaghetti Dinner Sunday, February 22, 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Union Church's Discovery Youth Work Tour and the Allegro Handbell Ensemble groups are holding their annual Spaghetti Dinner next month. The money raised will support their mission work on behalf of our church. Save the date as the feast and auction are sure to satisfy many palettes and auctioneers alike! Union Church members, and those who own or operate businesses, can support the work of our youth by helping with this annual fundraiser. There are several ways to help: 1) Place an ad in the Silent Auction brochure. Let others know of your support and promote your business or services! Contact Mary Jaworski at (630) 734.1046 for details. 2) Donate items or services as Silent Auction packages. These could be anything, e.g., hair/spa treatments, golf outings, financial planning, home assessment, or gift certificates or event tickets. Contact Elizabeth Krainc at (630) 969.0545 for details

3) Underwrite a portion of the cost of supplies or food for the dinner and receive recognition. Contact Mary Jaworski at 630-734-1046 for details! 4) Purchase tickets from youth, available after services and at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 4-17) and free for children under 3 years. If you are unable to attend, consider donating a ticket for those less fortunate.

The ideas to support our youth are endless and the value you contribute is priceless! As always, thank you for helping make this year's spaghetti dinner a success for our youth.

Membership Inquirer's Classes Start Today! Attention visitors, potential new members and all interested people – our Inquirers’ Class have been postponed one week: Inquirers’ Classes Each Sunday from February 8 – February 22, 2009 February 8: An Inside Look at Union Church presented by Penny Johnson & Terry Kilens February 15: "A Guide to the United Church of Christ" presented by Verlee Copeland & Thom Parrott-Sheffer February 22: "What does the church have to offer me? … What do I have to offer the church?" presented by Thom Parrott-Sheffer March 1, 2009: New Member Sunday Come to one, come to all – come to those classes that explore new territory for you. See you there.

CROP Walk Report We would like to thank EVERYONE who participated in this year’s CROP Walk (whether a walker or a supporter). Union Church was among the top supporters, with over $4000 raised and over 30 walkers. A total of almost $19,000 has been collected so far; with a few more donations still to come. One quarter of these donations will help support the Hinsdale Community Service program. Well done, Hinsdale … well done, Union Church. As we look forward, mark your calendars now for next walk … Sunday, October 18, 2009. •6•

Invitation to Faith: Community Life

"Volunteer in Community"

Annual Meeting Results The annual meeting of the Union Church held Sunday morning January 25 resulted in the passage of a new constitution, the election of proposed officers and lay leaders to the ministries of the church, the passage of a balanced budget for 2009 and recognition of 50 year members of the church. Please see the next edition of the Good News for implications of these decisions made through respectful dialogue and animated discussion at the annual meeting.

Men's Club Men’s Club next meets for lunch at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, February 11 in the Union Church dining room. Our guest speaker will be the Tim Scott, Community Development Strategist for the Village of Hinsdale. Tim will be talking about suburban and urban development in this challenging economic environment. The cost is $5. If your caller does not reach you, please call the church office at (630) 323.4303 to reserve a place. See you then!

Save the Date: Petite Repeat Petite Repeat is scheduled for April 17, 2009 (presale) and April 18, 2009 (sale). Exact times are TBA. Stay tuned to the Good News and for more detailed event information to come.

If you are a single woman between the ages of 20 and 50, the "Volunteer in Community" program of the Benedictine Women of Madison welcomes you to explore a shared way of life, whether you are Protestant, Catholic, another faith or of uncertain faith. You'll live in the retreat house, become immersed in Benedictine spirituality and experience the rhythm of work and prayer, learning and leisure. You will work on the prairie and monastery grounds, share in common meals, explore Benedictine spirituality and deepen your relationship with God. The Holy Wisdom Monastery is a modest, comfortable space situated on approximately 90 acres of re-claimed prairie. You'll have the opportunity to develop relationships with people of different backgrounds and traditions and to become part of a committed group of people working to preserve the natural environment that makes Holy Wisdom Monastery special. Internships are available June 15 through August 15. Room and meals are provided. The minimum stay is two weeks, and you are welcome to join the program for the full two months. These Benedictine sisters have been courageous and trail-breaking in the areas of ecumenical relationships, environmental stewardship and interfaith bridge-building. Contact Sr. Lynne Smith, OSB (wsmith@ if you have any questions!

Prayer Shawl Ministry The Prayer Shawl Ministry will be having a knitting session on Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. If you would like to participate or have any questions please contact Ellie Hanke at (630) 654.0474 •7•

Rainbows News It is with regret that we announce that the Union Church Rainbows program has been indefinitely canceled. We will be working on finding new resources which will allow us to begin the program again in the fall of 2009; but until those resources are secured we will not be holding Rainbow classes. Thank you to everyone who has served this program in the past. If your child(ren) is(are) experiencing undue stress over issues of divorce or separation feel free to call Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer for support and guidance in finding appropriate assistance.

Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper Mark your calendar now for the annual Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 24, 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Be ready to join us in February this year as the Women's Association serves up pancakes, ham, sausage, and fruit. Games and Bible Bingo, too! Meals will be $5 for adults, $3 for children 4-12 (under 4 are free!) or $15 for the whole family!! This year all proceeds from the dinner will benefit Hindale Community Services Food Pantry, and we will be collecting non-perishable food items for delivery to the Pantry as well. We'll see you there!

INSIDE THIS ISSUE... 2 3 4 5 6 7





Sunday, February 8 8:00, 9:00 & 10:00 a.m. Worship Services 10:00 a.m. Sunday School, Nursery 11:15 a.m. Union Forum, JAM Worship Monday, February 9 9:00 a.m. Soup Making Ministry Tuesday, February 10 5:00 p.m. Submission Deadline for the Feb. 22 News Wednesday, February 11 7:00 a.m. Men's Breakfast Group 9:00 a.m. Women's Bible Study, Golden Friendship Thursday, February 12 1:00 p.m. Kergyma Class 7:30 p.m. CODA Friday, February 13 6:00 a.m. Men's Ministry Groups 1 & 2 4:45 p.m. High School Polar Bear Retreat Departs 6:30 p.m. Friendship / FUNship Saturday, February 14 5:00 p.m. Journey Worship

Sunday, February 15 8:00, 9:00 & 10:00 a.m. Worship Services 9:00 a.m. Current Events & Faith Group 10:00 a.m. Sunday School, Nursery 11:15 a.m. Union Forum Monday, February 16 9:00 a.m. Soup Making Ministry Tuesday, February 17 8:30 a.m. Mother Child Class 7:00 p.m. Executive Council Meeting Wednesday, February 18 4:00 p.m. LOGOS 8:00 p.m. High School "Way to Live" Class Thursday, February 19 7:30 p.m. CODA Friday, February 20 6:30 p.m. Simple Supper / Bible Study Group "C" Saturday, February 21 10:00 p.m. Mission Possible - PADS Soup Making 5:00 p.m. Journey Worship

February 8, 2009 - Union Church of Hinsdale's Good News  

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