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August 24, 2008

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

Volume 40, Issue 17

Message from the Ministry Team

Summer is a time of relaxation and

renewal. I know as a parent, sometimes we trade one schedule for another once the school year ends with the many sports and activities of our children. But the warm weather beckons us to take life a little slower. The hope is that we will spend at least a couple of days, maybe a week or two, on vacation. We all need to be recharged. For the past month, Ezekiel 37 has been on my mind, the “dry bones” image. Does that resonate with you? Not because summer is hot and dry. The image has been on my mind for my own spiritual renewal and also the Church. Ezekiel saw a vision of a valley filled with dry bones that came to life again. This is a promise that God will make us new people when we invite the Lord’s spirit to live in us. For most of us, summer gives us the time to renew our spirits. Worship on Sundays is more relaxed. Suits and ties are exchanged for khakis and polo shirts. Families aren’t rushing to get to a sports game following service. The church community seems to have more time to visit with each other.

There is calm during this time of the year, which gives us the opportunity to stop and listen for the needs of our spirit and fill our cup. We, the Church, need the Sabbath time. What helps us transition back into the frenetic schedules we tend to keep? The cool breeze reminding us that fall is coming, the back to school commercials? This year for me, it is the Olympics. Watching the determination and dedication of the athletes has re-energized my spirit. My family is still talking about the 4 by 100 men’s swimming relay team, shattering the record by 4 seconds! I love watching the synchronized diving of the Chinese and beach volleyball. The pageantry and the Olympic theme song elevate my spirit to new heights. During this time, I’m reminded of past goals and possibilities. Possibilities that may have seemed insurmountable just two months ago seem attainable in the next few weeks.

Sunday School classrooms that have been moved, painted and reorganized are almost ready for Fall kickoff. A new confirmation program has been designed for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Elders and the Christian Formation Ministries are welcoming children back in worship. Starting September 7, our children over the age of 4, will begin each Sunday morning in church with their families, and then, after a short time, they will leave for their Sunday School class. The children, as well as their devoted teachers, will have the weekly experience of singing a hymn, praying with the church community, hearing another child sing or play an instrument, or even, hearing a testimony. There are many exciting programs coming this fall. The bones of the Church are coming back to life again. I hope your spirit has been renewed and re-energized. Join us on August 24 for the Christian Formation Open House to witness the possibilities. - Penny Johnson

Our Staff Senior Minister: Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Minister for Christian Formation and Mission: Rev. Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer Minister for Membership and Discipleship: Rev. Dr. Julie Ruth Harley Director of Youth Ministries: David Knecht Director of Youth Formation and Families: Jeremy Hylen Director of Music Ministries: Michael Surratt 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 Systems Manager: Mary Bock 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.

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)

Invitation to Faith: Transformative Worship

Summer Preaching Themes Our sermons this summer will be based on 12 principles of progressive Christian faith from a book titled “The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity,” by the Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes. August 24: “Freedom To or Freedom From?” Thom Parrott-Sheffer preaching August 31: “Holy Ground,” Julie Ruth Harley preaching

Pet Blessing Service Bring your pets and bring your friends to a Pet Blessing Service at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, in the Close. Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer will lead this service for all types of pets, in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

Choirs Begin Pre-registration is not required for any musical groups. Just come to the first rehearsal. Chancel Choir rehearsals begin on Thursday, September 4, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, with our new director, Todd Diehl. New members are always welcome. Children’s Choir, K-5th grade, begins Wednesday, September 10, 4:00 – 4:45 PM, in the choral room. New members are always welcome. Journey Band rehearsals begin Wednesday, September 3, 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the youth room. New members, singers and instrumentalists, are always welcome. Allegretto Bells, grades 6 – 9, begins Wednesday, September 10, 5:00 – 5:45 PM, in the bell room. New members are welcome. Come and try it. Allegro Bells, grades 9 – 12, rehearsals resume Sunday, September 7, 12:30 – 2:30 PM, in the bell room. All positions are filled for this fall. High school students are welcome to join Allegretto Bells. There will be several opening in Allegro in September, 2009. Union Bells, adults, rehearsals resume Tuesday, September 16, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, in the bell room. Please call Michael Surratt at (630) 323.4303, x6690, if you are interested in joining. •2•

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Children

Fall Sunday School Begins September 7, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. Children in Kindergarten and up will start in 10:00 Worship NurseryNursery care for infants through age 2 is located in Classroom E on the lower level. Our childcare staff are Pam Cole, a nanny, Beth Lane – a former high school teacher in family sciences, Rachel Harley – a high school senior and Tori Sims – a high school junior. 3s and 4s – Christian Education for children ages 3 and 4 year-olds is located in Classroom C on the lower level. Children will hear the familiar stories of the Old and New Testaments. In these classes children are actively involved in responding to the message of Scripture in various ways, including music, storytelling and art. Kindergarten through 2nd grades – Sunday School for this group will be in new classrooms that are side by side on the main level, Helen Hall and Classrooms J&K. The classrooms are located right off the Gathering Place for easier access from the sanctuary. Sunday School will begin in the sanctuary at 10:00 worship. Families will worship together for the first ten minutes. The children will leave the sanctuary and proceed to their classrooms to continue with their Sunday School program. This program is designed to provide children with a rewarding and hands-on way to learn about God. Three kinds of stories are used: narrative Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments, Jesus’ parables, and liturgical stories dealing with worship, sacraments, and rituals of our faith. 3rd-5th grades – Sunday School for this age group will be in two classrooms on the upper level, the Grace and the Faith/Hope rooms. Sunday School will begin in the sanctuary at 10:00 worship. Families will worship together for the first ten minutes. The children will leave the sanctuary and proceed to their classrooms to continue with the Sunday School program. The curriculum offers two tracks. The curriculum for year “A,” is a series about the life and ministry of Jesus and the disciples based on the gospel of Mark. The curriculum for year “B,” covers the stories about Jesus’ ministry, parables and early church history.

As Sunday School Begins: We invite you to help: • Teach 3s & 4s • Collect toilet paper rolls • Assist in the K-5th grade classrooms

Confirmation: We continue to strive to present the most meaningful and relevant Confirmation program we can; so we begin a new year with a new vision and a new pedagogy. We have moved from an “informational” model to a “transformational” model; which has many exciting new possibilities. There are two sections of Confirmation: 6th & 7th Grade Confirmation and 8th Grade Confirmation. The program is designed to augment the church’s total ministry and will meet throughout the year on scheduled days. There are no regular Sunday morning hour-long sessions (that is a vestige of the informational model). If you have not received an orientation letter in the last two weeks and have an interest/questions about the program, please contact Pastor Thom or Jeremy Hylen at (630) 323.4303 at ext. 6693 and 6656 respectively. If you have an interest in being a mentor, please contact David Knecht at (630) 323.4303 ext. 6655. •3•

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Youth

Summer Work Tour: Expectations are Everything Youth Events: August 2008 8th Grade Benihana Night Thursday, August 28 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Reservations Required. Cost $30 per person. Contact David Knecht.

ATTN: 8th Grade Families Confirmation Parent Meeting Tuesday, August 26 7:00 p.m. - Youth Room

Come to hear all about the new program. Come to get the year's calendar. Come to ask questions. Come to register and make plans.

Visit for summer calendar info. about Middle School (TNT) and High School (Discovery) events! ALSO, check the blog for our Photo of the Day posts

As this was only my second work tour, I did not have many other work tour experiences to compare Swan Quarter with. Except, I could not help but compare Swan Quarter to my first work tour, which was last summer in Coahoma, Mississippi. My experience this summer continues to support the saying that all first work tours are the best. On a first work tour, there is nothing else to compare the exploration of a deeper faith and the feelings of accomplishment with. I kept telling myself that this is a different place, with different group of people, and a different experience completely. Yet, I could not subconsciously stop myself from thinking, “This is not Coahoma.” At times, I wanted it to be Coahoma. I wanted so badly to feel what my peers from Union Church were feeling and I wanted to be changed and moved as they had been from this experience. Easily put, jealously was brewing inside me. And then anger was added to this pot. I did not want to be angry. I did not want to be jealous. I wanted to be influenced by this experience as a whole.

Lauren and two of her new found friends at Kid’s Club in Swan Quarter, NC. Lauren will be a Junior this fall at Hinsdale Central.

I learned a valuable lesson: expectations can ruin everything. The hardest thing I had to do on this trip was not scrapping and painting a church in an eighty percent humidity, or carrying a local kid on my back for three hours, but was rather removing all expectations I had from Mississippi. It did not work the second I set out to do it. But by the third day in Swan Quarter, my first work tour was beginning to disappear in relation to North Carolina. And I know it was the third day because of a small event that lasted for a short as four seconds. Kids’ Club was scheduled for the second half of the week for my group, which was exciting as we always want to have a lasting impression of the children. My friend and I were the check-in station, and once we were finished we made our way to the meeting room to sing a few entrance songs and recite the memory verse for the week. After singing the classics, such as Waves of Mercy and God’s Holy Name, a young boy from Swan Quarter decided to risk any embarrassment that is attached to delivering anything from memory and spoke the verse with a little hesitation. He said it perfectly with the hand motions, and once he was done, he, of course, received a round of applause. Once his mind registered that his work was being praised, he broke into this amazing smile. I have never been moved by a smile before. It just gave me a little insight into to the lack of support that children may live with. These situations sometimes become blurred in a privileged community such as Hinsdale, Illinois. I realized that I am grateful to be encouraged by all those closest to me; I was reminded to do the same to those closest, and as hard as it is, farthest from me. I truly think that that moment was the turning point for me. I forgot all expectations and my week improved vastly. I do not regret going to Swan Quarter, which is what I feared the most during those first few days of the trip. We must remember that being supported by anyone and everyone goes so far. I wished for it in the beginning of the trip, and received it at the end. We are no one to say who can and cannot receive support. All six and a half billion human beings need all they can find, and all six and a half billion human beings are here to give it. God Bless, Lauren Bramson •4•

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Adults

Parish Life Ministry

The Union Forum Sundays from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in Rowell Hall Aug. 24 – “Poverty in DuPage County,” led by Caroline Nopar from YWCA DuPage. Every Illinoisan has a human right to healthcare, an adequate livelihood, and freedom from the constraints of poverty. Historically, poverty rates have always been higher in Chicago than in the surrounding region, but this trend is changing. In fact, the white collar counties experienced significantly greater growth in poverty rates and low-income rates than Chicago or Cook County as low income populations move further south and west of the City. The population of DuPage County is also changing: from 1990 to 2004 there has been nearly a 150% increase in minority populations and the Hispanic population of the DuPage population. What are the reasons behind this population increase and how does this affect DuPage County? The YWCA will share what it knows about the economic and community situation surrounding the Chicago region's working poor, and what they have learned about the best programmatic approach to making a difference for underresourced populations. Aug. 31 – “The Five Equations that Changed the World,” led by Rev. Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer. Based on the book by Michael Guillen. A discussion of Science as a language of Faith.

Where Do You See God?

“Eat Your Way through the Old Testament” Recipes

Our Summer Photo Project has been very successful, have you checked out the pictures in the Gathering Place yet? This project will continue through Kick-Off Sunday (September 12), so get your pictures in to Pastor Thom as soon as possible for inclusion on the wall.

Summer is almost over and school will be starting soon. Students in 3rd-7th grade who are interested in submitting a recipe for our cookbook from this summer’s Sunday School class are encouraged to do so NOW. Recipes can be brought to class on Sunday morning or emailed to Susan Young at

Summer Photo Project

Thanks to everyone who has participated!


Your Parish Life Ministry invites you to sign up to help serve in the Gathering Place after the 9:00 and 10:00 worship services. New sign up sheets for September through December are now available on the clip board in the Gathering Place kitchen. All food and drink is provided by the church - all we need is YOU to help serve your fellow worshippers. Training and help is available for those new to this ministry.

Discipleship Sunday August 24, 2008 Register for Sunday School, youth events, adult classes and small groups on Sunday, Aug. 24, when we will have a special fellowship time following all services. Learn about what’s coming up this fall!

Upcoming Workshops: Writing the Sacred Workshop 9:00-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1 The Union Church of Hinsdale Ray McGinnis will offer this workshop for would-be and seasoned writers. Mr. McGinnis is the author of Writing the Sacred: A Psalm-Inspired Path to Appreciating and Writing Sacred Poetry. A $20 donation is suggested.

A Day with John Shelby Spong 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 First Congregational Church of LaGrange, 100 South Sixth Avenue This John E. Biegert Lecture will feature well-known theologian and author John Shelby Spong, speaking on “The Sins of Scripture” and “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” The event is free of charge and the community is invited.

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

Women’s Association Brunch and Benevolence

Guatemala Mission January 17-24, 2009 The time is NOW! Join us on a life-changing adventure, make new friends and live out the challenge to “love kindness, serve justice and walk humbly with your God.” Sign-up today and begin to make plans. Applications for this trip are available from Pastor Thom. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS is September 12, 2008.

A Thank You from Erie House Thank you to everyone who donated school supplies to Erie House.

Though the generosity of the 110+ people who join the Association at our first ever Strataganzia on Sunday, August 3, we collected two large boxes of school goods and $349 to give to families served by Home for Homeless and Constance Morris. For those of you who requested the recipes, they are posted online at:

The People’s Resource Center The People’s Resource Center is in need of volunteers to help with registering new clients! We have both morning and afternoon shifts available, and volunteers are needed at both our Wheaton and Westmont locations. Computer training on our data entry system is required. If you are interested, please contact Lisa Doyle at (630) 682.5402 x 243 or e-mail volunteers@

Community Nurse Health Association We are actively looking for enthusiastic individuals to volunteer in our Carousel Resale Shop and the Corner Consignment Shop, both located on Calendar Avenue in LaGrange. All proceeds from the stores go to support the pediatric, adult and dental clinics for low income or uninsured families in 15 western suburban communities. Contact Harriet VerGowe at (708) 352.0081 or

Your generosity was overwhelming.

We Need Volunteers On Saturday, September 6 – in cooperation with our Mission partner, Pillars … • to remove the old furniture and blinds • install the new blinds • paint and decorate. For more information and to sign up please contact Karen Lutz at (630) 325.2508. •6•

Invitation to Faith: Community Life

WA Unit Meetings September 2008 Unit 1 Sept. 11 9:15 a.m. The Garden Room Fairview Village Apartments S. Fairview Ave., Downers Grove Unit 2 Sept. 4 9:00 a.m. Home of Jane Gralen 42 Dunham Ct., Burr Ridge Unit 3 Sept. 4 9:00 a.m. Home of Ginny Monroe 143 Pheasant Hollow, Burr Ridge Unit 4 Sept. 4 12:30 p.m. Home of Mary Shewalter 301 Lake Hinsdale Dr., Apt. 409, Willowbrook Unit 5 Sept. 4 7:30 p.m. Home of Virginia Robinson 504 S. Lincoln, Hinsdale Unit 6 Sept. 5 1:00 p.m. Home of Rae Gerler 724 S. Waiola, LaGrange Unit 7 Sept. 4 9:00 a.m. Lounge at Union Church

in September The 2008-2009 Market Day program is beginning another year with the first pickup date scheduled for Saturday, September 20. The Allegro Handbell Ensemble thanks everyone who purchased Market Day products. With this support, the Ensemble shared its music and message of love through concerts in the Pacific Northwest in June. If you ordered within the past year, you will be receiving an order form in the mail. Order forms can be picked up and returned to holders at the Church’s north door entrance and in the narthex. You can order on line as Our code is 1359. You can also call Market Day directly at 1-877-MD APPLE or call the Sunseri family at (630) 887-7425.

Union Church Office Reception Volunteers Wanted Our team of Office Volunteers has several openings. We need your help to answer phones and greet visitors in the office each week at one of 3 afternoon time slots. We have openings on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Please call Merrilee at (630) 323.4303, ext. 6689 to sign up. This volunteer opportunity is open to men and women – folks who have a welcoming nature.

Resale '08 Save the Dates Thursday, Sept. 25, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Presale for Workers only Friday, Sept. 26, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. Public Preview Sale – open to all Saturday, Sept. 27, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Resale Day – Huge price cuts all day

Union Church Blog Go to and check out a new column written each week by Verlee Copeland, Julie Ruth Harley, Jeremy Hylen, Penny Johnson, David Knecht, Thom ParrottSheffer or Michael Surratt.

Get the News Early Receive the Good News before anyone else does by getting added to our Good News Online email notification list. Just call Merrilee Hall with your request.

It’s coming! Bring your donations to the Dining Room stage—don’t wait! Sign-up sheets for workers will be coming out in a future edition of the Good News.

Games People Play

5:30 p.m.Saturday, September 20, 2008

5840 S. Garfield (Jay and Bonnie Eigel's) - $12.00 per adult person Please come to a bar-b-que and games night on Saturday, September 20, 2008. We will play yard games such as bean bags and bocce ball and have a picnic dinner. The cost is $12.00 per person and a dish to share. The cost includes adult beverages and meat to grill, paper goods, etc. This fun event is sponsored by Board of Parish Life and all adults are invited. Please R.S.V.P. to Bonnie Eigel by sending your check made out to Union Church of Hinsdale to: 5840 S. Garfield, Hinsdale, IL 60521. Your check is your reservation!! Join the fun!!


Inside this Issue... 2 3 4 5 6 7

Transformative Worship Christian Formation for Children Christian Formation for Youth Christian Formation for Adults Expanding Mission for All People Community Life




Sunday, August 24 8:00 & 10:00 a.m. Worship Services 9:50 a.m. Sunday School, Nursery 11:15 a.m. Union Forum 6:00 p.m. TNT Back to School Movie Monday, August 25 9:00 a.m. Soup-Making Ministry Tuesday, August 26 7:00 p.m. Confirmation Parent Meeting Wednesday, August 27 GOOD NEWS Submission Deadline for Sept. 7 Issue 7:00 a.m. Men's Breakfast Group Thursday, August 28 5:30 p.m. 8th Graders ONLY Trip to Benihana's 7:30 p.m. CODA Friday, August 29 6:00 a.m. Men's Ministry Group #1 6:30 a.m. Men's Ministry Group #2 Saturday, August 30 5:00 p.m. Journey Worship

Sunday, August 31 8:00 & 10:00 a.m. Worship Services 9:50 a.m. Sunday School, Nursery 11:15 a.m. Union Forum Monday, September 1 Labor Day - No Events Scheduled Tuesday, September 2 8:30 a.m. Mother Child Wednesday, September 3 7:30 p.m. Tai Chi Beginning Classes Thursday, September 4 7:30 p.m. CODA Friday, September 5 12:30 p.m. WA Unit #6 Meeting Saturday, September 6 3:00 p.m. PADS Soup Making (Youth) 5:00 p.m. Journey Worship For our full events calendar please visit:

August 24, 2008 - Union Church of Hinsdale's Good News  

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

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