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Good News The

November 21, 2004

A Publication of The Union Church of Hinsdale

Message from the Ministry Team

The HOLIDAYS are here! Watch out . . . it’s the HOLIDAYS! Have you noticed how often people say, “I’ll get to that after the HOLIDAYS.” In the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day we are inundated with parties, shopping, concerts and cooking. Normal life goes on hiatus and we are thrown into a frenzy of celebration. On the stress scale, the HOLIDAYS score right up there with a major illness! We can’t eliminate the stress of this time of year, but we can set aside time to put life in perspective. I hope that worship will be for you a refuge from the demands of this season. Take a deep breath. Nourish your soul. Take an hour to center your life in God. I invite you to three special worship celebrations and one new weekly service. The Installation Service for Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer and me is on Sunday, November 21 from 3 to 4 pm. This service is a way of witnessing and supporting the covenant Thom and I have made to serve as part of this fantastic staff. I look forward to many years as a member of your clergy team.

Our Thanksgiving Eve service begins at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 24. As we give thanks for what we have, we recommit to Christ’s mission to ensure that everyone has food on the table. Bring a donation for the food pantry. We have a Prayer Service at 7 pm on Wednesday, December 1, which is World AIDS Day. It will be held in the Chapel, and we will pray for people around the world who are HIV+ or who have AIDS. And did you know that Union Church started a new worship service, held every Saturday from 5:00 to 5:45 pm? The Journey Worship of Celebration began in October and will continue each Saturday in the Youth Room. This is not just a “youth service” and it is not just a “contemporary service.” It IS a casual service, and jeans, sneakers and sweats are appropriate attire for Journey. We even get to sit on couches! Each Journey service includes wonderful music provided by guitar players Thom Parrott-Sheffer, Ken Pletcher, Jay Eigel, Jordan Pedersen and Cara Stevens, keyboard player Kyle Mann, and singers Pam Knecht, Kim Copeland and Katie Sims. The music is old and new, but all of it is sacred. We share in prayer, scripture reading, and hear a sermon from one of the ministers at each service. It is a paperless service—all the words you need are projected on a screen. We share communion on the first Saturday of the month. Perhaps the HOLIDAYS are the best time for you to try the Journey service. This is definitely the best time for you to invite a friend, family member or neighbor to visit Union Church.

Volume 36, Issue 18

The power of INVITATION and WELCOME are the keys to vital church growth! These are not just the HOLIDAYS, these are Holy Days. May Christ transform us in his image. In Christian love, Rev. Julie Ruth Harley


THE GOOD NEWS is a publication of The Union Church of Hinsdale

PRAYER AND HEALING SERVICE Would you like to come away from the noise and rush of the world and gather with others for a quiet, contemplative service? Would you like to pray for yourself, others and the world to find wholeness in the midst of brokenness and pain?

(United Church of Christ)

Senior Minister: Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Minister for Christian Formation and Education: Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer Minister for Membership and Discipleship: Rev. Julie Ruth Harley Director of Youth Ministries: David Knecht Director of Music Ministries: Michael Surratt Director of Choirs: Gary Willhelm Director of Early Childhood Programs: Jennifer Keldahl Acting Director of Children’s Christian Education: Penny Johnson Director of Administration: Mary Bock Financial Manager: Chris Biank Newsletter Editor: Linda Foreman

WORSHIP SERVICES Sundays 8:00, 9:00 and 11:00 am Youth Worship 2nd Sundays at 9:50 am Prayer and Healing Service 3rd Sundays at 7:00 pm Journey Celebration Worship Saturdays at 5:00 pm

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Sundays 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

THE UNION CHURCH OF HINSDALE 137 South Garfield Avenue Hinsdale, IL 60521-4298 630.323.4303 (Telephone) 630.323.4407 (Fax)

We will be nurtured by the wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen at our Prayer and Healing Service at 7 pm on Sunday, November 21, in the Chapel.

CALLING ALL COUPLES Your marriage is one of the most important investments you will ever make. Our church is forming a small group that meets for nine weeks beginning January 9 called “Empowering Couples.” This group is designed to help spouses achieve five goals: • Identify and build on your couple strengths • Learn communication and conflict resolution skills • Identify stumbling blocks/problematic issues • Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones • Empower couples to build a stronger and happier marriage The sessions will meet at the church on Sundays during the 9:50 am education hour. It is based on a book by David H. and Amy K. Olson from Life Innovations in Minneapolis. Topics include establishing couple goals, children and parenting, sexuality, spirituality, managing finances and role relationship. The group includes presentations, questionnaires and discussion, and it will be led by our ministers. Make a date with your partner to grow in understanding and find greater satisfaction in your marriage. Rev. Julie Ruth Harley, Minister for Membership and Discipleship

Each service includes time for scripture, music, prayer, and communion. We pray for the joys and concerns of the congregation, including those who are listed in the Prayer Circle. If people wish, we gather in a circle and place our hands on their head and shoulders to pray for God's healing spirit to be alive within and through them in the lives of others. This service is open to the community. To share prayer requests or questions, contact Rev. Julie Ruth Harley (

NEW: MEN’S BIBLE BREAKFAST We meet every Monday at 6:30 am at Cosi Restaurant (at the Hinsdale train station). We use the lectionary Scripture, so we will be studying what the preacher will use the following Sunday. All men are invited and encouraged to attend— especially commuters (we ARE at the train station, after all). The breakfast is led by Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer.

TOWER CHORALE AT UNION CHURCH The Tower Chorale is coming to us for two holiday feature performances. The presentation, God Rest Ye Merry, will be performed on Saturday, December 4, at 8:00 pm and Sunday, December 5, at 3:30 pm. The program features 80 choral voices, including several from the Union Church Choir, professional soloists, and a string ensemble. The multi-cultural music will be familiar to most, enjoyable by all. Tickets at the door are $15, reduced to $12 for seniors and students. Under age 10: FREE. See the web site at •2•

68 Confirmands and 15 Mentor/Leaders "Launch" Confirmation Retreat at Camp Tecumseh PSALM





You know, going on Retreat produces some really cool stuff out of kids. Here are a couple of “Praises” some mentor groups put together for our final worship on Sunday morning… Praise the Lord The Retreat was better than we expected it to be! Praise the Lord God is First, Others Second, I’m Third Praise the Lord The food, the music, the facility, the team building, new and old friends, all were good! Praise the Lord …..Halleluiah!! By: Jane Simon, Tillie Nordloh, Jenny Kayser, Charlie Patterson, Mike Morris, Chris Davey, and Joyce Skoog

The majesty of the night Stars shining so bright Everything was clear in sight. We found a place for everyone

It’s fall, and we kicked it off in a big way with our annual Confirmation Fall Retreat at Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, IN. 68 youth and 15 Mentors (including Thom and me) braved venturing into the “unknown” as we explored faith, the history of the church, bonded, did group building activities, ate and communed with campfires and stars!

What can you do with 5 MILES of Yarn? Here’s something we did that maybe you can’t even believe… Take a piece of yarn. It’s thin, fragile, easy to break. Yet, strung between us it can connect us, weave us into something we cannot be by ourselves, something strong, faithful and creative. Well, that’s what we did. We strung yarn around us and through us, connecting us into a giant Yarn Web; thirteen of them in total. There must have been at least 5 miles of yarn. Then, carefully, we each took our place lying on the web and were launched into the air by those holding the web, and were caught again on the same web. Here are some of the statistics…

Team building was more than fun We learned what had to be done Jesus showed us the way And we are learning more everyday. By: Kayla Pillsbury, Haley Burridge, Lauren Engelking, David Kiyosaki, Josh Sink, Charlie Bell, Jonathon Schwartzbauer, and Jeanne Osgood

Ryan Anderson - Highest launch /Outer Space (at least 10’) Kayla Pillsbury - Goofiest picture taker! Parker Johnson - Most Chipper Hopper Hannah Neff - Brittney Spears can't hold a candle to you! Chelsea Wills - Best candy necklaces ever! Matt Davis - MVP Team Building Charlie Patterson - Woke up with a sleeping bag full of leaves… (don't ask). Everybody landed safe back home after an awesome weekend! Thanks to all (Thom, Mentors and leaders, and Youth) who put a ton of faith and effort into the weekend and made it one of the best ever!

Jesus Others Yourself

Cool Youth Stuff TNT - Middle School Fun & Fellowship / Sundays 5 -6:30PM DISCOVERY – High School Fellowship / Sundays 7:30 -9PM PUSH – High School Bible Discussion /Every Monday Night, 7 -8PM


Adventures in Christian Education CAST MEMBERS NEEDED

Christmas Pageant





Mark your calendars: 11/21 11/28 12/5 12/12 12/19 12/22 12/24 12/25 12/26 1/2


We are in need of cast members for our production of the Christmas pageant “Tinsel Day.” All children ages 3 through 5th grade are invited to participate. If you are interested in a speaking part, please contact Penny Johnson or Lisa Madrigal in the church office immediately.

9:50 9:50 9:50 9:50 9:50 11:30 4:00 9:50

Field Trip to Food Pantry (grades 1-5) Intergenerational Event (no Sunday School) Christmas Pageant Practice Christmas Pageant Practice Christmas Pageant Practice Christmas Pageant Dress Rehearsal & Lunch Christmas Pageant Jesus’ Birthday Intergenerational Event (no Sunday School) Winter Break (no Sunday School)

The pageant takes place during our Christmas Eve service at 4:00 pm. Practices are held during the 9:50 am Christian Education hour on Sundays, December 5, 12 and 19. A dress rehearsal practice takes place on Wednesday, December 22 from 11:30–2:00 pm (pizza lunch included). Please mark your calendars for the practices. ALL children are welcome during the 9:50 CE hour whether or not they are participating in the pageant. Registration forms are available from Penny or Lisa or in the office. Rotation Program: The Journeys of Abraham


Current Events • Sundays at 9:50 am This is an on-going class, sponsored by the Board of Christian Social Justice. It meets in the Church Lounge, and features discussions and presentations on pressing and important issues of the day. ADVENT CLASSES • Sundays at 9:50 am Preparing for Christ: Getting Ready for Advent • November 21. This class will explore the way we can use the weeks leading up to Christmas to make ready to receive the Lord anew into our lives. The class meets in South Parlor. Intergenerational Event: “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree” • November 28. We meet in the Youth Room, as Storyteller David Knecht takes us on a Christmas journey through the words of Gloria Houston's inspiring tale. A craft time will follow as we make Christmas Angels. The whole church family is invited. The Fourth Wiseman • December 5. This inspiring tale of Artaban, the little known Magi, will be shared and discussed. Meets in the South Parlor. Christian Symbols: A Visual Story of Faith • December 12. Under the leadership of Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer, this class explores the meaning of major Christian symbols - paying particular attention to the symbols of Christmas, but also looking at some surprising symbols such as the pretzel and candy cane. Meets in the South Parlor. •4•

Books for all ages and interest levels are available every Sunday in November from 9 until1 in the Gathering Place and Chapel hallway. Everything from “A Cowboy Christmas” to “Twelve Months of Monastery Soups is on display for your perusal. In our family we always added a special holiday book to our collection every year. Consider " The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree" for your family library. Get a preview of this wonderful story at the Intergenerational Storytelling Event on November 28. The selection you will find at the CE Book Sale is different than what you will find at any other book sale. Proceeds from this sale benefit church libraries (yes, there are more than one!) and adult and children's classrooms by making it possible to provide supplemental reference materials and maps as requested by teachers. Thank you for your support.


You are invited to join us for a special presentation of

San Lucas United Church of Christ is located in the tough Humboldt Park area. It provides much needed services to the local community including after school programs for neighborhood children, a weekly hot meal program for the homeless, and low income heating and energy assistance. In addition, the Church operates a food pantry and thrift store all with a fulltime staff of just one!

To fund Youth Ministry of the Illinois Conference, United Church of Christ

Friday, December 10, 2004 7:00 pm, reception to follow

Music provided by the Union Church of Hinsdale Chancel Choir

Every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, San Lucas Church hosts a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need, giving the hungry and homeless a place to gather and to enjoy a hot turkey dinner, a tradition many of us take for granted. With the help of Union Church, San Lucas continues to seek empowerment for its local community which is amongst the poorest in the city by imitating the love of Jesus Christ through worship and living in active participation in and around its neighborhood.

Adler Planetarium 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago The Illinois Conference thanks Mr. Donald D. Clark, Jr., UCC Nationwide Special Counsel, for sponsoring this event.



It is not possible to be unaware of the human and economic devestation resulting from the worldwide scourge of AIDS. There are tens of thousands of orphaned children and almost an entire generation of young adults wiped out by this terrible disease in Africa alone. Infection is on the rise in Asia and South America. Closer to home, there are very few of us who do not know of someone, child or adult, infected with HIV/AIDS.

Featuring Judy Roberts, piano and vocals; Jackie Allen, vocals; and Greg Fishman, tenor sax and flute.

Plan to join us for a Community Prayer Service on Wednesday, December 1, World AIDS Day. We will gather at 7pm in the Union Church Chapel to remember those who have died and to pray for support and comfort for those who struggle daily with HIV/AIDS.

Members, neighbors and friends are invited to join the Board of Parish Life in launching the Christmas celebration by helping to decorate the church while enjoying family activities set to an angel theme. Stories about angels will be told by Rev. Julie Ruth Harley, Minister for Membership and Discipleship. Children will make angels tree toppers for their holiday trees at home and decorate angel cookies.

We will pray for governments and private organizations to provide care and funding to find a cure. Whenever we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of a problem, there is always prayer. It is the least and, perhaps, the most we can do.

Everyone is encouraged to bring a non-breakable angel (optional) for the holiday tree in the gathering place. Refreshments will be served and fellowship will abound.

November 28 • 7:00 pm

Join us in the Union Church sanctuary for this perennial holiday favorite concert, featuring such favorites as: “Two for the Road,” “Santa Baby,” “Love is Blue,” and “In the Moment.”

COMMUNITY ADVENT FESTIVAL Join us for The Union Church Advent Festival “Angels We Have Heard on High,” Saturday, December 4 from 10 am until 12 noon. This all family event is open to the community.

For more information contact Union Church at 630-323-4303 or email




The Board of Parish Life is looking for knee high or panty hose in a variety of colors (beige, black, white and even colored hosiery) to use at this year’s Advent Festival. We can use single knee high “socks,” old hose, panty hose with runs or thin pants socks. Through December 1st, you’ll find a box under the shelf in the office wing and also one under the table where Women’s Association unit 6 is collecting stocking stuffers in the Gathering Place.





Thursday, December 2 • 1:00 pm Washington Square Very special guest, Reverend John Biegert, will join us at the annual Women’s Association Silver Tea. This is a lovely way to get into the spirit of the season. Spend a relaxing afternoon with friends, enjoy music of the season, and, of course, partake of lots of tasty goodies. Everyone is welcome! Parking is available at the Hinsdale Community Pool parking lot, with a shuttle leaving for Washington Square at 12:45 pm.


Please remember the children of Erie House this year with gifts of new toys, games, and clothing. Erie House’s “Christmas Store” is open a few days just before Christmas, where parents can select two gifts for each child in their family.

HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW: A SECRET STORY OF QUILTS AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Monday, November 29 • 1:00 pm Our resident quilting expert, Grace Deal, will lead a discussion about this fascinating history by Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard.

Place your unwrapped gifts in the boxes marked Erie House Toys, located in the Gathering Place. Thank you for making Christmas a little brighter for so many children!




A lovely Union Church tradition! Order your poinsettia plant(s) now in honor/memory of a special family member or friend. Your floral tribute will add such beauty to the church’s Christmas decor.

The story deals with the time around the Civil War and how quilt patterns like the wagon wheel, log cabin, and shoofly signaled slaves how and when to prepare for their journey. Stitching and knots created maps, showing slaves the way to safety. The group meets in the South Parlor at Union Church. As always, you don’t need to read the book to come. Everyone is welcome—bring a friend!

Plants ordered can be taken home after the December 24 services or designated to be given to WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION UNIT MEETINGS FOR DECEMBER a member of our church who was not able to attend Unit 1 12/02 10:00 am Home of Fran Evans (705 W. Bruner, Hinsdale) the services. Unit 2 12/09 9:00 am Home of Connie Riemer (323 Hampton Pl., Hinsdale) Each plant is $10.50. Place your order Unit 3 12/02 1:00 pm Hostesses for Silver Tea at Washington Square through Audrey in the church (630-323Unit 4 12/9 12:30 pm Home of Susan Young (132 E. Walnut, Hinsdale) 4303) office before December12. Unit 5 12/02 7:30 pm Home of Sue Becker (203 Ravine, Hinsdale) Unit 6 12/03 1:00 pm Home of Jane Ballantine (423 N. Clay, Hinsdale) Thank you for your contribution.




You may have noticed that there is a tall wooden post in the Meditation Garden adjacent to the parking lot. We welcome this “Peace Pole” as an addition to Union Church.

With so much going on at this time of year, I would like to offer the following reminders for fulfilling your pledge commitments with as little bother as possible:

Peace poles are hand-crafted monuments erected the world over as international symbols of peace.

1. If you have not completed paying your 2004 pledge by November 30, 2004, you will be receiving a statement in early December showing your 2004 pledge balance. Please make every effort to complete paying your pledge as early in December as possible.

Their purpose is to spread the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” They serve as a constant reminder for us to visualize and pray for world peace. Peace Poles stand seven feet tall when planted and have four plates with the inscription “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four different languages, one on each side.

2. If you will be using stock to pay your 2004, 2005 or building pledge, please remember to contact me at extension 23 when you arrange the gift with your broker. This insures that I will know who is making the gift and your desired allocation of the gift. 3. Please make all checks payable to Union Church of Hinsdale and please note on the memo line of your check what you are paying - for example: 2004 pledge, 2005 pledge, building pledge, Christmas offering, etc.

The Union Church Peace Pole is a memorial gift of the Parrott-Sheffer family in memory of Thom and Joan’s grandparents: Ralph and Alice Bahr, James and Rose Welsh, Vernon and Rose Sheffer, and William and Elsa Parrott. The Executive Council of Union Church selected the four languages which are English, Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic, to reflect the language of the three world Monotheistic Religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Spanish was selected because it is a second language readily understood by many who live and work in our community.

4. Please remember that all checks must be received at the church by December 31, 2004 to be deductible in 2004. This means that a check deposited in the church offering in January of 2005 cannot be deducted in 2004, even if it is backdated to 2004. The only exception - checks that are mailed and postmarked in 2004 are deductible in 2004 even though not received until 2005. Have a wonderful holiday season! Chris Biank




Savor the season with Market Day’s holiday selections. Build your meals around Spiral Sliced Ham, Rack of Pork Roast or Prime Rib Roast. Add Praline Sweet Potato Pie, Spinach Au Gratin and Asparagus Spears, and voila, a holiday feast! And, if you buy one roast and any two other items from the insert, you receive a Caramel Apple Crisp for Free.

Please pause in our Meditation Garden and share a silent prayer, that “Peace May Prevail on Earth.”


For your housewarming gifts (or yourself!), order Fannie Mae Meltaways or Pixies and a variety of other holiday sweets! Or got the Market Day’s website and ship food and gifts directly to family and friends.

Are you good with arts and crafts? At the Advent Festival and all church decorating party on Saturday December 4 from 10:00 am until noon, there will be a station where children, youth (and even ‘older’ artists) can make an angel for on top of a Christmas tree or to sit on a mantle.

Market Day benefits the Allegro Bell Choir. Look for your Market Day flyer in the mail or in the Church Narthex. Orders are due in the Narthex Sunday 11/24 (internet Wednesday 12/1). Pick-up is in the Garfield Circle Saturday 12/4, 9:00-10:00. Try the internet and pay by credit card— it’s easy! As always, please pick up your orders in a timely manner. The Allegro Bell Choir thanks you!

We could use some additional people to help the “artists” make their angel. If you could help, please contact Susan Young at 630-325-4641 or


THE UNION CHURCH OF HINSDALE United Church of Christ 137 S. Garfield Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521

Calendar of Events Sunday, November 21 8:30 am CE Book Sale 8:30 am Allegretto Bells 9:50 am Sunday School, Workshop Rotation and Children in Worship 9:50 am Pre-Confirmation 9:50 am High School Young Men’s Group 9:50 am Young Women’s Group 9:50 am Adult Education 11:00 am Sunday School (ages 3, 4 & 5) 11:00 am Children’s Church 1:00 pm Allegro Handbells Rehearsal 1:00 pm Boy Scout Jr. Leadership Training 3:00 pm New Ministers Installation Service 5:00 pm TNT 7:00 pm Prayer and Healing Service 7:30 pm DISCOVERY Monday, November 22 6:30 am Men’s Bible Breakfast 8:30 am Meditation Garden Committe Meeting 4:45 pm Children’s Choir rehearsal 6:30 pm Tai Chi Ch’uan (beginner) 7:00 pm Bible Study 7:00 pm P.U.S.H. 7:00 pm Hope for the Homeless 7:30 pm Tai Chi Ch’uan (advanced) Tuesday, November 23 8:30 am Chapel Worship 5:00 pm Allegretto Bells Rehearsal 5:30 pm A.A. Meeting 7:00 pm Ministry Support Group 7:30 pm Chancel Choir Rehearsal Wednesday, November 24 7:00 am Prayer Group 6:30 pm Youth Choir Rehearsal 7:00 pm Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service Thursday, November 25 Church and ECP Offices CLOSED Friday, November 26 Church and ECP Offices CLOSED Saturday, November 27 9:00 am Elders Chancel Decorating 5:00 pm Journey Celebration Worship

Sunday, November 28 8:30 am CE Book Sale 9:50 am Intergenerational Storytelling Event 11:00 am Children’s Church 1:00 pm Allegro Handbells Ensemble Rehearsal 4:00 pm Good News Community Kitchen 7:00 pm Jazz Holiday Concert Monday, November 29 6:30 am Men’s Bible Breakfast 1:00 pm Drop-in Book Group 4:45 pm Children’s Choir Rehearsal 6:00 pm Tower Chorale Rehearsal 6:30 pm Tai Chi Ch’uan (beginner) 7:00 pm Bible Study 7:00 pm P.U.S.H. 7:30 pm Tai Chi Ch’uan (advanced) Tuesday, November 30 8:30 am Chapel Worship 5:00 pm Allegretto Bells Rehearsal 5:30 pm A.A. Meeting 7:30 pm Union Bells Rehearsal Wednesday, December 1 7:00 am Prayer Group 6:30 pm Youth Choir Rehearsal 7:00 pm Journey Band Rehearsal 7:00 pm World Aids Day Community Prayer Service 8:00 pm Confirmation Mentor Meeting Thursday, December 2 7:30 am Human Resources Committee 9:00 am Women’s Bible Study 12:00 pm Women’s Association Silver Tea 1:00 pm Kerygma 6:15 pm Singing 101 7:30 pm CODA 7:30 pm Chancel Choir rehearsal Friday, December 3 [no scheduled events] Saturday, December 4 9:00 am Market Day Pick-up 10:00 am Advent Festival 5:00 pm Journey Celebration Worship 5:00 pm Tower Chorale Rehearsal 8:00 pm Tower Chorale Concert

November 21, 2004 - Union Church of Hinsdale's Good News  

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