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Good News The

July 24, 2005

A Publication of The Union Church of Hinsdale

Message from the Ministry Team

I preach on the Old Testament Song of Songs each summer, hoping that a message about the Bible’s raciest book will boost attendance. It also gives me an opportunity to say a pastoral word about sexuality, and I would like to share this as an open letter to our youth. Sex is a confusing issue. When you watch movies and TV or read magazines and billboards, the clear message is, “Everyone’s doing it.” Sex gets our attention; sex sells. But when you talk to your parents, teachers or church leaders, what you hear about sex is, “Just say no.” You hear a lot about birth control, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual orientation, prostitution, date rape, sex offenders, pornography and Desperate Housewives. But you don’t hear much about loving, mutual, faithful sexual relationships—even though they’re all around us. A lot of what you will learn about sex is described in the language of fear and control. We talk about “safe sex,” which means protecting yourself when you are in an intimate relationship. My mother warned me about these things when I was

your age, and she was right to caution me about the risks of having sex. While it’s important to know about safe sex, I also want you to know about sacred sex. The reason we have strong feelings about sexuality is that it touches us at the deepest part of our soul. In fact, sex can never be truly “safe” because it involves vulnerability. We have rules, warnings and debates about sex in the church and elsewhere because we want to protect what is good and life-giving about it. Sexuality is the God-given energy and lifeforce within us. Sexual energy is expressed in many ways—through joy, laughter, creativity, service, and the appreciation of beauty, athletics and the arts—not just in sleeping with someone. Our sexuality comes alive in relationships that honor God and help us understand God through our bodies and our spirits. The beautiful Song of Songs in the Old Testament (also called Song of Solomon) describes the desire of two lovers to be together. These erotic love poems are included in the Bible because our desire for union with God can be similar to our desire for union with a person we love and respect. The word “sex” comes from the Latin root “secare,” which means “to cut off, to sever, to disconnect from the whole.” Part of our sexuality is realizing that we are not complete in ourselves, but we all have a need to find intimacy and meaning through relationships with God and other people. Often we find this loneliness to be scary— but we’re also afraid of commitment—and so we enter into relationships that are not equal, such as abusive relationships, casual sex, or forms of addiction.

Volume 37, Issue 13

Sex is important because it involves embodiment. God created our bodies in the Divine image and called them good. (Genesis 1:31) In baptism, as in Jesus’ baptism, God blesses our bodies and says, “You are my Beloved, in you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11). If we choose to share our bodies with an intimate partner, it cannot be casual or selfish. Only in a relationship of trust, commitment and shared faith can we find the highest form of sexual fulfillment. In fact, I believe no human relationship can succeed without centering it in the love of Christ. “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Eph. 5:21) When our sexual relationships are just, when they are grounded in prayer and based on a mutual covenant, and when they are spiritual as well as physical, then sex can be a path to the sacred. In Christian Love, Julie Ruth Harley

You can hear more in my message on Sunday, July 31. Here are three books you may find helpful: The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ron Rolheiser Honoring the Body: Meditations on a Christian Practice by Stephanie Paulsell Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens edited by Dorothy Bass and Don Richter

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

SUMMER WORSHIP AT UNION CHURCH Sunday, May 29 - Sunday, September 4

Please join us for

(United Church of Christ)

Journey Celebration Worship • Saturdays 5:00 pm Sunday Worship • 8:00 am, 9:00 am and 10:00 am Senior Minister: Rev. Verlee A. Copeland Minister for Christian Formation and Mission: Rev. 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 Wilhelm Director of Early Childhood Programs: Jennifer Keldahl Director of Children’s Christian Education: Penny Johnson Director of Administration: Mary Bock Financial Manager: Chris Biank Newsletter Editor: Linda Foreman

WORSHIP SERVICES Journey Celebration Worship Saturdays at 5:00 pm

Children’s Church • 10:15 am (Drama Tent) Prayer and Healing Service (3rd Sunday) • 7:00 pm Our summer preaching series departs from the lectionary to address contemporary issues and how our faith shapes and forms our response to them. The following sermon titles and worship themes will be the focus of our faith life together this summer. Please come when you are in town, and invite a neighbor to come and see what we’re thinking and doing at Union Church. Sunday, July 24: “Border Crossing—Domestic Violence” (Verlee A. Copeland) Saturday, July 30: “Gift Giving—Christmas in July” (Thom Parrott-Sheffer) Sunday, July 31: “Sacred Sexuality—Song of Songs” (Julie Ruth Harley) Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7: “The Wiley Coyote Syndrome—Living with Doubt and Fear” (Thom Parrott-Sheffer) Saturday, August 13 & Sunday, August 14: “For the Beauty of the Earth” (Julie Ruth Harley) The Sunday 9:00 am Family Worship Service is led on a rotating basis by members of the ministry team with thems appropriate to family life.




You are cordially invited to celebrate Christmas In July on Saturday, July 30 at our 5:00 pm Journey Celebration Worship. This is an opportunity to celebrate the continued incarnation that is Jesus Christ, renew our commitment to “Joy to the World,” and have the opportunity to sing some great old carols. Join us in the Youth Room for a celebration of Christmas in July!

Sunday Worship 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

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)

The congregation of Union Church has committed to helping our sister church, Redeemer Lutheran Church of Hinsdale, with their PADS site the night of Saturday, August 20. We will be supplying a meal and providing the site staff over four shifts throughout the night. Sign up will be held in the Gathering Place beginning July 24, or you can contact Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer to sign up. Volunteers are needed to cook the meal, serve the meal and prepare the pads for the night, clean up after the meal, “chaperone” the evening, “chaperone” the night, and clean up in the morning. Won’t you consider sharing in this valuable and caring ministry? •2•


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION AND FORMATION On June 20, over 140 of us traveled to the Kingdom of the Son for our prayer safari. Each day, we learned about Swahili animals and played fun games. We sang songs to the Congo beat and made our own safari drum. Along the way we learned the Lord's Prayer and raised over $190 for our mission project - Share the Care, supporting Affie the elephant at the Brookfield Zoo. Thank you to all our leaders, teachers, youth helpers, and of course our safari trekkers. Please mark your calendar for the CE Festival on August 21 at the 10:00 service to hear some songs to the Congo beat.

Safari journaling

Learning the African beat Safari journaling All the Safari Trekkers Safari Games Leader

Learning the African beat

Snakes in the Grass game

Exotic Safari Snacks

Swahili Guide


SUMMER MINISTRIES UNION CHURCH SINGLES GROUP TO RAVINIA Tony Bennett in Concert • August 19 • 8:00 pm We have purchased 8 lawn-seats to the performance ($15 per ticket). If more than 8 people are interested, we will look into purchasing additional tickets. Please reserve your tickets by July 15. RSVP to or 708.579.3606. We will drive up to Ravinia in two stages: the first group will meet at Union Church at 4:00 pm, drive up to Ravinia and stake our claim with blankets and lawn chairs. Others will meet at Union Church at 6:00pm and will drive up in time for the concert. Bring a blanket, lawn chair and picnic goodies. Watch for details about September’s Chicago Architectural Tour.


Our Digital Ministry Team has worked with staff member Linda Foreman for the last few months to renovate and enliven our church website. Visit the site today and see our new photos and features. If you misplace the printed edition of The Good News, you’ll find it posted there! Our new website features many new areas of interest and ministries and photos of our church family. Due to our concerns about confidentiality, please contact Linda Foreman in the church office if you DO NOT wish for us to display your photo or photos of your children on the website. At no time, will minors’ names be included with their photos on our website.


To keep things current, we ask each ministry to send updated website content to Linda on the same day that you send information for the Good News deadline ( Content may be submitted online in a Word document, but please specify if it is for The Good News or the website.

A sermon on stewardship by Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer inspired Nancy Hanson to comment, “We should all ride our bikes to church more often!” A few weeks later, a bike rack was purchased and installed by our building and grounds staff, Tony Pacheco and Jim Vojtek. It now stands near the north entrance to the church. It currently holds six bicycles, but can easily be expanded to accommodate more. We encourage everyone to save energy and save money at the gas station by biking to Union Church.

TREMBLING BEFORE GOD Please join the Open and Affirming Task force on Sunday, July 24 for the fourth in our Sunday Evening Film Festival. We will be showing the film, “Trembling Before God” at 6:30 in the lounge, followed by a short discussion. This is an unprecedented feature documentary that shatters assumptions about faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma between identity and religious tradition in the world. Due to the subject matter, this movie is R-rated. Youth under 17 who wish to attend must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

UNION CHURCH SUMMER BOOK EXCHANGE Do you have paperback novels that you read at the beach or on vacation and don’t really want to keep in your library? Bring ‘em to church! The Parish Life Ministry will use the book display rack in the Gathering Place for a summer book exchange. Bring a book or two, take a book or two—no money changes hands! Books on tape are also welcome. Emphasis is on light summer reading topics—enjoy! •5•


CHRISTIAN BELIEVER FALL CLASS SIGN UP “Christian Believer” deepens faith and strengthens understanding through a 30 week course on what the church believes. Meeting September through May on Wednesday evenings (excluding holidays), this in-depth weekly course will meet from 6:30-8:30.

Thank you for your support, prayers and encouragement for the recent global village work tour to Guatemala. We built two houses in partnership with the local affiliate in Salama, Guatemala: for Carmen and her son; and for Marlon and Rosa and their two children Rosalita and Anderson. In addition, we donated funds to Habitat Guatemala to build an additional home, and gifted them with a Dell computer for their national office to coordinate homebuilding throughout their country.

Registration is limited. If you are interested in learning more or in registering for the class, please call the church office or Rev. Copeland.

The trip strengthened the faith of those who participated, through daily devotions, reflections and worship, through relationship building with our partner families, and through the generous hospitality of the Guatemalan people. We made new friends on behalf of The Union Church, and look forward to continuing mission trips in the future.




The Zapper on domestic violence (originally scheduled for July 31) has been rescheduled for Sunday, September 25. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending this informative “zapper.”

We are currently planning a light lunch for early fall after worship on a Sunday, date to be determined, to share stories of this remarkable journey. Please watch future editions of the Good News for more information. If you would like to place your name on a contact list for future mission trips to Guatemala, please contact the church office or Verlee Copeland by e-mail at

Alyse Thompson, Asst. Director of Advocacy at Family Shelter Services will lead the discussion about the serious issue of domestic violence in DuPage County. –Sponsored byChristian Social Justice Ministries

Scenes from Habitat for Humanity Global Village, Guatemala


FAITH COMMUNITY NEWS Secondly, General Synod passed a resolution entitled, “Calling the United Church of Christ to Declare Itself to be a ‘Fair Trade’ Denomination.”

GENERAL SYNOD 25: REPORT In upcoming issues of THE GOOD NEWS, we will report the actions of the General Synod 25 or the United Church of Christ, recently held in Atlanta, Georgia...

As a church we are called to preach justice and act with integrity to all people. This resolution calls upon the Denomination to purchase coffee and other products from companies that support Fair Trade policies. Further, it calls for United Church of Christ congregations to explore their purchasing policies (particularly around the purchase of coffee for fellowship times and use within the church); and encourages all UCC Congregations to adopt Fair Trade policies for the church. Fair Trade policies ensure that the growers of coffee share in the profits made in the sale of coffee.

This month we will highlight two of the resolutions which were passed. To begin, General Synod 25 passed a resolution entitled, “Reaffirming Jesus Christ as Our Lord and Savior and Reaffirming Our Historic UCC Cross, Crown, & Orb with Motto Symbol.” In the wake of the Church’s “God Is Still Speaking” Campaign, there was a growing sense that we were loosing our connection with the Church’s roots and that our Church’s symbol was moving from the cross, crown and orb to the comma. This was never the intent, and this Synod whole-heartedly reaffirmed our common faith in Jesus Christ, as head of the church and whose humanity and divinity are declared in our Constitution, liturgies, hymns, and ecumenical commitments. We continue to strive to be the United Church of CHRIST.



We celebrate that Union Church already participates in Fair Trade coffee. These are two of the twenty some resolutions that were acted upon at General Synod 25. We will highlight others in future issues of THE GOOD NEWS, and will be forwarding the final drafts of all the resolutions to the appropriate boards, committees, and ministries within the church. If you wish to explore General Synod further at your leisure, you are invited to explore the UCC Webpage, at

The United Church of Christ is compassionate. No matter what happens around us, we return to the “heart” of faith, taking time to hear one another, pray with one another, and laugh and weep with one another. We are seeking to be a denomination of wholeness, accessible to all people; to be a Church that cares about the common good, not just our own concerns; and to be a Church that sees the gifts of individuals as they are called into God's service. The United Church of Christ is truly about people in faith.


During the closing worship, as an act of liturgy, a young girl asked, “What is the United Church of Christ? This is a big question, which we had a glimpse of during the hot days of summer—July 1-6, in Atlanta, Georgia. We, Beth Dickerson, Michael Surratt, and Thom Parrott-Sheffer, served as your ambassadors to General Synod 25, and in the process saw first-hand what the United Church of Christ is. The United Church of Christ is faithful. We gathered in meaningful and spiritual worship, we participated in lively and holy music, we met in faithfilled community sharing our stories, concerns, and passions. We reaffirmed and proclaimed our relationship with Jesus Christ, as the head of the Church, and called for a renewed commitment to discipleship as each one might understand that calling from God.

The United Church of Christ is prophetic. The Church is a voice of integrity calling for Fair Trade policies within our denomination and churches, seeking a world free from violence and terror, just compensation for all church employees, and the securing of basic human rights within the world. The United Church of Christ is truly a place where God is still speaking, and where we are still striving to hear that voice. It was clear, at General Synod 25, that we are a liberal church, we are a conservative church, and we are a moderate church. However, despite the fact that we sometimes have vastly different interpretations of God's prophetic voice, we ARE ALL seeking to be a UNITED Church—of CHRIST.

The United Church of Christ is courageous. In the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood, we openly shared our theology, our hearts, and our thoughts as we wrestled with issues of equality and justice. Even as these issues threatened to divide us, we sought ways to build bridges. We made strong statements of support for equal access to marriage and firm statements of concern for justice within the Middle East. •7•

MEMBER NEWS Dear Union Church Friends, I am so grateful to all of you who supported the annual Interfaith House Celebration. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the number who came in person and those who were there in spirit. It was a great honor for me to be given the Founders Award this year and I was proud to accept it for each of you who have done so much in the past eleven years for Interfaith House. Through your individual gifts and the gifts from the Church you've cared for over 5,000 of our homeless brothers and sisters who needed a place to call home as they healed from the hurts of body, mind and spirit. You've enabled a remarkably dedicated Interfaith House staff to give these residents the courage to build a new life for themselves with a renewed sense of hope and faith in the possibilities for the future. It was a very special night for me and for Interfaith House and I am so happy that we were able to celebrate together. With many thanks and much appreciation, Nancy Hanson

A memorial service for Barton Bogg is on August 7 at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary. A receptions follows in Rowell Hall. Condolences to Sharon Bodziak, whose father, Bill Stone, died June 23. Condolences to Carol Jacus, whose mother, Elizabeth Bentley, died July 3rd. Condolences to Mary Shewalter, whose stepmother, Florence Anderson, died recently in Florida. I am overwhelmed with condolences on the loss of my mother, Elizabeth Bentley. Grateful thanks to our Union Church family. —Carol Jacus

LAY VISITOR PROGRAM There is a need for more Lay Visitor volunteers. This program entails only a monthly obligation. Lay Visitors visit or contact those in the hospital and then follow through to see if any assistance is necessary once the person returns home. This is a rewarding service to the church and community and our program needs more staffing. Call Audrey at 630.323.4303. Many thanks.

especially professional baseball. Rich grew up in Springfield and was raised Presbyterian, then became Roman Catholic. Danielle is from New Jersey and her family background is Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox. Their sponsors are Ron and Desiree Tucker-Sorini.

NEW MEMBERS RECEIVED JUNE 26TH Timothy Bowlby is a baritone soloist in our Chancel Choir. He is a composer and singer and can be contacted to write music or perform as a soloist. Tim is also a music instructor at Columbia College, Lewis University and St. Xavier University. A graduate of Acadia University in Nova Scotia and the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, Tim now lives in Downers Grove and transfers his membership from University Place Christian Church in Champaign. His sponsor is John Jacus. Derek and Amy Carlson were married here on Oct. 2, 2004, and are expecting their first child in October 2005. Amy is a nurse in the ER at LaGrange Hospital and Derek works for the Illinois State Tollway System. They live in Downers Grove and enjoy spending time with their family members who live in the area. Their sponsors are Margaret (Amy's aunt) and Duke Owen-Tomei. Rich Tuck and Danielle Coughlin are engaged and moved

to Hinsdale last year. They met while working at O.C. Tanner, which manufactures employee recognition award programs, and Rich still works in their Burr Ridge office. Danielle is very active in the Hinsdale Junior Women's Club. Both of them enjoy golfing and Rich is a sports fan, •8•






THE GIRLS WITH THE GRANDMOTHER FACES: A CELEBRATION OF LIFE’S POTENTIAL FOR THOSE OVER 55 by Frances Weaver is the subject of a discussion led by Susan Young on Wednesday, July 27, 1:30 pm at her home at 132 E. Walnut St., Hinsdale. Frances Weaver, a columnist and National Public Radio contributor, takes an upbeat look at changes one can make to get the most out of the second half of life.

It’s only about 9 weeks away! RESALE ‘05 returns to Union Church on Saturday, October 1, 8 am - noon!

Everyone is welcome. Reading the book in advance is not required!

Keep your eyes open when you’re cleaning out closets, attics or basements for gently used clothing, appliances, housewares, linens, artwork, frames, furniture, lamps, etc. We are currently accepting clothing and small items at the church (items may be dropped off on the Dining Room stage, clearly marked “Resale”). Please hold on to other items until Resale gets a little closer. For those of you who may be new to Union Church, Resale, sponsored and run by the Women’s Association, is an allchurch event that is not to be missed. Since we take over almost every square inch of available space in the building it would be hard to miss! You can participate by:


• Donating items

We all know that the change in our pockets can add up, so Women’s Association decided to ask for some change from its members whenever it met. At unit meetings, programs and board meetings throughout this last year containers were passed to receive whatever money a member chose to contribute. The result is that the Association is sending $373.24 to Women’s Opportunity Fund! Women's Opportunity Fund is an organization that loans women around the world money to start small businesses. Loans average $150 per person. Repayment averages 95%. If you would like more information about this organization, two members of our church responding to their Christian beliefs are actively involved: Erin Feller, who just graduated from college, will be going soon to Honduras to spend a year working for this organization and her mom, Dawn, is on the Board.

• Helping to sort donated items (every Tuesday at 1:00 pm and Friday at 8:30 am from now through September) • Helping to set up, sort and price items during the week prior to Resale • Working the day of the sale • Volunteering to take posters to area merchants for display during the month of September • Helping to clean up following the sale • Shopping! Remember, if you work at least three hours you are qualified to shop at Pre-sale, where you will have the first chance to buy before the sale is open to the public. For more information on how you can help, please call Fran Evans at 630.986.1438.

SUMMER YOGA Join Candy Stevens, certified yoga instructor, for an hour of stimulating, yet gentle, yoga. Classes are held in the Youth Room on Tuesday mornings at 9 am, beginning on July 26, and on Thursday nights at 7:30 pm, beginning July 28. There will be no class on August 11. Cost is $10 per class. Bring a yoga mat (if you have one), a large towel and a smile. Please call Candy at 655-2027 if you plan to attend or if you have questions.




Grace Deal's dream of a fully-renovated Rowell Hall kitchen is finally coming true! Thanks to the Women’s Association and generous memorial contributions, the kitchen off Rowell Hall (which is heavily used for receptions) is getting a complete face lift, including new appliances, cabinets, countertops, etc. Please be aware that for 10-14 days beginning August 8, the kitchen and surrounding areas of Rowell Hall and South Parlor will be unavailable for events. Watch for a beautiful new kitchen in late August! •9•

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

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


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OCTOBER DINNER DANCE Dancing with the Stars won’t hold a candle to the 2005 Union Church Dinner Dance to be held Saturday, October 15 at Ruth Lake Country Club beginning at 6pm. Benefit chairs Bonnie Eigel and Carol Wroble encourage members to save the date for this special evening of fellowship and fun that will have everyone twirling. This year’s theme, A Time to Dance, was inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Already, many angels are coming forward to help. Elizabeth Jung has ten volunteers for cake centerpieces but needs more. Call Elizabeth at 630.794.0664 if you want to showcase your baking skills. This was fabulously successful two years ago and is back by popular demand. The goal of the dinner dance is friend-raising, fellowship, and fundraising and there’s a rewarding way for everyone to contribute. The procurement committee has already received some exciting early contributions for the silent and live auction but is looking for m-o-r-e! A variety of themed dinner parties, private boat trips, and vacation

homes will be available thanks to the generous and enthusiastic church members. Curious how you could help? Contact Bonnie at 630.986.5415 or Carol at 630.323.0122. There isn’t an idea they haven’t thought of that you would enjoy contributing to. A simple gift of support could complete a prize package or start something new. The auction/procurement team also includes Nancy Hanson, Vicky Hurst, Chriss Schaefer, and Marilyn Schaefer. Seating at the dance is limited and tickets at $100 per person for tables of ten will be sold on a first come, first-served basis once the invitation is mailed. This will be a joyous celebration of faith for our congregation!

July 24, 2005 - Union Church of Hinsdale's Good News  

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