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Good News The

February 12, 2006

A Publication of The Union Church of Hinsdale

Message from the Ministry Team

“We’re blessed to be a blessing to others.” Transforming Congregational Culture has been quite a buzz-word around the church lately. Having read about church culture as a staff, executive council and as board members, we were well-prepared for deeper conversation about what it means to be the church when Tony Robinson facilitated our leadership retreat this past weekend. He stirred our thoughts and provoked us in meaningful ways. The weekend produced a number of exciting results. First, we had the chance to shine as a leadership church to the wider United Church of Christ. A dozen churches joined us on Friday evening for dinner and the lecture to follow in the sanctuary, as well as dessert and conversation at the evening’s conclusion. One church pastor remarked, “This is what it means to be a leadership church. We can do that too!” We shared ideas about what it means to be faithful as the church in this post-Christian era when stores are no longer closed on Sunday and the whole world no longer caters to a day set aside for Christian worship. For example, research shows that 80 % of twenty year olds in America do not attend church.

The Leadership Retreat on Saturday provided rich opportunity for discussion across ministries. Instead of meeting as boards, small groups were mixed as elders, youth team, music, Christian education, endowment, trustee, parish life, social justice, mission and staff met to consider what excites us about the process of responding to external realities in a focused and intentional way, and what concerns us. Some general observations emerged. As Tony said to me over dinner on Sunday night, “This is a great church.” Small groups on Saturday were able to affirm that Union Church is a great church with many vibrant and growing ministries. Some group members wondered if we are setting out to change everything about the church. The answer is clearly “no.” Rather, we are asking as a church what steps we need to take now to grow in faith and deepen in discipleship so that in ten years our church will be even stronger and more vibrant than it is today. We’re a church with a proud historic past and a vibrant present, planning for the future. It’s as simple as that. In these months ahead, we will be discussing the adaptive challenges presented to churches like our own by the changing culture around us. There are no problems on the table looking for a quick fix. There are no technical problems seeking a technical solution. An example of a technical problem requiring a technical solution is a muddy playground. A technical solution is to drain the water or to put down more sod. Rather, we will be addressing the adaptive challenges that all great organizations face. In our case, one adaptive challenge is that fewer young families who are members attend worship than other age groups. Adaptive challenges

Volume 38, Issue 3

require creative shifts and learning in order to enact an effective response. How will we plan for our future as the Union Church of Hinsdale, United Church of Christ, alive in faith, serving the world? • The Faith Initiative Team, staff and Executive Council will provide leadership in a church discernment process this spring and will guide these discussions on a monthly basis. • The leadership of Union Church, (that is our elected ministries along with officers of the church, staff and youth team) will meet in March, April and May to provide input on questions related to engaged mission, transformative worship and Christian Formation. • All interested church members will be invited to Sunday night gatherings in the church lounge to provide input on these same mission, worship and Christian formation questions. • Input gathered this spring will be summarized by the Faith Initiative Team and shared with the appropriate boards, ministries, staff and executive council. • Recommendations for the future of the church will be derived from this process. The purpose of the church is to transform lives through faith. Come and see what God is doing in and through Union Church by participating in one of these small group discussions this spring, and by worshipping regularly as the body of Christ.


THE GOOD NEWS is a publication of The Union Church of Hinsdale (United Church of Christ)

Senior Minister: Rev. Verlee A. Copeland






The Adult Education Committee of Union Church of Hinsdale is looking into an exciting new way to offer adult education opportunities within the life of Union Church. As a first step, we would like to have a sense of what is of interest and on the minds of the members of the church. Please take a few minutes and fill out this brief form and return it to the church office, or give it to Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer, Larry Staat, Vera Shively, Dorothe Ernest, Marietta Long, Ross Neely, or Sally Porter. Adult Education Mini-Questionnaire

Minister for Christian Formation and Mission: Rev. Dr. Thom Parrott-Sheffer

What is the title of the last book that really captured your attention?

Minister for Membership and Discipleship: Rev. Julie Ruth Harley

What subject(s) do you wish you knew better?

Director of Youth Ministries: David Knecht Director of Music Ministries: Michael Surratt

What program or topic do you wish the church offered?

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 Contemporary Worship Saturdays at 5:00 pm 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





The Adult Education Committee of Union Church presents an adult education opportunity during the six weeks of Lent. Beginning at 7:45 pm on Wednesday March 1 (and continuing each Wednesday evening through April 5) we will gather for “Wednesday’s in Lent: Understanding Human Sexuality. Under the leadership of Dorothe Ernest, Ellis Copeland, Julie Ruth Harley, and Thom Parrott-Sheffer, we will explore the issues raised by and our understandings of human sexuality and the relationship between our bodies and our lives. Topics include: Sexuality and the Church, Embodiment, Intimacy & Loneliness, Being Male/Female, Morality, and Identity. This series is designed to promote greater understanding of ourselves as gendered people who are in relationship with others; and to increase our awareness of healthy sexuality for our lives. This series is designed for adults, ages 21 years and older. Sessions will end no later than 9:30 pm. The location will be announced later, once we know the size of the class. REGISTRATIONS ARE REQUESTED! Please register for this series by calling the church office and leaving your name with the receptionist or on the machine. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer

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)

IT’S NOT TOO EARLY TO PLAN... As we move into Spring, we are planning to celebrate our graduates on June 4, 2006. We are asking anyone who knows of someone who is graduating from High School, College/University, Graduate School, or a professional/trade school to contact Lisa Madrigal in the Church Office and let her know. We are starting to make a list in preparation for a church-wide celebration of these milestones.



What's In It For You?

1. A chance to develop a personal relationship with a Work Tour youth. 2. An invitation to our Work Tour Send-off Party. 3. A Post Card from the "front-lines", from your Sponsored youth. 4. An invitation to a Special Thank You Dinner featuring a slide show and stories of Work Tour 2006, along with the kids and families of tour participants. 5. A special Work Tour 2006 Group Photo.

Sponsor-A-Youth (SAY) and Be a part of Work Tour! Spring Work Tour 2006 is headed for Gulfport, MS for Hurricane Katrina Relief work and outreach. SponsorA-Youth is a way for YOU to start a relationship with the youth of our church, through the experience of Work Tour. Your sponsorship will provide needed financial help, but more importantly it will help you to build a relationship with our youth in a more personal way than you have had a chance to in the past.

Are you IN or OUT of the Boat? Going on from there, he [Jesus] saw two other brothers, James and John, son of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. —Matthew 4: 21-22 Have you ever thought about what impact those words would have on you if indeed it was your name being called out by Jesus? Well, before we go there, let's follow the story—and its impact—on James and John and see where it takes them. Sure, James and John left the boat to follow Jesus. They left their careers, their possessions, their priorities, their dreams-all these things were involved. They were the costs in leaving the boat. But, they also left their dad. Why?

It is our goal to have every one of the 24 kids and 8 adults going on Spring Work Tour to be sponsored by a member of the congregation. If you want to show your love, care and support in a creative and tangible way, maybe Sponsor-A-Youth is for you. Contact me at 630.323.4303 or, or stop by the SAY Information Table at the Spaghetti Dinner (or coming soon to the Gathering Place).

S.A.Y. costs you only $100…which helps to offset the mounting costs of Work Tour (over $28,000 this year).

Sunday Feb 12 JAM Youth Worship - 9:50 AM All Families, Youth (Everyone) is invited to this great worship! (In the Youth Room)

TNT (Middle School Youth Group) 5-6:30 "SARDINE PIZZA" Come for Tasty Fun!

DISCOVERY (High School) 7-8:30 "Laurie's Surprise NITE!"

Monday Feb 6 & 13 PUSH 7-8PM

High School Bible Discussion (In the Youth Room)

Sunday Feb 19 Watch for TNT & DISCOVERY Events in the Mail!

FIND OUT THE REST OF THE STORY by logging on to •3•





CHILDREN'S MINISTRY • Rotation: Jesus’ Early Ministry

Many of the stories we are learning and experiencing are from Jesus’ Early Ministry. We have used the word “follow” as our key word for this rotation. The general aim for the rotation is to help the students realize that we are called to follow Jesus throughout our lives. This is not an easy task and generally the way is not always uphill. Disciples, or followers of Jesus, generally experience “up” and “down” times in their faith. In the stories of Jesus’ temptation and his rejection in Nazareth, we learn that Jesus did not always have it “easy.” The temptations in the desert were real. In each temptation Jesus had to call upon his faith and his obedience to God. Jesus’ temptations were as difficult to resist as our own are today. Another key issue that the students address is that each of us needs to make our own personal decision about “Who is Jesus to me?” To follow Jesus is not just a matter of learning our faith stories, it is about sharing his way of life in the things we say and do. The memory verse we are learning with our inclusive language is from Matthew 4:19— “Come, follow me and I will make you fish for people”

LOGOS – THE JOURNEY BEGINS Our first Logos night was last Wednesday, February 1. We have twenty elementary and middle school children enrolled for the eight week session. Our theme for the evening was “The Journey Begins: Travel Night.”








Sundays (continuing through April 2) at 9:50 am “EXPERIENCING THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY” Ms. Betty Oostenbrug leads this class, which engages the issues at the heart of Christianity today. It is not required that you pre-read Marcus Borg’s book, THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY; however, it would certainly be good resource to have at hand. Sundays, March 5—April 9 at 9:50 am THE CHRISTIAN LIFE: SIMPLE PRACTICES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE Rev. Verlee A. Copeland leads this class for everyone who wants to deepen their practice of Christian living in their every day life. Fresh approaches to traditional faith practices will encourage lifechanging habits to transform the daily grind into purposeful living. Whether you are new to the faith seeking next steps to develop faithful living, or a seasoned Christian needing renewal, this class will inspire and encourage your daily practice of Christian living. March 5:

Where Faith Begins: Principals and Practices of Christian Life March 12: Stretching Faith Muscles– Prayer, Guided Imagery, Dreams March 19: Resistance Training – Fear, Anger, Grief March 26: Running the Race – Embodied Faith (Guest Speaker) April 2: Finishing Strong – Forgiveness, Healing, Hope April 9: Sharing the Cup – Gratitude and Generosity

PROGRESSIVE DINNER • SATURDAY, MARCH 11 Join us for this very lively and friendly event! The evening begins at 6:00 pm with everyone gathered together for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Then we “progress” to different homes for the main course. The evening concludes with everyone gathered together again for the dessert finale! The cost per person is $12 (which covers the cost of cocktails and paper goods). We need volunteers to host the cocktail hour, dinners and the dessert finale. The deadline to sign up to participate is Saturday, March 4. If you would like to host, participate, or need a ride, please call Joan Wentling at 630.910.4498

UNION CHURCH SINGLES GROUP On Friday, February 17 we head to Fitzgerald’s Night Club ( The Cathy Richardson Band will be performing, with Anne Harris as the opening act. Cathy Richardson has risen to the top of the Chicago music scene with the help of her always amazing band. Richardson's powerful, full voice and acoustic guitar frame songs which range from driving rock and countrytinged songs to bitingly clever ditties. Fitzgerald’s is located at 6615 Roosevelt Road. Known for showcasing a variety of bands, Fitzgerald’s finds itself consistently in the top 5 Chicago venues. Tickets to the performance are $15 and it is strongly suggested we purchase them in advance. Since our wine tasting event with La Belle Gourmet was soooo successful, we are finalizing the details for a beer tasting with La Belle on St. Patrick's Day, Friday, March 17. Keep the date open! Please contact Mary Concialdi at 847.421.8514, or, to RSVP for either event, or for further information.

SENIOR HEALTH FAIR HOSTED BY UNION CHURCH AND KING-BRUWAERT HOUSE You are invited to attend a Senior Health Fair on Wednesday, February 22, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, in the Great Lounge of King-Bruwaert House, located at 6101 South County Line Road, Burr Ridge. The fair includes free blood pressure and glucose screenings and body fat analysis. A variety of service groups and healthcare organizations also will be on hand distributing health and safety information for seniors. Participating exhibitors include: AARP Chapter-Hinsdale; Burr Ridge Park District; The Community House of Hinsdale; Golden K Kiwanis Club; Illinois Attorney General’s Office; Kathy Kowal Massage Therapy; King-Bruwaert House & Geriatric Outpatient Clinic; LaGrange Memorial Hospital; Pleasantview Fire District; SAS Shoes; Union Church of Hinsdale; and Whole Foods. All are welcome to attend—bring a friend! More more information call 630.230.9521 •5•

MINISTRIES THE CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER HEALTH CARE IS SUPPORTED BY YOUR MINISTRY OF CHRISTIAN SOCIAL JUSTICE In April 2005 The Ministry of Christian Social Justice took a poll of the congregation to gather information about what people thought were the most serious justice concerns that should be addressed by the Ministry. Health Care, domestic violence, and hunger were the top three concerns. In response to this concern, the Ministry of Christian Social Justice formed a committee to explore what organization would be the best with which to partner. After research and conversations with Barbara T. Baylor, the minister for Health and Wellness Programs with the UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, and Reverend Jennifer Kottler, director of Protestants for the Common Good, the committee recommended The Campaign for Better Health Care in Illinois as the top choice because of its good advocacy record and fiscal responsibility.



YOU ARE INVITED TO WITNESS FOR JUSTICE IN HEALTH CARE Mark the date on your calendars: February 28 is an important day for Health Care Justice! The Illinois Department of Public Health has set a new date for the public hearing in Springfield, due to the early adjournment of the General Assembly this spring. “We need your testimony and your help! The message of God's kingdom is powerful; come share your conviction that we can step closer to the kingdom if we help all people have health care.” from the Heath Care Justice Campaign. You are invited to stand with the Health Care Justice Campaign and seek support for this vital issue for Illinois. On February 28 the Health Care Justice Campaign visits with lawmakers prior to the hearing at 4:00 pm to press our representatives to support Health Care Justice. There is no better time to get an audience with policy makers than in the Capitol during session.

The Campaign for Better Health Care believes that Will you join us? “accessible, affordable, quality, health care is a basic If you are interested, please contact Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer to human right for ALL people.” It envisions a society register and for details on travel and schedule. We will leave where this kind of health care is available to everyone in around 7:00 am and return at approximately 10 pm. It will be a Illinois and the United States. The vision is to be long but fruitful day. achieved through a “tenacious grassroots campaign to educate and involve health care consumers, and build coalitions with other organizations which share the commitment to social justice.” In view of the mission and excellent work by the Campaign for Better Health Care, your Ministry of Christian Social Justice voted to support the organization with a donation of $1,000. An opportunity for you to stand with the Campaign for Better Health Care will be available on February 28 when an audience with our representatives in Springfield takes place. Please refer to the article at right for details.



On Saturday, February 18, at The Church of the Good Shepherd U.C.C., Dr. Clifton Johnson gives a lecture: “Black History: Then and Now.” Dr. Johnson is well known as an expert on the history of the UCC Church and on the American Missionary Society. He is the founder of the Amistad Research Center. The program begins at 1:00 pm. The church is located at 5700 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago. For more information, please call 312.684.6561.

ONE-TIME RENT/MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO LOCAL RESIDENTS If you know of someone who is being threatened with eviction and whose income does not allow for remedy, please put them in touch with one of the pastors at Union Church. We can help put them in touch with an agency that can offer a one-time rent/mortgage assistance. •6•



From the Fund for Theological Education: “On behalf of [F.T.E.] I would like to thank Union Church of Hinsdale for your generous gift for FTE's Fellowships Fund. Your generosity is enabling wonderfully gifted young people to explore ministry, to engage in remarkable summer projects of personal and theological discovery, and to become acquainted with mentors and peers who will provide encouragement for their vocational journey.” From Habitat International: “Thank you very much, for your generous gift to Habitat for Humanity. Because of your support Habitat is celebrating several building milestones, including the completion of more than 200,000 houses. We are very grateful and appreciative of your partnership in this noble mission.”






The Open and Affirming Task Force invites you to attend a discussion of the award-winning movie, “Brokeback Mountain.” Please join us in the Lounge after the 11:00 am service on February 12.




You’ll want to mark your calendar for Thursday, March 16, 9:00am–noon for the always popular Women’s Association Revelations program—your chance to find out everything about four fascinating women of Union Church. The catch? You won’t know who the women are until that morning. Brunch follows the program.




Don’t worry about planning dinner on Tuesday, February 28. Bring the family to the Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper, from 5:00–7:00 pm in the Dining Room and Spirit Hall (sponsored by the Women’s Association). Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) is the traditional “last fling” before the quiet introspection and reflection of Ash Wednesday and Lent. There will be food, fellowship and games.

BULLY-PROOFING YOUR CHILD Monday, February 13, 2006 from 7:00–9:00 pm • Rowell Hall

Everyone is welcome to attend this informative discussion that can give you the tools to help your child if he/she encounters a bullying situation. We are excited to welcome these experts to our panel for the discussion: o Eva Ericsson - Social Worker o Michael Wiggins - Hinsdale Central and AYSO Coach o Officer Mark Keller - DARE Officer o Patricia Bernbom - Child Psychologist o Jeanne Osgood - CASEL and UIC If you have a child in your life, this seminar is for you! For more information, please call Lisa Madrigal at the church, 630.323.4303.

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER–AN ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT OF INFORMED PRAYER AND PRAYERFUL ACTION World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service. This year Union Church is again hosting a World Day of Prayer service for all churches in our area on Friday, March 3rd, 10 am in our Chapel. Each year the women of a different country are chosen to develop the order of worship for this service, which is then followed on World Day of Prayer at churches throughout the world. This year the women of South Africa have developed our service with the theme: "Signs of the Times." Everyone is invited to worship, and to a time of fellowship immediately following in the gathering place.





To find out, you’ll have to come to the Last Wednesday Drop-in Book Group to talk about THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE by Margaret Truman. Fern Newton is our “tour guide” on Wednesday, February 22 at 1:30 pm in South Parlor. This entertaining book takes us behind the scenes at the home of the First Family, and is filled with fascinating anecdotes about the foibles of our presidents and their families. As always, everyone is welcome, and you don’t have to read the book in advance.

(Sponsored by Union Church Women’s Association Unit 7) •7•

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



ANNUAL SPAGHETTI DINNER Please join us on February 26, any time between 4:30 and 7:30 pm for a delicious spaghetti dinner served by our youth. Live entertainment is provided in the dining room and the soft sounds of Frank Sinatra will entertain those in Spirit Hall. The Annual Spaghetti Dinner is a major fundraiser for our Youth Work Tour Missions and Allegro Handbell Ensemble Tour. Tickets can be purchased after the 8:00, 9:00 and 11:00 am worship services.Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12 and children 3 years and under are free. AUCTION ITEMS NEEDED The Silent Auction feature provides important support for the Spring and Summer Work Tours and Allegro Handbell Ensemble Tour. Members of the congregation are invited to support this event through a donation of goods or services. Please call Barb Hartnett (our Silent Auction coordinator) at 630.325.2955 to make your contribution. Many thanks!


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

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