Page 1

December 31, 2006

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

Volume 38, Issue 26

12th NIGHT EPIPHANY CELEBRATION Message from the Ministry Team


S o this is Christmas. The town is quiet, the malls torn apart like so much wrapping on Christmas morning. The weather is dismal, if not frightful. Just the same, we’ve sunk into a winter holiday bliss, filled with just so much turkey, ham, sweets and treats. On Christmas Eve we proclaimed that the time of waiting is over, Christmas is begun. What is not done will have to be left undone. We’re relieved by that, cheered by it. The to-do list can now be torn up. If it didn’t happen, it won’t. Yahoo. Perhaps it didn’t all work out the way you had hoped or expected. That’s o.k. Christmas doesn’t always work out the way Jesus hopes either. Jesus still looks for room at the inn to be born. Jesus still looks for peace on earth in the midst of middle-eastern conflict. Born into Roman occupation, threatened


with his life and forced to flee the country as a refugee to escape death at the hands of Herod, there is nothing we face now that Jesus did not know then. Technology has changed, our understanding of the world has changed, but humankind’s tendency to fear and hate continues to separate brothers, neighborhoods, and nations. This is the season to claim and proclaim God’s peace on earth. Now is the time to receive God’s joy made flesh. Here is the moment to stop what we’re doing, embrace the forgiveness poured out in Christ, and start life anew.

Christmas is the great season of do-overs. If your life has been too much Scrooge and Grinch, and not enough George at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” then hear the Good News: Christ the Savior is Born. Christ is born in wartorn Baghdad and Bethlehem, in Hezbollah camps and Hinsdale, in the secret places of your household and mine. The season of Christmas for Christians begins Christmas Eve and continues through Epiphany, the 12th Night. The time of waiting is over. Christmas is begun. Joy to the World! Merry Christmas. - Verlee A. Copeland

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 Music Ministries: Michael Surratt Director of Choirs: Gary Wilhelm Director of Early Childhood Programs: Jennifer Keldahl Director of Children’s Christian Education: Penny Johnson Executive Manager: Merrilee Hall

Invitation to Faith: Transformative Worship

38 Years of Service

                                                                                                                                                          

Financial Manager: Chris Biank Project Manager: Joel Gratcyk Systems Manager: Mary Bock

GEAR UP FOR THE BIG GAME! 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)

Think of Market Day for any of your party needs! Start your event off with Taco Pizzas, Buffalo Chicken Bites, Smoke Salmon, Potato Skins or Boneless Pork Riblets. Save on vegetable specials this month. Everything is reduced, including Tiny Peas, Stir Fry Blend, Supersweet Corn, Asparagus Spears, and Gourmet Green Beans. 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 1/7 (internet Wednesday 1/10). Pick-up is in the Garfield Circle Saturday 1/13, 10:00 – 11:00 (note time change this month only). Use the internet and pay by credit card—it’s easy! As always, please pick up your orders within the specified time block. The Allegro Bell Choir thanks you!

Call for Art for Habitat for Humanity Art Auction The Habitat for Humanity Mission team invites you to donate art pieces for an auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity and our mission partners. Art may be brought to the dining room stage at Union Church, and receipts for tax deductible donations may be picked up in the church office. Proceeds for the March 2 Art Auction will benefit Habitat for Humanity International (80%), Habitat for Humanity Du Page (10%) and Union Church Mission Partners through the general fund (10%).

SAVE THE DATE, March 2 at 7:00 p.m. for the Habitat for Humanity International Art Auction, at the New Home of Ellis and Verlee Copeland, 6240 South Grant, Burr Ridge

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Children

Christmas Pageant The word is out… all the critics agree… Tinsel Day was a wonderful production of the Christmas story. Thank you to all who helped with the success of the Christmas pageant. In less than a month of practice, fifty six children performed Luke’s gospel of Jesus’ birth in Tinsel Day. We were transported back to Jesus’ time by a cast of angels, shepherds, donkeys, cows, sheep, doves and the main characters of Mary, Joseph and the innkeeper as told by many narrators. We are grateful to our pageant director, Laura Culbertson, and the musical direction of Roberta Wentling. The 4:00 service was a beautiful worship experience for all who attended.

The second session of LOGOS starts January 31 LOGOS is a Wednesday night program for children and youth from 1st-8th grades. Kids have an opportunity to participate in a midweek camp of games, choir, bells, Bible study and through sharing a meal together—all experienced in the context of life at the church.

Mark the date now: Registration night for the second session will be January 17, 2006. The second session will begin on January 31 and run through March 21. For more information please see Penny Johnson or Karen Schwarzbauer on Sundays in the Gathering Place or call the church office at (630) 323.4303.


Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Youth

Invitation to Faith: Christian Formation for Adults Adult Forums 11:15 a.m. each Sunday in Rowell Hall

Women’s Bible Study Our women’s Bible study meets every other Monday from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. For the next few months we will study the book of Romans, reading “Life Lessons from Max Lucado.” The next session begins Jan. 8 at the home of Vicky Hurst, 9 Tuttle, Clarendon Hills. For more information, contact Vicky at 630.325.7976.

Newcomers Groups Learn about Union Church’s beliefs, denomination, and ministries by attending one of two upcoming Newcomers Groups: 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 OR Feb. 3, in the Kitchen Classroom on the Upper Level. These groups are designed for those who have been attending and want to learn more, by hearing from our staff and leaders. Child care is provided by request. RSVP by Jan. 15 to Joel Gratcyk, 630.323.4303 ext. 21.

Save the Date! Be sure to reserve Saturday, February 17, from 9 am – 3 pm for the annual Women’s Retreat to be held again at Plymouth Place in LaGrange Park. Details to follow.

Dec. 31 – “Spiritual Alliances with John of God in Brazil,” led by Nancy Ging, L.C.S.W., holistic psychotherapist, columnist and researcher of spiritual healers. Nancy journeyed to Brazil to witness and experience the remarkable spiritual healing and psychic surgery of the man called John of God for two weeks last August. She will share her amazing stories of this adventure and describe the co-creative aspect of divine healing in the interfaith community. Jan. 7 – “Rev. Dr. Jane Fisler Hoffman: The Illinois Conference UCC Angola Partnership” (in the Dining Room) – Our Illinois Conference Minister will talk about our relationship with churches in Angola and share information about what is happening in the wider United Church of Christ. Jan. 14 – “Navigating the Journey of Aging Parents Without Driving Off a Cliff,” led by Cheryl Kuba, author, gerontologist and humorist. This Forum is designed to empower care managers to take the driver’s seat, to heed warning signs as loved ones grow older, to navigate the twists and turns of the “sandwich generation,” and to understand guilt, role reversal and loss. Cheryl will discuss advance directives such as the Health Care Power of Attorney. Copies of her book will be available.

DROP-IN BOOK GROUP RETURNS! After a holiday hiatus, the Women’s Association drop-in book group returns on Tuesday, January 23rd. Come to the home of Sue Becker, 203 Ravine Road in Hinsdale at 1:00 pm for a discussion of The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto. This is an easy read at fewer than 200 pages, but everyone is welcome to join in the conversation, even if you haven’t read the book.

COMMUNITY SPEAKER: “RAISING CHILDREN OF CHARACTER IN AN INDULGENT AGE” Dr. Dan Kindlon will discuss his book, “Too Much of a Good Thing,” at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the Clarendon Hills Middle School, 301 Chicago Avenue. The community is welcome.

Un-decorating the Church:

All are invited to help take down our decorations after the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, Jan. 7. Led by members of the Parish Life Ministry. •5•

Invitation to Faith: Expanding Mission For All People MAKE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO

Winter Coat Drive for Interfaith House!


• The Swahili word, harambee means “pull together.” Project Harambee gives an opportunity to “pull together” to support HIV-positive women in the African country of Kenya. • St. Thomas Hospice provides compassionate, supportive, and holistic care for individuals at the end of life. You have the chance to hear more about both of these this special organizations at the Women’s Association Annual Mission Panel on the morning of Thursday, January 18th at 9:30 am in Rowell Hall Coffee and conversation will begin at 9:30 in Rowell Hall followed by our presentation, and then, for those who wish to stay, bring a sandwich and we’ll pack bags of Oreo cookies for The Night Ministry. (Bring a package of Oreos, too, if you can!)

Once again we are collecting coats for Interfaith House. All types of winter/ warm coats are needed – particularly needed are oversized/large men’s coats. Bring your donation to Rev. Thom Parrott-Sheffer’s office until the end of January. Thank you!

Erie House Thank You

Once again Union Church folks have demonstrated your generosity to the children at Erie Neighborhood House. You have donated several hundred toys, enough to fill Chuck Foster's van to the roof. Carl Hanke and Chuck Armstrong delivered them all to the "Christmas Store" at Erie on Friday, the 15th of December, in time for the store opening on Saturday, the 16th. Erie staff and volunteers were ready to supply about 1500 "big" gifts and hundreds more of smaller gifts so that every child and his siblings would have multiple gifts to open on Christmas morning. We don't know your names, but we bring many thanks from everyone at Erie House for all of those wonderful toys, and Christmas greetings to all of their Union Church friends.

Bridge Communities Seeks Gas and Food Cards for Homeless Families Can you provide gas or food gift cards for a homeless family in DuPage county? Bridge Communities, a non-profit transitional housing organization, with which this church partners, is seeking supporters to provide gift cards in any amount for gas or food retailers. The continued high price of gasoline has strained the budgets of Bridge Communities client families – many of whom are trying to make ends meet on $900-$1200 per month. Filling a gas tank just to commute to and from work each month can easily be $160. Bridge Communities case managers provide the gift cards to the neediest families. To donate gas or food gift cards to the Bridge Communities, please send them to the Bridge office: ATTN: Jennifer Jerzyk, Bridge Communities, 505 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, or call the office at 630-545-0610, ext. 12. For more information you can visit the Bridge website at


Invitation to Faith: Community Care

Losses in Our Church Family Long time member Esther Swern passed away on Tuesday December 19th. Condolences to her family.

Women's Association Unit Meeting Locations for January 2007 Units 1, 2, 3 & 6 1/11 9:15 a.m. Rowell Hall, Union Church Unit 4 1/09 12:30 PM Home of Ilse Mullinix 330 The Lane, Hinsdale

Bob Mortimer passed away this week, condolences to Mary and her family. Cindy Will's father passed away recently, condolences to Cindy and her family. Edde Henderson, Ann Baab's sister recently passed away in Pound Ridge, N.Y. We are deeply grateful for your generous support and gifts of kindness to the family of Eric Anderson. Union Church is truly a home of compassion. We thank the Staff, Journey Band and all of you who cared for Eric these past years. - Beverly & Don Schmidt

Unit 5 1/11 7:30 PM Home of Marion Mortimer 924 S. Bruner, Hinsdale

  

Unit 7 1/10 9:00 AM Youth Room, Union Church

 

Invitation to Faith: Community Life

A Christian's Response to Eliminate Poverty

Yoga at Union Church Yoga will continue in the New Year beginning on Wed. January 10. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday, 9:30-10:45 and Saturdays from 10:3011:45. The Saturday class is open to teens as well as adults. The cost is $13 a class for adults and $11 for teens with a cost benefit if the series is paid for at the beginning of the session. All classes are held in the youth room on the second floor. Any questions, please call Deb Miller at (630) 325.1880. Please bring a mat and wear comfortable clothing.

Men's Club Program & Luncheon Wednesday January 10th 12:00 noon Our guest this month is Ms. Riley O'Brien Powell of Opportunity International. Ms. Powell will be explaining how she is pursuing her dream of helping people out of poverty through Opportunity International, the world's largest Christian microfinance organization. Her work is raising money to help unleash people from poverty through small business loans, business training and mentoring. She is excited to speak to our men's group about the transformative work of Opportunity International.

Sunday School Loose Change Offering Raises Money for Habitat for Humanity Guatemala Intergenerational loose change offerings for the last three months have totaled $183.89 for the Sunday School goal of building part of a Habitat For Humanity house in Guatemala. In addition, the Sunday School children have contributed $296.78 thru their classes. •7•

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


“BEING AN EFFECTIVE MENTOR…ROLES, RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOUTH, AS AN ADULT LEADER.” Presented by Susan McGee, former President of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Chicago.

Chocolate Boutique Retreat: Where Women Taste and See that the Lord is Good!

Indulge yourself in this retreat from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 10, in the Union Church Youth Room. We will sing, pray, worship, reflect, study John 2, and sample lots of chocolate. Rev. Julie Ruth Harley will be our (sweet) retreat leader. The cost is $10 per person; lunch and childcare are provided. To register, contact Kim Notaro at 630/325-5092 by Jan. 2.

I am strongly recommending this workshop for anyone working with middle and high school aged kids, in any capacity. It will be a great morning of insights, helpful hints, identifying boundaries, and great techniques for breaking down barriers that keep us from being the best possible adult role models to our kids. How this all fits into our “Safe Church” policy will also be addressed. Please plan on attending. Please RSVP with David Knecht by Thursday, January 4.

Saturday, January 6, 2007 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. This 3 hour workshop is sponsored by The Youth Ministry of Union Church.

the Good News - Issue 26.indd  
the Good News - Issue 26.indd  

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