Recent Blogs

Gifts in Haiti

It was great to get word this week that Maggie Roth had arrived back safely, and inspired, from her mission trip to Haiti, with Watts of Love.  Those of you who were in worship on December 31 were able to "commission" and bless Maggie as she prepared to go on this journey January 2-9.

 We're eager to hear more details about her time in Haiti, but here is her first "report":

Back to Normal

Among my plans for tomorrow is to take down our Christmas tree. Jim and I like to hold on to Christmas decorations in the house as long as possible, but tomorrow is January 6 - Epiphany - and that to us is the day to put things "back to normal."

But, of course, once we've really celebrated Christmas, there is no "normal." If Christmas is a celebration of the presence of Christ in and among our human lives, well, then, every day after is meant to be open to the adventure of following Jesus in new ways, and being guided by the invisible light of his love, extended to us and to all.

Remembering the Gifts

As I have walked through this week after Christmas, I've been struck by how deeply some of the quiet gifts I've witnessed in the church have continued to touch my spirit.

There was the music from last Sunday's morning, afternoon, and evening Christmas Eve services that I find has still been "playing" in my thoughts all week - starting with the beautiful harp music I heard in the early morning empty sanctuary as Julie Spring rehearsed for the first worship service, and ending with the bells ringing in Christmas and "Joy to the World" at the last.

Jesus is born!

"And she gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."   Luke 2:7

Later today, I hope to spend some time wrapping gifts. That's one of my favorite pre-Christmas tasks - when I have time to not only to conceal the gift in pretty paper, but also add some creative touch at the top, it makes giving that gift even more joyful.

The Foundation for Peace

So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
- Ephesians 2:17-18

Go In Peace

Go In PeaceHave you noticed a new addition to our church parking lot? A few weeks ago, signs were quietly installed at the north and the south exits. They don't give the typical kind of instruction you'd expect to find on such a sign - like "slow" or "stop" or "no left turn." Instead, they give a word of encouragement to "Go in Peace."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Table

"On that day let us gather in sanctuaries dedicated to worship and in homes blessed by family affection to express our gratitude for the glorious gifts of God; and let us earnestly and humbly pray that He will continue to guide and sustain us in the great unfinished tasks of achieving peace, justice, and understanding among all men and nations and of ending misery and suffering wherever they exist."

Holy Moments and Tortillas

Wednesday of this week was the last full day that the team of women from the UPAVIM Cooperative in Guatemala City were going to be with us. They had shared with us in worship and Bible study; visiting a local public school, transition school, and shelter; serving at the People's Resource Center; touring Downers Grove and downtown Chicago; and then, on their last evening with us, they were going to work with the Wednesday evening Fellowship Dinner cooking crew to create an authentic Guatemalan meal for the church to share.

Justice and Joy... and Light

I am still thinking back to the final song of Choir Dedication Sunday,  "A Place at the Table" that all the choirs joined together to sing. The lyrics included "And God will delight when we are creators of justice - justice and joy!" I watched from the side of the sanctuary and was moved by the sincere and confident expressions of the youngest children, whose faces were particularly in my line of vision. Ah - what a beautiful and important message for them to sing, and let take root in their everyday lives; and what a beautiful and important message for us to hear in new ways!

The One at the Center

This Sunday, we will be honoring members and loved ones of our congregation who have died during the past year, and who in many ways, were a window to God's creative love - whether in the ways they served the church or loved your families into being.  We know and give thanks that they are all now safe with God.

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