About Us

Introducing Our New Associate Pastor

As you know, Jim and Greta McDonald have announced that they will be retiring at the end of June 2018.  We will miss them greatly.  After knowing this, with input from our church, Bishop Sally Dyck, District Superintendent Dick Wisdom and the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC) Cabinet diligently worked to find the next Senior Pastor, Rev. Claude R. King, Sr., and now have continued to work diligently to find the Associate Pastor for our church, Pastor Anna Voinovich.

Bishop Sally Dyck and the Northern Illinois Conference Cabinet have prayerfully discerned the Pastor Anna Voinovich to serve as the Associate Pastor of First UMC of Downers Grove for the following missional reasons: her passionate spirituality, her gift  in meeting people where they, her creativity in outreach and mission, and her experience in working on a large church staff.

Introducing Our New Senior Pastor

As you know, Jim and Greta McDonald have announced that they will be retiring at the end of June 2018.  We will miss them greatly.  After knowing this, with input from our church, Bishop Sally Dyck, District Superintendent Dick Wisdom and the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC) Cabinet diligently worked to find the next Senior Pastor for our church.  These same people are now diligently working to find an Associate Pastor for our church. 

Bishop Dyck and the NIC Cabinet have prayerfully discerned that Rev. Claude R. King Sr. be appointed to serve as the Senior Pastor of First UMC Downers Grove for the following missional reasons: excellence in preaching and worship, creativity in developing outward focused ministry, passionate spirituality, and a deep love for God and God's people.

Pastor Claude is an ordained Elder and lifelong member of the United Methodist Church.  He received his BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Anthropology from Chicago State University. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary.   He has served as Pastor and Associate Pastor at a variety of churches in Chicago, including the Chicago Temple, in Glen Ellyn, and is presently serving as Pastor of the Olympia Fields UMC.  Several of these appointments were in large multi-staff churches.  He is a practitioner in teamwork and a bridge builder as head of staff in the local church.  Rev. King also serves on the UMC-NIC Board of Ordained Ministry; this Board is responsible for guiding clergy candidates through the ordination process, including interviewing and recommending all candidates who are seeking to be fully ordained as ministers in the NIC-UMC. 

To Live Tomorrow Today

Our week has been filled with expressing our gratitude; for our family, our friends, our faith. As we all are recovering from what was hopefully a blessed Thanksgiving Day, we begin to turn our thoughts to the season of Advent, which begins this Sunday. Advent is the season not only of preparing for Jesus' birth, but for the time when Christ will come again.

Thanksgiving Reflection

"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."

President John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, November 5, 1963

A Calling to All of Us

Today is Veteran's Day, a day we remember the courage and sacrifices of the men and women who served in our nation's armed forces, with the deep hope that what they gave would help to defend and protect the freedoms and rights of people in our nation and others.

This Veteran's Day comes at the end of a Presidential Election week that has left our nation deeply aware of divisions of thought and goals, and deeply aware of mistrust between groups of people. As one pastor put it, "half of our nation is pleased; half is hurting."

Thinking about Justice

Thanks to Osvaldo Vena, and the members of the Still a Dream band, for a truly remarkable music performance last Sunday in Fishel Park. The words of children all hoping for a better place, to grow up and thrive in a world where peace has a chance; their words and the bands musical setting were haunting.

Of course if you brought a backpack last Sunday you got blessed, come to think we all are blessed to be a blessing for others.

Dreams

It's been fun (though I've been staying up way too late these past two weeks!) to watch portions of the Olympic Games from Brazil. In addition to the breathtaking moments of victory and the sometimes heartbreaking moments that lead to a loss, I've enjoyed hearing about the roots and backgrounds of the individual athletes. In each case, someone had to sense that young athlete's potential and support him or her in their dreams and in the long, slow, training process to become world-class.

Father's Day

Father's Day is an opportunity for each of us to show our love and appreciation to those men in our lives who have nurtured and cared for us; a moment to honor our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and husbands who have guided us through sunny days and stormy nights. This Father's Day my sermon will focus on Luke 8:22-25, which tells the story of Jesus calming a storm. I will reflect on my experience of watching my dad set sail into some stormy weather and focus on how faith, hope and trust help us to negotiate the storms we all face along life's journey.

Walk by Faith

Welcome to June!  We will kick off the new month by moving to our summer worship times of 8:30 and 10:00 a.m., beginning this Sunday, June 5.

A very special part of this Sunday's 10:00 service will be the Recognition of graduating high school seniors in our congregation.  We'll celebrate with them this milestone in their life, and bless them as they step into the future.

We'll reflect on the scripture account, in Acts 13:1-3, of Paul and Barnabas being prayed for by their church as they embarked on a new journey, with the message You Are Called.

Spiritual Gifts

This week as the temperatures rose, we were giving a reminder of what summers in Chicago are really like; a surprising reminder after a cool spring.

With the warmer weather, comes the job of dusting off the winter debris. I want to thank the 20 plus volunteers from DGFUMC who joined in cleaning up a stretch of the St. Joseph Creek as part of the annual DuPage River Sweep last Saturday.

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