Greta McDonald's blog

Join in the Song

"Go Cubs Go!"

Can't Wait for the 'Encore'!

I didn't get to go to the "Encore!" concert at church last October, because I'd just had surgery and was still on my mandatory "R and R." But I sure am looking forward to attending this year's concert on Sunday afternoon! That's because last year I got to see an amazing Sunday afternoon transformation in Jim before and after he went to the concert.

Ready...Set...Grow!

This Sunday is Rally Day! To kick-off the church fall season, we'll gather for a special "Together @10" service in the sanctuary. The Chapel Choir and Chancel Choir will join forces to lead music, Pastor John will share a special message with the children and we'll start our "Simple...But Not Easy: Loving God and Neighbor" series with one of those simple to say, but much more challenging to live, passages from the Bible (I John 4:16, 19) - "God Is Love...We love because God first loved us." 

See you Sunday! 

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.

Changing Lives

Last Sunday, an hour before worship began, a holy moment was taking place in the north section of the church parking lot. It might not have looked especially "holy" to onlookers; they would have simply seen a group of teens and adults, dressed in very casual clothes, stuffing suitcases and equipment into vans, then pausing for a circle of prayer before they hopped into their vehicles, and started off, with the parents, siblings, spouses and friends who stayed behind waving good-bye.

New Meaning for the Future

A week ago at this time I was just arriving back from Wesley Woods, still savoring the crisp Wisconsin morning air, bright blue waters of Lake Geneva, and boisterous voices of children and teens that are all a part of our congregation's annual church camp.  

It was, as always, a joy to work with John Smoke and Howie Snyder, and the great team of volunteers from our church; to enjoy seeing the campers zoom down the slip-and-slide, take turns kayaking, or share stories of the day over the dining hall tables.

The Start of Summer

For many of us, summer unofficially begins after Memorial Day weekend - but for Jim and me, summer starts when we arrive back home from our United Methodist Annual Conference, held again this year in St. Charles.

Conference was Sunday through Tuesday of this past week, and as always, it was a refreshing and inspiring time with good sermons, services, and teaching; news about the ministries and missions we are connected with as Northern Illinois United Methodists; and meeting and reconnecting with some great people.

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.

"Shall We Gather at the...St. Joseph Creek?"

Last Sunday's special service, celebrating and dedicating our new sanctuary stained glass windows, ended with the Chapel and Chancel Choirs singing the powerful anthem, There Is a River in Judea. That anthem lifted our vision to God's ultimate purposes of love and healing for humanity.

So Much to Celebrate

This Sunday's worship will include a celebration and dedication of the new stained glass windows that have been added to our church sanctuary over the past two years. As we'll be reminded on Sunday, they tell a story of the "Hymns of Praise" that teach and inspire us as a congregation. But they remind us of other stories of our life together, too.

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