Tree of Life Newsletter
First Congregational United Church of Christ
235 South Kenilworth
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
Phone: 630-832-2580 Fax: 630-832-9142
Rev. Richard J. Mangnall, Pastor E-mail: email@example.com
Rev. Jan Davis, Pastor of Ministerial Assistance E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Winfield, Director of Music E-mail: email@example.com
Martha Mendoza, Dir. of Christian Education E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Bixler, Office Manager E-Mail: email@example.com
Sarah Lohrbach, Student Intern E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Website/calendar of events: www.elmhurstucc.org
Immerse yourself in service to others.
These are tough economic times! It is confusing trying to figure out what should be done about it. If
large corporations go out of business, millions of jobs will be lost. So our government has decided to give
economic aide to corporate America to stave off such a disaster. In the mean time, thousands of people are
hurting. People are losing their jobs. Many are loosing their homes. Others are living on the brink of disaster.
Whether the $700 trillion bailout is a good idea or not, only time will tell. Certainly those who drafted and
voted for this governmental action know more about these things than I do.
But I know more about what God expects of us than they do! I know that my baptism into the Body of
Christ requires me to love my neighbor, even if I do not know that person. John the Baptist put it this way:
“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the
same.” (Luke 3:11)
But be careful of being too literal. There are those who would give away a winter coat and some
canned goods and feel they have done their part. What John is actually saying is that through our baptism, we
are called to take care of each other. As a member of the United Church of Christ, you are doing just that.
Advocate Health Care is recognized as the leading integrated health care delivery network in the United States.
Christ Hospital and Hope Children’s Hospital of Oak Lawn, Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, and
Good Shepherd Hospital of Barrington are all Advocate Hospitals. Lifelink continues to create caring
communities. There are 46 such communities in Illinois alone including Greencastle of Elmhurst. Plus there are
the ministries of each conference, association and individual church. Like our own work with St. John UCC in
Chicago. Serving Thanksgiving Dinner there has changed the way I relate to the holiday. Just as our youth
have changed the way they view poverty in our country through their mission trips to Rock Island and Puerto
As difficult as these days might be, there is no more critical time to share our God given blessings than
right now. Our support of Christ’s church and its ministry has never been more important. Ask yourself how
you might be able to minister to the needs of another? Through what new or existing ministry might you be
able to put your knowledge and experience to good use? To what extent can I financially support the caring
ministry of our fellowship? How can I immerse myself in service to others in need?
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Richard J. Mangnall
“Immerse Yourself in Service to Others”
The 2009 Stewardship Drive Committee is very excited to present this year’s program themed “Immerse
Yourself in Service to Others”. This four-week process, which kicked off October 26th, will allow us to look at
the various ministries of First Congregational Church and their impact on our lives and others within the
church. It will also encourage us to consider how we can provide the support needed to keep the ministry and
mission of our church alive and growing. The culmination of events will occur on Consecration Sunday,
November 16th, followed by a Thanksgiving luncheon. Be sure to mark your calendars!
TREE OF LIFE GREEN TEAM “TIP OF THE MONTH”
If you are looking for “green” holiday decorations and gifts this winter, you might be
interested in Eco-Crafts. They are silhouettes made of recycled materials that feature
symmetrical holes crafted specifically to house empty water bottles. Standard holiday
lights are then placed in the bottles’ open ends. If you are interested, please see
the Green Team bulletin board in the church hallway for more information
or go to www.ecocraftsent.com . Thank you to Cheryl Barktol for the idea.
Green Team Report for November
Green Team Update
All of the heavily used fluorescent fixtures in the church have been updated for improved illumination
and energy savings.
Updated areas: Main office complex, Christian Education office, Pastor’s office, front hallway, Plymouth
Hall, Fellowship Hall, Pre-school (4 rooms), downstairs hallway, some offices on the top floor, and “always on”
fixtures on the security circuit.
Some other areas of improvement have been identified, and by the time you read this, will have been
Here’s the happy result: So far this year, through September, the church has saved $2,034.00, as
compared to the average of the past three years. This was accomplished in spite of the increase in electrical
rates. During September, a 32% savings over the past three years was realized, and this during a month
when the “great flood of 2008” caused several days of heavy usage of the shop-vacs.
Thank you to the many people in the church who are getting on board with our energy initiatives,
especially those who recognize the importance of not continually running the freezers and refrigerators, and
those who are making an effort to turn off lights when leaving rooms. It all adds up!
Our Climate Change program and Green Lunch has been postponed until after the New Year due to
scheduling conflicts. Please watch for further information.
Thank you, also, to those who continue to recycle. We have three recycle containers at our church,
which get emptied weekly. Many people are bringing their own mugs to church for fellowship time. 17.6
pounds of used batteries were recycled this month. Also, our gym shoe recycling program netted seven pairs
of shoes. Four pairs were sent to Nike Grind for recycling, and three pairs were in good enough shape to send
to St. John’s Rummage Sale. We’ll do it again in the spring, so save your gym shoes when they wear out. We
are making a difference. Let’s keep up the good work!
TRUSTEES REPORT – Shirley Myers – Chair
At our meeting on October 21,’08 we covered many topics. Here is a sampling.
The Building and Grounds Committee with Champ Davis reported that the new “Ministry Team” which as
had so many church members help after church to make our grounds look better has been wonderful. The
newest project has been to remove our dead three trees from the parking lot. This project was headed by
Martin Pacheco. His helpers have been Mary Swanson, Kathi Moran, her son Austin and two of his friends,
and Roy Price. I am sorry if I have left out other helpers with the tree project. God knows who you are!!! Roy
has been cutting and bundling many branches. Please help by picking up a bundle to take home to put out on
your pick up day. This will be a big help. Thank you!
Two small trees have been donated to our grounds. One evergreen tree is by the front walk on the West
side entrance and on the North side. The Pine tree is in the Parking lot on the on the South side in the East
side island between the parking spaces. Are you confused? Try to find them.
I have 4 seedlings donated by Elmhurst College from their Home Coming Weekend that now need to be
planted with a little fence around them to protect them as they grow. I asked Ken Bartles, from the College,
how large will they grow? His answer was, “Time will tell. Just keep watching them grow”. And so we will.
Thank you Elmhurst College for the baby trees and for your use of our West side Parking Lot for your
The Furniture Fund is still open for donations. We have $4.00 left. There is a chair that needs new caning
for the back of the chair. If there were funds we could pursue other ideas. The vote is in that you all like the
new couches, coffee table, and the two end tables. It is great to have a new update look and feel. We can be
proud of our Parlor!
We can also be PROUD of our new web site (www.elmhurstucc.org). Our Web master is Jeff Morrow. He
has put a lot of time and thought into bringing us into the computer age of communication and in getting our
message to others. Jeff is happy to take any suggestions and input into keeping us current and inviting to
others. Thank you Jeff. Great job! Here is another chance to take a look, at us this time. Let us know what
you think. O.K. Your comments are welcomed!
This was taken from a past e-mail by Bob Miller.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult Moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful Moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you have keys for the church and you are no longer on a Board that you need them, please check around
and return them to Margaret Bixler at church. We are short on keys and we don’t want to order more – We
ARE into Recycling here. Thank you, Shirley Myers – chair
We have two offices on the top level of the church available for facility use. One is 150 square feet and the
other is 228 square feet for a total of 378 square feet. If you know of anyone who might be interested in this
space, please contact Shirley Myers at 630-279-1840. Thank you.
Parish News - Jan Davis
“Not what we give, but what we share—
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three—
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.”
James Russell Lowell
This poem reminds me that for ten years First Church members have reached out to our sister inner-city
church St. John to produce the best Thanksgiving ever for the homeless, the underprivileged, and to all who
need a holiday family.
The sign up sheet is in the foyer to buy a turkey ($15), cook, carve, and/or serve on Thanksgiving. All tax-
deductible checks can be made out to our church, (but earmarked “Thanksgiving.”) for cooking, carving and
times to serve, contact Jan Davis. Join This Great – Greatful Team!
A Memorial Garden Meeting will be held on October 30, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Church Library for anyone
who is interested.
Welcome to our new members Connie Bryant and Dan Briggs! Connie and Dan joined the church family on
Sunday October 12th. Their address is 607 S Ardmore, Villa Park 60181, please make a note in your directory.
Congratulations to Susie and David Vastola and proud Grandmother Joy! Hailey Marie Vastola was born on
Thursday, October 23rd, weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. All are doing well.
We’ll always remember that lady so sweet
wearing a hat so pretty and neat.
As she sat near the front all in purple attire
with everything matching to which I aspire.
Jane helped at PADS and would often bake
brownies for those who need to partake.
Her grace and charm we will oft recall
and know that she will be missed by all.
Please pray for: At Beacon Hill Health Center: Warren Larson, At Home: Mary and Greg Watts
Happy November Birthdays!
Thanks to everyone who added to our worship services last month by serving as ushers, greeters,
readers and hosts, and an additional thanks to Elaine Bell who coordinates this each week.
Our Head Ushers for the month were Dave Schacht and Jennifer Hennen.
Our Inside Greeters for the month were Bobbie and Mike Schultz, Joyce and Dale Stevens. Joe and Elaine
Bell, Joe and Lu Krass.
Our Outside Greeters for the month were, Shirley Myers and Elaine Bell, Jan Russell and Joy Vastola, Bert
and Jane Robins, Shirley Myers and Elaine Bell.
Our Scripture Readers for the month were, Judy Roch, Terry Hennen, Ron Teuber, Becky Swanson.
Our Parlor Hostesses for the month were Karen Haraf, Marian Branz, Shirley Myers and Cheryl Barkdoll
Christian Education News - November 2008
Magi Star, Gift Giving Project
We have kicked off our Christmas Giving Project. All that are able are encouraged to select a star(s) for a boy
or girl and purchase a gift in the range of $20.00. This year our gifts will be going to God Can Ministries United
Church of Christ in Ford Heights and San Lucas United Church of Christ in Humboldt Park, Chicago. Both of
these sister churches are established in economically disadvantaged communities. The majority of the families
with children and youth are living below the poverty level. This is how you can help. Pick out a green colored
star for a male an/or a red star for a female. Each star has a number, and states the gender and age of the
youngster. Please make sure you print your name and phone number on the sign up sheets (clipboard) on the
table in the Foyer. Your name should go on the line next to the # on your star(s). Our goal this year this year is
to maintain the same number of gifts we were able to purchase last year, which was 150 gifts. In order for us to
reach this goal we need to talk to others (family members, friends and neighbors) to see if they might help by
purchasing a gift. If you would like to have us buy your gift, pick out your star(s) and write a check to First
Congregational United Church of Christ, please state on the memo part of your check that it is for “Magi Star
Gifts”. Leave it clipped to the clipboard and we will purchase your gift(s) for you. All our gifts have to be to our
church no later than December 14th (unwrapped please) so the two church representatives can come and pick
them up. In the same way that the Magi brought their gifts to the baby Jesus, let us give our gifts to the
Blessed children and youth of these two communities. For any further information please don’t hesitate to
contact Todd Hicks, or Martha Mendoza. Thank you!
First Christmas Pageant Rehearsal, Thursday, November 6, 2008, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.,
in the Sanctuary
Our First Christmas Pageant Rehearsal will take place on Thursday, November 6th from 6:30
p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This rehearsal is very important, together we will select our
cast. Parents please help us make this pageant the best it can be by having your children participate.
1. Rehearsal Thursday, November 6th 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
2. Rehearsal Monday, November 10th 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
3. Rehearsal Monday, November 17th 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
4. Rehearsal Thursday, November20th 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
5. Rehearsal Tuesday, November 25th 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
6. Rehearsal Monday, December 1, 2008 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
7. Rehearsal Thursday, December 4, 2008 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
8. Rehearsal Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Dress Rehearsal Saturday, December 13th 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Christmas Pageant Sunday, December 14th, 9:00 a.m. Chapel
Thursday, November 13th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
You are cordially invited to a unique shopping experience while at the sometime raising funds for our Church’s
Youth Ministry Program. On Thursday, November 13th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. our church will receive
20% of all purchases made a Ten Thousand Villages store located at 499C Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL.If
you would like to go but can’t or don’t want to drive, a car pool list has been established in the Foyer.
Ten Thousand Villages works with over 100 artisan groups in more than 30 Countries Africa, Asia and Latin
America to bring you Fair Trade jewelry, home décor, gifts and more. Fair Trade enables artisans to earn a fair
wage and provides the opportunity for a better quality of life. Bring your Christmas list and shop for your loved
ones while at the same time raising dollars for Youth Ministry. For more information please contact Diana
Kasprzyk at 630-516-3407 or dKasprzyk@sbcglobal.net. Thank you in advance for your support.
NOTES FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT
ADVENT CANTATA ON DEC. 7
Our adult choir will present its Advent/Christmas Cantata on Sunday morning, Dec. 7. The cantata is Brother
Heinrich’s Christmas, a “fable with music” by the celebrated English composer John Rutter.
The choir always welcome new singers who want to participate in the cantata. You can simply come to the
next choir rehearsal (Thursdays 7:00—7:30 for the cantata music), or talk to Jim Winfield after worship for
ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR FREE VOCAL COACHING/CHECK-UP?
As announced in the September, Jim Winfield is offering free coaching for people needing some
help/encouragement before jumping into the choir. He will coach you on singing (proper breathing and
singing techniques) and music reading for as long as is necessary, until you feel comfortable joining the full
group. But many of you don’t need this help. Just come to the next rehearsal, Thursday evening at 7 p.m. We
love to be surprised by new singers and we always have extra copies of the music available.
By the way, all choir members are receiving free vocal “check-ups” during the year to improve their singing.
These are private, free sessions.
PRACTICE AT HOME AND SING IN THE CHOIR!
Jim Winfield can supply new and current members with practice recordings (CD or tape) of the current choir
music so that you can sing with more confidence. Then when you join the full group at Thursday rehearsals
(7:00—8:30) and on Sundays you will feel more comfortable. For information, talk to Jim after church at the
organ console or on the phone, 630-241-7277. Or, just show up on Thursday evening and surprise us! We
always have extra music available.
MUSIC FOR SUNDAY CHRISTIAN EDUCATION HOUR
Nelle Robinson and Catherine Wendt are co-ordinating with Marta Mendoza, Jim Winfield and the Christian
Ed. Department to provide a music experience for part of the Sunday morning C. E. hour. This experience
began on Sept. 21, and is continuing every other Sunday. Later this month, the sessions will help our
young people prepare for the Advent Program.
“Never place a period
Where God has placed a comma”
God is still speaking,