Whether your interest is small groups, Bible study, the arts or service to the community or world, First Congregational Church offers a wide variety of programs and opportunities to grow and serve. Workshops, guest speakers, and seminars along with retreats for men, women, and families are scheduled each year to enhance congregational life. All are welcome.
Ministry of Parish Life
Hosting after-church luncheons, offering rides to church, taking food to those in need, and planning our annual summer and winter retreats are just a few of the activities made possible by our Ministry of Parish Life. This ministry tends to the needs of our members and provides times of celebration and togetherness for the congregation.
Worship and the Arts
Worship at First Congregational Church is a multi-sensory experience. Throughout the seasons we incorporate dance, drama, sanctuary art, and banners, decorations, symbols, and special music to enrich our worship services.
Our music programs are open to new voices and/or ringers:
Chancel Choir rehearses Wednesday nights, 7:30pm, September thru May
Handbell Choir rehearses Thursday nights, 7:30pm, September thru May
Drama and Dance
Our drama ministry presents the annual “Drama of Holy Week” readings on Palm Sunday. Rehearsal will take place Saturday, March 31, 9:30am
In addition, groups of volunteers present reader’s theatre presentations in Worship throughout the year, coordinated by our Worship Ministry.
Our dance ministry for girls in grade school, junior and senior high performs periodically throughout the year, choreographed by church member Jenny Higgins.
Our Worship Ministry works with volunteers to coordinate special artistic installations and sanctuary decorations during the liturgical seasons.
Spiritual direction is a process of introspection and self-reflection to encourage Spiritual Formation. This ministry is offered by Spiritual Director in Residence Diane Stephens. Persons receiving spiritual direction generally come once a month for a 60 to 75 minute one-on-one session with Diane. A discounted fee is available to members of First Congregational Church. For more information on spiritual direction, or to set an appointment, contact Diane at DWSwriter@aol.com.
Just for Women:
We learn of the sisters Martha and Mary of Bethany (the namesake of our group) in Luke 10: 38-42 and in John 11-12. Both gospels tell stories of Mary and Martha hosting Jesus in their home for a meal and conversation.
At FCCW’s Mary Supper, women of the church gather for a light meal and spiritual conversation led by Pastor Stephanie VanSlyke. Held in member's homes, this is an open group and all women are welcome and encouraged to come as often as they can. First-timers and friends always welcome!
Dates for 2012-2013
Tuesdays: September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11, January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14.
Just for Men:
The Men’s Group, led by Rev. David Hogue, meets Mondays at Hackney’s Restaurant, 1514 E. Lake Avenue in Glenview, 7:00pm for dinner and conversation. The meeting calendar for the year: September 17, October 15, November 26, No December Meeting, January 17-21 Men's Ski Retreat, February 18, March 25, April 22, May 20.
Please RSVP to Keith Ross email@example.com.
Men’s Ski Retreat takes place January 17-21, 2013 at the home of Keith Ross in Heber City, Utah. Park City and Deer Valley ski resorts are nearby. For information, contact Keith Ross.
Community and Celebration
On Communion Sundays we gather in the Dining Room following worship to continue the feast with a luncheon.
Advent Brunch: December 2, after worship
Begin the season at a scrumptious brunch with church friends.
Hanging of the Greens: Friday, December 7, 6:00pm
Decorate the sanctuary, string the lights, and trim the tree. Come prepared with clippers and work gloves. Crafts and movies for children, pizza dinner, and festive cheer for all volunteers!
Summer Retreat for the whole church family, Monday, June 24 - Monday, July 1, 2013 at Tower Hill UCC Camp, Sawyer, Michigan. First Congregational Church of Wilmette invites you to come to the Summer Retreat for a few days of summer fun and relaxation. It’s a magnificent opportunity to relax with family and members of your faith community.
Opportunities to Serve
Service, caring and sharing matter. Join with other members of First Congregational Church, and with members of our community, in considering these opportunities to serve:
Intergenerational Service Nights: 1st Wednesdays of the Month
Children, Youth and Adults are invited to gather at FCCW for a monthly night of service, followed by a shared meal. Our monthly, hands-on projects are resourced through The Kindness Connection and benefit children, the elderly, the hungry, and the homeless in our communities. Founded in 2006, The Kindness Connection (TKC) inspires the next generation of volunteers by making meaningful service learning opportunities accessible to youth in the Chicago metropolitan area. For information contact Sandy Greiner.
North Shore Food Pantry
First Congregational Church collects food for the North Shore Food Pantry on the first Sunday of the month - Communion Sunday. Needed items include pasta, rice, beans, hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, coffee, tea, pop-top cans of fruit and meat, cereal and infant cereal. For more information, contact Peg Kocian.
Hilda’s Place Shelter
You can volunteer to serve a meal at Hilda’s Place Shelter in Evanston on certain Tuesdays of each month. For more information, contact Tom Hirsh.
San Lucas United Church of Christ: We partner with San Lucas Church in Chicago's Humbolt Park Neighborhood by helping serve the underserved of the community.
• Toiletries. Bring your hotel-size soap, shampoo and toothpaste to the donation basket
in Pilgrim Hall.
• Health Kits. Children in Kids’ Club will assemble toiletry kits for the homeless.
• Thanksgiving Dinner for the Homeless, Tuesday, No vember 20. Donate a turkey or
dry goods, such as beans, rice, box potatoes, canned corn or cranberry sauce. Help
serve the meal at San Lucas. Contact Gretchen Alexander for more information.
• Christmas Gift Collection: Throughout Advent we are collecting gifts for children and teens served by San Lucas UCC Church and by the Night Ministry. Please wrap your gift and mark the destination, age group and gender (if necessary) for the recipient. Place your gift under the sanctuary Christmas tree, particularly during worship on December 16. Items needed are:
San Lucas UCC Church:
Large and XL hooded sweatshirts
Large and XL flannel PJ pants
Hats, scarves, gloves and mittens (child and teen sizes)
Educational toys and books (Spanish or English)
The Night Ministry Youth Shelter Network:
Underwear (male boxers, female briefs, teen sizes)
Full size deodorant
Pajama pants (teen sizes)
Plain white t-shirts (teen sizes)
1 day and 7 day CTA passes
Welcome baby kits (diapers, bottles, blankets, pacifiers)
2013 Edisto Island Outreach Opportunities
Since 1986 our congregation has had a ministry of presence on Edisto, a sea island off the coast of South Carolina. Our ministry of presence includes funding for the Edisto Island Outreach Center, funding for annual scholarships through the center, home repair projects, and a summer day camp for island children.
Summer Senior High Mission Trip for Youth entering 9th-12th grades in 2013 and College Students.
On this trip we work with island children Kindergarten-5th grade at an annual summer day camp.
Dates To be announced.