Welcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

Version 2rainbowcommawithwordsWelcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn, an Open and Affirming congregation. No matter who you are or where you are on your spiritual journey, our 340-member congregation welcomes you.  Explore this site to find out what we’re all about. We hope you will be inspired by what you see and join us for worship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday in our historic Oak Lawn, Illinois church. We promise you will find a progressive church full of people dedicated to living our mission statement every day: Welcoming All, Worshiping God, Working Together to Serve Others. Please join us for worship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. A nursery is provided for children younger than 3. Children ages 3 years through 8th grade are invited to attend Sunday School during the last half of the service. Our service is an inspirational, uplifting experience open to anyone of any faith and those who are searching. Dress as casual or formal as you like – just come experience our welcoming church!

See our Facebook page for photos of many of our events! (You don’t need to join Facebook to see our photos and news.)

Ash Wednesday Services, March 1

Pastor Peggy will lead an Ash Wednesday service in our sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. on March 1. This service is a time to reflect on our lives and draw closer to God as we begin the season of spiritual renewal. There will be music, a message and time for prayers and communion. We also offer an opportunity to write a prayer of confession or notes on what you want to give over to God, which are then burned. Those who wish may also receive ashes on their forehead. It is a wonderful first step toward renewing your faith and faithfulness in the season of Lent.

Pastor Peggy, assisted by several church members, will also offer Ashes-to-Go at the Oak Lawn Train Station on March 1 from 6:25 until about 8:15 a.m. This is our fifth year of taking this service to the community. It is greatly appreciated by many of the commuters and others who stop to get their ashes.

Lenten Potlucks and Programs – March 5 & March 26

The Deacons have planned two Lenten Series potlucks and programs this year. The first will be on Sunday, March 5 at 11:00 am. We will start with a potluck lunch (please, no pork or gelatin products in what you bring). After lunch Jeanean Othman will speak about Muslim beliefs and practices and what local Muslims are experiencing right now. There will be time for questions and discussion. Jeanean has worked closely with us on One Community: One Meal and our interfaith dialogue group. She was raised in our area and is head of the food pantry at The Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview. GLUED will meet at the same time to provide children’s activities.

The second will be on Sunday, March 26 at 11:00 am. We’ll begin by sharing a pot luck lunch and then have some discussion with each other about the words we received on our “Star Gifts” in January and what that word means for us. The children will be included in those discussions, with nursery care provided for the youngest children.

Spring Craft & Vendor Fair – Saturday, March 11

Pilgrim Faith will be holding our Spring Craft/Vendor Fair on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 from 10 am to 3 pm in Colonial Hall.

This year’s Crafters will include hand-crafted signs & designs, homemade jams and jellies, pickled veggies, Kary’s carrot cakes, cupcakes and pretzels, hand crafted jewelry, coasters, magnets, fairy houses, 18” doll clothes, stove dolls, woodworking projects, t-shirts, crocheted items, and tote bags for wheelchairs and walkers.

Vendors include Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Avon, and Lula Roe clothing There will also be Girl Scouts selling cookies, Boy Scouts, Almost Home selling gently used books, and Pilgrim Faith’s ONA committee. Lunch and coffee/beverages will be available for purchase.

We will be holding an raffle; the first prize is a 32” TV! Proceeds of the event will help to send our Senior Highs on their annual mission trip. Email Kathy Faulkner at kathy8f@gmail.com for additional information or if you would like to help.


Children’s Communion Classes – March 12 and 19

Children in third grade and up are invited to attend a two session class to prepare to receive communion. At least one parent or guardian must attend with the child. The class this year will meet on Sundays, March 12 and 19 from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m. Children who have completed the class may then receive communion at Pilgrim Faith if the parents so desire.

Please contact Pastor Peggy if you would like for your child to be part of this class.

One Great Hour Of Sharing – March 26

One Great Hour of Sharing will be collected on March 26, 2017. As part of Our Churches Wider Mission, it is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis. The UCC, along with seven other Christian denominations, raises money for disaster and refugee relief, both at home and abroad.

On average, of every dollar given to One Great Hour of Sharing, 95 cents is used directly for mission programming, and the remaining 5 cents is used to create interpretation materials. Administrative costs are paid by gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission National Basic Support.

In 2015, the UCC, OGHS offering received just over $2.2 million. Overall, the OGHS raises $10 million throughout the seven denominations. Our money helps people in 138 countries and the United States. Words cannot capture the anguish of people when they lose everything in a disaster, or have to leave it behind while fleeing war or conflict. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, lives are literally changed daily. Your support provides clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education and so much more.

Our kids will receive a Giving Calendar, to help them to remember to give a little each day of the month, and a little bank to bring back to church on March 26. If you are not in church on March 26, then you can still bring it on one of the next Sundays, or you can contribute online at ucc.org. Thank you for your generosity in helping others through the most difficult times of their lives.


   Pilgrim Faith has been engaged with the local Muslim community for a number of years. We’ve had speakers and programs going back at least 25 years. We had Muslim families in our preschool and have welcomed them to our Bible study and food pantry. In recent years we have very intentionally engaged together in offering meals for the homeless and others in the community and in interfaith dialogue. We have grown in our understanding and appreciation of each other.

Some have asked why we do this. We do it because Jesus calls us to “love our neighbor” and Muslims are a substantial portion of our local neighbors. Because of cultural and sometimes language barriers it has been difficult for some to make friends with the Muslims who live in our midst. We have reached out in all the ways I named above to try to build bridges so all of us who live together can get to know each other. We have learned how very much alike we are!

The recent political climate has created a backlash of hatred and violence against American Muslims. We’ve heard our Muslim friends talk about their fear and our children’s classmates worry their families will be separated or forced to leave the only country they’ve ever known. It has been heart breaking to watch them go through this.

Several Pilgrim Faith members recently invited others who are concerned to come together and discuss how we can offer our support. We drafted a letter of support which many of you signed which we have delivered to The Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview. Some of us went and stood with other around the Mosque during their main weekly prayer service one Friday to offer our care and support.

We’ve done all this because God and Jesus admonish us to care for the foreigners in our midst, the strangers, the outcast, the persecuted and everyone. Jesus embraced Gentiles and Samaritans and others who were not of his own religion and extended God’s love to them. Very simply, we do it because it is what Jesus did and what he calls us to do. We hope to be the presence of Christ in all we do.

Pastor Peggy McClanahan – March 2017

Cookie Sale on February 12

On February 12, immediately following worship, the Christian Education Board is presenting our annual Bake Sale, to help send or children to camp.

There are three ways you can help:

  • bake and bring a homemade sweet to be sold
  • purchase baked goods at the bake sale 
  • avoid the calories and just make a donation.

The best items you can bring are small: cookies, brownies, tarts or cheesecakes, muffins, cupcakes. Please share your best cookies or sweets. Please mark any item(s) that contain nuts or eggs because some members of the congregation have life threatening allergies to these ingredients.

All Board Retreat – February 12

Thank you to everyone who has agreed to serve on church board! Every member of every church board (Trustees, Deacons, Christian Education, Mission and Music) is asked to attend our All Board Retreat in Pilgrim Hall from 11:00 am – 2:30 pm on February 12. We’ll review our 2016 ministry, dream and plan for future initiatives for our church and give each board time to plan for 2017. Whether you have been on your board a long time or have just agreed to serve, we need you at this planning retreat!  Suggested donation for lunch is $7.00.

Annual Congregational Meeting – Sunday, February 5 – 11:00 a.m.

  • Elect new board members and officers
  • Adopt 2017 Budget

Members of all church boards and standing committees and officers of the church will be installed at the end of the Annual Meeting. All new and continuing board members and church officers will be presented at that time and participate in the ceremony of installation. If you are serving on a board or on MLT, please plan to be at the meeting so you can be installed.

Slices of Barraco’s pizza ($4/slice) and cold drinks will be available for purchase prior to the start of the meeting. Coffee and sweets will be offered at coffee hour.

Intergenerational Retreat – Register by February 12

It’s time to register for the 2017 Intergenerational Retreat! This year’s retreat will be May 26-28, at Tower Hill Camp in Sawyer, Michigan. Our theme will be God Feeds Our Souls, so get ready for lots of fun and enriching experiences built around the theme of how God sustains us and gives us what we need every day. Everyone of all ages is invited to attend!

For those who have never been to Tower Hill, it is a beautiful retreat site a little more than an hour from Chicago. It has comfortable lodging with plenty of bathrooms (so no camping is involved!), and the food is prepared fresh daily. It is walking distance to the beach or a short drive into New Buffalo and other surrounding towns during the free time portion of the weekend. Activities begin around 8 p.m. Friday and wrap up by about 11 a.m. Sunday.

There are a few important things to know:

In order to give Tower Hill an accurate head count before the deadline, Sunday, February all registrations must be completed by Sunday, February 12. You can register at the office or after church, with a $50 deposit to guarantee your spot. This deadline is firm because we have to release any unused space to Tower Hill at that time.

The cost of the retreat is $125 per person, which includes 3 meals Saturday and Sunday breakfast. There is a subsidized maximum family cost of $325. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the need to conserve retreat funds, the family cap will apply only to family members who live in the same household. If you require additional financial assistance, please see Pastor Peggy to discuss other available options. The goal is for everyone who wants to go on the retreat to be able to go!

The Intergenerational Retreat Committee is looking for more people to join us to help plan the weekend’s events. It is not a big time commitment—we meet once every month or so leading up the retreat. If you are interested, please stop by the registration table or let the office know.

Please consider “feeding your soul” by joining your church family for a weekend of faith, fellowship, fun & food!