Welcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

CROP 2015 brainbowcommawithwordsWelcome 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.)

Let Us Break Bread Together for Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 22

Please plan to join your church family for a Thanksgiving feast to be held in Colonial Hall on Sunday, November 22, at 5:00 p.m. In the tradition of the first Thanksgiving, our feast will be a potluck affair. Turkey will be our main dish, but we need you to bring an appetizer, salad, side dish, or dessert to share. We are also looking for a few cooks (5 or 6) who are willing to make a turkey at home and bring it in on Sunday afternoon. If you are willing to cook a turkey, please contact me for details.

A suggested donation of $2 per person will be collected on the day of the dinner to cover the cost of the turkey, table coverings, place settings, and beverages. Kids under 6 will be free, and the maximum cost for a family will be $10.

Please sign up in advance for the dinner so we know how many people will be sharing in our feast. The sign-up sheets will be available during coffee hour on November 1, 8, and 15. Bring along your friends and extended family as we give thanks for the blessings we have received this year and gobble up some turkey.  Contact us at:  www.office@pilgrimfaith.org    or 708-422-4200.


Thanksgiving Day Hike – November 26 at 7:00 a.m.

The annual Thanksgiving Hike will be on Thursday, November 26, 7:00 a.m. at Swallow Cliff Woods, Grove 1 & 2, located 1/2 mile south of Route 83 on LaGrange Road (Route 45.) We will be walking at the top of the area where the toboggan slides used to begin and will walk, rain or shine.

Drive in to the furthest parking lot. This walk is fairly level. For those that want some cardio, the steps from the toboggan slide are still there for your enjoyment; your heart will still be running at Christmas. (DO NOT park at the bottom of the toboggan slide on Route 83 just west of LaGrange Road.)

After the hike we will go to Lumes House of Pancakes, located at 12401 S. Harlem Avenue, Palos Heights (708) 361-7744. It is easy to get there from the forest preserve. Take LaGrange north to Route 83 to Harlem, which is about 119th, then right (south) to 124th. We leave for the restaurant around 8:00 a.m. If you can’t make the hike but would like to join your friends for breakfast, please plan to come. The more the merrier. Normally we are done around 9:00.

If you plan to come for breakfast only, please let me know so that I can give them a “head” count so we can all sit together.  You can contact us through the website:  www.office@pilgrimfaith.com  or by phone at:  708-422-4200.


On My Mind: Thanks

Meister Eckhart said: “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Many great spiritual writers through the ages agree that the most basic form of prayer is thanksgiving or gratitude to God.

Expressing gratitude to God helps us to see God’s presence and blessings every day, not just when things are going well for us. When we thank God early and often, it opens our eyes to delights we might have overlooked. It transforms our complaints and complications into moments of appreciation for God’s strength and help. It awakens hope in our soul as we relish simple acts of kindness and glimpses of beauty.

Here is a simple prayer to help you give thanks to God no matter how your day is going. Thank you, God, for this day’s food and times of rest, for family and friends and kind strangers, for opportunities to offer encouraging words or helping hands to others, for your strength in difficult times and your wisdom for decisions I must make. Thank you for your love which awakens new hope and joy within me. Amen.

Let us give thanks to God this Thanksgiving and every day!!           Pastor Peggy

Crop Walk To Fight Hunger – October 18

On Sunday afternoon October 18, you can help fight hunger and poverty both locally and globally. We invite you get some pledges and walk in the annual CROP Walk for Hunger, which begins and ends at Christ Lutheran Church, 14700 S. 94th Street, Orland Park. Plan to register about 1:30 p.m. and step off about 2:00 p.m. Pilgrim Faith is famous for having the largest group of walkers! Our group has everyone from babies in strollers to members in their 70’s and 80’s. You can choose the three mile route or the “golden mile” for those who can’t walk so far. It is a lot of fun to talk with each other as we walk! We need YOU to walk, to invite friends and family to walk with us, and to really go out and get lots of pledges. The Pilgrim Faith Team raised about $1,700 last year.  We’d like to top $2,000 this year!

Twenty-five percent of all funds raised go to area food pantries. Our own pantry gets a nice check every year. The rest of the money is used by Church World Service to address hunger and poverty around the world. Pick up your sponsor form during coffee hour in September and start lining up your sponsors. Anyone can participate on our team. They don’t have to be part of our church.

Please join us for this great event!


Neighbors in Need Offering Collection – October 4

On Sunday, October 4, Pilgrim Faith will be collecting for Neighbors in Need, one of five special offerings throughout the year supported by the United Church of Christ. NIN is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council of American Indian Ministry. Two-thirds is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts and direct service projects through grants. This year’s theme is “Unexpected Places” and connects to the work of the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries and our denomination’s advocacy to address centuries of injustice.

Fall Fest – Saturday, October 10

Do you love fall? Do you love fun? Of course you do! Then come out to the Pilgrim Faith FALL FEST! Join us on Saturday, October 10, at 4:30 p.m. for an evening of outdoor FALL FUN! ALL AGES are welcome as we enjoy chili and hot dogs, a bonfire in the newly created fire pit (thanks teens!), s’mores, bean bags, games for all ages, scarecrow making, hot chocolate and apple cider, and of course, Christian fellowship. There will be fun for everyone at this free event, so don’t forget to invite your friends. We will gather in the fenced area at the back of the church, but will move inside if the weather does not cooperate. So grab a cozy sweatshirt and come on out! There will be a sign-up sheet available after church if you would like to donate to this awesome event! Some things we will need include: hot dog buns, s’mores supplies, desserts, chips, crackers, water, old jeans and flannel shirts for scarecrows. Please RSVP to this FREE event so we know how much chili to cook. To RSVP, or for questions/suggestions/ donations, please call, text, or email Lori Harris or Libby Whitney. We will also be available during coffee hour after later.


On My Mind: Bringing Others Along

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership in the church. A church is built on love and faith but it takes leadership to move it forward. It takes lots of leaders for a church to do lots of vital ministry. Some of that leadership comes from the pastor and other staff but much of it comes from the members.

We’ve got great leaders at Pilgrim Faith! We’ve got some long time leaders who have served in many different areas of ministry and continue to be the spirit and organization behind key programs and efforts. I am so grateful for them. We got other leaders who have risen up more recently to fill needs or create and guide new visions. I am so grateful for them.

A church that is moving forward continually needs to call forth and equip new leaders. Some of that is formal training but a lot of it happens when an experienced leader coaches a new leader so they can learn what to do. We are pretty effective at doing that here at Pilgrim Faith. My dream is for every current leader always to be coaching one or more others so new leaders will be ready to step forward when God calls.

It takes intentional effort for this to happen. It is more time and work than just “doing it ourselves.” It isn’t always easy to recruit someone who will serve as our “co-leader” or “assistant.” Jesus almost tore his hair out sometimes in his efforts to train the disciples who would carry on his work after him. If he had not done that, there would be no church and Jesus would be a long forgotten blip in a long ago out-of-the-way place. But Jesus kept teaching and training his assistants and they took over in powerful ways with a lot of help from God when Jesus was gone. That is God’s plan for thriving ministry!

So I challenge each of you. If you are a leader or teacher, find someone to mentor and train to do what you do so well in the church. If you aren’t a leader, tell me or another leader that you are willing to let someone teach you how to teach or run a board or organize volunteers or an event. We’ll pair you up with a capable teacher! And Pilgrim Faith will thrive!

Peggy McClanahan

Pilgrim Faith’s First Ever Trunk Or Treat On October 30

On October 30, at 6:30 p.m. join us in the parking lot for an evening of Trunk or Treating. Bring your spookiest decorations and favorite candy to pass out! We will be decorating our trunks/cars from 6:30 to 7:00; from 7:00-7:30 the kids can go from car to car for some Halloween candy. We will have a car to car scavenger hunt for the kids, a bonfire, and stuff for making s’mores and roasting hot dogs. Don’t forget your costumes. There will be prizes for best, most original, and scariest costumes as well as best decorated cars. This event is open to everyone, so please invite your friends and neighbors. If you would like to donate water, juice boxes, soda pop or hot dogs/buns, please contact the church office at by phone:  708-422-4200

We hope to see you all for a spooky evening of Trunk or Treating.

Fall Bible Study Starts on September 29

“Real People Who Sometimes Trust God”

Ever wonder if you have enough faith? Ever think maybe you aren’t good enough for God to care about you? Beginning with chapter 12 of Genesis, we meet our ancestors in faith, Abraham and Sarah and their descendants. Like us, they tried to know God and struggled frequently with whether to trust God. Sometimes they were faithful. Sometimes they were not.

Join us for our fall Bible study as we get to know Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Lot, Isaac, Jacob and others. Learn from their struggles how to place more trust in God and grow in faith. The class will meet for six weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:15 p.m. beginning September 29 in the church lounge. (Enter through the courtyard on 51st Avenue.)