Welcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ! 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 church full of people dedicated to living our mission statement every day: Welcoming All, Worshiping God, Working Together to Serve Others.
You are welcome to 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. Dress as casual or formal as you like – just come!
This time of year is my favorite time of year. Autumn can bring about a change of colors of the leaves, the weather, and our love for the Chicago Bears. There are gifts of change everywhere we look. God’s influence is everywhere we turn. Our church is a gift, offering each one of us an embodiment of how we can live as Christians. Now we have an opportunity to take the changes that come with the season, and remember how we live into those changes.
We have seen an abundance of individual spiritual growth within our youth, our programs, and each of us as individuals. Many of us have memories of how our lives have been touched by a friendly call, a smiling face, and a warm handshake from others in our congregation. Sometimes those small gestures develop into how we become more in touch with God.
“God is still speaking” in our ministry and mission and we look forward to your supporting that mission by turning in your pledge by November 23. May we continue to grow and learn together as Christians by stretching ourselves this year with our gifts.
You should receive a pledge card in the mail early in November. Please prayerfully consider how you can give your best so God can keep changing lives through the ministry and mission of Pilgrim Faith Church. Please join us on November 23 as we dedicate ourselves and our pledges to God.
Please plan to join your church family for a Thanksgiving feast to be held in Colonial Hall on Sunday, November 23, at 5:00 p.m. In the tradition of the first Thanksgiving, our feast this year will be a potluck affair. Let’s face it, the Pilgrims and the Native Americans didn’t sit down at the table and have catered turkey dinner served to them! They all pitched in and brought their family’s favorite side dish, put it out buffet style, and enjoyed the fellowship of their new friends. If it was good enough for the first Thanksgiving, it’s good enough for us, too!
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 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 Peggy Martin or the church office.
A minimal charge of $2 per person will be collected 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 our feast. The sign-up sheets will be available during coffee hour on November 2, 9, and 16. Bring along your friends and extended family as we give thanks for the blessings we have received this year and gobble up some turkey!
The Annual Thanksgiving Hike will be on Thursday, November 27, 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 a.m. 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 site together.
Please welcome Debbie Petkus as the new interim leader of our kindergarten through fifth grade youth group. Our Church Council approved her to serve through May 2015. Debbie will plan and lead two events per month for that group, also known as G.L.U.E.D (God Loves Us Every Day).
Debbie is completing her B.A. degree in early childhood education this fall. She also currently works as a scheduling coordinator with a home health care company. She has a son in our G.L.U.E.D. group and has also been involved in his sports activities. Debbie and her spouse Mary Weierman are active members of Pilgrim Faith along with their son
A PADS guest stopped in the church office today looking for a cell phone he thought he had left at our PADS site last night. Our administrative secretary, Rebecca Stamm, made some calls and located the phone and instructed him on where he could pick it up. He appreciated her efforts and also expressed gratitude for things that were going well in his life, despite recent set-backs.
While he was in rehab last summer his sister kept his belongings. They were ruined when his sister’s basement flooded. A friend had kept his tools but they were lost when the friend got evicted along with everything in his home. Despite all that, this man was glad that he had recently been moved from the late shift to the day shift. He was grateful that he had been able to save enough money to buy a truck so he could get around. He was grateful that PADS had opened because it was a safer environment than where he had been staying. He was grateful and hopeful.
The Apostle Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” and “give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) When we look for opportunities to give thanks even in the midst of trying times we actually feel more thankful and happy. Maybe it is just positive thinking but I imagine it is more than that. When we give thanks, we draw closer to God. Being closer to God makes us happier and even more thankful. It becomes a continuing circle of thanks and hope and happiness and thanks that bad news cannot derail.
So let us give thanks for all that is good, big and small. Let us give thanks for God’s strength and help in times good and bad. Let us give thanks for new beginnings when we’ve reached the end of our rope. Let us give thanks in all circumstances, for God is good even when life keeps lobbing curve balls. Let us give thanks, always.
Pastor Peggy McClanahan is leading a six-session study group on forgiveness on Tuesdays from 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. Participants are encouraged to attend all sessions, but if you missed the first session you can still join the group. Topics include:
September 30: What is forgiveness?
October 7: Step 1 – Telling our story
October 14: Step 2 – Naming the hurt
October 21: Step 3 – Granting forgiveness
October 28: Step 4 – Renewing or releasing the relationship
November 4: Asking for forgiveness and forgiving ourselves
Sessions will be held in the church lounge. Enter through the courtyard on 51st Avenue.
Send your Christmas greetings to all your Pilgrim Faith friends at one time. It’s easy! All you need to do is make a contribution ($5 minimum) marked “Christmas Card.” Please drop your check in the offering plate or mail it in to the church office. Your greetings will be included with the Christmas letter from the church.
All funds raised will benefit our H.O.P.E. Fund, which is used to make loans to members in financial need. The deadline for being included in the card is December 4.
On October 19, at 2:00 p.m., (arrive 1:30) you have the opportunity to raise money to help fight hunger and enjoy the fellowship of your Pilgrim Faith churchgoers. The event is the CROP Walk, and it will take place at Christ Lutheran Church at 14700 S. 94th Ave. in Orland Park. This 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) walk raises money for Church World Service’s efforts to end hunger locally and abroad. Our food pantry is a beneficiary of a portion of the money we raise. Meanwhile, as you walk, you get a chance to hang out with the people you see in church and get to know them better over the course of the walk! Children are welcome, too — many participate.
You can sign up after church at a table staffed by our CROP Walk coordinator, Gail Siwek, or other Mission Board members, or go to the CROP Walk site online to donate to a walker, or straight to the organization. (The site is http://hunger.cwsglobal.org/site/PageServer?pagename=crop_main, and click on “Donate.”) See you there!
Joe Elks and Ken Reid were active and beloved members of Pilgrim Faith for a number of years. When they moved to San Diego in 2010 we hated to see them go so we playfully appointed them our “Missionaries to San Diego.” They carried their love of God and our love and even some of our ideas to their new church, Mission Hills United Church of Christ. Ken’s work has now landed them in Hawaii where their love for both Pilgrim Faith and Mission Hills is shaping their search for a new church home.
Joe and Ken will be with us for worship on October 19. We’ve asked Joe Elks to preach that morning. He will be reflecting on his journey and his experience with various churches. We have especially asked him to talk about his experience with a church that has not declared itself to be “Open and Affirming” (Pilgrim Faith) and with a church that is officially “Open and Affirming” (Mission Hills). Our ONA Task Force thinks this will help us consider whether we should just continue to welcome everyone or officially state that we are “Open and Affirming.”
We hope you will worship with us that morning and stick around to visit with Joe and Ken after the service.