Welcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn, IL

rainbowcommawithwordsWelcome 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. . A nursery is provided for children younger than 3 during worship. 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.)

Worship at 9:30 am each Sunday     Office hours: 9:00-2:00 Mon-Fri    708-422-4200

Scout Sunday – March 18

On March 18 we will recognize all Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Tiger Cubs, Girl Scouts, Brownies and Daisy
Scouts during our 9:30am worship service. All scouts and scout leaders are asked to wear their uniforms
to church that morning. We’ve asked the various scout groups that meet at Pilgrim Faith to set up displays
and hands on activities during coffee hour. You may even get to do a pinewood derby car race!

Hot Topics Discussion – March 18


Our Hot Topics discussion will focus on how we can respond to those who say or do something racist or prejudiced.
We will meet in the lounge at 11:00 am, led by Anna and Rhonda Rodriguez.

This session is a follow-up to the February discussion on what is racism, discrimination and prejudice. We learned
that discrimination is not always intentional but can be a by-product of procedures that provide more opportunity
for those who already “know someone.” We learned that prejudiced ideas do not always result in racist action because we might recognize that we shouldn’t act that way.

Cari Stevenson helped us understand that racism is systemic, built into the system and happens when one group
has more power or greater voice than another group.

All are welcome at these discussions that provide a place for us to listen and learn from each other as we discuss our different experiences and ideas.

Book Club – March 18

This months book selection is “The Nightingale”, by Kristin Hannah, we will meet in the lounge at 6:30 p.m.

The book for April 22 is the “Travel Guide to Heaven” by Anthony DeStefano. On May 20 we will discuss, “The Wager” by Allen Kent.

Holy Week At Pilgrim Faith – March 25, March 29, March 30, April 1

Palm Sunday — March 25  –  Children’s Processional  –  9:15 a.m.
Worship includes a processional of palms by the children and special music by the Bell Choir & Vocal Ensemble. Children meet at 9:15 in Colonial Hall to prepare for processional.

Maundy Thursday — March 29 – 7:00 p.m.
Key figures reflect on their roles in Jesus’ death as lights are extinguished in a moving Tenebrae service. Communion is included.

Good Friday — March 30 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
You may come during the times listed for meditation, reflection, prayer and communion. Move through a number of meditation stations around the sanctuary at which you may read a scripture or prayer, reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and death and offer your own prayers. Stations will give you a chance to engage the story of Jesus’ death through art or other activities. One station will offer communion. You may take as little or as much time at each station as you wish.

Easter Sunday — APRIL 1 – Worship 9:30 a.m.
Children join processional placing fresh cut flowers on the “Living Cross.” Easter message by Pastor Peggy McClanahan, special music by Bell Choir & Vocal Ensemble. Nursery Provided.

Easter Breakfast at 10:30 a.m.
Breakfast of casseroles, fresh fruit, muffins and more!
Proceeds will help send our youth to church camp.

Children’s Easter Egg Hunt at 11:15 a.m.

On My Mind: Questions

In our Hot Topics group today we discussed “aha” moments we have had that helped us understand why certain language or actions are racist or result in discrimination (intentional or unintentional.) These moments of new understanding often came when someone raised a question about a practice or language that we had not previously thought was a problem.

I know I’ve learned from questions others have asked about wording in some hymns. For example“O Master let me walk with thee in lowly paths of service free” is the opening line of a hymn I’ve sung all my life, considering it a meaningful dedication of my life in service to Jesus. I didn’t realize how the image of “lowly paths of free service to the master” might be painful and offensive to those whose ancestors were sold or born into servitude as slaves to the plantation master. I’m glad someone questioned my use of this hymn. They gave me an opportunity to see it from a different perspective and thus choose to no longer choose to sing something that was hurtful to others.

I’m grateful for such questions. I find I’m most open to change when the question invites me to understand some-one else’s perspective by giving me a glimpse of their experience and reality. I’m less open if the question is not really a question but is more of an effort to blame or shame me. “How could you DO something like that?” or “how could you THINK that?” aren’t questions that invite under-standing. Those types of questions are really an attempt to make the other feel bad which is more likely to create resistance than dialogue or change.

The other kind of question that can open up a helpful dialogue that might lead someone to change their attitude or behavior is to ask (with genuine curiosity): “Can you tell me more about why you think that?” When someone asks me that and I start to listen to what I am saying, I may begin to see my own thoughts or words in a new way. When I ask someone else that question (with genuine curiosity), I might learn something from them or they might come to an “aha” moment as they listen to themselves.

I hope we can grow together in our ability both to ask and to answer questions that bring greater understanding.

Pastor Peggy McClanahan

Spring Craft and Vendor Fair on Saturday, March 10

Pilgrim Faith will hold our Spring Craft/Vendor Fair on Saturday, March 10 at 10 am to 3 pm, in Colonial Hall. Our
craft fair is well known and well attended, and a lot of fun! This year’s Crafters will have homemade jams and jellies,
Kary’s carrot cakes, hand crafted jewelry, coasters, magnets, fairy houses, 18” doll clothes, woodworking projects,
crocheted items, t-shirts and tote bags for wheelchairs and walkers. Our Vendors will include Pampered Chef, and
Avon. This year we will also have Girl Scouts selling cookies, Boy Scouts will also haves a table. Besides 25 amazing
Crafters & Vendors, a delicious lunch and coffee/beverages will be available for purchase. We will hold an AMAZING Raffle including Ravinia tickets, Thunderbolt tickets and a telescope! Proceeds help send our Senior Highs on their annual mission trip. You may email Kathy Faulkner at kathy8f@gmail.com for information or if you would like to help.

Special Lenten Programs and Events at Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

An Ash Wednesday service will be held in the church sanctuary at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14. This service is a time to reflect on our lives and draw closer to God as we begin the season of spiritual renewal. This service will include music, a message, and time for prayers and communion.

Two Lenten Series potlucks  will be offered this year at Pilgrim Faith Church. The first will be held on Sunday, February 25 at 11 a.m. We will begin by sharing a potluck lunch followed by some discussion of the words we received on our “Star Gifts” in January. Discussion will focus on what the word we received means for us. Children will be included in the discussion, with nursery care provided for the youngest children.

The second Lenten program will be held on Sunday, March 11 at 11 a.m. We will begin with a lunch of soup and sandwiches (a free will donation will be collected to defray the cost of lunch). After lunch, a panel of church members will discuss the question, “How does your faith affect the way you see the world?” Time will be allowed for some small group discussion. Child care will be provided for young children during this program, as well.

Men’s Fellowship Group Retreat on March 16-18

This year’s Men’s Retreat will be held the weekend of March 16-18 at Tower Hill Camp in Sawyer, Michigan. The cost of the weekend is $119 per person which includes private and shared sleeping areas in two buildings at the camp. Kitchen facilities, meeting space, and linens are provided. Participants can look forward to having an amazing weekend growing their faith, feeding their souls, and enjoying fellowship. All men are welcome to participate. Please contact the church office (708-422-4200) to sign up for the retreat. Payment can be turned in to the church office.

WISH Meeting – March 7

What brings you luck? Rachel Funk will be leading the WISH meeting and ask that all women come and join
and bring a lucky charm or person that brings you luck! The meeting is Wednesday,  March, 7 in the church Lounge. We can all use a little luck on our side!