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.)


Christmas Craft Workshop  –  Sunday, December 4 from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Meet in the sanctuary at 2 p.m. for Christmas carols and the lighting of the Chrismon Tree. Then we’ll head downstairs to Colonial Hall where children can make a variety of crafts, including their very own edible gingerbread house, ornaments, and other Christmas crafts. Refreshments will be available for kids to enjoy. Crafts cost from 10 cents to one dollar. Bring the whole family and some friends to enjoy this festive time as we begin to prepare for Christ’s birth.

Christmas Music Sunday  –  Sunday, December 11 at 9:30 a.m.

Come and enjoy the music of the Christmas season during this year’s Christmas Music Service. It will help each one of us prepare for Christ to live in our hearts throughout this Advent and Christmas season, as well as the upcoming new year. We will celebrate the story of the birth of Jesus Christ with music that will remind us to thank God for sending His Son so very long ago. Music will be presented by the Vocal Ensemble, Harmony Guys, Jr. Chorus, Hand Bell Choir, and numerous vocal soloists and instrumental musicians, including bass, percussion and saxophone.

Christmas Cookie Sale  –  Sunday, December 11 at 10:30 a.m.

You will be able to buy delicious cookies for yourself as well as give them as gifts. Drop your cookies off before worship. Cookies are $5 per pound. The sale will take place after worship. See Lori Harris with questions.

Christmas Pageant  –  Sunday, December 18 at 9:30 a.m.

Join our children as they present our favorite Christmas message. Children and youth from preschool through high school will bring the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth to life.

Christmas Eve Worship  –  Two Services  –  Saturday, December 24

          7:00 p.m. Family Service

Children’s story, Christmas music, favorite Christmas carols, special music by vocal and instrumental ensembles, and lighting of the individual candles.

          11:00 p.m. Traditional Service

Quiet and reflective, Christmas carols by candlelight, special music by vocal and instrumental soloists, and lighting of the individuals candles.

Christmas Day Worship  –  Sunday, December 25 at 9:30 a.m.

A Christmas service of scripture, carols, and a story for all ages.

Children’s Christmas Pageant December 18—9:30 AM

Join our children as they present our favorite Christmas message! All children from preschool through high school are welcome to help bring the Christmas story to life (as only our kids can do it!)

Pageant practice will be:

  • Sun. Nov. 13 during Sunday school (finish by 10:45)
  • Sun. Nov. 20 during Sunday school (finish by 10:45)
  • Sun. Nov. 27 during Sunday school (finish by 10:45)
  • Sun. Dec. 4 rehearsal starts at 9:45 right after the Advent candle is lit. (finish by 10:45)
  • Sun. Dec. 11 practice will be after church from 10:30-11:30 (so we may all enjoy the Music Sunday performances)
  • Sat. Dec. 17 10:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon (pizza served at noon)

Want to help with the production? We are looking for assistance with costumes and sets, so please contact anyone on the Christian Education Board if you have some hidden talents.

Mark your calendars for December 18. The pageant starts at 9:30 a.m. Invite grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles and friends! They won’t want to miss seeing and hearing all of our little angels as they share the real meaning of Christmas with us!

Adopt a Child for Christmas

You can brighten the lives of those little ones who live in less fortunate situations than we do. We are happy to be helping 14 children from the Englewood neighborhood this year from Children’s Home and Aid.

In November, Kurt Kalas will distribute the children’s names, ages, and wants for those who want to help. The goal for spending on a child’s gifts is about $100. Since the cost per child is substantially more this year, some may want to pair with another member and share a child. Gifts will be due back to Pilgrim Faith Church December 4.

Thank you to all who are able to help make this a very special Christmas for a child.

Christmas Craft Workshop

The Christmas Craft Workshop will be held on December 4, from 2-4:00 p.m. There will be caroling, gingerbread houses, all kinds of Christmas crafts and refreshments. Save the date and plan to bring some friends and come.

WISH is also looking for volunteers to do a craft table. You would prepare and lead Advent or Christmas crafts for about 50 children. You may charge a nominal fee for the craft supplies (usually 10 cents to 50 cents).

Christmas Card Deadline December 9

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.” 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.

Drop your check in the offering plate or mail it in to the church office.  For more information contact us or call (708) 422-4200.

Alternative Christmas

Starting November 27, each Sunday before Christmas Mission Board members will be in Colonial Hall after church to give you an opportunity to purchase a gift for the person who has everything that will help to people who have nothing.

You may choose a gift of honeybees, chicks, rabbits, tree seedlings, pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, heifers or water buffalo from Heifer International to bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.  The goal of every Heifer project is to help families achieve self-reliance by providing them the tools they need to sustain themselves. Each family then passes along the first born female animal and the training they received to another family.

We are also offering a congregational challenge to contribute to a large project. This year’s project is to raise $1,000 for a pump for a village well and the training to care for and maintain it. This gift of clean water for a village will improve health and sanitation, irrigate crops for a more successful harvest and free girls to attend school when they no longer have to spend their days carrying water from distant streams.

For more information please contact us or call (708) 422-4200.

Christmas Fund for Veterans of the Cross

On December 18, there will be a special collection for the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross. The collection goes to help retired ministers who need assistance. Proceeds also are used to help any clergy family with a financial emergency that meets the United Church of Christ’s guidelines for emergency assistance. Veterans of the Cross is one of the United Church of Christ’s 5 for 5 collections as part of Our Church’s Wider Mission. Please consider giving to those who have served the church. Thank you!

Poinsettias for Christmas

You may purchase a poinsettia for Christmas to enhance the sanctuary for the holiday season. The plants are a 6” pot with three to five blooms at a cost of $16.00, available to take home after the 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service. Submit your check to the church office. Deadline for ordering is December 19.

   For more information contact us or call (708) 422-4200.

On My Mind: Hope that Leads to Love

Dark days are hard, whether they advance on us step by step as impending doom or pounce upon us with utter surprise when we were confident that all was well. Either way, we are never quite ready for times of fear, sadness, worry or despair. Such days call for deep reserves.

Each Advent we enter willingly once again into a season that begins in darkness so that we might learn anew how to live in hope while we wait and work for the days of light and love. It is tempting to skip the melancholy tones of O Come, O Come Emmanuel and the plaintive cries of Advent readings so we can move directly to the Christmas carols and scriptures that comfort and brighten our souls. That is a mistake because it is the faint glimmers of light in the darkness of early Advent that teach us how to live with hope in the dark times of our own lives.

We add one candle a week during Advent and one word of assurance per week so that we can learn to trust the glimmers of hope when it is still dark and to take determined steps toward peace when peace seems impossible. After those days and weeks of darkness the joy and love of Christmas are far sweeter and our faith is far stronger than if we had tried to leap directly to the full light of God’s blessing. Advent teaches us to keep hoping when the times are dark and to keep pursuing God’s dream of peace when we hear cries of hatred all around us.

Take heart from the candle of hope for that hope is rooted in God’s promise to be with us always, leading us toward a better future. Learn to deal with the darkness that comes your way by returning to God’s vision of peace and love. Trust God’s vision, for God will work through us to bring joy to full bloom.

The message of Christmas is that God broke through the darkness as one of us to show us what is possible when love is unleashed in the midst of hateful, hurtful times. God is love, God cannot be stopped, God will work through us to transform the world with love!

Have a blessed Advent as we move with God toward Christmas light and love!

Pastor Peggy McClanahan – December 2016

Neighbors in Need Report

Our Neighbors in Need offering, received on October 2, has brought in $710 to date.  Thank you to all who contributed to this special offering, which supports American Indian ministries and other programs to benefit our disadvantaged neighbors in the United States.  You may still make a contribution through the Sunday offering or church office by noting that it is for Neighbors in Need.