Welcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ

pageant-2016b-croprainbowcommawithwordsWelcome 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.)


At 9:30 am worship on January 8 you will get a “Star Word,” a special rock from the beach at Tower Hill on which the Deacons have put a star and a special word. We invite you to receive that word as a gift and ponder all year what it means for your life.  We believe this word will lead you to understand something God wants you to know!

In March we will have a special Lenten potluck lunch and program after church at which we will share with each other about our special star words mean to us. We will include the children in this activity so we hope they will get a “Star word” on January 8 also. (This year the youth may select a special “children’s word” or pick their rock from the general collection of words.)

There are some amazing stories of how God has spoken to us through our words in past years. We hope you will join in and find it enriching in 2017.


The next Newcomer Class for those interested in becoming a member or who just want to learn more about Pilgrim Faith will be Sunday, January 22 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the church lounge. The class is open to anyone who wants to know more about our church.

This session will introduce persons to the ministries and activities of Pilgrim Faith Church, as well as our beliefs and background. After attending this session, any who want to become a member of Pilgrim Faith Church may do so in February.

Please contact Pastor Peggy if you would like to attend this session or have questions.

WINTER BIBLE STUDY: “God Got Me This Far – Now What?”


“God Got Me This Far: Now What?”

When our lives are in crisis, a lot of us are quick to turn to God for help. Once God has brought us through the crisis, the bigger challenge begins: finding what God wants in the daily ups and downs of life and doing it. It is pretty easy to stray away from God after our crisis has ended.

Our winter Bible study will delve into the second half of the Exodus story in which God’s people learn (and often forget) to go with God during the daily grind of life. There are lessons here for us on finding God in the details and living by the Ten Commandments and trusting God when God isn’t answering our calls.

The class will meet for six weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:15 pm beginning January 17 through February 21 in the church lounge. (Enter through the courtyard on 51st Avenue.)

Everyone is welcome, even if you’ve never opened a Bible before!


On January 29 we will have a special time in our 9:30 worship service for parents to bring their children who are younger than five for a blessing of the children.  Each family will also light a candle for their child.  Families are asked to meet at the front of sanctuary at 9:15.

We hope all the families with young children will be here for this special service. Grandparents and other relatives are invited to sit with family.

Please let the office or Pastor Peggy know if you have friends or family with young children who might like to be included in this service.  They do not have to be members of this church to bring their children for a Candlemas blessing.


   Every year brings new models of cars, updated smart phones and clever new Super Bowl ads. Did you know that God plans to upgrade you as well?

A lot of us go into each new year with good resolutions. I’m going to exercise more and get healthy. I’m going to tame my tongue. I’m going to help the homeless. Sometimes we even follow through on significant changes this way.  Sometimes we stumble along the way and then try again next year.

There’s no end to the list of things most of us could do better if we just weren’t so human! Perhaps the place to start this year is to admit that we are human and seek some guidance from God about what is most important for this coming year.

God wants us to be kind and loving but God does not expect us to be perfect. If we focus too much energy on being perfect we’ll be of little use to God or anyone! Rather than perfect, God was us to be more kind and loving. It’s a journey.

So before you start making New Year resolutions, spend some quiet time with God and ask: what do you want to do with me this year? God has probably already been nudging you in some way. Listen to the nudgings and ask God to show you what to do about it. If you start to work on the very thing God wants to you do, amazing things will happen. Maybe even a new you!

The Apostle Paul says “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation!” [2 Corinthians 5:17]  God creates a new me when I trust myself to Jesus Christ!  God shapes and creates that new you just the way God wants you. And God patiently and persistently pulls forth the best from each of us.

May you go with God in 2017 and let God pull forth the best you!

Pastor Peggy McClanahan –  January 2017


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.