Welcome to Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ in Oak Lawn! 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 worship on January 4, you will get a “Star Gift,” 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!
On Sunday, March 8, we will have a special Lenten pot-luck 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 Gift” on January 4, also. Many who participated in this last year found deep meaning in the word they were given. We hope you will join in
Our Church Council and Trustees have been hard at work laying groundwork for Pilgrim Faith to conduct a capital funds appeal during the winter and spring of 2015. The congregation will be asked to vote at our Annual Congregational Meeting on February 1, whether to proceed with this appeal. The recommendation, on which Church Council will ask you to vote on February 1, is that:
We engage John Clark of The James Company to help Pilgrim Faith conduct a capital campaign in the spring of 2015, including three years of follow-up consultation. We pay The James Company a management fee of $17,000 which will cover all of the James Company expenses, including his time and travel, preparation of materials and training of leadership and key volunteers.
Our capital campaign has a goal of approximately $400,000, to be finalized with John Clark as he helps us design our campaign.
In the brochure enclosed in this newsletter you will find details on how the funds will be used. We will also hold two informational meetings in January so that you can learn more and express hopes, concerns and questions:
- Sunday, January 11, at 10:30 a.m. (child care will be provided during the Jan 11 meeting.)
- Sunday, January 18 at 10:45 a.m.
Daune Sebastian and Chuck Martin have agreed to serve as co-chairs of this campaign. Many others in the congregation will be asked to help in some way. Please study the information and come to one of the informational meetings in January so we can be prepared to make a decision on February 1.
If you were unable to turn in your pledge to the church for 2015, it’s not too late! We would still like to have it, to help us plan for income and expenses. You can drop it in the offering plate or send it to the office. Please call the church office at 708-422-4200 if you would like a pledge card. If you would like to have your pledge taken from your bank account by direct debit once or twice a month, please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-422-4200 to request a form to authorize the debit.
Children in third grade and up may attend a two-session class to prepare to receive communion. At least one parent must attend with the child. Children who have completed the class may then receive communion at Pilgrim Faith if the parents so desire.
Pastor Peggy is trying to schedule a class for February or March. The meeting time will be set to accommodate the families that are interested.
On January 25, we will have a special time in our 9:30 a.m. 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. a.m.
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.
On February 1, we will be taking a collection for the nationwide event known as the Souper Bowl of Caring. Children with pots will be stationed outside the sanctuary as you exit to collect any cash you can give. The money from our collection Souper Bowl of Caring this year will go to the food pantry at St. John United Church of Christ in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago.
They struggle to provide food for the many needy persons in their neighborhood. We have helped them for a number of years with occasional gifts so their ministry can continue.
Members of all church boards and standing committees and officers of the church will be installed at the end of the Annual Meeting. All new and continuing board members and church officers will be presented at that time and participate in the ceremony of installation. If you are serving on a board or on MLT, please plan to be at the meeting so you can be installed. Sandwiches will be available for purchase prior to the start of the meeting.
Pastor Peggy is planning to hold a newcomer class soon for those who want to learn more about Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ. This session will introduce persons to the ministries and activities of Pilgrim Faith, 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 at an upcoming service.
The date and time will be arranged to fit the schedule of participants. Please contact Pastor Peggy if you would like to attend a newcomer class or have questions.
I have always been proud of the way Pilgrim Faith understands our building to be a tool for ministry. We have been very intentional about hosting Alcoholics Anonymous, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, scouts, a counseling center, PADS, the food pantry and a wide array of events and activities for both our own members and the wider community.
Those aren’t just events. They are MINISTRY! They change lives and deliver hope and provide love and care. Sometimes we do it specifically in Jesus’ name and sometimes we just put his love into action without words. God has called us to love all and bring hope to a hurting world. One of the primary ways we do that is by using our building to deliver that hope and love to the people of Oak Lawn and many others who come our way.
Periodically we need to invest in our building in a major way so that we can continue to serve as God’s agents and angels of hope. Now is one of those times! We last did major renovation and repairs in 1998-99. We’ve got a new list of projects which need urgent attention so we can continue our vital ministry. You’ll find a list of those needs in the brochure enclosed in this newsletter. I’m excited about the difference we will make in the lives of so many by making this investment now. It is a big undertaking and many of us will want to dig deeper than we at first think possible to make sure Pilgrim Faith Church continues to change lives. We will make a difference for many for years to come, just as Jesus Christ has always called us to do!
Please study the brochure and then come to one of the two informational meetings we will hold in January about plans for a capital funds campaign. Each meeting will last about an hour.
– Sunday, January 11, at 10:30 a.m.
– Sunday, January 18, at 10:45 a.m.
You will learn more about our needs and plans to raise the money. You will have a chance to ask questions and express your hopes and concerns. You will learn what you need to know to make an informed decision at our Annual Congregational Meeting on February 1, when we vote on whether to proceed with this campaign.
I am excited about working with capital campaign co-chairs, Daune Sebastian and Chuck Martin, to assure our future ministry. I am also prepared to dig deep to make my own substantial gift to this campaign. Please pray that God will show us what God wants us to do!