Christmas Eve Services

Christmas Eve Services

5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve for All Ages “Keeping Christmas Well” A service of Carols, Scripture and “God Bless Us, Everyone”

7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Candles & Carols Featuring our Chancel Choir

11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve with Communion Featuring the Celebra(on of the Lord’s Supper Worship designed and led by our Young Adult Ministry (YAMS)

Outreach Giving Opportunities

OUTREACH  Giving  Opportunities

This week the Food Pantry is asking for the following items:

    • Soups

    • Toilet Paper

    • Kitchen Garbage Bags

    • Paper Towels

    • Dish Soap

    • Canned Chili

    • Underwear (all sizes)

The Batavia Apartments is asking for the following items: 

    • Toilet Paper (the 4 packs from the dollar store work great)

    • Kleenex

    • Paper towels

    • Cleaning supplies (toilet bowl cleaner, bathroom cleaner, multipurpose, dusting spray)

    • Body wash

    • Larger diapers (4, 5, and 6)

 

Sharing Christmas Joy with Marklund Residents

Holiday Gift Opening- It is a Marklund tradition to open our Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve morning. This year, that will take place on Sunday, December 24, 2017 from 10 a.m.- 12 noon. Volunteers are paired up with one or two residents and provide hand-over-hand assistance to open gifts. 100 volunteers are needed on our Geneva Campus for this activity. Great family/kid friendly fun! Sign-up on the bulletin board.

Mission Opportunity at the Northern Illinois Foodbank

Northern Illinois Food Bank needs our help! The Youth and our Outreach team invite you to join us for a shift at the NI Food Bank in Geneva on Saturday, January 6th. Must be 8 or over to participate. We have the 9 am to noon shift to sort and package food. Meet at church at 8:30 if you want to car pool, or meet us at 9 am at the Food Bank, 273 Dearborn Court, Geneva. The Food Bank serves many food pantries in our area. Please RVSP to Marcia Schneider at marcymess@comcast.net by December 30. It’s a great way to start out the new year!

Moving Forward Together in Christ session on January 7

As our youth will have noticed, they were on retreat when we held the Moving Forward Together In Christ session on Nov. 19.  To give them – and anyone else who could not make the November event – an opportunity to participate in the brainstorming process, a second session will be held on Sunday evening January 7, from 5-7:30 p.m. in Paxton Hall. Dinner will be provided. If you will need childcare, please let Dave Hummel or Mary Pat English know.

The consultant hired to help us create a better congregational environment, Dr. Norton, will again facilitate this event. Council members will serve as small group facilitators at each table. We are inviting anyone who wants their input included in current planning for the future of our church to attend. Those not attending either session may still give their input through contacting a session member, in person, or via phone or email or letter. We want to listen to all who desire to be heard.

While not mandatory, RSVPs are appreciated for planning purposes.  You can sign up on the sign up bulletin board outside of Paxton Hall or call the church office at 630-879-1999.

 

 

Moving Forward Together in Christ Event Note - and Upcoming Date

What did we learn from the Nov 19 "Moving Forward Together in Christ" discussion?

On Nov 19, about 50 people stayed after coffee hour to be part of the process of determining what our priorities should be going forward. People were assigned to tables randomly.  A church Council representative was present at every table.  Our consultant, Dr David Norton, along with Moderator Dave Hummel and Vice Moderator Mary Pat English rotated among the tables.  Participants were asked to respond to these three questions:

1. What have been the best points of connection for you in a church - either this church or another one?

2. What will help you connect more deeply with our congregation over the next few years?

3. What supportive resources can our congregation provide to help you grow deeper in your faith?

Each table picked a spokesperson to report a summary of their table's responses to each question, so all present got a feeling for what everyone was thinking.  Dave and Mary Pat have compiled and organized the responses for Church Council and ministry teams to review.  Priorities and goals will be set during the next few months.

A repeat event will be held Jan 7, so the senior high students, who were on retreat Nov 19, have a chance to participate in the process. Any other members/friends of the congregation who were not able to attend Nov 19 are cordially invited to the Jan 7 event. 

 

December Worship Services

December Worship Services Theme for Advent: God Bless Us, Every One Based on the book The Redemp)on of Scrooge by Rev. Ma@ Rawle

December 3 — 9:30 a.m. The First Sunday of Advent The Remembrance of Christmas Past: Hope from Heartbreak

December 10 — 9:30 a.m. The Second Sunday of Advent The Life of Christmas Present: Look Upon Me

December 14 — 7:00 p.m. Holy Darkness/Holy Light Service (Thursday) Braving the Wilderness: Advent/Christmas in the Struggle

December 17 — 9:30 a.m. The Third Sunday of Advent Children’s Christmas Program and Chancel Choir

December 24 — 9:30 a.m. The Fourth Sunday of Advent The Hope of Christmas Future: Death-Defying Acts

Advent Chains

Advent Chains! Count down the days from the first Sunday in Advent to Christmas Eve with an Advent chain like the ones the children made in Sunday School. Each day, break off one of the chains and ask God to help you “let go” of a concern, problem, habit. Bring the broken chains back to church as we will use them to line Baby Jesus’ manger bed.  Paper for the chains available in Paxton lobby.

Braving the Wilderness Advent Service

Braving the Wilderness Advent Service

December 14, 2017

Worship at 7:00PM Followed by Cookie Fellowship

For the last two years we have hosted a Holy Darkness/Holy Light Advent Service.  This is special service for those who struggle during the holidays.  The holidays can be bittersweet or even painful for those who have lost loved ones, are facing change and transition, and dealing with stress or illness of the mind, body and soul.   The 2017 theme is ‘Braving the Wilderness.’  We are all facing the holidays with some unknowns before us that can cause hurt, anxiety or sadness.  This service allows you to come to God as you truly feel and allow God to console and offer you hope.  God is with us in darkness or light, wilderness or unexplored frontier.  

Christmas Gift Festival on December 3rd and 10th

Please consider including the Outreach Committee’s Gift Festival in your holiday plans. A brief description of the organizations selected for this year’s festival is included in this announcement. We will be collecting donations Dec. 3rd and 10 th .  A “Shopping” form for each group will be available for you to choose your donation amount ($10 - $100) and will indicate how your donation will help the organization. For those who wish, a Christmas Card will be prepared indicating a gift has been made on behalf of someone to whom you wish to give a Christmas gift. These make great gifts for family, teachers, or any one you know wants to make a difference this Christmas.

 Forgotten Initiative

The Forgotten Initiative is a ministry of Lifesong For Orphans.   Our mission is to bring joy and purpose to the foster care community by showing Jesus to the one who feels forgotten as we serve agency workers, foster parents, and vulnerable adults.  TFI resources, supports and networks Advocates across the nation, helping them grow sustainable foster care ministries in their communities.  Advocates mobilize the Body ofChrist through service projects, mentoring, and family support initiatives.

Suicide Prevention Services of America

Suicide Prevention Services was founded on May 29, 1998. We are a 501(3)(c) non-profit. Our mission is to open minds, save lives and restore hope through prevention, intervention and post-intervention, using education, advocacy and collaboration. We have a paid staff of five, all with Master Degrees or higher, about 20 volunteers and 6 interns. We also have a Board of Directors who volunteer to meet once a month and review our work. We offer:

•             Counseling: We can counsel anyone at SPS. Counseling is offered by insurance or sliding scale.

•             Depression Screening: We offer depression screening to the public. If you feel you are depressed or know someone who is, we can give you an honest evaluation and make recommendations for treatment.

•             Hotline for crisis calls: We answer calls 24 hours a day. 800-273-8255 (The national suicide hotline number) is one of our numbers. 40% of the calls to this number are answered by our volunteers & staff. Should you or anyone you know need us in a crisis, simply call.

•             Support groups

 The Care and Share Fund of The Congregational Church of Batavia

This fund is meant to bridge pits of hopelessness that fall into the lives of everyday people. You think you are going to make all your bills this month and then it happens…you get sick and miss work, medication bills, doctor’s bills, your car needs $500 of work you cannot afford, but if youdon’t get to work, you won’t have a job. You lose your job and have to make it until you find the next job. You are single, with no family to fall back on and you have one emergency of $300 and you can’t make it. These are the pits that actually make the difference between sleeping inyour car and keeping your apartment or house. This is the fund that not only brides your financial gap, but allows you the opportunity for pastoral counseling, prayer and support. The Care and Share fund is the hands of the congregation working with the hands of Christ. The CCOB Care and Share Fund is put into action by the gifts of the congregation and the discretion of the pastor and staff. All funds flow through the financial system of the church as a check and balance.

The Giving Tree -

Junior High students, under the direction of Amanda Thomas, present the Giving Tree again this year.  Provide a Christmas gift for a Batavia family in need, Riverwoods students from Aurora and Elgin, and AID clients.  Students will be handing out tags with gift requests during coffee hour on Nov. 26, Dec. 3, and Dec. 11.  Gifts are due December 17 and can be dropped off in Pastor Yvette’s office.  Thanks!

One Service Sundays

One Service Sundays

Due to the feedback that the worship team has received we are extending one service Sundays with the services beginning at 9:30.  The Worship team and council members are continuing to take feedback including ideas for different times and configurations. If you want to give feedback contact Susan Price,any council member or staff member.  You can contact Susan Price, chair of Worship Team - in person, by phone (630-362-6980) or by email (susanncprice@gmail.com).

toGather

toGather is our Wednesday evening midweek ministry for people of all ages.  We gather together for dinner which begins at 5:30. After dinner children in grades K to 6 will meet for Bible Study, Worship and Fellowship activities until 7:30pm Parents, Children, Youth and Adults all pitch in to help set up, serve and clean up dinner.  

 Some of the planned programming for the fall includes an opening worship on Oct 4 with a Blessing of the 2017-18 toGather ministry.  November 1 there will be a special All Saint’s Day worship time, Adult sessions on the book “Gifts of Anger” on October 11 and 25 and “Sacred Rhythms” on November 11 and 18.   

The elementary students Bible study this fall will focus on Jesus.  We will start with Why Jesus and Who Jesus is and then learn about what Jesus teaches us about Compassion, Worry, Forgiveness, Judging Others, Salvation, and the Holy Spirit.  New this fall, Megan LeResche will join us to lead us in Worshiping through music!

There is a fee for children and youth registered for toGather.  The registration form can be found at www.congregationalchurch.org/news. Adults are asked to consider a free will offering for their dinner.