November 22 Sermon

“Changing Expectations”
A sermon by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
22 November, 2015
Revelation 1:4b-8
This is the formal greeting, written in the form of a letter. It is from John to the 7 churches of Asia, what we today call Syria. The book of revelation is written to give hope to a church that is being persecuted. Even though times are tough, the author begins the book of Revelation with great hope that is found in being saved through Christ.
Grace and peace to you from the one who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before God’s throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen.
7 Look, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. This is so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.” (Common English Bible)
John 18:33-37 Continue reading

Upcoming Events

Below is a list of some upcoming events that we will be hosting or participating in. We would love to have you join us!

For details about any of these events, contact the church office.

Decorate the Church for Christmas will be held on Sunday, November 29 following the worship service.  We will also gather for a soup lunch.  If you are able, please bring a pot of your favorite soup (or a dessert) to share.  All are welcome to join us!

LABYRINTH WALK Saturday, December 5, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Join us for a peaceful walk through our candlelit labyrinth. Come and go as you wish. An introduction to the labyrinth is provided for beginners.

Friday, Dec 11th, 6-9 PM: Potluck and Game Night! All are welcome—especially children—as we play a variety of table-top games. Bring a dish to share!

Sunday, Dec 13th: Christmas Caroling We’ll share lunch and then visit some of our homebound members singing favorite Christmas songs!

Wednesday Dec 16th, 7:30 PM: Blue Christmas We recognize that the holiday season often comes with mixed feelings, especially connected to loss of loved ones. This quiet service honors those feelings as part of the Christmas experience.

Sunday Dec 20th: This is our pageant Sunday! Come early to be assigned a role as we enact the Nativity story. Stay afterwards for brunch—we’re expecting a visit from Santa Claus!

Thursday Dec 24, 5 PM: Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols We’ll hear the scriptures read and sing familiar Christmas hymns. The service concludes in the glow of candlelight and singing Silent Night.

Alternative Gift Fair will be held on Sunday, December 6, 13 and 20th.  Purchase a special gift that will benefit someone in need in our community, in the United States, or in our world.  Alternative gifts empower people in crisis, feed the hungry, and build peace in our global community.  The five missions we chose this year are Adopt-A-Family (local mission), Constance Morris House (Domestic Violence Shelter), White Bear Society, The Night Ministry, and The Christmas Fund.  In addition to making a donation to a specific mission, you will also be able to purchase equal exchange and fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate bars.  If you would like to order a larger quantity of a product, please let Nayna Byers know so she can include them in the order. Order forms will be available in the December.

Manna Gift Card Fundraiser
Lyonsville is participating in Manna fundraising again!
All orders and money will be due on December 6, 2015 by 11:00 am. Please make checks payable to Lyonsville Congregational Church.
If you have any questions, please contact Cindi Fiandaca (773-758-8019).

The Worship and Spiritual Growth Ministry has started a prayer chain. This is in addition to our regular “Joys and Concerns” time, which we do during our Sunday service. A prayer chain is a way for people to gain assistance in prayer for any serious or pressing problem.
People can request any concerns for their family, friends or themselves via the church’s email: A group of people will commit to praying for this individual for 30 days. All information and requests will be kept in strict confidence with our prayer group.
If you would like to join our prayer group or need further information, please contact Laurie Tsukuno.

The Good News for December

Please choose which news letter you would like to view:

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

July & August 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

The newsletter is also available via email.  Send your email address to and we’ll add you to the distribution list.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Here are some upcoming mission opportunities you can help with:

Lyonsville Church Food Pantry: Come and help out at our own food pantry for just one hour.  The pantry is open on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  We would like to have 2 people there to help our guests/visitors during this time.  Volunteers help restock any donated food, and bag up food for guests.  If you would like to donate food, we have a current need for canned meat products (tuna and chicken), and paper products.  Contact the church office if you would like to help.  Donated food can be dropped off while the pantry is open, or contact the church office.

New Hats/Scarves/Gloves/Socks for the Night Ministry – Our November mission project is to again take up a collection for The Night Ministry.  We are looking for new hats, scarves, gloves and socks (for all ages).  Please bring your donation (either home made or store bought) to church by Sunday, December 13th.  Thank you.

BEDS PLUS will be offering training sessions for volunteers on the following date:
December 14, 2015
Meet at:
First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange
2nd Floor Conference Room
150 S. Ashland Ave., LaGrange


November 15 Sermon

“Not the Problem you are Expecting”
A sermon by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
15 Nov 2015                                                                 based on Mark 13:1-8
In this passage Jesus and the disciples are looking at the Temple in Jerusalem. This building would rival any building in Washington DC: the capital building, the White Hose, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson memorial, the Washington Monument. Its large white stones seemed to shine in the sunlight. The huge doors were covered in brass that gleamed. It was the place where God’s finger touched the earth to bring stability and order to creation. But stability and order are not what Jesus sees when looking at the Temple. Jesus directs the attention of the disciples to a longer vision. Jesus wants the disciples to pay attention to what God is doing – even when it seems like disaster surrounds us. Listen to how Jesus tells us to watch for God in the future.

As Jesus left the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look! What awesome stones and buildings!” 2 Jesus responded, “Do you see these enormous buildings? Not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”
3 Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? What sign will show that all these things are about to come to an end?”5 Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many people will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ They will deceive many people. 7 When you hear of wars and reports of wars, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. 8 Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be earthquakes and famines in all sorts of places. These things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end.“ (Common English Bible) Continue reading