The Good News for June

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June 2017

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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.

Gift cards for Constance Morris House – We have been in touch with the Constance Morris House and they are in need of gift cards for their residents.  In particular, they would like Target, Walmart, Walgreens and gas cards.  As we are currently processing orders through Manna, we thought this would be a good way to help out both the Constance Morris House and Lyonsville by purchasing gift cards through Manna.  If you are interested and need an order form, please let one of us know.  Orders are due by June 4th with a delivery date of June 11th.
Thank you,
Judy Birmingham, Nayna Byers, Cindi Fiandaca, Melissa Corlett

Bonhoeffer & Social Issues reading group – starting Feb. 12
Many are struggling to act responsibly in our quickly-changing culture. To explore together our Christian faith, we have formed a discussion group.
We have selected Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship as a discussion starter for insight to addressing our own present social issues. All are welcome, and anyone may bring up what current social issues concern them. We will challenge one another, and we will hold one another accountable to civil discourse.
This group will meet on Sundays at noon for about an hour in the pastor’s office. If you would like to bring a lunch, feel free. Contact the church office if you need the reading schedule.
The book is available in a variety of formats from If the cost is prohibitive to anyone who would like to participate, we will find a way to provide them with a copy.

Manna gift card orders
Forms are now available in the Narthex, or click HERE to print one. The orders will be due on June 4 and the will be distributed on June 11. Please see Cindi Fiandaca for more information. Checks should be made out to Lyonsville Congregational Church.

MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE: The American Legion will be  commemorating Memorial Day with a brief ceremony at the flagpole in the northwest corner of the Lyonsville Cemetery on Monday, May 29th at  approximately 10:00 am (though we know from previous years they have  arrived as early as 9:30 and as late as 10:30).  Lyonsville Cemetery Board members will have complimentary snacks and beverages available while you wait.

Lyonsville Cemetery holds special interest to the Legion as it is the resting place of more than 90 veterans with service ranging from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Join the American Legion for this tribute to those who served our country in the armed forces!

Craft Sunday – On Sunday, June 4th, we will gather to make fleece pull toys for dogs and cats.  If you would like to participate, please bring fleece and we will show you how to cut and braid it.  The toys are made by braiding fleece and can be done by all ages.  The toys will be donated to the Hinsdale Humane Society.  If you have any questions, please contact Judy Birmingham.

Our next labyrinth walk is scheduled for Saturday, June 17. We also have labyrinth walks scheduled for August 5, October 14, and December2.

Feed My Starving Children – our next volunteer time at FMSC will be Tuesday, June 20th from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Aurora location.  Please let Judy Birmingham know if you would like to go.

On Friday, June 23rd, at 6:00 we will get together for a make your own pizzas and game night.  We will take up a free will offering and the donations will be sent to Feed My Starving Children.  I hope you can all attend for a time of fun and fellowship. Bring your friends!

Pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House
We are collecting pop tabs to take to the Ronald McDonald House.  We will have a collection container located in the fellowship hall. If you have any questions please see Cindi Fiandaca.

Box Tops for Education
We are also collecting Box Tops for Education to give to Byrne School.  Collecting Box Tops is an easy way for schools to earn cash.  It’s easy to find Box Tops (a list will be by the collection box). In fact, you may have some in your home right now.  All you have to do is clip the Box Tops from your favorite products and put them in the collection container located in the fellowship hall.  If you have any questions please see a member of the Mission Board.

Community Nurse Collection
New onesies, new receiving blankets, baby hats, bandages designed for children, and small, soft animals (e.g. Beanie Babies) are being collected.
Please bring donations to church.



Volunteer Opportunities

Here are some upcoming mission opportunities you can help with:

Please come join us to help volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) on Saturday, June 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15. We will meet at church to carpool at 7:45. We also go every Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. (meet to carpool at 5:15). The GCFD, Chicago’s food bank, is a non-profit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people. The Food Depository distributes donated and purchased food through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 678,000 adults and children in Cook County every year. They rely heavily on their volunteers to help repack bulk products, assemble boxes with assorted food, check expiration dates, glean produce, etc. Participants must be at least 14 years old. For more information go to or see/call Cindi Fiandaca or Judy Birmingham to sign up.
The depository would like all volunteers to register in advance. Please see our website (Volunteer Opportunities post) or contact the church office for a link to their website where you can easily do this.

Feed My Starving Children – our next volunteer time at FMSC will be Tuesday, June 20th from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the Aurora location.  Please let Judy Birmingham know if you would like to go.

Lyonsville Church Food Pantry: Come and help out at our own food pantry.  The pantry is open on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 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.

We are looking for people who can serve as Sunday Greeters and/or Coffee Hour Hosts. If you can help, please sign up on the sheets in the Fellowship Hall or contact Sherry Suomi.




May 21 Sermon

Pulling Up Stakes
A Reflection by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
May 21 2017, the Sixth Sunday of Eastertide

Based on Acts 17:22-31: The Book of acts tells stories of the early church finding their way to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection. The second half of the book concentrates on Paul’s mission to take the gospel to non-Jews. In this passage, he is on the Greek city of Athens, preaching on an outcropping on the Acropolis dedicated to the Greek God Ares, known as Mars to the Romans, the god of warfare. Listen for how Paul’s message contrasts with the identity of this Greek deity.

And John 14:15-21: This passage from John is part of Jesus saying farewell to the disciples. Listen for three things. First, how Jesus is preparing the disciples for what is to come. Second, the many ways love is used: almost all of them are verbs. Third, listen to the many words related to family.

Over a month ago I chose this title because this evening just outside of New York City Ringling Brothers Circus – properly titled “Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows” – will give its last performance. (And if you are interested, you can watch the performance as it is live-streamed on youtube at 6 PM.) The closing of Ringling stirs many deep feelings for me. We’ll never see another circus like Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey combined shows. It is the end of a grand component of American culture. I never got to take my grandchildren to see Ringling. But I’m not necessarily sad as much as I am melancholy and reflective.

The phrase “Pulling Up Stakes” means packing up and moving on. It does not originate in circus lingo, but it is used in the circus to mean several different things. “Time to pull up stakes” can mean time to move on because this place is no longer profitable. That comes from the 19th Century when circuses didn’t plan their route much more than a week in advance.

When the circus began to move using trains, the schedule was planned out months in advance. Then “pulling up stakes” meant when personnel needed to be on the train because it would be leaving soon thereafter. You see, the stakes for the tents were the last thing to be loaded on the train – so when they arrived at the new site, the stakes could be first thing to be unloaded.[1] First off, last on – so you when you heard they were pulling up the stakes, you should move as fast as possible to get on the train before it pulled away. Even though large circuses like Ringling Brothers have moved from large circus tents to arenas, they still use the lingo from the 19th Century. So later today Ringling will be pulling up stakes for the last time. Continue reading

May 14 Sermon

Discerning Church
A reflection by Rev. Dr. Thom Bower
For May 14 2017, Mother’s Day
Based on John 14:1-6

This is a story about Pat – and just for the record, that is not her real name. Pat was a member of a congregation I served. She was – and still is – ordained in the United Church of Christ.

Before I met her, Pat’s husband had been diagnosed with cancer and died rather abruptly. During his illness Pat’s daughters were concluding high school, and Pat felt she did not have the emotional and spiritual resources to lead a congregation. Pat had been placed on leave of absence by the Conference. In that time, Pat sought out a spiritual director, someone to help her actively seek the presence of God in new ways. In those times together, the spiritual director affirmed that Pat possessed gifts of being a spiritual guide. Sometimes discerning our gifts and calling comes from the observations of others.

When I met Pat she was concluding her training as a spiritual director. Her daughters were now adults, graduated from college and beginning their careers. One daughter was engaged to be married. Pat felt she was ready to re-enter ministry, and so was beginning to apply to churches who were searching for a pastor.

In fact, she had applied for the position I was now holding. The Pastoral Search Team had discerned that while Pat was a gifted minister, as a member she was too connected to the congregation to be able to challenge the congregation to change. They discerned someone else – me – possessed the gifts the congregation needed at that time. Continue reading