February 24, 2019 Sermon

“Jesus Changes the Rules”                                                                                     Matthew 14:13-33
Rev. Sean Weston                                                                                                                           
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
February 24, 2019

Robert Gench tells a story of a woman who “was serving on a long-range planning committee of her church at a critical juncture in the church’s life. They had decided,” he says, “to reenergize various ministries of the church, but initial enthusiasm waned when the implementation of the ministries proved difficult. Negativity overtook the leadership…[and] finally one of the newer members of the church asked, ‘Is this what it means to be church, believing you should do all these things, and then feeling worn out and guilty because you can’t? Is this the Good News we celebrate?’” The question got people’s attention.

It just so happens that the woman in the story is Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, the President of Union Seminary in New York City where I studied for a year. It’s a small story, and it goes to show that no matter our standing or status in the world of faith, we all miss the boat from time to time.

Speaking of boats, Gench told this story in a commentary on part of today’s story from scripture – the story of Jesus walking on water, though I actually think it’s best thought of as the story of Peter walking on water. After all, miracles are kind of Jesus’ thing. But for Peter – ordinary Peter – to walk on water? Well, that gets my attention.

The story tends to be interpreted on the individual level: “in the storms of life, keep your eye on Jesus and you’ll pull through.” Or, Jesus is cast as a kind of superhero who just kind of does amazing stuff. These aren’t necessarily bad interpretations, though I don’t generally think it’s helpful to imagine that Jesus is a superhero because then we forget he was also one of us. But these interpretations tend to miss the bigger picture. Continue reading

The Good News for March

Please choose which news letter you would like to view:

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

July & August 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

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

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February 10, 2019 Sermon

“Judge Less, Grow More”                                                                                  Matthew 7:1-14, 24-29
Rev. Sean Weston                                                                                                                           
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
February 10, 2019

A few months ago, I left my glasses in my office before coming out to lead worship. I realized pretty early on, but decided to muddle through. I’m near-sighted, so I was able to see everything I needed to see okay. But there was a pretty big challenge: when I looked out at you, your faces were just blurry blobs. I could guess who was who, but I couldn’t see your faces! This was quite disturbing to me for many reasons, not just because I like looking at you. Leading worship and preaching was completely different! After all, in worship your facial expressions and body language provide me almost all of the feedback I get to make some guesses about how things are going for you. Is the service meaningful? Is my sermon connecting? I had no idea. All I could see was blurry blobs, and I’ll never forget my glasses again.

As I studied and prayed about Jesus’ sayings we heard today, I was reminded of this experience. This is because Jesus uses the example of the human eye to make a point – something he does a lot in the sermon on the mount:

“Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but  don’t notice the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother or    sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your  eye? Continue reading

February 3, 2019 Sermon

“Nothing to Prove: Living and Leading with Jesus”                                              Matthew 6:7-21
Rev. Sean Weston                                                                                                                           
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
February 3, 2019

Oseola McCarty was a Black woman from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who left school after sixth grade to take care of a sick relative. After that, she went to work doing laundry for the wealthy bankers, lawyers, and doctors in town. She lived in a small home without air conditioning until she installed A/C in her 80s to run only when she had company. She never owned a car, walking every Sunday with a taped up Bible to the Friendship Baptist Church.

When she turned 87, she could no longer wash clothes and had to retire. Shortly after, the University of Southern Mississippi received a $150,000 check from her, designated to a scholarship fund for minority students of color. She had never stepped foot on the campus, had never been past sixth grade, and yet she gave away nearly every penny she had to this fund.

As it turns out, she had opened a savings account decades earlier, and saved every penny she could over the years. The gift made headlines – the university’s public relations department knew they had a good story after all. In an interview shortly before she died, she was asked why she didn’t spend the money she had earned on herself. She smiled and responded, “I am spending it on myself.” 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.

Starting September 9, we are trying a new worship time of 10:30, with an integenerational learning time at 9:30.

Our February mission project will be to collect school supplies for The LeaderShop.  They are in need of wide ruled notebooks, packages of loose leaf paper, dual pocket folders (sturdy), school glue (stick or bottled), binders, pencils, pens (black, blue, red) and scissors.  These supplies will help them replenish the supplies they collected prior to the opening of school.

Special Lenten Services
This year we will hold joint services with Burr Ridge UCC and Highlands Presbyterian Church. Please note this is updated information from the Good News.
Ash Wednesday: March 6 at 7pm, Burr Ridge UCC
Maundy Thursday: April 18 at 7pm, Lyonsville
Good Friday: April 19 at 7pm, Highlands Presbyterian

Wednesday Lenten Prayer Gatherings
Make plans now to participate in these joint gatherings with Burr Ridge UCC and Highlands Presbyterian Church. We will gather to learn about prayer and grow in our prayer lives.
Wednesdays in Lent at 7pm, starting March 13. Meeting at the Indian Head Park Heritage Center, 6250 S Wolf Road.

Easter Ham: The Mission Ministry will be donating an Easter ham, along with a $10 gift card to a local food store, for 20 of our food pantry families.  If you would like to donate money towards the purchase of a ham and gift card, please give your donation to a member of the Mission Board. Thank you.

Do you want to join the Lyonsville Prayer Chain? Want to ask for prayers? Email Nayna Byers, Chair of Pastoral Care. Prayer Chain requests can also be made through the office.

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.