We are so happy to announce that we and St. Paul’s church are sponsoring a workshop on Centering Prayer here in Evanston. The workshop will be on Saturday, March 12 from 9 to 2. We have invited a presenter from Contemplative Outreach to come and guide us through learning about Centering Prayers. There is not cost. We would appreciate a message from you if you are planning on attending. A free will offering will be received to cover the cost of lunch and to make a gift for our presenter who is travelling at his own expense from the Denver area.
Youth from the Union Presbyterian Church traveled to Chicago last week on a mission trip to help two small struggling urban churches. Led by UPC’s pastor, Larry Turpin, and his wife, Julie Woestehoff, four young people – Benjamin and Breila Fuller and Sam and Jess Richins – drove to Chicago for five days of mission work, meeting with diverse groups and exploring some of Chicago’s cultural treasures.
The young people spent a day painting and doing yard work for the Good News Community Church and another half day helping out with a day camp field trip sponsored by the Rogers Park Presbyterian Church. Helping these churches with projects they could not have done on their own was very rewarding, and had the added benefit of giving our youth a chance to spend time with people from a very different environment. The Chicago churches serve mostly African Americans in areas of poverty. In spite of the differences, our young people were warmly welcomed and offered generous hospitality.
The trip included other opportunities for our youth to meet with diverse groups. One evening was spent at the Muslim Community Center of Chicago for a very enlightening introduction to the practice of Islam. On their last evening, our group met up with young people from the Rogers Park neighborhood for a soccer match (our Evanstonians made a very strong showing!).
The group also visited the Field Museum of Natural History and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, with its renowned collection of artifacts from ancient Biblical times. A walking tour included outdoor sculptures by Picasso and Calder, and Millennium Park’s famous “Bean.” The beautiful summer weather made a couple of trips to the beach on Lake Michigan a special treat.
The youth raised money for this trip by cleaning their church building every week for the last six months. Members of the church also generously supported the trip through individual donations and a special offering.
On Sunday, August 9 – the day after they returned – the youth shared some reflections on their experiences during the worship service. They gave thanks for the many experiences and opportunities the trip provided. They expressed their gratitude for the love which they felt surrounding and protecting them during the long drive and in so many unfamiliar places. They found joy in working side-by-side with the people in Chicago, and in the warm welcome they received. They found meaning and felt the presence of God with them as they carried out this mission. The congregation was filled with emotion hearing such heartfelt expressions from these impressive young people.
What a great time we had hosting the runners from the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults on June 27! Lots of people brought food. We had planned on feeding them dinner and breakfast, but when we learned that they were running very early to beat the heat that turned into lunch, dinner and leftovers for breakfast. Sam spent time visiting with them and getting them around town. A special thank you to Karen and Jo who did most of the work coordinating and serving the meals . The runners slept at the church and since the weather report was a little milder they were able to sleep in until 5:30. They started the new day with a circle in the middle of 10th St. Many of them dedicated that day’s run to Karen and Jo. Sam ran the first leg with them and then ran back to the church and did some cleaning. The youth are cleaning the church this summer as a way to raise money for their mission trip so they came in Sunday evening and got things in good order. What an impressive group of young people the runner are! Our prayers and best wishes go with them as they continue their run across the United States.
We invite you to join us as we complete the journey through Holy Week to Easter
Palm Sunday, March 29, 11:00 a.m.
Join the palm waving and singing procession which opens our Holy Week observance. The service will start in Fellowship Hall (weather permitting.) We will take up palms as they did that day Jesus arrived in Jerusalem . Join us as we walk and sing together into the church for worship.
Maundy Thursday Seder, April 2, 5:30 p.m.
We will share the traditional meal that remembers the Passover and the deliverance of God’s people from slavery to freedom. Jesus’ last supper with his disciples was this Passover meal. As we share the meal we will also share communion as he did. (Please sign up or leave a message with the church office if you are planning to participate in this meal. We want to have enough food to welcome everyone.)
Good Friday, April 3, a time for meditations
Come any time between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Centers for reflection and meditation will be set up for you to experience at your own pace, or, you can just come and reflect on all the Jesus did for us however is most meaningful to you.
Easter! April 5
10:00 a.m: Breakfast. We begin our joyous celebration with hot cross buns, Easter eggs and fellowship.
11:00 a.m. Worship. Our Easter worship will begin with kindling a new fire, lighting a candle for Jesus who is the light of the world and then a candle for each of us. Bring a stick to help kindle the new fire and a heart ready to sing praise.
Let’s put some dates on the calendar!
Let’s meet on Sunday, March 8, after fellowship for lunch. We have lot’s to talk about and plan for, a fun outing – Boondocks? SLC? a mission trip? retreat? how are your service projects going? possible small groups for spiritual growth?
I know your schedules are complicated, but put this date down, let’s doing something fun together on Saturday, March 21!
More dates: Meet for lunch on Sundays, April 19 and May 17.
We haven’t seen enough of this this winter
Lent is the season to get ready to celebrate Easter. OK, so maybe it doesn’t take much to enjoy chocolate Easter bunnies and pastries, but is that all you want your Easter to be? Easter is the central event of the Christian faith. It can be as thin as the foil wrap on a chocolate candy or as deep as the universe, it depends on what you are open to and ready to experience.
On the Wednesdays during Lent (2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25) join us for a simple meal of soup and bread. We will start at noon and be done in time for people to get back to work. In addition to the fellowship of sharing this time together we will share our experiences of preparing for Easter. Our discussions may include the practices and routines we use to deepen and grow in our faith, how we manage the temptations and barriers we encounter as we try to live faithful lives and how we make faith a part of our lives.
This is going to be the best Easter ever!
In worship on Sunday, January 18, we will ordain and install our church officers who will serve on the church Session. This is a time to celebrate the devotion our members have to the work that God gives us to do.
The annual meeting of Union Presbyterian Church will follow worship. We printed the annual report for distribution on January 11 so everyone could review it before the meeting. Stop by the office to pick up a copy.
Join us for a beautiful worship service on Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m.