Birding with Pastor Joe

York Woods, September 11, 2022; 7 am-8 am; overcast and rain.

Hermit Thrush Photo courtesy of Cornell’s All About Birds

Four people took a chance today to go birding with Pastor Joe. We learned that DuPage County is home to 268 observed species and that York Woods was the first forest preseve of DuPage County. Woodpeckers were the most abundant bird family represented so we learned how to identify male and female wood peckers.

We heard many hermit thrushes and were rewarded with one on the path flitting its wings.

We recorded 14 species:

3 mourning dove

1 great blue heron

6 red bellied woodpecker

3 downy woodpecker

1 hairy woodpecker

1 eastern wood peewee

1 great crested flycatcher

10 blue jay

1 black capped chickadee

3 white breasted nut hatch

2 European starting

4 hermit thrush

10 American robin

6 common grackle

1 northern cardinal

Experiencing God’s Grace

This series explores the sacraments of holy communion and baptism.  In preparation for this, consider watching the 1987 movie Babette’s Feast (available for rent  on Amazon and Apple tv for $3.99 or free to checkout at Elmhurst Public Library).  Additionally, the library is hosting a series of events called  Common Connection: Around the Table that uses lectures, discussion and critical thinking to identify topics that influence the world today.  Pastor Joe would love to hear about your experiences.  You can leave him a comment by clicking this form.

Taize Prayer Returns to First Church

Sunday mornings: July 10, August 14, and September 11; and Wednesday Evening October 5 at 6:30 pm.  Taizé prayer is a meditative common prayer that uses uncomplicated and repetitive songs that allow the mystery of God to become tangible through the beauty of simplicity. 

Bible Study and Conversation about Gun Violence

Join in this three session Bible Study written by Bishop Sally Dyck, former bishop of the Chicago Episcopal Area.

Many of us want to respond to the continued tragedies of gun violence and we wonder what resources our faith tradition gives us. In her introduction, Bishop Dyck says,

This Bible study; Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities; is important in helping
us identify and articulate the common good that is essential in our policies
and attitudes toward guns. We need biblically-based and faith-filled
conversations about this public health epidemic. Lives are at stake!

This study will be ZOOM only on June 15, 22, 29 at 11 am. Registration is required. Register here.

Click here for a digital copy of Bishop Dyck’s study.

Micah 4:1-4

4 But in the days to come,
        the mountain of the Lord’s house
            will be the highest of the mountains;
        it will be lifted above the hills;
            peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will go and say:
    “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord,
            to the house of Jacob’s God,
        so that he may teach us his ways
            and we may walk in God’s paths!”
Instruction will come from Zion
        and the Lord’s word from Jerusalem.
God will judge between the nations
        and settle disputes of mighty nations,
            which are far away.
They will beat their swords into iron plows
        and their spears into pruning tools.
Nation will not take up sword against nation;
        they will no longer learn how to make war.
All will sit underneath their own grapevines,
        under their own fig trees.
    There will be no one to terrify them;
        for the mouth of the Lord of heavenly forces has spoken.

Lenten Sermon Series Begins March 6

Study of the Hands of an Apostle,
Albrecht Dürer

When asked by his disciples how to pray, Jesus gave them these words:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

They kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The Lord’s Prayer is a beloved prayer that is prayed daily by Christians across the world. The sermons of Lent will explore each line of the prayer and encourage you to pray as Jesus and his disciples did.

Prayer was the foundation of Jesus’ life and ministry and he called his disciples to pray with him.

Let us pray!

What Do We Do with Evil

If you don’t believe that evil exists, this adult Lenten class might change your mind. This six-week study will be based on Father Richard Rohr’s book What Do We Do with Evil?: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest and the founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This small volume addresses three traditional sources of evil. Rohr describes how Christianity has focused almost exclusively on the individual, flesh level, while the world and the devil got off scot-free for most of Christian history. Evil is subtle and usually well-disguised.

Join us in a journey of discovery on Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m. beginning March 6 and ending April 10, 2022.

Six Week Study of Deuteronomy

Beginning on January 16th at 9:15 am, Pastor Joe will lead a six week Bible study of the book of Deuteronomy.  The class will be held in-person in the Aldersgate room.  On Monday’s a recap will be posted on the church’s Facebook page.  Below is the weekly reading list which will coincide with that week’s Worship lesson:

Week of January 9                 Deuteronomy 1:1-4:49

Week of January 16                 Deuteronomy 5:1-11:31

Week of January 23                 Deuteronomy 12:1-26:19

Week of January 30                 Deuteronomy 27:1-28:68

Week of February 6                 Deuteronomy 29:1-32:52

Week of February 13                 Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12