February 11, 2017
 Hello <<Parent/Guardian First Name:>>
In this Issue:
A Note from the Senior Pastor
Servants Mission Trip | March 25-April 1
Budget Meeting | February 26
Canvass Update
Volunteer at A Just Harvest
Adult Enrichment: Islam
Exploring Grief
Membership Orientation | May 7
Wish Them a Happy Birthday
Prayer List

Parish Calendar
Contact Your Pastors
WCC Staff
“From Living Waters, Life-Giving Insight and Inspiration”
On Sunday, January 22, Winnetka Congregational Church’s weekly worship remembered and celebrated Christ’s baptism in a service during which worshippers were invited to “Come Bathe in the Spirit, Come Refresh Your Faith.” Our prayerful purpose was not purely historic, it was experiential. It was not purely individual, it was collective and communal. Our service sought to reflect on Christ’s baptism not solely as a long-ago event, but—far more operatively—as an ongoing, incarnational reality; as a perpetual font of blessing to all Christians (and, through us, to all peoples) as we face today’s manifold challenges and opportunities… whether they be within our hearts or our homes; our localities or our nations; our broader human community or Creation. 

In life, there are moments. Moments that re-center, re-focus, and re-energize us.  Moments when what we thought we knew boomerangs back to us in startling, refreshing, even resurrecting ways. Moments where our eyes and ears, our hearts and minds—which we thought were open—are either dramatically re-opened or opened all the more. Moments when the fullness of who we are—in all our beauty and brokenness, in all our joys and sorrows, in all our hopes and fears—is ever-so-gently clarified, coaxed to the surface, and, then, vulnerably, transformatively shared—both with the Christ who lovingly calls us; and, then, through Christ, with one another. Moments when we not only can conceive of our interconnectedness in Christ—we can feel it. Completely. Confessionally. Viscerally.

To borrow upon the sacred imagery of the 23rd psalm, on Sunday, January 22, 2017 our cup of worship—and, what’s more, the cup of our “together”-ness—“runneth over” with such moments. Moments, such as when our Church-School children lined the sanctuary’s center aisle during our Children’s Message, and, then—one by one, and in riveted, reverent silence—symbolically poured individual cups of blessing into our central font, from which would flow the water for the blessing that would be offered to every worshipper later in the service. Moments, such as when eight representative members of our congregation humbly walked up to the four smaller fonts that extended out evenly from both sides of the central font, and, then, turned to face the waves of fellow parishioners as they streamed forth to receive a blessing of water and Word and to bask in the light of Christ’s love, which was visible, even palpable.

The moments recollected here, and so many more like them, are blessings. Blessings that rose in that specific service. Yet, blessings that continue to ripple boldly beyond that font-like day. Blessings that, like a collective, liquid lens, offer us precious and prompting insights for our continued journey as we seek to grow “together” in Christ, with those most immediately around us, and with all humanity. 

The first insight that our service on January 22 (re-)reveals is the central importance and formative power of keeping Christ foremost in our hearts and lives. Life’s daily pressures and our most pressing questions demand that we ground ourselves in a love that cannot be torn down, a faith that cannot be daunted, a hope that is stronger than hate, a light that cannot be extinguished, and an ethical standard that is not worldly but heavenly—all of which we find in Jesus. Our daily effort to put Christ first in our hearts and lives disarms us. It makes us more flexible. It roots us all the more surely in God’s Word of love. It frees us to be all the more receptive to our sisters and brothers of the world—no matter their race, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, political affiliation, level of education or income, or nationality. Not less open. But all the more open as we live into Jesus’ radical hospitality and extravagant welcome, and as we reclaim our connectedness with all God’s children.

The second insight that our service on January 22 (re-)reveals is the central and centering role of worship in our lives. As those seeking Christ, there is no intention, no state of being, where we are able to be more elementally and honestly present to God, to ourselves, and to one another than worship. There is no act in which we can so permeably sense the Spirit or wade in the living waters of God’s grace to such healing, connective, and illuminating effect. Worship is not merely something we “do” or “observe”. Worship is a God-gifted and human-chosen wellspring through which, and in which, we are invited to become the beloved community that Christ then calls us to go out and build in our endeavors between our time in worship. Christ calls us to forge and express our faith in myriad ways, without which our faith would be less than complete, less than fully activated. Ultimately, though, everything else we do in Christ’s name arcs forth from, and then faithfully returns to, our shared worship, in a rhythmic, breath-like exchange.

The third insight that our service on January 22 (re-)reveals is that we neither are—nor could we ever be—Christians in isolation, sequestered from fellow believers or, for that matter, from our sisters and brothers of other faith traditions. An individual and personal relationship with Jesus is an undeniable, definitive thread in our Christian walk of faith. How could it not be? Yet, this individual relationship is inseparably interwoven with our connection, through Christ, to all of God’s beloved across the scope of time.

The fourth insight that our service on January 22 (re-)reveals is the mutual power—and the necessity—of acknowledging, naming, and, then, sharing our own brokenness, our own sins and sorrows, our own need for God’s grace. To do so is hard. And humbling.  Even scary. But, as Christ counsels us, if we do not do so… then how could we ever authentically acknowledge or seek to engage both our loving Creator and the humanity of those with whom God has called us into deeper communion? Confessing and sharing our own brokenness and our own complicity in the world’s ills (however subconscious and unintentional as our complicity may be) is not act of weakness; it is an act of strength. It does not dampen us; it lifts us. It does not divide us; it heals and mutually humanizes us. It does not mire us in self-pity; it empowers us to reach empathetically beyond ourselves.

It might be hard to believe that worship, overall, or a specific service could offer such insight and inspiration. Yet, through God’s grace, Christ’s compassion, the Spirit’s presence, and our willing (even if sometimes fearful) hearts—it can. And it does(!), as our shared experience on January 22 confirmed with such fluid power.

As Winnetka Congregational Church lives ever more holistically into our Spirit-led goal and theme of “together”, and, in so doing, as we seek to fulfill our congregation’s DNA-deep aspiration to become “A House of Worship For All People”, may we:
  • Gather weekly at the river,
  • Wade mutually into Jesus’ living waters, 
  • Continue to listen openly to the One whose name is above all others and in whom we find our truest home, our wisest counsel, our highest standard, our call to serve and everlasting peace.
Yours in Christ,

Jeffrey D. Braun, Senior Pastor 
Servants Mission Trip 2017: A Soulful Journey to New Orleans, A Collective Chance to Help Good Folks Return Home

This year, on behalf of our congregation, our Servants will travel to New Orleans (March 25-April 1). There, we will partner in rebuilding homes with a truly world-class and salt-of-the-earth organization, called SBP (

Our common mission is simple but profound: To bring home good and deserving folks who have been displaced by Katrina’s ravaging waters for over 11 years!
It is our Servants who will be traveling to New Orleans, along with Senior Pastor Jeff Braun and our amazing Faith Guides, Steve Huels and Jennifer Guy.  In that sense, it is the Servants’ trip.  But they do not make this trip alone.  Our Servants journey with our prayers, our hopes, and our love.  In this sense—and in the collective spirit of our church’s theme and goal of “together”—it is the congregation’s trip, as well!

So, join us!  Come stand by and with our Servants as we prepare for, celebrate, and fund this material and prayerful fulfillment of our common Call in Christ!  Join in as we empower both our Servants efforts on our behalf, and, through them, the healing work of SBP.

How to Help:
  • Attend our Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 28 from 5:30 to 7 P.M. in Tolman Hall. (Cajun-inspired costumes, welcome!)
  • Purchase Mission Stock, when it goes on sale starting Sunday, February 26. (Feel free to buy in bulk!)
  • Attend worship on Sunday, March 19, 2017 — during which we will commission the Servants before their mission trip through prayer and the laying on of hands.
  • Attend and bid boldly on items at our Silent Auction in Tolman Hall immediately after worship on Sunday, March 19.
  • Donate a Silent Auction item. Sports or theater tickets, wine, golf or paddle outings, babysitting, dog walking, etc.! Contact Susan Temple if interested. Auction Signup HERE.
Your heartfelt generosity and Spirit-sparked support will help to make the Servants’ trip a reality, their work impactful, and their memories lasting.

We thank you, in advance, for your support, enthusiasm, and care!

As of February 9, 2017: 

Total pledges received = 185
$ Amount received: $889,275
Goal: $1,050,000
% of Goal: 85%
Balance of goal: $160,725
In response to God's graciousness as lived out in the mission and ministry of Winnetka Congregational Church, I/we offer this pledge to financially support the facilities, staff, and outreach. Click to Pledge.

If you are interested in serving dinner at A Just Harvest the first Monday of any month, please contact Laurie Morse at 847-835-4123.
Adult Enrichment: FOCUS on Interfaith: Islam
Dawood Ali, our guest speaker was born in Iowa to a Catholic American mother and a Muslim Indian father. He grew up as a practicing Muslim in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois with an engineering degree. While his professional life has been involved with engineering and information technology, in his personal life he has been engaged in Islamic learning and teaching since his teenage years. He was actively involved in the operation of the Institute of Islamic Information and Education since its inception in 1986, eventually becoming its Managing Director. He has been the Director of the Muslim Youth Camp for the Muslim Community Center of Chicago for 15 years, teaching boys 12-18 years old about living life as a Muslim in America. He is currently a speaker for the Muslim community to a variety of audiences, educating the public about Islam and Muslims.

Sunday, February 12 | 8:45 A.M.
9-11: It’s Lead Up, Aftermath, and Effects

The events of September 11, 2001 were a tragedy felt around the world. They did not take place in a vacuum, however. Come hear our speaker discuss how colonialism, American foreign policy, and freedom fighters on the fringes of religion played their parts, and the effect it had on the American Muslim community.

Sunday, February 19 | 8:45 A.M.
The Presidential Election and the Rising Tide of Islamophobia

Our recently elected 45th president made many speeches and comments during his campaign denigrating several constituencies living in the United States. Our speaker will explore one of those groups, how demonizing Muslims has become acceptable among certain communities and the effect it is having now that our most visible citizen is taking part. 
Exploring Grief Group Winter Session at WCC

Winnetka Congregational Church
February 20 and March 6 and 20
from 7 - 8:30 P.M.

We are pleased to offer our unique Exploring Grief Group. This series provides a confidential, supportive and educational environment to cope with grief. Four area congregations have come together to underwrite this important service for our community, enabling us to offer it at no charge.

Meetings are led by Joellen Hosler, MDiv, LCPC, who has extensive experience with grief and loss through her work with clients and as a Pastor, Joellen designs a special presentation for each meeting tailored to the needs of the registered group. 

For more information or to register for any of the 6-session groups, please contact Joellen at 847-446-6955 ext. 19. 
Are you interested in membership at WCC? Would you like to know more about the church, its history and role in the community? 
If you have questions about membership or are interested in learning more, please contact: Carrie Alt or Brad McLane.
The New Member Orientations is scheduled for May 7th.
Paul Van Zuiden, Heidi Law, Kate Laible, Lindsey Law, Catherine Ritter
11: Jack Dustman
12: Ronan O’Neill
13: Eddie Nayman
14: Jane Gordon, Avalon Felty
15: Nancy Phair, Caroline Kelly, Ryan Simon, Wells Anderson
16: Virginia Ingram, Joan Kuzel
17: Leslie Sholten, Karl Palasz, Cathie Franklin, Caroline Palasz
18: Brian Ball
19: Jane Dowding, Charlie Egan, Sarah Blears
20: William Brink, Theresa Ruiz-Law, Jennifer Lindblad, Becca Lindblad, Anike Braun
21: Dan Cox, Gregory Klein, Bradley Klein
22: Bonnie Rickard, Terry Booth, Courtney Ulrich, Hunter Wray
23: Granger Kenly
24: William Mueller
25: Margaret Sudekum, Alexander Davis
26: Pat Hastings, Tom Pratt    
Please keep in mind we update our online Prayer List every Thursday. Each week we email a PRAYER LIST to those among our members who request such a list to know about who to be praying for and with. Our Monday afternoon Prayer Group uses the list to hold these persons listed on the Prayer List in their prayers.You too can pray with and for those persons listed by requesting to add your name to the e-blast Prayer List. Contact the Rev. William Mueller at 441-3400, ext.23.


Sunday, February 12
9:00 AM   Adult Enrichment: CR
10:00 AM   Worship: S
10:15 AM   Church School: EW
11:00 AM   Fellowship: TFH
11:30 AM   WCC Singers: MR
4:00 PM   Servants: LL 1
4:30 PM   Cherub Choir (JK-2): MR
5:00 PM   Alleluia Singer (2-6 Gr): MR
5:30 PM   Youth Musical Rehearsal: MR
6:15 PM   Confirmation Class: Senior Pastor’s study
6:15 PM   Navigators: TFH
Monday, February 13
3:30 PM   Prayer Group: CL
Wednesday, February 15
9:30 AM   Women of Note: MR
6:30 PM   Council Meeting: CR
Thursday, February 16
9:00 AM   AA: TFH
7:00 PM   Chancel Choir Rehearsal: MR
Friday, February 17
9:00 AM   Women’s Bible Study: CR
Sunday, February 19
9:00 AM   Adult Enrichment: CR
10:00 AM   Worship: S
10:15 AM   Church School (JK-2nd only): EW
11:00 AM   Fellowship: TFH
11:30 AM   WCC Singers: MR
4:00 PM   Servants: LL 1
4:30 PM   Cherub Choir (JK-2): MR
5:00 PM   Alleluia Singer (2-6 Gr): MR
5:30 PM   Youth Musical Rehearsal: MR
Monday, February 20
3:30 PM   Prayer Group: CL
6:30 PM   Green Team: TFH
7:00 PM   Exploring Grief: CR
Tuesday, February 21
6:30 PM   Wine, Women & God: Away
7:00 PM   NAMI-Balance for Success: LL2
Wednesday, February 22
9:30 AM   Women of Note: MR
9:30 AM   Woman's Society Board Meeting: CR
Thursday, February 23
9:00 AM   AA: TFH
6:15 PM   Bell Choir: Jr. K
7:00 PM   Chancel Choir Rehearsal: MR
AMP - Amphitheater
AC - Alsdorf Center
CR - Centennial Room
CL - Conference Library
EW - Education Wing
JK - Jr. Kindergarten
L - Library
LC - Little Chapel
LL - Lower Level (Youth Rooms)
MR - Music Room
NN - New Narthex
S - Sanctuary
TFH - Tolman Fellowship Hall
WS - Woman's Society

Dawn Huntsman
Administrative Assistant
847.441.3400, ext. 10

The Rev. Jeffrey D. Braun 
Senior Pastor
847.441.3400, ext. 16

The Rev. Sarah Walker Cleaveland
Associate Pastor
847.441.3400, ext. 15

The Rev. Dr. William A. Mueller
Associate Pastor
847.441.3400, ext. 23

Dr. Robert A. Harris 
Director of Music/Choirmaster
847.441.3400, ext. 19

Elaine Clemens
Director of Children’s Music Organist
847.441.3400, ext. 19

Cecelia J. Blue
Director of Christian Education
847.441.3400, ext. 17

Waldek A. Ziolkowski
847.441.3400, ext. 27

Lloyd H Culbertson 
Office & Facilities Manager
847.441.3400, ext. 12

Ray KochChief Sexton
847.441.3400, ext. 21

Mark DudekSexton
847.441.3400, ext. 21

Doug CoulterAccountant
847.441.3400, ext. 13

Paul Allen, Pastor Emeritus
Joseph A. Shank, Pastor Emeritus

Phone: 847.441.3400


Pastoral Care
A reminder: When you or a loved one is admitted to a hospital or other health care facility, please let your pastors know by phone or email. Due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), such organizations are prohibited from providing confidential information to anyone, including clergy. Contact any of us at 441-3400 or via our emails (images are linked) 
725 Pine Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
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