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Date: March 12, 2020
Subject: Please Read - An Important Message from Our Senior Pastor


Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends in Christ,

As COVID-19 continues to spread, our congregation is asking what countless people and organizations are asking: How can we respond? As a church, our response will be based on science and facts, research and discussion, prayer, and what will best ensure the well-being both of our congregants and of the broader human community of which we are an inseparable part. Equally, our response will be grounded in our faith in God, our unbreakable spiritual union as a church, and in our belief that Jesus is with us in every possible trial.

COVID-19 presents an extraordinary challenge. In order to be part of the solution-and not part of the problem-our response as a church and as Christians needs to be equally extraordinary. We want to protect our church members from either contracting or transmitting this illness (however unintentionally or unknowingly). More broadly, we want to do whatever we can to prevent the kind of avoidable spike in infections that could overwhelm our healthcare system and/or put anyone more at risk.

As such, with the full support of our Executive Committee, and grounded in our Congregational values, our church will take the following steps. We appreciate deeply your personal willingness to honor and support our church's response. And, we will endeavor to keep you updated as things develop (as they surely will).

· As of March 15, we will move to "virtual" worship. This means that WCC will NOT offer worship on Sunday morning in person in the sanctuary. Rather, we will offer worship remotely. Our church staff is already collaborating on how to provide this. Our "virtual" worship will not be exactly like our usual "live" services. It will, however, offer us a chance to gather in the Spirit at our usual worship hour (or whenever you might choose to watch it). We will provide further details over the next 24-48 hours. "Virtual" worship will continue until facts warrant our return to our usual model.
· Our Servants Mission Trip to Puerto Rico has been postponed. We look forward to rescheduling the Servants trip as soon as that is feasible and safe. Pastor Sarah will provide updates as they are available. Should anyone wish a refund for their child's trip fee, we will gladly provide it. Postponing is surely a deep disappointment to our youth, their families, our Faith Guides, and our whole church. That said, the spiritual momentum, energy, and bonds forged in preparing for this trip will endure despite this change in plans. This is a delay. But not a denial.
· Spiritual Enrichment is cancelled until further notice: Associate Pastor Jeffrey Phillips is looking into how we might offer virtual options in the interim.
· Youth Programming is cancelled until further notice: The staff is looking into ways to maintain a sense of connection during this hiatus. Details will be forthcoming. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Associate Pastor for Children, Family and Youth, Sarah Lohrbach sarah.lohrbach@wcc-joinus.org or our Church School Coordinator, Shelli Brown shelli@wcc-joinus.org.
· All regular church meetings, gatherings, study- or book-groups, and rehearsals are cancelled until further notice. All meetings should move to a virtual model, using telephones, conference-call technology (available on all cell phones), internet-based meeting programs (such as Zoom or WebX), or FaceTime. In the coming days, the church staff will provide input on how to use Zoom, should you wish to. If you have questions, please contact our Executive Director of Operations, Patti Van Cleave patti@wcc-joinus.org. It is important that we honor this suspension of the use of our facility and not make exceptions that will undermine our collective response.
· Pastoral Care and Care & Calling: Our pastoral staff and our lay Call and Calling team will move to a virtual model of care, relying on calls, cards, and emails. We will be especially attentive to those who might feel or be more vulnerable or isolated in this period. Please contact Associate Pastor Jeffrey Phillips with questions Jeffrey.phillips@wcc-joinus.org.
· Rummage Sale: Executive Committee and I are in close conversation with our Rummage chairs to determine if we will be able to proceed with Rummage, which is, of course, not until May. We will keep everyone closely posted.

COVID-19 presents a fluid and serious challenge. And our response needs to be robust, concerted, and willing. For further updates about how COVID-19 is developing and for key tips on personal care, how to mitigate the chances of infection (such as handwashing and social distancing) and what to do if you feel sick, we recommend the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov. For more local information, you may also visit:
· Illinois Department of Public Health: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus
· Cook County Department of Public Health: https://www.cookcountypublichealth.org

It will feel strange, perhaps even scary for some, to respond as we are. Not being able to gather in our beloved church building will inconvenience and unsettle us. But it is for our good and for the common good.

And let us remember that in this or in any trial, God never ceases to love and guide us. In the face of challenges, however extreme, our call to be "church"-to be that ever-connected, ever-connecting, ever-caring body of Christ alive in the world-does not dwindle. It only grows stronger! This is an extraordinary time. So, let our faith, our thoughtfulness, our prayerful actions, and our compassion be extraordinary, too, that we might weather this storm together? both as a family of faith, and as a willing part of the broader human communion.

Wishing you God's Peace, and welcoming any thoughts, concerns, or questions you may have,

Jeff

Jeffrey D. Braun
Senior Pastor
jeff@wcc-joinus.org
 
Hello, <<First Name>>

LAY MINISTRY
Designer Sale | April 21-23
Care and Calling Luncheon | April 23
March Cart Collection: Asian Youth Services
Green Team 
Video-Worship Service | March 8
Inclusion Statement 

Rummage Supports: Deborah's Place
Church Hours

Opportunities to Serve in Worship
Happy Birthday
Prayer List
Parish Calendar
WCC Staff

EASTER FLOWER FORM
Great Opportunities to Get Involved In Sunday Worship:
Acolytes | Sign Up
Usher/Greeter | Sign Up 
Lay Reader | Sign Up
 
Note from Jeff
FAITH SCRIPTS – MARCH CHURCH COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS

We began our meeting reflecting on Christ’s experience in the wilderness – an unfamiliar place – led by and comforted by God. It was to God that Christ turned when His faith was tested. We may find comfort that we are never alone in our own unfamiliar places – wherever and whenever they may arise. Christ is there beside us always.
  • Such an unfamiliar and unpredictable place is presented by the COVID 19 virus and Pastor Jeff offered his perspective and specific actions WCC is taking. The top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff, members and guests. Staff is convening regularly to assess the rapidly changing condition and updates will be provided. Follow recommended CDC guidelines concerning risk mitigation. WCC will be altering some of its worship protocol at the front and after the service. The offering plate will not be circulated and options for Communion are being considered. Church services will continue to be videotaped for those who cannot attend in person. The pastoral staff is available to address specific concerns.
  • After several months of thoughtful deliberation our Outreach Councilors, Mike Jakob and Jane Huels recommended the termination and distribution of the Centennial Loan Fund (CLF), a legacy ministry dating back to 1974. The CLF never lived up to its purpose of providing capital improvement loans to inner-city churches. The proposal, to be ratified at our Annual Meeting in May, will be to terminate the CLF covenant group status and distribute its $ 350,000 balance to the Chicago Community Trust for future Mission Giving and Benevolence Endowment and to the Heritage Fund for future WCC capital improvements in proportion to the original bylaws of the CLF. Council unanimously endorsed the recommendation. 
  • Kelly Anderson provided an update on our LGBTQ+ inclusion initiative. WCC has come a long way since adopting our Inclusion Statement in 2019. Indeed the initiative has helped us redefine ourselves more clearly and forcefully as an open-minded, open-hearted Christian faith community. Kelly urges us to “ embody the cause” by seeking new ways to open our hearts and minds to the LGBTQ+ community and more broadly to all seeking an authentic, welcoming faith community. It was noted, with joy, that many if not all of our newest members consider this essential in their decision to join WCC. Thank you, Kelly.
  • Christy Shellenbarger reports that we are making great progress in our Messaging and Communication ministry with a new website and messaging campaign scheduled to launch this spring. This critical $ 80,000 investment was highlighted at our Budget Meeting. Reaching a broader and deeper demographic will be essential to the future vitality of WCC.
 
We may not see the future clearly. This is not God’s plan for us. But we can be assured that Christ will accompany us on the journey – one step at a time.
 
Peace and blessings to each of you.
Fred Gougler
WCC Council Chair
A note from Terry Dason, Executive Director
Winnetka-Northfield Chamber  

After serious deliberation and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the Winnetka-Northfield Recognition Lunch currently scheduled for April 8.




This year’s Man of the Year is our very own Brad McLane! 
 
A Message from the WCC Nominating Committee…
 
Right now is a great time to get more involved at WCC.  We are looking for people to fill several leadership and committee positions.  If you are looking for a way to learn more about how the church operates and want to meet more fellow parishioners, please view the list of available positions and think of how you can share your talents.  Don’t wait for us to call you!  Please reach out to a member of the Nominating Committee and we will help find the right spot for you. Thank you from the Nominating Committee.

Julie McConnell  |  Tom Temple  |  Ingrid Anderson Grace  |  Bruce Kelly  |  Brad Page  |  Shari Felty
Lay Ministry
 
                                                               1st Term Started |  Term Length
Executive
  Chair Christy Shellenbarger 2020  
  Vice-Chair OPEN 2020 4 yr term
  Clerk Julie McConnell 2019  
  Treasurer Clyde McGregor 2020 2 yr term
         

Worship Group
  Councilors Steve Dyer 2018  
    Tom Evans 2020  
         
  Liturgics OPEN   1 or 2 yr term
    JoAnne Brown 2016  
         
  Music Kathryn Raysses 2018  
    Eileen Baumgarten 2018  
         
  Design Jill Olson 2015  
    Nicole Jakob 2018  

 
Flower Donors OPEN   2 yr term
         

Education Group
  Councilors Susan Snyder 2018  
    Cristina Chung 2019  
         
  Youth Heather Smith 2015  
    Susan Brewster 2018  
    Katie Shook 2018  
         
  Spiritual Enrichment Mel Schwartz 2018  
    Paul Van Zuiden 2018  
         
         

Outreach Group
  Councilors OPEN   2 yr term
    Jane Huels 2019  
         
  Mission Doing Colleen Root    
    Karl Schmidt    
    Anne Kelly 2019  
    Joanne Baker 2018  
         
  Mission Giving Doug Crimmins 2017  
    Ray Gillette 2018  
         
  Interfaith Junia Hedberg 2015  
    Bob Hastings 2015  
    Carol Jansson 2017  
    Jan Smith 2018  
    Cynthia Churchwell 2019  
    OPEN   2 yr term
         
  Centennial Loans Will Herst 2019  
    Carla Vorhees 2018  
         
  Green Team Liz Kunkle 2019  
    Steve Huels 2019  
         
  Rummage/ Benevolence Eileen Baumgarten 2019  
    Jane Huels 2019  
    Carolyn Kenly 2019  
    Julie McConnell 2019  
         

Nurture Group
  Councilors Julie Eldring 2019  
    Elsa DeJaegher 2016  
         
  Care and Calling OPEN   2 yr term
    Sally Sprowl 2017  
    Andrea Anderson 2019  
         
  Fellowship Meredith Rajan 2019 2 yr term
    Julie Johnson 2019  
    Judy Archambault 2014  
         
  Prospective Members Kelly Anderson 2018  
    Brad McLane 2016  
         
  Woman's Society Fleury Lynn 2019  
         

Support Group
  Councilors Mark Vorhees 2017  
    Sharon King 2016  
         
  Building and Grounds Brad Page 2020 2 yr term
    Bill Anderson    
         
  Financial Management Bob Ebersole 2018  
    Bob Linn 2018  
         
  Human Resources Bob Smith 2018  
    Peter Egan    
         
         
  Annual Giving Steve Huels    
    OPEN   1 or 2 yr term
    Tom Temple 2015  
    Tom Churchwell 2018  
         
  Planned Giving Greg Frezados    
    OPEN   1 or 2 yr term
         

Nominating Committee
    OPEN   2 yr term
    OPEN   2 yr term
    Bruce Kelly 2017  
    Julie McConnell 2017  
    Floy Shrage 2018  
    Brad Page 2018  
    Shari Felty 2019  
 
Prospective Members        Kelly Anderson 
(Adhoc Support)                Brad McLane
March Shopping Cart Collection for:
 
Asian Youth Services
 
WCC will be collecting food items for Asian Youth Services, a recipient of Mission Giving support, until after Spring break. Each afternoon, about 30 children aged 6-18 from the Albany Park neighborhood come to AYS for food, homework help, and safe supervision. In addition, the AYS director often tucks food items into children's backpacks to help them get through their school days or weekends. Aways openly welcoming any youth in need, AYS primarily serves children of second-generation Southeast Asian refugees and first-generation Hispanic immigrant families.
 
At present, AYS would appreciate donations of the following items:
 
Single Serve items:
Kraft Mac & Cheese in a cup
Chicken Raman Noddles
Dried fruit snacks
Juice boxes
Ravioli in a cup
Spaghettios
Chicken Noodle soup or any kinds of soup with the pull-off tops
Poptarts
Granola Bars
Breakfast cereal
Pretzels
Graham Crackers
Cookies
Chips
 
Other helpful items:
Paper towels
Toilet Paper
Paper plates
Forks/spoons
 
For more information about AYS, please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=62&v=zFroWObejfU&feature=emb_logo
Thank you WCC for being such a giving church!
Do you feel like: 
Reading Scripture or Greet the Worshippers on Sunday mornings at 10?
We would love to have you. Sign up with this link
Worship service, Sunday, March 8  
Let Go, and Let God by the Rev. Jeffrey Braun
Did you know that the WCC Rummage Sale donates to a number of nonprofits agencies? WCC Rummage/Benevolence has created a profile of the month for 12 of the agencies receiving grants. We want to share with everyone how Rummage turns donor’s gifts into support for so many agencies.
Since 1985, Deborah’s Place has provided compassionate care to women experiencing homelessness in Chicago. Deborah’s Place was founded by a group of women who believed they could make a difference for women who are homeless. From humble beginnings as a volunteer-run program in a church gym, Deborah’s Place grew first to transitional housing and then to permanent supportive housing. Over time, we developed wrap-around services to complement our housing programs – job readiness training, tutoring and education assistance, health services, case management, counseling and numerous social and life skills activities.  After more than 30 years, Deborah’s Place has helped over 4,000 women move from homeless to housed,from surviving to living. 

Housing Services 

Permanent Housing Programs 
Deborah’s Place offers permanent supportive housing for women in three locations. Participants have private residences, sign leases and pay rent based on income, although rent can be waived in cases where a resident has no income. Unlike shelters, there is no time limit for length of residency in these programs as long as a participant still qualifies for services. Locations: East Garfield Park and Old Town. Staffed 24hrs/7 days week. 

Safe Haven Housing 
Dolores’s Safe Haven in Old Town provides a safe and supportive environment for fifteen women with severe mental illness who have been chronically homeless. These women are considered the hardest to house. Staff reach out and engage women to offer services that result in stable housing and increased quality of life. 

Community Based Housing Programs 
Not all women at Deborah’s Place live in one of the three program sites; many live in their own independent apartments in the community. Deborah’s Place partners with private landlords across the city to provide housing to women coming directly from the street or shelter. We then provide ongoing case management to help them set and achieve their own self-determined goals. 

Support Services 

All Deborah’s Place participants have access to support services designed to meet the diverse needs of women who have experienced homelessness. These services offer different pathways to stability, independence and opportunities for a better quality of life.

Comprehensive Case Management: Case managers assist women in meeting their goals. 
Health Services: Crisis management, health education and referrals, medical/dental assistance.
Employment and Education Services: GED tutoring, computer training, budgeting and life skills.
Therapeutic Services: Counseling, crisis intervention, and art therapy.
Alumnae Services:  On-going assistance in case management, peer support, group gatherings. 
       
    
The WCC Women’s Society Benevolence Committee has been supporting Deborah’s Place for 20 yrs.
 
For more information, the link to Deborah’s Place website is: https://www.deborahsplace.org 
Church Hours - Automatic Locking & Unlocking of Doors
Please note new church season hours for the automatic locking and unlocking of the main entry doors to the church.Both the Helms Lobby door and the Pine St. door will operate automatically as follows:
                                                Unlock        Lock
Monday – Wednesday       8 AM           6 PM
Thursday                               8 AM           9 PM
Friday                                    8 AM           3 PM
Saturday (Helms only)       8 AM           2 PM
Sunday                                   7 AM           2 PM
                                                4 AM           8 PM
If you need to gain entry to the church during hours when the doors are locked and you do not have a PIN Code with proper permissions, you may contact Lloyd Culbertson in the Business Office to make the necessary arrangements.
Inclusion Statement

As “A House of Worship For All People” Winnetka Congregational Church acknowledges, supports, and welcomes all God’s children whatever their age, culture, race, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic or marital status, education, nationality, or cultural background, physical or cognitive ability. 

As called by Christ: we seek to celebrate every person’s dignity, uniqueness, relationships, and God-given gifts; to recognize our inter-connectedness as human beings; and to foster a safe, nurturing community in which each person can live out their faith journey authentically and wholeheartedly.
Looking For Opportunities in Worship?
We would love to have you!​
Scripture Readers
Ushers and Greeters

Sunday mornings at 10 A.M.

Acolytes - An opportunity for your child to get through a service of worship in a different way. 

Each Sunday, two of our 5th-8th graders serve as acolytes during our morning worship service. Acolytes bring the light of Christ into the sanctuary at the beginning of worship, reminding people that Christ (the light of the world) is in our midst. At the end of the service, acolytes retrieve the light and take it out of the sanctuary, reminding us that God goes before us into the world.

Those of us on staff have heard so many positive comments from people about how meaningful they find the entrance and exit of the light each Sunday and how appreciative they are to have youth as leaders in worship! 

Opportunity 1: ACOLYTE (5th - 8th Graders) | SIGN UP HERE!

Scripture Lay Reader read one of the Scripture passages during morning worship. A copy of the reading will be emailed to you on Thursday and a copy will be on the lectern on Sunday mornings.

Opportunity 2: LAY READER (Adults, Youth) | SIGN UP HERE!

Greeters provide a friendly, helpful beginning to the worshiper’s experience. Greeters welcome people as they enter the building and are there to answer questions and provide directions. As Greeters, you are the first faces and impressions that visitors have when entering WCC.

Ushers are present to foster an atmosphere of friendship and provide structure to the service by welcoming and (if requested) seating members and guests. For some worshipers, an usher is the first person they meet as they enter the Church. All worshipers should feel that we are pleased to see them. Ushers greet everyone and welcome them, providing them with a program/bulletin and any other materials. Ushers also pass offering plates during the service.

Opportunity 4: GREETER / USHER | SIGN UP HERE!

If you have any questions or need help with signing up contact
Dawn HuntsmanAdministrative Assistant, at (847) 441-3400
Happy Birthday!
 

March
1: James Miller, Neva Egan, Deborah Herst, Taft Lewis
2: Susan Wellington, Robert Kyle, Jack Leadholm
4: Nancy Fox, Susan Gillette
5: Janet Smith, Mack Reynolds, Jennifer McCarty, Jeff Braun, Ali Meyers, Erin Law
6: Bill Seymour, Connie Casey
7: Kristin Struckman, Marisa Mulvaney, Ruby Greene, Jonah Wentz
8: Jane Brower, Judy Blunck, Kara Struckman, Ryan Struckman
9: Bob Hastings, Philip Carlson, Martha Gillis, Beth Dustman
10: Russell Bartz
11: Thomas Law
12: Faith Bugel, Casey Santi, Evan Mueller
13: Sarah Woodburn, Chris Blum, Maggie Leonard
14: William McCarty, Susan Gould, Oliver Chung
15: Virginia Neuckranz, Kristie O'Neill, Sarah Healy
16: Annette Cole
17: Clark Wagner, John Davis, Mia Hales
19: Robyn Lindblad, Mimi Trangsrud, Karin Palasz, Matthew McShea
20: Donna McShea, Elizabeth Walther
21: Jack Jadel
22: Thomas Temple
23: Jean Schreiber, James Law, Jack Hales, Graham Gottschild
24: Peggy McNamara, Hilary Gould
25: Ellis Gould, Kylie Alt
26: Peter Cosyns, Harry Grace, Grace Funke
27: Wendy Sherman, Steven Chadwick
28: Heather Crimmins, Ingrid Jansson, Sara Kirkpatrick
29: Mugs Klapperich
30: Bill Moeller, Eric Underwood, Peter Shellenbarger
31: Michael McNerney, Nelson Geraghty

Prayer List
Prayer Requests can be submitted during worship on the orange cards found in the pews. If you would like the concern to be shared with the pastors only, mark the box next to, “Please do not share my request.”  If that box is not checked, the request will be shared with the pastors and the Prayer Ministry that meets every Monday at 3:30 P.M. It will also be included in the weekly Prayer List. Of course, you are invited to contact Pastor Jeff, Pastor Sarah, or Pastor Jeffrey anytime to share a joy or prayer concern.

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.

Parish Calendar
Church Closed Until Further Notice.
 
STAFF:
Dawn Huntsman 
Administrative Assistant
847.441.3400
The Rev. Jeffrey D. Braun
Senior Pastor
847.999.9401
c: 203.913.2574
The Rev. Sarah A. Lohrbach
Associate Pastor for Children, Family and Youth
847.999.9402
c: 815.370.0261
The Rev. Jeffrey L. Phillips
Associate Pastor
847.999.9403
c: 847.636.6111
Elaine Harrison
Director of Connections Ministry
847.999-9409
c: 773.808-4202
Shelli Brown
Church School Coordinator
847.999.9408
Matthew Hunter
Director of Music
847-999-9407
Jill Hunt
Organist
Patti Van Cleave
Executive Director of Operations
847.999.9404
Waldek A. Ziolkowski
Publisher
847.999.9406
Maria Sobczak
Accountant
847.999.9405
Paul Allen, Pastor Emeritus
Joseph A. Shank, Pastor Emeritus

Phone: 847.441.3400
AMP - Amphitheater
AC - Alsdorf Center
CR - Centennial Room
CL - Conference Library
EW - Education Wing
HH - Harkness House 
JKK - Junior Kindergarten
L - Library
LC - Little Chapel
LL - Lower Level (Youth Rooms)
MR - Music Room
NN - New Narthex
NR - Nursery
S - Sanctuary
TFH - Tolman Fellowship Hall
WEX - Women's Exchange
WS - Woman's Society
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.

 Jeffrey D. Braun | Jeffrey L. Phillips | Sarah A. Lohrbach
725 Pine Street, Winnetka, IL 60093
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