United Church of Christ

We are an Open and Affirming church.

No matter who you are,

or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.

The Advent season is here! Join us as we journey through this most Holy of seasons, waiting with abundant hope for the birth of Jesus Christ!

Join us on Sundays at 10:30 for our Advent services following the theme, Surely the Light is Coming!

We will gather for a Longest Night service on Friday Dec. 21 at 7:30 pm for those struggling with loss and grief.

Then on Christmas Eve, Monday December 24th, we will have a 4pm Family Service and a 9pm Candles and Carols service.

We hope you’ll join us!

Do you have an interest in issues of Social Justice? Check the church calendar for our next Sunday meeting. Bring your ideas and your energy!

If you (or someone in your life) enjoys quality coffee and/or tea, I Have a Bean, the coffee served at Hospitality time after worship, is now available for purchase. It would make a great complement to your holiday meals, or great gifts. Sign-up sheet is on the Friends of Social Justice kiosk. Here is the order deadline/delivery schedule:

Order by 11/25 for pickup December 2
Order by December 9 for pickup on December 16
Order by December 30 for pickup on January 6

Coffee is available in whole bean, ground, and K-cups (and their K-cups are recyclable!!). I Have a Bean/Second Chance Coffee's mission is to provide meaningful work to post-prison people, thus reducing the incidence of re-incarceration. Our purchases support that mission. Payment (payable to Congregational UCC) is due at the time of order. Checks can be placed in the Financial Secretary mailbox or left on the office desk.

Friends of Social Justice (FOSJ) sponsors an ongoing clothing donation drive to benefit WINGS Program, Inc. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in our community, and we encourage you to join in helping those in need.

There is a marked donation box in the Gathering area.  Donations will be accepted at any time and FOSJ will make sure that the donations are taken to Wings on a monthly basis.

Items accepted for donation:

·         Gently used children’s, women’s, and men’s clothes: casual to formal

·         Designer and boutique clothing

·         Purses, accessories, shoes, jewelry

·         Outerwear

WINGS provides housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence. They have three resale stores: Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, and Niles which help to provide income for the operations of their programs. The donations collected at the clothing donation drive will be donated to the stores to help in this effort. For more information, go to WINGS.

"Second Sundays"

Every second Sunday of the month, CUCC will be collecting non-perishable food donations to be brought to the Lutheran Church of the Cross Food Pantry here in Arlington Heights. A basket will be set at the altar, and donations may be brought up before, during or after the service. This is a small but important way we can support our neighbors in need. Thank you in advance!

Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk

Some of the Friends of Social Justice team walked at this year’s Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk, Saturday, September 8, with members of the Lutheran Church of the Cross and in support of their food pantry (our Second Sunday collection partner!). Yay for these folks and all who walked!! (L-R) Bill, Laura, Roberta, Tami & Grayson. Thank you!

Habitat Workday

On Saturday, October 28, 2018, CUCC provided a team for build day with Habitat for Humanity Chicago at a 16-home, single-block project in the West Pullman neighborhood! Here they supported Habitat Chicago homebuyers in building strong, stable futures for their families through affordable homeownership. (Did you know: children of homeowners are 116% more likely to graduate from college compared to children of renters?) We are grateful for the people who worked!

Fair Trade Coffee Hour

In keeping with CUCC's heartfelt mission to "do good" in the world, we will begin serving Fair Trade coffee during our Hospitality hour following church services each Sunday starting in October. Coffee has been purchased from the Second Chance Coffee Company, LLC, an organization that provides employment and support to post-prison people. The company roasts and distributes coffee under the brand name "I Have a Bean" and operates under the premise that "every part of our business can be used to 'love our neighbor as ourselves' to positively impact the spiritual, social and economic condition of our employees, their families, and the communities in which they live." For more information, visit Won't you join us for a cup?

Blessings in a Backpack

Because of your generosity, Congregational UCC provided food for students in need at Jane Addams Elementary School be for three school years, starting with 2017-2018, helping provide stability for these students. Several CUCC members have volunteered to “pack” these backpacks at Jane Addams, beginning in late October. It is a very organized and efficient team of volunteers who make this happen.

Friends of Social Justice have agreed to provide something “extra” for the backpacks during the holiday season and will request $100 from Mission of the Month in October to support this. Working with Jane Addams, we will determine what the “extra” will be. Our Social Justice Team would like to approach our youth in this project. One thought was to have our church school children make holiday notes/cards for these students. What a treat for these students to know that others are thinking of them. Friends of Social Justice is hoping to make Blessings in a Backpack more than a financial commitment, but also a caring and loving support for those in need.

A CUCC Social Justice Project: Zatoun Olive Oil

By buying a bottle or two of Zatoun olive oil, you are supporting a Palestinian farmer who struggles to support his family under the current Israel-Palestine government restrictions impacting day-to-day farming, his access to ancestral family lands and olive orchards, and his movement to local markets. “Zatoun” is the Arabic word for "olive." In Palestinian culture, the olive tree is the historic, sacred connection to the land. As the Palestinian Fair Trade Cooperative that has successfully managed to export this delicious product under tough conditions likes to say, when you purchase this olive oil, you are tasting a bit of the Holy Land. Place your order via the sign-up sheet on the Social Justice kiosk or call the church office to add your name to the list. Your $20 multiplies the power of fair trade and serves as a UCC voice for economic and social justice in the Holy Land. Next chance to order will be in November!