February Newsletter 2023


Give Your Word A Chance 

I finally picked my Star Word last Sunday. I found the deck of left over cards on the communion table, cut the deck several times, fanned them all out and ceremoniously plucked my word. It is FAMILY. Hm. I wanted to put it right back. Why couldn't I get something artsy like "sunrise" or edgy like "activism"? I lamented. FAMILY felt too simple and obvious. I love my family. I appreciate family. Family is important to me. I fought the urge to throw it back in the pile and accepted that my word for 2023 is FAMILY. Then I came across these February Star Word suggestions from First Presbyterian in Batavia, NY:

★ Listen as people talk to you, as you read, as you watch TV/movies and pay attention to how and when and how often your word comes up in the world around you.
★ Look up your word in the dictionary. What is its etymology? 
★ Look up your word in the thesaurus. Anything that stands out to you, surprised, annoyed, or delighted you?
★ Look up your word in a bible concordance (like this one at Bible Gateway) and find where your word is referenced in scripture.

I googled FAMILY and clicked to expand the dictionary entry. It blew my mind. The variations of the word FAMILY were unexpected, rich and complex and already I am feeling grateful that the word found me. I appreciate the reminder that assumptions should never be the final authority. I wonder how you and your star word are doing. Enjoy getting to know each other.

Pastor Liz

5th Sunday Mission Spotlight
Sunday, Jan 29th

Bob and Jane Schmitt, owners of The Junkluggers (Chicago NW) and ReMix Market (1108 Larkin Ave) will share their mission and passion to help keep reusable items out of landfills and the environment during worship on Sunday, January 29.
The Junkluggers is more than your average junk removal company. Since the founding in 2004, The Junkluggers franchises have kept their mission in mind, "To Enhance Lives, Our Community, and the Environment by Donating, Recycling, and Supporting Local Charities."
In addition, a retail outlet Remix Market Chicago launched in November 2021 as a source for rehoming and repurposing household treasures in partnership with The Junkluggers. Through their shared mission both companies strive to keep perfectly good, reusable items from being thrown away and negatively impacting our environment.
Through their partnership and philanthropic efforts, they strive to improve the community by supporting organizations like Habitat for Humanity Restores, The Salvation Army, Goodwill, Helping Hands and Caring Hearts, and Cal's Angels.
Their work directly coincides with the United Church of Christ’s goal of care for creation, one of the 3 Great Loves initiative which was begun in 2017.

Next Diaper Donation

Sunday, Feb 5th
***Sizes 1, 2, 3***

Chili Cook-Off

Super Bowl Sunday, Feb 12th

We are having a chili cook-off during our morning coffee hour. Please sign-up if you would like to share your famous recipe with us. The sign-up sheet is on the back counter in the Narthex. We will all vote for our favorite and prizes will be given. This event sponsored by the Fellowship and Hospitality Ministry.

Ash Wednesday Service
Feb 22nd at 7 PM

Join us for holy communion and receive ashes. We will begin our Lenten worship series called Seeking: Honest Questions for Deeper Faith by A Sanctified Art.

Special Notes of Thanks & Love


On behalf of the family of Barb Kasper, we want to express our love and appreciation to each of you for the many ways you shared your love, support, care and prayers through all of the years Mom was a member of this church both she and Dad so dearly loved - extending through her Celebration of Life. You are a blessing to us and we thank you!
Sharon (for all of us)


We would like to thank everyone for their prayers, support and memorials for Dave and his family. He was an Amazing Angel, now watching over us. We are so blessed with the many memories we have. God bless our church family.
Bonnie, Kim, Steve, Matt, Steph,
Ryan, Evan, Janke, Mazy, & Bri

Welcome to FAITH:
amily Activities In The Home

February FAITH: Making a Prayer Box
  1. Decorate a small box in any way you would like. 
  2. Cut strips of paper that will fit in the box. 
  3. Each day with your family, write a prayer request on one of the strips of paper, fold it up and put it inside the prayer box.  
  4. Putting prayers in our prayer box can be a special reminder that God hears every one of our prayers.
  5. At the end of the month, reflect on your prayer requests - Thanking God for hearing our prayers.
Adapted from:  Faithful Families by Traci Smith

Financially Speaking

The November income report was not reported in last month's newsletter due to the fact there was not a quorum at the December council meeting to take a
vote. The total receipts for the month of November was $36,826.60 which
includes $780.00 for OCWM, $125.00 for Building and Maintenance, $41.00 for
Coffee Hour, $25.00 for One Great Hour of Sharing, $130.00 for Neighbors In
Need, $247.25 in loose offering, and a generous gift of $20,000.00.
The Advent workshop collected $80.00 in free will offering and $100.00 was
donated for the Living Nativity which helped to offset expenses for those two
events. We also had $128.50 contributed to the “J” dollars in November.

The total receipts for the month of December was $15,937.58, which includes
$505.00 for OCWM, $295.00 for Building and Maintenance, $62.00 for Coffee
Hour, $315.00 for the Christmas Fund, $1085.00 for the Christmas offering,
$465.00 for flowers, $600.00 for the Music fund, $25.00 for PADS and $514.23
in loose offering. $196.00 was also donated for the Living Nativity. The December “J” dollar contribution was $653.00.

2022 Year-End Review
We finished 2022 ahead of what was budgeted. After our 2021 stewardship campaign, we received pledges totaling $146,880.00. At the end of 2022, the total offering given through pledges was $167,837.50! 

The 2022 annual budget amount was $192,858.00. 

All General Fund giving in 2022 came to a total spendable income of $213,791.52 (this included pledge offerings, loose offerings, OCWM giving, Building and Maintenance Fund giving, Memorials, a generous Restricted Bequest, and Coffee Hour donations).

Total charitable giving in 2022 came to $3,311.00 (this included the four UCC special offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church, Neighbors in Need, Christmas Fund, Scholarship Fund, Outreach Fund, PADS, and monies donated toward Missions projects).

February Anniversaries

Bill & Sally Rhymes  01/12
Doug & Ellen Volkening  01/28
Ken & Ramona Volkening  01/30

February Birthdays

Linda Meglin  01/03
Jenn Volkening  01/05
Bill Rhymes  01/10
Ellen Volkening  01/11
Alice Eichhorst  01/13
Bill Guptail  01/19
Dan Heinrich  01/20
Kathy Rabe  01/26
Melissa Wiggin  01/28

We ask forgiveness for any omissions. 

St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Elgin, IL
St. Paul's Website
Copyright © 2022 St. Paul's United Church of Christ, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
St. Paul's United Church of Christ
PO BOX 5598
Elgin, IL 60121

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