Church Committees

First Congo branded border for hero banners
A gavel lying on a table

Church Council

Ministry team meetings normally take place on the third Monday night of the month, September through May, excluding December. Committee meetings begin at 7pm, with Church Council to follow at 8:30pm. The Church Council consists of committee chairs, the church moderator, and staff liaisons, and is open to all interested church members.

Moderator: Ann Keller
Associate Moderator: Amy Baldwin
Treasurer: Bev Fleming
Clerk: Ann Miklosz
Head Usher: Don Spangler
Chicago Metropolitan Association: Rev. Kathryn Charlene Price (Bronson)

Christian Education Committee

This committee establishes policies and programs for Christian Education in our church, including Sunday school, confirmation, seminars, the Kemper Library, media, and teacher recruitment. Sub-committees of this committee include Preschool, Children’s Ministry, Kemper Library, JRneys (middle school youth group), PF (high school youth group), and Adult Christian Exploration (ACE).

Chairs: Sarah Flanaghan and Tracey Scodro
Staff Liaisons: Rev. Katherine Willis Pershey, Hope Sabbagha and Mike Tilden.

Close up of our chapel cross with stained glass window colors bouncing off wall
Folded hands on a Bible

Christian Ventures

This committee explores and arranges spiritual pathways in local, national and international settings gathering individuals, families and groups for spiritual growth and fellowship through engaging opportunities of faith and inspiration.

Chair: Nanette Farina
Staff Liason: Rev. Katherine Willis Pershey

Endowment Fund Trustees of First Congregational Church of western Springs

Established in 1979 as a permanent endowment for First Congo, the fund was originally named the Second Century Fund. Today the endowment is a significant source of income for the church’s annual operating budget. As of September 30, 2020, the endowment was valued at approximately $2.4 million and contributed $120,000 to the church’s 2020 operating budget. This annual contribution makes it possible for First Congo to offer generous support through its Mission and Outreach efforts, additional pastoral assistance and more programs for members.

Donations to the endowment can be made at any time. Such gifts can include cash and/or investment securities and can also be made from IRA’s and estates.

Chair: Rebecca Smith
Staff Liaison: Rev. Dr. Richard Kirchherr

A gift wrapped up
A telescope on top of a tall building

Executive Committee

Proverbs 29:18 “Without a vision the people will perish.”

The Executive Committee, consisting of the church officers (Moderator, Associate Moderator and Treasurer) and three at-large members, serves as the personnel committee of the church, and acts on behalf of the congregation.

Moderator: Ann Keller
Assoc. Moderator: Amy Baldwin
Treasurer: Bev Fleming
At Large members:

  • Steve Perez
  • Kathy Vega
  • Tom Mitchell
  • Staff Liaison: Rev. Dr. Rich Kirchherr

Finance & Stewardship Committee

This committee is responsible for the financial ministry of the church. It establishes and monitors the annual budget and the annual pledge campaign. The members of the Finance Committee and the Properties Committee comprise the Board of Trustees of our church.

To learn more about the Finance and Stewardship Committee, contact Chris Laperuto at claperuto@gmail.com.

Chair: Chris Laperuto
Staff Liaison: Rev. Dr. Rich Kirchherr

A jar of coins spilled on a table
Bread and wine for communion

Diaconate

This ministry assists the clergy with worship services, including baptisms, communion, confirmation, Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, ushering, altar flowers, visitation, and other caring ministries.

Chair: Jean Larson
Staff Liaison: Rev. Meredith Onion

Music Committee

The First Congregational Church of Western Springs is blessed to have a well-respected, incredibly successful, and diverse music program represented by our Chancel Choir, which sings most Sunday mornings, our two great children’s choirs, which make frequent appearances in worship. Additionally, we have our Spirit Worship Band, a steel drum band, and a handbell choir that all periodically contribute to Sunday morning worship. Our Spirit Worship Band also performs monthly on Sunday nights in their Words & Music gatherings to which anyone is invited! All music groups welcome new members with open arms to enhance our wonderful program. Please review our Music page to read more about a program of particular interest to you.

Chair: Nathaniel Orr-Deppner
Staff Liaison: Ray Klemchuk

A woman casting her vote at a ballot booth

Nominating Committee

Every spring, members of our Nominating Committee work with church staff and lay leaders to fill open committee positions for the following program year (Sept–May). Serving on a committee is a wonderful way to work alongside other church members, growing God’s kingdom and making new friends. If you are interested in learning more about the Nominating Committee, contact our chair, Stacia Kopplin, or staff liaison, Jeannette Lloyd.

Our Mission & Outreach Ministry

“The greatest moment in worship is when, strengthened by word and song, we go out into the world to do the work of the church. We don’t go to church. We are the church”. (Source: unknown)

The First Congregational Church of Western Springs has a longstanding tradition of outreach and ministry beyond our walls. We often refer to this as ‘faith with our sleeves rolled up!’ As articulated in our Mission Statement and our call to be Christ’s disciples, numerous individuals and groups within our congregation work to: increase our love of God by increasing our love of neighbor; follow Christ to the side of all who suffer and despair; be Christ’s messengers and advocates for justice; and, be generous and thoughtful stewards of all of God’s gifts. We invite all who wish to join us to share in the joys and challenges of this calling.

We also believe strongly in avoiding “toxic charity” as described by author Robert Lupton, and instead embrace an Oath of Compassionate Service:

  • Never do for others what they have (or could have) the capacity to do for themselves;
  • Limit one-way giving to emergency situations;
  • Strive to empower the most vulnerable among us;
  • Subordinate self-interests to the needs of those being served;
  • Listen closely to those we seek to help; and,
  • Above all, do no harm.

Individuals and groups within the church (Mission and Outreach, Woman’s Society, Plymouth Fellowship to name just a few) give their financial support and volunteer hours to partner with various organizations, locally, nationally and globally. In particular, the Mission and Outreach Ministry Team is a group of dedicated volunteers working together to identify giving and volunteer opportunities for the church, with a goal of funding dynamic organizations that empower individuals and change lives. We strive to truly partner with these outstanding non-profit organizations making a positive impact to change the world. We invite you to learn more about the work of our mission partners and explore the numerous opportunities to support them with your time and financial resources.

Feel free to reach out to Rev. Meredith Onion, clergy liaison to Mission and Outreach if you have questions. meredith@wscongo.org

A helping hand reaching out to you
Mountains, valleys, and a body of water

Properties Committee

Our Properties Committee and ministry work to manage, maintain and enhance our three-story education building, sanctuary and grounds.

Chair: Yvonne Jeanne
Staff Liaison: Scott Williams