Links to our Worship Services:
As of Nov. 15, 2020, we have returned to our pre-recorded worship services. We will return to live-streaming and, we hope, indoor worship service as soon as it is safe to do so. The services are available on our YouTube channel.
NOV. 22 – PRE-RECORDED SERVICE:
NOV. 22 – SUNDAY SCHOOL:
NOV. 15 – PRE-RECORDED SERVICE:
NOV. 15 – SUNDAY SCHOOL:
NOV. 8: Recorded Live-Stream Worship Service:
NOV. 8 – SUNDAY SCHOOL:
NOV. 1: Live-Stream Worship (recorded):
NOV. 1: SUNDAY SCHOOL – Younger children:
NOV. 1: SUNDAY SCHOOL – Older children:
OCT. 25: SUNDAY SCHOOL – Younger children:
OCT. 25: SUNDAY SCHOOL – Older children:
OCT. 18: SUNDAY SCHOOL – Preschool to 1st Grade:
OCT. 18: SUNDAY SCHOOL – 2nd to 5th grade:
On October 11, we will offer one outdoor worship service at 10:30am. For more details and to register for the service, please CLICK HERE.
OCT. 11 – PRE-RECORDED SERVICE: In these partisan and tension-filled days leading up to our election, Rich considers what a citizen of our nation might pray for. We also receive moving musical contributions from clarinetist John Otto and sing some of our favorite national hymns.
In November and throughout the winter months, we will discontinue the outdoor service and live stream the services at 9:30AM. They will be recorded and available quickly for online viewing.
OCT. 11: SUNDAY SCHOOL – Preschool to 1st Grade:
OCT. 11: SUNDAY SCHOOL – 2nd to 5th grade:
SEPT. 27 – PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP: What a joyous and meaningful worship experience we share this weekend, welcoming 18 new church members! In addition to celebrating that covenant, we also receive some exquisite special music and hear a sermon from Rev. Katherine Willis Pershey on the “offensive” ministry of Jesus. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, light a candle, and let us worship God together in wonder and in faith!
SEPT. 27 – SUNDAY SCHOOL – Preschool – 1st grade:
SEPT. 27 – SUNDAY SCHOOL – 2nd – 5th grade:
SEPT. 20 – PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP: September marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s departure from England to what they hoped would be a new and improved England. Our spiritual forebears came, of course, seeking religious freedom from a hierarchical Church, but they also became a litmus test as to whether a body of people can govern themselves. The only path forward, they believed, was through a covenant; an agreement made before God between people. In worship this week, Rich reflects on this 400th anniversary and how its legacy shapes us today. The Scripture from which the sermon grows is the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews 8: 7-11.
SEPT. 20 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: Grab your robe and join us for a story from the Old Testament about a young man with a colorful coat!
SEPT. 13 – PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP: In a message entitled “The Last Motel”, Rich reflects on two journeys that end in gratitude and generosity. Join us for another beautiful and grounding worship experience, trusting that even when two or three are virtually gathered in Christ’s name, God shows up.
SEPT 13 SUNDAY SCHOOL (Preschool – 1st grade):
SEPT 13 SUNDAY SCHOOL (2nd – 5th grade):
AUGUST 30 – OUTDOOR WORSHIP at 9:30am: This Sunday, join us for an outdoor worship service on the lawn (weather permitting). For more information and to sign up for the limited seating for this Sunday’s outdoor service, please CLICK HERE.
AUGUST 30 – PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP: Please join us for worship for our final Unraveled Sermon offered by Rev. Katherine Willis Pershey. Mike and Jimmy Tilden also pack for a trip during First Steps and we have one BIG surprise.
AUGUST 30 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: One final trip to Norway completes our Sunday School summer journey!
A Summer Sunday School THANK YOU from Hope & Henry:
AUGUST 23 – OUTDOOR WORSHIP at 9:30am: This Sunday, Meredith will lead an outdoor worship service on the lawn with limited seating (weather permitting). For more information and to sign up for the limited seating for this Sunday’s outdoor service, please CLICK HERE.
AUGUST 23 – PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP: Please join us for worship as we listen to Job’s beautiful Hymn to Wisdom, even in the midst of his profound unraveling. Meredith will offer a reflection, Ms. Hope provides a touching story about ‘home’ for the children with a prayer by Elmhurst pastor Traci Smith from her book “Faithful Families,” and we celebrate and honor teachers:
AUGUST 23 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: Find out where our Summer Sunday School lesson will travel this Sunday! CLICK HERE to follow Miss Hope & Henry on their great adventure:
AUGUST 16: We continue our summer pilgrimage through the Unraveled Worship series with a deeply moving story of liberation and restoration — the healing of the man remembered as the “Gerasene Demoniac.” Katherine preaches, Meredith offers a Moment for Mission, and we receive several beautiful musical offerings.
For First Steps, Miss Hope would like to offer up the following “POPSICLE PRAYER” with these instructions: Fill a paper cup with your favorite juice or lemonade. Slide a stick through cupcake liner and place on top of cup with juice. Carefully place in freezer. When frozen, take outside with prayer.
AUGUST 16 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: Our Summer Sunday School lesson travels to Egypt! Click below to follow Miss Hope & Henry to this wonderful land:
AUGUST 9 – OUTDOOR SERVICE: Meredith will lead an outdoor worship service on the lawn with limited seating at 9:30am (weather permitting). For more information and to sign up for the limited seating for this Sunday’s outdoor service, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
AUGUST 9 – PRE-RECORDED SERVICE: When everything unraveled and the Disciples were wracked by fear and grief, the unimaginable happened: the Resurrected Lord showed up, in the flesh. In worship today we remember Thomas’s struggle to be divested of his unbelief, and trust that God will grant us the same gifts of presence, forgiveness, and grace upon grace.
AUGUST 9 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: Our Summer Sunday School lesson continues in GERMANY! Click below to go on the journey with Miss Hope & Henry:
AUGUST 2 – OUTDOOR SERVICE: Rich will lead an outdoor worship service on the lawn with limited seating at 9:30am (weather permitting). For more information and to sign up for the limited seating for this Sunday’s outdoor service, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
AUGUST 2 – PRE-RECORDED SERVICE: We continue with our deeply moving and visually compelling Unraveled summer worship series! Rich preaches on the story of the Woman at the Well, members of the Spirit Worship band offer special music, and you’ll want to stay for a particularly beautiful Benediction. Gather some bread and wine (or crackers and juice) as we will celebrate communion:
AUGUST 2 – SUNDAY SCHOOL: Our Summer Sunday School lesson continues in ITALY! Click below to go on the journey with Miss Hope & Henry:
JULY 26 – OUTDOOR SERVICE: On this Sunday, Rich will lead an outdoor worship service on the lawn with limited seating at 9:30am (weather permitting). For more information and to sign up for the limited seating for this Sunday’s outdoor service, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
JULY 26 – PRE-RECORDED SERVICE: Let the Spirit gather us to worship God together in wonder and in faith! In this week’s pre-recorded service, we continue our journey through the Unraveled Worship Series as Katherine preaches on the story of Rizpah. (Please note this is a story that contains violence, so care might be taken when worshipping alongside young children.) We also celebrate our Healthcare Workers and receive several beautiful gifts of music:
In the pre-recorded service, Katherine refers to the following sermon delivered by Austin Channing Brown in 2018:
For First Steps on July 26, Hope invites the children to create a “heart” for the front door of the sanctuary.
Below is a PDF for you to download, print and color:
For our July 26 pre-recorded Sunday School lesson, PLEASE CLICK HERE:
JULY 19: Join us for worship as we unravel the story of Paul’s conversion and how this ancient text still speaks to us today:
During First Steps this Sunday, Miss Hope talks about this wonderful family activity, Driving Prayer Stations:
Summer Sunday School continues in Ethiopia!
JULY 12: Please join us for worship this Sunday as we continue to explore our summer sermon series “Unraveled.”
JULY 12: This Sunday Miss Hope and Henry fly to France! Come explore with us!
JULY 5: This week First Congregational Church of Western Springs is thrilled to welcome Peter Kralovec-Kirchherr as our guest preacher.
JULY 5: Our next Sunday School adventure explores our great country with Miss Hope and Henry!
JUNE 28: Our Sunday worship was live-streamed and our semi-annual meeting took place via live-stream immediately following the service. Click below to worship with us:
HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS: If you should have questions prior or during the meeting that you would like answered, please text the question to Meredith at 708-466-3584 and she will make sure it is addressed.
JUNE 28 – Sunday School: Click below to find out where Miss Hope and Henry are headed on our next adventure:
JUNE 21: Please join us for worship this Sunday as we explore stories in scripture and in our lives of Dreams Unraveling. We will have a special Father’s Day Reflection by Bert Griffith! We hope you can make it!
Our June 21 Summer Sunday School takes us to Turkey! Come along for the ride…
JUNE 14, 2020: This week First Congregational Church of Western Springs is delighted to welcome the members of United Presbyterian Church of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio! This is the church where Rev. Katherine Willis Pershey’s sister, Marie Taylor, directs the choral and bell choirs. We continue to be amazed by the ways the Spirit collaborates with technology to keep us connected as one Body of Christ!
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our clergy and staff if you want to deepen your connection to our vibrant and progressive community of faith. Contact information can be found at www.wscongo.org/staff.
Click below for our June 14 Summer Sunday School lesson. Join us as we travel to another country!
Unraveled, our summer worship series, began Sunday, June 7 (see video below). Before you begin worshipping, gather your elements for Holy Communion. We remain one Body of Christ!
Click below for the first of our Summer Sunday School lessons:
It is important in our understanding of racism to hear from our brothers and sisters of color. Please, please take the time to listen to UCC pastor, The Rev. Otis Moss’s sermon from Sunday. There is much work to be done for ‘someday’ to be sooner rather than later.
Join our Justice Ministry group to be inspired to action. Contact Meredith Onion for more information or email Jeannette Lloyd to be added to the group.
It is a double celebration, as we honor our 2020 graduates with Mike Tilden’s traditional baccalaureate address, and join with Christians throughout the world to rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day.
Even as we lift up these joys, we also offer heartbroken prayers for an end to racism, injustice, and violence in our nation. Join us as we worship God together in wonder and in faith.
Click below for our May 31 Sunday School lesson:
Please click below for our May 24 Sunday worship service. The Rev. Dr. John Rodgers is our guest preacher, Plymouth Fellowship Youth Group invites us to contribute to an all-church food drive, and Marty Kalas presents a saxophone solo for the offertory — all this and so much more in yet another beautiful worship service.
The gathering may be virtual but the worship is real!
Click below for our May 24 Sunday School lesson:
Please click below for our May 17 Sunday worship service:
Click the following link for our May 17 Sunday School lesson:
Please click below for our May 10 Sunday worship service:
Click the following link for our May 10 Sunday School lesson, which will become available Saturday at 5pm: https://youtu.be/57zRSe7Rg0w
Click below for the latest Vespers, an Evening Worship Service:
Click below for our May 3 worship service premiering Saturday, May 2 at 5pm:
Please click below for our May 3 Sunday School lesson:
Please click below for our April 26 Sunday worship service:
Please click below for our April 26 Sunday School lesson:
Vespers — For Evening Viewing:
Rich has created an end-of-day moment for reflection. Click below for our 4th Vespers service in hopes that it brings you some hope and calm at the end of a busy and challenging day:
Please join us on Sunday, April 19 at 9:30am for a shared Sunday worship experience:
Please click below for our April 19 Sunday School lesson:
For a shared Easter Sunday worship experience, please gather and begin playing the following pre-recorded Worship Service at 9:30am on Easter Sunday:
For our Easter Sunday school:
Links for GOOD FRIDAY 4/10:
– Click here for the Good Friday 4/10 Family Home Liturgy
– Praying the Stations of the Cross
– Stations of the Cross: Artwork Presentation
– PODCAST: Stations of the Cross
For Maundy Thursday:
– Click here for the Maundy Thursday 4/9 Family Home Liturgy
– A recording of our Maundy Thursday service will be posted here later in the week. Please revisit this page on Maundy Thursday to view it.
April 6: Vespers service — for evening viewing
April 5: Palm Sunday Worship Service
For a shared worship experience, please gather and begin playing the following pre-recorded Worship Service at 9:30am on Sunday. Rich preaches, the Alleluia and Harmony Choirs sing, the Plymouth Fellowship Youth Group Presidents offer reflections, and Communion is celebrated (so prepare your elements to partake at home). (Click HERE for our Sunday School class on Palm Sunday.)
– CLICK HERE to make an offering.
April 1: Vespers service — for evening viewing:
MARCH 29: For a shared worship experience, please gather and begin playing this pre-recorded Worship Service at 9:30am on Sunday:
Bring some bread and juice, as we commune together. We are sheltered in place — but we remain always and ever sheltered in God.
– To see a recording of Sunday School with Ms. Hope, please click the following link: https://youtu.be/XmXMzCJ-R6c
Vespers service — for evening viewing:
It has been wonderful to worship together virtually on Sundays, but I thought it might be meaningful and helpful for your household to have an end-of-day moment for reflection as well. So, the image below leads to a brief (about 6 minutes) Vespers service. It includes some Scripture, prayers and the reading of an evening hymn. I hope it brings you some hope and calm at the end of a busy and challenging day. — Rich