The Column Newsletter



Westchester Community Church
United Church of Christ
1840 Westchester Blvd
· Westchester, Illinois 60154
(708) 865-1282
WCC Website:

Church email:

Rev. Joseph E. Mills, III · Pastor  
UCSI Website:
Sunday Service
· 10:00 am  
Office Hours
· Monday-Friday · 8:00 am—4:30 pm

Volume 23                  Issue 5

Issue Date October 25, 2017

Friend us on Facebook: Westchester Community Church





              Much is being made of how our present government struc-tures are not able to come to terms over most issues. But little is

being made of our societal inability to “bridge the gaps” which

divide us. The common thing I hear, from conservatives and liberals alike is—”Why can’t they just get over it?”. In the last few years, I have been watching and listening intently, in our community and be-yond, at how our basic institutions are struggling under the weight of change and mobility, unable either to come to grips with these issues, and with the “gaps” that are more and more commonplace in day to day living.

I am a baby boomer, with deep roots from the Depression and Builder generations (think WWI and WWII). My parents were actually from the “Lost generation” (my phrase) - that group of Builders who were born during the depression, but not adults during it, who missed serving in WWII and Korea because they were too young. Where it is true that each generation has a normal time struggling with the generations immediately before and after, the rapid pace of technology has served, alongside its benefits, to also create more rapid change in how society itself works.

Let me give you the easiest example. Telephones have only existed in our society since 1850 (but think Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 as the one who truly made it work). By 1900 there were only 600,000 phones with a U.S. population of 76 million. In 1950 there were 30 million phones with a population of 152 million. But in 1980 there were 175 million phones (not cellphones) with a population of 226 million. Now, with over 320 million peo-ple, there are very, very few people in the U.S. without a phone.

From its inception through 1970, there was really only one innovation in telephones: the movement from the “crank style” phone (you literally wound a crank to power the phone)

              to the rotary phone (which most people before 1990 know). Cellphones, larger than large walkie-talkies, only really appeared in the 1970’s (to business people and politicians). Now, children aged 5 and up have cellphones. It is suspected that smartphones will replace “land-lines” within the next 20 years for most homeowners. The days of only having to know up to 7 digits are gone (ask people over 65 who can tell you about calling the operator to say something like—”connect me to Bridgeview 223” to make their call). No longer do we use a live operator on a daily basis to look up a phone number, who used to also know almost all the local people and what house they might be at when you called their number!!

But the real issue is how telephone technology has changed the communication and rela-tionship game. Telephones replaced walking down to the general store to get your daily dose of gossip and information. Cellphones replaced having to stop somewhere to ask for directions (remember using phone booths?). Smartphones have replaced cellphones, so that conversations with live people are now replaced by “texts”. The millennial generation (think those born from 1980-2000—and I argue actually from 1970) say they “are too busy” to actually take phone calls. At the same time they are the first 24-plugged in generation. Text “bells and beeps” go off all night long, and they are the first generation unable to put them down—most MUST an-swer or look at every text the moment they hear the bell go off. I know this because I now have at least 30 members who do not answer their phone –ever, or look at their emails or Facebook. They only text.

Think how difficult this is for family members of 3 generations, or business people or church people who now work with or minister to people of the last 5 generations at the same time. Some MUST have snail mail. Some only work with emails. Some only look at Face-book. Some only text. Some only Snapchat. For the local church, as people also are more mo-bile, and less willing to make long-term regular commitments, the weekly bulletin, even the monthly newsletter, fails to reach more than half the audience.

It would be easy (no matter what generation you are) to get upset with the generation that cannot put their phone down, or who refuses to learn new technology. But for the sake of this article, I propose that we take the time to understand what is actually happening, and its im-pact on how people communicate, especially with complicated issues. I propose four things:

1) Create “sacred time” in the family to have true face to face conversations, where all electronic instruments are put away for that time;

2) Take intentional time to learn how the other generation works—especially in how they communicate. You will learn that some people desperately need to see you face to face to understand; others move so fast that they need you to communicate to them in short terms;

3) If you truly want to communicate with someone about something important—think carefully before you talk, text, email, Facebook Twitter, or call them. Have your main points written (or typed) up so you actually say what you really need to say; &

4) Remember that God is also trying to speak to you. Take the time to lis-ten, in your spirit and in your practice—so you might be able to hear God at work—More on this next month,


PASTOR: Rev.Joseph E. Mills, III In the Risen Christ      






The Wednesday Bible Study

meets Wednesdays, 9:30 am, Westchester Health and Rehabilitation Center. We are discussing the Book of Job.


Faith Conversations meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month after church

O u r n e x t t o p i c — When bad things happen to Christians.

Come for lively discussions!!





Thanks you for your donation of liquid soap that was made to Fisher House at Hines Hospital. That was very kind of you and our families really appreciate. Fisher House provides free accommodations to our families who have hos-pitalized Veterans. We are truly grateful for your contributions. James Cooks Assistant Manager Fisher House


I wish to extend my personal thanks to you on behalf of Hines VA Hospital patients and staff for your recent donation of 30 personal items and 14 2018 Calendars. Thanks again, Melissa Winter, Chief Voluntary Service


There are not enough words to express our gratitude. I felt so comforted and so proud you did a wonderful job . What you brought to life was a beautiful tribute to our Mom’s life. From my heart to yours, bless you! So glad our paths crossed and you could share our journey. Susan L. McBride, Astrea, Steven & Mike


Thank you for your personal and meaningful words which you connected well for our family. Blessings The family of Jerry Creevey


Thank you so much for officiating at our wed-ding! We couldn’t have asked for a better cere-mony and everyone said how much they enjoyed your sermon. We also appreciated our sessions leading up to the wedding and we learned so much from you. Thank you and Mrs. Mills for coming to the reception. We had a fantastic day and were so happy you were a part of it. Lau-ren and Andy


Dear Pastor Joe and the Youth of Westchester: Thank you so much for your generous donation to St. Andrews in July. We decided to “Pay it Forward” and donate a portion to a Syrian Refu-gee Family with their three young children who have recently moved into the area. The balance was donated to our Local Food Bank. May God continue to bless you as you are a blessing to others. Your Friends at St. Andrews United Church. Blind River, Ontario Canada


Thanks for the uplifting description of Caroline. It set the right tone for her journey to the other side. The family of Caroline Coryell


I would like to thank you for the amazing job that you did at the memorial service for my hus-band, Joseph Pecoraro. You did a truly amazing job capturing the essence of my husband. Peo-ple were amazed at the fact that you had never met my husband—many had assumed that you were a friend of his, or a long time customer at his shop. You truly made the memorial service incredibly special and memorable for myself and my children. Many people at the service said that it was the best memorial service that they have ever attended. It turned out exactly as I hoped it would. God Bless, Jamie Pecoraro


We are thrilled to have your support! Thank you for your gift of $65 and your in-kind dona-tion of toiletries to Constance Morris House. Your generous donations will go a long way in helping us provide domestic violence survivors a place to find refuge at no cost to them. Molly Gallo Pillars


Susan Thank you for all you have done to make this memorial come together. You are greatly appreciated. Florian sends a special thank you. He said you were so kind. Irene Sowinski


Pastor Joe, Thank you for doing all your research and for the beautiful service for my mother. When I heard what you said it all came together (the missing pieces) and made sense. Please keep us in your prayers aw I will keep you and yours in mine. Thank you for always being there! Irene Sowinski.





Ben Linville

2340 N. Commonwealth Ave.


Chicago, IL 60614


Kim and Ed Hempel

1844 W. School Street

Apt. 1 Chicago, IL 60657-2006


Meghan Kasanders

211 W. 108th St., Apt. 1

New York, NY 10025

(Meghan is a student at Juilliard)


New Phone for:

Bob VonLaven



Linda Kasanders



Tom Gati



BEDS: Sock It To ‘Um! The Mission Team is passing out paper socks that a group of Mini Mission Makers/Sunday School Children made to collect your dona-tion to our area’s BEDS program, which sleeps and feeds the homeless. What a wonderful way to share God’s love with those in need. If you are unable to make a monetary donation, new warm socks are also being accepted and would be a very welcome gift for the cold days ahead.




From time to time our church updates its Constitution. After much hard work (and thanks especially to our

Parliamentarian, Bonnie Kucera), the Cabinet is ready to propose to you

some changes.

NO changes can be made without

congregational approval.

THIS is NOT a voting meeting;

It is a forum to learn about the changes, ask questions, and make suggestions.

Please stay after church on Sunday,

November 12, and help our church

to be healthy!!

Come join our great group of ladies on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00 pm in the upstairs lounge. We’ll be watching the movie The Shack and discussing how life events affect our own spiritual jour-ney. Free popcorn. Contact Lou Bender 708/345-2547 or Barb Sweazey 630/335-1106.

Our next Fish Fry is November 3 and then Decem-ber 1 - 4:30—7:00 pm. Fish—Chicken (fried or rotisserie) - Shrimp—all dinners $11


The Crafters could use some buttons, any medium or large size please. Just drop them off at the church office.


WCC card makers have an assortment of handmade greeting cards available in the Narthex for you to send to church mem-bers and friends who may need a cheery note. There is a free will donation box. Proceeds help to purchase supplies and are also donated to special mission pro-jects. Next card making sessions are scheduled for 10/28, 11/4, from 10 am to 2pm. Come join us. Lunch is provided for $5. ??? Call Charlene Dolnics 708/345- 1816.


Hear Ye, Hear Ye:

YOUR Mission Board is looking for two (2) volunteers to serve a 1, 2 or 3 year term. We are an active board keeping our congregation supplied with ways to be in mission. Sometimes the focus is local but other times national or world-wide problems need our help. Won’t you consider joining? If you would like more informa-tion or feel this board is for you, please call Naomi Else at 708-363-3148 (cell)




(Approved at our Annual Meet-ing)

As disciples of Jesus,

Living by God’s grace and

growing spiritually,

We are committed:

To Worship, Pray, and Honor

the Living Word of God;

To Welcome, Love, and Respect all of God’s People;

To choose Tolerance, Reject Preju-dice, and Support Diversity;

and to Care for, Respond to, and Serve our Neighbors in Need.





Gifts given to our church go to Church World Service, whose overhead is amazingly small—better than all the ones you see on TV!! Make a check out to WCC—and mark it “Hurricane” on the bottom—it will get there!!


Pastor Brenda Taylor (remember her) serves in Puerto Rico. It is absolutely ok to send a gift to help her ministry - you can use Paypal using the ministry email:, or again, you can send it through us: mark it “Brenda Taylor” on the bottom left corner of the check!!




From time to time our church updates its Constitution. After much hard work (and thanks especially to our

Parliamentarian, Bonnie Kucera), the Cabinet is ready to propose to you

some changes.

NO changes can be made without

congregational approval.

THIS is NOT a voting meeting;

It is a forum to learn about the changes, ask questions, and make suggestions.

Please stay after church on Sunday,

November 12, and help our church

to be healthy!!




7:00 P.M.




WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT SIGNIFICANT CHURCH EVENTS AND DEATHS WHEN WE LEARN!! Please call or email the church office with your email or phone contact if you’d like to be on a prayer notification list.

We regularly collect food for St. Johns church, our church and Westchester Food Pantry. We will also have an ongoing col-lection of personal products such as liquid soap for the Fisher House for Vets, tooth-paste, toothbrushes, combs, shaving cream, lip gloss, etc. for the men and women at Hines VA Hospital and the women’s and children’s shelter. There are boxes in the back of the church for these items . Thanks, Your Mission Board


Fall dates for Scrapbooking and Card-making have been set. Mark your calen-dars: Saturday, November 4. Scrapbook-ing is from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Bring your pictures, photo books, and paper. We have all the tools to help you create awesome memories for your families. Cardmaking is from 10:00 until 2:00. All the supplies are at church. Come and make cards that will be sent to the troops or will be for sale in the narthex.


THANK YOU for signing up to serve on one of our boards, those groups that keep our church working toward our Christian mission. Nevertheless, we still have vacan-cies that must be filled before the end of the year. That goes especially for these boards: Trustees, Deacons, Parish Fellow-ship and Christian Education. Please con-sider which one of these panels you would fit in, then insert your name on the “Come on Board” sign-in sheet in the narthex. Or call Carl Panek at 708-606-4548.

St. John’s food pantry is in need of plastic grocery bags. Please save them and put them in the box in the Narthex or give them to Elaine Hempel or the Church Office. Thanks







“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.”

- Lao Tzu

You may not know this—

But all church’s budgets are strained right after the summer months,

Because so many people are on vaca-tions and weekend trips.

Please help our church by giving so that we do not have to “borrow” money

to make our budget!!!


Find a way to help clean up a room in the church or weed an area outside. It will beautify our church, and make it more attractive for visitors!!

Make a special gift!

Help with our painting fund to repaint our building!!





MANNA is a WIN/WIN for our church. You buy a gift card at its purchase price—and you get exactly what you pay for!! But our church gets a percent-age of that card (because Manna buys in bulk). So you get what you pay for, and you still give to our church!!

Order forms for MANNA are in the narthex—MANNA is collected the last Sunday of the month and will be available the 2nd Sunday of each month.


Would you like to sponsor Altar Flowers for a future Sunday? Cost is $27 for one Sunday, and you can sign up on the bulletin board in the Narthex Bulletin Board.

Sundays open:

December 3, 10 & 17




Sassy Stitchers meets on the third Monday of every month at 7 pm in the Library. Please come out to knit and crochet Lessons and projects are of-fered



Please recycle Aluminum cans to raise funds for our Youth Group!! Please bring them the first Sunday of the month. Cans can be left in the narthex by the blue recy-cling can near the back door.

Youth Group Trip to Tower Hill –Friday thru Sunday morning November 10-12. Cost $35—you may bring one friend and a parent or parents!! See Pastor Joe—deadline is No-vember 6.

Bell Choir is in need of more ringers prac-tices 8:30 am on Saturdays. We welcome new bell ringers Jr. High and up. Reading music is not a requirement.

Choir Practice will be held on Thursdays, at 7 pm, please check with our new Music Di-rector Michael Cantrell as the schedule is subject to change. All former and new Choir members welcome!!

This is a plea from the Nominating Com-mittee to all church members to please con-sider joining one of our many boards and committees. In that way, you will help the church in its mission. Call Carl Panek at 708/865-1782.


St. John’s food pantry is in need of plastic grocery bags. Please save them and put them in the box in the Narthex or give them to Elaine Hempel or the Church Of-fice. Thanks

Thanks for Giving” is the November Mis-sion Board project. We will be collecting both money and items to fill baskets which will be given to families in need. If you would like to donate money it will be used to buy items for the basket. Otherwise, food items needed are…· Bags of stuffing (herb or corn bread)

· Can or jar of turkey gravy

· Can or fresh sweet potatoes

· Boxed mashed potatoes

· Baking potatoes

· Pickles

· Olives

· Salad dressing

· Dinner rolls

Sandy Taveriner or Naomi Else will be in the Narthex to accept your donation and…“Thanks for Giving”


Names of people whose addresses we need for the roster: Tammie Barnett, Grace Cec-coni, Elizabeth Diaz, John Diaz, Jason Dil-worth, Kelly Dilworth, Michael Lloyd, Carin Lucas, John & Tina Piest, Jeanette Terry, Florence Washburn, Denise Willey, Brandon Wills, Christina Wills, Serena Ivers and Mark Liotta.


Names of people to have their listing re-moved from the directory by the Board of Parish Fellowship: Dora Burke, Robert & Elayne Dalheim, Michael and Brenda Janco, Keith Kucera, William and Joyce Lietzow, Lowell and Harriet Lucas, Mark and Kim Mandarino, Kelly Morgan, Adam and Nicole Pack, Tony and Kathryn Passaglia, Thomas and Karen Pomrening, David and Luette Stratman, Chloe Blair, Stephanie Albachiara and Steven Hermanowski, Mario and Athena Andrade, Carol Voss.

Any comments or inquiries should be made to The Board of Parish Fellowship





We grieve with the following families: The Kolb & Suva families in the death of long-time faithful member Maris Kolb (her memorial service will be Saturday, November 25—11 a.m. here at WCC; the Polak family in the death of Margaret Polak, the Yeiser family in the death of Lynn’s cousin Gunvor who passed away from pancreatic cancer, the Marinier and Triska family in the death of Don Mason





PEOPLE AT THEIR HOMES: Carmella Locigno, Ann McCarthy, Bruce Urbans, Jan Finnigan, Char Schwass, James Tsilivis, Maris Kolb, Otis Randle, Sue Casey, Cathe and Aneitra Flynn, Betsy Grimm, Gloria Dearmore, Marcia Burba, Benny Locigno, Dick Widick, Ken Scheffel, Rich Kasey, Kim Powers, Elayne Dalheim, Larry Gorski, George Nelson, Milton and Patricia Ladner, Jim Wagner, Sandra Fulco, Michael Kelstrom, Louella Kec, Eva Poulos, Ruth Edelmann, Sean Tavernier


IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN: Jay Mills (now home!!), Scott Johnson


PEOPLE AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES: Lucille Jeffries—Nursing Center at Cantata; Ann Stvan—Bridgeway Christian Village, Dick Widick-Saratoga Grove; Steve Tomporowski – Wisconsin; Terry Samonds: Anna’s Health-care; Ann Miller— Bethlehem Woods; Marge Wanielista-Lexington Elmhurst; Donna Wright- Rosewood; Richard Schwartz-Beacon Hill


FRIENDS TO KEEP IN PRAYERS: Denise Ayala, Hillary Belejung, Stella Biel, Ron Cato, Sherry Craver, Mary Devery, Stacie Donnelly, Mitchell Dydo, Gerri Eck, Joe Ender, Logan Erne, Angie Falasz, Adam Garrett, Nicole Gavin, Linda Gibbony, Doug Hall, Ken Hall, Holly Hiller, Erin Hoffman, Ernst Kniesel, Shawna Kriz, Lavonis and family, Brent Lawrence, Virginia Linzmeier, Debbie Monsen, Melody Nance, Andrew Olson & Family, Richard Russell, Rev. Neil Schoffner, Serena and Chris, Mary Sugarman, Phil Swanson, Gwen Toombs, Vanessa, Augie and Diane Zimmerman

Special prayers for people struggling in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.



(7th – 12th Grades






Please recycle Aluminum cans to raise funds for our Youth Group!! Please bring them the first Sunday of the month. Cans can be left in the narthex by the blue recy-cling can near the back door.


Youth Group Trip to Tower Hill –Friday thru Sunday morning November 10-12. Cost $35—you may bring one friend and a parent or parents!! See Pastor Joe—deadline is No-vember 6.