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 2

Issue Date June 1, 2017

Friend us on Facebook: Westchester Community Church


(and a faithful response to them) 


          Today is the last formal day of work for the Director upstairs at our Midwest Career Counseling Center.  Ross Peterson has been the director for 12 years, and it feels like yesterday when he came. He is younger than retirement age, and is in a fortunate position to be able to retire right now.   

            Transitions.  Some of them are obvious; they are based on age and/or accomplishment.  Some of them are subtle; they are based on choices that set into  motion other choices.  Others are unseen; they come upon us like “a thief in the night”; some of them can be wonderful, like a raise you did not expect, others can be horribly stressful, like what our Member in Discernment (on the way to ordination) member Diane Ollie-Coleman experienced when her seminary announced that they were selling their buildings and property, quickly moving all the residents out of their apartments on campus. 


            Transitions.  It is funny how we make such a big deal about some of them, and such little about others.  They now have “graduation” ceremonies for pre-K and Kindergarten  students; some of these parties are replete with limos and expensive parties!  Others, like my parents’ 60th Wedding Anniversary this week, get bare mention (which is why I’m mentioning it here!!).  We used to think that 40 was middle age, and I remember people making a big deal about people going “over the hill”!  Now you can buy those famous “black balloons”, signifying “death—I guess” for almost any age, at almost any store. 


            I believe that people of faith are in a particular position to reflect differently than the majority of people about transitions, and to think about them through the lens of Christianity.  Let me start with the first transition mentioned.  I remember when our church’s relationship with Midwest Career was, at best, tenuous.  When I first came here to the church, it was an almost daily struggle to keep them here.  No one will ever really know the reasons why; suffice it to say that it was in part a struggle about ideas and beliefs.  Midwest was in the middle of a struggle with several denominations (our UCC  among them) in how to assess students for ministry who came from many different cultural backgrounds.  Our own Chicago Metropolitan Association had pulled out from letting students go through assessments there, in great part because any student not white was finding their experience extra-critical.  Even the white students agreed that was the case.  At least three times I learned that there was a good chance the center would leave our church building. 


            Then there was a transition.  First came Ken Potts, then Ross Peterson.  Both demonstrated a willingness to look at how they tested students.  And they changed, for the better.  I remember Ken actually coming downstairs just to say hello and want to know how we were really doing!  Today Ross and I said goodbye.  But it wasn’t perfunctory.  He actually remembered what has happened in the life of our church over the years, and asked direct and supportive questions about OUR ministry here.  On top of it, through these transitions, our relationship has moved from the classic “landlord” type, where the only time we hear from them is when we are out of toilet paper upstairs, to staff members feeling free to stop by each other’s offices and visiting, sharing prayer concerns, and caring for one another. 

            People too often see transition as traumatic.  Yes, it can be, especially if it is sudden, and involves great loss.  But the issue is to take time in transition to review life.  I pose questions for you to consider as you face them. 


            1)  What have you learned from where you were before the transition? 

                              - What blessings should be given thanks?  

                              - What patterns have value that should be continued? 

            2)  What things should be remembered or memorialized?  

                              - Have you collected pictures or videos to  continue to celebrate the memory?  

                              - Have you considered a gathering or service to celebrate what has been? 

            3)  Have you prayed about the transition?  

                              - Have you taken the time to allow God to speak to you about the change you are   facing?  

                              - Have you considered how God is at work in this time—letting God direct you   in what you are/will be doing? 

            4)  Have you assessed the transition?  

                              - Have you considered the opportunity in what is now happening in your life?  

                              - Have you taken charge of the things you can take charge of?  (Too many    people think that they are helpless in any transition; that is false.  There may be   some limits, but you have your own power and choices in the midst of any    transition). 


            Transition is inevitable; how we deal with it is up to us.  As a people of faith, face it with prayer, discernment, and with the Body of Christ.  Bless you in

whatever change you face in life, 


In the Risen Christ        





The Wednesday Bible Study
meets Wednesdays, 9:30 am, Westchester
Health and Rehabilitation Center

Faith Conversations meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month after church through June. We are watching and discussing a DVD/ book—”Half Truths”.





Thank you so much for your kinds words, prayers, stories.  But most of all thank you for being there.  Your are amazing and so was Auntie Edie.  Thank you again, The Family of Edith Gregsamer


Dear Pastor Joe.  Thank you for the wonderful service.  Your sermon captured our thoughts and comforted out family.  The Tejcek Family


Dear WCC, Thank you for your in-kind donation of pajamas, paper, and calendars to clients of Constance Morris House in December.  Together we are helping women and children build violence free lives.  Molly Galo Vice President Pillars


WCC Family, Craig, Anna and I want to thank you , our church family, for all your cards, condolences, thoughts, prayers and for being there at this difficult time.  We are so blessed to have you.  This past couple of years being back at church, was God’s will and we

thank you for welcoming us with open arms.  Sincerely, The Marousek Family


Dear Pastor Joe,  You did an awesome job for my mom. Your words were warm and personal. Friends were asking me if you knew her.  Thank  you for all your kinds words and support. This is an extremely hard time for me so please keep those prayers coming. Warmly, Cindy & Joel


Pastor Joe and Congregation, We want to say a “sincere” thank you, Pastor Joe, for all the hospital visits and all the prayers, by you and the congregation.  Thanks also for the beautiful service. Sincerely, Elaine, Jeff, Jennifer, Matt Jason & Jerry Dildine


Pastor Joe, I can never thank you enough for your support and many visits during Al’s last days.  The many days you were there and your prayers meant so much to Al and I.  Thanks you Charlotte Schwass


Thank you for your wonderful gift of $507.66 for our church ministry.  What a blessing you are to us as we continue with our worship services and our vital food pantry mission work.  God Bless Us One and All!! Rev. Dr. Charlotte Nold


We would like to thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity in donating 20 Easter Baskets to our hospital.  It is people like you who continue to make this a special place.  Sincerely Philip Magid, Shriners Hospitals for Children


Dear WCC Friends:  Thank you so very much for your love & financial support!!  Thank You!! Please know that a piece of WCC is here in Puerto Rico working on your behalf.  And if you ever want to visit or come on a mission trip—my door is always open and there is plenty to do!  On The Journey, Serving Him Together, Brenda Taylor


I would like to thank you for the wonderful job that you performed at Pearl’s funeral service.  Your personal touches were so appreciated. Your words were inspirational and a comfort for all who attended.  Many people commented that it was such a beautiful service.  I’m glad that you got to know both Pearl and Al, even if for only a short time.  You have been such a blessing to Pearl, especially after Al passed.  I want to reiterate my sincere gratitude for taking care of my parents over the years.  I would also like to thank you for meeting with Don and I to reflect on Pearl’s life.  Your genuine caring went a long way in helping us deal with our grief.  Warmest regards, Glenn Smith


Joe, losing a parent is a time in life that without Faith would be impossible… I am forever grateful for people like you who remind me that God is good… Please continue to pray for my Dad.. God bless you and your family.  Sully and the family of Marcella Sullivan


Dear Pastor Joe, The Marousek family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the beautiful service you offered for our mother, Barbara Marousek’s funeral.  One of the words that we heard from the family to describe her eulogy was “powerful”. Another was “passionate”.  You were both of those and more. The power that your words have to make people feel at peace and comforted is so much appreciated.  The passion that you show for our God is felt by all who hear you speak.  Everyone walked away from our mom’s service knowing her a little better and knowing that she is with God.  Thank you so much for that.  Sincerely, Tina, Craig, Anna and The Marousek Family


Just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done and meant to my family thru the years.  A special thank you for the wedding you performed for Cassandra and Joe.  Love you both, Bill Milleville


Thank you for your recent in-kind donation of  Easter baskets, cake mix, frosting and stuffed animals to the clients of Constance Morris House.  Along with meeting a practical need, your gift has mad a lasting impact on our clients with limited resources and few places to turn for help.  Together we are helping women and children build violence free lives. Molly Gallo Pillars 








“Your use of money shows what you think of God” - Anonymous

Think of all the ways you can help our church!!

Come to church!!

Give what you can

Make a special gift for whatever rea-son you want!

Adopt a section of the church to plant flowers, clean an area, make it look better!

Make a gift to our Endowment Fund to give thanks for someone or to re-member someone!

Put our church in your will—People forget how important that is!!





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 percentage 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—check it out and help our church! MANNA is collected the last Sunday of the month (please note the change) and will be available the 2nd Sunday of each month.

MANNA forms are available in the narthex or church office, please call the office if you have a question or need help. Would you like to sponsor Altar Flowers for a future Sunday? Cost is $27 for one Sunday, and you can sign up on the bulle-tin board in the Narthex Bulletin Board.

Sundays open:

July 16; October 8 , 22 & 29

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 Les-sons and projects are offered.


WCC Invites Children to a Cross Cul-ture VBS Program: Passport to Peru August 7-10, 6:15-8:30 pm. Passport to Peru is like taking an adventurous trip to Peru! Kids will sing catchy songs, play high-energy games, dig into tasty Peruvian treats, experience cool Bible adventures, collect Bible Memory Buddies, and ex-plore what daily life is like for kids in Peru. Plus, kids get to watch short, captivating videos each day that provide a peek into Peru and the everyday life of kids who live there! Every day concludes with a Closing Celebration that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned. Family mem-bers and friends are encouraged to join in daily for this special time Passport to Peru VBS is for kids from 4 to 11. Looking for helpers for Vacation Bible School. We need help with prep work, set up, working at VBS, and clean up. If you can help out in any way call Tracy 708-712-6043, Cathe 708-343-3918, or Barb 708-562-0759 by Sunday, June 4th.










(Approved at our Annual Meeting)

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.

This Mission Statement is the result of listening to you, our members here at WCC!!

Your Acts 15 Team:

Peggy Boswell,

Elaine Hempel

Bill and Ann McCarthy

Kathy Moore

Bob Von Laven




Help us on Saturday, June 24


To do outdoor work at our church, sprucing, pruning, weeding, trimming, and

beautifying our church!

Bring tools for outdoor work!!




June 10—Mini Golf and

Barbecue—contact the Meskans or Mendozas

September 9—

Arlington Race Track-

Contact the Sweazeys or the Augellos



We celebrate with Gina Herrera and Jose Herrera Gonzalez in the baptism of their twin daughters:

Olivia Rose Herrera &

Felicity Pearl Herrera,

Born November 3, 2016

We celebrate with Chase Christopher and Jenny Salvino in the baptism of their infant son

William Duke Christopher, Born May 8, 2016


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.




It is a group of church members who meet with Diane Ollie Coleman, on her process leading to ordination, to cover

Areas of ministry and ways to help her along the path to ordination.

We meet monthly. The members are: Rev. Bob and Elaine Hempel, Caroline Savage, Frank and Lou Bender, and Pastor Joe.

So when you see the initials MID in the bulletin or Column, this is what it is!!


We regularly collect food for St. Johns church, our church and West-chester Food Pantry. We will also have an ongoing collection of personal products such as liquid soap for the Fisher House for Vets, toothpaste, 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




To Lauren Stvan,

Granddaughter to member

Ann Stvan &

Andrew Jennrich,

Married here at WCC

On Sunday, May 28!!


To Cassandra Terese Milleville

& Joseph Emanuel Garbin

Married in Chicago on

Saturday, April 1!!





Confirmed on April 30 -

Anna Rose Marousek

Savannah Ashley Franks




Daniel Carberry, Jr—graduated Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Minor in Mathematics

It’s that time again for the WCC Kitchen! We need the following items for our kitchen: paper towels, zip bag-gers—gallon and quart, parchment paper, disinfectant wipes, SOS pads, Fantastic or 409 cleaner. Please drop items off in the kitchen, church narthex or office. Thanks




We grieve with the following families: The Scheffel family in the death of long-time member Sandy Scheffel—a service was held in Arizona; one will be held here Sat-urday, July 1 at 10:30 a.m.; the Scharlach family in the death of member Rose Scharlach; the Jable Family in the death of long-time member Gertha Jable; the Morreale family in the death of newer member Helen Morreale; the Dooley family in the death of Bonnie Mangianello; with the Marczuk and Meskan families in the death of Hank Marczuk, the Gregsamer family in the death of long-time member Edie Gregsamer, Melanie Miller in the death of her birth father Steven Miller




PEOPLE AT THEIR HOMES: Maris Kolb, Pastor Godwin Raj, Dick Widick, Ken Scheffel, Rich Kasey, Kim Powers, Elayne Dalheim, Larry Gorski, Martha Tressler, George Nelson, Milton and Patricia Ladner, Jim Wagner, Sandra Fulco, Michael Kel-strom, Louella Kec, Eva Poulos, Ruth Edelmann, Sean



IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN: Jay Mills, Scott Johnson


PEOPLE AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES: Lucille Jeffries—Nursing Cen-ter 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: Mary Kay Baca , Hillary Belejung, William Bergmann Family, Sherry Craver, Mary Devery, Gerri Eck, Logan Erne, Angie Falasz, Jim Fergle Sr, Doug Hallon, Gerri Eck, Dan & Helga Frank, Rowan Frenn, Linda Gib-bony, Grant, Doug Hall, Ken Hall, Holly Hiller, Mary and Mira Hobson, Kathy Keith, David Kerns, Ernst Kniesel, Lavonis and family, Brent Lawrence, Bob McCabe, Jack McCulloch, Debbie Monsen, Melody Nance, Tim and Randy Petrey, Nancy Prust, Fer-nando Rodriguez, Scott Rouse, Richard Russell, Rev. Neil Schoffner, Serena and Chris, Mary Sugarman, Gwen Toombs, Vanessa, Nadine Woodson, the Zein family in the death of their 8 yr old daughter Saja, Augie Zimmerman


PEOPLE HOSPITALIZED: Betsy Grimm—Room 301 Park Place, Elmhurst (630/936-4588)




(7th – 12th Grades






Sunday, June 10—Flea Market—Youth will be selling food


Sunday, June 25—Church Picnic- The Youth will have a Car Wash after

church and will sell Soda at the Picnic

Sunday, July 30—Car Wash after church

Sunday, August 20—Car Wash after church




Aaron Hempel 708/359-7702 will give you a massage (he is a licensed mas-sage therapist) and proceeds will go to the Mission Trip—tips are allowed for Aaron to use as he is also going!!


$50– half hour massage

$85—hour massage

$130—90 minute massage

$170-2 hour massage!!



We will build our float on the

following dates:

Sunday, June 18—4 p.m.

Tuesday, June 20—5 p.m.

Thursday, June 22—5 p.m.

We will go to Pastor Joe’s home -

Come and bring a friend to help!!

Our Theme:

Jesus is my Rock and Roll!!




We have T-shirts for sale to support our Youth Group.

They will say -

Jesus is my Rock;

That’s how I Roll!!

Cost is $20 per shirt.

Sign up in the narthex after church, or see Tracy Markey!!


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 recycling can near the back door.



JULY 14-22

We are going to the Mississauga Native American Reserve in Ontario, Canada. We will begin by attending and helping at their Annual Pow Wow, then volunteering at the Reserve for the following week.

The trip is FULL!! Please support our Youth in their upcoming projects!!





(Youth—we will need you to help at 8:30 when the truck delivers the plants/flowers)





Who, as part of her National Honor Society Project, adopted and cleaned all the toys in and the entire Nursery!

Thank you!!




Our Theme: Rock and Roll

(Wait til you see this!!)




May 21—after church 11:30-1:30

(youth selling hot dogs/ chips also)

June 25– during the Church Picnic

July 30-11:30-1:30

August 20—11:30-1:30


SUPPORT OUR YOUTH!! Tower Hill Youth Work trip will be held on October 2—4, please call the church office if you are planning on attending. The cost will be $40





WCC has a 2-year program for youth for Confirmation.

The first year is a study about the Bible, and the 2nd year is about theology,

ministry, and the Church.

If you child is 7th grade or older they are eligible. Please contact the church office if you are interested in signing up your youth!!




Classes for children and youth from pre-school through 8th grade are held every Sunday

During worship after a special time with the children/youth.

We have a team of 4 adults work-ing together to staff our depart-ment. Bring your children—we have an awesome program!!


Also starting this Sunday School Year we are announcing our new Children’s Choir. Immediately following Sunday School the chil-dren will meet to sing, learn music and arts and crafts. Also upcom-ing will be a Youth Choir Band where children will play various instruments and perform on Sun-days during Worship!


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 recycling can near the back door.




7th Grade on up!!

Cost is always $5 for food, munchies.

For church youth—you may always bring one friend –but tell us in advance.

The next overnight is

November 13-14 (8 p.m. entry).

In December we will put together

Las Luminaries on Friday, December 18, 7:00 p.m.

And plan activities for 2016!!




Lenten/Easter Special Events

March 29—Lenten Dinner 6 pm

We will host our 3rd Lenten Dinner; bring a side dish or des-sert to share. Our speaker is Katie Barnickle for Access to Care, an organization from Westchester that works with health care for people who “fall in-between the cracks” of our society.

April 9—10 am—Palm Sunday

The children will be processing with palm branches as we begin our Holy Week Observances.

April 13—7 pm—Maundy Thursday

Our Passion Theme, led by a group of members will be—”We Still Have No Clue”. Communion will be offered.

April 14—10a—1 pm—Good Friday

Come to the Sanctuary for a time of personal prayer and reflection.

Materials will be provided.

April 14—Fish Fry—4:30—7pm

Please come out and enjoy Fish, Chicken or Shrimp—This is the last Fish Fry until the Fall

April 14—7 :30pm—Good Friday Worship Service

We will sing special hymns, sermon title “It is Only Begun”

April 16—8 am—Easter Worship

Communion and special music “Raised Past Cain”

April 16—9 am—Easter Breakfast

Please bring Easter items to share, Deacons will bring egg dishes.

April 16—10 am—Easter Worship

Communion and Special music. “It Is Fulfilled”. Face crises—Please Give Generously!!!






For Children and Youth: Grades K-8

Spring Break Camp 2017—Monday March 27-Friday March 31—9-1:30 each day—plus two performances

Friday March 31 7:30

Saturday April 1 2:30

Tuition is just $250

They work with the Missoula Children’s Theatre—and will be performing the musical production—The Frog Prince


For your Inner Geek

One-Man’s Star Wars Trilogy

One Man doing all the voices and sounds of Star Wars on Friday, May 5

8 p.m.

Call the box office at



TWS 89th Season Reveal

Bingo Party

$10 donation for each bingo card

Doors open 7:30, game starts at 8

On Monday, April 3


Have fun, learn about next season’s plays!!




Is the dance fitness class that’s fun., en-ergetic and will make you feel amazing! Monday evenings at 6 pm.. Ditch the Workout, join the Party!! For more in-formation, please email




July 14-15—Westchester Barbecue Fun days—next door at the Community Center

August 12 (Sat) - Mini Fest/Music Event at Highridge Park/Intermediate School






Our Westchester Food Pantry now serves the communities of Hillside, Bellwood, Broadview, LaGrange Park, Westchester, Western Springs and Oak Brook. Food boxes are avail-able at the Village Hall main entrance Mon-Fri 8:30—5 and the 2nd Saturday of each month 8:30 –12:30. As always the food pantry is in need of food, you may donate food at the side entrance of Village hall. If you have questions, con-tact the food pantry at


From the Westchester Blood Program: Thanks to everyone who turned out for our Jan. 21 blood drive at Divine Providence School, our first drive of the year. Thanks to you, it was a smashing success. We had 122 donors sign in, and we collected 105 units for Chicago area hospitals supplied by LifeSource Blood Services. The difference between 122 and 106 was mainly due to a new federal standard for iron in the blood of donors. It was raised from 12.0 to 12.5 for women and up to 13.0 for men. So we had about 15 deferrals. We highly rec-ommend that anyone who wants to do-nate blood should not drink tea -- hot or iced – in the days prior to the drive. The tannic acid in tea hampers the body’s ability to absorb the iron in the food you eat. Instead, eat more high-iron foods like raisins, liver and green veggies. The drive marked the 42nd consecutive Janu-ary that we have raised more than 100 units, dating back to January 1975. It also brings to 25,765 the number of units since our founding in July 1974. We re-main one of the most productive com-munity blood groups in the country. Once again, many thanks to all of you who contributed on Jan. 21, either as do-nor or volunteer. There is no other way we can properly extend our appreciation.

Any of our successes are due mainly to the many generous citizens who contribute to what we are calling Our Army of Angels. Nobody should forget this: The rarest blood is the one that is NOT on the hospital’s ER room shelf when you need it for a transfusion. And this: One small unit can serve the needs of three hospital patients. Our next drive: Saturday, April 22, at the Community Center, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.