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The Epistle of James
August 6, 13, 20 and 27, 9:15 am, Lounge
In this four-week class led by Pastor Jeff, we’ll explore this fascinating and often overlooked letter of the New Testament that the Reformer Martin Luther infamously labeled “an epistle of straw.” The five chapters of James are replete with memorable images and practical challenges to its Jewish Christian audience. For example, they are reminded that “faith, without works, is dead” and they are charged to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Perhaps written by Jesus’ own brother, James, the theological themes of this letter are just as relevant today as they were in the first century: suffering, inequality, care for the needy, edifying speech, patience, God’s providence and the significance of prayer.

Divine Interruption Text
We are piloting a cool project that accompanies the July sermon series. Consider signing up to receive a weekly text during the month of July with a suggestion of how God might interrupt your day. To be included in this project please email Erin Raska and you will receive a weekly divine interruption text.

Backpack Project
Many of us can remember shopping for new school supplies with our mom or dad as we headed back to school each September. Many children in our surrounding communities do not have the joy of this experience, and these children often return to school without any of the necessary supplies for a successful school year. Here is your chance to make a difference in how these children begin their new school year.

By writing a check for just $25 (memo line: school backpack project), you can ensure that a child has all the necessary supplies he/she needs as well as a new backpack. The backpacks will go to students whose parents are members of the Rogers Park Presbyterian Church or who live in the neighborhood. Our goal is to provide 60 new backpacks for these kids.

We’ll have samples of the backpacks and the school supply kits at fellowship hour for three Sundays, through Sunday August 13th. We will also have note cards available so you can write a note to a student, wishing them a successful school year and that fpcw will be praying for them and cheering them on in their academic pursuits.

News Article
The Wilmette Beacon recently interviewed our very own Rev. Jeff Lehn. The article is titled “New pastor brings enthusiasm to First Presbyterian Church.” If you thought you knew all there was to know about Jeff, well here’s your opportunity to know even more. Jeff is quoted in the article as saying “his greatest joy in ministry is helping people be “fully alive” to the God who loves them and longs to see them flourish.” Click here to read the article.

Fit for Faith
Join us for a 10-week inclusive fitness campaign, as we seek to glorify God with our bodies. All ages, abilities and interests and types of exercise are welcome! The campaign will run from June 18 through August 27 and our fpcw goal is to collectively “walk” from Wilmette to Edinburgh and back – which is 7,388 miles. On this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it seems fitting to honor our Presbyterian roots in this way. A Google Drive spreadsheet has been created, with calculations for all forms of exercise, so that we can all track our “miles” accordingly. Karl Ottolini and Doug Ackerman are leading our effort. Please email one of them to sign up and invite a friend or neighbor to join you (dackerman@bensman.com or kottolini@comcast.net). We will provide updates as the summer goes on and hope to celebrate together in the early Fall. During these summer months, may we worship God with our bodies, which the apostle Paul called a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Whether you exercise regularly or have been thinking about being more active this summer, together let us strive to be “fit for faith.”

Stock the Shelves Mobile Truck
Is a partnership between fpcw, Sukkat Shalom and First Congregational Church Wilmette who, as people of faith, are responding with God’s love and welcome as refugee families make new lives in the Chicagoland area.

The mobile truck is the missing link that unites an abundance of North Shore resources with under resourced refugee families, as they continue to build sustainable and thriving lives. Food stamps don’t buy necessary, everyday items such as soap and laundry detergent. On the fourth Wednesday of each month the truck will deliver these helpful items to Warren Park where families can select needed items.

Please donate: laundry soap, dish soap, hand and body soap, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, toilet paper, feminine hygiene pads (no tampons), toothpaste, toothbrushes (individually wrapped), formula and basic cleaning supplies (i.e. 409), Ventra and Uber Cards.

In addition to donations, we need volunteers to help sort the donations and help load the truck on May 24 at 7 a.m. and be a host on distribution day on May 24 from 8:30 – 12 at Warren Park. Please consider helping with the important mission. The SignUpGenius link will help you pick a time to volunteer. Thank you in advance for your help.

Join the fpcw Meals Team
The Meals Team is looking for volunteers to help provide occasional meals to members of our congregation who need support, and encouragement. Please contact Kristen Novelline to be added to the email distribution list.

An Update on the Beshara and Habib Refugee Families:

Irfan Habib is working at O’Hare as a cabin cleaner and unfortunately hurt his left shoulder while working. Pray for a quick recovery! Fatima is quickly learning English and is employing her seamstress skills working for BowArts, a Glenview company that hires refugee women to make hair bows. Marjan is flourishing in her physical therapy, while her twin sister, Musgan, cheers her on. School is exciting and fun for Mobine and continues to be a source of learning and growth.

Bukari Beshara is working at Brent Anthony Foods in Elk Grove Village. While the two hour plus commute is grueling, his English skills are providing an additional opportunity to work as an interpreter. Mohasin also works for BowArts and is excelling in her English classes and working hard towards her GED, while Lulu and Mukarim are thriving in preschool.
Adam and Muhanad continue to love school and are both math wizards!

Both of these refugee families continue to show resilience and hope as they encounter both joy and disappointment as their lives unfold in a new place. Just when one hurdle is crossed, two more seem to pop up! We are grateful for the Habibs and Besharas!

How can you offer support?

  • Pray:  Pray that the Habib and Beshara families, and all refugees, will continue to
    encounter God’s love and grace as they build healthy, sustainable and joy-filled lives in the US.
  • Give:  Drop off these helpful household items at fpcw: powder laundry soap, dish soap, bar soap, feminine pads, diapers size 1-3, baby formula and reusable bags, toothpaste, shampoo, Ventra cards and Uber cards.