April 29 Updates

  • All of our worship services, and plenty of other resources, can be found online, at the Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C. youtube channel.
  • Many of our groups, including the youth groups, Bible studies, and children’s groups, have resumed gathering online. Please contact Communications@uchinsdale.org for more information on how to get involved.
  • The church office will be closed and most staff working largely remotely at least until the May 31 Stay-at-home order is lifted.  You can reach Bromleigh McCleneghan, acting Head of Staff, at bmccleneghan@uchinsdale.org, or Penny Johnson, Director of Children’s and Administrative Ministries, at pjohnsons@uchinsdale.org.
  • Offerings, pledges and other donations can still be mailed to the church office, or made online through our secure database at https://hinsdale.church/give-now.  Contact Ann Gleason, our financial manager, at agleason@uchinsdale.org with questions.
  • Contact Melanie Burton at mburton@uchinsdale.org to be added to our church e-mails, where congregational and community information is shared. Contact Bromleigh or Penny to be added to our church e-mail list focused on children and family resources.
  • In these uncertain times due to the COVID 19 virus crisis, Union Church’s mission partners and neighbors need assistance more than ever. If you wish to give over and above your pledged or regular giving, consider a contribution to the Pastors’ Emergency Fund, or consider these efforts on behalf of two of our Mission partners.

    The Boulevard (http://www.blvd.org) provides residential care for homeless men and women in medical recovery. This 64-bed center on Chicago’s West Side offers interim housing and support to ill and injured homeless adults. They have had residents and staff test positive for the coronavirus and their heroic staff has been profoundly challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally responding to the COVID 19 threat.

    The Mission Ministry is coordinating a drive for the following items in standard size containers (not travel size) for the Boulevard:

    • Disposable Gloves
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Toothbrushes & toothpaste
    • Deodorant
    • Lotion
    • Face wipes,
    • Chapstick
    • Soap
    • Feminine products

    Please help us with our drive by depositing donations, by May 15th, on the front porch of Dianne & Jonathan Knight’s house. Questions? Contact Dianne at knightdm52@gmail.com.

    Because of the coronavirus crisis, the Boulevard has canceled their annual gala, the proceeds of which provide a sizable percentage of their budget. If you are able to help the Boulevard to continue in its important mission please DONATE HERE  or, send your check to:  The Boulevard of Chicago, 3456 W. Franklin Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60624.

    A Just Harvest (https://ajustharvest.org) aims to reduce hunger in Rogers Park and the greater Chicago community by providing nutritious meals daily. Because of the coronavirus crisis, they have ceased using volunteers and changed from providing a hot dinner to supplying a carry out lunch, creating substantial additional expenses.

    While volunteers are not permitted at this time, the Mission Ministry is still providing food for a meal to A Just Harvest every other month. If you are interested in helping out  purchasing food for the meal and/or delivering it, please contact Trayce Biancalana at traycebiancs@yahoo.com. You may also assist by purchasing food and supplies from their wish list found here: https://ajustharvest.org/give/wish-list/. Donations may be delivered to 7653 N. Paulina St., Chicago, IL, 9 am-11:30 and 2-3 pm daily.

 

April 9, 2020 Updates

  • All of our worship services, and plenty of other resources, can be found online, at the Union Church of Hinsdale, U.C.C. youtube channel.
  • Details on our Holy Week schedule are here.
  • The church office will be closed and most staff working largely remotely at least until the April 30 Stay-at-home order is lifted.  You can reach Bromleigh McCleneghan, acting Head of Staff, at bmccleneghan@uchinsdale.org, or Penny Johnson, Director of Children’s and Administrative Ministries, at pjohnsons@uchinsdale.org.
  • Offerings, pledges and other donations can still be mailed to the church office, or made online through our secure database at https://hinsdale.church/give-now.  Contact Ann Gleason, our financial manager, at agleason@uchinsdale.org with questions.
  • One way to support neighbors near and far is helping in this time of a critical blood shortage. If you are eligible to donate, please consider seeking out a place to give.
  • Contact Melanie Burton at mburton@uchinsdale.org to be added to our church e-mails, where congregational and community information is shared. Contact Bromleigh or Penny to be added to our church e-mail list focused on children and family resources.
  • In these uncertain times due to the COVID 19 virus crisis, Union Church’s mission partners need assistance more than ever. This week we highlight HCS Family Services, whose goal is to prevent homelessness and food insecurity. HCS operates food pantries at the Memorial Building in Hinsdale and the Anne M. Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook. See the note below from Stan Cook, HCS’s executive director, as to how HCS is responding to the coronavirus crisis.
    Dear Friends at Union Church,
    At HCS Family Services, our top priority is feeding our hungry neighbors. As you can only imagine, the demand for food assistance is higher than ever. So many in our community are out of work. And with schools closed, families can find it difficult to access free school meal programs. People who have never used a food pantry before now need our help. At the same time as demand is rising, our supply of food has fallen. We typically receive over 70% of our food from local grocery story donations. Now that stores are struggling to keep food on their own shelves, they have less to donate to our two pantries.
    At this time of great need, financial donations have the greatest impact. Because we’re part of the efficient food bank network, every dollar donated buys the equivalent of $8 in a local grocery store. Visit HCS online at https://www.hcsfamilyservices.org/
    I want to personally thank Union Church for your ongoing support of HCS Family Services.
    Stan Cook
    Executive Director
    HCS Family Services

 

March 17, 2020 Updates

  • You can find Union Church on Facebook. Many announcements are here and this new group is a spot for conversation and connection.
  • You can find last week’s sermon from Grant on “Improvisation, Risk and Collaboration” here and a presentation to lead you through a time of prayer and reflection here on those themes here.
  • Stephen C Edwards and Stephen Uhl will be livestreaming a hymn sing on Wednesday, March 18, at 1:00pm. Look to the Union Church facebook page for the hymns so you can sing along, or e-mail Stephen Edwards at sedwards at uchinsdale (dot) org.
  • Our middle school youth group will be meeting virtually tomorrow, 3/18, from 4:00-5:00pm. Contact Grant Glowiak at gglowiak at uchinsdale (dot) org for more information, or just logon!
  • Please complete this form to help us assess what gifts and needs our community has.
  • If you’re looking for immediate ways to help, check out this update from Hinsdale Community Services.
  • Join us in worship via livestream (and live chat!) of our 10:00am worship this coming Sunday, March 22nd, here. Once again, the livestream will open at around 9:55am.
  • The church office will be closed and most staff working largely remotely for the time being. We are intending to reassess the situation on Thursday, March 26.  We will be checking voicemail periodically, but email or cell phones are the best way to catch us!
  • More resources for the children in our community are still to come, but for now, check in with Michael’s Music Machine, on facebook live and instagram, each weekday.  UCECP kids will remember Michael from this fall’s Big Day Programming, and others from last year’s VBS!

March 12, 2020

Dear ones in Christ,

I am not one of those people who routinely laments what I didn’t learn in seminary. After a childhood and youth spent in the church and more than fifteen years in pastoral ministry, in a host of varied contexts, there isn’t much that surprises me.  But I will confess, I did not ever anticipate having to write a note such as this: about what our congregational leadership has decided to do in the midst of a global pandemic.

To be clear, at the moment, no one in our community has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. But all the best information suggests that the disease is spreading widely and quickly, and can be especially dangerous for the elderly and those with other immune deficiencies or health complications. Given the particulars of our life together as a congregation – the ways we gather and the informality of many of our gatherings – it is difficult for us to regulate interactions in a way that, say, our preschool and other schools can avoid (with limiting who is in classrooms, enforcing handwashing, increasing disinfecting procedures, etc.).  Indeed, UCECP follows the guidelines of the Department of Health, CDC, and school district and is thus able to stay open while determining this decision on a day to day basis.  

 As a congregation, however, the biggest and most effective intervention we can offer our community is enforcing “social distancing” before any infection has been confirmed in our community.  Given the incubation period and gradual onset of this infection, if we want to “flatten the curve” (limit the scope and severity of the pandemic), we need to act in advance of the virus’s movement.

The Union Church staff, in consultation with our moderator, Marilyn Johnson, and other church leaders, (and with input from Mike Solberg) have come to the decision to suspend in-person gatherings at Union Church, including Sunday worship, effective immediately and through the end of March. We will reassess risk at that time (and during the coming weeks) and either resume Sunday worship and other activities or extend the break.

This decision is not made lightly, and brings with it a host of complications, challenges, and disappointments. We will be live-streaming 10:00 Sunday worship on March 15th, 22nd, and 29th, and will not gather in-person.  You will be able to access the services via this link and the sermons will be available on Monday, as always, on the Union Church youtube channel.  The website will be the first and best source for up to date information.

While we will be practicing “social distancing,” our staff and other leaders are working tirelessly to help us stay connected as a community of faith. We will be posting online resources – videos, music, devotions, prayers and activities, ways of talking to your kids about pandemics! Tips for managing anxiety and fear — available for pastoral care via phone or online chat, and reaching out to those who are self-quarantining. The building will be open (and the preschool still in session for the time being, as they follow the District 181 calendar for the most part), but we will be asking all other church groups not to meet.

We will also need your help and faithfulness. Can you check in with folks over the phone? Deliver groceries or supplies to those with limited resources or mobility? Help the staff know who is in need of a phone call or other support?

I missed worship on Christmas Eve because my whole household had been diagnosed with the flu; now we are wondering if the most danger will have passed by Easter. We are postponing special music and making both short- and long-term plans. But we are also hoping that this time can be used to help us strengthen our connections in new and creative ways; can help us to minister to one another and worship together in ways we’d never thought to imagine.

Please feel free to reach out to me at bmccleneghan@uchinsdale.org with any questions or concerns and watch this space and your email for more information. Thank you for your faithfulness. We’re all in this together, in this new and strange story of our life.

Grace, Peace, and Hope to you,

Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan