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RCLPC in Ministry This Week
Sunday, January 26 - Saturday, February 1


9:45 - 11:00Youth Pancake Breakfast

10:00Congregation Meeting in F.H.

Monday12:15Staff Meeting
Tuesday10:00Book Group

6:00Band practice

7:15Choir practice


Saturday8:00Men's Breakfast Group

Slides for Announcements

Congregation Meeting - January 26, 2020
The Session has called the Annual Congregation Meeting on January 26, 2020 at 10:00am in Fellowship Hall to present and approve the annual report and present and approve the Pastor's 2020 terms of call.

Please remember these people in your prayers

for dealing with the death of a loved one:
Sally Nelson and family, death of Paul Nelson
Steve and Amy Connell and family, death of Steve's mom, Sue Connell

for healing and recovery of ongoing health concerns:
Raj Dencker; Sarah Metivier Schadt's husband, Aaron; Kathy Novak; Sarah Elam; Nancy Blakely's mom; Naomi Stange; Marge Stewart's son, Tom; Linda Popp; John Fankhauser; Dorothy Vick; Joy Martin and family; Allison and Dave Larsen's nephew, Michael Deschenes; Paula Viner's mother, Barb Ferguson; Paul Nelson; Cindy Borre's grandniece, Maggie; Jim and Carol Iddings; Glenn Bereiter; Carol Hoefer's mother, Edith

for families dealing with difficult life choices:
immigrant detainees and their families

for our troops:
all of our troops and their families

prayers for Kenya:
Please pray that locusts which have appeared will be controlled so that crops can be harvested, that seeds will be distributed to those who need them in time for planting in March, and for a good planting and growing season.

for our friends around the world:
Living Waters partners in Guatemala; El Saray Church and Fairhaven School in Egypt; Rev. Hani Jack and family; Christians and Muslims in community together; Ngirine Parish, our partner parish in Kenya; PC(USA) Mission Co-Worker, Cesar Carhuachin, in Colombia

Congregation Meeting - January 26, 2020
The Session has called the Annual Congregation Meeting on January 26, 2020 at 10:00am in Fellowship Hall to present and approve the annual report and present and approve the Pastor's 2020 terms of call.

Chili Cook Off & Living Waters Update
February 8, 6-9 pm, Fellowship Hall

Join us for an update on the recent Living Waters trip to Guatemala. Sign up to bring chili, sides, or just yourself - everyone is welcome! Chilis will be judged in the following categories: Tastiest, Most Creative, and Spiciest. Activities will be provided for children. Questions? Contact Andrea Pracht

Nominating Committee Request
The nominating committee would like to invite members of the congregation to submit names of church members that you feel would be good additions to the deacons, elders, nominating and audit committees. Please contact George Steffen or Nancy Delware with your suggestions in the next week.

Celebrating Rev. John Rickard
Blackhawk Presbytery Executive Rev. John Rickard is retiring from his post as the longest serving Executive in the entire PC(USA)! At the upcoming Presbytery meeting on Feb. 11th there will be a celebration of his dedicated service and best wishes for his future. Part of the celebration will be a presentation of personal "farewell" cards. John has long been a friend and aid to RCLPC, so I invite you to write a personal message or sign the general card available in the Gathering Area. Pastor John.

Coins for Kenya
In January 2020, representatives from Blackhawk, together with their Imenti partners, distributed food in Rwarera, Kenya. People there had survived a drought, but were left in such poverty that they could not afford seed to plant their land. Over 300 individuals eagerly stood in line to receive food. However, they expressed even more elation at the announcement that they would be given seed to get them back to sustaining their own lives. Please donate to Coins for Kenya! While the Imenti presbyteries will work with the local chief and government officials to determine specific quantities, we estimate they have one-half acre per family for a total of 100 acres to plant. To provide maize and bean seed, this will require approximately $3,000. Coins for Kenya are needed by February 15 so that together we may provide seed in time for the March planting season. Thank you very much!

Session Highlights - January 20, 2020

  • Rev. John Dillon Moderator
  • Approved Session Meeting Minutes from December 16, 2019
  • Approved Pastor's 2020 HRA Plan
  • Approved 2019 Annual Statistical Report
  • Approved 2019 Annual Report for Congregation Approval at January 26th Annual Meeting
  • Approved January 26th Congregation Meeting Agenda and speaker assignments
  • Approved action of Audit Committee to conduct audit of 2019 financials
  • Approved action for Nominating Committee to establish a slate of candidates for open positions, for Session review at April meeting for Congregation Approval at May 2020 Congregation meeting
  • The Session recognizes and appreciates the 2019 work of reviewing and updating of the Policies and Procedures Manual. Thank you, Mike Rugh, George Steffen, Al Popp, Nancy Delware and Linda Popp
  • The Session recognizes and appreciates the work of the Clerk (Lee Ekstrom) in the organization and preparation of the 2019 Annual Report
  • The Session thanks the Rev. Fred Neuschel for standing in on very short notice for the ailing Pastor John at the January 5th services
  • Recognized the death of Rev. Paul Nelson
  • Recognized the retirement of Rev. John Rickard as Presbyter and Stated Clerk of Blackhawk Presbytery. Appreciation notes from RCLPC will be collected for presentation to Rev. Rickard at his final Presbytery meeting on February 11th
  • Approved changing the date of the March Session meeting to March 16th
  • Approved Consent Agenda items: Worship Team, Deacons, Building and Grounds Team, Mission Team, Communications Team, and Vision Team
  • Conducted a discussion on Christian Education congregation support
  • Approved Pastor John's 2020 Terms of Call proposal for approval at the January 26th Congregation Meeting
  • Approved distribution of $11,000 of the $22,676 2019 budget surplus to the Unscheduled Maintenance dedicated account with the remaining surplus distribution to be reviewed at February Session meeting
  • Approved the establishment of an exploratory committee (1 elder, 1 deacon, 1 member at large) to develop guidelines for distribution of scholarships
  • Next Session meeting is February 24, 2020 at 7pm in the Lounge

Flower Chart for 2020
The new flower chart for Sunday worship is up and ready to be filled in. Please sign up on the chart on the window next to the staff office. Thank you.

Invitation from Fox Valley Presbyterian Church
We have the opportunity here at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church to host a screening of the 2019 PDA feature length documentary, Flint: The Poisoning of An American City. The movie talks about the history of Flint, the more recent circumstances that brought about the water crisis, the impact it has on residents, how the truth came out, and the current status of the residents and their water. It's a free screening, and we're looking forward to hosting folk on Friday night, January 31, at 7:00pm.

New Faith Encounters Adult Ed Class to Begin
Starting Sunday, February 2, at 10:00am in the Lounge, the Adult Ed class will discuss "Reading the Bible from the Margins." We will explore how our "standard" understanding of Scripture is not always acceptable to people or groups "on the margins" of our community. We will be guided by the writings of Miguel De La Torre, a Cuban American who teaches at the LLiff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado.

Your Special Fiesta Auction Donations Make a Difference!
Do you have a hobby or special interest that you would be interested in sharing? Do you have a basket theme idea that might be fun for me to try? Would your work place or business care to donate a service or item? Do you love to shop? How about donating items to a themed basket? Would you enjoy joining our donation-collecting team and be willing to drop in at assigned local businesses? Please let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to have your help and support!
Amy Bernardi Connell

Planting the Seeds of Community & Friendship - A Community Interfaith Initiative
Please join us for our next Community Potluck Meal
Friday, February 21, 2020, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Resurrection Catholic Church, 2918 Country Club Rd, Woodstock, IL 60098
Leaders from Resurrection Catholic Church, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, McHenry County Jewish Congregation, and American Muslim Community Organization will be joining us for the panel discussion! Please bring a dish to share! All ages welcome! (Kid-care available)
Members of Resurrection, AMCO, Ridgefield Presbyterian Church, the Jewish Congregation of McHenry County, are coming together to find ways to build bridges and plant the seeds of community, friendship, and harmony among all faiths. We will be planning quarterly fellowship events at the various places of worship for adults, youth, and children. Please direct all questions and RSVPs for this event to Cindy Theobald.

Pancake Breakfast and Congregational Meeting
The youth will once again be flipping flapjacks for mission on January 26th. That's right, pancakes with all the trimmings will be served from 9:45am-11:00am and a free will donation will be accepted. Money raised will be put towards our mission work, including our trip this June. Also on January 26th is our congregational meeting at 10:00am. All members are encouraged to attend. You get to eat during the meeting and we all know meetings are better with food, right? See you on the 26th!

Souper Bowl of Caring - February 2
With the Super Bowl just around the corner, our youth are gearing up for our annual collection for the Souper Bowl of Caring! Please consider a monetary donation on February 2 to #tacklehunger in our community. Our goal is to raise $1,000 for the CL Food Pantry and would like you to join our team. Cash and checks (made out to RCLPC) are appreciated. Let's fill the soup pot on the 2nd. Don't forget - everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite football attire on the 2nd! Raechel Sowa, Youth Coordinator

Middle School Youth
Mark your calendars and plan on being at the following gatherings. Friends are always welcome (and encouraged!)
February 2 - 12:00-2:30pm: Super Bowl Pre Game (MS and HS Youth)
February 23 - 4:00-5:45pm: MS Youth- Make a Difference
March 7 - 7:00-9:00pm: Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville - Family Event
March 15 - 4:00- 5:45pm: MS Youth- Self Control

Prayer Board in the Gathering Space
Did you see the ASAP (Always Say a Prayer) Board above the water fountain in the Gathering Space? Thank you to our Middle School youth for creating a space for us to share our prayers. All you have to do is write your prayer on the paper provided and attach it to the board with the clothespin. Please stop by the board each week to either add a prayer or see who you can be praying for.

Chili Cook Off & Living Waters Update
February 8, 6-9 pm, Fellowship Hall, RCLPC

Join us for an update on the recent Living Waters trip to Guatemala. Sign up to bring chili, sides, or just yourself - everyone is welcome! Chilis will be judged in the following categories: Tastiest, Most Creative, Spiciest. Activities will be provided for children. Questions? Contact Andrea Pracht

Coffee, Flower Dedication Sign-up Sheets
Please take a look at the Fellowship hour coffee sign-up sheet near the coffee station in Fellowship Hall. Your chance to make lots of people very happy on Sunday mornings! Also, the flower dedication sheet is hanging in the window of the staff office. Sign up now to dedicate blooms in honor, memory or in celebration of a special person, date or ... just because! Flowers may be then taken home after the last Sunday service, or will be brought to someone on our prayer list.

Care for Children Overseas - Fairhaven School
Our congregation's Egyptian Connection began 40 years ago when an Egyptian pastor came to us as part of a "mission on reverse" program. The following summer 21 people from our church visited Egypt. While there, we met a young man who had a passion for children who were developmentally disabled. A couple in our group invited him to come and spend a year in Crystal Lake learning about special education. Later, when our friend Pastor Gendi was in Alexandria he grasped an opportunity to have some Swedish teachers come and train teachers and start a school for children with special needs in Alexandria. Some teachers from that school also came here for additional training.

Today, Fairhaven School provides rehabilitative services for 135 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Each student has an individualized educational program and is surrounded by a spirit of love by the teachers and staff. The students learn self-advocacy in regular meetings twice a week, visit schools for non-disabled students, and participate with them in sports activities and art and music classes. Siblings of the students meet monthly to build friendships and to share experiences of coping with their situations.

Students participate in Scouting activities, recreational activities, and shopping and community outings. Families of the students have monthly meetings to learn and discuss topics related to disabilities. Students celebrate national and religious occasions and holidays, as well as participating in singing in a chorus, physical exercise, computer training and handicrafts. Older students are trained in work skills such as carpentry, greenhouse farming, candle making, paper recycling and sewing skills. The school greatly appreciates our support and prayers. To help support Fairhaven School, you can make monthly or annual contributions to RCLPC and put Fairhaven School in the memo.

Fair Trade Products
A new supply of Equal Exchange products, purchased through the Interfaith Coffee Project, has been received and is available on the fair trade cabinet shelves in Fellowship Hall. Chocolate bars, tea, and coffee purchases support small farmers in Africa and Latin America. The products are self-serve, and checks (written to RCLPC, memo Fair Trade) or cash are placed in the box on the cabinet.
The fair trade station in Fellowship Hall is always open, self-serve, with current prices posted on a sign by the products. No change is provided, and both checks (written to RCLPC, memo "fair trade") and cash are accepted. Just place your payment in the small box with the products. A new order of coffee, tea, and chocolate arrived recently. If you enjoy chocolate, you'll find bars of 55% cacao with almond and sea salt, 80% cacao Panama, and 92% cacao Total Eclipse. The last is a brand-new bar from Equal Exchange's first partner from the "cocoa belt" in Togo, West Africa. Those bars would make fantastic baking chocolate. Thanks for purchasing fair trade. It makes a world of difference to small cacao farmers in Latin America and Togo.

Fairhaven School
Our congregation has a long history of relationship with Fairhaven School in Alexandria, Egypt. The school serves children of all ages with a variety of special needs. Students participate in community and artistic activities as well as academic pursuits. Take a look at some recent photos on the mission bulletin board in fellowship hall. Your support is welcome. Simply write a check to RCLPC with "Fairhaven" in the memo.

Mission Outreach Ministry - Care for Children Overseas
If you were inspired by the moment for mission on January 21 or if you would simply like to contribute to the life of students overseas, there is no need to fill out a commitment form. Just write your check to RCLPC and write in the memo "Student Sponsorship" if you want your contribution to go to the scholarship for Sofi at the Colegio Americano of Apartado, Colombia. If you would like to help support the Fairhaven School for special needs students in Alexandria, Egypt, simply write in the memo "Fairhaven." You may make a one-time, monthly or quarterly contribution. Thank you.

Collection for Old Firehouse Assistance Center
In addition to our PADS lunch program, the Missions team will be collecting donations for the Old Firehouse Assistance Center in Woodstock. The OFAC provides meals, showers, and other social services to McHenry County's homeless population. A drop-off box will be located next to the stairwell in the Connecting Link. A list of most frequently needed items will be posted near the box. OFAC is also in need of volunteers. If you can help or have any questions, please call Charlie Doll. Thank you for your support.

RCLPC Living Waters for the World
Check the RCLPC Living Waters Facebook page at for daily prayer requests and photos. If you "like" the page, you will receive the posts. The RCLPC blog at has daily updates on the health and hygiene education and installation work that was done in Jerez.

2020 Food Pantry Schedule for RCLPC
January 8 & 29, February 26, March 25, April 15, May 13, June 10, July 1 & 22, August 19, September 16, October 7, November 4 & 25, December 23

Check Out the Fair Trade Cart
At RCLPC we have an opportunity to purchase fair trade products from the self-serve coffee Cart and Zatoun olive oil display in Fellowship Hall. Coffee, tea, and olive oil are regularly available. A new order will be placed in October, and we are always glad to order your favorite tea, chocolate, or coffee. Send an email to Lois Johnson if you'd like us to stock something particular. Each purchase helps ensure that fair prices are paid to farmers, allowing them to send their children to school and plan for a more certain future. ~ Mission Team

Palestinian Olive Oil
We have 750 ml bottles for $20 and 500 ml bottles for $15. Try it with Za'atar (thyme herb mix). Za'atar is $5 a package. Enjoy the delicious taste and the pleasure of helping Palestinian farmers. Look for it in Fellowship Hall near the Fair Trade coffee cart.

Calling Cards
A way to share the good news about what's going on at RCLPC are Calling Cards listing church contact information and a sampling of our missions. These cards are available for the congregation. Look for them in holders around the church. Please take a few and hand them out whenever you find an opportunity. ~ Mission Team

Mission Partners
QR code to mission site You will find a directory of Mission Partners in the pew racks. It offers a central place to read about RCLPC's missions and their role in our common life. The directory introduces you to the many ways "we go in grace... to serve God's people in every place life leads us." A digital version of this booklet, including links to our partners' websites, can be found here on our church website - just click on the "Mission Partners" button, or you can scan the QR Code here to view at your convenience. ~ Mission Outreach Ministry

I Gave On-Line
Notice the giving cards in the pew racks? The cards describe the different ways you can give online to RCLPC. They also act as a tangible item to place in the offering plate for those who elect to give online. If you make financial gifts directly to RCLPC by check or cash, you are encouraged to continue. But if online giving is more convenient, please note that you can set up online banking, or go through the church website at, or use the QR code. Whichever you choose, please be sure to include your RCLPC contributor number with every gift.

QR Code for On-line giving

On-Line Giving RCLPC now offers an on-line giving opportunity.
Scan the QR Code to take you to our web page to donate on-line at your convenience.
Please use your contributor number in the note box.

Guide to Giving at RCLPC
At Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church (RCLPC), we live in a circle of generosity. Whether it's serving, leading, sharing in fellowship, or placing financial gifts in the offering plate, the evidence is all around us. Time, talents, financial resources all given freely in response to God's gift of grace. Because a new avenue is available for giving to meet financial needs, the variety of ways to give to the General Fund are listed here:

  • Personal checks/cash directly to RCLPC
  • Online banking (billpay) - Your bank sends a check drawn from your funds.
  • Online giving through church website at - Click on "Giving to RCLPC" to be directed to the General Fund through our partnership with Presbyterian Mission Exchange.
  • QR code - Readable barcode directs givers to RCLPC's General Fund through Presbyterian Mission Exchange

Using Presbyterian Mission Exchange:

  • A receipt, which you need to keep for tax purposes, will be emailed to you directly by the Exchange. When giving online, direct transfer is preferred.

If you are interested in giving online, look for a how-to handout on the ushers' tables. Contact the church office if you need more information. Whatever way you choose to give, please include your RCLPC contributor number. It serves as your account number. Let's continue the journey in RCLPC's circle of generosity. You are invited to give as you are able. Stewardship and Finance Teams

There are hearing assistant devices and large print bulletins available to those who may need them. Please ask an usher for assistance.

Prayer chain requests are now being done through the office. Please call the office at 815-459-1132 or email the request to Please specify whether the request is confidential or can be shared with the congregation.

picture of the churchMany announcements and sign-up opportunities can be found in the Connecting Link, the hallway inside the front glass doors leading to the Fellowship Hall. It serves to connect you with resources and opportunities. Check out the Connecting Link!.

The Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church
8505 Church Street in Ridgefield
Crystal Lake, IL 60012 ~ 815.459.1132 ~

Church Office Hours are 9am - Noon; Monday - Thursday