Church News

Church News

The latest news, announcements, and church publications to keep you up to date.

Office Update

Members of the staff are currently in the office Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. If you wish to speak to a staff member in person, please call for an appointment. Pre-scheduled entry to the building is only through Door 9 (the door near the main office on St. James Street). In order to monitor building use, key cards have been disabled. When you arrive, ring the bell on the wall or call the office at 847-255-5900. Masks are required in the building, and you will be required to sign a visitor’s log.

CCL Spring Forward Activities

The Congregational and Community Life Committee is sharing some fun activities for you to “Spring It Forward” each week in April and May. Click below and join the fun!

First Pres Golf League

The First Pres Golf League is organizing teams for the 2021 season at Palatine Hills Golf Course. May through August, we will have Tuesday evening tee-times for nine-hole rounds. Whether you are already a great golfer or just learning how to play, you are welcome to join the league. We also need substitutes! For additional information, please contact Arlene Bullerman at (847) 670-0319.

Earth Day (April 22) Environmental Awareness

Many of us took advantage of curbside pickup and carry-out this past year. Along with the ease and convenience came a lot of prepackaged plastic eating utensils that we didn’t use. Many are not recyclable and will end up in landfills or waterways. In conjunction with Earth Day, Stone Catchers will be collecting your unused plastic utensil packets to use in different ways here at church. You may drop your wrapped, unused packets in the bin outside Door 9 (near the main office) any time, or bring them to the welcome table at our outdoor worship. The collection will end April 30.

In Person Worship Update

At the April Session meeting, the Session gave the Worship, Music, and Sacraments Committee the ability to establish when our first in-person, inside worship opportunity will be. We are still taking vaccine rates as well as IDPH guidelines into consideration. We hope for an indoor opening somewhere between May 16 and June 6. In our recent survey, not quite half of our respondents indicated that they were ready for in-person worship.

Plant A Seed

Families of all ages are invited to join us for a family seed planting open house on Sunday, April 18 anytime between 1:00 -3:00 pm.

All decorating and planting supplies will be provided. Please bring your own gardening gloves.

We look forward to seeing you!

Pandemic Reflections

Over the last few months of the pandemic, I’ve had several people reach out to me just wanting to chat about their lives. They don’t want my advice, rather they’re looking for an outlet to process the feelings of loss, anger, grief and sadness that are all too present as a result of the coronavirus. Some have lost jobs, others have lost friendships and still others have lost loved ones. Perhaps more than anything else, many have lost experiences that they can never get back.

Interestingly, I have also had conversations with people about how this pandemic has been a wake-up call. I have had more than one conversation with people who were inspired to change their lifestyle choices. From eating better, to drinking less, to exercising more, I’ve been impressed by the ingenuity of some folks to make lemonade out of lemons. Others have admitted that being let go from their jobs was blessing. They were being consumed by their work and took the opportunity to reconnect with their families.

The one thing that I have noticed is that, regardless of how the pandemic has affected a person, talking about their experiences made them feel better. Judy, TC and I want you to know that, if you feel the need to tell your story, we are here to listen. 

Below is a form that will allow you to talk about what’s been happening in your life. Everything you tell us will be held in confidence.

We hope you will take this opportunity to be vulnerable and share how this unique moment in history has impacted you. The truth is no one will emerge from this event unscathed, but if we lend each other a kind ear, then I believe we can begin the process of allowing God’s love to heal our wounds. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please list some Highs and Lows that you’ve experienced during this past year:

Connecting with First Pres

If yes, then please specify your name and number below

Family VBS and Mission Factory Registration Opens Soon!

Family Vacation Bible School 2021

VBS will be a family event this year, offered outdoors in our west parking lot from Tuesday, June 22 – Thursday, June 24. Dinner will be available beginning at 6:00 pm, with VBS programming beginning at 6:30 pm. Families of preschoolers – 4th graders will participate in each evening’s activities together. Favorite VBS features such as upbeat music, Bible stories, games and craft/mission projects will help us explore our faith as we enjoy time together in the evening light. There will be a nominal registration fee of $10/family.

Online registration opens on April 12. If you have any questions about VBS, please contact Katy Allen, Director of Children’s Ministries, at

MissionFactory 2021

Incoming 5th and 6th graders will enjoy a week of fun, fellowship, and mission as they come together for MissionFactory. We will meet indoors, in person, following all current safety guidelines from Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25 from 8:45 am – 12:00 pm This year’s group will be limited to 40 participants, with priority registration for church members. We are looking forward to connecting with other Presbyterian churches through letter writing, front lawn visits to senior church members, preparing lunches for first responders and other community agencies, and recognizing pandemic heroes, among other activities. Registration for MissionFactory will be $25/child.

Online registration opens for church members on April 12. Community registration opens on April 26. If you have any questions about MissionFactory, please contact Katy Allen, Director of Children’s Ministries, at

Cook County COVID Vaccine Information Session – Recap

In case you missed the presentation by Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, you are invited to check out the presentation slides. Commissioner Britton shared resources for vaccine appointment assistance, vaccination statistics, and an overview of how Suburban Cook County is doing overall in vaccinating its residents. The Commissioner’s office is ready and willing to help any Cook County resident in need of vaccine information. Please call 847-729-9300.

Pick Up Your Easter Goodie Bag!

Easter goodie bags will be available beginning on Palm Sunday, March 28, at Door 9 under the portico at the main entrance. Goodie bags will be available through Easter Sunday, April 4, or while supplies last. Bags contain activities appropriate for preschool – 5th graders.

Holy Week & Easter Worship Details

We will celebrate virtual communion during the streaming of our Maundy Thursday worship on April 1. We encourage you to have some juice and bread or a cracker so that you can partake when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

Good Friday worship will be offered via streaming on Friday, April 2.

Easter Sunday worship will be offered in person, outdoors, weather permitting at 11:00 am. A service will also be available via live stream. Let us celebrate the Lord’s resurrection together!

Something New  

This year on Easter Day we are going to participate in the Flowering of the Cross. This is a meaningful tradition that represents our movement from Good Friday to Easter. We encourage each family to purchase flowers or pick some from your yard and bring them to church on Easter before our service. Together we will transform a barren cross into a beautiful Easter symbol, covered with fresh flowers. Following worship in the parking lot, we will move the flowered cross to our front steps, facing Dunton Avenue. If we are virtual only due to weather, please bring flowers to church on Saturday, April 3 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm or on Sunday, 

April 4 from 9:00 am – 11:00 am.

Pick Up You Palm Branches!

Pick up your PALM BRANCHES tomorrow!!!! 🌿 What is Palm Sunday without a palm branch to wave? We are planning to decorate the front steps of our church with the branches on Saturday morning, March 27. You are welcome to come and take a branch any time after 1:00 pm on Saturday!

Register Now for CTR’s Virtual Career Planning Course

Tuesdays, April 14 – February 16 / 11:30 am – 12:30 pm / via Zoom

We’re excited to announce a new five-week Virtual Career Planning Course from our Career Transition Resources Team!
Our five-week program covers the most important cornerstones of your job search or career journey, including self-assessment, budgeting, resume building, marketing, networking, interview preparation, and negotiations. Classes will be held via Zoom on Tuesdays, April 14 – May 12, from 11:30 am-12:30 pm.

Email, by April 10th to register or click here for more information.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job or seeking change in your career path, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Sign up now!

2020 Annual Report

Dear Members of First Pres,

Due to the pandemic, our Annual Meeting is going to be held via Zoom on Sunday, February 21st at 11:00am. In order to attend the meeting, you need to register by clicking this link:

Also, we want to provide you with all of the pertinent documents ahead of time so you can review them at your leisure:

  1. The bulletin (this includes membership milestones, memorials and the docket)
  2. The Annual Report
  3. White Paper on the motion to reduce the size of Session
  4. Financial/Statistical Supplement

There is a voting function within Zoom that will allow us to vote on the three motions (Session reduction, Pastor’s Terms of Call, Nominating Committee) that will come before the congregation. 

If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please don’t hesitate to ask. We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting!

Peace and blessings,

Pastor Alex

#1: The Bulletin


#2: The Annual Report

Click the fullscreen button to view optimally on your computer or digital device.

#3: White Paper on the motion to reduce the size of Session


#4: Financial/Statistical Supplement


Easter Egg Tree

Our Congregation and Community Life Committee also has created an Easter Egg Tree with beautiful hanging eggs that each have an inspiring note.  The tree will be on display outside First Pres and you are invited to stop by at your convenience and take an egg.  We hope that the egg, a symbol of new life in Christ, will remind you that while we cannot get together in person, we are always connected through Jesus Christ.  The eggs will be available for pick up at Door 9 (near main office) after 9:00 am on February 14 and will be available through February 17. 

Lent Calendar

Our Congregation and Community Life Committee created a Lent Calendar for you with daily actions, such as praying, meditating, giving, will help bring us closer to each other and Jesus Christ during this holy season.  You may download your Lent Calendar here (Insert hyperlink).  Lent calendars will also be available for pick up at Door 9 (near the main office) at your convenience after 9:00am on February 14 and will be available through February 17. 

Journeys Meal Donation and Delivery Help Needed

First Pres continues to deliver meals to two Arlington Heights hotels where guests from our PADS program are currently staying. We anticipate providing these meals for the foreseeable future. Through your generosity, we continue to provide three meals a day, once per week, for 90 people. Also, we will provide 24 people with a box of food that will provide breakfast and lunch for a week. We need food donations, cash donations, and volunteers to pack and deliver. To get involved, sign up here

If you have any questions, please contact the PADS food team at

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