Church News

Church News

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

All Church Book Drive for Children & Youth

Give the gift of reading by donating a NEW Children’s or Young Adult book to the Children’s Ministries Book Drive to support Bernie’s Book Bank. The benefits of reading go beyond ABC’s and 123’s. Reading impacts children for the rest of their lives. Confidence soars. Knowledge expands. Vocabulary grows. Offer a child a book and you’ve given them the gift of a lifetime!
During the month of February, Children’s Ministries will gladly accept your donation on Sunday mornings before and after worship in the Narthex, and Wednesday evenings at Family Night. Books will be donated to Bernie’s Book Bank in conjunction with our Service Saturday event on February 26. Visit our Amazon Wish List to get started.

One Book, One Church

Coming in February – One Book One Church

In honor of Black History Month, Stone Catchers will sponsor a community reading of the book Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. This book will help us to continue our discussions about race and how we work towards building a more just community.

Stone Catchers chose this book because there are editions of the book written for adults, youth and children. This is a book your entire family can read together. All three versions will be available for pre-order and delivery by MLK Day. Watch for information in early January to order your copy. You can start reading early and watch for events in February to allow for discussion and action after reading this thoughtful look at history of race in the United States.

Meet Steve, Interim Pastor

My name is Steve Howery and I’ll be filling in for Judy in worship and pastoral care while she is on medical leave. I’d like to tell you a little about myself. I am a native Illini. I was born in Chicago and graduated from Libertyville High School. I was confirmed in Libertyville’s First Presbyterian Church.
I graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a degree in religious studies and received my M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
I served churches in New Jersey, Texas and Louisiana before returning to Illinois to serve as pastor of Niles Community Church in 2001. I retired from that position in 2018.
I live in Glenview with my wife, Carol, where we enjoy gardening, cooking and entertaining. I enjoy playing music with my friends (mostly rock) and from time to time feel inspired to write a song or two.
We each have two grown children and now three granddaughters.
I’m looking forward to getting to know you in the days ahead.

Pastor Judy on Leave Until March 1

As many of you know, Rev. Judy Hockenberry had a medical emergency in November where she ended up in the ICU. Although Judy is now home, she requires time to heal, rest and recuperate. The Session has approved a medical leave of absence from December 1 through February 28 so that Judy is able to fully recover.
Please do not call, text or e-mail Judy during the next two months. If you have pastoral care needs or concerns, please email Rev. Lang.
Given the impact on pastoral resources as a result of Judy’s temporary leave, the Personnel Committee in conjunction with the Session and the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (COM) have hired Rev. Steve Howery to help with the pastoral care and worship needs of the church. Rev. Howery is the former pastor of Niles Presbyterian Church and is honorably retired. We feel very fortunate that he answered the call to help us during this challenging period.

A Note from Judy
December 2021

Dearest friends,
I am completely overwhelmed by your outpouring of prayers and love. God is certainly using each of you in powerful ways to sustain me and bring me to a complete recovery. For those of you that don’t know the story, I will share what I know/remember. On Tuesday afternoon, November 16th, I left work at about 4:30 to go home and begin preparation for a routine colonoscopy. I expected to be out of the office on Wednesday and back on Thursday. I have had three or four colonoscopies and while they are far from pleasant, I have never had an adverse reaction.
The last thing I remember was being wheeled into the room for the procedure. I have no idea how many hours later I came to some level of consciousness but when I did, I was on a ventilator. There is no clear reason for what happened to me. The bottom line is that when they tried to wake me following the procedure, they could not get my oxygen levels to a safe range (usually considered 90% or higher) so they intubated me. From about 11:00 am on Wednesday until 6:00 pm on Friday I remained on a ventilator. I was alert some of that time and writing feverish notes to the family about things that needed to be cancelled and people for whom I was supposed to do something. At some point the medical team decided I needed heavier sedation. No more writing notes! She must rest! Alex stepped up to make sure all the things I was worried about were assigned to others (mostly to him!).
And you – all of you began to pray and send cards and pray harder. On Friday when they extubated me, I was still on a lot of oxygen. Throughout the night I made steady progress. By Saturday evening I was able to go to a regular room. On Monday I went home at 5:30 pm. Six days in the hospital. Six days in bed. I went home weak and tired and alive and able to breathe adequately on room air. Thanks be to God.
Needless to say, this has been an incredibly traumatic journey for me and my entire family, as well as my close friends and colleagues, and all of you. Only in this last week have Ken and I been able to talk about the fact that I almost died. We still have a lot to process. The Personnel Committee and Session have been gracious in allowing me as much time as I need to recover – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I miss all of you. I miss First Presbyterian. I miss my ministry. Still, I know this time is important for my full recovery.
“Thank you” feels very inadequate in the face of your outpouring of love. Cards, food, books, notes – all of it mean so very much because with each of those things comes the larger message of your love for me and through that love, I know God’s love for me. Your love lifts me up and aids my recovery.
You are a wonderful and amazing congregation. I thank you. My whole family thanks you.
Love, Judy

Blanket Drive

On our cold nights in January and February, it is wonderful to have a warm house and a cozy blanket to wrap yourself in. Not everyone is lucky to have that warmth and comfort. During the months of January and February, PW will be collecting for the Blanket Drive. This year it will be both an online and in person collection. The goal of Church World Services (CWS) is to build a world where there is enough for all. By providing a donation of $10, CWS can provide a blanket as a vital and powerful resource for someone needing a little support, warmth, and encouragement. Please help those facing crisis by donating to the Blanket Drive. Checks may be made out to First Presbyterian Church of AH (indicate Blanket Drive in the memo). You may also donate online, select BLANKET DRIVE on the dropdown menu.
Please be generous! Questions? Contact Val Schuffler at [email protected]

Collecting gloves and socks for the homeless

Here in the midwest, we all know how cold the months of January and February are. Knowing this, The Bridge will be sponsoring a church-wide service project to collect warm gloves and socks throughout the month of January. All gloves and socks will be delivered and donated to The Night Ministry in Chicago. The Night Ministry compassionately provides housing, health care, outreach, spiritual care, and social services to adults and youth who struggle with homelessness, poverty, and loneliness. They accept individuals as they are and offer support as they seek to improve their lives. They invite others to join this hope-filled work. Won’t you help us continue the work of The Night Ministry by donating some warm gloves and/or socks?

Cold Weather Gloves – Amazon
The type of gloves suggested are cold weather gloves that are weather resistant. Large sizes are suggested. Brands to consider buying are Columbia or Patagonia. Here is a link and picture you might also consider using to purchase.

Thermal Wool Socks – Amazon
The type of socks suggested are thick thermal wool socks. Large sizes are suggested. Brands to consider buying are Patagonia or Smart Wool. Here is a link and picture you might also consider using to purchase.

Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated. There
will be a large blue barrel outside the Parlor each Sunday in
January. Please use it to drop off your donations. There will
be a large sign on it with the logo of The Night Ministry.
Thank you in advance for your donations.

Restaurant Walk Returns!

Our popular Restaurant Walk program returns for a second session, meeting at Javier’s. Come to meet some new friends and support a local restaurant. Sign-up on Sunday morning or at the button below.


Tuesday, February 1, 6:00 pm
Thursday, February 10, 6:00 pm
Sunday, February 13, 12:00 pm
Saturday, February 19, 12:00 pm
Sunday, February 20, 6:00 pm
(this session is perfect for those dropping youth off for youth group)
Sunday, February 27, 12:00 pm

Church Life, January 2, 2022


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