Church News

Church News

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

COMING SOON: Career Planning Course

Wednesday Evening, February 1 – March 15 at 7:00 pm

This six-week class covers the most important cornerstones of
your job search or career journey, including self-assessment, budgeting, resume building, marketing, networking, interview preparation, and negotiations. Whether you’re on the hunt for a new job or seeking a change in your career path, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. Sign up now by emailing [email protected]! Register by January 31.

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 enough to have that warmth and comfort. During the months of January and February, PW will be collecting for the Blanket Drive.

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. Envelopes can be found in the pew rack and 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!

Restaurant Walk

February Restaurant Walk sign-up is now open throughout January! Meals will take place throughout February at Carlos & Carlos in downtown Arlington Heights. This is a great way to connect with other members of the congregation. Sign up by calling the office or online at


Thursday, February 2, 6:00 pm
Sunday, February 5, 5:30 pm
Thursday, February 9, 6:00 pm
Thursday, February 16, 6:00 pm
Sunday, February 19, 5:30 pm

Chimes, January 2023


Nursery Help Wanted!

Are you in need of a “baby fix”? We are experiencing a “baby boom” in the nursery. The church nursery is in need of additional volunteers, and we can now accept volunteers who are at least 16 years old as long as they are working with an adult! The immediate need is the third or fourth Sunday of the month, but we will accept help any Sunday! Adults (age 18+) will need to take Safe Sanctuary Training. Please contact Beth Johnson, Nursery Coordinator, at [email protected]

Prep a Christms Breakfast for Our First Pres Church Staff

Help us say Thank You to the hardworking staff at First Pres with a Christmas Breakfast! We are asking for ingredients for the casseroles plus other breakfast items to be donated on or before December 18. Scan the QR code to donate needed breakfast items.

On Sunday, December 18, meet us at 10:30 am in the kitchen in Fellowship Hall where we will prep egg casseroles to serve later in the week. Don’t forget your apron! Questions: contact Chuck Yedor at [email protected] com, Mark Allen at [email protected], or Kate Ingemunson at [email protected].

Share a part of your Christmas Story

In the season of Advent, our sermon series will focus on objects from the Christmas narrative that have particular significance to us as Christians and inform our understating of Jesus and how we are to live as Christians. To go along with our sermon series, we would like to invite you to share a picture of an object that has meaning to you in the Christmas season. Perhaps an ornament, a nativity scene passed down through generations or a movie. When you submit the picture, please include a short description of why the object is particularly meaningful you. You can submit your photo and description to Katy Allen at [email protected] or at church through December 18 and enjoy the display in the Narthex through January 8.

From Generation to Generation… An Advent Devotional

This year we are offering a devotional guide for the season of advent titled: From Generation to Generation… An Advent Devotional. You can pick up a hard copy of the guide at church in the literature racks, visit the website to enjoy the guide electronically.


The stories, scriptures and traditions of the Christmas season have been passed down to us throughout the generations. Many of us enter this season with a swell of memories and emotions as vast as the cultural and religious rituals this holiday holds. Like a tapestry woven throughout time, the Christmas story weaves us in—to remember how God has shown up in the past, to continue the work of collective liberation, to behold the presence of God in flesh and bone.

In this daily devotional, we invite you to take a closer look at how the Christmas story unfolds. We encourage you to pay attention to each of the characters in these familiar narratives and ask: What did each person pass on or contribute? How did they either participate in God’s liberation and love—or try to thwart God’s justice? What can we learn from them and what is our role now? What will we pass on to the next generation?

As creatives, they’ve contemplated these questions and themes while revisiting the stories surrounding Christ’s birth. In response, they’ve created visual art, written reflections, poems, hymns and journaling prompts. And, because many of us connect to our ancestors through the food they’ve passed down to us, they’ve shared family recipes for you

to prepare as an act of Sabbath rest. Day by day, we invite you to journey through the reflections and prompts in this devotional with wonder and curiosity for the ways God is speaking to you.

From Generation to Generation… reminds us of the ways our lives,
histories, actions and stories are interconnected and woven together. The work of God is always unfolding—in and through us. This Advent, may you remember that you belong—to a story etched into the wrinkles of time, to generations that have come before and will come after, to a love that won’t let you go.

Church Life, October 2, 2022


Restaurant Walk Signups are Open!

You can sign-up throughout September — Our popular Restaurant Walk is returning! Sign-ups will be open throughout September, with meals taking place in October. We’ll gather in groups of eight to ten and dine at Hey Nonny (10 S. Vail, Arlington Heights). Come meet some new people and support our local businesses.

Dates are:

  • Sunday, October 2 at noon
  • Thursday, October 6 at 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 16 at noon
  • Thursday, October 20 at 6:00 pm

What Did You Do Over the Summer?

Children’s Ministries is sponsoring a church-wide photo collage of “What I Did Over the Summer”. We will begin collecting photos of your adventures on Sunday, September 11.

Pictures can be of a place you visited, a family photo, a memory you made – anything you would like to share with your church family! And you’re not limited to just one photo – we’ll display them all!

You can begin submitting photos by email immediately or drop off an actual photo at the display in the lobby starting on September 11 . Photos will be collected until Thursday, September 29 and displayed until Sunday, October 2.

Church Life, May 22, 2022


Bon Voyage Pastor Alex!

I can’t believe it! The Sabbatical I planned to take in the summer of 2020 is now a reality in the summer of 2022. Finally, after multiple waves of different variants, I made it! I will be gone from May 26 through September 5 and I want to spend a little time laying out for you what you can expect over the next three months while I’m away.

The first thing you need to know is that my family and I will be travelling to the United Kingdom and Europe. During that time, I will be out of contact with all of you. I’m removing my e-mail from my phone and I’m going to be changing my phone number. In other words, you will be unable to contact me and, even if you find a way to do so, I won’t respond.

I don’t mean this to sound harsh, but the church is something I think about 24/7. I never stop thinking about it, so in order to really get some rest, I need to completely detach. While I’m gone, Judy will become the acting head of staff. She will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the church and for making sure everything runs smoothly in my absence. Of course, this means that Judy
is responsible for most of the preaching, along with her husband Ken and other guest preachers. Judy will not be in contact with me, so she can’t deliver any messages on your behalf. It’ll just have to wait until September.

Normally, during a Sabbatical, the pastor uses it as a time for personal study. They usually have some project they are working on while they are away. The Session has given me permission to use the time abroad to finish the last four chapters of a new book I’ve been writing. It’s called Restorative Beauty and the concept of the book is to address the topic of spirituality for those who would not consider themselves to be spiritual. This summer will be a great help in finishing the main body of the text. My hope is that once I have all the academic notes and editing finished, it will be ready for release by the spring of 2023.

I’ll let you know about my progress on the book once I’m back, but in the meantime, I just want to encourage you all with a couple of things. First of all, please don’t check out for the summer because I’m no longer around. Although many people see the church as being about the pastor, the truth is that the church is much more about you. So please make it a priority to come to church and participate in our programs over the summer.

Secondly, please continue your financial support of the church while I’m gone. If I return from this trip and our giving has taken a major nosedive, then that’s going to be an immediate source of stress. Therefore, let me say thank you up front for continuing to support the church in my absence.

The staff here really does need your support while I’m gone. They are going to do their very best to make sure everything happens the way it’s supposed to in a timely manner, but just remember that we are used to working with three pastors and with TC’s departure, we are now down to one, so be kind to Judy.

Judy will have some help, but the truth is, there is only so much she can pass off to the people who are here to help. When Judy was away on medical leave, having Rev. Steve Howery around was great for some things, but when someone died, particularly if it was someone important to our community, I couldn’t pass that off to him. Therefore, I’m just asking for you to have patience and know we are doing our best.

Finally, I just want to say thank you again for giving me the time. There are a lot of churches that cannot afford to allow their pastor to go on Sabbatical. We are in a privileged position where that can happen. I promise I will take lots of pictures and, as is my custom, I will likely put together a short video of my adventures so that upon my return you can get a flavor of what it was like. Have a great summer, get some rest and relaxation for yourself and I’ll see you in September!

Farewell TC!

Dear First Pres Family,

It is with joy and sorrow that I tell you that I have been offered and accepted a position back in my home state of Michigan. I will be working throughout the school year at a church in Detroit and then in the summers will be working at the camp associated with that church. That camp happens to be the same camp I worked at for seven summers throughout the aughts. This has been a dream of mine to work as the program director full time at Camp Westminster for several years and now that dream is becoming a reality! So, that is the joy.

The sorrow is obviously leaving you all. It has been my deepest delight
to walk with you all for the past decade. I have made more meaningful connections than I can count, grown in ways I couldn’t have dreamed of when I started, and created memories that will never fade, even if I wanted them too (I’m looking at you 24-hour bus ride through Peru’s mountains while deathly ill).

When I started this job, I wanted to stay for four years to see my freshmen graduate. I’ve now seen those who were in 3rd grade when I arrived graduate, and what a blessing to see so many amazing children and youth come through this church and go on to amazing things, as spectacular people.

As we know from Ecclesiastes everything has its season. I am thankful for my season here, and thankful for everyone who welcomed me, embraced me, laughed with me, cried with me, confided in me, picked me up when I was down, allowed me to help them up when they were down, taught me, allowed me to teach them, heard me, saw me, grew with me, supported me, challenged me, and allowed me to walk this path. There are not enough words for me to express how thankful I am to all of you for the past 10 years. It both feels like a lifetime and the blink of an eye.

To all of my youth throughout the years:

Keep being the amazing, inspirational people that you are, as you grow and learn and completely change this world for the better! Know that you are deeply and completely loved, just as you are. Always remember to leave things better than you found them and above all (to steal from one of the greatest teachers I know) love one another, even when it’s hard.

To the parents of all of my youth throughout the years:

They are who they are because of who you are. You should be endlessly proud of that.

Again, thank you all so much for everything. I cannot express how much this place has altered my life for the better. I will miss you all and this place will always have a piece of my heart.

Forever your brother in Christ,

TC Anderson

Honor Memorial Day – Collection for Veterans Exiting Homelessness

MAY 1–MAY 30

In honor of Memorial Day and as an expression of our gratitude for those who have served our country, First Pres will host a drive to collect new move-in essentials for veterans exiting homelessness.

The Veteran Exiting Homelessness Program, is a collaborative effort between Military Outreach USA and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The program seeks to provide move-in-essentials to the veteran as they transition to permanent housing. If you would like to find out more about the program visit their website at https://www.

Beginning May 1, an information table will be in the Narthex at First Pres on Sunday mornings where you can drop off donations, pick up a list of needed items, and get more information. Donated items can be dropped off on Sunday mornings in the Narthex, during the week at the church office, and in the church Parlor during the Memorial Day parade on May 30.

Contact Michele Holifield at [email protected] org if you have questions about the collection. Thank you to all in this congregation for your continued generosity.