Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Words for Our Children

This poem is attributed to Mother Teresa or was found on a wall in one of her homes for the poor. It is on my fridge door to see everyday.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

Easter Egg Hunt!!

Plymouth Rockers invites families of the church to join us for an Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 17th from 3-4 p.m. in the Great Hall at King Bruwaert House (6101 South County Line Road, Burr Ridge- next to Katherine Legge Memorial Park).  Share some joy this Easter with older residents of a neighboring community at King Bruwaert House (retirement home) as they watch the children find Easter eggs and share conversation and cookies.  Please RSVP to Jeannette so we can let them know how many children to expect.  Hope you can join us during this exciting time leading up to Easter. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

At the Table

Praise to God who giveth meat,
Convenient unto all who eat,
Praise for tea and buttered toast,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost


Scottish Grace

New Book Study Schedule

April 15th Chapters 1-5

April 22nd No Meeting - Good Friday

April 29th
Chapters 6-14

May 6th
Chapters 15-19

May 13th
Chapters 20-Postlude

May 20th 
Last Meeting Party

Book: Marriage and Other Acts of Charity

Spend, Save, Donate

Last Friday we discussed the importance of teaching our children how to save money and hopefully glean from that how to understand it as they grow. Money Savey Generation is a great site with teaching tools and resources about money and it also has this cute pig that wants to help!
These banks are also useful with their different sections for Spend, Save, Share. You can find them here. (just click!)


Friday, March 25, 2011

Planning Ahead

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

April 8th - Meet at Monkey Business. 4700 Gilbert Avenue, Western Springs, 246-9600

April 15th - We start our new book study on Marriage and Other Acts of Charity, written by Kate Braestrup - feel free to invite a friend

April 20th - Movie: Race to Nowhere, McClure Jr. High, 4225 Wolf Road, Western Springs

Prayer Journal

There was a wonderful session on prayer at the Hearts at Home conference. It inspired me to be more deliberate about prayer, what I pray for, how I pray and why I pray. There are many reasons to pray but perhaps the most important reason is to deepen one's relationship with God. It is a balm for our souls. Hearts at Home has a wonderful journal for $11.00 you can order at the HAH site. Peace.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Husband Rocks

There were a number of great booths at the Hearts-at-Home conference. One of our favorite booths was Union28, a t-shirt retailer selling shirts that honors the bonds between husband and wife and encourages the celebration of marriage. These shirts were pretty cute. Here's a message from their website:

Excerpt from our Mission Reflection Article:"...Some may say it's a stretch to attribute marital improvement to a slogan or symbol on a t-shirt, but we know better. God intricately designed us to be affected by simple things. Why else would we get such joy from an ice cream cone on a hot day, be moved to tears by watching a new dad hold his baby for the first time, or feel completely withered by one harsh word?
Maybe it will kindle or rekindle a desire in someone to let their spouse know how much he/she means rather than assume they know. Maybe it will open someone's eyes to see the blessing they've been missing in their spouse. Maybe a couple will be inspired to take the steps to repair a wounded relationship so they can wear the same message and mean it with all their heart.
However God wants to use this message, wherever He wants to send it, whoever he wants to encourage by it or heal with it, may it be so."

Yoga Yeah!

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

The Christian approach to yoga simply allows us to combine two essential goals: becoming physically and spiritually healthy. We become more spiritually healthy through the yoga practice by calming our minds and quieting ourselves to the point that we can tune out the world's frequency and tune into God's frequency.

Being quiet with God allows us to create enough psychological and spiritual space that God can truly create an inner sanctuary in us. Being quiet enough to hear our Lord's voice is not optional-- it's essential for growth. Let God bless your efforts to get closer to Him and the joy-filled, healthy life He has planned for you! - Outstretched, Inc.

Don't forget Yoga from a Christian Perspective at First Congo on April 16th and May 7th, 9am in Plymouth Hall. Fee of $10. Bring a mat.

Focus Yoga in Brookfield also has classes coming up:
Focus Yoga
9047 Monroe Avenue
Brookfield, IL 60546
(708) 471-0487

Youth Yoga Ages 8-12 
Tuesdays, April 5 - May 3  
5:00 - 6:00pm
Instructor: Jennifer Sedivy  
Fee: $50 for 5 weeks

Prenatal Yoga
Wednesdays, April 6 - May 4
6:00 - 7:00pm 
Instructors: Susan Chilton, Alice Gallagher, Freya Smith
Fee: $60 for 5 weeks   

Teen Yoga
Sundays, April 10 - May 8; call for time 
Instructor, Jaci Uhrick
Fee: $60 for 5 weeks

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why We Pray

In honor of Lent and of First Congo's devotional on prayer here are some words from Mother Teresa about why we pray.  When your children ask "Mom, why do we pray?" You can say something like:

I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence - we need to listen to God because it's not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters.  Prayer feeds the soul - as blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul - and it brings you closer to God. It also gives you a clean and pure heart. A clean heart can see God, can speak to God, and can see the love of God in others. -Mother Teresa


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

At the Table

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship,
to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42

Mealtime with family helps to create a more peaceful home and ultimately a more peaceful and loving world. How do we encourage and honor our stories, prayers, fears and hopes at these sacred times of day when we break bread together?  One way is to ask questions. Here are some taken from the great blog The Family Dinner Project. Try them out today!


One-Line Conversation Starters

What is one thing that happened today that made you feel happy, silly, friendly, smart? (Perhaps try a different adjective each day.)
If you could be an animal, what would you want to be? Why?
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
Tell us a story about something that happened today at school and another story that you made up about something that happened.  We’ll try to guess which is which.
What would you like to do this weekend?
What is your earliest memory? If you were to write your autobiography, would you start with this memory or with a different story?
What is your latest project?
What do you do each day to recharge after a long day?  Do you typically get to do this every day?  Why or why not?
What are you hoping to do this summer?
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Have I told you about …? Tell stories about yourself and your extended family.  For example, you could ask, “Have I ever told you about my first job” or “do you know the story of how your grandparents met?”
Did anyone read anything today in the newspaper or online that was surprising, upsetting or interesting?

Our New Book!!

Come join us in our new book study in April. Pass the word on to friends as well. You can read a description of Marriage and Other Acts Below.

In her award-winning memoir Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup won the hearts of readers across the country with her deeply moving and deftly humorous stories of faith, hope and family. Now, with her inimitable voice and generous spirit, she turns her attention to the subjects of love and commitment in MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY. As a minister, Kate Braestrup regularly performs weddings. She has also, at 44, been married twice and widowed once, and accordingly has much to say about life after the ceremony. From helping a newlywed couple make amends after their first fight to preparing herself for her second marriage, Braestrup offers her insights and experiences on what it truly means to share your life with someone, from the first kiss to the last straw, for better or for worse. Part memoir, part observation of modern marriage, and part meditation on the roles of God and love in our everyday lives, MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY is a unique and unforgettable look into why, and how, we love each other, and proves yet again why Kate Braestrup's writing is "inspirational in the best sense" (New York Daily News). -Anderson's Bookshops

Words for Our Children

God’s love is perfectly free.  It is not coerced by any of our good actions, nor can we lose it because of our bad actions.  We are stuck with it and cannot increase—or decrease—God’s love for us by anything we do or don’t do. This frees us to simply receive that love, rather than feverishly try to make ourselves worthy of it.  Richard Rohr

Monday, March 21, 2011


Welcome to First Congregational Church of Western Springs Friday morning mother's group blog. Why the name The Gathered Life?  As Christians we're called to proclaim the gospel in all the world. "This witness occurs as the scriptures are read, studied and preached; as the sacraments and the liturgies of the church are celebrated; as Christians witness through deed, word and prayer in all realms of society; as Christians invite others to respond to the gospel by joining the gathered life of the church." We are mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, friends and professionals gathered together in Christ. We meet every Friday morning from 9:00am - 11:00am. Babysitting is available. Join us in prayer, worship and fellowship.