HAPPENING NOW

This page features the ministries that are currently in need of volunteers and events that are happening now within our community. 

Coalition of Immokalee Workers - Call to Action

Our friends in Immokalee have called for action demanding dignity for farmworkers. They are asking their allies to shine the spotlight on Wendy’s and raise the awareness of their eight-year struggle to persuade Wendy’s to follow the lead of other fast-food giants like McDonalds, Burger King, and Subway and join the award-winning Fair Food Program. The refusal of Wendy’s to join the other industry leaders has prompted the CIW https://ciw-online.org/ to call for a boycott of Wendy’s. Please support the farmworkers and join in this boycott. In addition to boycotting, please join M&J Ministry members in a picket of the Wendy’s at 329 E. Ogden, Westmont, on Saturday, May 22nd, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. If you have any questions, please contact Bruce White at unixfan1@comcast.net.

EQDG Pride Month

For the first time Downers Grove will be celebrating Pride month!


Cadence, Foxtail, and Pierce Tavern will all offer Pride Picnics To Go on their menus each weekend in June. In addition to picnic food and beverages these preset to go bags will include Pride literature and other goodies. 


Other businesses will be participating with Pride products: Louise & Millie's, Fair Game, Anderson's, DG Library, Happy Dog Barkery, Peak Running, Wells Street Popcorn, Charlie & Grace, and more. 

Local, professional artists are donating their time and painting a dozen windows downtown that will remain up throughout the month of June, including the windows at our church.

 

The DG Library is hosting a virtual pronoun discussion on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. Pronouns Matter: Beyond He and She, Register here!


Let’s live into being an open and affirming church and participate in EQDG Pride!!

Save Our Soil, Save Our Earth

A new film called Kiss the Ground https://kisstheground.com explains why transitioning to regenerative agriculture could secure our food supplies while rapidly stabilizing the Earth’s climate and restoring ecosystems. This optimistic climate documentary narrated by Woody Harrelson argues for the healing power of soil, which could offer a solution to the climate crisis. Watch it now on Netflix. M&J Ministry will also be offering a screening soon. Watch the e-news for more information or contact Tom Eisenhart at teisenhart@yahoo.com.

Downers Grove Community Kitchen

FCUCC is happy to be a part of Community Kitchen! This effort to serve and help our neighbors who are facing homelessness and/or food insecurity grew in response to the closing of our PADS interim housing site due to the pandemic. From December 2020 to mid-May 2021, Community Kitchen served over 2,407 meals to the homeless and food insecure in Downers Grove.  It’s heartbreaking to face the reality that there are so many people in Downers Grove that need such a basic necessity, food.  But we’re also grateful and humbled for the opportunity to serve our neighbors. 


Our church serves dinner every Monday night and the 2nd Friday of each month at 5:30. This takes place in the Community Kitchen, the former reading room of our new property next door at 1101 Curtiss Street. Volunteers will meet at the church at 4:45 to prepare. If you would like to be part of this community wide ministry, please sign up using the SignUp Genius or reach out to Mary Dove.

If you can’t volunteer but would still like to support this mission, a monetary contribution can be made to the church with a notation that it is to be used for Community Kitchen. And we can always use donations of water. Gift cards in denominations of $10 to Angelo’s Pizza and Starbucks are also appreciated by the guests and are given out if we are short meals any given night.  A big thank you to all the church members who have been involved in this ministry.  A huge thank you goes out to Angelo’s Foods at Maple and Belmont for providing all the meat, cheese, and bread for the meals.  We also want to thank Jam n’ Jelly Café at 7511 Lemont Road in Darien for donating the soup.


If you would like to volunteer for this vital mission, please follow this link to the SignUpGenius. If you just want more information or details, please contact Mary Dove at marykdove@gmail.com or 630.935.6166.


The Little Free Pantry

The homeless and other people in our community who are not homeless but are experiencing food insecurity have been using this pantry in front of our church for the last 13 months. While this list is

not exhaustive, here are some suggestions for contributions: peanut butter and jelly in plastic, boxed/bagged grains/beans (rice, couscous, red beans, white beans), pasta and mac n’cheese, pasta sauce, corned beef hash, canned ravioli, spaghettiO’s, and canned hot dogs. Follow this link for a full list of acceptable items.  If you have any questions, please contact Mary Dove. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting this pantry!

Night Ministry

We continue to provide the Night Ministry Health Outreach bus in Humboldt Park 70 sack suppers for their clients on the 3rd Sunday of each month. We are currently looking for 2 volunteers for each month starting in March.  Please note there are separate sign ups for assembling the meals and driving downtown.  Currently, the Night Ministry is still requesting we drop off the meals as they are equipped to serve the guests with proper PPE to prevent the spread of Covid. Here is the link to sign up for 2021.  

 

We can always use donations of Aldi and GFS gift cards to assist with the sack supper expense.  The meals consist of a sandwich, fresh fruit, soft granola bar, dessert and bottled water. Please contact Nadine Bahaveolos at nbahav@att.net if you would like to volunteer or donate to this worthy cause. 

Dupage United

Interested in social justice? Join with others in our congregation and become involved with DuPage United. DuPage United is an inclusive, non-profit, non-partisan organization whose members are churches, mosques, synagogues, non-profit agencies, and associations. This mix of institutions has come together to act in unison to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Our church is a member of DU and we believe that being a part of this organization speaks to our mission of reaching beyond our walls to enact justice and social change. It helps us forge a vital link to other faith communities and the broader community. Current issues being addressed include affordable, accessible, and supportive housing (AASH), mental health and justice, gun safety, and support for the Islamic Center of Naperville. We're still new to this organization, and community organizing is very different from our traditional focus of mission work, so we are still learning. But if social justice and these issues or any others speak to you, please contact Bruce White at unixfan1@comcast.net to find out how you can get involved.

Youth Outlook Drop-In Center

In existence since 1998, Youth Outlook https://youth-outlook.org is the first social service agency in Illinois solely dedicated to providing a safe, supportive, and respectful environment for adolescents, whether they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questions (LGBTQ+). They work in six counties in the suburbs and offer drop-in youth centers, parent support, and community education. The nearest drop-in center is in Naperville, and a center recently opened in Elmhurst. Other center locations include: Palatine, Elgin, Ottawa, Geneva, Sterling, DeKalb. All drop-in center locations are hosted in churches. Drop-in centers meet weekly and provide a social setting for youth to meet other LGBTQ young people ages 12-20. A safe and comforting space is created to discuss a variety of topics. Dedicated

programming relating to healthy relationships, safer sex, and HIV/AIDS prevention is provided, in addition to a safe place to feel community support, socialize, and have fun. First United Methodist Church has offered to host a Youth Outlook drop-in center in Downers Grove. Currently, the plan is to open the center in the fall. To learn about volunteer opportunities at the drop-in center, please contact Mary Blanchard at 630.363.0189 or Dave Humphreys at dave@davehumphreys.com.

Recycle and Reuse

This is the season to do your “spring cleaning”. And going through your place, you find yourself with tons of odd “stuff” you’re not sure what to do. Here are a few things that can be recycled:


Used Cooking Oil. Drop off in any type of container at the Downers Grove Sanitary Treatment facility, 2710 Curtiss, DG. Phone 630-969-0664. 8am-4:30 pm. The oil is recycled into biodiesel fuel.


Old prescription drugs. Flush? NO. Put in garbage? NO. Take your expired/no longer used drugs to the Walgreens (on 63rd and Belmont or Main and Ogden). There is a secured/locked box in the pharmacy area where you can drop your meds.


Miscellaneous. Crayons, broken or whole, holiday lights, DVD & VHS movies and CDs (commercially made, no home movies or CDs), 35 mm film cannisters, plastic bread tags, musical instruments, cords & wires (phone, computer, etc.) keys, LP records: All of these are accepted by SCARCE organization, 800 S Rohling Rd (Rt 53) Unit D, Addison IL phone 630-545-9710. Check out their website www.scarce.org, as they post recycling events in neighboring towns.