There’s no shortage of ways to make connections with people at First United.
Fellowship Team: Our new Fellowship Team, headed by Janet Haisman and Priscilla Sibley, will coordinate and support all existing fellowship groups as well as plan intergenerational events open to all church members. The team also will plan and host receptions after memorial services. Note: Many of these groups will restart activities once social gatherings are deemed safe after the pandemic.
Newcomers gatherings: If you’re new to First United and want to get to know us better, join us for conversation about our faith and ministries. Click here for more information!
Family Camp: Each August, First United families and friends take a long weekend at Tower Hill in Sawyer, Michigan, by the Indiana Dunes to camp in tents, motor homes, or whatever is available. Participants enjoy cookouts, hiking swimming, games, relaxation, and just plain fun. Families come when they can to join in the activities. Families can camp for the entire four-day period or just come for the day. There’s always one group potluck meal, and it’s outdoor fellowship at its best. Contact Teri Omert.
Dinner and a Movie: Members and friends meet on the second Friday evening each month to share a casual potluck dinner, watch a movie in the church lounge, and join the discussion afterward, which often focuses on any spiritual aspects of the film. To offer a suggestion for a future film, contact Ron Haas. To RSVP for the monthly showings (so planners can get a count for dinner), contact Cynthia Collazo or sign up at the Church Lounge desk.
Dinner and a Movie is currently taking place over Zoom. The next virtual Dinner and a Movie will be at 6 p.m. Friday, March 12, when participants can watch Something the Lord Made. Although Vivien Thomas (Mos Def), a Black man in the 1930s, is originally hired as a janitor, he proves himself adept at assisting the “Blue Baby doctor,” Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman), with his medical research. When Blalock insists that Thomas follow him to Johns Hopkins University, they must find a way to skirt a racist system to continue their study of infant heart disease. Thomas is indispensable to Blalock’s progress, but Blalock is the only one who is allowed to receive the acclaim. Contact Ron Haas ([email protected]) to request the Zoom information; dinner is on your own.
Prime Time: Prime Time is a fellowship group of First United members and friends, age 60-plus (plus interested 50-somethings), and their spouses or significant others. We usually plan four to six main events for the calendar year, including dinners, parties, theater outings, and summer picnics, often with themes to share memories. Anyone is welcome to plan a special event, and our committee will publicize it. We’d love to have you join us! Contact Janet Haisman.
Midpoint: Not quite ready for Prime Time! This is a fellowship group of First United members who enjoy gathering for social events in members’ homes and local sites in and around Oak Park. There’s always lots of laughter and friendship. We have a calendar of events for the year (usually about every other month). The year always ends with a Christmas party and White Elephant Gift Exchange in which people end up with some … interesting gifts. The 2020 party was done over Zoom but was just as fun. Contact Barbara Metric if you’re interested in getting on the e-vite list.
PFLAG: This group offers support for parents and friends of people coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, as well as advocacy for the wider community. PFLAG marches in Chicago’s Pride Parade in June and hosts an Oak Park Film Festival in October. Contact Gy and Sylvia Menninga.
Women’s Retreat: Each winter, the women of the church have a weekend retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan to refresh and revitalize both their physical selves and their spiritual lives. An outside leader offers a new approach in the ongoing search for faith. The weekend includes Bible study, prayer, worship, group discussion, and small-group breakouts. But there’s also time for art, music, games, outdoor walks by the lake, fellowship, food, and fun. Read more details about the Women’s Retreat at the Women’s Retreat page.