Interested in learning about new opportunities to help others? You can volunteer for an ongoing effort or get a taste of trying something new.
Gun Safety Consortium meeting, Feb. 20. The meeting is open to everyone interested in working on the issue of gun violence, specifically the “Do Not Stand Idly By” campaign of the Chicago chapter of United Power for Action and Justice, affiliated with the Industrial Arts Foundation. The meeting, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 306 S. Prospect, Park Ridge, will focus on building membership in the campaign and also will give an update on the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in January in Washington, D.C. Contact Lois Thiessen Love (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to carpool.
Fourth Sunday Offering, Feb. 23. Each month, all undesignated money in the offering plate goes to a specific beneficiary supported by First United, often one of our mission partners. This month’s Fourth Sunday Offering on Jan. 23 will benefit the pastoral services emergency fund. These are discretionary funds given as needed by the church pastoral staff to people facing personal emergencies. Look for the designated Fourth Sunday Offering envelopes in the bulletin the week before the Fourth Sunday Offering.
Empty Bowls Community Dinner, Feb. 28. Join friends and neighbors in the community at the annual soup dinner to fight hunger, both locally and around the world. Ceramic bowls are handmade by students at Oak Park-River Forest High School, and for the price of admission, each attendee picks a bowl and gets soup donated by several local restaurants. The meal is eaten communally in the high school cafeteria. At the end of the evening, participants take the bowl home as a unique reminder of the issue of worldwide hunger. Among the beneficiaries are Beyond Hunger and Housing Forward, two of First United’s mission partners. The dinner is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at OPRF High School, 201 N. Scoville Ave., Oak Park. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children and students with ID.
One Earth Film Festival, March 6-15. See films about saving the planet at 48 events in March at the 9th annual One Earth Film Festival. Films about climate change and fighting for the environment will be offered at more than 40 locations throughout Chicago, including venues in Oak Park and River Forest, such as the Oak Park Public Library and the Thatcher Woods Pavilion in River Forest. The theme for this year’s festival is “The Power of We,” reminding everyone of the need for collective action: that the environmental movement needs more people to work together for the greater good. Some of the films shown are winners of the Young Filmmakers Contest. Most films will be shown for free, although an $8 donation is suggested. For more information about the films offered, including information about specific films, where they’ll be shown, and how to order tickets, visit the One Earth Film Festival website.