United Church of 
Rogers Park

United Church of Rogers Park
1545 West Morse Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60626
773-261-2500


Sunday Worship 10 AM

All Are Welcome!

A church for all of God's people, in the heart of the neighborhood- for over 100 years!

A Letter From Your Pastors

25 September 2017
see Current News Page

Thoughts and prayers aren't just empty words.  Our thoughts and prayers should be with Las Vegas and the countless families, friends, and communities that are devastated at the loss of someone they love.  We still have to respond; We still have to say something lest we give in to the exhaustion of trauma and feel and say nothing.  But thoughts and prayers mean nothing if they are only words and we never pray with our feet.  It is long past time for this country to take action around easy access to guns.  If you are hurting and you don't know what else to do, check out the website and volunteer with the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence (http://www.ichv.org/get- involved/).   Prayer is opening ourselves up to the prompting of the Spirit that calls us to action.  And the time for action is certainly now.
Our Mission Statement:

United Church of Rogers Park United Methodist Church seeks, by thinking globally and acting locally, to make known God's love for persons of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities and economic classes.

Sunday Worship, Focus, and Scriptures

All are welcome to our:

♦ 10 a.m. Sunday Services;  New start time - See Current News

      [Communion served 1st and 3rd Sunday]

♦ 6 p.m. Sunday Service of Scripture, Song, and Prayer

♦ Parking is available free on Sundays at Byline Bank, two blocks west of the church at the
     northwest corner of Clark Street and Morse Avenue.

Season Of Saints

October 15 Hispanic Heritage Month ends 
Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost Laity Sunday
Matthew 22:1-14 Exodus 32:1-14 Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 Philippians 4:1-9
Parable of the Wedding Banquet

October 22 Twentieth  Sunday After Pentecost
Matthew 22:15-22 Exodus 33:12-23 Psalm 99  1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

October 24 United Nations Day

October 29 Twenty-first Sunday After Pentecost
Matthew 22:34-46 Deuteronomy 34:1-12  Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17   1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
The Greatest Commandment
Whose Son Is the Messiah?

October 31 Reformation Day


October month for you.


If you're Italian-American, if you're a cookbook author, or if you're a country music artist, then October is the month for you. That's because October is National Italian-American Heritage Month, Cookbook Author Month, and Country Music Month, as well as National Cholesterol Month. The United States is very prolific at creating "national month" events.


It is also Family History Month.  In 2001, Congress first passed a resolution introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who wrote, “By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.”  


Ironically, October is also Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual History Month - not to be confused with June’s LGBTQ Q Pride Month.  October was picked for their history to  coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11.


The LGBTQ have a rich history with folks like:

Julius Caesar


This Roman general became the first dictator of the republic.  There are numerous Roman historians recorded his affair with King Nicomedes of Bithynia [now part of Turkey].



Walt Whitman


He authored Leaves of Grass where few historians doubt the homosexuality in the story. Whitman has long relationships with bus conductor Peter Doyle, and neighbor Bill Duckett.


Frida Kahlo


The melancholic artist had a stormy marriage to fellow painter Diego Rivera riddled with affairs to man and woman.  She had a well documented relationship with Josephine Baker, and her husband Rivera knew of her numerous dalliances.  He didn’t mind her stepping out with other women, just other men.


Billie Holiday


This powerful jazz singer lived her life as an open bisexual including Tallulah Bankhead.


Socrates


This Greek philosopher had lots of male sex partners including fellow writer Plato.  This was the style of the time.


George Bernard Shaw


Shaw made his name as an essayist and playwright, with Pygmalion considered his masterwork.  Like his protagonist Henry Higgins, Shaw had no interest in women, only marrying in his 40s [in 1897] so he could use his wife as a secretary.  He was an early gay rights advocate, defending gay people in his essays and his close friend Oscar Wilde at his trial for homosexuality.


Queen Christina [Kristina]


This 17th century Swedish monarch shocked her court by dressing as a man and taking part in typically masculine activities like hunting and swordplay.  She refused to marry thus abdicating her throne as a result.  Historians believe her longtime Lady-in-Waiting, Ebba Sparre, was likely her lover.


Alan Turing


The movie The Imitation Game [2014] is about Turing played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  Mathematical genius Turing cracked the Nazi code during World war II.  He was denied entry to the United States based on his homosexuality.



Anthony Perkins


The star of Psycho declared his homosexuality publicly in 1992.


Tommy Kirk

Kirk enjoyed a healthy career as a child actor in classic Disney films like Old Yeller and Swiss Family Robinson.  In the 1960s, he was outed as gay and then blacklisted by Disney.
Singer of Son of a Preacher Man kept her lesbian life a secret.
Dusty Springfield

Singer of Son of a Preacher Man kept her lesbian life a secret.
Robert Reed

The dad from The Brady Bunch kept a secretive personal life.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky [Tchaikovsky, Chailkovsky, Chaikovskii, or Tschaikowsky]


Russian composer kept his sexuality a secret.  Married at the age of 37, he left two months later.


Christopher Isherwood


This famed writer lived his entire adult life openly as a gay man. His book Berlin Stories is the basis for the film Cabaret.  


President James Buchanan

The 15th President never married.  He lived with Senator William Rufus King for a good portion of his adult life. Tennessee Governor Aaron Brown referred to them as a married couple.  

Virginia Woolf


In 1929, Virginia Woolf came out to her sister about her relationship with Vanessa Sackville-West.


Michelangelo


The master sculptor of David and who painted the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. His letters reveal passionate love and lust for other man, in particular Italian noble Tommaso Dei Cavalieri.


David [King of Israel]


The slayer of Goliath had a long, intense relationship with his friend Jonathan who was King Saul’s oldest son. The word “ahava’ is used to describe their love.  This word is used to describe other sexualized relationship between heterosexual couples.  In the Bible’s 2 Samuel 1:26, it is written:



King James Bible

I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.



New American Standard Bible

"I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful Than the love of women.



New American Standard 1977

“I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;

           You have been very pleasant to me.

           Your love to me was more wonderful

           Than the love of women.


No matter the version of Bible one reads, the facts are there about David's love toward Jonathan.


David is a Hebrew name meaning beloved;

Jonathan is also a Hebrew name meaning Jehovah’s gift.

The ties that binds family, it does as well to the LGBT people; One with all in the same struggles found in a “mother, father, and their children” style family.


Coming to terms with one’s homosexuality and sharing this realization with others is known as “coming out of the closet.” It was not uncommon when someone came out to their family, they would be expelled from their family and home. As with any group that has been banished, an underground community is formed. Needing to belong to a family and to find a place to share and explore their spirituality, the gay community formed extended families known as a “House.” When a person was expelled from their blood family and sent into the streets with nowhere to go, the House would fill that role by taking in the displaced person, helping them back on their feet by providing shelter and food; helping them understand about their queerness; enlightening them about the gay community and it’s many cultures; and foremost, be their family. This found family would become a House, a communal sanctuary where one could find strength, integrity, support, and agape; in other words, the best thing that a family is all about.


At United Church of Rogers Park, we make known God’s love for persons of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities and economic classes.  For this church is a family of its own kind.

Thanksgiving with a meal in a Circle


While most countries celebrate their Thanksgiving at the beginning of the harvest season, in the United States it is celebrated at the end of harvest. November is associated with giving thanks.  Most people think of Thanksgiving is being thankful for the harvest of foods, but we must also be thankful for God’s love that overflows onto all of us.  Christ’s message is clear as we demonstrate and advise one another with wisdom through psalms, hymns, songs, words, or deeds with gratitude in our hearts to God the Giver.


The past few weeks there were small potluck dinners as a meet-and-greet of our new pastors. Except for “when two or more are gathered in my name,” the bible says little or nothing about small groups.  John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was a big patron for small groups, or as he called them - Circles.  Wesley knew the key for change was through small groups.


Crowding around the dinner table is more than sharing a meal with friend and family.  It is also sharing ideas, hopes and dreams, relate with one another and be thankful for the food you are about to eat.  There is something by sitting at the same common table sharing and getting to understand one another so we can, in fact, learn to love each other.  Doesn’t it always start around a table? Isn’t a dinner date always the prelude to a kiss?


One of the greatest gifts from God is Holy Communion.  And this Holy Communion is not always with a pastor during worship. Many view the Communion Meals at the holy altar of their church. But one needs to also look at their common dinner table in their home as another worship place for God’s family and friends.


Maybe God’s gift is lost because of our busy schedules of ordering food through a clown’s mouth and eating our meal in our car, or the child sitting alone eating the meal while watching TV or playing on their cell phone.  


Maybe God’s gift is lost because many churches present their communion elements as chewing gum size pellets of bread or dry paper-tasting wafers along with thimble-sized shot glasses of grape juice.


Where is the common table for all to gather?  Where is the passing of the platter or the tearing apart a common loaf of bread? Where are the chairs for the guests to sit at the table?  Where are the guests?  Where is it in our daily lives?  For Communion is the greatest gift to us from God.  


The basic communion message or command, as it were, from Jesus:

“Do this, break bread, have a meal, in remembrance of me. This is my body and this is my blood. This is my life force. My teachings. The reason I’m here on earth is to help you guys understand and learn to love. It isn’t easy to share and love while sitting alone in front of the TV forking down the pasta.”


So not only this Thanksgiving but at every meal set a table with your Circle.  Make your own Communion Table and remember Christ and give thanks with a Circle of friends and family.  Allow it to be widened at UCRP.  For the greatest gift from God is sharing a meal with a circle of friends and family by remembering Christ and giving thanks.


Native American Heritage Month

November 1 All Saints Day
Matthew 5:1-12 1 John 3:1-3 Psalm 34:1-10, 22 Revelation 7:9-17
These readings may be used on the first Sunday of November
The Sermon on the Mount
The Beatitudes

November 3 World Community Day

November 5 Daylight Saving Time Ends
2:00 am Set your clocks back 1 hour

November 5 Twenty-second Sunday After Pentecost All Saints Sunday
Matthew 23:1-12 Joshua 3:7-17 Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 
or may use readings from All Saints Day
A Warning Against Hypocrisy with Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

November 10 Veteran's Day

November 12 Twenty-third Sunday After  Pentecost Bible Sunday
Matthew 25:1-13 Joshua 24:1-3, 14-25 Psalm 78:1-7 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Parable of the Ten Virgins

November 19 Twenty-fourth Sunday After Pentecost National Bible Week November 19-26
Matthew 25:14-30 Judges 4:1-7 Psalm 123 or 76  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Parable of the Talents

November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 23 Thanksgiving
Luke 17:11-19 Deuteronomy 8:7-18 Psalm 65 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Jesus Heals Ten Lepers

November 26 Last Sunday After Pentecost Christ the King Sunday
Matthew 25:31-46 Ezekiel 34:11-16  Psalm 100  Ephesian 1:15-23
The Sheep and the Goats
The Final Judgment

November 29  International Day of Solidarity With The Palestinian People
Thoughts and prayers aren't just empty words. Our thoughts and prayers should be with Las Vegas and the countless families, friends and communities that are devastated at the loss of someone they love. We still have to respond, we still have to say something lest we give in to the exhaustion of trauma and feel and say nothing. But thoughts and prayers mean nothing if they are only words and we never pray with our feet. It is long past time for this country to take action around easy access to guns. If you are hurting and you don't know what else to do, check out the website and volunteer with the Illinois Council against Handgun Violence (http://www.ichv.org/get- involved/). Prayer is opening ourselves up to the prompting of the Spirit that calls us to action. And the time for action is certainly now.
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