From:                                         Woodridge United Methodist Church Communications <>

Sent:                                           Friday, December 8, 2023 10:49 AM


Subject:                                     The Challenge of Freedom" - Woodridge United Methodist Church Newsletter

Attachments:                          170205406312.10.23_Worship_Guide.pdf


    Woodridge United Methodist Church

Join us on Sunday for worship services
at  10:00 am.

Instructions can be found at the end below.
All are Welcome!








“The Challenge of Freedom”

We are at the second part of our Advent journey and our theme this week is PEACE.  The 2nd candle on the Advent wreath (known as the PEACE CANDLE) will be lit.
Sunday, December 10th is the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Here is a brief description of what and how they came about.  I encourage you to look at them a little closer as time permits. 
"In 1948, representatives from the 50 member states of the United Nations came together, with Eleanor Roosevelt chairing the Human Rights Commission, to devise a list of all the human rights that everybody across the world should enjoy.  The UDHR marked an important shift by daring to say that all human beings are free and equal, regardless of colour, creed or religion. For the first time, a global agreement put human beings, not power politics, at the heart of its agenda.  Although it is not legally binding, the protection of the rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration has been incorporated into many national constitutions and domestic legal frameworks. All states have a duty, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights for everyone without discrimination."
While these rights are still in existence today, one would think there would be a greater emphasis on them.  However,  we know all too well this is not the case given our world situation. 

So what does PEACE look like in our day and time?  How do we become "peace'builders"?  What is the role of the church/our church in upholding the basic rights of human beings?  We will take a look at some of these questions as we approach the topic THE CHALLENGE OF FREEDOM.  Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or on our Woodridge UMC YouTube Channel.



Saturday, December 9th

  • 9:00 am Craft & Vendor Fair
  • 10:00 am Light Up Church (weather dependent)

Sunday, December 10th

  • 8:45 am Adult Choir
  • 10:00 am Worship Service
  • 11:00 am Writing Cards for Seniors
  • 11:00 am Light up the Church (rain date)
  • Noon Communion (in person)
  • 4:00 pm Filipino Baptist

Monday, December 11th

  • 7:00 pm Staff Parish
  • 7:00 pm Den 1
  • 7:00 pm Dens 2 & 4
  • 7:30 Square Thrus

Tuesday, December 12th

  • 8:00 am Life Line Screening
  • 9:30 pm Soccer Shots
  • 10:30 am Tuesday Bible Study (online)

Wednesday, December 13th

  • 6:00 pm Bible Study
  • 7:00 pm Square Dancing

Thursday, December 14th

  • 7:00 pm Boy Scouts
  • 7:30 pm Toastmasters

Friday, December 15th

  • 6:30 pm Pack Meeting

Saturday, December 16th

  • 7:00 pm Naper Squares

Sunday, December 17th

  • 8:45 am Adult Choir
  • 10:00 am Worship Service
  • Noon Communion (online)
  • 4:00 pm Filipino Baptist


Church Office Hours

Monday & Tuesday: 9:00 am - noon
Wednesday - Friday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

We ask that you call before visiting.


Ministry Opportunities

Craft and Vendor Fair and Bake Sale

Woodridge UMC is having a craft and vendor fair TOMORROW, Saturday, December 9th from 9 am to 3 pm.  We have 20 vendors plus a raffle and bake sale.  Come join the fun!!  See the flyer here.  

Do You Love Hanging Christmas Lights?
We Need Your Help!

In case of inclement weather on Saturday, outside decorating will take place immediately after service on Sunday. This Christmas, our presentation of the message of this season of love and hope incarnated continues to venture outside our building. What better way to do that than through some great looking lights? We’ve tested all the lights, now we need YOU as part of a team to present them to the world! Ready to help? Come to church this Saturday, Dec. 9th at 10:00am – 2:00 pm to hang the lights.

Second Saturday Diners
Please join us to celebrate the Christmas season at the home of Bud and Gwenn Edman (1615 Golfview Drive, Darien) on TOMORROW, Saturday, December 9, at 5 pm. Please bring an appetizer or dessert and your beverage. Please RSVP to or 630-624-3227. Everyone is welcome!


Gift Card Sale!
Our Gift Card Sale is back starting in November. Support WUMC with gift card orders with two opportunities to participate. due Sunday, December 10th and will be available for pick-up Sunday, December 17th. Get your December form here or in the narthex.

Holiday Cards for Seniors
Reach out to others this holiday season.  Write or draw holiday notes in cards to give to local nursing home seniors right after service on Sunday, December 10th in the narthex.  (Sponsored by the Youth Group).

Interactive Advent Bulletin Board
Our bulletin board is ready for advent.  Come take a star, write on it one of the reasons that you are blessed and use a push pin to set it in the sky.  It will be awe-inspiring!

New Years Eve Brunch
Join us for a potluck New Years Eve Brunch! On Sunday, December 31st at11:30 am you are invited to bring your favorite brunch dish to share: breakfast casserole, pastries, quiche, sliced fruit, skillets, etc. New Year's Eve brunch will include board games!!  People should bring their favorite!

60th Anniversary Celebration
Did you know that our church is turning 60 years old?  What were you doing when you turned 60? If you haven't  made it there yet, what are your plans for 60?  We have started a year long celebration of 60 years of ministry here at Woodridge UMC.  If you have ideas of events you would like to see happen this year, or simply want to "be in the room where it happens", let us know.  No idea is too ______ anything!!  Look forward to celebrating our 60 years together.

WUMC Music Ensembles 2023-2024
Our Music Ministry offers you three ways to get involved: the Handbell Choir, the Worship Band, and the Adult Choir. This could be the year you take that “leap of faith” and join a group! All ensembles are LOW commitment. We ask that you please attend the rehearsals leading up to the service date. It is that simple! For a full schedule see the e-News or the handout in the narthex.
In order to plan music, please RSVP to Carrie by the dates listed.  See the full schedule here.

Adult Choir (high school freshmen-seasoned adults)


Oct. 29

11:20 AM-12:30 PM

Music Room


Nov. 5

11:20 AM-12:30 PM

Music Room (may need to adjust time for Pastor Danita’s birthday)


Nov. 12

11:20 AM-12:30 PM

Music Room


Nov. 19

11:20 AM-12:30 PM

Music Room


Nov. 26

8:30-9:30 AM
(Carrie has an 11 AM call time for a Hawks game)

Music Room


Dec. 3

10 AM

Rehearse in the sanctuary at 8:45 AM


Dec. 10

10 AM

Rehearse in the sanctuary at 8:45 AM


Dec. 17

10 AM

Rehearse in the sanctuary at 8:45 AM


Dec. 24

10 AM

Rehearse in the sanctuary at 8:45 AM

 Next up is Worship Band.  Please RSVP by Dec. 17.

Youth Ministry 2023

December 10th – Holiday Cards for Seniors - Write or draw holiday notes in cards to give to local nursing home seniors right after service: Whole church event.
This is our last event for 2023.  Enjoy the holidays with your families and come to 2024 with ideas for the rest of the year!

Sunday School

We use inspiring stories, creative crafts, and fun games—all done with guidance of loving, dedicated teachers—to engage our students.

Here’s our process: Children begin the worship service in the sanctuary with their family. Following the “Praying” segment, the children will be invited up to the chancel steps for conversation with the pastors. (We call that time “Conversing with Children.”) Following that, the Sunday School teacher will meet the children in the Narthex (the big room outside the sanctuary) and walk them to their classroom. They will be in either the Trinity Room in the main hallway or the Blue Room in the Preschool wing.

Activity Bags are available in the Narthex every Sunday and are especially helpful on days when Sunday School is not available.

Would you like to speak with more confidence in any setting? Toastmasters can help! The Woodridge Toastmasters club meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at Woodridge United Methodist Church. Come visit us and see for yourself! For more information contact John.

Radio Joy Live Streaming from Tanzania
Africs University's Radio Joy has been livestreaming since March.  You may listen to it here:  The English progamming schedule can be found here or on the bulletin board in the narthex.  (The rest of the time the programming is in Swalhili).

Advent 2023 

Worship with Wooddridge UMC This Christmas Season
All are invited and welcome to our worship services as we commemorate God’s ultimate act of love and solidarity: joining us in our humanity through the babe of Bethlehem. All but one of these services are both in-person and live-streamed on our Woodridge UMC YouTube Channel
Wednesday, December 20th at 7:00 pm Longest Night Service (online only)
Sunday, December 24th: 10:00 am Advent week 4.
Sunday, December 24th: 5:00 pm Christmas Eve with carols, children’s time, Choir and candle lighting.
Sunday, December 24th: 11:00 pm Christmas Eve with carols, Choir, candle lighting and Communion. 
Sunday, December 31st: 10:00AM New Year’s Eve Worship and Party
Worldwide Nativity Sets
Remember a few years ago when we were mostly online?  We had different handcrafted nativity sets from all over the world each week in Advent.  We would like to repeat this joyous experience and beautify our altar once again.  Please contact the church office if you have a nativity set to loan us that might serve this purpose. We would need a brief description of the nativity (i.e. where it is from) so we can share the information with everyone.  All nativities will be treated with loving care and can be picked up immediately after the worship service they are used in.
Bible Study
Please join us for our Advent Bible study classes.  We’ll read the lectionary texts for the week ahead and see how that affects our worship experience each Sunday. Classes are open to anyone who wishes to participate.
Time and format:
Tuesdays (ZOOM only), 10:30 a.m. until noon beginning Tuesday, November 28th
Wednesdays (ZOOM and in-person), 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. beginning Wednesday, November 29th
If you are interested in participating, please contact the church office, 630/968-6050 or or Pastor Danita (  Please let us know if you are interested in attending. 

A Very West Towns Christmas
Join the West Towns Chorus (with our own Carrie Marcotte as director) as they bring in the Christmas season with our annual Christmas Show 2023!  On THIS Saturday, December 9th at 2:30 pm and Sunday, December 10th at 2:30 pm at the Huizenga Auditorium at Timothy Christian Schools in Elmhurst (188 W Butterfield Road).  You are sure to enjoy this afternoon of familiar holiday classics and Christmas tunes in Barbershop and Choral styles.    Ticket prices are $25-30.  Call 630.201.5544 for tickets or see the flyer in the narthex for other ways to purchase tickets. Or here.
Holiday Help for Our Neighbors in Need
You, the wonderful people of Woodridge UMC, have a tremendous track record of providing a heap of holiday help for our neighbors in need. We hope to continue that tradition—but in some new ways!

Hat and Mitten Tree Returns
Once again, we will be collecting children’s mittens, gloves, and warm hats for the children of Woodridge School District 68. The mitten tree will be available in the Narthex for you to hang your donations. District 68 gives them out to children who don’t have appropriate gear for the winter weather. We will be collecting throughout the Advent season and into the New Year.  Please donate as you can.

Help Support Area Families This Christmas!

THANK YOU!!  Everyone was Adopted for our Family Outreach!
The Outreach Committee is happy to announce we are partnering with the West Suburban Community Pantry to provide Christmas gifts and grocery gift cards for 5 local families this year! Please stop in the Narthex by our hat and mitten tree to sign up to bring a gift (gift tags are located on the hat and mitten tree) or grocery gift card. If you are providing a gift please return it wrapped and with the tag attached to the outside.  Additional information will be available at the signup table.  All items and gift cards need to be returned to church by Friday December 8th.
Choir Performances
Make a Joyful Noise! The Choir is expanding this year and will be performing each of the four Sundays of Advent. Come listen to our Choir sing!

Northern Illinois Conference 

As you may know, the Boy Scouts of America recently settled a lawsuit related to accusations of sexual abuse of children. Many churches, including United Methodists, have chartered BSA troops or packs over the years. As part of the settlement, the United Methodist Church has agreed to raise and give $30 million over a three-year period to a fund to compensate survivors. The church also agreed to work for the healing of survivors and recommit to work toward ending sexual abuse of young people.

We have heard the cries and painful stories of those abused while in the Boy Scout program, some in troops chartered at local NIC churches. Our Christian faith calls us to have an obligation to children – past, present, and future – to do no harm to them and to repair the breach when harm is done.

The Repair the Harm to Children campaign was created to address the needs of the survivors in three ways; listening and providing healing to the survivors, contributing our fair share to the survivor fund established by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and working to create safeguards against harm in the future. It was formed by the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration and the Conference Board of Trustees in collaboration with Bishop Schwerin and the conference staff. We seek pledges from churches and individuals to fund restorative healing for the survivors.

We care for the survivors financially by contributing our fair share to the survivor fund established by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Of the $30 million committed by the United Methodist Church, the amount allocated to Northern Illinois is $754,348. The amount is payable over the next three years, but no reparations will be paid to survivors until all United Methodist annual conferences have paid their fair share.

We intend that every church will contribute and repair the past harm as quickly as possible. We recommend that the church administrative council discuss their pledge decision with input from the finance committee and/or the church’s Scouting liaisons. All pledges are welcome and meaningful to the healing of victims of sexual abuse. We are grateful for whatever you are able to do to meet this financial challenge.

We ask you to consider your commitment during April and May prayerfully. Our first goal is to receive initial pledges by the start of Annual Conference this June. A church or an individual can make a pledge by using this form here. You may complete your pledge over three years. As you consider your ability and duty, we have provided resources here.

We are asking for payments towards pledges to start in the fall of 2023. Payments can be made online here or via check. Please make payments by checks payable to Northern Illinois Conference mailed to 303 E. Wacker Drive, Suite 2020, Chicago, IL 60601. Please include a note or indicate on the check that it is for the BSA or Repair the Harm.

All children in the care of the United Methodist churches should be safe from any kind of harm. Unless repairs are made to children who have been hurt, we are not being honest with the present and future children God brings us. We are speaking to every United Methodist in the NIC when we ask for your participation in repairing the damage done to the children of formerly chartered BSA troops and creating safe spaces for the future.

To safeguard against any future harm, all churches in the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church (NIC) have committed to having Safe Sanctuary policies administered by their church leaders and appointed clergy. Safe Sanctuaries is an overt expression in making congregations safe places for all within the community of faith. More information on Safe Sanctuaries can be found here.

If you would like more information, you can visit the FAQ page here.


Thank you for taking the time to prayerfully respond with a Christian heart to the harm that has been done.

Rev. Tammy Scott, CCFA President

Prairie Central Informal Gatherings with the District Superintendent
Informational gatherings will be held on the second Thursday of the month. 
Zoom Links (The links will stay the same for all meetings, though clergy links and lay links will be different)
Clergy Gathering 9:00 am link.
Lay Gathering 7:00 pm link.
Lay persons: This is NOT for Lay Leaders only. It is intended for all lay persons who want to know more about what is going on and be connected.

Northern Illinois Conference
Find out about upcoming events in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church by clicking this link  

Outreach Opportunities

Don't Forget Our Advent Partnership
Help Support Area Families This Christmas!

The Outreach Committee is happy to announce we are partnering with the West Suburban Community Pantry to provide Christmas gifts and grocery gift cards for 5 local families this year! Please stop in the Narthex by our hat and mitten tree to sign up to bring a gift (gift tags are located on the hat and mitten tree) or grocery gift card. If you are providing a gift please return it wrapped and with the tag attached to the outside.  Additional information will be available at the signup table.  All items and gift cards need to be returned to church by Friday December 8th.

December Outreach Offering

Save Abandoned Babies Foundation

The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation is a not-for-profit volunteer group dedicated to saving babies from being abandoned in dumpsters and other unsafe places. Our grassroots effort began in March of 2000 when our volunteers drafted a safe haven law and lobbied for its passage. The resulting Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act unanimously passed both the Illinois House and Senate and was signed into Illinois law in August of 2001.
The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation is now focused on spreading awareness of the Safe Haven Law, allowing a parent to safely relinquish their newborn to a person at a Police Station (including campus police), Fire Station, Hospital or Emergency Medical Facility with no questions asked.  Since the enactment of this law 157 newborns have been safely relinquished.

Ways to donate to the December Outreach Offering:

  • Check or cash in an Outreach Offering envelope placed in the offering plate in the
  • Narthex (the room outside the sanctuary) or in the gold-plated mail slot at the church’s east door.
  • Online via our website. Select “Current Month Outreach” in the drop down menu.
  • Text the amount you want to give to 630-449-7121 and select “Current Month Outreach” in the drop down menu.

Ongoing Opportunities

Suits for Success
Please be aware that after many years, Suits for Success is closing its doors and we will no longer be accepting clothing donations for them. 

"Goin' Green" Shoes & Clothes Recycling Box

Located in the northeast corner of our parking lot, this receptacle is a convenient place to recycle any shoes and your clothes that are at or near the end of their usefulness.

Did you know discarded clothes account for more total landfill space than any other waste item? The “Goin’ Green” Box helps us reduce our waste.

How is this different from our “Suits for Success” ministry?

The big difference is that “Suits for Success” cannot accept shoes of any kind, nor can they accept belts, ties, or underwear. “Goin’ Green” accepts all shoes and clothes.

In summary: Keep bringing your gently used clothing donations to the “Suits for Success” collection boxes in the hallway.

For all shoes and any other clothes, instead of throwing them in the trash, put them in the “Goin’ Green” receptacle in the northeast corner of the parking lot.

West Suburban Food Pantry

We have a basket that we "inherited" from the Faith, Lisle church that is waiting for donations.  It sits in the narthex, usually near the sanctuary doors.  They did not stop operating during the pandemic and there is pending legislation in our state and nation that might cut their corporate donations in large amounts.  Let's replenish our basket!!!


Used Eyeglasses
There is a basket also in the narthex for collecting used eyeglasses.  Kendra Manderfield Moore makes sure  that they are recycled to the Lions Club and Gift of Sight groups.  (Prescription eyeglasses only).




Worship Service

Wellness Guidelines

WUMC considers the good health and well-being of not only our members, but also our community, an act of Christian stewardship. We continue to seek to avoid harm and do good as we attend to the practices that help us grow in the love of God. As a result of guideline changes from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we have updated our COVID Safety Guidelines:

  • We recommend each group consult with each other on how to do good and avoid harm as a group in consideration of each other's needs and desires.
  • We will continue to practice COVID-19 safety best practices throughout our building including cleaning protocols and air circulation.

If you are feeling sick, please stay home and join us via livestream on YouTube. If community transmission spikes in our area, we may return to mask requirements for all activities.  We follow the CDC guidelines.

Online Worship

Where to find the YouTube Live Stream

The worship service is live-streamed every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. on our Woodridge UMC YouTube Channel. All available worship service recordings are on our channel too.


Sacrament of Communion 1st Sundays
We will be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion in person on the first Sunday of each month immediately following the livestream of our worship service. We will need a few moments to set up our ZOOM link for those who are not able to be with us in person.  Please remain seated following the postlude on the Sundays that we are serving communion.  Please remember that communion is available every Sunday via ZOOM.  Please contact the church office or Pastor Danita for the ZOOM link.

Worship Attendance

If you watch the online service, please email the church office at and let us know that you joined us for worship, so that we might record your attendance.

Prayer Requests for Worship
Our joys and concerns are announced during worship service and printed and placed on the table in the narthex as you come into the sanctuary.  We will continue to do this going forward.  Therefore, all joys and concerns must be emailed to Pastor Danita ( no later than 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.  If joys and concerns are received after that, they will be sent on Monday to the Prayer Ministry Team.  Thank you for your flexibility as we make updates to our worship services.

(There have been requests that we include full names and/or more detailed information for people on our list of Joys & Concerns.  Please remember our services are broadcast on YouTube and are available to anyone who has internet access. Details are shared with our Prayer Ministry Team on Monday mornings.  You are invited to join them in prayer and share in this information by contacting the church office).

Offering Options

There are different options for getting your offering to the church.

  • Go to the website & click on the Giving tab at the top of the page or go straight there with this link.
  • Text 630.449.7121 with the amount
  • Drop off in the gold mail slot next to the east door of the church.
  • Mail your offering to the church.


iGive Replaces AmazonSmile 

Amazon announced the closure of AmazonSmile as of February 20th.  Woodridge UMC is working with iGive to offset this loss of donations.  Please go here  to set up your account and to help simply by continuing shopping..  iGive is offering an additional $5 bonus with shoppers first purchase if they join before March 30th and make their first purchase within 30 days. Donations average 3% of the purchase, compared to 0.5% with Amazon.  iGive features over 2,000 fantastic stores like Walmart, Chewy, and Expedia.  See a brochure here.  See a list of stores here.  See technical information on using the system here.

Ways to Use iGive:

  • Clicking on a store link directly from or sites. (You must be logged in)
  • Installing the iGive Button and shopping online as you normally would (for more info: iGive Button - How It Works)
  • Shopping via the iGive App for iPhone, iPad or Android (visit the App Store and search "iGive" - free)
  • For faster shopping, create your own list of favorite stores on your iGive member home page under My Stores

Remember follow this link to set up your account.

December 8th, 2023, Volume 13, Edition 49








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