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In Our Community

Community Back Pack Program 

The Community Backpack Project is an outreach program of the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Each week a backpack filled with easy-to-prepare meals such as oatmeal, canned soup, instant pasta dishes, canned protein, applesauce, snacks, and juice items will be dropped off.

Currently, First Church of Des Plaines is sponsoring up to (4) children in District 62.


There are several ways to donate to this program. Monetary donations can be given, and our Missions team will do the shopping, or you can shop and bring your items on Sundays.

Here is a list of the specific kid friendly items that are to be included in each bag. Items Needed:

  • Individual size snacks (cookies, granola bars, chips, pudding cups, cheese crackers, Rice Krispie bars)

  • Microwavable cups of macaroni & cheese • Soft side juice pouches (Capri Sun, Kool-Aid)

  • Small cans of meat & pasta (Vienna Sausages, Tuna, Chicken, Pork & Beans) • 8 to 8.25 oz. cans of vegetables

  • 7oz. size microwavable kid friendly soups

  • Small boxes of cereal, oatmeal packets

  • Fruit & applesauce cups Thank you for your generous donations! 

Community Recycling Challenge

In conjunction with other faith communities in our area, and with Clean Up-Give Back, First Church is participating in a community recycle drive of plastic materials. There is a green recycle box in the church foyer that you can drop your plastic items in. The effort is a 6-month challenge from October 15, 2023, through April 14, 2024, and every congregation may enlist the help of friends, family, and employees to help boost the total pounds of plastics collected. But that's not all!

Once the challenge is over, any Church that has collected 500 pounds and above will receive a bench made by Trex. Bragging rights will also go to the church collecting the most plastic pounds. The plastics that we need are something that you can poke your thumb through.

Every congregation has been encouraged to enlist the help of friends, family, and community members to help boost the total pounds of plastics collected. Donations can be dropped at First Church M-F, 9:30a-3p.


Reusable Containers Needed

Bessie's Table is in desperate need of your clean takeout containers! 

Containers can be dropped off at the church. Your help is greatly appreciated! 

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Join a Life Group! 

Contact Pastor Hope to get plugged in!


• Life Group Facilitator training with Pastor Hope is held on the 1st
Thursday of the month at 6pm. This will be an in person and Zoom
• Spirit of the Living Lord Life Group meets two times a month on a
Tuesdays at 7:30pm at the Duncan’s home. Contact Facilitator Harolyn
Thogersen for more information.
• Faith Seekers Life Group meets one time a month on a Thursday
evening, date & time TBD. Contact Facilitator Kay Maloney for more
• Pilgrims Life Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evening 6:30-
7:30 pm at 751 Graceland Ave. This Apt. building is 1 block south of

the church. We meet in the 1st floor conference room off the lob-
by. Parking in lot next to the building or on the street. Transportation

can be provided to anyone needing a ride. Contact Facilitators Jan
Weber or Janine Forney for more information.
• Gray Heirs Life Group meets of the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays via Zoom
at 4:30p. For more information or the Zoom link, contact Facilitator
Karen Boesche.
• Youth Life Group meets Wednesdays at 7pm at First Church. For
more information contact Pastor Hope. Ages 6th Grade - Young Adults

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Make a Pledge to Give in 2024

Throughout November, we discussed “A Future with Hope,” and what God is calling us to in 2024, and how we can best use our resources towards that future. Stewardship, how we use the resources God gives us, is an important part of our spiritual life and has implication not only for us as individuals or for our families, but for the community and the whole of creation. We are asking everyone to consider how you can financially support First Church in 2024. It is not too late to submit your 2024 pledge card!

Above: Pastor Hope blessed pets from Des Plaines, Park Ridge, and Palatine. Read more about the Pet Blessing...

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