Our fall 2017 stewardship campaign focused on First Congregational United Church of Christ in Naperville makes a difference. Here are some of the things our congregamts said:

“We appreciate how FCC helps our children develop a strong moral foundation and enables us to have a positive effect on the greater Naperville community through activities such as helping resettle refugees and spreading the word about the importance of addressing climate change. Plus, it’s fun for my wife to be a band nerd again!”

“The church has made me interested in God and worshipping again. Being a part of the church has been a grounding experience for me, has made me look forward to Sunday mornings. I feel like I’m now a part of something that has real impact and has made me want to volunteer more (though keeping up with volunteer duties is a different story). I have always felt welcome and included, and church members listen, and listen closely, which is rare nowadays. The church and Mark’s sermons have made me think, and ponder… it has been an intellectual experience. The church has made my life richer in many ways.”

“Christ’s radical message of love and justice seems more relevant now more than ever. As such, I believe our church is also more relevant and takes a very active role in spreading this message and supporting those who are disconnected or in need. This truly Makes a Difference.”

“I can’t imagine my life without my church and church family.”

Reasons why seven-year-old son likes church:
1. He made a lot of new friends. Two of them are also named Jack.
2. He learned a lot of games and did crafts in Sunday school.
3. The church has great places for hiding in Hide and Go Seek.

“Church makes a difference in my life because it is intersectional. Our congregation works together to support people from all backgrounds. We check our privilege and seek to listen to and advocate with people of color, disabled people, people that belong to the LGBTQIA community, and more. I am proud to be a part of a community that supports and listens to all people.”

“I think our church makes a difference, especially now, because of its social justice focus, its desire to speak out for what we believe is right, and its willingness to follow the radical path of Jesus. I’m so proud to be a part of a church that is Making a Difference.”

“First Congregational has extended an extravagant welcome to young adults with significant developmental disabilities by providing meeting space for Community Access Naperville. As a result, our son has an opportunity to be active and productive that would not be available to him otherwise. This is a priceless gift that we are incredibly grateful for.”

I like that I get to socialize and learn about the Bible in Sunday school.

I like church because in Sunday school you get to learn about the Bible and Jesus and God.

I like Sunday school and donuts.

“Church makes an important difference in my life because it’s so multifaceted. It’s place where I can relax, be active, learn, serve, meet a variety of people, make friends… Gratefully, the list is always getting longer.”

“Our church has helped me realize how much a strong and committed community of people, no matter the size, can bring about positive, loving change in the world. It has also helped relieve my somewhat cynical views of the Bible by teaching me that there is deep and important meaning behind the stories I have heard all my life, and that these teachings and lessons are much more important than believing in the actual events depicted in the story. And finally, I love our mission statement. I think it says it all.”

“Community, support, beautiful music, inspiring sermons, and social justice are just part of what makes our church a special place.”

“The church makes a difference in my life because it gives me the chance to give back, learn new things, and make new friends. I am so grateful for the church and community.”

“Church has given my family a safe place to worship and be loved. Our church family has supported, cheered and inspired us to be our best. Being a part of a welcoming church for gay and lesbian families gives us the true meaning of family.”

“Our church has meant a great deal to me because of the caring people who have not only cared for me, but cared for each other and the wider community, which is what I think we’re called to do.”

“This church is one of the main reasons I don’t consider moving to another part of the country, because it would be so difficult to find another such caring and supportive group of people.”

“When I moved to Naperville 11 years ago, I started attending church with my daughter Todra. I strongly believe in a warm welcome to all people and helping the homeless, so it’s a perfect fit for me.”

“It gives me a place to help others and be myself.”

“The church is a place where my family can come together and spend time together.”

“Church makes a difference in my life because it gives me a chance to help others, to get knowledge, and to increase my friendships.”

“Our church provides a place for me to put into action Christ’s message of love and justice through: helping with the homeless shelter in our church; going on work trips to Guatemala; and feeding the homeless on the streets of Chicago – and doing it all with fun people!”

I like Sunday school. I like the crafts and playing and learning that Jesus helps others.

We were welcomed enthusiastically when we first came to church. We are energized each week by the sermons, music and friendliness. And we really appreciate the Sunday School teachers and nursery staff who are giving our kids a church home.

The church makes a difference to me by providing me with a calm place to center myself every Sunday. Even when I’m having a stressful week, I know I can come here for peace and tranquility.

Church makes a difference in my life by having me be friends with Jenna. She makes me happy and excited to come to Sunday school and youth group.

I like that it has so many toys.

It helps you be a better person.

In a world that often feels chaotic and unwelcoming, it’s so nice and important to have our church. It’s a calm, welcoming and friendly place where we are reminded of Christ’s teachings. Hallelujah!

Community, support, beautiful music, inspiring sermons, and social justice are just part of what makes our church a special place.

Great music and sermons on Sunday get me through Monday – Saturday.

Our children have made so many good friends.

We care about each other, the wider community and world.

Our church takes a leadership role in pursuing justice issues. Also, the people gather together as a loving community supporting each other.

FCC and its people help take care of the earth. That is vital!

The Spirit of Christ is at work in many hearts at First Congregational. That’s why we are able to make any positive difference at all. How nice to see it in action! May it continue. Bless everyone for trying! And may God get the glory for all we do.

Several things I love and appreciate about church: I feel very safe and welcome here! For a transgender person in today’s age of hatred and bullying, this is VERY important. Moving here to Naperville after 60 years in California, the church helps me to feel like I have roots here. Coming helps keep my life centered and I don’t feel as alone as I would otherwise.

I am so thankful for our church taking a stand on issues of social justice, speakking up to help others, and putting into action what we stand for—inclusive love for all.

The church makes a difference in my life by grounding me and providing me a perspective for the weeks ahead. I appreciate that grounding because it helps me to remember what is important.

I love that my kids are being raised in such an open and affirming church to love everyone and give back to the wider community. Our whole family feels so much love and sense of belonging from this church.

I feel less alone.

The church makes a difference because if I went to a different church I may not have a lot of friends. But at this church I have a lot of friends. A LOT of friends.

I like that our church is open and accepting to everyone.

I like going to Sunday school.

While the welcoming congregation and inspiring service initially drew me to this church, it was the commitment to mission which cemented my decision to join. I can’t begin to calculate the ways our members and our mission dollars have impacted the world beyond this building—and that has made the difference for me.

The church makes a difference because it opens young people up to the broken world and gives them opportunities to mend it.

It is the difference between a sunny day and a cloudy one. We live through both, but are so much more alive with the Son.

I like learning at church.