Annual Meeting Sunday
A Park Hyatt, Everest, CSO Evening!
Travel to Cuba with Shannon
John Vest Called to Union Seminary
A Souper Thank-You!
Bible Stories and Spirituals
"Understanding Youth and Rage"
oneAnnual Meeting Sunday 
Opportunity to Elect New Officers

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will be held this Sunday, February 8 following the 11:00 a.m. service. As part of the meeting, the congregation will elect new officers.


All members are encouraged to attend and participate in this important meeting in the life of Fourth Church!


Child care will be provided in the Nursery on the first floor of the Gratz Center.



     Sunday, February 8

     Following 11:00 a.m. worship




twoAn Invitation to Sunday's Lunch
Italian-Themed Menu Will Be Served

Please join us for lunch this Sunday! Following the Annual Meeting of the Congregation, Congregational Life is hosting an intergenerational luncheon in Borwell Dining Room.

The Italian-themed menu includes meat lasagna, a vegetarian pasta dish, garlic green beans, Caesar salad, buttered garlic bread, and homemade cupcakes.


Tickets for this meal are available at the reception desk on Saturday and at the door on Sunday morning.


We hope you'll join us for this time of fellowship as we enjoy a delicious meal together!



     Sunday, February 8

     1:00 p.m.


     Borwell Dining Room


threeA Park Hyatt, Everest, CSO Evening!
Gala of Hope Spring Splendor Drawing

Win an extraordinary night out complete with a musical treat on April 18!

This year's Gala of Hope drawing package begins with the winner being whisked away from their Park Hyatt suite in a chauffeured Bentley for a feast at Chef Jean Joho's Everest followed by an evening at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that includes a backstage tour and premier front-row balcony seating for the April 18 performance of works by Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. Brunch at NoMi the next morning caps off this exceptional spring fling.

The drawing benefits Chicago Lights, the local mission arm of Fourth Church, and the church's Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.

Drawing tickets are available online or by contacting Andrea Miller.

The drawing will be held on Friday evening, March 6. Winner need not be present to win the drawing; the drawing package date of April 18 cannot be changed.


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Celebrate New Diplomatic Relationship

Join Fourth Church Pastor Shannon Kershner as we travel to Cuba to celebrate with First Presbyterian Church of Havana the new diplomatic relationship between our countries! Applications for this May 11-18 mission trip--led for part of the time by Shannon--are due this Sunday, February 8.


Mission trip participants will have opportunity to further our fourteen-year relationship with sister congregation First Presbyterian Church as it continues to thrive amid scarcity. The group will participate in a worship service in a parishioner's backyard and become familiar with the historical, political, economic, and cultural context for Christian witness in Cuba.


Applications are available online.


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fiveJohn Vest Called to Union Seminary 

In a letter mailed to members of Fourth Church on Wednesday, John Vest, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry, wrote,


"It is a cliché to begin these letters by noting how bittersweet it is to say good-bye to a congregation you love, but it really is true. Two weeks ago the Board of Trustees at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, voted to call me to a four-year appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor of Evangelism, a brand-new position they have created to help address the challenges and potentials of ministry in our changing world. I am excited about this new adventure but also sad to leave a community that has meant so much to me for the majority of my adult life and ministry career . . . "


You can read John's complete letter, as well as an accompanying letter by Shannon Kershner, online.  


John will be with us through Sunday, June 7. In the weeks ahead we will share information about the ways in which we can all express our deep gratitude to him and Anna for all they have meant to this faith community over the past eight-and-a-half years.

Congratulations, John, on this exciting opportunity!


sixA Souper Thank-You! 
Donations for the Social Service Center

Thank you to everyone who participated in last Sunday's Souper Bowl of Caring! Fourth Church sixth and seventh graders collected $1,748 and 120 cans for the Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center Food Pantry.


Our Elevation youth joined other churches, schools, organizations, and individuals across the country in the fight against hunger and poverty.


Thank you for your support to help end hunger in our community!


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sevenBible Stories and Spirituals
Adult Education Classes Begin This Sunday

Two new adult education opportunities will begin this Sunday, February 8, with additional Academy for Faith and Life enrichment opportunities taking place throughout the coming months. For more information, visit


Experiencing the Word of God through Bible Stories

Sundays, February 8-22 (3 weeks)

9:30 a.m. in Room 5D

Led by Tom Payne, Fourth Church member

The Bible is rich with stories--some familiar, some less so. How might we comprehend their message more fully and how might it apply to our lives and times? This is a class for anyone who wants to experience another dimension of God's Word by transporting themselves to the scene of the event by way of imagination and possibility.


The Impact of American Slavery on African American Spirituals:

From Sounds of Defiance to Sounds of Liberation

Sundays, February 8-March 1 (4 weeks)

2:45 p.m. in Borwell Dining Room

Led by A. Alyce Claerbaut,  

   President of Billy Stayhorn Songs, Inc.

The history of the development of spirituals is a journey of a people from the most brutal of human institutions to freedom and conversion to Christ. This course will explore that development of African American spirituals as a reflection of the struggle for freedom. Together we'll chart the course of spirituals from their beginnings as freedom songs to worship songs through the transforming power of the gospel.


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eightUnderstanding Youth and Rage
A Fourth Dimension Event
Learn about the struggles of disenfranchised youth and their path away from violence in pursuit of literacy during the presentation "Stealing Authority from Ferguson: Free Write Jail Arts' Pedagogical Understanding of Youth and Rage" held on Friday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m. in the Page Smith Room.

Roger Bonair-Agard of the Chicago Lights Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy program will speak about a recent trip with a group to Ferguson, Missouri, and the connection between disenfranchised youth and pedagogy.


Hosted by Fourth Church fellowship group Fourth Dimension, the talk will illuminate what Roger Bonair-Agard and others discovered about a direct link between our pedagogical imperative and presence in St. Louis and start to plot a way forward for youth to design their own way back to literacy while avoiding the pitfalls of the juvenile justice system.


All are invited to register (required in advance) with Anne Ellis (312.573.3369) by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11.



     Friday, February 13

     6:00 p.m.


     Page Smith Room


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worshipWorship This Week
Sunday, February 8, 2015
8:00 a.m. with Communion
Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor, preaching
    "Rooted in the Sky"
Scripture texts:
     Psalm 147:1-11
     Isaiah 40:21-31
     Mark 1:29-39

9:30 and 11:00 a.m. Baptisms (11:00)
Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor, preaching
Scripture texts:
     Psalm 147:1-11 
     Isaiah 40:21-31 
     Mark 1:29-39

4:00 p.m. Jazz Service with Communion
Hardy H. Kim, Associate Pastor, preaching
    "A Faith for Others"
Scripture texts:
     Psalm 147:1-11
     1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Worship bulletins
for this coming Sunday are available online Friday afternoon at
"News and Opportunities"
is the weekly printed newsletter distributed with the Sunday bulletin and is available online Friday afternoon at


from previous weeks are posted online at 


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We give thanks to God for the gift of new life.

John Nadig Batkiewicz,  

    son of Kevin Batkiewicz and Sara Nadig


We give thanks to God for the gift of eternal life.

Ellis Murphy, January 28, 2015

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 14 at 11:00 a.m. in Buchanan Chapel.


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musicConcerts at Fourth Church
The Noonday concerts listed here are free.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Chicago Ensemble
7:30 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel  

Tickets available through Chicago Ensemble | 773.558.3448


Friday, February 13, 2015
Thomas Gouwens, piannist
(Associate Organist at Fourth Church)
12:10 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel


Friday, February 20, 2015
Cory Tiffin, clarinetist
12:10 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel

Friday, February 27, 2015
John W. W. Sherer, organist
(Organist and Director of Music at Fourth Church)
12:10 p.m. in the Sanctuary


A complete concert schedule is available online.

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volunteerVolunteer at Fourth Church

There are several ways to get involved in the mission and ministry of Fourth Church. See below for details!


Current Volunteer Needs

Helpers to assist with the Identity Arts program and Melting Pot Cooking Club at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm 

Volunteers will help foster creativity and positivity through making art with middle school students or help teach students about the joys of healthy cooking and eating. More information about each opportunity is available online.


Books Nook attendants to staff the Book Nook at Coffee Hour on Sunday mornings on a rotating basis

Volunteers set up the book cart and table before Coffee Hour begins, help people select books, and process sales. Prospective volunteers need to be members of Fourth Church and can sign up for one of the following shifts: Sundays, 8:55-9:30 a.m., 10:25-11:00 a.m., or 11:55 a.m.-12:45 p.m. 


Audio recording equipment operators for Sunday morning worship services  

This volunteer opportunity is available immediately. Training will be provided.   


Tutors for the Chicago Lights Tutoring program 

Tutors are needed one evening a week--Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday--from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. New volunteers are asked to attend an orientation session. A schedule is available here.

To sign up for any of these volunteer opportunities or to learn more about them, stop by Coffee Hour on Sunday morning or contact Larry Nicholson, Director of Volunteer Ministry.


A complete list of volunteer needs is available online