Welcome, Nanette!
A New Minister for Congregational Life
We welcomed Nanette Sawyer to Fourth Church this past Tuesday, December 1, as she joined us on a one-year contract as Minister for Congregational Life. Nanette will cover the responsibilities that Joyce Shin oversaw, and at the same time this one-year contract will provide time for the Fourth Church Personnel Committee--in consultation with staff, the Congregational Life Committee, and Session--to review and refine that job description as we look toward calling a new Associate Pastor.
Nanette comes to us from St. James Presbyterian Church and Grace Commons in Chicago. Prior to that she served as founding pastor of Wicker Park Grace, which grew out of her 2002 call by the Presbytery of Chicago to begin an experiment in new ways of doing church. A 2002 graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary, Nanette also has a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Claret Center.
We are grateful that Nanette will be sharing her gifts with us as she joins us in ministry for this next year. Please join us in welcoming Nanette and her partner, Andrea Kirksey, to Fourth Church!
Shop for a Difference and Support Global Artisans
Do you still have holiday shopping to do? Stop by the Fair Trade Gift Bazaar this Saturday, December 5 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or Sunday, December 6 between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in Anderson Hall and Borwell Dining Room.
This annual bazaar features handcrafted merchandise, ranging from folk art to ceramics, textiles, baskets, jewelry, and more, and a variety of vendors, including Ten Thousand Villages, will be on hand.
Groups in more than thirty countries benefit from the proceeds of this bazaar, making it possible for them to earn a fair wage for their labors and provide food, shelter, education, and health care for their families.
Come shop for a difference! 
     Saturday, December 5, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
     Sunday, December 6, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
     Anderson Hall and Borwell Dining Room
threeA Contemplative Retreat for Advent
Reflect and Prepare for the Birth of Christ
It's not too late to register for the annual Advent Contemplative Retreat! Registration forms--available online here--are due this Sunday, December 6.
This annual retreat, led by Associate Pastor Vicky Curtiss on Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12 at The Well in La Grange Park, offers a unique way to prepare, in the busy Advent season, for the birth of Christ.

Participants will engage in a variety of spiritual practices, including meditation and worship, to open their hearts and minds to reflect on the gift of God's love.
     Friday, December 11, 7:00 p.m.
     through Saturday, December 12, 4:30 p.m.
     The Well (1515 W. Ogden Ave., La Grange Park)
fourGive Gifts that Make a Difference
Spread Twice the Joy This Christmas!
As you finish--or start!--your holiday shopping, why not consider honoring or remembering those on your Christmas list with "Light Up a Life" gifts--which give twice by also helping neighbors whose needs are great this holiday season. These gifts are easy to make online and make a difference in the lives of those served by Fourth Church and Chicago Lights!
If the idea of "hands-on" giving appeals to you, you can help collect and prepare gifts from the Christmas wish lists of Chicago Lights Tutoring students. Through the "Christmas Wishes" gift-giving project organized by Presbyterian Women, gifts are again being collected for Tutoring program students from under-resourced neighborhoods. Volunteers are needed to help collect and sort gifts and prepare for gift distribution. For more information about how you can help, contact Anne Ellis (312.640.3369).
You can also help brighten Christmas for guests of the Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center and Fourth Church Meals Ministry's Sunday Night Supper by contributing toiletries and other small items for gift bags. These items--which will be received at the reception desk through this Sunday, December 6--will then be sorted and put into special holiday bags, which will be distributed to guests of these programs throughout the Christmas season. Instructions and a list of needed items are available in the literature racks.
This holiday season, why not give back through Fourth Church and Chicago Lights!
fiveFestival of Advent Lessons and Music
Cookies-and-Cocoa Reception to Follow
Join us for one of our beloved traditions at Fourth Church, the Festival of Advent Lessons and Music, next Sunday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
Pastors and members of Fourth Church will read the scripture lessons of Advent, and Fourth Church's Children's, Youth, Chancel, and Morning Choirs will perform anthems of the season. Together we'll sing Advent hymns and anticipate the birth of Jesus Christ. 
A reception hosted by Presbyterian Women and featuring homemade cookies and hot cocoa will follow the service.
     Sunday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.
     Reception to follow in Anderson Hall 
six"Longest Night" Service
Worship Opportunity for Those Experiencing Sadness
Feelings of grief, loss, loneliness, sadness, and anxiety can become more pronounced during the holidays. The "Longest Night" service--also known as the "Blue Christmas" service--on Tuesday, December 22 provides a Christmas worship opportunity for those who may find it difficult to share in the traditional joy-filled celebrations on December 24 and 25.
This service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel.
Those dealing with the emotional challenges of the season are also invited to contact the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being at Fourth Church at 312.787.8425.
     Tuesday, December 22, 6:30 p.m.
     Buchanan Chapel
sevenA Fourth Dimension Christmas
RSVP by December 7
This Monday is the last day to register for the annual Christmas Party hosted by Fourth Dimension next Friday evening in the Manse!

Festivities will include a catered Christmas dinner, Christmas music, and a white elephant gift exchange. Each white elephant gift should be a gender neutral, new or gently used item valued at approximately $10.

Be sure to wear your Christmas best--a prize will be offered to those with the most festive attire!

To register (required), click here or contact Anne Ellis (312.573.3369) by 12:00 noon this Monday, December 7 
     Friday, December 11, 6:00 p.m. 
eightTravel to Cuba in April
A Mission Trip with Matt Helms
Fourth Church will continue to foster its fifteen-year relationship with First Presbyterian Church of Havana during a mission trip on April 16-23, 2016.
Led by Matt Helms--Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry at Fourth Church--and Fourth Church member Carol Lobbes, participants will have opportunity to learn about the historical and cultural context for Christian witness in Cuba and share in the ministries of First Church of Havana.
This intergenerational mission trip is open to those twelve years and older. (Those under eighteen must be accompanied by an adult.)
Applications, available online here, are due by Sunday, December 20.
If you aren't free in April but still want to attend a mission trip, there is also still time to sign up to travel with Opportunity International to Uganda and Tanzania to learn about the impact of their microfinance programs in these countries. Participants may register online at Opportunity International through Tuesday, December 15.
worshipWorship This Week
Second Sunday of Advent
December 6, 2015
8:00 a.m. with Communion
Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor, preaching
   "Preparing the Way"
Scripture texts:
   Luke 1:68-79
   Malachi 3:1-4
   Luke 3:1-14  

9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor, preaching
Scripture texts:
   Psalm 126
   Luke 3:1-6

4:00 p.m. Jazz Service with Communion
Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor, preaching
Scripture texts:
   Psalm 126 
   Luke 3:1-6
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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musicConcerts at Fourth Church
Concerts at Fourth Church
Friday Noonday concerts are free.

Friday, December 4, 2015
Music Celebrations
7:00 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel

Friday, December 4, 2015
"Holidays a cappella" with Chicago a cappella
7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Tickets available through Chicago a cappella

Friday, December 11, 2015
Rae-Myra Hilliard, soprano
12:10 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel

Sunday, December 13, 2015
Chicago Chamber Orchestra Holiday Pops!
   with Beckie Menzie and Tom Michael
2:00 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel
Tickets available through Chicago Chamber Orchestra | 312.857.3094

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
Tutors for Chicago Lights Tutoring
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

Members to assist a child with special needs during 9:30 a.m. Sunday School

for the 11:00 a.m. services

Drummers to perform with the Fourth Church Drumming Circle.
The Drumming Circle is open to anyone who enjoys playing percussion instruments; participants of all ages are welcome. During the 2015-2016 season, the group will play in 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship on the first Sunday of each month through May and rehearse before each gathering.

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