St. John United Church of Christ is a "Nicodemus
church." We are being re-born after having grown
We are uncovering and recapturing the adventurous and
pioneering Christian spirit of our immigrant founders.
By building new relationships with the Aurora Community, we are committed to co-creating collaborative partnerships in order to innovatively serve the diverse neighborhoods of the city's east side. We will construct a new identity as a mission church providing outreach with love.
St. John UCC is committed to remaining in the community of its origins. We welcome you to the table! Then together, may we build the church to meet the community’s needs of today and tomorrow.
Peace and grace,
Rev. Cyndi Gavin, Pastor
Can you say Polygonatum odoratum variegatum?
Or how about filipendula rubra venusta magnifica? While botanical names for some of the plants we’ll find growing in the St. John UCC church yard garden may be more daunting to pronounce than any biblical name from Artaxerxes to Zerubbabel, our enjoyment of their beauty and interest is not the least diminished by the multi-syllable Latin.
Once we make the acquaintance of each flower, shrub and tree, we substitute common names like Solomon’s Seal or Queen of the Prairie, recognizing and taking pleasure in their unique and noble colors, flowers, fruits, seeds, leaf patterns and even fragrance (notice “odoratum” meaning “fragrance” in the title). Ever walk out on a spring morning to the tantalizing pink-flowered perfume of a viburnum carlesii compactum, aka Korean Spicebush? Inhale this viburnum’s fragrance just outside the front doors of the sanctuary. Have a seat on the benches in the south yard Peace Garden and smell the dwarf Lilacs blooming in Spring. Or the Honey Perfume summer roses growing along the fence.
St. John UCC wants to share its garden with you. Designed by Landscape Architect, Tony Tyznik, 40 years of the Morton Arboretum, it was installed the summers of 2008 and 2009 under leadership of Eagle Scouts Kyle Meyers (north side) and Stephen Whitt (south side) along with Boy Scout Troops 75 and 57.
Let’s turn from real gardens to metaphorical gardens.
We talk about nurturing the soul, growing spiritually, cultivating faith. St. John UCC wants to share the spiritual journey with you.
How does YOUR spiritual garden grow? Do you sow seeds of compassion, water them with prayer, kindness and charity? Do you fertilize with scriptural Words of Wisdom and daily life experience? Do you keep the weeds of blame, boredom, and cynicism from overwhelming the gift of your one special life, growing in the rich earth of your family and community? Do you bring your unique beauty as God’s beloved to the entire Garden of God’s Creation?
Can you rest from your busy-ness? Once a week for four weeks, will you sit for a spell in the candle-lit garden for a few evenings of getting to know each other, for sharing, and prayer? Try it. Come. All are welcome.*
Can you say Matka Ursula Ledochowska?
Or do you say cle-MAT-iss and
I say CLEM-ah-tiss?
*(Mosquitoes could also join us, so you may want to apply some insect repellent before coming.)
Even though Martha Price spent her professional career as a business teacher at Waubonsee Community College for 32 years starting at the opening of the college, music has always been a part of her life. Piano and organ lessons continued for years and accompanying soloists and choirs began very early. Martha has played for church services, weddings, and other events for most of her life since age 16. Most recently, she has been accompanying the singalong classes in Waubonsee Community College's Lifelong Learning Institute.
Martha met Betty Yoeckel through Betty's special music presentations at a local church and accompanied her on several occasions. This association led to the singalong classes in the Lifelong Learning Institute where Betty is the song leader. She has also performed in many local musical theater productions through the years and other musical presentations. Betty studied voice with a vocal instructor at Waubonsee Community College.
Margaret Nickerson is a native Auroran, grew into playing for Sunday School and church, studied organ in college and has played at churches in several states. She is organist at Advent Christian Church for the traditional service, is a retired kindergarten teacher and gives piano lessons. Her piano teacher was Marilyn Parolini.
Marilyn Parolini is a preacher's daughter, grew up on the west coast, began playing in church at age 10, came to Aurora College where she met and married Roger who, as a soloist, needed an accompanist. They have given sermons in song all over the US. She plays at New England Congregational Church and during the summer helps out at Advent Christian.
Norma Sondgeroth and Marilyn became good friends at Aurora College. Norma came from WVA where she grew up playing for church. She is office manager at Advent Christian Church, chairman of the planning committee for the traditional service and plays piano and organ with Margaret.