Annual Report

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HEAD OF STAFF    Rev. Lauren Cochran

Hello Sisters and Brothers in Christ! It is my joy to be with you all in this time and place to do the hard work of God's ministry together. While it seems like a 'long time ago' now, I arrived to YPC a short seven months ago.

Back in November my family and I moved into the manse on a frigidly cold day, and jumped into our work and life with you—an incredibly warm congregation. Your open arms reception made us all feel welcomed and loved. I will forever treasure your excitement, graciousness, and willingness to extend a hand.

The staff of YPC also welcomed me and shared all their wonderful knowledge and resources. I extend a special thank you to Pastor Matt for all the ways he has become a wonderful colleague and friend.

We waited and prepared through Advent, we held candles together on Christmas Eve, gathered together in January for a congregation meeting to elect Trustees and share good news about our YPC budget.

In February we gathered in a crowded sanctuary at a crowded table for my installation. I have tried to say 'thank you' enough, but the words will never scratch the surface of my gratefulness for such a beautiful day. There were well over 200 people at YPC that afternoon. We sang, we shared communion, we ate a meal together.

Then two weeks later, through prayer and in hope of health for our community, we closed the doors of the church and completely redesigned how we try do God's ministry. Someone recently asked if at some point, I could show all the "B-roll" mistakes and humorous moments as we have tried to preach, pray, share communion and do everything 'online'. If I compile such evidence, buckle up, it will be hours long! I have made mistakes, forgot things, said the wrong words, and have used more makeup than should be discussed to cover up dark circles under my eyes.

Through all of this time, I have tried my best to share creativity, honesty, empathy, and the Good News of Jesus Christ. I pray every time that I hit "publish and send" that the message translates to whoever ends up receiving it.

I want to applaud you all for becoming Zoom experts, online scripture readers, musicians from your living rooms, and for the support you have offered each other and to the staff of YPC. The Holy Spirit is among us doing things we might never have imagined on our own.

AND, we are still in the middle of the journey. At times it may feel like the momentum we had in February has come to a screeching halt, but I'm trying to think of it as a change in direction. Other times it feels like our world is crashing down... and in those moments I try to image God creating beauty out of chaos. There will still be ups and downs, changes in directions, chaos and beauty in the months to come. We must simply put one foot in front of the other.

I do want to take a moment to write about some "nitty gritty" details of what I do here at YPC. Alongside preaching and planning worship, I work with the following commissions: Worship, Discipleship, Fellowship, Administration and Personnel, Generosity, and Nominating... as well as the Session and Trustees. I am a regular at TOWN (alongside my kids) and I organize our weekly staff meetings. At the Presbytery level I'm the moderator of the Commission for Preparation for Ministry as well as the Presbytery Coordinating Commission through December 2020 (that will be my 6th year on CPM!). I attend the Elmhurst inter-faith clergy group and recently became a member of the DuPage NAACP. In the future I look forward to helping out with VBS (2021)!

I could write at great length about these short seven months, and even longer about what I hope for our future, but I've got to stop somewhere. I leave you with a very short poem written by one of my favorite poets, Christian Wiman. In these few unfinished lines, he tries to find the words to explain his faith and his love for God in the face of unknowing, the bright abyss. I resonate deeply with these words now more than ever:

My God my bright abyss
into which all my longing will not go
once more I come to the edge of all I know
and believing nothing believe in this:

I pray that as we face the bright abyss that God has placed before us we find the words of the next phase of our journey of faith together... and at the same time, that we always leave the poem unfinished, with room for more.


ASSOCIATE PASTOR    by Rev. Matt Parker Wrzeszcz

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28)

The past twelve months has been quite the adventure for everyone. Together, we have navigated unchartered territory and supported one another along the journey. Along the way, we encountered Christ recognizing we are never alone, but supported and guided by the One who loves us.

Last summer, I had the joy of once again participating in Vacation Bible School. Two weeks later, the high school youth packed the vans and headed off to a very successful mission trip in New Orleans. In the fall, we celebrated the interim ministry of Pastor Beth. The Pastor Nominating Committee, guided by the Holy Spirit, recommended Pastor Lauren to be our Head of Staff (and what a WONDERFUL choice that was)! Through Advent, we prepared our hearts to receive Christ, welcoming him into our homes and asking the blessing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us. Through the season of Epiphany we celebrated the Souper People among us and formally installed and charged Pastor Lauren to lead the congregation. As we transitioned into Lent, we offered questions that were upon our heart. And then... we headed deeper into the wilderness of our homes, learning to worship from afar reaching out to each other through digital bits and bytes. In this challenging time, we learn to support one another and minister in different ways. It has been a challenge, but Yorkfield Presbyterian Church has always faced challenges with determination and faithful hearts. Thank you for being in ministry together, through the tough times and the ordinary times. Thank you for being a community of disciples who serve with a heart for God and hands to help others.

Among the joys of ministry, it was wonderful to be able to celebrate the following baptisms: Juniper Ruth Douglass (August 4, 2019), Fiona Riley LaVette (October 6, 2019) and Pierce Stoller Hardy (January 12, 2020). I also had the joy of officiating the weddings of Liz (Lawrence) & Mark Cellini (offsite - May 10, 2019) and Mary (Colon) and Brett Young (June 19, 2019). Last year, I was also granted the privilege of presiding at the memorial services for Priscilla Griffith (June 1, 2019) and John Kurtis (offsite - January 18, 2020). It was wonderful to be able to lead in worship through all stages of life.



Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression (Isaiah 1:17).
Teach the children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray (Proverbs 22:6)

What a year to join the staff of YPC! New pastor, global pandemic, and urgent renewed commitment to the work of building an anti-racist beloved community in the church and in the world... Change, unpredictability, loss, and trauma have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with love, peace, joy, and laughter. Seriously, I had no idea what I was getting into!

Except... from the very first interview for the role of DCE, I was inspired by the strength of the foundation for Children's Education at YPC. Here is a strong, intergenerational program of the church, for the church, by the church. Here is something that I knew God could use to do amazing things for families and communities. That was something I wanted to be part of – especially when the days are marked by change, unpredictability, loss and trauma standing shoulder-to-shoulder with love, peace, joy, and laughter.

The past year has included many, wonderful successes in Christian Education: VBS, Sunday School, Christmas pageants, T.O.W.N. programs (at YPC and at Home), and MSYF. Each did the work of bringing up our youth to be disciples with a heart for God and hands to help others. The support of families, volunteers, the YPC staff, CE commission, and Session make it possible. To all of them, I want to say a deep and sincere thank you. Thank you for the many ways you have supported me in my new role as DCE. And, thank you for sharing your gifts to do the ministry of Children's Education at YPC.

Annual reports are a time to look back and to look forward. In the month's ahead, we can expect more experimenting to find ways to do the work of Christian Education in an ever changing church landscape. Things like HomeT.O.W.N. and the emergent curriculum on the YPC Families facebook page are a start. Together the staff and CE Commission are asking the hard, big questions about what Children's Education can be going forward. Can we help families build spiritually vibrant homes? Can our teaching and learning be more connected to worship? How can we faithfully support families who are already stretched very thin in so many ways? How can our teaching and learning in Christian Education be part of God's work to learn good, seek justice, and correct oppression? How can we as a community of faith that teaches our children and young adults in the right way so as they grow, they will not stray? It is a blessing to be asking these questions from the strength of YPC's foundations in Children's Education, and I am excited to see the ways that God will be at work with us in the coming year. Blessings and thanksgiving, dear Church.



After fifteen months of researching, reading and interviewing, the PNC at Yorkfield recommended the Rev. Lauren Cochran to be the next Head Pastor at YPC.  This process did take awhile but there were many items that we had to take care of first.  Our sincere gratitude to the members of the committee who met at least weekly and devoted countless hours of preparation to get to the finish line.  It was one of the most enjoyable committees that we have been a part of and we thank the following:  Roger Lawrence, Ann Raley, Jeff Skinner, Amy Wiesenmayer , Cathy Dykes and Tim Balgemann and Leslie Menconi, Co-Chair.
Let us now rejoice and serve our Lord as Rev. Cochran leads us!


ADMINISTRATION & PERSONNEL   by Joy Peters, Chairperson

The Administration and Personnel Commission (A&P) serves in a Human Resources role for the church staff to ensure that team members and the church office function as smoothly, efficiently and expediently as possible in an ever changing environment.
Last summer the commission brought to a close the recruitment and hiring of our Director of Children's Education and welcomed with open arms, Dr. Lea Schweitz. We thank the many hearts and hands who stepped up to keep the children's programs running at top speed prior to Lea's arrival.
In the fall YPC concluded an almost three year transitional journey with the hiring of a new Senior Pastor/Head of Staff. We bid farewell to transitional Pastor Beth Wagner and her family, who faithfully guided the church through the transitional time.
YPC started a new beginning in November and celebrated the arrival of Pastor Lauren Cochran and her family. The Pastor Nominating Committee is heartily applauded for bringing Pastor Lauren to YPC. The celebration continued with her installation as Head of Staff in February. With her leadership we look forward to the spiritual growth and nurturing of disciples with loving hands for God.
It is a function of A&P each year to draft the Local Ministry budget. Starting in late summer and working with the various commissions (as well as the Office Manager and Financial Secretary) several budgets are prepared culminating in discussions, finalization and approval by the Session. The budget was shared with the congregation at the January 2020 congregational meeting.
A task force was formed to look at options for paying down the mortgage. A plan was in development but put on hold as the pandemic struck.
Periodically A&P reviews and updates as needed all staff job descriptions for accuracy and clarity, which is currently taking place. The commission is working with the Session on updating the Memorial Garden Policy and Procedures as well as the possibility of installing an ossuary.
As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts YPC, A&P has supported the staff in the transition to online worship and virtual outreach, worked with the Session on participating in the Payroll Protection Program and continues to monitor the budget monthly. We give thanks to God for the congregation's faithful giving of financial gifts and offerings. These unprecedented times will bring changing roles, new needs and foreseen challenges, which will be resolved with God's steadfast helping hand.
The members of A&P (Anne Callen, Kelly Kost, Janey Prodoehl and Joy Peters) are thankful to be serving in a church with such a strong commitment to, supporting our staff, being discerning and prayerful when tough decisions need to be made and maintaining a deep faith in the God who loves us.



We had a relatively calm year after the following changes in the past several years:

      • Changing our name from Stewardship to Generosity to better reflect the value that drives the financial support of YPC.
      • Switching giving from specific line items (Local Ministry, Mission, Mortgage) to one unified giving approach which took several years to implement.

We asked you the following questions last fall and encourage you to continue to ponder these questions as you discern where to spend your time, talents, and financial gifts:

      • Why do you attend YPC?
      • Why do you give your time to the ministries of YPC?
      • What are you inspired to give to at YPC?
      • What do you hope for in the future of YPC?

Thanks to committee members Allie Pleiter, Jeff Redick, Stephanie Roon, John Udelhofen, Pastor Lauren, and retiring member Bob Gorsky. And thanks to the congregation for all your generous blessings provided in support of YPC. As our kids sing. "I am church, you are the church, we are the church TOGETHER!" If you have ideas on how to foster generosity at YPC, we would love to hear from you.


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION   by Donna Schwan, Chairperson

The mission of the Christian Education Commission is to actively engage all children and youth in faith formation through a variety of programs and activities. We welcomed Dr. Lea Schweitz as the new Director of Children's Education in July. We are thrilled to be working with her and learning her vision for children's ministry at YPC. Another addition to the CE Commission this year was Jeff Redick. He joins a team that has been working together for some time now: Tim Dykes, Sarah Lestina, Emma McGreal, Nancy Peterson, Gary Schiefer, Jen Skinner, and myself. With Emma graduating from high school we will soon add a new youth representative to our team. There are many moving parts on this commission and we appreciate the extra communication efforts put forth by Gary to MSYF, Emma regarding high school Sunday school and HSYF, Jeff to Safe Practices, Nancy to VBS, and Jen regarding TOWN.

The year started off the same as others with the CE Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at YPC in June, another amazing VBS experience in July, complete with the annual VBS ice cream social, Holey Donut Day to kick off the Sunday School Program in September, and the annual Christmas Pageant and Cookie Reception in December. January and February were filled with VBS planning and registration, and then life changed due to COVID-19. Since we could not meet face to face, Lea created home learning Sunday School materials and homeTOWN experiences and shared them with families to keep Jesus in everyone's heart during this troubling time. We had no choice in canceling in-person VBS and are surveying YPC members to determine what sort of program they might like (if any).

Most of the visible work attributed to CE is completed by a growing number of amazing youth and adult volunteers. Approximately 85 adults contributed to the children and middle school programs this past year. Let's not forget our talented and caring middle- and high-schoolers who provide leadership for VBS each year and provide support for their younger brothers and sisters in Christ in so many other ways. Thank you to everyone who assists in any manner to children's ministry at YPC: teachers, shepherds, mentors, musicians, directors, organizers, artists, cookie bakers, dishwashers, table parents, advisors, game leaders, craft leaders, storytellers, actors, cooks, meal planners, set designers, stage managers, and so many others who all come together to create a safe and welcoming learning environment for the children and youth at YPC.


CHILDCARE ANNUAL REPORT   by: Laurel Geraldi, Childcare Coordinator

The nursery and activity time programs provide a very important service and welcoming environment to visitors and church seekers in addition to YPC families. The average weekly nursery attendance is 10 - 12 infants/toddlers.
It was very exciting to see many new visiting families attending and using the nursery program. Activity Time averages about 8 - 10 children per week.
My major responsibility is to provide consistent, quality care for children ages birth–6 years. This entails coordinating parent and teen volunteers to assist a paid person in the nursery during both services and Sunday School. Volunteers also staff Activity Time at both services year round. This year, I was fortunate to have 21 adults and 17 teenagers who volunteered once a month to help with these very important programs. These programs could not function without them!

I also arrange for paid nursery caregivers for special worship services (Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday), and congregational meetings. In addition, 2 Vacation Bible School workers cared for the children of volunteers. Also, I provide paid adult caregivers for children ages birth–kindergarten for Logos Town parent volunteers for 3 hours every Wednesday night. Besides arranging for all the childcare and working in the nursery, I follow up with all the workers, maintain records, authorize time sheets, plus clean and care for the rooms and equipment. Since mid March I have continued to be in touch with all my nursery/activity time families and staff.

Mrs. Susan Ruzevick and Mrs. Janet Ebsen continue as the other paid Sunday nursery staff. They are a wonderful addition to the program and do a great job with the young children of the church.
Thanks to everyone for all their help and cooperation. I pray that we will all be back together at YPC soon.


SUNDAY SCHOOL   by Lea Schweitz, DCE

The 2019-2020 Sunday School season opened on September 8 with our traditional "Hole-y Donut Sunday." Donuts were generously donated by Clyde's Donuts. The event was organized by the CE commission and enjoyed by all! Our first meeting of the year is an opportunity for parents, families, children, teachers, shepherds, and leaders to get to know one another. Every Sunday thereafter, youth from age 3 through High School seniors are welcome to gather for fellowship, singing, praying, and learning together at YPC.

The education hour begins at 10:10am with cookies (generously provided by YPC volunteers). Pre-school through 5th grade students gather in Reid Hall for assembly with Roger Lawrence. After songs, offerings, lessons about worship and the church calendar, and prayers, preschool teachers, Melony Robbins and Kelly Klenck, bring preschool students to their classroom. Kindergarten through 5th grade students stay in assembly for a video Bible lesson. After straightening up the room, all students are walked to their classroom by a flock of shepherds: Katie Mowery, Michelle Saltiel, Jodi Redick, Becca Harpster, Rick Harpster, Brian Cross, and Kim Visser. They meet their teachers, Heidi Moy and Anna Mouritsen (K-1), Holly Kost and Kurt Muehleis (2-3), and Kate Cross and Cathy Dykes (4-5) in their classrooms for lessons, games, and crafts. Students are picked up at their classroom by a family member at 11:00am.

Middle school and high school students join their teachers, Angie Udelhofen and Sarah Lestina for middle school and Nancy Peterson, Charlie Kern, and Tim Dykes for high school in their classroom. In addition, middle/high school students are supported by shepherds, Gary Schiefer, Sarah Kays, and John Udelhofen.

Our goals for faith formation in Sunday School are to teach the stories of the Bible and weave the language of faith into the lives our young disciples so that they have a deep sense of God's love for them and a heart for service and justice. This year, the elementary school classes used the Deep Blue Kids curriculum, which had a very appropriate theme of Loving God, Loving Neighbor. As we welcomed a new pastor, we were talking about how communities are welcoming, growing, living together, and worshiping in the Bible.

At the request of the middle school teachers, we experimented with a new curriculum for YPC's 6-8th grades. In consultation with several others, we tried out the Colaborate series from Sparkhouse. It is also a Bible-centered curriculum. This series places key problem statements and verses at the heart of the learning.

The high school team is set to use a Gospel-based curriculum from YM360 for the next two years. They supplement this curriculum with a movie viewing and reflection and the annual ministry of teaching the elementary school kids during Advent.
All of the our teachers and shepherds (including the Advent middle/high school student-teachers!) have done an outstanding job. Their commitment and dedication to building up these children of God is a blessing to me, our church community and the wider world in which they will serve. It has been a joy to work with them.

The regular programming of Sunday school met two "interruptions" this year: the Christmas pageant and Installation Sunday.
The Christmas pageant, thanks to the amazing work of Director of Jen Skinner and Assistant Director Kate Cross, gave more than 40 children the chance to share the good news of Christmas in song and story. Special thanks to Bonnie Perticara for organizing the cookie reception, Roger Lawrence for lessons of carols, Amy and Brent Dye for coordinating costumes, and Laurel Geraldi and team for caring for our youngest menagerie.

Collectively, we decided to forgo Sunday school to honor Pastor Lauren's installation service in February. TOWN kids played bells and chimes in worship that day, and we wanted to support families in being present for this important day in the life of our YPC congregation.

Unfortunately, like so many things this spring, the "in-person" Sunday School year ended early because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In compliance with state regulations, in conversation with public health experts, and mostly out of love and concern for our neighbors, our last Sunday school gathering was March 8, 2020. Since then, we have been sharing learning resources from Illustrated Ministry (through Pentecost) and Children's Bulletin (for the summer) to extend the lectionary lessons and worship. In addition, we have been curating and sharing family faith practices each week through the YPC Families Facebook page and the YPC worship email. The CE Commission and YPC staff are actively exploring what the next phase of Sunday School can look like at YPC.

It is with deep gratitude and thanksgiving for the many, many dedicated volunteers that make Sunday school such a vibrant program at YPC. Thank you to all!



This year, T.O.W.N. at YPC gathered 27 children, from 1st-5th grade on Wednesday evenings to enjoy games, worship, singing, bells and chimes, crafts, family-style meals, prayers, and Bible study. Beginning September 18, 2019 through March 4, 2020, we gathered from 3:45pm to 6:30pm almost weekly (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas break, and Ash Wednesday) for food, fellowship, and fun. The program is supported by an amazing, dedicated team of more than 40 weekly volunteers, an annual, per child, registration fee (for 2019-2020 the fee was $125/child), and childcare for volunteers provided by Laurel Geraldi and Melony Robbins.

Our themes this year included: Picnic night, Baseball night, Mismatch/Color night, Pirate night, Friends/Twins night, Crazy Sock night, Trunk or Treat night (with more than an additional 20 volunteer trunks!), Pet night, Lego night, Family night, Luau night, Formal night, Camping night, Puzzle night, PJ/Baby night, Superbowl night, Variety Show night, Royalty night, Mardi Gras night, and an End of Year banquet. Behind the themes, these evenings included service projects for the food pantry and pet shelters, caroling at Lexington Square, family potlucks, an Advent wreath family craft, and recognition of the 5th graders who will be moving on to MSYF - and mostly so much laughter and sharing the love of God.

We were so fortunate that the T.O.W.N. program was able to complete the full program year before the pandemic closures. It was a delight to get to know these families, volunteers, and this program from the inside this year. It is truly an intergenerational ministry of the church, and it could not happen without the boundless, creative energy of all the volunteers who make this program so joyful. Thank you to all of them!

In the opening weeks of the pandemic, Grace Weisenmeyer (one of our table parents) wondered if we might do a stay-at-home version of T.O.W.N. to help folks stay connected even while apart. With that savvy suggestion, the HomeT.O.W.N. experiment was launched. Since March, we have posted a series of eight HomeT.O.W.N. theme nights: Halloween in April, Pajama night, Easter Formal night, Earth day celebration, Puzzle night, Mother's Day celebration, Pentecost night, Star Wars theme (for Father's Day). It is again thanks to our volunteers that HomeT.O.W.N. has been possible. Special thanks to Dinner Dean Tom Wolfe for all the welcome videos and craft projects (and Caroline Wolfe for being the cameraperson!), Pat Burrows for a Bible lesson, Leslie and Steve Menconi for a worship video, Leslie VanMeir for a virtual escape room, and Kurt Schweitz (and family) for the closing song. Not only has the HomeT.O.W.N. project been a way for us to stay connected, it has been an opportunity to experiment with new forms of Christian Education at YPC. Thank you to all who have been a part of it!



VBS was held from July 15 through July 18, 2019. Thanks to 90 (!) volunteers, the week was a "Roaring" success! Once again, when open registration began in February, it was filled with over 165 wonderful kids who wanted to share this experience within a half an hour!

Through singing, games, crafts, snacks Kid Vid mission/crew time and Bible drama, the children learned how when life is unfair, when life is scary, when life changes, when life is sad, and when life is good, GOD IS GOOD!
In keeping with the theme of "Roar" our charity this year was Books for Africa ( At Books For Africa, it is believed that education is the great equalizer in the world, and books are at the foundation of a strong educational system. For many children in Africa, the gift of books truly is a gift of hope.

Rather than collecting books, which would have been a cumbersome operation, we requested financial donations to cover the cost of shipping books. During the week of VBS, $1328.23 was raised, which will allow Books for Africa to ship more than 2,600 books.

The week was capped off with a grand finale where families had the opportunity view a slide show of the week, to hear their children sing the songs they learned during the week praising God in the sanctuary of the church followed by an ice cream social in Fellowship Hall. It is always such a blessing to see the joy on the faces of parents and children as they meet and reconnect with the leaders who helped during the week!

YPC is blessed to have had so many in our faith community and others who volunteered for this important mission by volunteering in so many ways and reaching out to others to help.

During this past year of transition, I can't express enough thanks to all who have helped and participated. It is proof that we can provide quality programs at all times for our most precious commodity, our cherished children – because they matter!


MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP    by Amy Wiesenmayer and Janey Prodoehl

We had another fabulous group of youth participating in MSYF this year. Incorporation of new 6th graders upped the energy level for us all, and we were all sad to see the programmatic year end, which thankfully happened before the quarantine. This is a wonderful group of youth who are respectful and trusting and willing to share their faith and their strength with each other.
We met in Fellowship Hall on Wednesday nights from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Our nights included dinner and fellowship, games, faith discussion, and joys and concerns. The advisor group is led by Amy Wiesenmayer, with Janey Prodoehl and Hannah Shepard on games, and Steve Menconi on Joys and concerns (and general referee!). The MSYF YPC leader is Lea Schweitz who provided parental communication and organization for the year. This advisor team and the youth enjoy each other's company and MSYF brings a midweek highlight of fellowship for us all.

We thank the TOWN cooks for our family style dinner each week which is an important start to our night to catch up on what is going on in our worlds, and to get to know each other on a deeper level.

We follow with games, either indoor or out, that usually involve some type of action or puzzling. Good sportsmanship is always on display, but make no mistake, the competition can be fierce.

Our faith discussions each week are based around issues this middle school youth face and deal with, and show how they can lean into their faith. We've tackled peer pressure, bullying, societal standards, technology, parental pressure, and loving yourself and others. Our 7th and 8th graders began to lead prayers this year, and have shown a willingness and strength in leadership.
Joys and concerns each week brings up all sorts of issues important to the youth, and shows how much they are aware of not only their own struggles and joys but those of others too.

Some special activities this year were to make dog toys for a rescue group, a Feed My Starving Children outing, and leading the mitten collection at YPC. The youth made a Christmas gift for someone special in their life, and the always popular Christmas party included a hilarious white elephant gift swap which included a 12 pack of toilet paper (which shortly came in very handy during quarantine, thank you very much!). Stump the Pastor was another year highlight, a Q&A with Pastor Lauren. Senior night this year was with high school seniors who came to share what they wish their middle school selves had known, and how life changes and opens up after middle school. Allie Pleiter gave a heroic effort this year in writing and directing the MSYF skit in worship. Who can forget that awesome Grace-o-matic made by Tom Wolfe that completed the skit? A bonfire at the Wiesenmayers was a bright spot at the beginning of the year (although a little wet), and the MSYF lock-in was a definite highlight.

Two of our 8th graders "graduated" from MSYF this year, and we are grateful for the time that they have spent with us. We look forward to the rising 6th graders joining us this Fall and to being back together this Fall.


HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP   by: Kelly Klenck and Abby Udelhofen

The YPC High School Youth Fellowship continues to be a great place for teenagers to gather, have fun together, and learn more about their faith. Our theme the past year was, Do Something Where You Are. This theme was the focus of our 2019 mission trip to New Orleans. On the trip, many youth acknowledged that the work we were doing was also something we could do where we live.

Over the past year, we engaged in a Service Sunday once a month. We made desserts for PADS, served in the food pantry, and led a game day at Lexington. We also went to Facing Forward to End Homelessness in Garfield Park. While we were there, we heard from Rev. Doug Bradshaw as he opened our eyes to homelessness in the city and the mission of Facing Forward. We then spent time cleaning and reorganizing their prize closet, which holds resources that residents can purchase with points they earn.

Throughout the year there were a number of regular YF meetings, with the number of youth attendees ranging anywhere from 8 and 18 on a given night. The group discussed how we see God in our daily lives, prayer, our individual faith journeys, and anxiety/depression. Each semester youth offer topics that they would like to talk about that season. In an effort to encourage our juniors and seniors to stand up as leaders and offer input, we held a Leadership Lunch. We found that many were willing to co-lead games or discussion breakouts in future meetings. Outside the regular YF meetings, the group also met for a number of special events throughout the year. In October, we met at Danada Equestrian Center for a hayride and bonfire. In November, the youth planned and lead a beautiful Thanksgiving service and potluck dinner. In December we held our second annual Christmas PJ Party. February was packed with fun and fellowship. We hosted a lock-in at YPC where we enjoyed food, games, and discussed taking a Leap of Faith. We also invited Pastor Lauren to join us at YF. It was a beautiful time for our youth to get to know Pastor Lauren and vice versa.

In March, YF hosted its very first Parents Night Out as a new way to fundraise for the summer mission trip. Parents from YPC got to enjoy an evening kid-free while their children played games, made crafts, and enjoyed a dinner and a movie with the "cool" big kids. A few short weeks later, our world took a turn. YF continued to meet virtually over Zoom each Sunday, where youth were invited to engage in games and devotions. We formed a Google Classroom where our kids could find a song of the week, weekly challenges, and share "Roses & Thorns" (joys and concerns). The youth also planned and led a virtual Youth Sunday. We are impressed with their flexibility and positivity during a time of uncertainty. Our youth have a special bond that is beyond measure.

This summer we had planned to go to Logan, West Virginia for our mission trip. While the trip is being postponed a year due to health and safety regulations, we are hopeful for opportunities to connect as a group and continue to Do Something Where We Are this summer. We had such great support from the YPC family during the Change for Change fundraiser and look forward to continuing making a change in our community and those around ours.
Many thanks to Pastor Matt, Janet Andrews, and Brian Jones who serve as our fellow adult advisors. Thank you to everyone who has supported, prayed for, guided, listened, laughed with, and encouraged our high school youth.
Many thanks to Kelly Klenck and Abby Udelhofen who stepped up in January as co-leaders of HSYF! They are offering an amazing ministry for our youth!

LIBRARY   by Kim Hlavenka

The YPC library provides supplemental materials for adult & children's classes & resources for personal study. It also has inspirational fiction and movies. If you are looking for something in particular, you can use the old fashion (but useful) card catalog. There is a topical index of materials on our shelves in a binder next to the card catalog. If you're having trouble finding something you can leave a note, call or drop me an e-mail.

Last summer a book study was offered for Searching for Sunday by Rachel Evans. This title was added to our collection and another group will be studying it this summer.

In support of the newly formed Social Justice group, several new books were purchased from the "Children in our World" series. Each book looks at a topic we hear about in the news on a regular basis; including poverty and hunger, refugees and migrants, and global conflict. Don't be fooled by the "children" label. These books give clear explanations about difficult issues and even some ways we can help.

In adult fiction, several of Joseph Girzone's Joshua books were added. They give readers a look into what it might be like if Jesus returned today; thought-provoking reading.

One new book in the Junior section is The Illustrated Book of Bible Trivia. All ages can discover amazing facts about people, places and things in the Bible.

In the children's section, new books were added from an old favorite, the Berenstain Bears. These are good beginning reader stories. A new "Power to Choose" series lets readers experience how their choices can affect others and have consequences, negative or positive. There are also several new titles relating to prayer.

You can browse or check out materials any time the church is open, simply follow the directions on the library desk. Feel free to stop in whenever it's convenient and find something to simply enjoy or challenging to help you grow in your faith.



Our group's mission is to seek personal spiritual development, biblical knowledge and group community. We focus on studying the Bible from September through May and watch Christian-themed movies in the summer. This year, we studied the books Ezra, Nehemiah and Mark. We also watched the movies I Can Only Imagine, The Shack, and Life is Beautiful.

Our group is Lani Allen, Mike Baker, Bill Bortolotti, Gordon Borrows, Mark Harada, Gordon Hlavenka, Kelly Kost, Kurt Muehleis, Pat O'Malley, Rich Peterson, Jeff Plieter, Tim Robbins, Kurt Sundberg, and John Udelhofen.

If you are interested in joining please contact John Udelhofen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We meet the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month from September through May and once a month in the summer.



Our slogan is that we are "the perfect group for the imperfect man." We started the group at the beginning of the 2010 and continue to be guys looking for ways we could apply (and be held accountable to) God's work in the Bible and in our lives today. Through the work of the Holy Spirit allowing us to be authentic and courageous in sharing and praying, we have seen, heard and learned how God is working in all of us. It is truly a great experience to walk with each other and encourage each other in our faith journeys. We thank the Lord for the inspiration and encouragement we all receive as active, growing Christian men.



Since 2005, volunteers have met the first Friday of each month at 9:30am to knit and crochet prayer shawls. These are made to be given to YPC members and people in the community in need of healing, comfort, or celebration. Any member of the congregation can request a shawl to be prayed over and given.
We are always looking to expand our corps of stitchers. If you knit or crochet (or even quilt), we will happily provide you with the pattern. If you would like to learn to knit or crochet, our members will gladly teach you. You do not need to attend the monthly meetings to participate—several YPC members knit or crochet on their own time and provide the finished shawls to our supply. We have patterns, or you are welcome to use a favorite of your own.
To date, the Prayer Shawl Ministry has distributed 320 shawls. We are grateful to the many volunteers who make this creative and compassionate ministry possible.


MEN'S LUNCH   by Matt Parker Wrzeszcz, Assoc. Pastor

There has been an open invitation for many years for the men of the congregation to gather together monthly for lunch and a brief faith conversation. In its last manifestation, the group met on the second Tuesday of the month at Fresh Start Café (across the street from the church). We took a hiatus in 2019, as our numbers diminished and the workload of the convener had increased. Plans were coming together to reconvene the group this spring when the Coronavirus swept in and cancelled our reservation. As things open up in the months to come, perhaps we will be able gather in person to share a meal together once again.



WINGS met the first and third Tuesday of the month from 10 – noon, September through May. September through the beginning of March, we met at YPC in room 102. In March, we began meeting virtually. We were grateful to still have this opportunity to connect.

WINGS is a multigenerational group of women who study together and support one another. We spent a lot of time in prayer and sharing the joys and concerns of our lives with one another. We, as a group, love how we are able to see the power of prayer and the connection it creates for us all.

This year we covered a 12 unit DVD study entitled "Saving Jesus redux" by Living the Question. This study provided us with a small group exploration of a credible Jesus for the third millennium. The DVD captured 27 different theologians who gave their perspective on topics from Jesus through the ages, Jesus' birth, ministry, death and resurrection. We felt this study gave us the opportunity to grow in our faith, appreciate other perspectives, and also challenge theories and affirm our faith beliefs.
WINGS is always open to new women joining us. This group currently has 14 members and is a great place to draw closer to God and have a special relationship/bond with Christian women of varying ages at YPC. We are planning on reading and discussing "Searching for Sunday" by Rachel Held Evans this summer. We will have two virtual meetings at 1p.m. on June 23rd and July 14th. We will then begin our bi-monthly studies again in September virtually. There will be a write up by early September sharing what we will be specifically studying. Contact Angie Udelhofen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to join us this summer and/or in the fall.



The Online Women's Bible Study is a small group of women with the goal of reading chronologically through the Bible in one year. We are using The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble reading plan on the Bible app and corresponding daily podcast. Each podcast asks the listener to find their "God shot" in the daily scripture and know that "He is where the joy is!" This small group began in February of 2020. We aim to meet monthly to reflect on the Bible readings, share joys and prayer concerns and enjoy Christian fellowship with each other. In February, we met for a pot luck dinner. In March, we helped in various ways at Grace Cafe. In April and May, we held discussions on Zoom. We welcome others to join at anytime during the year. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic we take comfort in knowing that whether in person or virtually, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them".



This new small group is a gathering of members with a variety of social justice interests with our common denominator caring about marginalized people. The social justice group started with a book study of White Fragility, why its so hard for white people to talk about racism. We continue to meet monthly and plan to take one subject at a time to study and learn about actions we can take. Upcoming topics include immigration, sex trafficking, and LGBTQIA issues.


DISCIPLESHIP COMMISSION    by Pat Burrows, Chairperson

Jesus says: "Follow me," and that simple instruction becomes our lifelong endeavor. Saying "yes" to God's call leads us closer to God, deeper into community, and opens our hearts in witness to God's redeeming work in the world. This spring, with the evolving effects of the pandemic on us, our church, and the world, our practices of discipleship (study, worship, prayer, service, fellowship, and sharing God's love) have been a sustaining factor--a reminder of God's unchanging presence. In these uncertain times, YPC small groups and adult ed continued to meet online, offering support, encouragement, and ongoing faith formation. We are happy to connect you with opportunities this summer and beyond.

Your Discipleship Commission is focused on four areas: adult education, new member engagement, small group support, and communication. Evangelism and welcoming others are central to everything.

Highlights of the 2019-20 program year include:

      • Short term study groups formed in the fall and online this spring. In February, 29 women embarked on a 365 day Genesis to Revelation study. A young adult small group is in the works. A new social justice small group formed. Look for the reports from new and ongoing small groups.
      • Pastor Jennifer led a new group working on the practice of contemplative prayer and reading Kent Nerburn's book on St. Francis' prayer.
      • Last summer, we discussed Rachel Held Evans book: Searching for Sunday. (This book discussion is offered again this June/July plus The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd in August.)
      • A large welcome banner announced Pastor Lauren's arrival. And the "Share Hope" message our pastors placed on the big windows in March was an encouragement for all who pass by.
      • An awesome women's spiritual retreat planned for May was postponed to a later date TBD.
      • The weekly adult ed 2019-2020 program year covered diverse topics on faith:
      • The Names of God- exploring the "I am" statements of Jesus- study led by Ann Raley.
          • Panels of YPC members shared their experience of faith in the workplace: in education, business, law, healthcare, and human resources.
          • Guest Pastor Rich Havard, Director of The Inclusive Collective, a campus ministry of the LGBTQ community and allies at UIC, spoke about how to be relevant and authentic in ministering across generations.
          • During Advent, Pastors Lauren and Matt shared insights on how we sing our faith.
          • The humanitarian crisis in Syria and an update on the Safargi Family.
          • Gun violence and the role of church.
          • Angie Udelhofen led a discussion of the Kingdom of God.
          • Pastors Lauren and Matt began a Lenten study using the book, Jesus Is the Question.
          • We moved online a few weeks into the pandemic where Allie Pleiter and Ann Raley led a 4 week study on Jesus' Parables.
          • Guest Pastor Daniel Cochran taught us how the early church created and claimed sacred spaces and how we might do so also.

For more information or encouragement in growing your faith, using your gifts, or connecting with others, speak to YPC pastors or commission members--Pat Burrows, Ann Raley, Angie Udelhofen, Tom Ebsen, and Kate Cross. Our group meets monthly and you are welcome to join us.


FELLOWSHIP COMMISSION    by Mike Baker, chairperson

Fellowship Commission members for the past year include Mike Baker, Becca Harpster, Jason McMyler, Heidi Moy, Greg Perticara, Lianne Sundberg, and John Udelhofen.

The Fellowship Commission's mission is to strengthen the bonds of YPC's community through friendship, fellowship, and fun! What a wonderful mission - to enjoy each other's company!

      • We assist the church's disciple-making mission with fellowship events that let us gather and get to know each other in a variety of casual and social settings. We try to have a mix of adult as well as family events. The strength of community and knowing your brothers and sisters in Christ is an important part of keeping YPC a healthy church.
      • Fellowship's first event this past year was a Chicago Dogs Baseball Game. It was a beautiful night. We all got Dog's hats and the kids got to run the bases after the game. A big thanks to John for organizing.
      • Over the summer, we held two Hot Dog Sundays. Hot dogs are popular at YPC. We go through about 100 hot dogs each event. These Sundays are an opportunity for an extra hour of fellowship on the lawn. Thanks to Jason for planning and shopping.
      • The annual picnic was at Wilder Park this year. We had about 100 attend with many children, lots of fun for all ages. A big thanks to John and Lianne for organizing and shopping and Dylan for bringing the Brisket!
      • Heidi organized several events this past summer for the Moms & Tots group. There was a picnic after VBS that was well attended. The new snow cone machine was a hit. The group also took in an Elmhurst music event, an outdoor movie in Oak Brook and visited Mike's house to play with his backyard trains.

In the fall and winter, Fellowship sponsored many activities with help from volunteers outside our commission.

      • In September, Roger and Jackie Lawrence hosted a Bears/Packers watching event.
      • In October, we had a Good-bye party for Pastor Beth, our Interim Pastor. A&P (Kelly and Joy) helped with the cake between services. After the second service we had lunch in Fellowship Hall. Becca created a plaque for people to leave messages for Pastor Beth.
      • In November, Heidi worked with Mission Commission to sponsor a visit to Feed my Starving Children in Schaumburg. Our group contributed to hundreds of packets of dried food for families in Haiti and other countries.
      • In November, we joined with our Pastor Nominating Committee to welcome our new head of staff, Pastor Lauren with cake and lemonade.
      • In February, Deacons helped us with a reception in Fellowship Hall after Pastor Lauren's installation. So many tasty appetizers, and over 200 folks attending.
      • Also, in February, we held our annual Souperoo. Souperoo honors our wonderful volunteers at YPC and we get to sample homemade soups. Janet Andrews outdid herself with a wonderful circus theme this year, complete with a big-top tent! Fellowship really appreciates all the help we get for planning, set-up, serving and clean-up of events.

We are looking forward to a time when we can safely get together again and renew our fellowship activities. Please check the weekly email or website fellowship page for our events as they come up. If you have any ideas for events that can be held safely while social distancing, or to learn more about our commission, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SOUPER PERSON OF THE YEAR 2019   by Pastors Matt and Lauren

Another year of many amazing super (souper) people in YPC's congregation! In January, the previous Souper folks gathered for lunch in Fellowship Hall and through discernment, prayer (and even a little JOY-ful laughter) came to name Joy Peters as the 2019 Souper Person of the Year.

Joy has been a long time member of YPC, serving faithfully on and chairing the Administration and Personnel Commission, Session, making desserts for TOWN, helping with Adult Ed programs, hosting pre-session retreat dinners at her cabin, attending Presbytery meetings, serving as a regular liturgist in worship, participating in a long-standing small group Bible study and above all - serving as a faithful disciple of God. All of YPC is blessed to be working alongside her in the ministry set before us.

The actual Souperoo was held on February 9, 2020 with a bright "carnival" theme. Thank you to everyone who assisted with the Fellowship-Hall-long salad bar and those who made delicious soups, yummy breads and tasty desserts. Thank you to Janet Andrews and her crew for setting up the decorations and food. While Joy got the 'big can,' there were many other folks that were recognized for the 'souper' things they offered in the preceding year.

One of the things we offered this year was the opportunity for the congregation to nominate and recognize people for going above and beyond throughout the year. A mailbox is being placed beneath the Souperoo cans in the library. If you see someone doing something SOUPER, be sure to nominate them! We so look forward to another year of service together, and it's never too early to start saving up your soup cans for 2021!


MISSION & SERVICE COMMISSON   by Martha McGreal, Chairperson

The YPC Mission Commission supports the communal hands of YPC as we reach out to care for Christ's world through the gifts of our time, talents, and finances. Pastor Matt is the staff liaison for the Mission Commission and Martha McGreal is the Chairperson.

We have a faithful team of dedicated members on the commission. YPC is a congregation who are doers of the Word. Through giving to Missions via the annual Stewardship Campaign and an active willingness to serve our neighbors, YPC supports a large number of hands-on opportunities and financial partnering with local and international missions. Although much of our hands on work has recently been curtailed by COVID-19, the pandemic has given us new opportunities for service, and thus far, our ability to financially support our mission partners has not changed. The work of our commission has included:

      • Monthly staffing the PADs site at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, including preparing and serving the evening meal, and cleanup of the facility. PADs offers shelter to homeless people in DuPage County.
      • Hosting Grace Cafe which provides a free meal to anyone in Elmhurst who needs a meal and company. YPC prepares, serves and hosts the meal at YPC, typically in March.
      • We continued our support of the Yorkfield Elmhurst Food Pantry. Members of YPC serve beside many from the community who volunteer, and we continue to provide financial support via the Mission budget.
      • We welcomed Ten Thousand Villages to sell Fair Trade gifts at Christmas time.
      • At Christmastime, we filled a van with toys and gifts donated by members of YPC. They were delivered to People's Resource Center for distribution to families in need.
      • We partially fund both adult and youth mission (work) trips through the mission budget.
      • For the first time, in 2019, we partnered with DuPage Habitat for Humanity on a Church Team Faith Build in a nearby community.

In addition to the above, your mission dollars are carefully and thoughtfully distributed to organizations who rely on our support to fund their ministries here and abroad. These include:

      • Over twenty-five organizations –- in the areas of poverty, hunger, homelessness, child welfare, domestic violence, economic development, and human trafficking.
      • Four mission co-workers (missionaries) in Taiwan, Sudan, and Mexico.
      • Seminary support.
      • Presbytery Shared Mission, which aids international missionaries, new church developments, military chaplains, and other work for the 'wider' church.
      • Via our reserve fund we assist people on a onetime, as needed, basis throughout the year.
      • The commission coordinates four annual Presbyterian special offerings supported by YPC members –- One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost Offering, Peace and Global Witness Offering, and the Christmas Joy Offering.
      • In 2019, we began supporting the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants. This organization supports individuals and communities affected by immigration detention, deportation, and post-detention through pastoral care, advocacy, public witness and other activities.
      • This year we've also begun supporting Reclaim 13, which is an organization dedicated to ending the cycle of exploitation of young girls.

For further information about all of the mission partners we support, there is a brief description of each on the YPC website. We follow the activities of these organizations and actively encourage YPC members to participate as donors and volunteers. The Mission Commission could not do these things without the generous support of the members of our congregation –- by prayers, donations, and hands- on work.


FAIR TRADE   by Margaret Schiefer

The YPC mission commission continues to bring fair trade products to YPC every 2nd Sunday morning. The idea behind fair trade is for subsistence farmers to band together in coops to increase their bargaining power and allow for consistent fair prices for their crop. We work with Equal Exchange which helps form the coops, cuts out the middle man and provides a market for the products. A portion of all profits earned by the coops goes into the community for schools, medical clinics and other community needs. Equal Exchange teaches sustainable organic farming. Our products come from all over the world: Coffee and chocolate from Central & South America, tea from India and Africa, and nuts from the US.


PADS (PUBLIC ASSISTANCE TO DELIVER SHELTER)   by Matt Parker Wrzeszcz, Assoc. Pastor

We continue to partner with DuPage PADS to provide safe and comfortable interim housing for the homeless population in DuPage County. Once again, we worked with Elmhurst Presbyterian Church (EPC is the local PADS interim housing site) which houses approximately forty-five guests on Saturday nights throughout the winter months. On the fourth Saturday of each month, volunteers from YPC fulfilled our commitment to provide a hot meal consisting of chicken pot pie, salad, rolls, drinks and dessert. After experimenting with the meal for the past couple of years, the Mission Commission concluded this consistent menu was appreciated by a wide variety of the clients. Members of the commission rotated responsibilities throughout the season, overseeing the purchase of pie crusts and organization of volunteers. A big THANK YOU goes out to all those who prepared food, served meals, cleaned up and made the PADS clients feel welcome.
In March, the interim housing sites (including EPC) were closed due to the COVID-19 and services were shifted to place homeless individuals in temporary housing. Supplies were gathered and delivered to PADS to help with this effort. DuPage PADS is one of many mission partners the Mission Commission financially supports through your mission dollars. If you desire to donate goods or volunteer with PADS, please contact me or a member of the Mission Commission. In serving the homeless, we follow Christ's command to love one another just as he has loved us.

ADULT MISSION TRIP   by Matt Parker Wrzeszcz, Assoc. Pastor

Over the past year, the Mission Commission made plans for two different adult mission trips. One was local with DuPage Habitat for Humanity and the other was planned for Puerto Rico. We decided to move in this direction recognizing that some within the congregation may feel the desire to serve far away while others might not have the time or resources to commit to such an endeavor. Offering both options provided an invitation for people to join an adult mission trip that fit their needs (and some planned to participate in both).

In late June 2019, members of the congregation participated in a faith build project with Habitat for Humanity in Hanover Park. Volunteers could choose to participate on either Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday (or a combination of those days). It was an interesting experiment, as this opportunity allowed individuals to serve locally and return home for their family meal (and to sleep in their own bed)! A few people decided to serve each and every day, while many decided to serve on a specific day. Overall, there were about twenty unique individuals who served throughout the week (including a couple of parents with grown children). The team worked together to build the model home, which is the first in many more to be built in the community. In February 2019, the home was completed and a house blessing was offered to the family who took possession of the property. It was a blessing to be part of this ministry as we welcomed a family into their new home.

Although a group of nine individuals intended to head to Puerto Rico in May 2020, plans needed to be changed due to the realities of COVID-19. YPC partnered with Praying Pelican Missions, an organization that arranges short term mission trips throughout the world. In late April, we received official word that the mission trip was cancelled. While disappointing, it was understandable that no one wanted to take the risk of unintentionally passing along the virus.

Many thanks to Monica Lockie, Amy Wiesenmayer and Debbie Suits for making the initial arrangements for Puerto Rico and for making the necessary adjustments along the way. Our initial deposit was forfeited as prior arrangements were made to partner with local communities in Puerto Rico. The Mission Commission covered the loss through the adult mission trip line item and many of the original participants decided to donate their deposit to the cause.

When the time comes, the Mission Commission will entertain plans for a future adult mission trip. Any adult interested in participating is welcome (typically there are opportunities for people of all skill levels). The YPC Mission Statement recognizes that balance between the work of our hearts and the work of our hands. The prayers of our hearts go out to the people of Puerto Rico as we look forward to a time we might also serve with our hands.


WORSHIP COMMISSION   by Kurt Muehleis, Chair

The mission of this commission states that it is to serve the congregation by tuning all the elements of our worship service to reflect God's glory. Those elements include preaching and the liturgy, music and choirs, visual arts and flowers.

Our mission could not have been accomplished without the work of many individuals. Thanks goes out to our readers and organizer Rick Raley, to Tim Balgemann and our sound and visual tech helpers, to Nancy Peterson and all of our ushers, to Kenlyn Geraldi and her work on the beautiful flowers, to Cynthia Stoner and Jenny McMyler's work on keeping the pews properly stocked, to the Elders who have served, prepared and cleaned up after communion, and the many individuals who have helped decorate the Sanctuary. We are grateful to the leaders of our music, Darlene Richards, Dylan Rehm and Kurt Schweitz and all of the individuals who participated in choir, praise band, bells and special music.

This year can be broken into four phases, each of which presented its own challenges. The first was the ending of the tenure of our transitional pastor, Beth Wagner. This was highlighted with her splendid summer Seuss salute sermon series. The second came as we welcomed Pastor Lauren in midst of our hectic Advent season. Beyond the normal stresses for a new pastor, we had a performance of the Messiah, a children's pageant and four Christmas services. As the new head pastor settled in, the third phase may had been our most normal with the exception of Lauren's wonderful Installation and an extensive usher training class. Just when we thought we could hit our stride in a fourth phase, we were forced to close our building due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As much as we have been wanting to begin having an online presence for our service, this was not how we wanted to get there. Many thanks to Pastors Lauren and Matt and many others for so expertly creating our e-services.

PRAISE WORSHIP MUSIC DIRECTOR    by Kurt Schweitz, Director

Contemporary worship music at YPC continues to be blessed with the support of both a strong core of volunteers and we have been slowly adding some new musicians to that mix. My goal has been to faithfully build a worship service that inspires, connects and challenges. We have been building up new repertoire as well as keeping some of the material that provides a familiar connection for the congregation. Since the pandemic, we have experimented with some remote collaboration, which you can find on the YPC Youtube channel. I also continue to provide some suggestions for music to accompany online worship whether it be produced by me or is publicly available. For those who want to keep practicing at home, our Spotify list of music for the contemporary service can be found by searching for "YPC 11:15 Songs". As always, we welcome more volunteers whether you are a singer, instrumentalist, or A/V person. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


JOYFUL NOISE RINGERS HANDBELL CHOIR   by Dylan Rehm, Bell Choir Director

Things in 2019 were great! We did some fun pieces, grew as musicians and as an ensemble. The hard work and dedication to building music fundamentals and playing as a cohesive group was really starting to show. And then....2020. We didn't actually get to play! We had some very nice stuff programmed but didn't get to have it reach its potential. However, while choir is something that will have to remain in the virtual world, handbells will allow us to eventually socially distance and still perform. We may not know the day when it will be, but we look forward to someday (hopefully this year) be able to ring again.


CHANCEL CHOIR   by Dylan Rehm, Chancel Choir Director

Things in 2019 were excellent! We have added some new members, had some excellent liturgies, including another memorable and inspiring Messiah, a stirring installation of our new Pastor Lauren (who also sings, which is awesome), and a moving Christmas Eve liturgy. 2020, well, you know. It has been dire times for all of us but it is heartbreaking that group singing is one of the most dangerous things which makes not only choir as we know it impossible, but also the ability to even sing as a congregation.

However, we are moving forward in song! June 8th marked our first attempt at virtual choir! This challenging yet rewarding experience has opened a new chapter in our musical fellowship. ALL are WELCOME!! Just send an email to Dylan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will send you pdfs of the music and you can join our zoom choir happening every 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and sometimes 5th Monday of every month from 8-9pm CST. You don't even have to be in the state or country to join us, and since everyone is on mute during the zoom meeting, you don't have to worry about anyone hearing you sing if you are vocally shy!

Prayer and hope springs eternal for the glorious return to being able to sing strongly and safely together again someday.


BOARD OF DEACONS   by Jacki Lawrence, Moderator

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are. 1 Thesselonians 5:11

The board of Deacons at YPC are twelve elected and ordained officers of the church.
This year our deacons were Heidi Moy, Grace Callen, Tom Wolfe, George Malmgren, Janet Cox, Janet Andrews, Diane Helflin, Jacki Doyle, MaryAnn Luther, Dave Lavette, Sue Shepard and Jacki Lawrence. Pastor Matt is the staff liaison. The primary responsibility of the board is to look after the church congregation offering support and compassion. Deacons have the privilege to bring the love of Jesus to the church and our community. It was a bit of a different year with COVID-19 as we met in March, April, May and June via Zoom. Through all of the COVID-19, we had many church members step up and reach out to the shut-ins on a regular basis-offering rides, grocery delivery and just a friendly voice to talk to. We all were encouraged to reach out to our clusters occasionally, just to check in on each other.

Here is what we did this year:

      • Members who were hospitalized or ill for a long time were sent flower arrangements.
      • Roses were placed on the baptismal font to signify the birth of a new baby. Each family is also given a small gift and local gift card so that they can pick up a meal.
      • In October, we hosted a Wise and Sage gathering for those 80 years and older. While it was held at Lexington Square in Elmhurst, all of our Wise and Sage members were invited and rides were provided. Special decorations and games were part of the fun as well as a delicious soup/sandwich lunch.
      • Gift cards were sent to 33 college students in the fall and we reached out again in February with care packages. Each Deacon provided a little goodie (candy, school supply, decoration, snack and even laundry pods) so that each student had a fun box of 12 things to open!
      • Birthday cards were mailed to each church member
      • Financial aid provided to those at Christmas to a few families (church staff handles this)
      • Deacons organize the Undershepherd program, making sure that each church family is prayed over.
      • Meals and rides were arranged throughout the year for those in need.
      • Pastoral Staff along with a deacon arrange home communion to those who aren't able to attend church
      • Due to COVID-19, our Spring Senior touch was done with an Easter basket, delivered contactlessly to our shut-ins. Mother and Father's Day cards were also sent .
      • Thankfully no funeral luncheons!

We continue to support all of the above with your support through the monthly Deacon's offering on the 3rd week of the month. During this time when church has not been meeting in person, we thank you for your continued support either online or by mail.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES   by Jeff Pleiter, Chairperson

The Trustees are responsible for the church building and the church property including the Manse. There are twelve of us serving three year terms. Our terms run from January to December. We are financially responsible for the Church Home portion of the annual budget which encompasses utilities, snow removal, custodial services, lawn services, upkeep, and repairs. We've got a great group and we get things done!

We maintain a task list, which is a living document that we review at our monthly meetings. If you see something that needs to be done or repaired, let one of us know. There is also a work request form that you can put in one of our mailboxes (or email us). We'll add it to our task list, assign responsibility, and track it until it's done.

We rely on your support as well. For example, twice a year in April and October we coordinate and publicize a Trustee Work Day where we ask for anyone who can to come out on a Saturday morning – coffee and donuts provided! This year the Spring work day was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Garden Gurus, a group of volunteers, help keep the planting beds weeded and looking good.

This year we re-keyed the church, performed some tuckpointing, and repairs and maintenance was performed on the fire alarm system. A Faith-in-place audit was conducted, and energy saving measures were identified. A few of the easy recommendations were implemented, others are on hold due to budget considerations.

Quite a bit of work was performed in the manse to ready it for Pastor Lauren. Most of the miscellaneous repair and maintenance work was done by many church volunteers in the very short time period we had between volunteers. It was a challenge, but with your help we got it done! We did have a contractor in to modify the bathroom ceiling height in the shower so Daniel had room to stand up straight, and the basement den received a much needed remodeling. The basement windows were single pane, cracked and leaking air, so they were replaced. That work, as well as some new attic insulation should result in energy savings and a more comfortable space.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic much of the church home work has been put on hold. Our custodial services by Cabral services was reviewed and their task work was modified to include a thorough cleaning of the church, and tasks as needed to keep the church in good conditions while for the most part unoccupied. The church did receive a payroll protection program loan and is being used in part to keep the custodial services going. Cabral Services also took the playground down, re-spread the mulch in other areas and restored the area with seed.

Thanks to everyone who participated! And thanks to everyone for helping us maintain our church home.


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