FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Inviting All Generations Into a
A Message from Pastor Kellen
What can we say about 2021? It was a roller coaster of emotions
and expectations, with highs and lows, accomplishments and
disappointments. We worshiped in person and virtually, inside
the sanctuary and outside in the courtyard, through every season
of the church year. We lost beloved members of our congregation
and we welcomed new families in our midst.
Despite all the unpredictability of 2021, one thing didn’t change this
past year…we find our greatest hope in Jesus Christ! First Pres witnessed
hope as we experienced faithful generosity, expanded our outreach in
the community, and enhanced various ministries in the church.
Despite the challenges we’ve faced, I am tremendously grateful to
lead our congregation as we continue to pursue our mission and
become who the Lord is calling us to be.
God bless you,
Growing Life with Jesus Christ
2021 – A Year of Joys and Challenges
As the Covid-19 pandemic ebbed and flowed throughout the
year, the joy of returning to in-person worship and gatherings
was also accompanied by the need to adapt to ever-evolving
guidelines. We are so fortunate to have a congregation that
consistently demonstrated flexibility to “roll with the changes!”
Summer and Fall Church in the Courtyard • Holy Week Family Service
Vaccine Shepherds • Library Refresh • Vacation Bible School
“Mozart in the Suburbs” Two-Part Concert Series
Welcome Back Fall Picnic • Women’s Ministry Springtime Luncheon
Distinguished Preacher, Dr. Cleo LaRue
“A Generous Life” Generosity Campaign
Christmas Eve Services, with the Message “Hope is Here”
“Hope is Here” turned out to be the theme for 2021, with the
culmination of this most important message being delivered as
the Christmas Eve sermon. Through a variety of circumstances
this year, hope prevailed and kept us going, by both
comforting and invigorating us in faith.
Children & Youth Ministry
Preschool Kids Ministry
In the spring, we said goodbye to a wonderful Our year was filled with faith, fun and fellowship.
resilient group of preschoolers, and this fall We experienced a well-attended outdoor Holy
we welcomed a new group of families to our Week Family Service and Vacation Bible School.
preschool. We continue to be thankful for the In the fall, we started up in-person Sunday
support of our families and this congregation School and a new midweek program. Throughout
during these unusual times. the year, we hosted monthly family events.
Genesis Middle School Ministry WF High School Ministry
It was a fun and impactful year. 'Service Squad' This year our WF students have been able to
offered students opportunities to serve our grow closer together through small groups,
community and church in a variety of ways this devotional time, worship, a mission project in
summer. Highlights of the year included a night Aurora, and a fall retreat. It is very exciting to
at the bowling alley, delivering flowers to church see how passionate and committed our WF
neighbors and creating a badminton golf course students are to growing in their faith and telling
around the church. We are grateful to now be their friends about it.
able to meet together to grow in faith.
We welcomed Jordan Stevens as the new Director of Student Ministries
in September, bringing new leadership to our Genesis and WF youth groups.
Unique to 2021 were two confirmation classes, with 22 confirmands
in the spring and 12 in the fall. Students learned about what it means
to be a disciple of Jesus and how we show Christ’s love in our world,
as well as learning what it means to be members of our faith community. Confirmands wrote
their statements of faith, which were shared with members of Session. Many thanks to Colleen
Powell for leading both classes.
Bible Study: A Wednesday night Bible Study
offered a journey through the book of Acts.
Adult Education: Adult Education resumed
an in-person format in the fall. Classes included
thought-provoking speakers and a variety of
current topics, viewed through a theological lens.
We continue to direct our Mission efforts at First Pres guided by the
principles of being a Matthew 25 church (supporting congregational vitality,
dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty). Through
the generosity of the congregation, we have supported PADS, Outreach
Community Ministries, People’s Resource Center, Exodus World Service,
Northern Illinois Food Bank, the Bridge (serving prison/post-prison ministry),
Christmas Sharing, the Deacon-led food
drive and many more mission partners. This
year’s Mission and Outreach giving total was $140,623.
The Micah 6:8 Committee is a new group committed to living
out Christ’s commandment to “love one another” by supporting
the ministries of First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton that work
for reconciliation and amplify that all people are equally loved and
accepted by God.
More ways we served in 2021:
Blood Drives • School Supplies Drive • Abraham’s Children
Dress-A-Girl Worshop • Feed My Starving Children
Northern Illinois Food Bank • Giving Garden • Preschool Toy Drive
Kids Ministry Diaper Collection • Food Pantry Sundays
First Pres generosity was beautifully demonstrated during
February’s “Love Your Neighbor” Food Drive, organized by
an amazing team of Deacons. There were 7,631 items donated,
plus an additional $4,874 in monetary donations.
Music Ministry Building and Grounds
In September, after an 18-month hiatus, the This has been a busy year for large
Westminster Choir returned to singing God’s infrastructure projects.
praises in worship. A highlight of the year was
the wonderful performance of “The Magic • Our facility’s asphalt roof was replaced due
Flute,” presented on the church lawn in to storm damage, covering everything
June, with orchestra, guest soloists, and the except the Parish House and Cloister
Westminster Choir, all under the direction of hallway areas. Additional repairs were
Kedrick Armstrong. made to the Parish House dormer roof.
The choir, with occasional brass and string • The Parish House condensate feeding tank
ensembles, have enhanced our worship greatly. for the steam generator and feed lines
Outstanding soloists, both guest artists and were replaced. Components were purchased
singers from within our church body, have in-house and repairs were completed
blessed us richly with their musical offerings. just before the beginning of the heating
We are immensely grateful to our pianist, Paul season. The completion of the project
Burgess, and our organist, Doug Zimmer, for in-house provided significant cost savings.
their continually inspiring musical leadership.
• The window sills on much of the new
In July, we bid farewell to Kedrick Armstrong, addition (after 2000) are in need of repair,
who moved on to pursue his advanced degree, despite regular painting. We installed metal
and welcomed Dr. Daniel Sommerville as the flashing to protect and forestall complete
new Director of Music Ministries. window replacement.
Livestream Services: As the year required us to rely heavily on technology, we were fortunate
to have a top-notch AV team, allowing us to livestream our services in a high-quality manner.
Website Refresh: We were pleased to unveil our updated website in November, with a fresh
look and easier navigation.
New Management Software: In April we upgraded our church management software to Realm.
This has helped the staff and deacons tremendously in keeping our membership database
up to date and easily accessible. Tracking and managing Giving is more efficient and many
groups have been able to utilize Realm’s Event Registration feature. We plan to roll out more
features of Realm to the entire congregation in 2022.
2021 Financial Summary
Unpledged Receipts $8,946
Per Capita Giving $2,206
Other Giving $82,420
Total Non-Operating Income $1,118,722
Ministry Personnel $386,995
Youth Ministry $2,076
Christian Education $5,668
Member Life $5,521
Total Ministry Expenses $422,760
Administrative Personnel $187,229
Administrative Expense $75,758
Per Capita $36,648
Interior Maintenance $81,414
Exterior Maintenance $77,792
Total Administrative Expenses $513,543
Mission & Outreach $100,000
Total Expenses $1,036,302
Net Operating Total/Income
Financial Staff Update – In 2021, Alice Lechiara retired after five years of exceptional service
at First Pres, and new Financial Manager, Beth Spiegel, was welcomed to the team in June.
Service and Learning
Deacons: With Covid guidelines and concerns, our Deacons reached out with prayerful
support all year, responding in person and virtually to individual needs, joys and concerns of our
congregation. Deacons faithfully greeted worshipers and served coffee on Sundays to extend
the hand of Christian fellowship. What a blessing these individuals are to our church community.
Women’s Ministry: Women’s Ministry was blessed with a year of reconnecting with each
other through mission projects, programs, Circle meetings, and Bible study, as well as a festive
Christmas Social. We enjoyed gathering at church, in each other’s homes, at the Northern
Illinois Food Bank, and also at Marcel’s Culinary Experience.
Men’s Ministry: First Pres men reconnected in person in May with a Men’s Breakfast. There
was also a combination of virtual and in-person Bible studies and two fathers’ groups, providing
dads a biblical forum for discussion of family relationships, time management, and self-identity.
Front Desk Volunteers: Our stellar team of front desk volunteers kept the church office
running smoothly throughout the week. Their help has been invaluable in supporting our ministries!
We are grateful for the service of Pastor Greg Anderson and Pastor Diane Slocum this year.
Pastor Greg shared his unique blend of wit and humor while delivering heartfelt and meaningful
sermons to the congregation, and also providing support for members in need. We were filled
with joy to share that Pastor Diane was appointed as Parish Associate to assist with pastoral
care and occasional worship leadership.
715 North Carlton Avenue , Wheaton, Illinois 60187
630-668-5147 • firstpreswheaton.org • [email protected]