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Pilgrim Faith Church members greet friends at annual Fall Fest

  • Written by Kelly White

lucy whitney photo 10-6

Photo by Kelly White

Lucy Whitney, 5, of Oak Lawn, enjoys games at the second annual Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ's Fall Fest on Saturday evening in Oak Lawn.

 

The leaves are beginning to fall, pumpkins are starting to make an appearance and Halloween is just around the corner.

To celebrate the autumn season, Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ held its second annual Fall Fest on Saturday at the church, 9411 S 51st Ave, Oak Lawn.

The fest was planned to take place on the outdoor playground and fire pit area just behind the church building. However, due to the constant rain on Saturday, it was held inside the church basement instead. The event featured homemade chili, hot dogs, s’mores, hot chocolate, apple cider and plenty of interactive games for adults and children alike – all provided by Pilgrim Faith Church members.

“I absolutely love this church,” said Oak Lawn resident Erin Sheehan, who attended with her daughter, Maggie, 9. “The church does so much for the community and is constantly finding ways to get members involved.”

“It was an evening of fun for all ages,” Pilgrim Faith Church Rev. Peggy McClanahan said. “It was a shame the weather did not cooperate to hold the event outdoors. However, we still had a very nice turnout. We had some great comfort food, but mostly it was a relaxed environment that offered time to hang out with old and new friends. The goal of the event was for everyone to just come out and have a good time.”

McClanahan was responsible for organizing the event with the help of Pilgrim Faith Church members, Libby Whitney and Lori Harris.

The fest was free, only asking for a freewill donation. They gathered more than 50 local residents of all ages, including Luke Weierman, 9, of Hometown, and his mother, Mary.

“This is great because Luke gets the opportunity to get out of the house and play with other kids,” said Mary Weierman. “He is extremely social and loves events like this.”

Lucy Whitney, 5, of Oak Lawn, was also having fun with her family and other children at the fest.

“I love the games and being with my friends,” she aid.

The fest was not strictly limited to Pilgrim Faith members, as all community members were welcomed and encouraged to attend, according to McClanahan.

“We have always been a church that is very involved in the community,” McClanahan said. “We do this for the community, as well. We were asking for freewill donations – at no set amount - to cover the costs but everyone was welcome to attend regardless of the person’s ability to pay. No one was turned away.”

Attendees said the fest stood out from other neighborhood fall festivals because of its size, keeping it small.

“Our fest is on a much smaller scale,” McClanahan said. “There aren’t booths or some of the big attractions like the Children’s Museum does. It was simply more a chance for people to hang out together for low-key fun and food. There was also opportunity for people to get to know other people within the community that they might not have previously known. It was also designed for all ages, not just for the parents of the community. We welcomed children and senior citizens as well to come out and mingle with each other.”

The event was part of a year-long celebration of the church’s 125th-year anniversary. The church was founded in Oak Lawn on Oct. 31, 1891 in Simpson’s farmhouse, at the corner of what is now Southwest Highway and Central Avenue. The original church building is now the Homestead Barr, 9306 Central Ave., Oak Lawn.

The church will conclude its 125th anniversary year with an Anniversary Celebration Worship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, followed by a luncheon. Former members, pastors and staff and others who have been involved with Pilgrim Faith are invited to attend. Reservations for the lunch must be made by Oct. 24 to the church office at (708) 422-4200.

“It is a great time to remember all the ministry we have done in Oak Lawn around the world over those 125 years,” McClanahan said. “We have been lifting up many of the ministries and missions that have met the ever-changing needs of people in our community and surrounding area. It has been a time to celebrate how God has made all that possible and enabled us to bring hope to so many people.”

 

m Faith Unite members greet friends at ‘low-key’ Fall Fest

By Kelly White

The leaves are beginning to fall, pumpkins are starting to make an appearance and Halloween is just around the corner.

To celebrate the autumn season, Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ held its second annual Fall Fest on Saturday at the church, 9411 S 51st Ave, Oak Lawn.

The fest was planned to take place on the outdoor playground and fire pit area just behind the church building. However, due to the constant rain on Saturday, it was held inside the church basement instead. The event featured homemade chili, hot dogs, s’mores, hot chocolate, apple cider and plenty of interactive games for adults and children alike – all provided by Pilgrim Faith Church members.

“I absolutely love this church,” said Oak Lawn resident Erin Sheehan, who attended with her daughter, Maggie, 9. “The church does so much for the community and is constantly finding ways to get members involved.”

“It was an evening of fun for all ages,” Pilgrim Faith Church Rev. Peggy McClanahan said. “It was a shame the weather did not cooperate to hold the event outdoors. However, we still had a very nice turnout. We had some great comfort food, but mostly it was a relaxed environment that offered time to hang out with old and new friends. The goal of the event was for everyone to just come out and have a good time.”

McClanahan was responsible for organizing the event with the help of Pilgrim Faith Church members, Libby Whitney and Lori Harris.

The fest was free, only asking for a freewill donation. They gathered more than 50 local residents of all ages, including Luke Weierman, 9, of Hometown, and his mother, Mary.

“This is great because Luke gets the opportunity to get out of the house and play with other kids,” said Mary Weierman. “He is extremely social and loves events like this.”

Lucy Whitney, 5, of Oak Lawn, was also having fun with her family and other children at the fest.

“I love the games and being with my friends,” she aid.

The fest was not strictly limited to Pilgrim Faith members, as all community members were welcomed and encouraged to attend, according to McClanahan.

“We have always been a church that is very involved in the community,” McClanahan said. “We do this for the community, as well. We were asking for freewill donations – at no set amount - to cover the costs but everyone was welcome to attend regardless of the person’s ability to pay. No one was turned away.”

Attendees said the fest stood out from other neighborhood fall festivals because of its size, keeping it small.

“Our fest is on a much smaller scale,” McClanahan said. “There aren’t booths or some of the big attractions like the Children’s Museum does. It was simply more a chance for people to hang out together for low-key fun and food. There was also opportunity for people to get to know other people within the community that they might not have previously known. It was also designed for all ages, not just for the parents of the community. We welcomed children and senior citizens as well to come out and mingle with each other.”

The event was part of a year-long celebration of the church’s 125th-year anniversary. The church was founded in Oak Lawn on Oct. 31, 1891 in Simpson’s farmhouse, at the corner of what is now Southwest Highway and Central Avenue. The original church building is now the Homestead Barr, 9306 Central Ave., Oak Lawn.

The church will conclude its 125th anniversary year with an Anniversary Celebration Worship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, followed by a luncheon. Former members, pastors and staff and others who have been involved with Pilgrim Faith are invited to attend. Reservations for the lunch must be made by Oct. 24 to the church office at (708) 422-4200.

“It is a great time to remember all the ministry we have done in Oak Lawn around the world over those 125 years,” McClanahan said. “We have been lifting up many of the ministries and missions that have met the ever-changing needs of people in our community and surrounding area. It has been a time to celebrate how God has made all that possible and enabled us to bring hope to so many people.”