As part of our ongoing emergency preparedness efforts, First Pres is offering CPR/AED, First Aid, and De-escalation training to its staff and regular attendees. We are, in particular, encouraging those who serve on Sunday mornings and during other public events to be trained.

Having someone trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automatic electronic defibrillators (CPR/AED) has already resulted in one life being saved here at First Pres within the last two years. The first aid course is a general first aid skills session. De-escalation training teaches students how to resolve conflict safely and turn chaos into calm. We have also scheduled a First Aid course in September. These sessions are available at no cost to members of the FPCE staff or congregation.

We now have two different training sessions available for CPR/AED and have added First Aid Training in September.


CPR/AED Training:

Wednesday, August 11, 1 – 2:30 pm:

Saturday, Sept. 25 @ 2:30 – 4 pm:

De-Escalation Training – Tuesday, August 24, from 1 – 3 pm:

First Aid Training – Saturday, Sept. 25 @ 1 – 2:30 pm:

The regular Friday Bible study in the Loop, run by FPCE member John Mauck, has resumed. The hour-long study takes place every Friday at Noon at 1 N. LaSalle St. on the 25th floor, conference room on the right, in Chicago, 60602. You can also watch online live at They recently began studying the Book of Acts. To get weekly reminders, email a request to be added to the list to
We are seeking adult volunteers to support the First Pres Youth while they help fix up a home in Evanston. This work will be done over 3 days, 2 shifts per day. Dates are July 26-28, with morning shifts from 9 am – Noon and afternoon shifts from 11 am – 2 pm. This will be primarily yard work, cleaning and organizing some elements in the home. Sandwiches and snacks will be provided. Volunteers are welcome to sign up for more than one shift.
Follow this link and scroll down to the date and time you wish to sign up for.
Contact Caryl Weinberg for more information.
The First Pres Boswell Memorial Library Council will be hosting a book party celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien’s book ‘The Hobbit’ on Sunday, August 29, at 11:30 am.
We encourage everyone who comes to have either read the book OR view one of the various movie versions. More details to come!
Save the date for this fun event geared towards readers of all ages!

Kids (ages 4* through completed 5th grade) are invited to join us as we explore how Jesus’ power will pull us through.  Come along and join us on the Rocky Railway!

Parents or guardians, please register each of your own children by name and birth date.

*4 by September 1, 2021

Register here:

Monday, Aug 2 – Friday, Aug 6

  • Monday, Aug 2 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
  • Tuesday, Aug 3 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
  • Wednesday, Aug 4 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
  • Thursday, Aug 5 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
  • Friday, Aug 6 (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
On Sunday, First Pres Board of Trustees President John Powell announced the completion of new changes to the Guidelines for Use of the Church developed by the Reopening Task Force over the last few weeks. The major updates include:
  • Masks are mandated in the common areas of the building (Sanctuary, Chapel, lobby, hallways, restrooms, etc.) on weekdays when SLC students are present.
  • The building is open for use as a meeting place on weekdays. Space must be reserved ahead of time (at least 48 hours advance notice) and there must be ample time between events in the same space for building staff to complete a thorough cleansing of the room.
  • Rooms will be set up to provide for social distancing. However, once seated, if attendees voluntarily share with each other that they have all been fully vaccinated, then they may sit closer than 6 feet. However, if young children are in attendance who have not been vaccinated, then social distancing should be practiced as well as the wearing of a mask;
  • Maximum attendance in the Sanctuary will be 250 persons. Unvaccinated attendees are asked to wear masks, though no one will be asked to verify whether or not they have been vaccinated.
The Reopening Task Force will re-evaulate and provide an update to these Guidelines prior to the State entering Phase 5 (likely in mid-June).
By Julie Ruchniewicz
Parish Nurse
So, you have been fully vaccinated, what can you do or not do? The COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from severe illness and death. Based on the knowledge we have, people who have been fully vaccinated can begin to do some things they had put on hold during the pandemic. First, you must determine if you are deemed “fully vaccinated”.
You are fully vaccinated
  • 2 weeks after your second dose of a 2-dose series, such as Pfizer of Moderna vaccines.
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated you can
  • Visit inside a home or private setting, without a mask, with other fully vaccinated people of any age.
  • Visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness.
  • Travel domestically without a pre or post travel test.
  • Travel domestically without quarantining after travel.
  • Travel internationally without a pre-travel test, depending on destination.
  • Travel internationally without quarantining after travel, depending on where you were.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated you shouldn’t
  • Visit indoors, without a mask, with people at increased risk.
  • Attend large gatherings.
  • Forget to protect yourself and others by still wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart and avoiding large crowds at all times, including while traveling. We are still learning about the vaccine and how it will affect the spread of the virus.
You now have your long-awaited valuable badge of honor, your vaccination card. What do you do with it?
  • The vaccination card helps you to remember to go for your scheduled second vaccine, if required. It also serves as an extra record of your vaccination, so you should keep the card in a safe location. Currently you do not need it for travel, but it may be required for a new employer or if you ever need a booster.
  • Store your vaccination card like you would any other important document, less chance of theft or loss. You do not need to carry it with you daily, but may be necessary when traveling.
  • It may be helpful to take a picture of your card for reference. There are varying thoughts on laminating it, keeps it clean, but impossible to add written booster vaccine information to that card.
  • If you lose your card, simply contact the clinic or health service that administered your vaccine. They will be able to talk you through getting your information.
  • Your card is not your only proof of vaccination. There is an electronically saved record at the clinic or health service that provided your vaccine.
The United States is slowly easing restrictions as more and more people are becoming vaccinated. For many of us that is great news, back to normalcy. For others there is anxiety around leaving their house and going back out into society.
  • This fear of going out for fear of catching or spreading COVID-19 is being called, Cave Syndrome. This syndrome has been closely linked to Agoraphobia, an extreme fear of leaving home. This can have repercussions for kids whose parents don’t want to take them out anywhere either.
  • A survey put out by the American Psychological Association reports that 49% of adults are feeling uncomfortable about returning to in person connections once the pandemic ends.
  • People who experience anxiety or OCD may be especially vulnerable to these feelings of anxiety.
Transitioning back slowly may be healthier for many. Everyone has to do what they are comfortable with, at their own pace.
  • Don’t go it alone. Have someone who can help alleviate your fears. You can try new things every couple of days. As they go well, you can add on more activities. They can then give you feedback as you acclimate back to your normal.
  • If you want to go to a restaurant, where restrictions have been lifted, try going at a time when it’s a bit quieter.
  • Reach out to others in your neighborhood, you may find caring for others helps ease your anxiety.
If you find yourself in need of further care, please reach out to one of our Pastors, myself, or Stephen Ministry. Please contact a mental health professional at The Counseling Center, or elsewhere, if your case feels serious.
The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger
and stronger.        -Proverbs 24:5
Julie Ruchniewicz

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