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New to First Pres?

This portion of our website is geared just for you! We hope to answer some of your questions about First Pres within these pages so that if you do come and visit us in person, you'll feel informed, encouraged, and welcomed!

We believe it is our job on Sunday to provide a place for people to grow spiritually and connect relationally. Worship is the center of our life together as a congregation. At First Pres you will experience relevant teaching, inspiring worship, and life-transforming ministries for people of all ages. Our congregation is made up of many different kinds of families, from the many families with young children, single parents, families with teens, singles of all ages, to our active senior community. We invite you to join us as we gather in Christ’s name to grow in faith and serve God’s Kingdom.

We have two worship experiences each Sunday.* Both services are welcoming and have something for those exploring our faith, mature Christians, and everyone in between. The main difference between the two is music style. If choirs, hymns, and liturgies inspire you, then our 9:00 am traditional worship service has a place for you. If visual media and today’s worship music engage you; if you can’t imagine church without guitars, drums, and keyboards, then our contemporary 10:45 am service is awaiting you. In both services you will hear a practical Biblical message with real life application. In between services, we have some fellowship time in our Social Hall, just west of the Sanctuary, where you can get a cup of coffee or a bite to eat on the way to, or from, service.

* In the summer we have one service at 10:00 am. We return to two services after Labor Day.

 

Our services are held in the Sanctuary, which is on the first floor at the east end of the building. Children under the age of 6 have their classrooms upstairs above the offices on the west side of the building, and above age 6 have their classrooms downstairs. Check out the "What is there for my children & youth?" section below for more details. There are always deacons at each entrance, as well as many friendly members, to help you find your way. Click here for more details about our building.

 

new-handicap-sign_sq-b776123d4caffce16afc752c82caf50c6309eb02-s6-c30Yes. The southeast entrance to our building (off our parking lot) is fully accessible with power doors and an elevator the serves all three levels of our building. The restrooms near the elevator are accessible on each level. In the sanctuary there are pews that have been shortened to accommodate wheelchairs. Service dogs are welcome. Click here for more details about our building.

 

Besides the social time between services, there are many ways for members and regular attenders to connect with one another and others in our community through the many programs we offer at First Pres. Browse through our Leadership pages to find out more about the people who lead our church, and get an opportunity to recognize some folks when you visit.

Adult Ministries

Through our adult ministries, you can plug into one of the many small groups serving all of our age groups and marital statuses, or attend one our many informative adult education classes held during both Sunday services. There are several service project opportunities during the year that provide a chance to serve and connect at a deeper level with others. You can find more details and contact information to the right on this page.

Wider-Community Connections

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a ministry for any mom with kids ages 0-6 years which provides an excellent childcare experience and some much needed mommy time. Men's Community Bible Study provides an opportunity for men of all ages to engage in Bible study and fellowship. WBS (Womens Bible Study) allows women to explore the scriptures together through weekly lessons, small group discussion, and insightful lecture time. You can find more details and contact information on our adult ministries page.

During the Tough Times

At First Pres, we are a family, and families take care of each other. Whether it's an illness, surgery, divorce, loss, unemployment, or the many trials that we all suffer in this earthly life, our First Pres family is there to love and support us all the way through it. Our small groups offer an opportunity to build bonds, and can often be the people who are "there" for you when the tough times hit. Meals, rides, and other assistance is available when needed. We are blessed to have a Stephen Ministry group at First Pres who are trained in the ministry of confidential grief support to help us one-to-one through the toughest of life's experiences. Our prayer team is a group of more than sixty members who pray for all kinds of needs in our congregation. And our pastors are always available to support us through all of life's ups and downs. You can find more details and contact information on our Care and Support page.

 

At First Pres, there are educational experiences designed with your child in mind! Learn more about our Children and Family Ministries. On Sunday mornings, children are welcome to attend a Sunday School class or stay with their families and participate in worship.

Nursery (ages birth to 2 years old) both services
Your infant is cared for during Sunday morning worship in our nursery, staffed with dedicated workers and volunteers. Our nursery features a state-of-the-art silent pager system for contacting parents to ensure confidence and peace of mind during your worship experience.
 
Preschool Class (ages 2 – 5 years old) both services
Your preschooler will experience a warm and inviting atmosphere as they learn about Jesus in a way they can relate to and understand. Children engage stories of faith through a variety of creative expression certain to evoke conversation on the drive home!
 
Sunday School (ages 6 - 6th grade) both services
A gifted team of volunteers dedicated to sharing the Gospel of God’s love guides your child through a strategic curriculum aimed at helping your child form a solid foundation of Biblical faith communicated in a manner appropriate with your child’s age/stage.
 
Junior and Senior High (7th through 12th grade) during the first service only
Authentic community is such an essential element of spiritual growth that we feel it vital to engage youth throughout their entire junior and senior high journey. For many youth, this is where faith meets life, and our team of devoted volunteers and staff guide your junior high or senior high student in applying faith to the reality of everyday life. Classes are held during the first service only, so the youth can attend the second worship service together.
 

Membership is a way of publicly identifying with a particular people of God in a particular place. If you are interested in seeking membership with us, we provide a Foundations class during the year where you can learn more about our beliefs, our community, and get a chance to meet the pastors and other members of our church community. Membership FAQs.

 

 

No tie? No problem! First Pres folks come as they are -- some a little fancy, some most decidedly not. We’re more concerned with meeting your real life needs than with what you wear, regardless of which service you attend.

 

We are conveniently located at 7551 Quick Ave in River Forest, one block north of Lake and Lathrop (click here for directions). Our building is fully accessible with an elevator that provides access to any of our three levels. For accessibility needs, please use the parking lot's south central entrance adjacent to the church. There is additional parking along the streets surrounding the church. For your convenience on Sundays, Quick Ave is a one-way street in a westerly direction allowing close proximity to the church building.

 

Each week we take an offering to support the ongoing ministry and mission of the church and its ministry partners. The offering is for those who desire to support our ministry efforts. As our guest, you don’t need to participate in the offering at all. Rather than expecting you to give, it is our prayer that you will be blessed by what you receive.

 

At First Pres we normally celebrate the Sacrament of Communion on the first Sunday of the month. You do not need to be Presbyterian (or even know what a Presbyterian is!) to take communion. As our guest, if you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and acknowledge he died to personally set you free from sin, then we hope you engage in this time as a special moment of worship between you and your Savior. Click here for more on what we believe.

 

We invite you to learn more about the long and rich history and the beliefs of our 130+ year old congregation. 

We hope we answered most of your questions. However, we know you may have other questions prior to, or after, your first visit. If you have any remaining questions, we'd love to hear from you. You can call the office at 708-366-5822, or email Pastor Paul Detterman

Summer Worship, Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10:00 am; Sundays fall through spring, Worship at 9:00 am or 10:45 am

Every Sunday - Sunday school for your children or youth (during the school year)

Most Sundays - Adult Education (during the school year)

Every Monday - Men's Community Bible Study 7:00 pm in Room 101 (during the school year)

Every Thursday - Women's Bible Study 9:00 am or 7:30 pm (during the school year)

First and Third Fridays - MOPS (Mother's of Pre-Schoolers) 9:00 am in the Social Hall (during the school year)

Monthly on Fridays - Kids' Nite 36 (for 3rd - 6th graders) 7:00 pm (September - April)

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