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January 23, 2019

What We Love About You

Written by: Julia Smolucha


By The Reverend Dr. Jo Forrest

Our church is much more than our beautiful sanctuary, it is the people who embody Christ to us. Every day, our hearts are filled hearing stories about our congregation and the many ways we share God’s love with each other.

As we proceed into the cold, gray month of February, we would like to find warmth in celebrating this love with “Heart Notes,” small statements of gratitude that recognize the people and feelings of Kenilworth Union Church. Perhaps you’d like to acknowledge the kind people you play Mah Jongg with; the friendly face who offered you a neighboring seat during worship; the person from Care Guild who delivered comfort food; or the Sunday School teacher with the patience of Job to teach the 23rd Psalm to your child.

Whatever your experience is, and whomever it is with, please share a couple sentences about who or what has your heart at Kenilworth Union here. We will begin revealing the Heart Notes on February 1 on our website and Facebook page, where we hope you will join us in showing your appreciation for the wonderful people of our church.


Posted on January 23, 2019


Submitted Heart Notes

Ralph and Sallie Smith

Kenilworth Union Church is made up of families singles, couples, newcomers, and longtime friends. Ralph and I love the vibrant welcoming spirit of our church community. We feel fulfilled through worship, community outreach, a variety of activities, and friendships where we share life’s journey with others in our church family. It is a home for all ages from toddlers to seniors who feel joy upon coming in to worship and going out to serve.

1 John 4:16

God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.

Marilou Bleeker

I asked myself, “When was the last time you woke up excited to go to church?”  I suddenly realized that feeling coincided with the first time I awoke looking forward to going to church.  And it was this morning at 6:10 a.m.  I nestled into the welcome warmth of  8 a.m. worship; and there I received my weekly supply of God’s love, strength, and forgiveness, the pastors’ compassion, and their words of guidance to prompt my heart, feet, and hands into verifiable action for Jesus’ sake, starting today.  Yes, my cup runneth over.  With much appreciation to Kenilworth Union Church.

PS.  Sallie Smith has taken me under her wing, and I intend to stay there.

John 15:13

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Will Beer (8), as told to his mom, Chris Beer

Rejoice Choir is so much fun. I like everything about it. Mrs. Bond and Miss Harrington make music fun. It’s my favorite part of the week.

Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

Judith Wentz

Before and after the passing of my dear husband, Kenilworth Union Church was so supportive. Calls, cards, and so many lunch and dinner invitations. Unbelievable that so many, including ministers were there for me.

Marion Hanold

My heart note goes out to the simply outstanding, Bev Lang, our indefatigable Director of Business Operations. She and her team do an extraordinary job running/tidying our church which frees up our many ministry groups to do their thing. She always has our back. She moves mountains for us and helps us make smart decisions. Bev puts up with our disorganization and keeps us on the right path. She may seem tough, but she has a heart of gold. Love you, Bev

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

John Hales

I love the warm smile of greeting that I get from Julia, and the benefit I get from the fellowship of the men’s coffee. Many thanks to the wonderful women on the top floor who do the behind-the-scenes tasks unnoticed.

1 Corinthians 13:7

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Susan Resko

Some memories I love about Kenilworth Union are lighting the candles on Christmas Eve service and the feeling of connectedness with the congregation and God. The beauty of it is inspiring. I have a sense of fulfillment every time I’m there and there is always something I take away whether a sermon, a smile, or something I learned.

1 John 4:16

God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.

Abraham Lincoln

I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right; but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation may be on the Lord’s side.

Barbara with other members of Women’s Reading Group.

Barbara McDonough

I found Kenilworth Union and the Women’s Reading Group when I wanted a safe place where I could commune with God. My daughter was married here and it is a very special place to me.

Galatians 5:14

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

John Martin

Men’s coffee is a great time to communicate with fellow members and relax and drink coffee.

1 John 4:16

God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.

Richard and Bonnie Simonds

Sallie Smith is always so welcoming to everyone at the church and is so wonderful in her planning of the Wednesday afternoon luncheons. We would like to thank her so much for all she does for the church.

Psalm 51:1

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;

Cam Avery

I grew up in Kenilworth one block from the church and am so glad to have found it decades later. I really look forward each week to the Sunday worship service and the Wednesday morning men’s coffee and fellowship.

Virginia Reising

What I love about Kenilworth Union Church is that the services stick with me long after I head home on Sunday morning. Every time I attend I am reminded of God’s grace and gift of love. The star from this year’s family Christmas service is at my kitchen sink and has kept the miracle of Jesus’ birth in my mind even after the rest of my decorations have been put away.

Matthew 19:19, Matt 22:39, Luke 10:27, Rom 13:9

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Jim McColl

Wednesday morning men’s coffee is a wonderful fellowship of older guys who talk about a variety of subjects, tell jokes, and simply enjoy each other’s company. There is no agenda and no leader—just a marvelous hour of true friendship.

Bonnie McColl

For the past 60 years so much of my life has and still does revolve around this wonderful church. Experiences on the Board, as Librarian, Bible studies, bell choir, and several mission trips have been so fulfilling for me, but at this time in my what fills me with such joy is the Kenilworth Union Knitting Ministry.

We are an incredible group of caring women who love and are constantly knitting for others. We take the lap robes we make to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab for their patients as they recuperate; these robes are considered to be an important part in their healing. How special it is for us to bring this comfort to so many in need. Our hearts sing as we knit and gather together in the cozy Library to share our work, lives, and thoughts.

Please take a moment to watch this emotional video from Ability Lab.

1 Corinthians 13:8

Love never ends.

Jack Mills

One of the many things I like about Kenilworth Union Church is the Stephen Ministry program.

John 13:34-35

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Mei Aden

I really like the intergenerational feel of Kenilworth Union. Getting rid of walls and connecting with each other, isn’t that what church is about?

1 John 4:16

God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.

Malcolm Caskey

I like Wednesday morning men’s coffee. It’s a time to exchange ideas and thoughts with a group of different business and life’s events. Serious and often funny stories make for a very interesting morning.

Deuteronomy 6:5

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

1 John 4:16

God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.