Get Involved!

Throughout the year, small groups gather to explore a variety of topics as they intersect with scripture, faith and living a more purpose-driven and meaning-filled life.


More than learning information (as interesting as it may be), these groups are about embarking on a journey of the soul. Rather than going it alone, we make this journey together as we grapple with life's big questions and issues of injustice, as we share our own imperfections and reflect on our own need for mercy and healing.


In these groups, you won't find simplistic, formulaic answers to life’s complex questions. Instead, you will find a community grappling with that complexity as we strive to follow Jesus and boldly live the life-altering and world-transforming love of God. 


Examples of explorations have included book discussions such as The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James ConeTransforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians by Austen Hartke, and The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, IL, by former church member, Nancy Beasely, exploring our congregation's involvement in abolitionism and the Underground Railroad.


Non-book small groups have included explorations of spiritual practices for healing and transformation, and "Liberating Masculinity," a group for men--open to/inclusive of transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people--who are interested in exploring the ways that the box of "masculinity" has imprisoned us, and what it might look like to live beyond a narrow male/female binary and into the fullness of our humanity.


Groups have taken place both in-person and via Zoom with the desired format being determined each time.


If you have a book or topic you'd like to explore, feel free to email Pastor Eric so he can keep it in mind as he plans future groups!

Over and over again, scripture calls us to "bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2) and "provoke one another to bold acts of love" (Hebrews 10:24), for "faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26).


At Federated Church, there are many different ways we empower our community to love our neighbors: from acts of service and generosity to acts of compassion and justice.


Through our highly regarded Preschool Ministrywe empower you to support a safe, stable, and creative play-based pre-K learning envrionment that reflects the rich diversity of our world as we help grow compassionate, successful, justice-oriented children. (Learn more here!)


Through our partnership with the Spartan Food Pantry, we empower you to help ensure that our neighbors have the essentials they need.


Through our Backpack Ministry, we partner with trusted DeKalb County agencies such as Safe Passage, Hope Haven, and the Salvation Army to empower you to help students obtain the supplies needed to thrive. Over the years, this ministry has helped hundreds of youth throughout the county in need of financial assistance to shape their destiny!


There are also several annual fundraisers at which you can volunteer, which raise funds to support a variety of ministries and area non-profits: from our annual Thrift Sale each spring with an array of used household goods and clothing; to our much-loved Sue Lyon Book Sale each June, providing hundreds of affordable used adult, youth and children's books; to our Drive-Thru Pork Chop Dinner each fall.


As a church committed to putting faith into action, we are always open to new ideas, partnerships, and opportunities that empower people to give back and serve the community.


Two recent examples were a "Queers and Allies" Blood Drive, which was a partnership with Safe Passage and the Queer-Oriented Rural Resource Network. This event empowered us to both raise awareness about discriminatory restrictions against certain queer blood donors, as well as raise donations during a historic blood shortage, and have some fun as we built a boldly inclusive and affirming community! Check out some photos here!).


Another example is from when the shutdowns were first implemented in response to the covid-19 pandemic. When many of our neighbors were being fired or furloughed amidst the chaos and uncertainty, we initiatied an emergency community mutual aid fund that raised $20,000, as we empowered our community to "pay forward" all or part of their stimulus checks.


Through partnerships with trusted community leaders and social workers we distributed 100% of this money to help our hardest-hit neighbors with: emergency rental assistance, utility bills, groceries and crushing medical bills; together, we made 30 distributions to help neighbors find safety and stability as they fled domestic violence, struggled to feed and support their children, and were threatened with losing their housing. (Read Pastor Eric's annual report on this ministry here).


We would love nothing more than to hear your ideas and help them grow from possibility into realityso join us as together we seek to change the world! 


"I have come so that you may have life, and have it abundantly."

~ Jesus, John 10:10


In the end, everything we do is about creating community where everyone can thrive. So, just as we are committed to ministries of healing and justice, we are also committed to having some fun along the Way, with opportunities ranging from youth to adults to intergenerational.


Interested in drumming and making music? Check out our Harambee Percussion Ensemble, where youth from throughout DeKalb County are invited to learn and perform African drumming--all while learning about the culture and traditions behind music (a few of us adults also enjoy learning with them!).


Interested in exploring the local food/restaurant scene in a laid back atmosphere as you get to know new friends? Join us for our monthly Ladies' Night Out!


Interested in connecting with others while sewing or knitting? Join a Sewing Circle or our Prayer Shawl Ministry.


Other opportunities to connect, play, eat, drink, and belong are continually being formed. To stay up-to-date on all these opportunities, check out our church calendar, or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


Looking to get connected, but don't know where to start or how? Fill out this brief connection form with your interests and Pastor Eric will be in touch with you soon!