Each week for the coming five weeks, each Scholar will individually share what they have been doing and how they have coped during this highly unusual year. My hope is that they can become more involved and visible in the life of the church in these last few months of the academic year. As you will read they are all doing well and are extremely grateful for our care, support, and assistance as this year’s Planseon Scholars. It has been such an honor and privilege for me to get to know and work with each Scholar this past year.
Rev. Dr. Don Dempsey
Plansoen Scholarship Director
An Update from Plansoen Scholar Angela Addante:
Dearest friends and families of FPC,
I hope this message finds you well as we continue on this journey through such a beautiful period in our faith calendar. As I begin this message, I want to take a moment to say I hope you are staying happy, healthy, and hopeful during this time of ongoing uncertainty. Like always, I send my love to each and every one of you reading this, and I pray you find whatever you are in need of right now.
With this season of Lent upon us, I wish to take a moment to thank God for the blessings we have, including each other and this welcoming faith community. Each of us has sacrificed so much these last few months to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our fellow neighbors. Last week, a deacon at my church in Addison, said a homily that really stuck with me. He noted that Lent is about making sacrifices much greater than giving up cake and cookies for 40 days. It is about being Christ like, devoting yourself to your fellow man, and committing yourself to the betterment of not only yourself, but the world as a whole. Each of us has a duty as a follower of Christ to use these 40 days to be introspective and proactive. Meaning, that we should use this time to grow, learn, and love. Despite our current circumstances with COVID-19, we still can spread kindness and contribute to the world like Christ did. We can sacrifice in the hopes of ensuring the well being of our neighbors. I have been using these days of Lent to find ways to better myself to be more like Christ. I urge you to do the same. Each year of Lent should be a steppingstone to the next in regard to spiritual growth and wholeness. Therefore, I’d advocate for you to be more introspective this year. While you resist what you’ve decided to give up for Lent, also ponder how you as an individual can grow and better yourself in Christ’s image through your actions as a means of making the world a better more loving place. Life is truly about the love we can give one another, the ability to nurture Christ’s presence in the world, and our collective efforts to live in his image.
Before closing, I’d like to update you on some things I spoke of last time. Since my last letter, I have had the honor of being accepted into both the master’s and general education programs at Lake Forest College! Likewise, I have begun a virtual student internship with Waukegan District 60. While teaching online has its challenges, I have found much joy in spreading my love for education to my students. In the coming weeks Waukegan plans to begin hybrid learning and I am optimistic for the opportunity to possibly teach in the classroom. While I know it will be different, I am hopeful that it will be an enriching experience.
Additionally, over the past month, my service organization ALPHA PHI OMEGA has begun working on one of our largest projects! We are planning to host a school supply drive to help students within the North Chicago community. Over the coming months we will continue planning and organizing this back to school project. I am very excited for this opportunity to help a local community and I pray our efforts produce great results.
In closing I send my blessings to you and your loved ones! With Easter fast approaching I wish you good health and peace. While these 40 days of Lent are a time for sacrifice, please remember to use them to grow in Christ’s image as well. Each day is an opportunity to serve the Lord and our fellow neighbor. Therefore, we must take each opportunity we have and continue to spread love, appreciation, and kindness.
Stay strong everyone! God bless you!