Blackhawk Chapter


Message from the Dean 

Notes from the Subdean

Living is a lifelong process of becoming who we are. Our goal is to learn and do something of value every day, no matter what our age. We begin learning as children in a season of growth, of spring. As children, everything is new. We grow our minds, spirits and bodies. If we seek out new experiences through life, the brain will keep growing –sprouting new cells and branches between them – no matter the age. We should embrace change, newness, learning. This flexibility will – as new sprouts that bend in the spring breezes – keep us from growing brittle and rigid; it will keep us from breaking.

Early summer is a matter for great vigor. In our 20s and 30s we are flowering – marrying, choosing careers and finding success. In our 40s and 50s we are at the peak of our earning potential; the children – if we had them – are launched. In autumn – in our 60s and 70s we are retired or thinking about it. We have time to pursue what really matters to us. It is not about changing who we are, but about growing into who we are. It is the period in which we set out to make sense out of all the growing we have already done. Fall is the time to let the past go. In our 80s, 90s and above we finish the job of becoming. All we have is the now. We have the gift of life, the moment. Winter is the time to prepare ourselves for our eternal spring.

Regardless of our age, we experience growth, vigor of thought, balance and becoming throughout our lives. When we wake up in the morning, the word should be gratitude. We should be grateful for the gift we are to others and the gift others are to us. The seasons of our lives helps us grow gratitude, when we allow them to.

Finally, let us not take ourselves too seriously. We grow older, we change. That is good. But let us remember to learn, to laugh. Laughter is a wonderful gift. As we pause during this hectic season, let us remember to enjoy relationships and ideas -and to grow our capacity for a life of loving and thinking and feeling joy. (Reference: Sister Mary Jane Wallace, OSB)

My Christmas Wish to you: May Christmas blessings bloom like flowers for you, nor with this one day cease – and may you tread this coming year, life’s hills of joy – its vales of peace. (Author unknown)

Soli Deo Gloria,


Local Events

January Meeting – Twelfth Night Party and White Elephant Exchange

The Annual 12th Night gathering is on for AGO members and friends, Sunday, January 5th at 6 p.m. — this year at the home of Ruth & Paul Tweeten, 244 Hillcrest Avenue, Davenport (see directions below). Our evening will include a Tour of Creches (there may be as many as 270 Epiphany Kings), personal “catch-up time” — tell your Christmas stories, now that you can relax! and, the traditional White Elephant Exchange.

Pizza will be provided; you are asked to bring hors d’oeuvres, dessert, or something to go with pizza. Look ahead to the New Year. Bring a friend!

Directions: Hillcrest Avenue is in McClellan Heights. The simplest way is to take Locust Street from east or west to stoplight at Kenwood Avenue near Duck Creek Park. Turn south two blocks to McKinley School; right 1/2 block to Hillcrest Avenue (across from McKinley playground). 244 is the sixth house on the right. Look for ice candles. Ruth’s cell: 563-650-3421.





BBlackhawk Chapter plans membership meetings/events monthly between September and May, except for December and the month of Easter. All those in the community who may be interested in the mission and fellowship offered by the Blackhawk Chapter AGO are invited to consider especially our “Friends” category of membership. For $10/year, you will receive all chapter mailings and are welcome to attend any and all chapter events. For membership forms, contact Julie McCafferty  at Email or 309-762-2124.



Organist or Pianist, First Presbyterian Church, Geneseo, Illinois. One service, Sunday morning. Two-manual Allen organ with MIDI capabilities; console piano. Midweek choir rehearsal and special services negotiable. For more information, contact the church office at 309-944-5189. Employers and job seekers are invited to post and search listings of available positions on the Guild’s National Website.





Contact Us

Chris Nelson, Dean – Email
Ilga Higbee, Sub-Dean – Email
Debra Swift, Secretary – Email
Julie McCafferty, Treasurer – Email



AGO National website