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The December Messenger Issue #474
The December Messenger Issue #474
Dec 1, 2007
From the Pastor
“WHO IS COMING?”
Advent means "coming.” In the northern hemisphere, these
weeks in early December mark the waning of the light toward
the shortest day of the year. The fading hours of 2007
signal the end of another year. But just as endings appear
and darkness closes in, there comes not a sadness, but a
heartfelt expectation within us. Can we identify it? What
is coming? The holidays, the presents, the parties....? The
true question for us to consider during this time of year
is not "What..." but "Who is coming?"
I remember that very question piercing through the darkness
of our bedroom so many years ago on a cold December night.
I was nine or ten years old at the time. I shared the room
with my younger brother, Bob. All that I could see in the
cave that was our bedroom was the small night light plugged
into the outlet at the foot of my bed. But I knew that
night, for the first time, that there was no doubt about
the answer to my brother's fearful question, “who is
coming?” as the steps sounded down the hall. "It’s Dad." It
was Dad. The night light was a symbol of the love and
protection that was available to us whenever we were
afraid, whenever we were uncertain. In a clear and certain
way, that is the identity of who it is that comes as a
light in the darkness. That is the gift of the Christmas
presence. God is with us in the darkness. The light shines
brightly. And as we grow in years we also hopefully
struggle to grow in faith. The small light grows into a
peaceful, reassuring glow in our hearts.
During Advent we are invited to fling wide the doors of our
heart and let the King of Glory come for us and for the
world. It is a time to recall the gift of the Christ child
to the world on that night so long ago. But it is so much
more. It is the time to mark the relationship between God
and humankind that has continued ever since that night. We
worship God who knows our darkest secrets, our fears, our
questions. God who picks us up and assures us that we are
loved, that we belong, that we are children of God, that we
should not be afraid.
Join your congregation during the services of praise and
celebration for the light of the world! The glowing
relationship between the created and the creator through
the birth of the child. The present of the presence.
May you experience the blessings of Advent and Christmas in
UPDATE ON PASTOR PAUL
As Pastor Paul shared with us last month he has been
dealing with health issues stemming from an infection
called "cellulitis" in his left knee. Because of the toll
the cellulitis took on Pastor's kidney he is having to
undergo dialysis and will eventually have to have another
kidney transplant. At the time Pastor Paul shared all that
with us in the last newsletter he was hopeful to be back at
work at the end of October with only some minor adjustments
to his schedule for dialysis. Unfortunately the cellulitis
has been a stubborn foe and Pastor has faced an ongoing
battle to defeat the infection, including additional
hospitalizations. The hospitalizations, dialysis, and
medical treatment have also taken their toll on Pastor's
body, causing considerable weakness and fatigue. And of
course it is very important for Pastor to get rid of the
infection and get his body back in condition for him to
eventually receive the transplant. Although Pastor's
spirit is strong and he aches to get back into his pulpit
and his office, he must make his health priority right now.
In order to return to the job he so obviously loves, he
must first take care of himself.
At this time the Executive Committee is working with Pastor
Paul, the church office and the Metro Chicago Synod office
to cover things at Messiah during Pastor's absence. We
have of course already been very fortunate to have had the
help of Pastor Terry McIntyre and Pastor Mark Wiberg during
the last several weeks while Pastor has been out. We are
working on getting some type of consistent coverage for
Sunday services, confirmation, the Child Care Center and
visitation for the next several weeks including the
holidays - with the understanding that when Pastor Paul is
able to be with us, he will step in and do what he is able
to do. Pastor will continue to provide us direction as he
is able to while he recovers.
If you have any questions or suggestions about what the
church administration is doing while Pastor is ill, feel
free to contact Carol Hrodey or the church office. And
remember, Pastor Paul being absent from Messiah on Sundays
does not mean you should be also. Now more than ever
Messiah and Pastor Paul need your support, attendance, and
CHRISTMAS TREES – BOUGHT AND PAID FOR!!!
Thanks to generous donations from the congregation, we
purchased 2 new Christmas trees in November! We received a
“church discount” from Norbert Pools on Milwaukee. The new
trees will grace our sanctuary during the Advent and
Christmas season. Thanks to all who helped with this!
(Remember: Always check with church office before you
schedule an event – there is a room assignment calendar
maintained by the Office Administrator.)
ROOM AT THE INN
Saturday and Sunday, December 1 & 2 from 10 – 4 PM
St. Matthew’s Center for Health, Park Ridge
If you haven’t seen this yet, you MUST go see it! For the
sixth year, St. Matthew’s will be displaying over 300
nativity scenes from around the world. This is a free
event. New this year is a “Please Touch” table for children
of non-breakable sets. Call 847-825-5531 for more
COOKIE BAKERS – WILL YOU HELP?
Collection December 2nd , Packing December 3rd
The Messiah Lutheran Church Women (MLCW) packs cookies for
our shut-ins at Christmas. Please bring a batch or two of
cookies to church Sunday, December 2nd and place them in
the basket in the narthex marked “Christmas Cookies.” We
will pack them Monday Dec. 3rd beginning at 9 AM. Helpers
are always welcome!
SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
Sunday, December 16th at 10:15 AM Service
Our Sunday School kids will be working hard during the
month of December to put on a great Christmas program! We
hope everyone will be on hand at the 10:15 AM service to
support our children. There will be songs and some short
skits, and the children will provide the “message” for the
CHRISTMAS CHARITIES ARE HERE!
Collecting from Nov. 25-Dec.10
Once again we will be collecting goods to help out those
less fortunate than ourselves. For The Night Ministry,
serving the homeless of Chicagoland, we put hats, gloves,
and scarves on our Giving Tree in the narthex. We are
looking for mostly adult items, and asking that they be
STURDY, WINTER ITEMS, rather than “magic gloves” which are
very thin. The Child Care Center and our Cub Scout Troop
are also collecting gloves for this ministry…THANKS!
Deadline for donations is December 10th – the Night Bus
will be delivering the items to people in need on December
18-19, so they need to pack everything up before that.
Also, we are doing LSSI’s Gifts for Kids again this year.
Gift tags will be available in the narthex. PLEASE NOTE: We
have sixty children to buy for this year. We need
everyone’s help to get this done in the short time
allotted! Pick a tag, purchase a present, and bring it
wrapped to church by December 10th to be sent to LSSI in
time for their Christmas Party. Gift cards are also
welcome… remember, you can use our Manna program, deadline
December 2nd, delivery of cards on Dec. 6th!
Naomi Circle Cancelled for this month, will return in
Men’s Breakfast Saturday, December 8th at 9:00 AM at
1440 Rand Road in Des Plaines. Join us for fellowship and
the best fresh-squeezed orange juice in town!
Friendship Day There will be no Friendship Day in December.
A Blessed Christmas to all. We will resume January
24th..MARK YOUR CALENDAR.
WELCA Board December 5th @ 9:00 AM
Executive Committee December 11th @ 7:00 PM
Child Care Board December 19th @ 7:30 PM
COMING IN JANUARY…
ANNUAL REPORTS DUE JANUARY 6TH
Annual Congregational Meeting
Pilates Classes Resume!
This Month in Worship
WORSHIP SCHEDULE AND READINGS
All Worship Services are at 10:15 AM unless otherwise
December 2 – First Sunday in Advent
Isaiah 2:1–5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11–14; Matthew 24:36–44
December 9 – Second Sunday in Advent
Isaiah 11:1–10; Psalm 72:1–7, 18–19; Romans 15:4–13;
December 16 – Third Sunday in Advent
Isaiah 35:1–10; Psalm 146:5–10; James 5:7–10; Matthew
December 23 – Fourth Sunday in Advent
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1–7, 17–19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew
December 30 – First Sunday after Christmas
Isaiah 63:7–9; Psalm 148; Hebrews 2:10–18; Matthew 2:13–23
CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Dec. 24 @ 4 PM–Family Christmas Eve Service
Dec. 24 @ 10 PM–Traditional Candlelight Service
Dec. 25 @ 10:15 AM–Christmas Day Service
Dec. 30 @ 10:15 AM–Carols and Songs Service
SPECIAL ADULT FORUM
December 2 @ 9 AM
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
Patient Care Tower Presentation
The face of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Advocate
Lutheran General Children’s Hospital is currently
undergoing rapid changes as the Hospital prepares to open a
new Patient Care Tower in 2009. Please join Al Manshum,
Director of Design and Construction, as he shares the plans
for this very exciting addition to Park Ridge. The
presentation will provide a history of the project, the
project vision and goals, an overview, some of the key
features and what to you can expect to see over the next
couple of years.
Dec. 2 Dec. 9 Dec. 16 Dec. 23 Dec. 24 Dec. 24 Dec. 25 Dec.
10:15am 10:15am 10:15am 10:15am 4 pm 10pm 10:15am 10:15
Acolytes Jenni H Joe L Tait J Holly N Joe L,
Jenni H Kevin K Andrew F Tait J
Communion Assistants Vikki H Rich L Julie J Cindy N Rich L,
Vikki H Pat K John F Julie J
Readers Larry R Connie K Carol S Neil H Anne W * John
F David S
Worship Assistants Diane B Carol S John F Vikki H Char
L * John F David S
Projection Jim H Jim H Jim H Jim H Ravi K Ravi K Jim H Jim
Ushers Chuck S,
Russ S Chuck S,
Russ S Chuck S,
Russ S Chuck S,
Russ S * Dave K, Connie K,
Kirsten K, Kevin K * Chuck S,
Greeters * * * * * * * *
Counters David H,
Paul H David H,
Paul H David H,
Paul H David H,
Paul H David H,
FLOWERS AND BULLETINS
The sign-ups for flowers and bulletins are in the narthex
by the hall to the Educational Wing. Flowers are $30, and
the Bulletins are $10. Envelopes are provided next to the
sign-up calendar, or you may simply write “Flowers” or
“Bulletin” on your regular envelope in the Other box.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO PAY FOR YOUR FLOWERS OR BULLETINS!
Note to all those purchasing flowers: Your flowers are
yours to take home!
If you wish to donate them to one of our shut-ins, please
be sure to let the Altar Guild know. Thanks!
December 2 – Flowers and bulletins are given by the Yager
family in memory of Floyd T. Yager.
December 9 – Flowers are given by the Jensen family in
memory of Frank Luck.
December 16 – Flowers and bulletins are given by the
Kovach family in memory of their loved ones.
December 23 – Flowers are given for Neena Penumaka’s
birthday. Bulletins are given by Jean Reeve in honor of her
8 wonderful grandchildren.
December 30 – Flowers and bulletins are given by the
Handzels in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Bannister.
Special Thank yous
WINGS - Women In Need Growing Stronger
November 8, 2007
Ms. Julie Holzer
Messiah Lutheran Church
1605 Vernon Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Dear Ms. Holzer,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and
residents of WINGS I would
like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your generous
donation of space to display
WINGS items at your vendor fair. Because of your help,
WINGS continues to grow
to new heights.
Since 1985, WINGS has provided transitional living
for women and children
fleeing the devastating effects of domestic violence and
homelessness. In addition to
24 apartments and three homes, we offer residents career
children's services, medical and legal resources. In
January 2005, we opened the 24-
hour domestic violence shelter in Northwest Cook County
serving families from all
over the Chicagoland area. This Safe House can provide
refuge for up to 45 women
and children each night.
As WINGS moves forward, we will continue to provide
our core services
while working to establish new community outreach
initiatives to more women and
children in need. We continue to form strategic
partnerships and spread our services
to new communities.
In addition to providing support for our programs,
your donation enhances
the quality of life for women and children at risk. We hope
you will continue to
work with us in our mission to end domestic violence and
homelessness one family at
WINGS Program Inc is a non-profit organization, registered
501 (C) (3) with the Federal Government and the State of
Illinois. WINGS federal
income tax number is 36-3456061. No goods or services were
furnished to you, in
whole or part, for your contribution.
P.O. Box 95615, Palatine, IL 60095 * Phone: 847-908-0910,
E-Mail: wings~wingsprogram.com Website:
ST. BERNARD PARISH SCHOOLS
(Messiah donated over 100 pounds of school supplies to this
parish in November 2006.)
Two years have passed since Katrina ravaged every home,
church, business and school in St.
Bernard Parish. Although still in an upward climb, the
families who have returned are hopeful
and determined to rebuild with pride. Much has been lost
forever, hut these pioneers see past the
empty buildings that surround us and see the future as it
Much of the Parish's success in the rebuilding process
hinges on the progress of our school system
as it continues to move forward on the road to recovery. On
August 15, 2007 we opened the new
school year with five school sites. N.P. Inst Middle, J.F.
Gauthier Elementary, and C.F. Rowley
School for Alternative Programs joined Chalmette High and
Andrew Jackson Elementary in
providing educational services for children who have
returned home, Although ten of our
buildings remain heavily damaged and abandoned, we take
pride in the five we have brought to
life with the shouts and laughter of children.
Our enrollment has grown to approximately 4200 students,
including three-year-old preschoolers
through 12th,grade, reflecting a slow but persistent climb
and proving the courage of the people to
return home. Our plan is to reopen three additional
schools for the 2008-09 school year thus
providing much needed space for our current enrollment,
which is now overflowing our five
buildings. Reaching our previous enrollment of nearly 9,000
students and a population of nearly
70,000 is a lofty goal considering the obstacles, such as a
slow response to the need for government
assistance, soaring insurance rates, and much difficulty in
securing materials and workmen for
repairs. Yet the tremendous support and encouragement we
have received from people like you
give us hope that full recovery can become a reality.
Donations from people across the country, and even some
from foreign countries, have made it
possible for us to retrieve the "extras" for our students.
They now enjoy all sports and extra-
curricular activities that were available pre-Katrina, as
well as some new ones. These activities are
the only social outlets for the children of St. Bernard, as
the usual gathering places, such as movie
theaters and skating rinks, have not yet reopened. We are
most grateful for these opportunities.
We thank each and every one of you, for a great measure of
our progress is due to your generosity.
We have reaped the benefits of your good wishes and prayers
which have strengthened our resolve.
You have provided a foundation for our rebuilding efforts
and we will continue to keep you
informed of our progress.
Visit our website at www,stbernard.k.12.la.us
ANNUAL REPORTS DUE!
Annual reports are due into the church office by JANURY 6th
– no ifs, ands, or buts!!! Emailing your report is HIGHLY
PREFERABLE to any other method, but I will take
what I can get!
We will NOT be mailing out the leftover 3rd quarter
financial statements… postage is too expensive. If you need
your contribution statement contact, the office by December
15th and it will be mailed to you. All others will be
shredded. Statements for all of 2007 will be available at
the Annual Meeting.
LGH Thanks - AGAIN
Hello Good Friends at Messiah Lutheran Church!
As you can see from the signatures below, our NICU staff
extends their persona thanks for your contribution of NICU
gift bags for the babies. Parents are thrilled to receive
these and to know that their babies are getting such
attention form others that are wishing them well. Please
know that your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Linda, Life Care Specialist
Signed by over 30 staff members of LGH NICU
Manna Order Dates
December orders will be taken on the 2nd and the 16th to
help with Christmas shopping!!!
Poinsettias for Sale! $11 each
Orders due by December 16th.
Watch for order forms in the Sunday bulletins, or call the
office to place an order.
CHURCH WOMEN UNITED
We need a representative from Messiah to this group. There
are 2 or 3 planning meetings on Monday mornings for the
"World Day of Prayer" the first Friday in March. We have
been a member of this group for many years. If interested,
please call Millie Anderson at 847-692-2385 or
CONFIRMATION CLASS UPDATE
Beginning in December, Floyd Yager will be taking over
teaching the Confirmation Class. This class continues to
meet on Sunday mornings at 9 AM, and we will explore a time
to also meet with Pastor Paul once his health improves.
Thanks to those former confirmands (and their parents!) who
are pitching in to help with acolyte and communion
assistant duties…our small Confirmation class appreciates
SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM REHEARSALS
December 2nd, 9th, and 16th at 9 AM
Our children will present their Christmas program during
the worship service on Sunday the 16th – we hope everyone
will come out to see them! Rehearsals will be held during
Christian Education Hour (9AM) December 2, 9, and 16.
And don’t forget…our Child Care Center presents its
Christmas programs at 4:15 pm December 18-20 – space is
limited, so come early!
Commitment Sunday was November 18th. We received about 50
pledge cards out of 176 “households.” If you haven’t turned
in your pledge card, PLEASE do so very soon…this not only
helps us with our budgeting, but also helps you with yours!
Blank pledge cards are available in the narthex and in the
In October, it cost $21,557.99 to run Messiah. That
includes gas, electric, phone, water, trash, salaries,
repair and maintenance on our building and the parsonage,
office supplies, postage, and other odds and ends.
In October, we received $14,781.09 in contributions,
including offerings from the congregation, donations from
outside groups for the use of our facilities, and one
special gift from a deceased member’s estate.
Feel free to do the math on your own…
Dear Friends in Christ,
The primary theme of Advent is hope as we take time to
reflect on why and how God comes into the world and into
our lives. I am very excited to see that the ELCA is
committed to developing a comprehensive HIV & AIDS policy
over the next two years and really appreciate the decision
to focus attention on this world-wide pandemic through the
Advent devotional calendar: Keep the Promise: Advent in a
Time of AIDS .
Through ELCA Global Mission programs and mission personnel,
the ELCA Hunger Appeal, the Stand with Africa campaign and
the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) we are deeply involved,
together with local companion churches, in 10 Southern
African countries in the struggle against HIV & AIDS.
In the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Southern Africa in the heart of Soweto, Johannesburg the
Diaconia AIDS Ministry is working with two large support
groups of People Living With AIDS. The groups meet each
week for mutual support and advice, to receive nutritious
food parcels and to participate in several skills training
and income generating projects.
The Lutheran Communion of Southern Africa (LUCSA) is the
LWF coordinating body for 17 member Lutheran churches from
10 different countries in the region. LUCSA is committed to
supporting member churches by providing HIV & AIDS training
for church leaders, theological seminaries, pastors,
home-based caregivers and youth. The Info-Hut project
reaches out to young people in schools using a refurbished
shipping container equipped with computers for teaching
teenagers computer skills and all about HIV & AIDS.
Last year I traveled to Zimbabwe with Dr. Mamy Ranaivoson
(ELCA Global Mission Health Consultant) and met Sister
Beatrice Moyo, Programme Coordinator of Betseranai
Community Based Care Organization in the town of Musume. We
toured the facilities and saw the newly constructed
Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) center and a
pick-up vehicle purchased with assistance from the ELCA. We
were greeted with singing and then met under a tree with
staff and home-based caregivers. Several of the caregivers
were very open about their HIV-positive status and gave
personal testimonies. We brought greetings from the ELCA
and were given T-shirts and hope as parting gifts.
Regarding our family, Lou-Marie continues to teach high
school science. Lindiwe is completing her third year of a
5-year Law degree at the University of Cape Town. Thandiwe
is graduating from high school this year and will start
with a Bachelor of Science degree in February 2008. I
continue to travel in the region visiting Companion
Churches, ELCA mission personnel and LWF projects as ELCA
Global Mission Regional Program Assistant.
With these words I would like to express our sincere
appreciation for your prayers, involvement in and support
for God’s Mission locally and globally and for supporting
us through the ELCA Missionary Sponsorship Program.
May you have a blessed and hope-filled Advent and
Philip Knutson, ELCA Global Mission, Regional Program
Assistant – Southern Africa
Melissa Holzer, 12/1
Rosemary Thurow, 12/1
Pat Demonte, 12/4
Mildred Anderson, 12/5
Louise Johnson, 12/5
David Lindberg, 12/5
Dorothy Pollack, 12/6
Lisa Francis, 12/7
Jennifer Hanson, 12/10
Kris Wageman, 12/10
Laura Olson, 12/12
Aidan Loverme, 12/14
Bobby Hanson, 12/19
Marlyn Wenn, 12/22
Neena Penumaka, 12/23
John Wiberg, 12/23
Stephanie Helms, 12/24
Eugene Plaza, 12/24
Carol Smith, 12/25
Bonnie Bittner, 12/27
Jean Johnson, 12/28
Marcella Larson, 12/28
Paul Stolz Jr., 12/28
Joseph Burval, 12/31
Laura Hauser, 12/31
No wedding anniversaries in December.
Messiah Leadership for 2007
President: Carol Hrodey (262) 652-3187
Vice President: Vikki Hanson (847) 823-2117
Secretary: Nancy Boomer (847) 678-3048
Treasurer: Brad Kovach (847) 297-4883
Financial Sec.: David Hanson (847) 296-6796
EXTENDED LEADERSHIP TEAM
Stewardship: Floyd Yager
Evangelism: David Swanson
CCC Director: Karen Black
CCC Board: Donna Berzins
Maintenance: Vic Berzins
Capital Campaign: Dave Kaufman
Property Committee: Various Members
WELCA: Eva Thoren
Brotherhood: Rich Seggeling
Christian Education: Kristin Yager
Confirmation/HS: Floyd Yager
Adult Forum: John Fox
Choir: Pat Daniels
Music: Tom Daniels, Sue Fox
This report is as of October 25, 2007.
All gifts to the Memorial Fund are automatically
acknowledged to the giver by a personal note, which
includes a confirmation of the amount. Unless otherwise
designated, all gifts go into the Property Reserve Fund.
Addresses and envelope numbers on memorial cards or checks
are much appreciated. The purpose of this report is to
confirm that gifts are received and properly allocated. If
you don’t see your gift listed here after 2 months, please
contact Karen Black.
IN MEMORY OF JOHN “SKIP” HANDZEL, SR.
Given by: David and Connie Kaufman, David Swanson, Carol
Schaley, John and Susan Gribbon, Jim and Trudi Handzel,
Neil and Jennifer Wagner, Charlotte and Bill Baumgartner,
Monica and Larry Ryczek
Fund: Property Reserve
IN MEMORY OF JOHN and LORRAINE HANDZEL
Given by: Marilyn Baalson
Fund: Property Reserve
Did You Know That…?
We received no information from anyone this month! Come on,
surely you have something you’d like to share!!!
(We still want interesting facts and tidbits about YOU!
Send them in to the office!)
Please include the following individuals and families in
your prayers this month:
Joe & Evelyn Burval
Pastor Paul Stolz
Pastor Sally Terrell
Linda (Rodin) Ufkes
We also want to remember in our prayers our military
Jason Koesler, Tim David, Lars Johnsen, Kevin Ward, and
Patrick and Claudine Ward.
Please let the office know if you are moving! Thanks!
Nobody moved this month!
In this issue…
Who Is Coming?
Update on Pastor Paul
Christmas Trees Bought!
Room at the Inn
Cookie Bakers – Can You Help?
Sunday School Christmas Program
Annual Reports Due!
Thank You from LGH
Poinsettia Orders Coming Up
Letter from Rev. Phil Knutson
Financial Corner – Monthly Expenses
Memorial Report for November
MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH
1605 Vernon Avenue
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
Rev. Paul Stolz, Pastor
Jennifer Schneider, Office Administrator
Karen Black, Child Care Center Director
Vic Berzins, Director of Property Maintenance
John Handzel, Property Maintenance
Worknesh Deressa, Custodian
Tom Daniels, Director of Music
Sue Fox, Organist
Angela Berger, Bookkeeper