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The April 2020 Messenger #622
The April 2020 Messenger #622
Mar 31, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you all know we are in the midst of an unusual and uncertain time in our country so the April Messenger will be somewhat shortened as a result. Many activities and events at Messiah in April have already been canceled and the rest are uncertain at the time of publication. We’ll do our best to share what information we have, provide messages of encouragement, ways we can remain connected and share the Hope of the Risen Christ that binds us together.
Alaine and Carol
Journey Toward Easter
This year our Lenten journey toward Easter has been like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it threats, disciplines, and constraints that we have never experienced and never imagined. We have been stripped of many comforts and reliable landmarks. Our social, financial, and political worlds are in upheaval.
In this journey we have become more aware of the fragility of our lives and the world we inhabit. We have also become more aware of our interdependence. Each day we depend on the faithful work of farmers, food processors, grocery store workers, packing companies, transportation workers, pharmacists, clerks, bankers, police and fire officers, health care workers, administrators, public officials and countless others. By continuing to do their jobs, sometimes at considerable risk, these people sustain our lives. We have seen that a measure of the Holy Spirit is needed simply to make communities function at all.
In this uncertain and anxious world, we proclaim the heart of our faith and the ultimate basis of our hope in this and every situation: Christ is risen!
So, we enter Easter 2020 with a strong awareness of what it is to live with Easter hope in a dark time. And we have witnessed people who display hope. They do it by checking on the welfare of neighbors, or by gathering on porches to sing together and share their lives in the flesh, if only for a moment. Some display hope by sharing good activities for restless, homebound children. Some display hope by working to ensure that the most vulnerable are not forgotten.
All these activities are ways that we can affirm the faithfulness of God. The world needs people who live with such hope, who believe that sin and death do not have the last word, and who say with their lips and lives, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Faithfully, Pastor David
OUR MISSIONARY: REVEREND DR. PHILIP KNUTSON
Check out Pastor Knutson’s blog at southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com
We pray for the safety & good health of Pastor Knutson & Family
Sunday worship services and Wednesday Lenten services at Messiah have been canceled since March 15. A decision on resuming worship and other programs will be posted on the website and conveyed to members by email. At the time of publication, the remaining Lenten service in April, as well as Palm Sunday and Holy Week Services have been canceled. While we still hope to hold Easter Sunday service it remains uncertain based on current events. Watch for notifications on Easter and the remaining Sundays in April. The purchase of plants that create our annual Easter Garden was canceled due to the current uncertainty of the schedule. If we are unable to rejoice together on Easter Sunday, it is our hope to reschedule all Easter events in the very near future. The Messiah staff will work with the EC to schedule the events to celebrate the resurrection as soon as it feasible.
During this time the Sunday worship services look a bit different. The services are recorded and added to our Facebook page and loaded onto our YouTube channel and can be viewed at any time. To access the YouTube channel you can search Messiah Lutheran Church Park Ridge on Youtube.com or type this web address in your browser, https://www.youtube.com/user/holzerp and you will be directed to the Messiah YouTube channel. It is also posted on our Facebook page. Online services are recorded year round.
STATUS OF CHURCH EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Unfortunately, our annual Community Easter Egg Hunt has been canceled. This is such a great way to reach out to the children and families of our Child Care Center and the local community. If there is a way to reschedule this event, we will. Let’s make this event and the October Trunk or Treat bigger and better than ever! Also, our World Famous Spaghetti Dinner will have to be rescheduled. We all look forward to this event every year so hopefully we can get a new date on the calendar soon!
Please watch for email updates regarding any other monthly activity updates such as the Brotherhood Breakfast, Manna Cards, Book Club, and etc.
COMMUNICATION WITH CHURCH AND EACH OTHER
Phone messages, regular mail and email are monitored throughout the week. If you are in need of pastoral care, please leave a message on the church phone or send an email to the church at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor David at email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Pastor David and the church office are sending out several emails each week to help keep the people of Messiah connected during this time. If you have an email address that you receive messages from church, please be sure to check it regularly so you don’t miss any updates. During this time, we will also use the MemberCaller system to create a mass phone call in which you will receive a pre-recorded phone message. These calls are designed for those who do not have access to the internet or use email regularly.
In addition to communicating with church staff, let’s keep in touch with each other. A phone call, an email, a text or even a note via snail mail can make a difference in someone’s day. Being isolated at home can take a toll on all of us so let’s make sure we check in with each other and stay connected! “With Christ, Reaching Out……..”
Message from the Synod:
The Chicago Metro Synod of the ELCA has alerted us to the need for blood in these days. You can find a place nearby to donate blood at this website: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive
Message from Executive Committee
Though we are not gathering as a congregation, the church still needs your financial contributions. Don’t neglect to contribute to God’s work. You can mail your contribution to Messiah Lutheran at 1605 Vernon Ave., Park Ridge IL 60068. You can also donate via our Facebook page.
Music Ministry: A Message from Bill Decker
A Power to Calm the Storms
In my mind, I see images of my father sitting in the living room of our Pennsylvania home where I grew up as a child. His eyes were closed and he was listening to me play songs on the piano. As my dad grew older, he was at times burdened with what was colloquially known as a “case of the nerves.” I remembered that I could see nervousness, anxiety, and worry etched in his face from time to time. Music seemed to temper these hard human realities.
Today, I often wonder whether music wasn’t a kind of non-pharmaceutical intervention that he could latch onto in the midst of his storms. But even more importantly, perhaps God used the music to touch his life with the gift of Christ’s peace.
I believe that music, including the music of faith, has a power that can calm our fears, worries, and anxieties.
David, Israel’s second king, was considered his nation’s greatest leader. He had an amazing number of skills. For example, he was an incredible soldier, courageous and strategically decisive as he dealt with Israel’s numerous enemies.
However, this soldier-king was also an accomplished musician who knew how to share peace with those in dark times. You can read about this side of David in 1 Samuel 16. At times, Saul was afflicted with bouts of deep depression and moodiness. Saul’s advisors recommended that Saul find someone in Israel who could help him deal positively with his recurrent bouts of depression. It just so happened that David, a poor shepherd boy, was chosen to help soothe Saul’s mind and heart with music. Why? Because David could play the harp.
According to the Bible, “David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted” (1 Samuel 16:23, The Message).
Whether in ancient times or today, music, including the music of faith, has a power that can calm our fears, worries, and anxieties.
A simple prayer
Please bring comfort to those that are worried. Please bring healing to those that are ill. Please help see us through another night to greet a new day with hope and faith. Amen
Assistance Ministry: A Message from Connie Kaufman
Assistance Ministry has recently had to make changes to our meals for our guests due to the COVID 19 virus crisis. We have decided that in keeping with the CDC guidelines and at the direction of the governor, we should not be serving meals at this time. Because this community relies on and enjoys these meals, we wanted to find a way to safely check in with them and provide a meal to go.
For the time being, a limited number of us are making hearty sack lunches and handing them to our guests outdoors as they arrive. Should they have a request for canned goods, socks, toothpaste, etc. a volunteer will locate the item(s) and give it to them outside. The guests are not coming into our building and are not congregating.
Please keep our guests in your prayers. This is an uncertain time for everyone. We will continue to evaluate weekly and seek guidance from Pastor David and the EC as to how to serve these guests in a safe way.
Quilts & Kits: A Message from Trudi Handzel and Carol Hrodey
Even though we are missing quilt dates in March and April, we continue to work at home on preparations and plans for the remainder of the year. Both of us shopped for material before things shut down that will make some great quilts and we’re busy sewing at home! Meanwhile, for those of you who do sew we’ve heard that you can pick up kits at Joann Fabrics to make masks that they will distribute to health care facilities in need. From Joann Fabric:
“As you may know, hospitals and health care facilities across the country are running dangerously low on essential supplies, including masks and scrubs. They are reaching out to us daily with increasing urgency. The CDC has declared that in a time of crisis as we are in now, handmade masks are acceptable and can provide healthcare workers with an additional layer of protection, saving their low supply surgical grade mask inventory. They are also utilizing these masks with those in the hospitals to help slow the spread to other healthcare professionals. Thus, we launched an effort to help create these items from our donated materials. Crafters across the nation have jumped in to help and are sewing hundreds of thousands of protective masks, gowns and other essential items each day.”
If you’re interested in doing this, we suggest calling your local store to be sure they have the kits. Looking forward our next quilt dates will be May 17 and June 7. We’ll start looking for items for kits soon too. Given the state of the world these days we would anticipate that the need for assistance will be even greater.
Live confirmation classes of course are on hold for now but Pat Kovach is staying in touch with students and parents during this time. She has given them topics to research and study in order to stay on track.
Chat Room is on hold until Sunday Services resume. Stay posted for future topics!
Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center
Hopefully we’ll be back to normal soon because there are a lot of fun activities coming up in the Child Care Center. We’ll let you know when we’re back in session and what events are coming up! For more information on CCC Activities and Programs contact CCC Office at 847-825-3767 or see the website at www.messiahchildcare.com
Youth Youth Mixers & Scouts – Schedules temporarily on hold! We’ll post updates as we receive them!
We did not include the April calendar or our usual section on upcoming events because there is so much uncertainty now. Once we know when we can resume our schedules and activities we will reach out with updates.
THIS MONTH IN WORSHIP
We’re including the scripture readings for April. Once we know when services can resume, we will reach out to Worship Teams.
April 5th Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 31:9-16 Philippians 2:5-11 Matthew 26:14-27:66
April 9th Maundy Thursday
Exodus 12:1-14 Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 John 13:1-17, 31b-35
April 10th Good Friday
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Psalm 22 Hebrews 10:16-28 John 18:1-19:42
April 12th Easter
Acts 10:34-43 Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 Colossians 3:1-4 Matthew 28:1-10
April 19th Second Sunday in Easter
Acts 2:14a, 22-32 Psalm 16 1 Peter 1:3-9 John 20:19-31
April 26th Third Sunday in Easter
Acts 2:14a, 36-41 Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19 1 Peter 1:17-23 Luke 24:13-35
Message from Paul Holzer, EC President:
I’d like to ask people to be kind to one another and follow guidelines from health officials. And to find things that make them smile and laugh, and then focus on the blessings they do have at this time. There are lots of bright sides to this situation if we look for them, instead of the things getting in our way.
*The reading from Ezekiel last Sunday was about God breathing life into dry bones. In these challenging times, it is good to stop regularly to take a deep breath, to calm our bodies and minds, and to remember that God’s breath will sustain us— God will give us strength for the next step of the way. “The next right thing is enough,” says Lutheran pastor and writer Metta Herrick Carlson. Her reflection (below) can help us on this journey.
For Pandemic Panic
Breathe. And feel
The Spirit filling your whole body.
Breathe. And give thanks;
It is a wild gift every single time.
Breathe. And acknowledge
The grief of your plans changing,
The fear of uncertain things
Looming too large to bear alone.
Breathe. And consider
How well Christ knows,
How fiercely God cares.
Breathe. And lift up
Your neighbor more vulnerable still.
Breathe. And believe
We are in this together and
The next right thing is enough
But first remember to
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
We pray for each other, our congregation, our families, our community, our state, our country and the world during this challenging time.
As of March 8th Worship Bulletin
Those who mourn:
We pray for Steve Pokrak and family as they mourn the passing of Steve’s father Vincent
Those who are ill, in recovery, or facing adversity:
The Dumerer Family The Hauser Family Don & Mary Jane Kovach Trudi & Jim Handzel Bob Kallas Richard Levy Daniel Kovach Carol Hrodey Marilyn Borgeson Joe & Nick Levy
Maria Raicia (mother of Laura Hauser)
Sonja Snell and Larry Morris (family of Bill and Cindy Decker)
Katie Brandon and Carol Rudy (friends of Dotty Burger)
Russell Sorensen (father of Cindy Norberg) Jessica Saul (daughter of Tim Saul)
Domonic & Leah Mareuccilli Family, Anne Flick (Friends of the Lippert Family)
Teresa & José (aunt & uncle of Cookie Bonilla)
The family of Bonnie Bomhack, Pat & Ted Gradt, Jack & Joanne May, the family of Julian Hernandez, Kathy Nilles (friends and family of the Jensen Family)
Ron, Carol, Margot, Maggie, Steve W., Mary, Bruce, and Terry DeSchepper
(friends of David Swanson)
Ruth Perzentka, George, Gari, the Beierwaltes Family, Pattie & Chris, Aaron, Sandi, & Tom Farley, J.T., & Becky (family & friends of the Handzel Family)
Ed & Toni (friends of Rich Seggeling)
Those who are homebound:
Arlene Baranowski Barb Loverme Dorothy Nagel Eva Thoren
Those serving in the armed services and first responders:
(those known to us & all those who serve)
Brandon Ajyek Tim David Tyler Daye Jarred Engvall Bobby Hanson Jenni Hanson Mikey Hanson Andreas Johnson Claudine Ward Jason Koesler Joey Rosequist Brian Nagel Eric Nagel David Nagel Officer Matt McGannon
Those attending college and graduate school:
Rachel Daye Melissa Holzer Thomas Yager Phil Holzer Nick Levy Novena Christal
Haley Lippert Dina Salemi Arden Sasak Adam Hauser Jake Saul Jessica Saul Christian Travis Ryan Hauser Kevin Kovach Trygve Jensen
Those who celebrate:
Kimberly Jones, 4/2 Jennifer Manzella, 4/3 Diane Wilson, 4/4 James Seggeling, 4/8
Connie Kaufman, 4/10 Peter DiVita, 4/12 Francesca DiVita, 4/20 Trudi Handzel, 4/23
Jean Seggeling, 4/28 Eva Thoren, 4/28
Anniversaries this month
Paul and Julie Holzer, 4/20/1996, 23 years
Les and Nancy Herak, 4/30/1977, 42 years