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The Messiah Messenger > The May 2020 Messenger #623
The May 2020 Messenger #623

Apr 30, 2020


Live in Hope

Recently I heard someone suggest that schoolchildren who are being forced by the Covid-19 pandemic to learn from home may benefit in some ways from the experience. They might turn out to have more empathy and closer family connections. Perhaps they will be more creative and resilient, and better able to entertain themselves. They might learn household skills like cooking and baking, and how a household runs. Perhaps they will learn to better appreciate their teachers and schools. They might learn to better appreciate what really matters in life.

It’s an encouraging thought, especially as it looks like enduring the Covid-19 pandemic will be more like jogging a marathon than running a sprint. “Normal” life won’t return for a while.

Which raises a question for all of us: How can we use this time well? Can we find a way to grow in faith through it? Can we find a productive and life-giving rhythm amid the uncertainties?

Whatever kind of time we are living in, normal or not, it is time that has been given to us by God and so we have to regard it as a time of grace—part of the time we have been given before our earthly length of days runs out

The apostle Paul told the Christians in Rome that their faith in God would give a meaningful shape to their endurance of suffering. Endurance would produce character, he said, and character would produce hope.

I think all of us need some structure of activity to give the shape of hope to our days. It might be the pattern of checking in with loved ones or neighbors or church members and being uplifted by those connections. It might be setting aside time for prayer or for reading and meditating on a psalm or a passage from the New Testament. It might mean making sure each day includes a moment of enjoying the beauty of creation or of music and art—and giving thanks to God for it. These are all ways of living our days with God and in dialogue with God. These are all ways we can live in hope. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:4).

Faithfully, Pastor David

Check out Pastor Knutson’s blog at southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com
We pray for the safety & good health of Pastor Knutson & Family

MAY 2020
As you all know we are still trying to stay safe at home or in our jobs if we are considered “essential” workers. At this time Messiah continues our mission as best we can without being able to gather together in person. As we know the work of the church goes on beyond our walls so hopefully our outreach actually grows during this unusual time. The May Messenger will again be a little different this month with updates and messages of the hope that binds us together.

Online Church Services Continue:
Messiah’s Executive Committee has decided that all worship services will be canceled through the month of May because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Online 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.

We’ve been blessed to have Pastor David and his wife Barbara lead our online worship with the technical direction and editing skills of Paul Holzer. We are expanding participation in our online services to include anyone who would consider being a virtual lector or assisting minister. We are also happy to include any musical contribution (check out Allie Allemeier’s beautiful rendition of Beautiful Savior on Messiah’s YouTube service April 26!). Participants need to be able to provide a digital file of themselves reading the lessons or prayers. For more information, contact Pastor David at messiahpastor1605@gmail.com.

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.

Communication With Church & 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 office@messiahparkridge.org or Pastor David at pastor1605@gmail.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……..”

A new feature has been added call The Messiah Message Board!
If you have information to share—celebrations, prayer concerns, messages or just news of interest to the people of Messiah—please pass it on to the church office via email (send to office@messiahparkridge.org). We will be updating the Messiah Message Board weekly. Please send news to the office by 5:00 pm on Wednesday.

Pandemic Resources
During this time of self-isolation and social distancing it can very difficult to pass the day and keep busy. There’s only so much television you can watch in one day. Many people have taken this extra time to learn a new skill, or take up a new hobby. If reading a good book is your method of passing time, NPR’s Book Concierge is a fantastic resource to find your next title. The Book Concierge lists can be found at, https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#view=covers&year=2019

You can still donate blood during the pandemic and the American Red Cross is need of blood and plasma donations. Maybe consider visiting www.redcross.org and schedule a blood donation appointment at a donation site that is clean and safe for the donors.

If you would like to make an impact a little closer to home, consider donating to the Maine Township Food Pantry. The need for nutritious meals is vitally important at this time and the food pantry is in need of additional assistance. While you may be taking the time to organize your pantry think about putting a few items aside to drop at the food pantry located at 1700 Ballard Rd in Park Ridge.

If you are a sewer and have extra fabric in your supply there are many free patterns online to make much needed face masks. Trudi Handzel has made several masks to be donated from her extra fabric. You don’t need to make hundreds but maybe one or two for your neighbors.

If you’re the musical theater type, many of Andrew Lloyd Weber productions have been added to YouTube. You can watch musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, and Jesus Christ Superstar. All you need to do is search The Show Must Go On on www.youtube.com and sing your heart out.

Many museums across the globe are offering virtual tours of their galleries. What about touring the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History or, the Art Institute of Chicago. Even the Louvre is offering free virtual tours. Since we cannot physically travel to these world class museums why not take a tour from your own comfy chair?

If you have a good suggestion for passing the time or have found an interesting alternative to television, please send it to the church office and it will be added to the weekly Messiah Message Board.

Music Ministry: A Chicagoan’s Hymn

In 1873, Chicago resident Horatio Spafford wrote the words of a hymn that many of us love called “When Peace Like a River” (aka “It is Well with My Soul,” ELW #785). He wrote the words at a time when his world was literally crumbling around him.

Prior to the writing of this hymn, the Spafford family faced several challenges. Their four-year-old son had died. In 1871, they suffered significant financial losses due to the destruction of the Great Chicago Fire which damaged many of their properties. (Horatio had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in Chicago.) The economic “Panic of 1873” that hit North America and Europe furthered eroded the family’s wealth.

However, the greatest loss had yet to occur. He, his wife, Anna, and their four daughters had planned to travel to Europe for a vacation on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plan, Horatio sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems Music Ministry continued
following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship collided with a sea vessel, the Loch Earn, and sank rapidly. All four of the Spafford daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone …" Shortly after the tragedy, Spafford traveled to England to meet his grieving wife. As the ship passed near the place where his daughters had died, he wrote down the verses of this hymn. The first verse goes like this:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain: It is well (it is well), with my soul (with my soul). It is well, it is well, with my soul.

How could he write such words after such a string of losses, especially the loss of his daughters? What sadness must have swirled in his heart and soul.

In the midst of all this, Spafford apparently saw the peace of Jesus as a metaphorical “river,” perhaps, a slow, meandering river that would gradually wind its way into the deepest recesses of his life at the very time when peace seemed so absent.

While his story makes no mention of this, I wonder if he didn’t also think of the words of Jesus? “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (John 14:27). Jesus spoke these words at a time when his disciples’ lives and his own life were fast falling apart. Prior to his crucifixion, Jesus wanted them to know that God offers a peace at such times. It’s a peace that the Apostle Paul would later refer to as one that “surpasses all understanding” and will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).                      Bill Decker, Music Ministry Coordinator

Music as a Source of Comfort
As Bill points out in the Music Ministry article, music can be a source of comfort and strength during challenging times. Our favorite songs and hymns can generally be found by simply doing a search on the internet if we don’t have them readily available. Here are just a few from YouTube:

“When Peace Like a River”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyPEohF6qq8
“The Strife is O’er; The Battle Done”: https://episcopalchurch.org/virtual-choir
“The Prayer”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcp6w4zaW7U
“Morning Prayer” by Martin Luther”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdEURn4NEas
“The Lord Bless You & Keep You” Doxology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4C9zVg5X_A
“Amazing Grace”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n145-J8ejg

What are some of your favorites? Share them on The Messiah Message Board!


Assistance Ministry
The Assistance ministry team had to discontinue serving lunches for our guests as of April 6th. At this point food distribution will be discontinued until the stay at home order has been lifted. We care about the health of all of our guests and urge them to stay at home to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you know of anyone in need of food assistance, the Maine Township Food Pantry will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. They are located at 1700 Ballard Rd in Park Ridge. In continued effort to stop the spread of the virus, we will no longer accept clothing donations until further notice.
Please keep our guests in your prayers. This is an uncertain time for everyone.

Quilts & Kits
We will of course miss another quilt date in May but meanwhile we continue to work at home on preparations and plans for the remainder of the year. Tops are being prepared for tying, as well as back packs to fill – plus we’re starting to watch sales for kits. Another activity has been making masks. If you want to make masks for yourselves, family members, friends and/or health care facilities there are MANY patterns for them on the internet. It looks like masks will be necessary for an extended period so think about making some!

Christian Education
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. Kyle Hauser has worked hard over the last 3 years to complete his studies. We wish him congratulations even though his confirmation has had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Chat Room is on hold and at this point will not likely resume until the fall schedule.
Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center
The Child Care Center continues to remain physically closed although the staff are staying in touch with students and families online. The teachers made “Stay at Home” packets for the children. Things are pretty much up in the air but the staff is planning and preparing for any changes that may suddenly be made available. Check out their Facebook page (Messiah Child Care Center of Park Ridge) for stories with Miss Kirstin and a Zoom music session with Miss Cindy (Accompanied by Mr. Bill Decker!). A couple staff members have also been busy decorating windows! Miss Sue decorated her classroom window to display the message of Easter and Miss Kirstin decorated a window to thank health care workers!

For more information on CCC Activities and Programs contact CCC Office at
847-825-3767 or see the website at www.messiahchildcare.com

Focus on Graduates
The end of the school year is usually filled with laughter, family gatherings to celebrate graduations, and wishing fellow graduates good luck on their next step. With the global pandemic this tradition will look different this year. Even though graduation looks different this year, this milestone year will definitely not be forgotten. We wanted to make sure the graduates of Messiah still had an opportunity to be recognized and celebrated. We asked each of our graduates a few questions and each of their answers are below. Congratulations to all of you and may God bless you on your new journey.

Child Care Center Kindergarten Graduates
Eleanor Chen
Haley Chang
Kavianna Kanter

Kyle Hauser
Kyle is graduating from Emerson Middle School and will be attending Maine South High School in the fall. He is looking forward to taking art and graphic design classes at Maine South, including digital imaging next fall. Kyle is looking forward to getting good grades, making new friends and play sports (cross country and baseball). His favorite memory during middle school was performing with the Emerson orchestra at the Music at the Parks festival. Their group was awarded first place and then celebrated at Great America.
Kyle’s favorite memory at Messiah was his first communion because he was able to receive the bread and wine alongside his family and he was able to serve as an acolyte. Good luck in high school Kyle and GO HAWKS!

Nikolas Ryczek
Nikolas will be graduating from Maine East High School where he enjoyed playing on his high school soccer team. He will be attending Saint Louis University in the fall and will major in Data Science. He is looking forward to being more independent all while maintaining a four year goal to graduate with a degree in data science and to have secured a job or internship. Nikolas’ favorite memory from Messiah was when Mr. Yager did his God voice during confirmation class. Best of luck Nikolas, we all look forward to seeing what the future holds for you.

Michael Yager
Michael is graduating from Maine South high school and will be following in his father’s footsteps by attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN. He plans to study mechanical engineering or math. Michael is looking forward to college in general and playing baseball for Ros-Hulman. His favorite high school memory is pitching in the varsity game to help Maine South win over Conant High School. His favorite memory from Messiah is attending the Child Care Center where he met his lifelong friend Kevin and playing sardines in the church with the confirmation class. Best of luck at Rose- Hulman Michael!

We’re including the scripture readings for May. Once we know when services can resume, we will reach out to Worship Teams.

May 3rd Fourth Sunday in Easter
Acts 2:42-47   Psalm 23   1 Peter 2:19-25   John 10:1-10
May 10th Fifth Sunday in Easter
Acts 7:55-60   Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16   1 Peter 2:2-10   John 14:1-14
May 17th Sixth Sunday in Easter
Acts 17:22-31   Psalm 66:8-20   1 Peter 3:13-22   John 14:15-21
May 24th Ascension of Our Lord
Acts 1:6-14   Psalm 68:1-10, 35-35   1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11   John 17:1-11
May 31 Pentecost
Acts 2:1-21   Psalm104:24-34, 35b   1 Corinthians 12:3b-13   John 20:19-23

Thanks to Messiah’s Essential Workers!!
We give thanks for Pastor David, Bill Decker, Alaine Wong, Laura,Hauser, Dave Hanson, Karen Black and the CCC staff, and the Executive Committee for keeping things going at Messiah and their continued efforts to bind us together as we weather this storm.

A Gospel message from Sunday and Seasons for the Day of Pentecost
A Holy Rumbling

Helene’s foot pressed down; her heel held long and steady on the organ’s pedal board. The bellows in the basement blew air through ducts up to the biggest pipes, and there was a rumble. A rumble that wiggled lead in the windows. A rumble that wobbled the chandelier, rattled coins in the offering plates, and made the walls shudder. A rumble that troubled the baptismal font waters and stirred flames on altar candles. And it was a rumble that resonated in the hearts of that little church assembly every Sunday when, before their last amen, the congregation began to breathe the words and melody of the hymn they knew by heart:
Breathe on me, breath of God; fill me with life anew,
that I may love all that you love and do what you would do.
Then the doors were opened. Women picked up their purses, children collected their crayons, the men stretched their legs. A voice sounded: “Go in peace. Serve the Lord.” And the people said, “Thanks be to God.”

Jesus joined the disciples and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19, 21). How could it be? The doors were locked. The disciples had assembled in fear. The light of day was spent. How could it be that he entered into such a place, where the end of so much had made no room for peace? And how did it happen that though they were crowded into hiding and imprisoned by walls of sadness, peace came to be with them?

We, too, are visited by the holy mystery of the Spirit of God despite the closed doors of our hears, minds, and lives. It is the sudden rumbling of the Spirit—the divine breath that first gave life to creation—that stirs us to pray:
Breathe on me, breath of God; fill me with life anew,
that I may love all that you love and do what you would do.
—Edwin Hatch, 1835–1889


Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day in America

After the Civil War, “Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, wrote a moving piece of verse in 1870 in reaction to the horror of the war. Howe pushed to establish a day to celebrate peace and the values taught by our mothers.”

“Howe’s Mother’s Day was celebrated on June 2nd, although she hoped for it to be July 4th alongside the nation’s birthday. The day was observed in 18 northern states. Howe herself payed for most of the festivities. They died out after she stopped funding them herself. Yet, the seed had been planted. West Virginia community activist Anna Reeves Jarvis picked up Howe’s flag and established Mother’s Friendship Day to reunite families torn apart by the Civil War. After her death, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis petitioned her mother’s former church in West Virginia to celebrate mothers and peace. Her petition was granted and on May 10, 1908, the first Mother’s Day occurred, drawing a crowd of over 400. White carnations were distributed. The flower remains a symbol of the American holiday.” Later, Jarvis protested the commercialism that overtook the holiday and regretted establishing it.

Mother’s Day Throughout the World
Mothers are commonly celebrated with gifts, flowers, a day off and a meal they do not have to cook. Different world cultures add their own special twist, sometimes in spring and sometimes not.

-Mexico – Mexico traditionally celebrates mothers on May 10th with a song sung by the family or a hired band. Mother’s Day is the most popular card-sending day in Mexico.

-Japan – Japan holds an art contest every four years on the second Sunday of May. Children submit drawings of their mothers. The winners are taken on a tour of Japan and other parts of Asia.

-Ethiopia – Ethiopia holds Mother’s Day at the end of their raining season on the 2nd Sunday of May. Sons bring a bull or a lamb. Daughters bring butter, cheese, vegetable and spices. Together, they make a traditional dish for their mother.

-Finland – In Finland, the family rises early and takes a walk on the second Sunday in May, gathering spring flowers, particularly the white and aromatic valkovuokko. Back home, mom is presented with a bouquet and breakfast in bed.

-France – France, following World War One, focused on repopulating the country. Bronze medals were given to women with four or five children. Silver went to those with six or seven. A gold medal was awarded for eight or more. This was celebrated on the last Sunday of May.

-Sweden – Sweden sells plastic flowers for the Red Cross on the final Sunday in May. The proceeds are given to mothers and children in need.

-India – India has celebrated its mothers for centuries with a ten day festival called Durga Puja in October. The ancient tradition commemorates the divine mother Durga and has become one of the largest events in India. Families decorate their homes and spend weeks preparing gifts.

-Argentina – Argentina surprises its mothers with gifts and candy on the third Sunday in October. Children encircle their mothers and read them poetry before opening a door to reveal their grandmothers joining the party.

-Yugoslavia – celebrates three successive family Sundays in December. On Children’s Day, three days before Christmas, the children are tied up until they promise to be good. The next week is Mother’s Day, when the mother is bound until she delivers candy and gifts. After that comes Father’s Day, where dad is tied up until he promises lavish presents.

(information excerpted from https://www.brighthubeducation.com/social-studies-help/127927-mothers-day-celebrations-around-the-world/

Mother’s Day 2020:
We all know that Mom’s normally wear many hats and the pandemic has likely added a few more titles to their roles. Let’s show our appreciation to all the women in our lives who give us their love and support.
And let’s lend an extra hand!

We pray for each other, our congregation, our families, our community, our state, our country and the world during this challenging time.
Those who mourn:
The family and Friends of Jane Koy, a past member of Messiah

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)
Teresa Young (friend of Connie Kaufmann and member of the Assistance Ministry team)
Christ K (Sue Kopij’s sister-in-law)

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:
Arline Baranowski, 5/1 Harold DiVita, 5/1 Ralphie Lippert, 5/3 Philip Holzer, 5/4
Paula DiVita, 5/8 Nancy Herak, 5/8 Trygve Jensen, 5/10 Darrell Eckert, 5/12
Helen Levy, 5/17 Joe Levy, 5/20 Bradley Paulus, 5/20 James Handzel, 5/22
Amber Saul, 5/22 Alyson Allemeier, 5/23 Bradford Kovach, 5/29 Janitha Chellian, 5/31 Michelle Litwin, 5/31

Anniversaries this month
Don & Mary Jane Kovach, 5/5/1956, 64 years & Floyd & Kristin Yager, 5/23/1998, 22 years




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Park Ridge, IL 60068
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