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The Messiah Messenger > The May 2021 Messenger #635
The May 2021 Messenger #635

Apr 30, 2021

The Messiah May 2021 Messenger


Easter Resilience
Just a few weeks ago, our yard was mostly shades of brown, with spots of green here and there, and a few daffodils. Then Barbara and I left town for a road trip to Texas to visit our one-month-old granddaughter. When we returned to Illinois, the grass had turned green, the early flowers were blooming, the lilacs were out, the peony stems were two-feet tall, and coiled ferns and hosta shoots were pushing up from the ground. Spring had arrived.

Scientists can describe but not really explain the force that causes plants that are buried in the earth to drive through the soil and return to life. Something there is that animates life, that drives toward life in its many forms. We Christians name that something each week: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”

Spring reminds us of the sheer resilience of God, the creator.

Resilience is a good way also to think about God’s act of raising of Jesus from the dead, which we also name each week: “Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose again.”

Theologian Rowan Williams puts it this way: “The resurrection is in part about the sheer toughness and persistence of God’s love. When humans have done their worst, God remains God—and remains committed to being our God.”

Believing the resurrection is believing that God’s resilience—the persistence and toughness of God’s love—overcomes death.

In this Easter season, our second one amid the Covid pandemic, we celebrate God’s resilience and persistence in raising Jesus from the dead and bringing life out of death.

I'm also celebrating the resilience and persistence of God’s people at Messiah. You have continued to support the church and ministries through these months, and to find ways to serve one another and our neighbors, and to live with hope in the resilience of God. “And this hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

And we might add: God’s resilience, the toughness and persistence of his love, has been poured into our hearts through the resurrection of Jesus.

Blessings in Easter,
Pastor David

Beginning MAY 23rd we will begin holding outdoor worship services! Worshipers can participate in chairs, as opposed to cars! Watch for further details as we get closer to this exciting change!

Up until then worship services will continue to be held on Sundays in the sanctuary with worship leaders only and broadcast over the usual social media sites.

As a reminder, all of the church services can be viewed through two different avenues. All of the services are posted on the Messiah Facebook page as well as our YouTube channel under the name Messiah Park Ridge. The YouTube channel can be found at this web address, https://www.youtube.com/user/holzerp. Services are posted at 10:15 am Sunday mornings, but can be watched at any time. If you need help accessing either viewing platforms please reach out to the church office and we can help. Thanks to Paul Holzer for making sure we can participate virtually in worship for the last 3 years!

EC Corner
The Executive Committee, with Pastor David, continue to meet virtually on a regular basis – in addition keeping a continual eye on local, state and national developments. We thank them for continuing to lead us through this difficult time.

EC continues the search to fill the Vice President position and representatives for the CCC Board. Please prayerfully consider accepting one of these positions.

Giving is down so please consider what you can do to help!

Thank you to those who made donations for the boiler repairs. The new boiler was installed the week of April 5th and we are grateful for the generous donations and skilled technicians from Murphy & Miller.

Ways to Donate
Messiah still needs your support! There are still bills to pay to continue to operate plus unexpected expenses! Besides the traditional check or cash donation/offering (which can be mailed to the church office), there are various other ways to support Messiah. Check out Messiah’s website on ways to contribute: https://www.messiahparkridge.org/contribute.html
A variety of avenues to contribute are outlined including via Messiah’s Facebook page, Pay Pal, Simply Giving, Amazon Smile and Good Shop. Over the last several months Messiah has collected donations from several outlets and, to clear up some confusion, an explanation of the different giving avenues follows:

Facebook: Facebook users can donate via Facebook by going to Messiah’s “business page” https://www.facebook.com/messiahparkridge (as opposed to our “group page” https://www.facebook.com/groups/MessiahLutheranPR). To make regular donations to Messiah’s general fund click on the Donate button on the right of page. For specific fundraisers (such as Bucks for the Boiler) click on the Fundraiser title under the header for specific information.
Donating through Facebook is a simple contribution method.

Pay Pal: Pay Pal is another online giving tool accessible through Messiah’s website. Pay Pal is a payment system that is linked to your personal account and you can securely personalize your giving as you see fit. You can set up Pay Pal giving by clicking the Contribute tab on the homepage of Messiah’s website, www.messiahparkridge,org.

Amazon Smile: As more of us are doing our shopping online please remember to use AmazonSmile when shopping on Amazon. With Messiah designated as your charity of choice, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate a portion of every qualifying order to Messiah. If you need instructions on how to set up your AmazonSmile account, please reach out to the church office and we can assist you. We have received money from AmazonSmile thanks to member purchases.

Good Shop: The Goodshop is an online source that offers coupon codes to online shoppers all while giving a percentage back to the shopper’s charity of choice. Win, Win! Once you have created an account and selected your charity of choice, all you have to do, before starting your online shopping, is to first go to the www.goodshop.com and find the coupon code of the store you will be ordering from. You then copy the coupon code, do your shopping, and paste the code in the appropriate area during check out. That’s it! Messiah will receive a percentage from your order directly from Goodshop. The percentage amount is listed alongside the code.

Communication With Church & Each Other:
Let’s remember to stay in touch with church and with each other! Phone messages, regular mail and email continue to be 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 messiahpastor1605@gmail.com. Please be sure to check it regularly so you don’t miss any updates. If you know someone who doesn’t have email or doesn’t check it regularly, please keep them up to date! And let’s stay in touch with each other! If you have information to share with all members, submit it to the church office for the weekly Messiah Message Board!
May 2021 Virtual Activities!

Men’s VIRTUAL Brotherhood Breakfast
Men’s Brotherhood will hold a Virtual Breakfast gathering on Saturday, May 8th at 9:00 a.m. All Messiah men are invited to participate. Contact Rich Seggeling or Paul Holzer if you have questions.

Virtual Coffee Hour:
We will continue to have periodic virtual coffee hours after service. The dates and means of accessing will be communicated via the weekly emails and on Facebook. We are trying different access tools to see what works best. Be sure to watch for details and try to join in! It’s another great way to stay connected!

Messiah VIRTUAL Book Club
The next virtual book club will meet Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 7:00- 9:00 pm on FB Messenger Rooms. The next selection is The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Summary: In this poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure. Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater-vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden. But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places. Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a curiously charming debut and a joyous celebration of life's infinite possibilities. All are welcome to attend and if you have questions, please contact Paul Holzer.

Month of May Events
This past year has presented everyone with unprecedented challenges. The pandemic has brought mental health awareness in particular to the forefront.

May is: Mental Health Awareness Month
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. Please reach out to a loved one, friend, pastor, or co-worker to ask for help. You can visit www.nami.org for additional mental health resources

Ten Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health
Excerpt from the University of Michigan.

Try these tips to keep your balance, or re-balance yourself:
1. Value yourself: Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons. Do a daily crossword puzzle, plant a garden, take dance lessons, learn to play an instrument or become fluent in another language.

2. Take care of your body: Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health.
Be sure to:
•   Eat nutritious meals
•   Avoid smoking and vaping
•   Drink plenty of water
•   Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
•   Get enough sleep.

3. Surround yourself with good people: People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.

4. Give yourself:
Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. You'll feel good about doing something tangible to help someone in need — and it's a great way to meet new people.

5. Learn how to deal with stress: Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills: Try deep breathing, do Tai Chi, exercise, take a nature walk, play with your pet or try journal writing as a stress reducer. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body and reduce stress.

6. Quiet your mind: Try meditating, Mindfulness and/or prayer. Relaxation exercises and prayer can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calm and enhance the effects of therapy.

7. Set realistic goals: Decide what you want to achieve professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and don't over-schedule. You'll enjoy a tremendous sense of accomplishment and self-worth as you progress toward your goal.

8. Break up the monotony: Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road-trip, take a walk in a different park, hang some new pictures or try a new restaurant.

9. Avoid alcohol and other drugs: Keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs. Sometimes people use alcohol and other drugs to "self-medicate" but in reality, alcohol and other drugs only aggravate problems.

10. Get help when you need it: Seeking help is a sign of strength — not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness and addiction and lead full, rewarding lives.

*Adapted from the National Mental Health Association/National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Mother’s Day Sunday May 9th
An edited excerpt from https://www.almanac.com/content/when-is-mothers-day

In 2021, given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many of us are rethinking how to give extra recognition to the important women in our lives. Some of us are apart from the special women when we’d normally be together. And many of us are worried about our moms, aunts, sisters, cousins, some of whom are in the high-risk age range.

How Can We Celebrate Differently?

Most simply wish to connect with loved ones and spend time with family in any way possible—if not in person, then with a phone call or video chat!

If she is at home, give her a day off from any family chores, especially during this difficult time. Someone else can take full responsibility for making or serving the food, clearing and cleaning the dishes, and doing the laundry. Volunteer!

This probably covers the big stuff, but here are 10 creative ways to reach out to show her a little extra comfort, love, and recognition.
1. Offer yard and garden services.
2. Decorate your mom’s door or front porch!
3. Cook for her or set up a virtual brunch date.
4. Give your mom a long phone call or put on a virtual talent show!
5. Watch a movie or show together, side by side.
6. Get creative: Make a video, a music playlist, or a piece of art!
7. Get outside! Go for a stroll in the park or how about packing her a picnic?
8. Make a homemade gift!
9. Take a virtual tour of a museum or garden together!
10. Make your own card.

Together, let’s honor the women who raised us—making sacrifices for us every day and nurturing our families and greater communities.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
LSSI is replacing its Spring Luncheon with the following virtual events. Please consider registering for this event. The price is reasonable for a good line-up of activities and it is all for a good cause.

Spring Fling Medley: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Indulge in a few of "my favorite things" during LSSI's Spring Fling Medley on May 12–15, a series of live virtual events spread out over four days. Join the Kitchen Sisters Cooking School, co-founded by Master Chefs Jessica Dawson and Gale Gand, for our main event kick-off—a cook-along class on Wednesday evening. Learn from a master chef, take a mixology class, pour a cup of tea, hear about the royal family, and more! Tickets are $45 per person, which includes access to all events. Spring Fling Medley is presented by the Women's Network of LSSI, and proceeds benefit LSSI’s Foster Care Program. Visit LSSI.org/Fling to register and learn more.

A Gospel message from Sunday and Seasons for the Day of Pentecost
This Changes Everything
On Pentecost, (May 23, 2021) we celebrate the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and guide us, bringing understanding and unity. However, for those present for the events described in the reading from Acts, in which the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon them, celebration wasn’t exactly what those gathered were thinking about. Terror might be a more appropriate word. Shock, perhaps. Mystery. It felt like anything but a celebration; it was disruptive and frightening! After such an experience, your life is changed forever. Once you have lived through something so monumental, you are never the same.

And that is the point. That is why we celebrate. Because on this day, the church was born. On this day the apostles—students of an itinerant rabbi who had taught his followers for only a few years—were filled with the Holy Spirit, turned upside down and inside out, changed utterly. On this day, not only the apostles but also three thousand others (Acts 2:41) were filled with the Spirit that transforms us and enables us to see others as our siblings in Christ. Often, the aftermath of crisis makes strangers into friends.

Several thousand people who had been turned inward, thinking of themselves, their needs, and their concerns, were made a community, turned outward, thinking of their relationships, their neighbors, and the needs and concerns of others. “When the Spirit of truth comes,” Jesus had said, “he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit, blowing through a diverse group, signals a formation of community, a binding together to make a new way of living. And this is what God showed the apostles, the others gathered in that room, and the several thousand who were baptized: when the Holy Spirit blows into your life, nothing is ever the same. And that’s a cause for celebration.

Holy Trinity Sunday May 30, 2021
Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity. Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Music Ministry: All Things Come of Thee

Praise to thee, O Lord, for all creation,
Give us thankful hearts that we may see
All the gifts we share, and every blessing
All things come of thee.

In 1996, John Rutter, an English musician, composed a simple anthem with a text on the theme of the environment. His refrain, printed above, punctuated four verses of this hymn/anthem that he wrote to mark the 70th anniversary of the Council for the Protection of Rural England, a nonprofit organization. He entitled it “Look at the World.” It has become one of my favorite hymns that celebrates God’s creative handiwork.

To hear this delightful music, click on Look at the World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDa-Mab4SoU. In this video (which includes both musicians and lyrics), Rutter himself directs a number of choirs, both adults and children, as well as instrumentalists, who gathered for a choral festival in February 2008 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

Some of you will also be familiar with other hymns that celebrate creation, including “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (With One Voice 767) and “For the Beauty of the Earth” (ELW 879). Rutter has written new melodies to these two hymns that are just as tuneful as the ones we’ve sung for years. For “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” click on All Things Bright https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjbktnTuV30 . This recording was made during the same choral festival in Los Angeles in 2008 mentioned earlier. Both music and lyrics are included.

For Rutter’s version of “For the Beauty of the Earth,” click on For the Beauty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVQFEgT7E6c . Pictures of nature accompany Rutter’s hymn, along with the lyrics.

“In the beginning, God created…” So begins Israel’s story as recorded in the Book of Genesis.
And so begin our stories as well. Praise to thee, O Lord, for all creation, Give us thankful hearts that we may see, All the gifts we share, and every blessing, All things come of thee.

Bill Decker, Music Coordinator

From Pastor Knutson’s April Newsletter (for full text see blog):
Dear friends,
Warm greetings from Southern Africa!

In mid-April the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe held a workshop at the Niuba Youth Center in Bulawayo on Worship, Liturgy and Music in the context of COVID-19 for bishops, deans, pastors and program coordinators from the three dioceses……

On Sunday April 18 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa consecrated Bishop G.A. Seane as the fourth bishop of the ELCSA Central Discese……

Bishop Seane based his sermon on Luke 24:36-48. “As the risen Lord appeared to the disciples and said ‘Peace be with you’ Jesus also comes to us when we are afraid and gives us peace… COVID-19 has changed many things, including the way we worship. We have lost loved ones, jobs and income…But Jesus opens our minds to the Scriptures and calls us back to the core business of the church – to cross boundaries that divide and to proclaim repentence and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name to all nations…”

Thank you for your prayers, support and your participation in God’s mission locally and globally.

Yours faithfully,
Rev. Dr. Phillip Knutson
ELCA Regional Representative – Southern Africa
Johannesburg, April 20, 2021
My blog page address is https://southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com/

Assistance Ministry
The Assistance Ministry team continues to provide hot lunches “to go” to our guests. We also allow one guest at a time to look through our clothing, toiletries and food donations. The number of guests continues to fluctuate from 8-12 and in a month, we typically see about 20 individuals at least once.

Several of the guests who had regularly stopped for lunch have not been seen since our Covid restrictions. Please keep these individuals in your prayers as we have no idea if they are still in the area, if they are healthy, and if they have any needs we could be helping them address.

We just learned that the Scouts are again going to go door-to-door in the neighborhood and collect food for our Assistance Ministry and local food pantries tomorrow. (see report under Scouts) We are blessed to have such wonderful young persons spend part of their weekend helping others in this way. Thanks so much!

Once again, I’d like to invite you to assist with this ministry in any way that you are comfortable. You can pray for our ministry and guests, help us Monday mornings from 10:15 to 12:30, bake frozen foods that we will provide and bring hot Monday mornings to be placed in “to go” packages, or make a casserole, ham, sloppy Joe’s, sub sandwiches, salad, meatloaf, etc. and drop off at church or have us pick up.

With thanks,
Connie Kaufman

Quilts & Kits
While we still can’t meet on Sundays following worship services to assemble quilts and kits, we are still actively working on what we can to prepare for the time we can gather again. If you see any sales, on any of the items for kit or supplies for quilts let us know where the sale is! Also, we are happy to take donations of new or gently used flat sheets (any size) or material for our quilts.

If you want to check out the Quilts & Kits program at Lutheran World Relief, go to https://lwr.org. The new photo is a picture of the LWR Quilts & Kits Affinity Pin created to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this ministry.
Trudi Handzel & Carol Hrodey

Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center
The Child Care Center is looking ahead to summer and fall registration already! Since open houses aren’t currently possible, evening tours can be arranged for both sessions. Check out the details on the Child Care website: www.messiahchildcare.com Registration for the summer program is now open.

Book Fair: The CCC is hosting a book fair through May 2nd. All proceeds from the book fair will benefit the CCC library. You can chop through this link and have your books shipped directly to your home. https://www.scholastic.com/bf/messiahlutheranchildcarectr

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

Upcoming Manna order dates:
Orders Due Available for Pick-Up
May 3rd May 6th

Pennies for Lent
Every year the Child Care Center collects change to during the season of Lent to donate to the Maine Township Food Pantry. This year they CCC students and staff collected a total of $738.50! WAY TO GO CCC! Thank you for continuing to support our mission, With Christ, reaching out and welcoming all God’s children.

Scouts and Leaders from Pack 105, Troop 50, Pack 201, Troop 105G, Troop 105B, and Crew 1 came together on Saturday, April 24th to collect food in our area for Maine Township Food Pantry as well as our own Assistance Ministry.

The scouts collected 1876 pounds of food!! Thanks to the scouts, their leaders, Tim Saul and church volunteers (Diane Blanks, Julie Jensen and Patsy Smith).
What a blessing!

THIS MONTH IN WORSHIP The following are the scripture readings for May
May 2nd – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 8:26-40   Psalm 22:25-31 1 John 4:7-21 John 15:1-8

May 9th – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 10:44-48    Psalm 98 1 John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17

May 16th – Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26   Psalm 1 1 John 5:9-13 John 17:6-19
May 23rd – Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2:1-21 Psalm 104:24-34, 35b Romans 8:22-27 John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

May 30th – Holy Trinity
Isaiah 6:1-8 Psalm29 Romans 8:12-17 John 3:1-17

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.

Those who are ill, in recovery, or facing adversity:
The Dumerer Family The Hauser Family Mary Jane Kovach Trudi & Jim Handzel Richard Levy Daniel Kovach Carol Hrodey Joe & Nick Levy
Maria Raicia (mother of Laura Hauser)
Sonja Snell (family of Bill and Cindy Decker)
Katie Brandon and Carol Rudy (friends of Dotty Burger)
Domonic & Leah Mareuccilli Family, Anne Flick (Friends of the Lippert Family)
Teresa & José (aunt & uncle of Cookie Bonilla)
Pat & Ted Gradt, Amanda Jensen, John and Karen Heisler (friends and family of the Jensen Family)
Ron, Carol, Margot, Maggie, Steve W., Mary, Bruce, and Terry DeSchepper
(friends of David Swanson)
George, Pattie Aaron, Sandi Farley, J.T. & Becky (family & friends of the Handzel Family)
Ed & Toni (friends of Rich Seggeling)
Joshua Harady (friend of Tim Saul)
Brady Nelson (family friend of Alaine Wong)

Those who are homebound:
Arline Baranowski Barb Loverme Dorothy Nagel Eva Thoren Dorothy Pollack   

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:
Thomas Yager Phil Holzer Nick Levy Novena Christal
Haley Lippert Dina Salemi Arden Sasak Adam Hauser Christian Travis
Ryan Hauser Kevin Kovach Trygve Jensen Nikolas Ryczek Michael Yager

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
Floyd & Kristin Yager, 5/23/1998, 23 years





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