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The Messiah Messenger > The August 2021 Messenger #638
The August 2021 Messenger #638

Jul 30, 2021

The August 2021 Messenger


Gratitude is the Attitude

We are accustomed to hearing winning athletes express thanks to coaches, teammates, or family members for their support along the way. Something a bit different happened after Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters golf tournament this year. As Matsuyama was accepting congratulations, his caddy, Shota Hayafuji, surprised the fans by removing his hat and bowing to the golf course.

“My heart was full of gratitude, and it was the natural thing for me to bow and show respect to the Masters,” Hayafuji explained later. “I was saying ‘Thank you very much!’”

One imagines he was trying to find a way to express respect and gratitude for all the elements that made the Masters what it is—including the beautiful landscape, the greenskeepers, the organizers, the other golfers, the rich tradition of the tournament—and the privilege of being able to participate in it.

I’m guessing that Hayafuji is not a Christian (only 1 percent of Japanese are). Nevertheless, Christians can recognize and respect his gesture, because a life of gratitude is central to our own identity. And as Christians, we can rather precisely name the One to whom we give thanks: we are “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20-21), the ultimate source of wisdom and goodness.

Following Hayfuji’s example, I can imagine someone getting out of the hospital and pausing to bow to the hospital building as a way of expressing thanks and respect for the host of doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators, and donors who made the medical care possible. What other gestures like this can you imagine?

Studies have shown that people who live with a keen sense of gratitude tend to be more alert, generous, and resilient. That’s all a byproduct of living in the truth—that our life is a gift from God. And in Jesus Christ we have learned the identity of the giver.

There is simply no substitute for taking time every day to give thanks in whatever way we can, whether we feel like it or not. The more specifically we can name what we are grateful for, the deeper our words of thanks will shape our hearts and minds. Over time, we will become ever more grateful people, who live by grace.

Pastor David

In his sermon on July 25th, Pastor David mentioned that the next few weeks focus on Bread! So……

Why Is Jesus Called the 'Bread of Life'?

After Jesus feeds the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, He tells them "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). The bread of life is not physical bread, but the bread of spiritual renewal found in the salvation of the blood of Jesus Christ.
By Bethany Verrett - a freelance writer and editor. She maintains a faith and lifestyle blog graceandgrowing.com, where she muses about the Lord, life, culture, and ministry.
Full article found on: Why Is Jesus Called the Bread of Life? Meaning of John 6:35 (christianity.com)

Figurative and literary language exists in many places in the Bible. From the poetry in the Psalms to the parables of Jesus, imagery and metaphor are a part of how God speaks to the world in His Word. It communicates heavenly concepts that are difficult to put into words, or is a way for the Holy Spirit to speak to the soul, and provides concrete images to help individuals grasp abstract, metaphysical, ideas.
After feeding 5,000 men plus women and children, Jesus speaks to the crowd again, this time offering them a different kind of bread, one that would never rot, and would always keep them full. When the people ask for this bread, the Bible records, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’” (John 6:35).
The bread of life is not physical bread, but the bread of spiritual renewal found in the salvation of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Why Does Jesus Say He Is the Bread of Life?
One of the themes in the Book of John is who Jesus is, and not just what He did. The Apostle John opens his account with an explanation of Jesus’ deity. In chapter six, he focuses on one of Lord’s miracles, and its fallout. Because the Lord performed miracles of healing and taught the Scriptures with authority, there would sometimes be throngs following him.

In one of these instances, the Lord takes five loaves of bread and two fish and feeds thousands of people with it, with twelve baskets leftover. That night, He walks on water. The next day, those same thousands gather again to be fed. Jesus then offers them salvation – eternal nourishment – rather than just temporary sustenance.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal... For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:26-27, 40).

The Lord presents His miracle as an opening act. In this life, mankind must toil and labor for food that only temporarily nourishes the body, which will eventually die. He had the power and authority to multiply that food and could do so much more.

If they put their faith in Him, then they would have eternal life. He reminds them about the manna the Father gave their ancestors in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. He then states, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).

The response to this offer for eternal life through the bread of life was not positive. The Bible recounts the people complaining, and even some of His disciples leaving, unable to understand the metaphor, or unwilling to accept Jesus’ explanation of who He is.

What Is the "Bread of Life"?
Bread is one of the essential foods of many cultures all around the world; it is a staple in many diets, and for centuries it would have been one of the most accessible foods for people of all wealth and social status.

At that point in history, especially in Jesus’ culture, bread would have been understood as a nutritional necessity. It also has historical significance for the Jewish people, harkening back to God’s life-sustaining manna, which kept their people alive in the desert. Jesus chose bread as His metaphor intentionally.
Salvation and a relationship with the Lord is not like a sweet treat – not necessary but enjoyable. It is not like meat, which one can survive without but is important to a well-rounded diet in many circumstances.

Salvation is essential to human existence and necessary for eternity. When Jesus says He is the bread of life, He is saying He is essential.

Just as God the Father provided nourishment, He was providing a path to redemption for mankind, separated from Him by sin, through Jesus Christ. The Lord underscores that He is the way to this redemption by foreshadowing the crucifixion. Without the crucifixion and the resurrection, the sins of the world remain unpaid, and mankind remains under the law.

As Paul would go on to explain, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4).

In the context of the events of John 6, Jesus was telling the crowd to follow Him to the crucifixion and resurrection, to believe in the promised redemption.
the Lord Jesus warns His disciples, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6).

Why Is This Important?
Jesus identified Himself as the bread of life, the living water, and the way. He did not present Himself a source of salvation but as the only way to salvation. Without Him, without the bread of life, there is no hope for salvation. By identifying Himself as the source of forgiveness, Jesus makes the path to repentance and a relationship with God, plain, simple, and available for everyone.

There are no additional sacrifices or works, “because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). The bread of life will sustain the believer.

Walvoord, John and Roy Zuck. The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament. United States of America: Victor Books, 1983.
Wiersbe, Warren. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007.
Wilmington, H.L. Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1981.

MESSIAH UPDATES Indoor Services Have Begun!!
Plus, Online Church Services Continue:

As we continue to hold worship services indoors, masks are now optional at worship for those fully vaccinated (two weeks since receiving the second dose). Adults and children who are unvaccinated should wear a mask while inside the building. We honor anyone who continues to wear a mask as a sign of care for themselves and the community. We also respect individual choices for social distancing and physical manner of greeting each other. Not everyone is ready for a hug or a handshake! EC will continue to keep a close eye on the state and national developments and direction relative to Covid and inform us if there are continued changes.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Meanwhile, 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 4 years!

Save the Date!
Messiah will have a Congregation Meeting on Sunday, August 22nd following the worship service. We will discuss the status of call process, open positions on the EC and CCC board and highlight the building maintenance/repairs that have taken place over the past year. This is an important meeting as we work to return to gather together!! Please plan to attend!!

Messiah has a long history of service and we’ve continued this strong tradition through a myriad of trials – in part due to dedicated and talented leadership. We’re currently in need of additional leaders. Please prayerfully consider participating in leading our current ministries and shaping the future of Messiah through roles as: EC Vice President, CCC Board Member, and a Confirmation Teacher
For information on these positions please talk with Pastor David or a member of EC or contact the church office – these are all important and rewarding roles!!

At their July meeting, EC discussed the agenda for the August Congregation Meeting, open positions, call process, building maintence, and status of donations among other issues.

The Executive Committee, with Pastor David, have resumed meeting in person. We thank them for continuing to lead us through this difficult time and guide our future steps.

Ways to Donate
Messiah still needs your support! Giving is down, 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 is provided below.

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 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:
The church office will return to regular office hours as follows: Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.
In addition, phone messages, regular mail and email will 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 your email 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! If you have information to share with all members, submit it to the church office for the weekly Messiah Message Board! If you are not receiving email communication, please first check your spam or promotions folder in your email. Often email providers automatically move mass emails into those folders and if you are not checking, you may be deleting important information. If you are still not receiving email communication, please reach out to the office to be added to the email list. Or if you don’t have email, contact the office to be put on a call list.

See Pastor Knutson’s June Newsletter
at https://southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com/

We continue to pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Southern Africa as they experience a third wave of Covid-19 and seek global support and access to vaccines.

A Sunday of Favorite Hymns

In June’s Messenger, I looked at what constitutes our “favorite music” and then segued into the subject of the “favorite hymns” of faith.

On Sunday, September 12, we will have an opportunity as a congregation to sing some of those hymns that are the favorites of many. (The service will coincide with the observance of the ELCA’s “Day of Service” with activities that will follow the worship service.)

Please let me know what your “favorites” are. You can…

1. Send an email to my Messiah music account at messiahmusic1605@gmail.com.

2. Write the hymns on a piece of paper, stick it in an envelope with my name on it, and bring it the church office at Messiah. If the office is locked, place the envelope in the door’s letter holder.

3. Mail a letter to my home address at 619 Yale Court, Des Plaines, IL 60016.

Bill Decker, Music Coordinator

Assistance Ministry

Assistance Ministry is now providing a nutritious lunch for vaccinated guests Monday mornings and also give them a sack lunch to go. If a guest is not vaccinated, we give them their meal to go. Our guests have been happy to be able to once again eat indoors and to be able to socialize. They do seem to enjoy this sense of community.

We do so appreciate the continued generosity of our Messiah congregation and friends of Messiah and the Child Care Center. Our guests are amazed that everything provided has been donated and they frequently ask us to pass along their thanks.

We had 18 guests Monday, July 19th and several were new to our ministry!

Please keep this outreach in your prayers and feel free to join us at any time. We start getting ready to serve about 10:15 Monday mornings. If anyone has a garden and extra veggies to donate, our guests would love something fresh.

Please join us! ~ Connie

Quilts & Kits

We’re preparing to work on assembling LWR Personal Care Kits and Quilts during the Day of Service on September 12th. We’ll also work on prepping materials for School Kits too.

At this point we think we have enough materials for 100 Personal Care Kits – but if we need additional items, we’ll post it in Messiah Message Board.

We do need additional items for the School Kits. We’re getting close to the time for back-to-school sales – we’ve already spotted some! We know for sure we’ll need 70-page single subject spiral notebooks so watch for those to go on sale and pick up a bunch! Each kit needs 4 notebooks and many stores limit how many can be purchased at one time – so please pick up a bunch each time you shop!

School Kits:
• 70-page spiral notebooks (Wide ruled or College ruled acceptable – check out Meijers, Target, Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, etc.)
• Pencil sharpeners (Dollar Tree has good ones)
• Blunt end scissors (can usually find on sale for 50 cents)
• Rulers (has to include cm’s)
• Erasers (the pink rectangular style)
• Box of 24 crayons (can usually find on sale for 50 cents)
• Ballpoint pens (each kit contains 5 - no gel pens)
• #2 unsharpened pencils (each kit contains 5)

Meanwhile, if you see any other 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.

We have been notified by LWR that there will not be an Ingathering (aka truck at Messiah to collect area boxes of Quilts & Kits) again this year because of COVID-19 concerns, and less quilting/kit activity this year. We will still be able to deliver our boxes whenever we finish assembling and packing to a church in Elgin that serves as a year-round collection site. Once we see what we complete in September, we’ll schedule a time to assemble school kits and then a time for packing boxes. Watch for details!

If you want to check out the Quilts & Kits program at Lutheran World Relief, go to https://lwr.org.

Trudi Handzel & Carol Hrodey

Christian Education

Confirmation will be getting ready to restart soon and we are looking for teacher(s)! Please see Pastor David if interested in this rewarding position! The confirmands meet at 9:00 a.m. Sundays in the Confirmation Room, off the choir loft!

Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center
CCC is wrapping up the summer program as of August 6th! It’s been another great summer!

The center will be closed the week of August 11-13 for cleaning and preparation for the new school year to start the following week.

The open house will be Monday, August 16th with classes starting on Tuesday, August 17th. Registration is still being accepted for the fall!

Upcoming Manna order dates:

Orders Due Available for Pick-Up
August 2nd August 5th

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

As you recall, the July edition of the Messiah Messenger included an article written by Bill Decker describing a food collection project by children at the Child Care Center dressed in superhero costumes. The article found its way to the Daily Herald—you can read the on this website, 'Superhero' preschoolers collect donations for ministry (dailyherald.com).

After seeing the article in the Herald, a man affiliated with a group named the Alliance of Legends called Messiah to say his group would like to come to the school to thank the children for their good work. Members of the Alliance of Legends dress in superhero costumes to support local charitable organizations.    
Awesome job to our Superheroes in the CCC!!

August 2021 Activities!
Men’s Brotherhood Breakfast
Men’s Brotherhood has resumed meeting in person at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Des Plaines located at 1440 Rand Rd. The next breakfast gathering will take place on Saturday, August 14th at 9:00 a.m. All Messiah men are invited to participate. Contact Rich Seggeling or Paul Holzer if you have questions.
Messiah Book Club
The next book club meeting will be Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 7:00- 9:00 pm in the Friendship Place unless otherwise notified!

The next selection is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Summary: For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world -- until the unthinkable happens.
All are welcome to attend and if you have questions, please contact Paul Holzer.

September 2021 Happenings
ELCA Day of Service
“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday is Sunday, September 12, 2021.
This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

Service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

We’re in the process of planning our service activities. We’ll start the day with a brief worship service that includes our favorite hymns! And we’ll finish the morning with lunch – main course provided – please plan to bring a salad/side dish or dessert! Watch for details of the day coming up! Meanwhile,

THIS MONTH IN WORSHIP August 1st –10th Sunday of Pentecost
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15, Psalm 78:23-29, Ephesians 4:1-6, John 6:24-35

August 8th – 11th Sunday of Pentecost
1 Kings 19:4-8, Psalm 34:1-8, Ephesians 4:25-5:2, John 6:35, 41-51

August 15th – 12th Sunday of Pentecost
Isiah 61:7-1,    Psalm 34:1-9, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 1:46-55

August 22nd – 13th Sunday of Pentecost
Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18, Psalm 34:15-22, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69

August 29th – 14th Sunday of Pentecost
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, Psalm 15, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Bulletin Dedication
If you would like to dedicate a weekly bulletin in honor, memory, or in celebration of a loved one please sign up using the dedication chart across from the Assistance Ministry food pantry. If you recall, the EC decided to use silk flowers to decorate the altar from week to week, so we are no longer dedicating flowers.

Worship Teams for August
August 1   August 8   August 15   August 22   August 29
Assisting Minister   Cindy N   Paul H   Available   Vikki H
Reader   TBD   TBD   TBD   TBD
Projection & Video   Jim H & Paul H   Jim H & Paul H   Jim H & Paul H   Jim H & Paul H
Altar Guild   TBD   TBD   TBD   TBD
Counter   Jim H   Jim H   Jim H   Jim H

Worship Teams: Now that we have returned to worship in the sanctuary, we would like to get back to scheduling our worship assistants. It’s a great opportunity to “let your light shine” during worship. If interested in becoming part of the Worship Team or have questions, contact Pastor David or one of the following:

Assisting Ministers: Diane Blanks will be coordinating Assisting Ministers and sends this message: "Wanted Assistant Ministers, flexible schedule, Sundays only, no experience required, complete individual training by Diane Blanks at your convenience, 847-830-5515 or email her at diane.blanks@gmail.com".

Readers: Rich Levy will be coordinating Readers. To let Rich know that you’d like to be a Reader, send him a text messages at 773-673-1700 or email him at richlevy647@yahoo.com

Music Assistants: A big thank you to Bill Decker and the Music Assistants for their worship leadership during the pandemic! Bill will of course continue to coordinate the Music Assistants so if you’d be interested to get on the list, contact Bill at messiahmusic1605@gmail.com

Altar Guild: We also thank members of the Altar Guild who have continued to participate in worship when it was videoed in the sanctuary and outdoors with communion. If you’d like to join this team or are a current member, contact Sue Kopij at 847-698-3628.

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)
Pat & Ted Gradt, Amanda Jensen (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:
Arlene 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 Ryan Hauser Kevin Kovach Trygve Jensen Nikolas Ryczek Michael Yager

Those who celebrate:
Jackie Steigerwald 8/1, Sandra Deines 8/7, Kevin Kaufman 8/8, Cindy Norberg 8/8,
Barbara Shapiro 8/12, Ravi Penumaka 8/15, Henry Allemeier 8/16, Connie Travis 8/19,
Michael Deines 8/20, and Carlos Santos 8/21.

Anniversaries this month
Ed & Sue Kopij 8/25 (47 years), Andy & Connie Travis 8/28 (23 years)




1605 Vernon Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068
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