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The Messiah Messenger > The January 2022 Messenger #643
The January 2022 Messenger #643

Dec 31, 2021

The Messiah January 2022 Messenger
We sing at Christmas, “Joy to the world!” We mark the beginning of a new calendar year by wishing one another, “Happy New Year.”

Joy and happiness. The two are related but are not quite the same. Happiness usually has to do with external circumstances. The word “happy” suggests a sense of satisfaction or contentment at how things are going. “I’m happy in my job.” “I'm happy at school.” “I’m happy with my new refrigerator.” We are happy when doing things we like, such as watching a movie, or playing tennis, or eating at a favorite restaurant.

Joy is more unpredictable—it is something that comes upon us. Joy discloses something about the nature of the world. Joy has more to do with our inner life, not our outer circumstance. Joy gets us in touch with something deep in ourselves and something beyond ourselves.

Parents may struggle in raising a child but feel deep joy in the sheer existence of that child. A football team that loses the championship is not happy with the outcome, but the players may feel great joy at what they accomplished and the bonds they forged throughout the season. Two people grieving the death of a friend are not at all happy, but they can feel joy in sharing a treasured memory of that friend that captures what was special about her.

Joy is a gift that points us toward the One who is the source of every good gift. So, no wonder we talk about joy at Christmas. Jesus discloses the love that is at the heart of the universe. Jesus came so that in the midst of struggles and losses, we may know a deep joy. Jesus said that he came “so that that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

Wishing you a joyful new year,
Faithfully, Pastor David
Worship Service Update:
In light of the recent surge of the covid virus variants, we received an update from Metro Chicago Synod regarding in-person worship services. The update did not necessarily call for the cessation of in-person services, but instead gave guidelines for each congregation to consider when determining how to proceed. The primary consideration of course is the safety of each member of our congregation. At this time, the EC along with Pastor David has decided to suspend in person worship until it is deemed safe to gather as a group. The decision was reached out of an abundance of caution and consideration.

The Executive Committee and Pastor David will continue to monitor this evolving situation and provide updates as they change. Currently those updates may occur on a week-to-week basis so please watch email updates. As we've learned this past year and a half, it’s important that we remain flexible and adapt to these changes as they are presented. We are doing our part to protect one another, our families, our neighbors, and the wider community. Please contact the church office if you have any questions.

As a reminder, church services will continue to be available through two different online 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 platform, please reach out to the church office and we can help. Thanks to Paul Holzer for making sure we can participate virtually in worship!

Communication With Church & Each Other:
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. Phone and email messages are checked regularly. Please be sure to check your email often 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.

EC Corner:
The EC was unable to meet in December but continue to monitor all church worship services and activities, as well as the call process. We thank Larry Ryczek for helping to cover Treasurer duties while David Jensen recuperates following surgery.

We thank the EC and Pastor David for their leadership and continuing to guide our future steps.

Call Committee
The Call Committee has been formed and consists of; Larry Ryczek - Chair Person, Cynthia Norberg, and Connie Kaufman. It is still early in the process, so if anyone else would like to serve on this committee, it's not too late, please contact Larry Ryczek or Paul Holzer.

The committee has had two ZOOM meetings. The first was on November 18th with Pastor Robert Biekman, our liaison with the ELCA for the Call Process. They discussed our needs for a part time (or half time as they refer to it) Pastor and Pastor Biekman went over all the steps involved in the Call Process and reviewed proper procedures for scheduling interviews, conducting interviews, and acceptance or rejection of candidates. We were told by Pastor Biekman that our Ministry Profile has gone live on the ELCA website for prospective candidates to view as of Thursday November 18th. There has not been a response yet from any interested candidates, but again it's early in the process.

At the second meeting on Monday November 29, the Call Committee discussed the skills Messiah needs to look for in prospective candidates and preparation for interviews once they materialize. Interview questions are being compiled, as well as selling points and a list of Messiah's strengths for presentation to candidates.

Ways to Help Pay the Bills!
Remember to turn on AmazonSmile!
When setting the Amazon app with AmazonSmile, a percentage of your purchase automatically goes to Messiah without any extra steps! If you have the Amazon app on your phone, you can now set it up with AmazonSmile so that your purchases automatically generate donations to Messiah! First, be sure you’ve signed up on AmazonSmile and designate Messiah Lutheran Church Park Ridge as your designated charity. Then, open the Amazon app and find “Settings” in the main menu. Tap on AmazonSmile and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone!

Contributions to Messiah can be submitted through a variety of means as outlined in previous newsletters. Check out Messiah’s website on ways to contribute: https://www.messiahparkridge.org/contribute.html

https://southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com/ Check out Pastor Knutson’s web page for his activity in South Africa.

Music Ministry: Light
“Christ, Be Our Light” is one of my favorite hymns (ELW 715) which we often sing at Messiah. It is a hymn—mixing a great text with a memorable melody—that crosses the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Lent. All these seasons focus in one way or another on God’s Light.

Longing for light, we wait in darkness. Longing for truth, we turn to you. Make us your own, your holy people, light for the world to see. (v. 1)

Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today. (Refrain)

In my December 2021 article for The Messenger, I wrote about the role that light played in the hymns of Advent and Christmas. “To understand the story of Jesus, to sing it during Advent and Christmas, is to come face to face with light,” I wrote. “Not ‘ordinary’ physical ‘light,’ but a kind of light that streams from God into the deep recesses of our human hearts. O Come, O Come Emmanuel: disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadows put to flight! “

Light is something we often talk about. You’ve seen those cartoons where a “light bulb” appears above a person’s head because he or she finally understands something. We also talk about “seeing the light” when something finally makes sense. “Light” dispels ignorance, overcomes doubt, brings understanding—and culminates in truth.

But the light of Christ, according to Bernadette Farrell, the composer of “Christ, Be Our Light,” sees the light of truth not mainly as something one can “learn” from books and teachers, but as Someone to know. Longing for truth, we turn to you.

Farrell, an English woman, wrote this hymn in the 1990s. The remaining verses deal with peace, food, shelter, gifts, and servanthood, all vital human realities. However, to Farrell, these realities are addressed to the One who embodies and defines all these realities, and most importantly, radiates light on them.

Here is a great choral rendition by a folk choir at Notre Dame University. Check out this link: Christ Be Our Light Notre Dame folk choir. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g0c4YeABTs)

Bill Decker, Music Coordinator

Quilts & Kits
Activities to assemble kits and complete quilts are delayed due to the current covid surge. We’re hoping to get back to work soon! If you want to check out the Quilts & Kits program at Lutheran World Relief, go to https://lwr.org.
Trudi Handzel & Carol Hrodey
Assistance Ministry
Happy New Year! And, what a year this has been!

Our Assistance Ministry outreach continues to change as health guidelines change. We continue to find ways to connect with our guests, provide nutritious meals, support, conversation, clothing and canned goods. We are blessed to continue to receive support from our congregation, friends, businesses and Child Care Center teachers and families.

Because of the Omicron variant and how very contagious this is, we made the decision to suspend in-person meals and provide hot meals “to-go” only. We also are giving out needed clothing and food items as requested. We are being cautious both for the health of our guests and our volunteers. We will continue to monitor the Covid 19 guidelines and will go back to in-person meals when it seems comfortable to do so.

We typically serve 16 to 34 persons weekly. Our guests are thankful for this outreach and appreciate all that Messiah does for them. We invite you to join us on Monday mornings from 10:30 - 12:30.

Finally, in behalf of our guests and Assistance Ministry Team, thank you!
Your continued prayers, financial support and valued donations are greatly appreciated. What a blessing to be a part of a congregation who really cares!

With hope for a healthy New Year,
Connie Kaufman
(On behalf of the Assistance Ministry Team)

Christian Education
Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center
The Child Care Center plans to be back in session in January with continued covid protocols. Materials for 2022 summer and fall sessions will be available in January too!

January Manna dates:
Orders Due Available for Pick-Up
January 10 January 13th

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

Child Care Christmas Blessing
The Child Care Center wasn’t able to do their annual Christmas programs this year due to the pandemic. However, they blessed the congregation during the December 19th service with videos of classes singing their hearts out with wonderful Christmas music! Miss Karen recorded each class sharing their song, reciting poems and bringing Christmas joy. With the help of Paul Holzer, videos were added to the worship service. If you missed it, here is a Youtube link: Messiah Child Care Service December 19 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qafa2J6GMO8).

CCC families were also invited to attend service or watch it via live stream, but one student’s family wasn’t sure they would be able to see the service! A student in Miss Cindy’s (Cindy Decker) and her parents were not in the country on December 19th because they were in Italy visiting her grandparents. Fortunately, because the service is live-streamed and recorded, the family, along with the grandparents were able to watch the video from Italy. The student’s mom wrote to Miss Cindy saying how happy the whole family was to be able to see the service, as well as their daughter singing and swaying to the music. Now that’s reaching out!

Advent Collection for Assistance Ministry:
A big THANK YOU to all the congregation members and Child Care Center families who donated to our Advent collection! An abundance of self-care, food and warm clothing items were donated!

January 2022
Celebrating a Century!
On January 10th we join the family of Sue Trestrail in celebration of her 100th birthday!! Sue and her husband Harry, along with their children Karen (as in Miss Karen of CCC) Black, Joanne, Jim and Terri (as in Miss Terri of CCC) Hogan joined Messiah in 1962. Sue was very active in all aspects of Messiah’s life, including working as the parish secretary for many years. Today Sue has 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren! She lives in Sun City in Huntley and keeps up with Messiah through Karen. Birthday greetings for Sue can sent to Karen Black at Messiah CCC, 1605 Vernon Avenue, Park Ridge, IL 60068. We wish Sue God’s richest blessings as she celebrates this significant milestone!

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, January 8th 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, January 20, 2022 at 7:00- 9:00 pm in the Friendship Place unless otherwise notified!

Next Selection: The Tower, the Zoo, the Tortoise, by Julia Stuart.

Summary: Brimming with charm and whimsy, this national bestseller set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics Chocolat and Amélie. Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That's right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It's no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London. Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower's maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower's Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she's pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erotica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens. When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interesting. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise "runs" away. Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delightful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly original novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.

All are welcome to attend and if you have questions, please contact Paul Holzer.

Epiphany – January 6th
What Is Epiphany And Why Does It Matter? Written by Brenna McCormick

You decorated, traveled, ate, open gifts, and ate some more. You rang in the new year with a long list of resolutions and a plate full of collard greens and black-eyed peas. Now, what?

Epiphany: It’s time to take down all the decorations.
Many people have only heard of Twelfth Night or Epiphany as the deadline for taking down Christmas decorations, but it’s actually a significant part of Christian history.

What is the history behind this holiday?
The word epiphany means “manifestation” or “revelation.” When Christians talk about Epiphany, we are referring to the three wise men or the Magi’s revelation that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah that Israel had been waiting for (Matthew 2:1-12). On this day, we recognize the wise men’s journey to see, worship, and bring gifts to “the one...born king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2). The festival commemorating Epiphany is Jan. 6 and is also called Three Kings Day.

Why does the Epiphany matter?
Christ’s birth was a big deal for the wise men, and it is a big deal for us. At its essence, Epiphany celebrates Jesus’ outward and visible expression of love in leaving His rightful place in heaven to live as a human and become the sacrifice for our sins. The Magi, wise men who studied the stars and were considered sinners, represent Jesus’ ability to draw all types of people to Him. He is a Savior who came for all people, including each one of us.

Should I celebrate Epiphany? And if so, how?
Epiphany traditions vary from culture to culture. It can be helpful to remember and celebrate significant events in Jesus’ life, including the Epiphany. What is important to keep in mind when celebrating any holiday is the reason for and the heart behind the celebration. Rather than acknowledging traditions or rituals because they’ve always been done, celebrate the meaning of the holiday: Jesus came to earth to save us.

Baptism of our Lord – Celebrated January 9th
Forever and Ever A Gospel Message from Sundays and Seasons.
Many of us were baptized as infants, so our only “memories” of that day consist of photos and stories told to us by those who love us. Some of us have come from other traditions and were old enough when baptized that we can remember the event ourselves. And still others came to baptism as adults, making the decision to embrace the Christian faith after learning a bit about it.

Regardless of when we were baptized, we are to live each day in the joy and gratitude of the newly baptized. Martin Luther urges us to live into the promise of baptism in ordinary, mundane acts: “When you wash your face, remember your baptism.” We are encouraged to “walk wet,” to not let our Christian identity become something we take for granted.

In baptism we are claimed, forever promised inclusion and welcome. Never again must we feel lonely, isolated, or left out; God has called us each by name and claimed us as God’s own (Isaiah 43:1). To emphasize the eternal strength of this claim, God makes the same claim for God’s own Son: “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21-22).

You are mine forever, and I am proud of you—what more do we need to hear? Luther’s advice is timelessly good: each morning, when we remember what it means to be baptized, we face the day knowing that we are loved and wanted.

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.
The following are the scripture readings for January
January 2nd – Second Sunday of Christmas
Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:1-18

January 9th – Baptism of our Lord
Isaiah 43:1-7, Psalm 29, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

January 16th – Second Sunday in Epiphany
Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalm 36:5-10, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, John 2:1-11

January 23rd – Third Sunday in Epiphany
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, Luke 4:14-21

January 30th – Fourth Sunday in Epiphany
Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Luke 4:21-30

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 Carol Hrodey
The Bonilla Family
Maria Raicia (mother of Laura Hauser)
Sonja Snell (family of Bill and Cindy Decker)
Katie Brandon and Carol Rudy (friends of Dotti Burger)
Dominic & Leah Mareuccilli Family, Anne Flick (Friends of the Lippert Family)
Pat & Ted Gradt, Amanda Jensen, John, Karen Heisler, and Sy Rubenstein (friends and family of the Jensen Family)
Ron, Carol, Margot, Maggie, Steve W., Mary, Bruce, and Terry DeSchepper
(friends of David Swanson)
Ed, J.T., Sandi, Donna, Mark, Becky, and Carmelina (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)
George and Rosie (siblings of Cookie Bonilla)

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, Caitlin Levy

Those who celebrate:
Richard Seggeling 1/2, Paul Holzer 1/3, Nicholas Levy 1/4, Larry Ryczek 1/7, Tait Jensen 1/12, Ryan Bujalka 1/13, Kaelyn Yager 1/16, Raymond Ejnik 1/20, David Chervinko 1/22, Heba Penumaka 1/22, Chris Boomer 1/23, Karol Kamman 1/25, and Michael Bujalka 1/28

No anniversaries this month.




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