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The December Messenger Issue #462
The December Messenger Issue #462
Dec 1, 2006
From the Pastor
“SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT!”
As you read these words, I am certain images begin to
appear in your mind accompanied by an overall sense of joy
and peace. After all, the words that immediately follow in
this beloved Christmas Hymn are “All is calm, all is
bright…” Yes, believe it or not, Christmas fast approaches.
But I want to ask you not to rush it! Do not overlook
Advent, the church season comprised of the four Sundays
before Christmas, begins on December 3rd this year. As we
prepare for the coming of the Christ child, we witness a
general outburst of generosity and goodwill among all
people. This pervasive feeling is exhibited in shopping,
card writing, and all sorts of giving acts. So I ask you,
“Why should we rush Christmas?” Enjoy the spirit of the
season as we prepare for the celebration.
In the church, Advent is also a time of preparation as we
examine who we are in relation to God and how that
relationship changed with the coming of Jesus. But this
Advent season should not be limited to thankful
remembrances. For what began in Bethlehem is not finished.
We know that Christ will come again. With this
understanding, each and every day we live is a day lived
with the anticipation of the coming of Christ. Each and
every day is a day of preparation and expectation. Each day
should be filled with the joy and excitement of the four
weeks of Advent we will soon experience.
Several readings during Advent will invite us to hear the
imagination of the faithful, to wonder what it will be like
when Jesus comes again in glory. How will our world change?
How might we make ourselves ready?
On both sides of Christmas we should live with eager
anticipation of the coming day. For the love of God made
flesh on that holy night should continue to live in us and
through us as we live between the time of that first
Christmas night and Christ’s second coming.
May the joy of this Christmas time fill your hearts and
your homes long after the tree is taken down and Christmas
presents are forgotten. May the joy and peace of the living
God and the returning Christ continue to inspire you and
guide your lives.
NEWSLETTER EMAIL LIST
Starting with the January Messenger, Messiah will be
EMAILING our newsletter to all those who have email
addresses. There will be two versions of the newsletter in
the email…one is an all text version that can be read
directly from the email without taking any additional
steps. The second version will be an all color .pdf copy
of our newsletter that you access by clicking on a link in
We had GREAT response from the emailed version of the
November Messenger, and this process will go a long way
toward saving money on postage, paper, and ink. In
addition, those in the email group will get their
newsletter on the first of the month, which does not seem
to happen through the bulk mail department of the Park
Ridge Post Office.
If you don’t think the office has your email address and
you’d like to be part of the email group, or if you would
prefer to continue receiving a paper copy of the
newsletter, please let the office know by December 15th.
NEW MEMBERS WELCOMED
On Sunday, November 19th we welcomed several new members to
Messiah, and welcomed back our own Karen Black, who renewed
Karen Black transferred membership to St. Andrews many
years ago when her son Jeff was in school there, but has
been a fixture at Messiah for most of her life. We welcome
her back in a re-affirmation of faith that shows her
solidarity with the Messiah family.
Terry McIntyre is a close personal friend of Pastor Paul’s,
and has recently moved back to the Chicago area from
Philadelphia. Terry is a bit of a character who promises to
give Pastor Paul a hard time, or support, whatever the
situation calls for!
The Jelonek Family (Marv, Luanne, Courtney, Mary) come to
us from Franklin Park. They followed Pastor Paul here from
Resurrection, and found Messiah to be warm and welcoming.
We look forward to seeing them join in our ministry here.
Welcome, and welcome back! We give thanks to God for these
new members of the Messiah Family!!
KAREN THAMES VOCAL RECITAL
Saturday, December 2nd at 12 PM
Karen Thames will be performing a recital of classic “vocal
art” songs and spirituals. She studies voice with Karla
Clark, a voice teacher at Maine East High School. Karen
did a concert for us last summer, and her voice is truly
amazing. Accompanied again by our own Sue Fox, this
concert is free, and open to the public.
ROOM AT THE INN
December 2nd and 3rd from 10 AM to 3 PM
An exhibition of more than 200 nativity sets from around
the world will be on display for the public to enjoy at St.
Matthew Lutheran Home (1601 N. Western in Park Ridge)
Refreshments will also be served. For more info, call
847-825-5531. If you haven’t seen this exhibit before, it
is well worth it!!
At this time we will be collecting the Generosity Response
forms and placing them on the altar as an offering of
thanks. Please prayerfully consider your gifts to Messiah,
and be present on this Sunday as we dedicate ourselves to
the coming year in Christ.
For The Night Ministry, serving the homeless of Chicago, we
put hat and glove sets on our Giving Tree in the narthex.
We are looking for 75% adult, 25% kid’s items, and asking
that they be STURDY, WINTER ITEMS, rather than “magic
gloves” which are very thin. The Child Care Center and our
Cub Scout Troop are also collecting gloves for this
ministry…THANKS! Deadline for this charity is December
Also, we are doing LSSI’s Gifts for Kids again this year.
Gift tags are now available in the narthex. Pick a tag,
purchase a present, and bring it wrapped to church by
Sunday, December 3RD to be sent to LSSI in time for their
SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
Sunday, December 17th at 11:00 AM Service
Our Sunday School Kids will be working hard during the
month of December to put on a great Christmas program! We
hope everyone will be on hand at the 11 AM service to
support our children. There will be songs and some short
Naomi Circle The Naomi Circle will be packaging up cookies
for the shut ins on Monday, December 4th beginning at 9:30
AM. Any ladies who want to help are welcome to stop by.
Donated cookies can be brought on Sunday, December 3rd and
left in the kitchen downstairs.
Friendship Day PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE NO MEETING IN
DECEMBER...MERRY CHRISTMAS…SEE YOU IN JANUARY. Remember to
save and donate old sheets, blankets, drapes, and any
material to us to make quilts. They may be left in the
Tower Room metal box or the LWR box across from the office.
If you would like to work at home, contact me at the 8:30
A.M. service or Millie Anderson at the 11 A.M. service.
Several ladies have expressed a desire to learn to knit. If
you are interested, contact Carol Smith.
WELCA Board December 6th @ 9:00 AM
Child Care Board No December Meeting
Property Development December 6th @ 7:30 PM
Executive Committee TBD
COMING IN JANUARY…
ANNUAL REPORTS DUE JANUARY 7TH
This will most likely be on Sunday, December 17th, but that
is still to be confirmed. The youth and children of
Messiah (and their families) will meet at the church and
then walk down to St. Matthews for caroling and fun. Then
we will visit a few other homes close by, and return to
Messiah for cookies and cocoa. Anyone is welcome to join
This Month in Worship
WORSHIP SCHEDULE AND READINGS
Dec. 3 – First Sunday in Advent (8:30 and 11 AM)
Jeremiah 33:14–16; Psalm 25:1–10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9–13;
Dec. 10 – Second Sunday in Advent (8:30 and 11 AM)
Malachi 3:1–4; Luke 1:68–79; Philippians 1:3–11; Luke 3:1–6
Dec. 17 – Third Sunday in Advent (8:30 and 11 AM)
Zephaniah 3:14–20; Isaiah 12:2–6; Philippians 4:4–7; Luke
Dec. 24 – Fourth Sunday in Advent (10 AM service only)
Micah 5:2–5a; Luke 1:46b–55; Hebrews 10:5–10; Luke 1:39–55
Dec. 25 –Christmas Day (10 AM service only)
Isaiah 62:6–12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4–7; Luke 2:1–20
Dec. 31 – First Sunday in Christmas (10 AM service only)
1 Samuel 2:18–20, 26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12–17; Luke
HOLIDAY WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Dec. 24 @ 10 AM – Regular Sunday Worship Service
Dec. 24 @ 4 PM – Family Christmas Eve Service
Dec. 24 @ 10 PM – Traditional Candlelight Service
Dec. 25 @ 10 AM – Christmas Day Service
Dec. 31 @ 10 AM – Carols and Songs Service
ADULT FORUM SCHEDULE
Dec. 3 – Dell Leppke, Working Group on the Middle East
Dec. 10 – Messiah Members, Holiday Traditions
No Adult Forum for the rest of the year due to Holiday
See you in January!
FLOWERS AND BULLETINS
The sign-ups for flowers and bulletins are in the narthex
by the hall to the Educational Wing. Flowers are $30, and
the Bulletins are $10. Envelopes are provided next to the
sign-up calendar, or you may simply write “Flowers” or
“Bulletin” on your regular envelope in the Other box.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO PAY FOR YOUR FLOWERS OR BULLETINS!
Note to all those purchasing flowers: Your flowers are
yours to take home!
If you wish to donate them to one of our shut-ins, please
be sure to
let the Altar Guild know. Thanks!
Dec. 3 – Flowers and bulletins are given in memory of
Floyd T. Yager.
Dec. 10 – Flowers are given in memory of Anne and Tom
Armstrong by Skip and Lorraine Handzel.
Dec. 17 – Bulletins are given in honor of birthdays by the
Dec. 24 – Flowers are given in honor of Neena Kumar’s
Dec. 31 – Flowers and bulletins are given by Jim and Trudi
Handzel in memory of
Mr. and Mrs. Bannister.
To our Messiah Family:
Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a happy ,
healthy New Year!
The Hauser Family
Wishing everyone God’s richest blessings at Christmas and
in the New Year!
Joy to the World! The Lord is Come! We pray you and your
family have a joy-filled Christmas and a very blessed 2007.
John, Sue, Peter, and Andrew Fox
Blessed Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year
Merry Christmas to our Wonderful church family. We are
truly blessed to worship and work together.
The Berzins Family
Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Don and Mary Jane Kovach
Love and Peace to all my friends at Messiah this Christmas
Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas and peace, love, and
joy during the holiday season.
To our friends at Messiah:
We’d like to thank all of you for your prayers, cards, and
kind words of sympathy with the recent passing of our
husband, father, and grandfather, Olav Johnsen. Everyone
has been very supportive and helpful in easing our grief.
Also a special thank you to Pastor Stolz, who gave us so
much advice and support during those first few difficult
days. We are so thankful to be a part of such a caring
Joyce Johnsen, Les, Nancy, Mike, Jon, and Jennifer Herak
Poinsettias for Sale!
Orders due by December 17th.
Watch for order forms in the Sunday bulletins, or call the
office to place an order.
Recently I have had the opportunity to be in touch with
several former "Luther Leaguers" because of the send-off
for Clare Rodin, and wanted to share a note I received from
one of them.
"I should tell you .... how much Messiah has meant to me
over the years. Wherever I have been a member of the
church I always found myself measuring that church with
Messiah. Most of them have fallen short of the mark. I
know that Messiah was and is not perfect but the
experiences I had there in my high school years set a
standard and expectations for every church that followed.
Every week my thoughts return to Messiah if only briefly.
The support and love shown by Messiah to the youth and
particularly myself has been unmatched. I have tried to
apply those same standards to the congregations where I
have been pastor. God bless." Reverend Paul Fiske
What a legacy for Messiah to have and continue for years to
May we continue to "With Christ, Welcome All of God's
We appreciate all your prayers and the love and support you
have continued to share with us since Betty’s passing at
the end of August. We are sure that her spirit lives on in
all of us and celebrate her life by trying to live a life
full of faith and love and happiness the way she did. We
are grateful for Betty and the wonderful memories we have
shared throughout the years and the way she touched our
lives. We are also grateful for all of you who touched her
life and ours in so many special ways.
To each of you, we send kind thoughts and best wishes for
yourselves and your families during the Christmas season
and the upcoming year.
The Hrodey Family
Yes, it is that time of year again! Annual Reports are due
into the office by
January 7th –
no ifs, ands, or buts!
Cemetary Lots for Sale
Messiah has several lots for sale at Mt. Olive Cemetary.
Contact Pastor Paul for more information.
WELCA Thank Offering
We are pleased to report that the Thank Offering on
November 12 raised $663 for the ministry of the WELCA!
Thanks to all who contributed.
CONVERSATION WITH A
An e-mail from ELCA Bishop Hanson encourages congregations
to focus on the formation of “faithful characters” in our
churches. I am pleased to tell you about one of many
faithful people making up Messiah Lutheran. It has been a
privilege to become further acquainted with our friend and
fellow member, Bob Bisgard.
Born in the City of Chicago, Bob’s mother and father were
immigrants from Norway. The young family moved often in
search of affordable housing. When he was 10 years old, Bob
was invited by a boyhood friend to Sunday School at a
Methodist Church. That class was the beginning of a long
friendship with his “buddy” Ron Baker. To this day the two
men call each other on their birthdays. The Methodist
congregation “held on” to the two youngsters; first through
a Confirmation class, and then through a high school
After high school, Bob and Ron joined the U.S. Army. It was
during the Korean War. The two were sent together to serve
in Alaska. While on guard duty, the 20-year-old Robert had
a vivid reminder of God’s protective power. Driving his
jeep over rugged Alaskan terrain, he hit a bump and lost
control of the vehicle. Had it gone over the edge of the
road, both driver and jeep would have fallen to depths
below. It was not to be. The jeep came to rest in a snow
bank that had been piled by the plow.
As the young soldier reflected on his close call, it seemed
clear to him that God is “a very present help in trouble.”
Looking back on this near tragic event, Bob sees it as a
turning point in his life
Following Army Duty Bob returned to Chicago. On Sept. 1,
1958, he and Justine were married. They are the parents of
two adult children - Chris is a teaching mechanic for Delta
Airlines in Atlanta GA, and Leslie, their daughter, runs a
furniture consignment store in St. Louis, MO. Bob and
Justine are looking ahead to Sept 1, 2008 and the
celebration of their 50th wedding Anniversary.
Bob came to Messiah from Christ Lutheran Church in Chicago.
He was attracted to our congregation by the diversity of
people that make up this community of faith.
Bob presently serves with Messiah’s committee exploring
possibilities for future remodeling of our building and day
school. He is also active as an usher, and a counter, and
can be relied-upon to help out when needed. It is
encouraging to know that future plans for the mission of
Messiah are being made with this “faithful character” who
years ago experienced the strong presence of God on a
winter night on guard duty in Alaska.
His discipleship in the wider community finds Bob
volunteering with Center of Concern, a Park Ridge social
service agency, dealing with housing and other human
I invite you to take an opportunity to listen to the
stories of Bob Bisgard and other “faithful characters” who
make our congregation great and good.
~ Written by Mark Wiberg
FROM: REV. PHIL KNUTSON
NOVEMBER 16, 2006
Dear Friends in Christ,
Recently, 17 members of the ELCA's Southwestern Minnesota
Synod met near Durban, South Africa for a workshop on HIV &
AIDS with members of their companion diocese - the South
Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Southern Africa. After spending a weekend with host
families in different rural and urban parishes the SW
Minnesota delegation met with Bishop Louis Sibiya and
representatives from 10 circuits in the diocese. As
companions in mission they have decided to make HIV & AIDS
a focal point for mutual learning and joint prayer and
We heard presentations and moving stories about what
churches, organizations and individuals are doing
concerning prevention, care and treatment for those
infected and affected by HIV & AIDS. These include home
visits, soup kitchens, nutrition gardens, care and support
groups, hospice care, care for orphans, youth peer
education and self-help projects. At the same, time it was
clear to everyone that much more needs to be done to
overcome denial, stigma, discrimination, indifference,
gender violence, alcohol abuse and poverty. There needs to
be strong advocacy for the availability of free quality
Anti-retroviral medicines, a basic income grant and equal
access to good health care for all. The diocese has
committed itself to developing a clear HIV & AIDS policy
and strategy to coordinate and promote the church's
We agreed that as ELCA companions in mission we need to
challenge our church, society and government to do more in
the fight against HIV & AIDS and poverty in the world. One
way is to support the ONE Campaign is to direct an
additional one percent of the U.S. budget toward providing
the most basic needs to poor countries.
It was inspiring to be together - to share in meals,
prayer, singing, dancing and discussions but also hard and
painful to hear about the needs and acknowledge that often
we are part of the problem.
During Advent, we cannot miss the prophetic words of John
the Baptist calling for restorative justice in response to
the question, "What are we to do, then?" (Luke 3:10-14)
Advent and Christmas are all about God's Mission. God's
Mission is to be Emmanuel, God with us, as a God of
unconditional love in the world for the sake of the world.
The vision statement of the ELCA boldly declares what this
means for us:
Claimed by God's grace for the sake of the world, we are a
new creation through God's living Word by the power of the
Gathered by God's grace for the sake of the world we will
live among God's faithful people, hear God's Word and share
Sent by God's grace for the sake of the world, we will
proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and
deed, serve all people following the example of our Lord
Jesus, strive for justice and peace in all the world.
Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel, with peace and justice, to us
Thank you for your participation in God's Mission locally
and globally. Thank you for your prayers and actions in
support of ELCA Global Mission and for our family through
the Missionary Sponsorship Program.
ELCA Global Mission
Regional Program Assistant - Southern Africa
Melissa Holzer, 12/1
Rosemary Thurow, 12/1
Pat Demonte, 12/4
Mildred Anderson, 12/5
Louise Johnson, 12/5
David Lindberg, 12/5
Dorothy Pollack, 12/6
Lisa Francis, 12/7
Jennifer Hanson, 12/10
Kris Wageman, 12/10
Laura Olson, 12/12
Aidan Loverme, 12/14
Bobby Hanson, 12/19
Marlyn Wenn, 12/22
Neena Kumar, 12/23
John Wiberg, 12/23
Stephanie Helms, 12/24
Eugene Plaza, 12/24
Carol Smith, 12/25
Jean Johnson, 12/28
Marcella Larson, 12/28
Paul Stolz Jr., 12/28
Joseph Burval, 12/31
Laura Hauser, 12/31
There are no wedding anniversaries in December.
Messiah Leadership Team for 2006
President: Dave Kaufman (847) 788-0442
Vice President: Carol Hrodey (262) 652-3187
Treasurer: Brad Kovach (847) 297-4883
Secretary: Trudi Handzel (847)359-7830
Financial Sec.: David Hanson (847) 296-6796
Stewardship: Les Herak
Evangelism: David Swanson
Child Care Center: Donna Berzins
Visioning Task Force: Floyd Yager
For the Memorial, Honorarium, and Thanks to God Fund
This report is as of November 14, 2006.
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT MARK DONATIONS AS “BUILDING FUND.”
PLEASE DESIGNATE EITHER “CAPITAL FUND” OR “PROPERTY
RESERVE.” IT IS VERY CONFUSING TO YOUR CHAIR AND THE
COUNTERS. THANK YOU.
IN HONOR OF THE 27TH WEDDING ANNIVERSAR OF JOHN AND SUE FOX
Given by: Irene Sevcik
IN MEMORY OF OLAV JOHNSEN
Given by: Clare Doud
BEQUEST OF FRANK LUCK
Given by: Clare Doud
IN MEMORY GORDON LIND
Given by: George Hrodey
IN MEMORY OF BETTY HRODEY
Given by: Eva Thoren, Louise Johnson
The family has requested the memorials be given to the
If there are any omissions in my report, I mean if you have
donated to this fund and it was not acknowledged by me and
not listed in my report, please let me know. This does
happen now and then, and I certainly want to check it out.
If it did not come to me, I will certainly do everything I
can to find where it is. However PLEASE ALLOW SEVERAL
MONTHS; SOMETIMES IT COMES IN AFTER THE CUT OFF DATE. Also,
to make things easier for your chair, donations not
designated, unless requests are made by the family, will be
put into Property Reserve, a much needed fund.
I would like to thank those who put their address on the
Memorial Card. It saves me the time it takes to look it up.
Also, if the family address is not available in our church
book, please include it along with the relationship. F.
Y.I. Amount of the donation is acknowledged only to the
donor. If requested, I give a total amount to the Family.
And remember, it helps if you put your envelope number on
Millie Anderson, Chairperson
(847)692-2385, E-Mail: MillieAnderson@CompuServe.com
Please include the following individuals and families in
your prayers this month:
Joe & Evelyn Burval
Pastor Sally Terrell
Linda (Rodin) Ufkes
We also want to remember in our prayers our military
Kevin Hrodey, Jason Koesler, Tim David, Lars Johnsen, and
Patrick and Claudine Ward.
Please let the office know if you are moving! Thanks!
New Phone Directories are available in our narthex. We
have decided that we will only MAIL directories to those
people who call and request them. If you are unable to
come to church and pick up a directory, please call
847-823-6984 and ask Jennifer to send you one.
MESSIAH LUTHERAN CHURCH
1605 Vernon Avenue
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
Rev. Paul Stolz, Pastor
Jennifer Schneider, Secretary
Karen Black, Child Care Center Director
Vic Berzins, Director of Property Maintenance
John Handzel, Property Maintenance
Worknesh Deressa, Custodian
Tom Daniels, Director of Music
Sue Fox, Organist
Phone: (847) 823-6984
Fax: (847) 823-6996
Child Care Center Phone: (847) 825-3767
Child Care Email: email@example.com