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The Messiah Messenger > The December Messenger Issue #498
The December Messenger Issue #498

Nov 25, 2009

The Messiah

Christmas Services
Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 10:15am
Sunday School Program

Sunday, Dec. 20 @ 4:00pm
Blue Christmas Service

Thursday, Dec. 24 @ 4:00pm
Family Christmas Eve

Thursday, Dec. 24 @ 10pm
Candle Light Christmas Eve

Friday, Dec. 25 @ 10:15am
Christmas Day Service

Sunday, Dec. 27 @ 10:15am
Lay Service and Hymn Sing


Dear Messiah Family,
As you read this newsletter, the Advent season has begun and Christmas is fast approaching. This is my favorite time of the year, when we begin to prepare for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Not only do the days grow shorter, but many find the days packed full with activities and to-do lists. The Christmas holiday approaches and brings a sense of urgency in the planning ahead for all those things that “need” to be completed.
In all of the hustle of preparation, sometimes the true reason for celebration is lost and forgotten. Perhaps you've wondered, Where will you find time for God? How will God be added to the to-do list? The advertisements are overwhelming this month of long dark nights and yet there is hope in the anticipation of the festive season ahead. Decorations, shopping, meals, gifts, holiday parties, greeting cards, children's activities…and where does God fit into this?
Six weeks before Jesus' birth, Mary must have been as preoccupied with thoughts of Christmas as the retailers who constantly remind us of Christmas shopping countdowns. Joseph was lovingly watching her health and activity, trying to limit life's demands on her. Mary grew more and more introspective, as expectant mothers tend to do, identifying with the baby-in-waiting and full of hope for this child….for all creation. In Mary's case, she was expecting a gift that she would share with the world.    
Perhaps you have only 5 minutes a day of peace… consider having a cup of coffee or tea while you converse (pray) with God. Share your thoughts and joys and concerns with Jesus. Invite the Holy Spirit to be present to refresh your heart and renew your hope. And, like Mary, find ways to share your gifts with the world….consider gift donations to Maine Township Food Pantry, The Night Ministry, ELCA Good Gifts, or Lutheran World Relief. When you share your gifts with others, you share the love of Christ with others.
Share with the Messiah community as we worship the God who loves us so much that he gave us the most awesome gift of all…his only son! Join us for a new service of light on the longest night of the year, December 20th. Celebrate the warmth and light that God offers us in Jesus and our community. This season, hear the Advent story as if it were the first time. I pray that the love of the Christ child Jesus will fill your hearts with joy and peace and hope.
Your Sister In Christ,


On November 1st as part of our celebration of baptism on All Saints Sunday, we welcomed some new members to Messiah! Some have been around for a long time, and others are new to our family. Please find a chance to welcome:
Sandi Collie – Sandi has already “plugged in” with our wonderful quilting ladies. She has been attending for over a year, and we are glad she had decided to make Messiah her new church home.
Susan Rice – Susan has a history at Messiah. Her mother, Charity Grove, was a former member and Sunday School teacher. Susan has been attending regularly since 2007, and has already lent her talents to us by reading scriptures on Sunday mornings. Welcome back, Susan!
Steve Yager – Floyd Yager’s mom, and grandma to Michael, Thomas, and Kaelyn, Steve (Stephanie) has been around for a while. Recently she has pitched in for the office, covering for secretary vacation, and volunteering with the new photo directory. Thanks for your help, Steve, and welcome (officially) to Messiah!   INFANT BAPTISM:
On Sunday, November 15th, we welcomed baby Jaelyn into God’s family. Mother Joy (Nilsen) Benjamin grew up at Messiah, and we were thrilled to welcome her back for this happy occasion.

Did you know . . . . .
About the benefits of today's energy efficient lighting?
1. Lowered electric bills
2. Reduced energy use
3. Less carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions
4. Longer lasting bulbs (lamps) needing fewer replacements
Did you know that it's been installed here at Messiah Lutheran Church and Child Care Center?
We can all help the environment in our homes and save money at the same time!
~ Pat Daniels

(PLEASE always check with church office before you schedule an event – there is a room assignment calendar maintained by the Office Administrator.)

Saturday and Sunday
December 5 & 6 from 10 – 4 PM
St. Matthew’s Center for Health
1601 Western Ave in Park Ridge

If you haven’t seen this yet, you MUST go see it! Or if you have gone before, go again, there are always new sets! For the eighth year, Oak Park resident Susan Greeley will be displaying her growing collection of over 325 nativity scenes from around the world. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public!

Sunday, December 6th following the
Worship Service

This will be a short meeting following the worship service to vote on the proposed plan for our building improvement. All voting members are encouraged to attend!   SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
Sunday, December 13th at 10:15 AM Service

Please join us for a special Christmas program during Advent on Sunday, December 13 at the 10:15am worship service. The children are hard at work preparing a special program of song and scripture to share the meaning of Christmas from their perspective. We have an active and lively group of 18 Sunday School students, so please plan on attending this wonderful event to share this exciting time of year with our youngest members!

Friendship Day   
There will be no Friendship Day meeting in December. We will meet again on January 28 2010 (can you believe it?)same time same place. We wish you all a blessed Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season. We will set a date for the knitting lessons in January. Any questions call Millie at 847-692-2385 or Email millieanderson@att.net
God Bless – Eva Thoren & Millie Anderson
~ Millie Anderson

Sunday December 20 at 4:00 p.m.
For many people, the approaching Christmas holiday does not bring with it the joy and happiness advertised on television or in greeting cards. Psychologists have long known that the contrived good cheer of the holiday season can actually make some people who are dealing with heartbreak feel worse.
Holidays in our culture are often about families, and families are not always happy institutions. The "Blue Christmas" concept serves an important function for those who have lost loved ones. The biggest relief for people who are grieving comes when it is named. The Blue Christmas service confronts feelings of grief and loss head-on. Cultures across the world have festivals of light this time of year. It is really dark, and it is really a hard time for many people. This church service acknowledges just how dark the dark is. This year, the solstice falls at 11:47am on Monday December 21, making Sunday, December 20th the “longest night.”
Blue Christmas services include an emphasis on candles, with people in the congregation invited to come forward and light a candle in memory of someone or to mark an event in their lives.
Candles are also sometimes lit as prayers or Scripture readings are recited. These services have a more quiet, somber feel than a traditional Christmas worship service. Scripture, music and reflections or sermons focus on the comfort God offers during dark times, the "winter of our souls."
The festivities of the season seem to magnify the grief or pain people are experiencing. The commercials tout "Joyous Noel" and carolers sing "Tidings of comfort and joy"… but many among us have hearts that are breaking.
We invite you to a Blue Christmas service of remembrance and reflection in the Sanctuary on the 20th. All are welcome to participate in this service. Feel free to invite friends and neighbors who might benefit from this type of service.

Executive Committee Meeting
None in December. Will meet in early January.   


Annual Reports Due
Annual Meeting

Sunday   Worship Focus   Sunday School   Confirmation   Adult Forum
Dec. 6   2nd Sunday in Advent
1st Lesson: Malachi 3:1–4
Psalm: Luke 1:68–79
2nd Lesson: Philippians 1:3–11
Gospel: Luke 3:1–6   Christmas Program Preparation
   My Faith #6
Topic: Forgiveness   Wholly Healthy
Wellbeing Topic #4
Dec. 13   3rd Sunday in Advent
1st Lesson: Zephaniah 3:14–20
Psalm: Isaiah 12:2–6
2nd Lesson: Philippians 4:4–7
Gospel: Luke 3:7–18   Meet at 9:45 to get in costume for Program
   My Faith #7
Topic: What do I believe?   Wholly Healthy
Wellbeing Topic #5
Dec. 20   4th Sunday in Advent
1st Lesson: Micah 5:2–5a
Psalm: Luke 1:46b–55
2nd Lesson: Hebrews 10:5–10
Gospel: Luke 1:39–45 [46–55]   Christmas Craft in the Parsonage
   My Faith #8
Topic: What do I have to offer?   Wholly Healthy
Wellbeing Topic #6
Dec. 27   1st Sunday After Christmas
1st Lesson: 1 Sam. 2:18–20, 26
Psalm: Psalm 148
2nd Lesson: Colossians 3:12–17
Gospel: Luke 2:41–52   No Sunday School   No class, BUT Faith Statements are due!   No Adult Forum

Sunday, Dec. 13
@ 10:15am   
Sunday School Program
Our Sunday School Class will present their program during the “sermon” time. Holy Communion will still be served.

Sunday, Dec. 20 @ 4:00pm
Blue Christmas Service
Special service on the 'longest night' of the year for those seeking a more contemplative service of reflection during the holidays.

Thursday, Dec. 24 @ 4:00pm   
Family Christmas Eve
Our extremely popular Family Service, with kid-friendly worship and a convenient start time.

Thursday, Dec. 24 @ 10pm   
Candle Light Christmas Eve

Traditional late-night Christmas Eve service.
Friday, Dec. 25 @ 10:15am   
Christmas Day Service

Worship on Christ’s birthday, Holy Communion is served.
Sunday, Dec.27 @ 10:15am   
Lay Service and Hymn Sing
Congregation picks hymns to sing, lay leaders of the congregation lead the worship service.

   Dec. 6   Dec. 13   Dec. 20   Dec. 24   Dec. 25   Dec. 27
   10:15am   10:15am   10:15am   4:00pm   4:00pm   10:00pm   10:15am   10:15am
Acolytes   Tommy H   Phil H   Jenni H   Peter F   Thomas Y   Melissa H   Thomas Y   Kevin K
Communion Assistants   Kim H   Julie H   Vikki H   *   Floyd Y   Julie H   Floyd Y   Pat K
Readers   Anne W   Neil H   Tait J   *   Vikki H   John F   Diane B   Rich L
Worship Assistants   David S   Pat K   Karen B   *   Vikki H   John F   Diane B   John F
Projection   Jim H   Jim H   Jim H   X   Jim H   Jim H   Jim H   Jim H
Ushers   Bob B,
Dave K,
Connie K   Bob B,
Dave K,
Connie K   Bob B,
Dave K,
Connie K   *      Dave K, Connie K   *   Bob B,
Dave K,
Connie K
Greeter   Holzer Family   Holzer Family   Holzer Family   *   *   Bill B, Kirsten B   *   Holzer Family
Bread/Wine Providers /Presenters   Char L /
*   *   *   *   *   *   Penumaka Family   *
Counters   Dave H,
Bob B   Dave H,
Bob B   Dave H,
Bob B   X   X   X   X   Dave H,
Bob B
Bread and Wine Providers/Presenters are needed in DECEMBER!

Assistants are needed for Blue Christmas Service on Dec. 20th, too!

Sunday   Flowers are given …    Bulletins are given …
Dec. 6   In memory of Floyd T. Yager.    In memory of Floyd T. Yager.
Dec. 13   In memory of Frank Luck.    By Andrew and Clay Krawitz.
Dec. 20   By Russ and Linda Raymond in memory of mother Dorothy Raymond.   By Bud and Marilyn Duckett.
Dec. 24 & 25   Poinsettias are placed on the altar for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Dec. 27   By the Handzels in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Baumister.   None

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.
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.


Collecting from Nov. 29 -Dec.13
Once again we will be collecting goods to help out those less fortunate than ourselves. For The Night Ministry, serving the homeless of Chicagoland, we put hats, gloves, and scarves on our Giving Tree in the narthex. We are looking for mostly adult items, and asking that they be STURDY, WINTER ITEMS, rather than “magic gloves” which are very thin. The Child Care Center is also collecting gloves for this ministry…THANKS! Deadline for donations is December 13th – the Night Bus will be delivering the items to people in need on December 18-19, so they need to pack everything up and ship it before that.
Also, we are doing LSSI’s Gifts for Kids again this year. Gift tags will be available in the narthex. Pick a tag, purchase a present, and bring it wrapped to church by Sunday, December 13th to be sent to LSSI in time for their Christmas Party. Gift cards are also welcome… remember, you can use our Manna program, deadline November 29th, delivery of cards on Dec. 4th!
Moni Ryczek has agreed again this year to coordinate the gift tags, so contact her if you have any questions at 847-692-6972.

The MTFP is in crisis. The shelves are empty, and they are counting on support from the community to help get people through this difficult time of year. Donations can be brought to Messiah – the Food Pantry van comes every couple weeks to pick up our stockpile of food – or you can take it to them directly at their location on Ballard Road.
Macaroni & Cheese
Cereal, Crackers
Juice, Juice Boxes, Kool Aid
Canned Tuna, Chicken, or Salmon
Plain Rice, Rice-A-Roni
Canned Fruit, Apple Sauce
Instant Potatoes, Canned White Potatoes
Peanut Butter, Jelly (18 oz. maximum size)
Bisquick, Pancake Mix, Syrup
Prepared Meals - Canned Pasta Meals
Desserts - Cake, Cookie, & Brownie Mixes, Jell-O, Pudding, Cookies, Frosting
Condiments -
Ketchup, Mayonaise, Mustard, Pickles
Beverages - Coffee, Tea, Hot Cocoa
Cooking Supplies -
Flour, Sugar, Oil, Salt, Pepper
Cleaning Products -
Laundry Soap, Dish Soap
Paper Products -
Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Kleenex
Storage Products - Tin Foil, Plastic Wrap
Personal Hygiene Products - Shampoo, Toothpaste, Bath Soap

Holiday Manna Orders
Remember to think of ordering gift cards thru the church Manna program for all of your holiday gift giving and entertaining! The last order date of the year is Sunday, December 13, still in plenty of time for the holidays. Order sheets are available in the narthex, or you can go online thru www.messiahparkridge.org. New cards are available this year, including VISA gift cards! Contact Kristin Yager
(847-692-6260) or Laura Hauser
(847-292-8225) if you have any questions.

Notice Anything Missing?
If you said the holes in the parking lot, you are correct! Thanks to Russ Raymond and Tim Blanks for their hard work in getting this project done. We thank you, our tires thank you!!
And we've added something too! Thanks to Larry Ryczek for getting the chimney on the education wing repaired - it was crumbling with missing bricks - and now all are present and accounted for!

Altar Guild Request
We are still looking for people to donate bread for communion for Sundays and services in December. Please sign up on the newly posted bulletin board in the narthex (next to Flowers and Bulletins). Also, it would be appreciated when you donate bread if it could be cut into cubes beforehand, and be in the sacristy by 9:45 to give the Guild time to prepare communion. Thanks!

Poinsettias for Sale! $12 each
Orders due by December 14th. Watch for order forms in the Sunday bulletins, or call the office to place an order.

Annual reports are due into the church office by JANURY 3rd – no ifs, ands, or buts!!! Emailing your report is HIGHLY PREFERABLE to any other method, but I will take what I can get! ?

This year’s Festival is done, and by all accounts it was a success! Many people came together to organize it over the last few months, set it up, supply it, run it and clean it up. As Pastor Lynne pointed out in her sermon the next day, we saw many skills and talents come out in people that we didn’t even know were there! We had many people from the congregation come out, as well as a lot of people from the Child Care Center and the community. Thanks to all of you who helped with it in some way – it was truly a team effort!
We also wanted to thank the vendors who came and shared their wares. In case you wished you had bought that one thing you saw, or heard from someone about the great treasure they found, we have provided a list of vendors and their contact information on the back of the Child Care insert (too long to squeeze in here). If you need a phone number please contact me directly, I will be happy to help.
Thanks to all who participated!! - LIST at the bottom of THIS EMAIL
~ Carol Hrodey

On the second Tuesday of November, nine members of Messiah gathered in a circle at the front of the sanctuary. This was the first meeting of a group that will come up plans enabling our congregation to “reach beyond the wood and stone” (Hymn #641, v4) to hurting and hungry people.
We quickly realized we have an awesome task. We prayed together using St. Frances’ words, “Lord, make us instruments of your peace.”
We shared personal faith stories, along with the Gospel story of the widow who contributed two small coins (all she had).
We made a commitment to talk with, and listen to, one person from outside our church. This is to learn more about the community Messiah is called to serve.
Each of us will read a book to receive insight and inspiration for Outreach Plans in the making.
At the conclusion of the hour meeting, one person said, “something important is emerging here … in me, and in our congregation.” It is already apparent that as our team comes up with a plan that could change Messiah, we, OURSELVES, will be changed.
With excitement (and a little fear) of what lies ahead, we set the date for our second meeting – Tuesday, Dec. 8th at 7 pm. We ask for the prayers of the church.
~ Mark Wiberg


Melissa Holzer, 12/1
Pat Demonte, 12/4
Mildred Anderson, 12/5
Dorothy Pollack, 12/6
Lisa Francis, 12/7
Jennifer Hanson, 12/10
Laura Olson, 12/12
Aidan Loverme, 12/14
Bobby Hanson, 12/19
Marlyn Wenn, 12/22
Neena Penumaka, 12/23
John Wiberg, 12/23
Eugene Plaza, 12/24
Carol Smith, 12/25
Marcella Larson, 12/28
Paul Stolz Jr., 12/28
Laura Hauser, 12/31
No December weddings, sorry!

Pastor: Rev. Lynne Morrow (847) 612-6950
Director of Music: Tom Daniels
Organist: Sue Fox
Child Care Center Director: Karen Black
Office Administrator: Jennifer Schneider
Bookkeeper: Helen Levy
Property Maintenance: John Handzel, Jr.
Custodian: Worknesh Deressa

President: Carol Hrodey (262) 652-3187
Vice President: Vikki Hanson (847) 823-2117
Secretary: Nancy Boomer (847) 678-3048
Treasurer: Brad Kovach (847) 297-4883
Financial Sec.: David Hanson (847) 296-6796
CCC Board:      Donna Berzins
Property Coordinator: Patti Daniels
Stewardship:      Floyd Yager
Evangelism:      David Swanson
WELCA:      Eva Thoren
Brotherhood:      Rich Seggeling
Christian Education:   Kristin Yager
Confirmation/HS:   Floyd Yager
Adult Forum:      Rich Levy,
David Swanson
Choir:         Pat Daniels
Music:         Tom Daniels, Sue Fox
Altar Guild:      Linda Raymond
Contact the Church Office for phone numbers or email addresses for these folks.

MEMORIAL REPORT as of October 27, 2009
All gifts to the Memorial Fund are automatically acknowledged to the giver by a personal note, which includes a confirmation of the amount. Unless otherwise designated, all gifts go into the Property Reserve Fund. Addresses and envelope numbers on memorial cards or checks are much appreciated. The purpose of this report is to confirm that gifts are received and properly allocated. If you don’t see your gift listed here after 2 months, please contact Karen Black.

Given by:   Martin and Christine Ruterschmidt for Property Reserve
Given by:   Char Lobitz for Property Reserve

Laura Carrot's Christmas stocking might be empty this year because her dad is in danger of losing his job. While Larry thinks a letter to the North Pole should fix the problem, Bob knows what will really help ... and tells the story of a little boy named Nicholas who made a discovery in Bethlehem that changed Christmas forever. But what did Nick learn and how can it possibly help Laura and her family?
As usual, the folks at Big Idea have taken some very tough topics – fear of losing employment, Santa versus Jesus, the loss of a parent – and explain them in a tender, God-focused way that isn’t frightening for youngsters. And as usual, they throw in a little silliness along the way. Not made for the big screen, but instead the next in a series of terrific DVD releases, St. Nicholas, The Joy of Giving is great family entertainment. Messiah purchased this video for the Harvest Festival, and it is available to borrow from our “library” if you wish. This movie begins by asking the question, “What does Santa have to do with the baby Jesus, anyway?” From there Bob and Larry explore the story of young Nicholas in ancient Greece that our modern-day St. Nicholas is based on. In hearing the story, Laura Carrot and the rest of VeggieTown learned to reach out to help those in need on Christmas Eve.

Please include the following individuals and families in your prayers this month:

Ashcraft Family, Viv Beyer, Val Bowman, Lois Bunt, Evelyn Burval, Sara Christiansen, Clare Doud, Ardene Ejnik, Pearl Fox, Ruth Jeppeson, Larry and Arlene Johnson, Kevin Kaufman, Kennet,
Richard Levy, Carm Loverme, Sumdara Rao
Aidan Ray, Mary Reter, Chuck Steigerwald, Linda (Rodin) Ufkes, Richard Wilson, Thomas Yager, Len & Carol P., Jessica H, Maureen & Marvin, Maria N
We want to remember in our prayers our military personnel:
Jason Koesler, Tim David, Lars Johnsen, Kevin Ward and Claudine Ward.

We also want to remember in prayer our college students: Julie Berzins, Bobby Hanson, Trygve Jensen, Joey Olson, Stephen Plaza, Eric Ryczek, Adrienne Blanks, Kevin Kaufman, James Seggleing, Paul Stolz Jr., Natalie Norberg

Please let the office know if you are moving! Thanks!

Directories are still coming. New member info will be in the new directories!

The Messiah

1605 Vernon Avenue
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Phone: (847) 823-6984
Fax: (847) 823-6996
Child Care Center Phone: (847) 825-3767
E-mail: PastorLynne@messiahparkridge.org
Homepage: www.messiahparkridge.org
Child Care Email: messiahchildcare@sbcglobal.net


•   Abbey Cat Gifts – Michelle Gawrys – michelle_gawrys@yahoo.com
Miscellaneous handcrafted gifts such as decorative silverware, magnets, cards
•   Barefoot Books – Deanna Pesce – barefootbooks@hotmail.com
Children’s books
•   Beijo Bags – Kathleen Herrebout – kgreene123@aol.com / www.beijobags.com
Handbags, wallets, backpacks
•   Card Making Mama – Heidi Spraque – cardmakingmama@sbcglobal.net / http://cardmakingmamastampinup.net
Independent Stampin’ Up Demonstrator, hand stamped cards and other items
•   Cyndy’s Sweet Treats – Cyndy Keene – cyndy@cyndysweettreats.com / www.cyndysweettreats,com
Homemade candies, caramels, mints, fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, caramel apples
•   Face Painting – Ashley Greaux – chickcankick@aim.com
Beautiful Face Painting – available for parties – large or small!
•   Face Works – Mindy Kotzin – fw634@comcast.net
Miscellaneous gift items including variety of note pads, face products, blouses
•   Floral Fotos – Beth Brickler – imb42@aol.com
Matted, framed pictures of flowers
•   Here’s the Scoop – Ron Rudolf – scoop15@comcast.net
Ice cream & yogurt vendor
•   Julie’s Jewels – Julie Holzer – JulieHScrapbook@aol.com
Our own Julie Holzer creates beautiful beaded jewelry!
•   LaSalle Flowers – David Swanson – ltlgusdgs@att.net
Our own David Swanson with his beautiful silk flower arrangements and wreaths!
•   Maya Works – Naomi Czerwinskyj – Naomi@mayaworks.org
Fair trade products from Guatemala
•   Plains of Origin – Laura Litman – llitman@earthlink.net
Handcrafted cigar box purses, jewelry boxes, etc., recycled jean scarves & purses
•   Premier Designs Jewelry – Crystal Levy – levycrystal@aol.com
High fashion jewelry
•   River Valley Kitchens – Eric Rose – info@rivervalleykitchens.com / www.rivervalleykitchens.com
Variety of hand packed canned goods from River Valley Ranch in Burlington, WI
•   Sandy’s Sacks & Such – Sandy Collie –
Our own Sandy Collie with a variety of hand sewn bags and other treasures
•   Scentsy – Elix Strong – elixstrong@comcast.net / www.scentsy.com/elixstrong
Flameless candles with beautiful scents
•   Traveling Vineyard – Debbie Whiteside – winetoenjoy@yahoo.com
In-home wine tasting parties
•   Trudi’s Treasures – Trudi Handzel – whatsewfunny@aol.com
Hand crafted paper made into notecards, spoon key chains, other miscellaneous handmade gifts
•   Usborne Books – Brenda Barkauskas – readwithbrenda@comcast.net
Children’s books from infant to young adult




1605 Vernon Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068
p 847.823.6984           f 847.823.6996