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The Messiah Messenger > The January 2020 Messenger #619
The January 2020 Messenger #619

Dec 31, 2019

January 2020 Messenger Issue # 619
From the Pastor
The Light of Christ
Like many churches, the one I grew up in had a candlelight Christmas Eve service. When the final hymn ended and the overhead lights came on, most people would quickly blow out their candles. But my brothers and I liked to see how long we could keep our flames going.

The real challenge was to keep the flame going as we went outside. We’d carefully cup our hands and bodies around the flame. But eventually the wintry weather was too much for the flickering flame. We never made it very far into the dark night before the candle sputtered out.

Kids are fascinated by fire, and that was one reason for our efforts. But I think at some level we also wanted to preserve the magic of the Christmas service —that feeling of being with friends and family, of singing carols together in a darkened church.

We want to hold on to those moments when God’s presence seems near.
But the message of Christmas and Epiphany is that even when our faith flickers, the light of Christ will continue to shine: the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. That’s a promise we can take into the season of Epiphany and through all the days of 2020.

We don’t know what the year ahead holds for us, or for Messiah, but we know, as St Paul says (Rom. 8:39,) that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. God became a child to show us that love. Martin Luther said: God wants above all else that we should not despair!
Let’s enter this new year, then, with confidence and hope, rejoicing in all the ways that the light of Christ illumines our path, and trusting that Christ will bring light to the dark places.

Faithfully, Pastor David

OUR MISSIONARY: REVEREND DR. PHILIP KNUTSON
Check out Pastor Knutson’s blog at southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com. We were happy to welcome Pastor Knutson at worship on December 8th while he was in the U.S.

Music Ministry: Looking Ahead

While the new calendar year has begun, here are some pivotal dates of worship that will mark our lives of faith during this new liturgical year:
1. January 5: Epiphany begins.
2. February 26: Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
3. April 5: Passion/Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week.
4. April 9 and 10: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
5. April 12: Easter.
6. May 31: Day of Pentecost.
7. November 22: Christ the King Sunday and the end of the season of Pentecost.
Bill Decker, Music Coordinator

What is a Liturgical Year – or the Church Year?

The Church Year is a wonderful gift we have inherited from the Christians who came before us. In many ways the church calendar is independent from the calendar we use every day. The Church Year is divided into two halves. The first half of the Church Year revolves around Jesus’ life. It begins in November/December. As we worship through this part of the Church Year we re-live the main events of Jesus’ life. Since most of the important days fall during this period, like Christmas and Easter, it is called the Festival Half of the Church Year. The other half of the Church Year is called the Non-Festival Half, or the Half Year of the Church. It begins in May or June and focuses on our Lord’s teaching which He left to His Church to proclaim in all the world. Here we see what Jesus’ life, death and resurrection mean to us in our everyday lives.
Each season has its own mood and to help bring out that mood we use different colors on the altar. Certain customs also reflect the mood of the season. All these things help emphasize the different/distinct message of that season.

(The Church Year begins with Advent and Christmas and in January we move into Epiphany.)

The Season of Epiphany – Begins on January 6
The Greek word epiphaneia refers to the appearance of a god among mortals. The same word was adapted to describe the visit of a king to a favored city. He was greeted with pomp. Days were spent in feasting and revelry, all at the king’s expense.
The epiphany of Jesus is the Lord’s gracious appearance to His people with signs and wonders and favors given at His own expense. Epiphany is about the Magi, the gathering of the Gentiles as God’s people. It is also about the Baptism of our Lord, who prepares the waters of Baptism for us. Epiphany is about Jesus’ first sign or miracle performed at Cana to bless a marriage.
Calendar: Epiphany always begins on January 6th. The length of the season depends on the date of Easter. The last Sunday in Epiphany is always Transfiguration Sunday.
Customs: For Epiphany Day and… the first Sunday after Epiphany Day the color is white, symbolizing joy and purity. For the rest of the Epiphany season (until the Transfiguration of our Lord), the color is green, the color of life and growth.

(excerpted from: https://www.faithlutherancorning.org/lutheran-church-year)


Messiah Ministries

ASSISTANCE MINISTRY

On behalf of our Monday morning guests and the Assistance Ministry Team, thank you for your continued prayers and support. As we reflect on this past year, we are reminded of the many blessings we have. Perhaps I can take a few moments to share some of the highlights....

- The Messiah Child Care Center children continue to joyfully bring weekly offerings of canned goods for this ministry and the Maine Township Food Pantry and they donated the monies they collected throughout Lent for this outreach.
- 15-25 guests receive a warm nutritious meal, fellowship, canned goods and clothing in our Friendship Place on Monday mornings.
- Pastor David visits with our guests every other week and they really enjoy talking with him. They look forward to his ministry. We are also blessed with having Aneel, a seminary student, volunteer with us weekly.
- Local restaurants and businesses have been partnering with us to help provide food.
- Friends of Messiah have donated requested clothing.
- Messiah youth have helped in serving our guests, making sandwiches and meals and bringing friends to help. How wonderful to have them share this experience.
- The scouts continue to support this ministry with donations of food, time and service hours.
- Leftovers from meals, coffee hours and CCC meals have been donated and served. Congregation members have received donations of food and passed them along for us to serve our guests.
- We have been able to give each guest one $5 Jewel card per month to help with incidentals.
- We received a $250 from Thrivent Action Team program to purchase staples to carry us through the first few months of 2020.

Especially at this time of year, after celebrating the birth of our Savior, we continue to share our blessings with those in need.

With thanks, Connie Kaufman

It is always sad to hear of a local small business permanently closing its doors. The hard work and dedication that goes into running a business is often times overlooked and taken for granted. Unfortunately, circumstances have forced a restaurant in downtown Park Ridge, Make Room for Truman to close Sunday, December 29th. As you may remember Make Room for Truman donated food to the Assistance Ministry guests in the past and when the decision was made to close, they contacted the AM team and offered a large amount of food so they can continue their service to the public. We would like to thank the Make Room for Truman staff for their generosity to Messiah which allows us to continue our essential mission.

QUILTS & KITS

As we start a new year of assembling quilts and kits for Lutheran World Relief, we wanted to share a post from the LWR Quilters & Kit Makers Community group on Facebook. This came from Mary Fisher Dixon from Calvary Lutheran Church in Texas:
My morning after hip surgery is like a miracle of
No pain and a wonderful store of my nurse tech from Naple who asked me about my hobbies and I said quilting and especially for church and Lutheran World Relief. she told me her story of how her family came to US in 2008 after being in a refugee camp for several years. And we got to talking about how she and her family had nothing but a tent until Lutheran World Relief came and gave them quilts and other kits. She had tears as she thanked me for her quilts as it was all they had to stay warm and sit on for a while. This God moment for me was inspirational. Thanks Calvary Lutheran quilting group for this ministry I can share in.
All those of us who wonder if our hands and needles make a difference...yes for sure.
Reading about real-life stories like these and others on LWR website (https://lwr.org/quilts-and-kits) gives us renewed energy to continue to share God’s love and reach out through this ministry.
We’ll be working on quilts & kits on the following Sundays after worship in the Friendship Place to start 2020:   
      Sunday, January 19th    Sunday, February 23rd    Sunday, March 15th
Join us – we enjoy great fellowship and as always – no sewing experience is necessary! Meanwhile, if you happen to come across any January sales on bath towels, grab a couple or let us know where the sale is!
Trudi Handzel & Carol Hrodey

SUNDAY SCHOOL
Due to scheduling difficulties of time and leaders, Sunday School is currently not in session. We’d certainly like to have SS or an equivalent program going again so if you would like to help, please consider donating your time. Perhaps a team approach? And it doesn’t need to be a parent of a SS student! There have been many wonderful SS teachers through the years at Messiah whose children have grown but find joy in teaching children about how much God loves them! Any ideas are welcome! If you are willing to help please contact the Executive Committee.

CONFIRMATION
THE CONFIRMANDS MEET WITH PAT KOVACH WITH HELP FROM DEBBIE SASAK & TERESA LIPPERT AT 9:00 A.M. SUNDAYS IN THE CONFIRMATION ROOM, OFF THE CHOIR LOFT! THE TOPICS BEING COVERED THIS YEAR INCLUDE “WHAT IS A LUTHERAN”, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE SMALL CATECHISM, LORD'S PRAYER, APOSTLE'S CREED, AND JESUS OF NAZARETH.

CHAT ROOM
Adult Chat Room meets Sundays at 9:00 in the Friendship Place. Contact David Swanson for more information. Chat Room will resume on Sunday, January 12th.

MESSIAH CHILD CARE CENTER
There are a lot of fun activities coming up in the Child Care Center – besides the daily classroom activities! Here are some important dates to remember:
-   MONDAY, 1/13 10:30-NOON AND 1:00-2:30 – KINDERGARTEN/JR. KINDERGARTEN OPEN HOUSE
For more information on CCC Activities and Programs contact CCC Office at
847-825-3767 or see the website at www.messiahchildcare.com

TENTATIVE DATE FOR NEXT YOUTH MIXER
WHEN?
Sunday, January 26th
WHERE?
Redeemer Lutheran Church
CONTACT?
Aly Allemeier for more information.


Upcoming Events
Manna
Manna orders will be due Monday, January 6th at 9 am! The cards will be distributed by Thursday, January 9th. Order forms can be found on the CCC table in the Narthex.

Book Club
The next Messiah Book Club will meet on Thursday, January 9th, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Friendship Place. We’re reading "Someone": a novel by author Alice McDermott. Book Club is open to anyone who enjoys reading. All are welcome. If anyone has any questions, please contact Paul Holzer.

The Brotherhood
The next Brotherhood Breakfast will be Saturday, January 11th at 9:00 am. All Messiah men are invited to Jimmy’s on Rand Road in Des Plaines.

The Souper Bowl of Caring
Our confirmation/youth will again spearhead our annual collection for the Maine Township Food Pantry! Donations of non-perishable food and of course monetary donations can start being brought in as early as January 12th with the culmination of the event on Sunday, February 2nd!

Annual Reports Due
It’s time for the compilation of our Annual Report highlighting Messiah’s activities in 2019, Please submit your report to Alaine in the church office by January 17th!

Annual Meeting
Our Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, February 16th following the worship service. This is the time of year that we review and celebrate our accomplishments of the past year, set ministry goals for the coming year, approve 2020 budget and elect congregational officers. Please pick up your Annual Report on February 2nd, and take a little time to read it over, and then be prepared to discuss and vote on our initiatives and our budget for 2020. Each family is asked to just take one copy and share!

JANUARY REMINDERS:

•   1st CCC & MLC office closed
•   9th Messiah Book Club
•   11th Brotherhood Breakfast
•   12th Souper Bowl of Caring Begins
•   13th EC meeting
•   14th CCC Board meeting
•   17th Annual Reports Due
•   19th Quilts & Kits

COMING IN FEBRUARY:
•   1st Troop 105 Pine wood Derby
•   2nd Annual Reports available
•   8th Brotherhood Breakfast
•   16th Annual Meeting
•   17th EC Meeting
•   23rd Quilts & Kits

THIS MONTH IN WORSHIP
1ST READING    PSALM    2ND READING    GOSPEL
JANUARY 5TH CELEBRATION OF EPIPHANY
ISAIAH 60:1-6 PSALM 72:1-7, 10-14   EPHESIANS 3:1-12    MATTHEW 2:1-12
JANUARY 12TH BAPTISM OF OUR LORD
ISAIAH 42:1-9 PSALM 29    ACTS 10:34-43    MATTHEW 3:13-17
JANUARY 19TH 2ND SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY
ISAIAH 49:1-7 PSALM 40:1-11    1 CORINTHIANS 1:1-9    JOHN 1: 29-42
JANUARY 26TH 3RD SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY
ISAIAH 9:1-4    PSALM 27:1,4-9    1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-18    MATTHEW 4:12-23


JANUARY 5   JANUARY 12   JANUARY 19   JANUARY 26
   10:15 AM   10:15 AM   10:15 AM   10:15 AM
ACOLYTES   EVELYN A    HANNA L   KYLE H   NIKOLAS R
ASSISTING MINISTERS   PAT K   ANDY T   DAVID S   CINDY N
READERS   PAT K   DAVE H   LAURA H   MARILYNN D
COMM. ASSTS.   ALY A    TERESA L   LAURA H   LARRY R
USHERS   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 & TIM S   JIM H & TIM S   JIM H & TIM S   JIM H & TIM S
FLOWERS AND BULLETINS
Please note the following change in Altar Flowers:
As of January 1st we will no longer purchase weekly flowers for the Sanctuary based on the recommendation of the Altar Guild. The EC made the economical decision to approve the recommendation and use faux seasonal flowers that will be reused from week to week. We will continue to have “Altar Gardens” for Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

Bulletin dedication will still be available for a $10 donation. The sign-up chart for the weekly bulletins can be found on the bulletin board across from the Assistance Ministry donation station. Signing up to donate the weekly bulletins remains a great way to honor or remember a special person or event. It also helps to offset the cost for the church. Bulletins are $10. Envelopes are provided next to the sign-up calendar, or you may simply write “Bulletin” on your regular envelope in the other box.

PRAYER FOR EPIPHANY:
Father God, the star that led the Magi to the stable announced to the world that its Savior was born. Today we live in a world that is still covered by darkness, and still needing to make that journey to the stable door. May our lives reflect your light day by day, as we seek to serve where you have placed us. That we might be the means through which others can encounter Jesus Christ. Amen
from http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Epiphany.htm


Church Busniess
EC CORNER Highlights from the December EC meeting included review of Christmas schedule and gathering for college students. In addition, Pastor Heim reached out to other congregations housed at Messiah to discuss the possibility of another inter-congregation gathering in January or February. EC discussed Altar Guild recommendation to discontinue purchase of altar flowers and replace with silk arrangements – determined to accept recommendation. Focus for 2020 included further work on ministry profile, review of open leadership positions and draft budget.

December Attendance
Wk1=34   Wk3=79
Wk2=35   Wk4=38
Christmas Eve= 27
Christmas Day= 31
Week 5= 39

December Giving (Gen. Fund & MAP)
Wk1=$5978.36 Wk2=$2225 Wk3=$6477 Wk4=$782
Christmas Eve=$315
Christmas Day=$1991
Week 5=$4086


Memorial and Honorariums
All gifts to the Memorial & Honorarium Fund are automatically acknowledged to the giver and donee or family by a personal note. Unless otherwise designated, all gifts go into the General 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. If you don’t see your gift listed here after two months, please contact the church office.
Peter Oleson in memory of Carol Oleson

Epiphany
EPIPHANY: “Yes I Do!” Resolution
In January, many people adopt New Year’s resolutions. Imagine if a congregation adopted the “Yes I Do!” resolution? Imagine if individuals approached this resolution with the commitment of the wise men in their search and journey to Jesus. (Imagine if we all resolved to recommit ourselves to say “Yes I Do” in carrying out Messiah’s Mission: “With Christ, Reaching Out and Welcoming All God’s Children”?)

Each year on (Epiphany), the church celebrates the baptism of Jesus and hears a clear affirmation of God’s love for him, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17 NRSV) All four gospels describe this significant event in the life of Jesus. In baptism, the Holy Spirit came to Jesus, and his mission on this earth was launched.

In our baptism, we too are claimed as God’s beloved children. In our baptism, we too receive the Holy Spirit, transforming our lives and launching our mission. That mission is made known in the gifts of discipleship which we are given and to which we commit our lives as we affirm our baptism.
“In baptism our gracious heavenly Father frees us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born children of a fallen humanity; by water and the Holy Spirit we are reborn children of God and made members of the church, the body of Christ. Living with Christ and in the communion of saints, we grow in faith love, and obedience to the will of God.” (Holy Baptism liturgy, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p.227)

At baptism, the presiding minister places water upon the person in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, marks the sign of the cross on the forehead of the baptized and offers these words, “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 231)

To be sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever is significant and life-changing. As we affirm our baptism, we are asked the following question: Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:

to live among God’s faithful people,
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
to serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth? (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 236)

Each of us responds: “I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.” This response sounds like a New Year’s resolution for daily living. This response is not an obligation, but rather a five-fold gift from God. Each gift contains the potential of blessing.


Excerpted from: Living our Baptism…Five Gifts of Discipleship during Epiphany written by John and Robin McCullough-Bade. Copyright © 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America www.elca.org/faithpractices


A JOYFUL DECEMBER
We would like to thank Karen Bruchman for returning as substitute musician while Bill is away on Sunday, December 1st. Thank you Karen! Thank you to everyone who attended the Hanging of the Greens on Saturday, December 7th to decorate Messiah for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Many thanks to those of you who took a gift tag from the LSSI Giving Tree. Your gifts are helping to support children and families who are receiving assistance through the Lutheran Social Service of Illinois' Family Intact Program this Christmas. This program provides an important safety net for vulnerable families, many grappling with challenges like domestic violence or trauma that are exacerbated by poverty and lack of basic needs, such as food and housing. Your thoughtful gifts help to reinforce the meaning of the Christmas season. Many thanks for all the hard work put into the CCC Christmas programs the week of December 16th. Kudos to the students, the teachers and staff. and all those who joined in the festivities. Merry Christmas! As we look ahead and wonder what this year will bring, it is with great joy that we also remember the good things God has done through the people and ministries of Messiah Lutheran Church and Child Care Center during all of 2019. To God be the glory!

Prayer of the people
As of December 29th Worship Bulletin

Those who mourn:
Pastor Mark Larson and family as they mourn the passing of Mark’s mother, Willetta “Letti” Larson

Those who are ill, in recovery, or facing adversity:
The Dumerer Family The Hauser Family The Family of Deborah Dietrich
Don & Mary Jane Kovach Trudi Handzel Jim Handzel Bob Kallas Richard Levy Daniel Kovach Carol Hrodey Maria Raicia (mother of Laura Hauser)
Sonja Snell and Larry Morris (family of Bill and Cindy Decker)
Katie Brandon and Carol Rudy (friends of Dotty Burger)
Crystal, Marcello, & Mikayla (Rich & Helen Levy’s daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter)
Russell Sorensen (father of Cindy Norberg) Jessica Saul (daughter of Tim Saul)
The Maruccilli Family (Friends of the Lippert Family)
Jo?e (friend of Cookie Bonilla)
Karen Heisler, Judy Swensen, Bonnie Bomhack, Sharon Pauley, Amanda Jensen, Ted Gradt, Joanne May, The Tomennille Family (friends and family of the Jensen Family)
Ron, Carol, Lynne, Mary, Bruce, Terry DeSchepper (friends of David Swanson)
Ruth Perzentka, George, Gari, The Beierwaltes Family (family & friends of the Handzel Family)
Brian Schuth & Helen Meyers (family of Alaine Wong)

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

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 Officer Matt McGannon    

Those attending college and graduate school:
Rachel Daye Melissa Holzer Thomas Yager Phil Holzer Nick Levy
Novena Christal Haley Lippert Dina Salemi Arden Sasak Adam Hauser
Jake Saul Jessica Saul Christian Travis Ryan Hauser Kevin Kovach
Trygve Jensen Julia Fogel

Those who celebrate:
Richard Seggeling, 1/2 Paul Holzer, 1/3 Nicholas Levy, 1/4 Donald Kovach, 1/7
Ralph Lippert, 1/7 Larry Ryczek, 1/7 Thomas Jason, 1/12 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 Michael Bujalka, 1/28

No Anniversaries this month

 


 

 

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