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The Messiah Messenger > The February 2020 Messenger #620
The February 2020 Messenger #620

Jan 31, 2020

February 2020 Messenger
God’s Call
   When there is painful change and uncertainty in our lives, we tend to look for anchors, such as family and church—things that don’t change.

Yet when we stop to think about it, we realize that families and churches don’t exactly stand still. Children are always entering new phases of life, and eventually they grow up and leave home. And at church, pastors and members come and go, and new projects are begun while old ones are set aside.

Jesus himself was always on the move. He never established a church in one place. The New Testament shows him walking from one town to another and crisscrossing the Sea of Galilee, meeting new people and new challenges. The disciples struggled to keep up.

Perhaps Jesus’ point in all this moving around was to say to his disciples: “Don’t look for permanence in institutions or places; find your anchor in me and my ministry.”

Perhaps the lesson for us is this: a church that is responsive to the living God is always retooling and repositioning itself, open to change.

That’s a thought to keep in mind in the year ahead. We worship a living God. Therefore, God’s call to us in 2020 is bound to be different from what it was in 2010 or 1990.

Yet, at the same time, we remain anchored in God’s love for us, which never changes. God’s desire to save humanity does not change.

And the essentials of God’s call to us remain the same: we are called 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 Jesus Christ in word and deed; to serve all people following the example of Jesus; and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. What new ways will God show us to live out that calling in 2020?
Pastor David

Check out Pastor Knutson’s blog at southernafricanconnections.wordpress.com

At the beginning of January, we read the story of the journey of the Magi, stargazers who may have lived in the region of present-day Iran or Iraq. According to the Scriptures, they noticed an immense cosmic event that illuminated the night sky, an event which eventually led them to seek the infant Jesus outside of Jerusalem. To the Magi, this stellar phenomenon signified the birth of a royal person.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year comes on Dec. 21, the beginning of Winter. From that day forward, however, the days begin to lengthen slowly but surely. Epiphany (a season which lasts until the end of February this year) corresponds to these increasingly longer days of light.

It’s no wonder that many of our hymns during Epiphany have something to do with light. To name a few: Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning, ELW 303; I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light, ELW 815; and Arise, Your Light Has Come, ELW 314
One of my favorites is Christ Be Our Light (ELW 715):
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.

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

The hymn was written by Bernadette Farrell in the last century. According to www.ocp.com, Bernadette, an Englishwomen, lets God’s light shine by combining her love for the music of faith with a desire to help her country folk in the areas of fair housing, a living wage, proper community policing, and health care access.
Bill Decker, Music Coordinator

On behalf of our Monday morning guests and the Assistance Ministry Team, we continue to thank you for your continued prayers and support. We meet with our guests on Monday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and provide a hot meal and to-go brown bag meals, in addition to offering help with needed resources and a friendly ear. We invite you to join us on Mondays and/or always appreciate help with meal preparation and food & clothing donations. Contact Connie Kaufman, Julie Jensen or Cindy Norberg if you have any questions or to see how you can help!
With thanks, Connie Kaufman

We’ll be working on quilts & kits on the following Sundays after worship in the Friendship Place:   
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 sales on bath towels, grab a couple or let us know where the sale is! Trudi Handzel & Carol Hrodey

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. Look for details about the Souper Bowl of Caring later in the newsletter.

On Feb 9 and 16 CHAT discussions will be reflect on short "Nooma" videos about biblical topics.
Coming in Lent: The New Testament You Never Knew
In the Sundays in Lent, CHAT room discussions will be centered on the series “The New Testament You Never Knew: Exploring the Story of God,” produced by Bible scholar N. T. Wright. Pastor David will lead the discussions

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

PENDING! Watch for announcement when scheduled!
Possibly at Redeemer Lutheran Church
Aly Allemeier for more information.

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 will culminate on Sunday, February 2nd! Food donations can be placed in the Narthex and monetary donations can be placed in the offering plate.

Join us for worship Sunday, February 9th to show support for our Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 or in close proximity to the Boy Scout of America’s birthday as Scout Sunday, which is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting.

A gathering of Messiah’s college age students took place on the Sunday after Christmas in the Friendship Place. Arden Sasek (St. Olaf), Novena Crystal (Olivet Nazarene), Ryan Houser (Oakton), and Adam Houser (Purdue) shared some of their activities at school, inside and outside of class, the music and movies that are part of their lives, and the joys and challenges of college life. Pastor David led a discussion of a short essay by the poet Brian Doyle about prayer and the various ways we can hear God speaking in the world.
We’re always happy to see our college students come home and we continue to pray for them as they continue to experience their college adventures.

Upcoming Events
Manna orders will be due Monday, February 3rd at 9 a.m.! The cards will be distributed by Thursday, February 6th. Order forms can be found on the CCC table in the Narthex.

The next Messiah Book Club will meet on Thursday, February 13th at 7:30 p.m. in the Friendship Place. We’re reading "The Supremes at Earls All-You-Can-Eat by author Edward Kelsey Moore. Book Club is open to anyone who enjoys reading. All are welcome. If anyone has any questions, please contact Paul Holzer.

Saturday, February 8th at 9:00 a.m. All Messiah men are invited to Jimmy’s on Rand Road in Des Plaines.

Annual Reports will be available Sunday, February 2nd for review. 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!

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 attend and let your voice be heard!

There will be two opportunities to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 26th. The first is during Child Care Center Chapel at 9:15 a.m. (church members welcome!). There will be an Ash Wednesday service at 7:00 p.m. on the 26th. Both services will take place in the sanctuary.

•    1st Troop 105 Pine wood Derby
•   2nd Annual Reports available
•   8th Brotherhood Breakfast
•   9th Scout Sunday
•   10th EC Meeting
•   16th Annual Meeting
•   23rd Quilts & Kits
•   26th Ash Wednesday

•   1st First Sunday of Lent
•   4th 1st Soup & Service of Lent 6:00/7:00
•   14th Brotherhood Breakfast
•   15th Child Care Children’s Service
•   15th Quilts & Kits
•   16th EC Meeting

From Wikipedia:
Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.

There are numerous martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution. The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honor of the Christian martyr, Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269.

Whatever the origin or the commercialism of present day Valentine’s Day, let us use the date to remind ourselves of John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Remember that 2020 is a Leap Year – February Has 29 Days!
A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or bissextile year) is a calendar year containing an additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year. (Wikipedia)

Each year, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.
Often called the Day of Ashes, Ash Wednesday starts Lent by focusing the Christian’s heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession.
The history and beginnings of Lent aren’t clear. According to Britannica.com, Lent has likely been observed: “since apostolic times, though the practice was not formalized until the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.” Christian scholars note that Lent became more regularized after the legalization of Christianity in A.D. 313. St. Irenaeus, Pope St. Victor I, and St. Athanasius all seem to have written about Lent during their ministries. Most agree that “by the end of the fourth century, the 40-day period of Easter preparation known as Lent existed, and that prayer and fasting constituted its primary spiritual exercises.”

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday:
Lord, Holy One, have mercy on us. We confess our sins to you. We have fallen short of your glory and without your mercy and grace, we would be dust. We repent now. Lord, as we enter into this Lenten season, be near to us. Help us, by your Holy Spirit, to feel right conviction and repentance for our sin. Help us, by your Spirit, to have the strength to overcome the enemy.

Why and how do we use ashes on Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday… is named for the practice of imposing ashes, a practice that many Lutheran congregations have found to be a very meaningful part of the Ash Wednesday liturgy.
Using ashes as a sign of repentance is an ancient practice, often mentioned in the Bible (e.g., Jonah 3:5-9; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 6:26; Matthew 11:21). The early Christians adopted the use of ashes from Jewish practice as an external mark of penitence.
Ashes symbolize several aspects of our human existence: Ashes remind us of God's condemnation of sin, as God said to Adam, "Dust you are and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19). Ashes suggest cleansing and renewal. They were used anciently in the absence of soap. Even on Ash Wednesday, this most penitential day, we receive ashes in the form of the cross, the same symbol placed on our bodies with water in our baptism. Even in this ashen mark of death, we anticipate the new life of Easter. Ashes remind us of the shortness of human life, for it is said as we are buried into the ground or as ashes are placed in a columbarium (see “What are columbaria and memorial gardens?”). "We commit this body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 284). Ashes are a symbol of our need to repent, confess our sins, and return to God.


Beginning Wednesday, March 4th we will have a Potluck Soup Supper at 6:00, followed by a Lenten Service. The Potluck Soup Supper is a great time to try out the great recipes from the Chili/Soup Cook-off! Services will feature the Holden Evening Prayer Service. This lovely setting of vespers that follows the traditional form while using contemporary and inclusive language will be the basis for our Lenten Services. Come and hear!

1st Reading    Psalm    2nd Reading    Gospel
February 2nd 4th Sunday of Epiphany
Micah 6:1-8    Psalm 15    1 Corinthians 1:18-31   Matthew 5:1-12
February 9th 5th Sunday of Epiphany
Isaiah 58:1-12    Psalm 122:1-10   1 Corinthians 2:1-16   Matthew 5:13-20
February 16th 6th Sunday of Epiphany
Deuteronomy 30:15-20   Psalm 119:1-8    1 Corinthians 3:1-9   Matthew 5:21-37
February 23rd Transfiguration of our Lord
Exodus 24:12-18 Psalm 2    2 Peter 1:16-21   Matthew 17:1-6
Wednesday, February 26th Ash Wednesday
Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 Psalm 51:1-17    2 Corinthians 50:20-6:10   Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
February 2    February 9    February 16    February 23   Ash Wednesday
10:15 am   10:15 am   10:15 am   10:15 am   10:15 am
Acolytes   Evelyn A    Hanna L   Kyle H    Nikolas R    Nikolas R
Assisting Ministers David S   Vikki H    Karen B   Erik G    Cindy N
Readers   Pat K    Dave H    Laura H    Marilynn D Marilynn D
Comm. Assts.   Aly A     Teresa L    Laura H Larry R    Larry R
Projection & Video   Jim H & Paul H Jim H & Paul H   Jim H & Paul H Jim H & Paul HAltar Guild   Sue K    Marilynn D   Sue K    Marilynn D   Sue K
Counter   Jim H & Tim S   Jim H & Tim S   Jim H & Tim S   Jim H & Tim S   Jim H & Tim S

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.

Sunday   Bulletins are given …
February 2   Available
February 9   Available
February 16   Available
February 23   Available

EC CORNER Highlights from the January 13th EC meeting included discussion of the February 16th Annual Congregation Meeting including 2020 initiatives, budget, officer and CCC board member openings. Jim Handzel is working on year-end statements. The EC discussed Lenten season and determined that beginning Wednesdays as of March 4th, there will be Soup & Service with a soup supper starting at 6:00 followed by a Holden worship service at 7:00. Special Sunday events coming up include Scout Sunday on February 9th and Child Care Children’s Sunday on March 14th. As far as call process, work continues on Ministry Site Profile. Cindy Norberg and Theresa Lippert will serve on Call Committee. Property updates also reviewed.

January Attendance
Wk1=41   Wk3=25
Wk2=31   Wk4=16

January Giving (Gen. Fund & MAP)
Wk1=$3388 Wk2=$4645 Wk3=$4431 Wk4=$2405

Joyful January
A prayer for the New Year (from ELW, p. 63)
Eternal God, you have placed us in a world of space and time, and through the events of our lives you bless us with your love. Grant that in the new year we may know your presence, see your love at work, and live in the light of the event that gives us joy forever-the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
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 the AM guests.
The Child Care Center has started a new group called Coffee and Conversations. The group meets twice a month and it affords parents and grandparents an opportunity to sit down, drink a cup of coffee, and have a conversation after the morning school rush. After gathering a couple of times, the CCC staff is hopeful that Coffee and Conversation will foster a greater sense of community among the CCC families.
As we enjoyed the Chili and Soup Cook-Off January 26th, let's also remember Roger and Jill Turek, those who created this annual event. We are grateful for the impact they both had on Messiah and in each of our lives. Now at home with our heavenly Father, they will forever have a place in our hearts as well.

The 3rd Annual Roger Turek Chili/Soup Cook-off took place on Sunday, January 26. Church members enjoyed soup and chili entries while doing some fundraising for Messiah. Pat Kovach took home the Golden Spoon Award for her soup offering. Paul Holzer and Steve Pokrak along with son Daniel took home Golden Spoon Awards for their tasty chili! Thanks to all who participated! If you’d like a cookbook from last year or a new recipe from this year, contact the church office.

Prayers of the People (As of the January 26th bulletin)
As of January 26th Worship Bulletin

Those who are ill, in recovery, or facing adversity:
The Dumerer Family The Hauser Family Don & Mary Jane Kovach Trudi & Jim Handzel
Bob Kallas Richard Levy Daniel Kovach Carol Hrodey
Maria Raicia (mother of Laura Hauser) Marilyn Borgeson
Sonja Snell and Larry Morris (family of Bill and Cindy Decker)
Katie Brandon and Carol Rudy (friends of Dotty Burger)
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 Pattie and Chris (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

Those who celebrate:
Jean Reeve, 2/3 Sarah Litwin, 2/8 William Norberg, 2/9 Jaxon Winiarski, 2/11
Bob Hanson, 2/16 Linka Jones, 2/17 Lisa Saul, 2/18 Tim Saul, 2/18
Ava Manzella, 2/19 Nikolaus Ryczek, 2/19 Sarah Nugnis, 2/24 Rosemary Paulus, 2/26

Anniversaries this month
Dave & Connie Kaufmann, 2/28 (44 years!)




1605 Vernon Avenue
Park Ridge, IL 60068
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