Worship on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
July 16, 2017
1650 W. Foster Ave.,  Chicago IL
(773) 561-8496
"Good" Soil
Soil is by definition messy, and in many ways, the messier, the better. As Jesus teaches about the sensitivity of seeds to soil conditions, we are drawn into a teaching about the kind of soil the church is called to be.

Perhaps "good" is less about neat and tidy, and more about richness, water, and even some stuff that stinks...

See you Sunday!
+ Pastor Michael

This visual prayer is Scene from Labors of the Month, August, a manuscript illumination, 15th cent., from Switzerland.  From the Vanderbilt Digital Library. 
Sharing Faith at Home
Reading the Scriptures:
The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 55:10-13    Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13
Romans 8:1-11
   Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Morning Prayer: Ancient Gardener, your holy word is planted in our hearts as good seed in fertile soil. So nurture us that we may bear fruit abundantly. Amen.
Evening Prayer: O God of mercy, in Jesus Christ you freed us from sin and death, and by your Holy Spirit you nourish our mortal bodies with life. Plant us now in good soil, that our lives may flower in righteousness and peace. Amen. 
Prayer with Children: Dear God, you know how to play in the mud sometimes! You teach us that like the plants, we need good and healthy places to grow. Thank you for school, home, church, and any place where we get to grow and learn. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

In our prayers: Pastor Geoffrey, Lynda, Chris, Sofia, Olivia, Nancy, Jinny, Mary Laura, Vereen, Bob, Steve, Ken, Ione, Tom, Joe, Linda, Sue, Velda, Paul, Charlie, Tina, Ina, Don, Kyle, Ashley, Brian, Eric, Nikki, Dorothy, Howard and Pat, Ahmed, Denny, Theresa, Richard, Dan, Andrea, Lili, Gabby, John and Sharon.
We also pray for our bishops, Elizabeth and Wayne.

Ebenezer in Mission
Did you know that July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?

If not, you’re not alone. In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives designated July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in honor of the leading African American novelist and journalist, who also was a voice for individuals and families affected by mental Illness. In recognition of National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month designated as a time for public education about serious mental illness in diverse communities, the mental health sub-committee will host a book discussion on72 Hour Hold” by Bebe Moore Campbell during a special summer Community Hour, 11:30-12:30, on July 16.  

"72 Hour Hold" is based on a true story.  The book is a masterfully written rollercoaster ride through the effects of mental illness on individuals, families, and communities.  The characters are real; a family member, neighbor, co-worker or person who lives a couple blocks over.   There’s Keri Whitmore who owns a successful upscale Los Angeles resale clothing shop.  She’s a single mom who has a beautiful, brilliant daughter who's been offered a college scholarship.  Sounds wonderful?  But wait. This beautiful daughter begins to show outward signs of some sort of illness and is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Keri is thrust into seemingly endless hurdles in balancing the needs of the business with the growing medical needs of her daughter.  The reader is then sent on the rocky highway of the mental health and medical insurance systems, along with the stigmas attached to a family when someone is diagnosed with mental illness.  There’s the ex-husband who refuses to acknowledge his daughter has a mental illness and a boyfriend who’s confronting the fact his son is gay.“72 Hour Hold” deals with Keri's desperate attempts to find help for her daughter, and her vain hope that somehow things will get back to the way they were.  

This book is a must read for anyone who has ever dealt with a mental illness or has family or friends that live with mental illness.

Trip to Chicago Botanic Garden Planned
Are you suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder?” *  We have the cure - an outing to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe for a big dose of natural beauty. We will be joined by some folks from Immanuel. We hope you can come too!

When?  Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We will carpool there, leaving  Ebenezer at 10:00 a.m. returning mid-afternoon. We will have lunch there—bring your own lunch or purchase it at their café.
Cost will depend on how many attend but should not exceed $5 plus lunch. Please let us know if you can make it so we are sure to have enough cars and drivers.
Contact parish nurse and nature enthusiast, Marcia Smith at 773-561-8496, ext 103 or at Marcia.smith@advocatehealth.com. In case of inclement weather the rain date is Tuesday, July 25.
Women's Book Group
The Women's Book Group invites participation in their upcoming discussions:
July 17 and August 21 at 7:15 p.m. Happy reading!

July 17:   The Redbreast by Joe Nebo
August 21: The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
Stained Glass Restoration and Preservation Begins August 1
Generous support for Ebenezer's 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign and a remarkable gift from the estate of Yvonne Johnson have made it possible to begin long needed, comprehensive work on the Sanctuary stained glass, as well as the large window in the Auditorium. This project will ensure many more years of beauty and light in a sacred space that serves our neighbors. You can still support this exciting project! Make a gift to the 125th Anniversary Capital Campaign today!
Celebrate the Ebenezer Quasquicentennial!
What’s a  Quasquicentennial? It’s Ebenezer’s 125th Anniversary! A task force is forming now to plan a celebration that has been 125 years in the making. You’ve felt the joy at Sunday service and many other programs housed at 1650 Foster. Help share that joy in a celebration weekend, September 30-October 1. We need your time, talent and special touch. If interested in helping plan the party weekend, contact Pastor Michael, check the box on the Connection Card, send an email to  ebenezerarchives@gmail.com.
Facilities Feedback
Ebenezer's facilities are busier than ever, which is both a gift and a challenge! To help us understand areas where cleaning and repair could be improved, you are invited to use this form to provide feedback to Jesse, our sexton. This is a more reliable method than verbal reports to staff or volunteers on Sundays, when our focus in on worship. Please let us know how we can continue to make Ebenezer a place of hospitality for all! The link is also available at any time at the Ebenezer Facilities webpage.
STOP the BLEED: Save a life! What everyone should know.

Come to a 1 hour training and learn how you    can save a life in the event of serious bleeding from an injury or accident. Trauma surgeon Liz Gwinn from Illinois Masonic Hospital will be our expert instructor.
When:         Saturday, August 12 at 10:00 a.m.
Where:        Immanuel Lutheran Church
                   1500 W. Elmdale, Chicago
Space is limited. Reserve yourself a spot by contacting Marcia Smith, RN, BSN, parish nurse, at 773-561-8496 or marcia.smith@advocatehealth.com

Parish Nurse Seeks Helpers!

Our parish nurse ministry is developing and evolving.  Inspiration is moving us to try some new things.  In order to help meet the needs of parishioners and to help make new programs succeed, it would be great to know who is able and interested in volunteering. There are many ways to help. For example:
Giving people rides, to church, the store, doctor appointments, etc; Bringing meals to people when needed due to surgery, illness, family crisis, etc; Being a banquet bearer, that is, taking communion to people unable to come to church; Assisting in organizing events, programs.

Volunteering can be very occasional or frequent, whatever works for you. The more folks we have to draw from the less often anyone would be called on to do so.
If you are interested or have questions please contact parish nurse Marcia Smith at 773-561-8496, ext.103 or at Marcia.smith@advocatehealth.com.

Community and Announcments
Give with Goodshop
Shopping online at  goodshop.org allows you to do the shopping you'd do anyway at your favorite sites, while supporting the ministry at Ebenezer! Simply register and then select Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Chicago, as the beneficiary of the donation Goodshop makes when you shop through their site. Check it out today!
Office Hours
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Closed Friday.
Our Mission:
God calls Ebenezer to be a Christian home for all who seek the sustaining nature of the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate faith and trust in God through the ministry of its people, and to let Christ's model of service, justice and love give expression to how we share God's gift with the world.
Do you or someone you know need someone to talk to? 
Confidential live chat or phone support available: 
Additional resources are available here:  http://www.lutheransuicideprevention.org