A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Monthly news & updates
December 2020
Council Meeting Update
Annual Cookie Walk Cancelled

Out of an abundance of caution and in the best interest of everyone, the church council has decided that we will forego this year's Cookie Walk. Since the church budgets on the income of this well-attended, end-of-the year fundraiser, the council is suggesting that bakers as well as shoppers might like to make a donation to the church in an amount that would typically be spent on baking materials or on purchasing cookies. For ways to make that donation, please see the information above covering donations throughout December.
From the Pastor's Desk . . .
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Covid Christmas. No one wants this. 

We are tired of being creative. We want the holiday to be normal. Ten months of adapting is too much. We just want to worship at church. We just want to celebrate with our family. I am not a fan of Covid Christmas. I don’t want it. I don’t like it. Covid Christmas makes me sad. I know it makes you sad too. 

This newsletter article is supposed to offer a laid out plan for worship and fellowship, and if I learned anything in 2020, it is that if I make plans - they will end up changing. We are beyond adaptable at this point, and the council and I are determined and excited to celebrate Advent and Christmas despite a pandemic that may keep us physically apart!

Right now, the council decided that between the sending of this newsletter and Christmas Eve we will have the following events:

Sundays after Fellowship Time: At about 11:30 am, we will do a Bible reflection found on the ELCA website called Faith Practices in Advent over Zoom.

Cookie Walk: This year we will be unable to have our beloved Cookie Walk. It breaks our hearts, but council could not figure out a safe way to hold the event that would not take days to organize. It was decided to cancel the Cookie Walk but encourage people to share cookies with others by placing your homemade cookies on someone’s porch.

Winter Fundraiser Option One: The Cookie Walk is a big part of our fundraising budget for the year. We
budget to raise $1,200 each year. And we always meet our goal and often raise above our goal. This year, we are asking our bakers to make a financial donation to the church in the amount that you typically would have spent on ingredients for the cookie walk. If you are a regular shopper at the Cookie Walk, please consider donating that amount you would have typically spent at the cookie walk to the church.

Winter Fundraiser Option Two: Right after Thanksgiving there is always a slew of special focused shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and then there is Giving Tuesday. The council is asking each of us to be mini social media fundraisers. Acacia Park Lutheran Church is listed as a charity organization on Facebook, and if you have a Facebook profile, you are able to create a fundraiser for Acacia Park and ask your family and friends to think about making donations to the church during this time of the year when we give a little more if we are able to do so. A video showing how to create a Facebook fundraiser is provided in the newsletter. (See above.)

Tuesday, December 15th: Zoom Book Club meets at 7:00 pm. Our book is All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. (See the Zoom Book Club information below.)

Thursday, December 24th, Christmas Eve: Both in-person and virtual options are being planned. Right now the vision is to offer three time slots for Christmas Eve worship for a reserved number of people (unknown number). There will also be a video worship service created and shared. If it is not possible to meet in person, we will offer the option to gather together over Zoom to worship and light candles together. The hope is, even if we are limited to 10 people in the space at a time, we will be able to have in-person worship. We just need to wait and see how Covid resurgence mitigation progresses. As we get closer, we will share further details. 

In the coming Christ,

Pastor Meagan
Tuesday, December 15th
Zoom Book Club
We'll meet from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on Zoom (look for Zoom log on information below in Zoom Links for the Month) to discuss All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

From the publisher: Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients. For over 40 years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye. You can purchase a copy at Thrift Books.

Book Club will meet every other month on the third Tuesday via Zoom. If you'd like to secure your books and read ahead, upcoming dates and book selections are as follows:

Tuesday, February 16, 2021The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Tuesday, April 20, 2021Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Thursday, December 24th
Christmas Eve Worship

Because the state of Illinois is currently under Tier 3 Covid-19 resurgence mitigation measures, how and at what time(s) we will worship on Christmas Eve this year is still undecided. Right now, the council has two working plans for worship:

  1. Small, socially-distanced, in-person worship services without singing, or
  2. Zoom worship with singing.

A decision will be made as we get closer to the day and will be based on the most up-to-date guidance by the CDC, the state of Illinois and the synod. We will keep you updated.
Coming in December
Monthly Bible Study Returns via Zoom

Join us on Tuesday, December 29th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm as we resume and adapt our popular Bible study meetings for Zoom. We will begin this month with Pastor Meagan leading us in a discussion of Christmas through the Gospels. Then in January, Dagny Bloland will take over the study group as we embark on "New Year, New Testament." Look for the Zoom log on information below in Zoom Links for the Month.
Acacia Park Community Announcements
Covid-19 and the Holiday Season: You can help stem the rate of infection, the loss of lives, and the strain on our hospitals and health care workers by remembering to follow these simple CDC guidelines during this holiday season. Regardless of symptoms and whether or not you have had Covid-19 in the past:

  • wear a mask in public settings and when you are around people who do not live in your household;
  • maintain social distancing--six or more feet whenever possible;
  • wash your hands regularly;
  • avoid travel over the holidays.

Tier 3 Covid-19 Resurgence Mitigation Measures are now in effect for the entire state: With a new wave of Covid-19 surging across the state of Illinois and the nation, the state is committed to listening to public health experts and following the science to keep people safe. Tier 3's aim is to limit gatherings and encourage people to stay home to the greatest extent possible. For Acacia Park Church, this means:

  • Wednesday in-person worship is cancelled until further notice.

  • All meetings will be virtual.

  • Pastor Meagan is still available. If you would like to talk or receive one-on-one communion on your porch, please continue to contact Pastor Meagan: 773-885-9686 or pastormeagan@gmail.com.

  • We will continue to worship via Zoom at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings. An email is sent at 7:00 am on Sunday mornings with a link to a full worship service with virtual communion. You can chose to participate in self-guided worship at anytime. Or you can join us on Zoom at 9:30 am to experience the worship service together and then stay for fellowship and conversation after. Look for the Zoom log on information below in Zoom Links for the Month.

Nancy Komada is moving to Minnesota: After December 10th, you may contact Nancy through her daughter, Phyllis Lundeen, at

Nancy Komada c/o Phyllis Lundeen
750 Johnson SW
Cokato, MN 55321-4627

Memorial Gifts: The following people have given memorial gifts in loving memory of Laurie Bujalka to be directed toward the church's General Fund. Thank you for your kind and generous donations.
Claire Porter
Erv and Carol Siemers
Seeds Monthly, November 2020
From the ELCA
Stars and Promises Christmas Concert: In this first-ever ELCA event of its kind, ELCA World Hunger presents an online Christmas benefit concert featuring Peter Mayer, a longtime Lutheran and the lead guitarist for singer Jimmy Buffett. The concert will premiere on the ELCA Facebook page on December 9th at 7:00 pm, Central time.

The concert is a gift to you this Advent season, a way for us to thank you and provide a place for you to gather online with the church community as we prepare for the birth of our Savior. Donations to ELCA World Hunger are encouraged and will support our church’s work to respond to hunger and poverty in more than 60 countries. Register now to receive a free Peter Mayer Christmas album download, created just for this event!
Treasurer's Report
As of October 2020
You may also mail your donation to:
Acacia Park Lutheran Church
4307 N Oriole Avenue
Norridge, IL 60706
Zoom Links for the Month
To join our Zoom Self-Guided Communion Worship and Fellowship meeting on Sunday mornings beginning at 9:15 am, click on the link below, or copy and paste the link into your browser:

To dial in by your location (audio only):
  +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 847 5963 2088
Passcode: 554322
* * * * * * * * *

To join our Zoom Bi-Monthly Book Club meeting on Tuesday, December 15th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, click on the link below, or copy and paste the link into your browser:

To dial in by your location (audio only):
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 872 8764 2749
Passcode: 648104
* * * * * * * * *

To join our Zoom Bible Study meeting on Tuesday, December 29th from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, click on the link below, or copy and paste the link into your browser:

To dial in by your location (audio only):
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 816 2904 7347
Passcode: 330115
Prayer Requests
Please keep the following people in your prayers . . .
Bonnie Cousins
Katie Dupree
Linda Engler
Marion Engler
Frank Gondela
Dorothy Hauserman
Ruth Igoe
David & Ann Jones
Nancy & Bob Komada
Helen Lanners
Elsie Michelsen
Everly Ramirez
Nettie Richards
Ringelstein Family
Erv Siemers
Bonnie Wince
Sondra Wince
Shar and George Wyatt
. . . and essential workers, health care workers, police officers, correctional officers, and the more than 261,000 Americans lost to Covid-19.
Psalm 80:19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.