A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Monthly news & updates
January 2021
Council President's Report
I hope all of you are well and staying safe. You are missed more than you will know. I can't wait until we can safely reunite our church family! 

The council has voted to postpone our annual congregational meeting that typically occurs in January due to covid. We have voted to continue on with the existing budget until we can safely meet and vote on a new budget. Let's pray this happens soon. In the meantime, please join us on zoom for our Sunday services. The Pastor has seamlessly created a service where we are allowed to sing, pray and feel some sort of togetherness. You can join us on line or just by calling the number provided by Dawn every Sunday. It's very simple to do and if there are any questions on how to get on/in the zoom service, please don't hesitate to call one of us on council. We'd love to see you!

In the meantime, please stay safe and well and check in on others via the phone, we all need to feel connected. If you have any questions about how to get in on zoom, please call the church or me (Karen Lanners, 773.439.9893).  We hope to see you soon, God bless you all.

With love and hope, 

Karen Lanners
From the Pastor's Desk . . .
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is finally 2021! I am not sure how fast we will begin to feel like our world is returning to normal, but we do have hope that it will happen this year!

The last normal worship serve we had in the sanctuary was Ash Wednesday. I took a photo of myself right before the worship service. I can’t remember why I did, but on my camera roll I have a photo of me all deck out in my Ash Wednesday pastor garb. The next photo on the camera roll is a bunch of cleaning supplies on my desk after I scrubbed all the handrails and light switches for hours in the church building.

That was almost a year ago. This year was quite the year. Because of Covid so much of our world changed over night. We spent the year in our homes. No concerts, no movies, no travel, no parties or dinners. Some lost jobs or had their job completely change to a remote position. We now only see coworkers as little heads in a square on a screen. Our kids needed to begin remote learning and everyone got chromebooks. 

I’m just going to say it. This year sucked. I miss all of you deeply. I miss communion. I miss singing in worship. I miss preaching in front of people. I miss potlucks. And, we are missing our annual meeting. Our constitution says that we are suppose to have an annual meeting the fourth Sunday in January and vote on council members and a budget. The council talked through a few different ways to have the annual meeting and it was decided to postpone the meeting until we are able to have the meeting in person. We are going to continue on with the last approved budget and council members and hope that we can gather together to do the voting we need to do sometime in the late spring or early summer. 
Instead of a newsletter article, this will be more of a State of the Church letter, Karen wrote the Report from the Council included in this newsletter and Patti will include a financial update in next months newsletter. 

We had to adapt and change to survive this year in both physical and emotional ways. We needed to learn new skills and get used to new ways of doing things - and this is no easy feat. In a lot of ways 2020 made us stronger. I tell people that 2020 taught me how to be more patient, more flexible, more understanding.

We learned these skills together from our first Sunday worshiping at home from youtube links in an email to this past Sunday where we gathered over Zoom and watched a worship video separate but together. We figured out how to still gather for weddings and funerals. Jenna still got confirmed. A Eagle Scout project was completed by a local scout and we organized food drives that brought 3 van loads of food to St. Cyprian. We built a different kind of community that relies on technology a little more but also forces us to call each other more often for personal connection. We served The Night Ministry by making clothing and hygiene bags recognizing that social justice ministries need more support during a time when people are losing jobs and income. We figured out how to celebrate our major holidays in meaningful ways and we were reminded that God is bigger than a church building and gathers with us no matter how we gather.

We will gather together in a “proper” worship service where we will hug during sharing the peace and take communion during a worship service with all of us there. In the meantime, God is with us. 

Pastor Meagan
From the ELCA

Epiphany--Unfolding the Discovery: Women of the ELCA provides a brief and enlightening resource which looks at the concept of epiphany as "an unfolding or illuminating discovery, as well as a sudden manifestation or meaning of how we understand others in the world, as well as ourselves." This seasonal resource can be used for individual reflection, journaling or group discussion and can be downloaded here.

Ignite the Church Conference 2021: Meeting under the theme “Adopting a New Reality: Living Into a Fresh Vision for God’s Church,” the 2021 Ignite the Church conference will be a virtual event composed of monthly webinars. This free series will include sessions on hybrid community, creative expressions of church, justice and the common good, and encouragement in the face of fatigue. Monthly webinars will run January through April. Learn more and register at ignitethechurch.net.
Treasurer's Report
As of November 2020
You may also mail your donation and/or your pledge form to:
Acacia Park Lutheran Church
4307 N Oriole Avenue
Norridge, IL 60706
Mark your calendars!
Zoom Book Club is Tuesday, February 16th
We'll meet from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on Zoom to discuss The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

From the publisher: This first novel in the widely acclaimed The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to “help people with problems in their lives.” Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors. You can purchase this book at Thrift Books.

Book Club will meet every other month on the third Tuesday via Zoom. If you'd like to secure your book and read ahead for April, the date and book selection are:

Tuesday, April 20, 2021Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
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 Bible Study meeting on Tuesday, January 26th 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 320,000 Americans lost to Covid-19.