A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Monthly news & updates
June 2020
From the Pastor's Desk . . .
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray each of you is doing well. June will bring us into month four of physical distancing due to Covid-19. Four months is a long time. It is a third of a year, almost half a pregnancy, a full season. We spent all of spring in our homes, all seven weeks of the Easter season. Four months is a long time. It feels even longer when we don’t know when the end will come. 

As you can probably tell, I’m a planner. I had all of my family vacations planned through 2026. When I make a decision to do something I make a checklist and work through it until it is done. I did this with school, with preparing for major life events, and with certain church projects that have many steps. Part of me hates Covid-19 because it is messing with my plans. Like many of you, all my plans over the past four months were paused or canceled. My daughter and I were going to see Reba McEntire last month, but now it is either canceled or postponed—I don’t know yet. We had a few graduates in our congregation this year: college, high school, and elementary school. Each graduation celebrates an accomplishment and a commitment, and we don’t get to hold celebrations the way we typically do. Instead, we now send virtual messages and do a car parade and mail gifts as a way to celebrate.

This is something I find amazing about our new Covid-19 world. It is seeing the adaptability and creativity of people. The way we interact is changing, but we are figuring it out. And now it is time for the church to do the same. Over the centuries the church has needed to adapt to the world around it. During the Cold War, the countries that were behind the iron curtain had to figure out how to continue in faith without meeting for worship. During slavery in the United States, slaves had to come up with secret ways to worship in ways meaningful to them. This is not the first pandemic the world has seen, nor is it the first pandemic the church has had to survive. As I was reading about past
pandemics and the response of the church, I found this website that gives an overview of how the church responded to past plagues and viruses:   https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/pandemics-and-public-worship-throughout-history .

This is not the first time the church couldn’t meet in person for worship, and it won’t be the last. But this is our time and our situation, and frankly, it sucks. I miss all of you, and I know you miss each other. I miss worship. I miss communion. I miss the sanctuary. You do too. The thing that makes this so hard is that we can’t plan. We can’t say that by the fall it will be safe to gather again. We can’t put a date of safety on a virus, especially for a church where we sing together, where we share a meal, where we touch each other. Yet as we enter Phase 3 here in Illinois, it does allow us to think creatively. When we enter Phase 3, which the governor says will be in the next week or so (at the time of this writing), we can begin gathering in groups of 10 or less. Church will not be the same, but we can be in the sanctuary. We can meet in small groups to pray and experience Christ together. 

I am in the midst of planning and creating this new way of being a church, so be on the lookout for details. The church council approved a tentative phase-in plan which can be found on our website . When we enter Phase 3, we will provide Wednesday Mediation with Pastor. There will be a sign up through Google Docs for a 20-minute time frame for you and your family or a few close friends—as long as it is nine people or under—to meet in the sanctuary with Pastor. We will pray, talk, have a brief worship service together, and you can go to the altar for silent prayer. We will adapt just like the Christians did before us who found themselves in a period of time in history when gathering together was either hard or dangerous. 

I am excited to begin seeing some of you during Phase 3. If you still feel more comfortable experiencing worship through email, then please continue to stay home and worship. Worship will continue to be provided through email and physical mailing. The Wednesday Mediation with Pastor is simply another way to experience Christ during this time but not the only way.

In Christ,

Pastor Meagan
From the ELCA
"God's work. Our hands." Sunday
“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday is September 13, 2020. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. Service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

Last year, the ELCA sponsored a "God's work. Our hands." Sunday hymn contest. A hymn entitled “God’s Work, Our Hands,” written by Wayne Wold, director of music ministry at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, MD, was selected as the winning entry out of more than 120 submissions. The hymn represents the official tagline of the ELCA and expresses how the people of this church live in service for the life of the world. You can listen to and view a recording of the hymn by clicking here .

You work every day to make your community a better place. Let us continue doing this work together in 2020!
Congratulations Class of 2020!
Acacia Park Family and Friends Celebrate their Graduates
During this season of commencement, we send out congratulations, best wishes and a prayer for graduates:

We pray for our graduates and lift them before you. We thank you so much for these we love and for the work you are continuing to do in their lives. They are a gift to us and to many others. And during this season of new beginnings, we ask that you would make their way clear. We ask that you would keep their footsteps firm and remind them that you are with them, always. May they sense the freshness of your Spirit over their lives in amazing ways, may they be strengthened, instilled with hope, for the new roads you have in store. We ask for your wisdom and clear direction over their lives, that you would give them understanding beyond their years. Thank you that your timing is perfect. We pray that you would direct their steps, that your plans for them would prosper; that every place you have determined for them to walk would be paved clear. We ask for you to open doors that need to be opened and close every one that should be shut tight. Allow every gift and treasure you have placed inside their lives to grow, develop, and flourish. May they feel your peace and security. Amen
Kindergarten
Kyli Shai Barrios --Edison Park Elementary
Mateusz Andrzej Chajec --Union Ridge
Emma Miskawitz --St. Patrick Catholic School
Leah Miskawitz --Canterbury Elementary

8th Grade
Christopher LaSpisa --Sudling Junior High
Stephen LaSpisa --Sudling Junior High
Jenna O'Connell --Arthur E. Canty Elementary
High School
John LaSpisa --Palatine High School
Nathan Ringelstein --Ridgewood High School

College
Bobby Farenkopf --Mechanical Engineering, Valparaiso University
Frances Parent --Women's and Gender Studies & Psychology, Emory University
Mariel Ringelstein --Nursing, Valparaiso University
Acacia Park Community Announcements
Pastor Stay-Cation:  Pastor Meagan will be on a Stay-Cation from Thursday, May 28th through Wednesday, June 3rd. Pastor will still be around, so if there is an emergency please get in touch with Karen Lanners at 773-439-9893 or Karen.Lanners@yahoo.com , and she will share the information with Pastor who will reach out.

Face Masks: Patti Mann will make a face mask for any senior in the congregation or someone with an autoimmune issue. The face masks are fabric and can be washed. Please contact Patti at 708-494-6573 if you are in need. She will also drop the mask off at your home.
Financial Update
As of April 2020
We were able to pay all of our April bills. June will be a little bit of a challenge because we have a few semi annual bills due. The council applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) though the CARES act. We are still in process for the funds. We also applied to a synod grant for funds to help pay some of the bills. The council would like to thank everyone who has been able to keep paying their pledges or giving donations.
Treasurer's Report
As of April 2020
Prayer Requests
Allie: nurse at Lutheran General Hospital
Jackie: nurse
Susan Mari: medical student
Shar & George Wyatt: loss of loved one
Katie, Gene, Sean, Megan: grocery store employees
Kelly Smith: nurse
Diana O’Connell: 911 dispatcher
Rich O’Connell: firefighter
Sheri and Dan LaVigne: Costco employees
Carlie Figliuolo: paramedic
Haley Stec: EMT/paramedic student
Frank Stec: EMT/paramedic student
Erv Siemers: health
Family of Doris Mellinger: condolences
Stewart: general prayers
J.: for the promotion she is seeking
Nettie Richards
Burse Wince
Bonnie Wince
If you have loved ones working in hospitals, grocery stores, or other essential-worker capacities, please share their names so that we may lift them up in prayer. You may also share other prayer concerns such as lost jobs, health, anxiety, etc. Email your prayer requests to: pastormeagan@gmail.com or acaciaparkchurch@gmail.com .
Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them .

Celebrate fathers everywhere! Father's Day is Sunday, June 21st.