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

First, I want to start this letter by saying: I miss you all! As I write this, it is week seven of stay in place—seven weeks since we worshiped together in the same room, seven weeks since school turned into e-learning, seven weeks of us not leaving our homes, seven weeks of no movies or concerts or get-togethers. We are beginning to wonder, how long?

My friends, I, like you, have no idea. I do have plans for when we begin to ease back into a new normal, how we will begin to enter back into our worship space and eventually worship together again. But we are not there yet. It is still safest for each of us to follow the stay-in-place orders. The council and I continue to follow the guidance of our local government and the CDC on when and how to enter into the space again. 

Until we can be together in the same room again, what are we doing? 
  • Weekly worship is being emailed. If you would like printouts of the worship service mailed to you, let Dawn or I know. 

  • Devotionals are being emailed or mailed out.
  • Make sure you “like” Acacia Park on Facebook. I post reflections, videos, prayers, and we can talk to each other on the Facebook page.
  • I am doing phone check-ins. If you would like weekly check-ins, please let me or Dawn know.
  • We will continue to send out this monthly newsletter.
  • The executive board and council have virtual meetings.
  • We will be hosting a food drive for St. Cyprian's. Come to the church on Friday, May 1st between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to drop off non-perishable food donations. If you would prefer to leave a bag on your porch, we will pick it up on Saturday morning, May 2nd, beginning at 9:00 am. Just call or email Pastor Meagan, and let her know you have a bag on your porch.

This new virtual world is a challenge for many of us, and we can feel lonely or anxious at times. Please call or text me if you just want to talk: 773-885-9686. My extroverted needs are not being met, and I would LOVE to talk on the phone with you. If you have ideas on how to improve worship (we don’t have capabilities to live stream, but I am open to all ideas), create a bible study, develop a virtual gathering … please let me know. I love trying new things and discovering new ways to keep connected with people.

In Christ,
Pastor Meagan
From the ELCA
How You Can Help:
A Letter from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Weeks may have passed since you last walked in the doors of your congregation and worshiped, face-to-face, with your community of faith. To be sure, being the body of Christ looks and feels differently than it ever has before.

Despite all of this, we are called to be church — together. The ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) looks different now, but it has not stopped. Nor have the needs of our communities and the world. Our church and its leaders continue to minister to its members, to those who are hurting and searching for peace, and to those in need.

The congregations and ministries of this church rely on your weekly offerings and gifts. Without in-person worship services for many weeks or even months, the financial impact could be devastating.

Please continue to give to your congregation and give regularly. Your congregation and its leaders continue to minister to your community of faith. This ministry relies on your weekly offerings. Find out how you can continue your pledge or regular offering though online giving, automatic monthly giving or mail.
You may also mail your contribution to:
Acacia Park Lutheran Church
4307 N Oriole Avenue
Norridge, IL 60706
St. Cyprian's Food Pantry
Need for Food Assistance has More than Doubled
St. Cyprian’s Ecumenical Food Pantry, 6535 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago needs help to help our neighbors. The need for food from the food pantry has more than doubled since coronavirus erupted. You can help ensure that the pantry shelves stay stocked in three different ways:
Donate food items —Canned goods, non-perishable food items, baby food, formula, diapers and toilet paper are especially needed. You can drop them off at the food pantry during regular pantry hours, which are Monday and Thursday from 8 am until 11 am. Ring the doorbell at the parking lot entrance, and a volunteer will come to accept your donation. Please note : There will be a special on-site drive-through food donation event at the food pantry on Sunday, May 3rd from 12:00 to 4:00 pm.
Make a monetary donation —Donating money will help St. Cyprian’s to purchase food from the Chicago Food Depository and other agencies that offer food at discounted prices. You can either bring the donation to the pantry during regular hours, or mail it to St. Cyprian’s Food Pantry, 6535 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60634.
Volunteer —Because of the increased volume of clients coming to the food pantry, more volunteers would be helpful. If you would like information about volunteering, call Joan at the food pantry: 773-283-9178. 
Acacia Park Community Announcements
Stay-at-Home Order Extended: Governor Pritzker has extended the Illinois stay-at-home order through at least May 30th. In addition, the order now requires that beginning Friday, May 1st anyone over two years old who can medically tolerate it needs to wear a mask or some other sort of face covering while in a public place where they can't stay the recommended six feet away from others. Masks or face coverings are also required for all public indoor spaces regardless of the ability to maintain distance. Village President Dan Tannhauser has stipulated Norridge's compliance through executive order .

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.

Diana Parry has moved. If you would like to drop her a note, Diana's new mailing address is:
2040 Teton Parkway 
Algonquin, IL 60102
From the Executive Board
Acacia Park Financial Update
The executive board has been in regular conversation about the finances of Acacia Park Lutheran Church. Right now, we are able to pay all of our bills through May. We are able to do this because people are continuing to give their pledges and offerings. If this is something that your current finances allow—we want to give a huge thank you! THANK YOU for your generosity in such uncertain times, and we are incredibly moved by this ongoing support. 

We are keeping expenses below budget and will continue to do so. New Life is recording their worship in the sanctuary each week and is continuing to pay for space sharing, which is helping immensely. 

Yet, when we look forward with it continuing to be unclear when we will be able to gather again, we see large bills due in June. Insurance payments and other large payments will need to be made, and we will not have the funds in checking to pay for them. We want to delay taking money out of savings due to
losing so much when the stock market fell. The council has applied for the Payment Protection Program through a few different financial institutions, and we have tentative approval as of this writing. Things will be OK; we like so many families that have to make changes to family finances due to lost jobs or a pay cut will make adjustments to weather the storm.

We are also mindful of the financial impact for individuals both in the congregation and the community. We pray for them, and we will continue to offer support them in any way possible. If you are in a precarious financial situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and to adjust your offering accordingly. If you are in a place to continue, or even increase your support, know that it helps us to help others.

Again, thank you for being such an amazing community. We will continue to be the church to one another now and in the future. 
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
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 139:13-14 For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Celebrate mothers everywhere! Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10th.