LHC By the Way...
DECEMBER 2019

PASTOR'S MESSAGE
REV. RICHARD E. MALMBERG

Friends:
Have you ever heard the expression, “slower than Christmas?” That must come from a childhood experience of Christmas. I do remember counting the days down to Christmas as a kid. As soon as the Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalog arrived in the mail, well before Thanksgiving I started breaking the coveting commandment with a vengeance, imagining GI Joes and Hot Wheels and other shiny objects in the pages of the wish book and as seen on TV.
I confess, it was hard to get very spiritual or theological about Christmas as a grade schooler under the influence of advertising and my own materialist tendencies. In reality, my consumerist feeding frenzy started well before Christmas or even Advent. As an adult, Christmas does not feel slow at all. It seems like Advent begins sooner every year. Advent is not Christmas. Advent is a time of waiting. In Advent we meet the growing darkness of winter by lighting candles. I know that holiday season can feel like a force of nature that has its way with us, one way or another. With that in mind, I hope that each of you will be able to find peace and calm to prepare a place for the child that leads us. In that spirit, I offer this prayer:

A Prayer for Advent
In the shortening days of winter O God, we look to a distant light, a star, and know you are with us. You guide us when we are lost and you give us courage when we are afraid. For your steadfast love, we are grateful.

In this coming season of giving, kindle gratitude in us for what we already have. In our gratitude, help us to remember and serve those, far and near, who are without enough food, shelter or sufficient clothing.

O God, as we await the Prince of Peace, we pray for peace. In a world of war and violence, suffering and pain, make us each instruments of your peace. Let peace reign in our lives, our church, our community and our world.

As we await the arrival of the Christ Child, let hope, love, peace and joy be born anew in our hearts, and bear fruit in all the relationships of our lives. We pray this in the name of the Child of Bethlehem. Amen

I wish you a fruitful journey through Advent.
Faithfully, Pastor Richard Connect with Richard


WHAT'S HAPPENING...

Worship Service  - Sundays, 9:30 am
Bible Study  - Wednesdays, 10 am
Meditation Group - Thursdays, 9 - 10 am
Queen of Hearts Raffle - Wednesdays, 8 pm at Spotted Fox in St. Charles
Playdate - Thursday, Dec. 5 & 19, 1 pm
Christmas Pageant Rehearsals - Dec. 1, 8, 15 during worship
Hanging of the Greens & Potluck Lunch - Sunday, Dec. 1, after worship
Women's Advent Worship & Tea - Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 am
2ND SUNDAY   - Food Pantry Offering  - Sunday, Dec. 8, 9:30 am
Poinsettia Orders Due - Sunday, Dec. 8
Holiday Bazaar - Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 am
Men of LHC Monthly Breakfast - Saturday, Dec. 14, 8:30 am
Christmas Pageant & Lasagna Dinner - Sunday, Dec. 15, 5 pm
BTW Deadline  - Monday, Dec. 16
Book & A Prayer Book Club  - Thursday, Dec. 19, 7 pm
Food Pantry Christmas Dinner Drop-Off - Saturday, Dec. 21, 7:30 - 9 am
Christmas Choral Cantata - Sunday, Dec. 22, 9:30 am
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services - Dec. 24, 5 & 10:30 pm
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day - OFFICE CLOSED

CHURCH OFFICE HOURS - Monday-Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm, 630.584.4013

Women's Advent Tea
Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 am

Worship Service and Music
'Ancient Words...Modern Times'  is this year's theme. Come share in the spirit of the season, and bring a friend! Fellowship Tea will be served in the Parish Hall following the service. Bring an hors d'oeuvre or dessert to share. It's also a good time to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the 'Toys for Tots 'box.
Sign-up Sheets in Parish Hall or

MUSIC NOTES
THE SEASON IS UPON US

It's the most wonderful time of the year! December will provide many musical offerings: The Christmas Pageant on Dec. 15 will once again tell the story of the Nativity with the magic of children's voices, costumes and carols. The pageant begins at 5 pm.
The following Sunday, Dec. 22 the choir will present the Christmas Cantata , Tapestry of Light, A Celtic Christmas Celebration by Joseph M. Martin during our
regular worship time. The cantata has an orchestra and choir and all the music is based on music and tunes from the isles. Please invite your friends and family. Finally, we will be offering our Christmas Eve recitals again this year before the start of each service. Please let me know if you'd like to participate in that.

Peace,
Larry Dieffenbach, Director of Music, Organist Connect with Larry

ORDER POINSETTIAS
ORDERS DUE DEC 8

Decorate our altar for Christmas and raise money to help the mission of LHC. Cost of each plant: $15, and can be purchased in honor or in memory of a loved one. Take them home after the Christmas Eve service. Click for Order Form : email or submit to LHC Office.
candles_romantic.jpg

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
MANY ADVENT ACTIVITIES

December is bustling with ADVENT ACTIVITIES for children and families at LHC. Each of these is an opportunity to build knowledge, understanding, and celebration of the Nativity story: Scripture, movement, and music as taught in our annual  Christmas Pageant  held on December 15 at 5 pm. Advent Children’s worship bulletins . These can be picked up in the Narthex along with our regularly printed worship bulletins.
Devotionals, activities, and children’s literature ideas  provided by Christian Education Ministry. These take-home pages will be available in the Narthex and in Parish Hall.

CLOTH FOR THE CRADLE 
Pastor Richard, Larry Dieffenbach, and Nancy Schatzeder are coordinating a special and ongoing  intergenerational Advent liturgy  that will help build anticipation toward the birth of the Christ child. Beginning Dec. 1 the Chancel will become home to an empty cradle. We will decorate the outside pew border   with strips of fabric. The entire congregation will be encouraged to bless strips of cloth hopes, wishes, prayers, etc. On Dec. 15 to musical accompaniment, members, children, guests will be invited to lay their piece of cloth into the cradle, thus creating a quilt—a receiving blanket—for the baby Jesus. Nancy and Pastor Richard will help coordinate the weaving of the strips of fabric.
 
SUNDAY SCHOOL DATES
Dec. 1, 8 & 15 — Pageant practice/rehearsal
Dec. 22 — Sunday School Christmas party with games, cookie decoration and Christmas carols!
Dec. 29 — No Class
Jan. 4 — Regular Sunday School is back in session. Leaders needed!
 
A huge thanks to all who have shared their faith as well as their love of children by leading classes. Frank Muno broke through the gender barrier by becoming our first male teacher of the year! When our teachers represent people in the pews, our children notice, appreciate, and grow in their faith.
 
And last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Sunday School students age 7 and older who received their Bibles recently. A huge thank you to Rik and Nancy Alex for provision of the bulk of our bible purchase through the R. Brent Alex Memorial Fund . Brent helped make a magical day for the children of LHC! If your   child has not received their bible, please let Nancy Schatzeder know.

Nancy Schatzeder, Christian Education Ministry

SiS HOLIDAY BAZAAR
SAT, DEC 14, 9 AM TO NOON

We're in the holiday spirit...! SiS is hosting a holiday bazaar in the Parish Hall. Cookies, candy, crafts and more will be on sale. Set up for the sale will be on Friday, Dec.13, from 2 to 4 pm.
Christmas Stockings: SiS will also be providing stuffed holiday stockings for children in need. Small toys, crafts and personal items can be donated in the church office.

'Sisters in Spirit' - Small Group Ministry
For Info: Contact Anne Bouchard or Judy Hopkins
outreach ministry logo

OUTREACH MINISTRY
GENEROSITY & GRATITUDE

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” Steve Maraboli
First and foremost, on behalf of Outreach Ministry and the Neighborhood Food Pantry, thank you for your amazing generosity in filling our orders for Thanksgiving dinners for those in need. We filled all 46 orders in two short weeks! The families who benefit from your kindness will be incredibly grateful to have the supplies to make a Thanksgiving feast to remember.
We will, in a few weeks, have the opportunity to provide Christmas dinners to these same families. I know in this season, we are being asked to give at every turn. Though this could be seen as something else to add to our list of things to do, it truly makes the difference between families having a holiday meal or not. I will be coming around after our services in December as soon as I receive the information. Thank you again for your enormous generosity!
Thanks, too, for the people who have volunteered to assist our friends at Renz Addiction Center! Things that seem small to us can make a huge difference in the lives of those in need. Your efforts are appreciated!

Karissa James , Outreach Ministry Chair

A BOOK & A PRAYER
3RD THURSDAY, 7 PM

NEXT MEETING - December 19
Letters from Father Christmas, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas. They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by Tolkien’s inventiveness in this classic holiday treat.
Consider joining the book group for discussion, fellowship…and snacks! There is always room for one more. The group meets at church in the Parish Hall. Any questions, please contact Kathy Haben .
FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES
We will be taking December off due to the busyness of the holidays. We'll see everyone back in January!

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT
SUNDAY, DEC 15, 5 PM

The simple telling of the Christmas Story with children ages preschool through high school— Rehearsals are Dec. 1, 8 & 15 from 9:30 to 10:30 am with a slightly extended rehearsal after church on Sunday, Dec. 15. We are still in need of older kids to fill the roles of Mary, Joseph, the three Kings, and the Innkeeper.
We also need a baby... you can't have a telling of the Christmas story without Baby Jesus! Please consider asking your family, friends, and neighbors. The earlier we fill the cast, the more prepared we are! Please pass on any names and contact information to either myself or the Church Office.

How you can help —Need volunteers to help set up the stage, help dress the cast the evening of the pageant, escort the kids into the church at the proper time, and for those interested in sewing and washing costumes leading up to the pageant. A special thanks to those who have already signed up to help. I'm looking forward to another wonderful pageant.

Samantha Prang , Worship & Spiritual Growth Ministry

Don't forget the LASAGNA DINNER following the Pageant...!
Reserve Now so we can plan.
Cost: $8 per person or $30 per family

TOYS FOR TOTS
ALL TOYS DUE: DEC 15

 What is it?
Toys for Tots  is a program run by the  United States Marine Corps Reserve  which distributes  toys  to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for  Christmas . The program was founded in 1947 by reservist  Major  Bill Hendricks. The mission of the program "is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted." Through the years Toys for Tots has distributed over 512 million toys!

What do we need?
We need toys for children ages infant through preteen/teen. Toys for Tots does not supply a desired toy list but instead asks you to consider what you might find an appropriate gift for your child, niece, nephew or grandchild. Check the ads in your local paper and head on over to the toy aisle in your favorite store! If you're unable to shop please consider a monetary donation. Toys for Tots then uses the funds to purchase supplemental toys for the age groups that fall short on toys. Last year we donated over 100 toys. Let's match that number and surpass it! The drop-off boxes are already in the Parish Hall.

All donations are due at Little Home Church UNWRAPPED by Sunday, December 15.

Contact the Church Office with any questions.

OH, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL EVENING...!

Our recent successful concert was aptly named 'Oh, What a Beautiful Evening' as our vocalists Nicholas Metzger and Marisa Buchheit, and pianist Rosemary Schroeder truly made beautiful music together. Marisa and Nicholas demonstrated a great rapport throughout the evening, especially in their duets. Each of you who attended probably have a favorite, mine was the moving end of the West Side Story set where they sang the Balcony Scene and Somewhere, it was fantastic. In commemoration of Veteran’s Day, the audience of nearly 120 people joined the performers in a rousing rendition of 'God Bless America' of which they should be proud. 

I would like to thank our fabulous performers, all of those who spent the evening with us, as well as our donors, volunteers and bakers: Pete and Kathie Connolly, Kathleen Haben and, Jen and Lori Haseltine. In addition, a big thank you to Kathleen Sullivan Kaska for her graphic design talents and Lori Prang for her event promotion and administrative assistance.

Pete Connolly, Stewardship Ministry, Event Chair

AMAZON SMILE PROGRAM DONATIONS TO LHC

Little Home Church is a registered charity on AmazonSmile. When you shop on AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com , the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to LHC .
Here’s how to participate: Search smile.amazon.com . Once the site comes up, sign in to your Amazon account. Then scroll down to the box that says, “Select charitable organization to support/Pick your own charity to support” (or words to that effect). Type 'Little Home Church by the Wayside, UCC' into the box and click on the select button. The church name will appear. If you have supported other charities in the past, or if you want to support a variety of charities, there is a box at the top center on the home page that allows you to change your charity. Start shopping!

More information: Contact Anne Bouchard


The Queen of Hearts continues to gather momentum.  As each week goes by, the pot grows, and we presently have over $1,700 in earnings from this project. Karen Kaluzsa, Mary Roach and I sold tickets at the Wayne Post Office for several days and our effort was a huge success. 11 cards have been turned over on the game board, one each week, and a Queen has not yet been selected.

Our earnings have generated over $1,700...!

The raffle is held every Wednesday, at 8 pm , at the Spotted Fox, 3615 East Main Street, St. Charles, (across from Von Maur and Coopers Hawk). Each week church members come for fellowship, libations, and dinner to witness the drawing. If you have a free Wednesday evening, please come and join in the fun!

To support our LHC Outreach Program, you are able to purchase tickets throughout the week at the Spotted Fox or during fellowship after Sunday worship. And if more convenient, please call Carol Berger at 630.363.8982 or Mary Roach, 630.544.1881, and we would be happy to accommodate you.

Carol Berger and Mary Roach
Fundraising Committee Members

MEN OF LHC EVENT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2020

Join the Men of LHC as we return to watch the Chicago Steel battle the Des Moines Buccaneers on Star Wars night at the Fox Valley Arena. It will be another fun filled night with action, suspense, laughter, and camaraderie! Tickets are only $15 each and parking is always free at FVIA. Expect a wonderful night for the whole family!

Tickets: Call 630-584-4013 or online at littlehomechurch.org/events . Proceeds will support the Men of LHC's local community service.

FLOWERS
FELLOWSHIP
USHERS
PULPIT ASSOCIATE 


Sign-up to help decorate our altar table, provide fellowship, or assist with our weekly worship as an usher or pulpit associate.

The calendar is in the Parish Hall and presently goes through the end of the year.



De cember 1
Pulpit Associate - Ann McLaughlin
Ushers - Ron & Maggie Purser
Flowers - Mary Emily Anhalt
Fellowship - Hanging of the Greens Potluck

December 8
Pulpit Associate - Karen Kaluzsa
Ushers - The Miller Family
Flowers - (Open)
Fellowship - Jennifer Harmon

December 15
Pulpit Associate - (Open)
Ushers - Karen Kaluzsa & Chuck McDonough
Flowers - Jan & Kit Dewitt
Fellowship - (Open)

December 22
Pulpit Associate - Christmas Cantata
Ushers - Carol Berger & (open)
Flowers - Poinsettias
Fellowship - The Miller Family

December 24 - 5 pm
Pulpit Associate - (Open)
Ushers - (Open)
December 24 - 10:30 pm
Pulpit Associate - Leigh Bechet
Ushers - Ann McLaughlin/Greg Hege

December 29
Pulpit Associate - (Open)
Ushers - (Open)
Flowers - Poinsettias
Fellowship - (Open)
cupcake for christmas

DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
Dec. 3 - Gladys Stevenson
Dec. 9 - Kristen Thornton
Dec. 10 - Karissa James, Dave Sterner
Dec. 11 - Charles Karwowski
Dec. 13 - Valeri Baldwin
Dec. 18 - Christopher Thornton
Dec. 19 - Janice Christiansen, Braedon Miller,
Ty Wilson-Muno
Dec. 26 - Amelia Johnson, Natalie Lalagos
Dec. 29 - Jan Dewitt

LOVE AND PRAYERS

Those recently ill or hospitalized...
 Kathi Abell, Laurel Hendrickson

Our sympathies to...
Family and friends of Joe Lyon who passed away Nov. 25, 2019. Our condolences to his wife Barbara, and children Sydney, Mimi, Joel and Stacey.
Group of christianity people praying hope together

 CHURCH LEADERSHIP
THANK YOU TO OUR CHURCH STAFF AND COUNCIL VOLUNTEERS

Pastor  - Rev. Richard E. Malmberg
Pastor Emeritus  - Rev. Dr. Don Heinrich
Pastor Emeritus  - Rev. Ronald Purser
 Director of Music/Organist  - Larry Dieffenbach
Office Manager  - Lori Prang
Custodian - Geraldine Fields
// // //
CHURCH COUNCIL
Moderator  - Karen Kaluzsa
Moderator-elect  - Carol Berger
Stewardship  - Peter Connolly
Evangelism  - Mary Roach
Outreach  - Karissa James
Congregational Life  - Kathy Haben
Christian Education  - Nancy Schatzeder
Worship & Spiritual Growth  - Samantha Prang
Facilities  - Mark Lesswing
Members at Large  - Jen Haseltine; Scott Johnson
Financial Treasurer  - Susi Winquist
Financial Secretary  - Ann McLaughlin
Clerk  - Kristen Thornton
// // //
BTW Editors - Lori Prang and Kathleen Sullivan Kaska

WE ACCEPT, EMBRACE AND AFFIRM THE DIGNITY AND WORTH OF EVERY PERSON, AS WE ARE ALL CREATED IN GOD'S IMAGE.

Female hands holding hot coffee above wooden table. Top view with copy space
JOIN US...
Coffee, tea, juice & tasty treats in the Parish Hall after worship service each Sunday. We'd love to chat with you!