Ebenezer United Church of Christ

January 2021 Eagle Newsletter

Please review the document before attending in-person worship.
When you read this, we will have celebrated the birth of the Christ child and with Jesus’ birth comes the gift of hope to the world. This is a gift which we desperately need.

We live in the midst of a darkening world: the days are short and cold, and the nights are long and colder. Darkness surrounds us and zaps our energy. In a normal year, being confined in our homes during the winter is a nice breather from the hectic pace of Christmas shopping, parties, and such, but this year to be confined in our homes seems like an extension of a long nightmare from which we awake and find the confinement hasn’t ended. In a normal year, we celebrate Christmas with joy and large family gatherings.

This year our celebrations are different, just as our world is different. Our celebrations are in some respects muted. Many people will have smaller and shorter gatherings. The big dinner will be smaller. The grand opening of presents with kids running to and fro shouting with joy as they open a multitude of gifts will be much quieter as parents opt to stay at home, and grandparents watch gift opening over Zoom, Facetime, or Skype. I believe for many of us the celebration of Christmas will have a different emphasis.

This year we will be finding, in Jesus’ birth, the promise of the first Sunday of Advent overshadowing the other Sundays. Hope, celebrated in the lighting of the first candle of Advent, is what the world has been longing for during this long sad year in which so many have died because of the pandemic, so many have lost jobs and have gone from living with abundance to living with uncertainty. The birth of Jesus brought hope to the people of ancient Israel as they suffered under the rule of Rome. This year Jesus’ birth brings the hope that we will not live under the rule of COVID-19. As I write this article, the first inoculations are being given to healthcare workers throughout the country. Our prayers have been answered, the vaccine has arrived. With our prayers answered, we have hope that we will experience fewer deaths, our jobs will return, the world will once again be “normal.”

We are thankful to God for the vaccines. We are thankful to the healthcare workers who have, and continue to, work every day to take care of us. While thanking God for answering our prayers, we must not forget there are many countries with millions of people who are ill who have not yet received the vaccine. We must keep praying that the vaccine will come to their countries as soon as possible.

I pray for each of you to have a healthy Christmas and New Year, a time of joy and HOPE.

Peace and grace,
Serve on the Council!
Our church council will be looking for two people to serve a three-year term beginning in January, 2021. The council meets monthly and is responsible for authorizing and paying bills, discussing any ongoing matters within the congregation, and serve as a liaison with one of the Ebenezer committees. If you are interested in serving our church in this way, please contact Ken Lisowe at (920) 418-0020.
Notes from the Music Corner ...
It was great to have six ringers revive their musical skills to offer two selections for the Christmas Eve worship! Thank you also to Karen Cmejla for opening worship on the 4th Sunday of Advent with a bell tree version of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." Christmas music will still be a part of January 3 worship to observe Epiphany.  

Annual Report Time!!

Please have all reports for the 2020 Annual Report to the office NO later than Monday, January 4.

At this time, how the annual meeting will work is up in the air, but the report booklet will still be done with the meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 24.

Confirmation will continue to meet via Zoom until the threat of COVID-19 is greatly reduced.
Confirmation Class of 2020

I have not forgotten about you! We will have a Confirmation service for you when the COVID-19 threat is greatly reduced. 
Daily Prayer

Each weekday morning at 6:15 a.m., Pastor Mike posts a short Bible reading with commentary on his YouTube channel. It is a great way to begin your workday.
Join the Ushering Team!

We could use a few more volunteers to help with the ushering duties. Scheduling should not be more than every six or eight weeks. Obviously the more help we get, the less often you would be scheduled. Please give Shirley Lisowe (920) 418-1675 a call if you would be willing to help out!

Emily Holze, a Chilton High School graduate and current UW-Stout student, is the recipient of the Jeris Waldvogel scholarship this year! Due to COVID-19, there won't be a church presentation, but rather the check was sent directly to her.
Virtual Service

Each Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m., the virtual worship service is posted to Pastor Mike's YouTube account. You are also welcome to view the service Live on Facebook.
Attention Bell Ringers!

If any Ebenezer Brass members would like to do a solo or duet in the upcoming months, it would be great! Contact Jill if you're interested!
Be mindful of the symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread:
Ebenezer Church Council
Meeting Minutes: December 13, 2020
Meeting called to order at 11:01 a.m.

Present: Ken Lisowe, Zach Platner, Vern Gasch, Andy Hofmeister, Joan Woelfel, Dennis Winkler, Pastor Mike

Zach Platner made a motion to approve the agenda and last month's minutes. Dennis Winkler seconded the motion and it carried.

Committee Reports:
  • Property: There was discussion about lighting in the church
  • A special thanks goes to Ruth Aebischer and Karen Cmejla for the Christmas decorations in the church!
  • Ken Lisowe thanks the council members for their work this past year

Old Business:
  • There was discussion about finding new council members

New Business:
  • There was discussion about COVID updates and Christmas Eve service. Much of the discussion was about whether or not to have singing at the service. Vern Gasch made a motion to sing "Silent Night" at the end of the service, and anyone who wouldn't want to participate could exit the church at that time. There would also be an option for caroling, weather permitting, outside after service. Andy Hofmeister seconded that motion, and it carried.
  • There was discussion about how to handle the church's annual meeting on January 24, 2021.

Minutes Submitted by:
Andy Hofmeister
Approved by: The Church council via email. 
Tod ~ David ~ Lorraine ~ Da’Nisha ~ Vern
Callie & Cole ~ Pastor Sue ~ Zachary
Da'Monique ~ Terry ~ DeKerf Family
Patrice ~ Diane ~ Arlene ~ Rebecca 
Norm ~ Vern ~ Gary ~ David ~ Audrey
Jeff ~ Kathy ~ Sharon ~ Steve ~ Janice
Ryann ~ Diana ~ Betty ~ Virginia ~ Kari
Don ~ Terri Ann ~ Mary ~ Bob ~ Audra
Rod ~ The Shirley Ramey Family

Due to privacy laws, last names cannot be printed on the prayer list because the Eagle goes on the church website which can be viewed by anyone on the Internet. 

If you want someone added or removed, please contact the church office.
Thank you.
Ebenezer Office Hours:
*Until further notice, the church office remains closed.*

(920) 849-4331

(the office phone messages are not monitored daily; if you have an emergency, contact Pastor Mike at (920) 286-1956 or via email.

If you have a non-emergency, send the office an email. )
Pastor's Cell Phone: (920) 286-1956
Follow Ebenezer UCC Chilton on Facebook to be sure you're getting the latest news!
Denton Aebischer: Jan 2
Melanie Dvorak: Jan 6
Linda Dorn: Jan 6
Carolyn Platner: Jan 6
Janice Kloehn: Jan 8
Ashley Ditter: Jan 15
Sandy Dietz: Jan 21
Marshall McGinnis: Jan 22
Tiffany Porsche: Jan 22
Herb Woelfel: Jan 23
Owen Zwetow: Jan 28
Kash Payne: Jan 28
Jarrid Kress: Jan 28
Natalie Adamietz: Jan 31
Claudia Brown: Jan 31

May God bless your years and may you continue to bless Ebenezer!
Scrip: If you are in need of Scrip, please let Kelly know. If you are interested in re-loadable cards and direct pay to avoid contact, there is a small fee for credit card charge and bank withdrawal.
Kelly Brown
A huge thank you to Kelly Brown and team for donating items and delivering Holiday baskets to our homebound/assisted living members!
A portion of the Scrip funds went to this project, so thank you for supporting Scrip!
  • The January/February 2021 Upper Room is available in the Narthex.
  • Monday, January 4, 2021: All Annual Reports due to the office.
  • The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 24, 2021 - keep an eye out for details!