News for the Week of:

December 10, 2023

Dear Friends,


It appears that the Crud—flu, Covid, unidentified bugs—is making the rounds wherever humans are. I know a number of you are feeling crummy and I am so sorry! 


As if we don’t have enough to do in this time, what with end-of-year parties and financials and reports, finals and grading, Christmas shopping and wrapping and decorating and travel. 


How frustrated will you be if I suggest looking at it another way? 


I’m so taken by our Advent book All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings by Gayle Boss. Each day Boss looks at a different animal that lives near her in Michigan and writes about what winter, waiting, and preparation are like for that animal, then she makes a very subtle point about what we can learn for our own Advent waiting and preparation. Reading about each creature has me thinking about how to embrace the cold, the dark, the waiting. 


And what else is being sick but enforced waiting, awareness that we are not in charge of it all? As I, too, recover from some illness this week, I am trying to embrace this time—the waiting, the stillness—rather than fighting it. 


If something has stilled you this week, I pray you might find a little grace in it, too. 


Hope to see you in church—healthy!—this Sunday for Advent 2 and later at The Annex for Beer & Carols. Masks might be a good idea, too.

Faithfully, Suzanne+

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THIS SUNDAY: It's the return of an All Saints holiday tradition!

On Sunday, December 10 at 6:30pm, members of the All Saints community will descend upon O'Shaughnessy's Public House at 4557 N. Ravenswood (the corner of N. Ravenswood and W. Wilson) to belt out Christmas carols while drinking beer or other yummy beverages! Invite your friends!

Worship and Service

Advent and Christmas at All Saints

Sunday, December 17

Advent III: Pageant! Greening! Lessons and Carols with Rectory Party following!

Don't miss your chance to be in the audience at either the 9:00 or 11:00am service to see a Christmas pageant with a decidedly Barbie twist! As per usual, the 8:00am service will be donkey (and Barbie) free.

Then stick around after our 11:00am service or just come over at 12:30pm to help us green the church. Over a light lunch, we'll "spruce" up the place!

At 6:30, we'll conduct a Lessons and Carols service with inspirational readings and chances to sing the great music of the season. This is another fun event for your friends and family! 

Following Lessons and Carols will be a Rectory Open House. Enter through the reading room and enjoy a drink and some light bites while sharing Christmas cheer with the All Saints community.

Sunday, December 24

Advent IV and Christmas Eve

This year, the fourth Sunday of Advent falls on December 24, so we'll celebrate Advent IV at the 8:00 and 9:00am services. There will be no 11:00am service. Our celebration of Christmas Eve begins at 4:30pm with our Children's Service and again at 10:30 for carols before our Candlelight Service at 11:00pm.

Monday, December 25

Christmas Day

Our Christmas Day service begins at 10:00am.

Formation and Fellowship

This Advent, what can we learn

from the Common Eastern Firefly?

Who doesn’t marvel at the dancing lights of fireflies in summer? But did you know that just days after they delight us, they die? Their light goes on though, because throughout the stages of their life-and-death cycle, in the air and under the ground as larvae, the Common Eastern Firefly radiates a soft and constant light. They are a wonder.

Gayle Boss tells the story of the Common Eastern Firefly in her book All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings (Paraclete Press, 2016). And this coming Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00pm, you can hear that story read aloud by an All Saints storyteller in a Zoom session co-sponsored by members of our Green Team and Worship Committee. Together we can reflect… How do our lives bring light to others in the darkest days of Advent and beyond? Where might we see the light others radiate as a reflection of Jesus, the Light whose birth we celebrate at Christmas?

Everyone is invited to join in this third conversation of our 4-week Advent series! You need not have attended the previous sessions. Just come and listen to the story and to each other. If you wish to use this book throughout Advent as your daily Advent devotional practice, you can buy the book in print (new and used) or as an e-book. A children’s edition for ages 3-8 is also available.

Join us on Zoom:

Meeting ID: 857 8465 4039

Passcode: 886459

For additional creation-themed Advent resources—both devotional and practical—for you and your family, download this PDF with links.

All Saints Youth Group:

Decorate Christmas Cookies this Sunday, December 10!

All Saints Youth Group meets from 3:30-5:30pm on Sundays. We welcome youth ages 12 and older. E-mail [email protected] with any questions.

Hope to see you at our next meeting! 

Ravenswood Light Up Nights: Starting December 15, 5:00pm

All Saints will be hosting the official kick-off event for the beloved neighborhood tradition: Ravenswood Light Up Nights. There will be a fun craft activity, a tree lighting, Dave Wernette-Harnden will be playing carols with his brass quintet, and more! All Saints will be providing homemade hot cocoa packets as a way to advertise and (gasp!) evangelize. 

A small team is needed to help make the packets. This will happen right after the 11:00am service on Sunday, December 10. It should only be an hour or two of work. Please let Joe Wernette-Harnden ([email protected]) know if you'd be interested in helping. 

Small Group for Educators

Are you an educator? Being an educator hasn't been easy lately, and it can often feel like you're living on an island.

A number of your fellow educators at All Saints have expressed an interest in getting together for a little social time with someone else who "gets it." The holidays are always super busy, but a social event before returning from winter break might just be a great way to start this group off. This could be an opportunity to commiserate, debrief, and mentally prepare yourself for the months ahead.

All educators are welcome to join, including school leaders, teachers, tutors, support aides, psychologists, speech therapists, etc. - essentially anyone who works in the PK-12 realm.

Please share your interest by contacting Joe Wernette-Harnden at [email protected]

Marques Garrett at

St. Paul and the Redeemer:

January 13

The Church of St. Paul & the Redeemer in Hyde Park is hosting a free, day-long workshop with Marques Garrett, editor of the new, indispensable Oxford Anthology of Music by Black Composers, a 2023 publication which centers the non-idiomatic music of Black composers. All are invited to join this day-long event on Saturday, January 13 to learn about the composers featured in this anthology.

More info:

All Saints Book Club

Autumn 2023 - Winter 2024

The All Saints Book Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm on Zoom. If you're not a regular attendee, email Mike Burke at [email protected] for a meeting invite.

This year, the club continues to support the book sanctuary initiative by including at least one banned book in its reading plan. Our next meeting will be on December 14 to discuss Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep.

Outreach and Justice

Volunteers Needed for December: RCS After School Pantry 

RCS' After School Pantry is back for the 2023-24 school year and we are looking for additional volunteer help! Partnering with Brennemann, Goudy, and McCutcheon elementary schools in Uptown, these Thursday afternoon pantries are designed to provide families with kid-friendly staples over the weekend when school meals are not available. So far this school year, we've seen an overwhelming increase in participation, which means we need more help! If you have a flexible schedule and can be available for 60-90 minutes on a Thursday afternoon, sign up here for one or more of the available volunteer spots. Thank you!

All Saints volunteers for the RCS Mobile Pantry:

TOMORROW, Saturday, December 9

On Saturday, December 9 from 8:00-11:00am, All Saints is volunteering at the Ravenswood Community Services Mobile Pantry at Ravenswood Elementary School (corner of Montrose and Paulina). We'll need 10 volunteers to help set up and distribute groceries from the school parking lot. 

The Mobile Pantry provides a selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, and non-perishable food items in a farmer’s market-style atmosphere at no charge to families in need of food assistance. It’s a great chance to hang out with All Saints folks and serve others. Families are welcome. The pantry is outdoors and we won’t have access to the school building, so please dress accordingly. 

You can sign up here and contact Courtney with any questions.

Refugee arrivals continue, but All Saints is meeting the challenge

Here's how coats, sweaters, sleeping bags, and other items collected by parishioners and friends were distributed in November:

  • 16 children's coats and one Amazon carrier were taken to Care for Real to distribute to refugees visiting its pantries.
  • 29 adult coats and two Amazon carriers were taken to the District 16 police station for distribution there and at O'Hare airport.
  • 7 children's coats, 3 pairs of snowpants, and assorted hats, gloves, and winter gear, along with one Amazon carrier, were taken to Murphy School for their closet for children at the Marine Shelter on Foster.
  • 7 children's coats, 6 adult coats, 1 sleeping bag, assorted blankets, vests, hats, and scarves, and four Amazon carriers were taken to the Chi Welcome's police station response team storage site for distribution to newly arrived migrants.
  • 8 sleeping bags, 3 blankets, 7 adult coats, and two storage bags were taken to the 11th District Police Station. 
  • 5 men's coats, 3 men's sweaters, and 1 pair of men's snow pants were taken to the Albany Park Free Store, for refugees placed in permanent housing.

Refugees keep arriving, so Annie Logue is still collecting and distributing items. To arrange a drop-off or pickup, contact her at [email protected]

Church Business

Remembering Ed Hollatz

Members of All Saints are invited to join the family Edwin Hollatz, father of Celia Bergman, during visitation at Hultgren Funeral Home on Sunday December 10 from 3:00-7:00pm or Monday December 11 from 10:00am – noon. A memorial service to honor Ed’s life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton on Monday, January 22 at 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Edwin Hollatz can be made to the Edwin A. Hollatz Endowed Scholarship at Wheaton College. Donations by check may be made out to Wheaton College and sent to Advancement Services, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL, 60187, or to the general missions fund at College Church, 332 E. Seminary Avenue, Wheaton, IL, 60187. For either memorial gift, please kindly note on the memo line that the gift is in memory of Edwin Hollatz.

Vestry: a call to serve

If you're interested in serving All Saints as a member of our vestry or a diocesan representative, please apply online by January 8, 2024!

As a member of the All Saints Vestry, you'll participate in the oversight of the financial and spiritual health of the church. Fiscal responsibilities include reviewing and approving financial statements as prepared by the Treasurer; approving and institutionalizing recommendations from the Finance Committee concerning budget, loan, and investment activities; and managing our physical plant resources. You'll engage in the spiritual health of the church by supporting our mission and our ministries, offering time and energy to members of the congregation through both group and one-on-one interactions. Each Vestry member is expected to attend monthly meetings and to participate in the preparation and realization of the Annual Meeting at which Vestry and Warden elections are held. Any pledge-paying member of the church sixteen years or older is eligible. 

If you'd like to find out more about how the Vestry works, we'll be hosting a Vestry Information Coffee Hour at some point in the near future. Stay tuned for further details!

Upcoming vestry meeting schedule

Our next Vestry meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 12 to avoid colliding with any Christmas festivities. 

Serving This Sunday

8:00am Service
Altar Guild: Bryan Matias

9:00am Service
Acolytes: Isabella Maki & Julia Sweeney
Altar Guild: Matthew Sanders & Clarine Stephens
Ushers: Tony Swain & Michael Mattson
Lectors: Mark Sweeney & Raquel Flores-Maki
Intercessor: Lynn Bowers
Chalice: Raquel Flores-Maki
11:00am Service
Acolyte: Carly Andrews & Skip Yates
Altar Guild: Ashley Gilmore & John Tyler
Ushers: Nancy Kipnis & Bill McHugh
Lectors: Allison Loecke
Intercessor: Lelia Fry
Chalice: Liz Morris & Skip Yates
Media Ministry: Dylan Masterson (Audio), Josephine Koo (Camera), Maureen Kupstas (FB Greeter)

Did you know you can listen to All Saints sermons on Apple Podcasts?

We Pray For

Those who suffer in mind, body, or spirit: especially for Anne Gellman, Michael Curry, Chey Perdue, John Cruz, Bobbi, Lark Syrris, Sarah Booten, Susan Folwell, Kristine Richards, and for those whose hurt, burdens, and fears go unspoken.

For those on our long-term prayer list: Carl Youngberg, Noel McGraw, Ora & Eugene Washington, Helen LoRusso, Jane Dobrowski, Chester Richard, Peg Deppe, Ken Reid, Kirsten Rehnberg, Debi Armstrong, Suzanne Shear, Ann J, James Guite, Nina Chinn, Jim Crandall, Lionel Edes, Clara Maddox, Kamila and Kathy, Mary Logue

For those around the world: the people of Gaza and Israel, the people of Ukraine and all affected by war; and our brothers and sisters in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Renk, Sudan; and throughout Latin America and East Africa

For those who celebrate birthdays this week:

12/10 - Chad Kruse, Helen Poot

12/11 - Faith Tarrance

12/12 - Nolan Kruse

12/13 - Nicola Contey

12/14 - Prince Stokes, Spencer Daas, Anton Youngberg

12/15 - Heather Summers, Mothra Edstrom, Virginia Eisele

12/16 - Tracy Seneca, Alison Becker

For those who have died: especially for Edwin Hollatz, father of Celia Bergman. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

If you'd like to have someone included in our community prayers, visit our website.

Request Prayer

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