New liturgy posted each Sunday morning.
Holy Communion Pickup is temporarily suspended.
November 22, 2020
1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago IL
(773) 561-8496
From Pastor Michael...

Greeting to the Saints of Ebenezer Lutheran Church!

As I'm sure you're aware, Monday begins a period of stay-at-home advisory for the City of Chicago, as Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise at an alarming rate. While exemptions are provided for religious services, the truth is, the virus doesn't exempt even the gatherings we long for. Therefore, we will continue to suspend in person events.

As we look toward to time of waiting and longing that is Advent, we approach this season with an intensified sense of what it means to wait purposefully. Beginning Dec. 2, Advent Evening Prayer will be posted on YouTube each Wednesday in Advent. We will also be observing a Longest Night gathering on Zoom on December 21.

If you'd like to help with recording Christmas Carols for use in a variety of services and online events, please contact John Elmquist to lear how you can get involved!

  • The Sunday in-person prayer service and communion distribution remains suspended. Infection rates in our zip code are improving; if this trend holds and we remain below 8%, we may resume gathering next week. Be sure to check your weekly news for the latest updates.
  • The congregational meeting to approve a budget will take place in January. As your finance team and council continue to work on this, given the unique features of this coming year, more time is needed to arrive at a faithful and forward-looking budget.

Take good care,
Pastor Michael

We will continue to follow the guidance of the ELCA, the CDC, and the City as we make decisions affirming the well being of our neighbors. Remember: If you can help someone out, we need to hear from you at This is where we are matching needs with those who can help.

Devotions are being posted on Facebook at:
The Good Shepherd
Reign of Christ
Twenty Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
"On this final Sunday of the church year our gospel is Jesus’ great story of judgment. In the end, the faithful are those who served Christ by ministering to those who are poor, hungry, naked, sick, or estranged. In the first reading God is the shepherd who seeks the lost, weak, and injured and feeds them with justice. We gather this day to celebrate the reign of Christ and his victory over death, yet we await the consummation of all things yet to come. Acknowledging Christ as our merciful ruler, we go forth that his reign may be known in our loving words and deeds."
Sharing Faith at Home
Morning Prayer: Shepherd of Israel, hear our prayer as your Son heard the plea of the criminal crucified with him. Gather into Christ's holy reign the broken, the sorrowing, and the sinner, that all may know wholeness, joy, and forgiveness. Amen.
Evening Prayer: You raised up your Son, O God, and seated him at your right hand as the shepherd and king who seeks what is lost, binds up what is wounded, and strengthens what is weak. Empowered by the Spirit, grant that we may share with others that which we have received from your hand, to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer with Children: Dear Jesus, you teach us to give thanks for the good things we have in life. Help us to remember that your love and the people we love are the most important of all. Amen.
In our prayers: The Spitzer family, Christa, Ada, Jane, Bruce, Dick, Debbie, Velda, Gail, Misha, Paul, Jim, Kjell, Jeff, Darby, and Katie, All affected by Covid, natural disasters and unrest, Lisa, Joyce, Paul, Kyle, John, Remy, Dem, Katherine, Jody, Tyler, Miriam, Brian, Steve, Elliot, Jacob, Amy, Emily. We also pray for our Bishops, Elizabeth and Yehiel.
Celebrations, Concerns, and Condolences...
If you have items you'd like shared in this section, email Pastor Michael.
Names may be added or removed from the prayer list by contacting Pam S.

For Ada McDonald, recovering at home after a brief, non-Covid hospitalization.

For Brian Spitzer and his family upon the death of his grandfather, Edward Szymciak.

For Jim, Barbara Ketter's son, who awaits a heart transplant.

For those recovering from, and suffering because of, hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters.

For all areas experiencing in increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
This Week's Commemorations
Clement, Bishop of Rome, died around 100
Monday, November 23, 2020
Clement was the third bishop of Rome. He is best remembered for a letter he wrote to the congregation in Corinth, still struggling with the same problems that led to Paul's letters to them. As did Paul, he focused on the need for love among Christians.

Miguel Agustín Pro, martyr, died 1927
Monday, November 23, 2020
Pro grew up in a time when the Mexican revolutionaries accused the church of siding with the wealthy. He became a Jesuit priest, and worked on behalf of the poor and homeless. Falsely accused of throwing a bomb at a government official, he was executed, but not before crying out "Long live Christ the King!"

Justus Falckner, died 1723; Jehu Jones, died 1852; William Passavant, died 1894; pastors in North America
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Not only was Falckner the first Lutheran ordained in North America, but he published a catechism which was the first Lutheran book published on the continent. Jones was the Lutheran church's first African American pastor and carried out missionary work in Philadelphia which led to the formation there of the first African American Lutheran congregation (St. Paul's). William Passavant helped to establish hospitals and orphanages in a number of cities and was the first to introduce deaconesses to the work of hospitals in the United States.

Isaac Watts, hymnwriter, died 1748
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Thought by many to be the greatest hymnwriter in the English language, Watts as a youth was critical of the quality of the metrical psalter of the time. He wrote about 600 hymns—many based on the psalms, but others that are not.
Ebenezer in Mission
Coffee Fellowship on Zoom Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

Click here to join. The password is: coffeetime.
Wednesday Bible Study to Begin and At-Home Children's Sunday School Resources
Wednesday Bible Study, meeting online weekly at noon.
Pastor Michael leads a weekly, 40 minute scripture study of the week's texts online. Look for an email Wednesday morning with a link to the study hangout. Hope to see you there!

Spark Sunday School at home. Click here for weekly, free Sunday School videos and downloadble materials. In addition, children's bulletins are posted along with the Sunday bulletin each week at
Children's Tuesday Time with Pastor Emily
Join Pastor Emily for a candle ritual, Bible story, song, prayer, and hear about an activity your household can do together during the week. Videos will be posted on Ebenezer Youtube Channel and Facebook page on Tuesdays but can be viewed at any time.  
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Online November 22
Tomorrow is the annual ECRA (Edgewater Community Religious Association) interfaith Thanksgiving Service, where we gather with our neighbors from many different faith communities to hear sacred readings and musical offerings and to enjoy one another’s company.

This year, the ECRA Interfaith Thanksgiving Service theme is “Hope and Thanks in the Pandemic” and will take place on zoom:

Tomorrow: Sunday, November 22 at 3:00pm.

If you would like to join us, reserve your place for the service here: 

The Ebenezer choir will be sharing a song, one of the E.C.T. Youth Group members will be reading her poem “What Is Hope?” and several of our E.C.T. Youth and leaders will be doing a powerful poetry reading. 

You will also get to see a video highlighting Care for Real food and clothing pantry (which is such an important organization serving many of our neighbors in and around Edgewater) and learn about ways you can support their work.
Retreat announcement 
After conversation with folks at Techny and Pastor, we made the decision to cancel the retreat in Feb, 2021. There still is concern about the virus and we are not sure this will improve by Feb 2021.

We are planning on same dates and speaker in 2022, so watch for information. Thanks for your understanding.

Safety is our hope, prayer, and concern.
Darlene Erickson 
Intentional Spirituality small groups are meeting! (Currently online.)

A safe place to experience your spiritual growth through Scripture, other seekers, and prayer. 

If you are interested in learning more, or in joining a group, please contact Bev Albert
Christmas Caroling Project!

We will be preparing a collection of Christmas carol videos for folks to enjoy during the holidays and YOU are invited to participate! 
There are three ways to join in:
  • At home with your own phone/laptop devices and some simple instructions
  • At church before or after the 3pm communion distribution during November. This will be set up in the Dining Room with maximum safety in mind. People can be recorded individually or in their "bubble" groups.
  • If anyone who would like to participate is unable to get to church and/or not comfortable with the recording process, an effort will be made to have someone assist you.

Please contact John Elmquist 773-392-3804
Ebenezer Sunday School Online - Sundays 4:00-4:30ish - online through December 2020
Ebenezer uses an All Kids curriculum model. All Kids means that Sunday school meets in one group with ages 4-12 included. Activities are as multi-modal as we can make them considering we're in a Zoom classroom! There's music, storytelling, a short video, and an Art Supply Bag that you can get when you sign up. Please register here. Cost is free, with only a suggested optional donation. After you sign up, we will be in touch to provide you with a Story Bible, an Art Supply Bag, and the Zoom link. Any questions, please reach out to  Hope to see you soon!
Flower Orders for Online Liturgy
Interested in ordering flowers for online liturgy? Contact Pastor Michael via email at least 10 days before your desired date. The flowers will appear in the liturgy video along with any dedication you may like. You have two options: A live plant suitable for replanting in the flower boxes at church, or, a cut flower arrangement you may arrange pick up from the parsonage front porch after the liturgy has been filmed.
Lutheran World Relief Needs Your Fabric!
If you're cleaning out your closets while you're social distancing, consider donating any cotton fabric in clean condition to Ebenezer's Lutheran World Relief (LWR) ministry for mission quilts! The cotton fabric currently needed includes used sheets, table cloths, washable drapes and cotton shower curtains. Any fabric donations can be set aside until they can be safely picked up at a later time. If you'd like to further partner in the work of LWR beyond our annual school kits and quilts, consider a monetary donation: visit,, or
Sharing the Peace
You and/or your family can appear in upcoming liturgies offer the peace to the Ebenezer community and beyond! Here's how:

  1. Film yourself/yourselves saying the words "peace be with you!" using your phone. Film horizontally (sideways), leave a three-count of silence at the beginning and end of the clip, and make sure not to have photos of others in the background who have not consented to appear online.
  2. Email the video as an attachment to Rick S. Include in the body of your email consent to use your image online only for the puropses on Ebenezer worship on YouTube.
Get My People Going: Making Positive Changes Despite the Pandemic
Take the challenge to embrace healthier habits along with others in the Ebenezer
community. This program, Get My People Going, encourages you to identify small
changes in your life that would help you be healthier, physically, mentally or spiritually.
You choose 1 or 2 things you’d like to work on. You set your own goals. Together we
encourage each other as we journey together.
Participants can use the program in a self-directed way with companion(s) of your
choosing. Or you can join a group and be part of regular check-ins for encouragement
and support, while using safe ways of communicating.
During this pandemic there is much in our lives we cannot control. But we CAN take
control of some things as we seek health and wholeness and support one another.
Your parish nurse will organize the groups, share ideas and facilitate the check-ins. If
you have any questions or comments, or want to sign up, contact Marcia Smith at (773) 743-1831
Ebenezer Mental Health Team
New SAMHSA app will help people who have serious mental illness to develop a crisis plan!

My Mental Health Crisis Plan is a psychiatric advanced directive (PAD) that allows individuals who have serious mental illness to create a plan to guide their treatment during a mental health crisis. It includes a list of instructions and preferences that the individual wishes to be followed in case of a mental health crisis, should they be unable to make their own decisions. My Mental Health Crisis Plan is a new mobile app released October 1, 2020 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administered by The American Psychiatric Association. My Mental Health Crisis Plan is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. View videos on What is a PAD? and How to Use the App. More information at:
Intergenerational Ebenezer Pals
This year, we would like to start an Ebenezer Pal program, where an Ebenezer member or household is partnered with another member or household of a different generation.  These pals will connect with one another at least 1-2 times a month over facetime, zoom, phone, or through cards/letters to get to know one another and encourage each other.  During their time together, they might: check in with each other, share a craft, piece of artwork, poem, musical piece, something they’ve learned, an encounter they’ve had with God, or reflect on a worship service together, etc.
If you, your kids, or your household would like to become an Ebenezer Pal, please contact Pastor Emily . (People of ages are invited to participate!)
Edgewater Congregations Together Young Adults 
(18-mid-30 year olds)
Thursdays 4:00-5:30pm
via zoom

The E.C.T. Young Adults are gathering over zoom to catch up, check in with each other, and play some games together. Grab a beverage and/or a snack and join them!   
To join our next zoom meeting, contact Pastor Emily
Face Masks

The CDC guidance states that cloth masks are recommended when going out on necessary trips like to the grocery store, pharmacy, or to work.

If you need a mask, contact Pastor Emily with the number of masks and the sizes needed (adult or child).
Refugee and Tutoring Support Needed
Many of our refugee and tutoring families have extra needs during the covid-19 pandemic. If you are in a position to assist, please consider helping in one of the following ways:
  • Financial support for groceries or other needed items during this time. Visit and click “Give Online.” 100% of funds entered in the “Other” line and labeled “Refugee Support” will assist our refugee families.

  • Helping adults fill out Medicaid, unemployment, and job applications over the phone.

  • Tutor youth and children virtually.

We celebrate that a generous donation has now been made to support a struggling family with rent for the next several months!
If you are able to offer support in any of these ways, contact Norm Dynesson.
Ebenezer Refugee Support
Ebenezer’s support group works with newly arrived refugees in the Rogers Park and Edgewater area. Sponsoring agencies offer a minimum of initial help when families first arrive. Ebenezer’s group works to fill the gap until families are self-supporting. Follow the Ebenezer Refugee Support Group on Facebook to see updates on families and the what the current needs are. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Norm Dynneson or Jackie Wood, as well. Cash donations can be made out to Ebenezer Lutheran Church with the notation of Refugee Fund on the memo line. Questions can be directed to Jackie Wood or Norm Dynneson.
Community and Announcements
ECRA interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration
Join our ECRA interfaith Thanksgiving celebration in word and song– hopeful for the future and thankful for each other.
Click to reserve your spot for our live Zoom broadcast, 
Sunday, Nov. 22 at 3pm. Have a blessed holiday!
Need some help with groceries?
The Irving Park food pantry at 4256 North Ridgeway has an incredible amount of food every week. They have dairy, eggs, meat, lentils, and more. 

Give with Goodshop and Amazon Smile
Shopping online at allows you to do the shopping you'd do anyway at your favorite sites, while supporting the ministry at Ebenezer! Simply register and then select Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Chicago, as the beneficiary of the donation Goodshop makes when you shop through their site. Check it out today!

Also, Ebenezer is designated as a recipient for Smile dollars on Amazon. Any shopping you do on Amazon can benefit Ebenezer! Simply register at and designate us... same great shopping, but we receive .5% of your purchase amount!
Office Hours
Closed until further notice
Our Mission:
God calls Ebenezer to be a Christian home for all who seek the sustaining nature of the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate faith and trust in God through the ministry of its people, and to let Christ's model of service, justice and love give expression to how we share God's gift with the world.
Do you or someone you know need someone to talk to? 
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Additional resources are available