New liturgy posted each Sunday morning.
Holy Communion Pickup is temporarily suspended.
November 29, 2020
1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago IL
(773) 561-8496
From Pastor Michael...

Greeting to the Saints of Ebenezer Lutheran Church!

I hope you all were able to enjoy a safe and meaningful holiday. I continue to gain so much encouragement from the ways you all continue to love and support one another and our neighbors in ways small and large. Your prayers and acts of kindness and service continue to show forth the love of Christ in the world.

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 caring@ebenezerchurch.org. This is where we are matching needs with those who can help.

Devotions are being posted on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ebenezerchicago/
 Greetings!

First Sunday of Advent
"Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist’s plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come."
Sharing Faith at Home
Morning Prayer: God of justice and peace, from the heavens you rain down mercy and kindness, that all on earth may stand in awe and wonder before your marvelous deeds. Raise our heads in expectation, that we may yearn for the coming day of the Lord and stand without blame before your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Evening Prayer: Creator of the world, you are the potter, we are the clay, and you form us in your image. Shape our spirits by Christ's transforming power, that as one people we may live out your compassion and justice, whole and sound in the realm of your peace. 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: Emily, 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, Christa, Jane, Bruce, Dick, Debbie, Velda, Gail, Misha, Paul, Jim, Kjell. 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
Andrew, Apostle
Monday, November 30, 2020
The first of the disciples to be called by Jesus, Andrew quickly began to bring others to the Savior, including Simon Peter. The Bible also shows him leading some Greeks to meet Jesus, and he brought forward the boy with five loaves and two fish, with which Jesus fed thousands.

Francis Xavier, missionary to Asia, died 1552
Thursday, December 3, 2020
A native of the Basque region of Spain, Xavier became a missionary to India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Philippines. He also helped to found the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

John of Damascus, theologian and hymnwriter, died around 749
Friday, December 4, 2020
A monk in an abbey near Jerusalem, John wrote many hymns as well as theological works. One of his works, The Fount of Wisdom, remained influential for centuries.
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 ebenezerchurch.org.
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.  
Devotions for Advent 
Starry Black Night: A Womanist Advent Devotional 
(Sundays and Midweek devotions)
published by Unbound 2020 (ministry of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

To access the full devotional with authors' bios on Justice Unbound's website, click here

To access the PDF version of the devotional, click here

"What is Hope?"
A Poem for Advent 1 by Jamyla Johnson
Edgewater Congregations Together 
Youth Group Member 

What is hope?
Hope is the sound of laughter and happiness 

Hope is the sun shining bright 
Even through the darkest night 

Hope is the smell of blooming sunflowers 
When the rain begins to shower 

Hope is a smile 
That you haven’t seen in awhile 

Hope is loving one another 
Rather than destroying the other 

Hope is loving who you choose to be
When your happy within thee 

Hope is letting out your emotions 
Instead of starting an explosion 

Most importantly hope is feeling alive 
Without being dead on the inside 

Jamyla Johnson is currently a 12th grader. In August 2017, she attended the Edgewater Congregations Together Youth Group summer mission, service and learning trip to Dubuque, Iowa, and has been an active member of the youth group ever since. She wrote and first performed this poem for the 2020 online Edgewater Community Religious Association's Interfaith Thanksgiving service.
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.
Peace
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 kristinehmay@gmail.com  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 lwr.org/lifesaver, lwr.org/coronavirus, or ebenezerlutherchurch.org.
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: www.smiadviser.org/mymhcp.
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

NEED A FACE MASK?
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 www.ebenezerchurch.org 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
In Case You Missed the Edgewater Community Religious Association Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

If you missed this year’s ECRA (Edgewater Community Religious Association) Interfaith Thanksgiving service, you can see by clicking this link. This year, the theme was “Hope and Thanks in the Pandemic.”

The service includes musical offerings, prayers, and sacred readings from many faith communities in Edgewater (including Ebenezer) as well as two poetry readings by the E.C.T. Youth Group.

You will also get to see a video highlighting Care for Real food and clothing pantry (located in Edgewater) and learn about ways you can support their work.
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 goodshop.org 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 smile.amazon.com 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 suicidepreventionministry.org