New liturgy posted each Sunday morning.
Holy Communion Sunday, 3:15-4 p.m. in the east play lot or for delivery.
Outdoor Prayer Service Sunday 3-3:15 p.m.
Silent prayer / Stations of the Cross in the Sanctuary (limit 10 persons at a time) Sunday 3:15-4 p.m.
September 13, 2020
1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago IL
(773) 561-8496
From Pastor Michael...

Greeting to the Saints of Ebenezer Lutheran Church!

As we continue through these challenging times, your Congregation Council and Staff are continuing to work hard to provide a safe and uplifting set of opportunities to feed your Spirits. Our guideposts of Restore, Encourage, and Rejoice continue to guide our discernment in the Spirit.

Restore: While we all long to be restored to worship together in person, the reality remains that doing so would not honor our responsibility to our neighbors to make safer choices. To that end, the Council anticipates at this time that worship online will remain our primary expression through 2020. This, of course, can change as public health guldence evolves. We rejoice that Sunday School for children will be restored online beginning this Sunday. We will continue to offer outdoor prayer and communion at 3 p.m. Sundays, and the opportunity to pray silently and walk the stations of the cross in our sanctuary at that time.

As with most non-profit organizations, our financial situation remains an area of attention. As I write to you, a 2021 budget proposal is being developed by your faithful Finance Team. The outlook ranges from stable to worrisome, depending on trends in member giving and what may or may not be possible in terms of shared space building use. Now, more than ever, your giving matters. We know some are not in a position to give generously at this time, but for those who are, please consider sustaining or increasing your gifts. We have kept our entire staff at full pay and benefits thus far, and it is our prayer to continue to do so without sacrificing much needed programs.

Encourage: The vitality and creativity of this congregation remains so encouraging, as we make our way into new ways of being together and sustaining the spirit of this community. Continue to encourage one another, check in with one another, and pray for one another and the world God loves.

Rejoice: Joy is not a limited commodity in the Body of Christ. At a time when so much seems uncertain and worrying, rejoicing in the Lord becomes a radical act. Joy is not a shallow happiness that ignores the problems we face individually and communally, but is a deep well of beauty and truth that sustains us in facing those challenges. So rejoice! God is with us. As near as our breath.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your faithfulness in this time. I want to thank our energized staff and volunteers for their hard work. I want to thank those caring for the building, singing into a web cam, praying, writing checks, running errands for others, and supporting children, new arrivals to the US, and those shut-in. Christ's love continues to be made known among you, and I am grateful for all of you each day.

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:
Jesus Speaks About Forgiveness
Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost
"In today’s second reading Paul questions why we judge one another, since we all stand before the judgment of God. Yet we do sin against one another, and Jesus’ challenge that we forgive seventy-seven times reveals God’s boundless mercy. When we hear the words of forgiveness in worship and sign ourselves with the cross, we are renewed in baptism to be signs of reconciliation in the world."
Sharing Faith at Home
Morning Prayer: Through the waters of oppression and death, Lord God, you led a people into the burning presence of your love. As you fed them in the desert, now feed us with the finest of wheat, that we may know the liberating power of the paschal feast. Amen.
Evening Prayer: God of freedom, you brought your people out of slavery with a mighty hand. Deliver us from our captivity to pride and indifference to the needs and gifts of others, that we may be ready to love as you have loved us, and to give even as we have received. 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: Clemenz family, All affected by Covid, fires and unrest, Scott and Laurie, Dick, Nancy, Debbie, Velda, Cierra, Gail, Jill, Jim, Judy, Lisa, Joyce, Johanna, Paul, David, Ben, Kyle, Ruth, John, Remy, Dem, Katherine, Jody, Bob, Helene, Belita, Jane. 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 Jody Kretzmann, who has suffered a stroke.

For John Minor in physical and occupational therapy.

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

For the safety of protesters. For justice and for the safety of people of color, particularly black people.

For all areas experiencing in increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

For Dion Walton's family as they mourn the death of his relative, Deborah McClellan.
This Week's Commemorations
John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, died 407
Sunday, September 13, 2020
John was a priest in Antioch and an outstanding preacher. His eloquence earned him the nickname "Chrysostom" ("golden mouth"). Appointed bishop of Constantinople, seat of the empire, he criticized corruption in the court. As a result, he was exiled by the empress.

Holy Cross Day
Monday, September 14, 2020
Helena, mother of Constantine, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and found what may be the actual site of Jesus' crucifixion. Her son built two churches there, and the dedication of one of them gave rise to this celebration of our Lord's victory on the cross.

Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, martyr, died around 258
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Cyprian served as a bishop during a time of great persecution of Christians. He insisted on receiving back those who had left the faith under duress. He also provided medical care during a severe epidemic.

Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, died 1179
Thursday, September 17, 2020
A mystic who was widely influential within the church, Hildegard advised and reproved kings and popes, wrote poems and hymns, and produced treatises in medicine, theology, and natural history. She was also a musician and artist.

Dag Hammarskjöld, renewer of society, died 1961
Friday, September 18, 2020
A Swedish diplomat, Hammarskjöld served as the second Secretary General of the United Nations until his death in a plane crash while trying to negotiate peace in present-day Zambia. His journal, published as Markings, revealed the depth of his Christian faith.
Ebenezer in Mission
Wednesday Bible Study to Begin and At-Home Children's Sunday School Resources
Wednesday Bible Study, meeting online weekly at noon.
Pastor Michael will lead 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 now being 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.  
Children's Sunday School to Resume
We are excited to announce the beginning of the Sunday school year (ages 4-12) after a L-O-N-G break. Sunday school Rally Day will kick off on September 13 at 3:00pm with a Back-to-School Blessing and Supplies Distribution. This will be held during the weekly Communion Distribution. With masks and social distancing, families can pick up a bag with everything each child needs for our first virtual Sunday school get-together, to be held online right after the distribution, at 4:00pm. 

Be sure to register by September 11 so that we know how many Supply Bags to prepare. 

Use this PDF document (download, save, and return via email to
OR complete and submit this Google Form.
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.
Hurricane Laura, a powerful Category 4 storm, has hit Louisiana and parts of Texas with devastating force, causing at least three deaths, major damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. With extremely dangerous storm surge and winds of at least 150 mph, it’s one of the most powerful storms to hit the area in a century, and it left widespread destruction in its wake.

Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (Upbring) and the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Southwestern Texas synods, which are assessing the immediate needs and initiating a response. While the extent of the damage is not yet known, we will accompany devastated communities from immediate relief through long-term recovery.

Your gifts designated for “Hurricane Response” will be used entirely (100%) for direct response until it is complete. Together, we can help provide immediate and long-lasting support for those whose lives have been impacted by hurricanes. Please give now. (Photo credit: NOAA)
Lutheran World Relief School Kits
We learned that a large warehouse in Beirut, which held thousands of Lutheran World Relief donations, including quilts and school kits destined for Lebanon, was consumed by the huge explosion there. So LWR is in need of people’s gifts more than ever.

We again want to support the Lutheran World Relief distribution of school kits this fall! With COVID restrictions, it needs to be in the form of money donations, as we can't assemble the kits. Ebenezer has been so generous in past years, so please consider contributing to Lutheran World Relief. You can earmark it to School Kits, or simply contribute with the knowledge that everything sent overseas involves a shipping cost.
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.
Ebenezer Mental Health Team
 September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
All month mental health advocates, survivors, allies, community members, congregations and prevention organizations unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. The Lutheran Suicide Prevention Ministry (ILO) is an independent Lutheran organization based on the 1999 ELCA “Message on Suicide Prevention” and approved by the 2013 Church Council of the ELCA. The vision is committed to suicide prevention and zero suicides thru its mission of awareness, collaboration, education and advocacy. 
“A message on Suicide Prevention” from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. 
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 Confirmation Orientation 
Thursday, Sept. 17, 6:30-7:30pm
via zoom
Confirmation Orientation will be on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 6:30-7:30pm via zoom. During the orientation, we will get to know one another and discuss this year's schedule, responsibilities, and expectations. Confirmation will be meeting on the first and third Thursdays of the month via zoom (time TBD). Contact Pastor Emily Heitzman if you would like to learn more and/or join the zoom orientation on 9/17.

Edgewater Congregations Together Confirmation is a 2-year program for students who are at least in 7th or 8th grade from Ebenezer, Unity, and Immanuel Lutheran Churches. The program is taught by the pastors from each congregation. The students are combined in a single class, alternating between one year of learning about the Bible, and a year focused on Lutheran Theology. Throughout each year, confirmands participate in special projects, a youth-led Ascension Day service, and a retreat at Lutherdale Bible Camp in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.  
E.C.T. Youth Group Back to School Kick-Off 
Wed., Sept. 23, 6-8pm
(via zoom)

Join us for our back to school kick-off zoom party on Wed., Sept. 23 from 6-8pm! We will gather over zoom to get to know one another, check in with each other, and to play some games. Contact Pastor Emily Heitzman if you would like to learn more and/or join the zoom party on 9/23.

The E.C.T. (Edgewater Congregations Together) Youth Group resumes youth group schedule this month! The E.C.T. Youth Group consists of youth in grades 6th-12th from Immanuel, Unity, and Ebenezer Lutheran Churches, as well as other youth in the neighborhood. They usually gather for dinner, games, faith discussions, worship, and free time, attend social and service activities throughout the year, and go on a summer mission and service/learning trip. In order to keep everyone extra safe during the pandemic, we will be gathering with each other over zoom on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month and will find additional times for small groups to connect virtually and to participate in service.  
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
This Year the Flu Vaccine Is More Important than ever because of the Covid-19 pandemic! 

There is no vaccine against the new coronavirus yet. Social distancing, wearing masks and frequent handwashing are the covid-19 prevention measures available to us for now. But the flu vaccine is here and ready to protect you. Medical experts say that it is especially important to get the flu shot this year because if someone gets the flu virus and the coronavirus this could result in an extremely severe respiratory illness.

We want to make getting a flu shot as easy and safe as possible. Thanks to Mariano’s Pharmacy we will again have a flu shot clinic at the church! Covid-19 prevention practices will be followed.
Sunday, September 27
12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
 Ebenezer Lutheran Church in the dining room
1650 W. Foster

Vaccines will be available to people 6 years old and up. The high dose vaccine for seniors will be offered. Most health insurance covers the flu vaccine. If you are not insured or have questions contact the parish nurse, Marcia Smith 773-743-1831. 

Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins will be accepted.
To make an appointment contact the parish nurse or go to this link:
Face Masks
We want to say a huge thank you to Sue Swinger-Ellbogen, Jackie Wood, and Bev Albert for making face masks for several of our community members who need them!  This week Ebenezer Tutoring Director Norm Dynneson was able to deliver 38 of these face masks to Ebenezer's refugee families and in the next few days, Pastor Emily will be able to deliver over 25 masks to youth group members and their families.  

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).
Justice Team
Did you know that everyone in Illinois -- regardless of income -- pays the same rate of taxes (4.95%)? In November, we'll have an opportunity to change that with the Fair Tax: the wealthiest 3% of people in Illinois will pay a higher rate and 97% will pay less. Consider joining the Fair Tax Phonebank Program. Sign up here: or reach out to Justice Team member Sue Swinger-Ellbogen here with questions.
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
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. 

Remember to participate in the 2020 Census!
A reminder that filling out your Census form is vitally important. Here are 5 reasons why, from
  1. Local communities use the data to guide public improvements, and non-profits use the information to identify beneficiaries and find donors and volunteers.
  2.  Emergency services are based on maps created using Census data.
  3. Federal funds are distributed based on Census population data.
  4. Businesses use the data to reduce financial risk and find new markets for their products and services.
  5. Your own family can ask for confidential records that can be used as proof to establish your age, residence or relationship, information that could help you qualify for a pension, establish citizenship or obtain an inheritance.
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