During January, February and March 2017, there were several
temple talks given about committees and ministries. The text
of the temple talks follow:
5/21/2017 - Decorative Arts - Lys Shradja
Here at UIF, Decorative Arts continues to add new items to
our inventory for the Sanctuary. This year, 20 purple lace
crosses were added to hang for Lenten season.
The styrofoam Chrismons were replaced with new ones for our
Christmas tree and were donated to a friend for their outdoor
decorations. A lace angel was added for the top of the tree in
place of the beige one. A new tree skirt was also added this
year. The one we had in the past just disappeared so a new one
with the nativity embroidered was made.
We continue to have a small, yet loyal group, who is willing
to give of their time and talents to make our worship area more
aesthetically pleasing. If you have a suggestion to offer for
making our space more welcoming, please contact Lys
Continued thanks to: Linda Smith, Carol Arnswald, Lori Ann
Powrozek, Joe Veal, and Joe Childress. No ministry can function
without people willing to help and give of themselves.
5/14/2017 - Christmas Child - Lys Shradja
Operation Christmas Child
Last year, United in Faith took on a new project to fill
shoeboxes for children around the world. Our congregation
filled 43 boxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and
clothing. It would be great if we could double that number this
year. Christian literature, in the language of the area its
being sent to, is included so the child can hear of Jesus' love
Please see Lys Shradeja if you are interested.
Have you ever heard of a "Fidget Pillow" or quilt? They are
given to people with dementia to occupy their hands - it gives
them something to fidget with.
We would like to make several dozen of these for donation to
nursing homes, or people we know that would benefit from this
diversion. I'm looking for donations of various materials,
please see me for what items and sizes are needed.
I plan to make a variety og 18" x 20" square fleece backed
squares with different configurations. Pockets will be added
and possibly a label stating its purpose and the organization
that donated it.
Please give donations to me, Lys Shradeja. I would like to
start this project by June. Thank You
5/7/2017 - Prayer - Mary Haas
Be anxious about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and
petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to
God. And the peace of God surpassing all understanding will
guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians
There are many ways to let God know you need Him. There is
the exclamation, OH GOD!! That slips out in moments of
distress. There is the reverent bowing of the head in formal
prayer; memorized prayers someone wrote, or in words of your
own choosing. There is the way someone I know prays. I ask her
to pray for this person who has this situation. She bows her
head with her eyes closed and if I speak she holds up one
finger to silence me. When done her head rises and her eyes
open. I ask, “What did you say to God”? She looks
at me as if I am not too bright and remarks, “I
don’t use words!!” Other people use songs or dance
to commune with their creator. You can even pray while doing
everyday tasks, sweeping, cooking, or repairing something. You
just think, “God I have some work to do, be with me while
I do it”, or think to God, “I am too busy to pray
right now, use my tasks as the words I cannot stop to formulate
right now”. God is with us at all times, a certain help
in times of trouble but also there to share and rejoice in our
happy times. There are so many ways to pray and all of them are
the right way.
At United in Faith on each first Thursday of the month at 7
PM, several of us gather in church to talk aloud with God on
behalf of the petitions on the prayer weaving. We call this
gathering the Community Prayer Session. That name might
intimidate some people. Oh no, another Service to attend! But
it is really not so complex or painful. We take down the slips
of paper which have been posted on the Prayer weaving, and each
of us reads aloud several of the slips. Sometimes we add words
of entreaty or thanksgiving, depending on what is written. We
pray “Lord in your mercy, hear our Prayer”. If the
need on the slip is resolved, the slip goes into the God
The God box is a place to put private written messages to
God. After praying for the intentions on the slips of paper
from the prayer weaving, we put our hands on the God box and
ask God to respond to the concerns on the messages, which we
know He has already read. If the weather is suitable we take
the prayers into the parking lot and burn them so they can rise
as a burnt offering to God and symbolically go up to Him.
Slips of colored paper and markers are conveniently right
here near the prayer weaving, and slips for the God box and
pens are also right there. If you feel drawn to kneel the
kneeler is right here, but it is not required. If it helps to
light a candle, do so. You will notice there is no box to put
in a donation for the candles. Prayer should not have a
monetary cost associated with it.
Prayer is communication with the Creator of the Universe who
loves us with a love so intense that no sacrifice was too much
to let us know how deep is that love. Perhaps your story
mirrors mine. There have been too many times when the events of
life just over whelmed me and in my pain I pleaded with God to
help me, and He did! Sometimes he just let the trauma ease up
enough for me to go on. Sometimes a person who was a cause of
distress changed, even if only enough to allow me to manage
life for a little longer. There have been times when I pleaded
for the life of someone, and sometimes I got a Yes and
sometimes not. When the answer is NO, I cry but I trust in God
and I have come to realize that no matter the answer, the
connection to my God endures.
Prayer is not complex. It is talking to a friend about what
is on our mind. And what a friend we have in Jesus. With God
words are not necessary. God already knows what is on our
heart. “And the peace of God surpassing all understanding
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ
The co-chairs of the Prayer Ministry are Trish Dombrowski
and Mary Haas but Trish does all the work. Derek Sires prints
the schedule and we just pray. If you feel the desire, join us
on a first Thursday right here and give it a try. But wherever
you are, do carry on a conversation, even without words, with
the God of creation who walked the earth as one of us.
4/23/2017 - Marketing - Carolyn Doughty
- Focus our efforts to invite the community to worship and
- Inform neighborhood of what is important to us as a
- Be sure neighbors know ALL ARE WELCOME.
FORMS OF PUBLICITY
- Press releases to TV stations newspapers and 40 churches
of various denominations;
- Flyers in stores;
- Banners in front of church;
- Neighborhood blogs and alderman’s newsletter.
- Establishing routine to advertise bible study and
community prayer group each month;
- Can do this for more groups: Golden Diners, NLOB, 12-step
programs???, etc. Need more info from directors of groups.
Are there more groups we can invite our neighbors to?
- Bonnie Maginnis—guidance;
- Tricia Dombroski—blog posting;
- Pr. Darryl—creating and ordering some of the
banners; a promise to teach me how to do this myself;
- Joe Childress—hangs the banners in front of church
and changes them when needed;
- Rich Guzik and Dave Quillin post activities on
UiF’s Facebook and Twitter pages;
- Gretchen Quillin often proofs press releases before they
are sent out;
- YOU, UIF congregation members, help when you personally
invite friends and relatives to worship and activities;
- Pr. Carla created and printed the postcard invites we
have used for a few occasions, as well as guidance;
- Any new ideas for publicizing our congregation to
- No formal meeting time now; can set time after worship
service on Sunday, or phone meeting.
4/9/2017 - Vacation Bible School - Katie Jewell
Are you ready to lead God's heroes?
Each year VBS is a bit different (last year we had a 30%
increase in attendees over 2015), but what remains the same is
our outreach to the children in our community & the church.
This year the theme is: "Discover Your Strength in God!"
Each day the children participate in a Bible story, sing
songs, do crafts, play games, conduct science experiments, work
on service projects, and have lunch and a snack. Full days make
the week fly by; but it is because many of you generously
donate your time, talents, creativity, treasure, or gifts that
we can keep registration costs low and welcome all children. We
can show them ways to serve others in God's name and we can
provide needed care to our community.
This year will be no different. We will be showing the
children that with God's love, amazing things can happen!
Please consider joining our team this year; we would love to
have you! Speak to Pastor Carla, Katie Jewell, or Tricia
Dombroski for more information.
We will be making Personal Care Kits for Lutheran World
Relief. Any donation of the following items would be
appreciated. Thank you! Please consider contributing one or
more of the needed items:
• Toothbrushes, adult size
• Nail clippers
• Bath towels, lightweight, dark color, 40"x20" to
• Bath Soap, 3 or 4 oz bars in original wrapping
4/2/2017 - Justice - Pam Marino
On January 31, 2016 interested individuals came together to
reactivate our Justice Ministry seeking to live out the Gospel
of Jesus Christ, by working toward the vision of true peace and
justice that God promised. Justice is the manifestation of our
faith. We heed the Lord's call through the words of Micha 6:8
to engage in justice work:
What does the Lord require of you but to do
justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Among all of the possible justice issues, we are currently
focused on fair trade, world and local hunger and poverty,
local community and government justice issues, and will
consider issues that require immediate action or advocacy.
Recent events held during the year to support these
An offering of letters addressing the lack of an
Illinois state budget
An offering of letters for Bread for the World
Food For A Week hunger action event
Fair Trade product sale
Publicizing justice opportunities of: Lutheran Advocacy,
Greater Goods, Metro Chicago Synod Anti-Racism workshops
Planned for 2017:
Faith Sexism and Justice: Conversation Towards a
- a study of the proposed ELCA social statement
on the issues of Faith Sexism and Justice
- opportunity for us to provide our input for
the final statement
- sessions begin after Easter
- sign up sheet available outside the
- you may also do your independent study and
provide your input directly to the ELCA
- see the April newsletter for more
Periodic Fair Trade product sales
Members of this ministry are: Denise Boyer, Carolyn Doughty,
Bonnie Maginnis, Pam Marino, Pr Carla Thompson Powell, Jane
Schira, and Elisabeth Wittman. Everyone is invited and
encouraged to participate in our meetings and events.
Go forth and do Justice!
3/26/2017 - Education Scholarship Committee - Bonnie
The Educational Scholarship committee has the responsibility
of administering United in Faith’s Educational
Scholarship program. The distribution of all scholarship awards
is respectfully kept confidential.
Scholarships are offered to student congregation members who
have a financial need and will attend either a Christian
pre-school, grade school or high school, or any post-secondary
school, or have special education needs or gifts at any level
of their education. Each applicant and their
parent(s)/guardian(s)/care giver(s) must participate in the
life of United in Faith. Applications are made available in the
Fall of each year and are due back by the end of February.
Scholarships are awarded in late March and scholarship money is
sent directly to the school the student is attending.
Last year the committee reviewed the applications received
long with the level of family participation in church life and
determined scholarships based on funds available and the number
In the 2015-16 school year scholarships were presented to
two students from two families totaling $4,000. We also have in
the past supported Luther North College Prep with a $650
contribution to be used toward a needy student’s
The current committee members are Dawn Constantino, George
Schultz, and Bonnie Maginnis. If you have any questions or are
interested in being a part of this committee, please contact
any of the committee members.
3/19/2017 - Mission Endowment Committee - George Schultz
The Mission Endowment Fund was created to handle any
undesignated endowments that came to United in Faith through
the generosity of its members. These endowments can be bequests
in wills, assignments of life insurance, charitable gift
annuities, assignments of certificates of deposit, or transfers
of property such as cash, stocks, bonds, and/or real estate.
When these endowments are received with no designation as to
how they are to be used, 50% of those funds will go into the
congregation’s reserve funds and 50% will go into the
Mission Endowment Fund. Per the provisions in your
constitution, the Mission Endowment Fund must reach $100,000
before any of the funds can be used. The Mission Endowment
Committee decides how the funds are to be used.
The Committee is made up of three at large congregation
members and one council member. The pastor shall be an
ex-officio member of the committee with voting privileges. The
treasurer of the congregation will maintain the account of the
Mission Endowment Fund and the Mission Endowment Committee will
determine how the Fund assets are invested.
Once the Mission Endowment fund reaches $100,000, yearly
distributions can be made from the fund by the Committee
following the guidelines in the constitution. Those guidelines
5% to 25% of the fund can be distributed annually.
Of that distribution amount a minimum of 20% will be used
for outreach into the local community.
An additional 20% will be used for ELCA Church wide
20% will be used for extraordinary programs or other
ministry initiatives within the congregation.
The remaining 40% can be distributed through any of the
above categories, or:
- Worship and Music
- A Capital project
- Missions - local, regional or world projects
- Senior citizens
In 2016 the Mission Endowment Committee authorized $8,000
from the fund to be used for the Organ Fund.
Also, the church council can recommend, with the support of
the Mission Endowment Committee, that the funds may be used in
the event of a catastrophe or dire need. The Congregation must
approve this expenditure by a 2/3 majority vote.
The current Committee is made up of George Schultz, Bonnie
Maginnis, and Ray and Jackie Good. The Committee only meets as
needed so if you have any questions or are interested in
joining this Committee, please contact any of the members.
3/12/2017 - Finance Committee - Ray Good
Finance committee duties are actually spelled out in the
Church Constitution: 1) Oversee financial operations to ensure
they are being conducted efficiently, 2) Prepare a draft budget
to be presented to council and congregation, 3) review the
insurance program at least annually, and 4) review the
investment portfolio at least annually. There are also job
descriptions in the constitution for the Treasurer and
Financial Secretary who are automatically members of the
Financial operations are done in house. We have a church
software package that gives us that ability. Derek Sire is
responsible for paying bills, generating checks, and recording
individual contributions. The treasurer and financial secretary
do other financial operations: Ray Good prepares payrolls, tax
deposits and some tax filings. He reconciles bank accounts and
monitors our financial relationship with St. Cyprian Food
pantry. George Schultz closes the books, and drafts monthly
reports for presentation to the finance committee and council.
He prepares an annual report, which is also presented to the
congregation. He monitors the cash balances to make sure money
is available to pay bills. George drafted the budget this year
after consulted many sources. This is reviewed by the rest of
the committee and the council before going to the congregation
for approval. In the past other members of the committee have
assisted in doing some of these tasks.
Lois Gosstrom is our insurance expert and is liaison to our
Marion Hanson oversees the 3 teams of counters who count and
summarize the weekly collection and other sources of income.
Marion Senf is our secretary who keeps a written record of
our meetings, which is sent on to Council
Meetings with the investment adviser, Thrivent, are held
during the year, the timing based on market conditions and our
Meetings are held monthly just prior to the Council meeting.
Usually on the third Monday and usually in the day. One of our
main jobs is to review the monthly financial statements, before
they are presented to council. The purpose of this review is to
determine accuracy and detect financial inefficiencies that may
need to be addressed.
Special projects and items of concern do occur, and are
discussed. Often recommendations, such as cost savings ideas,
are made to Council.
So do you need to be a financial expert to be on finance
committee? Financial information provided to council and
congregation should be easy to understand so that decisions can
be made. Often non-financial folks are the one who come up with
the best questions and best ideas to make presentations easily
understandable. And we all have experience with our own
personal finances. So don’t hesitate to stop in at a
meeting for a visit for some fun with numbers.
3/5/2017 - Communion Visitation - Pam Marino
What would you miss most if you couldn't come to church
- Perhaps the sermon?
- The music, the new organ, the band, the songs, the
- Holy communion?
- Your friends and fellowship?>
- Pastor Carla?
- Church news and happenings?
- 'Coffee and'?
- Participating in ministries?
- Praying as a congregation?
- Temple talks?
This is what many of our members face as aging or health
issues prevent them from attending worship.
Well, we have...not an app...but a ministry for that!
Not quite for all of the things one might miss but we do our
Communion Visitation ministry members make regular monthly
visits to those who are unable to come to church on a temporary
or permanent basis.
The church is brought to them through holy communion,
prayer, printed devotionals, information of church happenings,
news about other members, and fellowship...so they may stay
In 2016, 115 visits were made by the five members of this
Bernice Malmanger, Pamela Marino, Terrie Miller, Barbara
Patrick and Barbara Piggott
Pr Carla also visits in special situations.
How can you - the church - become involved with this
> If you are interested in one-on-one ministry, this
one's for you.
Become a visitor - share your faith, listen to life stories,
pray with others, sit and visit awhile, bring the bread of life
and cup of blessing.
Contact a member of this ministry and we will get you
> Many times the church is the last one to find out about
a need for visits so...
Notify the church office when you or someone else is no longer
able to attend worship
A call will always be made first to determine the desire for
> Pray for those unable to attend worship services and
also the visitors.
Sometimes these visits can be quite difficult...
although most are quite enjoyable, especially for the visitor,
as they get to know each other better!
> Don't let an absence become a case of 'out of
sight...out of mind'
Telephone, send a card or visit someone who cannot come to
These things are most appreciated.
You will find the list of homebound on the prayer weaving.
2/26/2017 - Nominating Committee - Lys Shradeja
This committee is usually comprised of 3 - 5 voting members
of United in Faith. To put it short and sweet, they find
candidates to fill openings on council, Synod Assembly and the
future nominating committee. If you are new to our family, this
is a great way to get to know people and make yourself known as
well. If you have been with us for a while, this is a great way
to put people you trust in positions to help this congregation
This is a one year term of service and there aren't a lot of
meetings. Everything you need to do is outlined for you so it
isn't taxing or diffucult to be successful. It consists of
several notices to be put in the bulletin and the newsletter.
You will also find yourself asking people if they are willing
to serve and forwarding names for consideration.
We will be presenting our slate for council, Synod Assembly
and nominating committee at the Annual Meeting today after the
service. Anyone interested in being considered may add their
name for consideration. Just see Denise Boyer, Dian Hoyem or
myself and we will be glad to take care of you.
Every enduring organization is made up of people that work
behind the scenes to keep the wheels running smoothly. Having
the right people in positions of leadership is key to the unity
and fellowship of our family here at United in Fath. Your voice
is important to insure we remain and grow as a vibrant
Christian community here in Chicago. Please consider serving on
any ministry you are comfortable with, including the Nominating
2/19/2017 - Altar Guild - Kim Childress
Good morning. I'm Kim Childress. This morning I will talk
about the Altar Guild.
The Altar Guild is entrusted with the primary responsibility
of preparing the altar for the sacrament of Holy Communion for
regular Sunday worship, for all other Worship Services and such
as services during Lent, Advent, weddings and funerals. The
Altar Guild serves in concert with the Pastor and the Music
Other concerns of the Altar Guild include: the care of the
Baptismal Font, which includes preparing it for the sacrament
of Baptism; changing the paraments in accordance with the
liturgical calendar or as required for a special Worship
Service; dry cleaning the paraments and the Pastor's liturgical
garments, and regular washing of the sacramental linens; and
the purchasing of candles, wine, grape juice, wafers and cups.
Gluten free and dairy free rice wafers are available for
individuals who suffer allergic reactions to wheat or dairy.
The Altar Guild is always looking for members who would like
to join us. It doesn't take much time and the rewards are uplifting! Thanks to all
who have served and are serving in the Altar Guild.
2/12/2017 - Worship & Worship Ministry - Dave Quillin
Good morning. I'm Dave Quillin. Have you ever wondered how
our worship services get planned? Here's a hint, it's not just
The Worship and Music Ministry is the team that works to
plan different aspects of each of our worship servioces. This
team works with Pastor Carla to understand the theme for the
season or for a particular Sunday and then chooses music and
slides and other parts of the service that work with that
If YOU have any ideas for worship
services, we would LOVE to hear those! We
are always looking for new and exciting ways to share God's
word with our congregation!
If you have any questions, please contact Dave Quillin at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane Shira at jane.yellin@hotmail .com.
In Christ, Dave Quillin
2/5/2017 - Website - Richard Guzik
This is the 5th in our series of temple talks on the
Ministries and Committee at United in Faith. This is your
opportunity to learn about United in Faith’s website
Good morning. I’m Rich Guzik, currently the Webmaster
for the church’s website.
First, a little history. The website was initially created
by Arne Olsen in about 2003. He designed it himself and
maintained it. When he moved to the suburbs, Marty Dippel took
over the maintenance. In January of 2006, I was blessed to take
over the maintenance of the website.
The website has gone through major changes in its design
over the years, mainly to help those visiting it, to easily
find whatever they are looking for. That is the main purpose of
the website – to paint a picture of United in Faith for
the public. The picture has to be current; it has to be easily
traversed and it has to be pleasing to the eye. The website has
to make a positive impression on the visitors and must satisfy
their curiosity as they travel through the site. To help the
visitors, there is information for the first-time visitor which
includes: location of the church; where parking is available;
worship service times; and a list of community and recovery
groups. To help everyone find a topic of their choice, there is
a Navigational Column on the left side of every page and a Site
When the Social Media Ministry (Pastor Carla, Gretchen &
Dave Quillin) was created, they made several worthwhile
suggestions to make the website more pleasing to the younger
visitors of the website. One suggestion was to have a picture
on EVERY page. Please note that YOUR suggestions and comments
are ALWAYS welcome.
Today, the website is only as current as the committees and
ministries make it. It is up to them to let the webmaster know
what needs to be posted on the website. Without their timely
input, the website will remain static. I encourage them to
continue to funnel information to the webmaster regarding all
of the activities that take place at United in Faith.
As far as members are concerned, there are many items that
you can easily find on the website: Times of regular and
seasonal worship services; A year’s worth of the monthly
newsletters: A copy of the Annual Meeting Packet for the last
several years; the Constitution; the Ministry Director’s
Handbook; the policies adopted by the congregational council;
the Procedure for Planning Ministry - Reflecting Our Guiding
Principles; pictures of events at church; links to
church’s Facebook and Twitter accounts; the history of
the congregation and information on the eight churches that
merged to form United in Faith; information on the activities
of all of the outside groups and various committees and
ministries; various resources for devotions and planning; and
the church calendar just to name a few.
If there are items that you wish to see on the website, all
it takes is an email or telephone call to the webmaster and
your request will be addressed within the next couple of days.
Do not be shy. After all, we should all have a hand in creating
an image of United in Faith for the inquiring eye.
Thank You for your time and thank you for your support.
1/29/2017 - Gay & Straight Together - Carolyn
Hi, I am here to share information about the Gay and
Straight Together Ministry.
The purpose of the Gay and Straight Together Ministry is to
reach out to the GLBT Community, introduce them to the God that
we have been blessed to love, praise and serve, especially for
those who have learned otherwise, and to invite them to worship
and do ministry side-by-side with this congregation.
In the first years we were organized we participated in the
Gay Pride Parade. The first year we passed out 1200 quarter
page flyers sharing information about Uif as well as informing
the parade spectators of other two remaining films to be shown
as part of our film festival. We joined forces with Equality
Illinois and the marriage equality efforts by signing postcard
and petitions to be sent to our state elected officials urging
them to pass legislation that would legalize same sex marriage.
GSTM was also represented by Mary Haas at the marriage equality
rally in Springfield. GSTM sponsored a discussion and vote
deciding that UiF will welcome same sex couples to get married
in our sanctuary, with the understanding that the same sex
couple needs to follow the same guidelines that a heterosexual
couple follows. Since then we sponsored workshops focusing on
self-esteem and anti-bullying.
We began 2016 joining with the Worship and Music Committee
organizing our Annual RIC Sunday Celebration. The entire
ecumenical Welcoming community nationwide joins together to
celebrate our unity, just as we are today.
GSTM members joined together to plan two workshops that
focused on our Transgender brothers and sisters.
“TRANSGENDER: THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE--PART I” offered
opportunities for UiF members as well as our community
neighbors, to watch a video of Transgender people as they began
their transformation journey. We had the opportunity to listen
to a Transgender person and then together--speaker and
audience--asked questions and discussed the challenges and
triumphs the transgender community has experienced. This
workshop took place on Sunday, May 15, from 12:30 pm to 3:00
“TRANSGENDER: THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE—PART
II” focused on families with a transgender member. We
viewed part of a film that told the story of two families as
they journeyed toward their transformation as a family. We also
had a speaker who is the mom of a transgender child. Question
and answers followed. This workshop took place on Sunday,
October 30, from 12:30 pm to 3 pm.
GSTM is currently considering a “TRANSGENDER: THE
FORGOTTEN PEOPLE—PART III” for 2017 as one of our
option. It seems clear that as we learn more about transgender
folks through advanced research, we realize much can be
accomplished through events like these workshops. They offer
the opportunity for open and honest discussions that help us
recognize that the Christ we see in our transgender brothers
and sisters is the same CHRIST we see in ALL of us!
GSTM does most of its planning with email discussions.
However, we do have at least one face-to-face meeting when we
begin the planning of our event and at least one meeting just
prior to the event. The face-to-face meetings usually take
place on Sunday after the second worship service. If you are
interested in joining GSTM, please contact one of the committee
Peace and JOY to all,
Carolyn Doughty, chairperson, email@example.com, Mary Haas,
Gretchen Quillin, Jane Schira, Pastor Carla
1/22/2017 - Property - Joe Childress
TThe bulk of 2016 was dealing with roof repairs and heat/AC
repairs to our four units. It seems like we continue to patch
and repair our roofs, and replace furnace parts on old units.
All of these repairs cost us money, and I truly hope that we
are not continuing to throw good money after bad since the full
replacements of roofs and furnaces are extremely costly.
We continue to have issues with our current cleaning company
and it is our goal to seek and hire a new firm in 2017. We have
already received an estimate from another company to clean both
buildings, but feel we need to get a few more bids for this
job, as well as asking for references. We would prefer to hire
a company that has experience cleaning other churches and not
just offices. City Wide is our current cleaning company and we
had two replacement crews and a new project manager for our
building already since we started with them.
Our windows on the east side of our East Building need
caulking around all the exterior of the windows. We had this
done many years ago but unfortunately they used some
inexpensive materials, and now it needs to be replaced with a
better, long lasting silicone caulking. We are looking for a
handyman to do this for us in the spring.
Some other Property “doings” in 2016 was to have
tuckpointing on the interior brick walls in the sanctuary and
fellowship hall. We were trying to eliminate all possible leak
issues coming from the windows, and when the caulking is
completed, we hope the leaks will be gone too. Our LED sign was
finally repaired after we had an issue with the correct time
and also the replacement of some of the internal boards. The
Property Committee purchased a leaf blower for Steve to use
around our properties to make cleaning up debris and leaves a
little easier for him. We also switched out the cardboard
dumpster from Groot to Paper Retriever. Groot was charging us
too much for taking all the cardboard from The Food
UIF has been is dire need for some electrical work, so we
started to call around to get bids for ballast replacements and
other electrical work. The costs were extremely high. God heard
our prayers and a program through ComEd and Verde Solutions was
the answer for us. This pilot program will replace all fixtures
in UIF, doing so with energy efficient lighting for a fraction
of the cost. We had to apply for this program and we were
approved for the work. We met with a representative from Verde
Solutions at our November meeting and we are very excited about
the work, as we know you will be too.
Another miracle (sort of) was the asphalt patching/paving in
the private alley/easement behind our buildings. The holes were
huge and we had called the outfit that patched the last time to
see about more patching. About a month later, the holes were
filled (not such a good job, but filled) and none of the
neighbors know who did this. This is just a temporary fix since
the entire alley really needs to be tore up and replaced with a
new asphalt blacktop.
Our buildings get plenty of use on a weekly basis and we are
always getting requests to use both the east building and west
building by both members and outside groups. With this being
said, we had to revise the Building Use Agreement forms for
both members and non-members. Please be sure you fill one of
these out if you have any intentions of using our building
space. The changes to the agreement were minor, but they will
make keeping track of usage much easier for UIF.
There is so much to do around UIF and money is limited. Here
are the plans for 2017:
•Remove the Coke machines
•New Cleaning Service
•Floors - Strip and Wax
•New Alarm Codes
•New Folding Chairs for Fellowship Hall
•Steam Clean Restrooms
•Hire a “handyman” for small jobs around
UIF (any referrals are most welcome)
The primary purpose of this Property Committee is to
over-see the care and maintenance of our buildings and
surrounding property, as well as general repairs that do not
require the service of an outside contractor. Our members are
Joseph Childress, Chairman, Robert Doyle, George Schultz,
Harold Hoyem, Harold Edmonson (new member in 2016), and Julie
O’Donnell-Lozich. Our new Office Administrator, Derek
Sire, has also been in attendance at our monthly meetings which
is a huge asset to our committee. Thank you, Derek! We are also
seeking other members to join this committee so just contact
one of our members and they can inform you of our meeting
Feel free to contact anyone of us if you have would like us
to address a property issue at UIF.
God Bless and Watch Over UIF in 2017
1/15/2017 - Shepherds Staff - Bonnie Maginnis
This is the second in our series of temple talks on the
Ministries and Committee at United in Faith. This is your
opportunity to learn about what our Ministries and Committees
and what they do.
Shepherd’s Staff is one of the newest Ministries at
UIF. It was created and approved in 2013 to help strengthen the
church’s ministry, work and sacrament. The goals of
Sheperd’s Staff are to assist the Office Administrator
with day to day clerical tasks necessary for the operation of
the church, , care for and improve communication within the
congregation, and administer our Child Safety program to create
a safe haven for children.
Assisting the Office Administrator
We assist the Office Administrator with many time consuming
clerical duties and by filling in when the Administrator is out
of the office to answer phones and greet visitors.
One of our first projects was to work closely with the
Pastor and Administrator to update all of the congregational
attendance records in our computer system so that accurate
reports can be sent to the Synod. When we started this project,
Attendance sheets had not been entered into the computer system
for many years. It took several months of effort to bring those
records up to date and now attendance sheets are entered on a
Then we worked with the new office administrator to clean up
and organize the office, copy room, Sunday School room, and
server room, discarding many old records and supplies no longer
needed and reorganizing those rooms. The archive room (which
holds all the records from the eight churches that came
together in United in Faith) was also cleaned out and
rearranged (thank Harold and Dian)so that information can be
more easily located.
Shepherd’s Staff labels and stamps all those
newsletters that are not picked up by members and will assist
any other ministry with any mailings they may have to send out.
We also maintain the bulletin board in fellowship hall that
advertises upcoming events at United in Faith
Communication within congregation
Shepherd’s staff has worked to improve communication
within the congregation. We researched various programs and
chose One Call Now to automatically send messages via phone and
email to each congregation member when something important
happens at United in Faith such as reminders of congregational
meetings, passing of members, or cancellation of services. When
we have a message to deliver we go to the One Call Now website,
enter the United in Faith account and type in the message. The
program converts the written message to verbal, (magic) and
automatically dials the phone number of the recipient. Remember
though, congregation members must give us their written
permission to contact them so if you have not yet signed up for
this service you can do so by filling out the back of the
Contact Form. Then when there is important information you will
be kept in the loop.
In an effort to reflect God’s love by showing kindness
and compassion to all who walk through our doors, we send out
to members birthday cards, anniversary congratulations and get
well cards. We will also send a Thinking of you or Miss you
card to members we haven’t seen in a while to let them
know United in Faith has not forgotten them. If you know of
someone you have not seen for a while, or a member who is under
the weather and might need a little cheer, please let us know.
And a big thank you to all those who have donated greeting
cards to us. We also send out letters to visitors who attend
our services, welcoming them to United in Faith and letting
them know we enjoyed their visit, inviting them to return, and
giving them contact information for the office and Pastor.
We are trying to strengthen faith by creating a Safe Haven
for Children at United in Faith. Shepherd’s Staff
coordinates evaluations and child safety training of all
children’s ministry volunteers, especially those that are
non-members. We are currently researching for a new child
safety program that can be conducted without a computer since
many of our volunteers do not have access to computers.
The Spiritual Gifts for Shepherd’s Staff include
Organization, Helps, Teaching and Service. If you think you
might be interested in joining or learning more about this
ministry, please contact one of the current members: Me, Diane
Hoyem and Mickey Bligh.
1/8/2017 - Stewardship - Gretchen Quillin
Hello! My name is Gretchen Quillin. Today, we are starting a
series of temple talks focused on our ministries here at United
in Faith. So much happens behind the scenes that many of us
aren’t aware of, so we thought it would be a good idea to
share that information.
Also of note, is that the ministries are open to additional
members, so after you listen to these temple talks, we invite
you to enter into prayer and discernment to determine if your
gifts and passion are a fit for any of the various
We’re going to start this series of temple talks with
Stewardship! Everyone’s favorite, right? I know, we, as
Lutherans, hate to talk about our giving. It’s a very
personal topic. But one of the goals of the Stewardship
Ministry is to reduce that taboo and increase the conversation
One of the main activities run by the Stewardship Ministry
is the annual Faith Promises Sunday. For the last few years,
Faith Promises Sunday has been on All Saints’ Sunday (the
first Sunday in November). The Faith Promise is a chance for
you to consider your contributions of time, talent, and
treasure to United in Faith for the coming year. While
it’s helpful for us to know approximately how much money
United in Faith expects to bring in, the main purpose of Faith
Promises Form, is to provide a chance for you to touch base
with God (and your spouse, if applicable) on your finances and
intentions on giving. We do not hold anyone accountable to what
Is captured on those forms, and we do not discuss individual
members’ giving. So, if you were to say that you’re
going to give $50 per month and your circumstances change, that
is between you and God.
Over the past few years, we’ve attempted to steer the
conversation about giving toward the gifts of time and talent,
not just treasure (or money). We’ve been working on this
in multiple ways, including newsletter articles, Giving
Statement letters, and the Faith Promises Form. This is why the
Faith Promises form includes a large section that lists the
ministries and other areas where you can commit your time and
talent at United in Faith.
If you haven’t already submitted your form, you can
still do that by putting it in the collection plate, providing
it to the office, or placing it in the Stewardship mailbox.
This year, the Stewardship Ministry spearheaded the change
in the offering envelopes, based on a suggestion from a member
of the congregation. We also offer Simply Giving (a direct
debit option). And Nancy, with the help of the Stewardship
Ministry, put on the Auction in April.
As for the Stewardship Ministry itself, we are a small group
consisting of Denise Boyer, Nancy Ciecko, Rich Guzik, Pastor
Carla, and me. We have a fun time and meet only when we need
to, which happens to include tomorrow at 7 pm. I usually bring
treats to share with the group, and tomorrow will be no
exception. Although we would love to have anyone join our team,
the specific spiritual gifts that match up well with our goals
include giving, organization, teaching, wisdom, helps, prayer,
knowledge, leadership, and service. So take a look at your
gifts results and see if it’ll be a good fit.
Thank you for your time. Please feel free to review our
Stewardship Ministry brochure and the brochure on Leaving a
Legacy, which is about donating to United in Faith and other
During October 2015 there were two temple talks given on
stewardship. The text of one of those temple talks follow:
10/25/15 - Katie Jewell
Most of you are accustomed by now to seeing me up here,
regularly announcing what supplies, volunteers, and
participants we need for an upcoming event. Today I'd like to
share with you how God has been present in my life and why it
is that I am so often asking for your contributions.
Think back to when you were a young child, or a teen, or a
young adult. Think about when your children were young. What
experiences did you have at church? At Sunday School? On
service projects or mission trips? How did they shape you and
your relationship with God?
When I was young, we went to a fairly large church. My
father was on the finance and building committees and my mother
was involved in several service organizations. At one point she
led their Operation Santa Claus program. They brought home
stories from their meetings and shared the implications of
difficult decisions that were made. I looked forward to growing
up and being involved.
More importantly, church was an integral part of our lives.
I enjoyed Sunday School each week and invited friends to come
along. When I entered Youth Group, I was elected to the
Pastor/Parish Relations Committee and was involved in
interviewing and hiring a new pastor - as an 8th grader! In
high school I witnessed children in the inner city needing love
and support they weren't getting at home. Eventually I worked
with a mentor and opened an after school program for these
children in their neighborhood church.
Your memories will be varied and different from mine, but
I'm guessing you all have a moment, or series of moments, when
an experience changed you. When God spoke to you; through
What did that feel like? Was it amazing to feel God pushing
you, with certainty, in one direction? Was it terrifying to
think about the "What If's" and the risks? Probably. But if you
followed through with God's plan, how incredible to know the He
was (and is) with you every step of the way!
Come back to the present. Sunday morning, it's chilly
outside. Halloween is this week. Thanksgiving and Christmas are
right around the corner. What is God calling you to do?
Many of you have volunteered or contributed in one way or
another when asked this past year. Some of you are out of town
or can't help on your feet, so you made an extra monetary
donation. Some of you don't have that luxury and have instead
donated a skill - decorating, artwork, or story telling. Some
of you have given a great deal of that most precious commodity
- time - and for all these things I am thankful and God is
But we don't not get to sit back and rest now. There is more
work to be done. If we want our children, and our children's
children to continue having church memories and faith
experiences, we all need to listen to what God is calling us to
do. We need to have faith that we can give more of our time,
our talents, and our treasure and God will use it to grow
United in Faith, our next generation, and our world.
What is God calling you to do?
During October 2014 there were several temple talks given on
stewardship. The text of those temple talks follow:
10/19/14 10:30 Service
Hello, My name is Gretchen Quillin and I’m here to
speak briefly on giving. As many of you know, Faith Promises
Sunday is November 2 this year. This is the day we present our
promises to God about how we will spend our time, our talents,
and our treasure. If you have questions about Faith Promises
Sunday, please see me after the service.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “God loves a
cheerful giver,” right? That phrase has always kind of
bothered me. I don’t know about you, but often, giving my
time or money away doesn’t make me joyous or happy or
cheerful. I have had moments of wanting to keep or spend the
money that we give to church. I could provide a very, very long
list of items that I want for me, my family, my house, my
But, recently, I reread 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. “The
point is this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each
one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I’d like to change the emphasis. Did you catch the
part about “each one must give as he has decided in his
heart?” Before I ever made a pledge or faith promise as
an adult in the church, I struggled every month with what to
give. It varied a lot. Do I give the cash in my wallet? Do I
write a check, and if so, how much should it be? My giving was
very inconsistent. Once I made a faith promise, though,
everything changed. You see, I think verse 7 should end with
“God loves a peace-filled giver.” The peace I have
about giving what we give permeates my life.
For instance, when Katie Jewell asked Dave and me to be
youth leaders, I said yes. Dave and I rarely commit to doing
anything together because we’d always need a babysitter.
But I didn’t let the daunting task of finding babysitters
twice a month (sometimes more) stop me from giving my time. I
know that God will always provide a babysitter for us, and so
far, he as blessed us with people from the church who are
willing to watch Conrad for free while we do God’s
ministry with the youth of UIF.
Our family is no different from your family. We all have a
certain amount of time and money. And there are months with
unexpected expenses that we would have benefited from keeping
the money we give to church. If you’ve ever had a
basement flood or emergency car repairs, you know what I mean.
But we’ve always given our money faithfully because we
made a promise and we have peace in our hearts.
What we have given we have reaped. We have received a faith
community that is loving, honest, challenging, and generous
with their time and talents both with us and each other. We
have received friends and godparents to our son that love us
and support us. We have received satisfaction of knowing we are
doing God’s work and opportunities to develop into
leaders from our roles on various ministries, currently between
the two of us: Church Health Team, Stewardship, Call Committee,
Youth, and Praise Band.
So, I urge you to prayerfully consider your faith promise
this year. Because for us, that one promise has made all the
Temple Talk -
Bernice Malmanger Oct 26,2014
Last Sunday, Denise Boyer, a member of our Stewardship
Ministry, asked if I would give a "Temple Talk" about the
decisions each of us must make if we want to assure that our
faith community continues to have a physical place in which to
worship, and still be able to do ministry.
To refresh my memory, I reread the letter that came with our
July 13 giving statements. We have been operating on the
investment money made possible by selling the eight buildings
of the uniting congregations.
I have not been here as long as many of you, but longer than
some. My former church could have joined UIF's original eight
but we thought we had a chance of making it alone. We ended up
having to close. UIF is the first church my friend Barbara and
I visited when looking for a new home. The welcome and warmth I
felt from that visit continued through following visits and I
have been a member now for about three years. I don't want to
lose this physical place in which to worship.
All of us here, have God given gifts and they are different
for each of us. One of my daily prayers is "Lord equip me with
everything I need to do your work". I believe he has done that
For us to take care of this building, we need money and
labor. For us to sustain a ministry, our membership must supply
both the money and the labor. This is our decision time. We
must ask ourselves - What are my gifts and can I share a little
bit more so that we can have a sustainable ministry? And as our
fearless Pastor asks "AND MAY GOD'S PEOPLE SAY AMEN".
During January 2009 there were several temple talks given on
stewardship. The text of those temple talks follow:
Update on the
Financial Status of UiF
I am here today to give you an update on the financial
status of United in Faith. It’s something we should have
been doing more often, but is especially important now that the
entire world is dealing with unprecedented financial stress.
Typically the cash income received here is less than cash
expenditures. However, we also have investments, and the
investment gains and income in recent years have reduced
deficits substantially, but not eliminated them. Obviously we
have always known this is a path than can’t be followed
forever. At some point, we do run out of investments, out of
money. But I think the philosophy has been that in time,
growth would come; and with a larger membership, deficits would
be eliminated. So last year we all agreed to a budget that
included a cash deficit, partially offset by investment
But this past year, anyone who had investments discovered
that there was no escape from significant market losses. 2008
was a disaster for everyone. Even many supposedly safe
investments suffered market loss. At UIF our general
investments are down significantly. Our even more
conservatively invested Scholarship endowment is also down.
There is about a 30% drop in the value of our investments
through November. All this happened in spite of having
outstanding financial advisers from Thrivent. They never
expected this to happen. And the well-respected advisors
Jackie and I use for our IRA keep telling us: “Wow-never
seen anything like this.”
With all this going on, UIF has been careful with spending.
We don’t yet have final numbers for 2008. We will be
talking about them at our annual meeting. But as of November
we spent $65,000 less than budgeted. Even with this pullback,
we continue to spend more than we take in. Through November we
have also had to sell $90,000 of our investments to cover the
cash deficit. Fortunately you have been faithful, and your
gifts have keep coming during this period when all are feeling
financial pain. But the cash deficit and investment losses
this past year have made finding a solution to our deficit
spending more urgent. We don’t have as much time to fix
the problem as we used to.
But I don’t come with easy answers. Can we cut
expenditures any more without hurting our mission? It
obviously would be better to grow our income, but how do we do
that. Yes, we are hoping for a return of investment income, and
recovery of losses. But that has never been the whole answer.
Obvious answer has always been to grow the membership. More
people bringing gifts to God. Bequests have helped us out
significantly in the past. Can each of us give more on
Sunday? I can’t answer that because each of us has
different circumstances, only God knows. Are there other
sources of income? Maybe. So this is a complex problem,
something we need to pray about and work on in the near
future. And for the next few Sundays we plan to continue this
conversation. The good news is that God is right there with us
in all of our struggles.
Today’s temple talk is on
“Estate Charitable Giving Options to
I am here to suggest ways you can leave part of your estate
to your church. In many cases this will not necessitate your
making out a new will or trust agreement. If you have not
already prepared a “will” this of course is the
easiest way to go. You can just designate the church as
beneficiary of a set percentage of your estate.
There are other ways to simply do this without preparing a
new document. For example, if you have an IRA, annuity (40l
plan), or life insurance policy, you can designate the church
as beneficiary of all or partial amounts. Your estate could
receive a charitable deduction for the value of the bequest.
Another way is to purchase a life insurance policy and name
the church as beneficiary. In this case, your premiums are
tax-deductible as a charitable contribution and upon your
death, the insurance proceeds go to the charity.
You can also transfer ownership of an investment (for
example, land, a mutual fund, or stock) to the church. You may
be able to reduce or eliminate capital gains and estate
taxation through this type of gift, as well.
In this example, I wish to show how easy it is to give to
UiF and it won’t really affect your family.
If your home alone is worth $300,000 and you have 3
children, each child would receive $100,000 from the sale of
the home. If you have named UiF as beneficiary of 10% of your
home, each child would receive $90,000. Would that $10,000
deduction make a difference in your child’s life?
Probably not, but a $30,000 gift to Uif would make a difference
to UiF. It would allow us to expand programming and grow in
Bob and I came to UiF from MLC that chose to not join the
consolidation. They have struggled the past 10 years having to
resort to a part-time pastor and selling their parking lot.
They certainly aren’t doing a lot of mission work, they
are just trying to maintain their building. This is why we
left. They are now looking at closing. We have personally
made estate giving to UiF a priority in our wills and trusts.
We would like to see our legacy become something fruitful and
visionary. I would hate to leave monies that are used to pay
utility bills for a dwindling congregation. We ask that you
join us in your estate giving to UiF.
The Thrivent web site has a lot of information on this as
well as brochures from the stewardship committee which are
available in Narthex. If you have questions, please see a
member of finance or stewardship committee. Or you may contact
Shirley Canchola our Thrivent contact person.
If you love me, feed
my lambs, feed my sheep.
When Jesus said that to Peter, he was asking him to take
care of the church. Stewardship to me is the same. As members
of the church and of this congregation, we are asked to feed
the lambs and feed the sheep. United in Faith is a flock of
sheep, a herd of lambs. From our littlest lamb to our most
mature sheep they need to be tended, we must take care of our
There are many parts of our flock that as stewards and
shepherds we need to tend. At United in Faith we tend our young
with the talents of our Sunday school staff of volunteers. Our
youth group is tended by our pastor and a host of parent
leaders as they find their own way to increase their faith in
confirmation. Our Celebration Choir and music ministry tends
our flock with their leadership by providing our faithful with
a variety of inspirational sounds that uplifts our worship. Our
Food pantry tends our greater community by providing resources
that may not be available anywhere else. Our scout leaders tend
their flocks of brownies, girl and boy scouts while providing
them the learning opportunities as well as leadership
development. Our Golden Diners tend our flock by providing a
meal and friendship to many that appreciate that they are not
forgotten. Our Alanon and Survivors of incest groups appreciate
the time and space that United in Faith provides so that they
can minister those in need.
My family has greatly benefited from all of the ministries
that United in Fath offers over the years. From our time with
our previous congreagation, Nebo, our children, Bethany, Jacob
and Ruth participated in Sunday School, Confirmation and youth
group ministry. They helped during vacation bible school with
so many others that volunteer their talents and time. My wife
Lyn and daughter Bethany brought their talents to their flocks
of Sunday school children. We have participated in countless
services and assisting ministers and readers. I have
participated in several different ministry committees sharing
talents while listening and leading. Our Faith has sustained us
in our times of need and our faith has helped us help others in
their times of need.
Stewardship is tending our flock. We have in our faith,
provided for our flock and been tended by our shepherds. Many
of our ministries require more than just talents and shepherds.
As members of our flock we all need to help our flock proceed
in its ministries. Presently our nations economy has affected
everyone. Although we have a new president, things that have
changed over the past few years will not be undone over night.
Our flock needs more than just your talents to continue its
ministries. Please consider increasing your weekly offering or
by some other means tend our lambs. The Lord has provided for
all of us in many different ways. Please help tend our flock
moreover feed our sheep.