Thank Yous from the Stewardship Ministry

Starting in May 2009, the Stewardship Ministry highlights one of the organizations / committees / ministries of United in Faith to say THANK YOU for what they do.

Thank You To Those Who Bring New Life To Old Bags

Who would think that those plastic bags that you get from the stores to carry out your purchases could be used for something other than to reside in a landfill for a very LONG Time? Well, enter “New Life for Old Bags" (NLOB).

The group has found a use for all of those plastic bags. The bags are folded, cut, and looped together to make plarn (plastic yarn). The plarn is then crocheted into 3’ x 6’ mats for the homeless to sleep on. Each mat has a convenient carrying strap. The mats are distributed by Cornerstone Community Outreach in Uptown. They provide the homeless some cushion to sleep on, and help keep them drier and therefore healthier. The homeless are very grateful for the time and love the volunteers put into the mats. They say they remind them of their grandmothers' crocheted afghans.

New Life for Old Bags was started on February 1, 2010 by Ruth Werstler. It now has an Advisory Board and connections with hundreds of groups, organizations, and individuals across the country . . . all contributing to its mission. It is a collaboration of folks of all ages and abilities. Since its inception, 449 mats have been made, upcycling approximately 314,300 bags & using approximately 35,920 hours of volunteer labor.

On the first Saturday of every month, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 20-45 NLOB volunteers meet at United in Faith to create plarn, and crochet mats. There is a job that EVERYONE can do. And there is always a lot of fellowship that goes on. What a great way to meet new people and to do something meaningful together.

To those volunteers and all of the volunteers throughout the country, to WELCA and the Girl Scouts, to the NLOB Advisory Board and to Ruth Werstler, I say THANK YOU for being Gods Hands, Feet, and Voice in the World. You are indeed using your God given talents for the benefit of those less fortunate.

A special thank you goes to our very own Toni Richter who has single handedly crocheted over 200 of the mats.

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You To All Who Are Generous With Their Time

One of the things that are irreplaceable is your time. You can’t go back in time, you can’t buy more time, you get to use time only once and then it is gone, it is past, it has that use-only-once quality. We all have an amount of time allocated just for us and we never know what the amount is. If you are ill with an irreversible disease, then you may have an idea of how much time you have left, but then that is usually just a guess. So for everyone, time is an important commodity.

How you use it is generally up to you. Some have time on their hands (some retired people) and for others there just isn’t enough time during a day to do what you want to do or need to do (most mothers with little ones or care-givers of a relative). There usually is an amount of time that you pretty much have no control over – like sleeping, working at a job, traveling to and from that job, eating, grooming, shopping for food and clothing, cleaning you abode, washing cloths, etc.… And the list can go on. What you may have left during a day, that is unaccounted or unspoken for, can be very little or can be abundant, depending on your own individual circumstances. It is what you do with that time that is important.

If you spend that time unselfishly helping others, then to YOU I say THANK YOU. If you volunteer at your church, at a hospital or care-giving facility, at a charity, a not-for-profit organization, or help a friend in need, a stranger, a neighbor, a family member, or you give of your time freely to anyone who just asks you – to YOU I say THANK YOU.

If you know someone who is generous with their time, there are several ways you can say Thank You: you can say Thank You to them face-to-face; you can send them a Thank You card; you can thank the Lord for them; you can pray for them; or you can be generous with your time as a way of saying Thank YOU for their inspiration. The choices are all yours to make.

We all are stewards of God’s gifts and our time is one of those gifts. Use your time as one of God’s good stewards. Don’t hide it or bury it. Use it wisely so that it may reap remarkable benefits for the glory of our Lord – and you will be thanked in ways that you can not imagine.

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You For Those in the Armed Forces and Their Families

Everyone remembers war: World War I; World War II; the Korean Conflict; the Cold War; the War in Vietnam; the wars in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been so many wars in our life-time and have been fortunate that we have not experienced war on our shores. Some wars we may feel are justified, others we may not. They almost seem to be part of life until someone you know or someone close to you becomes a casualty, is shot, wounded, blown up, maimed or suffers mentally and emotionally. Then it becomes real.

Most of the service men and women who are casualties of war, are young, their life has barely been lived. They have paid the supreme price. They have given up their life or a part of their life so that we may live in freedom.

The casualties of war who are not service men and women, are the loved ones that they have left behind – their spouse, partner, children, parents, siblings, their friends, those they worked with, those they worshiped with, those they have touch in some way. They all are casualties of war. “Our freedom endures because of the men and women who defend it.”1

To those in the armed forces – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard – for those on active duty, the reserves, the National Guard – for those who have already served and are currently serving – I say Thank You.

To all of their families, both biological and not; I say Thank You.

To all who have sacrificed so that we may live in peace, I say THANK YOU and pray that they are sheltered by the arm of the Lord.

If you know a service man or woman or one who has served in the military, walk up to them and say Thank You for your service, or write them a note, even a short one. It will be greatly appreciated.

Stewardship Ministry

1 – 2012 State of the Union Address


Thank You For Those Who Help St. Cyprians

St. Cyprians Food Pantry has been housed in the West Building since February 2002. It serves thousands during the year, many whom are children. The need has grown so tremendously in recent years, that their service boundaries have been reduced and been absorbed by other food pantries.

Many of our church family have worked as volunteers there since 2002, and others when they were able. Many are there twice a week, every week. Others when their time permits. The unemployed have shared their free time volunteering at the pantry and others have contributed hams and turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some have given Christmas gifts for the children and many have donated food and other needed articles and incidentals on a regular basis. Others are generous financially either throughout the year or when they can. Quarterly, we highlight the pantry’s immediate needs and many provide that extra support of a Brown Bag and its needed contents as a donation.

St. Cyprians Food Pantry exists because there are so many that are unemployed, underemployed or just poor. They need the food the pantry provides to survive. And the need has grown.

We say Thank You to all who have helped the Food Pantry in any way. We Thank You if you have provided anything tangible that the pantry can use. But we especially thank those who give of their time on Mondays and Thursdays when the pantry is open. Without those volunteers, the pantry could not exist. To those we say an extra special THANK YOU.

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You For The Opportunity To Serve

As servants of the Lord, we strive to be God’s Hands, Feet and Voice in the World.  In pursuit of that purpose, we work to feed the hungry, help those less fortunate, share the Good News, strive to be stewards of our God given gifts, and make the world a better place to live in. 

That is not always an easy task nor is it always foremost in our minds.  We are usually concerned about living and taking care of those for whom we are responsible.  All others usually take second place.  As Christians, we are commissioned by the Lord to share his word and to live the beatitudes.  It is all of God’s children whom we should strive to serve.

Yes, we do help others: through the food pantry; through our financial donations; through our support, time and efforts for causes that serve others; through our prayers for those in need; through the smiles that we share with strangers; and the list can go on forever.

What we may fail to realize is that those that we serve or help in any way, are reminders that there are many who need our help.  That they, through their suffering, provide us with many opportunities to be God’s Hands, Feet and Voice in the World.  We just need to recognize and to take advantage of those opportunities.

So say Thank You Lord, for the opportunities to serve, and help us to recognize ALL of the opportunities that You send our way and give us the strength to take advantage of those opportunities.    

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You For Pastor's Preaching Ministry Support Team

Do you know who is on Pastor’s preaching ministry support team or what they do or why they exist?

Do you remember when Pastor Greg preached only from the pulpit and that he had notes to which he referred to keep his sermon on track? And at times he struggled to remember exactly what he wanted to say. Fortunately for him and for us, those days are long gone.

Now he preaches without notes; he is comfortable in his delivery; he stands in front of the altar to preach; he gives his sermon confidently and is in control of his presentation and train of thought. These positive changes have come to pass because he has gone back to school to earn his PhD in Preaching and has applied what he has learned. The program that he is in requires that he has a congregational support team that continuously evaluates his sermons and their presentation and provides him with constructive feedback on a regular basis. For Pastor Greg, the meetings with the support team are a learning experience for him as well as for the support team. Pastor gets feedback on what works for him and what does not. The team learns how you convey information comparing the culture, how religion fit into their lives and how it fits, in today's reality.

The support team works with Pastor as he continues to progress and try new approaches. Without that feedback, Pastor would have no way of knowing how he is progressing.

So to Pastor’s Preaching Ministry Support Team we say THANK YOU for helping our pastor help himself. Thank You for giving of your time and valued opinions. To Carley Bran, Victoria Bran, Shirley Canchola, Dawn Constantino, Janeen Devine, Marty Dipple, Harold Edmonson, Dian Hoyem, and Elisabeth Wittman we just say THANK YOU!

Stewardship Ministry.


Thank You For Those Gifted With Music or Song

It is not necessary to have music and singing at a worship service to praise our Lord and Savior.

But for me, both music and song are an integral part of worship. Even if the music is just a tambourine or chimes or a harmonica or a piano, it helps to set the mood of a service. For song, even if has no musical accompaniment, it joins us all together in worship. For me, both music and song are a must.

Many of us are not musically inclined or are not blessed with a voice. Playing a musical instrument and singing are indeed gifts from God. And those that have one of these gifts and use it, are praising the Lord every time they play or sing just a single note. Those that use these gifts in the worship of our Lord are shouting their praise of the Lord through their music and song. It is truly most pleasant to listen to music and song during worship. They help to set the tone of the worship service in relation to the liturgical year. They are an integral part of worship.

We are fortunate to have many who are blessed with the gift of music or song that share their talents with us during our worship services. They are all to be thanked. At the next service that you attend, when you see our pianist and those who play and sing in the Voice of the Turtle and those that sing in the Ad Hoc Choir and those that are cantors and Pastor who chants and those who choose the songs for our worship services and those in the Worship and Music Ministry and other worshipers who sing, say THANK YOU to them for sharing their gifts in praise of the Lord.

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You Ministry Directors

The Ministry Directors meet monthly to provide an update of their ministry’s activities and to coordinate with the other ministry directors. That sounds simple enough, but their real work takes place daily, as they dream of new initiatives and guide their ministry through their daily tasks, all of which support and reflect the purpose and guiding principles of United in Faith. The ministry directors and their members are active in their ministry because they have a passion for what their ministry does. They are truly servants of the Lord.

We currently have fifteen ministries. They include: Children; Communion Visitation; Faith Development; Fellowship; Gay & Straight Together (the newest ministry); Hospitality; Justice (currently inactive); Men In Mission; Outreach; Prayer; Service and Mission; Stewardship; W.E.L.C.A., Worship & Music; and Youth. This list is a sure sign that we are all about being God’s Hands, Feet and Voice in the World.

It takes a lot of people to keep these ministries healthy and vibrant. If you support one of these ministries, look in a mirror and say Thank You to yourself. When you see your fellow ministry members, Say Thank You to them. And above all, when you see Jennifer Keller, Dorothy Goos, Jeaninne Kosner, Lois Gosstrom, Carolyn Doughty, Annette Cameron, Michael Ford, Gary Constantino, Carol Egner, Elisabeth Wittman, Anita Perski, Dave Quillin, or Samantha Cecala - Say Thank You to them for being passionate about their ministries.

If you feel a tingle of passion for one of these ministries or are curious about what a ministry is all about, please contact the ministry director and offer your services. I am sure that you will be welcomed with open arms – and then you can say Thank You to yourself.

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You God For Les

It is not often during your life that you encounter a person that makes an impression on you in a very quite and unassuming way. Les Cameron was such a person. He was always soft-spoken and a gentleman. On Sundays when he ushered, he would greet you with a smile and a kind word. If you were a visitor, he would offer to help you in anyway that he could, to make your visit a pleasant one.

If you were his friend, you had an unwavering and loyal friend forever. He shared the talents that God gave him with all who needed them.

Heaven is now a happier place and God is smiling now that Les has joined Him. We Thank You Lord for sharing your faithful servant, Les, with us, for as long as you did.

He made us smile. He made us comfortable.

He served You well. He made You proud.
Thank You God for Les.

Stewardship Ministry


Why Should We Thank the Church Council?

Just what does the congregational council do?  Sure, they meet once a month and isn’t that just about it?  Just what should we be thankful to them for?

In a nutshell, the congregational council takes care of all of the administrative matters that any business has to attend to.  Fortunately, the council has several committees that attend to the real serious work of finances and property management.  Members of the council serve on both of those committees.  And, most of the council members belong to at least one committee and/or ministry besides being on council, so you know that they are active in our community of faith. 

The council members were voted on by the membership to represent you in the decisions that they make.  Some of the more prominent decisions include: whether or not to have an intern; can we afford staff raises; who should our interim pastor be; when one is needed; can we afford to spend all monies in the budget.  The decisions that they make are a combination of common sense, prudence and hope.  There is no glamour in being a councilperson, just satisfaction that they are serving the Lord by addressing the earthly items that a church must tend to. 

So say Thank You to your congregational council: Bob Doyle, Dawn Constantino, Elaine Potzus, Gary Callgreen, Carl Arnswald, Mike Ford, Bob Wilk, Annette Cameron and Bonnie Maginnis.  Say Thank You to them – for serving the Lord, for being your representative, for making the necessary decisions, for being involved, and for caring about United in Faith.

Stewardship Ministry


Say THANK YOU to Rich, Our Intern

We have been blessed to have an intern for four of the last five years.  The interns have brought new life into the congregation.  A new style of preaching.  A fresh word at council, ministry and committee meetings.  A young smiling face at our activities.  Yes, the interns have helped to keep many things from just plain going stale.  New ideas, new approaches, new opinions.

I would like to thank Rich for sharing his internship with United in Faith, because he has indeed shared with us his young smiling face, a new style of preaching, and a fresh point of view.  We have, indeed, been truly blessed. 

Rich came to us with a pastoral presence and degree of maturity that enriched his internship from the first day that he entered our doors.  This made our job easier, exposing him to the pastoral side of congregational life, because these traits just need nurturing.   

Like our previous interns, Rich has introduced his spouse, Rebecca, to the congregation - another seminary student with many talents.  Another young smiling face that brighten our doors.

For all of these things and for just being himself, say THANK YOU to Rich.  We have enriched his pastoral training, hopefully as much as he has enriched the life of the congregation.  So before he leaves, give him a hug, wish him Godspeed and just say Thank You for the year he has shared with United in Faith.  And don’t forget his wife Rebecca.   

Stewardship Ministry


Why Thank the Delegates to the Synod Assembly?

Every year at the annual meeting the congregation votes on three members to represent United in Faith at the Metropolitan Chicago Synod Assembly.  The assembly is an annual meeting of all of the ELCA churches in the synod.  It is scheduled every year around June.  Every congregation in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod sends delegates to represent them at the assembly as well as their clergy and interns.  Retired clergy also attend.  The assembly is similar to our annual meeting.

At the assembly the delegates decide on issues that will effect each congregation in the synod and the synod as a whole.  These are in the form of resolutions (like the one on Human Sexuality).  Each resolution is presented, it can be modified and then it is either accepted or rejected by the delegates. Delegates to the church-wide assembly are chosen and the normal business of the election of officers and an annual budget for the Synod are addressed.  Also, there are booths from various Lutheran organizations, which offer information about what their organization can do for you or your congregation.  And of course there is worship, keynote speakers and an address by the bishop.

There is a lot packed into two days of business and information gathering for the delegates.  Your delegates vote on synod officers, a synod budget, synod delegates to the church-wide assembly and a myriad of resolution – all in your name.  You trust that the delegates will make their decisions wisely and in line with what United in Faith as a whole would decide.

The delegates take two days out of their busy schedules to represent United in Faith.  So when you see Ray and Jackie Good and Mary Haas, say THANK YOU for representing United in Faith at the Synod Assembly.  You can also say THANK YOU to the alternate delegates, Shirley Canchola and Robert Wilk.  Their dedication to the service of the Lord is appreciated.  

Stewardship Ministry


Say Thank You To The Intern Committee

The intern committee at United in Faith has a most import task. It is to support the pastoral intern in the all that he or she does during their year of internship. The intern committee is chosen to represent a cross section of the congregation in regard to age, sex, personality, gifts and outlook on life at United in Faith. Each committee member is more than willing to serve and we have tried not to recycle people to serve on the committee.

Each committee member brings their life’s experiences, joys and sorrows, and personality to the committee meetings as they share the impact and effect of the intern’s sermons, from their point of view. Bringing together a wide cross section of different personalities to serve as a team helps to enhance the quality of feedback given to the intern. To make the feedback effective, each committee member must prepare a constructive critique on the intern’s sermons, how the intern interacts with the congregation, and how they conduct themselves at the various committee meetings that they attend. This immediate feedback helps the intern to get the most from their internship.

Another important aspect of the intern committee is to make the intern and their family feel comfortable while serving at United in Faith. The social events are meant to make the intern and their family “at home.” Making people comfortable when they are in a new environment is not always easy.

Serving on an intern committee is not just a once a month meeting commitment, but a continuous eleven month commitment to help the intern to grow as a pastor and to help the intern experience as much of the congregation’s life as possible. It is a commitment to help an intern learn what it means to be and to serve as a pastor of a congregation. It is a commitment to help to prepare a shepherd and a spiritual leader. It is a commitment to serve one who dedicates their life to the service of the Lord.

So you see Gary Constantino, Mary Haas, Dawn Constantino, Dian Hoyem, Harold Hoyem, or Bonnie Maginnis give them a hug and say Thank You for helping to prepare another shepherd to guide God’s sheep.

Stewardship Ministry


Say Thank You To Your Church Family

Most of us have families or close friends to whom we turn to in time of need. Your needs may be companionship, just someone to talk to just to talk, emotional, financial, fellowship, an outlet to help or friendship. You are extremely lucky to have someone who falls into one or two of those categories. If you have someone who falls into all of those categories you are extremely blessed.

There is one other family that is always there for you in your various times of need – your church family. You are blessed to have a pastor and church family that you can turn to when a need arises. Your church family doesn’t care who you are, what your education is, who your relatives are, or why you are part of your church family. All that matters is that you are in need and your church family is here to stand by your side and lend a helping hand and a prayer, or to pray with you.

There are support groups, social groups, work groups, a prayer group, a women’s group, a men’s group, fun groups and groups that support the needs of the church and church family. Those groups are there for you. You can even create your own group. Where else can you go and have such a variety of opportunities to belong.

To your church family, just say THANK YOU. We all rely on our church family in one way or another. Be it in your time of need or when you are there for someone else in need. Your church family is always there, and is there for you.

Stewardship Ministry


Say Thank You To the Finance Committee

You share your time, talents and financial resources with church. You pretty much manage your time and activities at church on your own. You make the decisions and choices as to what you will do and what talents you will share. When it comes to the financial resources that you share with church, there is a conscientious and dedicated group of people who manage the funds given to United in Faith. They are called the Finance Committee.

We rely on their expertise and knowledge to invest our funds and derive the most income from them. They also prepare and submit a budget for church to the congregational council and membership. To them we say, THANK YOU. They are some of our unsung heroes who quietly work behind the scenes to keep us financially viable.

We have depended on our investments since our inception to pay our bills as our income has never been enough to pay all of our expenses. Even with drastic cuts in our budget over the past few years, that is still the case.

Next time you see, Diane Doyle, Elaine Potzus, Ray Good, Lois Gosstrom, Bonnie Maginnis, Marion Hanson and Marion Senf, give them a hearty THANK YOU and tell them that you appreciate all that they have done for United in Fatih, especially their work as members of the Finance Committee.

Stewardship Ministry


Say Thank You To the Tuesday Bible Study Group

Did you know that there is a Bible Study held on Tuesday evenings? The study group meets at 7:15 p.m. in the lounge area of the church. It was originally started by Pastor Sue as a Lutheranism class. After that was over, the people expressed an interest to keep the group going by studying different books of the Bible. It is lead by Dave Quillin and Gary Constantino. It's purpose is to provide a forum to study the Bible and give people a place where they can feel free to say they don't understand something or struggle with what the Bible says. Anyone - everyone is welcome no matter how much or how little you know about the Bible.

The group is currently starting to explore the Book of 1 Corinthians. Their Welcome is – “Come and explore with us.”

It is refreshing and heart-warming that a small group of people has decided that it is important for them to study the bible AND actually do it.

This is an example of people taking the initiative to fill a void. The group is small but has grown. The members of the Tuesday Bible Study are Dave Quillin, Gretchen Quillin, Gary Constantino, Dawn Constantino, Mary Haas, Doris Hemple and Tricia Dombroski. If you are interested, just show up and have a refreshing evening with good folks and God’s words.

To this small group say THANK YOU for creating an opportunity to explore the Bible.

Stewardship Ministry


Thank You to Those Who Take the Initiative

Do you know someone who sees a problem and just dives in headfirst to rectify it?
Or someone who is always the first to volunteer when needed?
Or someone who is most comfortable working behind the scenes and never seeks recognition?
Or someone who is always ready to lend a hand when needed, without being asked?
Or someone who appears just at the right time, just when they are needed.< nr>Or someone who is always willing to share their special skills to solve the problem at hand?
Or someone who seems to be there to lend an ear or kind word when comfort is needed?
Or someone who fixes what needs fixing and then moves on without a word?

We all know people who fall into these categories. They are a godsend at just the right time. They don’t seek a thank you or recognition, but just the satisfaction of doing something to help or that needs to be done. Some are perpetual doers and some are one-time doers.

Think of all those people whom you know that are one of these special people. When you see them, walk up to them, give them a big THANK YOU, a huge smile and then go your way. Now you have just joined the group of those who take the initiative.

Stewardship Ministry


To Whom Do You Want To Say THANK YOU?

Many people do little acts of kindness for us on a daily basis. Some that we are aware of and many that we are not.

You may receive a phone call from a friend or relative just to say hello. People may offer a prayer to God for you and you may never know. At the grocery store someone may retrieve an item for you that you cannot reach. A stranger passing by may pick up something that you dropped, smile and walk away. A neighbor may stop by to visit. You may be hospitalized and you receive cards and calls and visitors and many unknown prayers. Someone at church may say good morning, others may stop and chat. At work you may be greeted in the morning and again when you leave. A stranger may pass you on the street, and just nod and smile. A co-worker may stop by and offer help on a project. A parent may call just to see how you are doing. A good friend or relative is always there when you need them. Someone may say Thank You to you for something you have done.

There are numerous acts of kindness that happen every day and you may never think about them. Now is the time to say Thank You to all of those who make your life easier, your chores less burdensome, your work less tedious and appreciate things that you have done.

They all deserve a Thank You from You. So just say THANK YOU and offer a prayer for them in return.

Stewardship Ministry


Say THANK YOU to the Nominating Committee

At the Annual Meeting the nominating committee presents a slate on nominees for the congregational council, delegates to the Synod Assembly and nominees for the next nominating committee. If you have not served on the nominating committee it is quite likely that you think that they just have to ask people to be nominees for those positions.

Well, it’s a bit more than that. Not everyone has the desire to serve on council, the nominating committee or as delegates to the Synod Assembly and not everyone has the appropriate credentials to do so. The major part of the committee’s job is to find the Right people to be the nominees for the appropriate position.

In a small congregation, the temptation is just to recycle the same people for the same positions without regard for each person’s qualifications. That is the most difficult part of their job – to match the person to the position that they can excel in and help United in Faith pursue God’s mission.

Finding four people for council, three to five for the nominating committee and three delegates and two alternates for the Synod Assembly is not an easy task. In most cases, the slate they present is usually adopted as is. So their responsibility to recommend people for those positions is a heavy weight on their shoulders. We ask that you pray for the nominating committee and say Thank You to Julie O’Donnel Lozich, Bonnie Maginnis and Elisabeth Wittman for serving the Lord.

Stewardship Ministry


Say Thank You To the Purpose and Guiding Principle Team

In February 2010, the Purpose and Guiding Principles Team was created as a task force of the Renewal Team. The team was given the responsibility of working with the congregation to replace our Vision and Core Values. The new identifiers, “God’s Purpose for United in Faith” and “Our Guiding Principles” were chosen to differentiate our evolving and renewed congregation from its past.

A workshop was held in March to gather input from the congregation on their thoughts regarding “God’s Purpose for United in Faith” and “Our Guiding Principles.” The team then refined the congregational input and held small group meetings to further refine our purpose and guiding principles. Small group meetings were held at church, J Beans Coffee & Café, Main Pub & Grill, and at our Ning website.

In mid May a large group meeting of the congregation was held to review and finalize the proposed Purpose and Guiding Principles.

Finally, on May 30, the congregation adopted “God’s Purpose for United in Faith” and “Our Guiding Principles” at a service of acclamation. At this point the Purpose and Guiding Principles Team had completed its task.

The members of the Purpose and Guiding Principles Team were Denise Boyer, Gary Constantino, Marty Dippel, Jackie Good, Richard Guzik, Julie O’Donnell-Lozich and Pam Marino. Say THANK YOU to this small group who agreed to invest their time in United in Faith.

Stewardship Ministry


Just What Does an Office Manager Do?

Just what does our Office Manager do besides greeting those who enter our building during the day and smiling over the telephone when someone calls?

Well here are just a few of the many tasks that fall into her in-basket: prepare and print the bulletins for every worship service, wedding & funeral; prepares a summary of the weekly worship bulletin for the website; prepare, print, mail, email and post the monthly newsletter to our website; notify those with email addresses of births, deaths or hospitalization if requested; prepares and mails all correspondence; posts all contributions; keeps the church records (births, deaths, weddings and funerals) up to date; prepares accounts payable checks for signatures and mails them; prints quarterly statements and accompanying letters; keeps the church calendar current, both online and an office hard copy; schedules the use of all of the facilities; keeps the pop machine filled; maintains a log of pest control inspections; orders books for Pastor Greg’s Book Club; prints and posts council minutes; puts appropriate correspondence in the office mail boxes; files all incoming and out-going correspondence; prepares payroll checks; finds volunteers to answer the phone in the office whenever she is away; prepares and places orders for all items from Augsburg Press; keeps the outside sign current; places service calls for the office equipment.

This is just a short list that I have come up without thinking about it too much. Yes, our Office Manager is busy. At times her hours are elongated and she takes work home.

So just say THANK YOU Dana For All That You Do For United In Faith. Yes, she is paid for most of what she does, but she does it because her heart is in her work. She works not as an employee, but as one who loves United in Faith.

Thank You Dana!

Stewardship Ministry


Say THANK YOU to Everyone in the Congregation

On May 30, 2010 we celebrated, during the worship service, the affirmation of our Purpose and Guiding Principles. Just say THANK YOU to yourself and everyone in the congregation.

You have accomplished something noteworthy in the life of the church. You have dared to re-evaluate United in Faith’s vision and values established in 2001 and re-visited in 2006. From that re-evaluation, there is a new Purpose and a set of Guiding Principles to carry the church into the future. For that just say THANK YOU Lord for guiding us through this endeavor.

The Renewal Team and the Purpose and Guiding Principles Team also deserve our thanks. Say THANK YOU to Denise Boyer, Gary Constantino, Marty Dippel, Richard Guzik, Julie O’Donnell Lozich, Pam Marino and Pastor Greg. Their planning, preparation and execution of the entire process are a sign of their commitment to United in Faith.

Now that we have thanked everybody, our real work just begins. Now is the time to apply our Purpose and Guiding Principles to ALL that we do in the name of the Lord.

Stewardship Ministry


Say THANK YOU to All Worship Assistants

At every worship service there are lay people who contribute to the flow of the service. They are the ushers, readers and communion assistants. Yes, pastor could take care of communion himself (with difficulty), he could do all of the readings and each worshiper can drop their offering or tithe into a standing collection plate. But the worship service calls for participation of all in the service. Everyone contributes to the service in one-way or another: silently; vocally; by their presence; by sharing the peace; by singing; and some by their participation at various times during the service.

The ushers greet you at the sanctuary door, give you a bulletin for the service, collect the offerings and guide you to receiving Holy Communion. After the service, they record the attendance and collect the left-behind bulletins and inserts.

The readers participate in the readings throughout the service. These include the Old Testament and New Testament scripture readings, the Psalms and the prayers for all those in need. They contribute to the leading of the worship service.

The communion assistants offer communion to Pastor and assist in the distribution of the bread and wine to all who desire Holy Communion.

These jobs may seem inconsequential but they do indeed contribute to the smooth progression of the worship service. They remind us that worship consists of the total participation of ALL in attendance, with each of us participating individually and collectively as the body of Christ.

At the end of each service, give a special THANK YOU to the ushers, readers and communion assistants who helped at worship service that you attend. Thank them for sharing their time and talents. You should also say THANK YOU to Dana, our Office Manager who schedules the worship assistants. She is the one who makes sure that each service has the assistants that are needed. And if you yourself are an assistant at worship, say a silent THANK YOU to God for offering you the opportunity to serve.

Stewardship Ministry


Say THANK YOU To The Youth

At Sunday worship, there are many to whom we should say Thank You. To the youth who attend Sunday worship we should say a special THANK YOU. It is because of them that we have a children’s message. The children’s message, of course, is not only meant for them but also for the adults.

It is appropriately called the “children’s message” because it is for the children of God. These messages are given at a level that the youth can understand, but the messages are universal. These messages bring the scriptures and everyday living together. It is because of their presence at worship that we are able to enjoy the children’s message as well as Pastor’s sermon.

During the children’s message we are introduced to the importance of worship. Of having a special place to worship as Pastor asks the youth to roll out the prayer rug and have them remove their shoes. Of having them signal the call the worship by the chiming of the bell. Of the importance of the teacher as he asks them to retrieve his stool so that, as leader of worship, he can preside. Of having them signal the end of worship by the chiming of the bell. The youth may not realize the significance of these rituals during the children’s message, but we as adults, we can appreciate the fact that these rituals all have religious significance.

So as you leave a worship service where there was a “children’s message,” say THANK YOU to the youth for being there to make that extra message possible. And while you are at it, say THANK YOU to Pastor Greg, for being our spiritual leader.

Stewardship Ministry


Have You Heard The Voice of the Turtle

If you have attended the Praise and Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, then you have heard The Voice of the Turtle. They are the Praise Band that celebrates Our Lord with music and song at the second worship service.  They practice on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and also before the worship service on Sundays.   

The band consists of: Dave Quillin, band leader and bass guitar; Richard Dirkes-Jacks, electric guitar & piano; Kirk Marshall, drums; and Halley Dirkes-Jacks, Heidi Officer & Jane Shira, vocalists.  This small group makes this worship service certainly one of song and praise.  They are responsible for setting the contemporary tone at the service and for guiding the congregation through the songs during worship.  As they continue to grow, the band will explore more musical variations and styles. 

To each one of them, we say THANK YOU for sharing their musical abilities with us at worship on Sunday mornings.  They are indeed good stewards of their God given gifts. 

As you leave a service that has been lead by The Voice of the Turtle , take the time to say THANK YOU to each one of them.  For they have indeed made your worship experience a pleasant and inspirational one.

Stewardship Ministry


What Is The Ad-Hoc Choir???

According to Wikipedia, “Ad-hoc is a Latin phrase which means "for this purpose". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and which cannot be adapted to other purposes.”  So, our Ad-Hoc Choir is a choir that was created for a very specific purpose – to sing at our single worship service on January 31, 2010. 

In an effort to enrich our worship service, Lois Cornils asked all who were interested in singing at the combined service in January, to get together for a single practice between services early in the month.  Those who volunteered were members from the Celebration Choir, former choir members and members new to UiF choirs.  With such numbers and blend of voices, the choir was an absolute hit.  Just imagine what they might sound like if they practiced their song more than twice.      

Contrary to the definition of ad-hoc, the choir can be adapted for other purposes than just to sing on January 31, 2010.  It might be adapted to sing at each of our 5th Sunday of the month services this year – May 30, August 29 and October 31 – with a little encouragement from you.

The steps are simply.  First say “THANK YOU” to Lois Cornils for leading the Ad-Hoc Choir.  Tell her that you enjoyed the song and would appreciate hearing the choir at each of the 5th Sunday of the month services.  Next, say “THANK YOU” to each of the choir members who participated and ask them to continue as our new 5th Sunday of the Month Choir or as it has already been named, the Ad-Hoc Choir.  Those who participated in the choir were: Marty Devine; Richard Guzik; Ray Good; Lys Shradeja; Fran Johnston; Jane Schira; Elisabeth Wittman; Jackie Good; Gayle Guzik; Barbara Piggott; Mary Haas; Janeen Devine; Lois Gosstrom; Louise Swanson; and Peggy Devine.

You never know.  Saying Thank You has a way of reaping some very pleasant benefits.

Stewardship Ministry  


Which Ministry Has A Passion For Helping People Grow In Their Spiritual Lives?

Which Ministry Has A Passion For Helping People Grow In Their Spiritual Lives?  The Faith Development Ministry is the one, which nurtures that passion.  It is the ministry’s desire for all friends of United in Faith to grow in their relationship and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  There prime concern is the spiritual well being of adults.  They are a kind of on-going Adult Sunday School that provides spiritual growth opportunities in various ways by: maintaining a Christian Resource Center; offering a course called LifeKeys; sponsoring Pastor Greg’s Book Club; and hosting an Adult Forum/Bible Study on Sunday mornings.

The Christian Resource Center is located in the northeast corner of the east building, in the Resource Room.  Most of the resources available are books, which are arranged by categories such as prayer, worship, faith, Christianity and help for daily life.  You can sign-out a resource, take it home with you, and return it when you are finished with it.  

Their primary offering is a course called “LifeKeys - Discovering Who you are, Why you're here and What you do best.”  This program provides a format for personal and spiritual growth - the discovery of spiritual gifts and making the connection to the ministries of our congregation, which are based on our vision and values and to the world in your daily life.  Through this four-week course you are challenged to discover the image of God that lies within you.

The ministry sponsors Pastor Greg’s Book Club on Wednesdays, which reviews an appropriate book in the spring and fall.  Pastor Greg hosts the book review and Faith Development provides the promotion.  Each book review lasts from four to nine weeks, depending on the book chosen. 

Lastly, Faith Development hosts the Adult Forum/Bible Study on Sunday mornings.  Its theme is "NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY."  This weekly bible study/book review provides opportunities to make new friends, study the bible, discuss relevant topics and enjoy the fellowship of all.

The group that makes this all possible are: Jeaninne Kosner, Denise Boyer and Mary Haas.  To each of these ladies, we say THANK YOU for providing opportunities for spiritual growth.  If you have participated in one of their offerings, offer them a double THANK YOU, as you already have enjoyed the fruits of their passion.

Stewardship Ministry


Who Maintains Our Computer Network and All Attached Equipment?

Who maintains United in Faith’s computer network, servers, computers, printers and Church software?  Our very own Computer Administrators.

This small group works behind the scenes keeping the three main components of our computer system up-to-date, healthy and functional.  These three components are: the network wiring; the computers and printers; and the computer software.

The network wiring physically connects the servers (master computers) to the desktop computers and printers, and to the Internet.  There is connectivity to the network from each office and the reception area in the East Building.

The servers host the Shelby software (for membership and finances), take backups and maintain ids and passwords for the network.  When updates to the Shelby software are required, backups need to be checked or passwords are forgotten, the computer administrators are there to keep things going.

The office computers require constant operating system and software updates, anti-virus updates, hard drive defragmentation and other similar types of care and attention.  The computer administrators are always on-call and available to keep the computers in working order.

If you understood all of that, you are invited to join Marty Devine and Bob Doyle as our computer administrators.  When you see these two gentlemen, just say “THANK YOU for sharing your special skills to help keep our computer systems working.”  

If you too are using your God given gifts to help God in attaining his mission here on earth, we also say THANK YOU to You!  

Stewardship Ministry


Thanks for Your Commitment

Our annual UIF Commitment Sunday, November 8th,  resulted in 40 pledges received by  November 10th.  Thanks to all of you who provided these forms.  It is not too late to send in your form, and of course it is also never too late to volunteer your time and talents to UIF ministries, committees and community activities. Rich Guzik has been highlighting our various ministries in the Newsletter during this year.  We hope these articles will help you to understand this work and inspire you to join in one or more new activities this coming year.  These volunteer opportunities  are listed below and information is also available on the UIF web page: http://www.unitedinfaith.org/    If you are interested how to join in activities, contact Dana at the church office.

MINISTRIES

Children (Sunday School)
Communion Visitation
Confirmation (Youth)
Teens
Faith Development
Fellowship
Hospitality
Justice
Men in Mission
Outreach
Prayer
Service and Mission
Stewardship
Women’s (WELCA)
Altar Guild
Worship & Music

COMMITTEES
Vacation Bible School
Education & Scholarship Endowment Fund
Finance
Counters
Audit
Property
Emergency Alarm Responders
Landscape
Building Future Use
Mission Endowment Fund
Thrivent Congregational Coordinator
Mutual Ministry
Computer Administrators
Webmasters
Renewal Team
Council
Synod Assembly
Delegates
Nominating Committee

COMMUNITY
Boy Scouts & Cub
Scouts
Girl Scouts & Brownies
Senior’s Club
St Cyprian’s Food
Pantry
Golden Diners
U.F.O.s


WHO ADMINISTERS EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIPS?

Who ministers the Education and Scholarship Endowment?  The Education and Scholarship Endowment Committee, of course.

The endowment was seeded with monies from an educational fund from Nebo Evangelical Lutheran Church when the eight churches merged to form United in Faith.  Monies from the sale of each of the eight church buildings and properties was then added to form the Education and Scholarship Endowment.  Each year, a percentage of the endowment fund is used to grant educational scholarships.

It is the joyous task and duty of the committee to: “To determine eligibility for educational assistance from the education endowment for student congregational members attending Christian pre-school through high school, and for those attending Lutheran and non-Lutheran post secondary schools or those who have special educational needs or gifts at any level of their education.” 

Also, the committee maintains an annual membership with the Luther High School North Association, regardless of whether a member of United in Faith attends Luther High School North as a student.

Requests for scholarships are due by December 31.  The applicants and/or their family meet with the pastor, who then makes his recommendations to the committee.  The committee meets in early March to: review applications, receive the pastor’s recommendations, determine eligibility, and make the determination of scholarship awards.  All applicants receive letters notifying them if they received an award.  Scholarship awards do not go directly to the student, rather to the school identifying the recipient, and how the award is to be applied.

What could be more fun, exciting and rewarding then to notify a student and their parent(s)/guardian, that they have been awarded an educational scholarship.    

Those who serve on the committee have a passion for children and for their education.  The time they devote to this endeavor is both rewarding and fulfilling.  Next time you see Louise Swanson, Bonnie Maginnis, Adrienne Childress, Terrie Miller or Laurel Kenneally, tell them THANK YOU for administering this endowment fund.   

If you are an applicant or former recipient of a scholarship, we say THANK YOU for using your God given talents in the pursuit of your education.  

We ask that you pray for the committee as they execute their responsibilities on behalf of the congregation, and for all past and future recipients of a scholarship, that they use their education to advance God’s mission here on earth.

Stewardship Ministry


WHO MINISTERS TO OUR HOMEBOUND?

Who ministers to our homebound?  Pastor certainly does but we also have a Communion Visitation Ministry that specializes in visiting those unable to attend worship services.

Lay ministers involved in Communion Visitation Ministry have a passion for those unable to attend worship and for helping them remain connected to the ministry of the congregation. The inability to attend worship may be a permanent or temporary condition. Regularly scheduled visitation occurs in homes, nursing homes, hospitals or wherever the person may be and includes communion, if desired.  Printed devotionals are also provided and ministry updates are shared.  In some cases telephone calls are also made. 

Weekly bulletins and monthly newsletters may also be mailed.  Those visited are also included on the Prayer Ministry list.  The ministry brings the church to members and friends who are unable to attend worship services, enabling all to remain connected to the ministry of United in Faith.

It is reassuring to know that if you or a loved one are unable to attend worship services, even if the situation is temporary, there are people whom you can count on to bring a little bit of United in Faith to those in need.  The members of the ministry team are Pam Marino, Barbara Piggott, Toni Richter, and the director, Dorothy Goos.  These are the people who administer to those who are unable to “enter our doors.”  For that we say THANK YOU. 

The next time that you see one of these wonderful people, just walk up to them and say – THANK YOU FOR CARING FOR THOSE IN NEED!

Stewardship Ministry


TO WHOM DO YOU TURN WHEN YOU HAVE SPECIAL PRAYER NEEDS?

To whom do you turn when you have special prayer needs or need some time alone to talk to God or just need others to pray for you?  You might turn to Pastor Sue, or to your family or to your friends.  They surely will pray for you.  But you can also go to our community of believers who have a special passion for prayer – the Prayer Ministry.

The Prayer Ministry consists of the director, Marion Senf and Dorothy Goos, Mary Ann Hudie, Lys Shradeja, Lois Olliger and Frances Johnston.  The folks involved in the Prayer Ministry have a passion for bringing human and ministry needs to God for insight, wisdom, blessing, and discernment. They believe that God's power and presence are necessary for living the Christian life. The ministry provides a way to be prayed for that is easy, accessible and when appropriate, private. A list of the prayer needs of our congregation and community are collected and shared with the Prayer Ministry.

They pray for all men and women in the armed forces, for the activated Illinois National Guard units, for Pastor Greg and our friends and family in the armed forces, for those who are house bound or in nursing facilities, for those who are ill or recovering from an illness, for those hospitalized, for those grieving, for those who are challenged, for those who are terminally ill, for those who have suffered from the effects of our economy, for those going through difficult times and for those who just need a special prayer. 

The portions of the prayer list appears in the Sunday bulletin, the monthly newsletter, and on the website.  This extends the Prayer Ministry to those who attend a worship service, to those who read the monthly bulletin and to those who browse the website.

Of course you can pray anywhere and at any time. But sometimes it is comforting to have a special place to speak to God and ask for His guidance, intercession or for a favor. Such a place has been created within our sanctuary.

A stand of candles has been added, also a pair of kneelers and a crucifix. This little corner of our sanctuary has been created to provide a place of solitude – a place to pray. You may ask – Why the candles? Why the kneelers? Well sometimes when we pray, we are humbled and kneelers are appropriate. The candles can represent a visual expression of our individual prayer, which at times can be most meaningful to us. So, our special place to pray provides for those needs.

If wish to pray, light a candle, or kneel before Our Lord, you can do so at anytime when the church facilities are open. We pray for you and with you.

The next time you see a member of the Prayer Ministry, just say THANK YOU for their concern for all in need of prayer.  And don’t forget to pray for the Prayer Ministry and with the Prayer Ministry.

Stewardship Ministry


WHO SILENTLY SUPPORTS OUR LOCAL AND GLOBAL MISSIONS?

Who are the service-oriented people who continue to support our local and global missions?  They are the Service and Mission Ministry.  It is one of the most active of our fourteen ministries and it silently provides support for those in need.  This most vital ministry exists to serve all who walk through our doors, who live in our neighborhood, who live within our metropolitan boundaries and beyond.  Like all of our ministries, the people who serve on the Service and Mission Ministry have a passion for the ministry that they serve.  Those on Service and Mission have a passion to serve and a deep compassion for plight of others in need.

Some of the mission endeavors that the ministry supports are St Cyprian’s Food Pantry, the Night Ministry, the Family Crisis Fund, the Golden Diners, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Support for St. Cyprians Food Pantry includes: helping the food pantry when it is open on Mondays and Thursdays; collection of food and clothing; collection of turkeys, hams and special food for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas; and collection of Christmas gifts for the children at Christmas.  They package the food for distribution and coordinate the collection and dispersion of the Christmas gifts

The Night Ministry is a group that supports the homeless.  The ministry periodically prepares sack lunches (approximately 200) and cookies and distributes them to those who live on the streets of Chicago.

School supplies were sent to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois for children who needed them.

Monetary gifts have been sent to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Family Crisis Fund was created to provide monetary support for members and people of the community who may need funds to see them through a particular crisis in their life.  The Service and Mission Ministry oversees the distribution of this fund.

The Service and Mission Ministry meets on Sundays after the 10:30 service when needed.  The committee consists of Carol Egner, Dorothy Goos, Harriet Kurz, Bonnie Maginnis and Anita Perske.  You will see: Carol Egner passing out Christmas wish lists from the children of St. Cyprians Food Pantry at Christmas time; Harriet Kurz and Rita M. helping out at the Golden Diners on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays; Annette Cameron, Marion Senf, Carol Egner, Mickie Bligh, Dawn Kuswik, Lois Olliger, Elisabeth Wittman and Samantha Cecala packaging food at the food pantry for distribution on Mondays and Thursdays; and Dian and Harold Hoyem, Les Cameron, Joe and Adrienne Childress, Kim Childress, Dana Callgreen, Gary Callgreen, Murial Clausen, Fred Clausen, and the Girl Scout Leaders and their children helping at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

The time that they contribute to helping those in need is immeasurable.  They do all of this because of their compassion for others.  They are indeed our “brother’s keepers.”

We ask that you seek out each one of those mentioned, shake their hand and just said “THANK YOU for all that you do for others.”

To those individuals I have named and to those that I might have inadvertently missed -  those whom you have served appreciate your service and the Lord says, “JOB WELL DONE.”

If you are service minded, smile at the opportunity to open your heart to those in need or are of a compassionate disposition, then the Service and Mission Ministry invites you to participate in serving others.

Stewardship Ministry


What Community Group Offers Seniors an Opportunity for Fellowship?

What community group offers seniors in the community an opportunity for fellowship, service and companionship?  That would be the United in Faith Senior Club. 

The UiF Senior Club is for seniors, 55 or older who are looking for fun, friendship and a good time.  It meets at 11:00 a.m. on the third Wednesday of every month, except December. 

Seniors who attend the monthly meetings enjoy either some entertainment or speakers on senior topics such as health insurance and safety.  Fellowship time may include, a 10-cent social, a turkey raffle, bingo, crazy bunco, “help your neighbor” as well as other games.  Special activities feature a spring luncheon and a Christmas dinner.    

The group’s service activity includes the support of St. Cyprian’s Food Pantry throughout the year.  Besides physically helping at the food pantry, they have purchased over 400 cans of soup, cranberries and pumpkin, and 25 hams last year.

The group includes 20 members and its director is Annette Cameron.  We thank this organization for providing our seniors with an opportunitiy to enjoy the companionship of others and to serve others in need.  It is indeed a group that combines both fellowship and stewardship.

Join us in thanking the group for offering these opportunities for our seniors and a special THANK YOU goes to their director, Annette Cameron for her leadership.  When you see Annette, just give her a hug and say THANK YOU.

Stewardship Ministry


Who Keeps Our Buildings Clean, In Good Repair And Safe?

Who sees to it that our buildings are clean, in good repair and safe? That would be the Property Committee. The Property Committee reports to the Congregational Council, which has the ultimate responsibility for our property. Because the Congregational Council has a tremendous amount of responsibility, it has several committees that are charged with overseeing specific responsibilities. The Property Committee is one of those important committees.

Constitutionally, the Property committee has two main responsibilities: “to oversee the proper management, including maintenance and protection of all property of the congregation; and direct that the same is properly utilized and kept in good repair; and to submit to the Congregation Council for approval, estimated costs of maintenance, repairs, and purchases that exceed the annual budget item.”

That sounds pretty simple. So who does the following: maintains the alarm system and oversees the distribution of alarm pass codes; responds to the alarm being triggered; keeps the air conditioning and heating in good repair; programs the air conditioning and heating units to go on and off; gets the leaks in the roof fixed and keeps the roofs in good repair; gets the floors stripped, waxed and polished; replaces burned-out light bulbs and replaces them with energy efficient light bulbs; makes sure all EXIT signs are functioning properly; orders building supplies like toilet paper, soap and paper towels; repairs the chairs in the sanctuary; oversees the distribution of building keys; repairs and replaces broken doors and windows; keeps all storage areas in good order; maintains the parking lot; plans for the replacement of the heating and air conditioning units; replaces all filters in the buildings; upgrades the bathrooms in the West Building; puts glass windows on the Sunday School rooms in the West Building (as required by building code); maintains the hot water heaters; plans for making our buildings as environmentally friendly as feasible and possible; addresses plumbing problems; maintains all stoves and refrigerators; and the list goes on. It is the Property Committee that does all of this and more. They recently found a buyer and sold the bus that we were not using.

The Property Committee meets monthly on the first Monday of every month at 10:00 AM. You may also see Gary Callgreen, Harold Hoyem and Les Cameron at work weekly addressing needed repairs and electrical concerns. The committee consists of; Bob Doyle, chairman; Elaine Potzus, secretary; and the Property Ministry Team of Julie O’Donnell, Harold Hoyem, Les Cameron, Gary Callgreen, Gary Constantino and Joe Childress. The hours that they devote to keeping our property clean, in good repair and safe is immeasurable. They are indeed stewards of our buildings and everything in them.

It would be nice if you just walked up to each them individually, shook their hand and just said “THANK YOU for all that you do.”

Stewardship Ministry


Who Does What At UiF?

Who Does What at UiF? What exactly do our various committees, ministries and community groups do? How do they enhance our core values? What do they provide for our community of faith? Why do they exist? How often do they meet? Who are the people that make these groups function and keep them viable?

During the coming year one of our committees, ministries or community groups will be highlighted (and all of these questions will be answered) in this newsletter. It’s amazing what goes on “behind the scenes” that many of us are not really aware of. Some of these groups may not be of interest to you but they all make United in Faith what it is today. So…

What group is for every woman? It could be called the Women’s Ministry but its real name is Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church – W.E.L.C.A. All women are invited to their monthly meetings. They meet on the second Saturday of every month, except for July and August, in the Fellowship Hall from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM. You are invited to bring a sandwich and a friend and enjoy the fellowship and a program. Coffee and deserts are always provided.

The highlight of the year is the Ladies Spring Brunch in May at which the men serve champagne and coffee and then serve the brunch (the women prepare and bring all of the food). A program then follows. In December the women sponsor a Cookie Walk. If you enjoy homemade cookies made by fabulous bakers or do not feel like baking your own, then the Cookie Walk is the place to be where you can purchase homemade Christmas cookies by the pound. Some of the programs offered at the monthly meetings include: the ELCA Deaconess Program; a program on “signing” and adoption; a slide show of a trip to the Holy Land; Evangel Home Health Services; a Christmas party, meet the intern and; meet the interim pastor. The women participate in the annual Lutheran/Catholic Dialogue and donate funds to worthy causes like the Maryville Crisis Nursery and the UiF Youth’s Summer trip.

Anita Perske is the president and Lys Shradeja, Marge Weber, Laurel Kenneally and Doris Jacobson comprise the board.

The women of the church also support the Altar Guild, which is primarily responsible for preparing the altar for all worship services, including weddings and funerals, and for preparing Holy Communion when it is offered. 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 pastor’s liturgical garments, and regular washing of the sacramental linens; and the purchase of candles, wine, grape juice, wafers and cups. Marge Weber is in charge of the Altar Guild.

This gives you a bird’s eye view of just some of the ministry that the women do behind the scenes. If you get a chance, say Thank You to the women who make all of these wonderful things happen.

Stewardship Ministry