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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
To all of their families, both biological and not; I say
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
Thank You God
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Thank You Dana!
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.
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
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
Say THANK YOU To
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.
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
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
What Is The
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
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.
Has A Passion For Helping People Grow In Their Spiritual
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
Our Computer Network and All Attached Equipment?
Who maintains United in Faith’s computer network,
servers, computers, printers and Church software? Our very own
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
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
Thanks for Your
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.
Children (Sunday School)
Men in Mission
Service and Mission
Worship & Music
Vacation Bible School
Education & Scholarship Endowment Fund
Emergency Alarm Responders
Building Future Use
Mission Endowment Fund
Thrivent Congregational Coordinator
Boy Scouts & Cub
Girl Scouts & Brownies
St Cyprian’s Food
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
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
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
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
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
WHO MINISTERS TO
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!
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
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
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
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
We ask that you seek out each one of those mentioned, shake
their hand and just said “THANK YOU for all that you do
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.”
Who Does What At
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
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
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.