Subject: Glory to the Newborn King!

Pilgrim Update
Tuesday, December 24th
4:30 p.m. (Family Service),
7:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m.
Dear Friends,
We will be blessed this Sunday as we explore the Shepherd’s Praise of the newborn King. Join us as we worship with a live nativity (including a real live baby!), uplifting music, and an inspiring message. And don't forget about our three services on Christmas Eve... Safe travels to everyone who will be on the road, 
In Christmas Joy, Pastor Kristian
If you wish to order a poinsettia for $20, orders will be going in tomorrow, December 20. Please let the church office know today if you wish to purchase a poinsettia. Apologies for the late notice. 
Advent and Christmas at Pilgrim
We are entering a very special and meaningful time for us as a community. Please join us during Advent, where, on each Sunday, we will be preparing for the birth of Christ by exploring different characters in the Christmas story. Then, we will culminate the season with beautiful Christmas worship services!

Thursday, December 19th, 7 p.m.
School Christmas Service:
Theme: Prepare the Highway to Jesus

Sunday, December 22nd, 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Theme: The Shepherds’ Praise

Tuesday, December 24th
4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

Christmas Day Service
Wednesday, December 25th 9:30 a.m.

Sunday, December 29th 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Service of Lessons and Carols

Come join us as we explore new music and find deep meaning in this important season.

Calling all Children to be shepherds this Sunday! Last week Pilgrim Children inspired us by dressing as angels in church. This week, we have shepherd costumes for both boys and girls to relive the amazing experience of Christ’s birth. If you can, come to Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. to have extra time to get ready for participating in the service.

New Sunday School Term
There will be no Sunday School on December 29. The winter term will begin on Sunday, January 5, at 9:15. We have concluded that the Bible Song format does not work well for us and will be going back to our traditional age-based classroom settings with a new curriculum. We'll begin in the Sanctuary with music and prayer, and then split into classes.

We have unfortunately lost or are about to lose several teachers to relocation, and really need some new teachers. We are especially in need of somebody who can pick up the music portion of the program. Anyone interested in teaching Sunday School should speak to Chris Wallis. No prior teaching experience is needed. The new curriculum provides craft, game, and teaching guidance for each lesson. So, Moms, Dads, youth, or anyone willing to provide our children with a fun and meaningful Sunday morning experience is welcome. Not sure? Try volunteering as a classroom helper for a couple of weeks.
Church Calendar
Here's what's happening this week at Pilgrim Church -  to go to the complete online calendar, click here

December 19 Thursday
9:00 a.m. MOPS
6:30 p.m. TOPS
7:00 p.m. Christmas Service

December 20 Friday
6:30 p.m. Girl Scouts

December 21 Saturday
8:30 a.m. Prayer Team
10:00 a.m. Hot Meals Team #9

December 22 Sunday
8:00 a.m. Worship Service
9:15 a.m. Generations in Faith Together
Explore the Bible Class
10:30 a.m. Worship Service
11:30 a.m. Lau/Ruger Coffee Hour Team

December 23 Monday
6:30 p.m. Threshold Choir

December 24 Tuesday
4:30 p.m. Family Christmas Eve Service
7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Service
11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Service

December 25 Wednesday
9:30a.m. Christmas Day Service
Church office closed

December 26 Thursday
Church office closed
6:30 p.m. TOPS

December 27 Friday
Church office closed

December 28 Saturday
 8:30 a.m. Prayer Team
10:00 a.m. Hot Meals Team #1

December 19, 2013
Christmas Decoration Removal
What goes up, must come down. If you can spare an hour or two on Saturday, January 4 (starting at 9:30 a.m.) to help us pack up the Christmas decorations it would be much appreciated. Refreshments of the non-fruitcake variety will be served. Questions? Contact Chris Wallis
Blue Christmas Prayer Service
Saturday, December 21st at 8:30 a.m.
Christmas can be a painful time for some. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died; it may be a time that has always been difficult. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness and concern; We need encouragement to live the days ahead of us.

For these reasons, we are holding a “Blue Christmas” Prayer Service on Saturday, December 21st at 8:30 a.m. at the Parsonage, 4332 N. Winchester Ave., Chicago, IL 60613.

Come join us in hearing prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle - and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness. Everyone, regardless of church background (or lack of it) is welcome. 

Church Directory
As we look toward producing a new and updated church directory in January, we ask you all to fill out the Connection Card Sunday with the information you would like to have printed in the directory, or contact the church office. If you want your email and/or cell phone number(s) printed, please include those on the sheet, and please print as legibly as possible. Thank you for your help in making our directory as accurate and complete as possible.
Safety Concern
For the safety of our children, we are requesting that all people stay off the stage during times of fellowship. The school’s policy is that the stage is off-limits, and we request that this rule be respected over the weekends as well. The equipment on the stage is for physical education instruction only. We are currently working on acquiring play equipment to have available during coffee hour. 
Found Items
In the church office are two pairs of glasses and a car key. Please check in with Barbara if you are missing any of these items.
Prayer Ministry
Would you like to learn more about prayer? Please join us on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. at the parsonage (4332 N. Winchester Ave) for our weekly prayer time.
Exploring the Bible Class now in Maring Hall
Would you like to grow in faith and in your knowledge of the Bible with a low-key, encouraging group? Join us on Sunday mornings starting at 9:20 a.m. for our “Exploring the Bible” class.
Gloves, Hats, Mittens, Scarves...
If you have been saving new or gently used gloves, hats, mittens and scarves in anticipation of our usual holiday collection, you may put them in the wrapped box in the narthex and they will be donated to the Cornerstone Community Shelter in Uptown. Thanks for your support!
Food for the Hungry
We are collecting Friendship Center and Common Food Pantries Grocery donations. Please bring food and leave it at the top of the stairs near the entrance of the church.
Tornado Response: Lutheran Social Services
The tornadoes in downstate Illinois and Indiana were devastating for many communities. If you would like to volunteer, you are asked to not just show up at the site, as you will be turned away.  You can contact Lutheran Disaster Response at 847-635-4653 to find volunteer opportunities, or checks can be sent to Lutheran Disaster Response Illinois, LSSI 1001 Touhy Ave Suite 50, Des Plaines, IL 60018. Please mark “Illinois Tornadoes” in the memo line. 100% will go toward relief.
Save the Date: “All that Jazz” Auction: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
The annual Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School Auction is a highly anticipated tradition among our present and former families. We are excited to announce this year's gala, "All That Jazz," will be held on Saturday, March 8th, 2014, at Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro in Chicago. The deadline for submitting donations and forms is February 1st, 2014. Please call or stop by the school office for more information.

Gift Cards
Gift cards will be sold on Sunday, December 22nd in the church foyer. Please call Anne Barsano if you need any later than that. Merry Christmas from Operation CIP!
Our Prayer for Sunday
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come.
With your abundant grace and might,
free us from the sin that hinders our faith,
that eagerly we may receive your promises,
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Sunday’s Readings
The first reading is 
Isaiah 2:1–5:  The visionary message presented in this reading focuses on a future day when God establishes a universal reign of peace. Divine decisions will make war obsolete, and the worshiping community responds: "Let us walk in that light of that Lord now!"

The second reading is Romans 13:11–14Romans 13:11–14Romans 13:11–14Romans 13:11–14Paul compares the advent of Christ to the coming of dawn. We live our lives today in light of Christ's coming in the future.

The Gospel reading is Luke 2:8–18:  The world’s deep night is shattered by the light of God’s new day. The glory of God is revealed to poor shepherds, who share the good news with others.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School


Principal: Chris Comella
Administrative Secretary: Barbara Anthony
Operations Manager: Ellen Twohig:

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