Subject: Light for Winter’s Darkness

Pilgrim Update
December 14, 2014

Dear Friends,

The days are getting shorter and shorter… but don’t get depressed… it’s time to let the light of God’s love shine on us anew! 

Join us this Sunday as we receive new member, and sing and hear Words that renew our hearts with light! See you at 8 a.m. or 
10:30 a.m. And join us for Caroling, Chocolate, and Chili in the afternoon!

Advent and Christmas at Pilgrim 2014
Please see the "Advent and Christmas at Pilgrim 2014" insert for a full list of opportunities for growth, service, and worship this month!

Welcome New Members!
In the next two weeks, we will be celebrating the following newcomers with their sponsors:
  • Collin Brown-  (New Member Sponsor Karen Huelskoetter) - joining at the    10:30 a.m. service on December 14th
  • Mary Girten- (New member sponsor Kathy Danner) - joining at 8 a.m. service on December 14th
  • Justin, Marta, Adelaide, Duncan, and Eliza Hardacre (New Member sponsors The Boecler Family) - joining at the   10:30 a.m. service on the December 14th
  • Cathlynn and Will Nigh (New Member sponsor Cheryl Saiki)- joining at the   10:30 a.m. service on December 21st
  • Jenn Stoker (New Member sponsor Bianka Hardin) - joining at the 10:30 a.m. service on December 21st
Please join us in rejoicing and praying with these new teammates in the body of Christ! 

Invitation to Worship/Music Team
Attention all singers, instrumentalists, dramatically talented, poets, artists of every kind... We have openings available on our worship music team!  Our next get together will be on Saturday, December 13th at 9:30 a.m.  We would love to have you join us!  For more information, contact Marta Hardacre at 
Christmas Caroling, Hot Chocolate & 
Chili—Dec 14
Meet at the Pilgrim Lutheran Church, (4300 N. Winchester) Sunday, December  14 at 4:00 p.m. for caroling in the neighborhood. Then join us for a Chili dinner following at 5:30  p.m. at Pastor Kristian and Anna-Kari’s house (4332 N. Winchester Ave.) All are invited!
Mens’ Basketball
Join the Pilgrim Men's basketball team as we take on other Lutheran Churches in the area in friendly competition. Please contact Mike Lee at 312-287-7141 if you are interested. 
Growing Forward Capital Campaign Update
The Capital Campaign Committee would like to offer their blessings and gracious thanks to the congregation for their generous offerings towards our 2015-2017 Campaign during the past few weeks. An initial update on the Growing Forward Capital Campaign pledges reflects that $163,029 has been committed from all of you to date. We would like to remind our members that it is still possible to make commitments now and going forward to the Campaign with time, talents and pledges. Our goal of $300,000 will enable us to fund much needed facility repairs and upgrades. For more information on the Campaign itself and these projects or to receive a Growing Forward Campaign brochure, please contact Jim Volkens at or 773-216-1624. 
Prayer Ministry
Join us for prayer time at the parsonage (4332 N Winchester), Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Please note: there will be no prayer ministry on Saturday, November 29.
Fall Adult Bible Discussion Group: Unpacking Discipleship
Join us on Sundays at 9:15 a.m. as we study “Unpacking Discipleship” together. This is a “no experience necessary” group; even if you’ve never read the Bible, you are invited to learn with us!
Our Prayer for Sunday 
Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Sunday’s Readings
First Reading: 
Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11
Though the people had returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon, they continued to face hardship and oppression. In the language of the jubilee year described in Leviticus 25, the prophet, moved by the spirit of the Lord, announces deliverance for those who are oppressed and comfort for those who mourn.

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
Paul concludes his letter to the Thessalonians by encouraging them to live lives of continual joy, prayer, and thanksgiving. The closing blessing is grounded in the hope of Christ's coming.

Gospel: John 1:6–8, 19–28
John's gospel describes Jesus as the "light of the world." John the Baptist is presented as a witness to Jesus, one who directs attention away from himself to Christ, the true light.
Church Calendar
Here's what's happening this week at Pilgrim Church -  to go to the complete online calendar, click here

December 14 Sunday
8:00 a.m. Reflective Worship
9:15 a.m. Sunday School
10:30 a.m. Worship
11:45 a.m. Coffee Hour
4 p.m. Christmas Caroling, Hot Chocolate & Chili

December 17 Wednesday
9:50 a.m. School Christmas Service Dress Rehearsal
7:30 p.m. Harmony Choir

December 18 Thursday
6:30 p.m. TOPS
7 p.m. School Christmas Service

December 20 Saturday
8:30 a.m. Blue Christmas Service
in Church Sanctuary
11:30 a.m. Hot Meals Team #2


December 21 Sunday
8:00 a.m. Reflective Worship
9:15 a.m. Christmas Eve Pageant Rehearsal
10:30 a.m. Worship
11:45 a.m. Coffee Hour

December 24 Wednesday
4:30 p.m. Family Candlelight Service
7:30 p.m. Christmas Even Candlelight
11:00 p.m. Services

December 25 Thursday
9:30 a.m. Christmas Day Service

December 26 Saturday
8:30 a.m. Prayer Time
11:30 a.m. Hot Meals Team #3

Welcome Pastor Lalissa’s Family!
Thanks to answered prayers and the generosity of all of you, we are welcoming the family of Lutheran Ethiopian Pastor Lalissa Gemechis to Pilgrim! Pastor Lalissa’s wife, Bilisie, and their son Homey (age 7) and daughter Wada (age 4) are arriving on a flight on Saturday, January 3rd and will be staying with Pastors Kristian and Anna-Kari and family in the Parsonage. Homey and Wada will be attending Pilgrim School, and Bilisie will be an active volunteer in our ministry. Bilisie has been working as a Program Director for Canadian Christian Children’s Fund, overseeing a sponsorship program for 10,000 children in Ethiopia. Her husband, Pastor Lalissa, is about to become a lead Pastor in one of the fastest growing churches in the World, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus ( (meaning “the Dwelling Place of Jesus). They have grown in membership from 22,000 to 6.2 million over the past 50 years. In order to prepare for this role, he is continuing to pursue a Ph D in Missiology at Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.

We invite you to help us gather warm clothes and other donations will be very helpful as their family arrives from Africa to Chicago. We are looking for the following items, either new or used. 

Please visit this link to help:

Thank you for receiving this new Pilgrim family with God’s love!

Coffee Hour Volunteers Needed
If you would be interested in joining a Coffee Hour team, please contact Anne Barsano at or 773-472-6037.

Communion Bread Bakers Needed
If you can follow a simple recipe and are willing to bake communion bread, please contact Chris Wallis at

Introducing Hot Meals Plus
It's time to expand the HOT MEALS ministry at Pilgrim!  We would like to provide a hot Sat. noon meal to shut-ins in the Pilgrim area. 
If you have any suggestions on how we can launch this new program, please feel free to contact Janet Taylor  at or 773-777-4052 

Hot Meals Ministry
Pilgrim provides a free home-cooked meal for the community every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in our church fellowship hall (basement.) We welcome all to this meal. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Janet Taylor at 

Gloves Needed for Hot Meals Program
Our guests at the hot meal have been asking if we could provide gloves as the weather is getting cooler. Please bring gloves to the church office or to the kitchen, placing them near the hot meals box. Thank you!

Annual Toy Drive for Pablo Casals Elementary School!
Every year for the past 10 years the Pilgrim community has helped bring Christmas joy to children at Pablo Casals Elementary School in Humboldt Park.  This year we are aiming high and hope to collect enough toys for not only the 50 first graders with whom our 1st and 2nd graders will spend the afternoon but also  gifts for all the Pablo Casals preschoolers, kindergartners and 2nd graders-a total of at least 190! 
1.  Purchase toys, games or books appropriate for children aged 4-8.  Suggested price range is $10- $15.  Please try to avoid extra-large sized gifts. 
2.  Wrap your gift(s) and mark it (them) “G” (girl), “B” (boy) or “E” (either) and bring them to the church office by December 15th.  It is very helpful if you put the toy’s suggested age range on the tag.
3. Put your wrapped and tagged gift(s) in the collection boxes that will appear in the back of church after Thanksgiving break.
4. If you don't have time to shop for gifts, then you are welcome to leave cash or check (made payable to Pilgrim) by December 5th and we will purchase a gift on your behalf. 
5. See Mrs. Saiki if you have questions:

Market Day Candies will be sold in the school office during the week and in the foyer on Sunday until gone. They are $5/box for 6 oz and are delicious. Choices are: Sea Salt Caramels, English Butter Toffee, Pecanbacks, Peanut Butter Cups and Tropical Coconut Dreams. Contact Anne Barsano 773-472-6037 
"Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, Buy a handy gift card for Aunt or Uncle Pat" 
Orders may be placed Monday15th and will be available the following Wednesdays for pickup. You may drop off your order with payment to either the Sunday Seller or in the school office any day of the week.  Your order will be filled on the next selling day, or, if necessary to order it, will be available the following Wednesday. You may also email or call in your order to Anne Barsano. A large order (over $200) will need to be accompanied by a check or cash.  Even if a store or denomination is not listed on the green form, please ask- we may be able to get what you want. Gift cards are good across the country and great for those hard-to-buy-for people ($50 Visa card)!  We also offer "Certificate for Certificates" so people can order a gift card they would like in the amount you specify- very convenient! Merry Christmas from all of us at Operation CIP!!

Trivia Night Live!—Jan 10
Pilgrim 7th Grade Parents are pleased to announce the return of the annual TRIVIA NIGHT LIVE! Thank you! Thank you very much! It will be SO great to host “TNL” this year. We've got a great show planned for you on Saturday, January 10th, 2015. Doors will open at 6pm, and Team Trivia starts at 7pm. This fun and challenging game is sure to bring out the different categories of random knowledge that you've accumulated in your brain since you were a kid. Your team will have eight rollicking rounds to compete for a cash prize of $500. Yes, that’s right, folks. The winning team will win $500 big greenbacks. So, gather your friends! A table (max 8 people) is $160. That’s a bargain, bottom basement deal of $20 each, folks. We'll have pizza and good beer and wine for purchase. Don't wait! Past trivia nights have sold out quickly! We may even have a special musical guest. We’ve got a great show planned for you. So stick around, and don't forget to register. We'll be right back! Click HERE for a registration form.
Shop at AmazonSmile and Amazon will make a donation to Pilgrim Lutheran Church. Buy an Amazon gift card from Operation CIP to pay for your purchase on Amazon Smile and earn an additional 5% for Pilgrim.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School

Our Mission:
In Christ's Love, We Gather, Prepare, and Send 
all as leaders for God's mission in the world. (GPS)

Pastor: Kristian Johnson
Principal: Chris Comella
Church Office Manager: Lindsay White
School Office Operations Manager: Ellen Twohig

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