Subject: Mom of the Year

Pilgrim Update
December 21, 2014

Dear Friends,

It doesn't matter whether you're Roman Catholic or not, 
Mary is astounding, both in her historical significance and in her present witness to us (she's a perennial favorite for a "Mom of the Year" Award).

Join us this Sunday as we marvel at God's story to save -  8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Blue Christmas Service
Saturday, December 20th - 8:30 a.m. in the Church Sanctuary

We will be remembering those we'll miss this Christmas.

Welcome New Members!
We will be celebrating the following newcomers with their sponsors this Sunday:
  • 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! 

Start the Year in Worship!
The best way to start a new year is with inspiration from the Word and a community of people that will bring out the best in you!  Join us on Sunday, January 4th as we welcome missionaries from Ethiopia, who will be living among us for a few months.  Pastor Lalissa's wife, Bilisie, and children, son Homey (7) and daugther Wada (4) will be with us in worship for the first time!

Then, on Sunday, January 11th, join us for our Epiphany Celebration!  We will reenact the 3 Kings' visit with a special procession and a piñata to follow!   Worship is at
8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 

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 
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
We gather for prayer almost every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.  There is no prayer time on Saturday, December 27th, but we will resume on January 3rd at Renee's House (2112 W. Cullom, #2) 
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 your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that would obstruct your mercy, that willingly we may bear your redeeming love to all the world, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Sunday’s Readings
First Reading: 
2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16
Instead of David building a house (temple) for the Lord, the Lord promises to establish David's house (dynasty) forever. Centuries later, after the Babylonian exile, no king sat on the throne. Even then, however, the people of Israel remembered this promise and continued to hope for a king, the messiah, the Lord's anointed.

Second Reading: Luke 1:26–38
In this annunciation, Luke makes clear that God comes with good news for ordinary people (Mary) from little known places (Nazareth). This king will not be born to royalty in a palace, but to common folk in a stall. Here Luke highlights the role of the Spirit, a special emphasis in his gospel.

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 20 Saturday
8:30 a.m. Blue Christmas Service 

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
Christmas Day - offices closed
9:30 a.m. Christmas Day Service

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

December 28 Sunday
8:00 a.m. Reflective Worship
10:30 a.m. Worship
11:45 a.m. Coffee Hour

December 31 Wednesday
7:30 p.m. Harmony Choir

January 1, 2015 Thursday
New Year’s Day - offices closed

January 3 Saturday
8:30 a.m. Prayer Time
11:30 a.m. Hot Meals Team #4
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!

Thank you to all of you who donated, assembled, and delivered care boxes to shut ins and seniors over the last couple of weeks.  The Prayer and Care ministry team assembled 41 boxes, and 39 boxes were taken to be delivered that same day !  (Sunday December 7th)  Special thanks to Pastor Anna-Kari for organizing this project!
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!

School Volunteer Oportunity
Volunteers are needed to help with MAP testing in January. We definitely need 3 people to help on Tuesday, January 13 from 
12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. We will also need help at other times during the week on January 12, but those times have not been determined. 

If you are able to be of assistance, please contact Cheryl Saiki, or 773-477-4824. Thank you very much.
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 
Gift Cards will only be sold on after the 10:30 a.m. Sunday services through January 1st, 2015.
Trivia Night Live!—Jan 10
OK FOLKS. We are on a count down to TRIVIA NIGHT LIVE to be broadcasted on Saturday, January 10th. It is less than 4 weeks away until the broadcast is scheduled to start! We really need you and your group to sign up before this Friday, December 19th, as the school office is closed over the holiday break. We are extending the sign-up to Thursday, January 8th , BUT DON’T DELAY! We are working hard on preparing the trivia and food and fun for the night.

We will have 8 different rounds of trivia, including Chicago trivia, science, pop culture, sports and others. To wet your whistle, here are just a few Saturday Night Live Trivia questions to get your trivia game on. . .

Who was the youngest member of SNL at 17 years old?
Who was the first female head writer in the show's history?

If you think you know
 the answers, or even if you just enjoy this trivia exercise for your brain, then gather some friends and join us for TRIVIA NIGHT LIVE on January 10th. Don't wait until after the holidays! You need to pre-order a pizza (Chicago pizza, yum!, and will accommodate for gluten free) or two for your table. We also have some singles and couples who are looking for a team. Send Tricia and email at, and I'll make sure you get grouped together.

Your team will compete for a cash prize of $500. So, gather your friends! A table (max 8 people) is $160. Past trivia nights have sold out quickly! Please try to sign up before the holiday break begins. 

Click HERE for a registration form.
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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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