December 13, 2017

I will be out of the office from December 19-25, back on the 26th. There will be no eNotes next Wednesday, but instead I will send a special edition eBlast/eNotes next Monday, December 18, reminding you of the upcoming Christmas services, offerings, and year-end items. (And we still need some volunteers to staff the office for a few hours. Please let me know ASAP if you can help!) -Barb

Hebrews 13:2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Dear Friends,

Sometimes I am amazed at what happens at Southminster. Last Friday someone called up looking for help for a homeless person. I told them that I could see them at 3:00. A person looking for help is not amazing. That happens frequently. It is often also time consuming.

At 3:00 I escorted three people into the parlor. One woman was Kathy, who is a member of a church in Wheaton. She had driven the others to Southminster because she’d overheard them at Panera talking about catching a bus or walking to the church. She is a radiant person. The second person was a young man who is a veteran. He doesn’t have a car – he uses the bus. He lives with a friend. He doesn’t consider himself homeless because he has a friend. His name is Nick. The third person was a woman who we will call Vicki. She was recently discharged from a mental institution. They put her in cab, and the cab dropped her off in Glen Ellyn. That is when she met Nick waiting at the bus stop.

Vicki is a lamb. She spooks easily and is a bit disoriented. For the past five days Nick has been taking the bus with her to the local PADS (Providing Action to Deliver Shelter)* and picking her up each morning to help her make the bus! After prayer and conversation on my part, I was able to connect with her uncle. Her uncle did not want Vicki to stay with him, but he was willing to put her up in a hotel for a week. The surprising thing about this is that neither Nick nor Kathy had been able to get her to tell them if she had family who could help. By 4:00 she was on her way to the hotel with Kathy driving.

This whole event cost the church one hour of my time, but no money. I felt honored to be your pastor at the moment. What was amazing to me was that God brought three people together to help one little lamb. I know that her story will continue, but we were part of her story.

Why do I care about homeless people? Clearly, as a follower of Jesus Christ I care about lost “lambs,” but there is another piece, as well. In 1994 former presidential candidate George McGovern’s daughter, Teresa Jane, died in Madison, homeless. She was just 45 years old. She had left a homeless shelter that morning. She died in a snowbank. She died because she was homeless. Let that sink in! Someone who could have been president had a daughter die because she was homeless. The previous year, Teresa McGovern had an idea for a book. She wanted to share her life, her comebacks, and her spiritual longings. She even had a title: “Angels and Miracles in My Life.” She never wrote it because she died. Her father had no idea of her need. He knew that she struggled, but they were not estranged. We don’t know why she didn’t reach out to her father. It’s too bad that people like Nick and Kathy were not there for Teresa McGovern, even for just that one day.

I think all of you are kind and helpful people. You never know how important you are to someone’s story. You may be an angel in someone’s story. Take it from there.

Love, Wendy
Your pastor, partner, and friend

P.S. If you can’t be in church on Sunday, be the church where you are. Take a moment to remember your favorite Christmas memory about church and tell someone about it.

P.P.S. I am “preaching” each Tuesday at Maple Glen, a new memory care facility near Southminster. It is a bit of a challenge, but there is goodness evident. I would like to borrow a few baby dolls for when I worship with them on December 19th. You are welcome to come along, as well. Please call the church office and let me know if you have a doll to share.

*DuPage PADS has widened its mission. Their new thinking is “going from a mat on the floor to a key in the door!” This is a new and welcome venture.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

PLEASE, CAN YOU HELP? Barb is going to be away from Tuesday-Friday, December 19-22. If you are able to spare a couple hours on any of those days to answer phones, answer the door, sort through the mail (read books, knit, play games on your phone), please let Barb know as soon as possible. We still have several slots to fill. Thank you!

You are invited to join the WOMEN’S CIRCLE for their annual Christmas Luncheon and Cookie Exchange this Friday, December 15, 11:30 a.m. in the narthex/parlor. Bring a salad to share and cookies to exchange. (The Cookie Exchange is optional – cookies are not required to attend the luncheon! If you want to participate, we suggest 50 cookies to exchange, but take as many as you bring.) We are excited to welcome the Glenbard South Madrigal Singers as our program. All women are welcome!

The DEADLINE FOR THE SESSION DOCKET is this Friday, December 15. Remember that Barb is only here on Monday next week, so if you have anything that needs to be on that docket, it needs to be in the office by Friday. Earlier would be even better! 

THIS SUNDAY IN WORSHIP: OUR CHRISTMAS PROGRAM OF LESSONS AND CAROLS! All participants need to be here by 8:30 a.m. Children should report to Fellowship Hall for costumes and warm-ups. Youth/lesson readers will rehearse with Blair.

THIS SUNDAY IN WORSHIP (December 17, 2017)
Southminster’s Annual Christmas Program of Lessons and Carols
Liturgist: Sara Vanderford
Elder: Parin Schmidt
Deacon: Susan Vanderford
Ushers: Tom & Bobbi Frey, Mike Hume, Dave Zink
Fellowship: Deb Bohi
Valet Parking: Steve Kozich
Please let the office know immediately if there are any changes to this schedule.
Thank you!

JUBILEE BUCKS this month: We will sell Jubilee Bucks this Sunday, December 17, with pick-up on Sunday morning, December 24. (You can arrange early pick-up if you need to have them before Sunday the 24th. Just let them know when you place your order.)

Southminster in Mission: This Sunday it’s our turn again to serve at the WARMING CENTER at the Glen Ellyn 1st United Methodist Church, where homeless guests are welcome to rest while waiting for the Sunday night PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) site to open. We serve from 1:15-4:00 p.m. Check the Mission board to see if there are any more slots open to fill out our team, and sign up if you can help!

CHRISTIAN ED. NOTES:
– CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: This Sunday our children and youth will participate in the Southminster Christmas Program which will take place during worship! The children have learned Christmas carols during Sunday School Circle Time, and had a fun rehearsal last Sunday. They’ll be dressed as various characters in the Christmas narrative, singing carols and reading lessons throughout the service. This is a wonderful service for family and friends, as well as the whole congregation. We look forward seeing you all there and worshiping together!
– PROGRAM ARRIVAL TIME: On December 17, please bring the children to Fellowship Hall by 8:30 for costuming and group photos!
– NURSERY: The nursery will be open with attendants for CHRISTMAS EVE, both morning and evening services. Brittany Molenda and Roxane Johnson will be here for our 9:30 a.m. morning service; Anny Davidson and Linda Hume for the 7:30 p.m. evening service. We are grateful for their willingness to serve our families!

WHAT’S AHEAD IN CHRISTIAN ED.?
December 17: Church Christmas Program (please have participants here by 8:30 a.m.)
December 24: No Sunday School; 9:30 a.m. Family service in the sanctuary.
7:30 p.m. Candlelight service in the sanctuary.
Nursery care available at both services.
December 31: Sunday School – Simeon and Anna

ADULT EDUCATION
– SUNDAY MORNING CLASS: Our study in Jeremiah continues this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in the Parlor. This will be our last class for 2017!
– The WOMEN’S SUNDAY EVENING BIBLE STUDY GROUP is taking a break through the holidays.

YOUTH:
+ CHRISTMAS PROGRAM this Sunday! Those involved, please be in Fellowship Hall at 8:30 a.m. Lesson readers will go over their readings with Blair.
+ PARENTS: Please review the youth schedule that was emailed to you and let Blair know about any scheduling conflicts for you youth. We want to confirm that schedule soon.

Please remember Southminster’s two annual CHRISTMAS OFFERINGS.
– The LOCAL MISSION OFFERING (red poinsettia envelopes) supports the Southminster Mission Budget; 75% of monies go right into the Mission Budget and 25% to our special 2017 designee, DuPage PADS.
– The CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING (purple envelopes) is a special offering collected by our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to support church workers through assistance in their time of need plus racial ethnic education and leadership development. We will collect these offerings through Advent and dedicate them on Christmas Eve. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Worship with us!
+ LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE – Thursday, December 21, 7:30 p.m.
If this holiday season isn’t very “merry” for you, come in from the longest, darkest night of the year for a service of comfort.
+ CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING SERVICE – Sunday, December 24, 9:30 a.m.
We will leave the season of Advent and move to the season of Christmas through songs. This will be a family service (no Sunday school that morning).
+ CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE – Sunday, December 24, 7:30 p.m.
The story of Jesus’ birth through special music, Scripture, carols, and candles. We will have nursery care available for the littlest ones.

Barb may not be in the office, but the DEADLINE FOR THE DIALOG is still Wednesday, December 20! She will only have a few days after Christmas to put this newsletter together, so let’s be sure she has everything she needs when she returns to the office on December 26!

The 2017 CHURCH FINANCIAL RECORDS must be closed promptly at the end of this month. Any deposits, donations or pledges that need to be recorded in calendar year 2017 or bills to be paid from the 2017 budget must be in the church office no later than 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 2. If you have any questions, please contact Treasurer Tom Frey.

SECRET PALS, save the date for “the big reveal” – Saturday, January 13. We will have a salad luncheon at noon and will find out who our Secret Pal was this past year. Secret Pals is open to all women of the church. If you would like to join or have questions about the group, contact Joan Koska at 630-469-7935.

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December 6, 2017

James 1:17-18
Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Dear Friends,

Have you noticed the moon this week? Sunday night it was full and beautiful! This time of year often calls to my mind, the “Father of Lights.” I think it has to do with cold walks at night and the beauty of the night sky. Maybe it is the charm of Christmas lights. When it is so dark the lights, the stars, and moon shine brightly. It is a gift. When I see the lights, the “Father of Lights” comes to mind and I give thanks, then I move on to the giving of gifts! Every perfect gift is from God – not just some but all.

Despite my happiness about night skies, I miss the sun. The sun gets up late and goes to bed early this time of year. I keep reminding myself that the days will get longer after the 21st of December. I tell myself to hang in there because after the 21st we will start to climb back toward the sun. A good change will come! Change is part of the created order, but the only thing that does not change is our Lord. We can trust God to be present and faithful with us no matter what changes happen.

This December brings a big change for us at Southminster. This Sunday, December 10, we will say good-bye and thank you to Rose Audette at the beginning of worship. Rose has been our director of Christian Education for five years. Her last official Sunday will be December 24th. We expect the 17th to be busy because of the Christmas Program, which is why we are saying good-bye this Sunday. Rose has been one of God’s good gifts.

We have all been deeply blessed by Rose’s presence with us: her bright smile, her attention to detail, and her hardworking attitude. Her job description includes more than children’s ministry. Many of us may be unaware that there are tasks she has done that include youth and adults, as well. Among other things, many of us benefited from her teaching the “Financial Peace University” course.

Your help is needed in 2018. Rose’s hours were scheduled for about 21 hours a week. There have been many weeks when she worked way more than that. Our interim Christian Educator, Kathy Davidson, is scheduled for 15 hours a week. Please give some thought about how you might help Kathy and the Christian Education Ministry during this transition. I am planning to help schedule the children’s moments until we get a new Christian Education Director. How might you help? Can you put up a blackboard? Ask a member of Christian Education what they need. And if they ask for help, be ready to help. In the meantime, there is much beauty and joy around us. We are blessed with Kathy till the spring and with a good team of folks on Christian Education. We will all be looking, waiting, and praying for our new Christian Educator. It will be a little bit like waiting for the sun. Take it from here.

Love, Wendy
Your pastor, partner, and friend

P.S. If you can’t be in church on Sunday, be the church where you are. How do you share the love of the Father of Lights on Sunday and during the week?

P.P.S. I am “preaching” each Tuesday at Maple Glen, a new memory care facility near Southminster. It is a bit of a challenge, but there is goodness evident. I would like to borrow a few baby dolls for when I worship with them on December 19th. You are welcome to come along, as well. Please call the church office and let me know if you have a doll to share.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

THIS SUNDAY: CHRISTMAS PROGRAM REHEARSAL! See notes below under both Christian Ed. and Youth.

MONDAY IS THE DEADLINE TO SIGN UP FOR CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS. The sheet is posted in the narthex. We will again have two larger white poinsettias (already claimed) and many smaller red poinsettias (6.5 inch pots, $16 each). You may take your plant(s) home after Christmas Eve worship.

OFFICE HELP NEEDED: Barb is going to be away from Tuesday-Friday, December 19-22. If you are able to spare a couple hours on any of those days to answer phones, answer the door, sort through the mail (read books, knit, play games on your phone), please let Barb know as soon as possible. Thank you!

THIS SUNDAY IN WORSHIP (December 10, 2017)
Liturgist: Linda Wolf Jeziorski
Elder: Ron Birchall
Deacon: Julie Storey
Ushers: Lanny Russell, Pete Petersen, Ed and Joan Koska
Children’s Moment: Rose Audette
Fellowship: Beth Bonde
Valet Parking: We need a volunteer!
Please let the office know immediately if there are any changes to this schedule.
Thank you!

JUBILEE BUCKS this month: We will sell Jubilee Bucks on December 3 and 17, with pick-up on December 10 and 24. (You can arrange early pick-up of the Dec. 17 orders, if you need to have them before Sunday the 24th.)

CHRISTIAN ED. NOTES:
– CHRISTMAS PROGRAM: Southminster’s Christmas Program of Lessons and Carols is Sunday, December 17. The children are learning Christmas carols during Sunday School Circle Time to prepare for the event. We are planning for a full rehearsal of the program this Sunday, December 10 (both during Sunday school and immediately following worship). The children will be dressed as various characters in the Christmas narrative, singing carols and reading lessons throughout the service.
– A QUICK NOTE TO PARENTS REGARDING THE DECEMBER 10TH REHEARSAL: We will provide a snack for the children after Sunday school, and then bring them to the Sanctuary for a dress rehearsal. Feel free to enjoy fellowship time, and pick the kids up in the Narthex at noon!
– PROGRAM ARRIVAL TIME: On December 17, please bring the children to Fellowship Hall by 8:30 for costuming and group photos!

WHAT’S AHEAD IN CHRISTIAN ED.?
December 10: Sunday School – Rehearsal during Sunday School and also from 11:00-12:00 in the sanctuary
December 17: Church Christmas Program (please have participants here by 8:30 a.m.)
December 24: No Sunday School – Family service in the sanctuary at 9:30 a.m. (Candlelight service at 7:30 p.m.)
December 31: Sunday School – Simeon and Anna

ADULT EDUCATION
– SUNDAY MORNING CLASS: With all the busyness of the advent season, December 17 is our only class this month. But, join us then for more from the prophet Jeremiah.

– The WOMEN’S SUNDAY EVENING BIBLE STUDY GROUP will meet December 3 and 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the parlor before taking a break through the holidays. For more information, contact Ann Anderson at 630-469-2097 or sylviasmother@sbcglobal.net.

YOUTH: Christmas is coming, so it is time for our annual Charlie Brown Christmas Party and Lock In. Starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, we will eat snacks, play games, watch videos, and decorate our Charlie Brown Tree (or Frankentree). We will be at church all night (sleep is optional)! So bring:
A Christmas tree ornament (one that you won’t want back)
Sleeping bag (and air mattress, if you want)
Pillow
Toothbrush and paste.
Meds (if you have any)
Change of clothes (if you don’t want to get too groady)
Snacks
Games
Videos (church appropriate)
Please do not bring video games or anything else that cannot be shared with the group.
We will be done by 11:00 a.m. (at the latest) on Saturday.
Also, Christmas Program rehearsal is after church on Dec. 10th (this Sunday) and the program is Dec. 17th.

Please join the WOMEN’S CIRCLE for their annual Christmas Luncheon and Cookie Exchange Friday, December 15, 11:30 a.m. in the narthex/parlor. Bring a salad to share and cookies to exchange. (The Cookie Exchange is optional – cookies are not required to attend the luncheon! If you want to participate, we suggest 50 cookies to exchange, but take as many as you bring.) We are excited to welcome the Glenbard South Madrigal Singers as our program. All women are welcome!

Southminster in Mission: During the cold winter months the WARMING CENTER is open at Glen Ellyn’s First United Methodist Church and staffed by various church families in Glen Ellyn. This is a place for homeless guests to rest from the cold while waiting for the Sunday night PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) site to open. Southminster’s next turn to serve at the Center is December 17, from 1:15-4:00 p.m. Check the Mission bulletin board in the narthex to see if there are still openings to fill out our team. (There needs to be at least one man working each shift.)

Please remember Southminster’s two annual CHRISTMAS OFFERINGS.
– The LOCAL MISSION OFFERING (red poinsettia envelopes) supports the Southminster Mission Budget; 75% of monies go right into the Mission Budget and 25% to our special 2017 designee, DuPage PADS.
– The CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING (purple envelopes) is a special offering collected by our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to support church workers through assistance in their time of need plus racial ethnic education and leadership development. We will collect these offerings through Advent and dedicate them on Christmas Eve. Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Worship with us!
+ LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE – Thursday, December 21, 7:30 p.m.
If this holiday season isn’t very “merry” for you, come in from the longest, darkest night of the year for a service of comfort.
+ CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING SERVICE – Sunday, December 24, 9:30 a.m.
We will leave the season of Advent and move to the season of Christmas through songs. This will be a family service (no Sunday school that morning).
+ CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE – Sunday, December 24, 7:30 p.m.
The story of Jesus’ birth through special music, Scripture, carols, and candles. We hope to have nursery care available for the littlest ones.

The 2017 CHURCH FINANCIAL RECORDS must be closed promptly at the end of this month. Any deposits, donations or pledges that need to be recorded in calendar year 2017 or bills to be paid from the 2017 budget must be in the church office no later than 1:00 p.m. Friday, December 29. If you have any questions, please contact Treasurer Tom Frey.

Have you ever contributed to SOUTHMINSTER’S ENDOWMENT FUND? We are planning some form of recognition for endowment contributions. If you have ever contributed to our endowment fund, please contact Barb in the church office by phone or email.

SECRET PALS, save the date for “the big reveal” – Saturday, January 13. We will have a salad luncheon at noon and will find out who our Secret Pal was this past year. Secret Pals is open to all women of the church. If you would like to join or have questions about the group, contact Joan Koska at 630-469-7935.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on December 6, 2017