Category: Making Christ Known

Making Christ Known is published online six times per year. Congregations are encouraged to email or make copies for leaders, members, and visitors. Articles can be copied for congregation use in newsletters or other publications.

Christ, Stockton

Pr. Paul Gebo Thanks to the initiative of Nicole Haas, we are offering food and household supplies to members of the Stockton community, through our “Mini Pantry.” Just outside the doors of the church sits a container of goods, with the invitation to “Take What you need. Donate what you can.” The Stockton Food Pantry is …

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Gloria Dei, Rockford

Deacon Carol Ostrom As organist of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Rockford, I am involved each week rehearsing a prelude, interlude, and postlude to enhance our worship theme of the day. Bob Black meets me weekly to record my music on either our Steinway piano or 3-manual Allen organ. I choose organ classics based on our Lutheran …

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Peace, New Lenox

Pr. Dave Hedlin The background for the photo is that we are creating a daily video for our Facebook page.  On Wednesdays we lighten it up a little with something we’re calling “fun Wednesdays.”  We have done “Name that Tune”, “The Match Game”, “Can You List Them?” and many more.  The picture is of my …

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Lord of Love, Galena

Diane Beemster What had started as an idea to keep in touch with family members for Easter ended up in the making of 75 masks.  I sent all of the kids and grandkids masks in lieu of physically getting together.  After Easter, our QTs quilt group was asked if we could make masks for clients …

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Trinity, Derinda (Elizabeth)

Dianne Zink On March 25, 2020, I was contacted by a lady to make masks for the E.R. at Freeport Hospital.  She has a niece who works there and they were in need of masks. She devised a pattern and e-mailed it to me.  It was very specific as it had a pocket to hold …

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St. John’s, Massbach (Elizabeth)

Eileen Hughes, Sherry Sager, Margaret Luebke & Pat Townsend Quilters from St. John’s Lutheran of Massbach have completed 700 face masks for hospitals, nursing homes, and church members. Unable to meet for quilting, the group has turned to making masks for those in need. They can hardly keep up. The group hopes to return to …

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Good Shepherd, Lena

Pr. Miho Yasukawa We celebrate our high school graduates with signs outside the church.  Congrats! Just because the Piece Corp can’t meet at the church doesn’t mean they’re not staying busy! They’re still hard at work making quilt squares into facemasks and donating them.

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Immanuel, Earlville

Denise Rode We are relying primarily on videos of my sermons posted each Sunday at the time of our service (9 a.m.).  I write the sermon generally on Thursdays and Fridays after participating in Zoom text study with one or two groups of clergy.  My daughter then records the sermon, trying to avoid having one …

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Pr. John Seraphine, retired

During this time of social distancing, we have started an experiment we call the Northern Illinois Online Bible Study. We all go to the rich online resources of the Yale (Divinity School) Bible Study and then gather every Monday at 7 p.m. for an hour-long Zoom discussion. We currently have about 20 participants, and so …

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Calvary, Rockford

Pr. Chuck Olson One of the members of our little church, Melinda, is just beginning cancer treatment that will be very critical. Since we can not see her, what could we do? The answer is a regular shower of encouraging cards. Members of Calvary Lutheran are regularly sending her cards to cheer and encourage her, …

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St. John’s, Mendota

Susan Garner Zoom Worship, Sunday 9am (have had about 80-85 computers who have joined each week) Our musicians have recorded music to share at the zoom services as well as for posting on our Facebook. Executive Team and Council meeting on zoom. Property Team, Finance Team meeting through email, phone, etc. Custodians have been disinfecting …

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Hill Correctional Center, Galesburg

Pr. Karen Norman Rees In the Illinois Department of Corrections, Chaplains are “essential personnel.” Just as we (Lutherans/Christians) missed gathering as the body of Christ to worship during Holy Week and Easter, several religions also missed their High Holy Days/Religious Observances.  So too, am I attempting to find not just creative ways but any way …

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Resurrection, Channahon

Pr. Ben Ingelson Resurrection Lutheran Church, Channahon is finding ways to encourage and pray for each other during this time.  For example, our church kids and our children’s ministry volunteers have been delivering little notes and rock arrangements, mailing cards and pictures, and making chalk art at other people’s homes.  These little gifts help all …

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Rejoicing Spirits, Rockford

Download the video for use in your congregation. Rejoicing Spirits is a special worship service held every second Thursday at 6:00 pm at Alpine Lutheran Church, 5001 Forest View Ave, Rockford IL. The service is open to all, but is especially sensitive to the needs of adults who are developmentally, emotionally, or physically challenged. Bishop …

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We Are Broken – Presiding Bishop

In the February issue of Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us of our uniquely Lutheran understanding of the gospel and renews her call for studying Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. “Luther said he needed to study it every day—and he wrote it! Let’s do the same.”

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Planting seeds of partnership, the 2020 Bishop’s delegation to the North Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania

On January 17, 2020 10 travelers from the Northern Illinois Synod flew to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport. We arrived the evening of Saturday, January 18. The purpose of this journey [safari – Swahili] was to bear witness to our common faith in Christ Jesus, to renew old friendships, build new relationships, learn about the ministries of the North Central Diocese, grow in our appreciation for acts of accompaniment, and discover ways we can partner with one another as citizens of God’s kingdom.

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Catalyst Kitchen – St. John's, Rock Island

Download the video for use in your congregation. In this video, Bishop Jeffrey Clements speaks with Pr. Stacie Fidlar and others involved in Catalyst Kitchen, a partnership of Palomares Social Justice Center and St. John’s Lutheran Church – Rock Island. The kitchen and social hall ministry is intended to support local entrepreneurs in starting and …

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Planting seeds of Partnership: 2020 Tanzanian Cultural Immersion and Partnership trip

Bishop Jeffrey Clements has called for a partnership delegation to travel to Tanzania for the purposes of building and strengthening the Northern Illinois Synod’s long-standing companion relationship with the North Central Diocese (NCD) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The delegation will participate in worship, visit hospitals and the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center School …

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Presiding Bishop’s Christmas Message

A Christmas message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton View & download a video message from Bishop EatonDownload English PDF | Download Spanish PDF The Rev. Elizabeth A. EatonPresiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America On Christmas Eve there always comes a time when everything is finally still. After all the preparations and Christmas pageants, after all of the rushing, it’s …

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Midnight stillness

Midnight stillness. In her December column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the mystery of the season: the expectation and longing of Advent and the true gifts of Christmas—“the helpless baby in a wooden manger, a broken man on a cross.”

Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2OFVWp5 and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2Rmnthp.

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October Ordinations

Folks from all over the synod attended a festive synod-wide Reformation worship service Sunday afternoon, October 27 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Ottawa. Chelsey Olson Weech was ordained as a minister of word and sacrament in the church of Christ! Pastor Weech has been called to serve First Lutheran Church in Prophetstown. The previous day, October …

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Fall Gatherings

The first of three Fall Gatherings was held on Sunday afternoon, October 6 at St. Mark, Rockford. About 50 people gathered to discuss our new synod mission statement, vision statement, and core values and how we are all walking together, loving Christ, loving all, for the sake of the world. The next gathering will be …

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2019 PLC

The 2019 Professional Leaders Conference was held September 16-18, 2019 at Sinsinawa Mound Retreat Center in Sinsinawa, WI, under the theme, The Gospel Proclamation, a Ministry of the Whole Congregation. Presenters were the Rev. Dr. Shauna Hannan, Associate Professor of Homiletics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA and the Rev. Bryan Odeen, Associate Pastor at …

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We are to be bold – Presiding Bishop

By Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA Presiding Bishop This church had a meeting in August. We gathered in Milwaukee for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. We were filled with anticipation and excitement—what would unfold during the assembly? How would we be inspired by worship and Bible study? How would we be challenged? What new insight into the …

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A closer look – repurposing microscopes for good

by Mike Wadle, First, DeKalb and Marlene Winkie, Our Savior’s, Rockford When the science classes at the Rocky Boy Indian School in MT and the Red Cloud Indian School in SD began the fall semester this year, there was a gift of love awaiting the students. Ten refurbished microscopes for each school were shipped from …

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The story of a bell

by Richard Brynteson Years ago, around 1979 – 1982, I was an officer of First National Bank on East State Street. The Bank established a Community Development Corp. to pursue the renewal of East State Street and Haight Village. I was honored to serve as President of the Corporation & President of the East State …

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2019 NIS Women of the ELCA Convention

The annual Convention of the Northern Illinois Synod Women of the ELCA met on Saturday, September 21 at Trinity, Moline. Their key verse was Ephesians 2:19, “So you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Bishop Jeffrey Clements gave the morning …

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International visitors

The Global Mission Committee of the Northern Illinois Synod has had several opportunities to host guests from our companion synods this summer. In June and July, two retired pastors visited from the Arcot Lutheran Church, our companion synod in India. During June the Reverend Bavani Joseph spent some days with us, including attending the Northern …

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Our common witness – Presiding Bishop Eaton

By Elizabeth A. Eaton One of the distinct privileges of this call as presiding bishop is seeing the church at work at home and around the world. The Lutheran movement is alive and well, speaking the gospel in a distinctive voice. Sunday after Sunday the good news is proclaimed in accordance with Scripture and the …

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diakonia Graduation

The Northern Illinois Synod gathered with the Metro Chicago Synod to celebrate the graduation of 26 diakonia graduates on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The Graduation Service of Thanksgiving was held at Salem, Sycamore at 3:00 pm. Deacon Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop was the preacher and the Rev. Preston Fields was host pastor and …

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2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly summary of actions

8/14/2019 ​CHICAGO — Gathering under the theme “We are church,” voting members of the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) made a number of key decisions to further the mission and ministry of this church. The assembly, the chief legislative authority of the church, met Aug. 5-10 at the Wisconsin …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Saturday highlights

8/10/2019 The sixth and final day of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began Aug. 10 with worship at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The service featured youth and young adult leaders and was presided over by Ben Hogue, a pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Washington D.C. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, delivered the sermon. Sue Rothmeyer, …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Friday highlights

8/9/2019 On day five of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members and guests reconvened Aug. 9 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The assembly adopted the social statement “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action” and its implementing resolutions. April Larson, the first woman bishop in the ELCA, called the assembly’s attention to the …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Thursday highlights

8/9/2019 ​MILWAUKEE  — The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began its fourth day on Aug. 8 with a greeting from Dr. Agnes Abuom, the first woman and first African to serve as moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee. Speaking about the WCC campaign “Thursdays in Black: Toward a World Without Rape and …

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