Public Health and Coronavirus Response

All activities, including worship services, are postponed until April 20, at the earliest, based on recommendations from public health officials.

With the exception of 12-step and recovery groups (who are strongly encouraged to observe social distancing recommendations), all space-sharing groups and organizations are requested to suspend in-person gatherings. Contact your group’s organizer for details.

Stay Tuned

Click here to view and print the booklets for Lenten Devotions and weekly worship and reflections.

Watch recordings of worship services on YouTube, here.

Check in for updates from Ebenezer on Facebook.

Announcement – March 17

A Message from the Ebenezer Congregation Council

Dear Friends,
On Saturday March 14, the Ebenezer Council met for their regular monthly meeting to discuss the issues facing the church in these uncertain times caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. At the forefront was our concern for the safety of our Church attendees, the many worshipers who may be at higher risk and our Church employees.
As you have seen here, we decided to suspend in-person Church services for at least the next two weeks and to close the building through March 31 to all of the many groups who use our building and gymnasium, with the ONLY exception being the recovery groups and 12-step programs that most likely are in greater need during these stressful times.
The Council also decided to continue paying our hourly employees through the end of March, even if they do not come in, in order to relieve the stress of potential loss of income.
Suspending worship services and closing the building to the various community groups will most certainly have a negative impact on our 2020 budget. Approximately 25% of our offerings are made during Worship services and no building income will be coming in during the closure. We ask that you prayerfully consider making a donation online via the “Give Online” button at the top right side of the webpage. Be assured that our website, and the donation vendor website are secure. Any donations or increase in your regular contributions will help to offset what is a growing budget gap and are gratefully appreciated. (Also, if you use a checking account to make the donation instead of a credit card, you can save Ebenezer those processing fees associated with credit or debit card donations.)
Pastor Michael and the Congregational Council are committed to helping all of you and the Church we love make it through this pandemic. The Council will meet at the end of March to assess where we are and how me move forward together. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 312-208-1811 or Council President Chris Korn at 773-699-4547.

Warm regards,
Jim Bedinger
Council Secretary

A message from Pastor Michael

Greetings my fellow members of the body of Christ,

First, a few reminders:
– All Ebenezer ministries, including worship, are suspended until at least March 31. We’ll follow the advice of city, state, and CDC officials in deciding when it is safe for us to gather again in person.
– If at all possible, please stay home. We care about your well-being.
– Ebenezer’s staff are still working, from home whenever possible.
… Pastor Michael, Pastor Emily, Intern Dan, and Parish Nurse Marcia will continue to address pastoral care needs and check in on parishioners.
… Our custodians, as of now, are continuing to clean the building for the safety of 12-step and recovery groups still meeting there.
… Jesse is looking after maintenance, and Derek, Nathan, Mike and Aaron are keep our office and organizational functions running.
– Updated information will be available right here.

Care and Support

For pastoral care needs, please email pastormichael@ebenezerchurch.org or call 773-561-8496 and leave a message for Pastor Michael. This voicemail is checked several time per day.

Many of you have expressed a desire to help as needs arise.
Jessica D. has graciously offered to help coordinate pairing those with needs with those who can help. If you are willing to help others, or, if you need help or support with something specific, email caring@ebenezerchurch.org or call 312-685-1353.
You don’t have to leave the house to help!
We’re also pairing up folks who don’t use email with those who do to keep them informed and connected. A willingness to make some phone calls and share information is a great ministry at this time.

Worship and Prayer

Pastor Michael and John Elmquist are meeting today to work out plans for online worship. A Wednesday Lenten Devotion will also be sent out tomorrow for home use. Daily messages and suggestions for prayer will be posted on Ebenezer’s Facebook page.
As usual, requests for prayer can be sent to Pam.

And finally…
There’s a joke circulating that we didn’t expect to give up THIS MUCH for Lent this year.
And while these days are no laughing matter, there’s truth in the humor, and the need to find joy and even laughter in these days is very real.
Lent is a penitential season in which we turn away from that which diminishes life and joy, and turn toward (that’s what repentance is!) love, peace, joy, and that which makes for fullness of life.
We can, and must, still keep a holy Lent. Turn toward life in these days.
If you need help, reach out.
If you can give help, offer it.

Christ turns toward us in every trouble, assuring us of God’s love. I am so grateful that if we must be on this particular journey, that we’re on it together.

Look for your Friday e-news for details about online worship, and take good care.

In peace,
+ Pastor Michael Fick

Additional Resources

For Pastoral care needs, contact Pastor Michael (pastormichael@ebenezerchurch.org or call 773-561-8496 and leave a message for Pastor Michael. This voicemail is being checked several times per day.)
For general care and support, contact Jessica Daniels (312.685.1353 or email caring@ebenezerchurch.org)

Neighborhood Resources
Care For Real https://careforreal.org/

General Resources
Resources from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) (click here)
Resources from the Metropolitan Chicago Synod (click here)
Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov) (click here)

Announcement – March 14, 2020

Ebenezer’s Council met Saturday, March 14 to discuss appropriate measures for protecting the health of our community.
We understand that gathering as a community is a vital way that we find comfort and fellowship with one another. During this pandemic, we will all need the peace and presence of God. We do not wish to yield to unfounded panic, nor do we desire to endanger the most vulnerable among us.

With all that in mind, Ebenezer will gather tomorrow (Sunday, March 15) at 10:00 a.m. as planned. PLEASE do not attend if you feel being there would compromise your health in any way. You can read more about the precautions we are taking in yesterday’s e-news, available to view here.
Look for an email on Monday, March 16 for further information regarding our closure.
Ebenezer will remain closed, and all worship services suspended, until at least March 31, 2020.

We WILL be providing daily Facebook updates, including a Sunday worship video, a Wednesday Lenten Devotion, and asking YOU to contribute content that will help us stay connected and grounded in faith. I’ll also be providing ways that you can connect with one another, encourage one another, and check in on those who do not use the internet.

Be good to one another and yourselves. You are the communion of saints, Christ’s living body.
Take good care,
Pastor Michael Fick