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Newsletter Articles

There’s a Little Bit of Heaven Everywhere

by Dean Porzel

by Dean Porzel    I look forward every year to the end of October, when I transfer my IPod preferred music playlist from my ” 5 Star” or “Road Trip” mix to a playlist called “Holiday Mix”. This folder contains the best of my easy listening 5 Star playlist with a blend of my favorite […]

Being SMART About Resolutions

by Dean Porzel

  Being SMART About Resolutions by Heather Green   We are in the midst of the holiday season with a new year looming before us. That signals that it’s time to start thinking about making resolutions for 2020. I’ve written about resolutions before and how over 80% of resolutions made fail by February. One reason […]

The Sounds of Christmas Come Home

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos   Nothing sets the tone of the Christmas season for me as much as music. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I eagerly flip to the local radio station when it switches to 24-hour Christmas songs (though I don’t listen to it ALL of the time until after Thanksgiving). If […]

Four Different Churches

by Dean Porzel

    by Pete Schrank       I had the pleasure of attending all four church services last week in order to deliver the yearly Stewardship message, and it made me think of the bigger picture. Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church is not a Mega Church but it is a large congregation that needs to work […]

Make Time for Jesus

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos               According to the beloved Christmas hymn Silent Night, “All is calm, all is bright” on that blessed night so long ago. Unfortunately, our current climate of Do, Shop, Buy tend to make many of us feel anything BUT calm and bright as we approach December 25th. So […]

No Time to Serve? That’s What You Think!

by Dean Porzel

  No Time to Serve? That’s What You Think! by Barb Mazarakos    Time. For so many of us, it is our most precious commodity. After all, we can earn more money, but we can’t get back lost time. Often when it comes to volunteering at church, we seem to think we need a tremendous […]

You Are Enough

by Dean Porzel

    by Heather Green   When you become a parent, your time is no longer your own. When you have a baby, your schedule revolves around the baby eating and sleeping. If you also have to work, this is exhausting, but as children get older, there is even less “you” time as kids want […]

It’s Better to Give

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos   Remember when Black Friday was single day? Literally, it was the day after Thanksgiving when you could get some of the best “deals” of the holiday season. Stores would open early- some at the crack of 6am- and shoppers could fill their carts without completely emptying their wallets. Every […]

Dealing With Change

by Dean Porzel

by Pete Schrank             As the CELC Newsletter heads into its seventh year, I know we are touching on some subjects we have covered before. I know we have talked about change in the past but this subject can be viewed from many different perspectives. As Christians, we know that God never changes. […]

Time to Give Thanks

by Dean Porzel

    Time to Give Thanks by Barb Mazarakos             As Thanksgiving comes upon us and we start to plan menus, think about trips to Grandma’s house (over the river and through the woods, perhaps?) and mark flyers for Black Friday shopping trips, don’t forget to make Thanksgiving Worship part of your holiday […]

No Time To Pray

by Dean Porzel

      by Monsignor Lawrence Luciana I knelt to pray but not for long, I had too much to do. I had to hurry and get to work For bills would soon be due. So I knelt and said a hurried prayer, And jumped up off my knees. My Christian duty was now done […]

Give Me a Break!

by Dean Porzel

      by Barb Mazarakos    Stress. It is something we talk about regularly, an always-present part of the daily lives of so many people. Trying to balance work, family, and volunteer commitments along with paying the bills, keeping up the home, and caring for young children or aging parents- sometimes both at the […]

REFORMATION: Penance vs. Repentance

by Dean Porzel

      by Heather Green   At Christ Lutheran, the order of worship usually begins with the confession of sins, by Pastor Ray making the following statement: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The congregation responds with, “But if we confess our sins, […]

Christian Unity

by Dean Porzel

      by Pete Schrank             In October, we traditionally talk about the reformation and how Luther changed the Christian faith and the world. The reformation brought about many doctrinal changes. As Lutherans, we are free from the rules of the Pope, the penalty of Purgatory, the deification of Mary, the purchase […]

The Calm in the Storm

by Dean Porzel

by Barb Mazarakos      Working in the church office is definitely not for the faint of heart. While we may look in the window as we pass by and see the smiling faces of our Office Manager Julie Jancik and Administrative Assistant Jamie Deckinga with an office space that looks well under control, keeping […]

Service: The Stewardship Committee: Why We Serve

by Dean Porzel

    (Part 2 of 2) by Heather Green In part one of this series I provided some biographical information about the members of the Stewardship Committee and highlighted our roles within the team. In this part I will explain briefly why each of us has chosen to be on the Stewardship committee.   As […]

Make a Joyful Noise

by Dean Porzel

by Pete Schrank               As the season of summer moves to my wife’s favorite season, fall, we get back into the swing of things. Weekday School begins and the teachers, students, and support staff start getting back to the important tasks of learning. In the church, we get back to Sunday School, Choir […]

Pastors Need the Sabbath, Too!

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos      We’ve all heard the old joke about Pastors only working one day a week. However you only need to spend a few minutes speaking with any member of clergy to know that statement couldn’t be more wrong. Around planning and leading worship services there are visits to hospitals […]

Closed on Sunday?

by Dean Porzel

    by Heather Green      In today’s society where we have come to expect instant gratification, much thanks to the Internet, social media, and superstores which are open 24/7/365, it seems an anomaly to think that any business is closed on Sunday. Even Amazon delivers on Sundays and Holidays, including Christmas Day and […]

Remember the Sabbath Day

by Dean Porzel

    by Pete Schrank             In 2019, the words “remember the Sabbath Day” seem to get harder and harder for Christians to follow. Long ago, the Jews had the 10 commandments as the law. People would be punished for breaking the law or even killed for desecrating the Sabbath. A Christian fundamentalist, […]

Living Your Christian Faith/ Bearing Witness

by Dean Porzel

    by Pete Schrank             My faith is very important to me but I can say that I do not walk around asking people “Do you know Jesus?” “Are you saved?” “Do you have a personal relationship with Christ?” That does not mean when I am asked about my faith or through […]

Show Me the Way

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos            We are at the great stage in our life where most of our social activities revolve around our kids. Now if you know me, you may not be sure if I say this with sincerity or that snippet of sarcasm you know and love, but I assure […]

Faith Bigger Than Fear

by Dean Porzel

  Faith Bigger Than Fear by Heather Green      This has been one of the more difficult articles to write. I kept thinking that I needed to share something profound or of deep significance to make it important. But then I realized sometimes simple is more.   As many of you know, I had […]

Cemetery Board Actives and Duties

by Dean Porzel

  Cemetery Board Actives and Duties by Arlene Gronwold         The Cemetery Board has six members who care for all the activities of Christ Lutheran Cemetery (147th Street and 82nd Avenue). These activities include transacting the selling of lots ($1,000.00 current price) and making the arrangements with our contracted grave digger to assure the […]

Eastertide

by Dean Porzel

    by Pete Schrank           Easter is far and away the most important Christian Holy Day (Holiday). However we seem to make so much more of the Christmas Season than Easter Season. I know the liturgical season of Lent is about remembering our sin and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, so we […]

Plan A

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos       Plans. We all make them. Plans for vacation, plans for home repairs, plans for the future. Sometimes things don’t go quite the way we had hoped the first time, so we default to Plan B. (Sometimes Plan C. Or D. Sometimes it’s a good thing we have 26 […]

Easter Traditions at Christ Lutheran

by Dean Porzel

by Heather Green        Everywhere you look at Christ Lutheran, there is evidence that the Easter season is in full swing. From the Thursday morning and evening Lenten services with Holy Communion, the preparations by the Sunday School children for their Easter performance, and the rehearsals of the choirs and orchestras, to the donations […]

Why Infant Baptism?

by Dean Porzel

    by Pete Schrank         The focus for Easter is our salvation in Jesus, and His three-year ministry starts with His baptism in the Jordan River. Christ’s baptism was as an adult. John the Baptist was baptizing many people out in the wilderness by the Jordan River during his ministry. Baptism was the […]

Time for Worship

by Dean Porzel

    by Barb Mazarakos        Easter is a busy time around Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, and there are plenty of opportunities for worship during Holy Week.   We begin with Palm Sunday services on Sunday, April 14. Holy Communion Services in anticipation of the Passion of our Lord will be at 8am, 9:30am […]

8:00 a.m. Gym of Ledogar Hall Worship will begin now for the season. Communion will be
celebrated in the 8:00 service on the 1st , 3rd, and 5th Sundays of the month. No preregistration required at this time.
9:30 a.m. Sanctuary Service will continue to be live streamed and involve in-person
worshipers with a limit of 80 total (sanctuary, narthex, and Fireside Room capacity). Communion will be
celebrated on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. No pre-registration required at this time.


Holy Communion will be offered:
8:00 a.m. every first, third and fifth Sunday of the month
9:30 a.m. every second and fourth Sunday of the month
Portico Drive-up Communion every first, third and fifth Sunday of the month
from 10:50-11:30 a.m.


Worship capacity and hygiene (face coverings are required) will continue to follow state
recommendations. Both the gym and the sanctuary will be "air scrubbed" after services.
Please, if you have traveled to a virus hot-zone, please read and follow the Cook County
requirements for self-isolation. During that time, if you need help to connect with worship
remotely or by DVD, please contact Pastor Ray for assistance.
Videos of the services can now be found on our website and YouTube. Should a family member
or you want a DVD of the service, please contact the Church Office at 708-349-0431.