Monthly Newsletter
HomeAbout UsHIS Kids PreschoolMonthly NewsletterCalendarEventsArchivesVideos



December 2020 Newsletter

For printer friendly version click here. For calendar click here.



St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church

405 Emma

Chenoa, Il  61726


December 4, 2020



This time of the year, at least in our house, is Christmas movie season. From classics like White Christmas, Miracle on 34th St., and Home Alone to Elf and Arthur Christmas, to Netflix’s new Christmas Chronicles movies, we enjoy a Christmas movie. And based on the sheer number of them out there, I know we are far from the only ones.


For so many of movies centered around the holiday, the conflict in one form another has to do with the “meaning” of the season. Quite often, part of the conflict has to do with things changing or traditions being broken. According to the movies, the true meaning of Christmas isn’t about getting presents, it’s about love, family, and friends. Though, to be sure, there are some that also lean heavily on the idea that if Santa isn’t able to get all his presents delivered on time, then the joy and spirit of Christmas will be ruined, be it for one particular child or the world as a whole.



In some ways these movies are right, but ultimately they miss the mark. What they get right is that we do find it hard when certain things we look forward to or traditions we hold dear are taken away or changed for one reason or another. There are a lot of things about the Christmas season we love because it’s how we’ve always done them, and we have many happy memories tied to them. That’s a good thing. But sometimes, like in the movies, we also have to be willing to adapt and accept when things change.


This year, especially, we’re going to be facing a Christmas unlike most others. Family gatherings are going to be different. Certain events are going to be different. Even some things at or around church aren’t going to be exactly the same this year.

Unlike the movies, however, what we are called to remember is that the meaning of Christmas isn’t found in traditions, a spirit of giving, or even family. It’s about the child born in Bethlehem. It’s about the one named Immanuel, God with us. It’s about Jesus. It’s always, always, about God himself taking on human flesh and coming to dwell among us. This year, maybe more than any other, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” isn’t just a statement against the commercialization of our Savior’s birth; it’s a reminder to us of what we truly celebrate and why we gather together as the people of God in worship.




This Advent and Christmas, things aren’t going to be exactly how we usually do them. It’s simply the reality of our current situation that some things are going to be tweaked in various ways. But at the same time, we will be doing what we can to make it as “normal” and familiar as possible, because there are things about this season that we all cherish and want to hang onto as much as we can. So, as I’ve been doing for so much of this year, I and the elders request your patience and understanding as we do the best we can to make our celebrations this year just as joyful as we do every year. And that starts, as always, with one thing that absolutely will remain the same: fixing our eyes and our hearts not on the external trappings of the season,  but on the Messiah long foretold, the child whose birth was proclaimed by angels and celebrated by shepherds. In all that we do, Jesus is, now and ever, reason for it all.


In Christ,

Pastor Jeremy


St. Paul’s Discipleship

Date Attendance Offering Missions
11-01 68 7003.64 50.00
11-08 63 3408.00 50.00
11-15 58 1468.00  
11-22 65 2686.10 50.00
11-27 15 545.00  
11-29 57 1391.00  
Ladies Restroom Renovation 72.00  


Rose Bailey [friend of Jonnita Vogel’s,]

Norman Beitz

Alma Brucker

Leila Carlson [Fred Rhoda’s sister]

Terry Colston [nephew of Fred Rhoda]

Michelle Darguzis

Jim Erdman [now at St. Francis, Peoria; a caring bridge site has been set up for Jim]

Stacie Hensley

Steve Kelleher

Carol Sue Koehl [fell and broke her femur, now at Fairview Haven]]

Barbara Lambert [mother of principal at PCJH]

Donna Leonard [friend of Roger and Pat Wahls]

Steve Meiner [friend of Mike Shrewsbury

Trent Nelson [Natashia Nelson’s father-in-law]

Carla Nobis [at Good Samaritan Home]

Dr.Jim May [cousin of Pat Wahls]

Thom Palmer [high school friend of Pat Wahls]

Pam Raymond

Elaine Rhoda

Kurt Rhoda family

Beverly Sohn

Rick Trachsel [cousin of Roger Seeman]

Jalene Wollford [grade school student at St. Mary’s, Pontiac]


Please notify Joy if anyone could be removed from the Prayer List.






December 9 – Advent Service 7 PM

December 13 – Sunday Worship 9, 10:30 with Sunday School and Adult Bible Class in between worship

December 16 – Advent Service 7 PM

December 20 - Sunday Worship 9, 10:30 with Sunday School and Adult Bible Class in between worship

December 24 – Christmas Eve Worship 6, 8 PM

December 25 – Christmas Day Worship 10 AM



From our Parish Nurse                                                                                                        Pam Norris


Break the Bad News Cycle

Add a new vocabulary word to your mental dictionary: doomscrolling. It’s the habit of scrolling through news or social media apps or flipping through your TV channels looking for the latest updates on what’s happening with the pandemic, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, murder rates, etc.  People have been doomscrolling since the advent of apps and 24/7 TV news, but 2020 made it more prevalent due to people being at home more and the cancellation of other day-to-day activities, special events and social gatherings.


The numbers confirm the trend: news and social media app usage is up by 25 percent and as many as 49 percent of adults say they are depressed – up from a norm of 37 percent.

Constantly reading bad news can be bad for your health. It can lead to greater fear and anxiety and can increase levels of cortisol and adrenaline, both of which are stress hormones. Research shows that chronic levels of elevated stress hormones are associated with health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The overload of gloomsday news can also disrupt your sleep and make you less attentive and effective at work. 

The solutions may seem simple but hard to do if you’re addicted to constantly wanting updates:

        Take a break from the news, especially a few hours before bedtime. Read a book, solve a puzzle, watch a comedy, play a game or call a friend.

        Instead of scrolling, go strolling. Take a morning and/or evening walk to calm your mind.

        Set a time limit on the number of minutes each day you spend looking at the news.


Being informed is important, but so is paying attention to your mental health. You need to recognize when it’s time to tune out if you’re spending too much time tuning in.


Source: Healthline/printed with permission of Better Health





Bake-less Bake Sale—It is time once again for the Ladies of the Church’ Bake-less Bake Sale.  The Ladies sponsor a seminary student throughout the year by sending monthly checks.  Our adopted seminary student is Cindy Meister’s nephew, Gunnar Campbell.  The Ladies also provide meals for the families at a funeral and send monies for the community Thanksgiving baskets.  You can place your donation in the Sunday offering marked—Ladies or give it to Judy Bertsche or mail it to Judy Bertsche, 27651 East 2700 North Road, Chenoa IL 61726.




Logo, company name

Description automatically generatedThe church’s financial books will close on December 31 2020.  Any offerings made after that date will be added to the next year’s offerings.





You may want to send a ‘thinking of you’ card or a Christmas card to those in our congregation who haven’t been able to attend church for a while.  We also have a member who will be celebrating her 90th birthday on Christmas Day.

Carla Nobis

Good Samaritan Home

1225 Ewing DR

 Pontiac IL 61764


Alma Brucker

Martin Health Care

2025 E Lincoln

Bloomington IL 61701


Carol Sue Koehl

c/o Fairview Haven

605 N 4th

Fairbury IL 61739


Caroline Carley Casley

# 18 Pebble Circle

Gridley IL 61744


Mary Dohleman

200 Mirlynbeth LN

Fairbury IL 61739

[will be 90 on the 25th]


Mary Lou Schuler

304 S Cherry

Lexington IL 61753

Lee Wahls

215 E Washington

Evenglow #410

 Pontiac IL 61764


Elaine Rhoda

Good Samaritan Home

1225 Ewing DR

 Pontiac IL 61764


Stacey Hensley

300 W Lowell Ave

 Pontiac IL 61764


Dorothy Erdman

Good Samaritan Home

1225 Ewing DR

Pontiac IL 61764


Darrel Nobis.

508 N 4th

Chenoa IL 61726


Linda Grandon

204 Mirlynbeth LN

Fairbury IL 61739


Duane and Margaret Haney

203 E Columbia #13

Fairbury IL 61739