Fall 2019

jennieb88

Peace

Offering

BI-ANNUAL REPORT

FALL 2019

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 1


GROWING AS

STORYTELLERS

During the 2019-20 ministry

year, we’re journeying

through the Bible

chronologically from

Genesis to Revelation! This

is part of a new three-year cycle we

developed for our congregation as

all ages and all stages align weekly

around common Bible readings and

one Big Idea. Last year, we spent a

lot of time topically exploring the

biblical roots of our vision, values,

and mission. The 2020-21 ministry

year will be a Getting to Know Jesus

year when we’ll focus on the four

Gospels and the biblical foundations

of Luther’s Small Catechism. For now,

we’re in a year of God’s Big Story!

This year, we’re also focused on

growing as storytellers. I pray that as

we each better understand the overall

story of the Bible, we will also be better

able to find our own life story within

God’s Big Story. What’s more, we’ll be

emboldened to share those connections

with others in ways that fit different

situations and relationships.

__________________________________

We have two main tracks

for our Bible-in-a-Year journey:

Storytellers: Everyone is on this track

as we worship, read the daily devotions

inside the worship folder, use the study

guide in PEACE Groups, or listen to the

new POPcast, a pastor-led podcast to

supplement the worship series. So far,

you’ve heard about some of the key

characters and movements in the Bible

such as Creation, the Fall, the Flood,

Abraham’s Commission, Jacob, Joseph,

Slavery in Egypt, the Exodus, and the

Wilderness Wanderings.

Read Scripture: I’m celebrating

that 80 people (that we know of!)

are participating in this intensive,

immersive journey through the entire

Bible—the whole enchilada—every

word of Scripture from September 2019

until September 2020. Additionally,

nearly 200 copies of the daily reading

plan have been picked up from the

Connection Center.

This plan and the accompanying

teaching videos were created by The

Bible Project, a non-profit animation

studio that produces short-form,

fully animated videos to make the

biblical story accessible to everyone,

everywhere. This group is committed

to helping the whole world see the

Bible as one unified story that leads

to Jesus. You can find their videos at

thebibleproject.com or youtube.com/

thebibleproject.

We’re experiencing biblical community

along this journey by sharing insights

and questions on the POP Read

Scripture Facebook Group. In addition,

I am leading a group discussion that

meets on the third Wednesday of the

month at POP, either from 9-10:30am or

7-8:30pm.

Join the conversation by joining

the POP Read Scripture Facebook

group or the in-person Wednesday

discussion!

It’s not too late! You can jump into this

journey by picking up a reading plan or

by downloading the Read Scripture app

on your device. You’ll need to set the

start date to September 16, 2019 and

select read every day. You can also fill

out the form either at the Connection

Center or online at pop.church/events/

readscripture to stay in the loop.

__________________________________

Some opportune times to jump in:

December 1: The Rise and Fall of

Israel’s Kingdom (beginning with Ruth,

Saul, and David)

January 2: Start the new year with the

Prophets

February 2: The Wisdom of Israel (Get

a head start on your Lenten journey by

going through the book of Job.)

Regardless of how you are journeying

through the Scriptures this year, through

Storytellers or Read Scripture or

something else altogether, I pray that

you are finding your way into the words

of the Bible on a regular basis and

connecting the dots of your life with the

larger storyline of God at work in the

world!

Rev. Karl Fay, Senior Pastor

Read Scripture

Participants Say:

“Questions abound!”

“Feeling uncomfortable and

slightly disturbed with today’s

readings.”

“I felt like I was in the middle

of a soap opera at times.”

“Something jumped out at me

for the first time ever!”

“I am a couple of days behind

and super confused about a few

things, but I think God’s got me

on this journey!!!!”

“Loved reading this book

of beginnings! Some days I could

not stop reading! Others I rushed.

The Psalms coincided perfectly,

something I never noticed before.

Looking forward to Exodus.”

“So, how do I apply this? Am I

selfish in my leading, opting to

preserve my own skin or have

an escape hatch if things go bad?

Or do I take personal

accountability in my leadership?

Do others recognize that?”

2 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


LEADERSHIP PIPELINE

Three Great Training

Opportunities for Leaders

at Prince of Peace

96

Participants

at the

August 17 M-O

7

Ministry

Breakouts

During the 2019-20 ministry year,

leaders are invited to participate

in three different development

seminars. The annual M-O (Ministry

Orientation) was held in August

before the year began. Best Practices just

happened in early November, and the

Immersion will be in February.

M-O: The morning was filled with learning

and rejuvenation. The day started with social

time where leaders and volunteers could

gather, listen to music, talk, eat breakfast,

and answer Bible questions for prizes. Then,

everyone participated in worship and learned

what to expect in 2019-20 at POP. Topics

included hospitality, care, and important

ministry need-to-knows.

Next, the attendees moved into breakout/

training sessions, including POPKids,

Care, PEACE Groups, Connection Center,

Media/Soundboard, and POPTeens. These

comments were heard from people as they

left. “I am ready and excited for the ministry

year.” “This will be great, I can’t wait!” All

trainings are available via RightNow Media.

Contact Pastor Matt Koenig, Discipleship

Pastor, to acquire access to the content.

Best Practices: This event just occurred.

Look for pictures and details in the next

Peace Offering. Topics included the best

practices around the Art of Listening, the Art

of Serving our Community, and the Art of

Refueling.

Immersion: Coming February 8, leaders and

apprentices will be immersed in spiritual,

personal, and ministry development as we

each grow.

120

Donuts

Devoured

∞Coffee

Consumed

(more than

we can count)

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 3


THE BIBLE

IN 30 MINUTES

...or less?!

To celebrate the beginning of the

Bible-in-a-Year journey, Prince of

Peace mounted a production of

The Bible in 30 Minutes… or Less!

After Elizabeth Giromini casted

and directed the play, Alex Falls

(Worship Arts Director) asked her to

share some of her thoughts on the

experience.

31

New

Members

welcomed

in 2019*

*as of

October 2019

Elizabeth Schuett, Carole Lange, and Niamh

Frederick act out the David and Goliath story.

The all-ages cast pays tribute to our savior, Jesus Christ,

in The Bible in 30 Minutes...or Less?!

Alex Falls: Hello, Elizabeth! Tell me

a little bit about putting this play

together.

Elizabeth Giromini: Our cast met

for the first time at the Ministry

Orientation event on Saturday,

August 17. We discussed the script,

roles, and the production vision. We

were able to do a read-through of the

script but could not rehearse because

we were still assigning roles and

finalizing the cast list.

On the following three Tuesday

evenings, we put together the show.

This is really an unheard-of thing to

do in the theater world. Typically,

directors plan one hour of rehearsal

for every minute of stage time - that

would mean we needed 30 hours! We

only had six hours: three rehearsals at

two hours each. Five cast members

missed our second rehearsal when

we blocked the entire show. All of

this is to say how flexible and hardworking

this cast was. There is a level

of vulnerability that one undergoes

when part of a cast. Vulnerable to

other actors, responding, trusting,

making choices with them, and also

vulnerable with the director who

4 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


might ask for changes and risks. It was

an honor to work with this cast, and

I was humbled by their sacrifices and

willingness to trust the process.

AF: What challenges did you

encounter during the creative

process to update the script,

cast the play, find props and

costumes, etc.?

EG: The script was given to me at the

beginning of the summer along with

a YouTube video and the question,

“Have you ever heard of The Bible

in 30 Minutes?” As I read the email,

I just laughed and laughed! Last

winter, I had a family member working

on a drama class which was trying to

tell the story of The Wizard of Oz in

less than 10 minutes. He recalled that

years ago, he had seen The Bible in

30 Minutes performed at his church.

He and I spent tons of time watching

various productions of The Bible in 30

Minutes on YouTube. Little did I know,

this was the Lord preparing me for

directing our church’s version of this

production in the coming months.

That said, the script needed work.

It had numerous outdated jokes,

a number of actual errors, and

no integration of music. It was so

important to me to work with music

and to have it help tell the story. I

also had a vision that called for a

All Giromini family

members were involved

in the production.

cast with a wide age

range. I knew I wanted

a simple, uniform

costume and props

to help change the

characters as the

story progressed.

We used props to

emphasize a scene

and help the actors

be in character. It’s

another great way to

bring in some added

comedic elements

by using a modern,

contemporary, or silly

item.

AF: What did you like

about working with

the cast?

EG: For the most part, the cast

members were reluctant. I don’t want

to embarrass anyone by disclosing

this, but I think the congregation

should know, especially because

it is impossible to tell from their

performance. Their performance

was anything but reluctant! It was

clearly divinely inspired. It was such a

testament to what God can do when

his children willingly and humbly

serve Him.

Many of the cast members only

casually knew one another and

had never performed before this

occasion. But they conquered stage

fright, memorizing lines and learning

to trust the director and fellow actors

to answer how the Lord was calling

them to serve His Kingdom.

To say I enjoyed the cast, the process,

and the performances would be

a huge understatement. I had the

most wonderful time directing this

show, getting to know the cast

members, and creating a uniquely

Prince of Peace performance for our

congregation.

“They conquered

stage fright,

memorizing lines and

learning to trust the

director and fellow

actors to answer how

the Lord was calling

them to serve His

Kingdom.”

AF: Any final thoughts or

takeaways from the experience?

EG: When we were driving home

from the last show, my son, who

played God, stated he did not

want the show to end and was

insisting we could take the show

on the road. This was an incredible

moment to experience with him and

an incredible gift the Lord gave us

to work together, me as my son's

director and him as my actor. I, too,

was very sad it was over, but I was

also so full of joy in celebration of

the accomplishment. I was so happy

for the actors who had all worked so

hard and given so much of their time

and energy. I was thankful for the

wonderful congregation who warmly

and cheerfully supported each

performance. And, I am convinced

that our production had a part in

God’s continual plan to further

the kingdom, and I cannot think of

another way to be so fulfilled.

Al “John the Baptist” Sittaro

baptized Aaron “Jesus” Willming.

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 5


25

PEACE

Groups

Adults

48

Leaders &

Apprentices

131

People

involved in

Missional

Communities

Jr. High: IGNITE

Sr. High: FUEL

POPTeens

40

Youth

26

Youth

10

POPTeens

Small Groups

21,600

Pizza calories

consumed

per week

2019 VBS

Neighborhood Outreach

182

Kids from other churches

41

Kids with no church home

(18 opted to receive future

communications from POP)

39

Kids from POP

POPKids

70

Regular

Attenders

1,149

Cotton balls

used in crafts

so far...

6 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


Connect in a Group: PEACE Groups

While I was teaching the Discover

class, a few PEACE Group leaders

came and talked about their

experiences with PEACE Groups.

WOW! I was blown away by their

stories. Each person talked about how they

developed deep relationships within their groups.

They shared how they would spend time together

outside of study, talk about difficult situations in

their lives, support each other, and even vacation

together.

Jim and Cathy McCabe shared how one couple

in their group moved to Indiana and still attends

their PEACE Group meetings via a phone call or

Skype. WOW! Great connections and friendships!

Kris Reiner shared that her PEACE Group

supported and helped her several years ago

after her husband passed away. In fact, at the

funeral as Kris sat in the front pew with her

PEACE Group sat right behind her, she said that

she could feel their prayers and love. Even those

attending the funeral asked her if they were part

of her family, and she told them, “No, that's my

PEACE Group.”

This is what a PEACE Group at Prince of Peace

is all about. It is about loving and caring for

each other while being in the word of God. It is

about being a family who does life together. As

I sit back and look at PEACE Groups at POP, I

imagine the human body, a representation of the

body of Christ. Worshiping together is the head.

The head makes everything in the body go, as it

is with worship and the church. Worship is where

we learn about, pray to, connect to, and praise

our Lord. It is the center of what we do as the

body of Christ. I see serving others as the hands

and feet of a person. It is doing what is needed

to help others and to be the body of Christ for

others around us. Finally, I see groups at POP as

the heart of POP, the life blood of the body of

Christ.

If you are in a group, please know I am

praying for you daily. If you would like to join

a group, please reach out by texting “Get

Connected” to 97000 or email Pastor Matt

Koenig, Discipleship Pastor.

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 7


Meet Jennifer:

NEW DIRECTOR

OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Jennifer Edwards comes

to POP from Texas with a

Bachelor’s Degree in Religious

Education from Concordia

University Texas. Most recently,

she served as a DCE intern

in Slovakia with Mission of

Christ Network and brings a

unique knowledge of crosscultural

missions. She grew

up in northern Texas after

moving from Canada with

her parents, two sisters, and a

brother. She is the proud aunt

of two very cute nephews!

Read on to get to know

Jennifer a little better:

What's your favorite Bible story

or verse?

Jennifer Edwards: Romans 8:31-39.

What comfort knowing the deep

personal relationship we are able

to have with God because of the

sacrifice of Jesus!

Who have been some of the most

influential people in your life?

JE: I am blessed to have many

people in my life who have been

influential in different ways. The

associate pastor at my home church

while I was growing up was the first

person who encouraged me to go

into ministry and began walking

with me on the journey towards

becoming a DCE. The DCE intern

during my senior year of college

became a confidante as I faced

the many fears and unknowns of

college and was a light of hope for

the future of the youth program at

my home church. Most recently, the

pastor at the church where I served

in Slovakia was an amazing example

of a genuine, selfless, passionate

church leader and allowed me the

ability to heal from some past hurts.

These are just a few people who

were there during very big points in

my faith journey.

How did you know God was

leading you to accept the call to

Prince of Peace?

JE: There were two big reasons that

I felt God was leading me to accept

the call to Prince of Peace. First, it

was the only interview I walked away

from actually feeling good about!

Second, despite the nerves and

fears I had of moving to a new place,

I felt peace about the decision.

What do you love most about

youth ministry?

JE: I was always taught that ministry

is about relationships. Throughout

my experiences in college and

overseas, I have come to believe in

that whole heartedly. My plan is to

build a foundation with POPTeens

through my relationships with

the youth and their parents. My

prayer and hope is to be a friend

and support in life with the youth,

both spiritually and otherwise, and

continue the work to build on the

wonderful, existing foundation.

Is there anything else you want

people to know about you?

JE: I LOVE to travel!! If you talk to

me for any extended time, I am

sure some story from some trip I

have been on will come up in the

conversation!

Any parting thoughts or words of

wisdom?

JE: Since fall arrived and I am

personally in a season of change, I

thought I’d share a quote with you

that I have found comforting and

encouraging:

“The trees are about to show us

just how beautiful it can be to let

things go.”

8 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


Connect in a Group: POPTeens

Jennifer Edwards describes her first interactions with the youth.

“They devoted themselves to

the apostles’ teaching and to

the fellowship, to the breaking

of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

Those apostles definitely knew what they

were doing in the early church! What

better way to get to know people than

sitting around a table and sharing a meal

together?!

As I prepared to move to Palatine, there were a

few concerns on my mind and nervous butterflies

in my stomach. I wondered how the youth would

react to me. Would we get along? Would they

even want to talk to me? How would I fit into the

life and community at Prince of Peace as a whole?

Getting to know new people and finding your

place in a new environment isn’t the easiest or

most comfortable thing in the world.

My uncertainties were laid to rest the first time

I walked into FUEL. The youth were sitting in

groups at tables enjoying pizza and fun, lively

conversation. I sat down at a table with some

energetic, chatty girls, and they welcomed me

into their conversation immediately! My first

experience at IGNITE was much the same. The

youth arrived, got their pizza, and sat down at

tables to enjoy dinner and catch up with their

friends and small group leaders. I was quickly

greeted by many of the students.

During the annual trip to the Corn Maze with

FUEL, we enjoyed a time of worship/devotion

and dinner around the campfire. What a beautiful

portrait of community, of family! Everyone

gathered around the fire to roast hot dogs

and marshmallows while laughing, talking, and

enjoying each other’s company.

While I haven’t been here long, my favorite times

at both IGNITE and FUEL are at the beginning

when we just enjoy eating pizza together and

catching up from our weeks. I am not sure what

it is, but there is something about sharing a meal

together that puts everyone at ease. We are

indeed a family enjoying dinner together!

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 9


Connect in a Group: POPTeens

AT THE NATIONAL

YOUTH GATHERING

Highlights from Pastor Matt

This summer, twenty high school/college

youth and adults drove to Minneapolis, MN

for the National Youth Gathering (NYG), Real.

Present. God. Almost 30,000 people from

around the world gathered for five days to

celebrate their faith, serve in the community

and beyond, and grow as people of Christ.

The youth played games like Twister (on a

game board larger than a basketball court);

reality Hungry, Hungry Hippos; and escape

rooms, all with youth from across the globe.

Speakers shared their faith journeys and

explained how to deal with problems and

social issues as well as how to be accepted

by peers and still live their faith. They talked

about how God is real to them, how God

is present in their lives, and how God is

there for all of us. In the evenings, the youth

assembled at the U.S. Bank Stadium to dance

and sing to Christian musicians like the NYG

band, Toby Mac, and We are They.

One story by event-speaker Ashley Paavola

really spoke to me. She used the phrase

“Jesus is Real, so I can be Real!” She spoke

the phrase loudly and powerfully and with

fists in the air. After she said it, I got goose

bumps all over. I listened as the entire

gathering of youth stood and cheered at the

top of their lungs. “Jesus is Real, so I can

be Real!” That phrase stayed with me since I

heard it. It is not about being something that

others want you to be; it’s about being you,

your real self to others, so people can see

Christ. Why? Because Jesus is real to us and in

our lives, so we have nothing to fear because

he’s got us. So be REAL, and know that our

REAL, PRESENT God is with us, so we can be

real with others.

NYG by-the-numbers

Meals Packed for

Feed My Starving Children 1,003,014

Kits Built for the Homeless 1,013

Inches of Hair Donated

926 (77 feet)

Letters to Veterans Written 574

Units of Blood Donated 463

Countries Represented at the Gathering 9

10 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


Connect in a Group: POPKids

What happens when you put

kids of different ages all in one

room and mix in adult and high

school leaders? Add God’s Word,

intriguing object lessons, fun crafts,

and engaging conversation, and

you get our new multi-age POPKids

Groups.

Small groups are not just for adults!

Kids benefit greatly from this model as

well. Using multiple learning styles and

combining different ages means the

kids receive a deeper understanding

of scripture truths, and they experience that

understanding with their peers.

This fall, we discovered God’s fingerprint on even

the smallest details of creation by looking at the

DNA strands of strawberries. We were tempted

by special treats, analyzed why people make

certain choices, and saw firsthand how seemingly

impossible things can become possible by

putting a quarter through a dime-sized hole. We

used our God-given imagination to re-create the

stories we learned with hands-on activities and

crafts.

As we travel from Genesis to Revelation this year,

we are sharpening our storytelling skills. Kids are

discovering God’s Big Story and seeing how they

are a part of it!

By learning how to share their own stories, their

relationships with others grow. Older students

are slowly building their confidence to lead

younger students, thereby growing in their faith

by learning how to be a guide.

You see, it’s not enough to just teach our kids to

recite facts. You may know a lot about the Bible

but never see God’s heart in Scripture as His story

unfolds beginning in Genesis. Instilling a love of

God’s Word and helping kids understand what it

means in their lives today is what we do every week

in our POPKids small groups.

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 11


160

Volunteers

SUMMER

19

Serving

Teams

88

VBS Volunteers

46

from

POP

35

from other

churches

(average age 17)

7

With No Church Home

Organizations Served Through

Summer HERE2SERVE Events

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)

JOURNEYS the Road Home

Palatine Assisting Through Hope (PATH)

Palatine Fire Station

Palatine Park District

Palatine Police Station

Palatine Street Fest

Palatine Township

Partners for Our Communities (POC)

Phil’s Friends

Women in Need Growing Stronger

(WINGS)

12 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


Progress Update:

Serving Hours & Stories!

We continue making progress toward our 3x50

goal to share at least 50,000 hours of service

between October 2018-October 2021.

Since October 2018, we received 222 personal

submissions totaling 2,506 hours by people serving

outside of our Prince of Peace-sponsored serving

teams. We collect these submissions (and encourage

stories!) through the reporting link at www.pop.church

and through the green paper forms available at the

Connection Center. Thank you for serving where you live,

work, and play!

In addition, we logged 24,169 hours through serving

teams organized by POP both within and outside our

walls. That brings our grand total of serving hours to

26,675 since we began tracking.

Reporting these serving celebrations speaks to our

storyteller and servant measures. We love sharing your

stories of putting others first, being a guide, and loving

one another. Sharing how God is moving you to serve

is not bragging, it's pure encouragement! And let us

consider how we may spur one another on toward love

and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24) Sharing where and

how you help provides insight into where our people

are serving, identifies potential new mission partners

to explore, and helps us connect people with similar

passions and interests.

Two of the encouraging stories submitted:

“After my dad died in 2012 and my mother moved

into the Lutheran Home, my focus was to keep

her relatively happy and involved. I spent several

days a week visiting her and gathering groups of

residents for card games. After her death, I didn’t

want to sever the ties. I am always touched by

the genuine love and appreciation shown by the

residents for what seem to be the smallest acts of

kindness and attention. I’m also reminded that we

are so often mistaken when we believe we bring

the picnic, when in truth, those we serve are the

ones providing us the feast. “

POP member Jan Spaletto continues to volunteer

at the Lutheran Home.

Values: Put Others First

Love One Another

“I create bears for The Mother Bear Project based

in Minneapolis, MN. The bears are for children in

Africa who live in HIV-affected areas. Most of these

children do not have any toys. Each bear is given

a heart, and when the children receive their bears,

they are told that the heart represents someone

who loves them. Sometimes we receive pictures of

the children with their bears; seeing their smiles tells

us that they know they are loved and cared about.”

POP member Sheryl Grandt's story shows how a

hobby can become a serving opportunity.

Values: Invest With Courage,

Put Others First

Keep serving and keep sharing your stories of encouragement!

Email Susan Klemstein, Director of Outreach, at susank@pop.church if you have any

questions about sharing your own stories and spurring on others.

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 13


Denny Freres introduces JoJo Comfort Dog to neighbor Lincoln School’s

mascot during the Better Together back-to-school community event.

Debi Cooper, Top Dog Stephanie Keller,

Randy Gray, Susie Comfort Dog,

and Jacob Comfort Dog prepare to greet

families at the Palatine Township

Adopt-a-Family gift distribution at POP.

Spotlight:

SHARING CHRIST’S PEACE

Through Golden Love

Our spring sermon series, Masterpiece, reminded us that we are

each created to make a difference. We were also encouraged

to fi nd our unique serving sweet spots: the place where our

passions and gifts can be used to meet the needs around us.

Four Prince of Peace (POP) members found their serving sweet

spots through the Comfort Dog Ministry at mission partner

Lutheran Church Charities (LCC).

Debi Cooper first met the Comfort

Dogs two years ago when they visited

POP during an Lutheran Church

Charities (LCC) mission feature

weekend. Debi reminisced, “I was

instantly smitten by the idea of helping people

through these amazing dogs. I’ve always been a

dog person, had recently retired from teaching,

and was looking for a way to give back.” Since

POP doesn’t have our own Comfort Dog, Debi

asked LCC if any area congregations were

looking to add handlers to their Comfort Dog

teams. Top Dog (Team Leader) Stephanie Keller

from St. Peter Lutheran Church in Arlington

Heights welcomed Debi to their Susie Comfort

Dog team, and Debi trained for about six

months. “I’ve seen God’s work through these

wonderful dogs. Adults and children alike seem

to pour out their hearts to these loving animals.

Although I’m a little timid talking directly to

people about Jesus, the dogs are the bridge

that make the ministry work. It’s simply been lifechanging

for me to experience this. In addition

to our dogs, I’ve met some truly inspirational

people who have impacted my life in ways I

never thought possible.”

14 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


Golden Love Continued...

Debi reached out to Susan Klemstein, POP

Director of Outreach, to brainstorm how the

Comfort Dogs could share Christ’s peace

with POP’s other mission partners and at

community events. Throughout the last year,

Comfort Dogs participated in many events,

including: Palatine Township Adopt-a-Family

Christmas gift distribution; Better Together

back-to-school community event; Maker Girls

(for at-risk teens), adult learning lab, and soup

lunches at Partners for Our Communities; and

many events at Lincoln School including an

end-of year party for our Kids Hope mentoring

program, community helper unit, reading with

students, and welcoming back students during

the first week of school.

Randy Gray also trained to be a handler on

Susie’s team after learning about the ministry

during LCC mission feature weekends at POP.

Randy is a dog lover but doesn’t currently own

a dog. Being on Susie’s team of 15 handlers

gives him the chance to get his dog fix, the

flexibility to volunteer on his schedule, and the

opportunity to see God show up. Randy shared

a story about taking Susie to the Barrington

Transition Program that helps young adults with

various abilities transition into adulthood. Susie

visited a young man with cerebral palsy who is

often uncommunicative. Susie placed her head

in the young man’s lap; he smiled and made a

joyful noise to the Lord. Randy knew God was

in that room and saw how His love could be

expressed without words.

Denny Freres is a dog lover with a deep

passion for veterans. Another local LCMS

Congregation, Living Christ Lutheran Church

in Arlington Heights, was seeking to expand

their handler team for Comfort Dog JoJo,

especially with a veteran who could take JoJo

to veteran events. Denny’s time in the Army

(1966-68) included serving in Vietnam. Susan

asked Denny if this ministry might be a good

fit for him. Denny was willing to explore the

opportunity and met with Becky Staehlin,

JoJo’s Top Dog. He completed his handler

training and became a member of JoJo’s team.

Denny shared these words, “The thing I enjoy

most is watching and seeing the peace and

comfort JoJo brings to others who need it the

most. I especially see this at veteran’s events.”

Melissa Weiss

with JoJo, ready to

go where God leads

them.

Melissa Weiss first considered serving as an

apprentice trainer for new Comfort Dogs but

decided that being a handler would better fit

her schedule. She also went through training

and joined JoJo’s team. When asked how

she has seen God in this ministry, Melissa

responded “God has showed up in me! I can

be used and He’s doing something through

me. I may not always be good at listening to

where God wants to use me, but JoJo knows.

She is getting me out of my comfort zone and

taking me places I wouldn’t normally visit, such

as a nursing home. I’m taking JoJo places to

be a blessing but I’m also being blessed in the

process.”

Thank you to Debi, Randy, Denny, and Melissa

for pursuing their serving sweet spots and

sharing their stories. Through their involvement,

God has also connected POP’s story with two

neighboring LCMS congregations. Stephanie

Keller told us, “Debi and Randy have been such

a blessing to the Comfort Dog ministry! I love

that they are a part of our team!!” And Becky

Staehlin shared, “We are so blessed by this

partnership, being able to bless the community

in additional ways with the love of Jesus.”

Is there a serving sweet spot

God is calling YOU to pursue?

Contact Susan Klemstein, Director of Outreach,

at susank@pop.church for help exploring

opportunities to share Christ’s peace.

Debi Cooper, Top

Dog Becky Staehlin,

Susie Comfort Dog,

and Jojo Comfort

Dog visit the

first-grade classes

at Lincoln School

to share about

community helpers.

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 15


Serve on a Team: POPCare

Visitation Ministry Team Kick-Off

POP members regularly visit friends,

fellow PEACE group members,

and ministry team members who

are sidelined from getting out and

about. For many years, these visits

were entirely informal and based on personal

connections, while others’ care needs

remained unfulfilled. At times, members who

are isolated need more frequent contact

from their brothers and sisters in Christ. God

made us to be in community (Genesis 2), so

we need to reach out and make intentional

connections. To move toward a more inclusive

community where everyone is known, loved,

and cared for, the POPCare Ministry recently

added a formally-trained Visitation Ministry

Team.

At the inaugural Visitation Team training on

July 13, Pastor Bauman and Dave Penner

covered the basic skills and process for

making caring visits. Participants shared

their experiences and stories of how a caring

visit made a difference for them or a loved

one. The training focused on visitation

of members and friends of POP who are

isolated and need companionship.

What’s the difference between Visitation

Team and Stephen Ministry Team visits?

Visitation Team members function as a friend

while the Stephen Minister takes on more

of a guide role. Both act as servants and

storytellers. A person in need might initially

work with a Stephen Minister and then have

a Visitation Team member provide ongoing

companionship after life returns to a stable

pattern.

In addition, Stephen Ministers receive much

more training (50 hours) to be equipped

to walk alongside others through a life

crisis. These crises vary and include events

like loss of a loved one, divorce, serious

illness, hospitalization, job loss, unexpected

setbacks, losses due to aging, family crisis, or

crisis of pregnancy and childbirth.

New Stephen Ministry Training Underway

Stephen Ministry is expanding to meet

growing needs! A training class started in

October and will run through April. We

expect the new trainees to be commissioned

on Palm Sunday 2020.

If you or anyone you know is feeling lonely

and could benefit from a visit or a caring

call, please contact Dave Penner, Director

of Care, at dave@pop.church to start the

conversation!

16 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


Fall Workshop: October 5

The second POPCare workshop this

year focused on “A Servant’s Heart.”

Care Ministry team members and those

interested in joining a team were invited

to spend time building community,

worshiping, praying, and learning.

We follow Christ by caring and bearing one

another’s burdens, but we are not Christ, so we

rely on him and Christian community to carry

out the mission of compassionate caregiving.

The three cardinal rules for caregivers are: (1) be

dependent on Christ, (2) be interdependent on

others, and (3) be independent from caregiving as

necessary to take care of yourself. These themes

facilitated the workshop discussions and activities.

The participants received a biblical perspective

by discussing The Heart of a Caregiver: From

Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, an abbreviated

study based on the book by Mary Tutterow. Any

caregiver who feels the weight of a long-term

care commitment would be blessed by working

through this study. Contact Dave Penner, Director

of Care, if you are interested.

A third workshop is planned for February 29, 2020.

The theme will be “Stay Connected in Care”

emphasizing and exploring ways we support one

another and work as a team.

Life’s Challenges Series

Sponsored by the Stephen Ministry, the

informative series, Life Challenges: A

Journey with Family And Friends,

is open to everyone. Outside experts

from our care partners will present

perspectives and tips for helping family and friends

experiencing a crisis.

Join Us for These

Upcoming Discussions

January 9, 2020

February 6, 2020

March 5, 2020

April 2, 2020

May 7, 2020

Mental Illness

Midlife Changes

Caregiving of Parents

Trauma in School

Abuse Awareness

Pastoral Care

Coordinators

Who Are They and What Do They Do?

If you make a request for an ongoing care

need, you will likely receive a call from

Janet Sorensen or Diana Guyer. Janet is

our Pastoral Care Coordinator, and Diana

recently joined her as an apprentice. They

act as liaisons among members, pastors, and

POPCare teams who deliver meals, visits,

and cards. Janet and Diana keep track of

where our members are during an illness or

surgery, coordinate pastor visits, and receive

input for the weekly POPNews prayer list or

the prayer chain. These ladies fill vital roles of

keeping essential caregivers informed while

respecting the personal/confidential nature

of care-receiver information. Both possess a

passion for providing care and have a career

background in nursing which adds to their

insight and ability to serve in this critical

role. Thanks, Janet, for a job well done, and

blessings for Diana as she apprentices in this

role!

7:00-8:30pm

at Prince of Peace

FALL 2019 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 17


POPStaff Updates

blessed by Diana’s missional leadership over

the years through PEACE Groups, Lifetree

Café, Huddles, and so much more!

A Sad Farewell

to Diana Vander Pas,

Former Director

of Adult Ministry...

Diana and her family arrived at Prince of

Peace in March 1999, and she joined the staff

as Director of Small Group Ministry in March

2007. Prince of Peace has been abundantly

Last spring, Diana’s husband, Tim, landed

a job in his field with Thrivent after

searching for more than five years. This

answer to prayer was bittersweet because

it necessitated a move away from Chicago

to Minnesota. As they followed God’s lead,

He faithfully provided the quick sale of their

home and a new job for Diana: Director of

Small Groups at Woodbury Lutheran Church!

During worship on October 6, we prayed

over Diana before sending her out to share

Christ’s peace in the Twin Cities!

Diana leaves an amazing legacy at POP! She

consistently championed and lived biblical

community: deeply rooted in Scripture

and prayer, genuinely connected in caring

relationships, and courageously followed

God as He called her out of her comfort zone

to share Christ’s peace!

May Diana’s legacy at POP be strong as we

live this way by the Spirit!

... and a Warm Welcome

to David Lobes,

New Financial Controller!

David is our new Financial Controller at

Prince of Peace. He holds a Master’s degree

in Accounting from Loyola University of

Chicago. Most recently, he was the Controller

at Westlake Financial Group in Buffalo Grove.

David grew up in Chicago but still isn’t overly

fond of the winter weather. He currently lives

in Algonquin with his wife, Linda. They have

two children, Amanda and Michael, and two

grandchildren, Avery and Abigail.

In his spare time, David enjoys spending time

with the family, especially tinkering with cars

and motorcycles and working around the

house.

Welcome to POP, David! We're happy to

have you on the team.

18 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | FALL 2019


POPFinancials

Year-To-Date through September 30

(Q3 YTD)

Prince of Peace (POP) and Crosspoint income includes

envelope and plate giving, 3x50 campaign contributions,

building usage contributions, as well as other directed

gifts such as stocks, IRA distributions, employer matches,

Thrivent Choice, United Way, Amazon Smile, and other

charitable giving programs.

All these forms of generosity are precious gifts to

God, used for His glory and His kingdom work at

POP and Crosspoint! Thank you for your generosity

so far in 2019. We ask you to consider how God is

challenging you to increase your giving to support

His work at POP and Crosspoint.

Income

POP Q3 YTD giving was $156,707 (15%) less than

budget, while Crosspoint Q3 YTD giving was $19,910

(22%) more than budgeted. YTD 3x50 campaign

contributions are $23,717 above budget and have

already surpassed the 2019 goal of raising $50,000 to

invest in our community!

Total Q3 YTD income was $1,257,940, which is $91,402

(7%) less than budgeted.

Where your offering dollars go:

Prince of Peace’s annual budget, approved by the

congregation at our December Voters Meeting,

determines our spending plan each year.

Here’s what it looks like for 2019:

Invest with Courage

Inside POP

Put Others First

Crosspoint and Missions

Staff:

$1,000,704

Administration:

$185,400

Building & Grounds:

$182,200

Worship:

$28,750

Programs:

$90,125

Training:

$16,500

Budget Actual Difference

POP Income $1,183,535 $1,031,958 - $151,577

3x50 Income $34,830 $58,547 + $23,717

Crosspoint

Income

Dei Fund

Usage

$91,950 $113,049 + $21,099

$39,027 $54,387 + $15,360

Expenses

Strong staff spending control allowed POP and

Crosspoint to end Q3 below budget despite lower than

budgeted giving levels. Combined Q3 YTD spending of

$120,004 (8%) less than budget currently offsets the YTD

income shortfall of 7%.

Budget Actual Difference

POP $1,254,501 $1,138,490 - $116,011

3x50 $34,830 $0* NA

Crosspoint:

$333,822

LCMS-NID:

$43,000

Lutheran Church Charities:

$5,100

Home Missions:

$10,000

Grace Christian Academy:

$10,000

Mission Grants:

$22,000

3x50 Outreach:

$50,000

Palatine Township:

$1,900

Partners for Our Communities

(POC:) $5,500

Journeys the Road Home:

$3,000

Local School Missions:

$2,000

Serving Projects:

$3,500

Walcamp:

$2,000

Wycliffe (Ladish Family:)

$7,000

Exodus World Service:

$1,000

LCMS World Missionaries

(Baker Family:) $5,000

Feed My Starving Children:

$2,000

PATH:

$2,500

Crosspoint $249,861 $245,868 - $3,993

*Funds to be dispursed in Q4

2019 Budget: $2,013,001

FALL 2018 | PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH 19


20

POPEvents

Mark Your Calendars

Nov 27

Dec 1

Dec 8

Dec 24

Dec 25

Dec 27

Jan 12

Jan 23

Jan 27

Feb 1

Feb 8

Feb 26

Feb 29

Apr 5

Apr 9

Apr 10

Apr 12

Apr 18/19

Thanksgiving Eve

Worship at 7pm

• Pie Fellowship

• Hanging of the Greens

Voters Informational

Meeting

Voters Meeting

Christmas Eve

Worship at 3pm,

5pm, 7pm & 11pm

Christmas Day

Worship at 10am

Feed My Starving Children

Event at 6pm

Discover Class Starts

Loss of a Spouse

Seminar

DivorceCare Starts

GriefShare Starts

Immersion

Leadership Training

Ash Wednesday

POPCare

Winter Workshop

Palm Sunday

Stephen Ministry

Commissioning

Maundy Thursday

First Communion

Good Friday

Easter Sunday

Confirmation Weekend

Have You Heard Our

POPcast?

POPcast is a new teaching tool designed to help you

prepare your heart and mind for upcoming sermon series.

As a subscriber, you will dive deep into sermon topics

and enjoy stories and content to supplement your

worship experience. Additionally, you will receive monthly

encouragement aimed at helping you grow as a disciple

and a leader at church, at work, at school, and in the world.

Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or online:

popchurch.libsyn.com/website

discover peace. together.

1190 N. Hicks Road • Palatine, Illinois 60067

www.pop.church

POPLC

POP

TechArts

POP

TechArts

Ministry

847-359-3451 office@pop.church

20 PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH | SPRING 2019

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