Advent Education Hour Schedule

Advent Education Hour Schedule

Advent Education Hour

December 3:
Adult Education—Coffee with Council
Faith Formation: Sunday School, Preteens’ Connect & Confirmation

December 10: 
Adult Education—Constitution Revision Committee
No Faith Formation Programming 

December 17: 
Adult Education—Expansive Church Update
Faith Formation: Sunday School, Preteens’ Connect & Confirmation

December 25:
No Adult Education—Merry Christmas!
No Faith Formation Programming—Merry Christmas!

December 31:
No Adult Education—Happy New Year!
No Faith Formation Programming—Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve Worship Schedule

Christmas Eve Worship Schedule

Christmas Eve Worship Schedule
We hope you’ll join in worship with us this Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 24
Holy Communion will be served at all worship services

9:30am* Advent 4/Christmas Eve—Transforming Love
This service will include festive piano music and no candle lighting

4:00 pm Impromptu Nativity
This service is a family friendly service, with battery powered candles, approximately 45 minutes in length

6:00*, 8:00, and 10:30pm* Jesus Christ, Wondrous Light—Traditional Candlelight Worship
These services include a brass ensemble, festive music, and candle lighting. The 10:30pm service will feature the Senior Choir and Sounds of Joy Handbells

Sunday, Dec. 31, 9:30am—Christmas Lessons + Carols

*services live-streamed at

Advent Worship Schedule

Advent Worship Schedule

Advent Worship Schedule
We hope you’ll join in worship with us this Advent Season!

Advent 1— Shocking Hope
Sat, Dec 2—Worship at 5:30pm
Sun, Dec 3—Worship at 9:30am*

Advent 2—Advent Lessons & Carols
Festival Service
Sun, Dec 10—Worship at 9:30am*
Join us for a Service of Word and Song featuring scripture, music, bells, instruments, and singing! Worship will be followed by coffee and breakfast treats in the Welcome Center.

Advent 3— Fierce Joy
Sat, Dec 16—Worship at 5:30pm
Sun, Dec 17—Worship at 9:30am*

9:30am* Advent 4/Christmas Eve—Transforming Love
This service will include festive piano music and no candle lighting

*services live-streamed at

Women’s Advent Brunch

Women’s Advent Brunch

Women’s Advent Brunch
Saturday, December 16, 9am-noon
Fellowship Hall 

An event for all ladies & girls featuring the Swedish American Children’s Choir. Egg & potato casseroles provided. Please bring a breakfast sweet to share. RSVP to Linda Culley at or 630-531-8841 OR register online here.

Council Minutes September 19, 2023

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Council Meeting Minutes
September 19, 2023

Present: Megan Baxter, Rob Blount, Paul Dayton, Bonnie Hare, Kelly Jirschele, Cheryl Martines, Steve McIntire, John Volkening Staff: Pastor Krista Zimmerman, Deacon Heather Feltman
Absent: Brian Ferguson, Pastor Paisley LeRoy
Location: Ekstrom Hall Council
Secretary: Megan Baxter

Cheryl welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m.

Opening prayers were made by Kelly. Devotions in the style of “Dwelling in the Word” were led by Kelly. Devotions continued to focus on a version of 1 Peter 4:10-11. The verses were read twice, reflected upon in pairs, followed by each partner sharing each other’s reflections with the group.

Agenda Item #1: Staff Update: Chris Johnson Chris Johnson was unable to be present for the meeting so the Council looks forward to an update at a later date.

Agenda Item #2: Finance Team – Budget Process 2023-2024 Deacon Heather presented an outline of the finance budget planning process that will carry-on through the fall and culminate in a vote on the budget at the January 28, 2024 congregational meeting. In October the Finance Team will come back to Council; this is a complementary relationship where Council is responsible for ministry priorities and strategy so in October/November, Council will look to affirm ministry priorities through an evaluation to determine would we keep the same goals as last year? Should we adapt our goals? And what is the fiscal impact of our choices? Council will also look to affirm the staffing plan and review and assess budget assumptions which will be based off of the giving trends historically for December. Deacon Heather related this is the 9th budget she has prepared so she has a lot of context to work from; she also shared that people who estimate their giving are approximately 2% ahead of schedule, and Deacon Heather has a method for analysis for those who do not estimate. The Finance Team will present a draft budget for Council to review and with a motion to adopt for vote at the January 28, 2024 meeting, with budget forums two Sundays with a Wednesday in between prior to the meeting. Deacon Heather will roll-out another 60-day check-in status report via email to the congregation around the end of September, beginning of October. Then there will be a process for new estimates of giving and a stewardship campaign at the beginning of October, with possibilities for a kick-off sermon, theme and calendar.

Agenda Item #3: Reconciling in Christ Core Team Update Megan presented the update that a Reconciling in Christ Core Team has formed from lay members of the congregation. The following disciples have agreed to serve:

Chad Jordahl—Team Lead
Lauren Cieslinski
Ellen Chrisler
Jon Cooper
Sue Gehm
Maggie Haroldson
Suzanne Heronemus

Megan shared that the first meeting of the RIC Core Team is scheduled for September 20, 2023.

Agenda Item #4: Senior Care Ministry Options for the Senior Christian Care Ministry were reviewed and the Council is in agreement that if we are going to move forward, this will be a BLC initiative, with possibly a consultant, but not a partnership with any existing entity, like ESSE. Therefore, the Council discussed, at Deacon Heather’s suggestion, the creation of a task force to expand upon the business plan already in place and solidify operational details; this would be a sub-team of the Finance Team. Council members discussed that there is a lot of interest in the congregation, but we need to “prepare the soil”, do simulations, have concrete details worked out, not just a vision/perception of how it will work. There also needs to be care taken to align the timeline with the possibility of a new lead pastor, with an acknowledgment that this is not in the Ministry Site Profile, so we need to create a support system so it can be launched without friction with any potential new lead pastor. Council discussed this will be a deliberate process, with consideration for budget impact. Deacon Heather has some names of people she would consider asking for the task force, and Cheryl also asked all Council members to cast the net wide and come back to the next meeting with names of prospective task force members. Council concluded discussion by indicating a mutual agreement for moving forward with a social model on our own plan, with the task force to develop detailed benchmarks, process flow, etc., to best prepare.

Agenda Item #5: *Snaps* – Rally Day Ministry Fair and Expansive Church Megan shared a few words on some good things that have been going on to celebrate our joys. The Rally Day Ministry Fair that Pastor Paisley conceptualized was a huge success, great turnout and some new faces participated which was great. Additionally, Expansive Church has been getting some great press coverage and the launch has been very successful and we are anticipating more great things to come from the program.

Agenda Item #6: Consent Agenda Rob moved and Steve seconded to approve the minutes of the August 15, 2023 council meeting and financial reports as presented.

Motion carried 9-0.

Agenda Item #7: Rostered Leaders’ Report The Rostered Leaders’ Report was reviewed and one item was highlighted which was the proposed plan for Christmas Eve services. The rostered leaders and David are proposing a plan to reduce to three services, because Christmas Eve is on a Sunday, so there will be a 4th Advent service that morning at 9:30 a.m. The new times would be 4:00, 6:00, and 8:00 p.m.; with the 4:00 p.m. covering the type of service (more family oriented) that the 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. covered previously and with the 8:00 p.m. covering the same type of service as the 10:30 p.m. (candlelight). Further planning will go into the format of each service and having the times set helps the rostered leaders and David plan best. Council members discussed the reasoning with the rostered leaders and have no objections as long as the purpose and format for each service is clearly communicated to the congregation.

Adjournment: Kelly moved and John seconded to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried 9-0. The meeting was adjourned at 8:16 p.m.