We are entering a sacred season of receiving and cherishing God’s light Advent and Christmas.

We will light Advent candles and decorate with one goal in mind: to light the flame of faith, Christ is with us. This season of hope calls us to face challenges head on, with the belief that the light of Christ’s presence changes the world. From the time of our baptism, it is our life’s purpose to “let your light shine before others that they may give glory to your father in heaven.”

Coming from the gratitude Thanksgiving season, we are living with a hopeful spirit. We face pain or heartache, and with eyes of faith, we believe that human beings can live in compassion and peace. The presence of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit transforms our lives to be signs of peace in the world.

It is very moving to me to see Redeemer’s Lutheran filled with hopeful action. Because of you, 

  • people without homes are receiving meals 
  • people coping with addiction have a place to gather and support each other 
  • children around the world are receiving gift boxes as signs of God’s love 
  • hundreds of families in this community are receiving holiday meals and daily meals through the food pantry 
  • women who are trying to escape abusive situations, have support 
  • the church grounds and facility are safe and welcoming 
  • powerful music, prayer, worship and sacraments are provided to the world, giving all the chance to live in hope. 
  • people are remembered on their birthdays and are supported by daily prayers In these and many other ways, we are so blessed to be a part of each other’s lives and this ministry. 

 From the Pastor_12-23.pngThis year has been a rich and powerful experience of finding renewal and joy in service. We offer what we can, adjust to circumstances and keep lighting candles of hope in the world.As our mission statement states, we keep “Discovering Christ’s community through building relationships” with each other and the world. 

By faith, alive and active, we persevere in a world that needs light. Jesus says to us, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 

No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a basket, but you put it on a lamp stand and it gives light to all in the house.” ~ Matthew 5:14-15 

By the power of faith, we live in expectation and confidence that the light of Christ overcomes darkness. With eyes of faith, we see that neither the disappointments of life, nor illness nor painful world events can overcome the light. Christ is in the world and we are children of the light! 

I offer my personal thank you to each of you for sharing your spirit and commitment to this ministry this year.You inspire me and renew my faith by your witness. 

Blessed Advent and Christmas to you and to this world which God loves so deeply. Pastor Soren Flessen 

Notes from our President.png

Happy holidays to all! As we are preparing to celebrate the birth of our savior and the beginning of a new year, I wanted to just highlight this past year a little. 

The church council was able to present a balanced budget for 2024 which was unanimously passed by the congregation. We believe that this budget is very attainable. The council wishes to thank you for your support, trust and faith in us and your commitment to this goal. May God be with us in the coming year as we travel this journey together. 

Thank you to everyone who participated this fall in the church wide clean up- both exterior and interior spaces. We were able to accomplish many projects. I sincerely appreciate all your time and efforts. My hope is that we can accomplish these tasks at least once or twice a year moving forward. 

We also have been able to provide meeting space again this year to our many 12 step programs, Anointed Word, Veniti groups and continued support to Redeemer’s pantry. The pantry was able to provide 60 Thanksgiving dinners throughout the community, and planning for Christmas dinners in a couple of weeks. Please continue, when you are able to support this wonderful ministry. Contact Marilyn to see what the pantry’s needs may be. 

Remember that the Church Christmas Party is on Sunday, Dec. 17th at the home of Connie & Dave Martin (16109 Lockwood, Oak Forest) at 6pm. This is always a great time we have each year just visiting and having some fun and laughter together.

Hope to see you all there! 

In closing- I know this is a very busy time of the year. But, let us not forget “the reason for the season” is to welcome and prepare for the birth and arrival of Jesus, our savior. May we all feel His presence in our hearts and souls in these days leading up to His arrival. Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season with your families and loved ones. Marvel at the smiles and astonishment in your children’s and grandchildren’s eyes and faces. Pray for a more peaceful world. Enjoy this precious time and season. May God continue to bless you and your families today and always. Merry Christmas to all!

With love & respect


The weekend after Thanksgiving is the weekend that we usually put up our Christmas tree. This season Kathy and I are putting up a tree and lights in our new home. This is a new experience for me as I have not lived in a home since I left the family home in 1972 to live on my own.

We now have the opportunity to put lights outside! We have

hedges that line the drive and go across the front of the building, and we are going to string lights across the hedges but not any on the eaves this year, maybe next year.

Why do I share this with you? I have been waiting to do this kind pf decorating for a long time. In the season of Advent, we wait. We wait for the birth of the baby Jesus, and we anticipate the second coming of Jesus as well.

So, for me, the putting up of lights and decorations is a sign of our celebrating the new arrival. We will light candles to express Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

The magi followed a star to find where Jesus was born so we put a star on top of the tree to signify Christ born anew in our homes and we give gifts to mimic the magi bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.

I guess what I’m saying is that the joy of decorating for Christ-mass that I feel is about the joy I feel about the coming of Jesus and his message.

Peace on Earth, Good will to all.

Make it so

Merry Christmas

Art & Kathy James

Save the Date:

  • Noisy offering started Nov. 5 & goes through the whole holiday season!
  • Dec. 17- Sunday- RLC Christmas party at the Martins!


December altar flowers are given by:

Dec 3 Winnie French for blessings received & Family birthdays

Dec 10 Debbi Peloquin in memory of her husband, Jeff

Dec 17 Winnie French for blessings received & Family birthdays


Dec 31 In celebration of Erica’s 21st birthday!


🎉🎂✨🍰🥳 🎉🎂✨🍰🥳


  • Dec 2, Erin Caswick 
  • Dec 8, Rachel DeLeeuw 
  • Dec 22, Art James
  • Dec 25, Jesus 
  • Dec 29, Leatrice Miller

✝️ 📖 🙏 🕊️ ✝️ 📖 🙏 🕊️


  • Dec 3, Steve Nowlan
  • Dec 10, Bob Hecht
  • Dec 17, Alec Ogarek
  • Dec 24, Drew Ogarek
  • Dec 31, Erica Strojny

Welcome 2024!.png


January altar flowers are given by:

Flower Bouquet.png


Jan 14 In celebration of Bob Marquardt’s 89th birthday!

Jan 21 The Frawleys in loving memory of Mandy & Cheryl D




  • Jan 1, Erica Strojny
  • Jan 11, Gary Miller
  • Jan 15, Robert Marquardt
  • Jan 21, Amy Ogarek
  • Jan 24, Mary Ann White
  • Jan 24, Jeff Kanacki
  • Jan 27, Gina Graniczny
  • Jan 31, Jennifer Kanacki



  • Jan 24, Gary & Sherri Miller

✝️ 📖 🙏 🕊️ ✝️ 📖 🙏 🕊️


  • Jan 7 Deb Nowlan
  • Jan 14 Tony Ogarek
  • Jan 21 Dan Frawley
  • Jan 28 Jerry Marquardt

Save the date updated weekly; Birthdays, anniversaries, readers updated monthly.

 Upcoming. . . 

📚 ​📙 ​📖 ​​​👨‍🏫 ​​🎒 📙 📔 📘 🔖 📕 📖 📗


Book Club.png

We will be taking a break for the month of December. Enjoy reading any good book!

January will find us at the home of Deb Frawley at 7pm January 30.

We will be reading:
“The Breakaway” by Jennifer Weiner

Thirty-three-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike, and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. Fifteen years after her final summer at Camp Golden Hills, when Abby reconnects with a half his-size Mark, it feels like the happy ending she’s always wanted.

🕯️ 🎅 👼 🎶 🛐 ⛪ 🤶 ✝️ ❄️ ☃️ 👪 ⛄ 🌟


~We will meet on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 9:30am, to take down the church decorations~

Woman to Woman

So, it's Thanksgiving and my small family is doing what they do best, eating and playing games. We never left the table. The Nowlans taught Mick and myself a new card game so we had to share that with the family and then we had some new games that we received over the year for birthdays. Had fun with those too and then we got to talking about games from when we were kids or maybe just even a few years ago.

All this reminiscing led to family traditions that we enjoyed. Some thought Easter egg hunts or trick or treating and who gave out the big candy bars. I thought about how my grandfather turned me into a thief (according to my husband). You see, both my grandfathers were firemen at the same house on the same shift. They could walk to work and really enjoyed being firemen in their own neighborhood in the city of Chicago.

By the time I came along, they had both retired from the CFD. Grandpa Dau (on my dad's side) went on to be a fireman at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. My Grandpa Richter went to work in the warehouse of Marshall Fields. This job enabled my Grandma to shop at Fields with "her" employee discount. This really meant we got very nice Christmas outfits.

Marshall Field Christmas Tree.pngAt Christmastime, the employees were given a party in the Walnut Room and their families were invited. I was probably 4 or 5 when I went to my first one. And that's when the thieving started. So, picture it, I was let's say 4 and my sister was 7. In other words, we were pint size but in spite of our size, my grandfather made us carry large purses, adult size purses. And they were empty except for a plastic bag. You see, Marshall Field made the best chocolate covered butter cookies and my grandfather wanted more than he could eat at the party, hence the plastic lined purses.

As we got older, we had our own purses that we carried around daily. You had your lip gloss and kleenex and plastic wallet with your friends pictures. But on the day of the Marshall Field employee Christmas party, those purses remained empty except for a plastic bag liner. To this day, I can still taste those cookies and I can still see the smile on my grandfather's face as he ate them.

I hope you have wonderful memories of Christmases past that put a big smile on your face. Peace and love to all.

Til next year---------------nice chatting with you.,
Jan Strojny

GIVING TREE.pngHooray!! Together We Cope is once again up and running and so, we are going back to collecting toys for this wonderful organization. We will put up our giving tree in the narthex on 12/2 and you can place toys under it up until 12/17 and then they will be delivered on 12/18. Here are some suggestions of what they would like. Please give as you can. Also, we are NOT collecting any hats, gloves, scarves, etc.

GIVING TREE Wish List Favorites_TABLE '23.png

Poinsetta Banner.pngOnce again it is time to order your holiday Poinsettias! These are displayed in the chancel during the Christmas Eve service, and then can be brought home to decorate your home or give to others. The cost this year is $20.00 ~please put in a separate envelope with your name on it and place in the offering plate. Sign up sheets are now available and need to be paid for by December 10


Call or email the office with your request or sign the sheet in the Narthex.
The cost of the flowers is $28
for 2 beautiful bouquets.

Address Update.pngDeb & Pete Animagi

17020 Delevan St.

Lockport, Il 60441


Christmas_Irish Blessing.png


No Worship on Dec. 24 9:30am Candlelight Service.png

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 

with Holy Communion ~  

Sunday, Dec. 24, 7pm


Monday, Dec. 25~ NO WORSHIP Christmas Day 

 Dec. 31, 2024~ Sunday worship as usual 9:30am

Redeemer’s Little Free Pantry

I am able to do Christmas stockings for the kids whose family receives a Christmas dinner from the pantry~ one stocking per child and the age limit is 14. I am looking for help with these~so here are some ideas. Baby toys, gloves, sox, ornaments, GIFT CARDS, any toy or game that will fit in a stocking, and of course candy and treats. All donations must be received by the end of Friday, the 15th. Thank you to those who have already committed to sides for the dinners. Let’s fill these stockings to the brim!!



Thank you to:Women's Group.png

A big THANK YOU from the Group on our MINI CRAFT SHOW. All the ladies bought many of our crafts and we did well on our sales. We do have some left if anyone missed the two Sundays we offered them at church. Contact Winnie F if you would like to purchase additional crafts. Thanks to all again.

~Women's Group


Church Christmas Party '23.png


Redeemer’s Christmas Party

Sunday, Dec. 17 at 6pm til ?

At Connie & Dave Martin’s home
Redeemer’s Christmas Party
Sunday, Dec. 17 at 6pm til ?
At Connie & Dave Martin’s home
16109 Lockwood in Oak Forest
Please sign up on the bulletin board so that we have a
head count and what appetizer or dessert you are
bringing to share.

 🔔 🕯️ 👼 🎶 🛐 ⛪ 🤶 ✝️ 👪 ⛄ 🌟 🎄 🦌

noisy-offering5.jpgNoisy offering will be collected through the end of the year


God's blessings on the congregation at Redeemer's, and their families throughout the whole 2023 holiday season.

Thank you Christmas Holly.png∙ For Church clean up in October & November~ Len and Carol Schaafsma, Steve & Deb Nowlan, Marty Conrad, Dan Frawley, Gary Rickert, Kim and Jerry Besowshek, Judy Carver, Jan Strojny, Nancy Ulloa, Jennie Brown, Linda McHugh, Jerry Marquardt and all of those that jumped in and lent a hand. It was a good time to do our Fall cleaning~ everything looks great!

∙ For those who have put up the Christmas decorations and those who will take them down.

∙ To Connie & Dave Martin who will be opening their home to our congregation so we can have our annual party.

∙ Marilyn Fisher and her helpers, who provided food and gifts for many in need this Holiday Season.

∙ Our thanks to Jerry Marquardt & Sinal’s Carpet Cleaning for cleaning the carpets in the sanctuary and entryway. If you need someone to clean your carpets, Jerry & Matthew are your guys! You can contact them at 708-535-2073; www.sinalcarpetcleaningllc.com


If you are returning something from Amazon, you can drop it off at Staples, and they will give you a coupon for $10 off of $30. If you get the coupon, and don’t know what to buy with it, please don’t throw it away. The church office could put it to use!! Just drop it on the desk in the office. Thank you in advance for helping out!

The South Suburban Crisis Center is an ongoing project for the Women’s Group. During these trying times, women and children need help more than ever. Please keep them in your prayers.

Domestic Violence Outreach Services
(Crisis Center for South Suburbia)

  • 24-hour hotline~ 708-429-SAFE (7233)
  • Live Safe Patient Advocacy
  • Law Enforcement Victim Outreach
  • Community Education

All services are free and confidential

Please remember to donate food, money and other resources to your local organizations who are supplying those in need.

Also, don’t forget-- to help Marilyn in supplying her pantry. Any large donations, please put in bag and leave by the back door, or contact Marilyn at 708-687-2432 and she can meet up with you. Monetary donations are always accepted and can be sent to church. If you are sending a check, please make it out to Marilyn Fisher.

Please Pray for:

Dolores Sheputis, Shirley Aggen & family, Fern Schara, Pat Kropack, Mary O’Malley, Gus Scott, Joanne, Eddie McDermott, John, Ryder Conrad, Pete & Debbie Animagi, Tom Stormer, Carole, Bridgett Arista, Dave Murphy, Lottie White, Tom DeLeeuw, Noah Coyle, Tammy & John, Kevin, Nick, Kevin H, Percy, Tommie, Steve S, Debbie & Harvey Hunt. Jessica, Theresa Bentley, Ralph, Richard Coyle, Sandy Parmer, Trisha Williams, Bobby Coates, Nancy Byrom, Robert Ogarek, Virginia Drogula, Carol Burge, Laura, Jack, Bev, Audrey, Keith Buhs, Brian Lemennes, Chris McAuliff

🙏  🙏  🙏  🙏  🙏  🙏  🙏  🙏

Please inform the office for any name removals or additions for the upcoming months. Thank you


On All Saints Day, Nov. 5, we remembered all the saints who have touched our lives and have entered eternal life this past year. We thank God for giving them to us to know and to love: David Larsen, Kay Robinson, Sue Nemec, Roland Johnson, Tom Nowlan, Rich Aggen, Gloria Sutkus, Darlene Marquardt, Donna Carver, Beverly Godfrey, Margo Granat, Donna King, Barb Groskopf, Milton Hahn Jr., Norman, Ron & Bill Coyle, Marilyn Wunar, Marilyn Westerhoff, John Henry; Carol Ciszar; Pat Duggan; Colleen Morrissy; Bill Schaffer; Lisa Weaver; Barb Cella; Gary LaMonto; Norman Coyle; Sandra Sanders; Robert Kropack; Elizabeth Curtner; Dave Davenport; Kay Fredenberger; Ginni Fallon; Nick Volk; Mel Watson, Carol Ciszar

Kind Words

Dear Redeemer’s Lutheran Church,

Thank you for your gift of $300 to help individuals and families escape homelessness this Spring season. As you know, we sheltered in place and followed CDC and State government guidance in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Your support helped us pivot services to keep homeless individuals and families safe at local hotels, as all congregate shelters closed, while continuing to provide essential lifesaving services. Thank You!


Rohit D’Souza,
Philanthropy Manager, PADS

I pray this letter finds you and your congregation hopeful and enjoying the waning weeks of summer during these unprecedented times.  As always, thank you for your generous support of the ELCA, the synod, and our shared ministry.  The impact that our congregations have in the world is truly amazing!  I am proud to be a part of this effort and look forward to working with all of you in finding new, faithful ways to continue this inspiring work of Kingdom Building.

Many blessings of thanks!

Heather Haynes,
Executive Assistant to the Bishop

Dear Redeemer’s Lutheran Church

Thanks be to God for YOU! Your support through your benevolence and other giving is a blessing.

Please keep Bishop Curry and the MCS staff and all congregations of the synod in your prayers as we continue to press through this new way of being. 

In Christ,   Heather Haynes (Executive Assistant to the Bishop)

  • The church women who have prepared all the goodies for our outdoor (and indoor) services.
  • To Pastor Soren who has completed 5 years with his Redeemer’s family
  • Mick Strojny for your commitment to keeping our lawn neat.
  • To those who supported the women's craft sale, and those who created everything (especially Winnie French)
  • Marty Conrad for sharing her story in September
  • Carol Burge for sharing her story in October.
  • For Gary Rickert who tirelessly tends our boilers to keep us all warm during the cold weather.
  • For all those who will be coming out on the 14th to beautify our church and grounds.
  • For all who are endlessly giving of themselves with volunteering time, talent and treasures for those less fortunate than us.
  • Carol Schaafsma for adding a Fall touch to our lounge area.

Georgia Karash, In the Kitchen with. . ..jpgRecipe from Georgia Karash
PUMPKIN COOKIES heat oven to 375º
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1⁄2 cup shortening
1 tablespoon grated orange peel (optional)
2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tablespoon salt

Mix sugar, pumpkin, shortening, orange peel together.
Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Drop teaspoon full onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 min until

Cool, frost when cool with powdered sugar, butter, extract (almond, cinnamon or vanilla), and a touch
of milk.

New to Redeemer's? Here are some common questions

You’ll find everything from jeans to casual clothes to business suits at our worship experiences. At Redeener's, we don't care about what you look like or what you wear. We want you to be comfortable.

If you are visiting us for the first time, we will not ask you to stand up or ask you to give money. Many people want to check out a church and “be anonymous” for a while. That's ok by us!

It can be a intimidating visiting a church for the first time. So we will do our best to welcome you. We are dedicated to making sure you feel right at home. We'll answer any questions you have and make sure you get a hot cup of coffee and know exactly where to go.

When you get here, just head straight upstairs (or take the elevator) to our narthex to sign in! Your family is in good hands!

Giving is entirely up to you. If this is your first visit, we don't want you to feel any obligation to give. You are our honored guest. Also, if you start attending regularly, you'll only be expected to give what you feel you should.