Nov/Dec 2019

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Wings & Feathers Newsletter for
Nov/Dec 2019

Important information about what's going on around
Holy Counselor Lutheran Church

Holy Counselor Staff
  Pastor Rev. Christopher Bruesehoff
  Director of Music  June Tarantino
  Office Administrator  Debbie Morris
  Bookkeeper  Larry Polagye
  Custodian  Harvey Kunnemann
Congregational Council
  President                              Steven Ahrendt
  Vice President Mark Rossi
  Secretary Matt Moller
  Treasurer Adele Huttner
  Financial Secretary Marge Kranz
  Outreach Group Emilie Dupont
  (Parish Activities Team, Membership &  Social Ministry Teams)  
  Nurture Group  Karen Duryea
  (Worship Team,Education Team, Youth Team)  
  Administration Group  Roy Wherry
  (Property Team, Information & Technology Team)  
25For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
- I Corinthians 1:25
An experiment is a sort of test, designed to evaluate a hypothesis or theory. When you set out to test ideas and evaluate what’s going on it can get a little messy. But that might just be the point. In any experiment you switch up some variables, hold other things as constants, and look to see what happens. Way back in June I said that the rearrangement of our worship space was an experiment and at the end of the Pentecost season that experiment will come to an end. I know some of you are relieved to know that, I also know that some of you have really enjoyed experiencing worship this way. In the end I think that’s the best question we can ask ourselves as we work together as a worshiping assembly – “How did we experience worship?”
Note two things: Worship is a whole body experience. Worship engages all our senses, our movements, our physical bodies, our attitudes and our feelings. For more information on that you can check out the 2013 documents “How do we use the body in worship?” and “How does worship involve all our senses?” which can be found on the ELCA website.  In the 2010 Discussion Guide, The Place Where we Worship, it says,
Art shapes faith, whether or not the intention is to proclaim the gospel. The architectural and building arts shape worship space. And worship space forms and shapes Christians. It is here, in the space of creation, in the materials of creation, where we meet God. We form our spaces and then our spaces form us. (For good or for ill.)
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright said this about houses, but it applies to houses of worship too: “Every house is a missionary. Space that is trans-formative changes the people who live there. Every house is a missionary. I don't build a house without predicting the end of the present social order.” On rededicating the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said: “We shape our spaces and then they shape us.” In the book, Where We Worship, retired Professor Walter Huffman (retired professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary) says: “The shape of the worship environment will shape the faith of the next generation.”
Also, the question said ‘we’ not ‘I’. We worship together as a gathered assembly. We don’t worship as individuals alone. We gather, whether two or three or one hundred four, to worship. Worship is a communal event. In the 2002 document, Principles for Worship, it says,
The first Christians spoke of their communal shelter and worship space as the “house of the church” (domus ecclesiae). Family dwellings became venues for worship not only because of persecutions but also because of theological convictions. Early Christian tradition spoke of the gathered assembly in relation to its place: “It is not a place that is called ‘church,’ nor a house made of stones and earth. . . . What then is the church? It is the holy assembly of those who live in righteousness.”93 Over the centuries, the building itself became identified as church, yet the assembly remains the primary expression of the church.
So how did the ‘we’ and the singular ‘you’ experience worship over the past four months? Did you notice the positive or get stuck in the negative. Did the physical changes affect how worship felt to you beyond them just being new or different? Did you notice different parts of worship differently; did something old stand out to you as new or more impactful?
In the 2010 Discussion Guide, The Place Where we Worship, it says,
This much we do know: As Lutherans we’ve never been afraid of using all the arts (including architecture, music, etc.) in the service of the gospel.
As Lutherans we usually think about theology first; other traditions may begin with polity, or history, or church organization, or culture. We usually begin thinking about a topic by thinking theologically. In a discussion about architecture or art that’s important, otherwise we’re stopped cold by a tyranny of multiple “opinions.”
We look for some theological, pastoral and aesthetic principles to guide our thinking. Gathering the assembly around word and meal and bath is the only necessary thing. The church happens where the gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered according to the gospel. The church has no building code, save proclaiming Christ crucified and risen.
Principles for Worship, which is available from the ELCA website, there is an entire section on worship space that includes principal, background and application statements. There were a number of reasons behind the rearranged space beyond just because we could and I want to point a few out to you now. In the final few weeks remaining I hope you can open yourself up to a couple of them.
Principle S-2 The place of worship expresses the church’s faith and serves God’s mission.
Application S-2D
Many rooms for worship are configured and appointed in ways that inhibit the worship of the assembly. Renewed understandings of worship may call for creative use of existing space or the reordering of worship space so that it better serves the church’s worship and mission.
Principle S-7 The assembly space includes primary centers for the celebration of the word of God and the sacraments, secondary areas that facilitate the roles of all the leaders, and other spaces that complement the requirements of communal worship.
Application S-7B
The unity of the entire worship room proclaims the unity of the assembly, gathered into one in Christ. Communicating a sense of oneness and wholeness as a gathering place of the baptized community is of first importance, followed by consideration of different areas within the space that correspond to different roles and functions in the liturgy.
Principle S-8 The place and the practices of baptism proclaim the church’s faith. A generous space around flowing water reinforces the meaning of baptism for the assembly.
Application S-8B
Access to the font affirms the communal nature of baptism. When the place of baptism is near the main entrance, the understanding of baptism as the sacrament of Christian birth and as commissioning for ministry is reinforced. Wherever the font is located, it serves its role best when it is visible and there is sufficient space for gathering around it. At times, children in the assembly may be invited to gather closest to the baptismal group.
Principle S-10 The table of our Lord Jesus Christ is set in the midst of the assembly.
Background S-10A
Before and after his passion, Jesus shared meals with disciples and others as a sign of the kingdom. The Eucharistic altar has taken many shapes throughout Christian history. Designs that suggest a table for dining have been used to reinforce the nature of the Eucharist as meal.
Principle S-17 A hospitable worship space generously accommodates the assembly, its liturgy, and a broad range of activities appropriate to the life of the congregation and its surrounding community.
Application S-17C
An understanding of the physical and experiential needs of children contributes to the design of liturgy and liturgical spaces that are inviting to all.
Principle S-19 Flexibility of space and portability of furniture facilitate the variations of worship as well as related activities of congregation and community.
Application S-19C
The ability to arrange the furnishings within the worship space in various ways gives a congregation the freedom to adapt as changes and new ideas are introduced.
Principle S-25 The renewal of a space for worship is an opportunity for the renewal of a worshiping
Application S-25A
Building, renovation, and even limited but imaginative renewal projects represent significant experiences in the life of a congregation. From vision to blueprint to implementation, the process is an opportunity for congregational growth in faith and life.
No experiment truly succeeds the first time. But there is much that can be learned as work to expand our sense of what it means to gather and worship as an assembly here in this place. Perhaps one of the best lines from the discussion guide was in the closing when it says, “This is a gradual process of renewal that we began in the 16th century Reformation, and we’re still working on it!” Go in Peace, Serve the Lord – Thanks be to God.
-Pastor Chris

Treasurer's  Report
Submitted by Adele Huttner, Treasurer 

Have you noticed that the bucket in the hall is gone?  The roof has been fixed!  Also, the new lights have been installed on the walkway and the front and back doors repaired to insure that they close securely.  Some of this work was covered by the Memorial Fund and by special donations.  Thank you to those who helped us to complete these repairs!
Despite still having a deficit in income, most of the normal expenses of the church continue to be paid and our ministry continues. We have been forced to repeatedly send the health insurance and benefits payments after their due date. We continue to be approximately $1,000 behind in our support commitment to the NJ Synod as well.

Administration Report
Submitted by the Church office

Projects completed
  • Leak in flat roof area repaired, $2,700
  • Lights replaced along front walk, $888
  • Failing exit door closers replaced, $475
A project has been initiated to replace and reduce the garden areas and with lawn to reduce outdoor maintenance.
Painting Event
On Friday and Saturday, October 18 and 19, we gave the church a new coat of paint in the hall and the kitchen.  A special thanks to Kerri Yezuita and her friend Cindy for putting in a lot of extra hours on Friday painting the hallway; and Margie Kranz, Elaine Kuntz, Karen Duryea, Emilie Dupont, Matt Moller, Pastor Chris, Sam, Zoe & Finley Moller and Rebekah, Elijah & Oliver Bruesehoff,  for all their help painting on Saturday.  The colors haven't changed, but the walls look cleaner and brighter now.  Let Emilie Dupont know if you have new color ideas for the now brown trim around the hall doors or the walls of the narthex, just inside the front main doors.  Hopefully we will get the two exterior doors painted this fall.  We have the paint, we just need people to paint the front and back exterior windows, door trim, and the back door or hire a contractor.

Submitted by Karen Duryea, Nurture Group Coordinator
& the church office
Youth Group
11/10 Hike Appalachian Trail Boardwalk
11/15-11/17 Youth Retreat Fairview Lake (Jr/Sr High)
11/30 Help with the Hanging of the Greens
12/8 Pass out Food Drive Flyers
12/15 Pick-up food, pizza party
12/22 Christmas Extravaganza (10:30 service)
Hanging of the Greens
Hanging of the greens will take place on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 9am. Bagels and coffee will be provided for all helpers. Come help spend an hour and decorate our church for the Christmas season. Busy hands are happy hands!
Advent Holden Evening Prayer
Please join us on Thursday evenings, December 5, 12, and 19, at 7:30pm, for a special Advent evening prayer service using the Holden Evening Prayer. This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare for the Christmas season in worship and prayer. Those who attended last year can attest to the calming effect that these services provide during this hectic season. It is good to take a break and reflect upon the true reason we are celebrating.

Holiday Happenings and Worship Schedule
November 30 Hanging of the Greens at 9am.
December 5  Advent Evening Prayer service at 7:30pm.
December 12 Advent Evening Prayer service at 7:30pm.
December 19 Advent Evening Prayer service at 7:30pm.
December 21 Christmas Cantata at 2pm.
December 22 Sunday School Christmas Extravaganza at the 10:30 service.
December 24 Christmas Eve services at 4:00, 7:30 and 9:30pm; all are Communion services with candlelight
December 29 Single service at 10am. Lessons and Carols. No Sunday school.
Stars & Angels and Poinsettias
Please find copies of order forms for Stars & Angels and Poinsettias in your weekly bulletin beginning November 3. Poinsettia order forms are due by Dec.1, and Stars & Angel forms are due by Dec.15.  Help beautify our church and Christmas tree by purchasing by the due dates.
From the Music Director
Submitted by June Tarantino
The season of Advent is almost upon us. As we quietly wait for the birth of the Christ Child, the choir prepares for our cantata performance, scheduled for Saturday, December 21, @2:00. Please save the date and invite your friends and family. If you would like to sing with the choir for this performance, please see me. Rehearsals have already begun! 
Does your child play an instrument? Sing in school chorus? Might your child be interested in playing or singing at the Christmas Eve family service?  Let me know! We can make plans for solo or group pieces of music for that service.
The Littman String Quartet, with Jordan Fusco, is planning to come to Holy Counselor this winter to perform a concert. Watch for details in the next newsletter!


Submitted by  Emilie Dupont, Outreach Group Coordinator, & the church office

Food Pantry
Our food pantry gave out 19 bags of groceries in September and October, and we are so thankful to Max Ahrendt and the Youth Group who are organizing two food drives, because our pantry has gotten really low. At this time we are in need of tuna, cereal (good for both kids and adults), cookies and crackers, boxed mashed potatoes, canned fruit and applesauce, syrup, tea and coffee, jam or jelly, canned legumes such as black beans, deodorant, bar and liquid soap, and shampoo.
The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America group at HCLC meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 AM. The next meeting is on November 19. WELCA will be baking cookies on December 12 and 13 for their bake sale to raise funds for our church.  They could use your assistance if you are available at 10 A.M. on either day.  Please contact Marlene Clements if you can help.  The cookies will be sold at the Christmas Cantata on Saturday, December 21.
Outreach to the Homebound
Please contact Sandy Wardell if you know someone who cannot make it to church anymore, but would still like a friendly visit and a CD recording of our services. We can even lend you a CD player! Sandy’s cell number is (973) 362-8590.
Prayer Shawls
 A Prayer Shawl is meant to console the grieving, comfort the sick and give hope to those in despair.  It is also used to celebrate milestones or the beginning of a new chapter in someone’s life.  Do any of these situations apply to you or someone you know?  If so, ask Pastor Chris or Adele Huttner for a Prayer Shawl.  It will remind you or them of the love of the Lord and the people of Holy Counselor who give it with love.
Sunday, November 10, and on Sunday, December 15, Max Ahrendt and the Youth Group are collecting food with two food drives for our food pantry.  If you cannot donate food, you can donate your time sorting the food items that come in on those days.  See Diane Rossi or Aimee Nielsen if you can help.
Sunday, November 24, Lily Ahrendt is holding a bake sale and is looking for baked good donations to sell on that day.  Please bring something homemade to our church on Nov. 23.
First Annual Golf Outing
On September 18, we held our first annual Golf Outing at Black Bear Golf Club. Twenty one golfers participated in the outing. A breakfast and luncheon was served to all our golfers along with a silent auction. The outing raised $4000 after expenses for our church’s missions. A special thanks to Debbie Morris for organizing this annual event. She could not have done it without the help of Larry Polagye, Marge Kranz, Pam Kucks, Pastor Chris and all that sponsored holes, donated items for the auction and helped pass out flyers. A committee for next year’s outing will be formed in January. An announcement will be posted in the weekly announcements with the exact date and time.

Paint & Sip
On Saturday, October 5, WELCA held a very successful Paint and Sip Fundraiser for 30 guests.  Each participant painted a 16x20 canvas. There was also a silent auction of gift baskets.  This was a successful and fun event that raised $1039 for our church.  Thank you to Marlene and everyone else who made it happen.
Oktoberfest/Auction of the Gifts
On Saturday, October 26, we held our Annual Oktoberfest Auction of the Gifts.  Nancy Knecht and the Ahrendts organized the Oktoberfest food and Margie Kranz organized the auction.  Thirty-two people donated their time, talent and creativity to our church through the Auction of the Gifts, and as always, it was a great success. The initial tally so far this year exceeds $2800.  Thank you to everyone who helped with the actual event, as well as those who gave items/services to the auction.
Happy 10 Year Anniversary Pastor Chris
August 2019 marked the 10th anniversary of Pastor Chris's ministry at Holy Counselor. In August of 2009, Pastor Chris presided over his first worship service at Holy Counselor. Since the summer months can be challenging to plan events, the celebration of this milestone was postponed to the fall, and was included with the festivities of Oktoberfest. After a short introduction of the occasion, Pastor Chris was honored by several members of the congregation who spoke about the impact he has had on them over the past 10 years. Next he was presented with gifts from the congregation, including a beautiful handmade stole and a monetary gift and card. The stole was made by Juli Orlandini, from Texas, and purchased through Etsy. Juli did a fabulous job! The stole is not only beautiful, but since the design includes multiple colors, it can be used for several of our liturgical seasons, which are represented by specific colors. We are blessed to have had Pastor Chris with us for these 10 years, and we will continue to grow under his ministry and leadership for as long as he is called by God to remain at Holy Counselor. 
We congratulate Harvey Kunnemann’s mother-in-law, Martha Downing Flanagan, who celebrated her 100th birthday in October. Martha was visited by Sandy Wardell with flowers and a card signed by many of our congregation to wish her a very happy birthday. To view the full story, please go to:
Jim & Karen Stoeckel 

 Fred & Lori Schoenagel

Jim & Joanne Woodruff


Mike & Lisa Murphy

John & Janet Beach



Scott Dalane

Allison Gomez

Neil Nilsen

Adele Huttner

Ginny Schotter

Justin Holzlein

Lisa Suarez

Carolyn Wallace

Rich Wengenroth

Scott Magill

Andrew Wiik

Shawn Dilks

Thomas Laga

Ashley Lagas

Michael McCormick

Thomas Heerschap

Aimee Nilsen

Kerri Yezuita

Francine Vince

Emma Moeck

Robyn Giannini

Michael Lanning 
Malaki Manners

Deborah Manners

Diane Rossi

Robert Shuppon

Barbara Donald

Susan Jordan

Steve Ahrendt

James Woodruff

Carole Moore

Lynda Riccitelli

Christine Ahrendt

Noel Knecht

Bryan Stoeckel

June Cary-Ionta

Matt VonOesen

James Schreck

November 2019 Volunteers for Services
Click Here
December 2019 Volunteers for Services
Click Here
Meeting/Event scheduling: 
All events at Holy Counselor need to be added to the church calendar by the office to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Please let the church office know at least one month in advance if your group or family would like to hold a meeting or event at the church, so it can be entered properly. Thank you ☺ 
 Thrivent Financial
    Lead Financial Consultant: Mark Kleindienst
Combining Faith & Finances to Provide Christians with Advice and Guidance
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