November 20, 2020

We encourage you to read the Bible stories for this upcoming Sunday
Psalm 95:1-7a; Ephesians 1:15-23; Matthew 25:31-46
in preparation for worship.

Adult Education

This next week, we round out our introduction to the Gospel according to Mark. We've covered a lot of ground these past three weeks. Following an introduction to the idea of "gospel" in general, we began to take notice of how Mark is put together and why we're studying Mark now. Then we looked at six titles Mark uses for Jesus, each having its roots in the Old Testament: Christ or Messiah, Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David, Teacher, and Rabbi. Next, we explored Jesus as preacher, teacher, and healer as he announced the presence of God's reign entering the world through Jesus himself. For our last session, we examine the disciples and what discipleship means. Frankly, the first 12 followers of Jesus don't always come off so well. While they're eager to follow, they're not always eager to stay focused on their calling. They have other ideas about their role and responsibilities after Jesus leaves them. And then, of course, when the going gets difficult, they're nowhere to be found. So come join us, by going to our church's website,, or wait for the blast email next Thursday, or check out our church's Facebook page. Following this next week's study, we'll take a break over the holidays and return with our weekly Bible study in January. Until then, blessings!

Pastor Bill

Giving Tree

Giving Tree

Giving Tree gift cards can still be purchased for Grafton Food Pantry and Turning Point even though all the envelopes have been taken. Here are suggestions on what gift cards are needed:

  • Walmart
  • Jewel
  • Culvers
  • Ace Hardware
  • McDonalds
  • Starbucks

Just put the gift card in an envelope and there is a box in the gathering area for gift cards. The gift cards are not to exceed $25.00. All gift cards must be in by Sunday, December 6th as distribution starts on Monday, December 7th. For more information, call Barb Hoppensteadt, 847-699-0016 or Thank you.


NO envelope or stamp needed.

The Mission Team will have a drop box just inside the church doors Mon-Fri 9AM–2PM and Sunday Mornings, starting November 22nd thru Monday December 7th. You can also give cards to any team member.

These Cards are for Immigrants. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) informs us that RIGHT NOW there are HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES being held in three different detention centers. We send the cards to LIRS and they see that cards are evenly distributed.


#1. Write messages of hope and encouragement in English and Spanish on Holiday Cards. (see Spanish messages below for inspiration.) Draw a picture, or share your favorite poem quote or Bible verse to personalize the card. Or make your own card(s). NO sequins or glitter please!

#2. Sign the card, first name only, add City and State.

#3. Place card(s) (No envelopes) in drop box provided at church.

If you have any questions contact Sandy at; 224-569-6041...or any team member: Donna Stricken, Annette Petersen, Carl Hupert, Steve Legel, Vik Bekeris, Mark Bidinger, Nancy Otter, Sharon Stangle, Becky Wright.

Below are some English-Spanish sayings you might want to include.

Friends Bible Study

Friends Bible Study

Have you ever wondered where the story of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat started? Our Bible study is focused on the book of Genesis and all of its early patriarchs. Join us as we discuss and learn from each other utilizing the Be Authentic study guide written by Warren Wiersbe. Joseph and his brothers are center stage! We will finish the study at the end of December.

The Friends Bible Study group continues to meet on Mondays from 12:30-2:00 in the Willow Room. We wear masks and the seating is arranged so everyone is socially distanced.

There is NO meeting on Monday, November 23rd .

Bible study resumes on Monday, November 30th through Monday, December 21st. We will take a short break for Christmas and the New Year holidays and begin again on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Contact Linda Dungey for more information.; 847-346-9267

 Memory Garden

Memory Garden

View Ralph Wehnes'
Memory Garden Ministry Moments Video

The application for a Special Use Permit was given to the Planning Commission at the Village of Huntley on November 6th. We are scheduled to meet with them on December 14th. Then we will meet with the Village Trustees in January. In the meantime, we received our Certificate of Exemption from the State of Illinois Comptroller’s office for the Memory Garden. We have completed the rules and regulations regarding the Columbarium. The cost for each niche will be determined when we receive the permit and approval from the Congregation. We are planning to sell niches and Memory Bricks February 1, 2021. Still planning our opening in June 2021. More information and pictures on the SOTP web site.


November Food Drive

SOTP held their fourth drive-through food drive for Grafton Food Pantry on Nov 14th from 9-1. Ninety-four cars drove through dropping off enough paper goods, food, baby supplies, personal care items, children's coats, bedding and food for those furry babies to completely fill 3 SUV’s! Monetary donations were received in the amount of $2,550. This year through our drive-through food drives $14,750 was raised in total for the food pantry!! Below is the thank you we received from Harriet Ford, a board member at Grafton Food Pantry:

“As many of you know, I have served on the Board at Grafton Food Pantry since 2005. Managing the outreach efforts has been a rewarding journey and I have been blessed to meet a lot of wonderful people. The past six months have been unique in every aspect. In this very challenging time, Shepherd of the Prairie has been a beacon of light for the Grafton Food Pantry. Your genuine compassion, consistent dedication and enthusiasm to help those in need is inspiring. On a personal level and on behalf of our client families....we are so very thankful. Loved the music yesterday!”

Harriet Ford

Thanks to everyone who helped; what a wonderful example of “Kingdom Work."

Stewardship Is Heart Work

As our Stewardship financial drive for next year nears completion, your Stewardship Committee reports that total funds received are about 94% of last year’s commitments with 36 fewer people turning in their Estimate of Giving cards. There is still time for those of you who have not sent in your response (and you know who you are) to do so as Pastor Mark asked that dedication of these cards be delayed until November 22. I pray that our mission and ministry budget needs for next year will see at least 36 more family units’ financial estimates included for decisions that will be made for next year’s budget. Focus on our theme for this year’s financial drive from Psalm 116, v12: WHAT SHALL I RETURN TO THE LORD FOR ALL HIS GOODNESS TO ME??

We also want you to know the 2021 envelopes are now available for pick up in the gathering area at church. Please make a special effort to pick yours up at weekend services or during the week during open office hours. If you see a friend, neighbor, or relative’s box of envelopes, it would help if you took it to them. Remember DO NOT use 2021 envelopes in 2020.

Rick Miller
Your Stewardship Team

Thanksgiving Special Offering

Thanksgiving Special Offering

This Thanksgiving we are designating our special offering for ELCA World Hunger. Our world is in the midst of a global hunger crisis. More than 820 million people (about 11 percent of people in our world today) are hungry. Your gifts will help our church respond to hunger and poverty through hundreds of projects in more than 60 countries around the world, including the United States. Please give generously by filling out your special Thanksgiving offering envelope and drop off during November at any of the church services or at the church office. Your offerings will help us move toward a just world where all are fed.

For additional information, contact Becky Wright at

Keep Coats With You

Keep your coats with you!!!

As much as you want to hang up your coat as winter has come, we ask that you keep your coat(s) with you at your seat. In order to maintain social distancing, there is a REAL concern about maintaining that distance while getting your coats.

For your health and safety, keep your coat with you in church.

Thank you…

Carolyn Cuttle
Worship Committee

Thanksgiving Life Group

Supporting documents for this new Life Group Study
are available here or on our website homepage.

"In Everything Give Thanks"

Our world has been turned upside down! So many things seem to whirl around us; the Coronavirus, racial imbalance, violence on our streets, an outrageous political atmosphere, job insecurity, financial uncertainty, e-learning for our children and the list goes on. Sometimes we wonder what there is to be thankful for! But God calls us to be thankful and to view life through the lens of thankfulness. We invite you to be part of a four-week group experience on Thankfulness. Life Groups will be forming shortly and if you would like to look at how to be thankful during our current times, we would love to have you join us.

If you have been thinking about starting a Life Group, restarting a Life Group that was meeting pre-Covid, or a new idea for your existing Life Group, we have an exciting option for you; a four-week group based on the book, "In Everything Give Thanks". The book is available from Amazon for $9.99, but is not necessary for the group, as materials will be furnished. You will be welcome to add any other materials or ideas that speak to your group.

The idea is for the groups to meet for four sessions during the month of November either in person, on ZOOM or another platform, or any combination thereof. Your group can choose the day, the time and the way to meet.

The topics for the four weeks will be:

  • Give Thanks
  • Be Thankful In All things
  • Grace, Gratitude & Glory
  • Thanksgiving With Passion

We hope you will join us on this journey through the season of Thanksgiving and perhaps gain a new perspective on God's love and his call to us to be "thankful in all things". For more information, to lead a group or to find a group to participate in, contact Donna Kelly; or through the church office.

Prairie Point Quilters

The Prairie Quilters are pleased to be back at our quilting sessions. We have a small, but dedicated group that is continuing to make these quilts.

We were very dismayed after the explosion in Beirut on August 4 when we heard that they thought 24,000 quilts had been destroyed. But then we received the good news that they were found intact! Here's a link to the statement from Lutheran World Relief!

Nancy Morbeck
Prairie Quilters

Flower Note

Let There Be Flowers

Joyfully, we have begun to meet in person for our worship services as well as doing our online services. We continue to ask you to please consider signing up to donate flowers to brighten up the sanctuary. As normal, each arrangement is $50.

The bouquets are delivered from the florist for the weekend worship services. If you do not attend the church services in person and are unable to pick up your arrangement, I would be happy to deliver the flowers to your home after the Sunday services or on the Monday following.

If you are interested in donating flowers, please contact Diane Mollis at . Provide your name, address, phone number, for whom the flowers are dedicated to or in memory of, and which Sunday you are interested in displaying the bouquet. If you have any questions, you may call Diane at 224-654-6677.

Thank you for saying yes to flowers for the sanctuary!

Clean Machine

Help! We need some bodies!!!

Just like the Beatles, we are looking for about 6-8 people for a special Task Force (The Clean Machine).

What is this all about you ask? We need to continue to sanitize the church sanctuary immediately after the 9am church service and before the 1045am Sunday service. There is a special machine that is being used to “spray down” the pews. Work starts immediately after the dismissal of the 9am service or about 1010am on Sunday. It takes about 20 minutes to do this job. Just in time for the 1045am service.

We will need a “fearless leader” to organize the Task Force and then 6-8 workers. Your assignment would be just one Sunday a month. Not a huge investment in time BUT it is vital to the church.

Please consider volunteering for this task by contacting Tom Polzin (; 847-867-8668) and tell him that you volunteer for the Task Force. If you would like to head up the group, that is even better. Please call today and volunteer. Training is provided and takes about 5-10 minutes to learn.

Thanks for helping on this Task Force!!!

SOTP Financial Contribution Secretary Request for Assistance

After more than 15 years as Shepherd of the Prairie’s Financial Contribution Secretary, I am sad to announce that Sue Wehnes will be hanging up her recording pencil and spreadsheet in January. Sue has been a constant in recording and tracking our members and visitors’ contributions and memorial gifts. She has done an exemplary job of maintaining all the details of this congregation and will be missed by the finance team. Please reach out to Sue and thank her for her dedication and years of service.

The Finance Committee is now looking to recruit a volunteer to fill the Financial Contribution Secretary position. Sue will help train the new person on the procedures for recording and tracking all contributions to SOTP. This is about a two-hour commitment per week and computer skills are required.

Please consider sharing your time and talents with the Finance team. If you are interested and would like to find out more information, please contact Bob Mollis by email: or cell phone 630-215-5525.

Members of Shepherd Of The Prairie, we have identified a new exciting volunteer opportunity! Our Community Outreach ministry is in need of a Public Relations Coordinator. This person would help ministries and staff gather information about ongoing activities that could be used for press releases and advertisements in news papers and Digital advertising on the Internet. The PR Coordinator would be a member of our Community Outreach team and responsible for sending this information to our church’s newly obtained publicist. If this sounds like an interesting way for you to serve your church and the kingdom of God, please contact Our Community Outreach Chairman, Mike Yndestad by email,


Students in grades 9 through 12 are invited to join us on Thursdays from 7:00PM to 9:00PM in the Youth Room! During our time together, students can expect opportunity to participate in community building, a lesson from Youth Intern Kurtis, as well some form of activity. All High School students are welcome to join us! If you have any questions, please reach out to !

Dear Shepherd of the Prairie Friends,

Since the beginning of our time here at Shepherd of the Prairie, our church has been blessed by the generous donations of pianos from faithful members.

While these gifts have provided a vital backbone for music and worship at SOTP, we recently decided to explore the possibility of attaining a piano that will allow our programs to flourish and our worship services to stir souls with music’s power for years and years to come.

Great news! The hard work and due diligence of our Music Ministry Team yielded a wonderful and fortunate find: a completely restored 1917 Mason & Hamlin piano at a dealer in Cedar Rapids, IA (see the pictures below).

Thanks to the generous donation of our Artist Series and several members, Shepherd of the Prairie has secured a deposit to pay for over half of the instrument, and the piano delivery date is soon approaching!

To celebrate and showcase this beautiful instrument, the Artist Series is planning a livestream Christmas concert featuring our pianist/organist, Eric Boehmke, along with a talented cast of singers and instrumentalists. The program will include favorite Christmas music, along with solo and small ensemble works.

The Music Ministry is so excited to have Shepherd of the Prairie be the home of such a wonderful instrument, and we know its presence will be another amazing blessing to our congregation as they worship our great and gracious God. However, we are still in need of some funding to completely cover the cost of the piano.

Interested in donating? Choose from the following options:

  • Write a check to SOTP and include the words “Sanctuary Piano Fund” in the memo.
  • Give to the general offering fund online, and include the memo “Sanctuary Piano Fund” with your gift as well.

With the help of your generous gifts, we will ensure that the life of our congregation “flows on in endless song” for both present and future generations.

“Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone Be the Glory),

Jane McMullen – Director of Worship and Music
Erik Boehmke -- Organist and Pianist
Mike McCann
Rick Miller
Chris Solem


With the intent to provide our church members with additional information and encourage open dialog, our monthly council report will be posted on our website each month. This document will show minutes of the past council meeting, full financials, attendance charts and various ministry meeting minutes. Check out the October, 2020 Council Report . We've also designed a simple feedback form to share your questions, concerns or comments. Let us know what you’re thinking.