10805 Main St. Huntley, IL 60142

Thank You

Giving Tree

A BIG thank you to all who purchased gift cards, personal checks or gave extra gift cards for the Giving Tree.

We had 70 clients from Turning Point and 15 families from Grafton Food Pantry.  That totaled 119 gift cards, plus the extra gifts.  The need was VERY heavy this year and we could have taken more families.  Hopefully, next year.  I want to thank Alice and Bev for taking over this Mission work in 2024.  Blessings to all and a Happy New Year.

Contact: Alice Miller   admiller93@comcast.net




Children, Youth & Family

Note to the Congregation

January 19th Kid’s Movie Night!!! 

On January 19th from 6:30-8:30 we will be hosting a movie night. Have your child come in their pajamas and bring a sleeping bag or blanket to get cozy in the Fellowship Hall. We will have popcorn and some movie candy for the kids to “order” and have delivered to them. Please register at www.bit.ly/SOTPmovie0124 asap!

Candy Donations needed for our Kids Movie Night on January 19th.

Check out the registrations at www.bit.ly/SOTPmovie0124 to see what is needed.

Save the date, Friday February 23rd for “Shepherd’s Open Mic Night”

If you have a special talent that you would like to share, singing, dancing, juggling, playing a musical instrument, or imitating bird calls please join us, and bring a friend!!! Registration will be coming soon.

We will have a coffee and hot chocolate bar set up for everyone to enjoy.

Contact: Jill Gillming                jill@sotpmail.com




Thank You!

Craft Fair & Bake Sale

Our SOTP Bazaar was a success.

A special Thanks to all who helped to set up and take down our bazaar.

Another thank you to all who baked yummy treats and those who crafted wonderful items for sale.

Of course I wouldn’t forget all those who worked at the Bazaar.  Everyone is part of our success.

We earned $2003.50 and every penny has gone toward our SOTP mortgage.




Adult Education

With Pastor Roy Olson

The Adult Education Class will resume sometime in January. 

We will be studying the book Future Faith (Fortress Press) by Wesley Granberg Michaelson. In it he has identified 10 challenges the church must face this century. We will examine one per week.

Participants are encouraged to purchase the book and read along as we go. Please plan to join us when you can, even if you don’t have the book, for these weekly conversations on Sunday mornings at 10:15 AM.

More details will be announced next month.

Contact: Pastor Roy Olson    olson612sr@sbcglobal.net



2024 Offering Envelopes

And Giving Numbers

We have heard from many members that are on electronic giving, that they don’t want or need envelopes. 

We have implemented a new system, where there is an opportunity to opt out of receiving offering envelopes.

Besides electronic giving, if you are on annual or semi-annual giving, you also can opt out of envelopes.  Contact Michelle Rankin to get set up.

With this change, many of you will have new envelope numbers for 2024.  The 2024 envelopes will be issued sometime in December.

Contact: Michelle Rankin michelle@sotpmail.com




Holiday Wellness Tips

From Your SOTP Wellness Team

The holidays are often filled with time-honored traditions that include some of our favorite meals and foods. As you celebrate, think of little changes you can make this holiday season to create healthier meals and active days.

How calorie dense are my favorite holiday foods?

High calorie-dense foods pack a lot of calories and tend to be heavily processed, low in nutrients and fiber, and high in fat and added sugars.  Below is a list of high-calorie dense foods:

  • Fatty meats such as sausage, prime rib, bacon
  • Butter, margarine, lard
  • Snacks and treats like potato chips, pastries and chocolate candies

Low calorie-dense foods have fewer calories per bite, a variety of vitamins and minerals, and are low in fat and added sugars.  The fiber content of these foods tends to be higher, leading to increased fullness and a lesser likelihood of overeating.

Examples include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains and beans
  • Lean proteins and low-fat milk products

When planning your holiday meals and snacks, try to include more low-calorie dense foods and limit items that are high-calorie dense.

Sneaky Holiday Calories:

  • Egg Nog (1 cup) 343 calories
  • Hot Buttered Rum (1 cup) 218 calories
  • Irish coffee (1 cup) 220 calories
  • Mixed Nuts (1/2 cup) 440 calories
  • Chips (1 oz) & Dip (1 tbsp) 225 calories
  • Fruitcake (1 average slice) 324 calories
  • Cheesecake (1 average slice) 372 calories
  • Pecan Pie (1/8 of 9-inch pie) 480 calories
  • Mashed potatoes (1/2 cup)
  • & gravy (1/2 cup) 300 calories
  • Green Bean Casserole 225 calories

Better Options:

  • Cider or sparkling grape juice
  • 2/3 cup 120 calories
  • Wine/Champagne (1/2 cup) 120 calories
  • Mixed Raw Vegetables (1/2 cup) 25 calories
  • Boiled Shrimp & Sauce (2 oz) 80 calories
  • Chocolate mints (2 pieces) 60 calories
  • Chocolate Covered Cherry (1) 75 calories
  • Gingerbread cookie (small) 100 calories
  • Snickerdoodle cookie (small) 100 calories
  • Pumpkin pie (1/8 of 9 in pie) 180 calories
  • Baked Potato & Sour cream 150 calories

Portions have doubled in the last 25 years.  Research shows that people eat more when they are given a larger amount.  Eating smaller portions is another easy way to reduce some of the calories from your diet.

Keep an eye on portions at holiday parties

  • Grab a smaller plate
  • Load up only once
  • Eat slowly and enjoy each bite
  • Mingle away from the appetizers
  • Once you finish your portion, play with the kids or walk the dog
  • Chew gum instead

Low-Calorie Egg Nog

Source: American Diabetes Association Holiday Cookbook by Betty Wedman

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tsp sweetener such as Splenda
  • ½ teaspoon brandy or rum flavoring
  • Ground nutmeg to taste

Combine the egg yolks and milk in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture coats a metal spoon.  Cool.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Add the egg custard mixture with the vanilla, sweetener, and flavoring.  Mix lightly.  Cover and chill.  Pour into serving cups and sprinkle with nutmeg.

½ cup= 70 calories, 6 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams protein, 3 grams of fat

Contact Jamie Patel  jamie.patel@nm.org  


Thank You

Christmas Decor

A Big THANK YOU to everyone who helped decorate the church on Monday, November 27. 

It takes a lot of helpers/elves to decorate and put up five trees.

The Worship Committee thanks you for a job well done!!!!

Contact: Carolyn Cuttle  ednca@comcast.net



Therapy Dog


John and Carol Sturz have been training their 5-year-old golden retriever, Rosie, to be a Therapy Dog.

The first step in her training was to pass the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizenship test, a 10-skill test that teaches good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to their owners. The next part of her certification will be to make visits to schools, hospitals, nursing homes as well as to Shepherd of the Prairie Church and anywhere she is welcome.  So far Rosie has been with us at many local restaurants and at SOTP Saturday night services.

Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Service dogs are dogs that are specially trained to perform specific tasks to help a person who has a disability. An example of a service dog is one that guides an owner who is blind, or a dog who assists someone with a physical disability.  Therefore Rosie is not given the same duties and privileges that a service dog has.

Since many people are familiar with the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort dogs, we want to clarify that Rosie is not part of that organization.  LCC K9’s places dogs with assigned handlers and the dogs live in homes with assigned caregivers. Rosie will continue to live with us and we will be her handlers. Our plan is to take her for visits to nursing homes, hospitals and other places like libraries, since we have both worked as school and college Librarians.  John is also a retired Lutheran pastor.

John and Carol Sturz

Christmas Weekend Schedule

At Shepherd of the Prairie

Christmas blessings to you and your family! We are looking forward to worshiping with you this weekend. 

A reminder there are no morning worship services on Christmas Eve Day.

Please consider joining us for worship on Saturday night, December 23rd at:

  • 5:00 pm, we will be using the Gospel reading for the 4th Sunday in Advent (Luke 1:26-38) for this service and light the 4th Advent Candle.

On Christmas Eve we hope you are able to join us for worship at:

  • 3:00 pm: Acoustic carols, candles & communion
  • 5:00 pm: Contemporary carols, candles & communion
  • 11:00 pm: Traditional carols, candles & communion

For more information on the Christmas Eve services please CLICK HERE

  • Also, a reminder of the community carol sing in the Huntley Square on Christmas Eve at 8:00 pm. Father DiTomo (St. Mary’s Catholic Church) and myself will be leading the carol sing this year.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family in worship and so thankful to you all for your partnership in ministry through this past year.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Mark

Altar Flowers

Brighten the Sanctuary

We continue to ask you to please consider signing up to donate flowers to brighten up the sanctuary. Each arrangement will be $52.

The bouquets are delivered from the florist for the weekend worship services. The flowers are yours to keep after the Sunday services or on the Monday following. The church is open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

There are several ways to place an order for altar flowers:

When you order the flowers, you will need to provide your name, the date you would like them, your phone number, and for whom the flowers are dedicated to or in memory of.  If you don’t pay online, Diane will send you a special offering envelope for the payment in the mail.  If you have any questions, please contact Diane Mollis.

Thank you for contributing to beautify the altar during our services at Shepherd of the Prairie.

Contact: Diane Mollis dem910@outlook.com

2024 Offering Envelopes

And Giving Numbers

We have heard from many members that are on electronic giving, that they don’t want or need envelopes. 

We have implemented a new system, where there is an opportunity to opt out of receiving offering envelopes.

Besides electronic giving, if you are on annual or semi-annual giving, you also can opt out of envelopes.  Contact Michelle Rankin to get set up.

With this change, many of you will have new envelope numbers for 2024.  The 2024 envelopes will be ig envelopesssued sometime in December.

Contact: Michelle Rankin at michelle@sotpmail.com











Financial Records

Giving Statements, Envelopes & Giving Numbers

We only keeps financial records on members and non-members that have a giving # assigned.

If you would like us to track your giving, contact Michelle Rankin in the Church office.

2024 Giving #s and/or envelopes will be coming soon.

If you give electronically, please watch for an email from Michelle Rankin in the beginning of November.

Contact: Michelle Rankin michelle@sotpmail.com





Poinsettia Orders

Last Day December 3rd

Once again, we will be offering 6” poinsettias at a cost of $14.00 each to help beautify Shepherd of the Prairie for the Christmas season. You can order the poinsettias online at www.bit.ly/SOTPpoin23 or with the offering envelope located in the church coffee bar/gathering area.
Don’t forget to indicate if you would like to dedicate your flowers to someone or offer them in memory of a loved one.
All orders must be received by December 3rd.

Contact: Diane Mollis  dem910@outlook.com




Take a Step in Faith


Sunday, November 19 will be Building a Culture of Generosity by Taking a Step of Faith Weekend at Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church. We urge you to plan now to be in church that day.   We are looking forward to welcoming Bishop Stacie Fidler as our special guest that day.  She will also be joining us for a “Gratitude” luncheon following worship to thank all who love and serve through SOTP.  Please register to let us know you will be joining us that day.

Sometimes, we have measured too much of our success on whether or not we could underwrite a particular budget. For this year, we will measure success by how much the people of Shepherd of the Prairie are willing to take the next step in their giving. Instead of strictly emphasizing commitments to the budget, we are asking each person to consider a personal, proportional commitment to the ministries of our church. This biblical approach to stewardship is an effective means of making progress in our spiritual journeys.  We are asking not for equal giving, but equal sacrifice in response to God’s many blessings in our lives.

We believe that you, as part of the SOTP Family, are concerned enough to make every effort to come to church on Take a Step of Faith Weekend to make your response. 

It will be a special time together! 

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Grace and peace, 

Mike McCann

Stewardship Team Leader

Email Mike McCann: michealmccann71@gmail.com 

Thank You

From Chris Solem

I want to thank all of my brothers and sisters at Shepherd of the Prairie for your visits, prayers, and cards.

Sara read them to me when I couldn’t even open the envelopes.  They lifted not only my spirits, but Sara’s as well.
Your countless prayers helped Sara and me through the lows that followed my surgery.  The power of your prayers was evident in so many ways.   Again, I thank you.

Chris Solem






Church Center


Here at SOTP, we want to be sure that everyone has access to the latest events and happenings here at the church. One of the best ways to keep up to date is through our church app called “Church Center”

Not only is this app updated with the most current SOTP information, but it is also a quick and easy way for all members to register for events, keep in touch with their groups and make requests for things such as room reservations!

Feel free to reach out to our Operations Manager, Matt Morrison, anytime during the week to get one on one time specific to any questions you may have.

Contact: Matt Morrison matt@sotpmail.com







New Photo Directory

Updating Pictures & Information

As you may know, we are now publishing our Member Directory with members’ photos. 

If you need to update or add your photo, please send your photo to Donna Kelly donna@sotpmail.com, or Ed Cuttle
edschn28@comcast.net and we will update or add it to the directory.

We publish an updated directory every time we receive new members, so 4 times a year. If you would like to receive the updated
directory via email, please let Michelle Rankin know, michelle@sotpmail.com or you can pick one up at the office or at the Registration Desk.

If you have any questions, contact Donna Kelly, donna@sotpmail.com or through the church office.


Saturday Night

Ushers Needed

Saturday night ushers needed for the 5th Saturday of the month. 
You would serve ONLY four times a year.  Wanted: two persons or a couple to fill this request.
Please join our Team.
Contact: Barb Hoppensteadt hoppen@sbcglobal.net

Welcome New Members

The weekend of August 19 & 20 we welcomed these new members to our community of faith.

Prairie Crafters

All Are Welcome

Looking forward to our 2024 Craft Show 

Looking for:

  • New Members
  • New Ideas
  • New Friends
  • New Crafters

All money raised from crafts goes toward paying down our mortgage.

Contact: Annette Kandell  quangels2015@gmail.com



Children & Family

With Jill

We had an amazing Easter Egg Hunt here at SOTP on April 8th! There were over 80 children that came out to hunt for candy filled eggs (photo below). We had such a great time. Thank you to everyone that donated candy, we were so very blessed with all the donations. Also thank you to everyone who took the time to fill 2400 eggs, it was a big job but with many hands involved it didn’t take very long!!!
Our next event is on Friday June 2nd, Ice Cream Social Summer Kick Off!!!! We will be kicking off summer with games, music, and ICE CREAM. This event is for the young and the young at heart, so everyone is welcome. Go to the SOTP website and register today.

Calling all VBS volunteers!!!! VBS is coming up fast, July 10-14. This years theme is Ready, Set, Move: Follow Jesus Here, There, and Everywhere! If you are interested or you have any questions on how you can help please contact Jill Gillming

Contact: Jill Gillming jill@sotpmail.com



Wheels Show - June 2

Register Your Wheels Now

Summer is kicking off with an Ice Cream Social & Wheels Show.

Join us Friday, June 2nd from 6:30pm-8:30pm for the Ice Cream Social.

Sign up to bring your wheels at www.bit.ly/SOTPwheels23 . They can have 4 or 3 or 2 wheels, maybe someone even has a unicycle!?!?

The best decorated kid’s wheels will win a prize.


We will also have games, relays, face painting, an ice cream Pinata, and lots of fun!

Let us know you’re coming – register at www.bit.ly/SOTPsocial23

Contact: Jill Gillming  jill@sotpmail.com