Pilgrim Lutheran School News

December 4, 2015

Many Christmas Holiday events are happening at Pilgrim

Rehearsals have started in earnest for the Christmas Service. Mounds of coats and toys are starting to build in the Parlor and the Narthex of the Church. Plans are underway in Mrs. Cardo’s and Mrs. Tighe’s homerooms for decorating the Pilgrim Christmas Tree at the Irish Christmas Market on December 11. Ms. Huelskoetter’s class is preparing to sing for the Senior Christmas luncheon at the parsonage on Friday, December 4. Ms. D’s class is working on candy-filled mittens to attach to the stockings filled with personal care items prepared by Mrs. Andreen’s homeroom for the Night Ministry. Every child is actively engaged in some holiday activity. Thank you to all of our families for your support of all these special activities. Also, please be aware that for some children, Christmas activities carry a certain amount of additional stress and anxiety. Thank you for your diligence in helping our kids keep things in perspective so that it remains fun. (I need this reminder, too, when I find myself in a shopping mall in December.) Your partnership in all these activities is awesome.

This Week: Sunday, December 6th is the Pilgrim Dad's Pancake Breakfast. December 7th will be the Pilgrim band Holiday Concert. Please note, the time has changed for the concert. It will begin at 7:00 PM. Please have your children arrive around 6:30.

MAKE UP DAY FOR PICTURES: Wednesday, December 9th will be the make up day for school pictures. Any child or staff that missed school picture day will be able to get their photos taken in the morning.

December Calendar at a glance

December 6th - Pilgrim Dad's Pancake Breakfast - Servings at 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM

December 6th - Greenery Order Pick-up - 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

December 7th - Pilgrim Band Holiday Concert - Kids arrive at 6:30 PM and concert begins at 7:00 PM

December 11th - All toys due for Pilgrim's 11th Annual Toy Drive

December 11th - Pilgrim Decorates Christmas Tree for North Center Holiday Tree Walk

December 13th - Pilgrim Caroling and Chorus Sing at Irish Christmas Market - 12:30 PM

December 15th - Pablo Casals Field Trip

December 16th - Dress Rehearsal for Christmas Service

December 17th - Christmas Service - 6:30 PM

December 18th - Half Day of School - dismissal at 11:45 AM

December 18th - January 1st - Christmas Break - No school

January 4th - Classes Resume

5th Annual Pilgrim Dads' Pancake Breakfast

This Sunday, December 6th!

The Pilgrim Dads are looking forward to hosting the best pancake breakfast that has ever been served out of Maring Hall. Servings begin are at 9:00 AM and 11:30 AM. Want to help out? There is still a chance to volunteer, see the sign up below.


All proceeds from the event will help support the school's technology fund.

Please contact Glenn Williams at gtwilliams67@gmail.com or Pete Gillespie at Peter.J.Gillespie@comcast.net for details.

Dear Pilgrim Parents,

Please remember to drop off your contribution to the PTL Teacher and Staff Christmas Bonus fund in the office. Our teachers and staff deserve all that we can give. Thank you.

Pilgrim, we need your help!

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We still have a long way to go. Are you shopping this weekend, ordering online? Please consider Pilgrim's annual toy drive. As of December 2nd, our count was 43 gifts. Remember, at minimum, we want to provide toys to the 63 first graders we will visit on December 15th! Our goal is to bring joy and gifts to all the preschoolers, kindergartners and 2nd graders too, for a total of 186 gifts! I know we can do it but we need a big push in the next week! This trip is a very special event and it means so much for all the children and families involved.

Remember, we need all the toys by December 11th!

Click http://pilgrimchicago.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/11/Toy_Drive_letter-2015.doc here for the full letter and see how you can help-

Greenery Pick Up and Sale

Greenery pickup will be Sunday, December 6, from 9am-12:30pm (during the Dad’s breakfast). We will have additional greenery items for sale! Please help us close out this fundraiser strong by purchasing remaining items. We will also collect any outstanding payments at this time. Please contact erin.r.mendoza@gmail.com with any questions.

Holiday Concert

Pilgrim School’s Holiday Concert is scheduled for December 7 at 7:00 p.m. Come to enjoy the Upper Grade Chorus Classes under the direction of Rebecca Sorensen and the Pilgrim Band under the direction of Ouida Zaporta perform holiday selections right here at Pilgrim.

Wildcat Sports

Basketball season for 5th/6th Graders is wrapping up! The Pilgrim teams played their last regular season games on Tuesday at St. James and on Thursday at St. Philp. This weekend is a 5th/6th Tournament at St. Philip. The students have worked hard and have learned a lot! Thanks to coaches Andy Weiss, Charlie Negron, Eric Jones, Pete Gillespie and Mike Suhajda. Thanks to all the fans for your support of the teams!!


In light of recent national and world events, concerns are elevated about building security everywhere. Pilgrim needs to be alert, too, to any suspicious activities and potential safety threats to our community. Please let me know if you have any concerns. Our partners at CLEF are sending their security consultant to Pilgrim in the next couple of weeks to do an evaluation of our security procedures. Thanks to all of you for participating in our sign in-sign out procedures. Thanks also, for making sure those students who are going to be absent or more than 10 minutes late are called in to the office.

Christmas Service

Keeping in line with a great Pilgrim tradition, please join the Pilgrim teachers, staff and PTL for refreshments immediately following the Holiday Service on Thursday, December 17th. Bring your favorite holiday cookie or treat for everyone to share. The PTL will also be distributing the Holiday Bonuses that evening

Library News

Just one more week to check out your favorite Christmas book. Please return all Pilgrim Lutheran School Library books by Monday, December 14th. Thank you for your prompt help getting all the books back before break. Have a joyous Christmas and a hope-filled New Year!

Trivia Night!

Online Registration now Open for Trivia Night Jan. 30!
Sign up in next two weeks and get up to $40 off your table. Price is $200 per table (maximum 8 people) before the break and $240 after Dec. 18.
Trivia Night will be Saturday, Jan. 30, in Maring Hall 7-11 pm. Doors open at 6.
Proceeds help cover costs of the 8th-grade graduation and next year's trip to Washington, DC. Adults only, please.

Checks work, too, made out to Pilgrim Lutheran School.

Here's the link for credit cards: http://pilgrimschool.schoolauction.net/trivianight2016/
Please gather your friends and join us for the fun!
Any questions? Email Marcia Frellick at mfrellick@gmail.com

School Board and Church Council

The Pilgrim Board of Education met on Tuesday, December 1.The Board elected a new slate of officers. Congratulations to Chad Smith, Board President; Bianka Hardin, Vice-President; and Tricia Koning-Llewellyn, Secretary. Many thanks for out-going BOE Chair, Nancy Liljedahl! The main discussion item for the night was tuition for 2016-2017. Shellie Riedle did a thorough analysis of Pilgrim tuition and salaries from 2005 to the present. The Board overwhelming felt the need to minimize any increase in costs; unfortunately, the rising cost of health care and benefits for staff necessitates some rise. The Board approved an aggregate increase of 3% to the current tuition with a further review of fees. A more formal letter explaining the tuition for 2016-2017 is coming soon. The BOE is committed to providing an affordable high quality education!

Pilgrim Church Council met on Tuesday, November 24. The Council continued its discussion of a strategic plan, which included more discussion concerning an expansion of the Pilgrim Early Childhood program. In order to expand Early Childhood, the Council would need to approve additional bathroom space and other physical changes to the building. The Council will continue to explore the viability of doing this, especially with the possibility of some additional financial support coming into Pilgrim from an outside source. An expanded Early Childhood program would meet a growing need for full day school options for 3 and 4 year-olds, as well as increase the pool of students who might filter into the Grade 1-8 program.

Pilgrim Marketing Group

The marketing group will meet Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 7 p.m. in the School Office. The two main topics would be a review of the Pilgrim website and the possibility of launching a Pilgrim radio campaign to advertise our Open House dates. Please contact me if you are interested in attending


Pilgrim needs someone to moderate the Yearbook! If you would be willing to work with a group of upper grade students to gather ideas and photos to put together the 2015-2016 yearbooks, please let me know. The last two years, yearbook has used the Shutterfly website to put articles together and print the books. The moderator meets with the students on a regular basis until spring and then coordinates the printing of the yearbook. This is a wonderful way to work with a great group of students.

iCook Cooking Classes

Calling all Junior Chefs!!!

iCook Cooking Class is running another session January 11th through March 14th! This culinary program in filled with delicious, healthy, fun food that kids prepare themselves. Children will learn cooking skills, nutrition education and skills for life. Please find registration forms on our Early Bird and PAS Information Center bulletin board located on the lower level just outside of Maring Hall.

Visit from Luther North Principal Sheri Meyer

You are invited to join us in worship at the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, December 6th: Mission Gifts Presentation from Sheri Meyer, Luther North High School, as we celebrate the grant they are receiving from the Pilgrim Capital Campaign.

Christmas Caroling, Hot Chocolate & Chili - Sunday, December 13th

Meet at the Pilgrim Lutheran Church, (4300 N. Winchester) Sunday, December 13 at 4:00 p.m. for caroling in the neighborhood. Then join us for a Chili dinner following at 5:30 p.m. at Pastor Kristian and Anna-Kari’s house (4332 N. Winchester Ave.) All are invited!

Christmas Caroling at the Irish American Festival NEW TIME

Sunday, December 13th at 12:30 p.m. Pilgrim Children are invited to sing at the North Center Town Square (across from CVS between Lincoln and Damen) Please meet at Pilgrim after the 10:30 a.m. service, or at 12 noon, to participate!

Pilgrim Pride

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift?

Pilgrim Church and School hoodies and t-shirts are just right for everyone on your list!

Show your Pilgrim Pride and order today!


Christmas at Pilgrim - Join Us!

Christmas Eve… Come Participate!

Thursday, December 24th- 4:30 p.m. Family Candlelight Service

We invite all children, families, and youth to participate in the Christmas Eve Candlelight Family Service this year at 4:30 p.m.! Artists, musicians, readers, angels, singers, and shepherds are needed! Please email Office Adminstrator kdanner@pilgrimchicago.org for more info!

Thursday, December 24th, 7:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Candlelight Services

Friday, December 25th at 9:30 a.m.-Christmas Day Service

Dear Pilgrim Community

Last year, on Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, I organized a mitten making day for the poor. We then distributed them among people living under Lake Shore Drive. It was very well received and appreciated. This year, I was hoping to include the Pilgrim Church and School community as we make more mittens to warm those who are living without shelter.

You can help in the following ways:

1) Drop off packages of handwarmers (can be purchased in bulk at Costco),

2) Mitten Assembly—On January 10th after the 10:30 service, we will be assembling the mittens. On that day, we will need volunteers and some sewing machines that we could borrow for a couple hours. Please email me your interest for sewing or if you have a sewing machine you would like to loan for the day. Thank you in advance- school parent Jennifer Goolsby at jhgoolsby@gmail.com

Amazon Smile - Are you buying gifts online?

Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School has been issued a $73.57 donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation as a result of AmazonSmile program activity between July 1 and September 30, 2015. The holidays are approaching, and you can increase Pilgrim's donation potential by spreading the word about AmazonSmile. Pilgrim's name on Amazon smile is Pilgrim Lutheran Church English Synod. http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2284295 . This is a really easy way to help Pilgrim!

Gift Cards and Magazine Drive

In anticipation of the holidays we have added some new gift cards to our list: Baker's Square $25, American Express $50, $100 and $250 (already activated), Hotels.com $25, Nordstrom $25 and $100 and Spa Week $25. Unfortunately we no longer carry KFC, Red Box or Eddie Bauer. If you can't decide which gift card to give someone, why not purchase a Paper Certificate for Gift Cards in any amount and let the recipient choose from our list. We will be selling Sunday after the 2nd service and Monday and Friday until 10 am in the school office. You may also drop off or send in an order with your child to the school office , which will be held for pickup or sent home with your child if a waiver has been submitted. You will receive an email when it is ready or has been sent. Don't forget to continue using smileamazon.com as we earn an additional 1/2 percent on your order. Please contact Anne Barsano cbarsano@aol.com or 312-972-9040 with any questions.

You are always welcome in classrooms, and I welcome your feedback and questions. Feel free to contact me (ccomella@pilgrimchicago.org) whenever something arises. If you would like to become involved in events and activities hosted by the Parent Teacher League (PTL), please contact either Anna Lambros or Carrie Goerne. Parents are also welcome to attend weekly chapel services. The students are always happy to see you there!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal