Pilgrim Lutheran School News

December 6, 2019

The Pilgrim Dad's Pancake Breakfast...

...is Sunday!

When: December 8, 2019

Where: Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School - Maring Hall

What: All you can eat, suggested donation of $5 per person at the door

1st Serving at 9:00 AM & 2nd Serving at 11:30 AM.

Eat a hearty breakfast before or after the 10:30 am Worship service when Pilgrim's Gospel Kids (PK-3rd Grade) will sing. See you there Pilgrim!

December 7: Holiday decoration of Church and Church grounds, 9:30 a.m.

December 8: Dad’s Pancake Breakfast; Greenery Sale Pick-Up

December 10: Winter Band Concert. Pilgrim Band performs at Agassiz School.

December 13: Pilgrim 1/2 Homeroom and 7/8 Elves visit Pablo Casals School

December 18: Christmas Service Dress Rehearsal at 9:00 a.m.

December 19: PM Pre-Kindergarten Christmas Service at 2:00 p.m.

  • Christmas Service at 7:00 p.m. Students arrive/Church Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

December 20: Christmas Break starts at 11:45; NO PM Pre-K; NO PAS today

Many Christmas Holiday events are happening at Pilgrim. Thank you to all our families for your support of these events. Santa’s Workshop happened today, and all the students were very excited to buy gifts and take a photo with Santa. Special thanks go to Jennifer Goolsby and Sally Benson for their coordination of stocking the store, organizing the merchandise and finding volunteers to staff the tables. Thanks also to our 7th and 8th graders who assist Pre-Kindergarteners and Kindergarteners while shopping. The whole event sets the tone for a busy weekend of preparation for the holidays.

While all the classes had a chance to purchase gifts at Santa’s Workshop, several other service projects are in process today.

  • The 2nd/3rd Grade Homeroom is visiting with seniors at Pastor’s Holiday Party at the Parsonage. Students will sing some favorite Christmas songs for the seniors and get to know them just a little bit better.
  • The 5th/6th Grade Homeroom is stuffing Christmas stockings with health care kits for distribution by the Night Ministry. Students walk the stockings over to the Night Ministry headquarters on Ravenswood to drop them off and learn more about the important work of the Night Ministry.
  • The 7th/8th Grade Homeroom is wrapping presents collected for the Toy Drive. Your generosity has resulted in a mountain of toys for delivery to Pablo Casals.
  • The 1st/2nd Grade Homeroom is preparing for their visit to Pablo Casals. Students engage their partners at Pablo Casals in games and crafts for an afternoon of fun.
  • The Pre-K class visited Aria, a residential home for the elderly and for people in need of memory-care. Students drew pictures and visited with the residents during the week before Thanksgiving.

Greenery Pick Up

If you ordered local delivery greenery from the PTL, it can be picked up at the Dad's Pancake Breakfast between 9 am and noon on Sunday, Dec. 8. We will also have a small amount of greenery for sale for anyone who did not order in advance. If you did not already pay for your order online please provide cash or check payment at pickup. Orders not picked up at the breakfast can be claimed in the Pilgrim Office starting Dec. 9.

Pilgrim Sports

Basketball season for 5th/6th Graders is wrapping up! The students have worked hard and have learned a lot! Both Boys and Girls teams played at St. John’s on Monday. Our games had mixed results but everyone played hard and had fun. The Girls play in a tournament at St. Philip’s this weekend, starting with a game this afternoon at 4:00 p.m against St. James. Both the Boys and Girls play a regular season game on Tuesday, December 9 at Holy Family. Thanks to all who come out to cheer the 5/6 Teams on toward victory. Thanks to coaches Carl Doerfler and Todd Zima for the Boys, and Jim Volkens and Glenn Williams for the Girls. Thanks to all the fans for your support of the teams!!


The Pilgrim Board of Education met on Tuesday, December 3. An important topic for discussion was tuition and fees for 2020-2021. A letter concerning tuition will be coming out to parents early in January. Our goal is to minimize increases but still provide high quality education accessible to as many families as possible. The Board has been very happy with the Smart Tuition program for tuition and fee collection. The Board also voted to pursue two of the Badges in the CLEF sponsored Medallion Program. The Medallion Program is a standard for excellence in which all of the Chicago area Lutheran schools are invited to participate. Completion of a Medallion Badge results in additional grant money for Pilgrim. If you have any comments or concerns about these topics, please contact Principal Comella; Bianka Hardin, BOE President; or any of the BOE members.

Staff Christmas Bonus

‘Tis the season! Please consider donating to the Holiday Teacher & Staff Bonus. Bring cash or checks to the school office or pay via Paypal to PTL@pilgrimchicago.org before Monday, December 16th. Every contribution is most appreciated and goes directly to the people that take such amazing care of our children. Thank you for your continued support of our community.

-Pilgrim Parent Teacher League

Kudos are due to the staff of Hazel

The owner of Hazel, Dave Vail, contacted Pilgrim last week, asking how the Hazel staff could partner with Pilgrim to do some service for the community. So, the Hazel staff is shopping for toys for the Pilgrim Toy Drive. If shopping at Hazel is part of your holiday, please thank them for their generosity!

Toy Drive

Thank you Pilgrim, our numbers look much better than last week, but we are not there yet! we still have 70 toys to go!

Our Toy Total as of today:

Girl: 42

Boy: 42

Either: 46

Total: 130

Every year for the past 15 years the Pilgrim community has helped bring Christmas joy to children at Pablo Casals Elementary School in Humboldt Park. This year we are aiming high and hope to collect enough toys for not only the 50 first graders with whom our 1st and 2nd graders will spend the afternoon but also gifts for all the Pablo Casals preschoolers, kindergartners and 2nd graders-a total of at least 200! We can reach that goal but obviously we need as much help as we can get.

Click here to see how you can help:


Winter Band Concert

Pilgrim Band under the direction of Amy Caulk, our band director is presenting a Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 10. The Pilgrim Band is participating in a multi-school concert at Agassiz Elementary School. Ms. Caulk directs the bands at six different schools in addition to Pilgrim. Solid instruction and participation with the other schools has brought the performance level of Pilgrim’s Band to a whole new level. We look forward to hearing all three divisions of the Pilgrim Band in a Concert here at Pilgrim soon.

Pablo Casals

Ms. Stone’s Homeroom and the 7th and 8th Grade Elves are visiting our partners at Pablo Casals School of Excellence on Friday, December 13. Students work through stations, get to know one another, and share the toys that we have collected over the past few weeks. The most important part of this visit lies in the ability for our students to interact with children from another part of the city, children with whom they may otherwise never have any interactions. Whether your child goes on that day or not, we are all helping to build and strengthen the values of friendship and sharing that Pilgrim espouses. Thanks for making that happen!

Coat Angels

Thank you Pilgrim! Your generous donations came to a total of $2090 and tons of coats. A very special thank you to Lori Kraft Shores who organized, shopped and delivered coats for this wonderful organization. The gift of warmth these cold winter months is very much appreciated!

And Classroom Learning Continues

Regular classroom instruction continues strong all over the building. As we pass the halfway mark for the 2nd Quarter, this is a good time to check on academic progress. Upper grade students and their parents should check SIS for assignments and grades.

As part of their regular reading instructions, students have developed routines of sounding out letters and combinations of letter sounds, known as phonemes. These routines involving not only speaking and listening, but also clapping and sometimes stomping, as well as tracing letters in sand trays before writing them on paper. All of our Lower Grade teachers seek to incorporate all the senses into the teaching of reading.

If a teacher has concerns about a child’s academic progress, Pilgrim has access to a program provided by CLEF called easyCBM. CBM is an acronym for “Curriculum Based Measurement,” which provides measurable data The CBM testing provides teachers with regular progress monitoring, which helps to improve instruction for your child. Collecting several weeks of data from these tests is part of the process that schools must follow if parents and teachers conclude to pursue more in-depth academic testing needed for an individualized educational plan (IEP) or a 504 plan for students. If you have questions about these processes, please contact the school office.

Christmas Caroling, Hot Chocolate & Chili

We invite you to join us for a wonderful Pilgrim traditional holiday event! Meet at church at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 15th, for fun caroling around the neighborhood and at St. Paul's House Care Facility. AND/OR join us for a potluck Chili dinner at 5:30 p.m. at the Pilgrim Parsonage (4332 N. Winchester). All are invited! To sign up to bring something to the potluck, click here: https://tinyurl.com/pcchc19

Christmas Service

The Pilgrim Christmas Service is Thursday night, December 19. Please help to make it an orderly and reverent experience for all! Most students arrive, and doors open for parents at 6:30 p.m. The actual service starts at 7:00 p.m. Mrs. Raabe and Mrs. Gates are working with students who want to present solo music before the Service starts, and auditions are now closed. With children from over 120 families participating in the Service, we encourage family members for whom a trek into the winter night air might be difficult to attend the “dress-rehearsal” Service on Wednesday, December 18 at 9:00 a.m., in the Church.

As we prepare for the Christmas Service, we are using our normal Chapel time for rehearsal. NO chapel on Wednesday, December 11. A “dress rehearsal” of the evening service takes the place of Chapel on Wednesday, December 18.


Notice concerning PAS for Friday, December 20: NO PAS on Friday, December 20. All Students have a half-day; students will dismiss at 11:45 a.m. Parents should plan to collect their children as soon as school dismisses. NO PM_Pre-K on Friday, December 20. Please note that the School Office is officially closed during Christmas Break. If you need to communicate with Pilgrim, please leave a voicemail on the Principal extension, or email the Principal.

Pilgrim's Christmas "FUN" draiser

Click HERE for the registration form a parent's afternoon out!
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Boon Supply

Shop for your holiday gifts through Boon Supply and they will donate back 40% of all orders to help the 7th graders go to Washington D.C!

Items ordered by December 12th, are guarantee to ship in time for the holidays!


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Gift Cards

Christmas is Coming, the Goose is getting fat! Buy a useful gift card for Aunt or Uncle Pat!! It's the time of year when we have to start thinking about Christmas shopping and what we need to buy for whom. Pilgrim has you covered with gift cards in value from $5 Starbucks to $500 Amazon! The traditional green forms are in your mailbox or on the table in the narthex. We will be placing orders the first 3 Mondays in December with pickup the following Friday or Sunday.

Can't come in for the physical cards? Call Anne for different pickup options or use your phone to find "cards" to download in line at the store for the exact amount of your purchase, send them to others by email or print for gifting or your own use by going to www.benefit-mobile.com/causes/pilgrim-lutheran-church-and-school. Register with Pilgrim 60613, pay with your bank account or a credit card and Pilgrim benefits. Last month Pilgrim made $139 in profit from Benefit-Mobile.

Please contact Anne Barsano at 312-972-9040, cbarsano@aol.com or 773-472-6037 with any questions about additional cards available. Merry Christmas from Operation CIP!! Thank you to everyone who is using smile.amazon.com. You can sign up and all your benefits from Amazon.com will transfer to your account with smile.amazon.com.

Christmas Worship

School Christmas Service

Wednesday, December 18th, 9:00 a.m. dress rehearsal

Thursday, December 19th, 7:00 p.m. Doors open and music begins at 6:30 p.m.

Blue Christmas Service

remembering those we miss during the holidays

Saturday, December 21st, 4:00 p.m.

Worship Celebrations

Sunday, December 22nd, 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Christmas Eve Services - Tuesday, December 24th

4:00 p.m. (new earlier time) Family Candlelight

7:00 p.m. Candlelight

10:00 p.m. Candlelight

Christmas Morning Worship

Wednesday, December 25th 9:30 a.m.

Lessons and Christmas Carols

Sunday, December 29th, 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Like us on Facebook

Like us on Facebook to be inspired by some of the wonderful things happening at Pilgrim! "Pilgrim Church and School"

Thanks for all that you do to make “Academic Excellence with a Heart” a true reality!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal

Finally, if you missed the list of ways that parents can help at Pilgrim, here are some ideas:

  • …in the classroom
  • …in the Parent-Teacher League
  • …at the Board of Education Meetings: 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.
  • …as part of the Marketing Team
  • …as part of the Development Group
  • …as part of the Technology Team: 1st Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m
  • …supporting Pilgrim Fundraisers and purchasing gift cards on a regular basis
  • …sharing the good news about Pilgrim with a prospective family (postcards with Open House dates are available in the school office.

Our theme for parents this school year is 100% Participation! Our success as a school and as a living, growing community depends on the reality of every family donating some time, talent and treasure, as each family is able. Thanks for your help and participation.

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 Shellie Riedle, Alison Hays,or Staff Rep to PTL, Kristen Stone. Parents are also welcome to attend weekly chapel services. The students are always happy to see you there!

Chris Comella, Pilgrim School Principal