March 2023

Ebenezer United Church of Christ

Pastor Mike's Corner

Greetings Everyone,

First let me say I am looking forward to returning to the churches on March 1st. I miss worshiping with you and I miss the Confirmation classes. I miss the fellowship times with everyone. In short, I miss being a part of your lives and I miss having you be part of my life.The three months have in some ways flown by and in other ways it seems like it's been forever.

Let me share with you what I've been doing since Sue died on Thanksgiving Day of last year. I have been taking a respite sabbatical which means I have been taking time to rest and begin rebuilding my life. Loving Sue and caring for her took more and more of my time as 2022 moved along. At the beginning of last year Sue was still fairly healthy, she needed my help but not nearly as much as when the year moved forward. When confirmation class started in September, I had to cancel a couple of the classes at the last minute because shehad gotten sick and needed me. When she got sick in November she needed me almost every minute of the day and night. It was then our Associate Conference Minister, Jane Anderson, suggested I take a sabbatical beginning on January 1 of 2023. When Sue died Reverend Jane and the council presidents agreed that I should start my sabbatical immediately, thus on December 1st, I stepped away from the churches and my responsibilities with the churches so that I could heal from the pain and the loss of my wife. She required so much care that my ministry at the two churches was reduced to being secondary in my life. I needed the time away from my responsibilities as you minister to figure out what my ministry would be like in the future and how to run a household without Sue.

During the first two months of my sabbatical, time was spent taking care of all the details surrounding her death and her funeral, catching up on the bills, and figuring out what kind ofa budget I needed to create since my income with Sue's passing had been reduced by half. During most of the first two months the grief that I was feeling took up much of my time. Day-in and day-out was consumed with thoughts of her, talking with her, and simply missing her. The fog that comes with grief, intense grief, played out several times during those first two months. An example; I went to Target to buy some things because I had a gift card from Target. So, I went to Target with a list of things to buy and I proudly went up to the check-out counter knowing that I was spending free money. I gave the gift card to the cashier, she looked at it and looked at me and said, “This is a Walmart card you can't use that for payment here.” Today, the grief of missing Sue is not as fresh, not as painful, not as all-encompassing as it was three months ago. I can start looking to the future with a clear mind and focus on what I need to do and how I can do things better in my life. I'm relatively confident that I've caught all the bills, though occasionally something shows up in the mail that I did not know about but that doesn't happen too often anymore. I'm able to start constructing a budget so I know what I have for income and expenses. I set aside time each day for prayer and study. The days begin with a sense of anticipation and energy I have not experienced in several months. I want to thank Reverend David Kohls for all the work he has done in the last three months with the churches. Two funerals occurred while I was gone Vern Knoespel and Norm Pautz. I was saddened that I could not officiate at those two services. I'm looking forward to getting back, seeing everyone, smiling and welcoming everyone. One of the things I have been doing for the last three months is on Wednesday evenings I come over to Ebenezer and I sit and listen to the Ebenezer Brass practice. I find those times to be a blessing from God. The joy that that group has with the practices, the fun they have with each other, the smiles and the laughter helped me heal during these three months. 

Finally, the respite sabbatical has been a tremendous gift. You have allowed me to grieve, to heal and to begin looking to the future with hope. For this I thank you each one of you and I thank God for the blessing that you have been to me. Peace and grace to you. May God's love shine in your lives each day and may God bless you. Amen.

Pastor Mike


March 5- Natalie Adamietz

March 12- Pastor Mike

March 19- Addison Brown

March 26- Lake Pingel


March 5- Council

March 12- Andy

March 19- Ken

March 26- Ralph

A Final Word from Pastor Dave

Three Months Already?

It only seemed like yesterday when we were navigating the beginning of Pastor Mike’s Sabbatical. Everyone has been so gracious and so very kind. I know I changed some things, but everyone was willing to allow me some ‘wiggle room’. I thank you all for that. Our journey regarding “The Mission Table” was re-inspiring for me. I pray that I have laid some groundwork for the future.

As we navigate our Lenten journey, may God guide you and shepherd you.

See you in Church!



On March 19, 2023 Ebenezer UCC will be offering envelopes to donate to "One Great Hour of Sharing" that directly impacts the nutritional welfare of people near and far. See the following video for more details.

Notes from the Music Corner

THANK YOU to the Pine Haven Men’s Chorus for providing an inspirational, invigorating musical worship message on February 26!  Along with Pastor Kohl’s uplifting ‘farewell’ message, it was a very positive worship experience. Thank you to all who donated funds to the Chorus for them to continue their mission. 

  THANK YOU to Pastor Kohl for ‘putting on his other hat’ when he directed the bell choir during worship on February 19! Jill, the regular director, needed to replace one of the ringers so Pastor Kohl stepped in to direct. Thank you to all the ringers and directors!!

Elaine Hessil


If you are in need of Scrip,

please let Kelly know. If you are

interested in re-loadable cards and

direct pay, there is a

small fee for credit card charges and

bank withdrawals.

Kelly Brown


You are in our prayers:

Arlene, Audra, Audrey, Barb,

Da’Monique, Da’Nisha, Dennis, Diana, Eric Eugene, Glen, Jeff S., Jim, Kari, Kay, Rebecca, Rod, Sandra, Sharon, Steve, Terry S., Tod, & Tony.

As well as the 

Vern Knoespel Family


Norm Pautz Families  

*Please email or call office to add or remove a name.

Ebenezer Brass Handbell Choir Schedule:

March 1 Practice @ 6:15 p.m.

March 8 Practice @ 6:15 p.m.

March 22 Practice @ 6:15 p.m.

March 26 Play @ EUCC 8 a.m.

March 29 Practice @ 6:15 p.m.

March 2: Peter Hofmeister

March 3: Don Goeldi

March 4: Wayne Kress

March 6: Donna Kuba

March 7: Kelly Kress

March 8: Kaitlynn Wagner

March 10: Brandon Alten

March 11: Ellie Augsburger

March 12: Kimberlee Pringle

March 13: Jaren Pingel

March 13: Mike Redig

March 14: Michael Safford-Kennedy

March 15: Landon Pierquet

March 16: Dean Beyer

March 19: Torrey Gasch

March 21: Edith Knoespel

March 21: Eric Plate

March 21: Jim Scholz

March 21: Aiden Tanner

March 22: Karen Cmejla

March 23: Sue Riesterer

March 25: Dean Pingel

March 28: Roger Kloehn

February Council Meeting Minutes

March Calendar of Events

*Click image to enlarge calendar for reading and printing purposes.

Office: Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (920) 849-4331

Pastor: Rev. Michael Sanford-Kennedy (920) 286-1956

Council President: Mark Rusch (920) 213-5557

Council VP: Don Pingel (920) 849-2062

Council Secretary: Karen Cmejla (920) 375-0244

Council Treasurer: Dino Papendieck (920) 439-1246

Kristi Schnell (920) 464-1060

Judy Mattes (920) 853-7109

Amy Kuhn (920) 418-0929

Follow us on Facebook & tune into LIVE worship services at 8:45 a.m. on Sundays!