Connections Proclaiming the GOSPEL
local & global stories, news and events of College Church
"SHE SAID SHE WAS HAVING CANCER SURGERY THE NEXT DAY..." Read “Simplicity” by Keith Bodger on page 18.
Face to Face
A Season for Companionability
From Chaos to Peace
Faithful Service to a Faithful God
VIRGINIA HUGHES | 7
ZACH STROBECK | 15
ALISON TAYLOR | 16
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Connections September 2021
A Season for Companionability VIRGINIA HUGHES
Mental Health: Not Just a Seminar Topic KATHERINE BAYLIS
From Chaos to Peace ZACH STROBECK
Faithful Service to a Faithful God ALISON TAYLOR
SIMPLICITY KEITH BODGER
Bookstall: Staff Picks for Fall
When Babies Save Moms: From College Church to the World SARAH LINDQUIST
Something's Missing WIL TRIGGS
Looking Ahead: October Ministry Preview
Meet Our Leaders
Around College Church
332 E. Seminary, Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 668-0878 | www.college-church.org
Connections is a monthly newsletter published for and about the people of College Church. Send news items and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep Connections in mind to promote a community event to the College Church family. Send event information by the following dates: For the October issue: September 9 | For the November issue: October 9 | For the December issue: November 9
1 Virginia Hughes is a frequent contributor to Connections, and as summer turns to fall, Virginia transports us to a new season, “A Season of Companionability.”
2 Katherine Baylis, a regular contributor to Connections,
likes trying new kinds of teas, especially ones with unusual names. When not at her keyboard, Katherine has a sketchbook open, sketching architecture. Sit down with a cup of tea and read her article, “Mental Health: Not Just a Seminar Topic.”
From prayer by a Planned Parenthood clinic to marching for Life, Sarah Lindquist stands for the value of life. A member of the Sanctity of Human Life take force, Sarah retells stories of life in her update, “When Babies Save Moms.”
With the start of Kids’ Harbor Bible school, Wil Triggs acknowledges that “Something Is Missing” as he pays tribute to Linda Murphy, teacher, gardener, volunteer, wife.
This month, Zach Strobeck shares his I Believe! story and what he has learned along the way. During quarantine, Zach made good use of social media to proclaim Jesus.
6 Alison Taylor makes her debut in Connections, and we've
forgiven her for "stealing" animal crackers from the church nursery. A freshman at Wheaton College, Alison loves to write, "because it's amazing how we can organize tiny words to create a glimpse of an entire world in our imaginations, which we can then share with others."
7 Keith Bodger was born and raised in Canada and has
lived in Wheaton for 27 years. At College Church he leads a small group with his wife, Melody, and he shovels snow in the winter. A storyteller at-heart. If Keith can’t verbally tell you the story, he'll put it down on paper like he did for us in his debut article, "Simplicity."
COVER PHOTO: Kathryn McBride
Our Pastors, Directors and Residents: Eric Channing, pastor of congregational care and family ministries | Cheryce Berg, director of children’s ministries | Julie Clemens, director of disability ministries | Erik Dewar, pastor of worship and music | Baxter Helm, high school pastor | Dan Hiben, middle school pastor | Tim Hollinger, technology director | Diane Jordan, director of visitation and care | Howard Kern, facilities director | Josh Maurer, pastoral resident | Curt Miller, missions pastor | Josh Moody, senior pastor | Ben Panner, college pastor | Mindy Rynbrandt, director of women’s ministries | John Seward, executive pastor | Nancy Singer, director of administration and finance | Wil Triggs, director of communications | Michael Walker, pastoral resident Our Council of Elders: David Bea | Mark Berg | Howard Costley, chair | Dave Gieser, vice chair | Randy Jahns| Heinrich Johnsen | Dan Lindquist | Josh Moody, senior pastor | Tom Nussbaum | Jeff Oslund | Roger Sandberg | Jeremy Taylor, secretary| Tad Williams
SEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS Sunday Morning Services
• September 5 No Service (Labor Day weekend) • September 12 Exodus 3-4, Pastor Eric Channing • September 19 Exodus 5:1-7:7, Pastoral Resident Josh Maurer • September 26 Exodus 7:8-13:22
all classes 9:30 a.m.
ALL NATIONS in CL03 Jim Tebbe teaching the Book of Ruth
Feel free to invite people to worship with us. Join us at 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. Masks and social distancing required for 8 a.m. Mask-optional services at 9:30 and 11:00. Livestream broadcast is at 9:30 with a rebroadcast at 11:00. You can watch it at college-church.org/livestream • September 5 Spiritual Warfare—“The Breastplate of Righteousness” Ephesians 6:14 and Communion • September 12 Spiritual Warfare—“Shoes Fitted with the Gospel of Peace” Ephesians 6:15
Focus: Developing globally minded Christians through teaching, discussion and fellowship for the purpose of gospel impact.
FORUM 15 in CL01 Bruce Main teaching the Book of Judges
GREEK CLASS in the Board Room Jon Laansma, (knowledge of Greek is not required for this class.)
JOINT HEIRS in Commons Gym Eric Channing, Michael Walker, Josh Maurer teaching the Sermon on the Mount and the Olivet Discourse
LOGOS in Commons Hall
• September 19 Spiritual Warfare—“The Shield of Faith” Ephesians 6:16
Dan Haase teaching the Psalms of Jesus
• September 26 Spiritual Warfare—“The Helmet of Salvation” Ephesians 6:17
in Commons Hall Doug Moo teaching the Book of Hebrews
Sunday Evening Service
LIVING WORD (New Adult Community)
VERITAS in Commons Hall Dan Block teaching the Book of Ezekiel Coming in October: Neil Wright teaching the Book of Revelation
Fall Book Group This year’s book: Confronting Injustice Without Compromising Truth Join us Monday nights for our fall book discussion. We’ll meet in the Commons at 7 p.m. In the Commons at 5 p.m.
September 13, 20, 27, October 5, 12, 19, 26 Find our more information by emailing email@example.com
WEDNESDAYS Wednesday club programs start September 15
Multi-Nations Fellowship Companerismo Multinacional
Middle School (KMs) SUNDAYS Foundations (CL02) 9:30-10:30 a.m.
WEDNESDAYS Large-group gathering (CL02) 6:45-8:15 p.m.
High School (HYACKS) MULTI-NATIONS FELLOWSHIP in the Commons Saturday, September 11 at 4:00 p.m.
CHRISTIANITY EXPLORED in the Commons, also
SUNDAYS 9:30 a.m., in Commons Hall and 6:45-8:15 p.m. in the gym. Beginning September 12 will meet in Crossings.
available via Zoom
Discover what our faith is all about on Saturday— September 22 at 10 a.m.
Bridge Students only 7:30-9 p.m. in Commons Hall
55+ KEENAGERS in the Commons Enjoy a delicious dinner, followed by a lively program— from educational to inspirational to musical. 5:30 p.m. Punch, 6:00 p.m. Buffet Dinner, 7:00 p.m. Entertainment • September 10, 2021 Tim Botts, calligraphy: Word Pictures from the Bible
College Group SUNDAYS 10:45 a.m. in the Tent
THURSDAYS Trivia at 7 p.m. in the Tent September 9 and 16.
• October 22, 2021 Marr Miller: Photography from Israel
1 Peter Starts September 15 at 6:45-8:00 p.m.
Bears, Bags and BBQ in the Commons
• Nursery (0-2) at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m.
September 26 at 12 noon
• Bible School (preschool-5th grade) at 9:30 a.m. • Wonders of Worship “WOW” (K-third grade) during second half of 11 a.m. service
Women’s Ministries BIBLE STUDY
• Preschool at 5 pm.
Runs September 15, 2021–April 20, 2022
• Children’s Church (preschool) and Wonders of Worship “WOW” (K-third grade) at 11 a.m.
The Storyline of the Bible.
• God’s Children Sing and Children’s Choirs start Sept. 12
Wednesday evenings: 6:45-8:15 p.m.
Wednesday mornings: 9:30-11 a.m.
• STARS Choir September 19
September 13, 7-8:30 p.m. Living Grace is meant for the person who is living with the pain of difficult mental and emotional issues; Family Grace is for the person who has a loved one who struggles with these issues. For the schedule and more information, check the appropriate box on the online connect panel, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you new to College Church? If so, come to a casual lunch in the Narthex (the Sanctuary Lobby) catered by Jason’s Deli on Sunday, September 12 at noon. Lunch is on us! Come and meet pastors and staff, learn about College Church and find out how you can get involved. Help us plan by checking the box on the online connect panel, or by emailing email@example.com.
Despite it being part of life, death is never easy. It hurts to lose someone, and it may be hard to feel optimistic about the future. GriefShare is a 13-week class which features video seminars with experts, focused group discussions and personal study and reflection that can help you face your challenges and move toward rebuilding your life.
STARS • Sunday classes start September 12 • STARS Kickoff September 17 • Praise in Action September 15
Grace Groups Mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and other problems with mood stability are real and need compassionate support. Living Grace and Family Grace are support groups that will meet twice a month on Monday nights starting
GriefShare will begin at College Church on Monday, September 13, at 7-8:30 p.m. You are welcome to begin attending GriefShare on any week. Each session is "self-contained," so you do not have to attend in sequence. You will find encouragement and help whenever you begin. For registration info, contact Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (630) 668-0878.
PRAYER GATHERINGS ONLINE & IN PERSON Call the church office or email email@example.com for details on these prayer meetings. Sunday Morning Prayer 8-8:40 a.m. in C101 Monday Morning Prayer 6:15-7:15 a.m. in C104A Wednesday Night Prayer (Hybrid) 7-8 p.m. Led by the Missions Office • September 8: Speaker TBD • September 15: Steve and Teri Pardue • September 22: Speaker TBD • September 29: Wil Triggs
Friday Lunch Prayer for the Persecuted Church (In person) 12-1 p.m. in the board room.
Hannah Prayer Fellowship will meet on Wednesday, September 8, at 1:30 p.m. in C101, across from the reception desk. Jenn Stough will be sharing about the exciting way God is using her and her husband, Isaac, to reach young people in Spain. All are welcome to join the group.
Aaron-Hur Prayer Fellowship will meet on Thursday, September 16, at 7 p.m. at the home of Marr and Mary Miller, 1607 Stoddard Avenue in Wheaton (630) 668-8828. Please join us! Our Prayer Pulse email goes out every Monday. You can get prayer updates via that email. Sign up by clicking "Enews signup" on our website. If you already receive other emails from College Church, click "manage my preferences" at the bottom of any email and select Prayer Pulse to add yourself.
FACE TO FACE
A Season for Companionability Virginia Hughes
Companionability was built into life with siblings close at hand and most of our gatherings involved food and the company of others at church. Companionability is a favorite word because it is warm and friendly, coming from the Latin roots meaning, “with bread,” and conveying the idea of sitting together to share bread. Jesus is our perfect model of companionability. How he masterfully called individuals to follow, learn, travel, serve, suffer and carry the gospel message together. The time must have flown following the resurrection when he was telling his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. They didn’t want him to leave again. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the age.” No one was ready for that painful goodbye. Everything was changing again. He would be gone. It was too soon even though Jesus promised they would be together again. Things are on the move in autumn. Summer’s colors fade from the garden as the last of the cucumbers and tomatoes are picked, spent vines chopped into compost, dried flower stalks trimmed, and annuals nipped by frost are pulled. A gardener takes momentary satisfaction in the plants that grew well, the surprises that emerged such as last year’s Cleome seeds growing through mulch and rivaling the Lady of Shalott rose in height and beauty. Garden disappointments are expected too and are our best teacher. The brilliant blue Bachelor Button seeds that captivated in the catalog didn’t quite turn out. It was my fault for sowing the seeds way too close to the white Cosmos and being gone for a few weeks. While the Cosmos grew into an ocean of white, the Bachelor Button seeds grew in the shadow of the Cosmos Ocean looking like tiny blue fish on wire stems. They could be moved, but it would cause damage since the roots were now entwined. I scan the garden as bright amber, russet and burgundy showers of leaves float down in colorful glory. These beautiful changes ease us into the next season. The cold, more difficult one. The one we may not be looking forward to. Yes, winter is inevitable, and change being inevitable does not make it easy nor does it make it welcome. I moved a lot growing up. Change was to be expected. Yet when it came time for my college bound sisters to leave, I was not ready for that change. Zzzzzzzzzzzzip—the zipper pull raced on tiny tracks up the side, across the front and down the other side of the suitcase, closing
tightly. Snap, snap, the metal buckles of another suitcase clicked shut. Watching my two sisters packing their luggage, I asked why they were leaving. I thought they loved me and would stay until I no longer needed them which wasn’t a day in sight. We are grown and want to leave, and you will do this someday, too. I do not want to leave someday. I want to go with you right now. I stretched my eleven-year-old frame across their suitcases. My suitcase could also be packed, and we would march into this new freedom, and reside together in their Grown-Up Land. I lamented deeply, even though they reminded me it was just across town. They were my anchor. They also had the better clothes to borrow, phone conversations to listen to, and mysterious, hushed whispers that strained my longing ears to learn the secrets of their world. Who would sign my permission slips now? The difficult ones asking for extra money for field trips, and the mortifying ones explaining human development films, an annual event that incensed my parents. My sisters had subtly intervened for me for a few years in upper elementary school and then lost sleep over it fearing we would be discovered and all land in jail. From this point on, I would have to hand a permission slip directly to my parents, face the music and deal with it. That was part of growing up too. My sisters were aghast that they had ever done such a terrible thing as forge a parent’s signature. They had repented their forging sins, and I could now pray for courage and toughen up. continued on page 20
SIDE BY SIDE
Mental Health: Not Just a Seminar Topic Katherine Baylis
talk about in small groups. Rarely is it acknowledged that mental health spans beyond just depression and anxiety. The solution? We need to stop treating mental health like it’s a seminar topic and start recognizing it as a part of living in a broken world.
To Share, or Not
A Designated Topic If mental health were an easy thing to talk about, I wouldn’t be writing. That is what we do— write or read articles and books about the topics we find too uncomfortable to bring up in casual conversation. We justify the value in thinking through topics alone, in the quiet, where we can process without the filter of simply being in another person’s presence. But I think we have become just a little too individualized and private in that way. We’ll talk about mental health issues when it’s the designated topic of discussion, but when the discussion ends; so does the issues.
"When COVID lockdown began, I was raring to go, ready for the challenge of it all. By early fall, though, I had counted 20 to 30 new challenges and changes of that year so far; I also knew I was depressed. Enter Grace Groups. Two things stand out. First, the in-between times, knowing the countdown of days until I could once again interact with others in a welcoming environment. Second, the tremendous privilege of seeing, firsthand, how others who love God walk with him in the midst of challenges that make little if any sense."
It has been social media that has brought into light conversations that would otherwise be left undiscussed. People who feel alone in their individual struggles, mental health and otherwise, can find more community because they’re encouraged to speak openly and without shame. Somewhere in the last few years, however, the church fell behind a step, and it feels like we’re still trying to catch up. Mental health is frequently categorized as just another “hot topic” issue in the church that we bring up once or twice a year to
I would say that among my generational peers, it’s widely acknowledged and accepted that people go through seasons when they struggle with mental health. When we bring up prayer requests in small group, no one balks at the occasional “I’ve been really anxious this week” or “I’m struggling with being content.” Yet, I’ve noticed that these topics rarely come up in our Scripture studies unless the discussion is aimed in that trajectory from the start. For me, my hesitation often stems from gauging whether the contribution will derail the discussion unnecessarily due to the exorbitant amount of background I’d need to give to make it relevant to the passage. Condensing a
"The Living Grace course material helps us to identify what types of events and relational dynamics can hinder us from experiencing the freedom in Christ the Spirit means for us to know and to exercise. “If the Spirit has made us free, we are free indeed.” (Thanks be to God!) As I move into [a new] health challenge [in recent days], I'm sensing that the Living Grace course, focused on helping us to personally process how God purposely and uniquely created us and desires to use our very weaknesses to praise and glorify him, is already helping me stay mentally [and] emotionally anchored in his rock-solid love and resources. I will NOT be shaken."
story into a few sentences has never been a strength of mine. But beyond that, I also hesitate because I don’t want to deal with people’s reactions, positive or negative. There’s a lot of pressure when choosing to share about mental health because of how aware we are of people’s reactions or even their own hurts by comparison. Telling someone you struggle with anxiety attacks feels more real than saying you struggle with anxiety, but when we make it “real” it can also feel like we’re exaggerating or being over-dramatic. I spent years wishing I had something “real” to put my finger on, to point to as the cause of the intangible brokenness I felt living with the grief of losing my father to cancer as an infant. When I got my wish, I felt both shame and validation. And then shame again. But
"I worship Jesus and yet suffer from anxiety and depression. I am still sorting out how that can be possible. Grace Groups provides a safe place without judgment where believers can encourage and relate to each other and see that God is bigger than these struggles."
who am I to bring that up in a Bible study discussion, even if it is about Psalm 88, when I know it would make the conversation suddenly about me? Clearly that’s selfish and prideful — isn’t it?
Assumptions and Reactions The nagging feeling that it’s selfish to talk about things we have struggled with or currently struggle with is not from God. It’s the unique brand of shame the devil uses to keep us from comforting each other and sharing our burdens. Becoming comfortable with discussing something like mental health takes time, and even then, it’s still hard to get the words out. The discomfort that comes from waiting for an assumed hammer of judgment to fall can be lessened by knowing how each other thinks and feels about mental health. Too often we all make faulty assumptions based on our limited breadth of knowledge on a topic which leads to all kinds of misunderstandings. We connect much better when we listen and try to understand, not just the person’s issues, but the person as a whole. The way people react to mental health in a church setting varies widely. I talked to one friend who said that they definitely saw differences across denominations as well as cross-culturally. Americans, they pointed out, have an individualism that makes them more prone to say they’ll figure it out on their own rather
"It is very freeing to participate with a group of people whose family dynamics and relationships make your own feel 'normalized.' You are not alone."
discussions with both friends, they brought up the idea some have that you can just pray away depression; and that some would even take it as far as to say depression is sin. One friend made a helpful analogy: If we have a broken bone, God could heal it instantly, but because we live in a sinful world, we have to go through the healing process.
The Healing Process of Community Community seems to be a major part of that healing process from a biblical perspective. One of the ways College Church makes a space for that kind of community is through Grace Groups. These are groups for people with loved ones who struggle with mental health as well as people who struggle with mental health themselves. Pastor Eric Channing, who oversees the care ministries, including Grace Groups, noted that finding
“As plugged in as we are at church, we still felt alone and isolated when our adult son began his slide into mental illness. We approached Grace Groups with some cynicism. Our son wasn’t struggling with the so-called acceptable mental challenges such as anxiety or depression. After one session, we realized that the mental challenges might be different, but the emotions, struggles, and even the forlorn prayers are the same. Both the cynicism and isolation waned in this caring group.”
resources that are faith-based and making them accessible is one of the really great things that has come out of these groups at College Church. These types of spaces are important because they allow people an environment in which they can talk more openly about mental health. But perhaps the way the church can best support those struggling with mental health is simply by becoming more aware and informed. For those of us in the thick of mental health issues, we can share the struggles with each other in setting like a Grace Group or with others in the church family, and by sharing our struggles, we’re reminded that we are not alone in our suffering.
than turning to a community for support. Another friend commented that because culture is yelling so loudly about mental health, the church doesn’t always know how to react since the church is by nature countercultural. Throughout my
When Babies Save Moms—from College Church to the World Sarah Lindquist
Mark Nicholson of PassionLife Ministries visited College Church in July and shared global accounts of outreach, witnessing and discipleship to families in crisis pregnancies, and of babies saved and mothers believing in Jesus. The stories of God’s providence and Christians reaching out to meet physical and spiritual needs were truly inspiring. I was so encouraged and reminded that the Holy Spirit’s power enables Christ’s followers across cultures as they “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” (Proverbs 24:11)
as they receive much attention. They were able to see that God had answered their previous prayers for a son. Mark Nicholson has observed firsthand that after a generation of effective propaganda, most Chinese couples today want one child or even no children. In July 2021, all government limits on children were abolished as China faces serious demographic consequences of intrenched abortion and imbalance of a significantly larger young male population when so many baby girls were not allowed to be born. In the midst of these dark circumstances, God is working! In one city, Christians are able to provide counseling in a hospital to women who are there for an abortion. Medical staff agreed that women in crisis who don’t want to have abortions but are afraid because of their circumstances should receive practical help instead of abortion. In another city, the first Christians a Muslim women ever met have provided counsel and material assistance. Her doctor told her to abort her naturally occurring quadruplets but she now witnesses that “The Christians helped us with how to make it work.”
Local Leaders Multiplying Ministry
Origins: China PassionLife Ministries began in 2012 but has its roots in one of the College Church China study teams. This China study team held weekly all-night prayer sessions that included asking God to pierce the darkness of abortion and “gender”cide in China. Providentially, American pastor John Ensor chose to take twoweek family vacation to visit his daughter Megan who was on this team. Pastor Ensor had the opportunity to share with a group of Chines pastors what God’s Word said about the value of human life. The local pastors’ tears and promises to save the unborn resulted in babies saved within days as the pastors reached out to women in crisis pregnancies. A Christian couple who had already defied the one child policy with the birth of their second girl were distressed and lacking faith when unexpectedly pregnant for a third time. With a pastor’s counsel and church material provision, they kept their triplet boys and testify widely to others
PassionLife focuses on training local pastors in what the Bible says about life, life in the womb, shedding innocent blood, gospel grace setting people free from past abortion, and God’s calling to prevent abortion. The training session covers theology, scientific/medical content, and moral philosophy instruction. Practical tools such as medical models of a pre-born baby, phone apps showing fetal development, and a compact ultrasound wand that can be used with a phone or tablet are distributed. PassionLife introduces examples of crisis pregnancy intervention but leaders are encouraged to implement outreach in whatever manner makes sense in their culture and community. After the day of training, leaders are encouraged to reteach the material within 10 days to someone new. After PassionLife training in Vietnam, Christians were inspired to conduct a six-month Bible study on sanctity of life and then translated the information into minority languages of their Hmong neighbors. During the 2020 lockdown, 30,000 Vietnamese Christians were trained by their fellow Vietnamese leaders to protect life.
New Life in Christ “Crisis pregnancy is globally the most common crisis across all races, geographical regions, religions, socioeconomic levels, all
Showing Care with Peaceful Prayer ONCE A MONTH ON SATURDAY 1 - 2 P.M.
of whom experience unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. Crisis pregnancy is a crisis of faith. The abortion doctor acts like a false Jesus saying, ‘I will give you rest and help’ ” states Mark Nicholson. Cuba has the highest abortion rate in the world. In 2016, there were no Cuban crisis pregnancy centers or ministries. Now five women take their training inspired ministry, Breath of Life, door to door. Thanks to the active grapevine throughout the island, Cubans share names of women in crisis with the Breath of Life team. Team members then visit the pregnant woman to give her an ultrasound in her home and invite her to church sponsored mothering classes where she can earn supplies and be discipled. The fruit of Breath of Life is new babies born, mothers accepting Christ, and other churches starting their own crisis pregnancy ministries.
The Sanctity of Human Life Task Force invites you to pray and sing a few hymns outside Planned Parenthood Aurora in cooperation with 40 Days for Life's yearround prayer effort in Aurora. When women see peaceful prayer outside an abortion facility, appointment cancellations increase significantly. www.40daysforlife.com www.40daysforlife.com/aurora Look for us on Waterleaf's property near Planned Parenthood, 3051 E New York St, Aurora, IL 60504 (across from Planned Parenthood's driveway). Parking is behind Auto Zone or by Mariano's. Visit www.college-church.org/sohl to sign up for the Sanctity of Human Life task force monthly emails to stay up to date with life related news and events.
A Christian Indian woman took her fetal model from PassionLife training to show her neighbor. The pregnant Sikh woman expressed that contrary to her own desire, she was going to abort because her father-in-law and husband did not want a girl. The Christian told her, “My God knows you even if you don’t know him and I will have faith for you. He will provide and bless you if you keep your baby.” The Sikh woman did not show up to her abortion but went to a different doctor for a second ultrasound. She discovered she had been lied to by the abortionist. She was pregnant with boy, not a girl. Shocked, she told her family at a gathering. Her father-in-law proclaimed, “The Christian God has done a miracle for our family” and the whole family chose to put their faith in Christ!
Something’s Missing Wil Triggs
Before Cheryce Berg took on director of children’s ministries, before Kids’ Harbor was called Kids’ Harbor, before Diane Jordan started as director of children’s ministries, before that position existed and the responsibilities belonged to the now defunct board of Christian education, Linda Murphy was teaching children in Bible school at College Church. She started 36 years ago. She was a faithful teacher who persevered through a lot of change. She has taught some of the parents of current students. That makes Linda sound old. But in all the ways that count, Linda remains youthful in her love of serving the church. One of the things she excelled in was the missionary stories she would tell the children. When Linda told of Amy Carmichael, it wasn’t a story from the faraway past. For a few moments down in Room 100, Linda became Amy— rescuing children, telling people about Jesus, celebrating the rescuing God. And if we needed someone to put on a robe to be disciple or put on a pair of makeshift wings to be an angel, Linda was always game. She jumped in with everything she was and is. This was not usually the only area of service for Linda. Back when the church had homecooked dinners on Wednesday nights, Linda was in the thick of it. And she was at most of our Tuesdays Together. Did I mention she's managing the Repeat Boutique? If you drive by church during the week, you might see her pulling weeds and caring for the beds around the campus or planting something new. She’s not falling off the grid. You’ll still see her on Sunday mornings in worship or talking with others afterwards or being in an adult community with her husband, Paul. A couple in our small group used to ask us, “How do you know so many people?” It wasn’t question they asked just once, but many times. They were new to College Church. After giving many years of their lives to another church, bad things were happening there, and so they followed their adult son to College Church. It was a rough adjustment. And the question they kept asking us shifted over time from a question to a statement of fact: “Wil and Lorraine, they know everyone.” They would say this to other people. We found this to be sometimes a little irritating. We didn’t know everyone. We still don’t.
But I realized as I thought about it, that it was very likely that they themselves “knew everyone” at some level at their old church, the one they had left under painful circumstances. They lost “knowing everyone” when they left. It was perhaps a statement of sorrow that they themselves had lost the knowledge and relationships built over years of time at their old church. How to start over? They didn’t want to serve in the areas they had at their old church. Just being in those same positions brought back pain for both of them. They weren’t quite sure what or even if they wanted to serve. Even before the pandemic, they often stayed home, watching the service on the livestream. There were some health issues, and it was easier after only a few hours sleep to just watch, coffee in hand, from the bedroom or study. It took a lot of energy for them just to show up some Sundays. Sad to say, the failures of clergy and other church leadership have caused deep hurts and driven many people from churches. At least my friends didn’t give up on church altogether. What they were going through involved real pain, sorrow and loss. Still, you can’t meet anyone if you don’t show up. We invited them to serve with us, and when they did, they did great. It was in service that they got to meet people they probably would not come across otherwise. Certainly not from watching the livestream.
But it continued to be a struggle for them to do more than come to worship service on a regular basis. That was before the pandemic. Now, though, their practice has become, dare I say, normal? After being compelled to stay home for weeks or months, many have adapted to attending church from afar. For such people, service is almost out of the question. At least for right now. Getting to know people is a valued part of church attendance and membership. But when does that “right now” become a memory of the past? How do we know who is? Most of us fall somewhere in between Linda and my other friends. But into our lives, wherever we happen to be, the Word of God comes, speaking still. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph 4:11-13) “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25) It is in this Word that we find hope and purpose. Let’s say that Lorraine and I actually did know everyone at church. It’s not true, but let’s pretend that it is. Just for a moment. Some would leave the church or move away. Some would die. New people would be born or come into the church. Frankly, we couldn’t keep up with it all.
For now, though, there’s us. There are people to tell about Jesus coming across our paths. There is a new class of Kindergarteners to tell how God—Father, Son, Spirit— spoke and everything that was made was made. I have another old friend to join us this year, and he plays the banjo. We’ve got two new collegians and a faithful friend who walked through the pandemic with us last year. If you happen to drive by College Church and you see a lady tending the flowerbeds, thank God for her service and how God has used her in big and mostly little ways over the years. God’s Spirit has places for each one of us. Sometimes we don’t know where that might be, but it is his good delight to surprise us sometimes by using us. There’s a lot of talk about wearing masks these days. We’re all sick of it. But the masks no one sees are the most problematic. So by God’s grace, let’s take those off and risk being exposed to something new at College Church. Here’s to new faces. Take the risk. Even when it’s hard to step out of our homes, look beyond our families to the family of God. Welcome faces that don’t look like ours—they’re younger or older, different colors, whatever. And our faces, one by one, over time and with perseverance, becoming something different, something new, something that looks less like us and more like Jesus. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
And then, over time, all of us who are involved today, will not be so involved for whatever reason. There are as many reasons as there are people. And over time, most people will forget the things we’ve said or done. For most of us, we ourselves will be forgotten by most. Others will come and fill our shoes. They’ll walk in different directions than we’re walking. How might Scripture come to life, how might it come alive in us and through as at this strange time? Thanks to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, there are as many answers to that question as there are people. And even more to come.
MEET OUR LEADERS
WHERE I SERVE:
WHERE I SERVE:
WHERE I SERVE:
Deaconess and a small group leader for Women's Bible Study WHY I SERVE:
Philippians 2:3–8 THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME:
faithful, encourager, organizer
MY FAVORITE HANG-OUT SPACE:
In a lawn chair with a book in my hand.
Board of Missions, HYACKS WHY I SERVE:
I love having the privilege of learning more about our missionaries, seeing College Church’s strong support of missions firsthand, and learning about all the ways God is at work in the world. As to Hyacks, I remember the impact youth ministry had on me, and I desire to see young men changed for Christ. I think active service in the local church is crucial. THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME:
Deaconess Board, Women's Bible Study tech team, Logos Adult Community leadership team WHY I SERVE:
I like making the church a place where people can meet Christ and where they can serve the body. THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME:
loyal, practical, encouraging
MY FAVORITE HANG-OUT SPACE:
A park bench especially where there are flowers.
relational, optimistic, high-energy MY FAVORITE HANG-OUT SPACE:
My house hosting friends.
Mark Berg Gary Chase
WHERE I SERVE:
WHERE I SERVE:
I serve on the Service and Engagement Committee.
Front door greeter, hoster of many volleyball games for the 20's group, lead a small group of for some HYACKS leaders, and serve as an elder
WHY I SERVE:
WHY I SERVE:
The reason I serve is to help promote the gospel.
Because I love Jesus and want to serve his church.
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME:
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME:
creative, dependable and encouraged
entrepreneur, coach, committed
MY FAVORITE HANG-OUT SPACE:
MY FAVORITE HANG-OUT SPACE:
That would probably be our home.
From Chaos to Peace Zach Strobeck
I grew up knowing about Jesus and asked him to come into by heart when I was five years old. I just knew that we were all sinners and that Jesus died and rose again to save us. He is the one who brings life into someone’s life. The best and greatest things in life come from Jesus. And I just remember learning about him in ss, grammar school, and I think that’s what stuck with me. All of us are sinful and Jesus is the only person who will bring us past that and allow you to live with true joy in life. Before Christ took hold of me, I set my mind on worldly things. To me, joy was basically the ways of the world. Like a lot of young guys, I was preoccupied about making money and having relationships. That was my mindset, and I didn’t even realize that all the joy in life comes from Jesus. At this time, I was involved in church on and off. I would go to church listen to the sermon, and about 15-20 minutes in, I would think, Man, I hope I can concentrate. When my faith did become more real me, and I went to church, it was, and is different. I want to go to church. I want to listen to the sermons and fellowship. It’s not hard. Jesus hadn’t really taken a place in my life or made a radical difference in me until my late twenties. About four years ago, I was just thinking about everything that was going on in the world, in politics. It seemed like there was a surge in chaos. This feeling of chaos was just something that was with me. I also knew I wasn’t taking care of my spiritual priorities. When I was living more of a worldly life, I would think about the future or death a lot and it was kind of scary to think about. I was trying to escape, drinking more than I should have. And once you go down that road and you’re not living out your faith, you keep adding more sins to your sin. It’s like living death by a thousand cuts scenario. Sin truly is the sting of death. I had been following, the wrong road, and it was all a deception from the devil. That is what sin is, that is what temptation is. The devil trying to tempt us to go down that road. I was at a point where I was having a hard day and felt like I was going into an existential crisis. I was incredibly anxious. I never felt like that before, and I began to remember everything I had learned growing up. I started to pray and call on the name of the Lord, just saying, “Lord, do what you will. Help me, Lord.” It was that moment I faced the fact that there was and is nothing I can do to help myself or anything in the world that can help. It made a difference for me. I started taking things more seriously.
When the initial COIVD quarantine started, I started doing Bible studies with friends on Twitter, using voice chat. One of my friends who doesn’t know Christ yet suggested the Bible posts on Twitter and sharing Scripture has gotten me into a lot of interesting conversations. Sure, it’s good to go to school and seminary, but the Lord is the one who does all the work. Do what he wants you to do. He will take you where he wants you. I became more involved in my faith and had more boldness to proclaim Jesus. In all the chaos, I learned to lean on Jesus first. He is the truth. We won’t understand anything without him. I’m not perfect. There are things I still struggle with. I make mistakes and sin, but when you’re saved, you do realize that nothing will separate you from God. That’s the how I look at it—if there’s anything I need, I give it to the Lord. I used to say, “why, Lord?” a lot about my physical condition. [Zach has Duchenne, a type of muscular dystrophy.] In my 20s, it was hard to see friends go off to college and graduate and realize that my life wasn’t going to be anywhere near that—a planned life like regular people. The main issue with my disability is the restrictions I have and the opportunities I lacked had I been more able bodied. I feel that as I suffer, I can look at it and see how Lord using it. I’m not glad I am in a wheelchair, and I used to have a lot of insecurities with it, but at this point the Lord is using all this to shape me. With Christ, there’s always hope. I don’t have doubts, but I do have frustrations, but at the end of the day, I don’t feel hopeless. Jesus is real, and I need to rely on him. When the bad times come, we should pray. When the good times come, we should pray. The Lord is moving me toward this and helping me not to go off toward the things of the flesh to distract me, but to pray. Trust me, following Jesus is the best thing a person can do.
Faithful Service to a Faithful God Alison Taylor
As Bob and Carol hugged their youngest daughter goodbye, they couldn’t help thinking the same question they had considered over and over again throughout their missions career: Is this really worth it? Sending their children across the continent for school never grew easier, even for the fifth child. But they had no choice—this was the cost of serving the Lord in Zambia. For more than three decades, the Wenningers remained in Africa. Bob worked as a surgeon at Mukinge Hospital, and Carol served as bookkeeper. Both led Bible studies, served with churches in the area, and occasionally entertained government officials. Whenever someone asked Bob if he ever wanted to give up, he answered, “Never more than twice a day.” In reality, despite the challenges for both parents and children, the Wenninger family never actually considered leaving the mission field. They had been called, and they intended to stick it out. Why? What made it worthwhile to face the unknowns of Zambia, the pain of separation from family and friends, and the exhaustion of long, difficult days? It was God’s proven faithfulness in every situation that enabled them to remain faithful to his work. It was November of 1985, and supplies were running out. When a nurse gathered materials for a blood transfusion, she reported that only one handful remained of the transfusion tubing. Worse, the staff had received no indication that new supplies were on their way. Mukinge Hospital had faced near-crises before, lacking necessary supplies, food, staff, or funding. But God had never yet failed to provide what they needed, precisely when they were most desperate. A few days passed, and the supply continued to dwindle. Believers turned to the Lord in prayer, asking for his provision. Finally, just before they ran out altogether, boxes arrived from Australia, full of transfusion tubes. They had been sent weeks ago, before anyone knew they would need them, entirely without the knowledge of the Mukinge staff. God had begun to answer their prayers before they even knew what to pray for. As they restocked the storage closets, they thanked the Lord for his faithfulness. Similar things happened frequently. It seemed to Bob that God was especially concerned with timing. Again and again, supplies ran low, deadlines approached, and there seemed to be no solution in sight. They turned to God in prayer, but as they wondered if this would be the moment when a precarious
situation became a catastrophe. Then, at the last second, God provided. This amazing, even supernatural provisions encouraged all who saw it, and their faith grew stronger every time. Apart from the hospital’s material needs, the mission field held its own set of dangers. A nurse went to a picnic about a hundred miles away from the village on the Saturday before Easter of 1980. A group of elephants stampeded past, and she tripped as she tried to escape. Unfortunately, she was trampled to death. In April of 1988, a group of missionaries went fishing, and a teenage boy was thrown into the river in a boating accident. His family could only watch in horror as a crocodile swam close, captured the helpless boy, and killed him. Within that same year, the missionary team in Zambia lost three other members to malaria, a heart attack, and a car accident. “Some may wonder whether we are making up the stories of so many fatal losses among missionaries and church leaders in Zambia,” Bob wrote in their monthly prayer letter. In addition to the tragedy within Zambia, the Wenningers encountered losses in their own family. Before she married Bob, Carol lost her first husband, the father of her four oldest children, in a car accident in Panama. The death was shocking and devastating; Carol was left as the single mother of four in an unfamiliar country. Yet the Lord provided for her even then, in part through the friendship of another missionary in the area, Bob Wenninger. Eventually, he married the five of them—Carol and her children. Suffering became celebration, and Carol drew nearer
to the Lord as she saw him redeem her tragic circumstances. Her resolve to continue to serve as a career missionary only grew stronger. Bob and Carol responded to the Lord’s calling and moved to Zambia, eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child. Then tragedy struck again. Bob and Carol lost their baby, without any medical explanation for the death. As they cried in each other’s arms, they prayed, asking God why he had taken their child from them. The tragic events in their lives appeared meaningless and unfair. Why would God do this? Carol wondered. A few years later, God again redeemed her suffering for good, and she finally understood why he had allowed such sorrow in her life. The village had a mortuary near the hospital, and according to Zambian custom, if someone died, those close to the family would gather around and wail loudly. Whenever she heard the wailing, Carol picked up her Bible and hymn book and walked over to the mortuary to sit with them. If a mother mourned the loss of a child, Carol could put her arms around the woman and say, “I know.” And the grieving mother believed her, because everyone knew about the baby Carol had lost only a few years ago.
The Wenningers also saw this lived out in other missionaries. Those who faced significant losses were able to minister in deeper ways than they could have without the suffering they endured. They modeled Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:4). Furthermore, the trials
they endured showed that the servants of God were no different from locals who lost friends and family members to diseases, injuries, or accidents. Those experiences opened the doors to wonderful conversations about God’s love with those who most needed to hear it. Because of the Lord’s faithfulness, both in provision and in redeeming tragic events for good use, the Wenningers trusted God enough to obey his call for their ministry. For 32 years, including brief periods of furlough in the States, the Wenningers served faithfully. There were many advantages to staying in Zambia for so long. A short-term trip could never be as impactful as a long-term career. This was partly because the local residents showed more interest in the missionaries who made it clear they had no intention of leaving. One morning, Carol went to visit some friends in the village. “I see you’ve brought in a new doctor,” they said. “How long is he staying?” “Two weeks,” Carol answered. The village residents looked silently at each other for a moment, then at Carol, and said, “He doesn’t have anything to say.” But those same villagers listened when Carol and Bob talked to them about Jesus. They saw the daily lives of these missionaries—their humility, service and love—and they knew that if their message was important enough to be worth dedicating a lifetime to share, it must be worth hearing. And so, they listened, and the Lord spoke to many through Bob and Carol. Staying for so long also gave the Wenningers the opportunity to see visible evidence that their work bore fruit. Near the beginning of their time at Mukinge Hospital, a young man named Alan Sondashi came in with a large tumor on his jaw, convinced he would die. Bob and the other doctors managed to remove the tumor, and they used a piece of Alan’s rib to replace the missing portion of his jaw. During his stay at the hospital, Alan was introduced to Christ, and he became a believer. Not only did he have a new jaw, but also a new heart. Sondashi went into Bible school after that and became a chaplain, then eventually a church planter and pastor. Even 40 years later, he was still preaching the gospel. The Wenningers were thrilled to see the transformation from a frightened teenager to a confident church leader. continued on page 19
FACE TO FACE
Simplicity Keith Bodger
Early in July, Mel and I drove to Hanford, California, to visit Mel’s cousin Patricia. I first met Patricia about 10 years ago when Mel, the kids and I visited California and Mel’s Aunt Mildred and her daughter, Patricia. Patricia and I hit it off. The kids loved her. She was dynamic and hilarious. She was an artist. She played piano at her church and for the high school show choir. She also played oboe and cello. Patricia wrote poetry, and she painted and sketched. She made sculptures and did pottery. A remarkable artist. For the past 10 years or so, Patricia and I stayed in touch. I visited her a few times when I was in California on business. We would message each other when there was a California earthquake. She’d let me know when she felt the tremors. We traded music and movie suggestions. She told Mel and me about Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto…absolutely beautiful. Patricia phoned me on a Wednesday night in June to say she was having cancer surgery the next day. I called her two days later to see how she was doing post-surgery. She said they didn’t do the surgery. Instead, she was being placed in hospice. She told me she was going to heaven. I asked if we could come see her and she wanted that for sure. Mel and I weren’t sure of any details or how long Patricia would live but thought it best to get out there sooner than later. We drove over the weekend of July 4 and arrived in Hanford on Monday, July 5. Patricia was alert and able to talk to us. We laughed together. We talked about music. We bought her mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC (at her request). As it turned out, that was her last meal. Patricia had a friend Peggy who took care of her finances and other practical matters. Peggy, who attended church with Patricia, told us in a quiet moment that when Patricia was placed in hospice, the hospice chaplain visited with her. Patricia told the chaplain that she believed in God but thought Jesus was merely a prophet. This was disconcerting to Mel and me. Jesus is the Son of God. He is God. The only way to heaven is through Jesus. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ( John 14:6) On our way to California, we listened to Pastor Moody’s message on Hebrews 10:22. Look to Jesus, he said. Have full assurance in Jesus. The truth is simple, and Mel and I knew what we had to do.
Monday was the only day that we got any verbal responses from Patricia, the only day she spoke to us. She declined in health as the week progressed. We focused our time praying with her, reading Scripture, and speaking truth. Mel sang a hymn or two. We told Patricia that Jesus was her Savior. We said that Jesus was God. We told her to submit to Jesus. I played some music for her…Tchaikovsky and Mendelsohn. We met Patricia’s brother, whom Mel hadn’t seen since the late 1960s. We helped clean out her apartment. On Thursday, there was a mild earthquake. I was in one room cleaning and Patricia was in another. I went to her to let her know there was a quake, but I didn’t get a response. Regardless, God allowed us to share a quake together. Such a joy for me. Mel and I left on Thursday evening. We prayed with Patricia and talked to her. I kissed her on the forehead and said, “Goodbye sweet one.” Patricia let out a little groan. She could still hear us. We were driving through Wyoming on Saturday, July 10, when Peggy called. Patricia passed away that morning. Peggy said that when Patricia was first in hospice, she asked if their pastor would visit. Peggy said that pastor was on an extended vacation and was out of state. When the pastor got back into town, he checked his messages. He didn’t know Patricia was in hospice. He came right over on Saturday morning and spent time with Patricia, reading Scripture and praying with her. The pastor finished his prayer and went to the next room to meet with her brother. A caregiver went back in to check on Patricia and she had passed away. July 12 would have been Patricia’s 77th birthday. She missed it by a couple days. Earlier in the week we had a cake for her and sang Happy Birthday with her friends and neighbors. Perhaps we’ll celebrate with her again in heaven. We’re not certain if she submitted to Jesus in her final days. We are certain we did the right thing by visiting her and speaking the simple truth of Jesus to her.
Our desire in Men’s Ministry at College Church is to help men cultivate a hunger for God and equip men to handle God’s Word for all of life. We want men to study God’s Word deeply so their love of God will increase. We want to give men confidence to study God’s Word themselves, with family, and with others in their spheres of influence. We would love to see you connect with Men’s Ministry this fall.
Men’s Bible Study Starting September 15, men will gather around tables each week at church to study 1 Peter. First Peter reminds us about our salvation in Christ, about how we are strangers and exiles here on earth, and about our true home in heaven. It is packed full of practical encouragement to live good lives among unbelievers around us, even when that means suffering and heartache. It provides a needed message for us today!
Bears, Bags, and BBQ Join us for our annual Bears watch party on September 26 at 12 p.m. in the Commons at College Church. We will have some great BBQ and our first ever Men’s Ministry Bags Tournament!
Men’s Gathering Mark your calendars for Men’s Gathering on November 6 (Welsh Hall) and December 4 (Commons) from 6:30-8 a.m. Men will connect over breakfast, hear encouraging testimonies, and cultivate a hunger for the Lord as we hear relevant teaching. For questions, email Ben Panner at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you this fall!
When: Wednesdays, 6:45-8:15 pm Where: Commons, C002A & C002B No registration needed! Just come and we will plug you in.
Faithful Service to a Faithful God — Alison Taylor (continued from page 17) After 32 years of faithful service together in Zambia, Bob and Carol retired, returning to the United States. After sitting down with them to listen to their stories, however, I could tell that the effects of their ministry are far from over. In addition to Alan Sondashi, other patients whose lives Bob had saved—or whose eyes he had healed—became believers or even missionaries, sharing the gospel with countless others. One Christian nurse who had trained at Mukinge Hospital took a stand against abortion that cost her her job, providing a shocking testimony to others who knew how valuable employment was in a place like Zambia. Bob and Carol’s daughter Becky and her husband, Bob, became missionaries in Bulgaria, sharing in the legacy of the global mission for Christ.
Bob and Carol’s stories of tragedy and danger amazed me. The trials they faced were certainly more serious and numerous than the average Christian in America, so I was shocked when Carol said, “Being a missionary can be lots of fun. Sometimes I’m afraid we don’t state things clearly enough for young people to realize that if God’s calling you somewhere and you don’t go, you’re missing out!” Even after giving up basic comforts and enduring heartbreaking loss, Carol believed firmly that her career was marked by blessing more than sacrifice, by adventure more than pain. If the question of missions is, Is it worth it? the answer is obvious. The rich lives and fruitful ministry of Bob and Carol Wenninger are a wonderful testimony that a life of service, even to the extreme of the mission field in Zambia, is more than worth it, because of the Lord’s unfailing faithfulness. In every case of material need or emotional trauma, the Lord provided, proving his mercy and sovereignty. For Bob and Carol, constant dependence on the Lord was not a worry, but an adventure, and it made their service to Christ as fulfilling as any career could ever be.
MILESTONES Marriages • Philp Arndt married Caitlin Bazan on August 7 in Holland, MI. Philip is the son of members Chris and Sherri Arndt. • Josh Lawrenz married Paige Goodie on June 5, in Nashville, TN. Josh is the son of member Ann Lawrenz. Josh is an orthopedic oncologist and Paige is a speech pathologist at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.
Deaths • Pray for Sara (Perry) Mascetti and family as they grieve the loss of Sara’s mother, June “Hattie” McRoberts, who passed away on July 30. • Pray for the family and friends of Joyce Anderson who passed away on July 28. Services were held. • Pray for Ralph and Carmen DeGroot and their daughter, Wendy, as the grieve the loss of their son-in-law and Wendy's husband, Nick, on August 11.
A Season for Companionability — Virginia Hughes (continued from page 6) My sisters were going to stand on their own. They had an apartment and real jobs. They wanted to be college students, not second mothers to us upon which our lives depended. I listened enough to know there was shared joy in getting beyond Dad’s daily scrutiny too. They cheerfully passed the mantle of their combined household duties onto me. I was going to need to help a lot more in the kitchen, with laundry, cleaning bathrooms and on it went. I did not want the mantle they were passing down. Their exit made me the last man standing as the middle eldest daughter. I insisted that I had not grown. I had not changed. They set me straight with the fact that if they had grown, then so had I, silly. That is how it works. They ordered me to get off the suitcases and stop being a big baby. They assured me with hugs as they pulled away that I would get used to it, I could do this, and furthermore, I should be glad to help, not be such a pain, considering all they had done for me. Besides, I could visit over a weekend. Not every weekend, but occasionally. We would cook and eat together again. I think of Jesus and how companionable he was with his disciples. Jesus fed multitudes with bread, called himself the bread of life,
• Pray for John (Debbie) Goding and family as they grieve the loss of John's mother, Arlene, who passed away on August 5.
Births • Peter Samuel and Alice Jean McEuen were born to Sam and Audrey McEuen on August 27. Audrey was recently part of the College Church staff. The twins join their big brother, Gregory Thomas. • Zoe Anda Duttweiler was born to College Church midterm missionaries Caleb and Marisa Duttweiler on July 29 in Stelienbosch, South Africa. Zoe’s paternal grandparents are College College Church missionaries Rodney and Kathy Duttweiler. • Amelia Reese Johanik was born to Jake and Tiffany Johanik on August 4. Amelia’s paternal grandparents are members Jim and Heidi Johanik. Jake serves with the United States Space Force.
and broke bread as a sign that his body was broken for us. His blood was shed for us. Imagine how the disciples must have lost their appetites after the betrayal and murder of Jesus. All that violence. The guilt and fear weighing on Jesus’s followers, everything had its flavor—until Resurrection Sunday. What had he promised as they counted those longest of days? What did you write down, Matthew? John, did he say he was coming back? Let us piece what has been written and count the days. There was an armed guard by the tomb, that’s terrible. Oh, how was this going to work? Finally, the day arrived. And the women were up so early they received the news first, “He is risen just as he said!” He appeared to them. He met the disciples on the beach by the cooking fire, feeding them. They were restored and together again. Jesus asking Peter to feed his sheep, feed his sheep, feed his sheep. Surely, he cannot be speaking about leaving so soon. Jesus is saying he will be with them always. Then he sent the Holy Spirit who gave them the power to go into all the world. To change the world. This is the power we have in our daily lives. We aren’t merely affected by weird, unexpected, and inevitable changes all around us. We wear the mantle; we carry the gospel news. This is our winning season, a time to be a friend who will sit and share the bread of life and offer companionability.
Staff Picks for Fall Stop by the bookstall or visit our online bookstore at https://us.10ofthose.com/collegechurch/ for these books and more!
Baxter Helm, high school pastor
Josh Maurer, pastoral resident
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin
Augustine on the Christian Life: Transformed by the Power of God by Gerald Bray
Ben Panner, college pastor
Michael Walker, pastoral resident
Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World by Andrew Wilson
Cheryce Berg, director of children’s ministries
Mindy Rynbrandt, director of women’s ministries
Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons
Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher
Dan Hiben, middle school pastor
Wil Triggs, director of communications
This Changes Everything by Jaquelle Crow
Trusting God in the Darkness: A Guide to Understanding the Book of Job by Christopher Ash
Eric Channing, pastor of congregational care and family ministries A Call to Prayer by J.C. Ryle
LOOKING AHEAD OCTOBER MINISTRY PREVIEW
COLLEGE CONNECT BREAKFAST • October 3, 10:45 am in the Commons • Global: October 12 & 13 • Local: October 17 Ready to participate fully in the life and ministries of College Church? Come find out about College Church’s history, articles of faith, core values, initiatives for the future, ministries, missions and more. Meets Sunday mornings Oct. 3. 10, 17 & 24 at 9:30 a.m.; registration is requested. For more info, contact Christy at email@example.com, or call (630) 668-0878, ext. 175
MOM2MOM • October 4 — Large Group Gathering
MONTHLY GATHERING FOR WOMEN • October 9
STARS FRIDAY NIGHT FUN • October 8
Gather for coffee and dessert to learn about Jesus. We’ll get to know one another, watch a short video and have a discussion based on the Bible. This gathering is for people interested in exploring faith in a noncombative way, or for newer Christians who would like to grow in their understanding. Groups will be starting on September 11 at 10:00 am in Commons Hall. For more information on other groups or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AROUND COLLEGE CHURCH
Call for Submissions God Centered Life • Writers
• Illustrators • Fine Art Painters
of all ages, who are willing to share their gifts with College Church by submitting their artwork, poetry, and/or short stories for publication in our monthly Connections Magazine and online OneWord Journal. VISUAL ARTISTS
Visit Pastor Josh’s Bible-teaching ministry at godcenteredlife.org. You can have daily devotionals delivered right to your inbox. There is also a daily teaching program streamed online, through podcasts and at over 50 radio stations nationally. You can listen locally on Moody Radio (WMBI) at 10 p.m. M-F and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Your prayers and partnership with this ministry are greatly appreciated.
Please submit your high-resolution image at a minimum of 4” x 6” at 300 dpi (max. 8” x 10”).
WRITERS Submit your short story or poetry in a text format. TO SUBMIT — Email your submission with a short description of the piece and describe how it relates to the monthly theme to wtriggs@college-church. org. You will be notified if your submission is to be included in an upcoming issue. Please call ( 630) 668-0878 x172 with any questions.
MONTHLY THEMES September: EARTH
C OM M U N ION SEPTEMBER 5 23