July 2024 Connections

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Rest and Reflection

Away from the Routine



Josh Kannard

Following John Calvin and the Apostle Paul this summer.



George Brichacek

Walking and reveling in God’s artistry and love.


Keith Bodger

Do rest and vacations really go together?



Wallace Alcorn

A drop-in visit with a military chaplain.



Pat Cirrincione

Reluctant admission: even campgrounds can reflect God’s glory.



Paige Comstock Cunningham

Stories of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) journeys.

Our Pastors, Directors and Residents: Our Pastors, Directors and Residents: Matt Anthony, pastoral resident | Cheryce Berg, director of children’s ministries | Roger Burgess, pastor of visitation | Felipe Chamy, pastoral resident | Julie Clemens, director of disability ministries | Erik Dewar, pastor of worship and music | Tate Fritz, pastoral resident | Matt Heaton, pastoral resident | Baxter Helm, high school pastor | Dan Hiben, middle school pastor Tim Hollinger, technology director | Jim Johanik, pastor of evangelism | Ann Karow, human resources director | Howard Kern, facilities director | Bruce Main, pastor of visitation | Josh Maurer, pastor of discipleship | 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

Our Council of Elders: Mark Berg | Mark Bradley, vice-chair | Jay Cunningham Steve Ivester | Randy Jahns | Glenn Kosirog | Josh Moody, senior pastor | Jeff Oslund | Roger Sandberg | David Setran, secretary | Dave Tweeten | Chad Thorson | Brian Wildman, chair

Connections is a monthly newsletter published for and about the people of College Church. Send news items and suggestions to: connections@ college-church.org. Keep Connections in mind to promote a community event to the College Church family. Send event information by the following dates: For the August issue: July 9 | For the September issue: August 9 | For the October issue: September 9

On the Cover: The harbor at Victoria, British Columbia, at dusk. Photo by Marr Miller

332 E. Seminary, Wheaton, IL 60187 (630) 668-0878 | www.college-church.org



was sworn into the navy on his seventeenth birthday and retired from the army on his sixtieth, accumulating forty-three years in uniform The first four months were the last four of the WWII emergency period and extended through Korea and Vietnam to the first Iraq war About a quarter was periods of active duty and the balance in active reserve units As an enlisted man, he was a navy quartermaster/signalman and army instructor He became commissioned as an officer of military police and then a chaplain for the final twenty-eight years His final assignment was as staff chaplain of the Military District of Washington, and he retired as a colonel


writes about summer vacations, but his “heart season” is winter Keith and his wife, Mel, have lived in Wheaton since they married 28 years ago He and Mel lead a small group together


is a first-time contributor to Connections He currently serves in STARS Sunday school and attends Men’s Bible Study For many years, he worked with Herb Carlburg in the print shop George enjoys running, camping, hiking, backpacking and spending time with his family


When not writing or praying for her grandchildren, Pat enjoys reading and baking and attending musicals, and pool water-walking in the summer Her greatest joys are God and her family, and time with both makes for much joy and laughter


has attended College Church for over 19 years Her interest in bioethics began when she led a pro-life organization . Advanced education in this area led to a MA in bioethics, and a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Her research focused on evangelical pastors and their confidence with bioethical issues  Paige and her husband, Jay, have three married children and seven (soon to be eight!) nearly perfect grandchildren .


is a missionary kid from Rome, Italy, and is studying philosophy, Bible and theology, and classical languages at Wheaton College Josh has been a member of College Church since 2023


Retirement has allowed Marr to use his photography gift for churches and mission organizations serving in Uganda, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand and Chad He has served as a deacon and on the Board of Missions


and her husband, Tim, serve as College Church missionaries Judy supports Tim in his role as founding partner at Fellowship of the Word She enjoys reading, writing and experiencing the wonders of God’s creation


has served on the Board of Deacons, and ushers at the 8 a m service and is involved in the Veritas Adult Community With spring coming soon, you’ll find Jon helping his wife, Kristie, look after a corner of the church’s landscape



Any time of the year, I love to ask people what they’re up to. What are you reading? Have you seen a good movie? Have you discovered a new restaurant? Perhaps the most-asked question in one form or another is “Where are you going this summer?” So for this issue of Connections, as people write about their summer experiences, we’re asking the question, “Where are we going?”

Consider the perspectives and reflections that summer offers us. How about a trek through Rome with Josh Kannard, considering the city of seven hills from new perspectives. Let’s walk the Appalachian Trail with George Brichacek. Relive camping life, for better or worse, with Pat Cirrincione. Consider this vacation question with Keith Bodger: Am I really supposed to relax on vacation?

Wallace Alcorn brings a different perspective on travel with his military chaplain reflection. Judy Sattler and Jon Smalley provide us with poetry for reflection. Read them out loud on a drive to somewhere. And Paige Comstock Cunningham offers us much on which to reflect on a current hot topic: IVF. Marr Miller’s photos on the cover and the artist’s spotlight page also bless us armchair travelers with glimpses of the world at large.

There’s a lot here. If you’re like me, you won’t want to read it all at once. I read these more like a collection of stories—one by one. I know plenty of others who read cover to cover all at once. Whatever works for you. But read at some level of slow down since it’s summer.

One more thing. Summer is not time to goof off. At least, not very much. God’s sovereign presence blesses and protects each one of us. Whether we travel or we stay at home, God is with us. Let’s remember and rejoice that he is the one who never lets go of us.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.


Geneva, Rome and the Glory of the Church

To know me is to know that I have an ever-growing passion for theology. My family, missionaries in Rome, serve the Italian church by seeking to lay the foundations for gospel reformation in a city, and a country, that has never experienced it. Growing up surrounded by talk of Luther, Calvin and many others, I have proudly claimed them as my own. So, when I was blessed with a plane ticket to visit my family in Rome this May, I decided to take advantage of being in Europe to see with my own eyes two key places of the theology that I care so deeply about and walked in the steps of two of my heroes: John Calvin and the Apostle Paul.

As I’ve dedicated myself to the study of theology, these two fathers in the faith have faithfully walked alongside me through trials of various kinds. So, I seized the day and set off on two little “pilgrimages.”

My first pilgrimage brought me to Geneva, Switzerland. On a lovely Thursday afternoon, in the heart of Geneva, I sat in front of Saint Pierre’s Cathedral and the International

Museum of the Reformation. Once inside, I saw paintings of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli. Reformation-era Bibles translated into the languages of the world set next to murals heralding Barth and Schleiermacher as the legacy of the Reformation, and a video of Sojourner Truth lecturing the Apostle Paul on his racist upholding of the institution of slavery (to which he confessed guilty).

In Saint Pierre’s, I saw a beautiful church, unlike everything that I’m used to in Rome. Completely devoid of icons and statues, this church of stone championed a few simple plaques reaffirming a dedication to the principles of the Reformation and a bare altar with a large open Bible on it. I sat there for hours, reading Calvin’s Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, some of his letters and sections of his commentary on Romans.

This was a church that could host well over a thousand people. It was there that Calvin faithfully preached the Scriptures to a people who had long been held in bondage of a false gospel. It was from this pulpit that Calvin had

led the charge in making Geneva the hub of Reformation thought and practice. But that’s not what you’d find today. Geneva is a beautiful city, prosperous and efficient, but it is a post-religious secular city. The Reformation titles are little more than decoration, celebrating a glorious but distant past that gave way to the secular values it celebrates today—not a city dedicated to the piety that Calvin spent his life to stir up within the hearts of his congregants. Calvin, though a giant, is dead in the hearts of the Genevans.

The night I returned from Geneva to Rome, I was greeted by a public late-night mass in honor of Mary in front of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, involving hymns and prayers in her honor and the worship of her icon. I was back to the heartbreaking familiar.

On every trip to Rome, I’ve started the tradition of going to Saint Paul’s Basilica, sitting in its courtyard, and reading the entirety of the Book of Romans. This basilica, according to tradition, is the site of Paul’s burial. And so, on a random Tuesday, with little time left in Rome, I decided it was time to take my second “pilgrimage.” I arrived in the late morning and took my usual place within the colonnade and started reading. The courtyard is a square garden, decorated with green hedges and palm trees inhabited by parrots, and surrounded by a colonnade. At its center is a colossal statue of Saint Paul. The statue is an imponent one: Paul sports a massive beard and wears a hooded cloak, holding the Scriptures under his left arm, and brandishing a sword in his right. This is Saint Paul, the defender of the church.

Paul’s words in Romans were both moving and personal as always. This is, in a sense, my letter, since I grew up as one of “those in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be saints” (Rom. 1:7)—but beyond that it is to all of us that the Spirit speaks through the Word. Praise God for this letter, for its clear exposition of the grace that we have, not by way of works, but as a gift of God through faith. After I finished the letter, I stepped inside the massive basilica, greeted by the Holy Door. The Holy Door is one of four that will be opened next year, the year of Jubilee, so that pilgrims may enter through them to earn an indulgence: grace in remission of their sins. In fact, next year Rome is expecting millions of pilgrims working their way to the “Holy City” to do good works for the remission of their sins. Had I not just read a gospel contrary to that in Paul’s letter? But this church was not built on the Paul that we know, its doctrine stands far from him.

I had followed the legacy of two great men, servants of Christ: and for what? I had walked in the steps of such a great tradition and found, on the one hand, a secular state that has abandoned Calvin’s piety, and, on the other, the papal state that has twisted and poisoned the words of Scripture, leading people astray in the name of Christ.

Nowadays, in evangelicalism, we are often looking for a tradition. The fact that evangelicals tend to be unaware of the church’s tradition and history is a problem that has led many people to abandon the evangelical faith for others like Roman Catholicism, that are rooted in a deep tradition at the expense of being rooted in Scripture. This is something that we need to address as evangelicals, but in doing so we can be led in the opposite direction: the idolization of tradition. We can easily be led to seek our security in the dead instead of the living Word of God.

During my two “pilgrimages” I had no divine revelations; the heavens did not open before my eyes and no oracles from God descended upon me as I gazed upon the chair graced by Calvin’s buttocks. These men, Calvin and Paul, were faithful servants in their time. They served God daily, faced trials, pastored the local church, and lived the day-to-day life that God had called them to, to seek his will and his glory. That is why they still speak to us today. Because they were faithful in their time in the ways that God called them to be. Yet they were sinners, and the proof of this is that they are dead. While Paul’s words, being Scripture, are inerrant, no theological tradition (in my case, Calvin’s) can offer us foolproof security through this life. Our job is not to fanboy over a dead past but to be faithful to Scripture today. Our tradition helps us and gives us insight, but ultimately, it is made up of dead sinners. Calvin is not alive and moving among us today, but the Holy Spirit is, and it is him that we owe our faithfulness to.

I visited another church during my time in Rome. It is not a glorious one made of large ancient stones capable of holding thousands. It’s a tiny little storefront situated in a crowded Roman alleyway: a bland room, able to host 40, maybe 50 people at the most, and the building itself is not even 20 years old. Breccia di Roma is its name, and it is there that I felt the presence of God. I heard the Word preached, I shared communion with its members, I played guitar and sang hymns of praise to God with them, and I even saw three people baptized! These people, maybe their stories won’t be as well-known as Calvin’s, but they are daily seeking God’s will and his glory. It is there that, every Sunday morning, the Word of God is proclaimed to his people, the body of Christ. This is the glory of the church: a few dozen people meeting in a small room on a Sunday afternoon to faithfully worship God. This glory is not found in basilicas, famous men or theological prowess, but in a faithful remnant seeking to bring the true gospel to a city that doesn’t know it. This is the loveliest and most glorious place. This is my home.

Wherever you happen to go this summer, remind yourself that no matter what great sights you see, what fun things you do, what amazing food you taste, nothing surpasses the glory of the place you get to come back to: this people of God, living and serving together today, seeking his will and his glory forever.

Do you take time to intentionally experience God’s creation? Maybe you’ve gone for a walk and looked at flowers and trees or listened to birds singing. Have you considered the beauty and complexity of your family, even your pets? Have you shared the wonders of God’s creation with others in the context of fellowship, service or witness?

I am 69 years old, retired, a husband of almost 43 years, father to three adult daughters, grandfather of three and have been at College Church for more than 25 years. My wife came to Women’s Bible Study over 30 years ago and, soon after, she suggested we attend Sunday morning worship. Oh, and one more thing, currently, I am preparing for my fourth long section hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT).

One of the most powerful ways I’ve experienced God’s creation is by hiking the AT. Beginning at Springer Mountain, Georgia, and ending at Mount Katahdin, Maine, the trail covers 2,190 miles. The past three summers, I’ve hiked 1,765 miles, roughly 80% of the trail.

I began my first section hike the summer of 2021, taking Amtrak overnight from Chicago to Harpers Ferry, WV. Once I arrived in Harpers Ferry, I stepped off the train and hit the trail with fresh legs and a full backpack.

For this first section, I headed northbound (NOBO) for 725 miles to Hanover, NH. My hike took about 70 days, at an average of almost 12 miles a day. Along the trail I met so many great people— which, in my opinion, is one of the highlights of any hike.

My second section hike was the summer of 2022. Again, I boarded Amtrak at Chicago to Harpers Ferry, but this time I went southbound (SOBO). I hiked through the entire state of Virginia, roughly 560 miles in 56 days, averaging 10 miles a day, and finished in Damascus, VA.

May 1, 2023, I traveled by Amtrak from Chicago to Washington, D.C. and then on to Gainesville, GA. I started my third section hike at Amicalola Falls State Park on the blue blaze approach trail where I climbed 604 stairsteps and hiked nine miles to Springer Mountain, the official southern terminus of the AT. Then, starting at mile zero, I headed NOBO to Damascus, VA. This time only 480 miles in 51 days, averaging just over nine miles a day.

My final AT section hike, God willing, will be this summer. I plan to hike from Hanover, NH, to Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park, ME. At around 440 miles, this will be my shortest, but most likely hardest, section.

I hike anywhere from six to ten hours a day. I am not a fast hiker, nor do I hike long distances every day. Most days I hike alone and some days I don’t see another person on the trail or at my evening campsite. Occasionally someone might hike

with you for an hour or so and then move on or drop back. It’s nice to have the opportunity to talk with someone, but it’s also good to have the freedom to “hike your own hike”—to set your own pace, rest when you want, to pause and reflect on God’s creation, to be still and know that HE is God.

As I’ve traveled along the trail, there have been several times that I tripped on a stone, stick, or tree root, and fell—actually, more than several times. Yet, not once was I seriously injured; my worst mishap resulted in a sprained ankle. At times I climbed on all fours up and over hills of boulders or awkwardly slid on my bottom down rocky slopes. Some days I hiked over 3,000 feet of elevation change. In every instance, I felt God’s presence watching over me, pulling me up the rocks and helping me down the mountains, giving me strength to endure—hiking has enlarged my dependence on God.

The Appalachian Trail is sometimes called the “green tunnel,” because a majority of it passes through forest. When there is a break in the tunnel and a view of the countryside, it is truly amazing to look out over the vast expanse of God’s handiwork.

This is why I hike: the views, the solitude, the green tunnel, the people I encounter along the way, the rain and the rainbows, the animals (yes, snakes and bears), the waterfalls. Everything above me and around me is a testimony to the purpose, precision and provision of our Creator God.

When I was working full-time and in the thick of marathon training, my wife once asked what I thought about on my longer runs. I told her I practiced my presentations or puzzled over problems with computer programs I was writing. On the trail, at this stage of my life, my thoughts and my focus are completely different. My heart and my mind are turned toward God. I praise him for the beauty and diversity of the world he created; I thank him for his protection and provision; I reflect on his Word in Scripture and song; and I ask for his blessings for my family and everyone who is supporting and praying for me as I pursue my goal.

Not everyone is able (or wants) to experience the majesty of God’s creation on the Appalachian Trail, but I encourage you to find ways to share, explore and revel in the artistry and love that God reveals to us in his creation. Invite a neighbor to walk with you in a nearby forest preserve or partner with a friend to tend a garden plot at church. Maybe you and a child or grandchild would enjoy studying a favorite animal to learn how God purposely designed it for life in its habitat. Perhaps God has blessed you with a talent in visual or literary arts—your artistic expression of the wonders of his creation can bless others and bring glory to the Creator.

How ever you choose to experience the beauty and awe of the natural world, our ultimate focus must be centered on God. In Psalm 19:1, David writes, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” Soli Deo gloria!

[In the Good Old Summertime, Camping Is Not an Option

IIn the days when I was a single person my vacations usually took place in May or October. My friends and I would jaunt to the Dells in Wisconsin, or drive to Disney World in Florida. It was peaceful, beautiful and awesome to see God’s beauty as we drove through mountains or had lunch by beautiful lakes. It still amazes me that I noticed none of these things on my one and only camping trip.

Sal and I had been married for about a year when some friends asked if we’d like to join them on a week-long camping trip. Since we couldn’t take the whole week off from our respective jobs, we opted to join them for a weekend. As I look back, I realize God knew a weekend was about all this future daughter of his could handle. (A little selfdisclosure here: I have a huge aversion to bugs, and why that didn’t enter my head prior to the camping trip remains a mystery to me.)

My sense of adventure overrode my sensibilities as we began to plan for our time in the wilderness. We owned no camping equipment, so one of my bosses, an avid camper, allowed us to borrow his tent and air mattresses.

Our friends were supplying all the other camping equipment needed. Between us we put together a list of food, snacks and drinks we would need to bring in coolers and grocery bags. (No one said anything about insect repellent.)

When the long-awaited weekend arrived our friends were unable to leave their jobs early, so we got a late start, which meant we arrived at the campgrounds at nine o’clock at night during a mild rain shower and proceeded to pitch our tents with light from the car headlights. It took us until midnight to get two tents up, and the air mattresses ready. We’re lucky our cars took all of this into consideration and didn’t stop running. My only thought was, “Is this for real?” Then I proceeded to stuff every nook and cranny of our tent with Kleenex to keep any snakes or bugs from entering. All I needed at that point was a talking snake and I would have gone screaming madly to the car and making a beeline for home. And why didn’t anyone tell me that when it rains and you are in a canvas tent, an old canvas tent, that you get occasionally sprayed by rainwater on you throughout the night?

I must have finally fallen asleep, after thinking every shadow was a bear or some other night owl animal, when the smell of coffee wafted into our tent. That was all the encouragement I needed to get up and out and see what the day was like; but first, the bathroom. There were two options: outside in nature, or a mile walk to the camp latrines. I walked through mud, mosquito attacks and people smiling at me as I passed by their tents. Seriously? Smiling? I just wanted to go home! People really like doing this?

On the way back, hoping I wouldn’t get lost and become a bear’s dinner, or get poison ivy, I wondered why I had agreed to go on this camping trip? Had I had a moment of temporary insanity? Maybe it will get better? Was there something I was missing?

Thank goodness my husband brought back my sense of hilarity. When I returned to our campsite, I found breakfast and coffee waiting for me—and Sal with his Jim Bowie knife in hand, ready to go off for a hike in the woods. He was convinced he was going to be another Daniel Boone, and when confronted by a bear, Sal would brandish his Bowie knife this way and that in the air, and the bear would take off in the other direction. I almost coughed up my coffee from laughing. I think I was silently hysterical for the next thirty hours we had left.

I wish I could have seen the “majesty of God’s perfections” as Philip Ryken says in his book, Beauty Is Your Destiny (page 29), but I didn’t know God at this point in my life. All I knew was that our time in the woods was filled with continuous rain, hence continuous mosquitoes. I didn’t mean to be anti-social, but I spent a lot of the weekend in our misty, musty tent. Everything felt cold and damp. We couldn’t even make s’mores because of the rain, and I love s’mores! Sunday morning couldn’t come soon enough. Our friends were having such a good time that they decided they were going to stay for a few more days. They were kind enough to help us dismantle our tent and waved cheerfully as we left, and I secretly knew they were glad to see us go. I would have been too! Although I didn’t do too much whining or complaining, I think the Kleenex sticking out of the tent crevices might have been a clue that I was not cut out for a camping vacation, aside from my husband’s brandishing of his Jim Bowie knife.

As I look back, I wish I had known about Jonathan Edwards then, and saw what he saw as he described walking in the pastures near his boyhood home in rural Connecticut: “As I was walking there,” Edwards wrote, looking up at the sky and clouds, “there came into my mind a sweet sense of the glorious majesty and grace of God…” (Beauty is Your Destiny by Philip Ryken, page 40).

Edwards goes further: “my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and more lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of everything was altered: there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast, or appearance of divine glory, in almost everything. God’s excellency, his wisdom, purity, and love, seemed to appear in everything: in the sun, moon, and stars; in the clouds, and blue sky; in the grass, flowers, trees; in the water, and all nature. (Beauty is Your Destiny, page 40)

If I had known Edwards, or more importantly, Edwards’ God, I would have seen the world and the campgrounds filled with the glory of God.

Sal and I have gone back to vacations in various places in wonderful hotels with pools and restaurants, sightseeing (even in the rain), and enjoying the manifest beauty of God’s perfection, but please don’t ask me to go camping with you (especially in cicada season). I would rather view all of God’s wonders from a sightseeing trip, enjoying the manifest beauty of God’s glory without mosquitoes and snakes.

Camping, for me, is still not an option.


Born to missionary parents, most of his formative years were spent in the Congo with home assignments in Wheaton and Alma, Nebraska. His last two years of high school were in Wheaton. College began at John Brown University (JBU), interrupted by service in Vietnam and an eventual undergraduate degree from DePaul University. His MBA is from Keller Graduate School.

Marr worked for a photo studio before returning to Africa with his wife, Mary, as short-term missionaries with AIM International in the renamed Zaire. They have two married sons and six grandchildren.

His main artistic interests are nature related, especially wildlife, scenic and landscape, and recently video work.




Four artists bring their creativity to summertime

GALLERY HOURS: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 to 2 p .m . Also open on Sundays after the evening service .

For other opening times, contact the church office at (630) 668-0878 or email artspace@college-church org


A monthly coming together, where we discuss our personal projects and the many facets of creativity and God

NOTE: Summer Dates

We will be meeting on the 2nd Thursday of each month instead of Tuesday during the months of June, July & August

THURSDAY, JULY 11 at 7 p m in Crossings

July word for the month: Shade

This month Rachael Cory will share her perspectives on art and creativity People are also welcome to bring something creative to share with the group

Look forward to seeing you there!

For more information or to sign up for an adult workshop, visit our webpage: college-church.org/ artspace.



INSTRUCTOR: Meagan Shuptar


9-Noon in the Crossings COST: FREE

Professional photographer and College Church member Meagan Shuptar will help you get the best shots of the people you love from your cellphone camera

Registration is not required, but is encouraged Sign up at www college-church org/ artspace or by using this QR Code




10 a m - 12 p m (entering 2nd - 5th grade)


MONDAY, JULY 29 1-3 p m

(age 4 - entering 1st grade)

Kids, come help Kids’ Harbor decorate the church tunnel by drawing and painting beautiful pictures Various ArtSpace artists will be available to help children create art that reflects biblical stories and verses related to water Art created in this workshop will be on display in the ArtSpace gallery in late summer/early fall and then be moved to decorate the church tunnel . Sign up required at www . college-church org/events

A Little R&R

Vacations are not rest and relaxation . Am I doing something wrong?

Why do we vacation, or take a break from work? I think God gave us a good example by “resting” from creation on the seventh day. Was it six days of creation? No, I think it was seven. The rest is part of the creation. We need a rest from our work. Now, in defense of God (like he needs to be defended), I don’t think he needed rest after six days of creation. In my brief study, the Hebrew word used is shabbat , which can mean cease or stop. God is God and he doesn’t need a rest. He stopped. We are people, we need rest from our work.

We negotiate as much rest as we can from our work. Two weeks? Three weeks? The more we get the merrier we allegedly are. But are vacations merry? Do they bring rest or is it just that we aren’t working. I’ve been on many vacations, and like many of you, probably said that I needed a vacation from my vacation. Though not always restful, vacations, breaks, are needed based on God’s creation model.

So, what isn’t restful about vacations? Have any of you visited your in-laws? I have and so has my wife. Different cultures. Different political views. Different perspectives on Jesus. Different eating habits. Different sleeping habits. Different drinking habits. All these differences can lead to stress and discomfort. But you must do it.

It’s part of life. But restful? Perhaps for one side of the marriage but not always for the other. One side is going home. The other side is going to somebody else’s home.

We often do driving vacations. We’ve driven tens of thousands of miles across the continent. California, Nova Scotia, Florida, Oregon. On those vacations, there were two times that I neglected to fuel up when I should have. I remember driving through Sequoia National Park and putting the car in neutral when I went down hills so I wouldn’t use as much fuel. Another time, I forgot to fuel up as we drove through Billings, Montana. We were in the middle of nowhere when I looked at the gauge. The car gets awfully quiet when you’re running on empty and there’s no cellular coverage and you’re in unfamiliar territory and every tiny town you drive by has a sign that says there’s no fuel Quiet? Yes. Restful? No, not a bit.

While we can’t be guaranteed rest on a vacation, I do recall one where I got some peace. At the time, I was questioning my career choice. Things were tough for me, mentally. But it was vacation time, and instead of driving, we flew to California with our kids, then in their early teens. This was the first flight for my kids that they would remember. I selflessly gave my daughter the window seat as we crossed the fruited plain. She was mesmerized by

what she saw. There were clouds and distant thunderstorms, and the land 35,000 feet below. At one point she turned away from the window with her mouth agape and looked at me. That was why I worked—to be able to provide opportunities and memories for my family. It gave me such peace.

Peace. But was it restful? Probably not. We drove all over California. From LA to Marin County, from Yosemite to Sequoia. And there were family visits and meet-ups with relatives. But we saw so much and experienced mountains and the ocean. It was wonderful. But you get back home and there are piles of laundry. Not restful. There are the bills that come in. Not restful. And before all that, there was the planning. Not restful. But there are the memories. Peace.

So where do we, or should we, find our rest? Jesus makes it pretty clear in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I know that. I believe that. But do I experience that? Do I always have rest in Jesus? I don’t think I do. Jesus’ yoke is always available to me, but I don’t always hitch myself to it. True rest is there for me, but I think I’m doing something wrong.

Work with us.

Looking for meaningful part-time work at a great workplace? Check out these openings at College Church

• Facilities General Custodian (Two positions available . 25 hours per week, set schedule, not seasonal )

Visit the college-church .org/job-openings or email Ann at akarow@ college-church org


Call the church office or email info@college-church.org for details on these prayer meetings.

SUNDAY MORNING PRAYER: 8:15-8:40 a m , meets in C101

MIDWEEK PRAYER MEETING: Wednesdays at 7 p m via Zoom

JULY 3: Kalli Hill, serving with CRU at Elmhurst College and College of DuPage

JULY 10: Phil Smith, organizational leadership with First Love International

JULY 17: Samuel Naaman, president, South Asian Friendship Center, Chicago

JULY 24: Sara Klopfenstein, community development with Youth for Christ in France

JULY 31: Robbie & Lauren Becker, teaching with Resourcing Christian Education in Colombia



will meet on Thursday, July 11, at 7 p m at the home of Marr and Mary Miller, 1607 Stoddard Avenue in Wheaton, (630) 668-8828

Our guests will be Steve and Lois Dresselhaus, serving in Mexico

BARNABAS PRAYER FELLOWSHIP also welcomes Steve and Lois Dresselhaus to its meeting at 1:30 p m on Wednesday, July 17, in Windsor Park’s Arts Room They would welcome all TEAM friends to join the group as we learn about their work in Baja California

Being Ready When He Comes

Driving to my farthest out chapel in Fort Hood, Texas (215,000 acres), I went over in my mind what I expected to find and how I would approach this particular unit chaplain. Most times I dropped in on one of my chaplains, was in a pastoral mode of instruction and encouragement. This, however, was the periodic official visit for-the-record, and I would arrive as the division staff chaplain.

The less inexperienced and less professionally confident unit chaplains would try to find out when I might “drop in” on them so they could be ready when I arrived. They wanted the chapel building to be clean and neat. They didn’t want to be taken by surprise but to be ready with their ducks lined up and everything and all personnel in the order the manuals stipulate. But they didn’t know me because such is not what would please me and not what I was looking for. A chaplain just can’t be in a static posture and, at the same time, be operational. They sat there in freshly ironed uniforms and shiny boots supposing to be ready.

Although I never wanted to find any chapel unclean or in need of repair, unready for inspection, a chaplain team can’t be ready for inspection and busy in ministry at the same time and in the same way. I want to find a chapel being used and showing signs of being used, even if it means not being in the best material order.

When I arrived, I did not want to find the chaplains sitting alone or even with their enlisted assistants awaiting my arrival. If I found them in the chapel, I wanted to find them busy training and supervising their assistants. Better yet, I wanted to find them behind closed-doors counseling soldiers. When I did so find them, I would not allow their assistants to interrupt them even though some would offer the first time this happened. I would either wait for the chaplain to finish with his soldier or I would return. I have found what I wanted to find, i.e., a chaplain engaged in ministry—even preoccupied with ministry.

Yet more convincing, I did not even want even to find them in their chapels. I wanted an assistant to report, “Sir, he’s in the field visiting troops.” If I found a chaplain characteristically in his chapel, I would talk with him about what really matters in ministry to the troops.

It so happened this particular chaplain’s theology (about which I had neither authority nor responsibility) denied the Second Coming of Christ. So, my mind drifted from the immediate task to thinking about this clearly prophesied yet indeterminate return of Christ.

Our task and posture now is not so much to be ready and waiting for the rapture, whenever and however that will yet occur, as it is to be spiritually and morally mature and engaged in living our salvation. I was never scared into doctrinal conformity by the fear of Christ catching me in a tavern or on a “dance floor.” Even as a kid, I knew Jesus isn’t dumb.

As much as I try to be exegetically accurate and theologically “correct” about eschatology, I’m not certain how helpful my eschatology (more speculative than is comfortable) will be. We don’t need to rush through what the Holy Spirit is leading us to be and do right now, because Christ is not going to return sooner than he has set. If we are so occupied living Christ that we don’t notice his bodily approach, I don’t suppose he will be offended. Our concern should be not so much to be “ready” for the future coming of Christ, but to be presently engaged in living the life into which we were born-again. We can’t be more ready than this.

I have come to recognize it isn’t enough to expect Christ’s return doctrinally but to anticipate it behaviorally. So, too, in regard to our readiness for God to terminate our lives short of his coming. We are most ready to die when we are most engaged in living.


After I watch the video on Caravaggio at the ArtSpace gathering in May, I was interested in learning about his art and his life. It has given me food for thought—his struggle with the flesh and spirit and his honesty about it. What I appreciate about having paintings explained to me is that it elevates many of them from being simply beautiful or interesting into something meaningful. Caravaggio’s expression in many of his paintings reminds me of two of John Donne’s poems that reflect his own struggle: “Hymn to God the Father” and “Holy Sonnet XIV” (Batter my heart three-personed God). I pray those poems sometimes. They put into words something I feel but didn’t have the words to express.

As I was reading and thinking about Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their rebellion in Numbers 16 a few years ago, I was inspired to write a poem that is also reflective of the human condition: rebellion, judgment, and the curse of sin and death.


Earthquake wakes the hungry hallowed ground and in its wake

a crack of fractured black devours this mass of grave-grown men brazen sandals and all.

The wounded lips of earth close on a dirge of dust to dust.

Then fire falls upon the censored censers of the unruly host. Holy smoke!

The curse rehearsed again and again and again ashes to ashes.



There was a time when I was not

With no sign that I would ever be; You have always been present

Here and now are your constant reality.

My life is filled with questions

Yet I have so few answers; There is nothing unknown to you

No unsolved mysteries.

Random events seem to rule my life

Despite my plans, tomorrow is questionable; You rule all things without uncertainty

Nothing takes you by surprise.

Not knowing leaves me unsettled I realize that I have no control; You exist in unbroken calm

No anxiety to disturb your mind.

Not knowing feels wrong I want to find answers; You know everything

Revelation is your gift to me.

If only I could stop trying so hard

My problem is listening; You continue to speak

So much that you want me to know. There needs to be a change

To continue will not help; You are unchanging

No reason to try anything new.

Let this be a new day for me

No more fruitless introspection; Please continue to speak

Rooted in timeless truth.

I rededicate myself to discipline

To set aside time to seek you; Continue to reach out to me

To fulfill the reason for speaking.

Let me think about that

Let me think about that

Let me think about that

Though many unanswered questions

I find peace abandoning the struggle; You are always good and kind No risk of you changing.

Having all the answers is not the answer

That is the elusive truth; No wrestling mysteries for you Any question would be a lie. I am going to take you at your word

My whole existence is in your hands; You care about me deeply

More than I care about myself. I never knew such peace

Not knowing everything is so good; Unhurried certainty is your experience

Nothing to disturb your existence.

It was never as elusive as I thought The answer to my questions is clear; You are here, there and everywhere

With Your message of reconciliation. I abandon hope in looking inside

Taking hold of you to rescue me; Your plan for me is unfolding Fulfillment was always certain. In the most desperate loneliness

Let me think about that

When prayers seem to echo unanswered; You are constant in your nearness

Never a moment when you are closer.

Let me think about that

Many ask where can escape be found Deliverance from trouble eludes the ensnared; I have joy beyond all my circumstances

Peaceful sleep is my companion, because...

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen



Mike Leonard and Lisa Speranske were married at College Church on May 18.


Eliza Jo was born to Logan and Katie Brown in Denver, Colorado, on June 2. Eliza Jo’s maternal grandparents are Jeff and Patty Mann

Sophie Mae was born to Kris and Abbey Yoder on May 29, joining her big sister, Jane. Sophie’s maternal grandparents are Gary and Marilyn Lange.


Pray for Beth (Ray) Chase and family, including granddaughters Lauren Chase, Sarah Herr and Meredith Sommars, as they grieve the loss of Beth’s mother and longtime College Church attender, Julia King, who passed away on June 16.

Pray for Nate (Kate) Roe and family as they grieve the loss of Nate’s mother, Marilyn Roe, who passed away on June 3 in Wheaton.

Pray for retired missionary Roger Walkwitz and family as they grieve the loss of Roger’s wife, Naomi, who passed away on June 2 in Florida. They served in the Philippines with SEND beginning in 1957.

Pray for Bruce and Allison Bonga and family as they grieve the loss of their daughter Claire, who died tragically on May 30.

Pray for Jason (Michelle) Riek and family as they grieve the loss of Jason’s mother, Judy Riek, who passed away on May 22.

Pray for the family of former College Church missionary Alice Fitzwilliam, who passed away on May 18.




Everyone welcome.

Join us at 9:30 and 11 a .m .

Livestream broadcast is at 9:30 a m

You can watch it at college-church org/livestream


The Book of Chronicles

Senior Pastor Josh Moody preaching

JULY 7: Why Rely on God

2 Chronicles 14:2; 16:7–9

JULY 14: Whose Battle Is It? 2 Chronicles 20:1–15

A Vision of the Son of Man

Pastor Baxter Helm preaching

JULY 21: Revelation 1:9–20

Perseverance Requires People

Pastor Josh Maurer preaching

JULY 28: Hebrews 3:12-14


Everyone welcome. at 5 p m


Let’s Get Practical Evening Sermons from the Book of James

JULY 7: James 2:14–26, Pastor Dan Hiben preaching

JULY 14: James 3:1–18, Pastor Baxter Helm preaching

JULY 21: James 4:1–12, Pastoral Resident Tate Fritz preaching


JULY 28: Dr Peter J Williams, C S Lewis Institute, The Surprising Genius of Jesus


Everyone welcome.

Sundays 9:30 a m . in Commons Hall

The Word and the World: How the Storyline of the Bible Equips Us for Faithful Witness

JULY 7: Redemption Promised 3: Prophecy, Richard Schultz, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

JULY 14: Redemption Fulfilled: Chris, Felipe Chamy, pastoral resident

JULY 21: Redemption Proclaimed: Church, Felipe Chamy, pastoral resident

JULY 28: New Creation, Ben Panner, college pastor

AUGUST 4: The World and the Word: Equipped for Faithful Cultural Engagement, Josh Maurer, pastor of discipleship



JULY 1: Park Playdate, 9:30–11:30 a m , East Street Playground, Winfield

JULY 15: Park Playdate, 9:30–11:30 a m , Kelly Park, Wheaton

JULY 29: Park Playdate, 9:30–11:30 a m , Northside Park, Wheaton


Summer is a great time to connect with neighbors and friends, and we encourage you to consider hosting a summer Bible study at a time and place that works for you This year, we are providing a six-week study of Psalms, available in the Commons by the reception desk for the next few weeks Please take only what you know you need for you or your group, being aware that more books are available at church Learn more on our website


Wednesday, July 10, 7:30-9 p.m. in Commons Hall

Women’s Ministries is excited to host three once-a-month creative events for women this summer! We’ll enjoy a devotional on God’s beauty and creativity, a demonstration and hands-on practice in an art form or handcraft and have time to meet and be in fellowship with other women Our July event will focus on floral arranging Registration is $5/event and available on our website


Tuesdays, through August 6 at 7 p m in Commons Hall

Join us for a chapter-by-chapter discussion of Beauty Is Your Destiny.

JULY 2: When Sex Is Beautiful; the Beauty of Purity

JULY 9: Beautiful Savior; The Beauty of God Incarnate

JULY 16: That Old, Ugly Cross; The Beauty of the Crucifixion

JULY 23: Beautiful Community; The Beauty of Christ’s Bride

JULY 30: It’s a Beautiful Life; The Beauty of Generous Living

AUGUST 6: Meet the Author; Q&A with author Philip Ryken



9:30 a.m.: Nursery (0–2) and preschool

9:30 a.m.: Kids entering grades 1–5 are dismissed during the service for Elementary Summer Lighthouse

11 a.m.: Nursery (0–2) and preschool only for children of first-time visitors and Kids’ Harbor teachers .

5 p.m.: No Kids’ Harbor programs


Discover Days: preschool (fourand five-year-olds)

“Lost and Found” parables in Luke 15— REGISTRATION FULL

JULY 1: 1-3 p m

JULY 23: 1-3 p m

VBS: children entering first-fifth grade, Monday-Thursday, 1-3 p m $10/child Choose One Week

JULY 8-11: Nelson home, 227 E Lincoln Ave , Wheaton

JULY 15-18: Jorgenson home, 25W714 White Birch Ct , Wheaton

ADVENTURE DAYS elementary students ($5/day)

JULY 1: 1-3 p m Water Adventure (grades one and two)

JULY 2: 1-3 p m Water Adventure (grades three-five)

JULY 23: 1-3 p m Goodbye Adventure (grades one-five)


JULY 20: 10 a m -Noon, Elementary Art Workshop (entering grades two-five) registration required

JULY 29: 1-3 p m , Preschool Art Workshop (age four through entering first grade) registration required



SUNDAY MORNINGS: Students are encouraged to join their families in the worship services

TUESDAY AFTERNOONS: 2:304:00 p m in Commons Gym— Incoming sixth-grade Bible Study (James 1-5), June 4-July 31

JULY 2: Will not meet Holiday

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS: in the Crossings 7-8:30 p .m .: fellowship, games, snacks, worship and a study of the seven letters in Revelation 2-3

JULY 3: Will not meet Holiday


SUNDAY MORNINGS: Students are encouraged to join their families in the worship services They also may participate in our optional discipleship groups studying Galatians for the summer Details on the website

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS: 7-8:30 p m in Commons Gym: “Words for the Church,” The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation

JULY 3: No Gathering, Fourth of July

JULY 10: Revelation 2:18-29, Tweeten Home, 316 E Illinois St , Wheaton, IL 60187

JULY 17: Revelation 3:1-6, Jones Home, 1N066 Ellis Ave, Carol Stream, IL 60188

JULY 24: Revelation 3:7-13, Commons Gym

JULY 31: Revelation 3:14-22, Commons Gym

THURSDAY AFTERNOONS: 3:30-5 p m in Commons Gym— Incoming Freshman Bible Study, June 6-July 25

JULY 4: No Bible Study, Fourth of July


TUESDAY EVENINGS: 7 p m at 322 E . Union Ave, weekly Bible study on the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 1-3


Children, Adult and MultiGenerational Sunday classes meet at 9:30 only This will be our summer schedule until September

JULY 4: STARS walk in the Wheaton Fourth of July Parade . Registration is required

WEDNESDAYS: July 10, 17, 24 and 31: 3-5 p m STARS Music Camp in Welsh Hall


Every Saturday our Prison Task Force heads to Stateville Prison for ministry to the inmates there Join them in prayer in the parking lot at 9:10 continued on next page

Other ways to get involved:

• Commit to pray at home during our services (15 minutes) .

• Pray for the names of men who share requests (10 minutes)

• Help establish a new ministry of weekday, in-person visitation

• Be a pen pal to help disciple believers behind the walls .

Find out more by emailing prisontaskforce@collegechurch org


Details on page 9



SUNDAY, JULY 25: 12:30, 2 p m in the Crossings conference room


Steps of Faith such as believers baptism or confirmation, and infant baptism or dedication are important signposts in our lives If you are interested in pursuing one of these for yourself or a family member, contact Christy at baptism@ college-church org


Facilities FACTS

In 2015, Kent Jensen started working with Howard Kern to improve the health and impact of the trees on the College Church campus  Trees that grow in a so-called built environment face special challenges, especially when placed in parking lots or near roads or buildings We have focused on adding trees where appropriate, removing dangerous or impaired trees, pruning, pest control and soil improvement Since then, we have added over 90 trees, including those procured through the Wheaton joint cost program, raising the current tree inventory to about 200 trees comprised of about 40 different species

Looking Ahead

• Fall Kids’ Harbor start-up August 18

• Adult Communities resume August 18

Under the Radar


Hamilton’s Artillery Reenactment

July 4th, 11 a m -2 p m Parade Field

Voyage en France at Cantigny

Enjoy a weekend of all things France on Saturday, July 20, 10 a m -4 p m

Visit Cantigny org for more information


House at Pooh Corner

Saturday and Sundays: July 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28

The July 27th performance will have an American Sign Language interpreter available .

Looking for ways to serve at College Church that can be flexible with your schedule? Be part of the Go Team! Within our church family, there are frequent requests for help in a variety of ways—taking a meal to someone after a hospitalization, providing transportation to a medical appointment, helping move a piece of furniture, minor maintenance work or handyman help, or even help with a computer problem Consider being part of the team so that we can show love and serve one another well!

• Student ministries resume August 18 (check website for specific ministries)

• Return to three services on September 8

• Men’s/Women’s Bible Study and Kids Clubs start— September 11

Visit mortonarb org for performance times and tickets



July 24-30 Enjoy a real-life summer blizzard on Saturday, July 27, at the “W” tent on Front Street


Check the various LOST AND FOUND bins throughout the church for missing Bibles, notebooks, coats, travel mugs and more .



Vision: “Proclaiming the Gospel”

PATHWAY. We will develop a simple invitational pathway for our gospel ministries: Discover Jesus, Grow in Your Faith and Impact the World. In 2024, we will continue developing that pathway by emphasizing and enhancing the “on ramps” to College Church in the following ways: 1) promoting Kids’ Harbor as one of the first impressions of College Church, 2) augmenting and strengthening our Front Door ministries, and 3) establishing a culture where our congregants willingly and effectively share our faith.

Rationale: After consultation with a Christian communications company, and surveying the neighborhood, we have discovered that we need to present the distinctive gospel ministry opportunity of College Church more clearly and invitationally to the surrounding community.

COMMUNITY. We will cultivate care, encouragement, and connection in 2024 by: 1) calling a pastor focused in these areas (title to be determined), 2) establishing a permanent CARE team to support congregational care, 3) expanding elder prayer for each member of the church by name, and 4) identifying and training Small Group Coordinators to support all of our Small Group Leaders.

Rationale: After conversations with key ministry leaders, it is apparent we need to increase connectivity between members and attenders of the church through mutually loving and caring hospitality.


We will elevate biblically rigorous and practical discipleship by, in 2024: 1) emphasizing and encouraging a renewed focus on discipleship in the context of church family life, 2) providing additional resources for personal disciple making as well as improving awareness and accessibility to them, and 3) offering two churchwide seminars on matters of current importance for being faithful disciples in today’s world.

Rationale: After a churchwide discipleship survey, we have ascertained a growing need for more rigorous and practical discipleship that is coherently coordinated across both small and large groups.

CAMPUS. We will increasingly activate our campus by utilizing the Crossings as a crossover space to reach the community and for student, worship and family space, funded through the Gospel Now Project launched in 2024, prioritizing safety and accessibility upgrades to our parking and other key areas, and studying the highest and best missional use for our portfolio of rental properties.

Rationale: After the Site and Facilities committee’s extensive work surveying the ministry pinch points, it is apparent that we need to develop our ministry space, and we will target the Crossings space.


We will leverage the church’s history of church planting, training programs, and connections across the country and world by: 1) expanding the scope of our church planting efforts to include planting, strengthening and revitalizing, 2) hosting a prayer gathering for College Church members interested in this work, 3) exploring partnership with one new organizational partner, and 4) seeking to develop one new church partner in each category (planting, strengthening, revitalizing) by December 2024.

Rationale: By partnering with likeminded churches and organizations, and by broadening our scope to include planting, strengthening, and revitalization, we can increase our gospel impact through gospel-centered, Bible-preaching churches.

When Is a Child “Not a Child”?

If your minor child is killed by someone else’s negligence, do you have any legal recourse? It depends. Let’s look at the story of three sets of parents in Alabama.

Jim and Emily LePage sought in vitro fertilization (IVF), a common assisted reproductive technology (ART) at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Mobile, Alabama. After the live birth of a healthy baby, they had two remaining embryos who were “kept alive in a cryogenic nursery,” as the Alabama Supreme Court called it. The center shared a building with the local hospital.

One day, a patient wandered into the center through a door that should have been locked. He spotted the nitrogen canister with test tubes laden with IVF embryos and removed several embryos. Stunned by the freezer burn on his hands, the patient dropped the tubes which shattered, killing all the embryos.

The LePages weren’t the only ones who lost embryos. William Tripp Fonde and his wife, Caroline Fonde, lost two embryos, and Felicia Burdick-Aysenne and Scott Aysenne lost one.


The three couples sued the Center under Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act for “negligence” and “wantonness,” claiming mental anguish and emotional distress. The Center defended itself by claiming that “extrauterine” children weren’t covered by the Alabama statute. The trial judge agreed, stating that the

embryo is not a “person” or “child.” What’s more, the parents can’t claim negligence that caused emotional injury, because they weren’t physically harmed.

The distraught families took their case all the way to the Alabama Supreme Court. The Court was faced with the question: what if a minor child is not in the womb, but resides, frozen, in a test tube at an IVF clinic?

In a decision that rocked the IVF industry, the Court ruled that Alabama’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Child Act applies to all children, born, in the womb, or “extrauterine,” without exception. Alabama law regards unborn children as “persons,” and the Court determined this includes all embryos, whether in the womb or not.

IVF advocates were horrified. Pro-IVF protesters who rallied at the state capitol carried signs that read “You can’t cuddle an embryo” and “God said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ Genesis 9:7.” Doctors and clinics announced they were stopping all IVF procedures. Tearful women mourned postponing the transfer of embryos (to their womb) and delayed IVF cycles. Leading ethicists claimed that the consequences would cause harm to women and children, increase the costs of IVF, hamper research, and limit the ability to discard genetically flawed embryos.

Within days, and under intense public pressure, the Alabama legislature passed a law providing complete and retroactive immunity for IVF clinics. They cannot be sued for harming or destroying an embryo, whether in the past or in the future.

For now, couples in Alabama cannot sue IVF clinics for mishandling their embryos, even if they are destroyed. Elsewhere, ART clinics have been sued for losing specimens, mixing up sperm, genetic testing errors and misdiagnoses, breach of confidentiality, and a doctor substituting his own sperm for the donor’s.

Why does this Alabama case matter to us at College Church?

There are at least two reasons. First, shortly after the Alabama decision, Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois is a haven for people from other states seeking abortion or IVF (two rather contradictory goals). Second, the Alabama case addresses not only the legal status, but the moral worth of the human embryo. As residents of Illinois, and people who believe in the immeasurable worth of every human being, no matter how tiny, we ought to take a few minutes to become better informed.

Illinois is the “abortion capital of the Midwest.” In the first six months after the Dobbs opinion was leaked, abortions surged by 28%, with nearly 91,000 unborn children aborted in 2023. In a typical abortion center, the percentage of abortions performed on women from out of state increased from 5% to 30%. Last year, Governor Pritzker added $23 million to the budget for abortion-related services.

Illinois is also on its way to becoming “the IVF capital of the Midwest.” Shortly after the Alabama decision, Pritzker announced expanded support for other “reproductive health services,” including IVF for same sex couples, screening for genetically imperfect embryos, requiring insurers to cover multiple rounds of IVF, and gender transition procedures.

Paige Comstock Cunningham

Linking abortion and IVF under the umbrella of “reproductive health” obscures important differences. Abortion surgically or chemically terminates a pregnancy by destroying the unborn child within, rarely because the pregnancy was the result of sexual assault, and more commonly because the timing is inconvenient, or the parents’ relationship has ended. On the other hand, IVF—the most common assisted reproductive technology—is used by a couple who very much want to have a baby and will go to great lengths to achieve that precious goal.

Abortion addresses the “problem” of a child who already exists but is no longer wanted. In vitro fertilization attempts to bring to life a child that is the object of a couple’s dreams. An abortion costs around $600, while the price tag for just one round of IVF treatment can be upwards of $17,000.

Regardless of the differences, in both abortion and IVF, the child is vulnerable to the will of the parent(s), state legislatures, and the courts. While we are well informed about abortion and its moral concerns, thanks to Sarah Lindquist, Kara Vance and others on the Sanctity of Human Life task force, how aware are we of the moral or ethical concerns that surround IVF and other technologies?

IVF is the most commonly used ART by couples who are infertile. Many of us know a couple who has tried, or a child who was born as a result of, IVF. While the birth of every child is to be celebrated, each tiny one in the likeness of our great God (Gen 1:2627), not every pregnancy is smooth and straightforward. Some come through great difficulty, especially with IVF. The process can be physically and emotionally grueling. But how often do we consider the ethical or moral questions that can arise? (By the way, theological ethicist Dennis Hollinger continued on next page

told me that “ethical” and “moral” are interchangeable. The former is used more often in philosophical discussions, and “moral” appears more often in theological conversation.)

Let me illustrate some of the ethical questions that emerge from decisions about IVF.

Jason and Kate got married in their early 30s. Jason was just beginning to gain traction in his job with the financial services industry. Kate, a pediatric nurse, wanted to finish her advance practice training and get some experience before starting a family. Plus, they wanted to move from their second-floor apartment to a house with a yard for their Golden Retriever and future children.

Five years later, they reached their goals and were ready to have children. Month after month went by. One pregnancy test after another, and no + sign. Finally, Kate went to her ObGyn. After a brief examination and medical history, the doctor recommended Kate try IVF. “You’ve passed the age of peak fertility, but don’t worry, you can get there with IVF.” The doctor did not mention other factors, such as the possibility of a hormonal imbalance or vitamin B deficiency.

Alternatives to IVF are time-consuming and unprofitable for the doctor, compared with IVF. As of 2019, the IVF market value was $5 billion and growing.1 Few physicians are willing to take careful medical histories, attend to whole-person health, including emotional and spiritual health, and recommend medical and surgical treatments that cooperate with a women’s menstrual and fertility cycles.2 Were Kate and Jason informed about alternatives to IVF? Have they considered how many rounds of IVF they will try and what that could cost?

Kate googled “IVF centers near me” and found a plethora of locations. How could she evaluate their services? “IVF success rates” can be confusing. Clinics tout “live births,” but how many cycles were required? How many pregnancies

miscarried? How many embryo transfers failed? Other than reporting some kind of success rate, IVF clinics are largely unregulated, a “wild West” where “cash is king and informed consent is optional,” according to law professor Steve Calandrillo.3 What are Kate and Jason willing to do to achieve “success”?

Kate searched for a quality clinic, but most recommendations were written by … fertility clinics. She avoided a large, well-known center, because she didn’t want anybody to recognize her. She struggled with her infertility and didn’t want anyone to know about her plans. How do Christians talk about infertility? Does silence breed shame, or is this an appropriate area of marital privacy? Pursuing IVF creates emotional stress, but how many couples anticipate moral stress?

Kate and Jason made an appointment at a smaller clinic about 20 miles away. At the first appointment, they were reassured by the large portraits of smiling babies, and the smaller bulletin board with snapshots of babies born through that clinic’s services. A smiling receptionist welcomed them and gave each a medical history form to fill out. Then a friendly nurse took them to a room where they awaited the doctor.

Their IVF journey was about to begin. Are they ready?

I have not touched on the issues of how assisted reproductive technologies were developed or the many ethical questions that arise during the process, to say nothing of the moral status of the human embryo. Come back for Part II.

Meanwhile, three couples in Alabama are mourning the deaths of their five embryos, embryonic deaths the Alabama legislature has shielded from legal recourse.

Is the embryo a person to be protected in law, or not?

1 “IVF Market in U S By Cycle Type (Fresh IVF Cycle, Thawed IVF Cycle and Donor egg IVF cycle) and End User (Fertility Clinics, Hospitals, Surgical Centers, and Clinical

Research Institutes): Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2019-2027 ” June 2020 https:// www alliedmarketresearch com/US-IVFservices-market

2 See, for example, NaPro Technology https://www catholicmedicalcenter org/ care-and-treatment/obstetrics-gynecology/ fertility%E2%80%93naprotechnology

3 Madeline Verniero, “The Wild West of Fertility Clinics,” The Regulatory Review, Aug 10, 2021 https://www theregreview org/2021/08/10/ verniero-wild-west-fertility-clinics/



Saturday, July 13, 1-2 p.m. Join Sanctity of Human Life Task Force at 40 Days for Life’s year-round peaceful prayer vigil. Meet on Waterleaf pregnancy center’s property across from Planned Parenthood Aurora’s driveway.


Rev. Matt Woodley shared that when interacting with Caring Network clients at the Wheaton Baby Bank, he has met families from a variety of countries of origin: Venezuela, Mexico, Chile, Ethiopia, Sudan, Belarus, China, Burma, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Mongolia, Vietnam as well as the U.S. Every two weeks, financially needy referred families have an opportunity to pick up baby supplies and connect with Christians volunteers.

• Diapers (all sizes- opened packages accepted), wipes, baby lotion, shampoo, and wash, diaper cream, and formula

• Look for the donation crib Sunday, July 7 outside the sanctuary

• For the rest of June, crib will be near the Commons reception desk. After putting your items in the crib, please place the blanket on top.

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It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day. —Matthew Henry

Alfred Nobel dropped the newspaper and put his head in his hands. It was 1888. Nobel was a Swedish chemist who made his fortune inventing and producing dynamite. His brother Ludwig had died in France.

But Alfred’s grief was compounded by dismay. He’d just read an obituary in a French newspaper—not his brother’s obituary, but his! An editor had confused the brothers. The headline read, “The Merchant of Death Is Dead.” Alfred Nobel’s obituary described a man who had gotten rich by helping people kill one another.

Shaken by the appraisal of his life, Nobel resolved to use his wealth to change his legacy. When he died eight years later, he left more than nine million dollars to fund awards for people whose work benefited humanity. The awards became known as the Nobel Prizes.

Alfred Nobel had the rare opportunity to assess his life’s story at its supposed end and still have the chance to change it. Before his life was over, Nobel made sure he had invested his wealth in something of lasting value.


At the end of the movie Schindler’s List, there’s a heartwrenching scene in which Oskar Schindler—who bought from the Nazis the lives of many Jews—regrets that he didn’t give more of his money and possessions to save more lives. Schindler had used his opportunity far better than most. But in the end, he longed to go back and make even more generous choices.

Unbelievers have no second chance to relive their lives, this time choosing Christ. But Christians also get no second chance to

live life over, this time doing more to invest in God’s kingdom. We have one brief opportunity—our lifetime on Earth—to use our resources to make a difference.

John Wesley said, “I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.” Missionary C.T. Studd wrote, “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Five minutes after we die, we’ll know exactly how we should have lived. But God has given us His Word so that we don’t have to wait to die to find out. And He’s given us His Spirit to empower us to live that way now.

From The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn, pp. 83-85

We’re a few months into the Gospel Now project, and it’s a good time to take stock of your progress on this “PGA” tour of ours. To help you, the Gospel Now table has copies of a LIFE inventory tool. In her article in May Connections, Nancy Taylor points out that this inventory “asks thought-provoking questions to help you consider how you are currently using your LABOR, INFLUENCE, FINANCES, and EXPERTISE and how you might better leverage those for kingdom purposes.”

Nancy also gave a few key questions to ask yourself as you reexamine your commitment to Gospel Now. First, are there things you’re currently doing or have always done that may not be as fruitful as they used to be? Are you in a new season that calls for new habits? Set up regular times of prayer and reflection by yourself, and if married, with your spouse, to examine how you are stewarding your LIFE—for kingdom purposes, for eternity . . . for those five minutes after we die.



by Andy Bannister and Gavin Matthews

A creative book that asks big questions about the things in life that intrigue us as people Have you ever wondered why we long for happiness? Have you ever wondered why we preserve the past? Questions like these and more are answered with a trajectory toward gospel hope? Great for Christians and those who don’t yet know Jesus as an evangelistic tool .

Bookstall Price: $8

Bookstall Price: $12


What better way to grow in our walk with Jesus and to truly meditate on God’s Word day and night than to memorize scripture Glenna Marshall’s book is designed to help and to give us motivation and develop this important habit

Bookstall Price: $13


Pastor Vaughn Roberts gives us tools to see and understand Scripture as more than just a bunch of stories or separate books that are unrelated In this book you’ll learn how all the various parts of the Bible are a part of one great theme of the kingdom of God

Bookstall Price: $18

THE HIDING PLACE: A GRAPHIC NOVEL by Corrie Ten Boom, with Elizabeth and John Sherrill

The amazing story of Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie, told in the form of a graphic novel The Ten Boom family helped hide Jews from the Nazis during WWII and were thrown into concentration camps An amazing story.


Not being raised in a Christian home, I had no framework for generous Christian living. But even in the home where I grew up, the impulse to help people in need was strong. We gave to charity drives. We took food to grieving neighbors. When children would knock on the door collecting for a variety of charities, we always participated. I think my parents cared about other people in need. But it never quite made sense to me for them to give away their money when we were struggling to make ends meet.

Then I became a Christian.

The fact that Jesus gave up everything, even to the point of death, gave me pause. His sacrifice put a whole new spin on giving away my riches and helping others with my time and treasure. As I began to earn money as an adult, I enjoyed buying things, going places, and, yes, giving to others in need and the church. But this was not an immediate transformation and I have not arrived where I probably should be.

Step by step, though, I see glimpses in my life of the blessings of giving away my treasure. These glimpses approach an unusual joy that I don’t think I have ever before experienced. Here are a few examples.

The letter came in the mail from College Church. It was from all the short-term missions teams, all raising funds to go to specific places. On a sheet of people in the letter was a hand-written note from a young person I had gotten to know through serving with him at church. I don’t remember much except for that hand-written little sentence. Because of that note, I gave. And every time one of the short-term missions efforts reported on their work, I was surprised by how much a part of it I felt.

Back when churches used to pass the offering plate, I went for many years passing it along for others. But once I started to interact with it, I found that it was unexpectedly part of my worship. We know it’s supposed to be that, but until I actually did it, what I didn’t get became something that I wanted to include in my worship. I don’t owe God anything for his gift of grace, but I do want to give him everything.

How do I give him everything? Bit by bit. I resolve to do a little better this year than last. In some ways, to even think in terms of this month compared to last month, or even today opposed to yesterday.

This probably doesn’t make sense to some people, but when I give away money, I am free from it. And it doesn’t seem like there’s anything better than to give it away to the church that feeds and cares for me, or the missionaries I pray for and believe in, or the ministries that are making a difference in my community or in my world.

I haven’t arrived yet, but there is joy in the journey.

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