Sports Camp Recap

Connecting with parents

After the last Rally on Friday night during “Friday Night Lights,” there were some great conversations happening and doors were opened to share more of the love of God with parents.  One parent said that growing up she had never heard God referred to as a friend!  Another parent said that what they were experiencing was very different from what they thought church was.


Teachable Moments – Wednesdays Mega Point “Everyone makes mistakes”

God used Nurse Gayle to do more than put ice on bumps, He gave her eyes to see into hurt feelings, to give comfort and encourage forgiveness.

God uses kids in the lives of their parents

Worshiping God through music was a part of camp for all ages.  One dad said his daughter kept singing songs at home and he didn’t realize until the last night when he heard the kids singing up front that she was learning them at sports camp!  He was also very struck with how excited she was about the stories she was learning from the Bible.

“Who you are matters more than what you can do”

These were incredibly precious moments as parents looked on and leaders affirmed kids in very specific ways about the character they saw in them.

Response Time

Most nights after the Bible story for grades 1-5, there was time for kids and leaders to huddle with their group and talk about something specific and pray together.  On Thursday coaches had the opportunity to share with the kids how Jesus became their forever friend and later after the gospel was shared in rally, kids had a chance to talk about where they thought they were on their journey to know Jesus.  Some kids indicated that they were hearing about God’s love for the first time, some had questions and wanted to know more, and some who had already accepted Jesus before camp shared their story, too.  Eight kids expressed their desire to begin a friendship with God that night. 


Powerful Evidence of Prayer

Just a few weeks before the camp deadline, we had 53 kids signed up.  As people prayed, God brought 120 kids!  46 preschoolers and 74 older kids. 120 individuals prayed for one child and one leader by name throughout the week!  On Wednesday during story there seemed to be lots of distractions.  One of the leaders called the person praying for her and asked for God to cause a strong attentiveness on Thursday as the gospel was shared… you could have heard a pin drop.

An Amazing Labor of Love that looked a whole lot like the love of Jesus….

From the hands in the kitchen that fed nearly 175 kids and leaders every night (plus parents on Friday), to the voices of the worship team, to the 17 up close faces of the huddle coaches and the 16 preschool coaches, to the laughter and joy of coach Sam and the body language of wordless Mega, to the powerful words of God through the storytellers, AND ALL the countless others both visible and behind the scene… BRINGING GLORY TO GOD!  THANK YOU!


Church Picnic


Church Picnic

North side of the back parking lot

Sunday, June 24 after service

Connect and have fun

Everyone helps.  

Questions?  Contact Ginna Allen or the church office.

Even if you haven’t signed up, please come!  If you’d like, you can bring a dish to share.  Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Lemonade, and water will be provided.

If you have lawn chairs, bring them.  Some tables and chairs from church will be available.


Divine Appointment 6.14.18

Most of us are not missionaries being sent out … as away from family, friends, church, culture, and country in order to share the Gospel “to the end of the earth” as Dr. Luke puts it in Acts 1:8. But that does not mean that we are not called to witness to the Good News. For most of us, living on mission happens within the context of our everyday life as we witness to the saving love of God through Jesus “in (our) Jerusalem.”
Because God is at work everywhere, reaching out with His love for people, He is busy setting up Divine Appointments for His people. Our mission is to find those Divine Appointments… walk through the open door… and connect with those people, whenever and wherever the Spirit gives us opportunity. It can range from a momentary encounter to an ongoing relationship.  It helps to think of this connection like a seed.  It may be the simple seed of a spiritual thought… a word of encouragement… or just a kindness offered out of God’s love.  It’s up to the Holy Spirit to water and cultivate it.  Sometimes, the Divine Appointment God has for us is not to plant the seed but to water or to cultivate. Each Divine Appointment in that person’s life can be thought of as one more link in a chain of appointments ordained by God to lead that person to faith in Jesus.
Below are two stories of Divine Appointments that demonstrate just how natural and simple it can be.
Holy Spirit at Home
Whenever my house sitter tells me about her life’s troubles, I always tell her that I’m praying for her situation. She recently texted, asking me if I could pray for her ailing elderly parents and her sister who has breast cancer. I said yes, and sent a follow up card offering to help more in addition to prayer. She replied, with a positive update on her sister, and thanked me for praying. I’m not sure where the Holy Spirit will have me connect with her again, but I am thankful I could help her through prayer. God is GOOD!
Holy Spirit on the Trail
I took a break from bicycling, was sitting on a bench journaling when a young couple rode past me. Later on, I rode past them on the trail. He called out, asking what I had been writing about. I stopped and explained I was writing my thoughts, perceptions and prayers from my morning meditations with God. He asked if that was like the book he read, “Conversations with God.” I said yes, that it’s interesting to see how God answers my prayers. We talked a bit more, discovered they were biking long distance to Milwaukee, another commonality as I grew up in Wisconsin. I sensed it was time to move on. As I peddled home, I prayed safe travels for them and that the Holy Spirit draw them nearer to God.

Well done, good and faithful servant!

If you have a Divine Appointment story, please share it with us at

Youth Sunday Was a Success – Thank You!

On Sunday, we stated a goal to raise $2000 for our summer 2018 trips. When added to our pancake breakfast, our women’s event, and our already-pledged gifts, this $2000 would help us complete our $7000 fundraising goal.
We are pleased to report that $2016.76 was given on Sunday! Thank you SO much for helping us reach our goal!
We look forward to sharing stories with you of what God does on our students’ trips this summer.

DSM Search Update – June 14, 2018

All parents of junior high and high school students have been invited to a meet-and-greet with Alex Rodriguez, a candidate for our Director of Student Ministries position, this Saturday (6/16) at 9:30 AM in the gym.

This meeting is the penultimate step in a process that began back in December when Ken Bryan and the pastors began preparing for a nationwide search for our next full-time Director of Student Ministries.

After preparing all the necessary documents and posting the job, Ken formed a search team with Sam Nenadov, Sharon Krone, Sarah Higgins, and himself. That search team vetted applications and interviewed promising candidates over the phone before interviewing especially promising candidates in person. In the end, the search team put forward Ben Nilsen and Alex Rodriguez to the pastors as candidates who had their stamp of approval for the DSM position.

Both Ben and Alex interviewed next with the pastors. The pastors found them both to be strong candidates and moved both of them on to the next round, which involved interviews with the rest of the staff.

After the staff interviews, Pastor Craig, Ken, and myself met on multiple occasions to put our heads together and review all that we had learned about the candidates from the search team, from reference checks, from the pastor interviews, and from the staff interviews. We found ourselves in agreement that, while we were comfortable with both candidates, we wanted to put Alex before the elders as our recommendation for the next Director of Student Ministries at North Sub.

We would now like to introduce Alex to junior high and high school parents so that they can ask him questions and get to know him. He has not yet been hired, but he has the approval of the search team, pastors, and staff for this role. Now we are seeking parental support as we send Alex to the elders for his final interview.

We think you’ll find Alex to be a mature, experienced leader. He is 34 years old, and he and his wife Margaret have three children (14, 9, and 4). He has a Bachelor’s degree from TIU and a Master’s from Knox Theological Seminary. For the last 11 years, he has been serving at the Village Church of Barrington, an EFCA church in a community with very similar socioeconomic status to ours. He is a military veteran who comes highly recommended by all who have been associated with him, and his testimony is a powerful one of God’s miraculous ability to save from the most hopeless places.
You can learn more about Alex here. We are excited for you to meet him!

Get to Know Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Director of Student Ministries Candidate

Biographical Info

– Alex is 34 years old.

– If Alex should get the job, he and his wife Margaret will be moving to the area from McHenry with their three children (ages 14, 9, and 4).

– He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from TIU (2013).

– He holds a Master’s in Biblical and Theological Studies from Knox Theological Seminary (2018).

– For most of the last 11 years, he has been serving at the Village Church of Barrington (EFCA).

– He is a U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged in 2009.

– His testimony is one of God’s miraculous ability to save from the most hopeless places.

– While he has a wide range of ministry experience, he has about three years of effective youth ministry experience. He has continued to foster relationships with students who have moved out of the youth ministry.

– Alex founded a ministry called “Men’s Muster” in 2017 (

– Alex has extensive work experience in the marketplace.

– Alex is Puerto Rican by background and is fluent in Spanish. Margaret is fluent in Polish.


What We Like About Alex

– Alex is a mature and gifted visionary leader who can compel people with his words.

– Alex has experience in a wide variety of ministry settings.

– Alex is a gifted teacher and preacher, an avid reader, and a deep theological thinker.

– Alex is gifted in evangelism and is passionate about reaching the lost.

– Alex has several men who mentor him and hold him accountable. His wife is free to talk with these men at any time about any subject.

– Alex has a track record of engaging in intentional discipleship.

– Alex has articulated a clear vision for building up and empowering our volunteer leader teams.

– Alex comes highly recommended by all who have been associated with him.

– Alex will respectfully and wisely challenge anyone to be a loving, committed and faithful follower of Jesus Christ.

Divine Appointment

I just had a divine appointment about 15 minutes ago with my neighbor next door.
First a bit of the back story. A year ago during Lent I read a book, Praying for your Elephants, with some others from our church. The gist of the book is to believe God for big things in people’s lives. But it is also to ask God how He would like you to pray for others. So I asked God how to pray for my next door neighbor. I felt the Spirit nudge me to pray for his business to prosper. He is self-employed. I prayed this for him.
Sometime later, after I started praying for him I saw him and asked him how his business was going. He indicated that he was so busy he was having a hard time keeping up. He said before it got busy it was so slow he was wondering if his phone wasn’t working! Old customers that he thought he’d never hear from again have been calling out of the blue. I shared with him that my husband and I were people of faith. We enjoy praying for our neighbors. We were praying that his business would prosper. He was speechless. He has said some negative things happened in the past with some relatives who are “deeply religious.” As a result, he wasn’t sure how to respond. He even made a joke about praying that he would get taller and younger. Then he confessed that it was a bit scary… like witchcraft. I smiled and said, “I don’t do witchcraft.” Finally, he just said, “Thank you.” I told him that we would keep praying for him. Since then he’s been more distant and hasn’t wanted to chat much.
Now, the update on the latest divine appointment with my neighbor. I prayed that I would be able to talk to my neighbor again and find out how he’s doing. He was outside today when I got home and initiated a conversation. I asked him about his business. This time, our conversation was vastly different. He talked about how when it was getting too busy, “he prayed” and it got slower. Then, when it was too slow, “he prayed” again and it got busier. I was startled to hear him say, with all seriousness, that he had been praying.
I look forward to future divine appointments, and more opportunities to see glimpses of what God is doing in my neighbor.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Way to step up and out in faith, trusting God to be working through natural and supernatural means. God is faithful!
If you have a Divine Appointment story, please share it with us at

Discerning the Leading of the Holy Spirit

In Acts 16:6-10, Dr. Luke gives a fairly detailed account of how Paul and Silas were led by the Holy Spirit at the beginning of his second missionary journey. Paul and Silas went to where the first missionary journey ended in Derbe and Lystra. They were hoping to go to the Province of Asia, what we know as modern-day Turkey. But Dr. Luke records the Holy Spirit stopped them. We don’t know how many times they tried to go there, but they clearly interpreted the obstacle or obstacles as the work of the Holy Spirit. This was followed by a vision of a man from Macedonia (modern day Bulgaria/Greece) begging them to come there instead. Paul and Silas interpreted the vision to be from the Holy Spirit. They had no obstacles when they went there.
What can we learn about discerning the leading of the Holy Spirit from this brief text?
     1) We see they discerned the leading of the Holy Spirit through their CIRCUMSTANCES.
     2) The Holy Spirit led them by using PROHIBITION, CLOSED DOORS.
     3) The Holy Spirit led them by using PERMISSION, OPEN DOORS.
     4) The Holy Spirit used their RATIONAL THINKING processes to guide them as well. Sometimes, people think that it is not the           Holy Spirit leading unless there are events such as “signs and wonders.” This is untrue.
     5) Last of all, we see they were able to discern the leading was from the Holy Spirit because it was CONFIRMED by OTHER               BELIEVERS. While it was Paul who had the vision, Dr. Luke records that the group agreed… “WE sought to go.” It was that             same “WE” that ended up “concluding that God had called” them to go there and preach.
While Acts 16:6-10 doesn’t indicate any other ways to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit, there is still one more way that is very reliable. It is evident in Acts 15:13-21, when the church was trying to discern, what, if anything other than faith in Jesus, is required of the gentiles to be considered children of God. By looking to HOLY SCRIPTURE, they determined that NOTHING ELSE WAS REQUIRED of the gentiles. The gentiles did not have to become Jews, following Jewish Laws and customs.
     6) The Holy Spirit led through ALIGNMENT with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit never goes against God’s Word.

Shavout and Pentecost

North Sub and Adat Hatikvah are committed to partnering together in ministering to the Jewish community-at-large. It is our desire to be the “true Church” that freely loves and serves Jews and gentiles alike. We purpose to live out the prayer in
John 17:21, 21… that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

From time to time, we partner together to celebrate and serve. On Sunday night, May 20th, we will be celebrating the Jewish holy day of Shavout from 6:00-7:20pm. We hope you will join us with our Jewish brethen. Everyone is invited.

The feast of Shavout coincides with the celebration of Pentecost. Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem and pray until they received “power when the Holy Spirit came upon them,” Acts 1:8. It was during the festival of Shavout that just as Jesus promised, power from on high came upon them.

Shavuot began as an ancient grain harvest festival. Since biblical times, the holiday has been identified with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Sunday’s special service will be a celebration of God’s promises to us, His faithfulness in keeping those promises, His calling upon us to live justly with others, and the empowering of His people in living fully as “children of God,” Jew and gentile, alike and together.

If you plan to come, please bring a loaf of bread (such as sprouted bread, whole grain, or sour dough) or fruit (grapes, bananas, or apples) to share. During the first part of the service people will be encouraged to bring their offering (grain/fruit) and lay it on tables in the front of the sanctuary. After the offerings are received, they will be taken to the lobby and set up for after service fellowship. 

Roy and Joi Bio

Roy and Joi have been interested in overseas missions since Roy was at university, and Joi grew up on the mission field in Europe. Joi’s parents began Campus Crusade (CRU) in Eastern Europe and Russia under communism. Roy and Joi met on staff with CRU while ministering to students in the Soviet Union, and they married in 1990.
With the fall of communism, they were able to move to Russia in 1991. In St. Petersburg, Roy served as Director of Campus Crusade and Joi was the Women’s coordinator. Their children, David and Laura, were born in St. Petersburg, Russia. As the Russian staff began to assume leadership of CRU in St. Petersburg, the Lord began to impress upon Roy and Joi the need for solid biblical teaching for pastors and lay leaders around the world. They felt called to join Bee World (Biblical Education for pastors and leaders in the persecuted church). After 5 years traveling throughout Asia teaching and discipling, they were well prepared for eventual transitions to new leadership roles with the International School Project (ISP).
Since July 2015, Roy has been the Executive Director of the International School Project (ISP), and Joi is the Director of Discipleship and Teachers Movement-building. They both travel world-wide to meet with Ministers of Education, regional education officials, ministry leaders, and many teachers. The curriculum of ISP is from a Christian worldview and gives them the opportunity to share with officials how Christ is the answer to their social and spiritual needs. Joi equips teachers, and provides guidance and leadership to the teacher movements in cities so that the gospel may spread. Because teachers are trained to reach other teachers and students with the gospel, millions of children are impacted by the work of ISP. Since 1991, ISP has trained more than 91,000 teachers in 24 countries, impacting lives of more than 30,000,000 students, and has expanded all over the globe. Roy and Joi love being with ISP, and believe it’s clearly a work of God.
Their son David teaches at the same school where he attended as a youngster, the International School in St. Petersburg, Russia. Daughter Laura is working on a PhD at Princeton in Russian studies, and plans to work in Russia this summer.
You are invited to come to the reception in the hospitality room following service to meet Roy and Joi for the first time, or to reconnect and hear more. Ladies are invited to a coffee with Joi on Monday at 10:00am to hear the God-stories in the most difficult to reach parts of the world.