Staff Update

After over 4½ years of faithful service as our Facilities Manager, Keith Nilsen has decided to step down from his staff position.  Keith’s decision was based his limited availability, the increased time required by the additional work offloaded from our former Business Manager model, and the ongoing project management work of the “Restore and Renew” renovation project.  


Keith has been a member of our Church staff  since January 1, 2014, so please be sure to thank him for the tremendous work that he has done in maintaining our facilities so well over these past 4 ½ years.  Keith will continue to serve on the Restore and Renew Decorating Team and advise Pastor Craig with regard to the renovation.


Going forward, the Elders have approved a new direction for handling the care and maintenance of our facilities.  The responsibilities of the part-time Facilities Manager position will be taken over by a VOLUNTEER TEAM of 3 to 5 people. They will be empowered to oversee the maintenance of our facilities with the help of the staff.  For now, all the responsibilities for the management of the facilities and the execution of the Restore and Renew renovation work fall under Pastor Craig.  This is in addition to his current work load, which already increased slightly to absorb more Office responsibilities when we made the change from our former Business Manager model.  Therefore, it is our hope to get this Facilities Volunteer Team up and running as soon as possible, so please pray over this. 


We’re looking for 3 to 5 volunteers. While expertise is not required, we would like the volunteers to:

  • Have some experience in terms of evaluating problems with their home and/or other structures and mechanical.
  • Have some ability to help determine whether we can fix the problems ourselves or need to hire a contractor.
  • Be able to work with a contractor if necessary to get the problem fixed. 

The team will meet once per month to review the ongoing punch list generated from the office.  Projects that can wait will be taken care of after the monthly meeting. Projects that require immediate attention will be managed by a volunteer from the team who has some availability to work alongside the staff in getting the problem resolved.


If you would like more information about serving on this team or think this is a place where you can serve the Lord, please contact Pastor Craig at the office.

BUMP Trip Recap

Jr. High Missions Trip BUMP Recap


First things first, praise God for Beth Firestone and Ian Rundquist! I don’t think that BUMP would have happened without them! Ian was a huge blessing with driving the group to Minnesota, flying back to work the week, then flying to Minnesota to drive the group back home. Also, Beth was such a wonderful leader to the students. There were a lot of uncertainties and questions going into the trip such as how would we get there, where would we stay, how is this actually going to work? But God provided! He provided housing in the form of a church parsonage at the church where Beth’s parents attend. God also helped us navigate with Payne Avenue Church what to do during the Summer Family Nights. It was a partnership like I have never experienced before and it was an amazing testimony to the power of God at work. 


This year was definitely different than previous years when we partnered with Payne Church and their week of Vacation Bible School. For VBS, we had to prep a different craft, have a different snack and do a different lesson each day. However, with the Summer Family Nights it was the same lessons and activities each day and our students really excelled. We were so blessed by the students (Roni Ebenezer, Andrew Firestone, Rebekah Firestone, Ana Lau, Micah Lauby and Elizabeth Lupu-Vieru) as they were hard workers and were willing to do the jobs given to them. The only real struggle we had with the group, was actually making a decision as they were a very flexible group.  We had to eventually ask students what is something they would least like to do.


Overall, God brought 75 different families to the Summer Family Nights and Payne Avenue Church was able to make some good connections. Our prayer for them now is for those connections to be maintained and that more people in the community will be interested to find out who God is by checking out Payne Church.


— Anna Lichtwalt, Team Leader

Micah explaining the wheel questions
Rebekah helping a student make a salvation bracelet
By the Payne Church sign
Elizabeth at the building block center
Andrew and the Jenga tower
Rebekah, Ana and Andrew taking a break
Beth explaining the salvation bead bracelet

Roni delivering invitations
Anna face painting

Men’s Connection July 28th

Every Servant a Leader

Every man is called to be a kingdom leader … to use his influence for good and the Gospel.  In the kingdom of God, just as every man is a leader … so every leader is a servant. Come … find out what that means for you … discuss and explore this with other men … and pray with each other.  As always, there will be a light breakfast served.

Student Pie Night & Hymn Sing

Something new this year!  Instead of the familiar Spaghetti Dinner where we voted on sauces, students shared about their summer trips, and we sang favorite hymns, we have



August 12 at 5:30pm


Students will still share about trips, we will still sing your favorite hymns but we will eat pies – Savory pies like chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, pizza pie, quiche, etc. and Sweet pies like apple, pumpkin, cherry, peach, pecan, chocolate, banana cream, etc.


If you would like to bring a pie – either homemade or purchased, sign up at the table by the well or contact
Paul Bialek at or 847-945-9268.


You also have an opportunity to vote with money for who gets a whipped cream pie in the face so bring your money too! 
All money given will go towards future student trips.



Youth Sunday June 10th

What’s happening this Sunday?
This Sunday, June 10th, will be “Youth Sunday.” Students played a significant role in planning this week’s service. You will see:
– Students leading worship
– Students helping with tech
– Students reading scripture
– Students serving as ushers
– A recognition of graduates
Why are students so involved in this week’s service?
Our students are playing a front-and-center role this week as we prepare to send them off on several summer trips. The High School students are going on their Challenge and Light Rider trips; the Junior High students are going to the Twin Cities on their BUMP trip.
This is the final leg of their fundraising journey to make those trips a reality. In order to help their trips get fully funded, this final fundraising opportunity will include:
– A freewill offering during this Sunday’s service
– YOUTHWORKS, in which students sign up to take on jobs for members of the congregation in exchange for donations to summer trips
How can I help?
Thank you for your contributions to the 2018 student trips up to this point; the pancake breakfast and women’s event blessed our students mightily! We are already $5000 toward our $7000 fundraising goal. Since this is our last fundraising event before the 2018 trips, we are looking to raise $2000 this Sunday. There are two ways you can help us make the push for the final $2000 this Sunday:
– Bring money or a check to contribute to Sunday’s freewill offering. That freewill offering will go to the scholarship fund, which benefits scholarship needs in the church (including student trips).
– See a student in the foyer after the service to see what help they are offering through YOUTHWORKS. Consider signing up to have a high school student mow your lawn, clean your gutters, teach your kid guitar, etc.
Thank you!
Thank you for your love and support for our students, who pour out so much to bless the rest of us in the congregation. Let’s make the most of this opportunity to bless them back.

Men’s Connection

Beginning on Saturday, June 23rd, Pastor Craig with Neal Siegel will be leading a ministry for men from 7:30 to 9:00 am. Men of all ages from North Sub, Adat Hatikvah, friends, and neighbors are welcome.

As men, we tend to find ourselves alone. We weren’t meant to be alone. We were meant to be in community with others… especially other men. As men, we need the strength, support, encouragement, and prodding of other men so that we can live our lives fully in the Lord. The vision of the MEN’S CONNECTION is that NO MAN STANDS ALONE. Our mission is DISCIPLING, MENTORING, and SERVING.

The Men’s Connection will meet in the Club 45 Room downstairs on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. A light breakfast and coffee will be served. Each meeting will feature a brief devotional time followed by a time of connecting in the Word, discussion, and prayer together.

This Saturday devotional and discussion time begins with the first of a 5-part series entitled, “Leading Well.” As men, we’ll look together at what it means to be called by God to be kingdom leaders.

If you have questions, please call the office, contact Pastor Craig (North Sub) and/or Neal Siegel (Adat).


If you or someone you know is experiencing separation or divorce, DivorceCare is a support group that can help. You do not have to go through this alone. This is a place where you can hear valuable information from a non-denominational Christian perspective about ways to heal from the hurt of divorce.  The 13 week session began on June 5 and will meet every Tues from 6:30-8:30pm in the Hospitality Room. There is a one time fee of $25 to purchase materials.  For more information or to register, contact Karen at or 847-580-5757.

First Wednesdays

Joint Prayer Service with Adat Hatikvah


On that last night of his earthly life to the Father, Jesus offered up to God his high priestly prayer. In it he prayed, 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE SENT ME. John 17:20-21   


Since partnering together, Rabbi Jake and Pastor Craig have noticed how true this actually is.  They have continued to ask the Lord to show us ways to increase partnering with each others so that the world may believe in Jesus, the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach. Once per month on the FIRST WEDNESDAY, from 7PM to 8 PM, we will gather together as congregations to mutually submit ourselves before the Lord, to offer up our hearts to the Lord praying for our congregations… for the local community at-large… and for individual requests.  They believe that as a result, God’s Spirit will be present in a unique way that will grow in us and through us, generating unity and a greater effectiveness in our witness.  Come join in the adventure and see what God does with us, together.

Seder 2018