Membership Class 3.22.2020

A new chapter in the life of a church is a great time for all of us to take stock of our roles and involvement in our local family of faith.
 
Maybe you’ve considered yourself to be “just checking out” North Sub for awhile, but now this feels like your church home. Maybe you’ve been around North Sub forever but have never quite solidified your commitment here. Either way, becoming a church member is the way we put a stake in the ground that we are committed to a particular local church – serving here, being fed here, and participating in family life here.
 
If you’re not already a member, would you consider attending a one-time class this Spring to explore that possibility? We will talk about what membership is and why it’s a desirable commitment. You’re not obligated to become a member by attending that meeting – we’ll give you a chance to ask any questions you have about membership so that you can be more informed about the decision.
 
I hope you’ll consider joining us after church on 3/22 for our biannual Membership Class!
 
Please let Karen know by Wed 3/18 if you will be attending. A light lunch and childcare will be provided.


Three Ways to Connect

During this “No Spectators” series, we are aiming to grow in our connection to each other as family. Below are three ways to connect: to interact, to use your gifts, and to know and be known at North Sub.
 
1) Questions: First, we want your questions! There’s a phone number in the bulletin. At any point during the service, text us a question, and we’ll respond to it either in service or in the Thursday Highlights email.
 
2) Sharing: Second, you might have something you feel prompted to share with the whole congregation. That’s the purpose of the index card provided in the chair backs. At any time during the service, take that card to one of the elders. The elder will determine if this is something to be shared today and if so, will take it to Pastor Tim or that day’s preacher. You may be asked to come share that word or Pastor will read it aloud.  
 
3) Prayer Requests: Third, we want to pray for you! North Sub takes prayer seriously, and there are four ways to get prayed for.
(a) Each Sunday there are prayer partners available during the worship time starting just after announcements. Slip out the doors, and someone will pray for you in the lobby.
(b) The prayer request/visitor/change info card is inserted in the bulletin each week and is also in the chair backs and at Guest Services. If you fill that out and place it in the offering plate, it will be prayed for by the elders, staff, and deacons during the week.
(c) There is a broader network of congregants who pray for needs in our church family. They are called the Prayer Network. If you check the box on the card, or email your request to Barb Elsesser, the Prayer Network will receive your request as well. 
(d) Elders encourage those having surgery or serious health issues to contact the church office.
They would like to pray for you on a Sunday.
 
Contact the office with questions.


So You’ve Been Invited to Attend a Purity Event



A Night of Hymns 2.9.2020

Join us from 6:30-7:30pm for this Night of Hymns. It will be a special time to worship the Lord through singing sacred hymns, scripture reading and prayer. It is different from our “Pie Night” hymn-sings, in that the hymns will be arranged for a full band and a 7-piece pit orchestra (string quartet, +1 flute, +2 trumpets).
 
Our goal is to give you an opportunity to respond to God’s calling in Psalm 105, namely, to “give thanks to the Lord,” “call upon His name,” “sing praises to Him,” “tell of all His wondrous works,” “glory in His holy name,” “rejoice,” and “remember the wondrous works that He has done.” We will do all these things through the singing of hymns together as we retell each other the story of the Gospel through song. If you have little ones, bring them with you. Also, invite anybody you know who loves hymns!


Celebrating Pastor Craig 11.14.19

Craig Baldacci is a man after God’s own heart, he is a dangerous man for the Lord and the Gospel, and he is passionate about people, life, the church and the next generation. I first met Craig some years ago when he had first arrived at North Sub, on a Friday afternoon with my grandson. I wanted to show Jadon North Sub Church that I had been the youth pastor at in the late 70s and early 1980s. As we walked in, we were warmly greeted by Craig who not only engaged me but had a great conversation with Jadon and then Jadon and I prayed over Craig and for his new ministry there. It was a wonderful start to our friendship and partnership. Craig was a part of the disciple making cohort at the national office of the EFCA. He was such a good thinker and practitioner of helping people follow hard after Jesus and making disciples who make disciples.
 
Craig, I look forward to some fishing and golf games in the future and I thank you so much for the signature of Jesus that you have given to North Sub over these recent years. I celebrate the fact that you are a man full of Jesus and full of life and I count it a privilege to be your friend and co-laborer in the gospel.
 
Love In His Love, Rev. Fritz Dale, former youth pastor at North Sub., 1977 to 1983 and retired director of Leadership Formation and Prayer Mobilization for the Evangelical Free Church of America.


Elder Report from 10.20.19 Meeting

Dear North Sub Church Family,
 
Philippians 4:8 reads, “ Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” This a passage I am supposed to speak on at Trinity College chapel in a few weeks; it also epitomizes the kind of irenic, helpful, and hopeful dialogue the Elders are having at every meeting.
 
As we continue to sail through the first quarter of Pastor Tim’s leadership and the second quarter of my second stint as Chairman of the Elder Board, this Congregational Meeting signals a new era in the history of North Suburban Church. What a privilege and joy it is to be serving on the Elder Board at this time. There are new winds of the Holy Spirit blowing through the church and this report is my modest effort to capture them from the perspective of the Elders and share a few key glimpses of what is going on with you. As I want to save as much time as possible for the vote on the rehabilitation of the church AC units and parsonage, I will make this brief.
 
Before I get started, I hope it is never lost from our collective memory of how, by God’s grace, Pastor Craig and his wife Marsha encouraged and supported a smooth transition of leadership. I am looking forward to celebrating their ministry with and retirement from the church in the spring. Just as amazingly, we should never forget how Pastor Tim and his wife Sarah so ably picked up their mantle, displayed humble and Christ-like spirits and keen Christian vision throughout a grueling candidate process, and helped us to set out on a new journey together.
 
In the brief time that Pastor Tim has been in the role of Senior Pastor, we have seen our roles as Elders start to get redefined. Pastor Tim has called for a change of church culture beginning with the Elders and thereby permeating throughout the congregation. To this end, he has asked the Elders to get familiar with the Core Values of the church and Marks of a Disciple that characterize or should characterize the outcomes of the church; he has had us to read a variety of books (including one called Evangelism as Exiles and another about another about Marks of a Healthy Church); we have set aside 45+ minutes at the Elder meetings for education about the Bible, the mission of the church in the 21st century, and how North Sub in particular can establish a clear sense of its identity and mission. This time has been very fruitful and is reinforced by a series of what Pastor Tim calls “Plumb-lines”—easy to understand, short statements of biblical truth that can help motivate positive changes in our church culture and get us moving in a unified direction in consonance with our core values.
 
Elder business has not gone overlooked throughout this transition. We are learning how to best offload some responsibilities to the Deacons (per an Acts 6 model), and take on more pastoral care and spiritually vital roles in the life of the church. We are just at the beginning of this process and I would encourage every member of the church to consider getting involved in a ministry or leadership role in the months and years ahead. These are the good times in the life of the church and it will be a mutual blessing between the church and you if you choose to get involved. Here is a brief list of a few things the Elders have worked on in the short time that the new Board has been together:
 
1. The Elders have been part of the team of persons who presented a Candidate for Senior Pastor and Oversaw the Vote for his Approval;
2. Developed and approved an internal Conceal Carry Policy for the Children’s and Youth Ministry Events and Activities;
3. Developed and approved an internal Same-Sex Attracted Policy for all volunteer and paid staff persons;
4. Secured and approved resources for ACS training for Book Keeper Andy Kolton and the rest of the staff;
5. Worked with the Facilities Team to develop a plan for fixing the church AC units and remodel the parsonage;
6. Brought this plan to the congregation in written form in a News Blast and in an oral form in a Town Hall meeting;
7. Developed the two motions that we will put before the membership for vote on later in this meeting;
8. And met either as a Full Board or Executive Team (or mixed Executive and PTAT or Facilities Team) multiple times to make sure that everyone was on the same page and messaging the same to the congregation.
 
The beauty of a congregational form of government is that so many people get involved to make things happen. This is no different with any of the previously mentioned items. At the last Congregational Meeting, we gave a shout out to the PTAT in this report. We would not be where we are today without their leadership. At this meeting, I want to give a similar shout out to the Facilities Team. This is another of these incredible groups of individuals in the church that have helped us immensely. They have identified issues, gotten quotations, considered various options, and worked cordially and tirelessly with the Elders to provide the plan that we have before us today. Would the Facilities Team please stand up – Scott Krone, Tom Hudson, Ken Bryan, Pete Murray, and John Durham.
 
In the midst of all that has been happening, the staff has been hard at work adapting to new leadership, providing capable support for all these initiatives, and making sure that worship, facilities and everything else that goes into making North Suburban Church the God-honoring place that it is. They have not missed a beat. Thank you Robbie, Karen, Jayne, Dawn, Andy, Alex, and anyone else who I failed to mention. We turn now to Old Business, and the motions regarding the new AC units and remodeling the Parsonage.
 

Respectfully, in Christ’s Service,

Chris L. Firestone
Elder Board Chairman

 



Summary of 10.20.19 Quarterly Congregational Meeting

The Quarterly Congregational Meeting, on one level, was very much like previous meetings.  We had prayer, the approval of minutes, new members added, reports from the Treasurer, Pastor, and Elders. There were, however, indicators that North Sub is beginning to move out and that this was actually a very special meeting indeed.  

First, the numbers:  We saw 8 new members and evidence of a “nearly balanced” budget (about $2000 below budget heading into the Christmas season).  Both of these are positive indicators, especially given the fact that we made a pastoral transition
mid-fiscal-year.  Welcome to our new members: 
  • Joshua and Abigail Mesec
  • Ron and Amy Mueller
  • Andrew and Stefany Nilsen
  • Lucas and Nicole Rugen

 

Second, the accomplishments: The Pastor’s Report and the Elders’ Report both talked about the “culture reset” going on in the first quarter of Pastor Tim’s new tenure as Senior Pastor. This includes fresh teaching topics, “plumb-lines”, the core values, marks of a disciple, and much more.  The Elders have been reading, drawing up some important new policies, and rethinking the roles of Elders and Deacons for the work of ministry ahead. 

 

Perhaps the biggest outcome of the meeting came in the landslide vote in favor of fixing the church’s AC units and remodeling the Parsonage. More than 90% of the members in attendance (74) voted in favor of the two motions as presented. This mandate will mean that the Elders will move forward with the plan and ask the Facilities Team to prepare a plan for getting these jobs moving and completed in the new year.  Thank you to the congregation for the overwhelming support affirming the Elder’s desire and decision (as constitutionally provided to move forward) on setting up a $350,000 line of credit and begin the necessary work of keeping up our facilities.

 

Once completed, the line of credit will be converted into a mortgage. Everyone was reminded that they can give directly to the Facilities Fund at any time if they would like to help minimize the church’s debt.   While we won’t do any major fund-raising, Pastor Craig and Marsha invited the “sitting” Elders and Elders “at-large” to join them in making a special contribution to the Facilities Fund to help reduce the needed line of credit and thereby the mortgage.  In the very near future Pastor Craig and Marsha will also be inviting the congregation to join them as well. 

 

The Elders want to, once again, thank the Facilities Team and the Staff for helping us get so seamlessly to this point in the process.  We know there is much to do, but by God’s grace and with a renewed hope in the coming of God’s Kingdom we shall continue to move forward together.  

 

Yours in the Service of our LORD,

Chris Firestone, Chairman

Paul Bialek, Vice-Chairman

Dale Houg, Secretary

Tim Higgins, Senior Pastor

Craig Baldacci

Ed Mar

Bill Schneeberger

                                            



DivorceCare: Surviving the Holidays 11.9.19

If you’re separated or divorced, the holidays can be a lonely, stressful, depressing time. But there’s hope. Join us for an encouraging seminar that will help you survive the holidays and discover new ways to enjoy them again. We will watch a brief video and have time for discussion and sharing after.  A light snack will be available. It will be held on Saturday, Nov 9, from 6:30-8:30pm in the Hospitality Room. For more information or to register, contact Karen.


Bonus Content from October 6th (1 Peter 2:11-25)

There was one sermon question texted in:
 
Good morning. I understand from the sermon yesterday that Jesus is our example in enduring suffering. However, is there a place to not honor the government or authorities? Some examples I thought of include Rosa Parks, Bonhoeffer and the Valkyrie plot. Would God approve that they were standing up to injustice, or were they guilty of not submitting to authorities?
 
It’s a great question. Thanks for asking.
 
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of our God’s throne (Psalm 89:14) and God wants justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream (Amos 5:24). Therefore, when justice and righteousness are at stake, Christians can stand up against the perpetrators, including government authorities. However, before jumping into conclusion and action, consider the following:
1. Pray, pray, pray.
2. Seek God’s counsel.
3. Seek Godly counsel from your pastor, mentor, trusted friend etc.
4. Reflect on the motivation/intention and the redemptive action of the two Hebrew midwives against the king of Egypt, Moses against Pharaoh, Esther against the king, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego against king Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel against king Darius, Paul against Roman Government.
5. Check your motivation/intention.
6. Work out a redemptive action plan (For example: “Let all that you do be done in love for the glory of God”)
 
 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne.” (Psalm 89:14)
“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24).
-Ebenezer Perinbaraj


Celebrating Pastor Craig 10.10.19

You want me to do what? Write something about my relationship with Pastor Craig; my appreciation of him? Really?
 
That was my first reaction upon being asked to put into writing a few words about this man. Not the thought of “what in the world can I say about him that is positive“, but rather, “how in the world can I capture in words my love and appreciation for this man?
To express my heart toward him would be impossible in this brief article. I love him, appreciate him and consider him the dearest of friends.
 
I met Pastor Craig through my daughter, who at the time was his Children’s Ministry Director at Long Grove Community Church (LGCC). It was 2008. I had been out of ministry for 4 plus years. I had left under a dark cloud.
 
We were invited by my daughter to attend her church as we were searching for our own “home” church. What began as a “let’s visit a couple of times and then move on” purpose, became a movement of God that led to a friendship and ultimately a partnership in ministry.
 
Craig opened his heart to me and my wife and then welcomed me into partnering with him in ministry at Long Grove Community Church (LGCC). God used Pastor Craig to remind me that He is a God of second chances and redeemer of purpose. Through this man, this pastor, this servant of God, there was opened up for me a new window on life and purpose. A new path of ministry.
In his invitation to become a part of the staff at LGCC he demonstrated such grace, love and confidence that God was working in my life, that in a sense, he was the instrument through which God renewed purpose in my life. Pastor Craig saw the bigger picture of what God had in mind not just for me but for the church, for LGCC.
 
My experience in being the recipient of Pastor Craig’s grace and love was not unique. He often was the first on the scene when someone was in need of seeing Jesus with skin on. Of having someone demonstrate that they were loved and not alone. He touched so many lives in his decades of serving LGCC that I cannot count how many times someone has said it was Pastor Craig who helped them find Jesus as savior, Jesus as friend, Jesus as Lord in their life.
 
I had the privilege of working alongside this man for 2 plus years. I saw in him a pastor who loved people and was willing to sacrifice all that he was to serve their spiritual and emotional needs. I saw what it was to be a leader of people yet to lead with a servant’s heart.
 
When he left LGCC, he left a firm foundation of teaching the Gospel and the life transforming power of God’s truth. He taught me lessons on loyalty, passion for people, disciple making, developing others and their strengths, loving Jesus, and so many, many other lessons of faith and life.
 
His friendship is one of the most prized pieces of my life. We have laughed together, cried together, ministered together, and yes even fished together. He is truly a lover of God, a man among men, a conduit of God’s grace and truth, and he is my friend. And I pray and wish only the best as he and Marsha continue to follow Christ while on this earth.
 
God’s greatest riches to you Craig, my brother and friend;
 
Pastor Bill Moore
Long Grove Community Church