Join us for the Windy City Christmas Party immediately following the service on December 17th. Wear your ugliest holiday sweater! Enter the Cookie Decorating Contest! View the Created 2 Create Art Gallery! And more!
On Sunday, December 3rd almost sixty people from our church and community gathered together to learn more about depression. With the holidays coming up, it's a critical time for us to understand this health issue that affects so many people. Counselor Jon Noto from Whitestone Christian Counseling Resources spent time explaining what depression is and de-bunking some of the myths surrounding it. He provided ways for all of us to think about depression and gave ideas on how we can help those we care about who struggle with it. Thanks to everyone who came out! If you have ideas for additional seminars that would benefit the community please email Pastor Jen.
On Sunday, November 26th WCCC celebrated Baptism as three individuals gave their testimonies and publicly professed their faith in Christ. The congregation eagerly turned their seats towards the baptismal as Pastor Steve discussed the meaning of baptism and then introduced the first candidate, Gordon O’Leary. Gordon gave a sincere and heartfelt testimony as he highlighted God’s grace in his life during the tough times. His family stood watching as he proclaimed his faith in Christ. Next, Pat Catalano humbly credited his daughter for encouraging him to attend church and praised God for giving him strength during moments of uncertainty. Lastly, an eager and energetic Isabella Salas decided just moments before that God was calling her to baptism, and she allowed God to move her as she took a step towards a deeper faith life. Pastor Steve prayed for each of these candidates and then immersed them in water as a symbol of dying to their old self and being reborn in Christ. It is always an honor to witness one of these services and let us not forget to continue praying for these individuals and everyone who is a part of the church family at WCCC.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s purse and has been delivering shoeboxes to over 146 million children in more than 100 countries since 1990, and Windy City Community church has been participating for almost 20 years. The late Harriet Hicks, wife of WCCC member Ray Hicks, packed her first shoebox in 1999 and her passion for the organization continued to grow. Harriet’s example inspired church members such as Tracy Fiddler to come alongside her and continue the program after Harriet passed away in 2009.
This year the WCCC Operation Christmas Child committee included Tracy Fiddler, Karen Parker, Miriam Rivera, and Judy Rustemeyer. The planning begins as early as September. This year the Parker-Fiddler life group hosted a packing party on October 24th which was attended by about 30 people who packed 93 shoeboxes in 45 minutes. Other life groups also hosted packing parties this year, and many members of the church community stepped up and contributed to the cause. This resulted in donating the largest number of shoeboxes as a church since the beginning of its involvement in the program. A total of 210 shoeboxes were packed and delivered by Judy Rustemeyer and Bobby Z. to a drop off location on November 19th. All shoe boxes from the Chicago area are then shipped to a warehouse in Minneapolis where they are reviewed and labeled. After a three week period about 12 million boxes each year are sent out over 100 countries, and sometimes even delivered in the states to an area that has seen a crisis or disaster.
The amazing thing about these boxes is not only the blessing it is for a child to receive their very own toothbrush or washcloth, but also the message that is included. Each shoe box includes a piece of Christian literature in the language according to its destination. Because of this many children are exposed to the gospel and the name of Jesus for the first time. In addition, every child who receives a box has the opportunity to take part in a class sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse titled, “The Greatest Journey” where they will learn more about the good news. This organization has blessed millions of children over the years and Windy City is proud to contribute to this cause. As Tracy Fiddler humbly stated, “It is a blessing when you can put together 15 items in a box and send it to the other side of the world, knowing that it is blessing a child, and through that gift they can find out about Jesus Christ”. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED!!!
On November 5th, Windy City celebrated it's 30th Anniversary! The service honored the influence that the inception of the church has had on so many of us, through the stories of a few of its members. Pastor Steve donned a celebratory tuxedo as he introduced five different people who shared how WCCC has touched their lives in different ways. Rachael Boblett, the self proclaimed, “first baby of the church” spoke candidly about growing up as a “typical church kid” and how the church and its members helped to grow her into the mature Christian woman she is today. Next, Nancy Volpert shared her journey and how WCCC is responsible for forging together a family that continues to grow and thrive as children of God. Her sweet love story is more evidence of the power of God through church community. Chris Kocourek followed with the story of his inspirational fight against cancer. Chris gives all the glory to God, but also acknowledges the role that WCCC and his church family played in keeping and strengthening his faith and witness strong throughout the storm. A bubbly Sandy Lyman kept the momentum going by sharing that she was drawn to the church community by attending the annual block party. She mentioned how fellowship with members of WCCC and ministries such as the food pantry drew her and her husband close to God and eventually led them both to accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Brian Glover ended by sharing a recent personal experience that reminded him that God is alive and working in our lives in ways that we might not expect. His message on the power of prayer demonstrated one of the strengths of the church community as it continues to support one another. Each member of the church family illustrated how WCCC has impacted their lives and influenced their walk with Christ. After the service the celebration continued with coffee, conversation and over 23 sweet treats that were made by members of the congregation.There is no doubt that God has done amazing things in the last thirty years, and we are confident that his work is not finished. We truly have A GREAT GOD, and look forward to many more years of blessings, growth and fellowship among the people and community of WCCC.
On Sunday, October 29th, WCCC celebrated child dedications, a day that is very important to the church community. This ceremony is intended to be a public proclamation by parents and caregivers to raise their children to know Jesus. It is also an invitation for the church to come alongside these families and support their faith journey. Families that participated included Meda and Betsy Lopez, who dedicated their 7 month old son Ramon. This bubbly baby boy was all smiles as Pastor Steve lifted him up in front of the congregation. The next child dedicated was Isabelle O’Leary. Three year old Izzy stood lovingly surrounded by her mother Kate O'Leary, eight siblings and proud sister-in law. The O’Leary family was followed by Cassidy and Lila Osborne, nieces of worship leader Stacey Torres. Through prayer, the church accepted responsibility to play a role in shaping the faith of these two precious girls. Finally, a confident four year old named Peyton Mattes marched up the stage, followed by her two year old sister Dakota and 8 month old brother Hunter. This family was raised up in prayer as their mother Kim Mattes reverently bowed her head. It was clear to all who witnessed this event that each family has a sincere love for Christ and a desire to encourage their children to seek after Him. Let us not forget to pray for these families, as we have been called to play a role in influencing these young lives. We look forward to witnessing the spiritual growth of these families as they continue to be a part of the WCCC family. (Click here to see more photos from the day).