Today we feature a post from the chairman of our elder team at ACC – Ray Demich:
Dear ACC Family,
Jamie & I will be moving on to the next phase of our lives up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin beginning sometime in April. I have accepted a position with the Lake Geneva Youth Camp, which is an organization that we’re passionate about. We wholly support their mission and vision (www.lgyc.org). Christian retreats and camping is a life-changing experience and God has used this organization mightily in ministering to churches in the Midwest for over 60 years. For me personally, many of my greatest spiritual decisions and growth have taken place during times at Lake Geneva Youth Camp and Conference Point Center. We’re very excited and look forward to being a part of this wonderful ministry!
One of the most difficult parts of this decision is moving away from ACC and the many friends we have made over the last 19 years that we’ve been attending the church. You are precious to us and we’ve gone through good times and difficult times with many of you. As I step down as an elder, I reflect on the humbling experience to serve God and the people of ACC in this way. I have been greatly impacted in this role and I’m grateful to the other elders and what I’ve learned from each one of them.
Over the years, ACC has been faithful in keeping the focus of all that is said and done, on Jesus — exalting Him, discipling His people and seeking the lost. Salvation offered through faith in Christ is the only hope of our world, our sin and separation from God is man’s biggest problem and need. May God continue to richly bless ACC and all that is being done for His glory & kingdom.
Please know you will continually be in our thoughts and prayers:
- To the Elders (1 Peter 5:1-4): We discussed together on our elders retreat!
- To the Congregation (1 Cor. 15:58 & Heb. 13:17): “So my dear brothers & sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” and “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for our benefit.”
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to Him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power and authority are His before all time and in the present and beyond all time! Amen.” (Jude 24-25)
Love in Christ,
Ray & Jamie Demich
Ray and Jamie have both been so heavily invested in the ministry here and we hate to see them go, yet we are happy for them and know that a new and fruitful ministry adventure waits for them in Lake Geneva. Thanks Demichs for your extraordinary leadership, generosity, hospitality, faithfulness and friendship. We pray God blesses you in every way imaginable in the coming years!
Today is Good Friday. The day that we remember the death of our savior. I hope you’ll join us for our service at 7pm tonight. Here’s a powerful video to help prepare yourself for worship.
We are so grateful to announce a new ministry opportunity the Lord is leading Kristen and I into: I have accepted a position in the production department at Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin! We have many friends at Harvest, and have had the opportunity to watch how God is moving there for a number of years. I am thrilled to be joining their team!
With all that said, we are thankful for nine amazing years at Arlington Countryside Church. We have developed so many friendships, have grown in our walk with Christ, and have seen God do incredible things. It feels bittersweet to be leaving such a great church.
Our last Sunday at ACC will be April 10. Thanks to all of you who have walked alongside us and our two boys, and shown love to us in so many ways on this journey! We are so blessed.
My heart is heavy at the thought of the Williams family moving on. There are so integral to the fabric of ACC that it’s kind of hard to imagine church without them. They have served here so faithfully and effectively. And yet I am excited for them too! As Scott’s responsibilities and influence grows I know God will continue to use him to further the gospel of Christ. Join me in praying that God helps them in this time of transition.
Change is hard. No doubt about it. But God will be with us! As we move ahead we can be confident that God will continue to draw true worshipers to himself at ACC. Please pray for our leadership team as we make plans to carry on in Scott’s absence. Thanks!
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” -Matthew 3:17
To belong is a fundamental human need. It’s the way God created us. Genesis says, “let us create man in OUR image”…which of course points to the trinity. That God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are in perfect harmony with one another…that they belong together. It’s from that place that God created us. He’s placed in our hearts a longing to belong. However, our need to belong has been tainted by sin. As a result we often look for belonging in inappropriate ways. We might exclude others or hold prejudices which helps us belong by feeling superior. We might hide our true feelings or change things about ourselves for fear of rejection. I believe there is a better way. I believe that God alone can redeem our need for belonging and heal our brokenness in this area. We were created to be in relationship with God and our deepest sense of belonging will be fulfilled when we find our satisfaction in Him. I believe the verse listed above are words that we all need to hear. These words, spoken to Jesus after his Baptism, are words that I believe God wants each of his children to take to heart.
- This is my son. Family is perhaps the deepest sense of belonging we have. To be adopted into God’s family is a powerful thing. It speaks of having an inheritance (salvation) and intimacy.
- Dearly loved. God loves his children with a love beyond understanding. A love that we can do nothing to earn and nothing to negate. That kind of love offers security.
- Brings me great joy. God enjoys his children. He is pleased with them. To know that God is pleased with us creates a welcoming environment. We can go to Him unafraid.
Let me encourage you to look to God to meet your need to belong. Allow His words to sink into your heart – You are my dearly loved child who brings me great joy.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. – 1 Peter 4:10
Do you believe that? I do! I believe that each and every person has something to contribute to the church. I believe that YOU have something to offer and I believe that our church will be a better place because of what you contribute. The truth is, we’re better together. When we combine our efforts we produce something far greater than what we can accomplish alone.
I want to invite you to join our team. Our goal is to match people up with serving opportunities that align with their interests and abilities. We want to find the right fit for you. To help us accomplish that, we’ve created a 4 step process.
- Converse – Let’s talk about you. What are you passionate about, what skills do you have, what kind of things do you enjoy doing? Understanding you helps us begin the process of finding a ministry opportunity that’s right for you.
- Observe – Come check it out. Like trying on clothes at the store, this is a chance to try out the ministry to see what you think. We’ll have you shadow an experienced team member and get a feel for what being a part of that team is like.
- Evaluate – Consider your experience. What did you like about the ministry? Anything you disliked? Could you see yourself being a part of that team? Ask yourself some good questions so that you can make an informed decision.
- Commit – Make your decision. Is this the right ministry team for you? If “yes” and you can commit to the team member expectations, it’s time to join the team. If the answer is “no”, that’s fine! You found out something valuable and potentially avoided a bad experience. Time to go back to step 1 and explore another ministry opportunity.
If you’re interested in finding a place to serve, I’d love to talk with you. Please feel free to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) me and we can get the process started.