Category Archives: The Inside Scoop

Kids’ Camp



Have you heard about our Kids’ Camp???

This year, we’re offering a 1 week camp for elementary school kids that will take place in the evenings. It’ll be very similar to our former Day Camp ministry, just with a new time and without the field trips. The camp will take place Mon – Fri, June 20-24 from 6:30-8:30pm. It’s only $20 to register and you can do so online at Please contact the church office with any questions.

I’m excited about this ministry. I’m hopeful that it will allow more children to participate due to the lower cost and the evening format.




I am not in church.

Sure, I have visited churches several times, but I gave up.

For the most part, the people were unfriendly in the churches. No one greeted me unless it was some contrived greeting time. No one noticed me while they gathered in their holy huddles. One church member sat down by me and told me I was sitting in her pew. I decided to leave right then.

I am not in church.

But I really would like to know more about Christianity. Unfortunately, most of the sermons I hear seem watered down. Too many of the preachers tend to shy away from dealing with the biblical text straight on. I want to learn, but they just seem to want to please.

I am not in church.

I could make you a list of over 100 things churches are against. The topics range from the serious to the ridiculous. I sure would like to find a church that also tells me what they are for.

I am not in church.

But I need help. I know I need help. There are times I hurt badly and seek answers. I was hoping to find some of those answers at church. I was hoping to meet people who cared. I was hoping to be in place where I am treated with dignity and care.

I am not in church.

My co-worker goes to church. I even know where he’s a member. But he’s never invited me. My neighbor goes to church. My children play with her children. I see their family go to church every Sunday. But she’s never invited me. I would go if she did. I would definitely go.

I am not in church.

But church members don’t seem to care. They seem too busy to care. No one speaks to me. No one invites me. No one shows concern for me.

I am not in church.

I am not anti-church. I am not anti-Christian. I am really seeking answers. I am really looking for people who care.

I am not in church.

But I think I would like to be.



As we continue to focus on EACH ONE REACH ONE we need to ask God to help us be the church that we should be!

This compelling post is taken from Thom S. Rainer’s website. ( You should read him regularly. Great stuff.



Schwarber, Deep teams and Prayer

I’m a HUGE Cubs fan. I have high hopes that this season will be extremely successful!


A few weeks ago when their young star slugger catcher / outfielder Kyle Schwarber went down with a season ending knee injury it was a major blow to the team. But pretty much everybody, including me, remained upbeat and optimistic. Why? Because even though Kyle being out was a definite bummer, the team is so deep that the Cubs should be able to carry on just fine! That is real good news.


kyle schwarber


As you are probably aware, our Worship Arts Pastor Scott Williams recently departed from ACC. A huge loss for our team. We will definitely miss him a lot. Yet I remain excited and upbeat. Why? Because Scott left behind a team of musicians and techies that is deep. Talented. Dedicated. Ready to fill the gap to assure that quality, dynamic worship continues on at ACC! A ton of behind the scenes planning has been taking place to assure just this.


Melissa Reddin


Melissa Reddin will be serving as our interim Worship Arts Director. Melissa has long been active on the team and just concluded being on staff as our Children’s Ministry Coordinator. I’m confident God will use her in awesome ways!



Dan Grueber


Dan Grueber will be serving as our interim Tech Director. Lights. Sound. Computer stuff. Stage design. Yeah, that’s all Dan! Already serving on the team as both a musician and a techie – Dan is ready to go!

Please pray for Melissa and Dan as they assume their duties.

We have also begun the process of finding our next Worship Arts Pastor. We already have been receiving resumes and initial interviews will begin soon. This search needs to be empowered by your prayers. I know God has someone just right for us!




ray demich


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 (  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!





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!



Join our team!


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 ( me and we can get the process started.




IMG_1529 (1)

How is God using ACC??? I’m glad you asked!


At the close of 2015 our Year End Giving Project was to raise $15,000 over and above our regular giving. We thank God that through your crazy generosity we ended up crushing our goal and raised over $27,000!


The money was to be given to two different causes. First, to Zac and Laura O’Leary as they prepare to leave us and go serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Papau, New Guinea. (More about that soon!) Secondly, we wanted to help our local community so the not for profit organization WINGS was earmarked for a gift too. WINGS is a powerful advocate for victims of domestic violence.


This past week Gail Rothacker, an ACC Operations Task Force member, and I headed over to the WINGS main office. It was our privilege to present the check to Terri Channer, their Sr. Director of Development. (See photo above)


Here are Terri’s words to the folks of ACC:

Thank you so much for the very generous $5,000 donation from the parishioners at Arlington Countryside Church.


Your contribution will mean that a woman and her children will not have to live in fear with an abuser just to have a roof over their heads.


It will provide three meals a day and safe shelter to 100 women and children, and give them the hope for a better, brighter future.


And it will mean that those children no longer living in an abusive environment will have a much greater chance of not being abused as an adult.


Please know that you, and the parishioners of Arlington Countryside Church, have changed lives forever.

Best Regards,

Terri Channer

Sr. Director of Development


To learn more about WINGS go to They offer many meaningful volunteer opportunities for any of you who might be looking for a way to get more involved in our community. It is our joy to partner with WINGS.


Thanks ACC for giving so generously. Your giving makes a difference!





The elders of ACC have been engaged in a months long process of recognizing and affirming potential new elders to join our leadership team. This process has included much prayer, many interviews and both formal / informal conversations and meetings, meetings, meetings!


As we conclude this journey of determining God’s will, I’d like to introduce to you to two men we anticipate officially commissioning as elders in the very near future:



chris ide 


Family: Chris and his wife Kristen have been married for 9 years and have an almost 3 year old son (Joshua) and a daughter due to arrive in July!


Occupation: Water resources engineer – flood control at Stantec in the Loop.


Church involvement: Attending ACC since 2008, Chris is currently a leader in our high school youth ministry and has previously served in Awana and as coordinator for Guest Services.


Hobbies / fun stuff: Triathlon and marathon running, hanging with the family.


Why he desires to be an elder: “I love the people at ACC. My heart is to serve them. I’m looking forward to serving in a leadership capacity and caring for the congregation in this way.”





Family: Married 30 years to his wife Gail. They have 2 adult children, Greg (28) and Kim (23).


Occupation: Inside salesman at CDW.


Church involvement: Attending ACC since 2012, Ken currently serves as a growth group leader and employs his awesome guitar skills on the Sunday morning worship team.


Hobbies / fun stuff: Writing music and running.


Why he desires to be an elder: “An opportunity to encourage and serve!”



We are excited about what they each will bring to our team and we are thankful to God for his clear leading. Please pray for God’s blessing on Chris and Ken – that he would equip them to be godly servant leaders at ACC.




Middle School Lock-In


Tonight is the annual Middle School Ministry Lock-In. It’s a high energy, sugar and caffeine driven, all-nighter. The night includes all you can eat pizza and pop, a 45 ft inflatable obstacle course, a photo scavenger hunt, messy games, group night games (played in the dark), a movie, and we cap it all off with donuts for breakfast.

I know it sounds crazy…it is crazy! Here are some of the reasons we do it:

  • It’s memorable. Students talk about this event for years to come. Some of the students who have come through our ministry and are in college now, still bring up stories from this event. I think it’s important for students to have fun memories involving church.
  • It’s a relationship builder. Every year, our team ends up having great conversations with students in the wee hours of the night. Spending extended periods of time with people can seriously accelerate relationship development.
  • It’s a great evangelistic tool. It’s one of the ways we’re encouraging our students to participate in our church wide Each One Reach One campaign this year. This is an event that students love to bring their friends too. I always do a short gospel presentation and invite students to join us for youth group in the coming year.

Check out our Pit Stop Facebook Page for some pictures from the event.



“Yes” is a Great Possibility!


Check out this new data from LifeWay research:

Carol Pipes
, editor of Facts & Trends, wrote the story for LifeWay Research:


“In a recent poll of 1,000 Americans, LifeWay Research found six out of 10 Americans typically attend church at Christmastime.

But among those who don’t attend church at Christmastime, a majority (57 percent) say they would likely attend if someone they knew invited them.”


So what?


So invite someone! Our EACH ONE REACH ONE strategy this year is to identify at least 3 people in our life that need to know and believe in the good news of Jesus Christ and then commit to doing 3 things: 1) Pray for them daily. 2) Look for opportunities to share our faith story and 3) Invite them to church.


So now is the ideal time to invite! Invite them to ACC this Sunday, December 20 or to one of our Christmas Eve services, either at 4 or 11PM. The chances are pretty good that they might say yes! Prayerfully invite someone and lets see what God will do.