By Nicholas Fong
School is back in session, and let the learning begin! But don’t fret. There are programs out there that can help you with anything you have trouble with. Like math, english, and history. There are places like a library where you can study in peace with friends or alone. And, there are places where you can let loose, and enjoy a small slice of freedom, just doing what you want to do.
In my youth group, at North Shore Baptist Church, we sing songs, eat good food, and have fun with an activity that can lead late into the night. For instance, in December, we made graham cracker houses and used frosting to make a sweet cathedral, or a structure of some kind. Or, we make non heat lava lamps that we can take home and just watch; even when we are studying. We even go out to a farm sometimes and go through a corn maze at night. Some play jokes by scaring others, even if it is breaking the rules, but nonetheless we still have fun.
So, even if school is hard or grueling, just know there are places out there that are willing to help students, and there are programs out there that can help ease the stress that is school.
Youth group meets Friday nights from 6:30-8:30 pm.
By Cecilia Poenyunt, First Lady Emerita of the Karen Fellowship
This year, we will celebrate 9 years of the Karen Fellowship with a thanksgiving worship service and meal on September 16th at 12:30 pm in Howell Hall.
Pastor Roger Poenyunt arrived in Chicago on June 11, 2008. Before this, Po Clee and several other families had come to Chicago in 2007and started attending North Shore Baptist Church. The first week we [Roger and Cecilia] came to church, we met the Karen families who had come before us. Po Clee, who came to church first, introduced Pastor Roger to [English Language] Pastors Carol [McVetty] and Doug [Harris[, which is how we came to know each other. A few months later, Pastor Roger began work as Karen Fellowship Pastor, but then we only gathered and worshipped with the English service. On September 13th, 2009, we got room in Kraft Chapel and started the Karen Fellowship worship service. So every year in September, we celebrate our anniversary with thanksgiving in Howel Hall.
From 2008-2010, more Karen families arrived. Later, some families moved to Minnesota; Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska; Waterloo, Iowa; Utica, New York; as well as Rock Island and Rockford, Illinois. We now have only fifteen families remaining in Chicago. By the grace of God, the Karen Fellowship members work and worship together every week at 11:30 am, after fellowship time.
In December of 2017, Pastor Roger retired from work because of his declining health, resulting from cancer treatment. From December to June 2018, he returned to Myanmar. Now, by the grace of God, we have a new pastor, Rev. Eh Plo Soe, from Rockford. Rev. Eh Plo Soe’s installation service on July 29 featured guests from many places. Rev. Eh Plo Soe moved to Chicago on August 1, and some members of the Karen Fellowship helped him move into his apartment in Ravenswood.
This September, we welcome Rev. Michael Ware as the new pastor of the English Language Congregation. Pastor Michael’s first day will be September 4, and his first Sunday in English worship will be September 9.
Pastor Michael ’s faith journey began at age seven when he was taken in by a Christian couple in Benton Harbor, Michigan, who introduced him to Christ’s mercy, grace, and love. The church has been a central focus of his life ever since. Throughout his college days, secular career, marriage, and raising a family, God’s call upon Pastor Ware’s life has been strong. As he taught Sunday School, served as moderator, sang in the choir, and listened to the struggles of a friend, he knew that God had a plan for him, and sharing Christ’s love was central to that plan. He organized and led local youth groups and became involved in coordinating and leading several state and national youth gatherings for the denomination. Through the years, Michael often contemplated a career in the ministry; finally, he felt God’s call to be irresistible, so he enrolled in seminary.
Rev. Ware is wrapping up his pastorate at Webster Baptist Church in Webster, New York, where he has served since 2006 as the solo pastor of an integrated church. He will also be wrapping his service as Vice President of the Rochester/Genesee Region of the ABC. During his tenure at Webster Baptist Church, he also served as a volunteer chaplain and firefighter for the Webster Fire Department.
Rev. Ware obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Albion College in Albion, Michigan and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. Michael enjoys traveling for mission, ministry, and pleasure. Outside of the United States, he has been to South Africa, Swaziland, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Jamaica. Rev. Ware likes to play disc golf, do puzzles, and ride his bike. He is a devoted sports fan, especially the Dallas Cowboys, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Chicago Cubs.
Rev. Ware is thrilled to be coming to North Shore Baptist Church as the English Language Pastor. He is dedicated to bringing energy, growth and spiritual renewal to the church through preaching, teaching, mission, and evangelism. Pastor Ware is passionate about making the church and its neighborhood part of the “beloved community.”
By Rev. Kathryn Ray
“How does it feel to be a problem?”
The question fell to me to answer in a small group setting last February, when I attended Rev. Dr. Greg Ellison’s Fear+Less Dialogues workshop as part of the Young Adult Initiative in which NSBC is participating. He calls it “one of the five most difficult questions to answer.”
Rev. Dr. Ellison- pastor, psychologist, and professor at Candler Theological School- did not come up with this question on his own. He draws it from The Souls of Black Folk, by the luminary thinker W.E.B DuBois. Rev. Dr. Ellison also believes that this experience of problem-ness is something many of us- across diverse backgrounds- can relate to. When you are blazing a new path that those around you cannot see, when you are living or working in a space whose values, whose basic assumptions about life, conflict with your own, you may come to find that you are a problem.
¿Alguna vez te has sentido decepcionada de la vida y sientes que nadie puede comprenderte?
“Amándote un poco más… eres libre!
Un evento diseñado para ti!
Ven a disfrutar de enriquecimiento personal y espiritual.
Habrá varias sesiones con temas a escoger.
Cuidado de niños y almuerzo
Donación Sugerida - $10
Información- Rev. Kathryn Ray al 773-728-4200 ext. 28 email@example.com
By Rev. Kathryn Ray
The story of David and Jonathan is one of the great love stories of the Bible. The text tells us that, soon after they first met, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. They are thus, perhaps, the first known soulmates.
When I was doing background research for this sermon, as is my wont, a lot of articles that came up were debating whether or not we could see David and Jonathan as a gay couple. When we read these words of David that Jonathan’s love "surpassed the love of women," it does fire the imagination.
It’s important to remember that neither of these men would have claimed a sexual orientation. That understanding of human sexuality is alien to the text. And furthermore, marriage in this time was not what it is in our day and age. It wasn’t a union between lovers or soulmates. It was a property transfer, a formal arrangement to ensure and to safeguard the creation of children who would literally keep you alive in your old age and insure that you had a legacy.
But keeping in mind this distance between us and our text, I think I stand on solid, biblical ground when I say that the love between David and Jonathan was deep, true, and abiding.
Every year, the neighborhood of Lakewood Balmoral has a yard sale the Saturday after Labor Day. The church always provides hospitality (water and restrooms). We also set up food stands featuring traditional cuisines from our different congregations.
This year, we have decided to celebrate the talents of our family, friends, and neighbors by hosting a Crafts & Vendor Fair. We hope to offer a variety of local, handmade items.
If you are a crafter or artisan and would be interested in participating, please review the information at the link below, and fill out the included form.
Crafts & Vendor Fair Information and Application
or download this pdf
On Sunday, August 5, we will gather on Lakewood Avenue in front of the church at 11:30 am for a picnic and block party. All are welcome!
This summer, we will again be hosting a Summer Mission Explorers series for our children. Rather than doing a one-week VBS program, we will be gathering during the traditional Adventures in Learning hour -Sundays from 11:30-12:30 - to learn more about the mission work of the church and do crafts together. Summer Mission Explorers will take place on July 29, August 12, August 19, and August 26.
This year, we will learn more about the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America; the church's work in Retalhuleu, Guatemala; the Samaritana Ministry in the Philippines; and our lunch and shower ministry for those experiencing homelessness.
In April, Anna Mangahas from ONE Northside (a community organization of which NSBC is a member) came to the Church Council meeting to discuss the work of the Grassroots Association for Police Accountability (GAPA). At its meeting in May, the Church Council voted to formally express support for the work and recommendations of the coalition, which we believe furthers the work of building peace, justice, and right relationship in the city of Chicago.
GAPA describes itself as “a broad-based coalition of community organizations committed to making our neighborhoods safer, improving police practices and accountability, and transforming the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and the communities it serves.” The coalition formed two years ago in order to create an avenue for broad-based community input in the city’s discussion regarding police oversight reform. Over the past two years, it has been hosting community conversations between various stakeholders, including the police department, local businesses and organizations, and members of communities experiencing high levels of violence.
Based on these conversations, GAPA has formulated a proposal to establish a Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, which will share oversight responsibilities of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Police Board with the mayor. Members of the commission, while elected by the city, will be required to have experience and education in fields directly related to the work they will be overseeing. The full proposal can be found on GAPA’s website.