November 5, 2010
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! Remember to set your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night.
The Rwandan Weekend
Excitement was running high as people arrived for the 12th annual Sonrise Benefit sponsored by Church of the Redeemer. For the first time a Sonrise student, Richard Ndekezi, had traveled from Rwanda to share his own story in person. For this young man it was a journey of firsts: his first time to leave Rwanda, his first airplane journey, his first time to meet those he had heard about for so long. It was also a weekend of transition as Bishop John Rucyahana, the visionary founder of Sonrise School, came to be with us a final time as the Bishop of Shyira Diocese before his retirement on November 14th. These first and last meetings were part of a celebration of the work of Sonrise School as it approaches its first graduation, and of our relationships with Rwanda, in general.
A special focus of this year’s benefit was a conversation with Richard, a remarkable young man who came to Sonrise 10 years ago. He spoke poignantly about the difference the school had made in his life, and the hope and dreams that he now knows, including a relationship with the Lord that is his central passion. For long-time Sonrise supporters it was a rare opportunity to understand what their involvement has meant in terms of a real life that knew the horror of genocide and poverty, and that now knows hope. For those new to our connections with the Shyira Diocese it was a great way to enter into the unique relationship that we share. Speaking to the Redeemer congregation on Sunday morning Richard said that it was the love of the people that he would take home, more than any other experience of his visit to Chicago.
“It was a wonderful celebration of Bishop John’s work in creating Sonrise but more important, I think, was to witness firsthand how God has made a difference in Richard’s life—what an exceptional young man,” reflected Michele Becker, coordinator for this year’s benefit. “Rwanda, and indeed the world, will be in good hands with leaders like Richard. It was an evening filled with joy and hope.”
Redeemer’s Rector, the Rev. Jay L. Greener, observed that even in a financially troubled climate people want to participate in life-changing work. “This is something we offer to the Northshore community, and we’re blessed through it. It has been harder to raise funds recently, but everything we are able to offer in prayer and commitment the Lord will bless and increase, and there are many generous people among our friends, neighbors and families. So it was a real success and knits us more closely to our brothers and sisters in Rwanda, and our friends here,” observed Fr. Greener. “This event benefits Sonrise School, of course, but I think Redeemer receives the greatest blessing.” The total amount given was over $46,000; with all expenses in presenting the event covered by ticket ‘sales’. The silent auction, a new feature, also raised money to support Rwanda and raise awareness of the variety of craft industries, including coffee production, that are important to the vitality of this emerging, post-genocide nation.
Bishop John concluded his Episcopal ministry among us by confirming a dozen people on Sunday morning, bringing the total number of his confirmations to 30 in the last two years. As he transitions to new ministry, he holds in his heart a special place for Church of the Redeemer. “I’m very grateful for what God has allowed us to share,” offered Bishop John. “I’m praying for and expecting Redeemer to continue to move forward in exciting mission in the future.” The new bishop of the Shyira Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Laurent Mbanda, will be visiting Redeemer in February.
COR@9 — It’s a Gift
COR@9: Spiritual Gifts, will continue this Sunday at 9 a.m. Last week, we learned several important points:
1) EVERY follower of Christ has a spiritual gift.
2) Spiritual gifts are always tied to love, so that the answer to the question, "How are you burdened to love others?" just might reflect the way the Spirit has gifted you.
3) Spiritual gifts are discerned in the context of the body of Christ—through serving alongside others, not in isolation.
We will continue to explore "Spiritual Gifts" under the guidance of Dr. Dana Harris for the next three weeks. Even if you weren't able to come last Sunday, please join us this week as we take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 12-14 and the ways in which spiritual gifts are linked with our worship.
Our next gathering in the four-week introductory series on life at Redeemer continues this Sunday, as we look at the marks of what we believe, and why we do some of the things that we do. This is a great chance to explore with others who are new to Redeemer, and some who have been around here for a while. We’ll serve a light lunch and share some fellowship in this conversational hour. If you missed last week, still plan to be with us after coffee hour.
Thank you for continuing to pray that God will meet our financial needs, even as we carry on our ministries and life together as a community. Our goal will not be met by normal means, but by God’s provision through his people, and this will only be realized through prayer and the responding sacrifice. Thanks be to God for his many abundant gifts to us, and for the freedom to give back in joy.
Amount last Sunday: $6,839
Amount still needed by December 31st: $99,588
Winter Clothing Drive
Just two weeks remain in our clothing drive to assist families in Lake County through Love, INC. Please leave gently used items of winter clothing in the boxes located in the church foyer, through November 14th. We need a variety of things such as coats, gloves, scarves, hats, etc.
New Office Information
Please make a note that Church of the Redeemer has new office information. Our office is now in the same location as our worship space!
Church of the Redeemer
1731 Deerfield Rd
Highland Park, IL 60035
Office phone: 847-579-0733
Office fax: 847-579-0788
email and website remain the same, which are:
firstname.lastname@example.org and www.redeemernorthshore.org
Be sure to include a couple of special worship services on your calendar that will take place in the next month or so:
— Thanksgiving Service, Thursday November 25, 10am
— A Service of Advent Lessions and Carols, December 5th, 6pm
— Christmas Eve Worship, December 24th, 6pm
Please Pray For
— our life and mission together as disciples of Jesus
— Bishop John Rucyahana and Bishop Laurent Mbanda as they transition in Rwanda
— those in need in body, soul and spirit
— our Midwest area network of AMiA churches, and all churches serving in our region