We gather in grace, connected by a sense of place and purpose with generations of faithful servant-leaders who journeyed before us. We seek to open our hearts as we open our doors - with room for everyone - and to open all our senses to God's life-affirming, life-changing presence through creative and diverse worship.
We grow in grace, not because we know all the answers - or even all the questions - but because we are drawn to God's word and Christ's example. We seek to be Christ's family here and now - to embrace each other as we are, to nurture who we might become, to celebrate with one another in good times and encourage one another in hard times, to listen and learn and lead.
We go in grace, challenged and strengthened by the Spirit to do God's work and show God's love in the world. We seek to look beyond our walls and beyond ourselves - to see God's image in every face, and to serve God's people in every place life leads us.
The journey continues in an ever-widening circle of grace.
Circle of Grace ©2011
Session has accepted a gift of a bench from our Compassion, Peace & Justice Team. The bench is intended as a tangible sign of welcome to RCLPC, where, as our Mission Statement expresses it, "We seek to open our hearts as we open our doors - with room for everyone." We strive to be a House of Worship for all peoples, regardless of race, nationality, political persuasion, socio-economic status, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
An open letter from Pastor John
Statement and Call to Action from the Covenant Network of PresbyteriansTrans and Gender Non-Binary People #WontBeErased
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) affirms the full dignity and humanity of persons of all gender identities. By unanimous consent, the 2018 assembly approved a statement which reads, in part: "The assembly affirms the church's obligation to stand for the right of people of all gender identities to live free from discrimination, violence, and every form of injustice."
From the General Assembly's statement:
Scripture affirms that all people are created in the image of God. In God's creation, we see and experience God's image expressed across a broad and life-giving expression of gender. Honoring the breadth and variety of our gender identities and expressions is one of the ways we can come to an even deeper understanding of who we are created to be in relationship to God and each other. The Hebrew Scriptures, the Gospel, and the Reformed Tradition affirm the dignity and worth of all people and call on individuals and communities to work for the well-being and protection of all people.
In that spirit, we, the Board of Directors of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, say to all our trans and gender non-binary friends in the church today: We see you. Indeed, you are us. We all stand together as God's people, sharing in love and faith. You will not be erased-not from our church and not from our lives.
The church can-and must-be a voice for justice and truth in the face of attacks on any of God's children. May it be so today.
The Board of Directors of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians
A native of Glasgow in Scotland he started his career in production and sales and served with I.C.I. Ltd, a multi-national chemical company, before becoming a minister of the Church of Scotland. In 1993 he transferred to the PC(USA) and has served congregations in California, Arkansas, Florida, and Maryland.
John holds qualifications in Business Studies from Slough College of Technology, a Bachelor of Arts in History of Modern Design & Architecture from the Open University, Milton Keynes, and a Bachelor of Divinity, Joint Honors in Systematic & Practical Theology, from Trinity College, University of Glasgow. He has been a member of the Iona Community since 1988 and is President of the Iona Community - New World Foundation USA. He lives in Crystal Lake with his wife Louise and their four children.
John is passionate about building community and mutual understanding between disparate groups in our society; social justice; care and support of the bereaved and hurting. He believes that diversity is one of God's greatest gifts and that we tend to turn this into a barrier rather than a bridge. He is interested in classic rock, art and architecture and history and trying to keep up with his kids.
Raechel Sowa has been a member of RCLPC for 20 years and has participated in many areas of church life. She has been a SS teacher, nursery liaison, Confirmation leader, Elder, and most recently, our youth leader. After years in the non-profit world holding various positions, she has felt she could assist RCLPC by coordinating our Middle School and High School youth and she states she has "loved the experience." Her goal is to help our youth leaders create a dynamic youth program that our youth want to invite their friends to.
Kim Stewart has worked in the church office since October, 2005 and is currently our Office and Website Administrator. She holds a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Computer Information Systems and a special emphasis in Management Information Systems from Columbia College of Missouri. Prior to working in the church office, Kim volunteered as our Sunday School Coordinator for six years.
Kim has taught Java Programming classes at the McHenry County College, developed the database and data entry system for the Winnetka Congregation Women's Society, and prior to 2011, developed and maintained the website for the Lake County Teachers Association. Before moving to Crystal Lake, Kim owned and operated her own typesetting business that specialized in designing medical, business, and government forms. She had previously worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb/Mead Johnson Company (in Evansville, Indiana) for 10 years in the Medical Department where she managed the Forms Design Group.
Her interests include reading Science Fiction and historical non-fiction books, watching the Science channel (especially about medical advances and new technolology), and keeping up with world news and politics. She secretly believes that one day she can become a cellular and molecular bioengineer, or at the very least design the next nanotechnology medical application. ;-)