Dear Friends,

This morning we shared a wonderful worship service at the Gazebo with our friends from Church of the Holy Spirit. We hope to worship again with CHS before the weather changes, and we have offered a similar invitation for shared worship to other churches in our community.
Because half the population at the service this morning was from CHS, I did not feel it appropriate to get into too much detail about matters only germane to the Community Church. So, I offer some exciting specifics re: what's ahead for the Community Church via this email.
First, Dr. Matt Dewar will be expanding his role with the Community Church effective September 1. In his work for our church the last few years, Matt has led retreats, wellness programs, special events and preached. We are pleased to announce that Matt will now also be leading our Middle School and High School programs. And, in a unique and important twist, Matt will be devoting significant time not just to students – but to their parents, as well. Stay tuned!

For almost two decades, Matt has served as a coach, educator, and well-being coordinator at Lake Forest High School, introducing students, athletes, and colleagues to mindfulness and self-care through workshops, academic courses, school-wide programs, and professional development. Matt has worked with collegiate and professional athletes and consulted with school districts nationally on implementing mindfulness and well-being programming.
Matt is the former president of The Coalition of Schools Educating Mindfully (COSEM) and is the author of The Mindful Breathing Workbook for Teens (2021) and Education and Well-Being: An Ontological Inquiry (2016).

His work has been featured on TEDx, NPR, and the National Wellness Institute, and Matt holds a Doctorate in Curriculum Studies and Philosophy of Education, Masters degrees in Education and Curriculum as well as Teaching, and a Bachelors in Religion and Philosophy.
Second, the Rev. Sean Miller will begin serving the Community Church as Interim Minister effective Sept. 1. Some will remember Sean, who preached on the beach for us a number of years ago and also led a Bible Study for our church. A north shore native, Sean grew up in Deerfield and both his parents currently live in Lake Forest.
 
As an Interim, Sean joins us for an undesignated period of time and steps in allowing us to immediately address a number of important areas. An experienced Senior Minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Sean will work closely with Tom and provide needed leadership and support in areas including administration, stewardship, outreach, and spiritual growth / education. Well-known and respected as a preacher and a teacher, during his 15 years of ordained ministry Sean has served congregations in Arlington Heights, Potomac, Maryland, and Greenwich, Connecticut.

Sean is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Colorado with degrees in both music and religion, and he earned the Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. Sean would be happy to share a cup of coffee with you, talk about faith, play a round of golf, or show you pictures of children Drew and Hannah.
 
Sean preaches at the Gazebo at our August 2 service ; please join us in giving him an enthusiastic welcome to the Community Church!
Finally, I am very pleased to announce that the Community Church will be worshiping in the John and Nancy Hughes Theater at the Gorton Community Cente r this fall, winter and spring. The theater has been a periodic home-away-from-home for us over the years, and offers ideal proximity to our congregation, plenty of parking and handicap access, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a clean environment and a very professional team to work with.
Our plan at present - and of course, given the constantly changing times we will continue to go with the flow - is to make approximately 100 seats available at each of two services at 8:30 am and 10:00 am every Sunday. Additionally, we plan to livestream the 10:00 am service and make a video available the following day. So, we will effectively be presenting four weekly worship options - allowing people to choose the worship service that is best for them.
In the weeks ahead, we will be sending out a survey to gather information to help (a) keep our shared experience as safe and healthy as possible, and (b) to more fully understand your and your family's needs. We greatly appreciate your cooperation!

And, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me via email tom@thecommunitychurch.us or @ 847 234 8191 if you have questions, or if there are ways we may be of service to you.

Blessings, and Peace,

Tom