Special Friends at Willow CreekThrough inclusive and sensory-friendly environments, the Special Friends programs at Willow South Barrington help those with special needs fully engage in the life of the church. Their families and caregivers can attend weekend church services, knowing their loved ones are engaged in a safe, fun program designed to help them learn about God and build friendships with one another.
Section 106B: South Barrington weekend service for families
Sundays @ 9 a.m. section leader: Michele Pilafas (847) 404-745
Section 106B is a diverse community with a heart for individuals with special needs and the family, friends, and fans who support them. Section leader Michelle Pilafas is the chairman for the Commission for Disabled Citizens in Hoffman Estates. She and her husband, Gary, have four remarkable sons, two of whom have special needs.
Special Friends Staff Contacts
- Paul Von Tobel, Special Friends Pastor(224) 512-1233
- Debbie Carlson, Family Support Manager (224) 512-1322
At South Barrington
To get connected with Special Friends at Willow South Barrington, begin by completing our Family Information Form before your first visit. This helps prepare our staff and volunteers to welcome you and be equipped to provide a safe environment that meets the unique needs of your loved one. REGISTER »
Special Friends Kids: Ages 4–129 & 11:15 a.m., Sundays | Room D150
Kids with special needs are invited to hear from God and respond to Him in a sensory-friendly environment. Supported by dedicated volunteers, kids engage in developmentally appropriate activities that meet their individual needs. Modified Bible stories, music, prayer, and hands-on activities taught by special educators help them connect with the God who loves them and build friendships with one another.
9 & 11:15 a.m., Sundays | Room D154
Special Friends Teens & Adults: Age 13 & Up
Teens and adults with special needs are invited to hear from God and respond to Him in a sensory-friendly environment. Supported by volunteers, our Special Friends teens and adults engage in developmentally appropriate activities to meet their individual needs. A church service with interactive worship, group discussion, modified Bible teaching, and hands-on activities taught by Special Friends Pastor Paul help them connect with the God who loves them and build friendships with one another.
6–9 p.m., Wednesdays, Atrium, Lakeside Auditorium, & Room D154
Special Friends Adult Community: Age 21 and older
Independent adults with special needs join together for dinner/fellowship, worship in the Midweek service, and an interactive Bible study. Social events and serving projects are planned throughout the year.