March 20, 2020
Stay Healthy and safe,
Dave & the WCL Team
March 17, 2020
As of Tuesday, March 17, the Willow Crystal Lake building is closed to all events, groups, and gatherings. Limited staff entry is by appointment only. We will re-evaluate the situation by April 1. Subscribe to Dave's weekly e-news so you will receive all updates regarding building changes. Stay connected by checking the Willow Creek App and following us on Facebook and Instagram regularly to be a continuing part of our community and to learn about current groups and online gatherings we are offering tailor-made for this season.
Stay Healthy and safe,
Dave & the WCL Team
March 14, 2020
Dear Willow Crystal Lake,
I hope you and your family are well and remaining steadfast in the hope of our good God in this period of caution and uncertainty.
And as we will soon be transitioning to our first ever online gatherings as a campus this Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. (join us HERE), I wanted to further update you on additional steps our campus is taking to love and honor our staff, congregation, and community.
Following the recommendations of community officials and the senior team at our South Barrington campus, we will be taking proactive measures to further minimize the spread of COVID-19. These measures will entail the official closing of the Willow Crystal Lake facility starting on Wednesday, March 18, remaining closed until April 1, at which point we will re-evaluate.
What this means for our campus:
Many of our classes, workshops, and groups will shift to online platforms and video conferencing.
Our staff will be working from home, fully engaged and connected to our team and congregation through video conferencing and digital distribution, with new ministry strategies underway.
This decision does not affect our tenants, Friendship House, as their child care facility is fully separated from the day to day operations of our church building.
Currently, our overnight and day warming shelters that serve the homeless community will remain operational, while under new guidelines passed on by McHenry County officials.
We will remain in close contact with civic leaders to offer the use of our facility if and when needed, while we are currently determining how best to build and safely direct a volunteer mobilization team to the real needs in our community.
Our care pastor hotline will remain open if you or anyone you know is needing pastoral assistance or prayer – (224) 512–2150.
Willow Crystal Lake, you have always been a campus of perseverance and innovation. I remember 9 years ago when we launched Willow’s first granddaughter campus, Willow Huntley, and our marketing slogan was “Church, But Only Different.” I think we are truly going to understand what we meant by that phrase in this season.
As we seek to minimize the spread of this virus, let's maximize the transformation of our hearts and the extension of our homes. Let's dig in to the book of Mark through Journey around the shared table with our families. Let's take new steps of connection through the use of technology. Let's proactively serve our neighbors with love and care in the name of Jesus.
See you online tomorrow morning,
Dave & the WCL Team
March 12, 2020
Dear Willow Crystal Lake Family,
What an incredible opportunity we have as a church to truly be the church in this season. In the midst of so many unforeseeable challenges, I can think of no other community of Christ-followers that I would want to rally with in such a time as this.
As many of you have heard, the state of Illinois is asking all gatherings of 250 people or more to be postponed until May 1 amid the COVID–19 outbreak. This means that starting this Sunday, and until further notice, we will not be meeting in person for our Sunday church gatherings or Sunday Supper, but online in our homes at our regularly scheduled service times here at 9 and 11 a.m.
This news is hard, yet needed. We must be a community of believers not driven by fear, but by love for the vulnerable and honor toward our officials. And as we pray boldly for the protection and healing of our world, may we also continue to point our friends and family to the hope and peace we find in Jesus.
When we asked you this past October what you believed God was calling us to, one of the top outcomes was deeper discipleship, and I think God is doing just that with his people. What will it look like for us now to commit to pastor not only our homes, but our neighborhoods? What will it look like for us to forge a deeper dependence on God knowing so much is out of our control?
It is obvious that God has gone before us in preparation for these new patterns of church life as we are well prepared for the next four weeks with our Journey Through Mark teaching series. For with this teaching series are multiple resources to grow our hearts and homes in this season. In this time of uncertainty and confusion, may we be a rooted people of faith, engaged daily in the reading plans and discussion guides customized for adults, children, and families found here.
Willow Crystal Lake, as the lead team and I just got off a video conference this evening, it is evident of their love for you and for our community. They are deeply committed to do all that it takes to connect us in new ways, equip us for greater growth, and unleash our homes to become beacons of hope and healing in our community. Please reach out to our Care Pastors at [email protected] if you would like for us to be interceding for you in prayer.
Like you, I have no idea where any of this is leading, but to simply remain faithful in our calling to bring the tangible hope of Jesus to a broken world.
Thank you for your patience as we reformat our ministry strategy for the next 45 days. We ask that you continue to partner with what God is doing in our church and our community, particularly in this season, by committing to gather with us online, connect with us via social media (on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), give electronically via the website or app, and pray for us all to seek and receive God’s wisdom and strength. If you have any further questions, please email me directly at [email protected].
Serving our community with you,
Dave and the WCL Team
March 7, 2020
Willow Crystal Lake,
We’ve been closely tracking the news of the coronavirus (COVID-19) both locally and globally. As you’re likely aware, there are numerous confirmed cases in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. While we know this virus is primarily spread through close contact, we want to take precautionary measures to create a safe and healthy environment for us all to gather and worship. Before we get into the details of the plans, I want to speak first to our posture as Christ-followers.
For many, the spread of this virus has caused fear and anxiety. Scripture is clear that God has given us a spirit of love, not fear. My prayer is that we would sense peace in the midst of these circumstances. This does not mean we should be careless or reactionary; rather, may we work together to serve our church and community in a way that demonstrates trust in our God who is in control.
Secondly, many Asians and Asian Americans, including those in our church family, have experienced an increased level of discrimination since this virus emerged. This is wrong and deeply contrary to the heart of the gospel. To those who have experienced this, we are truly sorry, and we stand with you. We all have a chance to speak against hatred and stereotyping, and I pray that God would use us in that way.
We have a staff team that is monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is partnering with local officials and medical professionals to formulate a preparedness plan. This plan will change and adjust based on the updates we receive, but as of March 6, 2020, here are the precautions we are taking to increase health measures and mitigate the spread of germs.
We recommend that you give your tithe and offering online. We will not pass offering baskets during the service but will have them available on the way out of the auditorium.
We will not pass Communion trays when we observe the sacrament at Sunday services or Sunday Supper. We will provide prepacked, individually wrapped Communion elements.
To minimize your need to touch door handles, our volunteer teams will hold exterior doors open to greet you.
When we have a time of greeting during services, we recommend you greet each other with smiles and waves instead of handshakes.
Volunteers are committed to wiping down check-in surfaces between all services with disinfectant wipes. We are also making hand sanitizer more readily available throughout our building.
If you find yourself or your kids feeling under the weather, we encourage you to join us digitally on the Willow Crystal Lake YouTube channel.
The Sunday Supper pot luck food line will no longer be self-serve but will include gloved servers. If you’re willing to volunteer for this week’s Sunday Supper please let us know.
As families prepare for travel over spring break, we ask you to follow the District 47 recommended practice of staying at home for 14 days after your return date if you are returning from a location with sustained widespread transmission (Travel Warning of Level 3) of the Coronavirus. (As of today, current countries on this list are China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. This list could change over the coming days and weeks. For ongoing updates of the travel warning, visit the CDC Information for Travel site.
We encourage you to take some time to understand proper prevention measures to avoid spreading the virus by reading through the CDC recommendations here.
Here are some of the basic measures listed on the CDC website:
We will provide necessary updates to you via email and post them on willowcrystallake.org. I ask that you be prayerful for our world and community, specifically for those who are directly impacted by this virus.
Dave & the WCL Team