Special Friends South Barrington

Expressing God's extravagant love and unleashing the God-given abilities of those with special needs

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Special Friends at Willow Creek

Moving from Presence to Belonging

In recent years, the world has made significant strides in accepting people with intellectual disabilities. We see this in schools with inclusion strategies, in buildings with equal-access accommodations, and in churches with an increase in disability ministries.

But at Willow South Barrington, we hope to go one step further. We seek to step beyond merely accepting that our friends with intellectual disabilities are present. We want each one to belong. And to fully belong at Willow means you’re connected with a Christ-centered community; you’re learning and growing spiritually; and you’re using your gifts to serve others.

As you browse this website and engage with our ministry, we pray you’ll feel a connection with one or more of our ministries—and join us in helping our Special Friends move from merely being present to fully belonging. Thank you for being part of our journey!

Watch our Special Friends share about the best and hardest things about being them:

Our Special Friends Space

In Special Friends, we have created an intentional environment for our friends with intellectual disabilities—a welcoming space in our church designed specifically for their unique needs, making it more conducive to learning about God and making friends. We even have therapy dogs in our space to provide a loving comfort for our friends during each of our services!

Kids (Ages 4–13)

Digital Church Service on Facebook

We offer a unique weekend church service for our young friends with intellectual disabilities. We pray this service gives your kids an opportunity to engage and learn about the God who loves them!

We are offering in-person services but will continue to offer a Digital Church Service on Facebook for those unable to attend. To learn more about our in-person services and to register, go to openourdoors.org. Due to capacity limits, registration is required.

 

Teens/Young Adults (Ages 14–21) & Adults (Ages 23+)

Digital Church Services on Facebook

We offer a church service so our teens and adults of all abilities can worship together, learn about Jesus through experiential teaching, and deepen their friendships with each other and with God.

We are offering in person services but will continue to offer a Digital Church Service on Facebook for those unable to attend. To learn more about our in person services and to register go to openourdoors.org. Due to capacity limits, registration is required.

Talk/Prayer Time: Tuesday, 10–11 a.m.
Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 846 6358 8793
Password: TALK

Bible Study: Wednesday, 6:30-9 p.m.
Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 894 0699 6703
Password: GROUP

Talk/Prayer Time: Wednesday, 3-4 p.m.
Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 834 8511 4917
Password: TALK

Saturday Service LIVE!: Saturday, 5:15 p.m.
Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 834 8511 4191
Password: CHURCH

 

Midweek Teens/Young Adults (Ages 14–21) Group

6:30–8 p.m., Wednesdays | Fall & Winter

Our teens and young adults long for meaningful relationships with each other and with God. They are able to find these kinds of connections through a variety of opportunities including worship, social nights, service projects, and small group Bible study.

This group is geared towards those who do well with 1:5 volunteer to participant ratio. Support persons are welcome to come with those who do well with a higher ratio.

 

 

Midweek Adults (Ages 22+) Group

6:30–8 p.m., Wednesdays | Fall & Winter

Adults with intellectual disabilities take their faith one step further during midweek services where they build community, worship together, and learn how to use their God-given abilities to serve in our church. Small group Bible study, socials, and choir are just a few of the opportunities offered for our teens and adults with intellectual disabilities.

This group is geared towards those who do well with 1:5 volunteer to participant ratio. Support persons are welcome to come with those who do well with a higher ratio.

Winter 2021 - A Cup of Comfort Over Zoom

7-8pm, 1st and 3rd Wednesdays

Join parents and caregivers in a community of support and care assisting their loved ones on the journey of disability. During our time, we will learn from parents and experts offering wisdom and encouragement while hearing the stories of the members of the group. 

REGISTER

 

Going Digital

Kids' Virtual Church Service on Facebook

Teens' and Adults' Virtual Church Service on Facebook

Follow Special Friends on Facebook for additional content 

 

Wednesday Night Bible Study

We are meeting in person starting Wednesday, April 28, but we wanted to keep a virtual option open for our teens/adults.

When: Wednesday nights, 6:30–8 p.m.
Who: Teens and adults with intellectual disabilities
Where: Virtual Room or Waterfall 2
 
In-person registration here.
Virtual Room
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89406996703?pwd=R2RMKzhUdm12M05qamhMdm5QMVhQUT09
Meeting ID: 894 0699 6703
Password: GROUP

 

An encouraging message from Tesla and the Gang!

 

Volunteer with Special Friends

The volunteers in Special Friends are the heart of the entire ministry! You bring a willing heart, we provide the training and together, we can serve all the kids, teens, and adults with special needs in our church as well as their families.

Interested in volunteering with Special Friends? Please complete our Special Friends Volunteer Form below.

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER

Questions? Please contact Special Friends Director Jenni Von Tobel or call her at (224) 512-1340.


Sunday Section 106B: South Barrington weekend service for families

9 & 11:15 a.m., Sundays | Main Auditorium

The Sunday Section 106B is a diverse community with a heart for individuals with special needs and the family, friends, and fans who support them.

Wherever you sit, Special Friends families are always welcome to connect with the Section 106B community. Once permitted, we would love for you to attend our “Quick Connects” (between the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. service), men’s and women’s small groups and section outings.

Questions? Contact Sunday Section 106B Leader Michelle Pilafas or call her at (847) 404-7452.

Special Friends Staff Contacts


Watch the Brock’s share their story of finding support through Special Friends ministry:

Service Times

Sundays
9 & 11:15 a.m.

(224) 512-1233
[email protected]
67 Algonquin Rd
South Barrington, IL 60010
 Open Campus Map 

Upcoming Events

  • 2021 Spring Midweek Teen & Adult Group Registration

    May 12 @ 6:30 PM

  • 2021 Spring Midweek Teen & Adult Group Registration

    May 19 @ 6:30 PM

  • 2021 Spring Midweek Teen & Adult Group Registration

    May 26 @ 6:30 PM

See All Upcoming Events 

Expressing God's extravagant love and unleashing the God-given abilities of those with special needs.