Sunday, July 30, 2006

Willow Creek Community Church in the News

The Sun Herald of South Mississippi
Habitat Homes Sprouting

About 200 volunteers from Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburbs started building from the ground up Monday. The idea is have the exterior of the homes mostly completed by the weekend until additional volunteers sign to complete the jobs.

"We have 200 volunteers this week and one signed up for next week," said Wendy McDonald, director of the first-ever Habitat for Humanity office in Bay St. Louis. She said Habitat has purchased enough lots on Union Street to eventually have 10 of the cottage-style homes.

"It's the biggest construction going on right now in Bay St. Louis," McDonald said.

Bryan Kidd, one of the Willow Creek volunteers, said they'd been planning to come for the building blitz since September. The group came once before in the early days after Katrina.

Kidd said the group doesn't mind the work because it's part of their calling to help others.

For more about Willow Creek and Habitat for Humanity:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Apologies!

I recently saw what my blog looks like to all you folks using Mozilla Firefox. Egads. My apologies. I'll try to do something about that. I gotta get smarter first though, so it could be a while.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Interesting Quote

Came across this great Sayers (author of the Wimsey novels) quote in a Chuck Colson article.

“In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A2 Conference at Willow

The WCA outdid themselves with the A2 site this year. Pretty stinkin' cool! You can check it out here.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


On July 1 Gene Appel announced to the Axis community that they were attending their last Axis worship service.

Scott McKnight (he's the theology prof that spoke in the DaVinci Code series) was there and offers this insightful account at his blog, Jesus Creed.

We sat in Saturday night to hear Gene Appel, lead pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, explain to the 20-something ministry called Axis what the leadership sees as the next “evolution in Axis.” The Saturday night Axis service will be no more. Axis ministries have been morphed into the larger Willow minstries and weekend services. Ministry to that age-group will continue, though we’re not quite sure what that will look like.

We feel sad because it was an important ministry for our daughter when she was in her early and mid-20s. We will always be grateful for Axis ministries and its weekly service. She met her husband, Mark, through an Axis ministry small group. We know there are hundreds of similar stories wandering now around the halls of Willow.

I’ve always been in favor of Axis and all its ministries, not because I’ve been involved (for I’ve not done anything with that ministry), but there have been some subtle and not-so-subtle shifts at Willow over the last two years that gave us the impression Axis’ weekend service had numbered days.

In his tactful and clear address to about 500 Axis service attenders, Gene talked about the inevitability of change, and that change is what Willow and Axis have always been about. (That’s the truth.)

More importantly, Gene pointed out that in 1995 the Axis ministry and the Weekend services were dramatically different, justifying two kinds of services. In the last two years or so that dramatic difference has decreased enough to call into question the viability of Axis having a separable service. (This is also true.)

And even more importantly, the more service-oriented, or missional, focus of Axis ministries has now become a staple of the rest of the church community, and Gene Appel over and over said that it was Axis that had led to dramatic changes in the rest of the church. It had changed the trajectory of the whole church, he said.

He also emphasized that Willow needs to recover its original intergenerational focus.[This comment was added due to comments I’ve read elsewhere.]

As a result, the differences between the weekend services and Axis are no longer of sufficient degree to justify a separate Axis service. Axis has been diffused, or morphed, into the larger weekend service. It should be observed that Axis has served as a template for many ministries around the world, and has in some ways been part of the emerging church movement

For more on the subject, check these out:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

File under "what the...?"

Stephen King and Lord Peter Wimsey? Seriously? According to this site, yup!

Wimsey is a story fragment from the Lord Peter Wimsey novel King worked on in late 1977. The piece is a double-spaced, typewritten manuscript, containing the first chapter, of fourteen pages, and only the first page of a second chapter. Although it has never been published copies of this fragment circulate in the King community.

In the chapter (and a bit) that King wrote Peter is described this way:

a dreary ghost-Wimsey, distracted and vague, a Wimsey who did too much solitary
drinking, a Wimsey whose wit had soured

In King's story Harriet is dead, the Duke is dead, Sally is dead and Miss Climpson is dying. Hmmm, I wonder why King couldn't find a publisher for that? Sounds like loads of fun!

Of course, King wasn't the shiny happy guy in 1977 that he is today. If he gave it another go now it might not turn out half bad. There would be no way, though, that he could outdo Jill Paton Walsh's go at Wimsey. (She captured not just the Wimsey that the world loves [the man who finds it so easy to become on words that he is seldom perfectly sober] but also provided a measure of the keen, Austen-worthy social and psychological insights that made Sayers one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century.)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Barlow Girls and Doctor Who?

Former Creekers, The Barlow Girls, are the music for this fanvid. Warning - MAJOR SPOILERS! BTW, Barlow Girls will be at Willow on August 16th. And if they do this song I'll probably be pulling out the tissue.

Willow Creek Community Church in the News

Willow was named the most influential church in America in the 2006 Church Report. As a result, CNN will be talking about Willow tonight on Paula Zahn's program, which starts at 7pm Chicago time. That's all I know, just thought I'd give ya a heads up.

Oops, I guess I forgot to post this earlier today. Oh well, still six minutes until 7, it's not too late to post it now.

Saturday, July 01, 2006