Summer mission trip interview with Student Ministries

Our students’ summer mission trips were canceled, but ministry goes on! We spoke with Student Ministries Director Meredith Domanico and Middle School Coordinator Clayton Ganziano, about plans for our students to serve locally this month.

They would welcome your prayer support. You can download a prayer guide below.

 

DOWNLOAD PRAYER GUIDE

 

 

Encore video: 50th Annual Patriotic Celebration

The Patriotic Celebration has been a First Free Rockford summer tradition since 1970. Of course, this year’s event, which would have been our 51st consecutive, has been canceled by COVID-19.

For those who are missing the event this summer, we are happy to present an encore video of last year’s 50th Annual Patriotic Celebration. The evening celebrated our heritage and honored our veterans and active military members … all in a spirit of thanks to God for our true freedom in Jesus Christ.

You can also download the printed program from last year (see below), and follow along with the long list of special music and performers.

Enjoy! And Happy Independence Day.

 

DOWNLOAD PROGRAM

Q&R with Pastor Luke: June 2020

by Jim Killam | 10-minute read

 

In this “everything but the kitchen sink” interview, Lead Pastor Luke Uran talks about adjusting to a unique season, the Ten Commandments sermon series, the national conversation on race, COVID-19 and gathering again for worship.

 

First, how are you?

I’m hanging in there. It’s been a whirlwind, going back to the beginning of the coronavirus and now obviously with the racial tension and divide that our country is facing. I think it has definitely affected everyone in one way or another. There is a heaviness to these days. It’s still taking some adjusting. Read More

Playing it by ear

by Rob Ullrich | 5-minute read

 

Occasionally, when my seventh graders are working in my classroom, I’ll play jazz. They don’t know they’re hearing Django Reinhardt, the guitar giant who shaped a genre around himself. They couldn’t trace his influence to the musicians on their YouTube channels. They can’t tell the story of his terrible accident and miraculous comeback.

It’s an anonymous background tune for them, but a time machine for me. Reinhardt’s style is frequently featured in World War II movies and dramas of that same period. Picture that scene in a smoky, low-lit jazz club.

For the past few months, there has been no jazz crooning from my classroom speakers. Teachers had to improvise to transform their classrooms into remote hubs for e-learning. This task took extemporaneous technique. It was a jazz number and I was playing it by ear. Read More

Hate finds a dead end

by Jim Killam | 5-minute read

 

Shane Heckler had a hard day Tuesday.

At his job at an East State Street grocery store, he was collecting carts from the parking lot when a man pulled up in his car, rolled down the window and unleashed a stream of obscenities.

“Are you one of those f***ing n*****s who are looting?”

Before Shane could say anything, the man drove away. Read More

Graduation during COVID-19

Our high-school students’ lives have been scrambled by COVID-19. Meredith Domanico, Director of Student Ministries, talks with two new graduates about what they miss, what God has been teaching them … and what they hope for when society re-opens.

Participants:
Meredith Domanico (facilitator), Director of Student Ministries
Sierra Heckler, homeschool graduate
Kenaniah Kelley, GED graduate

Music:
Summer Eyes by Airplanes (Musicbed license)

Opinions expressed are the individuals’ own, and do not necessarily represent First Free Rockford, Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA).

 

 

On praise: a prayer devotional

Each of the past seven Wednesdays, our church family has been setting aside time to fast and pray. Even as uncertainty continues, Pastor Luke and Jessi Uran use this week’s short video to suggest a three-point plan for moving forward with confidence.

Life at home during COVID-19

Our three pastors and their wives “gathered” this week for a wide-ranging Zoom conversation. Topics include toilet paper, bad outfits, scary kids’ movies … and encouraging words for our church family.

On hurt and pain: a prayer devotional

Each Wednesday during this unusual season, our church family is setting aside time to fast and pray. In this week’s accompanying video message, Steve and Bev Ralph talk about learning to pray — and to trust God — in the midst of hurt and pain.

Notice: The main office is closed and all public gatherings are suspended until further notice.More Details