All posts in “COVID-19”

Q&R: Therapist David Creek – part 2

by Jim Killam | 7-minute read

 

First Free Rockford offers a list of recommended marriage and family counselors. One of those is David Creek. In the second of two parts, Dave talks about finding God working in us and through us during this challenging year.

 

What do you see in people who are dealing with the current challenges in healthy ways?

I think they’re finding new pathways. So, when faced with the unexpected, it’s doing that work of, How do I slow down? Because if I can’t find an anchor in the midst of this, then I’m just going to be blown all over the place, too. Read More

Q&R: Therapist David Creek – part 1

by Jim Killam | 7-minute read

 

First Free Rockford offers a list of recommended marriage and family counselors. One of those is David Creek. In the first of two parts, Dave talks about spiritually healthy ways to deal with this high-pressure year. 

 

I’m using the word “navigating” a lot right now for the holidays, for COVID, for the political stuff and everything else that’s on the radar. What are you seeing as a counselor? How are people doing?

I think that’s one of the most appropriate terms, because navigating makes me think of boating. It makes me think of coming upon a storm. Like anything, you can be faced with something that you are unprepared for. Nobody was really ready for this. Read More

When God presses the ‘pause’ button

by Jim Killam | 4-minute read

 

The last couple of weeks have been hard. More COVID, more shutdowns, more arguments about masks. Endless political tension and mudslinging. Canceling a family birthday gathering. Wondering what to do about Thanksgiving.

And then our basement sewer pipe backed up. Read More

Lessons from the garden

by Jessi Uran | 6-minute read

 

Sunflowers never make it at our homestead. Every year, with ideal hopes and renewed resolve, I try to get the open-faced, golden giants of the flower world to take. Every year I am met with new obstacles.

One year we got such heavy rains that the seeds never had a chance. They were washed away under the fence to our back alley. Last year the tender shoots arrived just in time to feed a family of hungry bunnies that had burrowed a hole in our yard.

This year? Each sunflower toppled under its own weight. I had planted them too shallow in our raised garden beds, and their root structures were too short and anemic. All it took was some strong winds at the beginning of summer and over they fell. Read More

Aliens, seafaring monks and trust

by Jim Killam | 6-minute read

 

The 1997 sci-fi film Contact, based on the book by Carl Sagan, made an unusually good attempt to reconcile science and faith. Both share a search for truth and “a thirst for wonder” that sometimes neither wants to acknowledge about the other.

Sagan himself was deeply agnostic, saying he could find no scientific evidence for belief in God. Yet in Contact he searched for common ground — and found some. Sure, from a Christian point of view we could poke some holes, but when a scientist’s novel and then a major Hollywood offering help their audiences think hard about faith, I’d call that a cultural win.

The film is a generation old, but I’ve been thinking about it during COVID-19. We all feel an alarming lack of control. No one knows what our society will look like in a month, let alone a year or two. Will we be locked down again? Can our economy withstand more? When is a vaccine coming? Read More

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

Donations Drive for Rescue Mission

First Free Rockford will be collecting needed items for Rockford Rescue Mission from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 4, in our church parking lot (2223 N. Mulford Road). The mission’s urgent needs are:

  • For men: underwear sizes S-3XL.
  • For women: underwear all sizes, gym shoes sizes 6-10, sanitary pads.
  • Other items: Dixie cups, oatmeal, butter, travel-size shampoo.

Drive to the main entrance and our team will safely collect your items. Please don’t drop stuff off before or after those times, as no one will be there to collect it.

Thanks, and please pass the word!

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.