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©2017 BY DAVID VAN BRAKLE.

November 1, 2018

This letter first appeared in the weekly church newsletter for The Community Church of Wilmette. You can watch the service of healing and comfort at Sukkat Shalom on Facebook here.

Dear Friends,

Thank you to all who attended worship at Sukkat Shalom this past Monday...

October 25, 2018

I looked at the faded print of The School of Athens hanging on the wall. Considered the perfection of artistic ideals of the Italian Renaissance, it seemed for a moment that the great minds of the ancient world pictured in Raphael’s masterpiece stood silent, ready to l...

October 11, 2018

Darrell Guder, who works with churches to develop patterns that promote missional communities, finds a common theme within the Western Church. Instead of an outward focus, Guder notes that many churches in the west are “inwardly oriented, focused on itself and its memb...

September 5, 2018

I'm glad my children haven't learned the popular rhyme "sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt me." That never made sense to me, because words can damage. I would rather have my children learn the importance of choosing words wisely. We can...

August 29, 2018

Last night the village board voted in favor of the Wilmette Zoning Board's recommendation to grant Our Place a special use permit to continue use of our church building. Here is the letter that went out to our congregation and community this morning from the church:

Dea...

August 16, 2018

Summer camp is almost finished, and school is about to begin. As a parent of a first grader, I realize there is a whole new ritual to learn. Wondering why the school material list requires you to buy this brand instead of that. Check. Staring at the ceiling instead of...

August 9, 2018

One year I was looking for the perfect Halloween costume when I came across the adult male sized Ghostbuster costume. The model looked exactly like one of my high school classmates Kyle. In fact, there were other costumes I found with the same model. The resemblance wa...

August 2, 2018

The church that I serve meets in the evenings twice a month to discuss faith, learn from one another, and to share a meal. Instead of sitting in a room and hearing a sermon and scripture, we are actively wrestling with what it means to have a faith that forms our lives...

July 31, 2018

Maybe its the stage in my life, but it seems that there are a lot of pastoral colleagues going for a Doctorate of Ministry or another advanced professional degree. Without arguing over the value of a D.Min or about which program is best, let's just assume that our M.Di...

July 19, 2018

Our Place supporters preparing for the zoning board meeting.

This week Our Place went before the zoning board requesting a special use permit for an adult day care center and a parking variation to permit the continued operation of Our Place in our church's space. The z...

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