We often include a segment of our weekend worship hours entitled “From The congregation” in which someone in our church family will share a short story concerning their spiritual journey.


New Year’s Resolutions: daily God connection, faith-growing relationships, and helping others know Jesus

By Nate Kugel on January 4, 2017

Maybe you’re one of the many Americans who make New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you don’t like making them. I recently read that only 8 percent of people who make them ever succeed in meeting their goals.

Whether or not you plan to make any official resolutions, you may be thinking about what your 2017 looks like.

One recent TIME magazine article suggested that we should spend more time engaging people instead of pixels, taking your soul seriously, and being kind. Those are some great thoughts for beginning the year.

These are all things that we do in the church. At Bloomingdale Church we believe that a good life is built on relationships of “Up, In, Out.”

UP. That’s a daily and real connection between you and God.

IN. That’s all of the relationships we have that help us be present with people and grow in our faith.

OUT. That’s all the ways that we can serve and help others.

We invite you to be a part of these UP/IN/OUT relationships in 2017.

Here are some resources to succeed in reaching your Up / In / Out resolutions for 2017:

“UP” Opportunities [Up, In, Out]

“IN” Opportunities [Up. In. Out.]

“Out” Opportunities [Up. In. Out]


By Stuart G on December 6, 2016

Have you ever asked, “why does God allow evil?” Or “why is God allowing this suffering in my life?”

These questions are welcome at Bloomingdale Church.

Bloomingdale Church is a welcoming community that believes suffering can only be healed in relationship with God and within a community of God’s people. Where there is no hope, God is our hope.

Questions about suffering stem from what some call the “the problem of evil”: if God is all-powerful, all-loving, and all-good, then why is there suffering?

There are many answers to this question, but efforts to defend God’s ways are misguided if they don’t take into account a personal God acting in specific ways toward His people.

God’s people have always wrestled with how to respond to suffering and evil, but always in the context of a personal relationship.

The Bible offers accounts of God’s people wrestling with evil in their lives and in the world (especially in books like Job, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Lamentations, and Habakkuk). For instance, Habakkuk, lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Israelites asks God, “why…are [you] silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?”

This is one of many bold questions directed toward God. But Habakkuk is confident enough in his relationship with God that he can express these emotional questions, and God responds to him.

Consider joining our community where we can all work through our past and present experiences of suffering within the context of a personal relationship with Jesus.

Any thoughts or questions? Contact me at stuartg@bloomingdalechurch.org or look for me at our next service.

Stuart G is Bloomingdale Church’s Missions Director.

Mother and Adult Son Making a Difference at Marquardt Middle School (Glendale Heights)

By Daniel Riem on October 19, 2016

School secretary Therese Ziecina helped propose a volunteer-leadership development program at her school. At the introductory event her son Raymond made a surprise speech.

“I’m a graduate of Marquardt Middle School,” my son, Raymond, confidently shared with 40 seventh graders at the event in October.

“I have an IEP, I have learning struggles, just like many of you. At the beginning of 7th grade I was classified as a non-reader. I could only read two- and three-letter words. There was a teacher, Mrs. McDonald, who took an interest in me and wanted to help me learn to read. I didn’t think it would work, but I gave it a try. By the time I graduated from 8th grade I was reading at an almost 6th grade level. During that same time another teacher, Mr. Gentry, asked me to help out with the sound and lighting at a school play. About the same time, Daniel, a pastor from my church (who is sitting over there), asked me to volunteer on the video team at my church. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I gave it a try. Volunteering on that video team led me to my chosen career. Now, in my last year of college at Indiana Wesleyan University, I am thankful for these mentors. I encourage you to say yes to every opportunity to volunteer, even if you think you are not going to like it. You never know where those opportunities will lead you.”

Therese Explains
My son Raymond gave this speech spontaneously after several school administrators shared their planned remarks. He surprised everyone and asked if he could share too. I was shocked and humbled at his honesty. I fought back joyful tears.

I saw in that moment how God has used volunteer opportunities, caring adults, and educational struggles to enable him to help others. God always had a plan for my son. I am so proud that he was able to turn his struggles into a way to bless others.

This is why the Marquardt Middle School Serving Society exists. We wanted to give students, who may not normally have the opportunity, to volunteer. Our hope was that students would benefit from leadership and citizenship skills cultivated in them. For the past year, the Student Serving Society has partnered with the youth programming staff at Bloomingdale Church. We have seen huge strides in social growth in many of these students.

Stacey R. Shares Her Story

By David Riemenschneider on October 19, 2016

Mark and I have been attending Bloomingdale Church since 2009. We have two awesome kids, Sarah and Luke. Mark and I are hosts for a Young Families community group, I’m a table leader at Tuesday night Women’s Break, and I teach kids’ Sunday School.

You might hear that list and think that I’ve obviously been a “church” person all my life, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was not raised in the church. I didn’t become a Christian until the summer of my junior of college.

My family moved to Illinois from southern California when I was in high school and I had a couple friends invite me to youth group events. They were fine. But nothing really stuck.

Don’t get me wrong… I had no problem with the idea of being a Christian… it’s just that so many of the Christians I saw in the real world didn’t sound like the same type of people I’d hear about as we’d study the Bible in Youth Group. There is a famous quote: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” That pretty much summed it up for me. I didn’t have issues with Jesus Christ or the Bible, I had issues with his followers, and I didn’t want to be lumped in with that crowd. To this day I still have some of the same issues of people “talking the talk but not walking the walk.” But I’ve made a decision that loving and knowing Christ personally is more important than that. I’ve realized we are all flawed, me just as much as the next person, so while the people around me may not look or act much like Christ, they aren’t my measuring stick, Jesus is the who matters.

I went to college to pursue my studies as a biology major. Many people likely think that it is my scientific study that kept me away from God for so many years. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, my growth as a Christian directly correlates with my advanced study in biology.

I guess you could say I’m an exception to the rule… except that I’m by no means the exception. A large number of my friends in the sciences are strong Christians, no matter what the world wants to tell you about science and faith. In fact, I became a Christian while I was at the University of Iowa for a summer research internship. Someone explained to me that I didn’t need to have all the answers and that I shouldn’t allow the actions of others to affect my decisions about the truth. I put my trust in Christ as my Savior that summer. To this day, I can say that I had the strongest spiritual growth of my life during my time at Iowa for my internship and, eventually, graduate work. Iowa… a large, secular, public “party school.” If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that God is everywhere… even in a party school. We just need to seek Him.

I finished my PhD in cell biology and have spent my career teaching and mentoring students while researching the minutiae of breast cancer cells, I love to ask questions and determine how things work. I don’t always like the answers I get (similar to my life as a Christian), but it doesn’t stop me from asking tough questions. In the same way, I feel my faith only grows stronger if I’m willing to question it and make sure it can stand up to the test. God has never disappointed me in my questioning.

Contrary to popular belief, my knowledge of science has drawn me closer to God, not further from Him. My studies of cell biology, developmental biology, and human anatomy have shown me how miraculous it is that we are even here on earth. There is nothing that I have learned in science that disputes the Bible’s truths. And, in fact, there are things that I have learned that point to a Creator God. But my studies of the Bible have also taught me not to discount anything science tells me.

You could look at my life and say I’m an exception to all of the rules. I wasn’t raised in the church, I attended a “party” school instead of a Christian school, and I’m a science nerd doing research on breast cancer. But the truth is that God is real, he is here. Jesus Christ offers us hope, no matter our stage in life. Ultimately, we all have a choice to make. You can choose to seek and follow God with all your heart, which Jesus tells us is the greatest commandment found in the New Testament (Mark 12:30.) Or you can choose not to. God grants us free will to make that choice. And it’s not always easy. Because once you choose to follow God, the next verse of Mark tells us we are to “love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s so easy to pass judgment and make assumptions about others based on our own life experiences. But that isn’t what the Bible and Jesus tell us to do. There is hope for everyone, but we do need to investigate the truth that God tells us about ourselves, and take it seriously.