Living Water

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Sundays at 9:30am

6808 N. Ashland Ave
Chicago IL 60626

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Upcoming Events

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on November 2, 2018 | No Comments

Date Event Time
4-Nov All Church Worship and Potluck 10am
10-Nov All Church Work Day 9:30-12:30
23-Dec Swahili Speaking Group Led Christmas Gathering
24-Dec All Church Christmas Eve Service
25-Dec Nepali Led Christmas Service
6-Jan All Church Epiphany Service
11-Jan JH Winter Retreat Mennohaven
18-Jan SH Winter Retreat Mennohaven
2018 Elder Selection

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on September 21, 2018 | 2 Comments

Kear Chan and Letitia Maxwell are the newest member of the LCC Board of Elders.

We are grateful to the four nominees who expressed a willingness to serve as an Elder; they each received a wide level of support.

May God continue to bless our Pastors and Elders, who have been serving our congregation faithfully and passionately.

Kear Lim is a founding member of Living Water Community Church. She was born in Cambodia and came to Chicago as a refugee in the 1980’s, when she was welcomed by Living Water’s sister church, Reba Place Church, and became a Christian. Kear’s husband, Chiv Lim, and her daughter, Sophany Chan, are also members of Living Water. Kear is a regular worship leader and preacher for our Cambodian service, and is active in the Saturday night Khmer house Bible study fellowship group. She leads the LWCC Cambodian Dance Team with Sophany. She brings experience, age, and wisdom to the elder’s group.

 

 

 

Letitia Maxwell has been a member of Living Water since 2016, shortly after she moved to Rogers Park to live near her son. Letitia is a member of Living Water’s Friday morning women’s Bible study. She is also a worship leader. Born in Jamaica, Letitia lived most of her adult life in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and son, where she was a very active and much beloved member of her church there for over thirty years. She’s been a follower of Jesus since she was a young girl.

 

 

 

 

Meet Some of LWCC’s New Members

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on March 22, 2018 | No Comments

John Betten

My parents raised me up as a Messianic Jew in Dallas, TX. My father became a Christian when he was in high school, which his Jewish family and community deeply resented. He and my mom taught our family to understand ourselves as both Jewish and Christian; we believed that our belonging to the Jewish people helped us respect the Gospel in its original context, and that our faith in Jesus gave us a clearer understanding of the story and mission of the Jewish people. My family’s faith and life together was vaguely Evangelical, but with Jewish holidays, songs, and culture replacing more traditional forms of Christian worship.

When I moved away from Dallas, I never found another Messianic congregation to belong to, and I became very turned off by Messianic Judaism’s focus on militant Zionism and by the Evangelical church in general. I wanted to know and love the international church and discover a way around the segregations of race and class that divide the church in America. I wanted to learn how to follow the commandments of Jesus literally in my mundane life and not merely focus on the theology or prophecies related to the death of Jesus. I still consider myself Jewish, but I never returned to the Messianic movement.

Finding a new spiritual home in the world has been very difficult. I’ve tried out all kinds of communities: leading worship for Charismatic churches; studying Hindu philosophy and worshipping primarily as a Muslim in Southeast India; organizing with a community of secular Socialists and Anarchists. My most formative community was a Catholic Worker intentional community I helped start in Denton, TX. At first, we were all voluntarily homeless and ran a community house for the homeless. We all worshipped together as Roman Catholics. Eventually, we all moved in to a house together and opened up a sharing-based, farm-to-table restaurant next door. As we shared our possessions and decisions, I discovered a common life and discipline that reminded me of the life of the disciples of Jesus much more than the churches I had tried to be a part of.

After living in the Catholic Worker for a few years, both my personal life and the community in Denton fell apart. I had tried to be a leader and a hero for all my adult life, but I realized that I needed to heal and mature through more friendship and discipleship with older, mature believers who shared my vision for Christian life. I moved to Chicago in 2016 to seek counseling and discern membership with Reba Place Fellowship in Roger’s Park. I started attending Living Water at the same time. I have been deeply impressed by the care and commitment that members in this neighborhood demonstrate towards one another, and I have enjoyed my own participation in the life and mission of this church as I try to learn how to follow Jesus in this neighborhood.

 

Dennis Bradley

How I got here

During my Sophomore year at Purdue, a traveling evangelist met with my roommate in our room to convert him.  I was not much of a Christian, I knew the bible, but had no interest.  I was to ticked off at him that I went out and bought a new translation so that I could show him up.

But when I started to read the Gospels, WOW  this guy Jesus really spoke to me!  That was the beginning of my journey.  It was also when I saw no justification for violence.  As my wife and I moved around and tried churches, one of the best we found was a Church of the Brethern.  It had a pacifist heart and an informal service.  When we moved to Michigan, we began attending a Mennonite church.

When I moved to Chicago, good old Google located 3 churches in the area and I tried this one because it was closest and I could not find Reba Place.

So Here I Am!

 

David Tolen

David came to the United States from Veracruz, Mexico in 1998, possessing — like most immigrants — little more than a dream of achieving a better life for himself and members of his family still in Mexico. David grew up as a Christian child, and was regularly involved in Bible study, preaching, and service. Upon arriving in Chicago, the Adventist church was instrumental in helping David to settle, and to establish himself in the local and faith communities.

Learning about issues of social justice at the Erie Institute of Social Justice sparked a journey toward finding a more accepting, open minded Christian community, rather than the conservative beliefs of most of the Christian churches David had attended. David learned the importance of being involved in community organizing and talking about things that matter: Equal opportunities, the right to education, housing and health care, women’s and LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights — but foremost, the right to live with dignity and without the fear of being cast away from a society reluctant to accept those born on the wrong side of the fence. David found a lack of social justice action, and a silent attitude among faithful Christians. His faith in the reality of Christianity began to erode, and he stopped attending church.

When David’s son, Joshua, was born in 2017, David began to feel a pull towards returning to the church. He gave his son the name Joshua because of the meaningful importance of Joshua’s work accomplishing the conquest of Canaan and, the courage and resilience the Patriarch had to follow God’s instructions. David likes the part in Joshua 2:9 that refers to not being afraid, and to having courage, because the Lord our God is with us wherever we go. David has seen God provide in so many ways in his own life, during difficult times. He wants his son to grow up as a man of faith, who will do God’s work in our society, and have the courage to stand up against injustices.

David was first introduced to Living Water Community Church when they hosted a Protect Rogers Park (Protect RP) meeting for community members concerned about the executive actions proposed in early 2017 by our current President. As David became more involved with the Protect RP group, he kept meeting people from Living Water who were so nice, friendly, and genuine. David began attending services at Living Water, and loved the multi-cultural membership, the church’s community focus, people’s love for one another, and their belief in social justice principles.

David has been attending Living Water regularly, since, and looks forward to becoming a member.

 

 

Gospel of Mark Reading Plan

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on February 15, 2018 | No Comments

Gospel of Mark, Lent 2018

Ash Wednesday

February 14     Mark 1:1-20

February 15     Mark 1:21-45

February 16     Mark 2:1-17

February 17     Mark 2:18-28

 

February 18 Sunday

February 19     Mark 3:1-19

February 20     Mark 3:20-35

February 21     Mark 4:1-20

February 22     Mark 4:21-29

February 23     Mark 4:30-41

February 24     Mark 5:1-20

 

February 25 Sunday

February 26     Mark 5:21-43

February 27     Mark 6:1-29

February 28     Mark 6:30-44

March 1           Mark 6:45-56

March 2           Mark 7:1-13

March 3           Mark 7:14-23

 

March 4 Sunday

March 5           Mark 7:24-37

March 6           Mark 8:1-21

March 7           Mark 8:22-38

March 8           Mark 9:1-13

March 9           Mark  9: 14-32

March 10         Mark 9:33-50

 

March 11 Sunday

March 12         Mark 10:1-16

March 13         Mark 10:17-31

March 14         Mark 10:32-52

March 15         Mark 11:1-19

March 16         Mark 11:20-33

March 17         Mark 12:1-12

 

March 18 Sunday

March 19         Mark 12:13-27

March 20         Mark 12:28-44

March 21         Mark 13: 1-23

March 22         Mark 13: 24-37

March 23         Mark 14: 1-11

March 24         Mark 14: 12-26

 

March 25 Sunday

March 26         Mark 14:27-42

March 27         Mark 14: 43-52

March 28         Mark 14:53-72

March 29         Mark 15:1-20

March 30         Mark 15:21-47

March 31         Mark 16:1-20

April 1 Easter Sunday

 

Weekly Plan:

Week #1 February 14-17

Mark 1 & 2

Week #2 February 18-24

Mark 3-5

Week #3 February 25-March 3

Mark 6 & 7

Week #4 March 4-10

Mark 8 & 9

Week #5 March 11-17

Mark 10-12

Week #6 March 18-24

Mark 13 & 14

Week #7 March 25-31

Mark 15 &16

 

Listen in

English:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICCpFKi7puI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glmPENTGhJQ

 

Espanol:

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/viva/nvi/Mark.1

 

Khmer:

https://listen.talkingbibles.org/en/language/khm/02_mark

 

Kinyrwanda:

https://listen.talkingbibles.org/en/language/kin/02_mark

 

Kiswahili:

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/biblica/snt/Mark.1

 

Nepali:

http://www.divinerevelations.info/documents/bible/nepali_mp3_bible_nt/

 

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVRixfameGY

Animated five minute summary of Mark from

The Bible Project

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un3gSYkd0ds&list=PLz7sbgsselWMIDnxcTORi4BS5792r0Ta3

Watch it performed as a one person show

LWCC Participates in MCC Summer Service

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on January 26, 2018 | No Comments

LWCC Workforce Development featured in The Mennonite

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on | No Comments

This article originally appeared in the September issue of The Mennonite magazine. To read more features on new models for church, read our current issue online or subscribe todayPhotos of Francine Maombi by Charissa Johnson Photography

Living Water Community Church sits at the crossroads of Pratt Blvd. and Ashland Ave. in Chicago. But this is not the only crossroads the congregation fronts. Located in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, the congregation is in the heart of one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods and the congregation’s composition has shifted over time to mirror its community.

If you arrive at the church building on a Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m., you’ll find simultaneous worship services led in English, Khmer and Swahili. The congregation has four pastors, each with a different role and primary responsibility to a particular community in the congregation and local community. The congregation works hard to identify and raise up leaders from within the congregation and community to serve in staff and leadership roles.

Recently, the congregation has partnered with Mennonite Central Committee Great Lakes to pioneer a new group program, focusing on empowering some of the most recent arrivals to their congregation, many of them recently resettled refugees who have sometimes had a difficult time finding sustainable employment.

“The grant program came out of the desire to better the lives of our brothers and sisters who we basically don’t think are getting a fair shake,” said church member Autumn Williams, in a January 31 phone interview. “Sometimes this is because they don’t have a traditional American education or strong English language skills. So even if they have education from other countries, that’s not being valued and the jobs they are getting are substandard at best.”

“A big part of this is acknowledging power,” said Stephen Lamb, associate pastor of youth ministry at Living Water. “It’s about seeing our brothers and sisters as people who have worth and being a part of redistributing opportunities for people.”

Lamb was part of a team that worked alongside Jean Marie Bikorimana, a member of the congregation who grew up in Tanzania and recently moved to Chicago with his family. In 2016, Bikorimana was a senior in high school and was also working 60-70 hours per week to try to support his three brothers and sisters.

The church talked with Bikorimana about ways they could walk alongside him and what emerged was a plan to help Bikorimana network and get better equipped to find a job after graduation. With support from the congregation, Bikorimana enrolled in 12 weeks of training at a trade school. By the time he graduated, Bikorimana had found a skilled labor job that allowed him to earn well above minimum wage and had a regular Monday-Friday schedule.

Once he started work, Bikorimana started to become aware of other job openings within his company and sister organizations as well. He used his network to help other members of Living Water complete applications, develop their resumes and get a foot in the door for job interviews.

Lamb says that this model of leadership develop and the ripples it created inspired the church to start dreaming bigger.

“It felt like Jean Marie was blazing a new trail,” said Lamb. “This was something we went to MCC [Great Lakes] with. We told them what was going on and basically said, ‘We would love to partner with you.’”

MCC Great Lakes helped to provide a stipend for Bikorimana while he completed trade school and is talking about additional funding for the congregation to help them experiment with additional job creation and apprenticeship models. MCC’s funding supports 75 percent of the efforts and the congregation is committed to funding 25 percent of each project.

““We’re excited about this model of ministry,” said Krista Dutt, MCC Great Lakes Chicago Program Coordinator. “In order for people to be able to take care of themselves you have to have a way of working at vocational training that emphasizes each person’s dignity and these programs seem to do that.”

The congregation has now partnered with another member, Francine Maombi, who is originally from DR Congo. Maombi was very involved at the church, but struggled to find steady employment that could provide for her family and also allow her to be home at reasonable hours. Williams runs a catering business, Urban Tables, at the church and, using grant funds, she was able to hire Maombi. While Maombi worked and learned about the business, she was able to take time to earn a food-handling permit that would allow her access to a broad range of food service jobs.

“I love that this job is in the church and in my community,” wrote Maombi in a March 30 e-mail. “I enjoy what I am doing and I like the people I am working with. My kids are close and I can set my schedule around what my family needs.”

“The whole concept of Urban Tables is to decrease stress for urban families by getting work and providing jobs that don’t take people away from families,” said Williams.

Maombi has also left her mark on Urban Tables’ style, too. She helped to host a pop up café for the congregation and community that featured Congolese food and music and art by local musicians.

Emanuel Kalimili, a member of the congregation originally from Tanzania, displayed some of his art at the café event and was able to sell 7-8 paintings in one evening.

“My hope is that Urban Tables will grow that so we can help others who do not have jobs from our church or our community,” wrote Maombi. “We can teach them and train them so that they can work with us instead of going far away to do really hard jobs.”

The congregation also has a number of other pilot projects in the works, with ideas ranging from hiring teenagers to go out on “bulk shopping trips” to buy basic groceries in bulk that could then be sold conveniently at the church. Williams says she realized that not only is getting to a grocery store sometimes difficult because of transportation and city traffic, but church members may not have the ability to compare costs from store to store and might end up overpaying. One example of this is selling eggs for $1 per dozen, roughly $4 less than many of the people purchasing the eggs were paying at local chain grocery stores.

Several women in the church have also worked to start a small sewing business, making fabric shopping bags and aprons that the church is helping to sell. The business is being subsidized right now in hopes that it will eventually grow to be self-sustaining.

“We’re trying to look at the skills that already are there in our community,” said Lamb. “How can we redistribute opportunities or come alongside someone and say, ‘We see that you have gifts and we want to work alongside you so you have opportunities to use those gifts.’”

“Our faith commitment is to being a part of this neighborhood. When our neighbors do better we do better,” he said. “That’s part of the gospel: helping people put food on the table no matter who they are.”

https://themennonite.org/feature/living-water-pioneers-new-kind-grant/https://youtu.be/iTO7uyQP2oo

 

All Church Worship Service to Close out 2017

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on January 2, 2018 | No Comments

 

Sent 2016: The Great Commandment and the Great Commission – Two Sides of a Coin

Posted in: Living Water by LWCC Office on December 8, 2016 | No Comments

2016 4 28 olak-mona

Sent 2016: A gathering of Mennonites planting Jesus-centered communities, was the first gathering of Anabaptist-Mennonite church planters of its kind. Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Mission Network brought together church planters, groups testing the call, pastors, missiologists and conference leaders March 31-April 2, to explore approaches, best practices and the variety of perspectives that exist on church planting through an Anabaptist lens. This is the second post in a series from participants in Sent 2016.

Olak B. Sunuwar was born into a Hindu family in Nepal and converted into Christianity when he was in high school. He taught at Himalayan Bible Training Centre, and was actively involved in church planting ministry and working for the Church’s unity and peace in Nepal. He worked among socially marginalized communities (ethnic minorities, drug abusers, refugees) in Hong Kong and led Nepalese Christian Council Hong Kong for several years. Now he is pursuing a doctorate in Christian Ethics at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and is involved in Living Water Community Church, helping with the Nepalese-speaking congregation. He is married to Mona, and together they have two daughters.

Jesus Christ has given two important tasks for his people. The first one is the Great Commandment – loving God with all our heart and mind and loving neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). The second one is Great Commission — preaching the Gospel and making disciples all around the word (Matthew 28:18-20). I believe that loving God and people through the work of peace and justice in the community is not complete unless we are sharing the redeeming power of Jesus Christ to fulfill the Great Commission. The Great Commandment and Great Commission of Christ are two sides of a coin — we can’t follow the Christ merely accepting one part. Without sharing the good news of Christ, Christian’s good works such as feeding poor, giving to those in need, helping the stranger and more are just doing philanthropy work which become the motto of many social clubs and secular organization.

Sent 2016 reminded us of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was very interesting to hear that many local church planters felt that we Americans are sending missionaries to plant new churches in foreign lands but we have forgotten our own land. I think our fellow Mennonite brothers and sisters felt urgency to preach the gospel of Christ and plant new churches in the USA along with good works inspired by Christ to show love and care to the community.

Therefore, I believe that Sent 2016 combined our action and urgency to preach the SentGraphicgospel and plant churches in the USA.

The Nepali group of Living Water Community Church in Chicago has been engaging with the non-Christian Nepali community in Aurora which is around 40 miles away from Chicago, helping the community with family counseling. Since the beginning of the 2015 we often visit them and have already built a good relationship with them. At the same time we are witnessing and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. There are many people who are ready to receive the gospel, but we have been wondering how to plant a church, since we were not aware of any guidelines for a church planting ministry. Literally we have been waiting for the Sent 2016 conference to get more ideas and learn how church planting functions within Mennonite Church USA and to meet  the contact person for the church planting mission. It was helpful.

I think Sent 2016 provided opportunities for church planters to share and hear church planting stories in different parts of the USA and among different groups. Overall the conference was about hearing stories and encouraging each other for the church planting mission rather than discussing practical church planting strategies and planning.

Through hearing others’ stories about how God is working in the community, as well as the challenges we have faced and how we overcome those challenges, I realized that my church (LWCC) is part of this mission too, because we also have similar experiences where God has been faithful to us in our missional journey.

The workshops were amazing! We explored different topics of church planting and mission that helped participants to understand the notion of mission. I think Mennonite Church USA took the right initiative – offering participants the opportunity to become familiar with situations in church planting and churches’ progress across the USA.

Sent 2016 reminded us that loving neighbor is also telling them about the way of eternal peace and life – believing in Jesus Christ. I believe Sent 2016 refreshed and recharged church planters to preach the gospel and plant new churches. Thank you so much to the organizing team and church that kindly hosted this event.