Fall Kickoff

kickoffheaderSummer is slipping away, and fall is around the corner. This means football season, leaves changing and families getting into a new season of routines. One could have a range of feelings about this transition: sad, elated, back to the grind kind of mode — it all depends on your perspective and motivation.

As a staff, we are excited about this upcoming transition because it means we have tremendous opportunities at hand, opportunities to walk with God, grow in faith together and love our neighbors. For some time we have been building momentum toward another onramp for everyone to take advantage. Our hope is that you would invite someone with whom you have been developing a relationship. Remember Scripture says in Hebrews 10:24-25 to ‘spur’ one another on toward love and good deeds, not to give up meeting with one another and to ‘encourage’ one another.

So, I am taking this opportunity to spur and encourage you to partake in the upcoming Fall Kickoff with somebody outside your ministry. As a community group, by all means invite one another, but then go the extra mile and extend an invitation to the person with whom you are living missionally. As a ministry, don’t just invite your leaders, but invite neighbors, co-workers or parents of sports teams into onramp opportunities. The question no longer is, “Are you coming?” but rather, “Who are you bringing?”

What can you extend an invitation to?

  • Citizen Way concert on Friday, September 4 at 7 PM at Hometown Days in Beecher Park. (Actually we will have a group from Cross on the main stage starting at 6:15 PM.)
  • Check out the Cross table near the main stage that will have visitor booklets filled with information.
  • Our one-time worship service on Sunday, September 6 at 10 AM in front of the main stage. (Don’t forget to remind your invitee to bring a lawn chair or bring one for them!)
  • Invite your neighbors to our community service project, New Life for Old Bags, as we create ‘plarn’ in the Beecher Center from 11 AM to 1 PM after the Hometown Days worship service.
  • Finally, be in conversation with others to see if they long to be part of a Christian community for support and growth opportunities with other like-minded adults and with Jesus. Open the door to your community group.

This is what disciple makers do!


Bill Ziech, Director of Discipleship

Cross Lutheran School Begins

Back-to-SchoolOn Wednesday, August 26, Cross Lutheran School will open its doors for the 134th consecutive year of Christian education.  What a blessing our school has been to our congregation and community!  What began as a one room school house with classes being taught by the pastor has flourished into our current facility with a staff of 15 dedicated teachers.  While facilities and staff have changed over these years, what has remained a constant is teaching our students the love of Jesus as their Savior and preparing them to be witnesses in faith.

Our teaching staff for the 2015-2016 school year is (years of service in parentheses):

Preschool – Mrs. Alicia Gauss (7)
Preschool – Mrs. Cathy Schmeckpeper (6)
Preschool with Extended Care – Mrs. Kimberly Robbins (9)
Kindergarten – Mrs. Karen Miller (28)
Kindergarten – Mrs. Jessi Fisher (6)
First Grade – Mrs. Alissa Bocek (9)
Second Grade – Mrs. Miriam Ulrich (13)
Third Grade – Miss Barbara Pinnow (31)
Fourth Grade – Mrs. Sonya Lutze (19)
Fifth Grade Homeroom/Reading – Mrs. Mary Neyer (13)
Sixth Grade Homeroom/English – Miss Karen Schumm (35)
Seventh Grade Homeroom/Science – Mrs. Kami Stone (17)
Eighth Grade Homeroom/Math – Mr. Jeff Hahn (26)
Special Education – Mrs. Jessie Mouis (16)
Principal – Miss Susan Lopez (40)

Our teaching staff will be supported by our school secretaries, Candy Nolan and Laura Laesch.  Also supporting our staff will be our librarian and teacher aides.

We ask you to remember our students, their families and our staff in your daily prayers.

We are committed to ensuring every student who wants to attend Cross is able.  Please contact the school office for more information about how to enroll at 630-553-7861.

His servant and yours,
Miss Lopez, Principal

“By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35

It’s About Time!

old-time-clockLet’s start with a riddle: Until I am measured, I am not known. Yet how you miss me when I have flown. What am I? The answer: ‘Time’.

Time comes to us in a fixed quantity – we only have 24 hours in each day (no matter how hard we try to squeeze some magic hour from out of nowhere). It’s incredibly precious and we don’t want to spend it frivolously (as much as we’d like to justify binge-watching our latest show on Netflix). Right now many of us are wrapping up our summer plans, enjoying that one last summer vacation, preparing for “life as normal.” We’re trying to make the most of the time we have before we fill our time with next season’s activities. I bet that if you look at your calendar for the next few months, your time is already quite full!

One of the challenges we find in reaching out with Jesus to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family is that it takes time to truly be a friend. It takes time to truly be a neighbor. It takes time to truly listen to someone. It takes time, unhurried time, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those He brings into your life.

Don’t be in such a hurry to get to that next thing on your schedule, that you miss that special moment Jesus has presented to you. Who has Jesus brought into your life that needs your unhurried time?

When Jesus is speaking to his disciples, he says this in Luke 9: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life would lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

What would happen if we took Jesus at His words? How might we spend our time differently? To really be the people we say we are – God’s children living on mission for Him – it means that sometimes we’re going to have to give up something. It means we’re going to have to deny ourselves. Maybe how we think our time is best spent is sometimes too much for us and not enough for our neighbor.

Here’s the exciting thing: Jesus says that when we lose our life for His sake, we save it. That means that as we give up of ourselves, we’re going to find something quite extraordinary with Jesus. Maybe Jesus has quite the adventure waiting for us, in a way we never imagined. Who is Jesus bringing into your life that requires a bit of your unhurried time? Could that distraction from your normal routine actually be time well spent?

In His Hands,
Pastor Matt Conrad


car-mechanicI love this word. It is a term guys will throw around to sound like they did something impressive. “It was all out of whack. I had to recalibrate every component!” The word, by definition, means that something was wrong and has now been made right. This is not something easy for men to admit, or women for that matter. Sometimes the right word is all you need to be able to express reality but spare your pride.

As summer approaches winter and school draws near, my schedule needs some recalibration. Without school to keep us honest, bed time has crept later; reading and other beneficial activities have been replaced with swimming and lazing around. These are important, too, but the time spent on each is out of proportion. Exercise has been supplanted by s’mores at the fire pit, grilling and other high caloric consumables that are present at summer get-togethers. I realize everyone isn’t like me, but everyone goes through seasons where we need to recalibrate because we are out of alignment.

Calibration could be spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, relational. It could be schedules or finances, bad habits or a basic desire to get out of a rut and improve something about your life. The beauty of our God is nothing today is as it has to be tomorrow. Every day is a new day and every hour is an opportunity to recalibrate to the things that are true and truly important.

Life in this world is filled with distractions and temptations that pull us away from what is right and good. Praise be to God we have the victory in Christ Jesus! Each time we get off track, out of whack and need to recalibrate, we can, we do and we have the strength in Him. Hometown Days activities September 4-6 and the Fall Kickoff the following weekend present great opportunities to recalibrate. Marriage mentoring, adult community groups, youth activities, volunteer service, GriefShare, Financial Peace University, our Christian school (two year old preschool through eighth grade) are all here to help. But none of this and certainly not our own efforts, will make things new. That is reserved for Christ alone. Remember His baptismal promise to you and focus on His truth, receive His Holy Spirit, and He will keep His promise to make things new in you, recalibrate, every day.

Revelation 21:5: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”

His servant and yours,
Pastor Erik Gauss

Home Town Days

fairgroundsLabor Day weekend this year is designated as our “kickoff” weekend for all of our fall ministries at Cross. We are working together with the City of Yorkville and the Hometown Days festival. There is a whole weekend of activities scheduled, and Cross is playing an important part. On Friday, September 4, we are sponsoring a free concert with the popular Christian artists, Citizen Way. This is a family friendly event and also a great way to invite others to hear the Good News of Jesus.

On Sunday morning, September 6, we will kick off the day with a 10 AM worship service at Beecher Park for the entire congregation. We are hoping this will be like an old fashioned picnic where the whole congregation worships together. There will be no worship services at Cross that day.

After that service, we will be working with New Life for Old Bags to make plarn (plastic yarn) from recycled grocery bags. This plarn will later be crocheted into beds and blankets for the homeless in our community and beyond. You can see a sample in the fellowship hall and drop off recycled bags there as you collect them.

The afternoon will be a great time to socialize and experience a meal from one of the vendors or bring your own picnic lunch. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs or blankets for this outdoor worship service and activities. There will be golf cart shuttles and a small number of chairs for those who are unable to walk or carry in their seating.

Please set aside this special weekend to spend getting to know your Christian family here at Cross and also consider inviting someone that might need a stronger connection to Christian community and God Himself. Please start praying today for this special weekend that God would accomplish His kingdom goals through these unique opportunities.

In Christ,
Erik Gauss