Over the summer, we shared that we were postponing large, indoor in-person gatherings until 2021, and that is still the plan. We want to learn during this time so that we can safely reopen in the future, so some of our campuses are holding small, indoor watch parties with limited attendance and COVID protocols in place. We will keep you updated as opportunities to attend become available.
As of today, we don’t anticipate hosting indoor gatherings until 2021 that exceed 25% of seating capacity, nor do we anticipate opening our Promiseland environments in the near future. We are monitoring this regularly and will adjust as necessary to keep the health and safety of our congregation and community as a top priority.
We know the impact of COVID-19 will have ripple effects in our lives—emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially. We want to walk alongside you during this season by providing ways for you to connect with God and others (digitally or socially-distant), meeting your needs, and offering ways for you to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our neighbors and world.
Weekend services will be streamed on YouTube and WillowCreek.TV, where you can live chat and submit prayer requests so we can engage in community while watching service!
Imagine what would happen if we stopped simply watching church and started actually experiencing it—all without our building. While watching church online has some benefits, it can’t replace the connection that happens before, during, or after the service. After all, it’s people that make church, church.
Home Groups: Many are finding community each week as they gather to watch the weekend service together in a backyard, driveway, garage, or living room of someone they know here at Willow. Consider starting a Willow at Home Group by inviting friends or family over for the weekend service! We offer tips and ideas to help you get started here.
Watch Parties: Many people aren’t comfortable meeting in groups yet—and that’s okay! We stream all our weekend services on Facebook Live, so you can host a watch party on Facebook (click here for instructions) to live chat with your friends during the service.
Small Groups: Nothing is better than community, especially during a challenging season. Whether you are brand new to following Jesus or have been for years, we believe that the intentional relationships you find in a small group are the ideal place to connect and grow. Let us know a bit about yourself and we'll help you get plugged in!
Promiseland (infant–Grade 5): We offer kids' church programs each weekend on WillowCreek.TV! We also encourage you to join the Parent Facebook Group and subscribe to the parent email here to stay up-to-date on all that's happening in Promiseland!
Elevate (grades 6–8): Elevate offers daily and weekend content on YouTube @WillowStudents and small groups for students to stay connected and grow together with a leader. Fill out the Parent/Guardian Permission here, then contact your small group leader or email email@example.com to get started.
Student Impact (grades 9–12): Tune into the Impact service on YouTube @WillowStudents at 11:15 a.m. on Sundays. Impact also offers small groups and House Groups to help students connect with others from their grade, town, and school. Check out daily posts on Instagram @StudentImpact and learn more about getting involved in Impact here.
Special Friends Kids, Teens, and Adults: Our inclusion ministry offers services and groups for kids, teens, and adults. Watch the Kids' Virtual Church Service on Facebook, the Teens' and Adults' Virtual Church Service on Facebook, or learn about Zoom hangouts here.
The Relate Podcast: Explore how to do life better by building better relationships—with your family, friends, coworkers, and even yourself! Listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts!
The Practicing Podcast: Spiritual practices are an essential part of our faith journeys, whether we are new to following Jesus or have been following Him for a long time. Tune into Practicing, a podcast where you’ll learn how to be formed by Jesus so that you can be like Jesus. Listen on the Willow app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!
Stewardship: Learn effective ways to manage your finances and plan for the future (especially in a pandemic) with our stewardship workshops, or join the Facebook group for upcoming webinars. Learn more here.
Study God's Word: Did you know the Willow app has dozens of daily devotionals? Read and reflect on God’s word, then spend time in prayer each day! Simply download the app, click the lower-left corner button, and explore! You can also subscribe to receive daily devotionals in your inbox.
The Practice: The Practice is a community learning to align the rhythms of our lives with God’s eternal rhythms. We long to become the kind of people who can put Jesus’ life and teachings into practice, for the sake of the world. Experience our Virtual Sunday Gatherings and establish a rhythm of prayer with the Daily Office.
The closings of schools, workplaces, and organizations has drastic implications for many. If you, or someone you know is in need of assistance, we are here to help.
Food Assistance: We invite you to drive up to our Care Center and receive an emergency relief grocery bag. The Care Center is open for drive-ups from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30–7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 8–10 a.m. on Saturdays.
Emotional Support: We have pastors on call 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday–Friday, who are ready to listen and pray with you. Simply call 847-765-5000 and ask to speak with a response pastor.
Prayer Support: Do you want someone to partner with you in prayer? Fill out our prayer request form, and our prayer team will lift up your request. You can also submit prayers in the Willow Creek App so that our church family can pray for you!
Home Deliveries: Are you in need of food but unable to leave your home? Fill out this form and set up an emergency food pack delivery.
Employment Counseling: If you’re looking for a job, a volunteer employment counselor can meet with you through a phone or video call to help direct you to employers that are hiring. Fill out this form to inquire!
Care Center Services Request: If you are looking for resources and referrals, a member of our Care Team can connect with you by email or phone call. Fill out this form to inquire!
Give Online:Our Care Center and ministries are able to support our church and community through your tithes and offerings. While it may be tempting to hold tight during times of uncertainty, we ask that you remain faithful in giving. If you give in-person, you can mail a check (67 E Algonquin Road, South Barrington) or begin giving online—it's safe and simple. Your generosity allows us to continue serving others. Thank you!
Check on Your Neighbors:We are learning that serving and loving your neighbor during a pandemic often looks like staying inside and helping everyone by not spreading the virus. If you are looking for ways to serve your neighbors, this form could help you do that. Simply print it out, fill it in, and put it by their door. If you learn your neighbor has a need for food, please point them to the Care Center emergency food delivery service form here.
Donate Items: We have received a lot of donations, and our partnership with Greater Chicago Food Depository remains strong. So we don’t need individual donations right now, but stay tuned. If you have access to large scale donations or corporate donations, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay Home & Wear a Mask: One of the only ways we can flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections is by limiting our contact with others. Please stay home to protect both yourself and those in our community who are at a higher risk, or wear a mask when you go out.
Check In: The mental and emotional strains of social distancing can be difficult to bear. We encourage you to find time every day to call a family member, friend, or neighbor to check in and connect.
Pray: Prayer is a powerful tool that God has given us to fight fear and confusion. He has given us a spirit of power, peace, wisdom, and courage. We ask that you pray for the following:
- Pray against fear (Romans 15:13)
- Pray for the sick and vulnerable (Jeremiah 17:14)
- Pray for those searching for answers or seeking God (2 Corinthians 4:6)
- Pray for public health officials, governments, and healthcare workers (1 Timothy 2:1–2)