March 9, 2018
Please see the latest
Announcements and Ministry Information
related to worship and our faith and life at SOTP this week.
We encourage you to read the Bible stories for this upcoming Sunday
PPsalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21
in preparation for worship.

Just A Thought...

Snakes have fascinated us for years.

In Genesis, it is the serpent who tempts, who is associated with evil. Encounters with poisonous serpents strike fear in our hearts; their venom kills.

Have you, or anyone you know, ever been bitten by a snake? What happened? How do you feel about snakes?

In the wilderness, when the Israelites complain about their condition (Numbers 21:4-9), they are inflicted with poisonous snakes. They confess their sins and ask Moses to ask God to take away the poisonous snakes. Interestingly, God didn’t take away the serpents. Instead, God instructs Moses to make a bronze serpent. When the people look upon it, they live ... despite the presence of the poisonous serpents.

In Greek mythology, Asclepius, the God of medicine and healing, carries a staff with serpents wrapped around it. This has become the symbol of modern medicine.

Likewise, in the Old Testament book of Numbers, we find this story of Moses raising up a bronze snake, and all who look upon are cured. Moses uses the image of a serpent on a staff for healing.

In the Gospel for this weekend John declares, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

It’s clear that John finds a connection between the raising of Jesus on the cross and the bronze serpent that Moses has raised. The Romans, during the time of Jesus, raised up corpses on crosses along roadsides to threaten those passing by with a similar death. Looking upon such corpses generated great fear. In the face of this gruesome reality, John proclaims that when Jesus is raised up on the cross, he becomes the source of healing and eternal life, not a symbol of fear and humiliation.

So, how does a snake wrapped on a post and a crucified, mutilated corpse on a cross lead us to healing, life, love and hope?

Good question.

Maybe it is when we face our greatest fears that we can finally live again. We can love again. So when fear of death is gone, when it’s replaced by trust in an overflowing love, then we are free to live and love.

How have you faced fears in your life? What fear still plagues you, keeping you from living and loving? How can you get past it? How can understanding the enormous depth of God’s love for you be a help in this process? How can this love reconcile your relationships?

I’ll look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend.

Pastor Mark

Adult Education

As we've begun to explore the Passion stories of Jesus--those stories of his betrayal, arrest, suffering, and death--we've built a foundation for these stories by looking at the Gospel according to Mark. Now we're ready to hear this Passion story from the Gospel according to Matthew. How will Matthew tell the story? What will Matthew add to Mark's telling--and why? What are the nuances in Matthew's telling that enrich our understanding of this powerful story that so transforms our lives? Come and join us on Sunday morning at 10:20 or on Wednesday morning at 11:00. And to enhance your time with us, we encourage you to read Matthew, chapters 26 and 27, beforehand.

Bible 101. In the beginning we thought we'd be doing well if we had a dozen people sign up to join us on Saturday, March 17, as we explore the basics of the Bible: where does it come from? who wrote it? what were they trying to accomplish? what is the Bible for us? Then it looked like we might fill the adult education room that can comfortably hold 28 people. But the sign-up list grew and grew! We're well over 28, so we'll be moving to a different room. And there's still space for you! So if you want to join us on Saturday, March 17, from 10-2, sign up this week on the pink sheet found on the Mission Control bulletin board in the Crossroads. The more the merrier!!

Come travel with us!

Travelers one and all! If you're one of those interested in our two upcoming trips--either to the Holy Land later this year, or to Oberammergau, Germany, in 2020--and have been waiting for the new brochures to arrive, good news! They're here! Please see Pastor Bill. Take a brochure for yourself and several for your friends. It's not too late to sign up!

For additional information about these trips, see the article below under "INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL EVENTS ANNOUNCED."


Pastor Bill



By now many of you have taken time to do a walk-through the construction of the new building.

Very impressive;         It’s beautiful;         It’s so big;        
    I didn’t know it would be so spacious;         I can hardly wait!

These are just a few of the many comments we are hearing. Thank you for the encouragement as the contractors continue with the construction.

This has been a BIG undertaking for the members of SOTP and your generous pledges, gifts, memorials, and prayers are bringing it all together.

As we take the next step with completing the vision for the new sanctuary, office shell, restrooms, hospitality center and music room/classroom shell we bring before you other needs that will be necessary to complete this first phase of the entire project.

Our ministry leaders will be making a list of items including furniture/audio-visual equipment, and needs for the hospitality center, sacristy, and yes, even the janitor’s closets. We are calling these items FAITH ITEMS and that’s where we all come in. We will soon have a published list and you’ll have the opportunity to commit to donating the funds needed for these items. Although we will not be able to place name plaques on Faith Items there will be a memorial book printed with your gift item noted as a memorial for loved ones; to honor someone; or perhaps to commemorate a special occasion for loved ones. You will have the opportunity to donate a faith items but please realize that the items on the faith list have been carefully selected to coordinate with the new addition and no substitutes or used items can be accepted.

There are many opportunities to give from expensive equipment to basic needs like chairs. Where practical, the total cost of some items could be broken into “shares” to enable multiple donors to contribute towards them. You can give one or more shares or join with other members to make a special gift.

While the Faith list is being put together for publishing, we encourage you to think about how you might want to donate monies for our Building on Faith campaign.

Sue Wehnes has agreed to chair the FAITH team with the help of Cliff Dungey and Larry Newbanks. We encourage you to ask questions and pray that we are able to accomplish the interior needs of our new addition. Please look for detailed information on March 10 & 11 at worship services.

As a note, when our existing building was finished back in 2009, the altar, cross, lectern, flower stands, credence table, all chairs, and some of the A-V equipment; Sunday School classroom cabinets, tables and chairs; the kitchen cabinets and appliances; office equipment; as well as exterior landscaping were all donated by members and friends of SOTP. It was deemed a very successful program back in 2009, and we’ve been asked to bring it back in 2018.

Please contact Sue Wehnes 224-569-2808 or Cliff Dungey 847-515-7863 for more information or any questions you have.

Holy Week Schedule


Wednesday, March 14
6:00 p.m. Soup, 7:00 p.m. Worship
“Near the Cross…through Suffering”

Wednesday, March 21
6:00 p.m. Soup, 7:00 p.m. Worship
“Near the Cross…in Truth”

Maundy Thursday, March 29
7:00 p.m. Worship
“Living Last Supper”

Good Friday, March 30
10:00 a.m. Children’s Service
7:00 p.m. Worship

Holy Saturday, March 31
5:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday
9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

Female Fridays

Several of you have asked if there could be a group for women in the evenings so those who work can attend. Well, here we go! We are starting a fellowship group for women and calling it Female Fridays. This will be a fellowship group with us getting together for dinner once a month and all women of the congregation are invited.


Date: March 9 @6:00 pm
Place: Jameson's Sun City Huntley

Please RSVP to Joanne at or 847-659-1740. See you there!

Our new meeting dates will be on the 2nd Friday of each month, so mark your calendars!

Heartland Voices Twistin The Night Away

Now in their seventeenth season, Heartland Voices continues to expand their repertoire and their love of music, while striving to set the highest standard for performance and professionalism.

They have been hard at work preparing for another fun show and they hope many will be able to join us. There is another surprise this year: SOTP Contemporary Worship Leader Tyler Green is playing piano for the show, and he is going to be awesome!

Guests will be treated to a night of great food, drinks, silent auction and show. The show will feature singing, dancing (yes, you will get to see Chris Brittain dance) and comedy. We will highlight many of the classic songs from the 50s and 60s. It is sure to delight and will be fun for all ages. Hope to see you there.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Brittain directly at 630-280-9609.

For additional information about Heartland Voices click here .

Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, March 31 at 10:00 a.m.

Everyone is welcome!! Bring the kids, grandkids & friends! We also are asking for donations of wrapped candy to fill the eggs. There will be a box for donations in the Crossroads. If you would like to help us stuff some eggs, contact: Mike Parmele at or volunteer online here.

Trivia Night

TRIVIA NIGHT is on April 22, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Get a team of 8 together or join a table.

Registration coming soon.

Looking for donations for raffle baskets & silent auctions. If you can help, let us know.

Contact Greg Dowell,


APRIL 28, 2018

All women of the congregation are invited to attend the NIS WELCA retreat on Saturday April 28th from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at LOMC in Oregon IL. Bible study will be led by Susan Ekstrand and worship by Pastor Diane Dardon. For more information click here . Registration deadline is April 10 and cost is $35. Register on line or forms are available in the SOTP office by the staff mail slots.

Ministry Opportunities

Ministry Opportunities

If you haven't already completed and returned your Ministry Opportunities form, please be sure to do so this weekend. See our Ministry Descriptions (pdf) here and submit your Ministries Opportunities Form here

If you have any questions please contact Donna Kelly at or 847-669-9448.

Like to travel? Here are two amazing international travel experiences for your consideration...


The first trip will be October 29, 2018- November 11, 2018 sailing on Celebrity’s Constellation visiting LANDS OF THE BIBLE. We will start in Rome and travel to various ports including Crete, Mykonos, Sea of Galilee in Israel, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Athens and Corinth, Naples and Pompeii. Pastor Bill will be escorting the group while we are led by Rev. Dr. Phillip Ruge-Jones a scholar, storyteller, speaker and pastor of a Lutheran church in Eau Claire WI. Brochures are available outside Pastor Bill’s office. Sharon and Chuck Little and Carolyn Cuttle are helping to organize the group. For additional information about this cruise, click here .


The second trip will be in 2020. Wow, you say! That is a long time for now. However, we need to get tickets to attend the PASSION PLAY IN OBERAMMERGAU, GERMANY. Since 1634 the town’s folks have presented the Passion Play thanking God for saving their community from the Black Plague. After the Passion Play, we are heading on a Heritage Tour visiting sites where Martin Luther preached and served. Pastor Bill will again shepherd the group. The official dates are September 1-10, 2020. Brochures are available outside Pastor Bill’s office. Sharon and Chuck Little and Carolyn Cuttle are helping to organized the group. For additional information about this cruise, click here


If you don’t mind and would like to continue sharing God’s love with a child with a life threatening illness, we encourage you to go online to Send Kids the World website. It is a very informative website with many children listed. More children have been added to the website:

  • Noah is 6 years old. His interests are Monster Trucks, Construction Trucks, Fishing.
  • Finley is 3 years old and loves playing with cars.
  • Joseph is 17 years old. His special interests are sports, video games, steelers.
  • Jayson is 8 years old. His special interests are Monster trucks, transformers, dinosaurs, mummies, books, legos, hot wheels, and FNAF
  • Antonia is 5 years old. Her special interests are Minnie Mouse, princesses, and jewelry.
  • Ethyn is 10 years old. His special interests are Golden State Warriors basketball, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs baseball.
  • Tianna is 8 years old. Her special interests are Disney, YouTube, sailor moon, and wonder woman
  • Savannah is 16 years old. Her special interests are anime and music.
  • Braxton is 5 years old and he loves playing with Monster Trucks.
  • Aleksej is 20 years old. His special interests are animals and music.
  • Jeremiah is 12 years old. His special interests are Thomas Train, Disney, Movies, and Legos

It truly only takes a couple minutes to write a postcard that ultimately does God’s work with your hands making a sick child happy and also helps reduce the parent’s stress. Receiving postcards definitely touches their hearts. if you would like to send postcards to children but don’t have any at home, we are more than happy to help. Just let Barb Pagano (phone: 815-258-6854) or Sharon Stangle (224-628-2107) know.

WHAT TO WRITE: Write a cheerful note to the child. Example, tell about the picture on the front of the postcard. Or just “Greetings from…” Simple is best. Do NOT write get well soon because some of the kids will not get well. You want to cheer them up, not hurt them. Another great alternative is to write one of your favorite Bible verses. Example: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118: 24.”

Have fun sending postcards! This is a great way to share God’s love for one another. As Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another.”

New Content

We're always posting new content on our website , but just in case you haven't visited our website lately, here's a few recent items that might hold your interest:


We have all heard that it takes a village to raise a child. At SOTP, we are blessed with extended family. There are retired teachers and other adults that want to help give your child another view on their lessons in school. School is teaching them, parents can put another spin on it…. But sometimes it takes just one more person believing in them…. And putting things into a new perspective to watch them fly.


We are seeking students that need a little extra help. If you have a child that would benefit from a one-on-one tutoring program please fill out the student form at the link below. This is for all developmental levels. Advanced and regular classes. Everyone needs another perspective.

If you are interested in tutoring our students or if you want to receive tutoring as a student, please fill out our online SOTP Tutor and Student Registration Form


We are seeking adults and students that want to help encourage, explain and just help make sense out of what a student just needs help understanding.

Document Assemblers


Newsletter Assemblers meet once a month on Friday (usually towards the end of the month) to assemble and prepare the church newsletter for mailing. Four volunteers are needed and they meet in the church office. This vital ministry takes about one hour.


Every Friday morning the Sunday Bulletin is assembled at the church office,. There are usually two to three volunteers and requires about one and one-half hours of time. This ministry is an easy ministry to do and usually entails helping once a month.

If you would like to volunteer for either of these important jobs, please signup online here .

Coffee Fellowship


Saturday Night Coffee Makers are needed for only ONCE a month for about five months. This will only be while two of the regulars are in Florida. It only takes about ten minutes to fill two pots, set out cups, etc. for Sunday Morning. That is all that has to be done. Please call me, Barb Hoppensteadt, 847-669-0016. I will show you what has to be set out.


The Sunday Morning Coffee Fellowship is in need of volunteers! Sign up for a one-time event or on a regular basis, it's up to you!

What does this entail? The volunteer is simply asked to be in the kitchen on Sunday morning (9:50 until 10:40 a.m.) to set out any donated treats on the snack table along with making sure the supplies on the counter for the coffee remain stocked. If you can clean up following great but if not this can be done for you if you. The greatest part is that everything is written down for you and labeled to make it simple. That's it! Smiling and saying "Good Morning" is optional but often appreciated. Ha!

You are not responsible for bringing treats unless you want to. This is a VERY easy, but necessary ministry. Sign up with a friend, teens sign up with a parent, or make it a group or family activity. Everyone is welcome!

If you would like to volunteer or for more information please sign up in the Crossroads (bulletin board to the west of the main doors on the wall) or contact Shannon Ross at or text/call at 815-751-2637. Thank you in advance!

Grafton Food Pantry

We need volunteers to assist at Grafton Food Pantry. In addition to regular pantry hours, volunteers are needed on Monday, Tuesday and every other Thursday morning 8:30-10:30 a.m.

A volunteer application may be downloaded from the website at or e-mail Kathy at . If you prefer, call us at the pantry: 847-495-0922.

Food Pantry Sunday Help at church

This is what needs to be done the first Sunday of every month:

  • 8:15-9:00 a.m.--collect food out in front of the church (Plenty of time to attend the 9:00 am service since you will be volunteering during the 10:45 a.m. service)
  • 10:15-10:45 a.m.--collect food out in front of the church
  • Just after 10:45 a.m. service starts:
    • Drive over to the Grafton Food Pantry off of Kreutzer Rd. in Huntley
    • Unload everything from the van
    • Check dates and sort items donated

Please call Alice Hallett at 815/388-8817 with questions. Online signup is available here .

Habitat for Humanity

Shepherd of the Prairie has been supporting Habitat for Humanity by providing volunteers for Habitat’s resale shop (Restore) in Elgin. If you think you would like to lend a hand, after reading the information below, please contact me.

On the third Thursday of each month we have a group of 4-6 persons from SOTP go to the Habitat for Humanity's Restore in Elgin. We work a three hour shift from 9AM-12PM. Please note: this is not construction work.

The Restore is a re-sale shop whose proceeds support Habitat for Humanity. We provide help within the store, not at construction sites. The store is in Elgin and basically a huge warehouse type structure that caters to the building trades and homeowners. When we have worked there we have priced and stocked light bulbs, unpacked display cases and sorted window blinds into aluminum and wooden piles.

Our shifts have been for three hours, indoors, and on a date of our choosing. For four months , we have had one or two shifts each month, depending on how many sign up. If interested, contact me at 224-569-6041 or Email to .

Farmers Market

The SOTP Crafters are in need of some volunteers to help with setting up, and taking down the tables and canopy on Saturday mornings. This is a great opportunity for students needing service club, NHS or silver cord hours. It is also a great opportunity for outreach and service!

If you are interested in volunteering for the Huntley Farmers Market, please click here .

If you have any questions please contact us:

Location: Town Square Huntley

With the intent to provide our church members with additional information and encourage open dialog, our monthly council report will be posted on our website each month. This document will show minutes of the past council meeting, full financials, attendance charts and various ministry meeting minutes. Check out the February, 2018 Council Report . We've also designed a Document Vault where you can view older church documents and a simple feedback form to share your questions, concerns or comments. Let us know what you’re thinking.