A Letter from the Future, January 2028
Dear Elmhurst CRC Friends,
I’ve been to the future and back and have some good news to report!
(note: all that follows is speculative, imaginative, and not necessarily predictive of actual future events)
First, the decision to hire a full-time Director of Worship has really borne good fruit! Our worship services are more spirited than ever. We’ve seen more and more students and young adults get involved, using their talents to pray, sing, and play. And the God-glorifying energy from Sunday mornings has been steadily spilling over into our Monday-to-Saturday vocational lives.
Just as our outreach ministries have grown under Pastor Jeff’s capable leadership, having full-time leaders of Worship and in Community Life has really gotten our vision “to help everybody take the next step in following Jesus Up, In and Out” to the next level. Our worship (up) life, community life (in), and evangelism (out) have all been feeding one another creating what feels like a lasting stream of positive momentum.
How did this happen?
The spiritual growth of our congregation was greatly aided by a wildly successful spiritual and capital campaign launched in late 2024. After studying the Scriptures and doing extensive training and discipleship on what spiritual habits are essential to an all-in Christian, we challenged ourselves to pray more intensely than ever for a new move of God to break out in our midst. And we challenged ourselves to truly tithe and make sacrificial offerings in response to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Wow, our community stepped up in amazing ways!
We turned 75 years old in 2024, but the first few years of our new quarter century have already seen us able to:
add a second, identical worship service
open a community prayer room where round the clock prayer happens
revive engagement with the Bible through an innovative Bible reading program and new approach to spiritual conversations in small and micro groups
expand our service and outreach to neighborhood kids
begin funding and coaching two new church plants in DuPage County
help found a new Christian school and church in West Africa
multiply our service to prisoners in four different states, seeing dozens of conversions, and blessing even government institutions in the process.
We were able to accomplish these things (vision funding) when we prayerfully committed to a new Spirit-led vision in 2025 and simply freeing up more than $400k of our annual tithes and offerings when the last of our mortgage debt was eliminated at the end of 2026.
So much is moving and shifting that we’ve even begun considering a new name: Emmaus Road Church (a Christian Reformed Community). It’s not much of an acronym change – from ECRC to ERC – but the name speaks to the new experiences of God’s presence and power that so many of have received, much like those disciples on the first Easter Sunday who walked with the Lord and felt their “hearts ablaze” (Luke 24:32) within them.
God has been good to our church for so many years. I can’t wait for you all to see what’s next!
Happy New Year! In good hope for what lies ahead by God’s grace,
So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” - Luke 24:32