new


 
 
Assistant Worship Leader
 

Sam Stillman

Coming Soon

If you would like more information about the Praise Team, you can email Sam Stillman.

 
Prayer
 

Michele Pitt

Do you have labels? I grew up being labeled. For most of the people in my life I was the “good girl,” but no one understood why. For that you have to look at another one of my labels -- “victim.” You see, I was abused for my entire childhood – physical, sexual and emotional, I hit them all. For those who abused me, I was an easy target. For those that didn’t, I constantly tried to be perfect… so they wouldn’t abuse me too.

Since I was a small child, I talked to God. Now you should know I wasn’t raised in a “religious” household, just required to go to church every week until my parents decided we weren’t going anymore. In spite of not knowing why, talking to God made me feel less alone, more loved and accepted.

It wasn’t until I went away to college that I learned why talking with God was important and that there was a “fancy” name for it – prayer. I learned that God had always been there with me and cried every tear that I did with me. He loved me more than anyone ever had or would – and he would never hurt me like others had. I became a Christian while away at school and my life was never the same.

I have learned the blessings of forgiveness and felt God’s healing hand as He took away so much of the pain I grew up with. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but knowing that God will always be at my side gives me strength and courage. One of my favorite verses is: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). God’s promise to me – and to you – is that He will never give up on you. What a wonderful thing to know!

I am honored to spend time not just each day, but many times a day with my God in prayer and want to encourage everyone in their prayer life. It is through prayer that God does His greatest work. He is your Counselor, your guide, your Father, your friend, your Lord, your shoulder to cry on – He is everything. Wouldn’t you like to spend time talking with someone who loves you unconditionally, wants to comfort you and see you grow into the wonderful person you were meant to be?

You can! I encourage you to spend time with that person – God. I would be honored to pray for you and with you – so please let me know how I can be there for you!

If you would like more information about the Prayer ministry you can email Michele Pitt.

 
Youth
 

Todd Walter

My name is Todd Walter and I am the high school youth group leader at Crosswinds Church. My wife Sonja and I have three teen age kids; Julian, Micaela and Elijah. I was born in Aurora, Illinois and grew up in the church. I became saved when I was 12 years old. Our first several years of being married we lived in Aurora and attended the same church I grew up in. We moved to Plainfield and bought our first home about 10 years ago. Like many families that move to a new area we struggled to find a church and soon fell away from regular attendance.

It became comfortable to have my week-ends to myself. Sunday mornings became the time for a big family breakfast. While it was good family time it was missing something and it nagged at me constantly. It was missing God and I knew it but it was easy to come up with excuses of why not to go to church; I’m tired, I’m busy, I don’t know what church to go to, I don’t know what time they start, are the people friendly?, I don’t feel like fighting to get the kids up early, and it goes on and on. The problem was that my excuses were not only halting my growth as a Christian but they were getting in the way of my families own relationship with God.

One weekend my teen age nephew John was staying with us and he told me about a church he had attended called Crosswinds. He said it was a good church and the people seemed nice. He asked if I we wanted to go and I said sure. But we didn’t go that weekend or several other times after that. Finally through John’s persistent asking we got up one Sunday and went. We have been going ever since.

Since going to Crosswinds for nearly a year now I have developed many friendships but more importantly I have rededicated my life to Jesus and have been baptized. About 6 months ago I felt God calling me to get involved on our youth ministry. Recently I and another parent Caryn started back up the high school youth group, Gale Force. God has blessed me through the kids and this experience. I think he has taught me more through the kids than I have taught to them.

One verse that has stuck with me as I have begun this ministry is Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. But it was through the faith and obedience of a child that I found my way back to Jesus.

If you would like more information about the Youth ministry you can email Todd Walter.

 
Men's Ministry
 

TonyPerinoTony Perino

They say the Lord works in mysterious ways and I can tell you from my experience, He does. Now I know that sounds like something Forrest Gump would say, but keep reading. Like a lot of people, I was raised Catholic. I went through the sacraments and finished off with my confirmation when I was maybe 12 or 13. I actually don’t remember. Does anyone really remember? I went to church on Sunday and really didn’t get anything out of it, except that the church was beautiful and sometimes the service was nice, but it was a lot of memorization. Parts of the service were almost like being in a trance.

That didn’t really turn me away from church. Eventually, something just happened, and to this day I am not really sure what it was; but I became angry with God. And when I say angry, I mean really angry. I have yelled things out to God that were so distasteful I am surprised that He never mopped the floor with me. He has had plenty of opportunities to remove me from this planet over the years, but He didn’t. I’ve been in some pretty bad accidents that could have ended it all. It’s a good thing He is patient and forgiving. Of course, I did not know that at the time.

So there I was going through life, angry at God for reasons I can’t explain, and all of the sudden I met Pam and we got engaged. We got married, but I still didn’t have a real connection with God, but my anger was less. Probably because I had a new person to get angry with…my wife! We went to a number of marriage counselors, fought a lot and I thought about getting divorced almost daily.

So what happens when you go through life being angry with God for reasons you can’t explain and don’t understand to getting married and finding out that marriage is a ton of work and is really hard? Oh, that’s right, having kids is a ton of work as well…I mean why wasn’t all this stuff in the life brochure???

So marriage and fatherhood is draining my will to live and I think about getting divorced almost every day and then one day my son starts asking questions about God. We talked a little bit and I told him it sounded like someone needed to go to church. I don’t really remember what his reaction was, but he said OK.

I have to be honest, our first service was interesting. I don’t know what I got out of it, but I did do a lot of thinking about things while I sat there that morning. My son was able to go to a class for kids, so he thought that was pretty cool. So, my first Sunday service, in who knows how long, was over and we drove back to the house. I asked my son how he liked it and guess what…he wanted to know if we could go back next week. So I said sure and was happy that he was happy and getting answers to the questions he had. Well we went to church for a couple weeks and his younger brothers say if he is having all this fun on Sundays they want to go to church too. So we’re off. The four Perino boys are going to church.

Our marriage was still struggling, but I was getting something out of going to church and the kids were too. Eventually, Pam came to church with us and slowly but surely she liked going to church as well. So we were all going to church every Sunday and really looked forward to it. I can promise you for all the years prior to this, I can’t ever remember looking forward to going to church. We started meeting people at Crosswinds and making some friends and getting involved with the church for some activities. Things like going to a small group and reading the bible. Not because I had to for theology class, but because I want to since my small group opened my eyes to the extremely relevant stuff in this 2000 year old book.

What happened next…I know you are on the edge of your seat. It’s like someone flipped a switch and our marriage is GREAT. What a difference being married is when you don’t want to kill each other. It’s like someone had some kind of plan, for a man and a woman to be together and really appreciate and love one and other. What a concept. Of course now I know that person is God and hey, He is a planner. So here we are, life is good, and it all started with my son asking questions about God…

Welcome to our church. I sincerely hope you will be able to get as much out of your relationship with God as I have from mine and I look forward to growing more in that relationship and I pray you do as well. Oh yeah, I am also the Men’s Ministry leader, so if you have any questions about what we do and when we do it, feel free to come up to me before or after service and I would be happy to talk to you about it.

Tony

If you would like more information about the Men's Ministry you can email Tony Perino.

 
Children's Ministry Director
 

Kathy Schultz

“Love is based on performance.” That was my perceived reality growing up. I was always searching for approval I never felt like I was a good enough person, always falling short of the mark. Each day was a challenge. One couldn’t be loved just for who you were, you had to work for it, you had to earn it.

As I got older, I made poor choices in my life. I now had many deep dark secrets to keep. I was fearful that someone would find out about my secrets. I had really fallen short of the mark of being a good person and of being worthy of love. I talked to the pastor of the church I went to. He tried to explain to me God’s forgiveness. But how could God love me? I couldn’t even love myself! I didn’t understand.

Many years later, some Christian girlfriends were talking unashamedly about the sins in their lives. They understood that God had forgiven them. I realized then that I wasn’t the only one with the hidden secrets in life. Everyone is a sinner and if God could love everyone else, then surely He could love me, too. And God did forgive me for my sins. All I had to do was ask. And He has never stopped loving me either even though I am unworthy. In the process, I discovered that I could love myself, too. God had forgiven me, I could now forgive myself. He lifted my burdens, and now I am free.

If you would like more information about the Children's Ministry you can email Kathy Schultz,

 
 
First Impressions
 

Terry O'Brien

I was raised as a “Good Irish Catholic”, named after the NYC arch bishop, by a single mom in upstate New York outside of Syracuse. My parents divorced while I was in 1st grade over my mom’s drinking problem. After Confirmation in the Catholic Church we would only go to church at Christmas and Easter because that was all we needed to go… This was fine by me because at that point I was reading a lot of books on science fiction and didn’t see the need for “god."

Once in college, as a science major, I started having issues with anger and frustration that caused me to have problems with my classmates. As a way to deal with this, a friend and I started going to Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA). As in most recovery programs the first step is to admit you have a problem. The second was to give your problems to a higher power. The problem I had with this is I didn’t believe in “god” and rationalizing the ACOA group as a “higher power” wasn’t much better… My girlfriend at the time suggested I try going to a Christian meeting on campus with her. I went with her for a few months. At one point I even made the comment that “Christianity is a crutch."

One Sunday morning I felt that God gave me a choice – I could keep living an angry, frustrated life or I could give that to the only “Higher Power” and trust in Him and His Son Jesus for my salvation and healing. I asked my then girlfriend (now wife) to pray with me to received Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Since then Jesus has worked in my life in many ways. The anger and frustration that I felt disappeared. That’s not to say that I don’t have them now but when I lean on God, He will take them and put His peace and love in my heart. Also, He has guided me though times of darkness and sorrow and I know that he will continue to lead me all the days of my life.

If you would like more information about the First Impressions ministry you can email Terry O'Brien,

Audio/Visual
 

Dawn O'Brien

I grew up going to church with my mom, but when I was invited to a church lock-in with some friends from college, I discovered that there was something different – something missing in my perception of God. During the lock-in, I was exposed to students singing to God, not just with words, but with their whole hearts. I also saw people read the Bible, even though it wasn’t Sunday morning during church. They talked about scripture like it really mattered to their lives. It wasn’t until they announced that it was time for our personal devotions that I understood what I was truly missing - a Savior who cares so much for us that He is interested in a relationship with us. You see, at that lock-in, they told us to go off alone and have a time of prayer. So, I went off alone – and cried. I had no idea how to pray. Prayer was something that was done at church and sometimes at meals. So, I just sat there for 30 minutes and cried, wondering how I could feel so unworthy and all of these people seemed so joyful. Fortunately, these friends loved Jesus and me enough to introduce us. They explained how Jesus’ sacrifice was for me personally, that He could clean away that unworthy feeling and replace it with new life. I learned that the Bible is not just a book of history, but a book for life, an operation manual for our lives and relationship with our Savior.

My husband and I are now trying to impress these truths upon our three children. Crosswinds Church has been a huge blessing for assisting us in training our children, not only through Sunday School, but through active involvement in a group of believers working together to share their faith with this community.

As Audio Visual Technical Coordinator, it is my passion to see that all of the behind the scenes portions of the Crosswinds Worship Service remain unnoticed. We have a marvelous team of people who work hard to make sure that the sound, lights and computer images enhance worship. Feel free to stop by the tech booth some Sunday morning and say, “Hi”.

If you would like more information about the Audio/Visual ministry you can email Dawn O'Brien,