News, Announcements, and a Big Welcome Back!

In Person Worship

We are so excited to be meeting in person in our sanctuary again starting this coming Sunday, September 20th. Please remember that due to Covid-19 restrictions, you will need to register ahead of time for each service you plan to attend. You can do that online, through the Church Center app, or by calling the church office at (815) 939-4433. We will make sure to have socially distanced seating and ask that you wear a mask. Temperatures will be taken when you arrive, and if it is 100.4 or above, you’ll need to return home (where you can always access virtual worship). You can read the other guidelines here or in The Challenger you received in the mail.

Text Message Updates

We are implementing a text-messaging system for announcements and updates that are time-sensitive. If you would like to receive these, please fill out this form or let Pastor Kelly know the information she needs–your cell phone number and provider. This will enable us to increase communication about important reminders or when worship is cancelled due to weather. We’ll be sending out our first reminder later this week!

Mailing List

We hope you’ve been getting your weekly bulletin/news in your inbox, but if you haven’t or if it’s been sporadic, it could be due to gmail addresses being sent to spam. We’ve recently changed the email address for that to, so hopefully if you haven’t seen it, you will now. If you want to make sure that you are on the email list (it’s opt-in, so you have to request it), please check with Pastor Kelly and she’ll get you added if you aren’t on it.

Virtual Community

Are you a part of our online community? Be sure to like our Facebook page if you haven’t already. You can also ask to be added to our chat group there (for announcements and information) or our online prayer group to ask for prayer requests and give support to those who need it. We also have a presence on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube if that’s what you prefer.

Challenger for September

Your September Challenger is in the mail, but here’s this month’s article From Robert’s Round Table:


During August we have hosted three Parking Lot worship services attended by about 25 people. The Church Board met Sept 2nd and we plan to offer two more weeks (9/6 & 9/13) of outdoor worship, weather permitting. We plan to resume in-person worship on Sept. 20th as long as the status of our county or the state does not require us to stay at home. Everyone is asked to make reservations either by calling during office hours or online through our website/church center app as we will be limiting attendance to 30 persons. Please, do not text or message your reservations to the pastors. Overflow may be arranged in the Fellowship Hall should the need arise, or you may listen in your car on the Parking Lot via 90.5 FM. Virtual Worship will continue to be offered via a recording of the live service on Sunday morning. We hope to make it available no later than 2PM each Sunday.

Worship & Covid 19

Our guidelines for Return to In Person Worship (limited to 30 persons) are as follows:

• Everyone is asked to wear cloth face masks in the building at all times and use the provided hand sanitizer stations.

• High risk individuals should consider not attending in person. Online worship and DVDs will continue to be available.

• We ask that you use only the South Doors (facing First American Bank) which will be propped open when weather permits, or designated ushers in gloves will open all entry doors. Temperatures will be taken at the door and anyone with a temp 100.4 or higher will be asked to return home.

We will print and hand out bulletins using masks and gloves.

• We will provide individual communion sets and will not pass the communion trays or offering trays. A receptacle will be provided for those wishing to leave an offering. We encourage online giving through our Church Center App.

• We will not be singing in the sanctuary, when the congregation is gathered, as the spreading of droplets/aerosols would be a risk, even with masks. You may hum along to familiar tunes. We will have music, just no singing, until we move to Phase 3 (vaccination is available or recommendations change).

• Individuals should be spread out in the service with one family unit per row with empty rows in between.

• We will encourage people to leave the building after worship rather than mingle. We will not be offering coffee. Bottled water will be available and we ask you to refrain from using the water fountain.

• Restrooms near the entrance will be open, however the restrooms near the office will be closed.

Our number one priority is to protect one another and stay healthy. Unfortunately, that means we have to adjust to the above guidelines for awhile. Worship in community is also important and we want to do our best to honor God’s commandment “to love one another” safely as we gather together.

The church office remains open for members and friends of the church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9AM to Noon. If you plan to visit the office, please call ahead so that we may greet you and open the door, which will still be locked at all times. Please, plan to wear a mask as you would for shopping or visiting a medical office. If you would like to visit the sanctuary for prayer and meditation, you are welcome to do so by appointment. We are glad to be available for you and we want to practice the safest hospitality possible.

Other Updates:

Since our last publication in July, we have installed automatic faucets in the education building restrooms and automatic flush kits on the urinals in both men’s restrooms. Handsfree soap dispensers are available in those restrooms as well. We have redecorated and organized the conference room next to the office, which doubles as Pastor Kelly’s study for seminary and sermon preparation. The books in the conference room are Pastor Kelly’s personal library and are not for borrowing.

Speaking of books, during July and August we received hundreds of books from the estate of Rev. Clarence & Lois Bangs. We are working on developing a location to display the books and a system to allow them to be checked out and used by our congregation and students locally and remotely. The library has an amazing collection of Bible commentaries, theological books and more. We are grateful to the Bangs family for the contribution.

In early August we were very busy. I was in the midst of four weeks of funerals. First, we celebrated the life of Marsha Haggard Peters (50) with whom I was baptized 39 years ago at our Oak Street campus. Next, we remembered the full life of our beloved historian Merwyn Cook (88). The third week I officiated at the graveside internment of ashes for my first cousin Chester Kadow. And, on the fourth week we recorded and produced a virtual Memorial Service for our beloved Betty Sebastiani (87).

In the midst of those four funerals, we hosted the Catholic Charities Back to School Drive-Thru Fair on our parking lot. Thanks to eight Central volunteers who joined CC staff and helped distribute school supplies and food for nearly 600 families. Pastor Kelly, employed for the summer by CC, organized the daylong event and the two-week-long follow-up afterwards. I helped plan for logistics of setting up, handling the flow of traffic and preparing the space for a great first impression.

Special thanks to Josh & Nick for hours of volunteer landscaping prior to the event! And, while continuing our on location filming and producing for our creation series, we began planning for a sound system, staging, etc. for outdoor worship! We were very busy and apologize for not publishing an August Challenger during that time. Stay safe! Keep others safe by wearing a mask when you are out and about. And, stay strong, as we continue to be church in the midst of a global pandemic.

Peace & Joy,


Coronavirus Update

February 1, 2021
The Executive Team met on January 31 and decided to plan to resume in-person worship on March 7, pending continued decreasing Covid-19 numbers in our county. Registration will be required, and further details are in Pastor Robert’s column in the February Challenger.
August 11, 2020

Covid-19 Update on Worship Schedule:

Central’s Executive Team agreed to offer an OUTDOOR/PARKING LOT SERVICE on Sundays at 10:30AM for the next three weeks (Aug 16,23,30) weather permitting. We continue to follow the recommendations of our denomination and local health officials. Based on the limitations required for in person worship, we ask you to refrain from visiting with anyone outside of your family group, and to refrain from handshaking, hugging or conversation with others. Communion will be available for pick up before the service begins and an offering receptacle will also be available. We are working on using a FM transmitter and hope to be able to have call numbers on Sunday so that you may listen from the comfort of your car.

We continue to produce an Online Only worship each Sunday, available on our Facebook page, on our YouTube channel @cccbourbonnais, and here our Website. The service is availabe to view on YouTube all weekend and Premiers Sundays on Facebook at 10:30am. Our ministers will be online during the service to interact with any who attend the “watch party.” DVDs are produced every two weeks and are also available by request.

Online giving is available using our free Church Center App found on the Apple and Google stores. Giving may also be done through our website or via US Mail.

Pastor Robert & Pastor Kelly are available by appointment Tues – Thurs 9AM-12PM at the church and as arranged. We will continue to be available via phone and online as well. The Church Office is CLOSED to the public so you may find the door locked if you stop by. Just give us a call or text and we will be glad to greet you.

We value our time together as the body of Christ and we value our health and the health of our community. We in no way want to contribute to the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Be well!

Christian Leadership & Spirituality: new sermon series to begin in January

There’s a lot of information and ideas about leadership, with neat and tidy checklists of how to be a good leaders and what good leaders do. But how does one’s identity in Christ factor in? In this series we’ll explore connections between leadership and spirituality from a different angle, beginning with Jesus’ own baptism. This series will begin on January 12, 2020 and run through February 23, 2020. We’ll also be doing a group study of a brand new book Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose, which will be released for publication on January 21st. That study will begin the week of February 9.

Annual Election of Officers and Approval of Budget for 2020

Moderator of the Congregation, CJ Osback has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, December 15th following  worship. The purpose of the meeting is to Elect Officers and Approve the Recommended Budget for 2020. Detailed Copies of the Budget are Available at the Church for any member of the congregation.


Mike Burkhalter     MODERATOR (1Yr Term)

Lesley Osback       VICE/MODERATOR -ELECT  (1Yr Term)

Teri Bushey  CLERK (1Yr Term)

Joanne Paulauskas     TREASURER (1Yr Term)                                                    

Gayle Robins      FINANCIAL SECRETARY (1Yr Term)  

 TRUSTEE (1) – Class of 2022.

Larry Bushey (2022)

Shirley Herberger (2021)

Gayle Robins (2020)

MEMBERS AT LARGE (2) –  (1Yr Term)

Sally Voigt

Cliff Bryant


(The Congregational Board by Consensus of all members present November 16th Recommends a $120,000 Annual Expense Budget for 2020 Detailed Budgets are Available in the Narthex)

Absentee Ballot

Complete the form below and submit by Dec. 8th. All Absentee Ballots must be signed by a Member and submitted before the day of election.

Recognition and Commissioning

Join us kellySunday, November 10th at 10:30am for morning worship including Recognition and Commissioning of Kelly Youngblood as a Phoebe of Central Christian Church.  Kelly currently serves as our Commissioned Minister for Young Adults, Clerk of the Church, and as an Elder. She is enrolled in the Master of Divinity Degree program at Phillips Theological Seminary and is under care with Christian Church in IL/WI pursuing Ordination into Christian Ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Regional Elder, the Rev Ed Taylor will be with us for the occasion. Come celebrate Kelly’s call to ministry! A light reception is planned after the service in Fellowship Hall.


Annual Election of Officers and Approval of Budget

Moderator of the Congregation, Shirley Herberger has called a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, December 9th following  worship. The purpose of the meeting is to Elect Officers and Approve the Recommended Budget for 2019. Detailed Copies of the Budget are Available at the Church for any member of the congregation.


 CJ Osback     MODERATOR (1Yr Term)

 Mike Burkhalter       VICE/MODERATOR -ELECT  (1Yr Term)

Kelly Youngblood   CLERK (1Yr Term)

 Joanne Paulauskas     TREASURER (1Yr Term)                                                    

Gayle Robins      FINANCIAL SECRETARY (1Yr Term)  

 TRUSTEE (1) – Class of 2021.

Shirley Herberger 

Gayle Robins (2020)

Sharon Sovinski (2019)

MEMBERS AT LARGE (2) –  (1Yr Term)

Sally Voigt

Faith Anderson


(The Congregational Board by Consensus of all members present November 10th Recommends a $119,995 Annual Expense Budget for 2019 Detailed Budgets are Available in the Narthex)

Absentee Ballot

Complete the form below and submit by Dec. 8th. All Absentee Ballots must be signed by a Member and submitted before the day of election.