SDB Chicago

Year End Update 2022

We are solidly in the Advent Season. It gets dark at 4pm, the weather is cold, and you can’t turn on the radio without hearing Mariah Carey. Advent is a time of reflection and anticipation. Reflection on the ways God has broken the darkness in the past. And anticipation for the time when God will ultimately defeat darkness for good. 

For me personally there is much to reflect on. So much has happened in this last year. It was back in February that we launched this website. We had just come off our first Christmas here in Chicago and were still adjusting to life in the city. It would be several more months before we began to realize that my tech job was not sustainable if I wanted to focus on church planting. In the months following February we shared with you our vision for a church that contributed to the community and what our neighborhood looked like. It was in October that Milton SDB officially became our sponsor church and at the end of that month I quit my tech job on faith that God would provide for us financially. 

Halloween is very popular here in Roger’s Park. Last year Bethany and I were not prepared at all. We had been here for about a month. It was nearly freezing and we ran out of candy very quickly. This year we wanted to provide for the whole community, not just the kids. We set up a table and had coffee, hot cider, and hot chocolate (in addition to MUCH more candy of course). It wasn’t as cold as last year, but the parents were thankful for the beverages. It was not much, but we know that God can do great things with meager portions.

November was spent networking and job searching. I have not yet been hired in a part time job, but I have faith that God will put me in the right place. Networking has been a blessing. I reached out by e-mail to several pastors in our neighborhood. I wanted to get together with them to talk about Rogers Park and how we can help build God’s Kingdom here. I was excited to find out that there is a Northside Pastors Network here in Chicago. They meet the last Tuesday of every month. I attended my first meeting and made several contacts. What’s more I discovered that they plan to do community caroling. God is certainly opening doors.

God has continued to be faithful to us here in Chicago. It is this past faithfulness that leads to me to anticipate the adventure God has for us in the year to come. I can see hints of it in my job prospects and network contacts. I wrote nearly 18 months ago about the faith of Abram to go where God led him. It took him 25 years to see God fulfill His promise to make him the father of nations. My own journey has not been that long and I can already see God working to bring about what He has promised. It is because of God’s continued faithfulness that I continue to have faith. And it is reflecting on that past that causes me to anticipate what God has for the future.

This Advent and Christmas season may you discover the adventure that God is calling you to in the year to come. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

One final note. I want to thank those of you that have participated in The 50/50 Plan. Without your support I would not be able to focus on what God called us here to do. We have not met our goal yet, but we have faith that God will continue to provide.


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Pastor Phil

Pastor Phil

Philip Lawton received a Masters of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minster in the Seventh Day Baptist Church. He is currently working on a church plant in Chicago.

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