December 12, 2016:


Happy Monday!


We didn’t know how many brave snowbirds would venture out to church yesterday after Saturday night’s winter storm, but we had a decent crowd, and we had a good time worshipping together!  ‘Tis the season for Christmas music, and the worship team led us in some songs not typically sung in churches around here.  Chris Tomlin’s rendition of “Joy to the Word/Unspeakable Joy” and Cloverton’s “Christmas Hallelujah” were two favorites. Pastor Billy continued his December series with a message titled, “Expect the Unexpected” with scripture from Luke 1.   Dr. Bruce Smit also addressed the church as an example of how Luke the physician might have reported the birth of Christ. Blaine, Cynthia, Justice, and Calvin Petersen lit the candle of joy, and gave scripture readings for this, the third week of Advent.


Speaking of the Petersens, we must give Drama Team director, Cynthia, a round of applause for presenting Revolution’s first Christmas play Friday night! She worked hard to not only write, but cast and direct the play.  Pastor Billy presented her with flowers after the final bow.  Many thanks to those who built the sets, and all the actors and actresses who learned lines up til the 11th hour.  We enjoyed homemade cookies, fudge, and hot chocolate to celebrate afterwards.  Thanks to Michelle Grifford for coordinating the refreshments, and for all the bakers who provided the treats.


Two frostbitten thumbs up to the folks who tromped through the snow at Manhattan’s Round Barn’s “Winter Wonderland” this weekend to vote for our Christmas tree! Kudos to the children’s ministry crew and our kids who handmade ornaments so we could be well represented in this contest.  Fingers crossed we will win!


Have you signed up to receive your free online daily scripture? Go to our home page, click plugged in, and sign up.  Easy enough. This is a new offering provided by our wonderful Eileen DeSando.


There’s lots of fun holiday stuff just around the corner, so be sure these events are marked on your calendar:


The women attended their Christmas luncheon, so now it is the men’s turn.  Pastor Bob is coordinating a FREE Men’s Breakfast for Saturday, Jan 7th, and you are encouraged to invite friends who do not attend church here. Listen for details, and watch for a sign-up RSVP sheet.  Do go if you can!


Graybars Project thanks each person who donated and signed cards for our inmates.  We received enough to mail cards to 45 regular participants, plus 240 cards containing a peppermint Christmas tea bag to St. Anthony Work Camp in Idaho, where four of our faithful pen-pals stay. We are receiving several cards back from prisoners sending their love and thanks for remembering them.     We have so many extras that we will also share with Daybreak Mission in Joliet, and the Frankfort Terrace Nursing Home in Frankfort.  Anybody wishing to pass out cards and personally greet each resident at the Terrace is invited to do so near 1 pm Sunday the 18th.  These are truly some of the Last, the Lost, and the Least among us.


Sunday is also UGLY SWEATER DAY!  Put on your gaudy thinking caps and come up with your most creative apparel.  We had a blast with this last year.  Anybody remember Mildred Ferguson’s Bigfoot in a bikini sweater and Magic Autumn’s outrageous Christmas suit?  FUN FUN FUN!  Don’t be bashful! After service plan to stick around for Christmas cookies and hot chocolate.


That same Sunday night, the 18th, you are invited to churchwide prayer meeting.  No childcare is provided, and all are welcome and encouraged to come. Revelation study will be postponed.  It was also cancelled last night because of the forecast for heavy snow.  Sorry about that.


Are you passing out the postcard invites for our two Christmas Eve services? Please do not let a single card remain on the welcome table.  Leave them in public places or take to your job, because we will have really good music, and a brief candlelight service, that will bless your heart.  3:00 and 4:30 pm.


Happy birthday to Pat Sennett, way down yonder in Tennessee! We love you, Pat!  Blessings to Jordan Knott as she begins her new job at Starbucks!  Best wishes to all our college students preparing for finals.  We are praying you all will finish strong and will enjoy your well-deserved semester break!


See all you back next Sunday in your tacky sweaters!  Stay warm, and look after one another.




December 5, 2016:


Hello, Friends!


Have you dug yourself out of this first big snow of the season?  We were halfway through church when the flakes started falling, and when it was all over, many of us had 4-6 inches!  Thanks to all who came on to service in spite of the weather forecast.


Church was good!  The sanctuary was absolutely beautiful with the wreaths and the great lighted tree decorated by Tom and Pat Wozny.  The live greenery vases were prepared by florist, Judy Fash, so that even the room smelled of Christmas!  Chris and Vivian Meskin’s family did our Advent scripture readings and lit the candle of love.  Pastor Billy kicked off the new December series, “An Unexpected Journey” with a message called “Great News, Bad Timing” with text from Luke 1. Dr. Bruce Smit spoke briefly during a portion of the message.


Kudos to our children and the parents who accompanied them to the Round Barn after church to participate in the decoration of Revolution Church’s entry in the Winter Wonderland Christmas tree event.  These kids and the children’s ministry volunteers worked long and hard making near 100 handmade ornaments so we could have a good showing in this community.  The red ribbon wrapping around the branches read “Jesus Loves You Snow Much”.  In the nasty weather Sunday afternoon Pastor Julian, Heather Smith, and Miriam Sandoval were bundled up finishing the tree, and it turned out beautifully!  You can see photos online.  THANK YOU! Well done!


Wasn’t Saturday’s Women’s Christmas Lunch and Party a real treat?  Brenda Hajek and Tammy Smit led this event, and a team of hard-working and generous folks came alongside to give of time, treasures, and talents to make it classy and memorable. Guest speaker Mandi Cornett from Indiana delivered the Word of God, and singers, Jasmine and Tan, from a Chicago ministry sang so beautifully several were moved to tears.  Pastor Billy and a team of men led by Chris Duzska stepped up to clean, set up, tear down, and serve tables.  Several in this church put on their aprons and prepared us a variety of soups, breads, mostaccioli, and salad.  Women from Revolution and honored guests from Sanctuary Church baked us trays of homemade Christmas cookies to eat with ice cream and all kinds of toppings.   The Woznys provided the lovely “real tableware” that made it look as if Martha Stewart had paid us a visit!


At the end of the event Pat Wozny addressed the group and spoke of transitioning into the position of leader of Women’s Ministry as Penny Knott passes her the baton.  Pat has big plans for involving women in upcoming studies and events and encourages involvement.  We wrapped up the day with a grand prize drawing, and Heather Smith, lucky raffle winner, is now the owner of a gorgeous Coach purse!  Applause and gratitude to each who stepped up to work or donate to make this event successful.  We had over 70 guests! Standing ovation to the brave folks who tackled the tsunami of a mess in the kitchen! Manhattan firefighters showed up and were treated to leftover lunch, and they were pleased to receive.


Thank you to the folks who stayed after church to help prepare the stage for Friday night’s 6:30 pm Christmas play! Pizza and cokes were served to those helping and rehearsing. Drama Team director, Cynthia Petersen and her cast have worked hard to give us something special, so please come out and honor their efforts.  Hot chocolate and cookies will be served after the show!


We now offer “Daily Scripture” online!  Just go to our home page, and click on “plugged in” to sign up. Thank you, Eileen DeSando, for blessing us with this ministry.


Ugly Sweater Sunday is Dec. 18th, so get tackily creative and let’s see what ya got!  Don’t be shy.  We had a ball with this last year.  That Sunday night will be prayer meeting at the church at 6:30pm, and everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend. 9:30 am there is always prayer in the kitchen for anybody wishing to join the circle.


6th-12th graders, remember that we have “Wednesday Night Live” for you here at the church.  Come try it!  There is Biblical teaching, prayer, fellowship, and lots of fun stuff going on just for you!


Congratulations to Dawn Gonda on the birth of her new grandbaby, Stella Grace Trost born 12-1-16.  She was 7 lb 15 oz and 21” long.  Thank you, Lord for this tiny blessing!  Happy Birthday to Harvey Ferguson, Jr. who will be celebrating down in Memphis this week! Congratulations to PK Jordan Knott for landing a new position with Starbucks!  This is an answer to prayer, and we are proud of her!


If you haven’t yet filled out your personal info card for our upcoming directory, please do this right away as we are eager to distribute these. We will be promoting your businesses, too, so make sure you get in on this!


Graybars Project thanks the many families who have donated and signed piles of cards for our inmates and for distribution at the local homeless shelters.  Finish and RETURN YOUR CARDS SUNDAY.  No more will be accepted after THIS SUNDAY.  Remember, no licking them.  They must stay open to pass inspection.


Join us next Sunday for “Expect the Unexpected” and some good songs of the holiday. Remember to be inviting friends to our Christmas Eve candlelight services at 3:00 and 4:30 pm.  Services will be identical, so pick one, or stay for both.  Stay warm and have a blessed week!





November 27, 2016:



Hello again!


After seeing all the stretchy pants with drawstrings at church this morning, it is safe to assume we definitely enjoyed a bountiful Thanksgiving with all the trimmings! God has been gracious to all of us.  We shared in Communion today, and then kicked off the season of Advent with readings by the Hippenhammer family and prayer by Pastor Bob.  A different family will light a candle and read for us each week.


Today Pastor Billy ended November’s series with an impromptu dinner table enactment during his sermon based on John 6 using people pulled from the crowd to sample favorite foods that are stereotypical of various parts of the country.  Italian minestrone, Pacific Northwest smoked salmon, Mexican frijoles rancheros, Polish pierogies, and hillbilly collards with turkey neck were treats to sample.  Thanks to the cooks who shared their favorite dishes, and thanks to the Woznys for providing the elegant table each week.


Speaking of the Woznys, didn’t the church look fantastic today?  These folk have been busy bees adorning God’s house for Christmas inside and out, and next week you will see even more beauty! This is an example of blooming where one is planted, and we are delighted with their efforts!


So many of you have been generous to donate Christmas cards for inmates! We have enough for our prisoners, so now all extras have been promised to local shelters and nursing homes. Several families have been taking home boxes of cards to sign during free time.  If you want to help, just add a sweet sentiment, sign the cards “Revolution Church, Manhattan IL”,  leave unsealed, and return them to the Graybars Project table each Sunday.  Thank you for caring for the Last the Lost and the Least!


There is prayer meeting at the church tonight at 6:30 pm.  Everybody is invited to attend. You are also welcome to meet in the kitchen at 9:30 AM for pre-service prayer.  Mon-Wed-Fri 5-7 AM Pastor Bob will be praying in the church, and all are welcome to join him.


Women’s Christmas Lunch and Worship is THIS Saturday! We start promptly at 11:00 AM. Remember your ticket and your gift game bag! Our guest speaker will have a merchandise table, so bring cash if you’d like to do a bit of shopping after the party. Thank you to the people who have shared various items for the meal.  If you would like to contribute, call either Brenda at 708-261-3410 or Tammy at 815-353-8216 before Friday.


CHRISTMAS PLAY is Friday, December 9th! Are you excited?  Cynthia Petersen, drama director, has been working hard with her cast to present to us a good show, so be sure and mark your calendar to see it. Thank you to the folks who are giving of their time and efforts to be a blessing to us! 


Candlelight Christmas Eve services will be at 3:00 and 4:30 pm on December 24th.  Please come! There are  colored postcard invitations on the welcome table for you to share with those who might join like to join us.  Please distribute these early.


Have a blessed week!  





November 21, 2016:


What a good day we had at church yesterday! This being the week Americans focus on gratitude, our service was geared toward giving thanks.  The worship team led in “Doxology”, “Thank You, Lord”, and “You Are Good”.  Since the November messages have centered around ALL being invited to the Lord’s table, we also sang “Come As You Are”.  The mic was passed through the crowd, and folks were given the opportunity to stand and share what they were most thankful for this year.  Associate Pastor Bob Smith delivered the message titled “Thankful for the Table” with scripture from Psalm 23, and several people commented they were moved deeply by the letter he read from one of the inmates who regularly writes to our prison outreach.


Our regular drummer, Robert Gates, was unable to be there yesterday.  We were so relieved and blessed to have another drummer roll out of bed early and say, “Sure!  I can play!”  Larry Piwnicki, you did a fantastic job up there, and we loved your joyful attitude and flexibility.  THANK YOU! We are so glad your family is a part of this church.


Special thank you for the home-baked chocolate chip cookies brought to us by one of our newer attenders, Desiree Moss.  If you enjoyed what you tasted, you will be pleased to know she is also serving with our  other volunteer cookie bakers for the Women’s Christmas Luncheon.  And, YES, there will be gluten-free cookies there, too, so fret not!


We had several visitors with us this week, and this is encouraging! Several were from out of town, and it is always good to see friends from far away come home near the holidays.  “Birthday Girl”, Maria Batchelor, and little Sophie traveled all the way from GA.  Happy Birthday wishes are also going out to our wonderful Dawn Gonda, Zack Smith, Kevin Ward, and especially to little blue-eyed Mason who announced he was definitely  “feeling five-ish”!


Sunday, November 27th, is prayer meeting here at the building at 6:30. Everybody is welcome to come pray for the needs of this church, our community, and our nation.  Pre-service prayer is in the kitchen each Sunday at 9:30 am, and everybody is invited. If you want to join the online prayer team and be emailed each week’s requests, mark your connection card to be added.


Thank you to the many who donated Christmas cards for inmates.  We now have what we need for our prisoners, so some of your cards will be shared with Morning Star Mission in Joliet. We are told one will be given to each person as they are served their free Christmas meal. Extra signed cards will be left for distribution at local facilities that will be serving the Last, the Lost, and the Least – which has been this church’s target group from day one.   Since THESE cards are not going into prison, glitter IS permissible. Signing your cards at home is a big help.  Be sure and include “Revolution Church/Manhattan, IL”.  Leave envelopes unmarked and unsealed, and return them to the church table.


Who will help clean up the hospitality table once a month? If you appreciate the coffee and the goodies, would you take a turn helping tidy up this area before going home? This is a simple way to serve your church. Mark your connection card if you will help.


We are compiling a church directory, so make certain you fill out your connection card with your contact info giving us permission to include you. We will also be compiling pages to promote your business, because we believe in helping each other in this family.


Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss out on these upcoming events:  Dec. 2, 10:00 AM - Luncheon set-up. All are welcome to help. Dec. 3 – Women’s Christmas Lunch.  Dec. 9 – Christmas Play.  Dec. 24 -- Christmas Eve Candlelight Services 3 pm, 4:30 pm.  Dec. 25 – Christmas church service 10:00 am.


Set your scales back 10 lbs. Wednesday night, get your stretchy pants ready, and let us all remember to give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way! Happy Thanksgiving!


November 13, 2016:



Happy Sunday!


Today Pastor Billy continued the “My Crazy Family” series with a message titled, “Who’s At the Table?”  Love, Conflict, Frustration, Confusion, and Connection were all discussed as things seen in both our church families and in our human families.  Text was from John 20. The video of the annoying relatives attempting holiday dinner “togetherness” was hilarious, but probably not too far-fetched for many of us. People were selected from the crowd for an impromptu drama at the beautifully decorated table on stage.  Thank you, Tom Wozny for the fresh flowers and for that lovely tablescape!  “Lenny the Therapy Dog” also put in another special appearance which always tickles our children.


Brenda Hajek promoted the Women’s Christmas Luncheon and reminded us that NEXT SUNDAY is the final RSVP head count for this special event. Extra invitations were created for those wanting to bring any lady who would be blessed by hearing the gospel presented by the highly respected guest speaker and author, Mandi Cornett. Several left with invitations in hopes of evangelizing within the community.   Be certain your name AND those of your guests attending are on that sign-up sheet!  If you wish to contribute grocery items for this special meal, speak to either Brenda or Tammy Smit to learn what is most needed.


Do you need a place to go for Thanksgiving dinner?  Are you a hostess who has extra chairs at her table? We would love to pair you up so that nobody in this church is alone for the holiday.  Sign-up sheets are on the Welcome Table.  Don’t be bashful!  We WANT to be your blessing!


Our Christmas play is December 9th, and the cast has been busy rehearsing.  We are in need of set designers who would like to paint and build.  If you are handy with a paintbrush or a hammer and saw, talk to Drama Team Director, Cynthia Petersen, and let’s get those creative juices flowing so we can have a show to be proud of!  Are you inviting friends?  You better be! We want this church full that evening!


For weeks Graybars Project has been polling our inmates across the country asking “What Are You Thankful For?” Check out the bulletin board to read some of their responses.  New ones will be added through the end of the month.   Their November prayer request sheets are now available at the table.  


Thanks to those who are donating Christmas cards for prison distribution! The last Sunday in November is the final day cards can be accepted in the basket.  Since there are so many, there is not enough time to group sign.  Instead, we will write a brief, encouraging message in each and sign it from the church, including our town and state.  PRINT, no cursive.  Envelopes must be unmarked, unstamped and unsealed to pass inspection. Thank you to volunteers who are doing these at home during free time!


Prayer happens in the kitchen near 9:30 each Sunday morning, and you are invited to join the circle.  Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Pastor Bob is at the church from 5-7 am if any of you wish to stop in and start your day with prayer.  Mark your connection card if you would like to join the online Prayer Team.


We are getting a Church Directory.  To be included each family is asked to fill out connection cards with contact info.  No matter if you have been with us since Launch Sunday years ago, you must fill out a new card.


SAVE THE DATE!  We will have two Christmas Eve candlelight services at 3:00 and 4:30 pm. Invite family and friends now before their calendar fills up.


See you next week!   Thanks for all your service, for all you donate, for all the ways you care for each other.  You are much appreciated and loved!





November 7, 2016:


Hello, again!


Did you enjoy “Cinnamon Roll Sunday”? Thank you for coming out a bit early to enjoy the rolls and fellowship. Those were yummy! It seemed many of us were still floating high from the Cubs winning the World Series! YAY for that! With the constant bombardment of last-minute pre-election mess, we all needed this celebration of joy.


As we enter this season of feasting, Pastor Billy kicked off November’s “My Crazy Family” series with a message about coming to God’s table with text from Acts 2:42-47. Several from the audience were pulled to come to the stage to help us visualize the lesson. (Don’t be the screaming baby in the saggy diaper in the high chair: “Wah-Wah-WAAAAAAH!”  Too funny!)   Thumbs up to Pat and Tom Wozny for the gorgeous tablescape! The worship team led in Chris Tomlin’s “The Table”, and debuted a golden oldie, “Our God Is An Awesome God”.  It was a good service!


Pastor Julian is proud to have two teams of children's workers in operation for our young ones now! He invites you to come serve in this department and also take a turn in the nursery.  They will be happy to teach you what you need to know to be successful in this area of ministry.


Invitations and game bags were distributed for the Women’s Dec. 3rd Christmas Luncheon. Thanks to those who contributed supplies and efforts to make them beautiful. It will be a memorable event. Thank you to all who RSVP’d.


Phil Grifford is so humble, and would never toot his own horn, so today Pastor Billy honored him for making possible all the cabinetry in our kitchen!  Even while working overtime at his regular job, he made time before daylight and again long after dark to give new life to a set of older used cabinets just so we could have a room to be proud of.  THAT is dedication, and we respect him highly for this tremendous gift of love to us.  THANK YOU, Grifford family for your generosity! Thank you, Pastor Bob, for helping him with the installation. Everybody should take a walk down the hall and see them!


You are invited to gather in that marvelous kitchen Sunday mornings at 9:30 for pre-service prayer. Pastor Bob is at the church 5am-7am Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and you are welcome to drop in to pray.  Our monthly prayer meeting will be November 27th at 6:30 pm at the church, and everybody is invited and encouraged to attend. You can also join the official Prayer Team by marking your connection card.


Non-glitter Christmas cards are now being collected for prisoners in the basket on the Graybars table through the end of November. You may add personal sentiments at home, but be sure to include “Revolution Church, Manhattan, IL”.  Leave envelopes unmarked and unsealed. Many cannot read cursive, so please print neatly in black or blue ink. 


Special acknowledgment to Deacon Tom Williamson for writing uplifting sentiments in almost forty festive greeting cards so our inmates who write us regularly will be remembered at Thanksgiving.  How kind!


Are you going to be alone for Thanksgiving?  Do you have room at your holiday table to feed a few folks from your church family who would appreciate a place to go?  There are sign-up sheets on the welcome table for both.  This is a perfect opportunity to be a true blessing.


Check out our Home Page for opportunities for discipleship, Life Groups, and Bible studies to see what will work best for you. The leaders work hard to prepare, and they would welcome you. It’s always nice to have new faces in the groups.


Happy Anniversary to Jason and Kristen Hippenhammer! Michelle Grifford (the nice lady in the banana suit last week) who works so hard to keep this church promoted in our community has a birthday November 9th!


Have a blessed week, vote wisely, and come back to worship with us next Sunday!





October 31, 2016:



Hello, Friends!


What a busy and exciting Sunday we had, and there are so many hardworking people to acknowledge for making it possible! First, we must thank Pastor Julian Sandoval for delivering the final message in the October series.  He spoke about his experiences with the Ouiji board and oppression from “the dark side” as a young college student, and how he found God and was able to take a better path toward godliness.  This was his first time speaking for us, and as Children’s Pastor, it was fitting that he preached on Family Sunday.


Pastor Billy, with the assistance of Pastor Bob and Pastor Julian dedicated Amanda Morgan’s three children, Heiden, Tyler, and Brenna.  We are so pleased they have chosen this as their home church!


Shortly after service our community outreach, “Hallelujah Hoedown”, began with a good crowd of happy, hungry folks and “Lenny the Therapy Dog” making an appearance. Miriam Sandoval and Patti Fulmer put on a super cute holiday skit that had us laughing hard. Then Miriam, Lainey and Jimmy Leatherman (A.K.A. “the monsters), and the puppet team acted to Carmen’s music video, “No Monsters”.  Thank you, Patti for the funky hairstyling, and thanks to Jessica Alvarez for the very cool face painting for our creatures.   All the costumed children went up front to lead us in a spirited song and dance, “Jesus is My Super Hero”.  Don’t you just love uninhibited adults who aren’t embarrassed to spin like Superman?  So fun!


Thanks to all the good sports who made the effort to enter the costume contest.  So many of our children masqueraded, but also several adults dug deep into their “dress up trunk” to show off their creative streaks. Some of our participants were working the event outside and didn’t walk in the inside parade for judging, but some of the entrants were G.I. Jane, a cowgirl, a zebra with an adorable tail, a surgeon, a rabbit, and several characters from popular movies.  Pastor Billy won for “Best Biblical” as Caesar Augustus, and Tammy Smit won for her black and silver Spider Queen get-up.  Characters who won in the children’s division were Superman, Joy (from Pixar's "Inside Out), Frozen’s Anna, Batgirl, and Scarecrow.


Chili Competition!  Wow, so many of you brought in crockpots full of such a wide variety! From chicken chili, to vegetarian, to smokey, to sweet, there was something for all palates. After judging from a pro three winners were announced.   Tying for second place were Brenda Hajek and Bob Smith! Winner of the first place trophy was our own Leslie Graniczny!  YAY!  Congratulations, and thanks for participating!  Many people commented on the yummy cornbreads. You can thank Jan Golden for baking those for us.  Candy apples, soft drinks, chili fixin’s, were all donated by you, so thanks to all who contributed so we could leave with full tummies.


“Guess the Candy Corns” was won by our visitor who brought little Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.  There were 648 in the jar.  The giant pumpkin was won by Reagan Hippenhammer.  She guessed 52, and the actual weight was 53 lbs.


The Woznys are responsible for the classy pumpkin topiaries at the front door. Unique Landscaping of Manhattan donated 50 pumpkins for decor and for painting by the children.  How generous and kind! Saturday night some hooligans dropped by and had fun smashing several in the parking lot for us to clean up before church.  NOT NICE, but in the grand scheme of things “It ain’t no thang but a chicken wang!” Moving right along.


Much appreciation to those who donated food/drinks, apples, candy, trinkets, and bigger prizes.  Thanks to the group of volunteers who showed up Saturday morning to organize and set up games and the prize claiming room. Applause for those who publicized the event, manned tables, painted faces, served refreshments, supervised carnival games, and doled out prizes. Thanks to those who stuck around to pack up and clean up Sunday afternoon.    It was a big job, but we had several visitors, and it was good clean fun and fellowship, and so worth the effort.  We have a great church!


Changing gears here.  CHRISTMAS is a-comin’, and it is coming soon!  Cynthia Petersen, director of our Christmas play, is seeking two more characters - one adult, and one child-  to complete her cast.  There are no big parts to learn, so this is perfect for a couple of folk who would enjoy being on stage. Women’s Dec. 3rd Christmas Lunch and Party is filling up fast.  Seats are limited for this special day, so be sure you have signed up at the welcome table by next Sunday to save your place. The girls responsible for this event need an accurate head count ASAP, so check your calendar, and invite a friend this week.


Youth grades 6-12 are meeting at church Wednesdays at 6:30 pm for WEDNESDAY NIGHTLIVE.  Pastor Billy leads this group.  They study scripture, and then do some super crazy activities such as “Worm Races”, “Cereal Surprise”, and “Baby Slingshot”! Come and check it out!


Graybars Project pen-pals, check your table each Sunday and pick up your mail. From now on, this is how you will claim your letters.  Thank you for making the effort to speak encouragement to our inmates!


See everybody next week a few minutes early. It is time for our annual Cinnamon Roll Sunday, so come eat and fellowship and be friendly to our visitors.  God Bless, and GO CUBS!





October 23, 2016:




Thanks for stopping by to catch up on our latest news.


Today Pastor continued with October’s sermon series with a message called “Is My House Haunted?” with text from Luke 8:26-39  and Joshua 1:3-4 , focusing on the deliverance of the demoniac who lived in the graveyard.   Since this is the season for talk of spooks and evil spirits, the worship team lead “Doxology” that sings of praising the HOLY Ghost.  Big Daddy’s Weave’s “Redeemed” lyrics sang of being “haunted by ghosts that lived in my past”.  It was a good time of worship with a good crowd. We sure love seeing all you visitors keep coming back.


Women’s TIME OUT will be Thursday, October 27th, 6-8:30 pm at Chili’s in Orland Park.  You may order a full meal, dessert, a soft drink, or even water depending on your appetite and your wallet.  Friends are always welcome, so bring yours.  Michelle Grifford can save enough seats together if you let her know you are coming.


“Hallelujah Hoedown” is NEXT SUNDAY, Oct. 30th after service.  Thank you to all who have already donated candy and prizes.  We need lots more goodies and people to work the game booths, as many folks have been invited to this outreach.  If you are volunteering, Pastor Julian wants you in the children’s church room by 9:30 am to brief you on your assignment.  He will be at the church after 10 AM Saturday, Oct. 29th to begin set up.  Come out and help him if you are free.


The Hoedown Chili Competition is also after church, and all in attendance may eat a free bowl of it after the judging.  In addition, there is a costume contest for all ages, so be a good sport and put on your thinking cap and come up with a creative masquerade.  Who will our winners be??  Oh, the suspense!  Kids, remember to bring your pumpkins for decorating!


No Revelation Bible study tonight as there is a prayer meeting at church from 6:30-7:30 pm.  Everybody is welcome and encouraged to attend.


Folks were asking today about the books stacked on the welcome table.  Those were donated by some good folks at Ozinga, and they are free if you see something you want.  You’re welcome.


Christmas Play is December 9th, and the cast still lacks one adult and one child.  There are no big parts to learn.  Who will step up and fill these roles?  Director, Cynthia Petersen would be the person to see about this.


December 3rd , 11 am is our Women’s Christmas Brunch, and you must have a ticket for a seat.  Sign up at the welcome table to save your place. You won’t want to miss this!


There are still some Revolution Church t-shirts and decals for sale at the back table. Think ahead for Christmas stocking stuffers!


Congratulations to Jessica Alvarez and Rashaad Gibbs on their engagement!  Happy Birthday to Greg Struck on Saturday!  Thank you to Sam and Lisa Jasinski for sharing the bags of Wilton cake pans with so many of us before church!  Those are expensive, and our bakers were absolutely thrilled at the freebies.


Gonna be a busy week with all the festivities happening!  Take good care of each other, eat your Wheaties, and we will see you Sunday!






October 16, 2016:



Happy Pastor Appreciation Sunday!


Much love to Pastor Billy, Pastor Bob, Pastor Julian and to Penny, Heather, and Miriam on this special day set aside to say thanks for their labors of love toward us here at Revolution.  Coffee and a very yummy celebration cake (thumbs up to Mrs. Costco!) followed the morning service to help honor them.


This was week three in the “What Happens To You When You Die” series, and today’s message was “Is Hell Real?” with text from Luke 16.  (You can go to our Home Page and click WATCH if you want to see it again.)  Did you enjoy the new worship song, “In The Eye Of The Storm”?  Those were some powerful lyrics, and it’s always good to learn something fresh that is popular on Christian radio.


Many thanks to Blaine Petersen’s family for donating fifty new pew Bibles.  How generous was that! We have had so many visitors, and we want everybody to be able to look up scriptures during the message, so this is a very useful gift!


Thanks for the good attendance at the Christmas Play meeting after church.  If you enjoy acting or would like to help with props or behind the scene stuff, see our Drama Team Director, Cynthia Petersen, right away, and she will certainly find space for you.  It will be fun!


“Lazy Larry” and Miriam presented an opportunity for each of us to get involved in the Oct. 30th community Hallelujah Hoedown here at the church after the morning service.  There will be carnival games, pumpkin decorating, chili competition, puppets, drama, costume contests for both adults and kids, and a free bowl of chili for everybody attending.  Thanks to the families who contributed candy and prizes in our collection barrel.  We need lots more goodies and a bunch of you to sign up to bring “fixins” and drinks for the meal.  Help us be successful.  Invite friends and all the kids you can round up!


Thank you, Brenda Hajek, for giving our women the opportunity to attend the Every Woman Expo in Crown Point, Indiana last Saturday! Those who went came home refreshed, excited, and feeling loved.


Women, have you signed up for the Ladies Christmas Brunch and Party yet?  Seats are limited, so it is important to have your name on the list on the welcome table so you can receive your ticket.  Dec. 3rd, 11 am.   Reserve that morning on your calendar now.


Sorry, but Pastor Bob has postponed the “Wild At Heart” Saturday Bible study until more men can attend.  He will reassess after the first of the year, and hopefully work schedules will change and permit a good sized group at that time.


Christine Duzska is recuperating from thumb surgery.  We miss her and wish her speedy healing. The silver lining to this dark cloud is that she is excused from washing dishes for a good while.  Yay for that!


PRAYER:  Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 5am-7am the church will be open for all who wish to come and pray.  Pastor Bob will be here on each of those mornings, so stop in if you are able.  Next Sunday at 6:30 pm you are invited to prayer meeting at the church.  Everybody is welcome, but note there is no childcare provided this night.  If you love to pray, slip into the pre-service prayer circle that meets in the kitchen at 9:30 am each Sunday, and stay as long as you wish.  You may also sign up to be on the church online prayer team by marking your connection card or speaking to Penny Knott who leads this ministry.


Since we are in the middle of Halloween season, next week’s sermon topic will be “Is My House Haunted”.  Pastor will be taking a look at what scripture teaches about ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night.  This should be interesting, so come out, and let’s learn together.  10 am the music begins.  Come earlier for coffee and fellowship with friends and visitors.  Thank you to each one who contributes financially or volunteers in any of our many areas of ministry.  The doors are open to this community because of your dedication and faithfulness.   Have a super week!




October 10, 2016:



What a precious worship service this past Sunday morning! Seeing so many new faces in the crowd brings us joy!  Thank you for visiting and welcoming us into your community! Pastor Billy continued the series “What Happens To You When You Die?” with text from James 4:13-17.  Remember, you can view the sermon by going to our Home Page and clicking “Watch”.


Sunday morning we did a hillbilly style version of “Sweet Bye and Bye”, and the lyrics said “We shall meet on that beautiful shore”.  Well, there is now one more friend waiting for us over there on that shore.  Our buddy and founding member of this church, Rich Portwood, went Home to Jesus last Sunday afternoon after battling brain cancer for nearly three decades. Pastor Billy delivered the message at Saturday’s memorial service that was filled with laughter and remembrances of his comical antics, and Rich’s voice on tape actually led the standing room only crowd in a couple of worship songs. Lines for visitation snaked around the chapel and out the door. This man was LOVED!  Remember Chris and the rest of his family as they begin life with him.


Pastor Julian and silly Miriam’s impromptu skit had us all laughing and eager to attend the Oct. 30th “Hallelujah Hoedown” community outreach.  Sign-up sheets are circulating, and we need all hands on deck to work the carnival games, donate candy, and bring chili  fixin’s. Several excited cooks are going head to head in our chili competition that will be judged by actual chefs!  If you want to compete, sign up Sunday.   Who wants to dress up? We are also hosting a costume contest, so put on your thinking caps, and let’s get creative and have a whoop-ti-do time as we welcome the people of Manhattan into our facility.  It would be helpful to circulate our poster on your Face Book page.


Enjoy SCARECROWS ON PARADE downtown Manhattan.  See ours at 555 W. North St. at the BP gas station corner October 3-31st!  Special thanks for the design goes to Jessica Alvarez, Elena, Miriam and Julian Sandoval!  There is a naming contest the next two weeks here at church.  A+, guys!  Thank you!


Christmas is about 10 weeks away, and we are having a Christmas play!  We need at least eight adults and eight children for the cast.  There are no long parts to memorize, so this will not be difficult for anyone.  Cynthia Petersen studied drama in college, and she is in charge, so this will be top quality.  Don’t be shy!  There is a meeting after service October 16th, so stay to see how you can participate!


Pastor Bob invites every man to his Mokena home each Saturday at 8 am for a time of fellowship, prayer, light food, and to study “Wild At Heart- A Band of Brothers”.  Please sign up ASAP so he will know how many books to order.  Books are approximately $8.00, but nobody is turned away if you are experiencing too much month at the end of your money. 


Revelation Bible Study taught by Pastor Billy is at 6:30 pm Sundays at the church.  Everybody is invited, and it is F-R-E-E. No childcare is provided for this one.


God heard our prayers, smiled down, and provided FOUR new pen-pal volunteers for our Graybars Project team this week! Because of Jason, David, Amanda, and Agnes, now Nicholas, Dave, Robert, and April will be surprised with a piece of mail this week!  Thank you for taking the time to send some encouragement to these lonesome inmates.  We are becoming Hebrews 13:3 people!  Remember, we can always use stamps and envelopes.


Speaking of prayer, Pastor Bob will be at the church every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5-7 am, and everybody is invited to stop in and pray before beginning your day.


“Every Woman Expo” in Crown Point, Indiana is Saturday!  Contact Brenda Hajek for info and carpool options.  Sign up is online, and the registration fee includes your breakfast and lunch.  Great deal!


Women:  Your Christmas Luncheon/Party is December 3, and space is limited.  Sign-up for a ticket begins NEXT SUNDAY.  You must RSVP at the welcome table to reserve your seat!  More exciting info coming shortly!


Happy 24th Anniversary to Phil and Michelle Grifford on Monday!  This couple has worked incredibly hard in many areas to help this church grow, and we sure do appreciate and love them!  Happy Birthday, Pat Wozny on the 14th!  Get well soon, Oscar Hammerberg. You are missed!


The owner of Agave Azul Mexican Restaurant at 360 W. North invites you to visit his place for lunch after church one Sunday and check out the menu.  He is very friendly and is happy to know there are so many hungry folks just down the road.


That wraps it up for this week’s news.  Join us Sunday at 10:00 for worship or 9:30 in the kitchen for pre-service prayer.  Look after one another, and we hope to see you back next week! Remember we will celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day with cake and coffee after service, so plan on sticking around a while and show our Pastors and wives some love!





October 3, 2016:

Happy Sunday!


Pastor Billy kicked off October’s sermon series, “What Happens To You When You Die”, with text from 2 Corinthians 5:1-8  The worship team led “I Can Only Imagine”, and there was a time of honor and remembrance for our brother, Rich Portwood, who died today after a 29 year battle with brain cancer.  Rich and his wife, Chris, were founding members of this church, and we all remember how much he loved to sing and play his harmonica. Funeral arrangements will be announced when we know them.


We had a good crowd again today, and so many families stayed for lunch and the Next Steps Membership class. Thank you, Lord for sending us all these wonderful people from our new community! It is encouraging to see you excited about worshiping and growing here.  Thanks to all who helped with the meal and child care.


Pastor Julian was excited to share plans for a community outreach on Sunday, October 30th, and we want EVERYBODY to come out and bring friends.  HALLELUJAH HOEDOWN will consist of carnival games, an extreme puppet show, costumes, and a chili contest with judges!  You won’t want to miss this event. Mark your connection card or speak with Pastor Julian to see how you can participate!


Several of our ladies gathered at Tom Kelly’s Chop House for the September “Time Out” fellowship evening on Thursday. Listen for announcements for October’s event. Friends are always welcomed, too!


Are you attending the EVERY WOMAN EXPO in Crown Point, IN October 15th from 8:30-5:00 pm? Contact Brenda Hajek ASAP if you’d like to carpool or to learn more info.  708-261-3410. 


Special recognition to Deacon Blaine Petersen for creating a Bible correspondence class on the book of JONAH for inmates involved with Graybars Project! The first completed study was just returned from Ivan, a prisoner in Virgina who used a Bible purchased for him by Brenda Hajek. Tucker in Texas thanks our ministry for helping him get a Bible so he can take a class with another learning center. Joe in Ohio is appreciative of our efforts that netted him many novels to enjoy.  THANK YOU!


This evening Pastor Billy began his study on the book of Revelation.  Bring your Bible, and join this class that meets at the church each Sunday evening at 6:30 pm.  Childcare is not provided for this one, so plan accordingly.


October is PASTOR APPRECIATION MONTH, so on Sunday, October 16th we will celebrate Pastor Billy, Pastor Bob, and Pastor Julian.  Plan to enjoy coffee and cake immediately after service.


Associate Pastor, Bob Smith, invites all men to his new study, “Wild At Heart”, Saturdays 8 am, beginning October 22nd, at his home in Mokena. Light breakfast food will be served. You will need the book, so sign up at the welcome table and RSVP.


We are having a CHRISTMAS PLAY, and we need 12-17 actors and actresses!  Who wants in?  Mark your connection card or speak to Drama Director, Cynthia Petersen right away.  This will be FUN!


Revolution Church 3x7 vinyl window decals are now available for $3.00.  Michelle Grifford can sell you one, but hurry since the supply is limited.  You can also ask her about Revolution t-shirts.  Christmas will be here before you know it, and a new shirt would make a nice gift for a friend.


Happy Birthday, Debbie Struck!  Congratulations to Chris Meskin on his new position at Bettenhausen Jeep!  We love to see good things happen to good people. Bruce Smit gained a daughter-in-law at his son’s Arizona wedding this weekend.


We will see you all again next Sunday at 10.  Come at 9:30 if you want to join the prayer circle that meets in the kitchen.  Thank you to all our givers of time, treasures, and talents! We are all seeing fruits of our labors, and we are filled with joy!




September 26, 2016:



Welcome back, friends!


Thank you for visiting this page.  It was encouraging to see so many repeat visitors in the crowd this morning! If you are new to Revolution Church, be sure and explore our Home Page to see the small groups and men’s and women’s studies available to your family this fall. Our Student Ministries kicked off with a pizza and pop meeting after church. (That would be pizza and “Co-Colers” for our hillbilly friends who are reading this south of the Mason-Dixon!)  There were several new faces in the circle, and that made us happy.  Pastor Billy can answer any questions you might have about this new Wednesday youth group. Get plugged in!


Pastor wrapped up September’s “Love Revolution” sermon series Sunday morning with text taken from Genesis 3, Matthew 26, and Exodus 12.  We had a bit of drama on-stage with a visit from Adam & Eve (AKA Blaine & Cynthia Petersen), and then a partial re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper with “disciples” pulled from the audience.  We also shared in the taking of Communion together.  The serving table up front looked nice today.  Isn’t it wonderful to have a “real church”?  Thank you, Lord for providing such a comfortable building for us!


Graybars Project is back with an updated exhibit board of photos and letters from our inmates across the country. Take a few minutes and read the new stuff.  October prisoner prayer request sheets are now available at the table. Take one home, please.  Thumbs up for all who signed the birthday card for Fred up in Michigan City. The first box of Christmas cards was donated today for our upcoming mass mailout!  THANK YOU, thoughtful person! You are encouraged to leave your cards on the table each week.  Remember, no glitter allowed!


Women’s Ministry monthly “Time Out” fellowship will be held Thursday at 6:30- 8:00 pm at Tom Kelly’s Chop House in New Lenox.  Please RSVP on Face Book or to Penny/Michelle so enough seats can be saved.


Next Steps Membership Class is October 2nd after church.  A light lunch will be provided, so please let somebody know to expect you.  Come and listen and learn what we believe.  90 minutes should do it, and  there is no obligation to join if you attend.  Childcare is also provided.


Calling all drama enthusiasts!  We are having our very first Christmas Play, and we want YOU to participate!  Cynthia Petersen, our Drama Team ministry leader is in charge, and she would love to give you something to do so we can make this a program to remember.  Speak to Cynthia or just mark your connection card.


Revolution car decals and stickers are now available for only $3.00!  Michelle Grifford is the nice lady to see if you want one. She also has the newly designed blue Revolution t-shirts for sale. Supplies are limited, so don’t piddle, or they will be gone, and you will feel bad.


Did you notice our new tithe/offering envelopes?  Instead of doodling tic-tac-toe or making teensy paper airplanes during preaching hows about putting something inside to bless your church and enable it to keep moving forward.  Some of you have been SO GOOD to give joyfully and generously!  God sees and keeps excellent records.  THANK YOU for making this new building possible! We have big dreams for the future.


Ladies, save the date for our Christmas luncheon/party on Saturday, December 3rd.  Seats are limited, so listen for our sign-ups coming soon!


Happy 85th birthday to Roger Sandoval! Happy 10th anniversary to Pastor Julian and Miriam! Debbie Struck has a birthday Saturday!


We hope to see all of you next Sunday when Pastor Billy begins a new series called, “What Happens When You Die?” Remember to share the sermon cards you received in your bulletin today, so lots of people will have the opportunity to come out to hear and learn.


Service starts at 10, but you are invited to meet in the kitchen for prayer near 9:30.  The coffee is hot and free, so come enjoy a cup and meet some new friends. In case you haven’t heard it enough, remember you are appreciated.  You are needed.  You are valuable. Most importantly, you are LOVED!  





September 19, 2016:



Hello, friends, old and new!


Thank you for coming out to support us at our church in Manhattan! Again today we welcomed new folks who visited us because of receiving their grand opening postcards in the mail.  We hope you felt at home and will come worship with us again.  First or second time visitors will receive a guest bag of goodies located at the welcome table, so be sure to complete a connection card and take your treats home.


Pastor Billy continued with his “Love Revolution” message series with text from Genesis 3 about "the fall" where sin entered the world and we as humans began to be self centered.  As with all month, we investigate how we can love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves.  The band led in Lincoln Brewster's "Another Hallelujah" that many of you said you loved.   After the service we had a precious young woman give her heart to God!


We’ve been blessed by the gardeners among us with their gifts of fresh herbs and vegetables this summer.  Today the Knotts were generous with the apples they picked on a family outing to a Michigan orchard.  Thanks for sharing!  Bring what you have, and take what you need!


Let us remind you that Mishel Rych (aka “The Announcement Lady”) has graciously offered her counseling services FREE to the people of Revolution Church! Pastor Bob and Heather Smith are available to do marriage counseling for our members. This is a tremendous blessing to us, so if you need a listening ear and some wise, godly counsel, please do not hesitate to speak with these folks. It is a beautiful thing when people tithe their skills and talents and even allow us to love on their therapy dog!


Next Sunday, September 25, we will provide pizza and pop after church for the youth staying for the Student Ministry meeting to discuss the group’s October kickoff! We would love to have your students from Jr. High to High School and College join us .


Have you taken a peek into the children's area lately? Pastor Julian and Miriam's team have decorated and made the children's church and nursery so colorful and inviting! Do not hesitate to bring your children to enjoy games and drama as they teach about Jesus! Speaking of nursery, we always can use more volunteers in this area.  Even once a month would be an awesome help.


Are you interested in finding out more about what we believe here? October 2 there is a Next Steps Membership Class right after service, and you are invited to stay and ask questions.  There is no obligation to join. No strings at all.  Please come and get to know us better.


Next week please look over the sign-up sheets on the welcome table.  There are opportunities for various Bible studies for men and for women as well as small groups. There is also a sign-up to help with the December 3rd Women’s Christmas Luncheon.  Even if the group leader already knows you are participating, it is encouraging for others to see names on those sheets.


Condolences and much love going out to the Hippenhammer family on the death of Kristen’s grandmother, Marilyn Dykstra.  Her funeral will be Monday in Orland Park. 


Thank you to all the volunteers who served in any capacity today.  Thank you to all who are faithfully financially supporting this ministry.  Be assured that not one dollar is wasted. If you were absent today, you can now contribute online by going to our Home Page.  Look what can be accomplished when we stick together and pull in the same direction!  It’s exciting!  Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings on us!





September 12, 2016:






We rejoiced as we were finally able to worship for the first time in our permanent church home in Manhattan today! Alongside paid labor crews,  and Pastor Billy (nicknamed “The Energizer Bunny”), so many of our church members hustled, grunted and worked until they were exhausted to make certain we passed inspection and were granted permission to occupy.  It was “all hands on deck” this weekend racing the clock to finish mowing, painting, vacuuming, cleaning, furnishing, printing, decorating, setting up tech equipment, and rehearsing music for this morning’s service.  JOB WELL DONE! Thank you, Lord, for faithful people who didn’t give up when the going got tough!


Many of us had gathered early for pre-service prayer when the door opened and in came a LOT of new people.  We assumed they were visitors, but they were not.  These precious folks were congregants from Sanctuary Manhattan, a local church that had seen our Grand Opening sign on the highway, and came for the sole purpose of encouraging us – “the new kids on the block”!  They gathered around close and prayed the most beautiful blessing upon us.  Then they quietly left to go to their own service.  WOW. JUST WOW.  That is how the body of believers is supposed to operate.  A win for one should be a win for all. We all bat for the same team anyway. 


The Petersens provided the colorful mum pots outside, and David & Agnes were responsible for the lovely live arrangement on the welcome table. Lynnford Fulmer worked much of the morning finishing the coffee bar wall décor for us. Thank you to each person who served in ANY capacity that made today a success.  Thank you to each visitor who ventured out to see what we are all about. We invite you to check out our Home Page to view past sermons and view opportunities for serving and for Bible studies.  Please do visit us again!


We had a super fun time marching in the Manhattan Labor Day Parade last Monday! Bruce Smit’s two vintage vehicles complete with ooga horns carried some of our people.  Pastor’s truck was converted into a Puppet-Mobile with the Sandovals and their entourage entertaining the crowds on both sides of the street.  Many of our church business cards were passed out along the parade route.  Thank you for the candy donations, and thanks to all who came out to represent Revolution in our new community!


Have a blessed week, and let’s all get some good rest tonight.  We have certainly earned it.   Every praise is to our God for this A+ day! 


















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