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Families in the City with ERLC

Our very own Paulo has volunteered to put on a free soccer clinic for the kids of IBC and their friends this fall and see what it might turn into next year!

For the next four Sundays (9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14) after our worship service he will be teaching skills to the kids. Parents and other adults are welcome to come help out or fellowship on the sidelines.

Pack a lunch or grab some tacos and head over to Harrison Park by 1:00 PM. Please bring your own soccer ball if you have one.

It will culminate in a scrimmage held behind The Meeting Place after our next Table Talk on 10/21, which will hopefully turn into a church-wide game!

If you could reply to Paulo at soccer at uicarea dot com with how many kids you’ll be bringing and their ages as soon as possible that will help.

2017 Easter Egg

Periodically we have Families in the City events to encourage and equip those raising kids in our great city. Our next event will be on Friday, September 16th, at 6:30 PM at The Meeting Place. We will be done by 8:00 PM.

Dinner will be served and then there will be popcorn and a screening of a new animated film based on the children’s book – The Biggest Story. You can check out a trailer here.

Please RSVP so we know approximately how much food to order. And please invite other families that might enjoy this film!



Hi IBC Family!

It’s that time again! I am putting together the volunteer schedule for the fall and need your help!

If you are currently serving on one of the volunteer teams, you should be getting an email this weekend and can respond to that email. If you are not currently a volunteer but would like to be, please email me or let me know at church this Sunday! We could always use help with the Children’s Ministries and with Tear-Down.

Thanks so much!


admin at immanuel dash baptist dot net

Hi Everyone,

The Summer Retreat is less than a month away! If you are interested in helping with childcare at the Retreat, please let me know. I will prepare the lessons and supplies. You just have to come to the Retreat and get your instructions there. 🙂 Thanks!


kids at immanuel dash baptist dot net

Immanuel Parents:

The catechism question for this Sunday is – “What is God?”

And the children’s answer is – “God is the Creator of everyone and everything.”

Be working on this with your kids for this Sunday.

Parents: Make sure you’re working on Question 1 from the New City Catechism with your kids this week!

Q – What is our only hope in life and death?

A – That we are not our own but belong to God.

If you don’t have kids, you can follow along if you like! Check out here for a more detailed explanation of what this is and why we’re doing it.

Families of Immanuel,

The Elders had the idea of incorporating catechesis into the Children’s Blessing and Dismissal time on Sundays. Catechesis is the long-standing practice of passing on important Christian beliefs through questions and answers.

So each week one of the Elders would ask the kids the answer to a question like, “What is our only hope in life and death?” And one or more of them would shout out, “That we are not our own, but belong to God.” It would not only shape our children, but bless the rest of the congregation too.

For this to work, it will require families to be memorizing the catechism throughout the week at home. We have picked the New City Catechism – a modern tool that is based on historic catechisms and is adapted for use with children. It is comprised of 52 questions and answers – one for each week of the year. They are short and can easily be worked on around the dinner table, during Family Worship, or at bedtime.

Adults can also go through it and memorize the longer answers. There are accompanying Bible verses, explanations, videos, and prayers for optional devotional use. There is a more detailed introduction to the concept and content here.

We recommend that if possible Dads take the initiative and the lead in teaching the catechism to their kid(s) throughout the week. I (Nathan) have been doing this with my kids for several years now and have found that it’s actually quite fun for all involved. Kids’ minds are sponges. It’s not beyond the reach of a 2 year old to memorize many of these answers. 4 and 5 year olds can memorize more than you might think.

Some may question the usefulness of 2 year olds merely parroting memorized answers to these questions. But the classical educational model understands that we naturally progress through stages of grammar, dialectic (logic), and rhetoric. Michael Horton explains:

In our youngest years, we’re sponges for the grammar – not just of language but of everything. It’s the time for learning primary colors, common names for things and proper names for people, how to read books and music, and table manners.… [Children are] learning the grammar that they will use simply as a matter of course throughout their lives. Then there’s the stage of dialectic (logic), when they love to argue, question, and explore the connections between various subjects. (It’s called being a teenager!) Finally, they reach the stage of rhetoric as they begin to communicate their convictions in their own words, with richer insight, clarity, persuasiveness, and beauty….

As children, we learned to ride a bicycle first by focusing on the pedals and the handlebar, steering with jerks to the left and the right. After we fell a few times, we gradually mastered balance. If we learned a musical instrument, we focused on the keys and the scale, staring intently at the notes on the page…. Only after a lot of practice do we begin to play the music without focusing on our fingers. Eventually we find ourselves living in the music, indwelling it….

Growth in Christian discipleship can be compared to this model of learning. First, we learn the basic grammar. It certainly includes memorizing. That’s why it’s important to commit key Bible verses to memory, and it’s why the Reformation restored the early church’s practice of catechism, in which parents as well as pastors were to teach to the young and old alike.

So our goal isn’t for it to end at rote memorization. We have Sunday School classes for older kids where they can begin to enter into the dialectic phase and engage with these terms and truths. And our prayer is our children will enter the rhetoric stage well equipped to fully inhabit the faith themselves. But if one is going to be a poet, she has to start with learning the alphabet.

We plan to start with Question 1 on Sunday, April 6th, and do one per week. If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to ask!

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter