To: The Members and Friends of Northminster
Re: Weekly Update
June 22, 2022

Bob Jordan


I’m writing this edition of First Words, on Tuesday, June 21. Out of all the days of the year, I should have enough time to complete my task today, being that it’s the summer solstice. True, every day has the same number of hours, but today we enjoy the most hours of daylight compared to every other day of the year. Officially, we will enjoy approximately one more second of daylight today than we had yesterday—a total of 15 hours, 5 minutes, and 31 seconds. Hopefully, even though tomorrow’s daylight will be shorter than today’s, you will still have enough time to read these words when they arrive in your inbox on the 22nd.


There is something very helpful in the patterns we derive from the earth’s rotation around the sun and around its own axis: predictable rhythms. Today marks the longest day, just as December 21—the winter solstice—will mark the shortest. And even though the length of daylight changes, as a rule, days are all 24 hours in length. When one finishes, the next one begins. One day’s daylight gives way to nighttime just as nighttime will eventually give way to the next day of daylight.


Followers of God have utilized these celestial patterns as an organizing tool for their spiritual lives. Whether it is just before or just after the sun is lowest in the eastern sky, lovers of God carve out time for prayer and reading of God’s Word and maybe silence and singing too. As the sun reaches its peak in the sky, again Christians have been known to step away from the busyness of the day to turn their faces toward God through a mixture of spiritual practices. Some will add an evening devotion and again a nighttime gathering before God to reflect on the day, confessing sins and expressing gratitudes.


This pattern of intentional, rhythmic time with God has for its practitioners added to the robustness and clarity of faith. Deliberately engaging God in prayer, silence, Bible reading, etc. in a metronomic progression through the day functions like a recalibration of the heart, mind, and soul. Believing God’s voice to be the most important of all, our little God-times ensure that our ears remain attuned to what God reveals and dialed in to the most important relationship in our lives.


With today (Tuesday) being this year’s summer solstice, what a great time to reconsider our own rhythmic patterns of worshipping and listening to God. If you’re looking for a helpful resource, I recently stumbled up the app Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. The app provides devotions for each portion of the day. I add in some extra time for silence and make use of the app’s links to a daily worship song and to Bible passages. I would love to hear from you. What pattern of daily devotion are you enjoying (or that you’re going to give a try)?



Over the last two weeks we have welcomed our new Covenant Partners into the congregation during Worship.  Below are some highlights of their introductions.  We hope this information will help you remember them and give you a starting point for conversation when you meet!

Wesley Aldroubi – nicknamed "The Mayor" in middle school by his uncle because of his interest in/love of Peoria and the first generation born in the US on his dad’s side, his dad having come from Syria.

Katy Carpenter - loves to travel (recent trip to Puerto Rico); social worker for OSF Health Care.

Stephen Carpenter – likes working in the yard (recently moved into a new house where he can practice!); works in IT for OSF.

Mackenzie Hopping - really enjoys quiet!; is an artist/therapist; also an athlete with Team USA in the sprint duathlon.

Jake Hopping – general/bariatric surgeon; avid outdoorsman – hikes, hunts, runs, bikes; guitarist and singer.

Judith Peterson – retired from public health nursing; focusing attention on growing in faith, reading through Bible with husband, Reid.

Reid Peterson - has a hobby farm in Stark County; retired and enjoying their grandchildren.

Elaina Shadrach - a closet saxophone player; a primary care physician in Chillicothe; husband’s residency brought them to Peoria; has 1 year old daughter, Robyn, a St. Bernard, named Cooper and cat named Heidi Klum.

Sally Saul - Purdue Alum; met husband on their first day at Purdue; art teacher in Dunlap schools; finished her Master’s degree in Art Education this spring; three children: high school freshman and sophomore and one in college.

Traci Tylar – does life with her doodle, Duke; originally from the inland Northwest; became a Christian through the outreach ministry of Young Life at the age of 15.

** If you are interested in becoming a Covenant Partner at Northminster, or just learning more about Northminster, contact Kathie Rollins about the next Starting Point class (  **



At the meeting of Northminster’s Session (Board of Elders) last night, the elders heard un update from the Kids Min Core Team on the incredible ministry taking place through dedicated leaders and volunteers and the urgency of recruiting a Kids Min Coordinator. Elder and HR team member Gary Tupper will lead the effort in seeking the person to fill this position. The Session also received updates from Elder Chris Kerr on BSA Troops 88 and 888 and from Elder Steve Rollins regarding May financials. With the State’s covid designation of Peoria County as High Community Level, the Session voted to recommend to the congregation the IDPH guidelines (see below). New elders Cameron Kagy, Garrett Ringness, Josh McBee, and Nick Stier were introduced, and outgoing elders Dan Loer and Steve Rollins were celebrated. Elder Laura Amodio, whose term is also coming to an end, couldn’t be present, so encouragements and celebrations will be sent her way.



The State of Illinois recently recognized Peoria County’s uptick in Covid-19 cases by designating the area as High Community Level. In response, the Northminster Session recommends to the congregation the Illinois Department of Public Health’s guidelines associated with the new designation:

High Community Level (For the IDPH website, click HERE.)

Individual- and household-level prevention behaviors

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)
  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
    • Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection
    • Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed
  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (e.g., testing)
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease
    • consider self-testing to detect infection before contact
    • consider wearing a mask when indoors with them
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
    • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing)
    • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, PrEP, and monoclonal antibodies


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