After nearly 20 years of ministry in Indiana and Michigan, Pastor Dawayne Choice has returned to his Chicago roots to plant the Engage Christian Church, whose worship services launch this Sunday, April 2, at Beye School in Oak Park in time to celebrate the new life of the Easter season.
A non-denominational Christian church, Engage's name and purpose flow directly from its stated mission: Engaging God, His Family, His Mission. Pastor Choice described how the church's mission translates into action: "I saw the play 'Crossing Austin' at the high school [Oak Park River Forest] and I thought: A lot of our challenges can be overcome if we can learn to love each other authentically. We believe that to love one another authentically requires first experiencing the love of God. Once we experience that love, we are challenged to live in a way that communicates and demonstrates that love in our surrounding community."
Demonstrating its mission in the surrounding community is part of the reason Engage chose to locate in Oak Park. "We want to be a part of the great things that are happening in Oak Park," said Pastor Choice. "We want to collaborate with other organizations to help serve and contribute" to the community.
Pastor Choice sees a great need for mentoring for young people and support for families. The church envisions "Reclaiming lives, Restoring Families, Transforming Communities." For Pastor Choice, in addition to his ministry at ECC, living out this vision includes his mentoring through Y.E.M.B.A. (Youth Educational Mentoring Basketball Association), which offers programming at Gwendolyn Brooks and Percy Julian Middle Schools in Oak Park.
Describing the decision to start a new church, Pastor Choice explained, "People have a spiritual need to experience the love of God and Jesus. Even with all the churches available, there is still a need. There are more people who are not in church than there are in church. God graced us with the passion to meet that challenge." At ECC, that means a community of "people who love people--who hug them, love them, and welcome them; people who are excited to be together and be a representation of the love of Jesus; and people who are challenged to engage with and serve their community." Long term, ECC envisions having a permanent worship space that serves as a gathering place for its vibrant and welcoming community to host a variety of community service partners and organizations.
Engage Christian Church will be Engaging God through Worship at 10 a.m. Sunday Services at Beye Elementary School, 230 N. Cuyler Ave. Oak Park, IL 60302 starting Sunday, April 2. For More Information: Call us at 708-405-9605. Visit us at engagecc.org. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
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