All you need is love

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

All you need is love

I went to the first service of the Free Church, which was held in Theater 7 of the Lake Theater on Sunday, September 9.

You'd have to label them an evangelical congregation, but what struck me was how little of the sermon by the pastor, Chuck Colegrove, had to do with doctrinal truth.  He didn't even quote the Bible in every other sentence as an appeal to its authority.

I'm not saying that he doesn't care about doctrine or that he doesn't see the Bible as authoritative.  It's just that he didn't emphasize those two things.

What he and his wife Urshanna focused on as they led worship was love and relationships.  Much of his sermon was about his personal journey, what and who led him and his family to move from secure jobs in large churches in Texas to take the risk of starting a new congregation in a village which already has over 40 faith communities.  In my opinion he did a better job of introducing himself to the public than either Romney or Obama did at their conventions.

Following are some quotes from an interview I had with him which illustrate how he seems to trust his heart, his intuition as much or more than his head:

We felt God was speaking to us to start a church.

But something in our hearts keep pushing there must be something else we're supposed to do.

We fell in love with what the village of Oak Park represented.

Our heart was attracted to this place, that was God opening the door for us to say this is the right place for you.

Life moves at the speed of relationships.

We just kept thinking if God puts this in our heart he's going to open more doors for us and put in the right people in our lives.

We'd just talk to people and say this is what's in our heart and we'd love for you to be a part of it.

I just feel that the way God's love is such a free gift for us if we can just come together in agreement on that how powerful that is we can change the world on the power of that love and do it together.

A lot of times people don't know that there is a community that really loves them.

I started with first verse in Luke because that resonates so much in my heart.

The Church has always vacillated between the pole of rational, doctrinal orthodoxy on the one hand and the pole of pietism on the other.  The Free Church seems to be emphasizing the latter pole.


Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

1 Comment - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Derek Peterson from Lidgerwood, ND  

Posted: September 18th, 2012 2:18 PM

Tom, It is so good to see your voice coming across my computer screen. When you get the chance, send me your personal email address, so we can talk. (I co-founded a foundation in Chicago, and I would like to talk with you about it!) Hope to talk with you soon! Derek Peterson from Moose Lake back in 1979.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad