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Our Mission Statement

We gather in grace, connected by a sense of place and purpose with generations of faithful servant-leaders who journeyed before us. We seek to open our hearts as we open our doors - with room for everyone - and to open all our senses to God's life-affirming, life-changing presence through creative and diverse worship.

We grow in grace, not because we know all the answers - or even all the questions - but because we are drawn to God's word and Christ's example. We seek to be Christ's family here and now - to embrace each other as we are, to nurture who we might become, to celebrate with one another in good times and encourage one another in hard times, to listen and learn and lead.

We go in grace, challenged and strengthened by the Spirit to do God's work and show God's love in the world. We seek to look beyond our walls and beyond ourselves - to see God's image in every face, and to serve God's people in every place life leads us.

The journey continues in an ever-widening circle of grace.

headphones  Circle of Grace ©2011


Session has accepted a gift of a bench from our Compassion, Peace & Justice Team. The bench is intended as a tangible sign of welcome to RCLPC, where, as our Mission Statement expresses it, "We seek to open our hearts as we open our doors - with room for everyone." We strive to be a House of Worship for all peoples, regardless of race, nationality, political persuasion, socio-economic status, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

FAQs: What We Believe

An open letter from Pastor John

Dear Friends,

The most common questions I am asked are:

"Who are RCLPC?"
"What do you believe?"
"What does Presbyterian mean?"
"What is the Presbyterian position on X, Y or Z?"
"Are you progressive or conservative, left or right, open or closed, affirming or exclusionary?"

I usually start by saying, "that is a very complex topic, which I can't hope to do justice to in a few words or minutes." However, the questions keep on coming because people are seeking answers, comfort, support, truth.

So here goes...

Working on Our Vision

New BeginningsNow that the New Beginnings program is complete, the Vision team is launching a new program called "Working on Our Vision". The New Beginnings report was completed and approved by the Session in June. Working on our Vision is the program to make sure that we stay focused on where we want to take RCLPC in the future. Details about this new program and the role of the Vision team is covered in the report. Please click on the link below to read the full report.

New Beginnings Report for Session

We don't plan on the New Beginnings report to sit on a shelf to collect dust or to be seen as complete and locked. We want to keep the momentum and positive effects we have seen since beginning the program going. We want to get your feedback, needs, and new ideas. We also want everyone to stay aware of the progress we are making.

We have scheduled a joint Elder/Deacon/Staff working session for October 23rd to go over the report in detail and work on an action plan. The Vision team also plans on meeting to make sure we track our progress and make recommendations to session for additional activities.

If you have questions, ideas or feedback, please contact Pam Palmer.

Our History

early years development years growth years visioning 2000 new beginnings


John Dillon The Rev. John Dillon has been Pastor at RCLPC since September 2010.

A native of Glasgow in Scotland he started his career in production and sales and served with I.C.I. Ltd, a multi-national chemical company, before becoming a minister of the Church of Scotland. In 1993 he transferred to the PC(USA) and has served congregations in California, Arkansas, Florida, and Maryland.

John holds qualifications in Business Studies from Slough College of Technology, a Bachelor of Arts in History of Modern Design & Architecture from the Open University, Milton Keynes, and a Bachelor of Divinity, Joint Honors in Systematic & Practical Theology, from Trinity College, University of Glasgow. He has been a member of the Iona Community since 1988 and is President of the Iona Community - New World Foundation USA. He lives in Crystal Lake with his wife Louise and their four children.

John is passionate about building community and mutual understanding between disparate groups in our society; social justice; care and support of the bereaved and hurting. He believes that diversity is one of God's greatest gifts and that we tend to turn this into a barrier rather than a bridge. He is interested in classic rock, art and architecture and history and trying to keep up with his kids.

Raechel Sowa has been a member of RCLPC for 20 years and has participated in many areas of church life. She has been a SS teacher, nursery liaison, Confirmation leader, Elder, and most recently, our youth leader. After years in the non-profit world holding various positions, she has felt she could assist RCLPC by coordinating our Middle School and High School youth and she states she has "loved the experience." Her goal is to help our youth leaders create a dynamic youth program that our youth want to invite their friends to.

Kim StewartKim Stewart has worked in the church office since October, 2005 and is currently our Office and Website Administrator. She holds a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Computer Information Systems and a special emphasis in Management Information Systems from Columbia College of Missouri. Prior to working in the church office, Kim volunteered as our Sunday School Coordinator for six years.

Kim has taught Java Programming classes at the McHenry County College, developed the database and data entry system for the Winnetka Congregation Women's Society, and prior to 2011, developed and maintained the website for the Lake County Teachers Association. Before moving to Crystal Lake, Kim owned and operated her own typesetting business that specialized in designing medical, business, and government forms. She had previously worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb/Mead Johnson Company (in Evansville, Indiana) for 10 years in the Medical Department where she managed the Forms Design Group.

Her interests include reading Science Fiction and historical non-fiction books, watching the Science channel (especially about medical advances and new technolology), and keeping up with world news and politics. She secretly believes that one day she can become a cellular and molecular bioengineer, or at the very least design the next nanotechnology medical application. ;-)