About a year ago, the leadership of Blanchard and Living Water asked, “Might we reach the increasing diversity of our area better together than apart?” At the time, Blanchard was largely Anglo, and Living Water was predominantly Asian-American. With rapidly changing demographics in our area, churches were struggling to reach the consequent diversity. Many churches were closing, and mosques and temples were taking their place. While both of our churches were reaching people like ourselves, we felt that a merger could move us out of our comfort zones to increase our dependence on God and cultural competency so that we might reach our area more effectively together.
Our goal in this merger is to be a true marriage and not merely an adoption. As a smaller, minority group, many at Living Water fear assimilation to a majority culture by the larger Blanchard congregation. However, our goal is to create a hybrid and true integration of our congregations. Initially, we are beginning as three distinct congregations worshiping at different times: Blanchard Wheaton (9:00 a.m), Warrenville (10:30 a.m) and Living Water (11:00 a.m in Wheaton). Bridges between the congregations will facilitate relationships, especially in spiritual growth, mission, special seasons of the calendar, and prayer. Our final goal is to be a church that reflects a new hybrid culture from these different congregations to reach our area more effectively. While early partnerships between the congregations may be structural and programmatic with clear goals over time, the true integration between congregations will occur organically and over time through relationship.
Our Sunday worship services are at 9:00 and 11:00 a.m, with children’s ministries (nursery through fourth grade) during both services. Classes for 5-6th grade, 7-8th grade and high school are held at 11. Adult classes (EQUIP) meet at both hours. Warrenville classes are at 9:00 a.m. followed by a 10:30 a.m. worship service. We also have a prayer meeting for all congregations on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in Wheaton.
Our merged governing board is comprised of leaders from all three congregations. We will be a full member of the Midwest District and associate members of the Korean District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.