River Glen is a relatively young (30 years old) congregation is a suburban setting. The mission of the church is rooted in an experiential Christianity that seeks to disciple its’ members and friends to become witnesses to God’s saving love and kingdom values to neighbors and friends. This experiential and missional faith is captured in the congregation’s mission statement: The church’s mission is to “Experience God’s Love and Make Jesus Known.” The church’s cultural DNA is rooted in relationships, a beautiful property surrounded by a forest preserve that offers spiritual restoration, and a passion to serve others. Ministry to children, youth, and their families is a high priority in its suburban ministry context and it also places a high value of educating adults for bringing their faith to their life.
The church is a medium-sized congregation – 235 members with a weekly worshipping attendance of 200 in two services. The congregation’s membership is drawn mostly from northwest Naperville and the Fox Valley area of Aurora. There are two ordained pastors and a part-time children’s and music director on the program staff.
The church has an active Sunday school for all ages; youth groups for both junior and senior highs that average between 20 and 35 attendees at each age level, and regularly sends its youth to a summer conference (The Great Escape – junior highs) and mission trips (for the senior highs). Adults learn through Sunday adult education classes, small groups; and occasional conferences the church sponsors. The church is active in mission, recently ending a 10+ year partnership with a presbytery in Mexico; sponsoring over 50 orphan children in Zimbabwe whose parents have died of AIDS; working in partnership with a near-by elementary school with a lower income; sending work crews to areas impacted by natural disasters (New Orleans, river towns in Iowa and most recently to Washington, Il hit by a late season tornado). It is also hosting a new Hispanic start-up worshipping community of the Presbytery of Chicago. An additional asset of this placement is that its’ senior pastor, David Boumgarden, is also the Develop Congregations Consultant of the Presbytery of Chicago and brings that expertise to bear to the church plus can help an intern see the larger array of opportunities and challenges in the range of churches that make up any given presbytery. In addition to working with seminary interns, the church also works with social work interns from Aurora University.
With its range of ministries and congregational vitality, the church is in a good position to offer a well-rounded internship for a student desiring to prepare for parish ministry.
Naperville is a far western upper middle class suburb of Chicago approximately 45+ miles from the seminary. Many residents work in the business sector of the economy either in the greater Chicago area or in the Midwest region. Many commute to the city. The Burlington Metra line that serves Naperville is the busiest Metra line in the regional system. The suburb is predominately anglo (85-90%) with Asian as the largest minority population mostly engaged in jobs either in professional services or in work within the area’s high-tech corridor.
River Glen Brochure .
The student would have opportunity to have a general exposure to the full range of ministry of a church. There will be limited opportunity to preach and to prepare worship, to shadow in pastoral care work, to learn the working structure of the congregation, to work in a specific project that will contribute to the life of the church. This could engage the student in recruitment, group formation and group process, and leadership training. The supervision would engage the student in reflecting on all of these ministry experiences.
Travel north on the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) to I-290 (the Eisenhower Expressway). Take the Eisenhower west and it will turn into I-88 West. Continue on I-88 west to the Winfield Road exit. Turn left and go under the expressway then take a right when the road dead-ends into Diehl. Continue west on Diehl around the lake to the stoplight on Raymond Drive. Turn left (south), go one mile and the church is on the left.
The Rev. Dr. David Boumgarden, Senior Pastor
Style of Supervision
Collaborative based on action/learning/reflection model of supervision. Providing basic exposure to ministries with growing responsibilities during the supervision in some specific areas of interest.
During his tenure at River Glen, Rev. Boumgarden has supervised: