From the Blog

Brad & Gail Pontius Visit Kurdistan
May 18, 2017

Kurdistan is a region in Northern Iraq with limited self-governance. The Kurdistan Regional Government or the KRG includes the larger cities of Mosul on the Tigris River and Erbil to the East. Mosul is the ancient city of Nineveh.  The Kurds are proud decedents of the Medes, spread over Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. 

Throughout the history the Kurds have pushed back against the Turks, Arabs and the Persians to establish an independent state - but have always been defeated. Most recently the Iraqi Kurds were victims of genocide by chemical weapons unleashed on them by Saddam Husain in 1988 killing over 5,000 with poison gas.

In their struggle for independence, they have grown a strong sense of empathy for the oppressed. They are now hosting over two million displaced people from the occupation of the Islamic State in their region and beyond.

During Easter, we visited several Christian villages that had been occupied by ISIS. Some houses were flattened by mortars and air strikes.  Centrally located churches were used as ISIS headquarters, sniper towers and shooting galleries.  Graffiti disrespected the cross and our faith.  Books and musical instruments were burned.  Hatred and violence hung in the air.

The village of Telleskof had over 7000 inhabitants before ISIS arrived.  In the middle of the night, fleeing members of the neighboring village warned them that ISIS was moving quickly in their direction.  They grabbed what they could and ran for their lives.  Fortunately, the Christians of Tellesckof escaped with few casualties. 

We were able to survey some of the damage around Telleskof and visit with a few of the 400 brave residents who have returned. They know that it will be a long time until the village establishes a “new normal” – but they are thankful to be there to help make that happen.  They couldn’t stop praising their neighbors from Batnia who fled a fierce attack to warn Telleskof that ISIS was coming – saving their lives.

The majority of the villagers of Telleskof are living in IDP camps. They left their productive land, their properties and their family savings in the houses that ISIS occupied.  Their lives had been very much like ours in middle class America.  It’s been 3 years now, and they are still living day to day in tent cities with hope of returning someday.

Resettlement priorities begin with clean water, electric power and medical care. This village of Telleskof is the place where our funds were used restore water lines and a back-up generator for the medical clinic. Phase 2 of our project is to dig a well to provide clean water for the village.

We hope to continue to help the Telleskof community - maybe even go there to help rebuild homes, clean up rubble and patch bullet holes. We have been given a God-shaped opportunity to come along side these Christian brothers and sisters – to assist them during their time of need.

Please keep the people of Kurdistan in your prayers. And ask God what role you can play in their resettlement.  And if you’re interested, stay tuned for a more thorough report on our time in Kurdistan – coming soon.

From the Blog

May 18 Minute Message
May 18, 2017

Listen to the Audio

Race driver Rick Mears said, “To finish first you must first finish.”

The month of May in Indiana is best known for the excitement of the Indianapolis 500. Growing up as a Hoosier, I remember well visiting the track for a qualification day back in the 1960s – I was amazed! For days afterwards, I raced my pedal cars in the driveway pretending to be some famous Indy driver. The 500 may be the greatest spectacle in racing, but it’s no fun when you live your life with the same reckless abandon. Are you pushing yourself to the limit living each new day at breakneck speed? Do you find yourself constantly going in circles? How often does life breakdown and you feel like you’re living in the pits? Frustrating, isn’t it?

You work hard, do your best and still someone passes you low on the curve to beat you to victory lane. God never intended life to be such a rat race or any kind of race for that matter. So, slow down; lend a helping hand to other travelers; enjoy the scenery on the way home. It’s not about finishing first; it’s about finishing faithful to God.

From the Blog

May 11 Minute Message
May 11, 2017

I like this old Chinese proverb: “What is told in the ear of a man is often heard one hundred miles away.” Hi, I’m Tom Ellsworth from Sherwood Oaks Christian Church with a minute message.

Rumors can be dangerous so be cautious what you share as truth. Remember, a rumor is like a check – never endorse it until you are certain it’s genuine. Emails and the Internet are notorious for such tales; at least one or two find their way into my in-box weekly. Whether the rumor is about a mass grave discovered in Texas or a woman killed by poisoned perfume samples, we humans are notorious for believing anything in print and then passing it along. Both of those rumors are false by the way.

What the jet engine did for air travel, the Internet has done for the rumor mill. Be careful what you believe and even more importantly what you forward or retell. Once it’s shared a rumor takes on a life of its own. The current deluge of misinformation makes Jesus’ words even more relevant, “Let you yes be yes and your no be no.” Make sure that when you speak, email, text or tweet, people know it’s true. Let there be no rumors about your integrity!

From the Blog

High School Graduation!
May 09, 2017

Graduation is an exciting and wonderful part of any child’s life. This is only the beginning of many new adventures awaiting your child as he/she journeys out into the world. With the future before you, please keep in mind that your family at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church will always be behind you- praying for you, encouraging you, and guiding you along His path.

As part of the celebration of your child’s success, Sherwood Oaks will be honoring the Senior Class of 2017 on Saturday, June 3 (for the Bedford location) and Sunday, June 4 (at Bloomington locations) at all church services. Your child is also invited to a special graduate edition of The 6 that evening at The Pourhouse Café from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

As part of the church service recognition, we are requesting some basic information from you.

Submit Info

Email Photos

All information and pictures are due by 4:00pm May 22. A booklet of all graduating seniors will be handed out instead of shown on the screen during services on June 3/June 4. This way, you will have a keepsake to take with you as a reminder of this special time. 

From the Blog

the middle Jr. High Summer Events
May 05, 2017

Summer is just around the corner and the middle Jr. High Ministry has some great events lined up! Students entering 6-8 grades this fall are all invited!

Promotion Sunday

Students will promote to the next grade level on Sunday, June 4. Welcome new 6th graders!

Fuse is a great introduction to student ministry for 6-8 graders. Relevant teaching, fun activities, and small groups are incorporated. Fuse meets in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings at 9:30am.
We're changing things up a little for our incoming 6 graders. We'll have two VBX evening events: First join us in the Sherwood Oaks gym on Wednesday, June 7 from 6:00pm-7:30pm for games, food, and worship! On Friday, June 9, we'll meet at Urban Air for some extreme trampoline time from 9:00pm-11:00pm at this monthly event called After Hours.

After Hours
We'll host a special After Hours at Urban Air from 9:00pm-11:00pm on Friday, June 9! This is a great "bring a friend" event!

MIX is a four-day summer conference specifically designed for students going into sixth, seventh and eighth grades this fall. We'll leave on Monday, July 10 and will return on Thursday, July 13. Cost is $315. Click here for more information and to register online.
Core Groups
Core Groups for 6-8 grade students meet throughout the week for group discussion and activities. Visit for more information on Core Groups. Groups for new 6th graders will begin closer to fall.

Upcoming Events

Kurdistan Update
Sunday, May 28, 2017, 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Join us May 28 from 12:15pm to 1:30pm in the Fireside Room for an update on Brad & Gail’s trip to Kurdistan, Iraq. They met with close contacts in Kurdistan, as ...

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