Trunk or Treat planned on Halloween
ESCANABA — The Second Annual Trunk or Treat event will take place Oct. 31st from 4 to 6 p.m. in downtown Escanaba. Trunk or Treat is a safe place for kids to get lots of free candy, organizers said. Dressed up vehicles will be parked in the Escanaba Farmer’s Market lot, corner of 9th Street and 1st Avenue North, with their trunks open and tailgates down. Inside the trunks will be loads of candy for the children that friendly volunteers will hand out.
The event is an area wide effort by Silver Winds Church, city of Escanaba, Downtown Development Authority and over thirty other corporate sponsors. “This year we even have sugar-free candy for diabetic children,” said Rev. Art Radlicki, pastor of Silver Winds Church. About 1,000 people visited the site last year and many more can be served this year.
Out for treats
Taken from Escanaba Daily Press 11/1/06.
Noah Thames, 4, and his sister, Arista Thames, 5, of Escanaba, collect candy from a masked motorcyclist at the Trunk or Treat event at the Farmer’s Market in Escanaba Tuesday.
Church Gives Residents "Cheap Gas"
By Kim Strom
ESCANABA - As a rather unorthodox way to celebrate its fifth anniversary, a local church decided to give something back to the community - cheap gas. People came out in droves to take advantage of the rare opportunity.
From 6-7 p.m. Thursday, eleven members of Silver Winds Church in Escanaba filled tank after tank of regular unleaded gas for $1.99 per gallon from JB's Convenience Corners on Danforth Road in Escanaba.
"We're paying 25 cents on each gallon just to say thanks to the community," said Lisa Radlicki. Her husband, Art, is the pastor of Silver Winds. JB's co-owner Jim Beauchamp came down 4 cents on the gallon from
$2.29 to help the church meet its goal of offering the fuel for under $2.00.
"I think it's very good what they're doing for the community," Beauchamp said, adding the promotion was very good for him, too. Radlicki guessed almost two hundred people participated in the unique offer.
Customers Tom and Piper Desy of Escanaba filled three of their vehicles. They heard about the event on a local radio station at about 5:30 p.m.
Gary Erickson from Marquette had no idea why the gas was so cheap. That didn't matter. He was able to completely fill his half-ton pick for about $45.00. "I never fill it up," he said. "It costs too much."
Another woman was so impressed with the church's gesture, she likened it to a "pay it forward" kind of story.
A woman got gas and didn't know how she was going to go into the station and pay for it, because there was so many cars in the parking lot coming and going, and she had two very small children in the car, said Joy Williams of Escanaba. Williams' son, Adam, 12, offered to watch the children. "This woman trusted complete strangers," she said.
The customer offered the boy $5 for the favor. "My son refused," Williams said. It's like, one act of kindness spurred many others, she said.
At 7:00 p.m., J.B.'s gas prices rolled back to their original price of $2.29 per gallon.
Christian Rock Music recorded by Silverwinds
Don't be left out in the dark
Taken from Escanaba Daily Press 3/2/01
'sneak preview sunday for unique church'
There's going to be a sneak preview once again at the Michigan Theater in Escanaba on Sunday morning. But don't gather up money for popcorn and come prepared to view a movie.
The sneak preview will be the official "unveiling" service of Silver Winds Church. Leading the non-denominational congregation is pastor Art Radlicki who extends an open invitation to join in the fundamental, yet contemporary worship service which will begin at 10:30.
Although Silver Winds Church is Baptist in doctrine, Radlicki said he is reluctant to stress the connection, particularly since there are already a number of Baptist churches already operating in the Delta County area.
"It is a Baptist church, but our desire is to de-emphasize the denominational aspect. It's really not that important. Our intention is to have an interdenominational focus and to reach out to families and individuals who do not already have a place to worship," he explained, adding that his intention is not to draw worshippers away from other churches. "It's not our intent to 'shuffle the sheep' or 'change the addresses of the saints' as they say, but to reach out to different types of persons in the community people who are not already attending or do not feel comfortable in other churches in the area."
In the process, Radlicki is offering an upbeat and contemporary worship service enhanced with lively upbeat music (complete with 6-7 member band) and drama. "I'm hoping to remove as many barriers as possible that keep people from wanting to come to church," he said. "People can come to this church and have a life-changing experience."
Radlicki said many people shy away from church for three reasons. "There are those who say 'all the church wants is is our money' and others who complain 'the pastor always talks over my head,'" he explained. "Others feel the church is irrelevant and has nothing to do with their lives today. When working with people, some pastors will start out with biblical passages. I start out with life issues and show the person what the Bible has to say about it."
Music, according to Radlicki, will be an important part of his ministry, however, you won't find a hymnbook in the seats of Silver Winds Church. "We have the words of our songs printed out on an overhead," he explained. "There are people who wouldn't sit through organ music or read words out of hymnbook. The music is upbeat with a message."
While the average person may consider Silver Winds Church just another church to add to a long list of churches, Radlicki has taken a new and innovative approach to introduce his ministry to the area. Since last summer, racks of children's clothing have been on display on the sidewalk in front of the former theater as an attraction to "Born Again Clothing for Kids," a store that features high quality used clothing for infants and children.
"We refer to it as 'BACK' because it's a store that gives back to the community," Radlicki explained. "The purpose of the store is to bring people into the church," he explained. "That's been wildly successful. Businesses in the area have been so supportive and when people stop by, they usually ask 'What's going on?' Then we have the opportunity to tell them about ourselves. It's already given us the opportunity to build relationships and share the vision of what this church could become."
Radlicki is a native of Manistee in lower Michigan. After graduating from Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1992, he preached in the St. Paul and Minneapolis area for 12 years before arriving in Escanaba in January of last year with his wife, Lisa, and their two children. He leased the Michigan Theater two months later with an option to purchase the building at a later date.
Although Radlicki is supported by the Baptist General Conference, he describes his venture as more than a new church "planting" but as an evangelical transdenominational organization. According to Radlicki, Silver Winds Church, with its store-front ministry, is the first of its type started by the Baptist General Convention.
"This is a pioneer venture," said the pastor. "It's a partnership. We are helped with the cost of the building and as the church grows, those costs will be used to help other programs. Every bit of revenue helps keep this business functioning. It's a great ministry outlet because all our clothing is donated and all our workers are volunteers. Our only cost factor was in getting racks and securing this building."
Radlicki concluded, "If every church building now located in the area was filled to capacity twice there would still not be able to meet the needs of the people who don't now attend church. There's plenty of room for all of us."
Teen Club Operators Reach Out To Troubled Youth
by: ROB BUCHLER
Giving area youth a place to hang out has been the goal of Club Vertigo owner Dennis Herp since he opened the Friday nightclub in Escanaba last August.
The club has proven popular with teens, drawing a typical crowd of 175-200 youth to the old Michigan Theater on Ludington Street. His efforts have hit a bit of a roadblock, though, with a Delta County Probate court decision banning youth on probation to the family division of Delta County Circuit Court from going to the club.
Club Vertigo is open from 7-11 p.m. Friday nights and offers music, dancing, snacks and conversation. Formerly known as Club Inferno, Herp said he changed the name once he realized some were interpreting "Inferno" as meaning "Hell," an image he did not intend to project.
"I'm here for four hours to provide entertainment and a safe environment, and a safe environment is not fighting, or smoking, or alcohol. I'm against all those things," he said. But he does reach out to those kids who may have problems, which is the main reason he is upset with the probate court decision.
"I've never been after the 'popular kids.' I want to help those kids who have drinking problems, who have problems with violence, and the probate court is taking away the kids who I'm trying to help," he said.
Delta County Probate Judge Robert Goebel said the court's decision to keep youth on probation from going to the club was not based on anything bad they had learned or heard about the Friday night club. "It's just a feeling we have that they (the youth on probation) would be more successful in completing their probations if they stayed away," he said.
Goebel said his Jan. 9 decision was not meant to indicate the club was a bad influence on youth. Neither Goebel nor Herp had any idea how many youth the order would affect, though Herp was concerned word of the ruling would circulate and create a bad image in parents' minds about the club.
Herp said he strives to keep a safe, clean environment for youth, and enforces several rules to do so. Among the rules are bans on smoking, alcohol, swearing, sexual activity ("Two bodies, two seats," as they call it), and even gum chewing.
Adult staff members even pat down youth when they enter, to keep cigarettes, alcohol and other illicit items out of the club. Herp said they worked with Escanaba Public Safety to ensure it was permissible to pat down attendees, who are checked by staff members of the same sex.
Herp's wife, Tracey, said the youth are fine with being checked at the door. "The kids don't have a problem with it. They'll come up with their coats open and tell us to look," she said.
Rev. Art Radlicki, who is planting a church at the theater known as Silver Winds Church, which owns the building, said he is very supportive of what the Herps are trying to do for area youth.
"I have never in my ministry seen something grow so quickly," he said of Club Vertigo's attendance. "I know a lot of churches would like to experience that kind of growth in their programs," he added.
Radlicki's church-planting launch team provides about 15 adult volunteers to help the Herps on Friday nights, supplementing their own staff of 15 to supervise the youth. "I was impressed real quickly with how quick he was to enforce the rules," Radlicki said of Herp. "He is good at being a friend to the youth but not a buddy, and he has the ability to disappoint without burning bridges. The kids always come back."
Radlicki said having the youth in the theater Friday nights has made a unique partnership between the two organizations. Herp pays a minimum $50 up to $300 a week to run the club at the church's building, with money coming from the $1 collected from each youth in attendance.
Herp said he also enjoys partnering with Radlicki. "It's a huge asset to me. It makes my job a whole lot easier.". Tracey Herp added, "The kids' jaws drop when Dennis tells them Art is a pastor." Dennis said without the help of Radlicki and his staff, and the free air time given by MIX 106, he would never have been able to get Club Vertigo off the ground and running.
Herp said he reacts as quickly as possible to any problems that occur in the club. He said nine times out of 10 problems are dealt with on the spot, though once in a great while a teen will have to be sent home. Tracey said her main job with the club is to walk around and serve as a rules enforcer. Adult volunteers also go outside about every 10 minutes beginning at 6:30 p.m. to make sure youth aren't causing any problems outside.
Herp said nearby business owners have told him their Friday night sales have gone up because kids aren't hanging out in front of their stores and scaring away potential customers.
He also said he hopes the community doesn't lose sight of what he is trying to accomplish with Club Vertigo, which he says is to keep as many teens as possible from going through what he did:
"I grew up with an alcoholic and drug-addicted stepfather. He taught me everything I knew about being bad. It landed me at 15 living under the viaducts in Grand Rapids with nothing but my drugs and alcohol. One day I looked in a mirror and didn't like what I'd become," he said. With the help of five friends, Herp said he quit drugs and alcohol cold turkey. "I've grown leaps and bounds now, since I was 18," the 29-year-old said. "I try to talk to as many of the kids as possible, and tell them why I'm doing this for them," he said.
A FASHIONABLE WAY TO START A CHURCH
by Sallie Schaaf Borrink
What do you get when you combine a historic movie theater, a secondhand children’s clothing store and the third largest community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? A very innovative church planting operation - Silver Winds Church, Escanaba, Mich.
Art Radlicki and his wife Lisa moved to Escanaba in January 2000 with a vision of planting a church. But the way they are accomplishing this is far from ordinary. Through a partnership with Great Lakes Church Planting (BGC) and The Partnership for Church Planting, Art and Lisa are laying the foundation of this church through a Store called Born-Again Clothes for Kids.
Born-Again Clothes for Kids is an upscale, secondhand children's clothing store. "This is not a Goodwill-type store," points out Art. "We want this store to stand out and be different. So far, people have been very pleased with the quality and thrilled with the pricing."
Outfitted with style and savvy
Art credits Lisa with much of the store's success. "She is very involved. I could not have picked a better person to partner with in mission work. She is very knowledgeable about what should go into the store. She knows prices to ask and what will sell well. She wants the store to be something special."
So how does a children's clothing store lead to planting a church?
The store has been an excellent means for the Radlickis to become a part of the community. As word has spread, business has steadily increased. Each time a customer walks into the store, Art and Lisa have a new opportunity to make a connection with a community member. According to Art, the store serves three purposes. First, it provides a way for Art and Lisa to become involved with the community in a readily visible way. Second, it helps them earn the right to be heard as they become a part of what goes on daily in Escanaba. Third, it generates income that helps with the establishment of a new church
So where does the historic movie theater come in?
When Art and Lisa were looking for a building to house the store, they were amazed to find the Michigan Theater building available. A historic landmark, the theater was built during the 1920s. Its large silver screen is still present in the 340-seat auditorium. "The acoustics are fabulous because the theater was built during the silent film era," remarks Art. The auditorium also has a stage that has been enlarged and will be enlarged again in the near future, to meet church needs.
The clothing store is in the concession and lobby area of the theater. The auditorium currently is being rented out to various groups in the community - allowing Art and Lisa to continue to build relationships with community members. It also brings more people into the theater and helps raise awareness about Born-Again Clothes for Kids.
Launching the store has not been without difficulties. "When we were getting the store rolling, we were short on volunteers and product. All the clothes are donated. We were initially open noon to four. But when we opened full-time, it brought more traffic and things picked up. Lisa and I staffed it ourselves until there were volunteers."
For Art, managing the momentum of the church has been a challenge. So many people in the area are excited about a church with a contemporary style coming to town. While the church has not officially been launched, "we are 'doing church' even though we are not meeting on Sunday mornings," says Art. He estimates that 97 percent of his and Lisa's time at the store is spent talking with people - sharing the gospel, doing contact counseling with people regarding issues in their lives, and just generally getting to know people.
˜It's getting good reviews
"The word is out in the community that this will be a church that welcomes those who are hurting," says Art, thrilled that the perception is out there that this church wants to make a difference in people’s lives.