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New Lenox church’s book answers kids’ questions about God

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Updated: November 22, 2012 6:14AM



How old is God? Will my pet go to heaven? Why didn’t Jesus write his own book?

When it comes to their faith, children have all kinds of questions.

A New Lenox church has some answers. They come in a brightly illustrated hardcover book called “Questions Kids Ask About God” (QKA Publishing, $14).

“We see this book as a way to reach out to people everywhere and encourage them to ask questions,” said Dave Hedlin, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church. “Questions and conversation let faith be real.”

The inquiries in the book came from local kids through a system Hedlin began years ago when he invited youngsters to submit whatever questions they had about God into a specially marked box in the church narthex. Once a month, Hedlin would pull out the ponderings and answer them during worship service.

“When we were kids, we just kind of accepted what adults told us,” Hedlin said. “Kids today are much less inhibited.”

As a result, many of their questions are much more profound and, he said, some of them are not entirely answerable.

“Kids want to know what Jesus looked like, what heaven looks like,” Hedlin said. “We give them the best answers we can.”

The point, he said, is to open lines of communication, let both children and adults know it’s OK to have questions.

Three years ago, church member Eric Sperstad had the idea to compile many of the questions Hedlin had been collecting into a book.

Sperstad said the inspiration for the project came from something his father taught him many years ago.

“He’d said that in this trying environment, everybody needs to find a faith,” he said. “If we could just remember that sometimes the questions kids ask are so simple, yet they open so many doors.”

Sperstad got immediate approval from both Hedlin and the church council. A committee was formed, and the hunt began to find illustrators.

With the help of Paul Faris, art department chair at Lincoln-Way Central and Lincoln-Way West high schools, three district students — Lillian Krieger, Jacob Brown and Courtney Paarlberg — were recruited for the job.

All who worked on the project volunteered their services.

“This was really about community,” Sperstad said. “We are all given flashes of ideas and inspirations. When we work together, it’s that entrepreneurial spirit that gets the job done.”

Committee member Carol Hedlin, the pastor’s wife, said, “It was a learning experience for all of us. We each brought a different specialty to the project.”

Now, Sperstad said, the goal is to get the book into the hands of parents and let the dialogue begin.

Proceeds from “Questions Kids Ask About God” will support children’s ministries, such as Lutheran World Relief, a social service agency that helps people around the world; and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit committed to ending world hunger.

“I’m very grateful for all the work that went into this book,” Dave Hedlin said. “We’re all pleased with how it turned out.

“We think God would be pretty happy.”

Books can be bought at Peace Lutheran Church, 1900 Lincoln Highway, New Lenox; (815) 485-5327; and at www.qkapublishing.com.



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