"One Month to Live"

CHICAGO (News Release) New York Times bestselling author Kerry Shook will speak at Kenilworth Union Church on Friday, October 24, 2008 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Senior Pastor at the Woodlands Church near Houston, Pastor Kerry will kick off a Churchwide Challenge based on the themes of his book "One Month to Live: Thirty Days To A No-Regrets Life." The evening is sponsored by the TwoPlus group-a unique cross-denominational collaboration between nine Chicago-area North Shore churches-of which Susan Hoopes was a guiding force and founding member. Hoopes was a Chicago-area wife and mother whose live was tragically cut short while on vacation last March. Her husband Steve Hoopes will open the program and introduce Pastor Kerry.

Pastor Kerry, who co-authored One Month to Live with his wife Chris, notes that we are all eventually reduced to a date of birth, a dash, and then a date of death. The Shook's write, "You get to choose how you are going to spend that little dash of time between the two dates of your earthly existence. What are you spending yours on? Are you living the dash knowing fully who you are and why you're here? Or dashing to live, hurriedly spending precious time chasing things that really don't matter to you?"

Especially gifted in living life meaningfully, Susan was one of the leaders present when four North Shore Christian churches gathered in the summer of 2007 to answer the question: How might you make a difference in your community if you banded together?

Their idea was to gain cooperation among various denominations to make an impact in the lives of families and children by aligning in key areas. Subsequent involvement by other churches led to the formation of TwoPlus, based on the Bible verse "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them..." Matthew 18:20.

TwoPlus hosted its first event last February entitled My Last Supper Was a TV Dinner with noted media speakers Drs. Will Miller and Glenn Sparks, who examined how interpersonal relationships are impacted by the media.

Losing Susan one month after the Last Supper event caused the TwoPlus group to thoughtfully consider her legacy and to ask Pastor Kerry to speak at their upcoming event.

Born and raised in Lake Jackson, Texas, Susan was a stay-at-home mom and a former investment banker with a master's degree from Rice University. She met her husband, also an investment banker, while both were working in Houston before they moved to the North Shore nine years ago eventually settling in Kenilworth.

Audience members will be asked one central question: If you knew you only had one month to live, what would you do to make what's left of your life really matter? They will be invited to take Kerry's 30-day challenge by reading the chapters of the book (one for each day of one month) and examining, either individually or in small groups, how they can live passionately, love completely, learn humbly, and leave boldly. There will be a book signing following the event as well as an opportunity for refreshments and fellowship.

The event is sponsored by the combined efforts of the following North Shore community churches: Christ Church Winnetka, Kenilworth Union Church, Skokie Valley Baptist Church, Saints Faith Hope & Charity, The Episcopal Church of St. James the Less, Willow Creek Community Church-North Shore, Winnetka Covenant Church, North Suburban Church, and Northfield Community Church.

Tickets are $5 and are available at ticketfusion.com or by calling (877) 548-3237, or at the door. Proceeds benefit the future endeavors of TwoPlus, whose mission is to harness the power of North Shore churches working together to provide opportunities for conversation and education that lead families toward Christ-oriented living. For more information, visit twoplusnorthshore.com

The Kenilworth Union Church is located at 211 Kenilworth Avenue.

More About The Shooks

Married for nearly 25 years and with four children, Kerry and Chris Shook founded Fellowship of The Woodlands in 1993. Since then, the church has grown to an average attendance of more than 17,000 each weekend. Its main campus is in The Woodlands outside of Houston with two other satellite campuses in Texas. Kerry Shook Ministries is a worldwide television ministry broadcast on several cable networks and reaching millions of viewers in over 200 countries. The One Month to Live Churchwide Challenge is endorsed by Pastor Rick Warren, whose Saddleback Valley Community Church was one of the first participants. Launched this past summer, over 1,200 churches across the country have signed up to take their members through the challenge. One Month to Live: Thirty Days To A No-Regrets Life was first released in hardcover and audio CD in February, 2008 and is published by WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House. More recent additions to the line include a guidebook for small group study and daily devotional journal. For more information, visit onemonthtolive.com.

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