About Us

New Covenant ChurchNew Covenant Community (NCC)

NCC was founded in 1992. We are a union congregation, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ. We are a progressive, Open and Affirming/More Light congregation which welcomes all persons into full participation in the life of our community, regardless of race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. NCC is also a member of Progressive Christianity.org, an ecumenical coalition of like-minded congregations who embrace the search for meaning in their lives and for justice in the world, as well as a member of Illinois People’s Action.

The format of most worship services includes time for reflection followed by community comment or discussion.  We come from various backgrounds and represent a range of ages and professions, and seek spiritual growth in a warm, intellectually challenging, Christ-centered, justice-seeking community.  The sharing of the bread and cup is a central part of our worship and we meet around the table.  Communion has a number of symbolic meanings for us.  It is a reminder of the ministry of Jesus who, in a society marked by rigid social separations invited all sorts of people to be reconciled to God and to each other around the supper table.  We, who are many and diverse, also become one Community as we share one loaf. In the tradition of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) we celebrate Christ’s open table every Sunday.   We invite all who wish to do so to participate in this symbolic meal with us.


Bob and Susan RyderRevs. Bob and Susan Ryder, Co-Pastors

Bob and Susan came to New Covenant Community (NCC) in August of 1997.  They were both ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1989, and have dual ordination standing in the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Bob was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. He attended Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA and Princeton Theological Seminary.  Susan was born and raised in Southern California, and attended California State University at Long Beach and Princeton Theological Seminary.  Both have undergraduate degrees in psychology. They met in seminary, married on New Year’s Eve in 1986, and graduated from Princeton in 1988. They share their home with their Yellow Lab, Daisy. In their time off they enjoy camping on the beach in South Carolina and among the red rocks of southern Utah; volunteering at the local Humane Society; reading; going to movies; and spending time with friends.

2018 Steering Committee

Our congregation is governed by a Steering Committee, which has ten members (eight people elected by the congregation, plus the pastors).

Devon Lovell, Chair
Peg Kirk, Vice-Chair
Caroline Fox Anvick, Secretary
Scott Flack, Treasurer

At Large Members:
Mark Austill
Brenda Huber
Betty Rademacher
Mary Beth Taylor

Bob and Susan Ryder, Co-Pastors

NCC Endowment Committee

Mark Austill, Brian Finch, Scott Flack, and Kim Tingley

Pastor/Parish Relations Committee

Nikki Brauer, Caroline Fox, David Hirst, Peg Kirk, Jim Turner

Jim and Gwen Pruyne Lectureship in Progressive Christianity Committee

Scott Bolbock (Chair), Peg Kirk, Bob Lenz, Margaret Rutter, Garrett Scott, Peggy Scott, Mark Wyman, Susan Ryder (ex-officio)

Campus Religious Center Board of Directors (NCC Representatives)

Scott Flack, John Kirk, Mark Lewis, Bob Ryder

Partners in Mission

Willemina Esenwein, Marla Finch, Pam Lubeck, Karen Rousey, Margaret Rutter, Mary Beth Taylor (Chair)

Care Team

Willemina Esenwein, Marie Genrich, Mary Beth Taylor, Karyn Turner

Adult Education Planning Group

Nikki Brauer, Susan Ryder, Tom Sullivan

Worship Planning Team

Willemina Esenwein, Steffanie Flack, Donella Hess-Grabill (convener), Karen Rousey, Susan Ryder, and Mike Spears