Summer worship is at 8 & 10 am

June 30th, 2015 · Announcements, Events

Worship in our garden on July 19 and August 16. Weather permitting! Bring lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray, dogs on leashes!

St. John's Episcopal Chicago, Prayer Flags in the trees

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We are open for prayer today

June 18th, 2015 · Announcements, Education, In the Community

Reflection on the killing at Emanuel AME Church

It was hard to wake up to the news of the church shooting in Charleston this morning. One more notch on the list of dangerous things to do when black. It is tempting to give in to the belief that good has departed from the world, that nothing we do changes anything, that sin has won. I was reminded today that we can’t think or plan or research or analyze our way out of sin. We must act, commit acts of love, speak words of justice, live lives that change the world.

Today I also received the news that a new baby came into this world last night, June 17 at 9:11 p.m. We have been keeping his parents in our prayers in these last months of anticipation and hope, and now he is here! We rejoice with his parents in this gift. He is a beloved child of God, who will bring belovedness into our world. We know this because of the faith of his parents and the hope of our Christian community.

Sin and blessings are the realities of our world, and we believe in a God who promises that blessings will outweigh and outmaneuver sin and evil. We believe this even when we walk through the valleys of the shadow of death. In times of great joy we remember our call to act for, create, and claim those blessings, not just for ourselves, but for every human being, every living creature, and the earth itself. I am thankful for your witness to this promise and this work, and for baby Longbrake, another player on Team Love.

I offer two reflections for you, the first from scripture, the second from Bishop Lee, as he prepares for the General Convention and his witness as part of Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

May God Bless and keep you, now and always,

Kara +

Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24

God did not make death,

And he does not delight in the death of the living.

For he created all things so that they might exist;

the generative forces of the world are wholesome,

and there is no destructive poison in them,

and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.

For righteousness is immortal.


God created us for incorruption,

and made us in the image of his own eternity,

but through the devil’s envy death entered the world,

and those who belong to his company experience it.


Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence: An Invitation from Bishop Lee
This is a link to Bishop Lee’s letter which was issued on Wednesday, just before the shooting.

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Solemn Communion

May 18th, 2015 · Announcements

solemn communionOn May 17 fourteen children celebrated a deeper understanding of Holy Eucharist. Together we offer, bless, break, and share.



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March 26th, 2015 · Announcements

First we dig up the Alleluia scroll!

First we dig up the Alleluia scroll!

Christ is risen!

Christ is risen!

Everyone is welcome to the feast

Everyone is welcome to the feast

time for the egg hunt

time for the egg hunt







time to eat the foods blessed for Easter

time to eat the foods blessed for Easter

kids at easter 2015

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Where is God?

March 9th, 2015 · Announcements, Education

broken statue


A Reflection by Joshua Longbrake from his blog.


What must I do to get your attention? To get you to speak up? Do I need to pray multiple times a day in a certain position, bowing on my knees or standing on my head? Do I need to go to a specific location? Or are there actions I need to take? Tell me what to do to get you to speak.

Or maybe I don’t need to do anything except listen and look and wait and see.

I was chatting amongst empty pews with Kara, our priest, and Kate and Jason. I preached yesterday (audio here), asking the question Where is God?and pointing out places where the gospel of John speaks to the same question over and over again with audacity and creativity. The question is personal, one I’ve been churning out daily during Lent.

While the four of us were talking after the service there was a sudden roar like thunder from the sacristy (a little room off to the side of the sanctuary). At first I thought the innards of the large organ had collapsed, giant pipes that are built into the wall and which continue through the walls and into a back corner of sacristy. We ran up the center aisle, passed the altar and into that tiny room to see both what had happened and to make sure no one was hurt.

Shelves had collapsed under the weight of what look like giant candlestick holders as large as my arm and made out of thick brass. They had fallen onto a glass table that subsequently shattered. On one of the shelves was also a statue of the virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus.

Kate said, “You asked the question, ‘Where is God?’ and now you’ve found him in the form of this broken baby Jesus. You should probably take him and Mary home.” Kara laughed and nodded and I wondered about signs and the idea of God’s playfulness and the possibility of me making meaning out of events that could be simply chance — but I like to believe the former.

– Joshua Longbrake 9 Mar 2015

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Ash Wednesday

February 19th, 2015 · In the Community

Reflection on Ashes-to-Go

I just came in from distributing ashes at the Irving Park CTA station with the Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer and Barbara Cohn, another parishioner from St. John’s Episcopal Church. It was extremely cold, and I feel that some people who might otherwise have stopped were in a rush to get inside the station. Nevertheless, we served probably 30 or 40 people in the hour we were there.ASHES TO GO 2015

Some people in the Episcopal Church take issue with the concept of Ashes To Go, feeling that it cheapens the faith and gives lazy folks an excuse to skip the solemn Ash Wednesday liturgy. Here is how I think about it:

On this one day in the year, you see people walking around in the business district of Chicago, the great trading post and mercantile hub of North America, putting their Christianity out in the open. Right on their foreheads, where it can’t be missed, they testify: I am a member of the Body of Christ, and I am wearing this reminder of my mortality for all to see.

It is a remarkable thing, to suddenly be aware that all these worker bees, hurrying to the office or to school or to the coffee shop, carry within themselves and profess a spiritual life that we are not normally privileged to witness. I’m not sure that people who work within the confines of the church grasp the impact of seeing this display in the midst of the commercial marketplace. When I worked in the Loop it always struck me profoundly.

At 7 a.m., people haven’t had the chance to go to church yet, to say the prayers and receive the ashes in the usual ceremonial fashion. But the people we met on Irving Park Road under the highway overpass, with the trains roaring overhead, the buses disgorging passengers next to us, and the pigeons flapping around, were available and eager to visibly express their Christianity from the very start of their day’s journey. They didn’t need the priest or the prayers or the liturgical ritual to declare: This is who I am; this is what I believe.

Duncan Moore

18 February, 2015


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Dinner and Dance Party!

January 19th, 2015 · Announcements


Our wall of history


drinks before dinner


dinner time!


I remember when…


cheers to new and old friends!




cake of course!


Thank you to Cheryl and her team for planning a great party!


Did you hear how great the Music by Joe Lill was?


sweet slow dance

Our Senior Warden all dressed up for the event (his date is always beautiful)

Our Senior Warden all dressed up for the event (his date is always beautiful)

 You can see a video of the  music and dancing here:

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Looking for an Epiphany?

January 6th, 2015 · Announcements

So are we! Join us for worship on Sundays at 8:00, 9:15 or 11:00 a.m. Join in discussions at coffee hour, ask questions, meet interesting people, be inspired, and get ready for an Epiphany!

bench lions

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Merry Christmas!

December 26th, 2014 · Announcements


lighting the Christ candle


the angel Gabriel came to Mary


Joseph went with Mary to Bethlehem


she gave birth to her first born son and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn


see! I am bringing you good news of great joy!


all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them


ready to bring the star to place above the manger


ushers make sure Mary and Joseph make it to the manger on time!


the children help interpret the meaning of Christmas


why is this birthday party so special?


listening with all ears!


Jesus came so that we know that we are children of God


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Thanksgiving Dinner

November 27th, 2014 · Events

Thank you to all our great volunteers! Thank you to the BuildOn group from Schurz High School for hauling the Thanksgiving dishes out of the attic, washing them all, and decorating!

A special shout out to the John Elmquist Jazz ensemble for the fabulous music!

Thank you BuildOn Schurz students for decorating!

Great decorations!

Schurz BuildOn kids prewash all the serving dishes!


schurz dishwashers

More dishwashers!


talented decorators

3 preps

Tuesday night prep







the night before

susan potatoes

and the day of!

table setting


Ice is nice!

Ice is nice!

the chefs

the cooks are busy

jazz trio

the jazz is cool

dinner guests

dinner is served!

more guests

guests fill the hall

john serving

potatoes? corn?

S serving

servers work hard

cheryl w desserts

room for dessert?


coffee time


pumpkin or apple?

kathleen scraping

scrapers unite!

dish washers

the best and the bold…dishwashers

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