Ash Wednesday

Refresh your Spiritcross for ash wed

Begin again with the ancient practice of Lent

Ash Wednesday is February 10.

Ashes will be distributed at the Irving Park Metra and Irving Park Blue line stops between 7 and 9 a.m.

Worship with the distribution of Ashes at St. John’s at n00n and 7:30 p.m in the sanctuary.

All are welcome.

In the Image of God

St. John’s is proud to present this beautiful book of art and reflections, taken from nine years of art created for Sunday worship by children and adults. This coffee table book makes a lovely gift.

christmas spread

Each book is $30, or $25 each for 2 or more.

You can purchase a book at St. John’s, or email info@stjohnschicago.com to have one sent to you (postage additional).

pottery spread

 

Take your Place at the Table

A Capital Campaign for St. John’s Episcopal Church

THREE YEARS – $375,000 – capital campaign window websiteACCESSIBILITY – HOSPITALITY – SUSTAINING OUR MISSION AND MINISTRY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME

We invite you to join us in extending the welcome and hospitality of St. John’s to an ever-widening community.

Phase One Goal $176,000

Accessibility from street level to the Sanctuary and Parish Hall
Church Garden Restoration and New Memorial Garden

10% of all gifts to the Capital Campaign goes to our endowment for the use of future generations.

Phase Two Goal $143,000

Accessible Bathrooms
Kitchen Renovation
Office Reconfiguration

Phase Three Goal $56,000

Restoration of Stained-Glass Windows

To give to the Capital Campaign please use the DONATE button and use the memo line to designate your gift to the Capital Campaign.

Darwin Day

February 6, 2016
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Darwin Day card

 

Back by popular demand! Don’t miss this annual celebration of Darwin Day. This year St. John’s Episcopal Church presents In Love with Darwin: Food for thought and delight! Hear from five scientists and teachers on why they love Darwin and the relevance of his theory today, while enjoying a buffet of enlightening dishes. Featured Speakers are: Michelle Wright, Biology, speaking on new discoveries in medical research; Ed Maher, Anthropology, on the debates around cultural evolution;  Kara Wagner Sherer, Theology, on whether science compliments or competes with religious thought; Ned Martin, Philosophy, on the debate over the evolution of altruism; Bettina Daszczuk, Biology, on the research into a “gay” gene. The discussion will be moderated and guests will have an opportunity to ask questions. On the menu: Primordial Soup, Salad with Galapagos Island dressing, Origin of the Spaghetti, Thymine & Thyme Toast, CRISP(R) Dessert and Base Pears. The dinner is free, cash bar and donations support programs at St. John’s. The event is free and open to the public.

 

About The International Darwin Day

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809. Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin — the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.

The International Darwin Day Foundation website www.darwinday.org provides resources and publicity for individuals and institutions across the world to celebrate science and humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin’s birthday. In addition to information about the life and legacy of Charles Darwin, this website provides practical examples, advice and templates for organizing and publicizing Darwin Day events. It also provides a directory of events where you can find celebrations taking place near you or register your own event for others to find.

Recognizing science as an international language accessible to all individuals and societies, the International Darwin Day Foundation provides a new global holiday that transcends separate nationalities and cultures. Darwin Day can be celebrated in many different ways: civic ceremonies with official proclamations, educational symposia, birthday parties, art shows, book discussions, lobby days, games, protests, and dinner parties. Organizers may include: academic societies, science organizations, freethought groups, religious congregations, libraries, museums, galleries, teachers and students, families and friends. In Darwin Day, we are able to recognize the diversity among us, while celebrating our common humanity and the universal understanding we share.

We are open for prayer today

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.

Where is God?

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

Ash Wednesday

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

 

Dinner and Dance Party!

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Our wall of history

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drinks before dinner

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dinner time!

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I remember when…

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cheers to new and old friends!

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smiles!

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cake of course!

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

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

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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: