Bernstein at 100: Songs of Love and Longing

October 6, 2017
8:00 pm
8:00 pm

For the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, we present a selection of his songs, both sacred and profane.

Featuring

Anita Kallen

Jason Martin

Duncan Moore

Catherine Thomson

and Music Director

Mark Burnell

This show is suitable for adults and children 7 and older. Free childcare
is available. A reception follows the performance. Tickets are $30 adults, $10 children, and include one beverage. Tickets available online, at the parish office, or at the door.

Illustration by Brad Gehrig

 

You are invited…

September 16, 2017
7:00 pm

 

In the garden at dusk under romantic lighting…

a gourmet dinner accompanied by live music awaits you! Gather with friends to feast, laugh, and toast one of the last summer evenings of the season. Free childcare provided on site. A vegetarian dinner option is available and non-alcoholic beverages are included. Cash bar. $30 per person in advance at St. John’s or online, $40 at the door.

Construction Updates!

Week 9: The framing is getting its skin! The two angel windows are cleaned and have new glass storm windows and are back in place. The shape of the front façade is complete. They are working on the 9 curved supports for the arched plaster ceiling inside the vestibule.

Week 8: The framing (with some added support and new support beams) is complete and the next inspection is Tuesday. The drama came on Thursday when Wald cut his fingertip with an electric saw. He got six stiches and came back to work for the afternoon saying, “My blood is in this holy place!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 7: The framing for the new vestibule began and we can see it taking shape. We encountered some issues balancing the width of the stairs up to the church, which need to accommodate a casket and pall bearers, and the width of the stairs going down to the Parish Hall, which needs to meet code. Thanks to project managers Tom Camell and Bruce Yeager,  our contractor Waldemar Dyjewski, and our architect Michael McAtee, for wrestling with the problem and finding a solution! Future Pall bearers may need to pass a fitness test!

Week 6: This week the architect delivered new drawings for the support beams. Concrete work was done to provide new footings. The outline of the lift location is now visible. The first studs went up and the openings for the lift are in place. This week’s hiccup was discovering that the stair railings are 4 5/8 inches apart; Chicago building code requires no more than 4 inches. Thanks to the architect and lift team for solving this problem so that we can keep the old railings and adjust them to fit the code.

Week 5: Construction Delay.  It was bound to happen, and this week it did. Our contractor discovered a problem! In 1924 when the vestibule was added to the front of the 1888 church structure, the supporting beam under the west wall was cut in two places and moved east, resting on the walls of the closet which we have removed. So in came the architect and the structural engineer and a solution to shore up the beam! This will mean added time (2 weeks) and cost. But we expected surprises, and we are glad to know our foundation will be stronger because of this discovery!

Week 4: The new foundation is poured. We have a new sidewalk, with a slight slope and no stairs! While that sets Wald works on refinishing the front doors. He replaces the rotting wood and strips away 9 layers of red paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile inside the church: Here is the view from inside the parish hall and the sanctuary. Trying to keep the dust out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 3: The entire vestibule is removed and a ton of dirt is removed. New footings are laid for the new foundation. Lots of dust and dirt! The basement floor has to be dug three inches deeper to make room for the lift mechanics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2: All the historical details we want to preserve are carefully removed and stored. Then all the stucco comes down. We find two colonies of ants and other creepy crawlies that will have to find new homes. Then the inside plaster comes down. The electricity is turned off, and down come the walls! Finally, a stained glass specialists takes out the two angel windows for restoring.

Week 1: Bushes were removed and three protective coverings were built, on the outside front, inside the Sanctuary, and inside the Parish Hall. The dumpster arrived and the sidewalk and steps were demolished.

Work has begun to modify our vestibule and install a lift for accessibility. Don’t worry, all our historic details will be preserved.

Pray for Peace

June 4, 2017

“Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, united in religion, but He intended to test you in what He has given you; so race to all that is good.”                                         – Holy Quran 48th verse of chapter 5

 

Islamic Scholar Scott Alexander shared this verse with us when he was a guest speaker at St. John’s on May 13th.  An audience member had commented about his experience sharing worship with Islamic and Jewish communities and observed, “We are more alike in our beliefs than we are different.”  Alexander then quoted the Quran verse above – which inspired further discussion.  Is it possible to respect each other’s differences and allow each person to follow their own path?  And then, how do we “race to all that is good” or as different translations have it, “compete with each other in righteousness” or “vie one with another in good works” ?

Alexander was challenging us to examine our reaction to the concept of “different.”  Can we look at real or perceived differences and let go of the need to argue, to alienate, or to force changes?  He brought up the idea of language: baby animals are born able to communicate, but, for humans, several years pass before babies can speak the language of their parents and community.  That hard-won gift of language unites us as a community and gives us identity, but diversity of language around the world divides us, emphasizing our differences.  How can I get to know you and love you if I cannot understand what you are saying?  Can I see (and hear) that you are different and open my heart to you?

Inspired by these ideas, we move towards Pentecost Sunday: a celebration of the Holy Spirit, in wind and fire, granting the disciples the ability to pass on God’s message of love without the barrier of language.

So join us this Sunday in a flurry of wind and symbolic flames and sing with gusto in a multitude of languages the beautifully simple song “Dona Nobis Pacem” that translates into a heartfelt “Grant Us Peace.”

And…. don’t forget to wear RED! (We didn’t!)

 

Conversation on Islam and Christianity

May 13, 2017
5:00 pmto6:00 pm

St. John’s hosts “Conversations that Matter:  Islam and Muslims in the Current Global Context” on Saturday, May 13 at 5:00 p.m.. The talk will be led by Scott C. Alexander, Ph.D., associate professor of Islamic Studies and director, Catholic-Muslim Studies at Catholic Theological Union. This event is free and open to the public.