Christian Civic Engagement

Christians are called to participate in the kingdom of God by working for peace, justice and the common good. These organizations act politically, motivated by faith. Get involved!

The Episcopal Public Policy Network (part of The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations located in Washington, DC) is a grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country dedicated to carrying out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy. advocacy.episcopalchurch.org

Believe Outloud works for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in our families, our churches and our communities. believeoutloud.com

Faith in Public Life advances faith as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good. faithinpubliclife.org

All Our Children is a national network of people of faith who are exploring, forming, and leading community partnerships between congregations and public schools. Through these partnerships, AOC is part of a growing movement to create meaningful improvements in the quality and equity of public education. allourchildren.org

Faithful America: Love thy neighbor. No exceptions. faithfulamerica.org

Interfaith Power & Light is a religious response to global warming. interfaithpowerandlight.org

Groundswell inspires faithful action to heal and repair the world. Powered by Auburn Theological Seminary. action.groundswell-mvmt.org

Thanksgiving Dinner and Jazz Concert

November 24, 2016
12:00 pmto3:00 pm

S servingPlease join us on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24 at 1:00 p.m. for a free home-cooked Thanksgiving Dinner served family style with all the trimmings.

Come at noon to hear a free jazz concert in our sanctuary given by the fabulous John Elmquist Jazz Ensemble.

You can also donate food, volunteer to help set up, cook, serve or clean up. Please call 773.725.9026 or email info@stjohnschicago.com to volunteer or R.S.V.P. for the dinner.

This Garden’s for You!

Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

Please join us to celebrate the dedication of our new memorial garden and the renovation of our yard on Saturday, September 24 at 5:30 p.m. There will be a brief dedication of the memorial garden and then a party to celebrate the newly renovated garden. The Memorial Garden was designed and installed by Greenlawn, who also leveled and replanted the grass. The St. John’s Garden is always open to the public, for play and prayer, during daylight hours. Save the date! We look forward to sharing this happy occasion with you!

garden blessing photos

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.

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