Dreams for St. John’s

During September and October 2019 50 members and friends of St. John’s met in “Bungalow Meetings” to share their hopes and dreams for St. John’s, talk about how we are living our mission to “celebrate God’s gifts and respond to the needs of the world,” and how our building and grounds could help us better fulfill that mission. Here is the summary of those meetings. The next step is for our Architect/Project Manager Team to access the cost and feasibility of these ideas and present a list of projects for cost estimates and further design.

Bungalow Meeting Summary 

The Bungalow meetings revealed four main areas of action. A) There is general agreement that the plans for renovation of the entire basement are overdue and necessary. People value that St. John’s is a welcoming community and want to build on that strength. B) There were some new ideas that should be considered. C) There are some issues, both programmatic and pertaining to space use, which could be addressed and communicated without a campaign. D) We may want to address some basic building assessments and issues before beginning the campaign so that the renovation is successful 

A and B) The ideas which were generated in the bungalow meetings and which need to be assessed and researched are: 

Accessibility. How can we make the altar area accessible? How can we make the second-floor classrooms accessible? 

Parish Hall. Remove the posts. Add a flexible room divider. Install a sound system, Install air conditioning. New flooring. Repair paned windows. 

Bathrooms. Do we need two or three bathrooms? Or one bathroom with floor to ceiling stalls and shared sinks? Can we have a room with a shower (and how do we keep this a safe space)? Is this the place for a washer/dryer?  

KitchenConsider pricing out 1) a basic kitchen upgrade, 2) a better kitchen upgrade, 3) a commercial kitchen to increase space use income, and 4) a washer/dryer in the kitchen. 

Boiler Room. Install a tankless water heater. Invest in a new boiler or furnace. Add a slop sink. Put washer /dryer here? 

Nursery/Youth/Hands to Help Room. Must solve seepage and mold issues. New flooring. Add storage space, computers, modular furniture, folding murphy beds.  

Garage. Consider pricing out 1) making basic repairs to existing garage with additional storage for better organization, 2) building a new, two story garage for additional storage, 3) tearing down the garage and creating an extension of the church building, perhaps including an accessible entrance, and 4) tearing down the whole 1924 building (all classroom, office, bathroom, and kitchen space) and building a whole new structure. 

Second Floor Offices and Rooms. Repair and replace flooring. Expand choir room, removing stairs to the outside door. New choir chairs. Maximize storage area in altar guild/flower room. Refresh paint and furniture in Vestry room. 

Sanctuary. Repair stained glass and replace plexiglass. Add a sound system. Refinish wooden ceiling. Light up ceiling. Add air conditioning. Refinish wood floor. Replace old carpet. Reconfigure altar area to be more open, with fewer steps, and more flexibility for worship and performances (possibly move the altar rail forward). 

C) The issues that can be addressed and communicated right away have been summarized and are in a separate document. 

D) The issues which could be addressed before the campaign begins are: 1) articulating a long-term strategic plan strategy for the parish of St. John’s, 2) conducting an inventory of the facility which includes the condition of the physical plant, and 3) documenting space use for all rooms. 

Some of the building issues which should be investigated first are: 1) the state of the plumbing and lead in the water (all electric is new, except in ceiling of sanctuary), 2) fixing the cracked sewer pipe under the Parish Hall floor, 3) cleaning out and fixing the crack in the catch basin between the church and garage, and 4) addressing the seepage in the basement, particularly in the southeast corner. 

St. John’s honored with a grant

Reading to End Racism at St. John’s Chicago

Two years ago, members of St. John’s, Chicago, began a book group dedicated to reading what its participants called “the essential texts of the African American experience in America.” The book group served as a catalyst for the congregation’s antiracism efforts, which have now been recognized with a Becoming Beloved Community grant from the Episcopal Church. St. John’s will collaborate with All Saints, Chicago, which has also received a grant.
The St. John’s reading group has published its booklist with an introduction that reads, in part, “We offer our book group as a model for other majority-white congregations that want to move toward racial reconciliation but don’t know how or where to begin.”

Download the Reading to End Racism booklist.

Antiracism Team

The Antiracism Team was established in January 2018 and meets monthly. Our Antiracism Action Plan was presented to and accepted by our vestry (leadership council) on June 20, 2018. We worked on our 2019 Antiracism Plan and are continuing our work in 2020. The team began with an African-American Literature Book Group. A list of the books we read over two years can be downloaded here: Reading to End Racism. Our list of books about white supremacy and white privilege is here: Wrestling with White Supremacy. Currently we have a Latinx Book Group and that reading list is on this page of our website.

Click here for all posts connected to our Antiracism work

Are We Non-racist or Anti-racist? And What Can We Do About It?

Free Training at St. John’s Episcopal Church
Sat. June 1, 2019 
9:00 am to 12:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. registration and breakfast
Featuring Trainer Rina Campbell
Former Associate Director of the Chicago Anti-Defamation League
20+ years anti-racism training experience
Join us to increase our skills and knowledge to be active and intentional in identifying, disrupting and dismantling racism in our church and our community.  Why? https://youtu.be/jm5DWa2bpbs
Childcare provided. 
RSVP required https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-anti-racism-training-tickets-61274904890

St. John’s Lessons and Carols and Dedication of our new Entrance

On Saturday, December 9, our annual celebration of A Festival of Lessons and Carols will also celebrate our
history and our new beginning.

The front vestibule of the church has been completely rebuilt and now includes a lift providing accessibility
to our Sanctuary and Parish Hall.

The St. John’s Choir, the St. John’s Children’s Choir, and the worship team are preparing beautiful worship and
The Rt. Rev. Bishop Jeffery Lee will be present to bless our donors, our fundraising team, our planning team, our construction team and all those who will use the lift.

The worship is at 5:00 p.m.

A festive dinner follows in the Parish Hall at 6:00 p.m.

Childcare provided. Shhh! St. Nicholas may pay a visit!

Free parking is available on the street. Drop off for accessible access will be reserved at the front entrance
on Kostner Street.

For more information, call the Parish Office at 773.725.9026.