1) Plan and facilitate a series of events to support justice for Native American and indigenous people

New Ho-Chunk Legislators at swearing in ceremony, Madison, WI

Since the beginning of antiracism work at St John’s we have been especially concerned with our history as a predominately white congregation in northwestern Chicago.  How might have previous generations at St John’s unjustly taken advantage of their privileged status?  We immediately learned that St John’s was gifted with ownership of land that had been forcibly and unjustly taken from indigenous people living in the Chicago area.

Accordingly, we developed a land acknowledgement plaque affirming that the church’s land was previously home to many different Native Americans.  The plague has been installed in the front walkway on Kostner Avenue.  The plaque dedication, however, was not able to happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Our revised plan is to present a series of virtual events from now through the dedication event some time in 2021.  Some of the possible opportunities which need your leadership and support include the following:

  • Update the St John website to include resources and links about Native American people
  • Support the development of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Chicago
  • Organize installation of art by a Native American artist or artists in the church garden
  • Plan and facilitate education and cultural events for adults and for children
  • Sponsor one session of Sacred Ground, a film-based dialogue series on race and faith developed by the Episcopal Church.  Session 3 is “Whose Land? Exploring Indigenous History”
  • Develop other ways to include Native American perspectives during our regular worship services
  • Promote, participate in, and help fund public events sponsored by Native American organizations
  • Identify and invite indigenous leaders to speak at St John’s
  • With guidance from indigenous people design the plaque dedication event (2021)

To assist with the Sacred Ground events, please contact Andria Anderson at classikal4ll@aol.com

2) Child and Youth Group Antiracism Education

Interfaith prayer service after the Mother Emmanuel shooting, June 2015

We are working to develop and obtain more antiracism education resources for our child and youth group education.

Another opportunity is to attend “How Do We Talk To Our Children About Race” Virtual training sponsored by All Saints Episcopal Church – Fall dates to be determined.

To help out with this gathering education resources or for more information on the virtual training, please contact Courtney Hug at corriehug@gmail.com .

3) Collaborate with neighborhood community groups such as the Northwest Coalition Against Racism and Hate

Members of St. John’s participated in the Faith Walk for #blacklivesmatter

Follow online and support organizations such as the Northside Coalition Against Racism & Hate, Portage Park For Action, Respect and Community (PPARC) and  Neighbors for Affordable Housing.

Upcoming event Juneteenth Car Caravan on Friday June 19th 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. around the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Sponsored by the Northwest Coalition Against Racism & Hate. Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/nwsidecoalition/ for exact location details.

Courtney Hug and Erica Zazo are St. John’s liaisons this year to the Northwest Coalition Against Racism And Hate. Please contact Courtney or Erica for more info at corriehug@gmail.com or erica.zazo@gmail.com.

4) Organize and Promote the St. John’s Antiracism Library

4) Organize and Promote St. John’s Antiracism Library

We have two antiracism reading lists on our website:

Reading to End Racism – https://www.stjohnschicago.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Reading-to-End-Racism-Publication-FINAL.pdf

Wrestling With White Supremacy – https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:47a7ac64-c173-4a72-82ff-39170001e6fb#pageNum=1

We have some of these recommended books in the St. John’s library. We are looking for volunteers to set up and manage a borrowing system for the antiracism books and perhaps set up a curbside pick up program. To volunteer for this project, please contact Laura Singer at laura.t.singer@gmail.com

Another Source for books – All Saints Episcopal Church has moved their Free Antiracism Little Library to 3856 W Eddy St Chicago, IL 60618, Front Porch, Corner of Springfield and Eddy (near Addison and Pulaski)

5) Prepare to Join the 2021 Congregational Antiracism Model Project

St. John’s members attending a CROAR training

In 2020, initial team members were commissioned in February and have been meeting monthly to work on this 7 step pilot project with the Diocesan Antiracism Commission and CROAR trainers. We have taken steps to institutionalize antiracism work at St. John’s to make sure this doesn’t go away with time. As part of Step 3, we will be presenting a vision, mission, mandate and charter/by-laws document to the vestry in June to strengthen the structure to support antiracism work and create systemic change at St. John’s.

To get involved with the 2021 Congregational Antiracism Model Project, complete a recommended antiracism training in 2020 to be ready to begin work in January 2021. For more info on the Congregational Antiracism Model contact Laura Singer at laura.t.singer@gmail.com 

Easter Vigil

Download the Easter Vigil Bulletin.

The Easter Story by Brian Wildsmith, for children of all ages.

Order homemade hot cross buns from Zoe Duncan.

Pascal Candle created by Bettina Daszczuk

Our 2020 Pascal Candle

As a special treat for this year Bettina Daszczuk, who decorates all our baptismal candles, created this amazing Pascal Candle which has its debut at the Easter Vigil. This candle is lit for all the fifty days of Easter, and for every Baptism, Wedding and Funeral in the coming year. Here is an explanation of the symbols on the candle.

The Cross

Just as the cross is made out of many pieces of different shapes and colors, so is our
St. John’s community. We come from all different backgrounds and have unique talents and experiences. Even though, we are all different, when we come together, we complement each other and become one church family. 

The Lamb of God

The Lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ, who died for us, and rose from the dead. Through his death and resurrection, we are all freed from sin. When John the Baptist sees Jesus for the first time he proclaims “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). On this year’s paschal candle, the Lamb of God has no face. It is a reminder that, as Christians, we are asked to see Christ in each other. 

Alpha and Omega

In the classical Greek alphabet, Alpha is the first letter, and Omega is the last letter. In the Book of Revelation (1:8) Jesus proclaims, “I am the Alpha and Omega.” Jesus is the beginning and the end of everything. 

The Celtic Knot Band

Made from a single strand, the complete loops that have no start or finish are said to represent eternity. The braided design, with its many points of the strand crossing over itself, symbolizes how life and eternity are interconnected. The knotted band reminds us that our lives are connected with Jesus. When Jesus rose from the dead, we all gained eternal life through him.