Dreams for St. John’s

July 13, 2021

Dear Friends,

“And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something– now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means.” 2 Corinthians 8:10-11

Laughs were audible from the gathered congregation and visible on the faces of those attending the service on Zoom on June 29 when this passage was read in the service. We always try to engage with scripture expecting that God has something to say to us for our life in the present moment…but the message does not always hit so close to home. As a community we did desire to start a capital campaign in 2020, and while we used the closed building to do much needed work, we are eager to begin again.

We are writing to request a few minutes of your valuable time. As a member of our congregation you are receiving this survey and your e-mail will not be shared or used except for the purpose of this Feasibility Study to ascertain the willingness of church members to support a capital campaign. The views and comments of members of the church family about the proposed projects are important and we are relying on you to help determine whether a campaign will be a success.

In this document you will be able to view the tentative plans that have been prepared after much work and the input of many. After reading the case statement, will you please donate 15 minutes of your time to complete the questionnaire that follows? All replies are sent confidentially to the Core Capital Campaigns Study Coordinator. Please complete the survey by July 26, 2021.

You should receive only one questionnaire per household. If you should receive more than one, please only reply once. Also DO NOT forward your link to anyone. Your link is unique to your email.

Enclosed are the tentative plans that have been prepared after many months of work and the input of many. After reading this material, please complete the enclosed questionnaire and return it promptly in the enclosed envelope. All replies are confidential. It is important that your response is returned by July 26, 2021.

You should receive only one questionnaire per household. If you should receive more than one, please only reply once.

If you should have questions, please call Lisa Krappman at 773.725.9026.

I leave you with more of St. Paul’s words, absolutely appropriate to this feasibility study.

“For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has– not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.” 2 Corinthians 8:12-14

Thank you for taking your precious time to help us discern St. John’s future direction.

God’s Blessings,

The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer, Rector
Ms. Khara Gonzales
, Senior Warden

Electric Vehicle Charger at St. John’s!

News For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Urbaszewski BUrbaszewski@resphealth.org 312.405.1175 or The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer, rector@stjohnschicago.com 773.960.1889

Electric Vehicle Charging Sharing Platform uses Keeling Curve Prize Funding from Global Warming Mitigation Project to Expand Charging Locations in Chicago’s Urban Residential Neighborhoods: St. John’s Episcopal Church Installs First Charger

St. John’s Episcopal Church at 3857 N. Kostner Ave. Chicago, IL  60641
 
Chicago, IL – July 2, 2021 – EVmatch, the first electric vehicle (EV) charging platform for connecting EV drivers with nearby private chargers through a reservation-based system, has a new publicly-available [level 2] charging station located at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N Kostner Ave in Chicago’s Old Irving Park neighborhood. As the charging station host, St. John’s listed its charger on EVmatch to make driving EVs easier for community members – whether it’s neighbors of Old Irving Park, many of whom rent or live in multi-family housing without a reliable place to charge, or other Chicagoans visiting the neighborhood in electric cars and needing a spot to charge up.

The installation was made possible with the experience and technical expertise of Chicago-based BIG CLEAN POWER, LLC, a worker collective incubated by Blacks in Green (BIG, NFP) and its affiliate Green Power Alliance to connect trade professionals to clean energy business deals. EV Match, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and the Community Charging Initiative are pleased to have partnered with BIG, Blacks in Green in identifying energy conscious contractors Arthur Burton of AMB Renewables and Wendell Terry of W. Terry Electric to perform the installation at St. John’s.
 
The full press release is available at this link.

Reserve your spot here!

About St. John’s Episcopal Church
An inclusive congregation committed to Christian worship and service to the community, St. John’s is a vibrant and diverse group of people of all ages, races, abilities, and identities, engaged in anti-racism and other transformative work. We offer three Sunday services, religious instruction for children, and adult and youth choirs. In addition to our annual Darwin Day celebration of science and religion, St. John’s offers a free series of concerts, sponsors a refugee family, hosts an Electric Vehicle Charger for parish and community use, and is actively working to identify, disrupt, and dismantle racism in our church and community. Established in 1883 in Old Irving Park, the church is located on Chicago’s northwest side, on the corner of Byron and Kostner. For more information visit our website at www.stjohnschicago.com.

Capital Campaign Update

June 2021

We are excited to welcome everyone back to our St. John’s home as we begin to open up the building and resume in person worship. We began our capital campaign in early 2019 with our consultant Leslie Pendleton and held Bungalow meetings in the fall to discuss who we are as St. John’s and where we want to go. A summary can be found at: https://www.stjohnschicago.com/?p=4317

Then the Pandemic hit and delayed our progress, but we did some urgently needed interior work, taking advantage of our building being unoccupied. The Vestry approved spending $28,750 from the endowment for capital repairs and borrowing approximately $50,000 to begin some capital improvements. At least $50,000 will need to be paid back ($13,000 has already been received as a result of asking for pledges during the annual appeal). See the amazing before and after photos at: https://www.stjohnschicago.com/?cat=74

Here’s how we spent the endowment funds:

Capital Repairs 
Asbestos Removal and Testing by Bluestone and NVIRO, packing and moving by the sextons$25,550.00
Replacement of Garden steps and sidewalk by Lopez Concrete$3,200.00
Subtotal spent for capital repairs$28,750.00
  
Capital Improvements 
Three broken sewer pipe repairs by American Home Vintage$10,708.00
New flooring for basement by ACD Floors$13,832.65
Refinishing of second floor, new bathrooms, painting and drywall of reception area and storage room, electrical work, and repairs related to plumbing fix by Dyjewski, Inc.$27,100.00
Project Management Services by Bruce Yeager   $1,542.55
Subtotal spent for capital improvements$53,183.20
Total$81,933.20

With our project manager, the results of our Bungalow meetings and the completion of “pandemic projects”, we have begun to define the scope and estimate the cost of additional projects to consider funding for a Fall 2021 capital campaign. The projects we propose include:

  • Pay back endowment (between $40,000 – $70,000)
  • Front Door Landscaping
  • Kitchen Renovation
  • Replace or Fix Church garage
  • Stained Glass Restoration
  • Sanctuary Accessibility – ramp, removing steps & carpet in chancel, moving altar rail
  • Sanctuary Renewal – floors, carpet, walls and ceiling
  • Air Conditioning – Parish Hall and/or Sanctuary
  • Sound system for Parish Hall and/or Sanctuary
  • Small items: new carpet on Byron Street stairs and new slop sink in Boiler Room

Our next major step will be a Feasibility Study this summer. This will provide another opportunity for congregational feedback. Everyone will receive a survey that will ask questions about a Case Statement that outlines proposed specific projects and costs which connect to our mission and ministries, including:

▪ Does everyone in the parish understand the need and agree with it?
▪ Which projects are a top priority?
▪ Are there any underlying issues that need to be addressed?
▪ Will the members of our parish as well as community partners support us financially?  If so, how much?

We will share the results with the parish in a comprehensive report before moving to the Capital Campaign Appeal.