Epiphany Blessing of Chalk

A part of church history is the custom of blessing homes at the New Year. A family would hold a short service of prayer to ask God’s blessing on their dwellings and on all who live, work with and visit them. In this way, we invite Jesus to be a “guest” in our home, a listener to each conversation, a guide for troubled times, and a blessing in times of thanksgiving.

“Chalking the door” or the door step may be used as a way to celebrate and literally “mark” the occasion. In the Old Testament the Israelites were told to mark their doors with the blood of the lamb on the night of the Passover to ensure that the angel of death would pass them by. Deuteronomy 6: 9 says that we shall “write [the words of God] on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, … and you shall write them on the door posts of your house and on your gates.”

Chalk is made of the substance of the earth and is used by teachers to instruct and by children to play. As the image of the chalk fades, we will remember the sign we have made and transfer it to our hearts and our habits.

Let us pray.
Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name all those who with it write the names of your saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in the homes where this chalk is used, we make this prayer through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Use this chalk with this prayer to mark and bless your home. Take blessed chalk and mark on the lintel of your front door 20 + C + M + B + 24 saying:

The three Wise Men, C Caspar, M Melchior, B and Balthasar followed the star of God’s Son who became human 20 two thousand 24 and twenty-four years ago. ++ May Christ bless our home ++ and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.

Bronzeville Bus Tour

Sunday, September 17

RESCHEDULED! Join us on Sunday, September 17 to learn about the fascinating history of the Bronzeville neighborhood with historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas. The bus will pick us up at 11:30 a.m. from St. John’s and the two hour tour begins when we arrive in Bronzeville. Tickets are $45. Email info@stjohnschicago.com for more information.

A Personal Tribute to Emmett Till

In honor of his birthday on July 25

Emmett Till & Marvin Childress, self-portrait
photo of Emmett Till & Marvin Childress, self-portrait

Parishioner Marvin Childress was a friend and classmate of Emmett Till. On Sunday, July 23 at 9 am Marvin honored Emmett’s memory by sharing his memoires of Emmett, growing up on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s, and his reflection on life and racism in Chicago today. You can listen to the 45 minute talk, including questions with this YouTube link A Personal Tribute to Emmett Till by Marvin Childress.

Reckoning and Reconciliation with our Indigenous Neighbors

A reading list

Recommended reading and resources for parish study groups and book clubs from the Peace & Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

Art by Rose Teyuthahukwa Malanik

The Red Nation: Indigenous Action to Save Our Earth (2021)

Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous leaders, Dreamers and Changemakers from the Past and Present by Adrienne Keene (2021)

Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance (2nd edition) by Edgar Villanueva (2021)

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer 2013 (Study Guide available)

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (2014)

The Four Vision Quests of Jesus by Steven Charleston (2015)

Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn

The Night Watchman a novel by Louise Erdrich (2020)

Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder North America by Micahel Johnson Witgen

Videos available from “Indigenous Ministries” on The Episcopal Church website: 1. “Native Voices: Speaking to the Church and the World” (37 min.) 2.“Doctrine of Discovery” (14 min.) 3. “Native Voices: A Response to the Episcopal Church’s History with Indian Boarding Schools” (1 hr. 33 min.)

National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition  

Article from Sojourners: “Will Christians atone for church boarding schools?”

Bexley-Seabury Course by Mary Crist:

Report calls church to address harms of white supremacy, colonial and imperial legacies; create $2 million healing coalition by David Paulsen

EVENT CANCELLED: Mock United Nations Meeting on Climate Change Game

Chicago Fair Trade plans to reschedule this event for February 2023.

Mock United Nations Meeting on Climate Change Game
Sunday, July 24
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church
Free for all St. John’s members since St. John’s is a member of Chicago Fair Trade. RSVP here by July 20. Join Chicago Fair Trade for an innovative game to explore what combination of policies may have the greatest impact on climate change. Chicago Fair Trade Board member Professor Jocelyn Leitzinger will facilitate this interactive event featuring En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator. Developed by MIT’s Sloan Sustainability Initiative and Climate Interactive, this interactive event helps foster a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in tackling one of the biggest challenges in our lifetime.

Fair Trade Day at St. John’s!

Saturday, May 14 between 11 am and 4 pm

Join us in the garden (rain location: Parish Hall)

Visit St. John’s during the 2022 Open House Celebration of World Fair Trade Day with Chicago Fair Trade on Sat. May 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Jerome McDonnel, former host of Worldview on National Public Radio and fair trade supporter, will be doing a bike ride to 3 of these fair trade stops on the north side of Chicago – one of them being St. John’s! 
St. John’s open house stop will feature 

– Indigenous Columbian art from Tulia’s Artisan Gallery
– Land Acknowledgment (2:15 pm)
– Conversation between Jerome McDonnel and Karen Torres, CEO of Tulia’s Gallery (2:30 pm)
– Clothing Swap – bring an item – take an item
– Fair Trade Trivia Prize Wheel
– Eco Tours of our campus
– Fair trade coffee and tea

More about Open House Chicago around Chicago and suburbs…

Each May, World Fair Trade Day is celebrated by tens of thousands of people in dozens of countries. For fifteen years, Chicago Fair Trade has organized the largest World Fair Trade Day in the U.S.

On Saturday, May 14, Chicago Fair Trade’s member businesses, organizations and allies are hosting multiple events throughout the city to showcase how they support economic and environmental justice.  As an attendee you will receive a virtual passport to use when checking in at different sites and if you check in at three or more, you’ll be entered to win a fair trade raffle (over $200 in value!).  Proposed itineraries will be neighborhood-based for easy access and an interactive map listing all participating locales will be available on our website.

Here is a sneak peak of some of the day’s activities: 

Join our growing network of conscious consumers and show your commitment to building a better, more just and equitable world.  We hope you are able to join us on this celebratory day!