Keeping Lent

Lord, Lord, Open Unto Me

Open unto me, light for my darkness
Open unto me, courage for my fear
Open unto me, hope for my despair
Open unto me, peace for my turmoil
Open unto me, joy for my sorrow
Open unto me, strength for my weakness
Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion
Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins
Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness
Open unto me, love for my hates
Open unto me, Thy Self for myself
Lord, Lord, open unto me!

– Howard Thurman, from “Meditations of the Heart”

Howard Thurman

Weekly Lenten Evening Prayer

Wednesdays from 7:00 to 7:15 p.m. via Zoom (Meeting ID: 810 6510 8127 Passcode: 3857)

Free Lenten Resources for Download

St. John’s favorite: Lent Madness Don’t miss this year’s Saintly Smackdown! Here is a link to your 2021 bracket! You can also get the scorecard on your favorite e-reader, tablet, or phone.

Come, Pray – the Prayer I Need This Day from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist


Episcopal Relief & Development 2021 Lenten Meditations, which focus on lament

Lent, Holy Week and Easter Activity Pack for Children and Families from Church Publishing


Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent from The Episcopal Church


Living Well Through Lent 2021 from Living Compass, “Listening With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind.”

Ash Wednesday

preparations and distribution

Youth group members lighting the palms on fire
making ashes!
putting ashes in bags for parishioners to pick up
physically distant youth group conversation
Thanks to our neighbors Deacon Jason and Brother Alberto for providing ashes in the morning.

Antiracism Book Group

First Meeting is Thursday, January 7, 2021

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

Kick off 2021 with the #MeAndWhiteSupremacy 28 day challenge. Join St. John’s antiracism reading group this January for a month of journaling and weekly discussions. We will use Layla F. Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy to go through a step-by-step process to develop a better understanding of our white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so we can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. It’s not to late to start reading and journaling. Join in weekly Zoom discussions: Link to cut and paste: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83419218446?pwd=WGdiWHBiYUxWc0wvUXNuUWpjL3NTdz09 (Meeting ID: 834 1921 8446 Passcode: 3857) each Thursday in January at 7:30 p.m. For more information or to RSVP email to Laura.t.singer@gmail.com. You can also  RSVP on Facebook.

Jesus is born in Chicago

Thank you to artist, woodworker, and preacher Joshua Longbrake for the shanty installation.

Here comes the cow!
Here comes the donkey!
Joseph greets the baby Jesus
An angel (and a dump truck!?!) announce the birth!
Thank you parents and kids for braving the cold!
Jesus is born in Chicago.
The votive candle bears the image of George Floyd.
Oh, Oh, Star of Wonder, Star of Night!

Latinx Book Group

This group met from September 2019 – June 2020 and again in the fall of 2020. Please email the Parish Office if you are interested in joining when the group reconvenes.

So far we have read these books:

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

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomajor
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Native Country of the Heart by Cherríe Moraga
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education edited by Jennifer De Leon
When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago

Art and Reflections on Race

Thursday, October 22 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Art and Reflections on Race, an evening to share poetry and reflections on race will feature original poetry by young black poets as well as our own Rich Gage, and a conversation with Joshua Longbrake, artist of the “Confession” sculpture in the garden. The event will be one hour long via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81162883439?pwd=WjJzU24xaUFXTjFZcExUNTBYR01NZz09

Meeting ID: 811 6288 3439
Passcode: 3857

By phone: 312.626.6799 ID: 811 6288 3439# Passcode: 3857#

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Why change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

Learn about the current movement to change the celebration of Columbus Day to a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Thank you to all who attended our conversation. We discussed this press release calling for the change.

Other suggested reading:
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

This document will give you background and perspective from the American Indian Center.

Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem: How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America by Carol Delaney

Learn a Native language!

A great back-to-school project for kids and teens (and it’s not all online!)

A Potawatomi Language lesson. Click to hear the first lesson.

Please help us honor the true native languages of this land by learning and sharing nature words of local Native American Chicagoans. Here’s how!

  1. Watch this short video about why language preservation is important: https://theways.org/story/living-language
  2. Visit the St. John’s garden (next to 3857 N Kostner Ave). Write down the words for the things you see that you want to learn the names of i.e. dirt, grass, rabbit, tree, robin, flower, worm etc.
  3. Choose a language you wish to learn. We recommend the starred * languages because you can look up the word and hear how it is pronounced. You may want to choose a language that is your own heritage or a neighbor’s. For instance, the Ho-Chunk nation has an office near St. John’s on Milwaukee Avenue. Here is a list of the 15 largest groups of Native American people living in the Chicagoland area:
LanguageLinkColor of ribbon
* Potawatomi  https://potawatomidictionary.com/Dictionarywhite
Odawa/Ottawahttps://dictionary.nishnaabemwin.atlas-ling.ca/#/help  dark yellow
Ho Chunkhttps://glosbe.com/en/win  light green
Menominee  http://www.menomineelanguage.com/dictionaries-word-listspink
Oneida  https://www.uwgb.edu/dictionary/EnglishToOneida.aspxlight brown
Blackfoot  https://dictionary.blackfoot.atlas-ling.ca/#/helpmedium blue
* Ojibwe  https://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/browse/englishlight yellow
Cree  https://dictionary.plainscree.atlas-ling.ca/#/helpgrey
Lakota  https://lakhota.org/teach-lakota/classroom-materials/dictionary/red
Dakota  https://glosbe.com/en/daklight blue
Navajo  https://glosbe.com/en/nvtan
Choctaw  https://glosbe.com/en/cholight purple
Cherokee  https://www.manataka.org/page122.htmlorange
Choose your own!http://www.native-languages.org/
Slide to see ribbon color assignments
  1. Write the Native word you learned in permanent marker on the colored ribbon indicated. If the word is something that moves (like a rabbit), tie the ribbon to a picture of it (which you draw or photograph or print). If you are a St. John’s member there is roll of ribbon in your Sunday School in a bag. If you need ribbon please email parishoffice@stjohnschicago.com and we will deliver some to you!
  2. Go back to the garden and tie the ribbon to the thing (tree, flower, wood etc) and bring some sticks to tie on the ribbons and put in the ground (rabbit, butterfly, wind).
  3. Practice saying the words!