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From the Rector's Study

FROM THE RECTOR'S STUDY

Whoever you are, and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith, you are welcome as you are at St. Chrysostom's, to hear the call of God in your life and to receive the blessings of God freely given.

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Dear Members, Friends, and Neighbors of St. Chrysostom’s Church and Day School,

It is a privilege to report on the health of St. Chrysostom’s as a Church community, a Day School community, a staff community, and a residential community in 2017 as we lean into our 125th Anniversary Year of 2018. My Rector’s report, part of our 2017 Annual Report, gives you an overview of our life as a vibrant urban parish. I invite you to read the report and be in touch with me or any of our exceptional lay leaders with any thoughts, questions, and recommendations you may have.

Here are a few highlights from my report:

Worship: Our life as a worshipping community is central to all that we do. Sunday attendance is steadily growing in all three, regular morning services: 8, 9, and 11 a.m. We also continue to offer a Sunday evening services once a month at 5:15 p.m. Our Wednesday morning chapel service at 9 a.m. offers another opportunity to gather as a worship community. Each service has its own, unique charism.

Stewardship & Finances: Between 2013 and 2017, St. Chrysostom’s budget for mission and ministry nearly doubled in size and impact. Thanks to the generosity of members, friends, and neighbors we can now support both our ministries and the historic buildings that house these ministries. Further, in 2017 both the Church and the Day School finished the year with a balanced budget. These are extraordinary accomplishments and signs of faithfulness, transparency, responsibility, and discipline. 

The Day School: St. Chrysostom’s Day School since 1974 is one of the Church’s most public ministries. Our school touches over 150 children and their families throughout Chicago. If you have not had an opportunity to visit the Day School, I encourage you to VIEW THE VIRTUAL TOUR HERE.

Inreach & Pastoral Care: Because our congregation is growing in size and complexity, I have started a Pastoral Care team to engage in meaningful ways with people experiencing illness, a hospitalization, a loss, or simply loneliness. First-Sunday-of-the-Month Suppers, Thursday Morning Bible Study, Sunday Adult Forum, Lenten small-groups, and participation in a committee or helping ministry are all gifts that build up our community life. MORE INFORMATION HERE

Presence in the Larger Community: St. Chrysostom’s has an important presence in the larger community. We are a public gathering place, a 12-step refuge, an intellectual hub, a concert hall, a community center, a homeless shelter, a community kitchen, an historic piece of Chicago history and architecture, a site for filming Chicago Fire and Empire, a wedding destination, a sacred burial ground (columbarium)—and this does not even cover our church and school connections.

Even more important are the people of this parish who support our partners in the city and the Diocese on behalf of the church. The footprint of our church community is felt all over Chicago, all over the country, and all over the world because of our parishioners and the love and faith that they put into action. This is mission: serving others for Christ’s sake.

Campaign for the Church and Day School: St. Chrysostom’s has embarked on a serious effort to renew our Church and Day School spaces to serve the mission we feel God calling us to do. Currently we do our many life-giving activities in spite of our buildings. Our founders in 1893 could not have known how many thousands of people, and how many hundreds of ministries, flow through our buildings and grounds. Moving forward we need our beautiful and historic spaces actually to help and not hinder us, and this is just what the campaign will accomplish. With the help of The Alford Group consultants and Woodhouse-Tinucci Architects—and a large and brilliant group of parish leaders—we are making good progress.

Looking Forward: We are blessed to have so many wonderful people, ideas and possible ministries in our midst. Please know that in the coming year, I would like us to focus on three major areas in our Church Life.

1) Congregational Development—growing our spiritual connection with God and with each other so we may serve our community, our city and our world;

2) The Campaign for St. Chrysostom's Church and Day School—renewing our beautiful and historic spaces so that they can continue serving God’s mission in Chicago and the world; and

3) Day School Development—celebration of Day School Founding Headmistress Mary Ellen Christy and the successful search for the next Head of School.

Thanks be to God: For you, for this institution that keeps us together in faithful community, and for the new life that God is always about the work of calling forth in us and in the world around us. May we be God’s Easter people now and in the days to come.

Faithfully,

The Rev. Wes Smedley
Rector, St. Chrysostom's Church & Day School

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