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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October 11, 2017

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

Good news to celebrate: in 2017 we met our goal of 230 pledge commitments and exceeded our goal of $860,000 for mission and ministry. Congratulations, well done, and thank you! This is an extraordinary accomplishment. A special word of gratitude to outgoing Annual (Stewardship) Campaign Co-Chairs Kevin Matzke and Mary Ellen Christy—and a word of welcome to incoming Co-Chairs Aaron Fershee and Hayden Rhudy.

Many of you know that our St. Chrysostom’s Church and Day School communities are entering a season of change. There is joy and excitement as well as stress and disorientation natural to all change, and I am reminded of the words by American writer John C. Maxwell: “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”

We are indeed experiencing change, and thankfully we are experiencing growth too. Our 9:00 AM Sunday worship service has nearly doubled in size, as has our Children’s Choir. Our outreach into the larger Chicago community is increasing exponentially. The Vestry, Wardens and I have decided to hire a Chief Operating Officer instead of a second pastor because we want to meet the expanding organizational and financial management needs of our growing church. Shelly Banks, who is our number one pick for the COO position, will begin in mid-November 2017.

There’s more: This coming year, 2018, is our 125th anniversary of ministry in and for Chicago—and there are fun opportunities to celebrate throughout the whole year ahead. The Campaign for the the renewal of our Church and Day School is in its quiet phase, and we are already experiencing tremendous momentum: the Campaign is well over three million dollars on our way to fifteen million dollars. Over the summer Founding Headmistress of the Day School Mary Ellen Christy passed the mantle as Head of School to longtime teacher Judy Caraher while Mary Ellen continues her work on our two-year Campaign for renewal. And Parish Administrator Audrey Williams has recently taken a job with Skokie Public Library after twenty-one excellent years at St. Chrysostom’s—and we send her off with our deepest gratitude and blessing.

All this change and growth has not changed our core values in any way. In fact our church community remains more committed than ever to our priorities:

1. to provide meaningful, life-changing worship every week of the year;
to nurture people at every age and stage of life in their journey of faith;
to witness to our faith in service beyond ourselves;
and to provide a safe and happy learning environment for our Day School students rooted in our Episcopal identity.

This weekend (October 14-15) come celebrate the Harvest Festival on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Bring in your pledge card on Sunday (October 15) for the special thanksgiving blessing: we will ask God to bless our financial resources and our very life as a community to become a force that brings God’s kingdom here "on earth (in Chicago) as it is in heaven.”  

Check out the Christianity 201 class going on too. Visit the 10 AM Sunday Adult Forum on Christianity & Incarceration. Sign up to provide a Christmas basket for the most vulnerable families in Chicago. Share some conversation over dinner with our neighbors living on the edge through the Neighbors in Need program. With God’s help, we become the hands and feet and voice and heart of Christ’s Body in the world. Join in as you can. 

In peace,

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

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