Campaign for St. Chrys

REACHING FORTH IN LOVE AT 125                                              give-now.jpg

Dear Members and Friends,

On January 14, 2018, St. Chrysostom's began celebrating its 125th year of ministry. We give thanks for all the ways that the St. Chrysostom’s community has brought God’s work of healing, justice, and mercy to our neighbors in Chicago and in the world since 1893. To serve God as we move further into the 21st century‚ we must put our theology into action in new ways. To do so, we must renew our sacred spaces—reconfiguring, refurbishing, and re-equipping them as needed—so that they will serve our mission, rather than limit it.

Our Campaign for St. Chrysostom’s Church and Day School is our opportunity to build on our heritage and revitalize our community’s ministry. Please read on to learn more about the Campaign and how you can help. 


Mary Ellen Christy, Founding Headmistress, St. Chrysostom's Day School
Timothy French, Campaign Committee Co-Chair
The Rev. Wes Smedley, Rector of St. Chrysostom’s Church and Day School
John VanderLinden, Campaign Committee Co-Chair

What has been the process for identifying the vision and need for a Campaign?

Starting in the summer of 2015, leadership began an “Envisioning” process with all members of the St. Chrysostom’s community to explore and articulate our goals for the Church and Day School as we looked forward to St. Chrysostom’s 125th anniversary in 2018. That “Envisioning” process continued for more than a year and generated important and instructive input regarding all of our worship services, outreach ministries, educational programs, buildings and grounds, and endowment needs. The result was a strong and unifying message: There is a clear need and capacity for the St. Chrysostom’s community to undertake a Campaign to restore our buildings and infrastructure, to expand and revitalize our Day School space and programs, to foster and extend our presence as a center for outreach and mission, and to build an endowment to help ensure our vibrancy for the next 125 years. 

What steps have been taken to initiate a Campaign?

In 2016, a representative committee comprised of members of the Church and Day School communities engaged in a thorough multi-month process to discern and retain a consulting firm to help us shape and implement a Campaign. The Alford Group was selected. Thereafter, The Alford Group, working with a 25 member Oversight Committee, undertook a wide-ranging feasibility study to assess the level of support that we can expect to generate from a Campaign, recognizing that the Church has not initiated such a Campaign for nearly 20 years.

The feasibility study began in October of 2016 and concluded in February of 2017. During the course of that study, The Alford Group convened multiple listening sessions and group discussions, conducted 30 interviews involving 50 individuals and implemented a community-wide survey. In total, feedback was received from 370 individuals. Based on that comprehensive feedback, and with additional recommendations from The Alford Group, the Vestry determined in March to initiate a Campaign.

What steps have been taken to implement a Campaign?

Multiple steps have been taken to lay the groundwork for the envisioned Campaign. The Alford Group was retained to help guide the process, develop an overall timeline, and create strategies for success. In addition, we’ve hired Fran Caan as our Advancement Director to ensure that St. Chrysostom’s has a staff member working with leadership to implement the Campaign, along with developing a robust legacy gift program.

A key cornerstone of the Campaign is raising the funds necessary to restore and improve our buildings and grounds. After a thorough, committee-led vetting process, we retained the architectural firm of Woodhouse Tinucci (WT) to assess our current structures, to develop plans and cost estimates for the restoration of our buildings and mechanical systems, and to design a series of options to add improvements to the functional spaces of our Church and Day School. In that regard, and with the oversight of a cross-representative Architectural Committee, WT provides periodic presentations to the St. Chrysostom’s community regarding their progress in identifying our restoration needs and in imagining new spaces for our many programs to grow.

Who will serve as the volunteer leaders of the Campaign?

Rev. Wes Smedley and Day School founding Headmistress, Mary Ellen Christy, have formed a Campaign Committee, co-chaired by John VanderLinden and Tim French. Its members are drawn from the Church and Day School communities and undertake the many tasks associated with: architectural planning, communications, cultivation and solicitation of major gifts, and various financing issues. We are grateful to the following campaign leaders for their tireless work and deep generosity: Jonathan Boyer, Judy Bross, Lindsay Carlton, Chrissy Cox, Cory Daverman, Scott Dias, Sophie Goodwillie, Charlie Huebner, Amanda and John Rutledge, David Saunders, Cinnie Siragusa, Kim Vender Moffat.

What are the specific goals of the Campaign?

The current goal of the Campaign is to raise at least $15 million. With the generous support of our community, the Campaign will fund three general goals: 

The first goal, which will utilize a significant portion of the money we raise, is to ensure the restoration of our buildings. That restoration work will include: repair and tuck-pointing of the west wall, replacement of numerous windows, refurbishment of the bell tower, repairs of the limestone facades, roofing work, installation of a new heating and cooling system, wiring upgrades, and other required infrastructure improvements. 

 The second goal is to improve the Day School space and the Church’s meeting and outreach spaces. There will be the addition of three new classrooms and the reconfiguration of the Day School space to provide more natural light, a kitchen area, and improved play spaces and washrooms. For the Church spaces, there will be upgraded, more flexible meeting and community spaces (including kitchen facilities) that will be handicap accessible and designed with enhanced capabilities for presentations and outreach. 

 The third goal is to build the endowments for the Church and Day School, which will ensure the future we have envisioned together for St. Chrysostom’s.

When will the Campaign successfully conclude?

It is anticipated that a successful conclusion of the Campaign will be achieved by the fall of 2021.

What can I do to help?

Provide offerings of prayer and enthusiasm. As we celebrated our 125th anniversary, this is an exciting opportunity to shape the future and impact of our Church and Day School in the City and beyond. Make no small plans! Start now to envision how you can help to ensure our mutual success.