Entering a Time of Preparation

By the Rev. Anne B. Jolly

At the church where I serve, we have been debating whether the native flowers planted in our memorial garden should be deadheaded as the summer growing season gives way to fall and winter. If we leave the spent blooms intact over the winter, people may assume we’re neglecting to care for our garden – and…


Liturgy Lab

Bishop Lee convenes a meeting of creative minds

In the season in which Christians remember their dead, Bishop Jeff Lee and the founders of Sacred Design Lab convened a two-day gathering at the Nicholas Center to explore the rituals in which people seek meaning, transformation and a sense of belonging. Not quite half of those who gathered were Episcopal liturgists or musicians. The…


Creative Calling Cards

Around the diocese, congregations are pursuing mission through the arts

For centuries the church, at its best, has served as a center of community life. From medieval stained glass windows to contemporary exhibits and performances, the creative arts have helped congregations welcome their neighbors, express the Christian call to service, enhance congregational life, and become known within their communities. In the Diocese of Chicago, congregations…


A Pathway Opens

A new program offers congregations a way to explore the legacy of slavery

In 1853, the state of Illinois passed a law prohibiting free black people from settling in the state. Twelve years later, the measure was repealed, and Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished chattel slavery. Those conflicting impulses continue to manifest themselves every day in communities across the Diocese of Chicago,…


Looking Toward an Election

The diocese takes the first steps toward electing a new bishop.
Looking Toward an Election

When Bishop Jeffrey Lee announced in February that he would be retiring next August, he set in motion a long and complex process during which there is abundant opportunity for uncertainty. But diocesan leaders and Bishop Todd Ousley of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Pastoral Development are committed to keeping anxiety at a minimum during…


Still Singing

In the Midst of Dementia: Joy
group of older people clapping

Tuesdays at 6:15 a.m., Bob Nelson gets in his car and drives 120 miles from his home in Milwaukee to Chicago. There, he picks up his 91-year-old father-in-law, Charles Custer, and accompanies him to the rehearsal of Good Memories, a choir for people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. Anna Brothers of South Holland also…