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 Twelve years later, the measure was repealed, and Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished chattel slavery.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…


Lessons in Empowerment

College for Congregational Development equips laity to lead

The Diocese of Chicago had a specific vision in mind when it instituted its new partnership with the College for Congregational Development (CCD). “I think CCD has the capacity to really change how our churches approach their futures,” says the Rev. Andrea Mysen, director of ministries. “It is all about creating practitioners on the ground who…


Learning to Juggle

A changing church seeks new flexibility from its clergy

As the church adapts to serve a changing world, the traditional model of a single congregation worshipping in a single building, with a single full-time priest is no longer the norm. More than half of Episcopal congregations do not have a full-time priest, and more clergy are bi-vocational or serve more than one community. In the…