October 2007 - Presbytery of Chicago
Our Common Ministry
Presbytery of Chicago
October 2007 • Volume 23 Number 4
COM – Equipping congregations
“Our task is to equip congregations to be the healthiest and
most faithful communities of Christ,” says the Reverend Dr.
Virginia B. “Ginny” Smith. Ginny is the Presbytery’s
Associate Executive for Ministry and one of her responsibilities is staffing the Committee on
All churches in the Presbytery have a Committee on Ministry
representative assigned to them for support. In addition, there
are plans to establish “skill teams” in each geographical region to
assist with three responsibilities of COM. One team will be available to provide training for Pastor
Nominating Committees (PNC),
second will be trained in conflict
The Committee on Ministry is a
resolution, and a third will work
required committee specified by
with the COM congregational repthe Book of Order. Its stated
resentatives to hold triennial visits
purpose is to serve as pastor and
with pastors and sessions for addicounselor to ministers, to facilitional caring and support. There
tate relations between congregaare also plans to provide an all-day
tions, ministers and the
workshop at the 2008 LEAD event
Presbytery, and to settle difficulfor new COM members, as well as
ties in the local church on behalf
Committee on Ministry Regional Coordinators flank Associate any others who would like a
of the Presbytery.
Executive Ginny Smith. From left: Mike Wolfe, Nadine McBeth, refresher course.
Ginny Smith, Carole Norton and Gene Craig.
In response to the needs of the
As one of its responsibilities that is
churches of the Presbytery, COM is restructuring its work to be
central to the work of the Presbytery, the COM is charged with
more proactive by developing relationships with pastors and
counseling churches regarding calls for permanent pastoral relacongregations. They want to be available to provide support and tions, as well as for other clergy support, such as stated supply
resources to equip congregations to be prepared to meet the
pastors, interim pastors, and designated pastors. Members of the
challenges of church life.
Committee interview prospective clergy on behalf of the Presbytery
regarding their statement of faith, while also giving the pastoral
The COM in Chicago Presbytery has 42 members and is
candidate the opportunity to ask questions they might not feel
moderated by the Reverend Michael Youngblood, pastor of
comfortable posing to the local PNC. Once the church extends a
Evanston Northminster. To more effectively live out its purcall to a pastor, recommendations are then made by the COM to
pose, COM has structured itself into four sub-committees,
Presbytery regarding calls for services of its ministers.
each served by a volunteer staff coordinator. COM members
meet with their sub-committee monthly and the full
The Specialized Ministries sub-committee is responsible for
Committee meets three times a year. The sub-committees
the care and oversight of clergy who serve in validated (nonand their coordinators are: Southern Region – Elder Mike
parish related) ministries and clergy in other denominations
Wolfe, Central Region– Elder Nadine McBeth, Northern
who wish to transfer to the PCUSA. It also receives and
Region – Elder Gene Craig, and Specialized Ministries – Elder reviews the required annual reports from the Presbytery’s
Carole Norton. The four coordinators meet with Ginny on a
regular basis and work together as a team in administrating
The work of the COM is extensive and requires the services of
the work of COM.
elders and clergy who are committed to giving their time,
energy, and skills to serving in this capacity.
Table of Contents
Páginas en Español
Lincoln Park Church Comes Home, pg. 16
By Robert C. Reynolds, Executive Presbyter
At a staff meeting recently, a colleague shared research
results about church growth. Here’s a resource, I thought, to
which Chicago Presbytery’s pastors and lay leaders
will be glad to know we are attentive.
Presbyterians generally will be interested in these
results too, so I am citing several facts from the
document, some of which may confirm your
assumptions about church growth and some of
which may surprise you.
• Three positive predictors of growth are churches
strong in caring for children and youth, welcoming
new people, and participating in the congregation.
• Smaller congregations can grow. 39% of the fastgrowing Presbyterian churches have fewer than
Robert C. Reynolds
200 in worship.
• Many new people (47%) visit for the first time because
someone invited them.
• People return to a church because of the quality of the sermon (36%), the friendliness of the people (32%), and the
overall worship experience (30%).
• Growing congregations are more likely to have a specific
Racial Ethnic Multicultural Event
Over 600 people, including a number from Chicago
Presbytery, gathered in Los Angeles this summer to celebrate the gift of diversity that we have as Christians. This
year the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the
Reformed Church of America joined the Presbyterian
Church (USA) in jointly sponsoring the festivities, workshops, plenary sessions, panel discussions, and worship
services. Representatives from the three sponsoring
denominations were among the fine speakers.
This year’s theme “Spirit of Wholeness in Christ” underscored the importance of the presence of the Holy Spirit
among us, renewing our own spirits as we seek to find
wholeness in our differences. Throughout the three-day
event the enthusiasm, faith, joy, and commitment to
group for newcomers and to invite such people to take part
in small groups or service opportunities.
• Almost all worship services in growing Presbyterian
churches (89%) include traditional hymns.
• Services in growing congregations are more likely to
include contemporary music and laughter.
Many congregations have evangelism and church growth strategies informed by research such as this. It is an empowering
resource for churches creatively extending the Gospel’s reach to
people in their communities and throughout the world.
Chicago Presbytery’s Develop Congregations Mission Priority
Leadership Team includes people who are passionately engaged
in leading growing congregations and who are up to date on
resources and strategies for church growth. This Leadership
Team’s purpose is to become a resourceful partner in congregational development throughout the Presbytery.
When church leaders access research with clues to what
works and then make creative local applications, it can powerfully influence their congregational development strategy.
For additional information on what the Presbytery staff
recently reviewed, check out the U.S. Congregational Life
Survey website and click on “Myths and Facts about
Evangelism and Church Growth.”
ministry of wholeness in a multicultural world was palpable.
The diversity of music, languages and clothing highlighted
the fact that people of deep faith were gathered to celebrate
unity and diversity as mutually inclusive concepts.
The stated purpose of the conference was “To affirm the
authenticity of God’s people working together in solidarity,
focusing on education, justice, and inclusiveness in multicultural settings in the life of the church and society.” The goals
were “to learn to value and appreciate racial/cultural differences; to provide leadership development opportunities for our
constituencies; and, to provide tools for dismantling racism.”
Multicultural church ministries differ from “racial/ethnic”
ministries by using a unified model rather than the “solidarity” model that works with language and cultural groups
Continues on page 3
OUR COMMON MINISTRY is published five times a year by the Presbytery Council’s Communications Work
Group of the Presbytery of Chicago, the regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church in Lake, Cook, and DuPage Counties.
Robert C. Reynolds
Simeon D. Carson
Mike Conklin, Martha Langford, Gale Morgan-Williams,
Laura Taylor de Palomino and Joseph Pixler
OUR COMMON MINISTRY
100 S. Morgan
Chicago, IL 60607
Ph. (312) 243-8300
Fax. (312) 243-8409
E-mail: [email protected]
Next Issue: Dec. 2007 Deadline for copy: Oct. 22, 2007
OCM invites comments, questions and stories from our readers. Please direct your letters to the Editor, Ms. Gerry Parker
at [email protected] Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you.
Encuentro V gathers Hispanic Latina Presbyterian Women
Hispanic Latina Presbyterian Women (HLPW) gathered in
Irving, Texas in July for the Fifth National Encuentro.
Encuentro is a triennial conference, and its goals are in tune
with those of Presbyterian
Women worldwide: enhancing diversity, leadership
development, and creating
bridges. Hispanic Latina
Presbyterian Women is an
organization of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).
The theme of the conference
was “Going out with joy to
share and serve,” based on
our homes, communities, and the church. They are hard
workers, who often are so invested in caring for others that
they neglect themselves. Encuentro gives us an opportunity
to model for women a healthy
lifestyle, where work and play
are interconnected in the
ongoing dance of life and
During the business session,
synod representatives approved
a resolution that in July 2010
Encuentro be held in conjunction with Hispanic Presbyterian
Men and the emerging national
organization for Hispanic
In the keynote address, the
Rev. Magdalena Garcia, pasNewly elected members of the 2007-2010 Coordinating Team; from The concluding worship servtor of Chicago Ravenswood,
left: Elder Cecilia Casal, Moderator; Elder Florence Vargas, Vice- ice included a spectacular discalled on God’s people to be
Moderator; Elder Lety Heredia, Secretary and Historian; Elder Luz play of clergy and lay women
“shepherds” to the flock, will- Fonseca, Treasurer; Elder Yolanda Hernandez, Volunteer Advisor; sporting colorful robes and
ing to guard its life and integristoles, while they led particiand Rev. Nydia Fernandez, Spiritual Coordinator.
ty. “As in the days of Biblical
pants in singing, praying, readshepherds, there are still plenty of wild beasts threatening
ing, preaching, and breaking bread at the Lord’s table. “Go
God’s flock – like the party politics that want to criminalize
out, as the prophet Isaiah encourages us, in joy, and be mesall undocumented immigrants, despite common knowledge
sengers of peace and goodwill everywhere, so that creation
that the economy relies on their labor, and ferocious animals
and all its creatures can indeed burst into song and clap their
that want to break up our families, even when these include
hands,” said Rev. Marielis Barreto, featured preacher for the
underage children who are United States citizens,” she said.
closing plenary, and Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in
Aguada, Puerto Rico. “Work to make the world the idyllic place
The Rev. Dr. Alice Winters led a Bible study session based on
that our national anthems sing about, until the “rockets red
the Biblical stories of Naomi (Book of Ruth) and Jonah, both
glare” are fireworks of celebration instead of bombs of
of whom had to learn that the message of salvation is for
anihilation,” she added.
everyone in the world. She challenged participants to look
beyond their own borders, remembering their sisters in their An offering totaling almost $3,500 was taken up during the
countries of origin. Dr. Winters is a Presbyterian Mission
worship service. These funds, along with $335 from the sale
Worker who has served in Colombia for over 30 years.
of bookmarkers crocheted by women from Puerto Rico, will
be invested in Fondo Adelante (Forward Fund), an endowOne of the highlights of the conference was the immigration
ment established through the Presbyterian Foundation with
forum, where a local lawyer, Nelly Rocha Andresen, outlined
funds raised by Encuentros III and IV, and other private
many of the alternatives available for those wishing to obtain gifts. Dividends from this endowment will be used to grant
a visa to stay in the United States. “There is a lot that the
scholarships for the leadership development of Hispanic
church communities have done and can continue to do for
Latin Presbyterian women.
immigrants in our midst,” she said. “The church can ..offer
For more information, please contact Cecilia Casal at
education, assistance, economic support, and can encourage
(432) 684-4822 or [email protected]
citizens to participate in the political process…”
Article submitted by the Rev. Magdalena Garcia
The three-day conference included an evening to celebrate
Continued from page 2
the gifts of ordained women in the Presbyterian Church
that meet separately, addressing their unique needs and cus(USA), followed by a social hour that had participants on
toms. The unified model seeks to bring people of different
their feet singing along with a mariachi band.
languages and cultures together into a single congregation.
Encuentro serves as the platform for a triennial business
The Presbytery’s Multicultural Church Ministry Team will
meeting of HLPW which includes the election of officers.
provide resources and opportunities for training, worship
Moderator Cecilia Casal said, ““Women are the backbone of
and fellowship throughout the year.
HeadlineJustice” – Mission Stories
Havana moderator tours Chicago
The Rev. Dora Arce, moderator of Havana Presbytery and
pastor at Havana Luyano Presbyterian Church, visited
Chicago Presbytery June 19-26. A highlight was her June 20
meeting at the Chicago Presbytery office with Executive
This action will certainly will be familiar to Rev. Don
Coleman, co-pastor with his wife, Anne Marie, of the
University Church in Chicago’s Hyde Park. A year ago at
the protest, he was among 16 who took that non-violent step
at the end of a symbolic funeral procession in memory of
those killed by graduates of the institution. As a result, Rev.
Coleman was detained at the scene, charged with a Federal
crime, stood trial last January, and received a 60-day sentence, which he served in Chicago’s Metropolitan
Correctional Center in the Loop. “I consider what I did an act
of Holy Obedience, not civil disobedience,” he said.
The controversial SOA was established in Panama in 1946
and relocated to the U.S. in 1984. It was renamed WHINSEC
in 2001. The institute continues to operate at Fort Benning
with the same instructors and techniques that were applied
by the bloody Latin American dictatorships during the 1970s
and 1980s, say activists.
Rev. Dora Arce (second from left) meets with Chicago Presbytery
youth before their July trip: (seated, from left) Peter Davidson, Megan
Bohi and Alexandra Brewer; (standing, from left) Anna Groebe and
Presbyter Bob Reynolds and former Chicago Presbytery
moderators who will be traveling to Havana Oct. 31-Nov. 5.
The Rev. Arce provided an update on the Presbyterian
Church in Cuba and the formal partnership between Chicago
and Havana Presbyteries, which will mark its 10th anniversary next year.
The Rev. Arce later was hosted by the Rev. Jerry Wise at
Chicago First, where she learned about the church’s community outreach initiatives, including a garden, school and supper program. She also visited with members of Oak Park Fair
Oaks, which recently entered into a sister church relationship
with Los Palos Presbyterian Church in Havana Presbytery.
Her visit also included stops at Chicago Fourth, where she
reviewed a Cuba photo exhibit; Libertyville First, where she
gave the children’s sermon during Sunday worship; and
Clarendon Hills. She met with members of the Cuba Mission
Team, which oversees the formal partnership between
Chicago and Havana Presbyteries, and provided an orientation session for Chicago Presbytery youth in advance of their
participation in a Youth leadership Conference at Havana
Luyano (see separate article.)
Coleman’s “Holy Obedience”
When thousands of activists gather shortly before Thanksgiving
outside Ft. Benning, Georgia, to demand closure of the U.S.
Army’s School of the Americas (SOA), (now called the Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation - WHINSEC), it
is expected that more than a few will cross the perimeter and be
arrested. The protest is reminiscent of the Civil Rights and Viet
Nam War protests in the 1960s-70s in the United States.
Protests against the SOA/WHINSEC, begun more than a decade
ago, have resulted in 211 people serving a total of over 92 years
in prison for engaging in nonviolent resistance in a broadbased campaign. Last year, simultaneous actions took place in
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, El
Salvador, Canada, Ireland, Arizona and California.
Rev. Coleman will be on hand again this year to lend support
to the cause. The three-day protest, also called the Festival of
Hope, is expected to attract over 20,000 activists, whose
goals include bringing enough pressure on Congress to shutter the facility. The University Church pastor said that he was
first inspired to take his action last year at Ft. Benning after
attending the protest in 2005.
The event was organized by the School of Americas Watch
(www.soaw.org) 17 years ago. It is timed to commemorate six
Jesuit priests who were killed along with their housekeeper
and her daughter in El Salvador on Nov. 19, 1989. Some of
the killers had attended the school.
The University Church has a long history of activism. In his
statement made in court, Rev. Coleman told the story of
parishioners Virgilio Vicente, Isabel Canu, and their family
of four children, who are active in the church after coming to
Chicago in 1986.
Virgilio is from Saq Ja, one of four hundred villages
destroyed by the Guatemalan military. It was razed to the
ground; plants were uprooted and burned, animals killed,
people slaughtered, and a few escaped into the jungle,
Guatemala City, or with help from the Sanctuary Movement
came to the United States.
“Virgilio placed a cross against the fence blocking people
from entering the base,” he said. “I was moved to tears for on
the cross were the names of his father and mother who had
been killed in the destruction of the village of Saq Ja.”
“Advance Justice” – Mission Stories
Week of Prayer and Witness for
The congregation of Arlington Heights Southminster participated in a variety of activities focusing on the Middle East
during their spring Week of Prayer and Witness. Throughout
the week they specifically prayed for Jordan, Iran,
Israel/Palestine, Iraq and Egypt, both in their homes and in
the church chapel each noon hour.
The Rev. Kathy Matsushima began the week with a sermon
about the enduring witness of Christians in the Middle East.
In an adult education program following worship, Irene and
Karl Sahyouni spoke about their native land of Lebanon.
Irena and her sister Daphane Tarabichi provided recipes and
helped prepare a traditional Lebanese meal, hosted by the
church’s Mission Team.
Proceeds of a free-will donation collected at the dinner will
be sent, with matching funds, to the Israel/Palestine Network
Organization which Kathy Matsushima chairs for the PCUSA.
This offering, in excess of $500, will be donated in honor of
Irene and Karl Sahyouni for their inspiration during this
Week of Prayer and Witness.
What can be recycled?
Chicago Heights First recently listed many of the items it
routinely recycles. Among them are:
• Old eyeglasses go to Volunteer Optometric Services to
Humanity (VOSH) for people in third-world countries.
• Computer ink cartridges, which yield funds for the
Presbyterian Women’s budget
• Paper is collected in large containers in the parking
lot.(yielding 10 tons in 2006)
• Used walking shoes in good condition go to Hearts in
Motion for people in Central America.
• Twenty-ounce pop bottles go to TerraCycle, where they are
filled with environmentally friendly fertilizer and fitted
with recycled spray tops.
Local youth enjoy Havana
Two young people from Glen Ellyn Southminster and five
First joined young
from Long Island,
NY, and Austin,
Texas, and about
25 Cuban youth
July 8-16 in Cuba
to attend the second annual
American and Cuban Youth share in Youth
Leadership Conference in Cuba
Conference hosted by the Presbytery of Havana.
The Chicago group was chaperoned by Carmen Lago from
Libertyville First and Muriel Miller, moderator of the Cuba
Mission Team. The Long Island and Austin Presbyteries also
have partnerships with Havana Presbytery.
They worshipped, ate, sang, danced and laughed together
and talked about what it means to be a young leader in the
Presbyterian Church, regardless of where you live. They
talked about leading like Jesus: caring about people instead
of wealth or power.
The second half of the week was spent at local churches to get to
know their hosts more personally. They participated in groupbuilding activities and just “hung out” with Cuban youth, sharing their lives with one another. Despite the tropical heat, all of
the Americans said they would like to go back to Cuba.
“Sew Much Comfort” day
Members of Lake Forest First participated in a “sew-in” during which volunteer seamstresses made 28 pairs of adaptive
fleece pants for use by wounded soldiers who need to adjust
their clothing for prosthesis, braces, casts or missing limbs.
These provide an alternative to hospital gowns, bringing dignity and comfort to those whose injuries make normal pants
and tee shirts unusable.
The sewing effort is part of a national, non-profit group called
“Sew Much Comfort,” which was founded in 2004 by Ginger
Dosedel. Her 10-year-old son, a bone cancer patient, had a fixator on his leg which required pants with wider legs. After seeing wounded soldiers with the same fixators, he came up with
the idea of making clothes for them so they wouldn’t be restricted to hospital gowns. The clothes are all new and have Velcro
openings so that service members can dress themselves, participate in physical therapy session and post-operative exams.
The clothes made at Lake Forest were sent to the regional
office for quality control and then distributed to Baghdad,
Afghanistan, Germany, Walter Reed and combat surgical
hospitals. The “sew-in” was coordinated by Jessica Allen,
whose daughter serves with the Army in Iraq. “We are doing
something for the soldiers,” Allen said. “It doesn’t matter
whether you agree or disagree with the war; we need to do
what we can for the wounded.”
For more information about this Christian mission, visit
their website at www.sewmuchcomfort.org
Watch for an update on DART activities in the
December issue of OCM, as we mark the 2nd
anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
There will also be news from Wales, where the Rev.
Thomas Arthur has been laboring outside the bounds
of Chicago Presbytery for nearly twenty years.
“Develop Congregations” – News of our churches
Wildwood “builds a church”
Last May 20 was an especially historic day for members of
Wildwood Presbyterian Church. They gathered that Sunday
in their old facility and, with a police escort for their motorcade, moved to
church building. The day’s
18 young people
Wildwood congregation officially dedicated
its new facility at
18630 W. Old
Sanctuary of the new Wildwood church building in Grayslake Gages Lake Road
on September 16, to culminate a 10-year “Come Build A Church”
campaign. There’s always a sense of renewal in the Fall, when
churches throughout the Presbytery shift into fresh programming, and nowhere was this more evident than in Wildwood
Presbyterian Church in the far north suburbs in Grayslake.
In this case, it was the church building itself that had everyone energized. “This process was an opportunity to be a part
of something that doesn’t come along very often, and we feel
very privileged,” said Rev. Greg Bostrom, who, with his wife,
Kathy, has been Wildwood’s co-pastor since 1991. “We’re
fortunate to have a great congregation.”
Wildwood was first established in 1954 by 66 parishioners
and two years later moved into the old Sears, of Sears
Roebuck fame, family barn, which was converted into a worship center. The renovated “Barn” was the location for worship and all WPC activities until the sanctuary was built in
1974. The “Barn” and sanctuary were linked with a new
Christian Education facility in 1994.
The congregation had grown to over 400 members in 1998,
making it necessary to renovate the sanctuary to allow more
seating space. “We are a very solid, medium-sized church with
a strong and active membership,” said Rev. Bostrom, noting
that the congregation today numbers nearly 670 members.
Current ministries to the community include PADS (shelter
for the homeless), a food pantry, the church Preschool, and
Alzheimer Respite Care Center, none of which were interrupted during the transition. “This was no small accomplishment either,” Rev. Bostrom added. The Presbyterian congregation shared their former facility for almost a year with its
new tenant, a Korean Methodist Church, while awaiting
completion of the facility on Old Gages Lake Road.
“Wildwood was one of the five “Building Partnership” churches and several neighboring churches, and the Presbytery itself,
have contributed time, labor, and money to the overall project,” said Rev. Bostrom. “It was one of those things our congregation knew had to be done,” he said. And through God’s
will, it got done.
Staff changes at the Presbytery
The Presbytery said its thanks to the Rev. David Ezekiel at the
June Assembly meeting as he left his position as Associate
Executive for Congregational Development to return to the
pastorate. He served the Presbytery for five years. He is
Interim Pastor at
St. Paul’s U.C.C.
Church in Elgin.
has hired Elder
Loretta GratiasBremer and the
part time consultThe Rev. David Ezekiel confers with
Moderator-elect the Rev. Joy Douglas Strome
as Ezekiel prepares to return to the pastorate
Development on a
Chicago Presbytery also said goodbye to Elder Martha Brown,
who left her position as Executive Assistant to the Executive
Presbyter and Presbytery Council Administrator to take a
position at McCormick Theological Seminary.
Pierce: Great Presbyterian, great
About 60 people from Evergreen Park led the ovation July 23
at U.S. Cellular Field when a life-sized bronze statue of White
Sox pitching legend Billy Pierce was unveiled in the outfield
Pierce, 80, is widely known for his achievements with the
White Sox including 186 wins and 1,796 strikeouts during his
years with the Sox from 1949-’61, The White Sox retired his
number 19 in 1987; he is one of only eight players so honored.
Only five other players have their own statue. He was named to
the Sox Team of the Century. “He was a great pitcher and a
gentleman off the field,” said Sox teammate Moose Skowron.
The cheers of the July 23 crowd when Pierce tossed the
game’s ceremonial first pitch – particularly loud in the
“Pierce’s Posse” section from Evergreen Park – echoed those
But at Evergreen Park, Pierce is known for his faithful and
active participation in the life of the church. He has been a
member since 1964, serving at least seven times as elder. He
“Develop Congregations” – News of our churches
regularly ushers for Sunday worship and contributes much
more, as well.
In addition to leading at the church and spending time with
his children and grandchildren, Pierce heads the not-forprofit Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities – which has raised
more than $11 million since 1971 – and serves as an official
goodwill ambassador for the White Sox.
Evergreen has another reason to celebrate. June 1st marked
the 60th anniversary of its groundbreaking as an incorporated
church. Stories from its past were included in worship services during the summer. Work has also begun on a memorial
garden, honoring the men and women who established the
church and helped it grow over the years.
Churches celebrate grants and
Chicago Edgewater won one of the denomination’s Multi-cultural Church Story awards for their story about the interracial,
multicultural bonding in their confirmation class. These
young people go to different high schools, but they bonded in
the class. The $1,000 prize will be used for youth programs in
Glenview received a grant from Presbytery’s Empower
Ministry Mission Priority Leadership Team for an ecumenical adventure in their community called “TouchStones”.
TouchStones is designed to captivate both “seekers” and
“believers” who want to learn more about the spiritual practices of various faith traditions. There will be workshops
such as “Wisdom of the Kabbalah,” “Let Your Life Speak: a
Quaker Perspective,” “What the Qu’ran Says and Doesn’t
Say,” and “Spirituality of the Seasons.”
Homewood is celebrating the election of long-time former
pastor, the Rev. Joseph Ledwell, to the Village of Homewood
Hall of Fame. Ledwell was pastor of the Homewood church for
33 years. He made significant contributions to Village life during his tenure at Homewood. A reception and luncheon will be
held in October to honor all the 2007 Hall of Fame nominees.
• Oct. 15-Nov. 3, Middle East
Traveling Seminar. Contact Pauline
• Oct. 16, Presbytery Assembly meeting, 4 pm, Libertyville First
• Oct. 20, True North Boundary Training,
9 am-4 pm, Oak Park Fair Oaks
• Oct. 22-23, McCormick Days 2007:
“Speaking about Poverty.” For infor-
AACTC churches celebrate 200
years as Presbyterians
The eight churches that make up the African American
Congregational Transformation Covenant (AACTC) are celebrating 200 years of Presbyterianism in America. When this
year’s bicentennial of black Presbyterianism was celebrated
in Philadelphia, Presbyterians from across the nation stood to
sing, “We’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord, trusting in
His Holy Word. He’s never failed us yet!”
It began with “Jack,” a slave from Tennessee with a gift for
preaching. His Presbyterian-missionary owner taught him
theology and he became founding pastor of the country’s first
African-American Presbyterian congregation in 1807.
As blacks were breaking into the ranks of tradespersons and artisans, a growing spirit of race pride and independence grew.
Some blacks grew restive in the few white congregations that welcomed them. They discovered that white congregations would not
call ordained black ministers, and white Presbyterians would
rarely join black congregations. Also, whites did not aggressively
support antislavery or civil rights causes.
In the face of such realities, African-American Presbyterians
organized a caucus five years before the Civil War, which has
continued ever since. It is now called the National Black
Presbyterian Caucus (NBPC).
A distinctive black Presbyterianism evolved as the first black
churches were formed. These churches emphasized evangelism,
education and social reform. Worship in many black congregations today reflects the influence of Pentecostalism and contemporary spirituality, including gospel songs and liturgical dance.
For two centuries, black Presbyterians have kept the denomination honest about the challenges of racism, the educational
needs of under-privileged youth, ministry in the inner city,
Christian political action, and the inclusiveness of church staffs
and governing bodies.
The eight churches in the AACTC of Chicago Presbytery are:
Chatham Bethlehem, Cornerstone, Crerar Memorial,
Hope, Pine Avenue, Pullman, Seventh and Sixth Grace.
mation, contact Rev. Grayson Van
Camp at [email protected]
or (773) 947-6283.
• Oct. 27, Fall Gathering, Presbyterian
Women, 9 am – 2:30 pm, Chicago
• Nov. 9-11, Sr. High Fall retreat, Lake
• Dec. 11, Presbytery Assembly meeting, 1 pm, Chicago Crerar Memorial
• Jan. 25-27, Junior High Winter
Retreat, East Bay Camp,
• Feb. 12, Presbytery Assembly meeting, 4 pm, Oak Park First United.
• Feb. 22-24, Confirmation Retreat,
Presbyterian Camps at Saugatuck
For more information on these events, call
(312) 243-8300 unless otherwise noted.
“Empower Ministry” – News of the Presbytery, Work Groups and Mission Teams
Presbytery Assembly highlights
The June 12 meeting of the Presbytery Assembly was held at
Elmhurst Presbyterian Church, amid a sea of cicadas. The
worship service celebrated the gifts of our African-American
congregations, who are marking the 200th anniversary of
black Presbyterian congregations in the United States. The
Rev. James Foster Reese, Minister for Specialized
Interpretation, Presbyterian Foundation preached.
Two pre-Presbytery meetings were held, focusing
on mission and mission
giving. In one, some of
the leaders of Chicago
area programs receiving
grants from the Self
Development of People
funds spoke about their
The Combined Choirs of the African-American
The other, led by
Congregation Transformation Covenant provided speAnnette
cial music at the June 12 Assembly.
Karen Krum of the
Presbyterian Foundation, focused on creating a culture of
giving in congregations.
The Presbytery said goodbye to the Rev. David Ezekiel, who
leaves his position as Associate Executive for Congregational
Development to return to the pastorate.
The Administrative Commission for Altgeld Gardens presented the detailed report that was requested at the April
Assembly meeting. The Presbytery reluctantly voted to concur with the commission’s recommendation to close the
United Church of Altgeld Gardens, authorize the sale of the
property and to use the funds to strengthen the racial-ethnic
churches on Chicago’s south side.
Several mission teams reported on their activities: The African
American Congregational Transformation Covenant Team, the
Self Development of People Team, the Middle East Task Force
and Congregations in Solidarity with Latin America.
Other items of business included: the formation of
Administrative Commissions for Cicero Emmanuel and
Midwest Hanmi/Jesus Community Church; adoption of a
trust agreement with Christopher House and adoption of the
new Manual of Operations.
The August 11 Assembly Meeting was held at Mc Cormick
Theological Seminary. The Rev. Craig Howard preached at
the worship service.
The Presbytery welcomed the Rev. Milton Mejia and his wife,
and the Rev. Jack Haberer as guests. Rev. Mejia is the former
General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia,
who is in Chicago studying at Mc Cormick Seminary. Rev.
Haberer is editor of the Presbyterian Outlook.
Members of the DELAW Philippines Mission Team spoke
about their recent trip to the Philippines. Seven churches of
the Presbytery participated in the trip, making this group one
of the most diverse mission teams to visit the Philippines.
Amanda Huels (Winnetka) and Matt Johnson (Western
Springs) spoke enthusiastically about their participation in
the National Presbyterian Youth Triennium in July. They
were part of a group of twenty youth from Chicago Presbytery
who attended. They were sponsored by the Youth Mission
Team and the Empower Ministry Mission Priority
The Rev. Marty Gool led the Presbytery in a litany of thanksgiving for the 50-year ministry of the United Church of
In other business, the Presbytery approved a per capita rate of
$26.29 (of which $17.15 is the Presbytery’s portion) for 2008
and an increase in the minimum effective salary for clergy to
$40,580. Building Partnership funds of up to $20,000 each
were offered to the Pullman and Wildwood churches to help
offset the costs of their capital campaigns.
Recommendations from the Committee on Ministry relating
to clergy, and from the Committee on Preparation for
Ministry regarding Inquirers and Candidates for ministry
from both meetings are reported in Transitions, page 9 of
Labyrinth creates sacred space
The Presbytery’s Spirituality Task Force has discovered that
labyrinths are springing up all around the Presbytery of
Chicago. Just this year, three new ones join the three already
received a 24’ polycanvas labyrinth as a
gift. This indoor-outdoor labyrinth has been
used in various programs. “The labyrinth
Labyrinth at Wheaton First, one of the
turns common areas into
first in the Presbytery
sacred space. Students
have experienced it for walking meditation and prayer, and as
a metaphor for life’s journey,” says Dean of Students
In May, The Presbyterian Church of Western Springs built
an octagonal labyrinth of red paint on a concrete patio. “The
presence of the labyrinth has transformed the space,” says
Pastor Jennifer Burns Lewis. “Now, a Bible study meets
there, and parents walk it while their children play nearby. It
Is available 24-7.” Rev. Cossy Ksander designed the
“Empower Ministry” – News of the Presbytery, Work Groups and Mission Teams
labyrinth, while members of the congregation constructed it.
First United Church of Oak Park had a stone labyrinth built
on the front lawn in July. The congregation has explored
labyrinths for many years, recalls Associate Pastor Mamie
Broadhurst. The outdoor labyrinth is available for the recovery groups that meet in the church and for the wider community. “We hope the labyrinth will offer greater and deeper
spiritual experiences for those who encounter it.”
Arlington Heights Southminster and Wheaton Hope have
PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY
Enrolled as Inquirer:
• Catherine Clewlow, of Chicago Fourth
• Eric Heinekamp, of Naperville Knox
• Megan Handley, of Evanston First
• Constance Kunze, of Wheaton Hope
• Adam Malek, of Orland Park
• Joleen Preuninger, of Chicago Fourth
• Chanon Ross of Naperville Knox
• James Thompson, Jr., of Glen Ellyn First
• Lesley Weir of Park Forest Calvary
Enrolled as Candidate Under Care:
• Lisa Lumpp, of Lake Forest First
Deemed Prepared and Authorized to seek
• Loy Mershimer
• Amy Pagliarella
Examined and Approved for Ordination
• Craig Howard, under care of Chicago
Presbytery, to serve as Senior Development
Officer at McCormick Theological Seminary
• Elizabeth Hulford, under care of
Philadelphia Presbytery, to serve as halftime chaplain at Adventist Health System
• Jihyun Oh, under care of Tropical Florida
Presbytery, to serve as Associate Pastor,
Arlington Heights First.
Removed from the Roll:
• Kara Smith Laubenstein, from Libertyville
First, at her request.
COMMITTEE ON MINISTRY
• Rev. Paulo Franca, from Western Reserve
Presbytery, to serve as pastor, Christ
Church of Chicago, UCC
• Rev. Kenneth C. Green, from Whitewater
Valley Presbytery (Indiana), to serve as
pastor of La Grange First
• Rev. Scott Henry Jansen, from East Iowa
Presbytery, to serve as pastor, Riverside
• Rev. Dean Myron Lindsey, from the
Presbytery of the Peaks (Virginia), to serve
as pastor, Clarendon Hills Community
• Autum Lum, upon her ordination, to serve
as associate pastor of Wilmette First
• Rev. Joyce Shin, from Transylvania
Presbytery (Kentucky) , to serve as associate pastor, Chicago Fourth
the oldest labyrinths in the Presbytery. Both are 36’, painted
canvases which are especially used during Lent, and can be
borrowed by other congregations. Wheaton First dedicated
their brick labyrinth in 2001. Located in an interior courtyard, the labyrinth defines a space that members use for both
silent meditation and walking. Wheaton First has started a
Taizé prayer service that hopes to incorporate the labyrinth
into its worship.
Article submitted by the Rev. Cossy Ksander
• Rev. Ann L. Rosewall, from Mission
Presbytery (Texas), to serve as interim
associate pastor, Evanston Northminster.
• Rev. Thomas Daniels, from co-pastor,
Evanston First, to Atlanta Presbytery, to
serve as organizing pastor of the Atlantic
Station New Church Development
• Rev. Frank Gipson, from Chicago Pine
Avenue, to the Pacific Presbytery, to serve
as pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church,
• Rev. Bobbi Hargleroad, to de Cristo
Presbytery (AZ), to be honorably retired
• Rev. Tim Janiszewski, from Mundelein Kirk
of the Lakes, to Pittsburgh Presbytery, to
serve as pastor of the Mount Lebanon United
Presbyterian Church, Mt. Lebanon, PA
• Rev. Jeanne Kumbalek, from pastor, South
Holland United, to Maumee Valley
Presbytery, to serve as pastor, First
Presbyterian Church of Perrysburg, OH
• Rev. Chad Miller, from pastor, Lansing, to
New Castle Presbytery, to serve as the associate pastor of Westminster Presbyterian
Church, Wilmington, DE
• Rev. Dean Overholser, HR, to Monmouth
Presbytery (New Jersey) to serve as pastor
of the First Presbyterian church of
• Rev. David E. Sanchez, from newly
ordained candidate to Philadelphia
Presbytery, to serve as a chaplain.
Changes within the Presbytery:
• Rev. Ryan Brakemeyer, from associate pastor, Winnetka, to member-at-large
• Rev. Al Bridges, to assist as moderator of
Chicago Pine Avenue
• Rev. Patrick Daymond, to pastor, Chicago
• Rev. Donald Dempsey, from member-atlarge to other validated ministry, at Lake
• Rev. Edwin Dykstra, from interim pastor,
Riverside, to member-at-large
• Rev. Dudley Elvery, to assist as moderator,
• Rev. Anne Fisher, from interim pastor,
Clarendon Hills Community, to memberat-large
• Rev. David Ezekiel, to serve as interim pastor, St. Paul’s U.C.C. in Elgin, IL
• Rev. Dawn Haeger, to assist as moderator,
Hoffman Estates Church of the Cross
• Rev. David S. Handley, from co-pastor,
Evanston First, to member-at-large
• Rev. James W. Hartley, to assist as moderator, South Holland United
• Rev. William Higginson, from honorably
retired to member-at-large
• Rev. David Hogue, to assist as moderator of
the Evanston First
• Rev. John Johnson, from pastor, La Grange
Highlands, to member-at-large
• Rev. Kent Kinney, to assist as moderator of
Mundelein Kirk of the Lakes
• Rev. Jennifer Burns Lewis, to assist as
moderator of La Grange Highlands
• Rev. Wendy Mathewson, from Evanston
Northminster, to serve as Chaplain to the
Residence Halls at DePaul University,
• Rev. Mary Morrison, to assist as moderator
of the North Riverside Community
• Rev. David Neff, from Pastor, Chicago
Morgan Park, to member-at-large
• Rev. Deborah Paton, to assist as moderator
at Chicago Morgan Park
• Rev. Richard W. Smith, from interim pastor, La Grange First, to member-at-large.
• Rev. Robert Brawley, from McCormick
• Rev. Stephen Chen, effective August 1, 2007
• Rev. Roberta (Bobbi) Hargleroad, effective
September 1, 2007
• Rev. SeBong Kang, transferred to
Presbytery of Middle Tennessee
• Rev. Spencer Lawrence, from Hoffman
Estates Church of the Cross.
Placed on Inactive Status:
• Rev. Julia Brichacek, of Highland Park
• Rev. Andres Carranza, of Chicago
• Rev. Swailem Hennein, of Addison.
Removed from Roll:
• Rev. Del Biglow
• Rev. Dong-Ic Choi
• Rev. Ray Stalker.
Restored to Roll:
• Rev. Byong Kie Choi, restored to active
membership and transferred to The Pacific
• Rev. William Higginson, restored as honorably retired.
New beginnings for Agape House
“Location, location, location” is a familiar phrase in the
business world. The Rev. Richard Williams, who recently
completed his first, full year as campus minister at Agape
House, on the campus of the University of Illinois Chicago
(UIC), feels it’s
also applicable in
along with office
Bunton, is revitalizing Agape
Agape House’ new facility, strategically locat- ministry, and the
effort was helped
ed in UIC South Campus
at the start of the
2007-08 school year by being able to provide programming
and services in a beautiful, new facility. A full schedule of
activities was planned for this year’s Welcome Week, including worship, discussions, service, food and fellowship.
At 809 W. Roosevelt Rd., the Agape House possesses an
inviting environment on the second floor above a Barbara’s
Bookstore and, at the same time, puts it smack dab at one of
UIC’s busiest, most desirable crossroads.
To the immediate south is the student-friendly, newlydeveloped corridor of shops, restaurants, and residences of
University Village, which formerly comprised the legendary
Maxwell Street District. In the other direction, just across
Roosevelt, is the burgeoning, 25,300-student UIC campus.
And directly across Halsted is Stukel Towers, a new 750room freshmen dormitory that opened in August.
The Protestant ministry for students formerly was housed in
an older, less-convenient building at 1046 W. Polk St., a
non-accessible facility. It began before that in 1965, when
the Rev. Dave McGown started the initiative on the old Navy
Pier. Soon after, the University of Illinois opened its “Circle
Campus” in the Harrison-Halsted area.
At various times, it functioned cooperatively with support
from the Lutheran, Episcopal, American Baptist and United
Methodist churches, with pastors supplied by those denominations from 1972 to the early 2000’s. The outreach now
receives support from Presbyterian Church (USA), United
Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and
Church of the Brethren.
Rev. Williams’ arrival in June, 2006, has brought a new sense
of energy and organization, according to those familiar with
Agape House. He is a 2004 McCormick Theological Seminary
graduate, ordained Presbyterian minister, and previously
served as a Pastoral Resident at Chicago Fourth.
His mission is to provide a presence of a vibrant, “mainline
Protestantism” to college students, a sorely under-served,
but vitally important, link in church life. This makes Agape
House an important mission, and its own literature explains
“Most of our churches are excellent at children’s programs,
Sunday school, and youth groups. We have many fellowship
opportunities for young persons, engaging adult education, fun
social events, and programs for older adults. What is missing
are programs that speak to faith journeys of those in college.
Campus ministry reaches out on campuses to people as they
make critical and transformative transitions in their lives.
Protestant Campus Ministries are often a place of comfort and
connection. They are also places of engagement and action,
bringing the demands of the Gospel into the academic setting.”
Now at one of Illinois’ largest, public universities, Rev.
Williams feels there is a facility to match this challenge.
CCIL continues 100 Years of
Mission in Changing World
From its founding in 1909 by Presbyterian minister, Rev.
George Kilbey, Chicago Christian Industrial League (CCIL)
has pursued its defining goal of helping the city’s neediest
citizens. However, in a changing world, this commitment has
meant a constant openness to new ways to meet the changing
needs of its evolving clientele.
Most recently this has meant transforming itself from the
emergency shelter for homeless persons it was for several
decades in the latter half of the last century, into a complex
transitional living facility that prepares its clients for independent living through life skills and job training, and
through counseling and educational opportunities, while still
providing shelter, meals and additional supportive services
for men, families, and, as resources allow, the development
of a woman’s program.
These activities occur primarily at the League’s new twentysix million dollar facility at California and Roosevelt in North
Lawndale, while shelter and a lower level of supportive services are made available to approximately 340 persons at
CCIL’s two SRO’s (Single Room Occupancy) on South
Wabash, the one at 1801 Wabash, the Studios, being a
partnership with Central City Housing Ventures.
Typically, CCIL serves approximately 1025 people per year,
helping them to meet their immediate needs and assisting
them in preparing for a better future. Generally, 94% of our
clients are male, 6% female, 87% African-American, 12%
Caucasian, 1% all other minorities. About 17% of those we
serve are children under age 18, 37% of these children are
age five or under.
Currently the most direct steps to much needed employment
opportunities are provided by the League’s two job training
programs, the large landscaping program and the smaller
culinary program. These programs generate income for
CCIL’s clients and for the League itself and, more importantly, encourage and enable the League’s clients to develop
basic job skills and sound working habits.
While the increasingly complex and more expensive needs of
the League’s clients have prompted the League to draw on the
public funds it once avoided, the League still highly values the
support of Presbyterian and other religious communities,
whether through the giving of individual members, or of the
corporate bodies. This support is important not only for its
dollar value, but also because it continues CCIL’s rich religious
heritage, it affirms and still informs the CCIL’s understanding
of its mission, and it enables congregations to extend their
mission outreach into areas that are difficult to impact through
the mission resources of individual congregations.
Whatever else has changed over the past 100 years, CCIL’s
board of directors and staff remain deeply committed to
being good stewards of its always limited and challenged
resources so that as many of our neediest sisters and brothers as possible can find the help they need at the League.
For further information, visit www.ccilworks.org or call CCIL
(773-435-8300) for a tour of the new facility and for information about opportunities for monetary support and volunteer involvement.
Article submitted by Paul Camenisch, member of Evanston
Northminster and CCIL Board
CPRC negotiates resource
The Chicago Presbytery Resource Center (CPRC) recently
negotiated a partnership with the Wabash Valley Presbytery
intended to facilitate the sharing of resources. When the
Wabash Valley Presbytery Assembly voted to eliminate their
Resource Center from the annual budget, Wabash Valley
Christian educators knew their congregations would still
need access to resources. With the approval of the Presbytery
of Wabash Valley Council, they formed a task force and began
to look for a way to meet the needs of their churches.
Sally Van Bokkelen, from Westminster Presbyterian Church
in Munster, Indiana, contacted Loretta Gratias-Bremer from
the Presbytery of Chicago. Experienced Christian educators
who had known each other a long time, they also knew the
value of an accessible Resource Center. Gratias-Bremer put
Van Bokkelen in touch with Adele Hensley, coordinator of
Chicago Presbytery’s Resource Center
“Sally asked me if I knew of anyone who offered long-distance resource center services. I told her I did not yet but
that I would be attending resource center director’s training
at the National Training Center in December and I would
ask,” remembers Hensley.
At the National Training Center, Hensley learned about an
array of resourcing models. The two United Methodist
resource center directors did almost all their communication
with patrons by telephone or email. These two centers lend
mainly video resources and almost no books. Some Resource
Centers will loan materials out to anyone who pays a yearly
subscription fee. Some were started as joint projects between
nearby middle governing bodies.
When Hensley returned to Chicago, the Resource Center
Work Group met and quickly reached a consensus that the
Chicago Presbytery Resource Center has a commitment to
serving any person, church or presbytery that seeks their
help. The Wabash Valley task force and the Resource Center
work group met. They drew up a cooperative agreement that
included transferring many resources from Geneva Center to
Chicago. The agreement has been approved by the Councils
of both Presbyteries. In July, all the paperwork was signed
and the partnership became official.
People in the northwest corner of Indiana may choose to
come and browse the CPRC. Otherwise, they may access the
web-based catalog, or call to ask for direct help. Resources
are then mailed to them by Hensley. In developing the partnership, every effort was made to reduce as many barriers as
possible, since some of the churches are some distance away.
Because the Presbytery of Wabash Valley is geographically
large, they have also forged an agreement with the
Congregational Resource Center at Christian Theological
Seminary in Indianapolis. By establishing relationships with
both of these city-based resource centers, the task force is
confident that the people of the Presbytery of Wabash Valley
will be able to get the resources and information they need.
Presbyterian Camps schedule
Camps is now
for 2008 Retreats.
There is room at
February until the
aware that July is
the busiest month at The Rev. Donna Gray, Chicago Fourth, conducts Bible
camp. The minimum
Study at Presbyterian Camps at Saugatuck
group size is 15. Camp
leadership is available to help plan and run church retreats.
The Summer Camp schedule for 2008 is now on the camp
website. The site is linked to the Presbytery of Chicago
(www.chicagopresbytery.org) or can be reached directly at
2007 Youth Triennium
fellowship with others that suffer. I stood early in this time
after prayers were raised for those who are mourning a loved
one because, though it has been three years, I still struggle
with the suicide of an 8th grade classmate. As memories of
that time in my life came rushing back to me, I felt hands on
my shoulders. I tried to turn my head, not only to acknowledge their presence, but to peek at whose hands they were.
Then I realized I didn’t care who it was. Someone had
reached out to comfort me, and I welcomed that. That was
the third “God moment” I had regarding this week.
My senior pastor’s favorite quote to reference is, “Where two
or more are gathered, so too is the spirit of God.” On that
hill of 4,000 teenagers, the Spirit reached me when only one
of the 4,000 suffered with me. And together we hoped.
Youth from Chicago Presbytery churches gather for 2007
[Ed. Note: In a departure from tradition, OCM is printing
this article in the first person, as it was submitted by Amanda
Huels (Winnetka), a senior at New Trier High School].
I had no idea what to expect in terms of worship at Triennium.
It was a week full of new experiences for me. I never thought I
would hear the phrase “that’s so un-presbyterian,” or be
jumping up and down to the numma numma song in preparation for church. But these things have had a great effect on
me, and I’m lucky to say that I’ve had a few pivotal “God
moments” in my short 17 years, Presbyterian Youth
Triennium (PYT) being the most recent and most exciting.
The worship style at PYT was so different than what I’m used to.
Singing along to a live band is way different than singing with
the old ladies in my choir. Contemporary for us is wearing concert dress instead of robes in the summer. Being in a theatre
full of 4,000 youth was never how I imagined church. And yet
there I was, day after day, for hours at a time having a blast.
The way each speaker could command the attention of all
these teens was amazing to me. The energy levels would
change from clapping and screaming to settling down where
an inexplicable calm comes over you and you don’t even want
to breathe because it might get in the way of hearing the message. This message that continued throughout the week was
one of hope. It’s hard to hope as a teenager, and the vision
team for the 2007 Triennium captured that beautifully.
When the Soul Children of Chicago performed, it was like
worship on another planet. The amount of excitement literally shook the building. Seriously, I was at the front of the
balcony, and we were moving up and down. I’ve never seen
the Chicago PYT kids more energetic than that night.
In addition to all the ways we welcomed God into that week
through joy, the vision team also made sure we saw God
through our pain. Our Sabbath worship was at night on a hill
facing an outdoor pavilion. It was a quiet service, a vigil, and
during this time we raised our pain and our concerns. Each
time a prayer was read, if it applied to you, you could stand in
Creative Accounting by Youth
Youth involvement in church mission and ministry often
inspires inventive ways of responding to need. The youth in
our own congregations have unique ways of engaging in ministry and raising mission dollars.
Each February during the Super Bowl, youth all over the nation
plot their participation in the “Souper Bowl” of Caring. They
break out soup-pots to collect donations, roll up their sleeves
in the pre-game “Service Blitz” and map-out game plans to
support local organizations with the proceeds of their effort.
In June, the middle-school youth of Chicago Fourth headed for
the Illinois Special Olympics Summer Games in Bloomington.
Participants lent energy and enthusiasm while helping Special
Olympians compete in various events. A Mother’s Day Flower
Sale was one strategy for gathering mission support.
In July, the high-school youth of Chicago Church of Christ
journeyed to the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, home
to the Ojibwe peoples. They cleaned, painted, and provided
leadership at a YouthWorks “Kid’s Club” and “Outrageous
Sports Camp.” The youth raised mission support through
congregational meals, including a Super Bowl Sub sale and a
Spaghetti Luncheon. Frugal planning enabled them to
participate and contribute to work project supplies.
If you have a creative idea for youth ministry and mission
funding to share, email the Rev. Jason Harshberger,
Moderator of Presbytery Youth Mission Team
(708) 386-4920, [email protected]
• NEEDED: Part time organist and choir director. Sunday
worship and choir practice; 4-5 hours/week including
preparation time. Contact Rev. Steve Durham, Chicago
Mayfair, (773) 685-0104, [email protected]
• FOR THE ASKING: Choral Music. Anthems for all voicings.
Contact Marilyn Wilgocki, Presbyterian Church of Western
Springs, at (708) 246-5220
Compartiendo Nuestro Ministerio
Presbytery of Chicago
Octubre 2007 • Volume 23 Number 4
COM - Equipando Congregaciones
“Nuestra tarea es equipar a congregaciones para que sean
las comunidades más sana y más fieles a Cristo,” dice la
Reverenda Dr. Virginia B. “Ginny” Smith. Ginny es la
Ejecutiva Asociada del Presbiterio para Ministerio y una de
sus responsabilidades es guiar al Comité de Ministerio
El Comité de Ministerio es un comité requerido por la
Iglesia Presbiteriana (EUA) y tiene responsabilidades
definidas en el Libro de Orden.
Su propósito indicado es servir
como pastor y consejero a los
ministros, facilitar relaciones
entre las congregaciones, los
ministros y el presbiterio, y
resolver dificultades a nombre
Además, hay planes para establecer “equipos de destrezas”
en cada región geográfica para asistir con tres
responsabilidades de COM. Un equipo estará disponible
para proporcionar el entrenamiento a los Comités de
Nominación de Pastor (PNC, por sus siglas en inglés); un
segundo será entrenado en resolución de conflicto; y un
tercero trabajará con los representantes congregational de
COM para llevar a cabo visitas trienales con los pastores y
los consistorios para cuidado y ayuda adicional. Hay
también planes para
proporcionar un taller de
todo el día en el LEAD 2008
para nuevos miembros de
COM, así como para
cualquiera que desee
refrescar sus conocimientos.
Como una de sus
En respuesta a las necesidades
responsabilidades que es
de las iglesias del Presbiterio,
central al trabajo del
COM está reestructurando su
Presbiterio, el COM está
trabajo para ser más activo al
encargado de asesorar a las
desarrollar relaciones con los
iglesias con respecto a los
Coordinadores Regionales del Comité de Ministerio rodean a
pastores y las congregaciones.
llamadas para relaciones
Ginny Smith Asociada Ejecutiva. Desde la izquierda: Mike
Desean estar disponible para
Wolfe, Nadine McBeth, Ginny Smith, Carole Norton y Gene Craig. pastorales permanentes,
proporcionar ayuda y recursos
también como otro apoyo
que equipen a las congregaciones que se prepararán para
pastoral, tales como pastores suplentes, pastores interinos,
resolver los retos de la vida de la iglesia.
pastores designados, etc. Miembros del Comité entrevistan
COM en el Presbiterio de Chicago tiene 42 miembros y es
moderado por el Rev. Michael Youngblood, pastor de
Evanston Northminster. Para vivir con más eficacia su
propósito, COM se ha estructurado en cuatro subcomités,
cada uno servido por un coordinador voluntario. Los
miembros de COM se reúnen con su sub-comité
mensualmente, y el comité completo se reúne tres veces al
año. Los subcomités y sus coordinadores son: Región Sur Anc. Mike Wolfe; Región Central - Anc. Nadine McBeth;
Región Norte - Anc. Gene Craig; y Ministerios
Especializados - Anc. Carole Norton. Los cuatro
coordinadorer se reúnen con Ginny a manera regular y
trabajan juntos en equipo al administrar el trabajo de COM.
Todas las iglesias en el Presbiterio tienen un representante
en el Comité de Ministerio asignado para que les apoye.
posibles pastores a nombre del Presbiterio sobre su declaración
de la fe, mientras le dan al candidato pastoral la oportunidad de
hacer preguntas que puede ser no sientan cómodos de hacer al
PNC local. Una vez la iglesia le extiende un llamado a un pastor,
entonces el COM hace recomendaciones al Presbiterio sobre el
llamado a servicio de sus ministros.
El subcomité de Ministerios Especializados es responsable
del cuidado y vigilancia del que desempeña servicios (no
relacionados con iglesias) validados y pastores en otras
denominaciones que deseen transferirse a IPEUA. También
recibe y repasa los informes anuales requeridos de los
Ministros Especializados del Presbiterio.
El trabajo de COM es extenso y requiere los servicios de
ancianos/as y pastores/as que estén comprometidos a dar su
tiempo, energía, y habilidades a servir en esta capacidad.
Compartiendo Nuestro Ministerio
Puntos de Interés de la Asamblea
La reunión del 12 de junio de la Asamblea del Presbiterio fue
celebrada en la Iglesia Presbiteriana de Elmhurst, en medio
de un mar de cigarras. El servicio de adoración celebró los
regalos de nuestras congregaciones Africo-Americanas, que
están marcando el 200mo aniversario de congregaciones
presbiterianas negras en los Estados Unidos. El Rev. James
Foster Reese, Ministro para la Interpretación Especializada
de la Fundación Presbiteriana predicó.
En el otros asuntos de negocio, el Presbiterio aprobó el per
capita de $26.29 para 2008 y un aumento en el salario eficaz
mínimo para pastores de $40,580. Fondos de Construyendo
Sociedades de hasta $20,000 fueron liberados para las
iglesias de Pullman y de Wildwood para ayudarles en la
compensación de los costos de sus campañas capitales.
El Bolígrafo del Presbítero
El presbiterio dijo adiós al Rev. David Ezekiel, que deja su
posición como Ejecutivo Asociado para Desarrollo
Congregacional para regresar al pastorado.
Crecimiento de Iglesias
La Comisión Administrativa para Altgeld Gardens presentó
el informe detallado que fue solicitado en la reunión de la
Asamblea en abril. El Presbiterio votó para concurrir con la
recomendación de la comisión de cerrar la iglesia de Altgeld
Gardens, autoriza la venta de la propiedad y el uso de los
fondos para fortalecer las iglesias étnico-raciales del área sur
En una reunión de personal recientemente, un colega
compartió los resultados de un estudio sobre crecimiento de
iglesias. He aquí un recurso, yo pensé, del cual los/as
pastores/as y líderes laicos del Presbiterio de Chicago estarán
contentos nosotros estamos pendientes. Presbiterianos
generalmente estarán interesados en estos resultados
también, así que estoy citando varios hechos del documento,
algunos de ellos pueden confirmar tus ideas preconcebidas
sobre crecimiento de iglesias y algunas que te sorprenderán.
Varios equipos de misión informaron sobre sus actividades:
El equipo de Convenio de Congregaciones AfricoAmericanas en Transformación, el equipo de Auto Desarollo
de Gente, el Equipo de Trabajo de Oriente Medio y
Congregaciones en Solidaridad con América Latina.
Otros asuntos de negocio incluidos: la formación de las
Comisiones Administrativas para Cicero Emmanuel y
Midwest Hanmi/Iglesia de la Comunidad de Jesús; adopción
de un acuerdo de confianza con Christopher House y
adopción de un nuevo Manual de Operaciones.
La reunión de la Asamblea del 11 de agosto fue celebrada en
el Seminario Teológico de McCormick. El Rev. Craig Howard
predicó en el servicio de la adoración.
El Presbiterio dio la bienvenida al Rev. Milton Mejía y su
esposa, y al Rev. Jack Haberer como huéspedes. Rev. Mejía es
el pasado Secretario General de la Iglesia Presbiteriana en
Colombia, que está en Chicago estudiando en el Seminario
McCormick. Rev. Haberer es editor de Presybterian Outlook.
Miembros del Equipo de Misión de DELAW Filipinas hablaron
sobre su reciente viaje a las Filipinas. Siete iglesias del
Presbiterio participaron en el viaje, haciendo de este grupo uno
de los equipos de misión más diversos en visitar las Filipinas.
Amanda Huels (Winnetka) y Matt Johnson (Western Springs)
hablaron entusiásticamente sobre su participación en el
Trienio Nacional de la Juventud Presbiteriana en julio. Eran
parte de un grupo de veinte jóvenes del Presbiterio de
Chicago que participaron. Fueron patrocinados por el
Equipo de Misión de la Juventud y el Equipo de Misión de
Prioridad de Liderazgo.
El Rev. Marty Gool dirigió al Presbiterio en una letanía de
acción de gracias por el ministerio de 50 años de la Iglesia
Unida de Altgeld Gardens.
por Robert C. Reynolds, Presbítero Ejecutivo
• Tres predicciones positivas sobre crecimiento es iglesias
que fuertemente cuidan por sus niños/as y jóvenes, le dan
la bienvenida a nueva gente y participación en la
• Congregaciones pequeñas pueden crecer. 39% de las
congregaciones Persbiterianas de mayor crecimiento tienen
menos de 200 personas en servicios de adoración.
• Muchas personas nuevas (47%)
visitan por primera vez porque
alguien las ha invitado.
• Gente regresa a una iglesia por la
calidad de su sermón (36%), la
amabilidad de sus personas (32%) y
la experiencia general de adoración
• Congregaciones en crecimiento son
más propensas a tener un grupo
específico de visitantes y a invitarles
a formar parte de grupos pequeños u
Robert C. Reynolds
oportunidades de servicio.
• Casi todos los servicios de adoración en Iglesias
Presbiterianas ena crecimiento incluyen himnos
• Servicios en congregaciones en crecimiento son más
propensos a incluir música contemporánea y risa.
Muchas congregaciones tienen estrategias de evangelismo y
crecimiento de iglesias informadas por investigación como
esta. Es un recurso que da poder a las iglesias para
creativamente extender el alcance del evangelio a la gente en
Compartiendo Nuestro Ministerio
sus comunidades y a través del mundo.
El Equipo de Liderazgo de Prioridad de Misión Equipando
Congregaciones incluye a gente que están apasionadamente
envueltas en dirigir a congregaciones en crecimiento y que
están al día en recursos y estrategias para el crecimiento de la
iglesia. El propósito de este Equipo es convertirse en un socio
activo en el desarrollo congregacional a través del presbiterio.
Cuando los líderes de la iglesia tienen acceso a la
investigación con pistas sobre qué trabaja y entonces hacen
uso local creativo, pueden influenciar poderosamente sus
estrategias de desarrollo congregacional. Para información
adicional sobre lo que el personal del Presbiterio repasó
recientemente, vaya al portal de internet de Encuesta de Vida
Congregacional de laos Estados Unidos y marque “Mitos y
Hechos sobre Evangelismo y Crecimiento de Iglesia.”
5to Encuentro reúne atoMujeres
Hispanas Latinas Pr5 Encuentro
reúne a Mujeres Hispanas Latinas
Mujeres Hispanas Latinas Presbiterianas (MHLP) se
congregaron en Irving, Texas en julio para el Encuentro V—la
Quinta Conferencia Nacional de Mujeres Hispanas Latinas
Presbiterianas. Encuentro es una conferencia trienal, y sus
metas son similares a las de Mujeres Presbiterianas en todo
el mundo: aumentar la diversidad, desarrollar líderes y
tender puentes. Mujeres Hispanas Latinas Presbiterianas es
una organización de la Iglesia Presbiteriana (E.U.A.).
El tema de la conferencia fue “Vayan, compartan y sirvan: De
gracia recibieron, den de gracia,” basado en Mateo 10:8b.
En la alocución de la apertura, la Rvda. Magdalena García,
pastora de Chicago Ravenswood, llamó a la gente de Dios a
ser “pastores” de la manada, dispuestos a proteger su vida e
integridad. “Como en los días de los pastores bíblicos,
todavía hay fieras que amenazan el rebaño de Dios – como las
corrientes partidistas que intentan criminalizar a todos los
inmigrantes indocumentados, a pesar de que la economía
depende de su mano de obra, y animales feroces que
pretenden desmembrar a nuestras familias, incluso cuando
hay de por medio menores de edad que son ciudadanos de
Estados Unidos,” dijo ella.
La Rev. Dra. Alice Winters, dirigió un estudio bíblico
basado en las historias de Noemí (Libro de Ruth) y Jonás,
quienes tuvieron que aprender que el mensaje de salvación
es para todos, para el mundo entero.” Ella retó a las
participantes a mirar más allá de sus fronteras, y a recordar a
sus hermanas en sus países de origen y en el mundo entero.
La Dra. Winters es una misionera presbiteriana que ha
servido en Colombia por más de 30 años.
Uno de los momentos sobresalientes de la conferencia fue el
foro sobre inmigración, donde una abogada local, Nelly
Rocha Andersen, esbozó muchas de las alternativas que
tienen disponibles quienes desean obtener una visa para
quedarse en Estados Unidos o reclamar a un familiar. “Hay
mucho que las comunidades eclesiales han hecho y pueden
continuar haciendo por los inmigrantes en nuestro medio,”
ella dijo. “La iglesia puede ... ofrecerles educación, asistencia
y apoyo económico, y al animar a los que son ciudadanos a
participar en el proceso político ...”
La conferencia de tres días incluyó una velada para celebrar
los dones de las mujeres ordenadas en la Iglesia
Presbiteriana—diaconisas, ancianas o presbíteras, y
ministras de la Palabra y los Sacramentos—, seguida de una
hora social que sacó de sus sillas a las participantes mientras
cantaban acompañando al mariachi.
El Encuentro sirve como plataforma para la reunión de
negocios trienal de MHLP, que incluye la elección de
Durante la sesión de negocios se aprobó una resolución para
que en julio del 2010 Encuentro se celebre en conjunto con
los Hombres Presbiterianos Hispanos/Latinos y la naciente
organización nacional de jóvenes presbiterianos hispanos.
El servicio de adoración de clausura incluyó un despliegue
espectacular de mujeres clérigas y laicas luciendo coloridas togas
y estolas, mientras que dirigían a las participantes en los cantos,
las oraciones, las lecturas, la predicación y el partimiento del
pan en la Mesa del Señor. “Vayan, como nos insta el profeta
Isaías, con alegría, y sean mensajeras de paz y bienestar en todas
partes, para que la creación y sus criaturas prorrumpan en gritos
de júbilo y aplaudan,” dijo la Rvda. Marielis Barreto,
predicadora invitada para la plenaria de clausura y pastora de la
Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana en Aguada, Puerto Rico. “Trabajen
para convertir al mundo en el lugar idílico que nuestros himnos
nacionales ensalzan, hasta que el “fulgor de cohetes” sea un
despliegue de juegos pirotécnicos de celebración en vez de
bombas de aniquilación”, añadió.
Una ofrenda que ascendió a casi $3,500 fue recogida durante
el servicio de adoración. Estos fondos, junto con $335
recaudados de la venta de unos marcapáginas tejidos por
mujeres de Puerto Rico, se invertirán en el Fondo Adelante,
un fondo de dotación establecido a través de la Fundación
Presbiteriana con las ofrendas de los Encuentros III y IV y
donativos privados. Los dividendos de este fondo de
dotación se usarán para otorgar becas para el desarrollo de
liderazgo de mujeres hispanas latinas presbiterianas.
Para más información, por favor contacte con Cecilia Casal,
moderadora electa de MHLP, al (432) 685-4822, o por email
en: [email protected]
Artículo sometido por Rvda. Magdalena García
“Chicago Presbytery – A Beacon of Hope, guiding
Leaders, Congregations and Communities.”
Presbytery of Chicago 100 South Morgan Street Chicago, IL 60607
Lincoln Park Church comes home
No matter how interesting the journey, it is great to return home.
The congregation of Chicago Lincoln Park finally returned to
their renovated home on Fullerton Avenue after an absence of
eight months. During the “wilderness” period, the congregation
worshipped in the chapel of nearby St. Clement Roman Catholic
Homecoming was celebrated on July 1st with a special worship
service, followed by a “progressive” potluck dinner and a tour of
the building. The congregational lunch began with hors’d’oeuvres
in the rear of the sanctuary, then “progressed” to the main course
in the lower level, which has been extensively remodeled to provide a permanent home for the Lincoln Park Community Shelter,
and concluded with dessert upstairs in the Dreyer Room, with a
new kitchen, handicapped accessible restroom and nursery.
The two million dollar renovation project was highlighted by the
creation of the permanent space for the shelter. Lincoln Park
was instrumental in the formation of the shelter and has provided consistent volunteer and financial assistance for over 20
years. The Presbytery of Chicago was a partner in the financing
of this project. The church and shelter now have a new kitchen,
restrooms with showers, and laundry facilities. Shelter guests
will sleep in bunk beds in dormitory rooms, instead of on the
floor on 2-inch mats.
Large, colorful acrylic banner graces the wall of the sanctuary at
Chicago Lincoln Park
With the replacement of the infrastructure of the building, the
church and shelter now have air cooled space. The sanctuary has
new oak floors and better lighting in the chancel area and new
carpet throughout. Several rows of extra pews were removed,
providing a gathering space for hospitality events.
A dramatic addition to the sanctuary was the creation and installation of a colorful 4-foot X 24-foot banner on the north wall. It
was designed by artist Emory Mead, member of Oak Park First
United, using the colors in the stained glass windows. The design
features a cross as well as a sense of movement – “winds of
change” or “winds of the Pentecost,” says Mead. The banner is
anchored by the words of the church’s mission statement,
“Living in Faith, Caring with Courage.”