The Campaign for St. James Commons
March 26, 2013
A mission on Chicago's West Side knew they needed a change. A suburban parish saw a chance to reach out to their Spanish-speaking neighbors. Both congregations found support from the Diocese of Chicago in the form of vitality grants. Now that mission is growing, with a booming Gospel choir, a neighborhood theater program, and a budding outreach agenda. The suburban parish that needed seed money to reach out to their Spanish-speaking neighbors now, just a year later, may soon need to add service a second Spanish-language to serve all of its new members.
These vitality grants are among the many ways the Diocese of Chicago quietly supports the work of individual congregations. Some of the congregations who benefit from these grants have long histories while others are new missions in growing neighborhoods. Some are moving to become self-sustaining, and others are faithful communities discerning how best to minister as small churches. In all of them, God is working with faithful Episcopalians. From emergency property support to vitality grants to a clergy training program emulated by national organizations and seminaries, our diocese distributes nearly $715,000 a year for ministry in our communities.
St. James Commons, the newly renovated diocesan center, is home base for this transforming work of creating and supporting vital Episcopal congregations across northern Illinois.
In 2011, we launched The Campaign for St. James Commons to undertake significant and essential renovations to the diocesan center, a $12 million project. Our feasibility study told us we could raise $8 million. In an act of faithful stewardship, the trustees of the diocese got the project going by financing the balance of the renovation costs from diocesan assets. We have been surprised and overwhelmed by the generosity of Episcopalians from across the diocese and beyond. In January 2013, we met our $8 million campaign goal ahead of schedule.
Gifts made now in support of the Campaign for St. James Commons will allow Bishop Lee and his staff to continue identifying congregations that are hearing God's call to new ministry and responding with faithful, sustainable plans that need support to succeed. Your gift can also be commemorated in this accessible, environmentally responsible building that has brought the Episcopal Church out from behind closed doors and into the downtown Chicago streetscape.
How You Can Help
The following chart illustrates the number and size gifts necessary to completely replenish funding for diocesan vitality.
|Size of gift||# of gifts||Cumulative total||Monthly over 5 years|
|Less than $500||Many||Goal Achieved||Variable|
In addition to your gift, you may want to consider a planned gift, such as a bequest in your will, a gift of life insurance, a charitable annuity, a gift of appreciated stock, or other appreciated property.
To learn more about the campaign for St. James Commons, please contact Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows at 312.751.4215 or via email.