Thrivefest! 2013

August 14, 2013

EDC_Block-Party_logo.pngDon’t miss out on the best block party ever! Mark your calendars, invite family and friends, and join fellow Episcopalians from 3 to 6 Sunday afternoon, September 15, for Thrivefest 2013: Rock the Block at St. James Commons, 65 E. Huron St. Download a card to share the details.

There’ll be live music, food trucks with everything from cupcakes to empanadas, street sketch artists, a Post-It art installation, activities for children and tours of the cathedral and renovated diocesan center. There’ll be plenty of places to sit, inside and out, and opportunities to participate or just observe.

“It’s a way to show off our beautiful new plaza and to celebrate all the efforts of people who have contributed to it,” said the Rev. Ed Bird, assistant rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Park Ridge and a member of the block party planning committee.

St. James Commons, as the diocesan center and cathedral are now called, is a place that people across the diocese can use to strengthen their ministry and common life. Episcopalians across the diocese, ministry partners and downtown neighbors can visit to enjoy music and the arts the labyrinth or a midday lunch break.

Thrivefest! will celebrate not only the new physical space, but also the many ministries that make a difference in communities across the diocese. At the party, Episcopalians will be able to discover how St. James Commons can benefit their local ministries with space for vestry retreats and youth lock-ins, opportunities to meet with other Episcopalians involved in similar issues, and assistance from the bishop’s staff.

“This is something special,” said the Rev. Andrea Wight, rector of St. Anskar’s Episcopal Church, Rockford. She hopes to take a busload of people to the party.

“Our folks in the western part of the diocese don’t always have a chance to drop in at the diocesan center and the people here need to look and see how beautiful it is,” said Wight. “I want people to see what’s happening in the diocese.”

Matthew Zaradich, another member of the block party planning committee, said bands scheduled to perform include Belfry Hollers, an Indie folk rock band, Moonshine and Honeysuckle, a local bluegrass band, and singer/songwriter Stephen Leonard. Choir members and singers from around the diocese are invited to sing as part of a collective, diocesan All Y'all Choir. There will be music throughout the event.

“It’s a great chance for people to come experience this really terrific gift to the city and to the diocese,” said Zaradich, a member of All Saints, Chicago. “It has a beautiful labyrinth; it’s a really beautiful improvement to the area.”

So come join the party. As Zaradich says, “There is so much to celebrate!”

Buses will be provided in locations across the diocese to make getting to the block party as easy as possible. Register online using this form. Print your email confirmation and bring it to Thrivefest! to exchange for free tickets to our gourmet food trucks, including 5411 Empanadas, Husky Hog BBQ, and The Southern Mac and Cheese.

For more information or additional questions please contact Jennifer Boyle-Tucker via email at or at 312.751.4215. Don’t miss out!

Download this card as a .pdf to share with your friends and congregation: