General eNewsletter | November 8, 2023


Welcome to the Diocese of Chicago email newsletter. Please forward this email to your congregation and colleagues and invite them to sign up.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on Violence in Gaza: Stop the Killing

On November 7, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued a statement calling for the end of killing in Gaza.

"Today I raise my voice for love because more than 10,000 people have died in Gaza, including more than 4,000 children. The violence is horrific, and the geopolitics are complex, but my call to love is simple: Stop the killing. Stop all of it. Stop it today."

He also urged Episcopalians to call on government leaders to address the ongoing violence.

"We must stop the next 10,000 from being killed. As Episcopalians, we must call upon our leaders—President Biden, members of Congress, and others—to be unequivocal that we need to stop the killing. Today. This is clearly what love demands of us."

Read the Presiding Bishop's statement in English en español.

Read coverage in Episcopal News Service.

UTO Challenge Grant for Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

On November 2, United Thank Offering (UTO) announced that, in partnership with the Good Friday Offering, it will match up to $100,000 of donations given through December 15 to help sustain outreach ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which operates across several countries or territories and includes churches, schools, medical facilities, and other ministries. Learn more and donate.

Reminder: Apply for General Convention Official Youth Presence

Deadline to apply is November 17

Episcopal teens ages 16 to 19 are invited to apply to become part of the 81st General Convention’s Official Youth Presence at the 81st General Convention scheduled for June 20-28 in Louisville, Kentucky. The application deadline is November 17.


Applications and nomination forms in English and Spanish can be found online, as well as additional criteria and information for potential applicants.

United Thank Offering 2024 Grants: Welcoming the Stranger

Applications due December 28


The United Thank Offering (UTO) Annual Grant materials are now available. The focus and grant criteria for 2024 is Matthew 25:36--welcoming the stranger. Grants from $1,000 to $55,000 will be given for innovative mission and ministry projects. More information is available online in English and Spanish


Because this grant process involves a preliminary review and bishop's endorsement, grant applications are due to the grant committee by December 28 at 5 pm.


Organizations and individuals planning to apply may contact UTO coordinator Wanda Norris and UTO advisor Linda Toberman with any questions.

Diocesan Convention News

2023 Diocesan Convention

November 17-18 at Westin Chicago Lombard

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago will gather in person on November 17 and 18 at the Westin Chicago Lombard for the 186th Diocesan Convention.

Convention is the annual business meeting of the diocese, during which we elect leaders, consider resolutions and hear reports from across the diocese and the wider church. There will also be opportunities for worship, connection, and learning.

Find new convention schedule details on the website.

Advance registration is now closed. Participants may register on site for $200 per person.

Pre-Convention Hearings Begin Tonight

Budget hearing, candidate forum, resolutions hearing on Zoom

The annual pre-convention gatherings begin tonight with the Budget Hearing at 7 pm on Zoom.

All pre-convention meetings will be conducted on Zoom with simultaneous interpretation in Spanish, and all members of the diocese are invited to participate.



  • Saturday, November 11 at 10 am. Meet the Candidates for Elected Office. Use this link to joinpassword Episcopal


These meetings will also be recorded and posted online. Delegates, alternates, and canonically resident clergy are strongly encouraged to attend or view the recordings.

Visit the 2023 convention webpage for more information and to download the convention documents.

Convention Materials Available for Review

Visit the convention webpage to download:

  • Nominations packet in English and Spanish
  • Resolutions in English and Spanish
  • Reports to convention in English and Spanish
  • 2024 budget as approved by Diocesan Council
  • 2024 budget narrative

In an effort be good stewards of resources, only limited numbers of copies will be provided at convention. Please plan to download the documents to your device or bring your own printed copies.

New! Email Survey Sent to Convention Registrants

Responses due November 10

Convention registrants should have received a communication on Monday, November 6 requesting participation in a survey about workshops, technology needs, the Friday night dance party, and childcare. If you did not receive this communication, please check your spam folder, then contact Rebecca Elfring-Roberts to confirm that we have you registered with your correct email address.

Voting Credentials Coming Next Week!

For voting members of convention, credentials are not needed until Saturday's business session, and will be distributed via email from Rebecca Elfring-Roberts and at registration in Lombard.

Childcare, Children's and Youth Program Survey

Please register by November 10

Children and youth are welcome at convention! Please fill out this survey by November 10 if you have children who would like to participate in:

  • Childcare during the workshops and business sessions of convention
  • Children's programming for children in K-5
  • Jr. High programming
  • Youth Delegate programming, in which high school students have seat, voice and vote.

Sign Up for the Convention Choir

November 17 in the Westin Grand Ballroom

The Convention Choir returns for the first time since 2019! All are welcome to participate, and no audition is required.

The choir will rehearse on Friday, November 17 from 12:30 to 1:15 pm in the Westin Grand Ballroom, and sing at the convention Eucharist at 4:30 pm, also in the Grand Ballroom.

To be able to sing together joyfully and confidently, we ask all participants to be vaccinated against COVID. Please use this registration form to submit your card and indicate what part you prefer to sing. Please contact Stephen Buzard with questions.

Bishop Jake Owensby to Give Keynote Address

Bishop Paula Clark has invited her colleague and friend, the Rt. Rev. Jake Owensby, bishop of Western Louisiana, to offer the keynote address at this year's convention and to preach at morning prayer on Saturday. Read a recent interview with Bishop Owensby.

Hotel Information

Full-price rooms are still available at the Westin Chicago Lombard. Reservations may be made online or by phone (630.719.8000). 

Learning Opportunities

Faith Formation in 2023 (and Beyond)

Webinar on November 14

On November 14 from 3-4 pm CT, Episcopal Parish Network will host a free, online workshop with leaders from Forma, the network for Christian formation practitioners in the Episcopal Church, to discuss how congregational Christian formation is adapting and how formation practitioners in local contexts can respond. Learn more and register.

Webinar on Ministries Responding to Incarceration

St. Leonard's Ministries featured on November 15

On November 15 at noon Central, United Thank Offering will host a webinar featuring grant recipients from the 2023 grant cycle focusing on the worldwide incarceration crisis. Diocese of Chicago grant recipient St. Leonard's Ministries will be one of four presenters. Learn more and register to attend.

Brotherhood of St. Andrew

140th Anniversary

December 2 at St. James Cathedral

On December 2 at 8:30 am, the Chicago Assembly of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew will celebrate the 140th anniversary of the organization at St. James Cathedral, where it began in 1883.

The celebration will include tours, music, and presentations made by the National Brotherhood organization. Refreshments and a luncheon will be served. Watch for more information.

2024 Men's Pre-Lenten Retreat

February 9-10 at The DeKoven Center

The 21st Annual Men’s Pre-Lenten Retreat will be held from 5 pm on February 9 to 5 pm on February 10 at the DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin. The Rev, Sam Portaro, theologian-in-residence at St. Chrysostom’s, Chicago, will be the retreat leader, and the theme will be “The Nature of God.”

To attend please complete the attached application form. For more information, email John Covell.

Around the Diocese

Organ Concert at

St. Chrysostom's Church

November 12 at 3 pm

On November 12, at 3 pm, St. Chrysostom’s Church will host an organ concert featuring Daryl Robinson performing works by Jeanne Demessieux, Gaston Litaize, Louis Vierne, Melchior Schildt, J. S. Bach, Jason Roberts and Rachel Laurin. The concert is free, but contributions will be gratefully accepted.

Taizé Prayer Service at St. Charles Episcopal Church

November 12 at 4 pm

On November 12 at 4 pm, St. Charles Episcopal Church in St. Charles will offer a Taizé Prayer Service at 4 pm, featuring the parish choir and instrumentalists. A reception will follow. St. Charles Episcopal Church is wheelchair accessible and has ample free parking. Contact Mark Downey for more information.

Uncaged Art in Evanston

Free exhibit open through November 14

The Uncaged Art exhibit is on display at the Open Studio Project (901 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL) Jointly hosted by St. Matthew's Episcopal ChurchSt. Andrew's Pentecost Episcopal Church, and the Open Studio Project, the exhibit is free and open to the public Tuesdays to Fridays, from 10 am to 2 pm through November 14. Learn more.

Art Exhibit at St. Mark’s in Glen Ellyn 

Exhibit open through November 26

Through November 26, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn is hosting a group art exhibit by The Awakenings Project, a Wheaton-based arts organization that has, for more than 25 years, served people who live with the challenges of mental illness.

Noon Concert at St. Mark's Evanston

On November 27 at noon, St. Mark's Episcopal Church will host a piano concert by Sarah Loisch. The concert is free and open to the public, and an offering will be collected to support the music ministries of St. Mark’s. For more information, contact Westley.

Job Openings

Visit the website for a full list of clergy openings and lay employee openings


Fall Publication Schedule

From September through June we publish both a general email newsletter and Leadership News, a publication for lay leaders and clergy in the Diocese of Chicago, on alternate Wednesdays.

The deadline to submit items to be included is noon on the Tuesday before publication. Please send news about your congregation's ministry, mission and events to Jen Boyle-Tucker
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