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December 20, 2017  

  Diocesan News
We Are All Mary/Todos Somos María
Bishop Lee's Christmas message 
in English y español

Bishop Lee's 2017 Christmas message tells the story of a Christmas pageant in which thirty little girls wanted to be Mary. Watch the video on YouTube.
"Make Music in the Heart of the World"  
Presiding Bishop Curry's Christmas Message 
in English y español

In 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul says,"If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new is come." At a point in that passage, St. Paul says, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself," and he also says at another point in the same passage, "and we have been given the ministry of reconciliation."

Have you ever gone to the movies or read a story or a novel, and the novel starts with the end, so you know where the story ends, but then the rest of the story or the novel is actually the story behind the story. We know about Christmas. We know about Mary. We know about Joseph. We know about the angels singing Gloria in excelsis deo. We know from our childhood the animals in the stable. We know of the magi who come from afar, arriving around Epiphany, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We know of the angels singing in the heavens, and the star that shown above them.  Therein is the story.  

Read the full message in English.

Mensaje de Navidad 2017 del Obispo Presidente Curry.
Hunger Committee Awards 2017 Grants
At its December 2017 meeting, the Hunger Committee awarded small grants to hunger ministries affiliated with congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago that had applied online by November 30. 

The 2017 recipients are: 

The committee gives thanks to these congregations for their ministries that serve the hungry.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 18 - 25
'Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power" (Exodus 15:6) is the theme for the 2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25. This annual octave is an opportunity for Christians to pray for and work toward the unity of the church, and for congregations to worship and undertake service and outreach. 
Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity may be ordered from Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious InstitutePlease email Cynthia Hallas
with questions, to learn more, or to share your own ideas.
College for Congregational Development
Register now for 2018 weekend intensives 
The College for Congregational Development (CCD) is a comprehensive training program that seeks to nurture and develop congregational development practitioners from existing parish lay and clergy leadership.
The two-year program includes readings, homework, presentations, team work, an exam and two projects. Because the College seeks to improve the way that congregational leaders function together, congregations are strongly encouraged to send clergy-lay teams.
In 2018 we will offer the Year A curriculum over four intensive weekends. To complete a full training, participants must attend all four 2018 weekend intensives, which equal one of the full week trainings. Weekend trainings will be held at St. James Commons, with overnight accommodations available. Learn more about CCD.
  • Friday, February 9 - Saturday, February 10
  • Friday, May 11 - Saturday, May 12
  • Friday, September 21 - Saturday, September 22
  • Friday, December 7 - Saturday, December 8
2018 United Thank Offering Grant Application
Applications due to the Bishop's office by January 18  
Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 United Thank Offering grants. The focus for the 2018 United Thank Offering grants is Becoming the Beloved Community: Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice. Information on Becoming the Beloved Community is available online.
In the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, grant applications must be submitted by email to Jen Boyle-Tucker and received by 5 pm on Thursday, January 18. The grant committee will review the applications and request any clarification to be submitted by noon on January 29. For more information please contact UTO diocesan coordinator Helen Mensing by email.
Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism
January 25 - 27 at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines 
Understanding and Analyzing Systemic Racism, presented by Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (Chicago ROAR) and subsidized by the Antiracism Commission of the Diocese of Chicago, provides an in-depth look at race and racism in the United States. 

The next training opportunity is January 25-27 at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines. Individuals affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago may attend at a reduced rate ($75 until December 26, then $105 until January 18, using the promo code EDOC).   Register online. 
Additional trainings will be held the following dates:
  • April 26-28, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Hyde Park  
  • July 26-28, Loyola University, Rogers Park
  • October 18-20, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Keeping God's People Safe Training
Level I and II modules available online 
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is committed to doing everything in its power to maintain a safe and supportive atmosphere for the children and adults who are members of its congregations, attend its programs or participate in its ministries.

To foster a secure environment, we have developed Keeping God's People Safe , a two-level training program that sensitizes all of those who work with children in our church to the dangers of child sexual abuse and teaches them to recognize and prevent situations in which abuse or exploitation might occur. Both Level one, "Protecting God's People," and Level two, "Leading and Caring for God's People," are available online. Learn more and contact Karin Gutierrez with questions. 
Youth Ministry header 7
Bishop Lee to Present at MIQRA 2018   
January 13-14 at St. James Cathedral 
Ever wonder what our Bishop has to say about the Bible? Well, come to MIQRA and find out! Bishop Lee will be one of our keynote speakers and will present on "What's in the Bible?" MIQRA offers teens a chance to come together, make friends, ask real questions, and learn about God's love letter to the world. Learn more and register online.   
Read more News for Youth Ministry.
Winter Publication Schedule & Holiday Hourssummer

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 Tuesday at noon. Please send news about your congregation's ministry, mission and events to Jen Boyle Tucker.
The offices of the Bishop's Staff will be closed between December 22 and January 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Regular office hours will resume on January 2. We wish you a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. 
 congregationeventsCongregation and Community News
Learning Opportunities at the Nicholas Center
2018 schedule features familiar programs and new offerings 
In 2018 the Nicholas Center at St. James Commons will host a variety of trainings and workshops designed to strengthen, inspire and refresh lay and clergy leaders.  
In addition to Living Compass Community Wellness Advocate Training (original and parent-teen options) and Fierce Conversations, next year's programs include a two-day retreat exploring 'holy solitude' with the Rev. Heidi Haverkamp; a Holy Week retreat led by the Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke; leadership and kayaking with the Rev. Dr. Bonnie Perry; and College for Congregational Development Weekend workshops.  
Learn more and register online.
The Moral Crisis of Mass Incarceration
St. Chrysostom to host four-part series January  - February 
On Thursday evenings in January and February,  St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church will host  Confronting the Moral Crisis of Mass Incarceration , a four-part series on the crisis in the American criminal justice system and its effects on the incarcerated, their families and their communities.
Expert-led discussions, moderated by Rob Wildeboer of WBEZ, will take place from 6:30 until 8:30 pm on January 25, February 1, February 8 and February 15. Detailed information, including online registration ($10 per session/$30 for all for sessions-including a box supper for those who register in advance) is available on the church website or Facebook event page
Videos and transcripts from fall program online 
In addition to the upcoming series, St. Chrysostom's has posted videos and transcripts of its Sunday morning adult forum series on mass incarceration.
Becoming the Story We Tell
Pre-Lenten retreat January 27 at St. Mark's, Evanston 
On January 27, St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Evanston will host  Becoming the Story We Tell, a pre-Lenten retreat for clergy and laity. T he Rev. Canon John Hill and the Rev. Debra Bullock will lead the retreat, which is based on a program 
developed by the Anglican Church of Canada.

The retreat takes place at St. Mark's, Evanston from 8:30 am to 3 pm. The fee for the day is $20 and includes lunch and light refreshments.

Learn more and register.
Around the Diocese
Grace Episcopal Church, Chicago, in partnership with Roosevelt University, will offer free concerts on Thursdays at 7:30 pm during the 2017-2018 school year. Learn more. 
On Wednesday, January 24, at 7:30 pm, The Episcopal Church of St. George in Macomb will host a folk music concert to benefit its music scholarship program. Students in Western Illinois University's President's International String Quartet will perform and CDs will be available for purchase. Call the church at 309.421.0142 for more information.
 jobsJob Openings
Visit the website for a full list of clergy openings and lay employee openings. 
 savethedatesSave the Dates
View the website homepage for a listing of upcoming 2018 diocesan events including: 

  • Province V Campus Ministry Retreat  February 16 - 17
  • Camp Chicago July 1 - 20
  • 2018 Bishop's Ball November 9 at the Ritz-Carlton
2018 General Convention
T he 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church will take place in Austin, Texas July 5 - 13, 2018. Learn more. 
 churchnewsChurch News

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