On behalf of the vestry, staff, and people of St Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church and Day School, I extend my heartfelt thanks to you for your dedication to the mission and ministry of this congregation. St Chrysostom’s sits in the heart of this great city as a welcoming community of faith dedicated to worship, outreach, and fellowship, serving our neighbors across Chicago for more than 130 years. Your contributions to the mission and ministry of this parish are greatly appreciated! In this time of transition, it is imperative that we all pull together to financially support the ongoing vitality of St Chrysostom’s through the upcoming stewardship season.
St. Chrysostom’s is not just a building for worship or a school for children; not just a priest or a single ministry. It is a community of people, coming together in service of God and one another, contributing to each other, and to God, so that the Gospel Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven – with all its healing, reconciling, forgiving love – can be continually spread. Our ever-divisive and fearful world desperately needs to hear what we know about our sure and certain hope as an Easter people. From world-class music offerings to life-changing outreach ministries; from a highly respected Day School to meaningful worship, pastoral care, Christian education, and countless opportunities for fellowship and community, St. Chrysostom’s is a vibrant, active, thriving community of faith.
Of course, all of this takes money. For most of us, it is hard to know how much to pledge to the church. Perhaps some benchmarks will help you consider your 2024 pledge. One way to consider your 2024 pledge is to calculate a percentage of your net income, starting at 3.5% and increasing it by .5 or 1% year to year. This method is especially important for those on a fixed income and balances the giving among the entire congregation, regardless of income.
My personal belief is that what we give in support of the mission of St. Chrysostom’s reflects our relationship with God and one another. Giving is as much a spiritual exercise as it is a financial one! “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21). We give out of thanksgiving for what we have received – it’s as simple and as difficult as that.
My friends, 2024 is a pivotal year in the life of this wonderful and vibrant congregation as you receive your next rector. This is an exciting time for St. Chrysostom’s, a time full of hope, promise, and new life. Prayerfully consider how you will give to the support of your mission here so that God’s dream of unity and reconciliation, healing and mercy, compassion and grace continues to flow from Dearborn Parkway for generations to come.
Peace and blessings be upon you!
+ The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., Interim Rector