Blog Archives

Chicago, Quincy Dioceses Reunite

The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, bishop of Chicago and the Rt. Rev. John C. Buchanan, provisional bishop of Quincy, announced that the two dioceses were to reunite on Sunday, September 1.

The conventions of the two dioceses, which had split in 1877 to accommodate growth, had unanimously agreed to the reunion on June 6. The canons of the church require that a majority of bishops and standing committees of elected lay and clergy leaders from other dioceses in the Episcopal Church consent to the reunion. Those consents were received during the summer.

Read the letter from Bishops Lee and Buchanan.

Posted in Announcements, News

In the News

ghk-women-making-difference-leslie-alter-lgnGood Housekeeping Magazine has name St. Elisabeth’s parishioner, Leslie Alter, one of five women who are “making a difference.” Her cause is food allergies which affects 15 million Americans including those at risk of life- threatening anaphylaxis. Tommy, her son who is allergic to peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, shellfish, and lentils, among other foods was the impetus for getting into the project to support FARE (more…)

Posted in News

Welcoming the Cody’s

codyfranceThe Cody’s are back from their year in France. Daphne presided and preached at both services this Sunday, August 4. We’re glad to have Daphne, Jason, Claire and Mae back and look forward to hearing about their sabbaticals. Photos of the day’s celebration will be posted next week or so.

Posted in News

Capital Campaign for Warmth & Safety

heatThe Vestry has embarked on a capital campaign this summer. St. Elisabeth’s needs to raise approximately $50,000 in order to address some significant and unplanned capital needs for the church.   Specifically, the following items have either outlived their useful life, pose a safety issue or are simply not working properly:

  • Our two boilers have been working hard to keep us warm since 1991 (more…)
Posted in News

Bishops Respond to Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court of the United States, declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Both the Rt. Rev. Jeffery Lee, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, and the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church made public statements in response. Click their names to read their thoughtful responses.

Posted in News

Thank you!

7526Thank you, dear community of St Elisabeth’s, for your incredible gift of love for me and for our family!  We have been and will continue to be blessed by sharing this year with you. Elizabeth Jameson

Posted in News

Warden’s Corner – April 2013

Alleluia!  Easter has arrived, Lent is over and I can finally return to eating ice cream just when I had convinced myself that mashed up frozen bananas are just as tasty.  Actually they are pretty tasty, especially with berries, and I will no doubt keep on eating them because of that.  This was a Lenten surprise for me, to find something healthy and tasty and just as good as ice cream.

Another surprise in this Lenten season was Space in the Chapel.  The Wednesday night services were peaceful, meditative, prayerful, leading up to the beautiful and dramatic tenebrae service during Holy Week.  Space in the Chapel made me mindful of Lent, probably in more meaningful ways than giving up ice cream, which turned out not to be such a sacrifice because of those handy bananas.

Another gratifying surprise were the numbers of people at our Maundy Thursday supper and Easter service.  After weeks of dire predictions about poor attendance due to spring break, close to forty people partook of the Agape meal on Thursday, and the church was full on Easter Sunday.  I don’t know the Sunday numbers, but lots of people were still coming up to the altar rail well after we finished singing the Communion hymn requiring organist Chris Roe to improvise until everyone was finished.

Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped with Holy Week and Easter Sunday services.  From the flame of new fire that started the Easter service to the rousing chords of the closing toccata, it was a truly memorable Easter.

As Junior Warden, I also want to give a personal thanks to the Vestry members who set up, cleaned up, and provided food for the festive coffee hour, where everyone feasted on goodies as the children swirled around in their annual Easter egg quest.  And further thanks to Sarah Begor who reminded me just in the knick of time that Easter coffee hour is the vestry’s job – surprise!

In fact there have been a few other surprises for me on the Vestry.

This is my first Warden’s Corner in over ten years and there have been some key changes, especially tech-wise.   I just learned how to use a drop box, which is now installed as a cute icon on my tool bar.  It allows us to exchange lots of information about church organization and strategic planning.

Also, through the magic of powerpoint, the members of the vestry and several other church leaders are filling out charters that describe their jobs in detail.  There are 26 charters, from Altar Guild to Finance.  When finished, this will be an invaluable tool when someone steps into a position and asks “What exactly are my responsibilities?”  The completed charters will answer that question.

The Vestry has also been busy gathering information for our strategic plan, and once again, technology has been our friend.  With the use of the internet and other sources, we are collecting data on demographics, church history, communications, finance, and church trends, to help us figure out who we are now and where we are going.

But technology would be nothing without people and we are so lucky in the people of St. Elisabeth’s who give so generously of their time and talents.  In fact, next to technology, the biggest change for me between then and now is the people in charge:  back then we had husband and wife co-rectors.  Now we have one rector – in France!   But we are blessed with a wonderful priest-in-charge who is both great with people and a genuine techno-geek.

By now you probably know that Elizabeth Jameson has been called to be rector of St. Simon’s Arlington Heights.  We want to offer her our heartfelt congratulations.  Come June, we’ll have a bang-up celebration for her that will probably involve ice cream and frozen bananas.  Meanwhile, we are so grateful and happy to avail ourselves of her considerable skills in leading our parish.  We have done so much already – and I for one am looking forward to a continued season of surprise.

Your Wardens,
Tom Flocco & Kay Rossiter

Posted in Parish Business, Uncategorized

Study Offerings


LatteArtWebCoffee & Lectionary Study

Tuesday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30

at Glencoe Roast Coffee

on the corner of Vernon & Park



Posted in Homepage News, News

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Posted in Parish Business

Shall We Dance?

Address given at the Annual Meeting of Saint Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church in Glencoe on January 27th, 2013.

“Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” (Luke 9:1-2)

I want to begin with thank you. In my written report is a far more extensive recognition of all that goes on here at St. Elisabeth’s, but I want to take a moment here for some big ones. Thank you to Daphne who invited me to share the year with you and to the wardens, Tom and Helen, for not convincing her that inviting me was a truly crazy idea. I thank Larry, Chris, Rob and Haley for the extraordinary work they do with and for this community. Their dedication is an inspiration and more often than not they do their jobs so well that their work is invisible to most of us. I thank you, this beloved community of faith, for your courage, your faithfulness, your patience, and your love. I am deeply touched and blessed by sharing this season together. I thank my family, Jim, Wallace and Abbott, who teach me about life and love and without whose support I could not do what I do.

And finally I thank Helen for her extraordinary service to St. Elisabeth’s in her years as warden, for her overwhelming support of me and for her witness to what it means to live fully and lovingly with abiding faithfulness. You are missed, even as you remain in our hearts. At Helen’s request, we are not celebrating her farewell this weekend, but mark your calendars for May 5 as we will celebrate Helen and send her off in style and with our love then, even as the doors are always open for her return.

Last fall I shared a story about a family who had decided not to attend church any more . On a transpacific flight Roland Martinson, dean at Luther Seminary, asked the stranger next to him if he went to church. “Funny you should ask,” the man said, “as our family just had a meeting to decide how to deal with our very busy lives.” Apparently, they agreed to make a list of all their commitments. Anything they knew was helping them to be better people would remain, everything else they would stop. Girl Scouts made the list. Church did not. “So”, the man concluded, “we have reluctantly decided not to go to church anymore.” He and Roland talked much of the trip. At the end, Roland encouraged the man to share his family’s decision, and the reasoning behind it, with the pastor of their church.

Several months later, Roland got an email from the man. “Thank you,” it read, “for encouraging me to speak with our pastor. It has changed our lives.” The pastor not only listened, he asked the man to repeat the conversation in the midst of a Sunday morning service. Then the pastor asked for people to raise their hands if they had similar feelings. Most of the hands in the church went up. Together, the church decided they wanted to change that and so they did. “Now,” the man concluded, “church is at the top of our list, and we are so thankful.”

Now anyone who voluntarily sits through the annual meeting is pretty dedicated, so I suspect that we’re clustered on one end of the curve here, but even so I wonder how many of you have had similar feelings. How many of you want something more from church, even if you’re not sure what that is or what it might look like? What would it take for church to be at the top of the list of what helps you to be the person you yearn to be and helps make the world a better place, more reflective of the kingdom of God?

The tango. Yes, you heard me correctly. Tango can help make church at the top of your list. You did come this morning expecting to learn how to dance, didn’t you? If we want church to have a greater impact on our lives and be so filled that we can make a greater impact in the world, we have to remember that we have a partner in this project. God. Jesus spoke in images so that we could see, hear, taste the kingdom of God, even as he sent us out to proclaim it. Ministry, sharing in the kingdom of God, is like dancing the tango, it is all about leading and following . So what, exactly, does that mean? Glad you asked….

The first thing to learn is the importance of awareness, cultivating a profound attention to your own self and body, in addition to developing an acute awareness of the other, your partner. Even now, as you’re sitting here, become aware of your body, your self, your neighbors. Imagine having your hand on someone’s shoulder, closing your eyes and being led around a crowded room by them. Your focus, your attention, must be on that person in an active and engaged way. You must be vigilant especially of the temptation to anticipate where the leader is headed such that you are not available to respond to where the leader is, in fact, leading. That particular aspect is especially challenging to many of us who are quick to assume we know where someone else is headed!

Second, you must trust your partner and be trustworthy yourself. As if that isn’t hard enough, you learn to establish trust quickly, since when you dance the tango you change partners all through the night. Can you imagine? For many of us building deep trust takes time and is not easy, and yet it is an essential skill that can be nurtured and cultivated.

Finally, each person has an active role and must lean slightly toward the other, establishing a real relationship with some substance, resistance even, to the other so that their slightest movement registers immediately. You can’t dance with a ‘limp noodle’ partner, you both have to be strong, centered and inclined to the other. Each role requires creativity—the leader improvises, combining the steps in various ways, and the leader always gives room, space, for the follower to express their own creativity and uniqueness within the dance. Those moments of pause, where the follower’s individuality is most evident, enhances and brings into fulfillment the whole. Practicing both roles deepens your understanding of your own role and how best to fulfill it.

What an amazing image of the kingdom of God! Ministry, our faith, our work together, our relationships, none of them are passive endeavors nor can we afford to go through our lives sleepwalking. We are invited to show up, to be acutely aware and fully present, and to trust deeply the many partners we encounter, divine and human. We must be responsive without getting out ahead, leave space for others and express our own uniqueness when space is provided. What might that mean for us as we become more aware of and responsive to what God is up to, in our lives, in this faith community, in the local community and in the larger world? How might we at St. Elisabeth’s embrace our role as followers of God? Jesus invited all of us to both receive and proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand. What might that mean in 2013 on the north shore of Chicago? How might we risk engaging more fully in this dance?

I want to share a story, of how one congregation in Kansas City dances, how they both receive and proclaim the kingdom of God. Church of the Resurrection began in 1990 with “the dream of launching a church that would reach thinking people who were not actively involved in a church and help them to see how the Bible and the Christian faith could change their lives, and how they in turn could change the world. ” They share a vision of addressing the root causes of poverty in Kansas City so that their city looks more like the kingdom of God that Jesus so passionately preached . They came together in partnership with six elementary schools to see how they could help, being aware of and responsive to their partners in ministry. What emerged was everything from establishing playgrounds to providing 300 beds for students sleeping on the floor, tens of thousands of books and weekend backpacks packed lovingly full of food. This past Christmas, the congregation was challenged to give the same amount they spend on their own children to addressing this issue of poverty. On that holy night, they raised over $1.2 million dollars. They are engaged, dancing with God in their own unique way with profound joy and meaning contributed to their lives.

I hear here at St. Elisabeth’s a deep desire to be fully engaged in the dance with God in our own unique way. What is our vision, we wonder, for making our world look more like the kingdom of God Jesus so passionately preached? We are on the journey, and we have some clues from Church Assessment Tool insights from last year and from our experience with Family Promise and soup kitchen some of the ways we might move forward. Our mission statement work is intended to be the snow plow of that work, leading us forward and making room for more discerning, greater clarity and the ability to articulate what we’re about and why. Our mapping exercise has revealed that we already are passionate about receiving and living into the kingdom of God. We experimenting with the move from being “a bounded set (the Episcopal Church in this suburb) to a centered set (the people called and sent by their baptism from this house of worship into the world). ”

At the same time, we have some work to do, some discerning about our way. Perhaps we’ll decide to transform our building to make it truly usable for Family Promise and other ministries because investing in our campus is best way for us to move forward faithfully. Or we may decide that our way forward is to pour our energy into the root causes behind how families come to need Family Promise in the first place. Perhaps it is something else we have not quite named. We are not yet clear, but with faithful commitment to the dance, I believe that clarity will emerge and be incredibly powerful for those who share the journey as part of this community of faith and for those who are impacted by our mission and ministry in its various forms.

Remember that St Elisabeth’s Church is not mine nor Daphne’s nor any one person’s. It is you. Be the church well; commit yourself to that work. Engage in it. Make of it all that it can be. I encourage you to dare greatly: ask for more not less, engage more not less, and always trust fully in the extraordinary love of God in and through all things. The one who sends you out will equip you to do the work of proclaiming the kingdom of God here and now.

Shall we dance?
Elizabeth Jameson

Posted in Parish Business