All Saints Church

4550 N. Hermitage
Chicago
Illinois
60640
Senior Pastor: 
The Rev. Bonnie Perry
Denomination: 
Episcopal
All Saints' is a loving, welcoming, inclusive and prayerful Christian community
5

I've been a member for more than 15 years.  When I first came to All Saints I  felt immediately welcomed as part of the community (which then had about 50 members).  Today All Saints has about 600 members but it retains its welcoming and inclusive nature.

One of my favorite things about All Saints is the children.  There are so many of them that we had to build an addition on to the church school a couple of years age.  Children are also welcome to be part of the service if they (or their parents) prefer.  The church school curriculum for younger children follows the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

There are a variety of opportunites for adult formation including classes, bible studies and discussion groups.  Some are on Sunday and some are on weekday evenings.

The music at All Saints is a mix of traditional and contemporary.  In addition to the Episcopal Hymnal we use Lift Every Voice and Sing as well as hymns and other music printed iin the bulletin.  I, personally, am something of a traditionalist having grown up singing in boys' choirs, but I enjoy the variety of music in the liturgy at All Saints.

As with most Episcopal churches, the Eucharist is the principal service on Sunday.  A group of parishioners bake bread for the communion, and most of the wine is supplied by parishioners as well.  Champagne is generally used on major feast days, and the popping of the cork often provides moments of amusement.

The congregation is strongly mission-oriented.  There is a weekly pantry/feeding program where neighbors can come in and be fed and/or take home a bag of groceries.  Members are involved in mentoring at local public schools.  There is an annual 5k race which raises money for the food pantry and for student health centers in two local public high schools.  We continue to have a ministry helping to rebuild New Orleans with multiple trips to NO each year to help in the rebuilding, and fundraising (an annual Gumbo Stomp) to help fund the efforts.  We have partnerships with a parish in Renk, Sudan and Southeast Mexico.  We support a school and medical clinic in Sudan with an annual bake auction that is unlike anything I've experienced, and are developing a similar relationship with the parish in Mexico.  The relationships include visits to and from both parishes.

One interesting note about church leadership:  in many churches it takes years of involvement to be considered for the vestry (church board).  At All Saints it is not unusual for new vestry members to be elected who have been here only a year or two. 

I would add to the one line summary above that the All Saints community is very progressive theologically which might be a bit uncomfortable at first for more traditional folks.  One sign of this in the liturgy is the use of inclusive language.