Rainbow People Moving Forward - June 9 Celebration of the Church

Join us on Pentecost Sunday as we celebrate our ministry at the corner of Grace and Keeler in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. For 127 of our 131 years, we have called this corner home and are grateful to have served God and community from this place. We are grateful for the opportunity to have served Christ and his beloved community here. As we consider a new location, we invite you to join us to celebrate our long-time home and the various ministries that have served so many here. 

We chose Pentecost Sunday because it is a day that marks the promise of the Holy Spirit. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit moved the disciples out of the upper room and into the streets. While IPUMC is celebrating the past, we are doing this with the hope and promise that the Holy Spirit is moving us into the future.

As Rainbow People we are united in Christ and hold fast to God's promises as we move into the future. While denominational issues add to our uncertainty, we hold fast to who we are during this time of transition. The Holy Spirit was poured out on ALL people – all genders, young, old, slave, free. As a reconciling congregation, we understand God’s promises continue to include all people irrespective of gender identity, sexual preference, ability, race, economic status or education. 

We would love for you to attend! Just respond to this evite:
Pass along the evite link … and this web site … to those who have memories of time at this church.
Respond by June 1.

Pentecost Sunday, June 9
Service of Celebration at 11 a.m.
Luncheon by La Villa starts at 12:30 p.m. in the church Fellowship Hall

Come trip down memory lane with us and with others who are returning to this place with so many memories of good work that has been done from here. Perhaps you attended worship, a wedding, a concert or art show, helped at the pantry or through another organization that met here. Share with others the stories about special life events, celebrations, meetings and more that have happened because our doors were open to all.

A special booklet will share images, reflections and highlights from the past 130 years. Consider sharing a memory or photos you have of the ministry that has happened in our building. Also us know if you are interested in more information about the booklet. Send us an email by May 28 to:  Pastor Hope or or

Special donations to IPUMC to help us during this transition can se sent to:

Without a doubt, God is leading us to new places, opening new doors, and calling us to serve in new ways. On June 9th we will celebrate, not with sadness, but with the joy that comes in knowing our God is faithful. 




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Irving Park United Methodist Church has been serving this community from the corner of Grace and Keeler for almost 130 years. In addition to our congregation, we are home to the Irving Park Community Food Pantry,  Irving Park Hispanic United Methodist and Apogee Academy. Other groups including Alcoholics Anonymous, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Weight Watchers, OIPA, Irving Park Historical Society, countless youth groups and many more have shared our space over the years. Our church has been the site of weddings, baptisms, celebrations and concerts in our beautiful and acoustically acclaimed sanctuary. The Reconciling Ministry of the UMC had their national offices here for  years in the beautiful third floor restored office space.

With great sadness, we came to the realization that our small congregation can no longer bear the expense of a building this size. We spent significant time working with a group of architects and developers who donate their time to assist congregations like ours. Together we developed concepts for repurposing the church building to include space for senior housing, while preserving the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall for use by the church. We then reached out to the local community and to our own networks in search of potential property development partners. Unfortunately, after a year and half of trying, our efforts were unsuccessful.

We have now turned to coordinating the sale of the building and thinking about our future. There are no current plans to close Irving Park United Methodist Church and our leaders are praying and envisioning creative ways that the Holy Spirit might lead us into the next phase of ministry life.

The initial focus on the sale of our building will target  schools, churches, performing arts, and other community minded groups that would likely have interest in this place and neighborhood. However, the congregation remains open to other development opportunities for the building and land.

The Irving Park United Methodist Church

Leadership Team, Pastor Hope Chernich and Pastor Lindsey Joyce



Advent Happenings

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Friday, November 30
Join us in the Sanctuary at 9:30 on Friday morning as we decorate the church in preparation for Christmas and Advent.

Wednesday, December 5
Everyone who identifies as a woman is invited to the Bad Girl's annual Christmas party! Beth is hosting. It will begin at 7:00 pm at one of our members’ homes.  Bring a dish or drink to share. Contact Pastor Hope at for more info. 

Advent Young Adult Dinners
Mondays in December Pastor Hope will be hosting dinners at different restaurants in Logan Square. Dinner is free!  Young adults came and invite a friend! follow this link for more info and to RSVP.

Sunday, December 9
We have invited Grace Church of Logan Square to worship with us on December 9.  Worship will be at 11am followed by Christmas cookie fun and decorating. There will be a special music performance and a Christmas-themed corner for babies and toddlers to explore! If you would like to help with cookies please email Pastor Lindsey at

Advent Prayer and Reflection 
We will meet Fridays in December at 9:30 am at the church for conversation, prayer, and fellowship.

Christmas Eve Service at Grace
This year we will have a combined Christmas Eve service on Monday, December 24 at 7pm at Grace Church in Logan Square ( The service will include an impromptu Christmas program involving both kids and the young at heart. 



Living Stones: Generosity Campaign


From October 21st to November 11th, we will go through a series that reminds us why it is that we give not only our money, but also our time, our gifts, our talents, our witness, and our service to a community. It’s not simply to prop up a building or an institutional way of being, but to remember we are the living stones that build up God’s body and community on earth. We’ve just spent six weeks studying the transitional shifts the church needs to make in the 21st century through the book Weird Church, by Paul Nixon, and we’re going to apply those principles to our giving campaign this week. We’ll be reminded why we give: to  resist corporate understandings of the church, to be present to those around us, to care for our gathered community and to participate in God’s healing of the world. We will pull from old and new testament passages, as well as the gospel to remind us that God has always called us to these ways of being and called us to invest all of ourselves (including our money) in building the world as God would have it. Throughout our giving will be asking that important question: what are we building here, and for whom?

The series:

1 Peter 2:4-10

This passage tells us that people are the house of God, living stones God uses to build God’s community. As the old hymn says, “I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together, all who follow Jesus, all around the world, yes we’re the church together” This reminds us that we give in order to be able to care for the body of Christ gathered together here.

John 2:13-22

In this passage we see Jesus turning over the tables of the money-changers in the temple. Christ calls us to function outside of the marketplace, in a place marked not by what we have, but how we love. This reminds us that we give to the church as an act of resistance to the ways corporations and the marketplace want to shape our understanding of our neighbors and ourselves. 

2 Samuel 2:1-7

In the Scripture passage we see God tell David not to build a house for the ark of the covenant. God privileges flexibility and nimbleness over pomp and circumstance and the ark is able to travel with the people easily in the tent. This reminds us that we give, not to prop up a building, but so that we can have the ability and resources to be present with all.

Revelation 21:1-5

This passage reminds us of the current work and future promise: God is making all things new. God is healing the earth. This reminds us that we give in order to participate in God’s work of healing the world.



Weird Church Book Study!


Along with our sermon series on Paul Nixon and Beth Ann Estock's Weird Church: Welcome to the 21st Century, we will be offering a book study. You can connect one of three ways:

9:30am Fridays at Irving Park United Methodist Church (3801 N. Keeler). We will meet every Friday Sept. 7-Oct. 1

7pm Wednesdays at Epworth United Methodist Church (5253 N. Kenmore Avenue). We will meet every Wednesday Sept. 12-Oct 16

Or check us out on facebook at the Chicago Northside United Methodist Coop: Chicago Northside United Methodist Coop: Weird Church Book Study (feel free to join the group even if you don't participate in the discussion!)

Don't worry if you can only make it to one or two, we'd love to have you and hear your voice!



Global Citizenship Program Summer 2018!


Global Citizenship

For 4th-12th Grades 

Combining service, experiential learning, faith formation, and fun, this summer program will expand your family’s understanding of the environment, interfaith relationships, race, food accessibility, and serving our neighbors.

$10-15 per day depending on event (if you need financial help, just talk to your pastor) and pack your own lunch to your own liking!

You are allowed to participate in one or ALL of the events, when registering just be sure to let us know which days you want to experience! Please fill out the form once for each person. 

Want to Register or Volunteer? Fill out this form below!

Hope your young person can make it!



Advent 2017, Keep Awake: Living for Hope in a World of Despair


Advent is about the breathless expectation of light in a world of darkness. Jesus is born into a world of turmoil: the immigrant is rejected, homelessness is rampant, cruelty and bureaucracy reign in the halls of power as the people are sent back to their hometowns for a census. And yet, in that darkness, a light is promised. The light that will set us free from the narrative of death and finally bring all humanity into the promise of life. Join us this Advent as we look at our Scripture stories, asking where do we find hope, peace, joy and love in the Scriptures, where do we see it today and how do we continue to live for it in a world that so often feels like it has given itself over to despair. Christ is coming, we are living for hope in a world of despair. Join us every Sunday at 10am throughout the Advent Season.



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Irving Park United Methodist Church and Irving Park Hispanic United Methodist Church, located at 3801 Keeler Ave, Chicago, IL 60641 are excited to announce we are holding a Church Wide Yard Sale on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 8:00 am –2:00 pm!

If you have items you would like to donate:

o   Please call Tracy at 773-283-6262 or leave a message with your name, phone #, address and a description of the item(s) to schedule a pick up or if you have any questions. 

o   Donation drop offs will be accepted Fridays and Saturdays 9-11 am.

o   We are also able to accept donations dropped off at the church office’s Grace Street entrance Mondays, and Thursdays, from 10 am- 1 pm in September.

o   Please make sure items are clean and in good working order.

We are able to provide a tax deductible In-kind receipt for all donations.

If you have time and energy you would like to donate:

o   Please email Jen at  We are always thankful for volunteers with kind hearts and helpful hands!

Come help us make the world a little bit better!

Whether you are able to donate or not, we would like to invite you to join us on the day of the event.  It is open to the public, and ALL ARE WELCOME to come shop, enjoy:

o   Repurposing/Reusing hundreds of different items (household, furniture, vintage kitchen glassware, pianos, tools, toys, sports equipment, clothing, etc.)

o   Baked goods and refreshments will also be available for purchase.

o   Music and games!

o   Meeting neighbors and new friends, enjoying fellowship time with us!

Take care of some early Christmas shopping, pick up something, “new to you,” meet our new ministers:  Pastor Hope Chernich, Pastor Lindsey Joyce, and Pastor Sam Castro, or just enjoy some fun family time!

Street parking is available; please be respectful to neighboring residents.  Public transportation and pedestrian traffic are encouraged.


All proceeds from donated time, energy, and items will benefit ministries of the church, the community and both congregations. 


Peace & Blessings,




Welcome Pastors Hope and Lindsey on Sunday, July 2!

Please come and greet your new pastors on their first Sunday at Irving Park UMC!  They will BOTH come so that you meet them as a team for worship on Sunday, July 2 and Fellowship Time afterwards.

Lindsey Long Joyce grew up in the United Methodist Church, has served churches in a variety of settings in two states, and is excited to be appointed to Irving Park United Methodist Church and United Church of Rogers Park in partnership with Hope Chernich.  Lindsey was ordained as an elder in The United Methodist Church at the Northern Illinois Conference session earlier this month.  She and her husband Adam have recently bought a home in Andersonville. 

Hope Chernich changes roles at Irving Park UMC with her new role as local pastor appointed in partnership with Lindsey Long Joyce to serve both Irving Park United Methodist Church and United Church of Rogers Park.  Hope has served this church for seven years in Children and Family Ministry and as Program Minister. Hope is currently a licensed local pastor pursuing ordination and has just one class left at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary before completing her Master of Divinity Degree. She and her husband Dave and two children currently live in Jefferson Park.





Farewell Message from Pastor Katherine

This is my last pastoral letter to the good people of Irving Park United Methodist Church

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I want to thank all of you for the many ways you allowed me to be your pastor. As the years go by I will look back with profound thankfulness on our adventure together in ministry and service; I trust the same will be true for you.

These five years with you have been unique in my experience in ministry.  We have traveled a road that few congregations are able to successfully navigate. We began a journey that seemed full of pitfalls and difficulties.  Through working together, we have been able to develop a plan with hope for the future.  

In five years we have shared a lot of history.  Some of you have come to this faith community since I have been here -- actually about a third of our regularly worshiping congregation. Each of you have brought your gifts and support to this congregation, making us stronger by your presence. I've had the privilege of performing weddings and baptizing children. I’ve watched children grow up. One of the precious moments this past Sunday was Azalea offering to share her water bottle with me -- Azalea whom I baptized and with whom I played while visiting her parents, whose wedding I also performed. I’ve visited hospitals and shut-ins, most recently meeting Audrey, the beloved daughter of Claire and Ryan Conaghan, who were the first couple I married at Irving Park UMC. I've confirmed our young people, and accompanied them on an unforgettable mission trip to the Heifer Ranch in Arkansas, watching them discover joy in faith and service.  One of my greatest joys as your pastor has been to watch the development of the strongest Core Leadership Team that I have yet seen in any church.  They are a diverse and talented group who have learned to rely on each other and seek the best way to serve God together, even if it isn't the easiest way. Together, we have wept and dreamed, prayed and persevered.

While I am leaving you as your pastor, you are not abandoned.  God continues on the journey ahead just as surely as God traveled with Israel through the desert, was present in the uncertainty on the ark, and with Nehemiah and company rebuilding Jersusalem.  And the leadership appointed to you for the next phase of the journey are two of the most talented, committed and energetic pastors in our conference.  Bishop Dyck and Dr. Zaki are entrusting you with the very best our conference has to offer.  Pray for them, support them, offer them help as you are able, and work with them.  I think that some of the words of instruction in the Baptismal Covenant are very appropriate for me to leave for you regarding them: Do all in your power to increase their faith, confirm their hope, and perfect them in love.  The road will not always be easy -- but it hasn't been thus far, so we really ought not to expect that! If the redevelopment plan moves forward, you will be out of your historic home for at least a year.  But I have confidence in your pastors and your church leadership to hold you together through your wandering phase. Remembering that you do not journey alone will help you to stay together. The Caring Partners program will help you deepen your relationships.  Your mission work together will draw you closer to God AND closer to each other.  Your outreach to the community will help strengthen community relationships and draw your neighbors to you.  With God, and working together, many dreams are possible!

I will continue to hold you in my prayers.  I pray for you to have a future like that spoken of in Jeremiah 29: 11. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  I hope you have a wonderful future in ministry. I hope that under Pastors Hope and Lindsey you find new ways to connect with the neighborhood and invite more people to worship with you Sunday morning. I hope that you deepen in your relationships with God so that you find that it is God who is the source of all strength and hope for you.  I hope that you extend your reach in service so that more people will know God's love through you.  I hope that you will share the wide-open welcome that is part of the DNA of this congregation so that people who have been unloved or abused in the name of religion might experience God's love through you.  I hope that you will BE who you ARE -- the beloved and loving people of God -- all of your days.  

I will close with the phrase that I said to our children when I dropped them off at school, hoping that they would remember who they were and their purpose in life through the day.  "Remember who you are. Be a witness!"

Love and prayers always,

Pastor Katherine