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



on the table. your voice matters. Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

When we come together as a community to listen to and learn from each other, we have the power to impact both neighborhoods and lives. That's what On the Table, sponsored by The Chicago Community Trust, is all about.  Irving Park United Methodist Church will host community conversations about concerns and ways to make our community stronger, safer and more dynamic.  Progress happens when residents and organizations collaborate to make contributions that add up to a greater solution.  On the Table connects individuals and communities of diverse perspectives and backgrounds to do just that.  We will be hosting the meal, which has no cost for our guests.  Share the invitation with everyone you know and register by calling the church at 773-283-6262 or emailing us at  Tables of eight to twelve will allow for good conversation. More information is available at



ACTION 30 MONDAYS: 30 MINUTES to make a difference!

Come for 30 minutes to learn about a social concern AND take concrete action!  That is ACTION 30 MONDAYS!  On Monday evenings from 7:00-7:30 pm beginning March 6 we will have a 10-15 minute presentation by someone with experience and knowledge and then DO SOMETHING to make a difference! A suggested donation of $5 per person will help us with supply costs and speakers.  Childcare will be provided on site upon request for $1 per child.

May 1: Indivisible Chicago. Political action and advocacy at the grassroots level.

May 8: The Magdalene House of Chicago. Sex trafficking and intervention efforts.

May 15: Youth Initiatives to Change the World and Change lives through the Global Citizens Program.

May 22:  Hands to Help.  Homeless Intervention programs in our neighborhood.

NOTE: May 22 is the last of our Action 30 Mondays.  Thank you for joining us as we work to change the world for the better! 



Feed My Starving Children on March 25 7:00-9:00 pm

Meet at church at 6:00 pm to travel together to Schaumburg.  Youth and their parents are invited to pack food to be shipped to areas of the world where children are hungry.  In the process, we will hear how many children around the world do not have enough to eat and how we can make a difference! BONUS FEATURE:  Participating youth tend to complain less about food they are served as a result of understanding world hunger issues!  



SUPERSTART on March 17-18 for 4th-7th Graders

Don't miss Super Start on March 17-18th for 4th-7th graders. Register by February 12 to get the early registration price!  This is the most exciting retreat of the year for our younger youth.  Scholarships are limited, so please register soon!