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