The Crown

Vol 56 January 4, 2024

Parish Newsletter of

St. Edmund's Episcopal Church

Important Message from Fr. Alan James

Dear Friends: Happy New Year!! While we are not celebrating it liturgically this year, Saturday is the feast of the

Epiphany – the magi’s visit and homage to Jesus. This story (Matt. 2:1-12) speaks to us of Jesus’, God’s, expansive appeal and attraction. Modern scholarship expects that the magi were Zoroastrian priests, drawn to Jesus by an angelic messenger. As non-Jews, “outsiders,” they are unlikely witnesses to God’s incarnate entry into the world. And yet, their presence illustrates and embodies for us the powerful and eternal truth that God’s grace and desire for relationship extend beyond the walls and limits we create. As we enter into this new year, may we do so with the curiosity and confidence of the magi, seeking and relishing in God’s presence in our midst. Like the star, may we be messengers of God’s love and presence for those who are searching. And like Mary, may we ponder and hold on to those moments and signs that remind us that God is with us. Faithfully yours, Alan


FORUM ON COMMUNION: Following the 10:30 service on Jan. 7, Fr. Alan will host a forum and discussion on the theology and practice of the Sacrament of Communion – why we do what we do. As a part of this conversation, parishioners will be able to discuss their experience of receiving Communion from the pre-packaged Communion kits, the individual cups of wine, and our former practice of drinking from the common cup. Those attending the 8am service on January 7 are welcome to return for the forum, or speak with Fr. Alan about this topic following the early service.

VESTRY NOMINATION FORM: If you would like to serve on the vestry and/or nominate someone, please submit the nomination form by Friday, Jan. 12, to a member of the vestry search committee (Eve Earles, Cheryl Harris, Robin Reeves, Fred Reid) or to the Church Office. The form is attached to this week's Parish Notes and can also be found in the church narthex (entry).

MEN'S FELLOWSHIP: The next Men’s Club check-in and Bible Study is Mon., Jan. 22 at 7pm, on Zoom. This casual time is an opportunity for the men of the parish (and friends) to strengthen the bonds of friendship and study the upcoming Sunday’s scripture readings. Please join us.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING: The congregation will gather at noon, Sun., Feb. 4 for the Annual Parish Meeting. The three main items on the agenda will be: 1) Members of the parish will elect wardens and vestry members for the coming term; 2) The Treasurer will report on the finance of the parish and the 2024 budget; 3) The Interim Rector and Wardens will report on the state of the congregation.

Your attendance is very important.

Holiday Coat Drive Update

Congratulations to our Community Engagement Strategic Ministry Team and St. Monica's Guild for their efforts to collect winter coats, hats and gloves for children who attend CICS Charter School. Nicole Richardson, community

engagement coordinator, accepted the items on behalf of CICS-Washington Park. Christy Vosburg (left), co-chair of the team, was assisted by St. Monica's member Joanie Collins to sort and arrange the coats by size and style. (Photo by Charisse Linder)

Kids On the Go by Simone A. Earles

This winter has been my second Nutcracker season at the Hyde Park School of Dance. While a tiring time of year, Nutcracker is always rewarding. This year I performed the Chinese variation, Tang Yun, with my fellow members of HPSD’s contemporary company. Auditions were held in September, but because of other shows we were preparing for, we didn't start learning our dance until early November. The best part of performing in the Nutcracker is truly the people. Backstage you see so many talented dancers at every age from the six-year-olds in the young dancers holiday show to the high school seniors in their lead roles and sparkling tutus. So much time and effort goes into our holiday tradition to make the Nutcracker season the most wonderful time of the year. (Simone shown in her 2022 Nutcracker costume)

Holiday Photo Gallery

(photos by Charisse Linder)

Top L: Pat Harper with her granddaughter Sophia, son Oliver Harper IV and his fiancé Jan Lindsley. Top R: Richard Evans and Fr. Alan; 2nd row, LtoR: Ushers Ray Owens, Eloise Johnson, Sherman Wright, Joanie Collins, Jackie Spillman, Shirley Harris and Martha Bell

LtoR: Cheney Renfroe, Diane Minor and Martha Bell

LtoR: Glenda John, Robin Reeves and LaVerne Jordan

Jennifer Mayfield and her daughter Naomi

Berrenda and Mark Lewis

Joanie Collins

Where In the World is An Episcopal Church?

Charmian Moore (left) found one when she was in Houston, Texas, during the holidays. She visited St. James Episcopal Church with Marcea Lewis and Marcea's daughter Kellye-Kapri. Marcea, a SEC member since childhood, relocated to Houston with her young family. Marcea's parents, Mark and Berrenda Lewis and sister Ana Lewis, worship at St. James when they visit their granddaughter/niece in Houston. St. James is located in the city's historic Third Ward.

PLEASE NOTE: Wearing a mask is optional, unless you are experiencing any symptoms (of Covid or any other potentially contagious illness) or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid in the last 10 days. In these cases, you are asked to wear a mask out of concern for those around you.

Girls' Friendly Society

Girls Friendly Society is now available for girls ages 5 to 14 at St. Edmund's and St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Contact Dawn Prather-Hawk for more information.

Join a Strategic Ministry Team

Speak with Fr. Alan or co-chairs to join a team:

1. Capital improvements – Proactively charting a long-range path to address and fund capital repairs and improvements. (Andrea Flynn and Cheryl Harris)

2. Church growth – Creating a culture to invite and welcome newcomers and incorporate new members into the full life of the congregation. (Charmian Moore and Charlotte Mays)

3. Communication – Share information and our story with members and those in our community who are looking for a spiritual home. (Eve Earles and Kevin Harper)

4. Community engagement – Identifying what our parish is passionate about, the unmet needs of the local community, and how we can collaborate with others.(Christy Vosburg and Miriam Walton)

5. Financial sustainability – Moving St. Edmund’s towards solid financial footing by increasing stewardship, developing new income streams, and overseeing our budgetary process. (Mark Lewis and Sherman Wright)

St. Edmund's Episcopal Church

Worship This Week

First Sunday after the Epiphany January 7, 2024

8:00 a.m. Spoken Eucharist

10.30 a.m. Choral Eucharist

Join our livestream here!

The Rev. Alan C. James, Interim Rector St. Edmund's Episcopal Church

Interim Rector's Office Hours: Monday-Thursday

Contact church office to make an appointment

St. Edmund's Episcopal Church

6105 S. Michigan Ave.

Chicago, IL 60637

773-288-0038; fax: 773-288-0038


Church Office Hours:

Monday, Tuesday,

Wednesday, and Friday

9:00am to 1:00pm. Website:

The Crown is a bi-weekly publication of St. Edmund's.

Eve Earles, Editor: Contact:

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