Finding Your Path Together
Community Bible Study
1st and 3rd Fridays of the Month
Avondale Neighborhood Park
3516 W. School St.
Chicago, IL 60618
Intergenerational and activity based.
We all make meaning together.
Come as you are, be who you are.
Questions and exploration welcome.
Where does the support go?
Bethlehem LC in NOLA (10%)
Faith on Foot Program→
Faith on Foot
Open Heart fg meets next to people who live in a homeless encampment. We are starting up a Faith on Foot program to make backpacks for our neighbors and to get to know them. We are starting three teams of Volunteers: Street Team, Community Engagement Team, and a Backpack Team.
Who is this for?
This group is for anyone who likes to ask questions and to be part of a community of care. We study the Christian Bible, but anyone is welcome to help us make meaning out of it by sharing from their own life experience or faith tradition.
Really?! You'd take Me?!
We value and invite every person to help us make meaning out of the Biblical stories. We believe that once people experience the story, they can add knowledge, questions, and perspective from their own lives. People of all ages, all creeds, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all colors, all abilities, all backgrounds, any immigration status, any mental health status, and any educational level have something to offer as we make meaning.
How WElcoming are you, Really?
We are Reconciling in Christ, which means we have been certified as welcoming for people in the LGBTQIA+ community, plus 2/3 of our leadership is queer.
We are part of the Emmaus Collective, which means we actively work to be anti-colonist and anti-racist, and that we are working to meet their criteria for being a congregation working on racial justice within ourselves, our institutions, and our world. Our Pastor, Pastor Jess, is on the Metro Chicago Synod Anti-Racism Team, and three of our leaders are attending training in January 2019.
We are working toward becoming Verified Clear through Church Clarity, which means that we clearly state who we welcome in both participants and leadership.
Who are YOU?
We are a group of people who are often hot messes and felt the need to found an open welcoming religious space for all. Growing up in the church we couldn't fully be who God created us to be. As adults we wanted better for us and our children. We ourselves have some of the identities and issues mentioned above such as ADHD, anxiety, sensory issues, disabilities, being people of white, and being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our co-founders are Pastor Jess Harren and Emily, aspiring background faith leader. Our leaders are working toward being Reconciling in Christ and part of the Emmaus Project. Pastor Jess is a member of Proclaim and follower of #decolonizeLutheranism.
What will we do?
As we gather on Friday nights, we hang out and share about our lives. We read a Bible story, participate and/or experience the story in some active way, commit to do something as a result of what we learn about the Bible, share good things in our lives (highs), hard things in our lives (lows), prayer requests, and then we bless one another. We operate with Consent Culture. Because we do activities to engage the stories, we never know what the point of a story will be until we've created meaning together. Also, because we learn our stories through activity, adults and kids, regardless of their ability to sit still or share out loud, learn something and teach one another. When the weather is nice, we meet by the playground or pool. The room inside is accessible.
How are you Funded?
Our budget for the next year is $3,500. At present, we are funded from Pastor Jess' supply preaching income and Mary Kay business (When Jesus Wears Makeup), plus Emily's energy and generosity. We are currently seeking partnerships with other congregations, and doing online fundraising.
This work is licensed by Rev. Jessica A. Harren under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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