Founded in September, 1887.
Ravenswood United Church of Christ is an historic congregation located at the intersection of three dynamic neighborhoods on Chicago’s north side. After a long period of decline we are now experiencing growth as part of an intentional campaign of congregational revitalization. In recognition of our efforts, we were recently awarded a grant from the Illinois Conference of the UCC to further engage our community through a program of outreach and evangelism.
We envision ourselves as an outstanding neighborhood church - the kind of Christian community that is known in the greater community as a place where the faithful gather and encounter God and neighbor. We are a church that offers spirited worship, and genuine fellowship, a place where people can share their joys and their sorrows. Our church is a place where people can give back to the community as thanksgiving to God for all that God has done for us. “Doing church well” can be that kind of transformative experience, and make a difference for not just the members of Ravenswood UCC, but our entire community.
This is our mission – “To Make God’s Love Visible” and we would like nothing more than to build on those foundations and engage more people in this blessed work of the gospel. We seek partners for this task and invite you to consider working with our congregation.
Our church membership is 70 persons and growing. Our average attendance on Sundays is 52 persons. We are a predominately white and middle class congregation although we do have a number of bilingual Spanish speaking members from Costa Rica, Mexico, and Honduras.
One advantage to our small size is that a student pastor would have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of worship and church life. Our former student pastor has done everything from serve bratwurst at our Oktoberfest to design a communion service for World Communion Sunday. We invite creativity and initiative.
We have high expectations for our student pastors and broad latitudes. We would expect that they immerse themselves in the life of the congregation and fully participate in worship and congregational life. We have particular needs/wants in the areas of youth and family programming and work with our mission committee.
I expect that an intern would bring energy and enthusiasm to their work at the church. I would expect that they have some knowledge or familiarity with the dynamics of small churches and bring a sense of hope that there is a place in the world for churches like ours. I would anticipate our relationship to be a close one with a shared sense of purpose to work together to bring new life and vitality to the congregation.
Reverend Jason W. Coulter has been pastor of our congregation since January of 2006.
"I supervised a student from the University of Chicago Divinity School in the 2010-2011 school year. We established a regular schedule to discuss work at the church but also to consider what ministry looks like within a small church and how God speaks to us in these spaces We drafted a learning covenant together and met regularly to formally review our partnership and her learning.
I view my role as supervisor to seminarians as that of a partner in ministry. I have great enthusiasm for my work at Ravenswood UCC and I seek to infect an intern with that joy and excitement of what it means to be the church, in this community, at this time and enlist them in the work of the church. I understand that I am to give the student space to learn, grow, maybe even make a mistake and learn from it.
I would describe myself as a joyful, reality-based optimist. I generate ideas from my learning and reflection and then lead others in turning ideas and plans into programs and initiatives. I prefer to give interns an area of focus and then let them develop it independently while checking-in regularly to help them wrestle through the challenges of a particular project."
Our congregation is four blocks west of the Montrose Brownline El stop and easily accessible from Hyde Park by car in 20+ minutes depending on traffic.