“140 Years Free”
The First Congregational Church of Evanston is a Christian community, progressive in theology, proclamation, and social witness. We stand in the Congregational tradition, connected officially with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches since 1987 but conducting an “exploratory year” in the United Church of Christ during 2009, with an expected vote on whether to join the UCC in 2010. Though there is no current, official tally of our membership, those who have taken vows and spoken the church covenant number around 250 adults, with an average attendance during the program year of just over 100. The church has undergone some significant changes in morning program since the arrival of Pastor Dave Denoon in February 2008. These include the movement of the education hour off of the worship hour (9 a.m. Sunday School, 10 a.m. worship) and the expansion of educational offerings. These adjustments have been accompanied by new families joining us for Sunday morning and a general sense of enrichment for those who have taken advantage of the revised program, but we have also seen some diminishment in participation of once-active families who complain that the earlier hour is unattractive or even unacceptable. Thus, there has been no appreciable increase in the number of participants but no radical decline either. Our leadership has therefore come to focus on strengthening the ministries in existence and imagining how our faith community’s gifts and graces may be utilized still more effectively toward outreach.
Vision & Mission Statement
As members of the First Congregational Church of Evanston, we are on a spiritual journey. As an inclusive congregation, we welcome all faith experiences and family types; we are an open and affirming community of faith who welcome and include all people and embrace differences of age, ability, race, sexual orientation, and national origin. We are challenged by the Gospel to grow in our understanding of what the Biblical Word means for Christian life today, to nurture one another, and to be engaged in our community and the world. By God=s grace and guided by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves, our resources, and our time to Jesus Christ through this congregation.
Though somewhat diverse in cultural makeup, the congregation is rather uniformly well-educated (almost all having completed undergraduate studies and many of those with advanced degrees) and quite affluent economically.About half of worshipers on a Sunday morning are retired, a third have young children, and the remainder are middle-aged with adult or college-age children.
Worship leadership, preaching, youth direction, leadership of educational programming. In the past, it has been our practice for student interns to work toward cultivating community. With the recent departure of our Director of Religious Education and our inability to provide sufficient funding to restore that office fully, the Church is “rehabbing” the Religious Education program. We are seeking someone who could lead a team of religious educators with visionary and imaginative approaches to teaching and learning, and spiritual growth and enrichment, who would be willing and ready to share that vision from lectern and pulpit.
Take Lake Shore Drive north all the way to Hollywood Ave., and turn right (north) onto Sheridan Rd. Follow Sheridan out of Chicago, around Calvary Cemetery. At the north end of the cemetery, you will be proceeding west. DO NOT continue onto Sheridan by turning right at the light, but by continuing west onto South Blvd. Take South Blvd. to Chicago Ave. (just before the el tracks). Turn right (north) onto Chicago Ave., driving for about a mile to Greenwood Ave. (first light past Dempster St.). Turn right (east) onto Greenwood Ave. One block in, is Hinman Ave. Turn left (north) onto Hinman. The office building (“Church House”) will be on the right at 1417 Hinman, one half block down, and the worship building will be on the right a full block away at 1445 Hinman. Parking is available in the parking lot behind the Church House and is accessible from the alley one half block east of Hinman, between Greenwood and Lake.
Take the Red Line to the Howard stop, and transfer to the Purple Line. Alight at the Dempster stop, exiting north (left) from the station. Walk a half block to Greenwood Ave., and turn east (right). Follow Greenwood across Chicago Ave., to Hinman Ave., one block beyond. Turn north (left) on Hinman. The office building (“Church House”) will be on the right at 1417 Hinman, one half block down, and the worship building will be on the right a full block away at 1445 Hinman.
Rev. David A. Denoon, Minister