Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, St. Lawrence welcomes you.
We celebrate diversity and, following Jesus’ example
embrace ALL God’s children.
As a community, we cherish your uniqueness as God has made you:
across cultural backgrounds, skin color, citizenship/immigration status, political views, age, gender identity/expression/attraction, marital and economic status, and physical and cognitive abilities.
Whoever you are, whomever you love,
wherever you are from, WE WELCOME YOU!
Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.
A Letter From the Wardens
Past, Present and Future - Faithful, Together
June 1, 2020
As businesses and activities around Illinois begin to enter the first stages of opening up, we wanted to let you know where St. Lawrence stands at this point in time. In February, things were “normal” - we held regular worship services, our own and outside small groups used our building, and we were engaged in searches for an interim rector as well as beginning the process to search for a permanent rector. We continued to work on addressing our long-term financial stability. Then, back in mid-March, we went from full in-person operations to shut-down within a matter of days, under the guidance of the Diocese and with efforts by many parishioners. Since that time, our building has remained closed except for essential operations - finance and building maintenance/security and our HOPE feeding ministry, which continues to operate under significantly modified procedures to protect our guests and volunteers.
Many of us have found these times disorienting and stressful, and some of us have suffered directly with illness and even deaths in our communities, and among our families and friends. We have watched with sadness and concern as the pandemic has disproportionately affected our elderly populations in care facilities and our communities of color.
During this strange, unanticipated period, the St. Lawrence community has been a bulwark for many of us. We give thanks for the dedication and resourcefulness of our Vestry, staff and parishioners. We have found ways to stay faithful together as St. Lawrence, despite the inability to use our building, and are continuing to develop new ways to stay connected.
Our new parishioner-led Zoom Sunday Morning Prayer services have been very well received, and we encourage you to participate if you have not done so yet. There is liturgy, music provided by Alan Whaley and our choir members, and a reflection, often from a parishioner. Afterwards we have the opportunity to participate in a virtual coffee hour, which many have found delightful. If you do not have internet access, prefer not to use Zoom or have hearing challenges, it is possible to connect to the worship service by telephone - there will be instructions on how to do this in each week’s e blast. If you do not receive the eblast, please contact the office for instructions on how to call in to the service or to be added to the
Many of St. Lawrence’s small groups continue to meet remotely. HOPE and its volunteers are providing very needed feeding services to our community. Our staff and parish leadership are very active on a remote basis. We are also in frequent contact with the Diocese, participating in weekly parish leadership Zoom calls with Bishop Lee and the Diocesan staff and also engaging in direct conversations with staff.
Our finance team, led by Joe Cardinale and Jeanne Lasheff, and with excellent support from our bank, Libertyville Bank & Trust, managed to secure a $47,000 Payroll Protection Plan loan, giving us a cash cushion in these uncertain times and allowing us to continue to pay our staff and keep our operational costs funded.
So that’s our present, but what about the future?
Our state, under the leadership of Governor Pritzker, has begun a staged process of opening up from the stay-at-home situation. But the Governor, and the scientific community, have emphasized that this period is one of uncertainty - it is unknown whether beginning to reopen will cause an increase in infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus. It is also unclear whether there will be a seasonal resurgence in infections starting in the fall.
Here at St. Lawrence, our highest priority is the safety of our parishioners. We have established a task force, that, together with the Wardens and Vestry, will undertake the process of discerning if, when, and how to recommence our parish’s various activities that use our building, including those of outside groups. The members of the task force are Susie Brock, Susan Fink, Chris Heier, Tom Simpson and Hal Toberman. We are very grateful that they are willing to work on this important task. The Diocese of Chicago has established guidelines for this process, and we will be in close communication with the Diocese throughout. Unlike closing down, which occurred very quickly, this process of discernment and creating procedures for any reopening we decide to undertake will take time and care. Part of this process will be to determine what is appropriate and practical for St. Lawrence, taking into account the demographics of our parishioners, the specific configuration of the spaces in our building and our financial and personnel/volunteer resources.
So, for now, our building remains closed except for HOPE and essential activities. We will keep you updated as our task force and the leadership of St. Lawrence work through this process.
But, although we can’t push a reset button and return to the past, and the future is still uncertain, we are here, now, and we are St. Lawrence. This parish and its people are faithful, resourceful and creative.
It’s a natural human tendency to often treat the present time as only a waiting room for the future. We would encourage you instead during this in-between time to focus on the positives of our continuing life together as a community of faith. There are many opportunities to stay connected and we hope to develop more. Many of these new ways of staying connected will likely have usefulness when we once again, at some point in the future, are able to be together in person as a community.
We encourage you to contact either of us if you have questions or concerns, or need to know more about how to stay connected with our parish community.
We are St. Lawrence - faithful, together.
Keeping the Promises We Make: A Message from Bishop Lee
Suspension of In-Person Worship: A letter from Bishop Lee
While we are closed due to COVID19, we encourage you to go to the website of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. They currently have morning and evening prayer each day, as well as Holy Eucharist on Sunday morning (10:15 am Central Time) available online. Please follow this link: www.cathedral.org/calendarto get the schedule page. Once there just click on the one you want to watch.
The Hope Food Pantry is now operating with a Drive-Thru format on Church Street for the foreseeable future. Since we are pre-packing bags with specific items, donations of money are the best way to help the food pantry effort. Go to www.thehopefoodpantry.org to donate online. Several employers in the area are matching or even doubling donations made to help the Covid-19 pandemic. Please check with your employers to see if this is available! Copies of the IRS 501(3)C Determination Letter are available for "Hope Food Distribution Services, NFP" if needed.
Lastly, volunteers are needed every Thursday at the Drive-Thru pantry of Emmanuel Faith in North Chicago. This is an easy way to really help our community. Hours are 2:30-4:30 Thursdays. Masks and gloves provided, social distancing strictly enforced. Last week we gave out 175 pre-packed boxes which were received with much gratitude. Families are welcome to volunteer together, just no children under 12 please. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or donate. Thank you!
The Rector Search Committee continues to meet in order to advance the search process as best we can during the COVID19 crisis. The committee is following the process as identified by the Diocese, with the first step to customize the Church Assessment Tool (CAT) which we have initiated. However, the tool is currently on hold during the pandemic and will not launch until our parish family has resumed services and we have regained some sense of normalcy. This truly is a time to accept the gift of the Holy Spirit, that of patience and waiting with grace.
Prayer for the Rector Search Process
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on St. Lawrence Church, and so guide the minds of the search committee (Susan, BJ, Ann, Cecelia, Chris, Deborah, John, Kim, Linda, Steve, and Mary) who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Adapted from the Guidance Prayer for New Ministry from BCP, page 818
While there are currently no worship services at St. Lawrence, most of our expenses continue. If you usually put your pledge check in the weekly collection plate, or contribute cash to St. Lawrence without pledging, if you're able, please mail your check to the office, 125 W. Church St., Libertyville, IL 60048. Also, now is a great time to switch over to automatic pledge payments if you haven’t already done so. Here is the form you can use - just fill it out and mail it to the church office.
Finally, we understand that some of our parishioners may be experiencing financial hardship at this time due to job losses and other circumstances - if you need to adjust your pledge at this time, please send a note to the church office.
We are dedicated to improving the lives of those in our community. Your contribution today helps us make a difference.