19 May, 2022
St. Lawrence Episcopal Church has received an anonymous gift of one million dollars that will allow the parish, which had listed its building on the market in 2018, to retain its property and remain a vibrant and welcoming community presence in its central Libertyville location.
The Rev. Kristin Saylor, Rector of St. Lawrence noted, “this gift is unimaginably good news, both for the congregation and the broader community. With the financial freedom this opens up, we are finally able to invest in the ministries that matter most to us, to reach out to the community and share the joy and vitality that we have in such abundance.”
The gift is intended to relieve the financial pressure of a mortgage that the parish has been struggling with since undertaking an ambitious building expansion project in the early 2000s. In 2018 St. Lawrence voted to place its building on the market, in the hope that the revenue generated by a sale would allow them to pay off the balance of their debt and continue their mission in a new home. Thanks to this gift, the congregation no longer needs to sell its building to remain financially viable and the property was taken off the market on April 30th. This is especially good news for the many local families who have interred the ashes of their loved ones in the church’s columbarium. Deborah DeManno, a church warden, remarked: “Facing the reality of the mortgage debt was an anxious time for the congregation. But with careful discernment, in choosing to explore letting go of our building we were choosing to be faithful to our mission. Now it feels our faith has been affirmed and we move gratefully into the future with renewed energy and promise.”
The donor, who is a member of the congregation, was inspired by the work of the congregation and was motivated to invest in St. Lawrence’s future, while protecting its central location and beautiful building
20 April, 2022
On Tuesday, April 19th the St. Lawrence vestry met to revisit our Covid protocols, specifically our policy around masking during worship. Given the current guidance of the CDC, the State of Illinois, and the Diocese of Chicago, the vestry voted unanimously to adopt a mask optional policy for worship and all other parish activities, effective immediately.
We are excited to be able to take this step forward but realize that, even as we do so, the pandemic is by no means over. To that end, we encourage everyone to continue to self-monitor and to stay home when feeling unwell. If you do test positive for Covid-19, please follow the CDC guidelines around quarantining and masking. If you learn you have tested positive after attending a parish event where you may have exposed others, please do us the courtesy of letting church staff know. We will continue to offer worship on zoom for those who, for any number of reasons, are unable to attend in person. We will also continue to have masks and hand sanitizer available throughout the building.
Above all, it is our profound hope that St. Lawrence will continue to behave with the care and compassion that we have embodied throughout the pandemic. For some, that may mean continuing to mask out of concern for personal health or the health of loved ones. If we have learned anything over the past two years, it is that we can never know the full extent of someone’s reality by appearances alone. I urge all of us to refrain from judgment about others’ decisions around masking and to continue to give each other the benefit of the doubt.
The pandemic has taught us to be flexible and hold any plans we make lightly. We will therefore continue to monitor the guidance of the CDC, state, and diocese. Should their recommendations change, we will respond accordingly.
If you have any questions or concerns about this decision, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
With Easter Blessings,
The Rev. Kristin L. Saylor
Alleluia! Thanks be to God!
It is with great joy that the people of St. Lawrence celebrate the installation of our new Rector The Rev. Kristin L. Saylor. Kristin's installation is the culmination of a journey that began two years ago with the retirement of our long time Rector, The Rev. Patti Snickenberger.
In less than ordinary times, St. Lawrence sought a new Rector who:
We are blessed to welcome Kristin, her husband, Kyle Oliver (also an Episcopal priest and proud Midwesterner!), and their one year-old daughter, Fiona. Kyle is finishing a doctoral dissertation in educational media. In Kristin’s not so abundant free time, she is an avid triathlete and looks forward to finding new places to swim, bike and run around Libertyville.
Kristin recently served as the Director of Formation at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where she focused her energy on social justice, adult faith formation, and innovative liturgical design. Prior to that, she served for three years as Priest Associate at St. Peter’s in Port Chester, New York, a primarily Latinx parish in the suburbs of New York City. She is a graduate of the Virginia Theological Seminary.
A Midwesterner by birth and at heart, Kristin grew up in Milwaukee and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After living on both the East and West coasts for the past 12 years, she is thrilled to return to her Midwestern roots and serve the people of St. Lawrence.
Together with our new Rector, the people of St. Lawrence will build on our strengths, face our challenges and reach for new ways of being St. Lawrence, together.
The website of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. offers morning and evening prayer each day, as well as Holy Eucharist on Sunday morning (10:15 am Central Time). Please follow this link: www.cathedral.org/calendar to get the schedule page. Once there just click on the one you want to watch.