Chicago’s Episcopal Church of the Mediator closes doors after 129 years

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The shuttering shrinks to 128 the number of Episcopal congregations in the diocese of Chicago, which includes about 41,000 members throughout northern Illinois. Church of the Mediator had been the first Episcopal congregation on the Southwest Side, according to the church Web site.

"We weren't ever able to build up a young congregation again. People leave. Many families die out," Reich said, as she handed every family an artist rendering of the stained-glass window above the altar. Reich said church members debated closing as early as 1980.

Generations of members returned for the service, many of whom were baptized, confirmed and married in the traditional, stone church tucked along a residential street in Morgan Park, located at 10961 S. Hoyne Ave. More than six dozen people gathered for the final celebration, bringing to mind earlier, more vibrant days of the church.

"Sing as you've never sung before. Pray as you've never prayed before," Rev. Donald Frye told parishioners at the start of the service. Frye shepherded the church through its final month after the previous pastor left to head another church. "Take the good from this place and spread it around."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

Posted December 31, 2007 at 5:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. robroy wrote:

This closing has already been discussed but there was a very interesting post at the end of the other thread by Father Handy which most probably missed and that I would commend to all. Found here.

December 31, 8:03 pm | [comment link]
2. TomRightmyer wrote:

Another church I can’t find on the national church chart site.

December 31, 10:39 pm | [comment link]
3. JackieB wrote:

That’s really strange Tom.  I was thinking of a follow up story from the post I did on Stand Firm and checked the church chart last night.  Guess someone at 815 had some free time on their hands and took the chart down.

January 1, 1:13 am | [comment link]
4. robroy wrote:

Ah, but my post still works from my comment here.

January 1, 1:33 am | [comment link]
5. Statmann wrote:

Dear TomRightmyer,
  Again, I was able to make a copy of chart just a few weeks ago. Guess Jackie is correct or else Chicago has a very short memory. No wonder the Orthodox pray for Memory Eternal.  Statmann

January 1, 3:26 am | [comment link]
6. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

#1 and 4,

Thanks, robroy!  Once again, you’ve shown why you are the President of my Fan Club.  I appreciate you calling attention to my little church planting anecdote.

But I think I may have to correct one fact that, upon further reflection, I must have gotten mixed up about and so I’ll take this chance to correct.  I saved the best part for last, i.e., how an evangelical church started in the exploding suburb of Orland Park and took off like a rocket.  Well, it did, but NOT QUITE as dramatically as I reported initially. 

Looking back in hindsight, I realize my memory played tricks on me and I got the timescale wrong.  It took them TEN years, not five, to go from 0 to 5K in Sunday attendace.  Sorry about that slight error.

After all, there was absolutely no need for exaggeration.  Launching a new church and hitting 5,000 in ASA in ten years is still just unbelievable.  But it really did happen.  And meanwhile, the TEC church plant totally failed.  There, in microcosm, you have a stark illustration of just how badly off the liberal sectors of TEC now are.

Thanks again for providing the link, robroy.

David Handy+
Now dreaming of planting a whole New Anglicanism, not just a parish

January 1, 1:49 pm | [comment link]
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