Because Wes' mom grew up in this little church, we thought we needed to pay a visit there this past weekend. The cornerstone in the church dates to 1901, though the church was started in the late 1800s by Swedish immigrants. For its first 110 years, the church was called Cuyler Covenant Church. In 2007, the church was renamed Ressurection Covenant Church. It is in the Lakeview area in the city of Chicago at the corner of Byron and Marshfield.
Though the front of the santuary is now very different from the early years, the few stained glass windows remain. Seeing the stained glass windows made me realize that Muriel saw them, too, through the eyes of a child. Did she have a favorite one? Did she count the panes (like I would've done) during especially l-o-n-g sermons or prayer meetings? (Wes was able to meet a 90 year old man, Chuck, who remembers Muriel in the church during those years...how special was that?) When the church was started, president #29 was in office (McKinley) and we are now on our president #44. There have been wars, the Depression, world disasters, countless births, marriages and deaths...and the little church has managed to survive. However, the survival of the church was surely in peril during the early/mid 2000s with very few members. Serious re-thinking of the mission of the church certainly must've been discussed at length. Perhaps the little church was thought of as the little church that couldn't survive. But, assuredly God was a part of a much bigger plan for this church on the corner of Byron and Marshfield. It is now an active ministry in the neighborhood with a community garden, community meals, a warming house, and small groups and support systems in place to meet the needs of members of the congregation and community.
What is very exciting indeed is to see the sanctuary packed with young adults...hard-working, energetic people who have the mission of the church as a goal. Helping, serving, worshipping, supporting, and caring that the church - the hands and feet of Christ - thrives and grows. And isn't that all about what the church should be?