A Message from Mother Anne
December 15, 2022
One of the things that drew me to StGs was the strong sense of community and commitment to each other and to God’s mission. It is that joyful community that is so very hard to leave. When we fully love each other and give ourselves over to a faithful, mutually dependent community, that love also hurts in the separation. And I do love you, and rejoice in what we have done together in God’s name.
The vestry and I have worked together to determine that January 8th, the feast of the Baptism of Jesus, will be my final day with you. It’s fully appropriate that a feast centered on new beginnings in ministry will accompany us in saying goodbye and in looking towards what God is calling us to do. Baptism, it is often said, is a sacrament that should require seatbelts and/or crash helmets. When we enter into a covenant with God, we never know where God will call us and how God will equip us for ministry - it’s always an adventure.
To that end, when a priest leaves the cure of a congregation, there are important boundaries to set so that the congregation and the clergy that will care for them moving forward can fully enter into ministry together. After January 8th, I will still love you, but I won’t be your priest. I will not be able to provide pastoral care or officiate at baptisms, weddings, or funerals. I will not engage on social media or in conversations about StGs. The only circumstances in which I would come here again would be at the explicit request of the current clergy and the concurrence of the vestry.
While we each have some idea of where God will lead us in the coming season, it is certain that God will surprise us along the way with newfound gifts and joys and experiences. You are forever in my heart and prayers.
The Rev. Anne B Jolly
Community Letter from Your Wardens December 15, 2022
Dear St. Gregory’s Community,
Your vestry is ready for the journey ahead. We have an outstanding leadership team and staff poised for success during times of transition. We commit to regular communication. We will gather input from our community members about who we are as St. Gregory’s, what’s important to us, how we worship, and how we do God’s work onsite and online.
St. Gregory’s focus from now through January 8th will be on celebrating and giving thanks for Mother Anne’s ministry at St. Gregory’s and saying farewell to her and her family. Please join us for a joyous celebration in the parish hall right after our 9:30 a.m. service on January 8th. Jill Polzin and Mary Rodgers have started the planning and welcome your help. Please reach out via email at
[email protected] & [email protected]
If you would like to contribute to a gift for Anne (Bishops-elect need a lot of new things!), please contribute online (https://secure.myvanco.com/L-Z5B5/campaign/C-13CQH), or send a check to StGs with memo “bishop elect gift” to the attention of Charlene post-marked no later than Friday, January 20, 2023.
We are partnering with Mother Anne and the staff to smoothly transition projects in progress, coordinate pastoral care, and other administrative responsibilities. After we celebrate, thank, and say farewell to Reverend Anne and her family, we begin transition work.
Our immediate steps are:
1. We met with Interim Associate for Ministries J. Sierra Reyes from the Diocese. Sierra will walk this journey with us and join our January 10, 2023 Vestry meeting.
2. We are in discussions with a supply priest with a plan to hire for a 3-4 month period to cover us during our initial discernment time.
3. We are in planning discussions with the Better Together Partnership clergy.
4. Within the week we will issue our 2023 pledge letter requesting your financial support.
5. We have established a tentative date of Sunday, January 15, 2023 for a “town hall” meeting in advance of our annual meeting to have discussion on all the topics on your mind.
This is a lot of information to absorb. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please reach out to our wardens. Susan Hitch-Zint [email protected]; 224-500-8713 or Jim Millspaugh [email protected]; 847-830-6176
Consider the many occasions in the Gospels when the apostles were in treacherous and troubling situations and Jesus appeared and said, “Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. I am with you.” God is with Anne, David, Mary Katharine, Sloan, and Christina on this new and unexpected journey. God is with us at St. Gregory’s. God is faithful. Do not be afraid.
With gratitude, love, and hope,
Susan Hitch-Zint and Jim Millspaugh
November 19, 2022
This afternoon, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Diocese of Ohio elected me as their Bishop Coadjutor. This is something I have felt called to since I first read their profile in January, though I did not know if it would lead to this election. As I said in my letter to you in August, I love StGs. I love who we are and what we have done together. Even as I turn towards this new call for my life and ministry, I grieve leaving you. I will remain your rector until shortly after Christmas, so we will have time to say good-bye well to each other. In these coming weeks as we enter into Advent and eagerly anticipate the Christ Child, we turn our focus to God’s great love and presence among us. This is the truth around which we center our lives, and in that truth we navigate all the changes of life. And so, we will all navigate this change, with the love and grace of God as our guide.
From the Wardens
We steadfastly support Mother Anne and the Jolly family as they prepare for this new future.We also simultaneously our own grief at their leaving our StGs community.Over the next few days, the vestry will partner with the Chicago Diocese representatives to start our planning process and will continue to communicate regularly on our next steps.For today, we celebrate Mother Anne as Bishop Coadjutor elect of the Diocese of Ohio.
Jim & Susan
Anne B. Jolly
June 27, 2021
One of the greatest charisms (spiritual gifts manifest in the world) of StGs is building and sustaining community. It is this very gift that drew me, and I know many of you, to come and remain a part of our worshipping community. StGs is at our best when we can be as inclusive and participatory as possible – that’s how we manifest joy and hope, feed people and continue to build community. When the pandemic began, these values led us to choose to worship together live on Zoom (rather than live streaming a “typical” service or pre-recorded service) so we could see each other and have as much inclusion and participation in worship.
Throughout these past 15 months, the StGs worshipping community has continued to thrive, and our worship style has adapted to more broadly include participation by as many people and voices as possible. We have people worshipping from all over the United States (and even England!), participating from home, the car, vacation spots and backyards. We have shared worship with Zion Lutheran and Christ United Methodist, had virtual choirs and fun videos from our children and youth telling stories from Scripture. Many people share how much more connected they feel to StGs and their fellow parishioners as well as how intimate and joyful our worship is online.
Even so, there are people who have not been able to worship with us online or didn’t connect with worship in that way.While our online community grew and thrived, not everyone has been included, and like Jesus, we always seek to include those who aren’t present with us. Our leadership has been praying, researching and discussing waysto hold the community we have gained online and include those who have felt excluded these past 15 months. Focusing on community, inclusivity, and participation we have an evolving plan for moving forward with online AND onsite worship for StGs.
With deep gratitude for a generous gift from Curt Keller’s family, we are adding online accessibility in our worship space that will include: 3 cameras, a new sound system, 1 or 2 screens on moveable carts, and a “command center” to manage it all. This will enable us to have people on Zoom that are visible and audible to people onsite, It will also allow people onsite to be visible and audible to people online. Therefore, everyone (either onsite or online on Zoom) will be able to fully participate in our worship by reading scriptures and prayers and passing the peace.
Due to the pandemic, electronic components for the new audio/visual system are in high demand and short supply. We are working to get this installed as quickly as possible and hope to have it operational by early fall. Until then, we will bridge the gap between onsite and online by having two services each Sunday: 8:00 am onsite and 10:00 am online, starting on Sunday, July 11th.
The 8:00 am onsite service is offered to bring worship and community for those who aren’t able to join us online, and/or who are very eager to be onsite in our worship space. This service will usually be Eucharist, will be spoken (no singing), casual (clergy won’t wear vestments) and will not have coffee hour afterwards. Masks are required for anyone unvaccinated, and optional for those who are. There will be a section of pews designated for those who would prefer to sit socially distanced, and the other seating areas will not be separated. Immediately following the service, in an abundance of caution, everyone will be asked to leave the worship space without lingering. The AC in the worship space is at 50% capacity, so it is sometimes warm, so come dressed appropriately. Please also be mindful that many people are not yet comfortable with physical touch with other people, so we will ask that the Peace be still distanced.
The 10:00 am online service will be the same as it has been: Zoom, livestreamed to Facebook, livestreamed on our website and recordings posted to YouTube. It will continue to have the gorgeous music, variety of worship styles and leaders, and coffee hour breakout rooms we have grown used to.
Beloved, as blogger Courtney Martin says, “we’re becoming something we’ve never been before.” During this time, we have become something new, and continue to do so. Together, we will work through the interim period until we have everything installed in the worship space and people online and onsite can be in the same service together. As always, I, along with your Wardens and Vestry are here if you have any questions. StGs will continue to strive to share joy and hope, feed people, and build community in new and creative ways as we radiate God’s grace, equipping all people to change the world.See you online or onsite soon!
I'm still a beginner in understanding and supporting anti-racism and race relations. I think I always will be. But, as Kathryn Duncan pointed out to me, I do know Jesus. I know Jesus is and was a man of color. I know Jesus is God incarnate - sent to this earth to show us the enormous depth, breadth, and power of God's love for all of us. I know Jesus intentionally sought out the marginalized. I know Jesus made a point to listen to the stories of the people nobody else wanted to listen to. I know Jesus loved even when he did not understand. I know Jesus taught about open hearts and minds and souls to the power of love. And so I try to live that, and I fail every day, and God still loves me and gives me strength to try again.
There is so much to be heartbroken about. Over 100,000 deaths in the United States alone from COVID-19, isolation from people we love, financial ruin for millions of Americans, people of color consistently abused, feared, and killed, and a million other things.
There is also much to give us hope. God's love endures. God's love is greater than fear, sin, and death. God promises the Kingdom where all suffering will end. And we get to do our part to live that out today and every day as individuals, as the worshipping community at St. Gregory's, and as human beings. How each of us lives a life of love will differ, but isn't it a healing grace to know that we are all trying to do that? That we can all share our struggles, failures, and successes with each other? Knowing that we remain in conversation with each other, and with people who think and act differently gives me hope. God's love DOES prevail, and sometimes it even looks like that on earth. Thanks be to God!
Ways to help rebuild and financially support business that have been destroyed on the South and West side of Chicago: