Our sanctuary, gym, classrooms and fellowship hall have been the center of family life and neighborhood meetings for decades. In the last decade, we have significantly increased our partnership and service in the neighborhood, developed regular intergenerational programming for After School and Summer Programs, and become a beacon for dialogue, peace-building and conflict resolution education. We have twice hosted the "On the Table" neighborhood conversations as part of the Chicago Community Trust's city-wide annual initiative. We have hosted events for public servants like aldermanic leaders, Cook County president and first responders. We share the building with Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts.
We are the conveners of the new neighborhood coalition Bridging Jeff Park which brings together neighbors past, present and future in appreciation for the neighborhood’s heritage and current community-building assets. Our pastor, Rev. Jacki Belile, is an officer of the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce and active member in neighborhood organizations. In partnership with organizations like these, we are playing roles in a new working group for support of the homeless and upcoming “Racial Healing Circles.”
Long a pillar of this community, Eden Church has increasingly become a vital and visible community partner. This is why our fundraising campaign is for "more than a roof." These neighborhood engagement efforts have been made possible by more than $40,000 in six grants, largely from our United Church of Christ denominational family, and thousands more in designated giving over the last ten years. All this energy has been outward and service focused. It is time now to turn to our beloved worship space which is our center.