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Please forgive me for the delay in a church campaign update.  I have been busy livestreaming masses and keeping up with my spiritual fitness!  Joking aside, there is overwhelming good news regarding the Open Our Hearts in Welcome campaign.  The sacrifices so many of you have made to complete pledges early, and in some cases support a second or third time have been extraordinary. I am so humbled and grateful for your financial gifts to St. James. 

It is amazing to think that a month ago marked the one-year anniversary of reopening our renovated church.  It has been a wonderful year of worshipping in a holy place accessible to all.  It has been a blessing to have additional lower level rooms to Adore, to celebrate, to rehearse, to minister, and to serve.  Last November I shared in our Year in Review publication that a key part of funding the renovation was the support of parishioners who financially gifted St. James immediately, or who had made a pledge over a period of up to 5 years.  We are graced by not only those who continue to pay down their commitment, but by parishioners who have offered to help throughout the campaign.

The fulfillment of pledges and recouping of overages is crucial to St. James moving forward.  As of April 1st, the unpaid pledge balance is $1.36M with 20 months remaining in our program.  Knowing the current state of the economy, I realize that finishing pledges might be challenging. But there are parishioners who may be able to provide additional support, and still others who may be able to contribute for the first time.  To those parishioners with an open balance, I pray you can fulfill your commitment.  For all others, perhaps you can consider a financial gift to enable a successful wrap up this renovation project.

I want you to know that we spent a majority of our savings from the past three years to pay for our Capital Campaign.  I look forward to replenishing our savings for future capital needs such as repairing the windows, electrical and ventilation in the church steeple, fixing the cracked and uneven entryway apron of Deacon Drive, repaving the Parish Center parking lot, and replacing windows at the Rectory.      

I truly believe our church renovation has positioned St. James well to grow our faith community.  With God’s grace, St. James will continue its mission to be disciples of Christ and make disciples of Christ and strengthen our wounded world.  Please contact Julie Cohen at or call 224-345-7212 for donation assistance.  Thank you very much for your support.

            ~ Fr. Matt