Outreach and Social Justice

St. Mark’s is committed to working with God to create a better community and a better world.  Each Sunday we pray, “Bring newness and change to our streets, O God, that we might commit ourselves to our young people and address the epidemic of gun violence which plagues our communities, our country, and the world.  Awake, O Streets, rise from death!”  Following are a list of ways in which St. Mark’s is involved in the community in helping to create a better world.

Outreach Ministries

webpage1God is at work in our world and St. Mark’s parishioners seek opportunities to join God’s mission in their daily lives – at school, at home, at work and through a variety of social justice and outreach initiatives.

St. Mark’s Social Justice and Outreach Team is made up of parishioners who look for ways for the parish as a whole to work on issues and projects that reflect God’s commitment to building a better world locally and beyond.

Interfaith Action of Evanston St. Mark’s is a member congregation of this Evanston-based non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together communities of faith and spirit to serve people who are hungry and homeless and to express shared values through action, advocacy, and interfaith dialogue.

  • Interfaith Action Hospitality Center for the Homeless  St. Mark’s donates space to the Hospitality Center which is open mornings Monday through Friday, 52 weeks per year.  The Center provides a warm, nurturing environment for daytime use by the guests from Hilda’s Place and Entry Point, the programs run by Connections for the Homeless. The center is open from 7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Guests may use the services of a job coordinator or case manager, or they may make use of the facilities for grooming or making phone calls regarding jobs or apartments. To volunteer, contact Sue Murphy at (847) 475-1150.
  • Producemobile On the 2nd Tuesday of each month, Interfaith Action of Evanston teams up with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to bring free, fresh produce to our neighbors in need. The distribution takes place from 9:30 – 11:30 at the Robert Crown Center. Volunteers are needed from 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. each month. To sign up click here.

Third Sunday Food Collection On the third Sunday of each month, a bright red shopping cart is available at the back of the church for worshipers to place non-perishable food items which are then distributed to Evanston food pantries.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) Congregation St. Mark’s is a Worker Justice Congregation.  We participate in Labor in the Pulpit (on the Sunday closest to Labor Day), we ask contractors about their employment practices, we do not shop at Sam’s Club or Walmart, and we strive to:

  • value and lift up dedicated workers and ethical employers
  • strive to be just employers
  • advocate a society in which all who are able to work have access to family-sustaining jobs
  • support ethical businesses
  • give time and resources to advocate worker justice

To learn more about Interfaith Worker Justice, click here.

Curt’s Café St. Mark’s Social Justice and Outreach Ministry Team encourages everyone to enjoy coffee, sandwiches and more at Curt’s Café, 2922 Central Street, Evanston.  It’s also a great place to hold a meeting – a separate room is available and can be reserved.  Why Curt’s Café?  Curt’s Café is a non-profit organization that provides training in food service and life skills for at-risk youth in Evanston.  Their student-trainees are age 15 through 22, from Evanston, an have already had contact with the judicial system or had been headed in that direction.  Student-trainees learn valuable, employable skills (computer literacy, job readiness, food history, and more) and receive job placement assistance when they’ve completed their training. Our patronage is what Curt’s Café calls “dining with a purpose.” For more information, you can visit their website at http://www.curtscafe.org.

Other Activities

To volunteer or for more information on St. Mark’s Outreach projects, please contact the Social Justice and Outreach Team at outreach@stmarksevanston.org.

Grants Available

Due to the generous legacies provided by beloved parishioners, St. Mark’s has designated monies to be used to provide seed monies for innovative ministries at St. Mark’s.  The Social Justice and Outreach Team invites any parish member (lay or ordained) to make an application for a grant.  To apply for funds, please review the guidelines and complete an application form (disregard the deadlines).

Grant Guidelines

Grant Application Form

Space Sharing

St. Mark’s welcomes conversations with non-profits who are interested in utilizing space at St. Mark’s. Current space-sharing partners include:

  • Cathedral Counseling Center is grounded in the idea that all spiritual traditions and professional psychotherapy share common goals – to approach life’s sorrows with reverence, to heal pain, to help people make better choices, to value what is sacred in each person.  Many barriers prevent people from seeking psychotherapy, particularly social stigmas about mental health care, the rising cost of care, and limited insurance coverage. Cathedral Counseling Center works to remove these barriers for people in the Chicago area. The Cathedral Counseling Center operates a satellite facility at St. Mark’s. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact call (312) 252–9500 or e-mail info@cathedralcounseling.org.
  • Chicago Chamber Choir holds one or two concerts per year in St. Mark’s Sanctuary.  CCC  is a skilled choral ensemble of 40 voices under the dynamic and enterprising direction of Timm Adams, Artistic Director. The choir’s mission is to promote the joy of choral music in its community.  To learn more about CCC and their concert schedule, visit their website.

 

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