Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?
North Park Covenant Church is a neighborhood church which is a little bit of an anomaly in our world today. Almost 50% of our members live within walking distance of the church, and we’ve been working with and for our neighbors for a long time. That means we have fun stories about things that used to be (the Broken Wall Coffee shop, anyone?), but, most importantly, that means we have connections we want to share with you as we all keep moving towards the flourishing of our neighborhood and yours.
North Park Church Cooperative Preschool
We don’t know if you pay much attention to the preschool landscape, but the last few years with COVID and a different approach from Chicago Public Schools have changed the game in our neighborhood. That is one reason we are so proud of how North Park Church Cooperative Preschool (NPCCP) has continued to flourish as they have emphasized their identify as a cooperative, play-based preschool that creates opportunities for parents of preschoolers to join in the education and community-building process. And they are innovating and growing in beautiful ways as the world continues to change, just as the needs of preschoolers and their families change. If you, or someone you love, are looking for a preschool program for 3 and 4 year olds, make sure to give NPCCP a look.
The Friendship Center
Have you had one of those moments where a young person you cared about and invested in set out on their own and made something incredible happen in the world? That’s kind of how we feel about the Friendship Center. The food pantry located at 2711 W. Lawrence Ave. Chicago, IL 60625, and thriving as a client-choice pantry on the north side of the city had its start here at NPCC. In 1969, an associate pastor at the church decided tangible help should be offered to people who walked through the church doors looking for assistance, and that hopeful beginning birthed a small miracle of food and friendship. If you have a need or if you have a gift, reach out to the Friendship Center and keep this amazing work going strong for another 50 years.
Uniting Voices Chicago: Albany Park
One of the true things about NPCC is that we value music and the arts as two of God’s great gifts to human beings. And that is why Uniting Voices Chicago: Albany Park is one of our favorite community partners. For many years now, they have used the church as their rehearsal space, and once or twice a year we get to include them on a Sunday morning, which is glorious! If you want to find out where you can hear them sing or, better yet, if you want to get involved as a singer or a supporter, go check them out!
Hibbard Elementary and Peterson Elementary
Being a neighborhood church means lots of our church families have deep ties to the neighborhood elementary schools. And out of those deep ties has developed a strong commitment to the well-being of those schools and the people they serve. Because those relationships are dynamic and the needs change with each season, it’s hard to predict what the opportunities for support will be at any given time. If you want to get involved, send an email to Ann-Marie, our church administrator, and she’ll put you in touch with the team that’s coordinating our current efforts.
Do you want to know a little neighborhood trivia? Swedish Hospital, which is now part of the NorthShore network of hospitals, used to be named Swedish Covenant Hospital. And, yes, that’s the same Covenant that is part of our name and history as North Park Covenant Church. Back in the late 1800s, Swedish immigrants who loved Jesus and wanted to make a difference in the world planted a church, a hospital, and a school in what used to be a pickle farm north of the city of Chicago, and now there are some pretty cool plants that have grown out of those seeds. And while Swedish has continued to grow and morph into this new season, we are still so excited for the way they invest in our community with innovative and compassionate initiatives to help us all be healthier. Check out what they have going on in the community!
North Park University
You might have noticed that, when we were talking about the hospital, we dropped a little bread crumb about a school being founded, as well. There has been a long and colorful history from those early days when the school fit entirely into the building known as Old Main, but NPU and NPCC share common ancestors and a long history. Today, North Park University is the only school of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination of which we are a part, and it’s a thriving example of an intentionally Christian, city-centered university looking to do it’s best work as an urban center of learning. We’re really proud of the work they’re doing, and have all sorts of fun connections on both a personal and professional level with the school. If you are curious about the school and want to learn more, head over to the NPU website. And if you know a student over there who needs a blessing, check out our NPU Cake Ministry page and order a homemade cake to be personally delivered to campus.
We are active in the community in a number of ways, and no list like this could ever be exhaustive. But if you know of some cool people we should know, if you have a need you can’t find a way to make progress on, or if you just want to hang out with some good people, reach out and we’ll see how we can connect you in good ways.