Christ Church of Chicago is an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. We are a mostly Japanese-American congregation that has recently become more diverse. We welcome all people regardless of where they are on their faith journey.
God is inviting us to become a strong spiritual center and an inclusive community, to equip everyone for ministry and put faith into action, to glorify God.
Christ Church of Chicago had its beginnings in 1946 when a group of first-generation Japanese-Americans met to worship together after arriving in Chicago for the first time. They had recently been released from the World War II Relocation Camps and they were seeking to strengthen ties with others in the Japanese-American community and to fill their spiritual needs. The membership grew rapidly as the congregation worshipped in various locations until the joyous day in 1954 when they were finally able to purchase their first home on Buckingham Place in the Lakeview area. The church was a busy gathering place for three generations of Japanese-Americans.
However, by 1987, declining membership and a deteriorating building forced the congregation to sell the church building and move to temporary worship sites. Gradually, though, the members rediscovered their common purpose and enthusiasm and in 2000 purchased the present church home at 6047 N. Rockwell in West Rogers Park, the former St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.
We are delighted with our new building! This new sacred space enables us to worship regularly, to offer an exciting Sunday School program for our families, and to host a number of annual social gatherings and community events.
Our new church home has also encouraged us to look outward to the surrounding community.The Welcome mat is out! We are gradually and happily becoming a multicultural and multiracial church. We still treasure our Japanese-American heritage, mostly through food, crafts, and annual church events, but when you look at our congregation on any given Sunday, we are a beautiful melting pot.
We know that God has a plan for us as an active, vibrant, and forward-looking congregation: to openly welcome new members, reach out to the community, share our gifts generously, teach our young people, and strengthen our individual and communal relationships with God.
Community Fellowship and Outreach
Joyful Saturday evenings of food, fun and fellowship! We share a simple meal, followed by seasonal crafts, service projects, and event planning.
Teriyaki chicken and New Year’s rice cakes, noodles and baked goods, performance and arts: the people of Christ Church celebrate year-round!
* Kodomo no Hi (Festival for Children)
* Akimatsuri (Autumn Food Festival)
* Udon & Baked Goods Sale
* Mochi Tsuki (Traditional Japanese New Year’s Celebration)
If you or your children are interested in martial arts, you can take karate classes at Christ Church of Chicago. Chicago Kitoh Shotokan offers classes for children and adults on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. For more information visit their website at Chicago Kitoh Shotokan
Mission and Outreach
Christ Church of Chicago is committed to being a beacon of faith and hope in the world. As a community of faith, we are deeply involved in the world making a difference through acts of kindness and solidarity. Here are a few of the mission projects and organizations supported and sponsored by Christ Church:
Heartland Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that helps and supports refugees, immigrants and other displaced people in the Chicago area and throughout the world.
A Just Harvest, a Chicago nonprofit organization that provides nutritious meals daily while cultivating community and economic development.
The Night Ministry, a Chicago nonprofit organization that provides basic resources, free healthcare, housing, and supportive services for youth in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment.
The CROP WALK, we walk along with our neighbors and raise money to stop hunger in the world. Join us every October in this effort to feed the world.
The Japanese American Service Committee, every Wednesday a group of seniors gathers at Christ Church to socialize, to exercise their bodies and minds, to nurture a healthy relationship with their friends and families and to enjoy field trips and delicious meals. Tomadachi (friendship in Japanese) is a program sponsored by JASC and supported by Christ Church of Chicago. if you would like to find out more about this program, contact JASC.
Ravenswood Community Services, every month Christ Church donates non-perishable food items to Ravenswood Community Services at All Saints’ Episcopal Church. We collect donations on the last Sunday of each month.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, Christ Church is a designated Red Cross shelter on Chicago’s northwest side. Whenever disaster strikes and displaced people need a safe place to stay, The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago can count on Christ Church’s commitment to care for the least of God’s children. If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, please contact them today.
Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ, we support the various mission initiatives of our denomination and participate in the efforts to share the Gospel of Christ in positive and constructive ways through the healing ministries and mission work of the Illinois Conference.