Dearest incoming students,
About 111 years ago, the Episcopal Church commissioned a chaplaincy at the University of Illinois. And thus, this chaplaincy and parish have now served the students, faculty, and staff of UIUC, along with the wider Champaign-Urbana community for over a century!
To honor our mission as a college chaplaincy in normal times, students (and others), gather weekly on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. for worship, a free home cooked meal, lively conversation and friendship.
Our Wednesday Eucharist and Dinner was suspended last March when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and to minimize the spread, this parish and chaplaincy are worshipping online for the time being. Nevertheless, there is much opportunity for worship!
Daily Compline – night prayer – is offered nightly at 8 pm. Evening Prayer is offered on Wednesdays and Fridays by Chapel folks. And we celebrate Holy Eucharist that we livestream on Sundays at 10 am. A comprehensive leaflet for services can be found at chapelsjd.org/service-leaflets. The livestreamed services can be watched via several sites – on the Chapel’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/chapelsjd (the least reliable), on YouTube bit.ly/3ddOv2S, on Twitch www.twitch.tv/chapelsjd, or on Periscope www.pscp.tv/ChapelSJD.
To kick off the academic year, I invite you on Sunday, August 23 at 11:15 am, to gather in front of the Chapel for a Blessing of the Backpacks. You can bring your backpack or other bag that you carry to classes and I will say a blessing over them, and offer you blessings too. We will stay outside. Even still, I would ask you to please wear a mask!
Like many other campus ministries and chaplaincies around the Episcopal Church, our Wednesday gathering is called “Canterbury.” The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion which traces its roots to Christianity in Canterbury, England. The name “Canterbury” refers to this ancient faith connection. Because we are part of a living worldwide faith tradition, it also reminds us that we serve not only those from the United States, but people from every part of the world.
The Chapel of Saint John the Divine is also a parish of the Episcopal Church, and we invite you to come and be part of the life of this vibrant parish. In normal times, we gather as a wider parish community on Sundays at 8 am and 10 am. The 8 am service is quiet and contemplative. The 10 am service is a festive choral celebration of the Eucharist with incense and people of every age group. I share this with you in hope and anticipation that someday soon we hope to resume in person worship, and we pray that a life post-COVID-19 is not far off.
On Sunday, August 23, I will be blessing those backpacks in front of the Chapel! Come and join us!
Know that this parish and chaplaincy is pleased to warmly invite and welcome you to your new home in Champaign-Urbana and we would be honored by your presence! Come and join us! It won’t be the same without you!
The Reverend Sean Ferrell, Rector