Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finding True North #31: Chicago

Before this summer, I had never really spent much time in the midwest. I had technically been to Chicago, but only in the sense that I flew into Chicago and was promptly shuttled out to Evanston. So I decided that I absolutely had to visit the windy city before returning to North Carolina.

So, native midwesterner Jordan Updike and I set out on a Friday afternoon on a 24-hour road trip to Chi-town. I had a blast. Chicago is such a cool city. The architecture is gorgeous, the energy is amazing, and oh my goodness there's public transportation. You can get print copies of The Onion on street corners, and there is a surprising amount of green space. Millennium Park is awesome and the waterfront is gorgeous. I've always thought of myself as a mid-sized city girl, but I could dig Chicago (except maybe in the winter).

One cool part of the trip is that we stayed with Matthew Johnson, the pastor of Holy Covenant UMC in Chicago. Matthew is into progressive, emerging church-type stuff, and he just moved to an appointment in the city a month ago. Holy Covenant is a fascinating church that is poised to do some incredible things. The church's membership is around 200 and they worship about 150 on a Sunday. They've been a reconciling congregation for a long time—I think they were one of the first in the area.

One thing Matthew talked about that I found fascinating is that the congregation is transient, being made up largely of young people, which would normally be a disadvantage, but Matthew is choosing to see it as an asset, as an opportunity to train up quasi-missionaries to go out intentionally into other congregations to be transformative. I'm excited to have made the connection with Matthew and with Holy Covenant and to continue those conversations.

We explored downtown Chicago Friday evening and Saturday during the day, with a jaunt out of the city to visit Jordan's aunt's horse ranch sandwiched in there. I ate Chicago pizza for the first time (YUM).

On the way back Saturday night, we stopped off at the Indiana Dunes. (Side note: the Great Lakes are incredible. They look like oceans. I'd been on one of them before, but it continues to blow my mind.) There are beaches in Indiana! I did not know this. Anyway, we got there about 20 minutes before sunset and decided to stick around for the show. Not only was the sunset gorgeous, the sun actually went down right behind the Chicago skyline. I wish I'd had a better camera, but the pictures still turned out pretty well. It was incredible.

I thoroughly enjoyed my short trip to Chicago and would love to come back someday.

1 comments:

mwhjohnson said...

So how did I not see this before? Thanks for the plug, and we're looking forward to you coming back soon. Winter is fun up here!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finding True North #31: Chicago

Before this summer, I had never really spent much time in the midwest. I had technically been to Chicago, but only in the sense that I flew into Chicago and was promptly shuttled out to Evanston. So I decided that I absolutely had to visit the windy city before returning to North Carolina.

So, native midwesterner Jordan Updike and I set out on a Friday afternoon on a 24-hour road trip to Chi-town. I had a blast. Chicago is such a cool city. The architecture is gorgeous, the energy is amazing, and oh my goodness there's public transportation. You can get print copies of The Onion on street corners, and there is a surprising amount of green space. Millennium Park is awesome and the waterfront is gorgeous. I've always thought of myself as a mid-sized city girl, but I could dig Chicago (except maybe in the winter).

One cool part of the trip is that we stayed with Matthew Johnson, the pastor of Holy Covenant UMC in Chicago. Matthew is into progressive, emerging church-type stuff, and he just moved to an appointment in the city a month ago. Holy Covenant is a fascinating church that is poised to do some incredible things. The church's membership is around 200 and they worship about 150 on a Sunday. They've been a reconciling congregation for a long time—I think they were one of the first in the area.

One thing Matthew talked about that I found fascinating is that the congregation is transient, being made up largely of young people, which would normally be a disadvantage, but Matthew is choosing to see it as an asset, as an opportunity to train up quasi-missionaries to go out intentionally into other congregations to be transformative. I'm excited to have made the connection with Matthew and with Holy Covenant and to continue those conversations.

We explored downtown Chicago Friday evening and Saturday during the day, with a jaunt out of the city to visit Jordan's aunt's horse ranch sandwiched in there. I ate Chicago pizza for the first time (YUM).

On the way back Saturday night, we stopped off at the Indiana Dunes. (Side note: the Great Lakes are incredible. They look like oceans. I'd been on one of them before, but it continues to blow my mind.) There are beaches in Indiana! I did not know this. Anyway, we got there about 20 minutes before sunset and decided to stick around for the show. Not only was the sunset gorgeous, the sun actually went down right behind the Chicago skyline. I wish I'd had a better camera, but the pictures still turned out pretty well. It was incredible.

I thoroughly enjoyed my short trip to Chicago and would love to come back someday.

1 comments:

mwhjohnson said...

So how did I not see this before? Thanks for the plug, and we're looking forward to you coming back soon. Winter is fun up here!

 

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