Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2007)|
|Diocese of Chicago|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province V|
|Cathedral||St. James Cathedral|
|Bishop||Rt. Rev. Jeff Lee|
Location of the Diocese of Chicago
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is the official organization of the Episcopal Church in Chicago and Northern Illinois, USA. The diocese is served by The Right Reverend Jeff Lee, who serves as Bishop of the diocese, and The Right Reverend C. Christopher Epting, who serves as Assistant Bishop of the diocese. The motherchurch of the diocese is St. James Cathedral, which is the oldest Episcopal congregation in the city of Chicago.
The Diocese of Chicago covers twenty-two counties located in the northern third of the state of Illinois, stretching from the shores of Lake Michigan on the east, to the banks of the Mississippi River on the west. Its northern boundary is the state of Wisconsin; the southernmost city is Watseka, Illinois.
The diocese was founded in 1835 and named the Episcopal Diocese of Illinois. Philander Chase, the retired bishop of Ohio, was the first bishop. He was succeeded in 1852 by Henry John Whitehouse, previously a priest from New York. Edward McLaren, elected bishop in 1875, saw the Diocese of Illinois divided into three parts in 1877. The newly formed dioceses of Quincy and Springfield, elected their own bishops, while McClaren's diocese was renamed the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
The Diocese of Chicago ranks among the twelve largest Episcopal dioceses in the United States, with 137 congregations, of which 36 are missions. However, in parallel with declining national memberships, the Diocese of Chicago has seen a decline in membership: 47,171 baptized members in 1994, but only 42,667 in 1996. As of 2011 the diocese website said it had 40,000 members.
The diocese is far more ethnically diverse than the Episcopal Church at large. There are four Hispanic congregations, one of which is located in the near western suburbs of Chicago. In addition, four congregations outside Chicago provide Spanish language services, and two others share their facilities with congregations of the Philippine Independent Church. There is one Korean American congregation, and the diocese also serves eight African-American congregations. Minority outreach, like the kind found at the Cathedral Shelter of Chicago continues to this day.
In 2008, a majority of laity and clergy in the neighboring Episcopal Diocese of Quincy left to form a diocese in the more conservative Anglican Church in North America. The remaining Episcopalians in Quincy reformed their diocese, electing the retired Bishop John Buchanan of the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri as their provisional Bishop. In 2012 Quincy officials approached Bishop Lee and the leadership of the Chicago Diocese about the possibility of reunification with Chicago.
In November 2012 the Chicago Diocese's convention agreed that reunification with the Quincy Diocese should be pursued. On June 8, 2013, both diocesan conventions voted unanimously to reunify. The reunification was ratified by a majority of bishops and the standing committees of the Episcopal Church, and on September 1, 2013, the Diocese of Quincy merged into the Diocese of Chicago as the Peoria Deanery.
List of deaneries
- Aurora Deanery
- Chicago-North Deanery
- Chicago-South Deanery
- Chicago-West Deanery
- Elgin Deanery
- Evanston Deanery
- Joliet Deanery
- Kankakee Deanery
- Oak Park Deanery
- Peoria Deanery
- Rockford Deanery
- Waukegan Deanery
- List of Bishops in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
- Episcopal Diocese of Springfield
- Episcopal Diocese of Quincy
- Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
- Journal of the Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Illinois at the Online Books Page.
- Journal of the Annual Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Chicago at the Online Books Page.