Eden Church in Jefferson Park to hold 9/11 recital as nearly 100-year-old pipe organ renovated and repaired – Reuters

Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison St., will host a number of events Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 8-11, during a “Rally Weekend Kick-off,” as the church completed a $300,000 improvement project that included renovations to its pipe organ and a new roof for its 94-year-old shrine.

The roof was original from the 1928 building, but the heavy spring rains of 2020 were too much for the patchwork repairs that had been carried out over the years, resulting in water damage to the sanctuary. The Raising the Roof fundraising campaign has also led to other improvements to the sanctuary and the reduction of asbestos.

Nearly $220,000 was raised through “very generous” donations from church and community members and others and a line of credit from Hoyne Savings Bank helped the congregation complete exterior improvements before last winter, Eden Church pastor Reverend Jacki Belile said.

In a recital at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 11 titled “In Joyful Song,” the congregation will celebrate the renovation of its Moller Opus 5426 pipe organ, which was first installed at the church during the construction of the building 94 years ago. The church was founded in Jefferson Park by a group of Volga German immigrants from Russia in 1914.

The event will also serve as a rededication of the sanctuary and help launch Eden’s “Second Century” fundraising initiative for additional improvements, including the flooring of the basement, where Cub troops, girls and scouts meet.

The recital, which will include classical music and hymns, will feature Thomas Gouewens, an internationally renowned organist who recently served the Fourth Presbyterian Church for 20 years.

“He has performed all over the world, including Notre-Dame Cathedral (in France),” Belile said.

Those interested in attending the recital are asked to RSVP at 773-283-5557 or email [email protected]

And for those wishing to donate to the Eden Capital Fund can visit www.Edenroofandorgan.org

Other events at Eden this week:

A prayer service for peace will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 8.

A campfire for members and friends will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 9.

The 5th Annual Pancake Breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 10.

The meal will be all you can eat and tickets are $8 if purchased in advance and $10 at the door. Children 6 and under can eat for free.

Outdoor games and registration for the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Eden Youth programs will also take place.

The church invites people to buy “Thank You Tix” for first responders.

If nominated, breakfast tickets will be delivered in person with a gift.

Undesignated tickets will be delivered to 16th Police District (Jefferson Park) and CFD Engine Headquarters 108 Tower Ladder 23.

Tickets can be purchased from the church office by calling 773-283-5557, emailing [email protected], or visiting www.edenuccchicago.org

Jerry B. Hatch