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St. Mark’s Re-Opening Committee Focus Groups Coming Soon!

A letter from Joanie Somerville, St. Mark’s Re-Opening Committee Chair

Dear People of St. Mark’s,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. As we are moving forward with the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan, we at St. Mark’s are working diligently to ensure that our building reopening is done with the safety of everyone who uses the space in mind. As we continue to plan our phased reopening, we would love to hear from you!

Our preference would be for you to participate in a 30-minute Zoom Focus Group session. You can sign up for a date and time that works best for you at this link:

Focus Group sessions will take place at the following dates and times:

Monday June 15                           7:00 pm-7:30 pm          7:30 pm -8:00 pm        8:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Tuesday June 16                          3:00 pm -3:30 pm        3:30 pm -4:00 pm        4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Wednesday June 17                   7:00 pm – 7:30 pm       7:30 pm – 8:00 pm       8:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday June 18                        3:00 pm – 3:30 pm       3:30 pm – 4:00 pm       4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

We understand that Zoom may not be ideal for everyone, so we want to give you the opportunity to provide your feedback via a mail-in survey as well. That mailing should go out the week of June 7.

We are closely following the guidelines set forth by the Episcopal Diocese and Bishop Lee. Please take a moment to review this document which can be found at these links:

Episcopal Diocese of Chicago Guidelines for Re-Entering our Church Buildings (May 26, 2020)

Diócesis Episcopal de Chicago La Reapertura de Nuestras Instalaciones (26 de mayo de 2020)

Here is a copy of the survey that will be coming in the mail soon:

St. Mark’s Reopening Survey

The Diocese has provided specific guidance regarding steps needed to safely reopen our building. There are several guidelines we must adhere to at this point, including:

  • frequent cleaning and disinfecting
  • social distancing
  • use of face masks
  • removing items that could be handled by multiple people
  • refraining from any singing or using woodwind instruments

With those restrictions in mind, we would like to get your thoughts on the highest priority uses of our building.

  • What are we doing well right now?  Why does it work well for you?
  • What is the largest need that is *not* currently being met?
  • Do you believe that need can be met before our building is fully reopened?  If so, in what ways?
  • What are your greatest concerns about reopening the building, or returning to in-person gatherings?
  • What can we add or improve to help make this time of limited resources and services during the pandemic feel more sustainable until we can fully use our space and have large gatherings again?

Thank you for taking the time to review this letter. We hope to see many of you on the Zoom Focus Groups the week of June 15th. We will gather all the information we receive to make careful, informed decisions as to how and when we will open the building in a phased approach. In the meantime, please stay healthy and we wish the best to you and your families.


Joanie Somerville, Reopening Committee Chair