At its commencement ceremony on May 21, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago presented its Community of the Cross Award to the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance (LSEA). The LSTC faculty honored LSEA for the many ways it carries out its mission to be a “public church.”
LSEA identifies itself as a “group of social action-oriented congregations and organizations in the Logan Square, Chicago area.” The pastors of the alliance meet regularly to discern the community’s needs and to support one another. One example of their motivation and innovation is a grant they received to build ecumenical relationships in their neighborhood through storytelling, testimony and community action.
The Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance equips their assemblies to offer testimonies within and beyond liturgies in multiple ways. Member assemblies, separately and together, have regularly been part of social action within or directly following worship, often in conjunction with #Occupy Palm Sunday.
Participating congregations of LSEA are: First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Humboldt Park United Methodist Church, Kimball Avenue Church, Nuestra Señora de las Americas Iglesia Episcopal, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Grace United Methodist Church, and San Lucas United Church of Christ.
The Community of the Cross award originated at Christ Seminary-Seminex, a predecessor school of LSTC. The award transferred to LSTC when Seminex faculty joined the current institution. LSTC presents this award at commencement to “a community, institution, congregation, or any collectively functioning Christian group whose actions manifest the invitation of our Lord to take up the cross and follow him, and whose service is directed to the world around it, both Christian and non-Christian, and whose satisfaction and honor clearly derive from the gospel.” Recipients of the award are nominated and approved by the faculty.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.