We meet Sundays at 5 pm, for stories, music, food, Communion, community, and whatever else you show up with.
We gather in air conditioning and old school Rogers Park style at the Red Line Tap. Newly christened the Buffalo Bar at Heartland Café, the pub is on the southbound, west side of the L tracks between Greenleaf and Lunt. Parking is ridiculously tight so allow time to find it, so walk, bike, take the Red Line to Morse — or take advantage of a new parking possibility.
All ages are welcome, of course, and there will be an open tab for soft drinks. For beer, you’re on your own. We can also order from the Heartland menu before and after the service.
What to expect/know: You're welcome to come as you are. Fresh from the beach, and still wearing your bathing suit? A-ok! Is your kid prone to fussy outbursts? Us, too! In junior high and more interested in folding origami (or whatever) during worship? We've got a place for that!
Dress is casual (or whatever you're comfortable in). The welcome is wide and real. We sing songs with guitar, sometimes with keyboard, sometimes acapella. We learn new songs, old hymns, chants, and rounds. Service usually an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. If you want to know a bit more about what it feels like, here are some reports from people who aren't pastors here:
Ruth, 7th grader (Chicago). "I am glad I went to a service that wasn’t boring. I would have had a much blander experience if I had gone to any other church. Gilead was unique and endearing and I am glad that I went. I would definitely consider returning." Read Ruth's whole reflection here.
Chad the Bird, Chicago's avian op-ed columnist. "'...real butter Christians. It's delicious. They sound delicious. And they were. Lovely room. Um, first of all, they meet at a bar, which I was, like, 'K.' ...So I walk in there and they're like, 'Hey, what do you wanna drink?' And I was, like, 'I dunno. What're you drinking?' And they were like, 'We've got PBR and shots of Malort for $5.' I was like, 'C'monnnn.' So yeah, they just get drunk on happiness — and also beer." Listen to all of Chad's story and his take on bar-church here. (He calls us "stupendous, and super huggy.")
Maria Vorhis, writer/performer, filmmaker, and teaching artist (Chicago). "I was not wondering about an escape route this time because I was listening. I was listening to my friend preach about creativity, how we are all created and therefore creative. How it is our job to live our most creative lives as a way of fulfilling our potential and serving others. After the service I met people. Lovely, inviting, kind people who were curious and smart and inclusive. I hugged some of them. I even held one of their babies. And when I left, I was confused because I had just been to church and I was not religious..." Read the rest of Maria's piece here.