We have served northern Chicago, Evanston, Skokie and the surrounding area for over 40 years. Our church has significant diversity — there is no ethnic majority and we have people coming from 55 countries. No matter your age, stage of life or background, we expect you’ll find something in common with our church family. We started in 1976 with about forty people, and today we host over 800 on any given Sunday.
We are a member of the Vineyard Association of Churches. The Vineyard is a movement firmly rooted in the Bible-believing, charismatic, contemplative and restorative justice streams of the historic church. Founded in the early 80s, the Vineyard has more than 2000 churches all over the world.
Visit the Vineyard USA site to learn more: https://vineyardusa.org/about/core-values-beliefs/
What are our Congregational Values?
Worshipping the True and Beautiful God - - We believe that God is true, authentic, good, and beautiful. We want to glorify him with all of our lives.
In worship we experience his presence. Worship renews us, anchors us in the love of God, orients us to him, increases our receptivity to God’s work in us, strengthens us, and unites us.
Balancing the Word & Spirit (Kingdom of God) - - We are a church that treasures the Scriptures. The revelation of God through the Bible is our standard for all of life. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is located in the Scriptures.
We value the naturally supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. We expect that the Kingdom of God will show up in our midst: in healings, prophecy, the driving out of demons, and other revelatory acts, submitted to the Scriptures.
We also believe the Spirit speaks to us personally and through community. Hearing from God sits at the center of our church’s history, so prayer is part of everything we do.
Becoming like Jesus (Formation) - - Becoming like Jesus is the highest good of every single person. When we become like Jesus, we bring the highest good to the communities, societies, and cities to whom we belong. Becoming like Jesus is the center of our worship. Becoming like Jesus means that we do the work of spiritual formation. Jesus was humble. He was merciful, compassionate and displayed radical welcome for all. Becoming like Jesus means we will live lives marked by integrity and forgiveness.
In his death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the incoming Kingdom of God. Becoming like Jesus demonstrates we belong to that Kingdom, even as we are exiles in this world.
Being an Emotionally Healthy Community - - We believe that Jesus was the most emotionally healthy person who ever walked Earth. Emotional health is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions; and to handle relationships with wisdom and empathy. In order to have thriving communities, we must grow in our emotional health. In order to support and love each other as brothers and sisters, we must grow in our spiritual formation and in our emotional health. Emotional health will give us the courage and compassion we need to listen to others, to invite others’ opinions, to seek collaboration, and to hold each other accountable. We will value the opinion of those who think differently than we do.
Doing Restorative Justice - - Biblical justice is the restoration of God’s intention for all of creation as displayed in Genesis 1. It is founded upon the truth that all humans are “created in [God’s] image.” This means that “all humans are equal and... deserve to be treated with fairness and justice.” (cf., Bible Project). Sadly, the Fall threw the world into sin and confusion. Injustice became the norm. We believe that the church is God’s instrument to combat that injustice and to restore his loving intention to all people, at an individual and societal level. This means we are committed to showing mercy and serving every person. This means we will feed the poor. This means that our design as a church is to be diverse and multiracial. We will be a church for every tribe.
Embracing the Future - - The future is alive with the possibility of the Kingdom in Chicagoland, because Jesus is alive and well and at work. Every cultural moment brings its unique challenges; rather than run from them, we will face those challenges head-on, all the while holding fast to our orthodoxy. We will embrace Holy Spirit inspired creativity. We will innovate new ways of doing church. We will develop more and more leaders. We will invest in the next generation.
What can I expect when I visit?
Visiting a new church can be daunting. We get it! So here’s a run-down of what you can expect on a typical Sunday at EV.
Before you arrive: Wear whatever you’re comfortable in. Some of us are very casual, while others prefer formal dress. Anything is fine! Bring your Bible, or follow along on the screens or programs provided. If you’re bringing kids, plan to arrive 15-20mins early to register them and check out the classrooms.
Parking: We’re located behind the Jewel Osco at 2495 Howard St, Evanston. Follow the signs from the street and you’ll find a large parking lot with free parking. First time guest? Awesome! We have special parking spots just for you, in the front parking lot. Simply drive straight up to the turn circle, locate the space and park. Lots of accessible parking spots are there, too.
Heading In: Our Welcome Team will be ready to greet you at the front entrance and hold the doors. Follow the signs to locate Kids Check-In, La Viña Auditorium and the lobby. As you enter the lobby, you’ll find a Welcome Center with people there to answer any questions you may have.
Services: As you enter the Main Auditorium, you’re invited to collect a program and communion. You’ll notice that our room is set up “ in the round”, with a center stage and circular seating - please sit wherever you like. Every service begins with prayer, followed by contemporary worship and communion. We pray the Lord’s Prayer together, greet each other, take our offering and then listen to some short announcements. The morning concludes with a sermon, typically ranging from 25-30 mins in length. At the end, a prayer team is available to pray for any physical, spiritual or emotional needs. We also leave space for ministry time.
Afterwards: Head out the Welcome Center and pick up a gift to celebrate your first visit! Then head over to the coffee bar and grab a drink or pastry. You’ll notice that people like to hang out at the tables and couches after each service: we’re a friendly crew! From Spring through Fall, the outside patio will be set up, too.
Have more questions? We’d love to answer them. Email: [email protected]