Christ Episcopal Church - Ottawa

  
  
  
 
  

 

Who We Are

Christ Chruch in Ottawa, Illinois  

Historic
Christ Episcopal Church
926 Columbus Street, Ottawa, IL  61350

Church office:
113 East Lafayette Street, Ottawa, IL  61350
Phone: 815-434-0627

The primary act of worship in the Episcopal Church is the celebration of the Eucharist. A time of fellowship follows the 10:30 service.  We welcome you to join us to meet, greet and to connect with each other. At Christ Episcopal Church, Ottawa you will find a place filled with longtime friends and soon-to-be friends. When you walk through our doors, you will feel the camaraderie and sense of family that fills our church.

Regular Sunday Worship Schedule - Christ Church, Ottawa

7:30 a.m. Eucharist Service (spoken service, no music)
9:30 a.m. Church School (September – May)
10:30 am. Eucharist Service with music followed by Coffee Hour

Occasionally we may need to change service times. Please check the Calendar section of this web site for complete listing of service times.

 

   

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Events & Newsletter

Information Update Regarding Recent Fire Damage to the Church

Photo Collection Updated 22 June 2017

Newsletter Archive

Issues of the newsletter can be viewed in the following drop-down boxes. Click the arrow head to view the available issue(s) for the chosen month(s). Hover over and left-click the issue that you want to view.

2017:

2016:

2015:

2014:

2013:

     
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Community Outreach

The members of Christ Church, Ottawa are involved in a variety of ministries and activities. Individually and collectively, our congregation actively reaches out to others. Some of our local activities include:

A free community meal is hosted by our members on the first Sunday of every month from noon until 1:00 PM. It's more than just a meal for those that attend; it’s a time to socialize and relax. These meals offer hospitality to our “guests” and are popular with seniors, the general public and those in need.

Prayer Blankets are made for those who need encouragement, are ill, or experiencing difficult times. These lap-size blankets are provided free of charge.  Prayers are offered while the blanket is made and then the blanket is blessed during a Eucharist service.  The recipient has a physical, comforting reminder of God’s healing presence. Click Here to request a prayer blanket for yourself or someone you know.

The Daughters of the King is a lay order for women who are communicants of the Episcopal Church. Members undertake a Rule of Life, incorporating the Rule of Prayer and the Rule of Service. By reaffirmation of the promises made at Confirmation, a Daughter pledges herself to a life-long program of prayer, service and evangelism, dedicated to the spread of Christ's Kingdom and the strengthening of the spiritual life of her parish. Click Here to contact Bev Madsen to learn how you can be a part of this important ministry at Christ Church, Ottawa.   

COOL: Christian Offering Of Love.

A prayer chain is coordinated by COOL, Christian Offering Of Love, for members and nonmembers.  The prayer chain consists of members of the LCEM, LaSalle County Episcopal Ministry, who are immediately contacted when someone needs prayer. Click Here  to contact the church office to request prayers, or to add yourself to the email prayer chain.

COOL members keep a freezer in the church basement stocked with meals for people in need.  If you or someone you know are in need of a meal, please contact the church office at 815-434-0627 or Click Here to email the church office.

Church Card Ministry is another activity of COOL. Its purpose is to send birthday, anniversary, get well cards, etc. to our church members. 

Help Fight World Hunger

Free Rice Website

 


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Traditions

Every church has its own traditions.  A few of our traditions are:

  • Singing Silent Night by candlelight at the end of Christmas Eve Mass with the brilliant Good Shepherd window glowing in the darkness.  

  • Blessing of the Pets  This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi's love for all creatures. This annual event is held in October. Various animals gather together on the south lawn of the church to receive their blessing.

  • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper  Shrove Tuesday (also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras) is the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that in earlier times were not allowed in Lent.  Pancakes are eaten on Shrove Tuesday because they contain fat, butter and eggs, food items traditionally not eaten during Lent. This annual fundraiser is an all-you-can-eat supper featuring pancakes, sausage and applesauce.

  The Good Shepherd

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History

Celebrating 175 years of worship and fellowship : 1838 – 2013

Few churches in the Diocese of Chicago can reach back so far into the past. We of Christ Church are proud of our history and grateful to the past and present members of this parish. Our continued existence is due to the strong and committed members who through their attendance, interest and generosity keep the church together. Christ Church, Ottawa has been and will continue to be a vital part of Ottawa, maintaining and promoting an important and historic branch of the Christian faith.  We are proud to share Ottawa’s history and to serve and celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ in the community of Ottawa.

 

History of Christ Church, Ottawa

Bishop Philander Chase was the founder of Christ Episcopal Church in Ottawa.  In 1835 he was called by the newly formed Diocese of Illinois to be its first Bishop. There were less than thirty Episcopalians in the entire state at the time of his consecration and only a handful of established congregations.  Bishop Chase traveled extensively around the Diocese, preaching and holding services and planting the seeds for new congregations. Ottawa was one of those stops.  It is recorded in the history of the diocese that Bishop Philander Chase “preached and performed divine services” in Ottawa on June 16, 1837.  This was the beginning of the Episcopal Church in Ottawa.

Services, according to the rites of the Protestant Episcopal Church, were held in Ottawa by Rev. Samuel Chase, D. D., in March, 1838. Sometime during 1838 the parish was organized and services continued until the summer of 1839, when Rev. Chase left town. An interval then occurred until 1845, during which no regular services were held.  In March, 1845, Bishop Philander Chase reorganized the parish, and in July, the Rev. Charles P. Kelly became rector of the parish. Since that time, services have been held regularly. Services were held at various locations, first in the old courthouse and then a warehouse on the southeast corner of the square.  Later, services were held in a room over a store and in private residences.  In 1849 the first church was built on Clinton Street at a cost of $2,250.  It was consecrated by Bishop Chase on June 23, 1850. In 1855, the Clinton Street church was enlarged.  In 1866, the first church building was showing signs of decay, so land was purchased in May 1866 at the northeast corner of Washington Square. After the congregation moved to its present building, the old church became the home of the Gay Carriage factory.  The site of the first church is now a parking lot for the First National Bank.  In 1870, bids were let for the construction of the new church and on September 19, 1870 the contract for building the present church were let. The work was awarded to Colwell Clark & Company of Ottawa, for $11,150.50.  The building was first used in December of 1871 and the interior was deemed finished in January, 1872.  Carpeting and some other items were delayed by the Chicago fire of 1871.  The church was consecrated on June 11, 1879, when it was free from debt. Today, Christ Church, Ottawa is one of four Episcopal congregations in LaSalle County which joined together in January 1994 to form the LaSalle County Episcopal Ministry (LCEM).  This combined ministry is under the direction of a lay Board of Directors with representatives from all four congregations. The member congregations retain local governing bodies to maintain and develop local programs and to care for congregational properties and other concerns. Today, the four churches are served by a senior pastor, The Reverend Mark A. Geisler, a dedicated supply priest, The Reverend Bobby N. Smith and other supply priests as needed. The four member congregations are: Christ Church, Ottawa, Christ Church, Streator; St. Paul’s Church, LaSalle; and St. Andrew’s in the Fields Chapel, Farm Ridge.

Architectural History and Stained Glass Windows

Early photo of Christ Church in Ottawa, IllinoisChrist Episcopal Church was first established in April 1838. Services were held at various locations, first in the old courthouse and then a warehouse on the southeast corner of the square.  Later, services were held in a room over a store and in private residences. In 1849 the first church was built on Clinton Street, where the First National Bank parking lot is presently located. In 1855, the Clinton Street church was enlarged.  In 1866, the first church building was showing signs of decay, so land was purchased at the northeast corner of the square.  In 1870, bids were let for the construction of a new church, which was awarded to Colwell Clark & Company of Ottawa, for $11,150.50.  The building was first used in December of 1871 and the interior was deemed finished in January, 1872.  (Carpeting and some other items were delayed by the Chicago fire of 1871.)  This building is still in use today.

The building is of gothic style and built of Joliet limestone.  The interior was completely remodeled in 1925 and in 1930, with the addition of the present altar and reredos (the decorative wooden backdrop behind the altar) the building acquired the "look" it has today.  The distinctive architectural features of our church include many stained glass windows representing a variety of periods, the altar & reredos, and the fine pipe organ.

The altar is statuary buff Indiana limestone and weighs over three and one-half tons.  It is decorated with a combination of the Greek letters Chi Rho and Alpha and Omega in the front center and with five crosses on the top, representing the five wounds of Christ.  The reredos is designed to highlight the cross and tabernacle.  It is hand carved and adorned with polychrome designs and symbols.  The reredos and tabernacle are Appalachian Oak and the design and carving were done by Alois Lang, a well known artist of his time.  The color was done by Mrs. Jean J. Myall of Evanston, Illinois.  The altar and reredos were dedicated on June 29, 1930.

Organ in Christ ChurchThe organ is a two manual, Austin organ presented to the church in 1923.  Austin organs are unusual because it is possible to walk into the air chest in order to service the organ while it is playing.  The organ is serviced regularly and has had at least three major overhauls, one in 1986-86 and another in 1996, when the original 12 ranks and 762 "speaking" pipes were increased to 16 ranks and over 1000 pipes.  Another major overhaul was completed in July 2007.  This work was deemed crucial because the Austin organ company is going out of business and in the future, replacement parts may become extremely difficult to obtain. The old, outdated tubes, contacts and pistons were replaced. The new manuals have all solid state parts and the entire controller was replaced. We also had manuals that have many keys without ivories, so those were also repaired. In the future, we could add computer technology which would allow us to record songs and still have the full, rich tones of the genuine pipe organ.

 

 

 

 

Christ Church windows reflect our members' faith and appreciation of beauty over our 140 plus years in this building. They certainly are one of its most beautiful and impressive features.  The earliest windows are original with the building and the newest ones are from the 1950s.  Some are true stained glass, some are stenciled glass and some are painted glass. Please see below for individual photos and descriptions of the windows.

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Resurrection WIndow

Resurrection (Wallace) : This is the best known and most publicized window at Christ Church. The widow of General William H. L. Wallace gave the window to the church in his memory after his death at the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War. His life and final battle are depicted in the lower portion of the window. The window itself is an example of painting on glass, as though it were canvas. The window was created by the Royal Artist at Dresden and was purchased for approximately $1000 in 1872. There are older, and many feel more beautiful windows in the church, but this window attracts attention and visitors because of its unique history.

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Good Shepherd Window

Good Shepherd : Window location is above the altar. It is in memory of Mr. William Osman, 1819-1909. He was Senior Warden from 1858 to 1909. The center section was installed sometime prior to 1923 and the side panels were installed sometime after 1938.

Fifty-one years as Senior Warden ?? He DESERVED this window in his memory!

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St. Paul Window

St. Paul : Window location is to the right (south) side of the altar. It is in memory of Mr. & Mrs. John Nash. The life span of the husband was 1824-1913 and that of his wife was 1826-1917.

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St. Luke Window

 

St. Luke : Window location is to the left (north) side of the altar. It is in memory of Dr. & Mrs. Robert McArthur. The life span of the husband was 1825-1886 and that of his wife was 1830-1886.

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St. Cecelia Guild Window

 

St. Cecelia Guild: Window location is first window in south aisle nearest the altar. It is in memory of Edith Raymond Wilson. Her life span was 1878-1908.

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St. John Window

 

St. John : Window location is in the south aisle second window from the altar. It is in memory of Mrs. Frances Higby Power. Her life span was 1804-1854. The window was installed sometime prior to 1916.

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Madonna & Child Window

 

Madonna & Child ( "Queen of Heaven" ) : Window location is in the south aisle third window from the altar. It is in memory of Mrs. Sadie Swift Marsland. Her life span was 1848-1871.

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St. Mark Window

 

St. Mark : Window location is in south aisle fourth window from the altar. It is in memory of Georgia Gilman Cook whose span of life was 1846-1931 and Florence Cook Palmer whose span of life was 1875-1953.

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St. Anna Window

 

St. Anna : Window location is in south aisle fifth window from the altar. It is in memory of Alice Hawksworth Cebulske. Her span of life was 1887-1957. This window, the newest in the church, was dedicated on 26 July 1959.

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St. Matthew Window

 

St. Matthew : Window location is in the north aisle second from the altar. It is in memory of Mrs. Mabel Cushman Hitt. Her span life was 1858-1926.

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West End WindowsFleur-de-lis & Mystic Rose : Windows are located on the west end of the church. These windows are probably the oldest of the windows. They have fleur-de-lis and mystic rose patterns. In addition, there are small panels containing particular symbols: the crossed keys (the symbol of St. Peter); the open Bible; the lamb with a victory banner; and the Bishop's miter.

These windows are "stenciled glass" using basic pigments fired onto the glass at varying temperatures. This was standard technique following the American Civil War, because of the shortage of stained glass for twenty years or so after the war.

The small rosettes in the upper portion of the smaller windows at the rear of the church were probably imported, with the rest of the windows being made here. This was standard practice of the time, due to the high cost of even small pieces of fine imported stained glass.

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There are also other windows, not visible from inside the church. These windows are in the northeast corner of the church, behind the organ and in the wall of the sacristy. The window hidden behind the organ is actually a rose window. Unfortunately, the windows can not be viewed from outside the church either, because of the protective coverings in place for energy conservation.

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Photo Albums - Worth More Than a Thousand Words

Pet Blessing Album : 11 OCT 2015

 
     

Vacation Bible School Album : 2015 ( Collection expanded 28 JUN 2015 )

 
     

Pet Blessing Album : 19 OCT 2014 ( Collection expanded on 20 OCT 2014 )

 
     

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper Album : 04 MAR 2014

 
     

Pet Blessing Album : 13 OCT 2013

 
     

175th Anniversary Album : 11 AUG 2013

 
     

RiverFest Parade Album:  01 August 2013

 
     
     

If your image is featured in one of the photographs and you do not want it to be shown please email the representative of the Ottawa church Click Here   or the website manager Click Here .

     


The PHP script for the listed slideshow/albums was authored by Johannes Knabe, July 2004 - July 2008.
This script was free and is available at   http://panmental.de/public/programming_projects/Slideshow%20script%20in%20PHP/
The author's email address was once   jknabe@panmental.de

 

     
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