“Called to the corner to participate in Christ’s work of reconciliation in our church, neighborhood and world”
Living Water Community Church is an urban Mennonite congregation that is serious about Jesus’ call to love God and love our neighbors (Mark 12:30-31). Intentionally located on the corner of Pratt and Ashland in one of Chicago’s most diverse neighborhoods, we aim to be a people who reflect the many cultures of our neighborhood while working together for the “peace of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7). Our life together is marked by the conviction that we are called to bear witness to God’s Kingdom through worship, disciplemaking, mission and many shared meals together. For more information on our theology and identity as a Mennonite Church, read this summary.
Living Water Community Church arose from the vision of a group of young adults to start a multi-cultural urban church with vibrant worship, warm hospitality, shared life, discipleship, and outreach in the Anabaptist Christian tradition. This core group from Reba Place Church in Evanston chose Rogers Park as the place to settle; they began public worship in 1995, meeting in rented space at the United Church of Rogers Park. Sally Schreiner (now Youngquist) and Karl McKinney were the founding pastors.
After several years as Reba Place Church of Rogers Park, the group chose the name Living Water Community Church to signify their distinctive identity and financial autonomy from the mother church as they became a full member of the Illinois Mennonite Conference.
In 2001, a fatal drive-by shooting of one youth by another at Pratt Boulevard and Ashland Avenue focused the church’s prayer for that corner and drew attention to the mini-mall at that location. Members raised money to purchase the building, then contributed sweat equity to rehab the 6500-square-foot storefront section, which became their permanent meetinghouse in 2005. “Called to the corner to participate in Christ’s work of reconciliation in our church, neighborhood and world” became Living Water’s ongoing vocation.
The church has attracted believers and seekers from the neighborhood as well as those who are natives from other countries. Our Sunday services are primarily in four languages: English, Nepali, Swahili, and Khmer. Sometimes we worship together, and sometimes we divide based on language preferences.
Our pastoral team consists of Kristin Jackson, Stephen Lamb, Olak Sunuwar, and Alexis Ruzahaza.