Eden Church in Jefferson Park to hold recital on Sept. 11 as nearly 100-year-old pipe organ has been refurbished and repaired
The Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison St., will host a number of events Thursday to Sunday, Sept. 8-11, during a “Rally Weekend Kick-off,” as the church has completed a $300,000 improvement project that included renovation of its pipe organ and a new roof for its 94-year-old sanctuary.
The roof was original to the 1928 building, but the heavy spring rains of 2020 were too much for the patchwork repairs that had been done over the years, leading to water damage in the sanctuary. The “Raising the Roof” fundraising campaign also led to other improvements to the sanctuary and asbestos abatement.
Nearly $220,000 was raised through “very generous” donations from church and community members and others and a line of credit from Hoyne Savings Bank helped the congregation to complete exterior improvements before last winter, said Eden Church pastor the Reverend Jacki Belile.
At a 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, recital titled “In Joyful Song,” the congregation will celebrate the refurbishment of its Moller Opus 5426 pipe organ, which was first installed at the church when the building was constructed 94 years ago. The church was founded in Jefferson Park by a group of Volga German immigrants from Russia in 1914.
The event also will serve as a rededication of the sanctuary and help kick off Eden’s “second century” fundraising initiative for additional improvements, including the reflooring of the basement, where the Cub, Girl and Boy Scout troops meet.
The recital, which will include classical music and hymns, will feature Thomas Gouewens, an internationally recognized organist who most recently served Fourth Presbyterian Church for early 20 years.
“He’s played all over the world, including the Notre Dame Cathedral (in France),” said Belile.
Those interested in attending the recital are asked to RSVP at 773-283-5557 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
And for those wanting to donate to the Eden capital fund can visit www.Edenroofandorgan.org
Other events at Eden this week:
A prayer service for peace will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.
A campfire for members and friends will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.
The 5th annual pancake breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 10.
The meal will be all- you-can-eat, and tick- ets cost $8 if purchased in advance and $10 at the door. Kids age 6 and younger can eat for free.
Outdoor games and registration for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Eden Youth programs will also be held.
The church invites people to buy “Thank You Tix” for first responders.
If named, the breakfast tickets will be delivered in person with a gift.
Undesignated tickets will be delivered to the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District and CFD Engine 108 Tower Ladder 23 headquarters.