All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago

Congregational Assessment Tool Results

Executive Narrative Summary

All Saints Episcopal Church

March 13, 2016

1. General Overview

Overall, 180 people took at least some portion of the CAT, which is about 80% of our average Sunday attendance. This is on par with other congregations from similar churches. This response rate is high enough for our results to be considered reliable, valid, and a good representation of the entire congregation. Our results were compared with the results from the 300 most recent CAT surveys taken by other mainline Protestant congregations that were similar to All Saints in terms of size and population, to give us an understanding of how we compare to churches with similar congregations.

Of the respondents, approximately 96% were considered frequent attendees, attending services once a month or more; a majority (67%) were between the ages of 35 and 64, with the remainder split fairly evenly between younger and older parishioners (16% and 17%, respectively). Overall, 83% of respondents are satisfied with how things are in our church. We also have the highest score in the database for overall energy.

The CAT divides its report into several sections. The descriptive indices look at the overall culture of our church while the performance indices examine particular areas of ministry. The CAT also identifies areas of congregational concern and helps clarify both what satisfies and drives our members and areas where improvement is needed.

2. What did we learn?

a. Descriptive indices

Much of what we learned from the CAT was confirmation of what we already knew. All Saints is a very progressive, adaptable church. This means that we are able to adapt our style of worship to best meet the needs of our members and is an indicator of congregational health. At our best, we are very welcoming and can seem to be a “safe haven” for those who have had difficulty finding a church home or who have had bad experiences with other churches at some point in their lives. Without vigilance, however, we run the risk of becoming overly intellectual and spiritually shallow.

b. Performance indices

The CAT measures the following 8 areas: Hospitality, Morale, Conflict Management, Governance, Spiritual Vitality, Readiness for Ministry, Educational Engagement, and Worship and Music. Each score is derived from our answers to specific questions within the CAT, compared to the responses of our peer churches (percentile ranking).

3. Strengths

a. Morale (100th percentile)
Our congregation is engaged and excited about church. The spirit of our church entices people to become as involved as possible and we are overwhelmingly satisfied with our church.

b. Readiness for Ministry (97th percentile)
All Saints does a great job helping members discern and apply their ministerial call as well as supporting members in their ministry.

c. Governance (97th percentile)
Overall, the congregation is happy with the leadership of the church (the clergy and vestry).

d. Conflict Management (97th percentile)
Members have a healthy tolerance for differing views and beliefs. When conflict does arise, it is settled through mutual effort.

e. Educational Engagement (91st percentile)
All Saints does well at offering opportunities for lifelong formation and education. Our members are committed to life-long spiritual formation and education.

f. Hospitality (74th percentile)
Overall, members feel welcomed and cared for by their fellow parishioners. We perceive ourselves as being friendly. However, our score on one question indicates that not everyone feels prepared to welcome new members or guests personally.

g. Worship and Music (69th percentile)
Members feel worship services are excellent but results were mixed over the music program. This may be a result of ongoing transition within our music program.

4. Opportunities for Improvement

a. Spiritual Vitality (2nd percentile)

    • This index measures the degree to which members believe that their faith is central to their lives rather than peripheral or episodic. We score very low on this index.
    • It is unclear what this measure means for our congregation. It is an area that demands more conversation and review.
    • This is the only measure that directly correlates with financial generosity. Our members have been generous in their giving, however, we are just below the national average of percent of household income given. (The national average is 2.5%. We are at approximately at 2.1%.) We have much untapped potential.

5. What energizes and drives the overall satisfaction of our members.

Based on your responses, many different factors drive and energize our congregation-this is a good and healthy thing. The most common drivers of satisfaction are:

a. Persons who serve as leaders in our church are representative of the membership.

b. Our rector is present in times of crisis

c. Our rector helps us accomplish our mission by bringing out the best in everyone

d. Our church does a good job supporting persons in ministry by reminding them that they are making a difference.

Member satisfaction and member energy reveal the most about a congregation’s health, morale and vitality. The CAT groups congregations into one of four groups based on their energy and member satisfaction. Based on your responses, All Saints falls into the “Transformational” group. In fact, we are almost off the charts in terms of both member energy and member satisfaction. Congregations in this group have the capacity to transform people’s lives-in the pews and in the community. The challenge is to avoid complacency. In order to continue to move forward, we as a congregation must figure out how to build on and share our successes and best practices with other congregations.

6. Congregational Priorities

Three top priorities were identified:

1. Create more opportunities for people to form meaningful relationships (for example, small groups, nurtured friendships, shared meals, etc.)

2. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.

3. Work as an advocate for social and institutional change so that society might better reflect the values of the kingdom of God.

    • Most congregations rank this very low on their list of priorities
    • Most congregations rank this very low on their list of priorities

Priorities #1 and #3 were ranked highly by respondents of all age groups. One additional priority was shared by all age groups:

4. Work to renew and revitalize the community around the church by building coalitions with partners that share this vision and commitment.

A notable indicator of a healthy and thriving congregation is its degree of external focus. The priorities we have identified largely demonstrate our desire to continue to grow our church and to expand our mission and ministries within our community. It also demonstrates our commitment to effect institutional and societal change. However, the top priority identified is that we work on growing closer to each other and focus on forming more meaningful relationships with one another. We as a community must determine how we reconcile these desires to look both inward and expand outward.

In summary, we are an exceptional congregation. Our connection to one another and our ministries to the world are vital and life changing. Through the CAT, we affirmed our satisfaction with the work that we have done and the community we have built thus far. We have much to celebrate and be thankful for; our task now is to explore where we want to go next. How do we increase our connectedness to God and to each other while still joyfully sharing the Gospel with the world? What is it that God is calling us to in this next chapter of our life in ministry together? What is the vision for how we will live our mission in the coming years?

Thank you for your thoughts and responses to the CAT. The clergy and vestry are excited to lead the discussion about our next steps. Together, we will continue to make All Saints a leader and change-agent in our community and the world.


These are links to download pdf files of the various results categories: Clergy Profile, Vital Signs, Supplemental Questions 1, Supplemental Questions 2

  1. This Week
  2. Services Times
  3. Contact Us
  4. Sermons
Weekly Message for December 10

Weekly Message for December 10

Dear Friends,    

Tomorrow morning, Saturday the 9th, from around 10am to 2pm, I’m looking for people who might want to assist me in doing some Christmas decorating for the outside of our church building. Ahn Gallagher has graciously agreed to hang some lights in our bell tower, now I’m looking for assistance is getting lights in our oak tree out front. I’ll be able to put on my climbing saddle and rig a belay and climb the tree, but it will be much easier and way more fun if I have assistance. Right now our beautifully restored building looks GREAT in the day and kind of dark at night. I hope to fix that tomorrow. Dress warm and come join the fun!
Two Wednesdays from now, on December 20th, our evening prayer will be extended to include more silence for reflection, more music for our souls, and an opportunity for anointing. Christmas can be a very difficult time, particularly if we are in the midst of a transition or have lost someone we love. We hope to create a time and some space to acknowledge those difficult feelings and offer some solace and consolation. I invite you to take an hour to care for yourself with some prayer and music.
This Sunday I’ll be preaching, Emily will be celebrating, the children will be rehearsing our presidentially-recognized Christmas Pageant, #HamiltonmeetsJesus, and Colin and our choir will be creating seasonal music that will lift our spirits.
I look forward to seeing all of you!
All the best,
Working Against the Virus of Racism

Working Against the Virus of Racism

kellybdWe are very excited that the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas will be spending a weekend with us this fall, September 23 and 24. Kelly was formerly the Canon Theologian at our National Cathedral. In the fall she will become the first Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, now located at Union Theological Seminary. We've invited Kelly to spend the weekend with us so that we might again return to our work on confronting racism. Kelly is an amazing preacher and theologian and we are beyond honored that she is making time in her incredibly busy schedule to be with us. Look for more details in the next few weeks on the spirituality and theology that we will be exploring together. 

In the event that you find yourself looking for some interesting summer reading, here are some books she has suggested we investigate: HomecomingThe Color of Law, and one by Kelly called Stand Your Ground. She also suggested that watching 13th on Netflix would be helpful.

Racism is an issue that we are called to confront and challenge and end. It is not something that will just die a gentle death. Our hope is that with our time with Kelly and one another, we may again return to this important work. 

All Saints' Book Club

All Saints' Book Club

midnightFall Reading List Selected

The All Saints Book Club has defined its reading list through the fall. The meetings start at 7:30 PM usually at the home of a member. The locations and further details are on our Facebook page. Here is the schedule for the next several months:

  • August 10 - "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt
  • September 14 - "Operation Breadbasket" by Martin Deppe (meet in the Reading Room at the church)
  • October 12 - "Saints and Villains" by Denise Giardina
  • November 9 - "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson
  • December 14 - Pick your own poetry book and share favorite poem(s)

For additional information, contact Mike Burke (

Bags for RCS

Bags for RCS

We're running low on paper and reusable bags for our Tuesday night pantry. Please bring us your extras! 
We will be taking donations on Tuesday evenings, M-F 9am-4pm, and on Sundays during church services. Look for the bins by the doors. Thanks for your help!

Evening Prayer at The Breakers

Evening Prayer at The Breakers

 Sundays at 2pm

breakersbibleWe are very excited to announce that every Sunday at 2:00 pm, All Saints' offers something new at the Breakers - An Evening Prayer Service! Our first event was Sunday, December 4th, and went marvelously well - we had 13 attendees! Folks are very pleased that there's a Protestant service being offered in addition to the current choices (which are Catholic and Moody Bible.) The Prayer Service itself is printed in large print and in bulletin style with scripture taken each week from the Common Lectionary.

The weekly service starts at 2:00 pm, upstairs on the second floor Meditation Room, and lasts about 15 minutes. Please contact Paul Mallatt if you have questions, or comments at 773-860-4649. When you can, stop by the Breakers (5333 N Sheridan Rd) where the parking is free (for 2 hours), the coffee is hot, and the folks are friendly!


Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Community Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Tuesdays 6:15-8:00pm 

RCS is looking for help serving and cleaning up after dinner on Tuesdays from 6:15-8:00pm.

If you're able to volunteer, contact Emily or Operations Manager Parker Callahan, or call 773-769-0282.

New Opportunity: Hospitality Ministry

New Opportunity: Hospitality Ministry

helloDo you feel called to create an open, welcoming, hospitable environment at All Saints? Do you like meeting and connecting with people? Join the new Hospitality Ministry! Members of the Hospitality Ministry will help the clergy and vestry create a welcoming culture by greeting new members, engaging new faces at coffee hour, and helping connect new members of All Saints with our various programs.

Interested? Contact Diane Doran or Michelle Mayes. Include "Hospitality Ministry" in the subject line.

Join Our Member Directory!

Join Our Member Directory!

Our new Associate Rector, Emily Williams Guffey, is enjoying getting to know everyone in our congregation. Help her put names and faces together by adding yourself to our online directory!

If you are a member of All Saints' and haven't already registered for the directory, please contact our resident web guru Jim Crandall at and he will send a user name, password, and instructions.

Love on a Plate

Love on a Plate

Join the All Saints' Care Ministry! 

casseroleThe Care Ministry at All Saints' is a quiet one, simply providing meals after a new baby arrives, after surgery, during an illness. Because when life gets complicated, dinner is often the last thing on our minds--but sometimes a meal and visit from a friend is exactly what we need!

If you can provide a meal, give someone a ride, or run an errand once in awhile, please email You'll be contacted when a need arises and you can sign up to help at your convenience.


Donate to The 1883 Project

Donate to The 1883 Project

Please consider supporting the restoration project of our historic building. To make a donation, click here

1883 Construction web 

This OLD Church

This OLD Church

This week’s stories of the bell tower: The beams and posts in the bell tower are being filled with epoxy and fungicide to prevent future insect damage and to restore their strength and integrity. Here are some photos of the work currently taking place. Everywhere you see white is where the post or beam is being rebuilt, restored and protected.
The blue hue in the photo is from the tarp surrounding the bell tower enabling Ron Young and his crew to continue working in the dropping temperatures.
Fixing This Old Church

Fixing This Old Church

Here is a collection of photos of the progress of our 1883 Project. Here is a collection of bell tower photos. Check back often for updates.

Sunday Service Times

8:00 am Inclusive Language Eucharist
9:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir
10:00 am Children's Church School
10:00 am Coffee Hour
11:00 am Holy Eucharist with Choir


Contact Us

4550 N. Hermitage in Chicago, IL 60640 (Directions)

Phone (773) 561-0111


Information about pastoral care.



Bonnie on Huffington Post

Occasionally Bonnie's sermons are published on the Huffington Post. Here are some links.

Pain. Change. Hope.

November 15, 2015

What Does St. Francis of Assisi Have to Say to Us Today?

October 4, 2015

Wake Up Calls

September 6, 2015

Christmas Reminds Us That We, Like God, Are Human, Too

December 24, 2014

The Deep Sleep of Racial Oblivion: One Pastor's Sin of Omission

November 30, 2014

Pulpit Swap

The Pulpit Swap between St Thomas and All Saints is part of our ongoing effort to bring our parishes closer together as we engage in a conversation about systemic racism and how we can work together to forge new possibilities and outcomes.

Going Home—Changed

Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Bonnie Perry of All Saints Episcopal Church on October 16, 2016.  

When Prayers Go Unanswered

Pulpit Swap Sermon By The Rev Dr Fulton L Porter celebrating at All Saints Episcopal Church on Oct16 2016.