Finding Hope in Chicago, the Place I Call Home
From an outsider’s view, Edgewater, Uptown, and Rogers Park could all be described as “under-resourced neighborhoods” in Chicago. After living in the middle of these three communities for the past seven years, however, that description is a far cry from the place I call home. In 2011 my husband Rich and I moved to Edgewater to be a part of this incredible community. While we wanted to plant a great church, we longed to join those who had come before us in partnership to build an even greater neighborhood. Here are a few of the folks we are blessed to serve alongside—
Qiana grew up in Edgewater, went to school in the same building where our church meets, and has a passion for children. In addition to tirelessly loving her own children, Qiana strives to love and bless all of the children she encounters during the week and on Sundays in the 1st-5th grade small group she leads. Qiana is an asset to Chicago and a blessing to NewStory Church.
Virginia lives at the All-American Nursing Home, a place for people categorized and stigmatized with “severe mental illness.” Virginia’s story gives incredible testimony to her resilience and creativity. She participated in an art project with NewStory in which her artwork was put on display in a local café gallery. Despite living on $2 a day, Virginia has something beautiful to offer our community. We have much to learn from her. Virginia is an asset to Chicago and a blessing to NewStory Church.
Oswaldo recently graduated from eighth grade after serving as the student council president of his school. Oswaldo consistently strives to become the best version of himself in the face of adversity. While he did not get into his first pick for high school enrollment, Oswaldo is choosing to make the most of every opportunity as he longs to excel as a student, as a leader, and as a young man of faith. Oswaldo is an asset to Chicago and a blessing to NewStory Church.
These are just three of the people who are a part of Edgewater and NewStory. They are wonderfully and fearfully made along with the other 300,000 people who call this 3-square-mile area of Chicago their home. When I see Edgewater, I see a community made in the image of God, a beautiful mess that has been marred and bruised by sin, but a place where sin does not have the final word. I see assets, I see hope, I see a place for the church to show up, build bridges, and be a part of God’s good work in this amazing city.
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Co-Lead Pastor, NewStory Church, Chicago
Dori Gorman is the co-founder and co-pastor of NewStory Church, a Stadia-partner church on the north side of Chicago, Illinois. She holds a BA from Baylor University, and a Masters of Divinity from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. She is gifted as a shepherd-prophet, with a passion for preaching, discipleship and coming alongside the forgotten. Dori has pioneered several initiatives in Chicago, including a fundraising organization for Swift Elementary School and an after-school club for middle school students. She is honored to partner with Stadia’s Bloom ministry to help women maximize their role in starting churches. In her free time, she loves to read, rock climb, play basketball and have fun with her family-Rich, Charis and Nia.
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