Decommissioning Service August 30 for ‘5101’

CHICAGO, IL (August 2, 2010) – A decommissioning service will be conducted at offices of the Evangelical Covenant Church on August 30, bringing to a close 63 years of shared mission operating out of the facility affectionately known to Covenanters as “5101.”

The building, located at 5101 North Francisco Avenue, is adjacent to the campus of Swedish Covenant Hospital, which needed the land to continue its much-needed expansion program. The hospital purchased the property earlier this year. The building will be razed in the fall.

Several factors in addition to the hospital’s need for space influenced the decision to relocate Covenant offices. These include functional obsolescence, locating staff in one facility instead of multiple as is the case now, building code issues, and the cost-prohibitive nature of any renovations. Relocation has been under consideration off and on for 15 years.

The decommissioning service, which is open to all Covenanters in addition to building staff, will begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, August 30.

“The number ‘5101’ has become synonymous for Covenant people with what an earlier generation of Covenanters affectionately referred to as “Covenant Headquarters,” notes Donn Engebretson, executive vice president. The building became the offices of the Evangelical Covenant Church during the Covenant presidency of Theodore W. Anderson in 1947. “It has been the office location for the shared mission and ministry of the Covenant since that time and has seen generations of faithful people who have led and facilitated the mission and ministry of the Covenant church.”

Covenant offices will relocate on September 13 to a renovated facility at 8303 West Higgins Road in Chicago, not far from O’Hare International Airport. To learn more, see a separate story elsewhere in the online news report.

“We invite all who cherish the legacy of the good work done to advance God’s work through the Evangelical Covenant Church within the offices of ‘5101’ to come and join us on the front steps on August 30,” Engebretson said. “We will gather for a brief service, giving thanks to God for a place that has allowed us to dream expansively and facilitate God’s mission with passion and joy. We thank God for his provision in every generation. Our God provides for the mission that he has so generously given to his people in the Evangelical Covenant Church.”

A time of refreshments and fellowship will follow the service.

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