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The End of the Year, The End for Two Longtime Churches

Two longtime Chicago-area churches call it quits

The close of 2007 brought the close of two eras Sunday in the Chicago area. Two churches with histories of more than 100 years each shuttered because of dwindling attendance.

Today's Chicago Tribune spotlighted the sad tales in its Metro section, chronicling the final services at the Church of the Mediator, a 129-year-old Episcopalian congregation on the city's South Side. The very end of the article also mentioned the end for St. Paul's Community Church, founded 115 years ago by Norwegian Lutherans.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the story came from the parish leader of Church of the Mediator. "We weren't ever able to build up a young congregation again. People leave. Many families die out," Mary Reich told the Chicago Tribune. The article continued: "Reich said church members debated closing as early as 1980."

Twenty-seven years of wondering about closure, of wondering what to do to try and draw new attenders.

On a positive note, not all is glum for old churches in the Chicago area. A ...

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