Letter from our lay leaders, jen ostafinski & joe parkinson


Hello and Welcome to Holy Covenant UMC!

Holy Covenant is a reconciling congregation, which means no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you do, or who you love – you are welcome here!

Our church is small, but she is mighty. We are very active in a variety of social justice issues – from LGBTQ rights, racial justice, and immigration, to mental health, education, and feeding our neighbors who are, homeless, hungry and seeking community. Your presence will have a meaningful impact here and we hope you will join us on the journey.


We welcome prayer requests, inquiries about using our building, or other questions or communication. We will respond as quickly as possible during our Office Hours and treat all messages with confidentiality. Thank you for getting in touch.

Phone: 312-620-6742

Address: 925 West Diversey Pkwy, Chicago IL 60614

Name *


Listen to or download recent sermons from Holy Covenant. All sermons by Rev. Kelli Beard unless otherwise noted.


Every Sunday morning, we gather for worship at 10:30am. Our worship service is generally traditional, with a modern feel. The preaching is grounded in Scripture, designed to be educational, and strives to be meaningful & relevant to our lives in the world today.

A wide range of music is led by our Music Director—from traditional to global, contemporary to original compositions. Our Celebration Choir regularly offers special music. Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sundays of the month and on special occasions.

If you are interested in becoming a member of our church or would like to celebrate a wedding or Baptism, please contact Pastor Kelli.


Sunday Service:


@ 925 W. Diversey Pkwy




All are welcome! We begin each worship service with our Welcome Statement: Holy Covenant is a Reconciling congregation. Whatever your race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic situation, age or ability, background or belief, you are God’s beloved and are welcome here.

What do I wear?

Wear whatever is comfortable for you. We do not have air conditioning, so summers are warm.

How many other people will be there?

Worship attendance is about 35-45 people, representing a range of age groups. We are an inter-generational community—young professionals in their mid-20s, parents with toddlers, and retirees. Our racial demographics reflect the surrounding neighborhood, which is predominantly white and up to a third of people of color.

What do my children do?

Children are welcome! At the back of the sanctuary, we’ve dedicated a space for children and families. Your kids are welcome to draw in the coloring books, play with the puzzles & small toys, read the books. Parents: do not worry about your children disrupting the worship service. We are delighted to have you here—crying babies, active toddlers, all are welcome.

What is worship like?

Our worship service is a blend of traditional and modern styles. On any Sunday, you may sing a familiar hymn, pray a prayer from an ancient spiritual tradition, or hear the Celebration Choir offer a pop song you heard on the radio yesterday.

Do you have Communion?

Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sundays of each month. All are welcome— United Methodists to Catholics, the unbaptized and children, non-believers to non-denominationals—you are invited to the Table and welcome to receive Communion. We receive by intinction, which means a server will offer you a piece of bread, then you dip it into the cup of grape juice. Gluten-free bread is also available.

Where are the bathrooms?

Restrooms are located off the gallery area. From the sanctuary, walk towards the altar through either side door, into the gallery. Restrooms are to the left (east) of the glass doors. Please feel free to use them at any time during the worship service. A Baby Quick Change is located in the second restroom to the right. Our bathrooms are gender neutral and handicapped accessible.

Do you take attendance?

Towards the end of worship, everyone is invited to write down their attendance into a notebook. Visitors are welcome to leave their contact information and/or sign up for our church e-news letter, but it is not required.

I’ve been once or twice and want to get involved; how do I learn more?

Our calendar and Facebook page list upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, small groups, and social activities. Church leaders, the pastor, and the deacon are happy to speak with you about ways to  connect. If you are interested in becoming a member, contact Pastor Kelli.



10:30am Sundays


Our church is located at 925 W. Diversey Pkwy, just east of the CTA Brown Line Diversey stop.

We are in the Lincoln Park/Lakeview neighborhood.


Handicap parking is designated for Sunday mornings on Wilton Avenue.

The ramp entrance to the church is also on Wilton.

There are no steps into the church office, gallery space,   sanctuary, or bathrooms. Our bathrooms are gender neutral. The main entrance to the sanctuary on Diversey Pwky has 3 steps.




Public Transit

  • By train: Brown or Purple line to the Diversey stop; the church is a half block east of the Diversey station, on the corner of Diversey Pkwy and Wilton Ave.
  • By bus: #76 to Diversey Brown Line Station stop


  • We are about one mile west of Lake Michigan on Diversey Pkwy, between Halsted & Sheffield Ave. The church is located on the corner of Diversey and Wilton Ave. Look for  the “L” station, just west of the church or the colorful mural on the west side of our building.


  • Limited street parking is available. On Sundays, street parking is free on Diversey. Many side streets require parking permits after 6:00pm; permits are available at the church.


kelli headshot v3.jpg


Pastor Kelli has served at Holy Covenant since 2015 and has been in full-time ministry since 2008. She brings experience from a variety of other ministry contexts—a rural church, campus ministry, and larger suburban churches. Prior to ministry, she worked in financial services and then moved on to faith-based community/union organizing on the south side of Chicago.

She was raised Roman Catholic and after recognizing a call to ordained leadership in the Church, she became a United Methodist in 2005. Pastor Kelli was drawn to the United Methodist Church’s rich history of social justice and prophetic witness, alongside its balance with personal holiness and the inclusive, transformative grace of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Kelli loves to bake, workout, the Blues, and drag queens. She also loves her partner, their dog Scooter, and all things summer related in this amazing city of Chicago.

andrew for hc.jpg


A life-long Chicagoan, Andrew was born three blocks away from Holy Covenant, and as a child even attended Sunday school here. He has been the music minister since 1997 and served as ensemble leader for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston from 2004-2015. Through his leading, singing and playing, Andrew helps the congregation and choir praise God through music. When not at the church, Andrew works as a professional musician playing parties and events.

kristen 10-13-18.jpg


As a creative problem-solver, joyful collaborator, and prolific knitter and crocheter, Kristen Willoughby considers herself an untangler of knots and tier of loose ends both personally and professionally. Most recently, Kristen was the lead project and relationship manager at the Working Mother Research Institute, overseeing five national surveys targeting Fortune 500 employers, including Working Mother 100 Best Companies, National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) Top Companies, and Diversity Best Practices (DBP) Assessment Tool, among others. Kristen is devoted to matters of social justice and loves crafts of all types, music, plants, and all the weird things that little kids say. She lives in Ravenswood Manor with her partner, Doug, and daughter, Penny.



David Erickson joined the Holy Covenant staff in June of 2017 as Program Director of the Dignity Diner. Born and raised in Chicago's Mayfair neighborhood, David is a long time Cubs and Blackhawks fan as well as a connoisseur of Chicago street foods. David began his social services career at Lakeview Shelter as an overnight supervisor. From there he created the position of Social Services Coordinator at Inspiration Cafe and most recently held the Program Directors position at Franciscan Outreach. David brings almost 20 years of experience working the poor and homeless to the Dignity Diner. "I enjoy working with the church staff as well as the volunteers to provide great meals in an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all of our guests.”


Reconciling Congregation

Holy Covenant UMC has a long history of welcoming, celebrating, and being part of the LGBTQIA community. We are honored and proud to be a Reconciling Congregation.

Since the early 1980s, we have been celebrating same-gender marriage, back when it was called a ‘civil union.’ During the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we presided at funerals and ministered alongside partners & families at time when most churches would not. We became one of the first Reconciling Congregations in 1990 and we were actively involved in the Marriage Equality movement. Today, we continue to advocate for the full-inclusion & participation of LGBTQIA folx at every level of the Church.

Since June 2014, our Church Council has affirmed:

“The Church Council leadership, on behalf of Holy Covenant UMC, supports the celebration of same-sex marriage by our clergy and in our building. We respect the authority of our clergy to make decisions regarding a couple’s fitness for marriage during his/her appointment.

In the event that a clergyperson is brought up on charges for presiding at a same-sex wedding, we support them in whatever ways are necessary and appropriate, including emotional, spiritual, and financial support.”

We acknowledge that our ministry to treat all equally is in conflict with the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline. We are also clear about our mission as followers of Jesus Christ to Seek God, Love All People, & Change the World. We affirm our commitment to the United Methodist Church and we continue to work within the denomination to change the Church’s position on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQIA people.

We continue to affirm that God’s love and grace are available to all.



For a New World  /  Para un Nuevo Mundo

Artist: John Pitman Weber
Assistant: Oscar Martinez
Sponsors: Chicago Mural Group
Year: 1973, restored by Weber & Bernard Williams 1996

Once called the “most hopeful mural in the city of Chicago”, the mural on the west side of our church building does not shy away from showing the world’s evils. This was an early Chicago Mural Group work and the mural’s three sections represent the flow of our worship service: Confession, The Word, and the Offering. Confession depicts police brutality, killing, and repression. The Word shows the promise of a new world, where all people—men and women, young and old, gay and straight, all racial groups—will live in light, peace, and harmony. Offering urges us to dedicate our lives to bringing about a new world of justice through our daily work.


 On January 30, 1894, a widow—Helena Bergman—sold her plot of land for $5,000 to build the Diversey Parkway Evangelical Church. The cornerstone was laid on March 4, 1894 and the new building was dedicated on July 22, 1894.
    Beyond our beautiful building, Holy Covenant UMC believes that the faith of a Christian community should express itself in the world. Since the very beginning, social justice has been vital to the expression of our faith and how we strive to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

    •    Our pastors and church members were part of numerous marches and Freedom Rides during the Civil Rights Movement.
    •    We housed Vietnam war protestors after riots erupted at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
    •    Evidence from the murder of Fred Hampton, leader of the Chicago Black Panther Party, was hid in our church attic and used later in court.
    •    Beginning in 1971, we confronted Bishops about sexism in the Church and advocated to receive a clergywoman. In July 1975, Rev. Sandra Hoke began her historic pastorate at Holy Covenant.
    •    In the 1980s, members of Holy Covenant became national leaders in the movement for Japanese-American Redress , which sought an apology & reparations for the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
    •    We have celebrated same-gender weddings since the early 1980s. During the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we presided at funerals and ministered alongside partners & families at a time when most churches would not.
    •    In 2000s, we were active in the Marriage Equality movement. Today, we continue to advocate for the full-inclusion & participation of LGBTQIA folx at every level of the Church.

    Holy Covenant UMC continues to live out our commitment to social justice through our partnerships with organizations like ONE Northside, Community Renewal Society, and Black Lives Matter, Chicago.