Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Priest arrived to lead Ravenswood church as pandemic hit Chicago; three weeks later, his congregation vanished

From Chicago-

The woman Stephen Applegate replaced at the pulpit earlier this year liked to pop champagne corks at baptisms, write rock-themed Christmas pageants and almost single-handedly saved the church from extinction 27 years ago.

Rev. Applegate, a soft-spoken New York native, made his debut at All Saints Episcopal Church in Ravenswood in mid-February before a congregation still reeling from the loss of that beloved priest, Bonnie Perry, who left after being named bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.
Three weeks later, Applegate’s voice echoed in a church of empty pews.

Applegate, 68, is an itinerant man of the cloth. But even for someone whose job is to wade into sometimes messy situations — say, when a former priest has been accused of theft or sexual misconduct — there is, as he puts it, no “pandemic handbook.”

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