941 W. Lawrence Avenue in Uptown... just West of Lake Shore Drive; East of red line el at Lawrence stop
P.O. Box 408319, Chicago, IL 60640-8319 773-784-6633 fax: 773-784-6760 email: admin@PeoplesChurchChicago.org
"A Spiritual Home for People of Conscience"
~ Our Minister ~
The Rev. Jean Siegfried Darling was born and raised Unitarian Universalist in Madison, Wisconsin, daughter of a university professor and an artist/housewife, and has been a life-long social justice activist. She believes in fairy tales, in dance, in the power of art to save lives.
Jean spent her first adult years playing with computers, joyfully connecting people via early email programs, sympathetically handing out kleenex to frustrated mainframe users, and teaching short courses in JCL - (what's that!) ...all obsolete, now, of course.
She then spent some time as a freelance video maker in the Chicago area, shooting and editing for various people and groups, and was privileged to be part of making videos for the Henry Horner Homes Mothers' Guild, Chicago Women in Trades, and the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues, among others.
Jean's ministry has included a long lay stint at Unity Temple UU Congregation in Oak Park, IL, where she led the Social Justice Committee (organizing peace work, and Habitat for Humanity); led a women's spirituality group; led a liturgical dance workshop, choreographing and collaborating with volunteer dancers on a number of dances, performed in worship services, at a memorial service, and at other congregations. She established the congregation's fair trade coffee program, and helped set up a system so the church as a whole could take a public stand on controversial issues, dealing with internal dissent respectfully.
With the West Suburban PADS homeless shelter, Jean did a ministry of presence, ran a writing group, and encouraged the guests to put on a smashing winter Holiday program, where they sang, and performed a skit they wrote about life at the shelter, for the other guests and volunteers.
After graduating with an M. Div. from Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Hyde Park, Jean worked as a chaplain for a year at Lutheran General Hospital, ministering to the ill and injured and their families in many situations of pain and grief.
Jean has performed many weddings, services of union and memorial services, and believes that because they are important ceremonies that help us to celebrate and to deal with change, they need to be personal statements about those involved. (See Weddings)
Jean has continued to participate actively in worker justice struggles and in peace work, and now is joyfully serving Peoples Church, a congregation steeped in social justice, with a long and proud history of service and confronting the powers that be.