Reverend Raymond Hylton of First Presbyterian Church, presents a certificate to Vision Keeper Leo Kirwan of St. Athanasius Catholic Church.

On Jan. 21, more than 340 people representing 27 faith communities in Evanston gathered at the Orrington Hotel to recognize members of their congregations and groups for exceptional service and outreach.  Sponsored by Interfaith Action of Evanston, this annual Vision Keepers dinner brings together members from the entire spectrum of the Evanston religious community and raises funds for Interfaith’s ministries to the hungry and homeless.

Paul Selden, director of  Connections for the Homeless in Evanston, gave the keynote address, inviting others into relationships that emphasize “people” rather than “homeless.”  Cantor Arik Luck from Beth Emet The Free Synagogue led spirited singing.

Proceeds from the dinner support Interfaith’s daily Hospitality Center for the Homeless, four soup kitchens, and six warming centers during cold weather months. 

The 28 Vision Keepers and their congregations are Atiya Haque, Alice Millar Chapel of Northwestern University; Lewis Walker, Bahá’í Faith in Evanston; Harry Rhodes, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue; Jeff Sharp, Bethany Baptist Christ Church; First Congregational Church, Travis Clifton; Helen Paynter (posthumous), First Presbyterian Church; Don Gwinn, First United Methodist Church; Carolyn Crockett, Fisher Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church; Melanie Baffes, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Vivian McWilliams and John Kessler, Hemenway United Methodist Church; Bill and Ellen Pullin, Immanuel Lutheran Church; Linda Cosby and Muriel Levitt, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation; Ruth Uchtman, Northminster Presbyterian Church; Lorna Nelson, Salvation Army; C. Louise Brown, Second Baptist Church; Harriet McCullough, Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University; Gloria Clunie and Mildred Carter, Sherman United Methodist Church; Leo Kirwan, St. Athanasius Catholic Church; Ann Wagner, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church; Dennis Robak, St Mary Catholic Church; John and Rachel Heumann, St. Nicholas Catholic Church; David Bates, St. Paul Lutheran Church; Charlie Swartzfager, Trinity Lutheran Church; Jackie Grinvalds, University Lutheran Church; Melanie Harmon, University Lutheran Church; Mary Dudek, Unitarian Church of Evanston.