This week’s eNewsletter Feature
was written by Rev. Dr. Tassie Green,
FPCE interim senior pastor.
Thank you all for warmly welcoming me to First Pres Evanston. It was a delight to worship outdoors with you last Sunday. It would greatly help me getting to know your names and recognize your faces if you would add a photo to your Realm account. On kickoff Sunday, September 10, we’ll have a photo booth set up to do just that. If you have a recent photo you would like us to use instead, our staff can help with that, too (more details to come). Would you do me that kindness?*
Just in case you missed my introduction during our August 6 worship, I give you fair warning that I am known for asking A LOT of hard questions. Ever since I was a little kid I have always asked “But why?” Don’t be surprised when I ask you and FPCE’s leadership over and over, “Why? Why do you do this? What does it mean to you? What do you think about…?” I not only bring questions. I also bring my listening ears to be attentive to your hopes and dreams over the next two years.
That’s why on Sunday, September 10, after worship, I invite you to join in the first of a monthly time together called Pastries with the Pastor – a regular time for us to ask each other questions. You and I! Please understand that my questions don’t mean I’m judging you or First Pres. You have all risen to the challenges admirably to provide leadership over the last three months, and you will continue to lead your church well. It’s healthy for a church in transition to ask questions because it is so easy to get stuck. My ministry specialty is jumpstarting a church’s transition process.
As I told your session when they interviewed me, I’m not only here to sustain your good ministry and worship, but to join you on a journey. Any transitional pastor will help the church explore issues around heritage, connection, mission, leadership, in order to move together into God’s good future. Any church in transition renews its focus on mission and revisits hot button issues to find clarity for what is next. To call a new pastor, the entire process takes about 18-24 months.
So, I’m here to provide stability AND oomph. Joy AND momentum. I will walk alongside you, asking questions like, “What is the next right step? What is God calling First Pres to be and to do?” There are meant to help us find clarity together. And that’s also why, in our fall sermon series, we will journey with Moses and the Hebrews as they transition from one circumstance to another and learn to trust God more and more as they ask questions during their travels.
I’m letting you know about my questioning tendency upfront, so it’s not a surprise. (It might still be annoying, but now it won’t be a surprise.) During monthly Q & A sessions, in any future town hall meetings, and through congregational surveys, some of the questions I will ask your leaders and you will be:
“Where does FPCE find itself now? What do you value most?” And my favorite questions: “Who are you? Who are your neighbors? How do those two fit together?” What next steps are right for FPCE in light of your vision, membership, money, energy level, and God’s call on you? How might God call FPCE to step out in faith?
What questions do you have for me? Bring them on!
On the journey with you,
*Realm is our website for members and regular attendees. If you don’t have a Realm account, now is a great time to get one. Contact Janice Dobschuetz at the church office to help you get one created.