Thoughts from
Rev. Dr. Tassie Green,
Interim Senior Pastor.

First Pres, you have lived through a huge amount of transition in the last 2½ years, with Rev. Hylton’s and Rev. Golbek’s leaving, with recent staff transitions, even with COVID pivots before that. Thanks to good leadership, caring small groups, active deacons and Stephen Ministers, friends, and family you have grown strong, as a united community of faith through it all. Way to care for one another! And thanks to the nearly 100 of you who joined in Pastries with the Pastor and the Leadership Retreat this week to give thought and input into “What can be FPCE’s greatest impact?” (See word cloud above based on PWP table discussions.)

Do you remember the party game Mad-Libs? Here’s a church version to fill-out today:

Now (pronoun) might be tempted to start asking, “When will it all get back to (adjective)?” Or “When can I go back to the way I prefer to (verb), at the 9:30 am service?” Or we might think, “When the new pastor comes someday, he or she will certainly solve the problem of (noun) and (verb). They will fix the church (adverb) and (verb). Then First Pres will (verb). (Positive exclamation)!”

Without realizing it, we may begin acting as if First Pres’ health and vitality depends upon (proper name) or (noun) outside my own effort–that magical “it” factor. Or perhaps depends all on the new pastor. I wonder if, in that same line of thinking, some of us are taking a “wait and see” viewpoint toward First Pres, waiting to decide how involved to be in the future or how much to give? (# between $1,000-$10,000).

We expect that this summer a Pastor Nominating Committee will be formed. By the input of the Holy Spirit, they will seek out your next pastor, and we thank them for their efforts in advance. But not Ray, nor I, nor your new pastor are the church.

You are. You who have deep roots here. You who are new to this town & place. You are each God’s people, called to this community of faith, in this particular time, to care for this particular community around us, launching out from this corner of Chicago and Lake throughout Evanston, IL and beyond. You are those who choose to give generously, to teach the faith to the next generation. You are those who lead in healthy ways, to impact others in Jesus’ name.

What is God calling you to be and do in this season of First Pres? It is not about when or how we prefer to worship together, in-person or online on Sunday mornings. God will never ask us about all that at the end of days. God will ask us how we followed his Son Jesus and cared for all God’s children. I love to hear many of you holding these better conversations with one another, asking, “What’s next? Where will we have the greatest impact. Where should we start? And “Hey, Pastor, try to (verb)!”

On the journey with you, Pastor Tassie