Our Vision

Strategic Plan

FPCE is in the midst of a Strategic Plan process, in partnership with outside consultants Ministry Architects.

Using a construction model as the primary analogy for the process, our planning is overseen by the “Design Team” made up of congregation members, staff and our consultants.

If you have ANY question about the Strategic Plan process,
please email designteam@firstpresevanston.org. This confidential email goes only to members of the Design Team, and we will respond promptly when appropriate.

The Design Team:
Alexis Langlois
Timothy Minich
Jon Phillips
Susan Powell
Karen Shaw
Kathy Tan Shiau
Senior Pastor Raymond Hylton

Leadership Structure Task Force:
Alexis Langlois
Kim Langlois
John Powell
Matt McLeod
Dan Shiau
LeRoy Klemt
Patty Bastian
Cynthia Bridges
Jon Phillips
Catherine Latturner
Peter Steffen
Amanda Golbek

Year-Round Stewardship Task Force:
Deb Cross
Go Sugiura
JJ Ivaska
Katie Fitzgerald
Robert McConnell

Ministry Architects Team Members:
Annette Safstrom, Senior Consultant
Debbie Freeman, Consultant
Rob Dyer, Consultant

Vision News

FPCE governance structural changes ratified

At their regular June 25 meeting, FPCE session members unanimously adopted a number of significant changes to the church’s leadership structure. These changes, which will be effective January 2020, move the church from a bicameral system to a unicameral system of governance.
These changes were the result of months of research and discussion borne out of our ongoing strategic planning initiative.
The following changes were approved:
  • Merging of the Board of Trustees and the Session (also known as Elders) into one body, which will continue to be known as the Session.
  • Creation of a new council within the Session to be known as the Resource Steward Council (RSC), with the president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary of the trustees serving as its members, along with other session members with expertise in finance and law.
  • As part of the merger of the two bodies, the total number of Session members (Elders) will gradually be reduced from 18 to 12 as current terms come to an end.
  • A team of representatives appointed by the Session will create a detailed transition plan to manage the change.
Having sitting church elders serve as president and treasurer of the First Presbyterian Society (the legal entity vested with the standing to conduct business on behalf of the church) and also participating fully in overall governance is a significant change. At the same time, the proposed Resource Steward Council will manage many of the day-to-day functions of the current Board of Trustees without requiring a 3-year term, with the exception of Society officers who shall continue to serve for 3-year terms.

The ultimate goal is to make the oversight of FPCE both more streamlined and effective by reducing the number of meetings and improving communication among leaders.

For additional information, read the
summary of the June 25 session meeting.

Design Team Update – March 24, 2019

Since our last update on Sunday, February 17, here are key progress points we want to share:

Sunday, March 24, during Fellowship Hour, the Design Team will be present to answer questions; this will take place every month.

  • Stewardship: the Task Force is focusing on the financial aspects of stewardship for now, looking at how income and expense management are connected; As a strong starting point, our Church is blessed by a financial participation above 80% of members!
  • Hospitality: we identified a high level of energy and initiatives to make our visitors most welcome; we are defining proposals to make these more effective, resilient and sustainable over time.
  • Ministry survey: More than 90% of the 60+ surveys have been collected from Ministry leaders; we have gathered a lot of data, the task at hand now is proportional to the the volume of initiatives and volunteer work our congregation mobilizes, which is a clear sign to us of the Spirit’s grace upon our Church.
  • Governance: the Task Force is looking at all aspects of the work of Deacons, Elders and Trustees, to make sure none of the strengths of our Church are lost as we compare to the practices of other churches surveyed; As you have noticed, our Board of Deacons has already mobilized several other Ministry groups in its mission, to serve Christ with joy.

Design Team: Alexis Langlois, Tim Minich, Jon Phillips, Susan Powell, Karen Shaw, Kathy Shiau

If you have ANY question about the Strategic Plan process,
please email designteam@firstpresevanston.org.
This confidential email goes only to members of the Design Team, and we will respond promptly when appropriate.

Design Team Update – 02/24/2019

  • Recent Highlights of Strategic Planning Process at FPC Evanston

    We’re in a season of recommitting ourselves to mapping out the course God has for us. Whether it’s one step at a time or mile after mile, we’re seeking to be obedient as we eagerly participate in His plans!

    Over the past four months, while the week-to-week ministries of FPC Evanston have continued with the same consistency and excellence, behind-the-scenes work has taken place to poise the church for more healthy growth in ministry in the coming years.

    Below are the highlights of the work thus far. Last month a Design Team email was established to receive input or inquiries from membership: designteam@firstpresevanston.org. Please feel free to contact us there with any questions you might have.

    Fall 2018

    • The recommendations of the Ministry Architects Report of October 13, 2018 were accepted and the timeline for implementation was endorsed by the Session.
    • Successful orientation of the Design Team for the work ahead took place.
    • Collaborative conversations with staff members to increase communication clarity established a rhythm that has continued.
    • Design Team members adopted specific tasks from the strategic planning timeline and wholeheartedly engaged the process.


    Winter 2019

    • Visioning Summit for Combined Leadership Retreat was led by Ministry Architects
    • Elders, Deacons, Trustees, & Design Team drafted goals and benchmarks to establish a clear direction with measurable outcomes. These are under review with projected approval at next Session meeting.
    • A survey to identify the Investment and Impact of every FPCE ministry was created and distributed to ministry leaders. Some data has been received while others still need to complete surveys.
    • A Leadership Structure Task Force was recruited and initiated a survey of church governance among 8 comparable churches. Data points from surveys are informing the task force’s observations and recommendations as Session will consider change in FPCE’s leadership boards: Elders, Deacons and Trustees.
    • A MissionInSite demographic report was obtained to help inform the missional impulse of the strategic planning process.
    • A Year-Round Stewardship Task Force was recruited to explore ways to affirm and encourage stewardship of time, talent and offerings throughout the year.


    Our hope is that this entire process, which will continue into 2020, would be supported by the prayers of the membership and marked by clear communication and a collaborative climate among the church members and staff (who are also integral members of the church family). With a unified adherence to the vision combined with thoughtful, intentional steps into change, we are confident that the Holy Spirit will lead us into deeper experiences of knowing Christ, following Christ, and serving Christ together.