At the last Session meeting, I informed the Elders of my plan to conclude my ministry
at WPC. August 28th will be my last Sunday. So it is time to start the process of
preparing to leave this wonderful church which has been a spiritual home for me and
my family for 21 years.
Why? My wife Anne finished her interim pastorate at the LaGrange Presbyterian
Church on April 30th. At the end of the summer she will be looking for her next
opportunity for ministry, and after all the years of long commutes, we are committed to
the idea that we will live within walking distance of her next church. We are getting our
home ready to sell, and we expect to move in the fall.
Where will we go? As I write this, we don’t have the answer to that question. Anne
regularly receives calls from all over the country inviting her to talk with churches
that need an interim pastor. She will seek to discern God’s call from a congregation
that will benefit from her skills and experience, in a community that will offer us
an interesting life. I will be open to opportunities to support Anne in her church, or
perhaps to use my skills in the Presbytery or denomination’s programs.
It is challenging for me to describe clearly what a blessing it has been for me to be a
member of the WPC church family. We moved to Chicagoland when I took a job as
a mental health counselor at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. I felt deeply
uncertain about how I would live out my calling to be a Presbyterian minister. It was
a profound gift for me and my family to find WPC just a few miles from our home and
to be welcomed warmly by the Bostroms and the whole congregation. Through the
years, my identity as one of the pastors of WPC became stronger, until I was invited
to join the church staff as a Parish Associate pastor. It has been a particular privilege
to work with Jill and Bill as we have led the church through the interim process since
Greg and Kathy left.
The end of August will be my time to leave as well. I will sign the Covenant of Closure
that will officially end my relationships with all of you as a pastor. I am glad that there
are no secrets about my plans, so this summer we can all figure out together how to
conclude my work and say “God be with you” as we move forward into the future of
blessing that is God’s will for me and for WPC.