September Shavings Letter

FROM THE PASTOR’S KEYBOARD…

Hello Wildwood Presbyterian Church Friends – I know we don’t truly know each other
yet but I certainly consider you, the congregation of WPC, as the new community of
friends that my family and I can’t wait to meet! We are excited to move to Illinois which
brings us significantly closer to Karleen’s extended family in Michigan. Thank you for
the warm welcome and generous hospitality you have already displayed as true
Midwesterners. To help us get acquainted I want to share with you a little about
myself as we begin this season of life and ministry together.

First, a few words about who I am:
•Born and raised in California and lived three years in Caracas, Venezuela
•Came to faith as a sophomore in high school at a Presbyterian church youth group
•Enjoyed undergraduate studies in Psychology at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA
•Married my college sweetheart, Karleen Dekleine (100% Dutch) a year after college
•Attended seminary in New Jersey at Princeton Theological Seminary
•Served 15 years as Associate Pastor at New Hope Presbyterian Church
•Finished a Doctorate of Ministry in 2014 at Fuller Theological Seminary
•Parent of three amazing daughters – Karis (1st year at William Woods University
in Fulton, MO), Abby (Junior at Grayslake North High School), Anneke (6th
grader at William L Thomson School)
•Love a good movie, trying new foods and exploring the great outdoors
•Avid baseball fan supporting the San Francisco Giants since the days of
Candlestick Park
•Favorite season of the year is March Madness
•Favorite week of the year is serving with youth and families on annual mission trip
•Play sports of many kinds including basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, golf, etc.
•Marvel often at the paradox that is displayed in the cross and have a collection
hanging in my office to remind me of the powerful mystery and mercy of God
that is displayed in the empty cross!

While that is a brief synopsis of who I am, hopefully it gives you some sense of my
history and personality. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch so we can
share a meal, enjoy a cup of coffee or play a round of golf.

Now, a few words about life at Wildwood this Fall. As we move into a new season
together as a congregation my first priority is to meet you and hear your stories.
To that end a team is working right now organizing what we are calling “listening
sessions.” A session will take place at a home with 10 – 15 people in attendance. My
goal is to have several different sessions all around the area so that everyone has
a chance to participate. The agenda for each gathering is simple. Each person will
be invited to share a favorite memory or two of life connected to Wildwood and then
express a hope or dream for the future. This is a simplified form of a strategic process
called Appreciative Inquiry. Would you like to host a session at your home? If so,
contact Barb Hunt so we can add you to the list. I hope you will join us for a session
to share your history and your hopes for Wildwood Presbyterian Church. Together, we
have an exciting future ahead as we follow in the footsteps of the risen Christ!

Blessings,
Erik

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