lppcIn September of 2013, I left beautiful (though dry) Northern California to begin my adventure here at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church. My friends thought I had lost my marbles, but now they know otherwise. I am grateful to be serving this church at this time in its history. There is so much that is being written about the present and future church that it can be overwhelming some days. There are no road maps and there are no formulas for success. Instead, we are in a time of such great transition that the congregations who are still around in 50 years will be those who were able to listen to the music of the Spirit and join in the song. Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church is a congregation that is multi-generational, diverse and open – open to how the future will be different from the past. I am in awe of this congregation’s courage, honesty, humor and their willingness to risk and try some new things. For the past year we have had a LIFT Team (Living Into our Future Together) that has been meeting and working intentionally on our vision for the future. We have many exciting options we are considering and we hope to be able to make some big decisions by the end of 2015. Stay tuned! In the meantime, we are taking seriously the call to get outside of our walls and engage with our community and our City. It has become clear to me in the two years that I have been here that this is a congregation that values relationships and values knowing and being known. This is a congregation that has a great deal to offer and appreciates what others have to offer. In other words, there is plenty of room for you here and we’d love to partner with you in ministry.

Sometimes I struggle with the fact that I do not have any easy answers – not for the church and not for individuals and the challenges we sometimes face in life. My own history is that of having grown up in a fundamentalist Presbyterian Church that is no longer Presbyterian. My image of the faith I was handed (I use that term intentionally since I was never encouraged to question it) is that of a neatly wrapped package with a bow. When I went to college and then on to seminary, I spent years unwrapping that neat package and examining it and leaving most of it behind. When I came out as a queer woman, my faith was stripped bare. As you might imagine, I then had to spend years putting my faith pieces back together. I am still in that process as I learn and grow over the years. These days there is nothing neat or packaged about my faith. Having said that, I could share with you some powerful stories of the ways in which God has been present with me even through the most difficult of times. Or, I can introduce you to some of our members who could also tell you stories. Our stories may not be pretty at times, but they are powerful! If you are looking for a pastor and a church who will walk with you, receive your questions and explore answers with you, allow you to yell or weep or laugh or grieve or dance, and challenge you to work for justice in our community and world, this might be the place for you. Let’s talk!

If you have questions about LPPC or if you are in need of support in some way, please feel free to email me at revbeth@lppchurch.org. I hope to see you on Sunday!