Dear Friends,

Peace to you this day. With so much uncertainty and anxiety and instability in the air after the election, I'm grateful for the shared faith that binds us together. Let us keep our hands to the plow, taking our cue from the prophet Micah some 2600 years ago: doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with our God.

Yesterday we held a post-election day worship service over Zoom at 12pm. It was a simple 30-minute service of scripture, song and prayer. It was a gift to worship together, reminding ourselves of our purpose as the body of Christ and praying for God's healing and reconciliation to spread throughout this nation we love. We recorded the service and it's now available at the video link below for your participation:
Post-Election Day Worship - November 4, 12pm, held over Zoom
(1) The Session is delighted to share the exciting news that we have hired the Rev. Laura Sherwood as our 3/4 Interim Associate Pastor! She will begin serving among us in mid- to late-November once she relocates from Cincinnati. A graduate of McCormick Seminary, Laura comes to us with 20 years of pastoral ministry experience, much of it as an Interim Pastor (serving congregations in Indiana and Ohio primarily), where she has sought to help churches transition faithfully from one season to the next. In her role at fpcw, Laura will work primarily in the areas of mission, faith formation and pastoral care. She will also guide us in an intergenerational process of "transitional discovery" that will help us discern where the Spirit is nudging us next as a church.

Laura writes, "Throughout my years in transitional ministry, I have been amazed at the on-going call of the Spirit upon each congregation and filled with wonder at God’s faithfulness in every circumstance, challenge and opportunity. I see in your position an openness to discover new possibilities, even new directions for mission and ministry as part of your journey of faith."

Several years ago, Laura and I had the chance to work together at First Presbyterian Church of Fort Wayne, after Arianne stepped down from her pastoral position there. She is a wise, creative and faithful pastor, who brings considerable expertise for interim ministry. I can't wait for you to meet her!

In next Thursday's email, we will have a video introduction from Laura to share with you, along with her official starting date. Once she arrives, we will schedule opportunities for you to meet her virtually and hopefully in-person too.
(2) The third session of the "Coming to Terms with Race" class, led by Rev. Andrew Packman, is tonight from 7:30pm - 8:45pm. If you missed the previous two weeks, don't worry - please join us, anyway, and if you'd like to catch up at a later time, you can watch the first session and second session archived on our YouTube channel. Tonight's session (held on Zoom) will focus on "covert racism," focusing on housing in Chicagoland in particular. A fourth and final session will be held on November 12. Bring a friend and let's continue the journey toward racial justice together.

To access tonight's class, please click on the button below to join the Zoom meeting. We hope to begin the class promptly at 7:30pm, so please sign in a few minutes early. The Meeting ID (812 8568 4158) and Passcode (108310). To call in, dial 312-626-6799 and then enter Meeting ID and Passcode.
(3) With mild weather returning, we've decided to offer one more week of outdoor in-person worship this Sunday, November 8, at 10am. The weather looks glorious (in the mid-60s), so please join us at 10am in the fellowship garden at church. You do not need to preregister. Just come!

The Session meets next Monday and will be finalizing plans to begin holding in-person indoor worship in the Sanctuary the following Sunday, November 15. We will send out more details and a walk-through video as you prepare sometime next week. Meanwhile, we will continue to send out our virtual services on YouTube for all who wish to continue worshipping in that way.

With gratitude and hope in Christ,
Pastor Jeff