Announcing a Task Force
FEBRUARY 9, 2023
For 152 years, the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago has stood as a light in the city.
Through wars, economic hardship, pandemics, cultural change, prosperity, and an ever-changing neighborhood, our faith community has remained steadfast and resilient. Our faith calls us to embrace these challenges and opportunities bringing us closer to God and the work that embodies who we are as Presbyterians.
In addition to the Word of God calling us to periodically renew, there are external forces: the pandemic, social unrest, societal polarization, changing viewpoints on religion, and a heightened need for help from our community and neighbors all require us to find the best way to engage in this new reality and plan for uncertainties.
Further, our Fourth Church community is facing internal challenges as well: decreasing onsite attendance at services; decreasing pledges, offerings, and financial support; fewer volunteers to carry out our programs; less predictable participation from guests, students, and congregants; and shifting demands on our physical plant and digital platform.
Given these realities and in embrace of renewal, I have tasked a diverse group of church members with the responsibility of developing a long-range plan to ensure our strength and presence into the future. Tom Hawkins and Eric Wu are co-chairing the task force.
The four guiding principles of the Long-Range Planning Task Force are
The planning process will be guided by an outside consulting firm. Together they and the task force will be charged with engaging you, the congregation, as well as pastoral staff, lay staff, guests, and partners to develop a three-to-five-year plan for Fourth Church.
The first step in the process began in January with the issuance of a request for proposals from consulting firms. Going forward, the task force will keep you updated about the process as it moves ahead.
You might be wondering who is serving on this task force. Its members come from different areas of the church and bring a diversity of experience and viewpoints.
This is an exciting time, and I look forward to our co-creating this plan for our future together as Fourth Presbyterian Church.
Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor