April 2023 Reverend Reflections

Hello First Presbyterian Church,

This is one of my last Reverend Reflections to write before my family and I relocate to Ohio. Last month I wrote about the enduring and strong denominational connection that First Presbyterian Church will continue to enjoy after my departure. The EPC provides regular news and updates on their website “EPConnection” for you to stay informed about denominational plans and projects. Our denomination is doing good work and I am confident that the EPC will continue to be a good home for our congregation for many years.

This month I would like to remind you of something else that First Pres. will continue to benefit from after my departure—the Mission, Vision, and Values that the elders worked so hard to craft as a guide and as a guardrail for the future of First Pres. The mission statement is printed on the front of every bulletin, but unless we regularly remind you of the vision and values statements they will be easily forgotten. 

The point of creating these statements is to help us move together into the future according to who we are and who we believe God is calling us to be. The whole idea of a Mission, Vision, and Values statement can sound too “corporate,” but in reality they are very practical. In ministry we are often having to make choices between two (or more) really good options. How do you choose between partnering with one ministry over another? How do you decide which curriculum to use when there are so many quality options? A Mission, Vision, and Values statement helps us make those difficult decisions and stick to them. 

The elders regularly use these statements in the formation of their annual goals and in the evaluation of staff performance, but it is important that you are aware of them as well. They can serve as one more point of unity during this period of transition, and they can be a help for the next pastor to know how (s)he can immediately join and lead you in the work you have heard God calling you to do. I hope that you will familiarize and internalize the statements (printed for you below) so that you can participate in the Mission, Vision, and Values of First Presbyterian Church.


Our Mission

To glorify God by participating with Him in the transformation of our lives, the community of believers, and our world.

Our Values

  • The centrality of Christ as He is revealed in Scripture
  • The cultivation of cross-generational relationships
  • Liturgy that establishes gospel rhythms in the life of the believer
  • Giving in response to receiving in abundance
  • The incorporation of the unique giftedness of individuals
  • The life of the mind as an integral part of the life of faith


Our Vision 2026

Over the course of the next five years First Presbyterian Church will focus on the cultivation of presence—the presence of God with us, the presence of the community of saints, and our presence in the city.

  • We will cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in our lives through:
            1. Robust theological education 
            2. Embodied, historical, and vibrant liturgy 
            3. A renewed engagement in the spiritual discipline of prayer
  • We will cultivate the community of saints through:
            1. Being present and available to one another through frequent and intentional contact
            2. The sharing of stories that illuminate the work of God in our midst
            3. Improving our physical space to meet the needs of our ministries 
  •  We will cultivate our presence in the world through:
            1. Developing stronger relationships with our neighbors
            2. Fostering closer partnerships with the ministries we support


May God guide you in continuing this good work!

Grace and peace,
Jonathan +