Q&A with John Vest

We warmly welcome this year’s Moderator of the Chicago Presbytery, John Vest, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry, Chicago Fourth.

jan and john - photo by Ben Lyon

Rev’s John Vest and Jan Edmiston stand for their installation as 2014 Assembly Moderator and Associate Executive Presbyter. Photo by Ben Lyon.

What are your duties in this role?
The Moderator moderates each of the 5 assembly meetings. There are at least three planning meetings that happen before each of the meetings. One is the Presbytery Coordinating Commission, which I have and will continue to serve on. This important commission provides guidance for the assembly and acts on behalf of the assembly between meetings. I will also represent the presbytery at services of ordination and installation for pastors as well as a variety of other duties.

What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to the opportunity to set the tone of assembly meetings and be part of our efforts to improve these gatherings in response to the recommendations of the Vision and Praxis Task Force. Presbytery assemblies are the primary point of engagement for most of our presbyters. This precious time at these gatherings include prime opportunities for us to make and deepen our connections and relationships with each other, a stated goal of our presbytery. I hope the meetings I moderate will be engaging, inspiring, and efficient. We are definitely trying to move beyond “business as usual” and live into a new way of working together as sisters and brothers in Christ called to shared ministry and mission in the Chicago metropolitan area.

This is an exciting time of transition and change in our presbytery. Our future is still unclear and we are actively involved in discerning our direction and rediscovering our identity and turning the page to what God has in store for us. I believe that there is much potential in our Presbytery. I also believe that we already possess all that God needs to transform our presbytery and through us transform the world we are called to serve. We just need to open ourselves to God’s direction and the catalyzing power of the Holy Spirit.

As perhaps the youngest moderator at age 36, I feel that I have the opportunity to represent the many young teaching and ruling elders that are assuming leadership roles throughout our presbytery. Those who are committed to engaging others with their energy, passion, fresh perspectives and new ideas

Read about John’s Theme for the 2014 Assembly.

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