We are very pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Gary Percesepe (pronounced per-suh-sep-ee) will be filling in as our interim supply pastor during June, July and August, when Rev. Bill Hennessy is away as part of the National Clergy Renewal Program funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Rev. Percesepe is an experienced, engaging United Church of Christ pastor with a Ph.D. in philosophy from St. Louis University and a master’s degree in theology from the Denver Seminary of Theology. Gary comes to us from an interim pastorate at the Church of the Nativity in Kenmore.
In interviewing Gary, and through our subsequent conversations, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him, and I look forward to his time with us, beginning June 1. I’m sure you’d be interested to read a few comments from folks Gary has worked with which can give you a sense of Gary as a pastor and person.
From a former congregant: “Gary’s vast theological knowledge encouraged me to be not only a believer, but a scholar of our faith. As a result, I pursued study at Princeton Theological Seminary, something I never would have dreamed before Gary pushed me to engage theologically. Gary’s wisdom and humility are his greatest strengths. He is patient, a true listener, and has such an openness and experience that a diverse range of people feel comfortable seeking his guidance.”
From a former co-worker: “Gary is an exceedingly creative person who constantly comes up with new ideas and approaches. He is the most creative minister I have ever known. Gary is very smart and well read. He loves ideas and expresses them in word and speech with great skill. His sermons … are consistently clear and creative. Gary has a friendly, engaging personality that attracts others to his ideas and projects.”
From a former congregant: “Gary’s sermons are timely and thought provoking. He has a great capacity for working with people and guiding them thoughtfully
to the right place. He has positively influenced the youth of our church, an area which had been lacking before his arrival.”
Gary is already in discussions with Worship Committee, Pastor Bill Hennessy, and others, making plans for creative and meaningful worship experiences during his three-month tenure. He expects to visit North Church on some Sundays leading up to his start date, so please be on the lookout for an opportunity to greet him!
Gary will also be attending the John Bell workshop at North Church on Saturday May 31. (If you haven’t yet registered for the event, please do so—it’s not too late. Don’t miss the fun!)