November 01, 2022 was a day of celebration and joy for the Presbytery of Lake Michigan as commissioners gathered at the Westminster Portage Presbyterian Church for a Called Meeting of the Presbytery to elect the Rev. Chrissy Westbury as its Associate Presbyter.
Opportunities were provided for members of the churches to meet the candidate prior to the meeting. At the meeting the Search Committee introduced Chrissy to the body. Chrissy graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May 2017 with a Master of Divinity degree, a Master of Arts (Religion), and a certificate in Educational Ministry. Before entering seminary, she served as Director of Christian Education at Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church in Midland, MI. Since 2017 she has served as Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Kalamazoo, where she will continue to serve in a part-time role.
Following her introduction, the body joined in worship with the Rev. Westbury preaching on selected sections of Isaiah 43 focusing on “A New Thing” that God is doing.
The Search Committee enthusiastically recommended the Rev. Chrissy Westbury to the body whose members were given opportunity to ask questions and make comments. It was evident from materials provided and the dialogue that Chrissy loves people, values relationships, has a passion for working to make the world, and the community around her a more loving, welcoming, inclusive, and anti-racist place. She volunteers with local community theatre groups, Animal Rescue Project, and a number of groups working locally to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and working against systemic racism and poverty.
The vote to approve Rev. Chrissy Westbury as Associate Presbyter was unanimous!
The Associate Presbyter is a part-time position working with the Executive Presbyter/Stated Clerk, the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence. Rev. Westbury will remain as a part time Associate Pastor at First Kalamazoo.
Chrissy begins her new position on November 15, 2022. This schedule provides six weeks of overlap with the Transitional Co-Leader, Rev. Dr. Cal Bremer, whose term ends on December 31, 2022.
The Presbytery of Lake Michigan enters a new chapter with a God who promises to do new things.
Thanks be to God.