From the Pastor

Welcome Pastor Matthew Lang to Burbank Manor Presbyterian Church


Words from the Pastor

One of the things I like about Christianity is how worldly it is.  “For God so loved the world”, the Bible says.  The things of this world matter.  Jesus was fully human, so any theology, and any Christian community, must take into account the human experience, the full human experience.  With that in mind, allow me to introduce myself and attend to some very mundane, worldly matters.


I said yes to Burbank Manor because I think there is a spark here.  I think there are good things happening and more good things to come.  I know there has been drama, but we are free to put that in the past.  We are also free - in fact we are told by Jesus - to not worry about tomorrow.  Therefore we can live in the present, and celebrate the good things we have, and build on them.  


As an old mentor once said to me: This ain’t no hand holdin’ operation.  I am here part-time.  That means I can’t do everything.  And that’s as it should be.  That’s the Presbyterian way.  The members of session are the leaders.  The members of the church are workers.  I am the teacher, the preacher, the guide.  If you want the church to grow, it is up to you to make it grow.  If you want the church to change, it is up to you to make the change happen.  I will preach.  I will lead worship.  I will provide pastoral care to those who ask for it.  I will do those things well, but even with those I will need your help.  Please let me know who needs to be visited, and be direct, hand me a list of names, email me a list of names, do not assume I know everyone’s needs.


Right now, I plan to be at the church on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am-3pm.  That could change, as needed, but let’s start with that.  Email is the best way to reach me.  I’ll be checking email at 2pm, and I will do my best to respond to emails within 24 hours.  If it is an emergency, call my cell phone: 773-678-9543.


I hope that by getting these nuts and bolts out of the way, we can start this new chapter on the same page and work together to be the people God calls us to be.

I was raised in a small town in Northwest Pennsylvania, and by small I mean very small, 400 people small.  I went to church, right across the border, at the First Presbyterian Church of Olean, New York.  I graduated from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.  It was there that I met my future wife, Emily Hendel.  After college, I served for two years in the Presbyterian Church’s Young Adult Volunteer Program, one year in The Philippines, one year in Nashville.  I went to seminary at McCormick Theological Seminary in Hyde Park, Chicago, and Emily and I have been in Chicago ever since.  Now we have a daughter, Satchel, and we live on the Southwest Side, or Lower West Side, if you prefer, in an intentional Christian community called the Hesed Community Cooperative.  We share a large house with six other adults, another child, and various pets.  Our mission is to live simple, sustainable, faithful lives.  We have lived there for five years.


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