Happy 10th Anniversary Pastor Christine!



congregationFor the last 10 years, you have been a great spiritual leader who has equipped us to be faithful disciples of Jesus.

You hold a special place in our hearts and so we share our many wonderful moments we’ve had with you below.

It has been a fantastic decade and we look forward to the next decade on.

—First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest

We encourage you to share your own message to Pastor Chris below. If you would like to be anonymous, simply put in anonymous in the name field or leave it blank. 




31 Comments on “Happy 10th Anniversary Pastor Christine!”

  1. 1 Donna said at 7:00 pm on August 11th, 2015:

    Your presence has brought a level of professionalism to the staff that had been missing for years. Thank you, Chris.

  2. 2 Meg Barnhart said at 1:56 pm on August 19th, 2015:

    Dear Chris-

    You have brought so much joy, energy, optimism and authenticity to our church. Thank you for providing a safe haven for all of us, especially our children, to grow. Much love-Meg

  3. 3 Joy Fitzgerald said at 6:54 pm on August 19th, 2015:

    Dear Pastor Chris, Thank you for your love, support and generosity. Our family is blessed to have you in our life and your impact is far reaching. You’re doing the thing you are meant to do!. Thank you too for your service to our community and I pray you are with us for decades to come. Joy Fitzgerald

  4. 4 Maddie Dugan said at 7:17 pm on August 19th, 2015:

    Your compassion for my mother during her last days was extraordinary and we will never forget it. I love the way you shared her sense of humor about the TAR Club and her love of the history of Lake Forest and our Church. You inspired me to finally join the church I was raised in – it only took 60 years!
    Thank you,

  5. 5 Maureen Olsen said at 9:14 pm on August 19th, 2015:

    There are few words that can eloquently describe a gift such as Pastor Chris and her family. Wait … I know one or two … Faithful Disciple … Inspired Mentor … Beloved Friend. How Blessed we all are to be a part of your life. Thank you for choosing us.

  6. 6 Lynn Bertram said at 1:08 am on August 20th, 2015:

    Dearest Chris,
    THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for being YOU! On so many sermons, I truly felt that you were speaking directly to me. Amazing! I still remember one of your first, if not your first, you stood up there for a moment, then leaned forward on the podium, and then stated, “Are you ready? … Let’s Roll!!!!!” I loved it! It was perfect. You have blessed us all with your wit, intelligence, and all around kind grace.

    Happy 10th Anniversary, Chris! Here’s to many, many more!!! Hugs!!

  7. 7 Kay Friedberg said at 1:19 pm on August 20th, 2015:

    Smart, inclusive and gifted … just some of the qualities you bring to the pulpit and ministry. The fact that you can embrace literal bible readers as well as those who want to question and evolve, has spoken to your understanding of our congregation. Thanks for being so accessible and eloquent while attending to “your flock” with incomparable compassion. I am privileged to call you pastor and friend. My heartfelt congrats!

  8. 8 Dave and Tracy Tolmie said at 3:22 pm on August 20th, 2015:

    Dear Chris,
    We are blessed to have your leadership at First Pres. You’ve brought together the staff and congregation so we can collectively work to fulfill all that God is calling us to do. Thank you for shaping our hearts and our minds for the past 10 years. We look forward to continuing the journey together. Fondly, Tracy and Dave Tolmie

  9. 9 Michele & Fred Montgomery said at 7:54 pm on August 21st, 2015:

    Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary at First Pres. We are blessed to have your enthusiasm, care and wisdom both in the pulpit and the office. Thank you for leading. Blessings and Peace!

  10. 10 Phil Haltom said at 3:21 am on August 22nd, 2015:

    Dear Chris,
    It is with warmth and gladness that I extend a hearty congratulations on this 10th anniversary. As one with a line of sight regarding your charge, I will say that I have found you to be unmatched in the execution of this charge. You bring an unparalleled blend of best-in-class leadership and personal touch, from the pulpit to the counseling chamber and more. You’ve welcomed this brother home…in a manner that no other could have done so thoroughly well and comprehensively. Thank you for leading and loving us all so well!
    From the heart, Phil Haltom

  11. 11 Linda Remensnyder said at 9:02 pm on August 22nd, 2015:

    Love, love, love hearing you at the pulpit, convinced you are speaking directly to me. Love, love, love hearing you at Women’s Bible Study with scripture readings providing both wisdom and sustenance. Love, love, love hearing your enthusiastic response when I share a joy and love, love, love hearing (and seeing) your heartfelt compassion when I share a challenge. That is your gift, Christine. It is your voice. God speaks through you and touches all of us. Linda Remensnyder

  12. 12 Jim Bertram said at 6:58 pm on August 23rd, 2015:

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you so much for all you have done for our beloved church and congregation over the last 10 years. I also want to thank you for all of the direct and indirect encouragement you have given me during my journey in faith. You have inspired me to learn more about the Bible and serve more frequently. Congratulations and hope we can do this again in 2025!



  13. 13 Linda Martinat said at 6:46 pm on August 24th, 2015:

    Dear Chris,
    Thank you for your leadership and your pastoral care to our congregation. You are compassionate, caring and always accessible. Thank you for all you have done to walk along side us & guide us as we each travel on our journey of faith. Congratulations on your 10th!
    Blessings, Linda Martinat

  14. 14 Jennifer L. Aycock said at 5:29 pm on August 25th, 2015:

    Dearest Chris,

    What a joy to have shared in a few years of your TEN at First Presbyterian! You are a quintessential shepherd, a woman of peace with a backbone of steel, a fellow nerd who finds exegesis a way to know and love Jesus better. I know you bless the congregation with your presence and leadership, but as a former member of the pastoral team (as a confused displaced “evangelical” stumbling through a mainline world), your kindness, grace, and humor as our leader blessed me. Your cultivation of a collaborative, trusting, and healthy team is a rare gift, and you have set the bar HIGH for what it means to love Jesus and lead the sheep tenaciously and tenderly.

    Love you, bless you, cheers to you,
    Jennifer Aycock

  15. 15 Stephanie Hayes said at 5:33 pm on August 25th, 2015:

    My family and I have enjoyed the enthusiasm and love for the Lord that you continually set forth in all your endeavors at First Presbyterian. You are a blessing to our congregation. We have so enjoyed (and learned) from those incredible sermons delivered with your infectious laugh and Christ-filled spirit – Happy 10th Anniversary!

  16. 16 Sarah Kuchar said at 5:34 pm on August 25th, 2015:

    Hello Chris
    I have been a member of First church since 1972. It has been a pleasure to watch the growth of our church these past 10 years. You are always friendly and make us all feel welcome. I have been in and out of town frequently since you came to town, but you still make me feel special. LOVE your meaningful and heartfelt sermons. Thank you so much! Best! Sarah Kuchar

  17. 17 Cathy & Bert Tucker said at 6:10 pm on August 25th, 2015:

    Looking back at the 45 years that we have been members of 1st Church, you have you have done more to teach the words of God than any who came before you. You have a perfect blend of spiritual devotion, love, compassion, laughter and humor. You truly are a spiritual leader, counselor and teacher. God’s Blessing for years to come…. and another 10 years at 1st Church.
    Cathy & Bert Tucker

  18. 18 The Richards Family said at 6:24 pm on August 25th, 2015:

    After Prue closed the deal on convincing us to attend a service at First Pres it was you who then completed the transaction with your welcoming nature, knowledgeable sermons, sparkling smile, engaging laugh, and continued reminder that we are all broken and need Jesus and each other. You are so good at your job and are a lovely woman. Thank you for being you and following your calling.
    Jen (Pen)

  19. 19 Diane Gregg said at 9:27 pm on August 25th, 2015:


    Happy 10th Anniversary! You are an amazing spiritual leader who offers so much to all of us. I hope you know how much you are appreciated!

  20. 20 Dave Shimp said at 10:54 pm on August 25th, 2015:

    Neither Kris nor I had any sense of the incredible role you and First Pres would play in our lives when you married us at the Church 7 years ago. You have been a pillar of strength for both of us in our relationship with Christ and in finding the emotional support to deal the losses of loved ones, the loss of my job, starting a new business and the impending loss of my terminally illl daughter, Katie. We thank God every day for your leadership, thought leadership and support. We are truly blessed by your presence adn First Pres in our lives.

  21. 21 Nancy & Ed Hamming said at 1:32 am on August 26th, 2015:

    You have been a part of our lives for the past 10 years. We are thankful that you have been with us through the joys of marriage and baptisms, and the sorrows of funerals. Above all, you have been there every week–helping us to worship, learn, connect, serve, and invite. We are grateful that you are a part of our family, and we look forward to many more years together.
    Nancy & Ed Hamming

  22. 22 Amy said at 3:45 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Chris, your reputation precedes you, so when I came to work at First Pres, I knew I would enjoy being a part of any team you were building. I had no way of knowing how I would benefit from your support, wisdom, humor, creativity and kindness. It is a joy to work with someone who thinks so deeply, loves God so whole-heartedly, and just cares about our world and community so much. I am grateful for you as a colleague and friend and ask for God’s blessing on your continued ministry at First Pres!

  23. 23 Cynthia Leahy said at 3:57 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    You have been such a rock in my spiritual life, from times of sorrow to periods of the highest joy. You lift up all of us with your passionate leadership and elevating sermons. Our membership rises to you. Thank you with my heart and soul.

    Cynthia Leahy

  24. 24 Sharon & Jim Kellock said at 4:11 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Dear Chris – Congratulations on you ten year anniversary as Head Pastor of First Church. Our congregants have been blessed by your leadership in all of the many varied areas that fall under your purview. We hope to be celebrating with you in ten more years. Sharon & Jim Kellock

  25. 25 Chris and Jack Edwards said at 4:24 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Dear Chris: Wow! What we as a church didn’t know 10 years ago!! A leader, our first woman pastor, a facilitator, a recruiter, a budgeter (seriously), a shoulder, a listener, a standard bearer, an author, a historian, a maker of history…

    We could go on forever–and we hope our time with you does as well. Thank you for all that you have contributed to our congregation, our family and to us. We are truly blessed by your presence. Chris and Jack

  26. 26 Susan Peet said at 5:20 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Dear Christine,
    Thank you for being the hidden hand that ties our church community together. I especially appreciate the support you’ve given our Campus Ministry Team in our time of special need. As well as behind the scenes, you guide us from the pulpit with wonderful, wise sermons.
    Susan Peet

  27. 27 Sue & David Barkhausen said at 5:43 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Dear Chris –
    We give thanks for the warm, enthusiastic, and enlightened leadership you have given to First Pres for the past ten years. We are and have been very lucky to have you. Happy 10th Anniversary, and many blessings. Sue & David Barkhausen

  28. 28 Laura johnson said at 6:06 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Dear Chris – congratulations on your 10 year Anniversary. Over the years you have given us so much: a comforting presence and a source of constant support, a shoulder to cry on and so much wisdom! You have been committed to helping us all move forward and learn and grow in our faith (prodding when necessary) Thank you so much and hoping to be celebrating future anniversaries with you–

  29. 29 Steve and Thea said at 10:46 pm on August 26th, 2015:

    Dear Chris,
    We enjoyed sharing pictures of Armenia with you right after you joined the church. What a heartfelt tribute you’ve accomplished this past year. Thank you for including us and for your ongoing contributions to the church. – Steve and Thea

  30. 30 Michelle Gramza said at 2:22 am on August 27th, 2015:

    Dear Chris – Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary. You and the church have been a wonderful part of our lives for the last 7 years since we moved here. I will never forget you baptizing Gavin (he was a bit of a handful even back then!) and all of the love and support you and the entire church family graced us with after Vivi’s accident. Thank you also for your thoughtful and inspiring sermons. They make us all better thinkers. Love, Michelle and the Gramza clan

  31. 31 Cesilie and Bob Price said at 3:52 am on August 27th, 2015:

    Heartfelt congratulations on your 10th anniversary with our church family. We have been the lucky recipients of thought provoking sermons, engaging bible studies and your wonderful sense of humor. On a more personal note, we have been blessed to have you officiate beautiful wedding ceremonies for our daughters, celebrate the baptism of our grandson, and hold us in prayer during difficult and stressful times in life.
    You bring a special energy, and a few hearty laughs, that warm our souls. We hope to build many more special memories with you in the years to come. Thank you for helping us grow in our faith!

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