After being blessed for 18 years by a beloved Pastor, Dr. Rev. Bill Parr retired in May of 2020. The
Session, a body of elected church elders, immediately went to work in search of an Interim Pastor to work with us through this transition. Rev. Laura Fitzgibbon joined us and her efforts and input during this process have been a true blessing to The Nor’kirk.
The next step by Session was appointing a “Mission Study Committee” to provide a document about our vision, history, worship, programs, and missions. This committee met for over six months and gathered information, feedback, and input from the congregation. The document was approved by the Session and the Committee on Ministry of Grace Presbytery. You can use the following link to access the Nor'kirk Presbyterian Mission Study 2020.
With the mission study complete, the Session tasked the Nominating Committee to begin the work of providing a slate of congregational members to form the “Pastoral Nominating Committee, (PNC)”. The PNC members were presented to the congregation and approved in June 2021.
The PNC created a full “Minister Information Form” that outlined the requirements, goals and vision for potential Permanent Pastor candidates and began the search process for whom God has already chosen to fill the position.
Through dedicated work and prayers for God’s guidance and direction, the PNC shared their selection with the congregation. The congregation voted and approved the call for our next pastor. We would like to introduce, Reverend Elise Neal.
Rev. Elise Neal is joining the Nor'kirk family as head pastor in January 2023.
She holds a degree in early childhood education from Marshall University and briefly worked as a teacher before feeling called to serve the church. She earned a master's in divinity from Union Theological Seminary. She has previously worked as a lead pastor, pastoral supply, and as an associate pastor in children's ministry, holding positions in Iowa, West Virginia, and Texas.
She has been married to her husband Ryan for 17 years and they have three children, Kaylen 13, Knox 12, and Terryn 10, and a miniature dachshund named Lulabelle.
She was called to the Nor'kirk as a place seeking to understand societal pressures that we face and recognize that the ministry we did 20 years ago doesn't work today. She is called to a strong church family that loves and cares for one another as well as those beyond our walls.
She said, "I want to be a part of a church family that is truly open and affirming to all people, including those that are perceived to be in the margins. I want my children to know and understand the love of God that has no bounds. It is my firm belief that we have more in common than we differ and we only become better disciples of Christ by forming new relationships grounded in acceptance and love. I want to be a part of a congregation that wants to dream big and truly relies on its faith in God to help them move their ministry forward."
Pastor Elise and the Nor'kirk welcome you to worship with us each Sunday.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The image below is interactive. Click on the circles for more information about each step in the Pastoral Nominating Process.