CAROL STREAM – Normally a man of varied interests, the Rev. Greg Moser has one main hobby right now: moving out of one house and into another.
Moser became pastor of Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream in March. He previously served as pastor of United in Faith Lutheran Church on Chicago’s North Side and lived in Palatine.
“We thought we were going to live here in Carol Stream,” Moser said about accepting the new position.
His wife, the Rev. Jennifer Fisher, held the position of associate pastor of Living Lord Lutheran Church in Bartlett, and the proximity of the two towns would have made settling into the region easier for the couple, Moser said.
But then his wife accepted a position as pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Riverside at about the same time he started serving in Carol Stream. So they had to make alternative living arrangements and find a halfway point. They decided to settle in Elmhurst.
Moser said coming to Lutheran Church of the Master and to Carol Stream has made such challenges less burdensome.
“People have been very gracious,” he said. “Anytime you go into a transition, whether it’s work or moving or any of that, you really need people’s graciousness to make that transition. People have been very kind to me.”
It’s this charitable spirit that drew Moser to Lutheran Church of the Master.
“I loved the community, both the community around here and the community of this church,” Moser said about why he accepted the pastorate. “I think this has a strong sense of community, a place where I felt I could have something to offer, to help that community grow and be even more of a community.”
The church has a tradition of reaching out to Carol Stream residents in need, Moser said. Its ministries include hosting a food pantry, operating a preschool and serving as a meeting place for community organizations and support groups.
“There is just a real interest in helping the quality of life of people who live in Carol Stream, to be a place to extend a helping hand,” Moser said. “This congregation impresses me as not being overly concerned with its own institutional survival. It really is working hard to place the needs of the community first and the people of this neighborhood. I mean, obviously the church has to survive economically. But its heart and desire is to be a place that offers hope and possibility to the people in this community.”
Moser believes his job at Lutheran Church of the Master will be to provide the leadership needed for the congregation to continue its legacy of outreach to the people of Carol Stream. This will help the church re-establish the value of the Christian faith in society, he said.
“Christianity as an expression, as a religious expression is under a lot of suspicion, and for good reason. As an institutional expression, it has lost a lot of credibility in our culture for a whole variety of reasons,” Moser said. “I think the biggest piece of work is to help this church continue to establish its credibility as a faithful witness to Jesus and to his life and what he was about. So, I think there’s that. There’s the work of establishing credibility as being a follower of Jesus – it’s a credible way of life; it’s an important way to live your life,” he said. “I think the next piece, then, is obviously people, because of the economy and of those stresses, are in a lot of pain in all sorts of ways. How does this congregation continue to be a place that extends its hand to the neighborhood and to the community? It says, ‘We are here with you and for you. We want to walk that walk with you.’”
Aside from pursuing his ministry as a pastor, Moser said he enjoys another advantage of relocating to the western suburbs. He and his wife has the space to walk their dog, Baylee.
“Well, it’s open. You know, from being in the city, it’s open,” Moser said. “I walked the bike trail one day, and it’s open and people were up and down and they were like nice; they said ‘Hi.’ It’s such a sense of community. It’s nice.”