John Knox Presbyterian Church welcomed The Rev. M. Elizabeth Wagner as its full-time transitional pastor on October 26, 2021. (There was a "Meet & Greet" in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, October 30th (the day before her first Sunday in the pulpit!)) Pastor Beth has come to us after serving as the transitional pastor of Heritage Presbyterian Church in Carol Stream, IL for the past couple of years. Ours is her ninth transitional (interim) position she has served in the past twelve years. She has helped churches grieve beloved pastors, deal with dwindling resources, top-heavy staff, and helped churches sell buildings and merge with other congregations to create new opportunities for service to the broader community.
She is the team lead for PC(USA) the Art of Transitional Ministry leadership training in the central part of the United States. She loves to teach and mentor fellow pastors as they explore calls in transitional ministry.
She is a second career pastor, finishing her M. Div. in 2002 at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. She received an undergraduate degree in elementary education with pre-school emphasis from Northern Illinois University in 1979.
Beth is married to Jim Wagner (a retired computer programmer) and mother to Paul and Alyson and Nana to Elias and Ember Yates (her shining stars). When she is not pastoring, she loves to read (everything from business books to mystery stories and a few rhyming books live on her Kindle) and do creative sewing projects. Her family loves to camp and visit National Parks, and there may be a Disney princess or two within this family if you check carefully.