About Our Church
The First Presbyterian Church of Peoria, Arizona was founded in 1892 and was the first church established in the farming village of Peoria. Our historic sanctuary was completed in 1899 and is one of the twelve oldest structures in Maricopa County. Since the inception of our church, we have been proud members of the Presbyterian denomination. We are one of 9300 congregations of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
But that brief history doesn’t tell you all you need to know. We are a warm and vibrant family of faith. We have 133 members – small but mighty. We have discovered the transforming power of Jesus Christ in our lives. The bond of love we feel for each other is real and palpable.
About Our Interim Pastor
I am David Hodgson, educated in a Lutheran college at Gettysburg, a Presbyterian seminary in Princeton, a Church of Scotland seminary in Edinburgh (New College), blessed by a dozen congregations of faith filled people, and late in life earned a doctor of ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
I went under care of presbytery when I was in high school, having felt called to the ministry of word and sacrament since childhood, and I have been blessed by more than half a century of pastoral experiences in parishes large and small both within and beyond the bounds of presbytery.
I have served long pastorates in three denominations and served as interim pastor in each of them. Because of COCU, I have been invited to serve in the UCC, the International Council of Community Churches, as well as the PC(USA).
In each of those interim assignments the role of the interim has been to strengthen the tie between the congregation and its denomination, while helping the congregation to discover what the Lord is calling it to become in its season of transition. Some of those congregations felt called to do problem solving, others to accomplish rebirth, still others to reorganize and become more effective and efficient in the pursuit of their ministry. I have now successfully completed ten such interim assignments and must say that no two were identical, and the uniqueness of each bears witness to the specific focus that the Lord has for each individual congregation, while pursuing the unfolding purposes of God.
I have served in two large congregations of a thousand members or more, Desert Palms and Valley Presbyterian, and small parishes like Chandler and First Presbyterian in Sun City, and I can say without reservation that where the Spirit of Christ is alive and well in the hearts and minds of faith-filled people the size of the congregation neither enhances nor hinders the miracles that unfold. I have seen the love of God unfold with equal splendor and know that God does not show partiality when it comes to the size of church budgets or the length of membership rolls.
I live and serve with what I experience as an ever-present Christ consciousness, an ecumenical perspective that does not distract from but enhances denominational loyalty, a passion for social justice as lifestyle not as crusade, a spiritual kinship that transcends while celebrating ethnic, cultural, social and political manifestations, and a quiet confidence that the Lord is still leading us one day at a time through the unique challenges of the present age.
I have held public office, half a lifetime ago as mayor of city in New Jersey, and know the promise and peril of contending with life’s challenges in the public square. But the Lord has also shown me that it is a far better use of my talent to prepare the hearts and minds of the faith-filled to live their creed quietly and confidently in the midst of the world’s chaos and confusion, providing the stability of faith, the encouragement of hope, and the power of love.
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