LAKE FOREST – The Rev. N. Luke Back has joyfully accepted the call to serve as the 12th rector of The Church of the Holy Spirit.
“I felt called to The Church of the Holy Spirit because the need for hope, renewal and growth in the parish encouraged and attracted me,” said Back. “The two congregations I served in the past have grown spiritually and numerically. With God’s careful and gracious guidance, the potential for CHS is unlimited and our possibilities for the future are Divine.”
Highly recommended by heads of theological seminaries, bishops and rectors throughout the country, Back is a deeply spiritual priest and strong leader who connects with people of all ages. He leads with confidence and warmth, demonstrates a genuine love of people, and has inspired his congregations to grow in the faith, numbers and resources that promote God’s work in the world. His pastoral presence has endeared him to the parishes he has loved and served.
“When our committee gathered to begin the discernment process, we prayed it would be God-led every step of the way,” said Bob Murley, chairman of the CHS Rector Search Committee. “When we reached out to leaders in the church we received many recommendations, but the one name we kept hearing time and again was Luke Back. We were told he is an exceptional priest but only God could persuade him and his family to leave Abilene, Texas, a place they love so much, to move to The Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest. We did our best to encourage Luke and Meredith and the Lord took it from there.”
Back comes to CHS having served most recently as rector of The Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene for more than seven years. He earned a B.A. in 1995 and M.Ed. in 1999 from the University of Oklahoma and his Master of Divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary in 2002. Following graduation from seminary, Back was canon, then priest- in-charge, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City.
Back is also immediate past president of the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP), having been elected president twice by his peers. His work with the consortium, which consists of the 300 largest endowed Episcopal parishes and affiliate institutions in the country, will help CHS connect more broadly with the national Episcopal Church.
Back, his wife, Meredith, and their three children are looking forward to the cultural offerings of Chicago, snow, excellent schools and meeting new friends. “Lake Forest promises to be much more than a ‘new normal’ for our family. Meredith and I are already aware this North Shore community is a ‘new wonderful’!”
Back will celebrate his first services on Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18.
Founded in 1902, The Church of the Holy Spirit is a vibrant and inviting Episcopal parish in Lake Forest with services at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sundays. For more information, please visit http://www.chslf.org.
Submitted by The Church of the Holy Spirit