Rev. Dan Puchalla - Our Priest-in-Charge
Dear St. Gregory’s Community,
We are pleased to announce Reverend Dan Puchalla will be joining St. Gregory’s on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 as our Priest In Charge.
He will be with us for an 18 month period. During this time he will guide our discernment on who we are as a congregation and how we want to shine the light of Jesus Christ in our community.
After about a year together, we will discern as a congregation and in conversation with Dan if we want to continue this relationship or pursue other options.
Please read through Pastor Dan’s letter so you can get to know him a little before you see him preside on Sunday, September 17.
Susan Hitch-Zint and Jim Millspaugh
Dear People of St. Gregory’s,
I feel profoundly honored and blessed to serve as your Priest-in-Charge over these next 18 months.
The Book of Common Prayer invites us to pray for ourselves, the Church, as a “wonderful and sacred mystery” (p. 291). What an idea this is — that we are a mystery, even to ourselves. The full meaning and possibilities of who we are as Church are only gradually revealed over time.
That is one of the reasons I love my work. It is a great privilege to walk with a community during a pivotal transition moment, when they can reflect deeply about who they are, who their neighbors are, and what God might be calling them to do and to be in their next chapter.
Our ministry together will be about encountering ourselves as a mystery and letting God reveal to us who this community is at this moment and in this place. For my money, there is no work more holy … or more fun.
I know you have been walking with some uncertainty this past year. Thank you for continuing to walk together. I think one of the reasons the early Church was called “The Way” is because the first thing God asks of us is just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And I know you have been doing much more than that. I am thrilled to be joining you at the start of the visioning work that your Wardens and Vestry have organized for this fall. These will be vital conversations, and I hope you will participate in them fully. I am convinced that the mystery of the Church is revealed when we reveal bits of it to one another. The Holy Spirit speaks in the space between us, through honest sharing and generous listening, through our stories and our values. I’m eager to see the fruits of this process and then to accompany you in discerning what next steps are needed to be faithful to your calling.
Before I close, let me share some details about myself. I was ordained in 2011 at St. Paul & the Redeemer in Hyde Park, where I served as Associate Rector until 2017. At that point, my husband Raff and I relocated for his work as a law professor and philosopher. His career took us down to LSU, then to Penn State, then, thankfully, back to our beloved Chicago, where he is a tenured professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law. I returned to Chicago in 2019 to serve as Interim Rector at Annunciation in Gurnee. This past year, I served as Interim Rector at Church of the Atonement in Edgewater. On a personal note: I’m a bit of a sci-fi geek, a total science nerd, a devotee of theater and art and film, and an avid hiker … so expect many sermon stories about those things!
Two last details about me:
1. What should you call me? I prefer just to be called “Dan,” but feel free to address me as you are comfortable: Father, Reverend, Pastor, Preach, etc.
2. How do you pronounce my last name, Puchalla? Pretend the “c” isn’t there: poo-HA-la.
I so look forward to meeting each and every one of you. If you are able, I hope you can be present (in-person or online) for my first Sunday on September 17. Please do not hesitate to be in touch about anything you want to discuss.