Port Community United Church Of Christ
“I believe our
congregation is well positioned for a bright and exciting future. I am
delighted to be the first full-time, permanent minister that this church
has had in 7 years. We are positioned to grow in North Port, which is an
exciting and vibrant community. Major emphasis will be on creating
innovative ministries and programs to attract people of all ages to our
worship and service Community: Create the Amistad Committee, to position
our selves, to become more involved in the community and social justice
concerns. This congregation is blessed with a very active, positive, and
friendly people. This is a pivotal moment in the, soon to be, 35 year
history of our Congregation. We seek to be a community church. As a UCC
congregation, we welcome people of all faith traditions. We will strive
to be a community, which celebrates God’s presence in our lives. Part of
that celebration involves being open to transformation so that we can
better represent God’s spirit in the world. I believe in a collaborative
style of ministry where we work together as a team. I do not like to place
myself at the center of attention any more than necessary in the
ministry. I believe the church, as a community, should always come
first. And I am hoping we will be known as a church with creative and
effective ministries. I am a big believer in a theology of grace which
promises us the love of God, in spite of our flaws and struggles and
restoration where needed,”
He lives with his wife
Laurie in Sarasota. Laurie also has worked with the homeless, literacy
program for low-income families in Chicago, and currently as the Special
Events Coordinator of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in
Sarasota. Laurie also worked for three years as an Itinerant Volunteer
with the United Church of Christ working with the homeless in
Philadelphia, Back Bay Mission in Mississippi, and an AID’s Hospice in
Seattle, WA. Laurie gave The Children’s Message, continuing the story
about Noah’s Ark, during the worship service, October 5, 2003.
Father, Lyman Farrar, is a
retired United Church of Christ Minister, who is the Pastor Emeritus of
Lakewood Congregational Church (UCC) in Ohio. He filled our pulpit, Sept.
14, 2003, while Evan gave ‘The Charge’, at a friend’s New Presbyterian
Minister Public Installation, in Chicago.
Mother, Betty Farrar, is a
retired English Teacher; who most recently served as the Head Teacher of
the Juvenile Detention Center, in Cleveland. She is also a trained Bethel
Bible Study Series Instructor. Betty is leading this year’s class,
October through December, covering The Old Testament, at NPCUCC. She and
her husband, Lyman, reside in Sarasota.
Sister, Helen, is a
Counselor in Auburn, Alabama.
Brother, Mark, is also a
minister in the United Church of Christ.
“My Mom and Dad’s
commitment to the Ministry and service to others has deeply affected me
and helped shape my life choices and the variety of experiences I’ve had
in the Ministry. My sister is one of the most special counselors in my
life. She is a deeply spiritual person who practices kindness and
compassion in her work with people. She will be preaching the sermon at
my Installation (which is also a symbol of the value I place on lay people
in the church setting), “said Evan.
We are very fortunate to have such a supportive, talented family, as well
as a fine, young minister serving The North Port Community United Church
of Christ and this Community of North Port.
Evan has worked on the national and local
levels of the United Church of Christ. The national level included
working as the Program Associate for the East Asia and the Pacific Office
of the United Church Board for World Ministries and the Division of
Overseas Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has
had a wide range of ecumenical experiences. Traveled extensively in South
East Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan) working with
partner Christian organizations, working on peace and justice issues. Rev.
Farrar coordinated an international youth delegation of 13 young
Christians from 11 different countries in 1992 to the United States
sponsored by the UCC. Also, served as the Assistant Coordinator for
Project Oikos through which young people from 4 different churches,
representing 4 different nations (USA, Philippines, Germany, and Canada)
spent a year together visiting the host countries of each church. He
worked for the past 3 years as the Director of the Elam Davies Social Service Center at
the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, which is one of the premier
protestant churches in the United States with over 5700 members. In this
capacity, Evan directed one of the few Social Service Centers, on site in
an urban church, in the US with a budget of over $200,000. He coordinated
a weekly dinner for over 125 homeless and low-income people. Innovative
changes included: Providing weekly case management services, stronger
housing support, elimination of the $1 fee previously charged for the
weekly meal. During his tenure, “we went from serving 100 people a week
(in addition to the weekly community meal) to 300 people! “ Pastor worked
directly with the homeless at Lincoln Park Community Shelter in Chicago.
In this position, he was the case manager for up to 40 men and women. He
helped to design the Track Program, which helped participants out of
homelessness. “We established a reputation as one of the most effective
homeless shelters in Chicago. I think that the one key uniqueness of my
ministry has been the past 7 years working with the homeless and
low-income people because I was doing direct service, hands on work.” Rev.
Farrar served local parishes in New York, Ohio, and Illinois. He is a
graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. While in
seminary, served as a Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern, in the
office of Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar (D-OH).