Reverend Erik Khoobyarian began his ministry at the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs on August 1, 2018 after a two-year transition and nationwide search process.
You’ve been in Western Springs for over a year now. What are your impressions of the town?
I’ve grown very fond of Western Springs in short time! I love the traditions of our village and meeting others from the community at events throughout the year. I am also appreciative of the ways that this community rallies in support of one another when difficult things happen. I look forward to getting more involved in village life in the coming years.
What are your thoughts about the library–its collections, services, programs?
The Thomas Ford Memorial Library is impressive! My mother worked in the library system most of my life, so I saw a lot of libraries. I absolutely love the TFML layout with spaces devoted to children’s holdings and programs as well as spaces for quiet study and community gatherings. I have enjoyed slipping away to the library to get some work done in the quiet work spaces!
What are you reading these days?
I am reading a new book called The Soul of Wine: Savoring the Goodness of God by Gisela Kreglinger. I previously read her book The Spirituality of Wine which was wonderful and her new book is a very approachable read about two of my favorite topics: wine and God! I highly recommend it, and, in fact, I’m working on an upcoming four-week discussion group (with wine-tasting, of course!)
Another book I’m currently reading is called You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith by David Kinnaman. This book captures well my passion for ministry in the church. For many young people the church has been a place where their intellect and their faith have appeared to be in conflict instead of one where science and religion are in harmony. My hope is for a church that can be intelligent and loving as we walk alongside people on their journey of faith!
What are your all-time favorite books? Movies?
I love the C.S. Lewis books in the Chronicles of Narnia series. I continue to return to them – especially when I need a break from the busy-ness of adult life. I also love to escape into mystery/thriller novels by Harlan Coban and Lee Child. As for movies, The Shawshank Redemption is still one of my favorites! More recently, The Hundred-Foot Journey was a powerful film for me in the way that it wove a story of different cultures and people. I found myself laughing, crying, and wanting more!
Your parish website notes that you’re ready to hear recommendations for enjoying nature in the region and learning about Chicago from others; what have you discovered that you can you recommend to us?
I have fallen in love with Morton Arboretum for one. I know that many of your readers are well-aware of this gem, but it has become a place I go to walk, clear my head, and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons. My other favorite attraction has been the Chicago Architecture Center’s boat tour in downtown. I have taken the tour six times in the past year as it is my favorite way to share Chicago with visitors.
Do you have a reflection or some guidance you’d like to share with the community?
My hope for all people is that they will find genuine connection with other people. I believe this is what we’re designed to do. Finding others with whom we can be vulnerable and honest is not easy, but it is critical to our mental health and our enjoyment of life. I encourage everyone to look for ways to do that – ways to share your stories and live life with others who share their stories with you!
“The Ford Member Connection” spotlights Western Springs residents with interesting stories and relationships to the Library. Please let us know whom you’d like to read about.