During the Session retreat yesterday, Pastor Matt shared his decision to resign as Pastor of our congregation. Below, you will find Matt’s letter to you.

June 13, 2022

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church,

On August 16th of this year, I will recognize nine years serving as your pastor. It has been a meaningful time and I am very grateful for the privilege to have served Christ’s Church alongside you. Your graciousness and kindness have given me room to grow in ways I could have never imagined. I now write with the news that I am concluding my term here as pastor. On Sunday, June 12th, I informed Session that I am resigning as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis. My last Sunday will be August 21st, 2022.

My decision is not predicated on anything that you, the church, or any individuals of the church, have done or not done. This decision isn’t sudden but has developed over the last 3 years, during which I reflected with spiritual directors, therapists, trusted colleagues, and utilized the gift of sabbatical, all in an effort to continue my ministry with you and find ways to make it fit. Still, the awareness of an irreconcilable incongruence persisted. Today, I am very clear that this is the step I need to take.

My efforts will now turn to building a professional life that better suits my particular gifts and conforms to my capacities. While I have no illusions that this will come easy, I am compelled by faith and the hope that I will better serve all involved by focusing on my gifts and being who I am.

I know this is difficult for many of you to hear and that you will need time to process the impact of this news and that many of you will have questions. I plan to provide spaces for conversation in the weeks to come.

The Session will communicate with you the plans ahead as they work with Presbytery staff and the Committee on Ministry. You have remarkable leadership in place, a gifted and experienced pastor in Sharon, presbytery staff and leaders, and, let’s not forget, the Spirit of God! You are in good hands.

Please know that, on a personal level, this is difficult. I am deeply grateful for the kindness and graciousness you have lavished upon myself and my family over the years. I have much love for you and genuinely enjoy you as individuals and as a community.

With love and gratitude,

Rev. Matt Gough

The Session will be meeting with a Presbytery representative who will be walking with us through this transition and we will be communicating regularly with you.

While we are sad his time with us will be ending, we also support his decision and are excited for both him and the church as we anticipate new life in new beginnings. Please be present with us to complete the business required by our denomination and to offer our gratitude to Matt:

Sunday, August 21, after worship

to dissolve the relationship between Rev. Matt Gough and First Presbyterian Church, Corvallis.

In Gratitude and Hope,
Rev. Sharon Edwards, Moderator
on behalf of the Session of First Presbyterian Church