“I’m really excited about learning more about the congregation and also the community,” Kwong-Abasia said. “I think that we are in an exciting, new place. I’m ready for the challenge and I’m really excited to be a part of the church’s story.”
Rev. Kwong-Abasia is the first permanent pastor of the church in five years, and led her debut service on Aug. 25.
“There is a sense of ‘at last’ and I think we really look forward to fellowship and the great leadership that Rev. Larissa brings to the congregation,” said church member Jessica Odle-Baril. “I found that she brings a certain vibrancy and energy.”
Kwong-Abasia studied English literature and history at Rutgers University and received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. She joins the church with previous experience as the associate pastor of Lake View Presbyterian Church in Chicago.
“I’m particularly looking forward to learning about the ways that we’ve been a part of the local community and the ways we can continue to build those relationships,” she said. “There’s a lot of potential and opportunity in the midst of our congregation.
“I’d love to find opportunities to support young adults and young families,” Kwong-Abasia contineud. “Another thing I’m excited about is to work with our children and youth. I think sometimes we look at our Sunday School program and think of the ways we need to teach them as a church, but we need to not only focus on that, but also on ways they can teach us.”