A year ago we learned that Pastor Tim would leave us before the end of the month. The COVID pandemic had been around for more than a year and a half and our congregation got hit pretty hard that month.
You know the history. It was a “double-whammy” and we were reeling. But God had been preparing Pastor Gary to be our Interim Pastor, the pandemic has eased a bit, and we have been working to repair our damaged fellowship and to restore essential functions. Although the pandemic still hangs on (more than two and a half years now), we are seeing some healthy signs of healing and regrowth.
Pastor Gary got us started doing the background work needed before we could begin to look for a new pastor. The Develop-ment Committee, Mike Barrett, John Bedosky, Ted Ryan, and Margrit Saghafi, with me as Chair, has produced and shared with you: 1) a historical/theological document reflecting who we are and where we have come from, 2) a description of our community, and 3) an analysis of how we generally do things (our “style of ministry”). Still in production is a short video presentation. And here for your review with this newsletter is the pastor’s job description (see the email attachment). Any comments or suggestions on this document can be sent to me (email@example.com or churchmouse11@juno
What’s next? We form a Search Committee. God has urged us to heed good advice, as provided in several texts that Pastor Gary recommended to the committee, to trust God to guide in selecting the committee. At the September quarterly meeting, the congregation approved a different process, one intended to allow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. People who feel that they cannot serve on the committee are saying so, meaning that they are removing themselves from consideration (by contacting me confidentially). Other members not on this list will be potential Search Committee members. Soon, a special congregational meeting will vote by secret ballot for the seven church members that we think should be on the committee. (Members who are genuinely interested and involved in the life of the church who cannot be present at the meeting may mail or email their votes to the church prior to the meeting). The seven members having the most votes would be appointed. (Procedural concerns have been raised, and they will be addressed at that meeting.)
The next phase. The new Search Committee will begin early in 2023. Once our online church profile is activated, candidates can apply. The Search Committee will evaluate resumes and examples of preaching, conduct interviews, and consult candidates’ references. They may visit a candidate’s community to get a better sense of how the person operates. When they believe they have the right candidate, they will invite that person here to meet us.
What about the rest of us not on the committee? Actually, these probably are the most important. 1) Pray. . .pray. . . pray. Pray for the committee to work in unity, to be thorough, to be diligent and perceptive and wise. Pray for candidates to apply and for the candidate whom we will call, as well as for that person’s family. This will be a big decision for them as well as for us. 2) Work at being/becoming the fellowship that the Lord needs in this community. Embrace and embody our Relational Covenant. 3) Generously support the church financially. In addition to supporting regular operations, we must be able to pay a living salary and benefits for the person we call.