Happy New Year! As we begin 2018 together I want to give you an update on where we are in this interim period between Pastor Ted retiring and your calling a new Pastor. In short: we are exactly where we need to be! So far we have accomplished quite alot! Since I happily joined your ministry here in Port Angeles I’ve kept in close contact with our Presby-tery and you will be pleased to know that our Executive Presbyter, Cory Schlosser-Hall, along with our Committee on Ministry (COM) Co-Chair Amy Delaney, and COM liaison, David Eekhoff, as well as our own Transitional Ministry Team (TMT) who I continue to meet with regularly. We all agree that we are exactly where we need to be in this process.
From the beginning, we planned for this to be about a two year transitional process. There are many changes, both overt and subtle that happen for a congregation after a long term (37 years!) and much loved Pastor retires. Just having a me in the pulpit, in the office, at your hospital bedside, and generally around is a huge change. To hurry the process is a shortcut that in the long run endangers the “success” of the next Pastor.
In light of that we’ve been careful not to hurry, or to be too slow in this transitional time. We are learning together how to welcome change, how to adapt to new ways of doing things, and to new perspectives. This is not simply a time of pressing the pause button until the new Pastor is hired. We’re actually doing very important work as a congregation becoming stronger, more adaptable, and sure of our mission and ministry. Working with such a mature and spiritually dynamic congregation is a pleasure. My hat’s off to you and I look forward to continuing this transitional journey with you!
As we go forward here’s an abbreviated look at what’s ahead in terms of calling a new pastor:
1. We’ve just completed one of the major milestones, the Mission Study. The Mission Study Team will distribute and make a report of it to you on January 7th following each worship services.
2. The Nominating Committee (NC) is in the process of selecting candidates to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). They’ve appreciated names you’ve submitted and are prayerfully discerning who to bring forward for election.
3. The NC hopes to have 7 names to bring to you for election at our Annual Congregational Meeting on January 28th. Nominations can also be made from the floor at that meeting.
4. At that meeting (following one 10am service), I will also explain the Presbyterian process for calling a Pastor and will welcome questions from you about it! For many this will be the first time going through this process and it can be a bit confusing. So please come ready to learn and help clarify with your questions!
5. Once the PNC is elected our Presbytery steps in to assist. Cory and David will train the PNC and help them get started. To begin with, the PNC will meet weekly.
6. The PNC will write our Ministry Information Form (MIF) utilizing the Mission Study. The MIF describes us and our mission, and for pastors looking for a church to serve. The MIF gets posted on the PCUSA Church Leadership Connection (CLC) website.
7. Pastors seeking a call go to the CLC to learn about openings and will read our MIF. If interested they will submit their Pastor Information Form (PIF/a pastor resume) to us.
8. Our PNC reviews PIF’s, conducts interviews with the support of our COM liaison David.
9. The PNC selects final candidates to interview further and then a finalist.
10. The PNC brings the finalist to the congregation for election.
11. If elected COM confirms the call, the PNC is disbanded.
12. An Installation service is planned for the new Pastor.
There are quite a few steps along the way, but they’re predictable and well planned out steps with lot’s of guidance provided. Once the PNC is formed, they focus on the task at hand, give themselves wholeheartedly to the Spirit for discernment, and will report to us monthly in Highlights.
In the meantime we will carry on with the mission and ministries of our church! We will allow the Spirit to shape us more & more into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ!
As we continue this journey together please know that my door is always open to you! If you have questions or concerns please come and speak with me or to someone on our Transitional Ministry Team (Rainy Birch, Todd Haworth, Carrie Cobb, Rosalie Doty or Chuck Whitney).
Joyfully yours, Pastor Wendy