The Search for a New Pastor
If you have attended Sunday worship in the past month or so, and have heard John Ellsworth's announcements as Chair of Church Council, you are aware that withmy upcoming retirement in June, the church has begun the process of searching for a new pastor. During much of the month of April, there was an open request for input from all members of the church regarding the next steps, the hoped for qualities and gifts of the next pastor, and to gather your sense of the needs of the church as a whole. There was also an open invitation for the names of members to be part of a Search Committee. As of this date, a Search Committee has been formed and includes; Ruth Hanning, Porter Woodward, Busi Maswoswe and Brett Walker.
As many of you are aware, part of the challenge facing the church, is not just the search for a new pastor, but also recognizing that due to financial constraints, the pastor's position will need to be reduced to approximately 20 hours per week, down from the current 32 hours a week position under which I have served for the past two years. To say the least there are some real challenges and changes ahead.
Our church is not the first church to face such challenges and there are lots of resources out there to draw from to help the church navigate through this time of change and uncertainty. The Search Committee is first tasked with developing a profile of our church, an accurate "picture" of our church as it is and its special needs, so that prospective ministers seeking a part time position may be able to discern if they might be interested. The second task will be to "publish" that profile with the wider church community through the resources available through one or more of the denominations with which we are covenanted. The third task will be to receive, review and screen potential ministry candidates who express interest, and then finally present to the whole church one or more finalists. The final "call" for a new pastor will come from the whole church when an all church vote is taken.
I can understand if the outlook for the church in the near future can seemoverwhelming for some and the challenge at hand can seem daunting. But take heart! Although no one knows what the future holds, you can find comfort and peace of mind, through your faith in Jesus Christ, who has inspired the members of this church along life's journey since 1835 through the presence of the Holy Spirit who dwells within this place.