Greetings Idlewild Family,

As the Transition Team for our new Pastor and Head of Staff, the Rev. David J. Powers, we want to make you aware of our on-going work to facilitate his healthy and efficient transition to life and ministry at Idlewild. We hope you were able to join us for worship yesterday and heard the update from Mitchell Redd.

There are a number of transition activities that have started that will continue for the next several months:
  1. Individual meetings with Idlewild’s staff over the first few weeks
  2. Small group meetings with current officers during late February and March
  3. Introductions to community leaders and others with Idlewild connections
  4. Group meetings with members of the Idlewild congregation

All of these introductions will take a tremendous amount of David’s energy, focus, and time, so please be mindful of that as he gets integrated into the church community over the weeks and months ahead.

David wants to get to know the Idlewild community as quickly as possible - we have a goal for David to meet with 500 plus members by summer. So the biggest focus of our committee will be planning a number of small group gatherings, most of which will take place outside, on patios, and porches at members’ homes. Other gatherings will be online where appropriate. In order to do this successfully, we need to be as organized as possible so we ask you all to please work through the transition committee to coordinate everything.

Since it’s the middle of winter and COVID is still a problem, we plan to start these gatherings in April, likely just after Easter. We’ll schedule a couple of these each week over the next few months. Several people have already volunteered to host. We’ve heard from others that have said they would like David to attend one of their regular church meetings such as a Christ Care group or a Presbyterian Women circle.

We hope these church gatherings will be a great way to celebrate a new beginning for Idlewild. As members, it’s crucial to remember that meeting the congregation is one of many dimensions of David making a pastoral and life transition. He will still need to prepare his sermons, nurture the church staff, care for pastoral concerns, develop a personal life in Memphis, and most importantly, nurture his own faith in Jesus Christ.  For all of these, he’ll need plenty of time and space. Our work as a Transition Team, along with your cooperation working with us, will ensure that David has a strong beginning to his work at Idlewild, and sets the foundation for a long and successful ministry at Idlewild.

It’s going to take a little more time than we would like to get started with these congregational meetings, but it’s important for everyone to be as safe and comfortable as possible when they take place. So please bear with us as we wait for the weather and COVID conditions to improve. David is excited to meet everyone and hear your stories about Idlewild. 

Today we’d like to ask for your help: let us know if you are interested in hosting an event (we need about 40 hosts total) or would like to have David come to one of your group’s regular meetings. The transition committee will be back in touch with you to firm up the details. If you have any other questions or suggestions about the transition, we have an email that will go to everyone on the committee. Don’t hesitate to contact us.
We hope these church gatherings will be a great way to celebrate a new beginning for Idlewild. As members, it’s crucial to remember that meeting the congregation is one of many dimensions of David making a pastoral and life transition. He will still need to prepare his sermons, nurture the church staff, participate in numerous committee meetings, care for pastoral concerns, develop a personal life in Memphis, and most importantly, nurture his own faith in Jesus Christ.  For all of these, he’ll need plenty of time and space. Our work as a Transition Team, along with your cooperation working with us, will ensure that David has a strong beginning to his work at Idlewild, and sets the foundation for a long and successful ministry at Idlewild.

It’s going to take a little more time than we would like to get started with these congregational meetings, but it’s important for everyone to be as safe and comfortable as possible when they take place. So please bear with us as we wait for the weather and COVID conditions to improve. David is excited to meet everyone and hear your stories about Idlewild. 

Thank you and blessings to all of you and your families.

The Transition Team
Jenny Haddad
Emily Mulqueen
Pat Neely
Jason Potter
Mitchell Redd