JULY 2021

Greetings to you St. Andrew’s!

I’ve been humbled by your warm reception and the kind welcome I and my family have received as I begin my service as the Interim Senior Pastor and Head of Staff at St. Andrew’s. It has been so fun meeting many of you, and I know that I have many more names and faces to learn! If I haven’t met you yet – I look forward to the chance! If I have met you, the rule of thumb is that I need to say your name at least three times before I have a chance of remembering it – and nametags are my friend right now!

Some of you may not be familiar with what an “interim” pastor is. Here is a brief summary describing my transitional leadership role at St. Andrew’s.

In Presbyterian churches, interim pastors are hired by the session on a temporary basis so that the ministries of preaching, teaching, pastoral care, leadership, and staff supervision can continue while the congregation prepares for a new installed pastor. An interim pastor usually serves for 1½ to 2½ years.

During this time, important transitional tasks are completed, following a process which is defined by the Commission (COM) on Ministry of Presbytery de Cristo; and it’s times like these when the connectionalism of being Presbyterian is helpful.

My main transitional goals as interim pastor are:

  • To shepherd a grieving and healing process for the congregation, leaders, and staff.
  • To help navigate St. Andrew’s, with the Session, to a sustainable, post-pandemic rhythm of worship and mission.
  • To support the Session in the development of a Congregational Mission Study and the eventual process of electing of a Pastor Nominating Committee.

Communication is always important, and it is especially so during times of change and transition. You can expect to get regular updates from me and the Session in upcoming editions of CrossCurrents. There may be times when the process seems either too slow or too fast, and you feel impatient, unsettled, or simply tired. While I am not able to resolve uncomfortable feelings you may experience, I am committed to walking with you and reminding you of the truth of God’s love for you; revealed fully in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. God is not in a hurry, so there is no need for us to rush. Maybe you’ve heard this African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Friends, we are in this together, and I’m confident that with God, we will go far!

Counting it all joy,
Pastor Pete