PASTORAL TRANSITION

Pastoral Transition Process Checklist: updated as specific tasks are identified and completed.

[italic=completed, bold=in process, regular=to be completed]

  • Hire Interim Pastor/start date: July 12, 2021
  • Session consultation with and the Presbytery Commission on Ministry (COM)/ Transitions Work Team. December 14, 2021.
  • Mission Study. Session appoints a “Transition Mission Study Team” as an ad hoc committee to work with Interim Pastor to prepare the congregational mission study. This can be a lengthy process involving new learning, careful design, communication with the congregation, examination of the community context, and then preparing a final report. The final report must be approved by both the Session and the Presbytery COM. In process.
  • The Nominating Committee begins to seek candidates from the congregation to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). The Session decides how many people should be nominated, with guidance from the COM. The PNC is elected at a Congregational Meeting which would be called by Session after the COM approval of the mission study. Currently receiving nominations.
  • The PNC will receive training from the COM about the specific steps in the call process of calling an installed pastor. The PNC’s work is confidential.
  • The PNC will prepare a Ministry Information Form (MIF) based on the findings of the Mission Study, which is used to advertise the position nationally. Once drafted, the MIF must be approved by the Session and the COM.
  • Once the MIF is posted, the PNC chairperson will begin receiving PIFs (Personal Information Forms) of potential candidates. The PNC will determine a strategy for evaluating PIFs, interviewing, and selecting a candidate who will ultimately be presented to the congregation.

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