By Walt Mangerich, Member of Session
So, now that Pastor Morelli has retired, where are we in the process of calling a new pastor? Finding a new full-time pastor requires a process that takes awhile. Even though some of us have been through the process before, we need to review our method, and be reminded that it’s the congregation that is responsible for the process.
The initial responsibility of Session is to secure pastors to conduct our service each Sunday and to help provide services for the members and friends of our church. We have engaged Pastor Paul Belz-Templemen of the Aurora Presbyterian Church. He will be the Session moderator and has agreed to help us with events requiring a pastor’s presence.
Various Presbyterian ministers from the “pulpit supply” list are scheduled to conduct our Sunday services through August, and we’re working on September. I find pulpit supply to be rather interesting. The majority of pastors will have a lot of experience. There will be a tremendous difference in their messages and in the method in which they present their messages.
The second step will be to work with Presbytery to find an interim pastor to be here on Sundays, to conduct Session meetings, and to provide some pastoral care for the congregation. The level of care will depend on whether we employ him or her on a half-time, three-quarter-time or full-time basis. Session and members of the congregation should review our last mission statement, make whatever changes are necessary, and have it available to assist the congregation and Presbytery in choosing the right person. My hope is that in August Session will begin that process. Exactly how that process will evolve is still work in progress.
To call a permanent full-time pastor requires that we complete a mission study and publish it throughout the Presbytery. Basically we will be telling ministers what we want to do and they will decide if they wish to apply for the position. We will receive numerous applications which we will review, and we will narrow the applicants down to a few. From the few we will select several to advance through an interview process and eventually we will select one to be our full-time pastor. That process takes a while.
Using pulpit supply and then an interim pastor will allow us the time and opportunity to consider what qualifications we will want in our next full-time pastor. The process can be frustrating, time consuming, challenging and painfully slow, however it has produced good results in the past. I hope we will all take a deep breath, relax and allow the process to work. Remember we do things decently and in order.
Newsletter PDF: August 2014 web