In the Meantime…
Newsletter from Sandy Larson, Interim Pastor
Have you noticed throughout your life that most of the time, effort correlates with outcomes? So it is with the church. Many of you put in substantial effort and heart into the church committees, music, Session, Deacons and Samaritan’s Way/Food Pantry—the effort and caring is a substantial strength of the church. This long-term commitment is a strong foundation for the future of the church.
NOW there’s a significant additional challenge/opportunity: To vision and plan for the priorities and goals for the church so that the Pastor Nominating Committee can seek a pastor who will lead in that direction.
A fruitful transition requires:
Identify the strengths, vision, goals, priorities and theological leanings of the congregation.
Care-filled exploration of these will require prayer, conversation and study.
Identify the strengths of this church over the years that are foundational for the church’s strengths today. There is NO place for nostalgia here. Nostalgia tries to turn time back and is a frustrating futile endeavor. Nostalgia demeans the present. Members need to STOP any conversation or thinking that insinuates, “I wish we could go back to the ‘good old days.’” Our focus needs to be on the present and the opportunities for the future.
Members need to STOP any conversations or thinking that insinuates “BUT WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY.” The question to ask is: “How is this working NOW?” Is this way serving our purpose well NOW or is there another option that would work better in the current environment?
Steps include: Session selects a Mission Study Team (in process); Mission Study Team seeks congregation input and compiles a description of the church, the church’s vision/goals and desired traits in a new pastor; Presbytery reviews the Mission Study document and authorizes compiling a Ministry Information Form which will be used to match with minister candidates; a Pastor Nominating Committee(PNC) is elected by the congregation; and the PNC reviews and recommends one final candidate for the congregation to hear preach and vote on calling that candidate to be the new pastor.
Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry and I will lend a helping, guiding hand.
This exciting opportunity to shape the future of Union Church requires the prayer and input of all members. In God’s grace, Sandy Larson, Interim Pastor