PASTORAL TRANSITION UPDATE
Our pastor, Joanne Whitt, is retiring on October 6, 2019 after 14 1/2 years with this church. We are excited to welcome The Rev. Scott Clark as interim pastor, beginning November 1, 2019.
Where we are in the process
The process for calling a new pastor can take many months, and involves the whole congregation. Below is an overview of the process, and where we are. Read on for more updates.
Phase 1 (complete): The Mission Study Team conducts a mission study.
We look at where First Presbyterian is today, and where we aspire to go. This informs the kind of pastor we seek who will help us realize these aspirations. The Mission Study Team was appointed in April, 2019 and completed its study in September of 2019. MST members: John Cowperthwaite, Laurie Buntain, Erica Heath, Dave Jones, Martha Joyce, Margaret Melsh, and Raquel Nelson.
The Mission Study Report was presented to Session on September 24, 2019.
Phase 2 (complete): The congregation elects a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).
The Nominating Committee presented a slate of PNC members, which was approved at our Congregational Meeting on September 22, 2019. The PNC will soon begin the work of developing the Ministry Information Form (MIF) and managing the pastor selection process.
Members of the PNC are: David Conant, Sarah Conant, Lisa Cosby,John Cowperthwaite, Asma Eschen, Frank Ferguson, Gina Guillemette, Mary Kathryn Marcom, Peter McConnell, Angelo Sphere, Margy Tuck
Phase 3 (complete): An interim pastor is called
When a pastor retires (as opposed to accepts a call at another church), we have plenty of time to do the work of a Mission Study and elect a PNC while she is here. Prior to her departure in October, the Personnel Committee will engage an interim pastor from candidates proposed by the Presbytery. The interim pastor will begin immediately after Joanne leaves and walk with us until the call our next pastor.
We are excited to welcome The Rev. Scott Clark as interim pastor, starting November 1, 2019.
Phase 4 (in process): The PNC searches for and selects our next pastor
This process begins with the development of a Ministry Information Form (MIF) that is approved by Session as well as the Presbytery of the Redwoods’ Committee on Ministry. It describes our church and our mission to prospective pastors, and is a reflection of the Mission Study, our mission and our values. The MIF is shared with prospective pastors via the PC(USA) websites and other outlets. The PNC receives and reviews candidates’ Personal Information Forms (PIFs), conducts interviews, hosts “neutral pulpits” and checks references. The process culminates with a call to the final nominee.
Phase 5: Congregation elects and welcomes our new Pastor and Head of Staff.
Once the candidate has accepted, Session calls a Congregational Meeting, at which the congregation elects the new pastor. Presbytery approves the candidate and the Terms of Call.
We’ll provide regular updates to keep you informed every step of the way.
The Mission Study Team received 100 responses to our written survey. Thank you!