Members and Friends of CLPC,
As we continue in a special time of transition at CLPC, we are hopeful that these attached FAQs will be of interest to you and help answer any outstanding questions you may have.
Who oversees the transition period now that our Interim Pastor has arrived in the pulpit?
The Transition Team, appointed by Session and made up of Carson Brown (co-chair), Bob Hoschner (co-chair), Wanda Bishop, Karen Clifford, Ron Cramer, Marietta Meacham, and Steve Norris, continue to oversee and facilitate the transition.
What are the Transition Team’s responsibilities?
The Transition Team has already checked off some responsibilities on its timeline, including:
- Overseeing the recognition and celebration of Pastor Clint and his ministry at CLPC.
- Overseeing the recognition and welcome of Pastor Andy.
- Providing assistance to the Interim Pastor Nominating Committee and Session, as requested.
- Working with Session, the congregation, and the Committee on Ministry, identifying, acting on, and assuming responsibility for issues that require special attention, e.g. pulpit supply, pastoral care, etc.
There are other important responsibilities that the team must fulfill, as well, over the coming months, including:
- Providing support and regular communication to the staff and the congregation throughout the transition period.
- Organizing, in conjunction with the interim pastor and with input from the congregation, an in-depth analysis of the church and its goals, known as a mission study.
- Helping organize the process of nomination and election of a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).
- Serving as an ethical bridge to help ensure the transition is achieved appropriately and in accordance with the polity of our denomination.
What will the mission study consist of?
The team is working to prepare a two-part mission study. This study will consist of a congregational survey, that all members and friends will be invited to complete, as well as listening sessions to expand upon some of the topics covered in the survey. We're hopeful that this study will address members' and friends' visions and hopes for our congregation, and, specifically, our next installed senior pastor.
Why can't Pastor Andy just become our next installed pastor?
The PC(USA) Book of Order (G-2.0504) grants permission to each presbytery to decide whether interim pastors are eligible to become installed pastors, a departure from the usual norm that stipulates they cannot. The Book of Order grants this autonomy as different presbyteries will have different strategies, needs, and policies. Our presbytery, Peace River Presbytery, has determined that, within its churches, interim pastors cannot be considered candidates for the position of installed pastor. There are several rationales for this. Interim pastors can enable congregations to deal with their agenda better if they have no vested interest in their own long-range call to that congregation. Additionally, consideration of the interim pastor as a candidate may shortchange the search process, it can confuse intentions, and the church owes all candidates for the position a sense of fairness. The congregation also has a responsibility to protect the concept of what intentional interim ministry can provide. Finally, honoring the interim's task of building on a solid foundation on which the next called pastor can build is crucial, and can yield plentiful results. Pastor Andy is a wonderful pastor, and we've been blessed by God with his ministry and leadership so far. However, for these reasons and others, we do not have the authority to consider him as a candidate for installed pastor.
Who will pick the new installed pastor?
The Session has appointed a committee to prepare a slate of candidates to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). The former committee, the Pastor Nominating Committee Search Committee (PNCSC), is currently accepting nominations, which can be submitted to any of them. A means to submit nominations online or via a paper form will be made available, as well, in the near future. The members of the PNCSC, and their contact information, are listed below:
Carson Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barb Pappalardo, email@example.com
Gordon Coffman, firstname.lastname@example.org
How long will this whole process, including to find our next called and installed pastor, take?
"Decently and in order" seldom means quick. As church volunteers, we covenant to work with the energy and fervor we have to achieve the tasks set before us, but it is important to remember that we are not working towards a hasty outcome, but rather seeking to discern and discover God’s call for CLPC and our future senior pastor. The time we spend with our interim will be precious time; the transition entails a period of discernment and inward-looking analysis of our mission and the status of the church, including our strengths and weaknesses. Having fresh eyes to help walk alongside us in this process is vital to ensuring its success.
What about the search for a full-time Spanish-speaking associate pastor? Why can’t we just hire a bilingual pastor?
There are no short answers to these questions. However, we must ensure that our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters are not left behind in this process. There are reasons why we must regard these as separate tracks; the pledges received for the Spanish-speaking pastor were designated for that purpose, and the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee is moving along in its course as directed. What happens with regard to this search will be a discussion of the Session over the coming months. The Interim Pastor will work to help steady our church and work with us to identify our strengths and weaknesses; this includes the Spanish-speaking side of our church. It is important to remember that Pastor Joel Ajo-Fernandez faithfully serves our Spanish-speaking members and visitors and will continue to do so until the associate pastor search is complete.
Will there be regular communication to the congregation about any progress?
We understand our role of communicating with the congregation as one of our most important responsibilities. The Transition Team will update both the Session and the congregation regularly on its activities, understanding that certain things must be kept confidential. The CLPC website will be a great resource for any additional materials concerning the transition. You are, as well, more than welcome to contact any member of the Transition Team with questions, comments, or concerns.
How can I contact the Team?
Carson Brown, Co-Chair: email@example.com
Bob Hoschner, Co-Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Clifford: email@example.com
Wanda Bishop: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Cramer: email@example.com
Marietta Meacham: Marietta.firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Norris: email@example.com