April 10, 2015
From the interim pastor
I’m excited to share the good news with you that we have a Transition Team! They are:
Shaleka Covington-Jones, Frank Gailor, Tim Jensen, Joan McAllister and Suzette Roach.
Several months ago Geri Bowen and I asked the council members to suggest the names of those who were persons of wisdom, spiritual depth, and love for God’s people. We also asked them to think in terms of the transition team being a microcosm of the congregation. I think you will agree that these five individuals meet this criteria.
Soon the team will gather for their first meeting and retreat to begin our time together. I know you are interested in what the plan is for this intentional interim process.
Here is a bit from the letter I sent to them: “Let me share my vision for the Transition Team and what you might expect in commitments of time and energy. Churches that take advantage of the interim period for intentional focus on issues of identity, mission, and renewal have found that the church is stronger and healthier as a result. Our goal is to create a trusted and trusting leadership group to facilitate the interim process. We hope to model for the congregation a team with diverse perspectives who value being with each other (sometimes even having fun!), can share with each other in a trusting and safe environment, and can work together to accomplish tasks that move the interim process forward in the congregation.
You can read more in the link below, but let me share a bit from the United Church of Christ about interim ministry. “The value of the interim time will be enhanced if the governing board develops clear goals and objectives to be achieved during this transition period. The specific goals your leaders identify can then be incorporated into the traditional developmental work of the transition process. Intentional interim pastors will customarily utilize their specialized training to assist the congregation in addressing five transition challenges:
Developmental Tasks of the Interim Period
· Come to terms with our history…Isaiah 43 and Isaiah 44:21:
o uncovering, interpreting and understanding where we have been
o knowing and telling our story
o discerning how God has been present in the life of our church
o connecting interpretation with motivation
· Discerning our purpose and identity…I Peter 2:9-10:
o stating who we are as the people of God
o coming to a sense of self sharing our confession and receiving God’s assurance
o accepting how we are like and unlike other congregations
o understanding our unique challenges and opportunities
· Leadership change and development…Acts 6:
o reviewing style and character of past leaders—lay and clergy
o examining who has the “power” to make decisions and why
o understanding shifts and transitions of leadership and power
o identifying and supporting our gifts and strengths
o developing new leadership agendas
· Reaffirming denominational/community ties…I Cor 16 and Acts 15:
o review relationships and responsibilities with and to the UCC
o review relationships and responsibilities to local community
o promote a greater sense of “connectedness” within the church
· Committing to new leadership and new ministry…Romans 12:1-13:
o challenge existing assumptions about ministry
o express existing but unrealized expectations
o struggle with limitations
o develop a new vision for the future of our church.
You will learn more about the process as we begin. For now, please join me in thanking these dedicated people and pray for us as we move into this phase of our time together.
Prayers for the journey,