This is the category for thoughts and reflections from the Pastor

December 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

 

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor.  We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next.

 July 2017  Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

 November 2017 Interim minister is hired and begins work.

March 2018 Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

 July 2018  Mission Study report approved by Session.

September 2018  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

 September 2018  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

 November 2018   Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

 __________    Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

 __________    Congregation votes on candidate.           

Scott           

 

 

November 2018

                                   

All Saints

 

According to Lives of the Saints ed. Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., PhD, every day of the year except Christmas, and some days during Holy Week, celebrate at least one Catholic saint. The Orthodox church and Coptic church have a different list of saints to honor. Some protestant denominations also recognize and honor saints. The practice of honoring martyrs and those prominent Christians who had passed away was an early occurrence. Each church and area had their own celebrations of local saints in early Christianity. It wasn’t until later that the church began canonizing saints and assigning days of celebration. Soon, however, there were more saints to celebrate than days in the year. So, “All Saints Day” was designated to celebrate all those Saints that didn’t have a day to celebrate.

All “Hollows Eve” became a Celtic celebration in which the dead Saints were thought to have one evening to walk the earth again. You can take it from there to understand our present celebration of Halloween.

Our protestant understanding is that all those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are saints whether living or dead. But I think it is important to ask the question: “Who are the heroes of the faith?” Who were the Christian influences in your life? This is what it truly means to be a saint whether canonized or not. So, happy November 1 to all you saints of the Lord!

Scott       

October 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

 

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor.  We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next.

   

 July 2017  Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

November 2017 Interim minister is hired and begins work.

March 2018 Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

July 2018  Mission Study report approved by Session.

September 2018  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

 September 2018  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

 To be completed:

__________    Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

__________    Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

__________    Congregation votes on candidate.  

 

Scott                                                    

 

September 2018

Coming To Worship

Scriptures tell us that we were created to worship and that our relationship with our awesome God is central to faith and life. We are not just a personal religion that can be practiced in secret and without interaction with fellow believers. We are the Church, the body of Christ, and individually members of the whole. Each Sunday we gather to build the body and to worship our gracious God. In worship, God is the focus, Christ is the message and the Holy Spirit is the power. It is important that before worship we prepare ourselves both as individuals and as a community of faith.

Each Monday at noon, the Brown Bag Bible study meets and focuses on the Scripture for the message on Sunday. This helps me as a preacher and those who are gathered to prepare for the next Sunday’s worship.

In September, Sunday School begins again. This is also a way to prepare for worship. Often the Sunday school lesson follows the lectionary and theme for worship and gives an opportunity to discuss the topic of the day with fellow worshipers. It is also a time to get to know some folks that you share this ministry with.

As we gather for worship, it is important to “build the body” by catching up on news of your friends and welcoming visitors. Sunday morning may be the only time that some are able to interact with one another. Come a little early and gather in the narthex or in the pews and visit. And the friendliness of a church (or the lack of it) is the greatest determination of whether a visitor will return the next Sunday.

But worship begins not with announcements or the welcome by the pastor. When the prelude begins all conversation should stop and all attention should be drawn to the presence of our magnificent God. It is not “dinner music” to accompany your continued conversation. Or worse yet, an impediment to your speech so you have to talk LOUDER to be heard.

It is not simply rude to whoever is offering that part of worship, but a misunderstanding of the important role the prelude plays in gathering our attention to the one we worship. Visit, welcome new people, but also be a model for true worship. Be inspired not only by the Scripture reading and message but the wonderful music that is not there for entertainment but to draw attention to our awesome God.

Scott

 

August 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor. We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next.

(Completed) July 2017 – Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

(Completed) November 2017 – Interim minister is hired and begins work.

(Completed) March 2018 – Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

(Completed) July 2018 – Mission Study Report approved by Session.

________  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

________  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

________  Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

________  Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

________  Congregation votes on candidate.

Scott

July 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor. We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next. The next two steps should be accomplished quickly.

(Completed) July 2017 Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

(Completed) November 2017 Interim minister is hired and begins work.

(Completed) March 2018 Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

________  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

________  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

________  Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

________  Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

________  Congregation votes on candidate.

Scott

June 2018

An Update on the Pastoral Search Process

In keeping the congregation informed, let me update you on where the search process is for your new pastor.  A Mission Study Review Committee has been appointed by the session.  A congregational survey has been circulated, compiled and the results are being reviewed.  The next step for the committee is to update the rest of the 2016 Mission Study for approval by the session and then the Committee on Ministry of New Hope Presbytery.  When the Committee on Ministry approves the Mission Study they will also give permission to form a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).  At that time a congregational meeting will be called and the Congregational Nominating Committee will offer the seven member Mission Study Committee as the PNC.  The congregation will be given the option of nominating from the floor additional members to this committee.  The PNC will work on the Ministry Information Form (MIF) which will be circulated and used to match candidates for the position.  The committee will be then ready to receive Personal Information Forms (PIF) and begin interviewing potential pastors.  I believe that the PNC will be interviewing ministers by the early fall.  When there are new developments, I will try to alert the congregation through the newsletter.

 

Scott

 

 

May 2018

Just as Advent, Lent, and Easter are seasons of the church and not simply one day, Pentecost is also a season. The day of Pentecost (50 days after Passover) was the Jewish harvest festival. The word  Pentecost (fiftieth), is found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8). The   festival is first spoken of in Exodus 23:16 as “the feast of harvest,” and again in Exodus 34:22 as “the day of the first fruits” (Numbers 28:26). Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, everyone was to bring to the Lord his “tribute of a free-will offering” (Deuteronomy 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of “two leavened loaves” made from the new corn of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thank offering.

The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the day on which the Spirit descended   upon the apostles, and on which, under Peter’s preaching, so many thousands were converted in Jerusalem (Acts 2). It is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. But the Christian season of Pentecost goes from the day of Pentecost (May 20, 2018) all the way to Christ the King Sunday (November 25, 2018). In recent years there has been a move to de-emphasize this time as a season and transfer the designation as “Ordinary Time”. The liturgical color for Pentecost is red but for Ordinary Time is green. Now red is only displayed on the Day of Pentecost.

 

For Christians this is the season of the Church. We celebrate the establishment of the church when Peter gave his speech to the crowd and thousands were added to the Church. But it is also the time we celebrate the life and work of the Church throughout history. As we enter this season, let us    remember our own life and work in the church.

 

Peace,

Scott

 

April 2018

Easter for Christians is not just one day, but rather a 50-day period. The season of Easter, or Eastertide, begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost, the day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church (see Acts 2).

 

Easter is also more than just an extended celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. In the early church, Lent was a season for new converts to learn about the faith and prepare for baptism on Easter Sunday. The initial purpose of the 50-day Easter season was to continue the faith formation of new Christians.

 

Today, this extended season gives us time to rejoice and experience what it means when we say Christ is risen. It’s the season when we remember our baptisms and how through this sacrament we are, according to the liturgy, “incorporated into Christ’s mighty acts of salvation.” As “Easter people,” we also celebrate and ponder the birth of the Church and gifts of the Spirit (Pentecost), and how we are to live as faithful disciples of Christ.

 

March 2018

Three months have passed since I have joined you as your interim minster. I want to thank you for your gracious welcome of my family and me. Though I am still in the process of learning and remembering names, I feel that I have gotten to know many of you well. I am now in the process of setting up visits with congregational members to hear from you about your dreams for this church and your hopes for leadership.

Questions have been asked about where we are in the process of finding a new Senior Pastor. First let me explain the interim ministry process. There are five developmental tasks that I need to “check off” with you before a new minister is installed. These don’t need to be accomplished sequentially, but must be addressed during my time with you.

The first is helping the church deal with the past. There may be feelings of loss, confusion, anger, or mistrust that remain among members after the leaving of the last pastor, but the church needs to also celebrate its ministry and history. The second task is to discern a new congregational identity and mission. This is where a mission study is undertaken or, in your case, probably reviewed and updated. Third is to facilitate needed shifts in its leadership. Both the staff and the committee structure need to be examined to see if they are appropriate for the stated ministry of the church. The fourth is to make sure the church is connected through our denominational linkages. And finally to commit to new leadership and ministry.

The Call process itself has already begun by the formation of your congregational nominating committee. In their work they will not only begin thinking about elders and deacons for next year but this is the group that will nominate the Pastoral Nominating Committee to begin the search for a new pastor. Normally a Study Committee is formed first and a self-study process begun. But because your last self study is recent, the Committee On Ministry can waive the requirement of doing a new self-study. Once COM gives permission for the PNC to be formed, a congregational meeting will be called to elect the members. When in place, the PNC will review the self-study and facilitate a dialogue with the congregation in determining what characteristics and ministry skills are needed. A Ministry Information Form (MIF) is then generated to be published, matched with prospective candidates, and given to those who apply for the position. The COM then again gives permission to begin the active search and the PNC can start interviewing ministers for the position.

My involvement with the process will diminish as the PNC gets closer to the search, and the interim minister is not to have any input into the evaluation of individual minister candidates when that time comes. Though interims can be employed up to two years and for some churches the process may take longer, I do not believe that will be the case with this church. If all goes well, I believe that the PNC will be fully engaged in the search sometime this Fall.

I hope this answers most of the questions you might have about the process and where we are. I will try to keep you informed and up to date as often as I can, but if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

Scott