Elder Brenda Flynn delivers a message on the calling of a new pastor for our church.
In the journey of our pastoral transition here at BPC, we have essentially completed our mission study. Now, as we move forward with our search for a pastor, the Session has charged the Nominating Committee with the task of identifying a slate of candidates for the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). Our presbytery explains in a document called “On Calling a Pastor” that “In the PC(USA) call process, the congregation gives authority to search for a pastor to a PNC.”
The BPC Nominating Committee is beginning its work to compile a slate of nominees for the PNC. When a slate of nominees for the PNC is complete, the Nominating Committee will notify the Session and present the slate to the congregation for election. Then, a special meeting of the congregation for the purpose of electing the PNC will be held.
The Nominating Committee is seeking suggestions for candidates to serve on the PNC. It is important for us to find a PNC that is representative of the whole congregation. We should (quoting for “On Calling a Pastor”): “consider church members of integrity who are:
· knowledgeable about the church and community, Presbyterian theology and government;
· able to make a significant commitment of their time, energy, and very best wisdom;
· willing to accept this as a task of spiritual discernment, not being easily influenced by personal desires or congregational politics, but rather listening for the voice of God; and
· able to honor confidentiality.”
We encourage everyone to prayerfully consider members who you think will be effective contributors to the PNC. Please make suggestions to the Nominating Committee by sending an email to Brad Morrison. Please include the name of the person you would like us to consider and also a few sentences about why you think this person is a good choice, what talents he or she brings to the discernment and search process, or how his or her presence on the PNC will make it a stronger group for our search. We encourage you to suggest yourself if you are interested, and we encourage you to suggest as many names as you care to submit. (If you do not have access to email for whatever reason, please speak with one of the members of the Nominating Committee, listed below, and we will help.) We are especially interested in finding a PNC that can harness some of the rich diversity among our congregation (and community), bring multiple perspectives to their work, and work together in the good service of our congregation and our God.
Yours in prayer,
Your BPC Nominating Committee
It’s been a challenging time of change in the life of our church. As the news has come it, I was grateful to spend time with my friends in the small group.
The purpose of our small group meetings is to gain a realistic picture of our congregation’s place in its life so that we can make a collective decision about our direction for future ministry.
Most of the small groups are about halfway through the New Beginnings curriculum. We’ve talked about who we are now in Session 1. Session 2 covered our reactions to the New Beginnings report. Session 3 was a discussion of our community (along with the hard question of how we define our community). We are still looking ahead to sessions on “Our Church In God’s Mission”, “Discovering Our Options” and “Navigating Change”. In that last session, our small groups will create a recommendation for what direction we think we should use to go in next.
Once these recommendations are made, the small group leaders will come together to hash out the similarities and differences between our recommendations, and then use them to craft an understanding of our shared mission. We use THAT understanding to put together an idea of what kind of pastor we will need to help us accomplish the mission.
It’s a long process, but I love how it is building deeper relationships among us. I also love how the choices in our church aren’t left up to habit, or to some distant “them”, but come from the hearts of the people in our community.
If you haven’t been able to attend a small group meeting, you’re not out of luck. We still have sessions remaining, and we’d love to have you join. Reach out to me, and I’ll help you find the best one.
If you are interested in reading the New Beginnings report, here’s a link.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about this process!