December 3, 2018

Advent 2018

"An Exciting Chapter Awaits"


As I write this, the Pastor Search Committee is continuing to do the hard work that it has been undertaking for the last three months.  This is only the latest step in what has been a long process of deliberate reflection and planning.  It began last spring when the congregation started a Discernment Process led by the Center for Congregational Health as we celebrated our past, analyzed our resources, explored community needs, and laid out priorities as our church moves into the future.  With the arrival of our Intentional Interim Minister last fall, you chose the members of a Transition Team, which in January began working with the committees and task forces of our church making those priorities realities.  They have made great progress implementing the church's decisions, and that work continues.  The Transition Team also took the data and goals collected during the discernment process and built a profile of our congregation to create a web page informing potential candidates about what our congregation wants in a new pastor.

The effects of all this work have been both amazing and overwhelming as more than fifty applications for the Senior Minister position began flooding in.  The nine Search Committee members have spent endless hours reviewing resumes and interviewing people.  We've spoken with an amazing array of women, men, and even couples who wished to become our Senior Minister.  These are all talented people, each with their own strengths and gifts to share.  And while it would be easy for the committee members to use their personal opinions to try to find the best match, at every stage we have been relying on your decisions and the priorities you laid out to guide us.  Some weeks it seems we've spent more time at church than at home.  And teams have traveled to Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Massachusetts, visiting candidates to see them in their home settings.  We are close to the end of this long journey.  In fact, we hope to be ready to make a recommendation to the church before Christmas.

What are my glorious expectations for this Advent as the pastor search comes to a close?  As this new phase of our congregation's life begins, I see us continuing to implement the decisions the congregation made during the Discernment Process.  I think we'll see a sense of relief and renewed energy within the congregation.  I imagine the return of people who may have been taking time off during the interim period.  I hope that our energy will become infectious and we will discover new people interested in joining us in our journey.  Yes, I'm afraid that, after all of this time and effort, what I expect is a lot more work ahead of us.  But that's okay, because it is the glorious work of God.

-- Christopher Hendricks


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