A Boydseye View – Pastoral Search Process (4.11.18)

A Boydseye View

It was nice to get a report from moderator Susan Watson after Sunday’s congregational meeting that a new search committee was approved; and to hear they met with Associate Conference Minister Joanne Thomsen on Monday. It is a great group with an important task, and Sara Roberts is an able and trusted leader who will make an excellent chair.

Those of you who were at the congregational meeting know I was not there; nor will I be at any forum and/or meeting called by the Search Committee in the coming months. My role, and the role of Ken Pennings and Tammy Martens, is to keep the wheels of ministry and service for the whole church moving forward. It is to work alongside and in support of our Moderator, Susan Jane Watson, the Leadership Team and each of our five Ministries as they organize, plan and implement various programs and initiatives.   If the Search Committee needs pastoral support, they will be well served by the Rev. Thomsen. She will be their point person for the very well thought out UCC search process; and the pastoral support for them in their role throughout their period of work.

Over the course of the summer, we’ve invited three other pastors to preach here in July and August. These three are Sharon Goss (ORUCC member, retired UCC minister), Muriel Otto (a newly ordained UCC pastor serving Cross of Life Lutheran Church in Brookfield), Kerri Parker (former pastor at McFarland UCC, now Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches).   Their voices, their preaching styles, and their leadership will offer us alternative models to the three clergy you know best.

Administratively, Office Manger Debbie Bauerkemper has notified the Leadership Team that she will be retiring at the end of January 2019 (in all fairness, she told us this before I made my decision). A small mission team has been formed to work on replacing Debbie, including reviewing the structure of her position and the best use of our administrative dollars. The goal is to have a plan for a new position(s) by early fall in order to hire someone to shadow Debbie as she does the year-end financial work in December 2018 and January 2019. It goes without saying that there is also attention being given to capturing and documenting the ‘institutional memory’ that both Debbie and I currently carry in our heads.

While it is still taking shape, it is my hope that my preaching focus in the fall will offer me a chance to reflect back to you the blessings of this congregation, it’s ministry and it’s possibilities going forward. While I have left two previous congregations in my career as an ordained pastor, this departure process after 20 years of ministry is a new one to me; as it is for most of you. I hope we can walk this journey with appreciation, honesty, humility and hope. And let us do so as a people of prayer. Please pray for Tammy and me (and Kythie) as we pray for you throughout these months.

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