Search Process for a new Senior Pastor

March 4, 2018
Dear Members and Friends of Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ,
I’ve known about Winton Boyd’s decision to resign for a few weeks now. As someone who had a long and successful career myself, someone who knew when it was time to step out and pursue other opportunities, I smiled for Winton when I heard his news. Transitioning from one time in my life to another has been rich with experience; Winton will certainly enjoy this next part of his life journey. At the same time, I felt sad … for the end of his tenure here with us. I felt curious … wondering what God will have in store for us. I felt grateful … knowing that we are a strong congregation, capable of moving through this transition together.
We’ve all had time to process the announcement he made in early February 2018 to resign his position as Senior Pastor. (To read his full announcement – see below) Some may be wondering what’s happened since Winton’s announcement and what happens next. I’d like to give you an update on the work that’s occurred since Winton’s announcement and an overview of our next steps.
Here are some things for you to know:
  • Tammy Martens and Ken Pennings will continue in their Associate Pastor positions through the transition; neither of them is interested in the Senior Pastor position.
  • A Search Committee will be formed to find and call a Senior Pastor to our church.
  • Winton will continue to serve as our pastor through 2018. His last Sunday with us will be January 6, 2019.
  • Winton will not have a role in the search process, and once a Search Committee is formed, neither will the Leadership Team.
  • Associate Conference Minister, Joanne Thomson, will be the primary support for the Search Committee as well as contact person with the Wisconsin Conference UCC. We are blessed to have her guidance and support.
  • Discussion of interim ministry will be deferred until Fall 2018.
  • While the Search Committee does its work, Winton and the Leadership Team will focus on the health and vitality of our church. We’ve got a full year of church ahead of us, and we’ve got a pastor’s tenure to celebrate … we’ll be busy and active and focused on these important matters.
In the coming weeks, I ask you to consider, think about, and pray for the formation of this Search Committee, the work it will do over the coming months, and the future of our church. I ask you to talk with each other about serving on this Search Committee and to nominate members who are willing to make the commitments needed for the good of our church.
It’s our time to pull together as a people of God, finding ways to build a stronger community during this transition, and looking forward to the next part of our faith journey.
Susan Jane Watson, Moderator (