Update – October (Search Committee)
Update – September 30 (from Moderator Susan Watson)
I have a few updates for you—work we’ve been doing on the Leadership Team in recent weeks.
I’d like to begin by talking about hiring an interim pastor.
Having an interim pastor is standard and normal. We’ll have one here at Orchard Ridge when Winton leaves.
Interims are trained to work with congregations on transitioning away from the pastor who has left and preparing for the next pastor to come. Our interim pastor will have taken special training and focus on the transition needs of our church. I was surprised and pleased to hear that there is a group of pastors who focus their career’s work on helping churches move through the process of saying goodbye to a beloved pastor and preparing for someone new.
We can expect our interim pastor to make an assessment of needs (Our needs might best be described as mourning the conclusion of a decades-long thriving pastorate) and then help us through this process. They will also attend to all the expected pastoral responsibilities of the church: preaching, pastoral care, administering church business, and etc.
The Leadership Team has convened a group—a second smaller search committee—to find and hire an interim pastor. We’re blessed with tremendous support from our state conference. They’ve got templates and documents and protocols for us to use and follow. Joanne Thomson, associate conference pastor, is working with us and supporting us through this process. She’s experienced and skillful. I’m glad we’ve got her support.
Our team has met, reviewed the search process, looked at the hiring documents and personalized them for our situation and church. We’ve received some candidate profiles and will meet to review them in the next week or so. We’ll choose the best ones and conduct interviews. We’ll make a recommendation to the Leadership Team. The Leadership Team will select our church’s interim.
Our hope is to hire an interim later this fall and have them ready to begin working with us in January.
Next update … Debbie Bauerkemper, our office manager is retiring this winter. So—guess what? another small search team has been created.
They’ve created a 3/4 time position called office administrator. This person will manage the day-to-day administrative and financial aspects of the church office, including financial stuff, administrative support, day to day tasks, calendar, record-keeping, and etc.
We’re ready to advertise for an office administrator this month and hopefully hire someone by December … with time for some overlap with Debbie so they can share and talk and hand off the job as seamlessly as possible.
Another need we have is for someone to coordinate communications for us: digital and print communications to members of our congregation and to the wider community. Our web presence and social media needs have been handled by Winton, as we know. We can’t expect that our next senior pastor will have the same facility with this work—it’s not a skill set that we’re putting at the top of our list of criteria in the selection process anyway. So this team created a new position called Communications Coordinator—about 15 hours a week. We’d like to hire someone with a savvy for these things and have them work with us and help us develop a vision for our online presence. This is a position that we hope to advertise sometime in the new year.
Finally, any time there’s a transition, anxieties arise. We’ve clearly got our share of transitions coming up, so I’m sure there will be times when we feel anxious ourselves or see anxiety in our friends. Let’s remember—We are fortunate to have a strong healthy congregation here at Orchard Ridge. We are here for each other. I ask you to join me, Please work intentionally on maintaining our strong community, take responsibility to help each other celebrate things that go well, buoy each other up when spirits flag, seek answers to questions that arise, and let’s look forward to what God is calling us to be.
Update: September 9th
The Search Committee has spent the summer engaging with small groups in the congregation around three essential questions. They will wrap up this process in September.
The Leadership Team has formed an interim search committee that is working with our Wisconsin Conference UCC staff to secure an interim pastor beginning early in 2019.
Update: April 11, 2018 Pastoral Search Committee approved
The congregation approved a Pastoral Search Committee after worship on Sunday, April 8. The team will be chaired by Sara Roberts. Additional team members include Mary Bucknell, Dana Dobbins, Kim Kaspar, Brian Lancor, Doug Piper, Barbara Stretchberry, and Chris Thomas. Their charge is to lead the congregation through a UCC defined process to call a new Senior Pastor when Winton Boyd completes his tenure with us on January 6, 2019.
We will bless their work and their journey together in worship on April 22, and Sara Roberts will offer a mission moment to update you on how they are beginning their work.
- 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.