The pastor search committee has been working for several months now, reviewing resumes from many candidates and narrowing down the field to a select few that they believe will be a good fit as an interim pastor. This person will serve and guide our congregation while we continue with the long term search for a permanent called pastor.
Many members have asked for an update on the status, and are wondering if we know when we might expect to have a minister in place.
As of January 23, members of the interim search committee have interviewed six candidates. The initial interview phase is now finished and second interviews will be scheduled with those candidates with whom they were most impressed. The Committee on Ministry has been very helpful with advice, as well as sitting in on two of the interviews, to add perspective and give direction. The plan is to have a pastor in place before the Easter season begins.
One of the reasons the search is taking a bit longer is because most of the candidates being interviewed have current commitments that will soon be ending, but they must fulfill those commitments before they can make the move to another congregation. This integrity has to be respected, as it is how we would want the person we choose to treat us.
There have been a few inquiries as to why we don’t pursue a permanent pastor instead of an interim. It is required by the Presbytery that there be an interim before any permanent pastor can be called. This helps with the transition for both congregation and new pastor. The time in-between is a time to reflect and decide just what the church needs at that particular moment. It allows for prayer and contemplation as to the future of the church and prepares the groundwork for a new permanent pastor.
It may seem like this is taking forever, but as with anything that is worthwhile, taking time on the front end to make sure we’ve gotten it right pays off in the long run. The time and energy poured into this process will help ensure that the person chosen to guide us during our next transition is one who understands and blends well with our members.
Please keep the search committee in your prayers as they continue with this very important and difficult task.