Romans 8:28 KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The Transitional/Interim Pastor Nominating Committee has been working very hard. Members of this committee include:
Don Vahlsing – Elder
Jim Dassow – Elder
Jolene Schry – Deacon
Dave Erickson – Member-at-large
Kristina Arellano -Member-at-large
The committee has been working on completing the Ministry Information Form (MIF). This 10-page document describes our church and what we are looking for in a transition/interim minister. After Session and Presbytery approval, the information from the MIF will be posted on the PCUSA Church Leadership Connection (CLC). This system will match pastoral candidates seeking calls based on position type, experience level, salary, language, geographical choice, and leadership competencies based on information provided on the MIF. Prospective transition/interim pastors will use the form to help him or her determine whether God is calling them to serve our church. The committee will interview candidates whose names are forwarded to the committee from this program. (There are currently nine churches in the Winnebago Presbytery who are actively searching for pastors.)
All the acronyms and titles used during this transition process are confusing. Here is a short list of some of the terms you have or will be hearing:
Teaching elder/head of staff – Also known as senior pastors. All ordained ministers of the word and sacrament, in a church, are teaching elders. Session members are ruling elders.
PC(USA) – The Presbyterian Church (USA), the denomination to which First Presbyterian belongs.
Presbytery – The local governing body for PC(USA) churches in our area. We belong to the Winnebago Presbytery. Our pastors are members of the presbytery, not First Presbyterian Church.
TPNC – Transition/Interim Pastor Nominating Committee, chosen to discern God’s call regarding the next transition/interim pastor (teaching elder/head of staff) for First Presbyterian.
COM – Commission on Ministry, the Presbytery committee that works with us during the interim time and approves the Mission Study Report, the MIF and the call that will be extended to our next pastor.
MIF – The Ministry Information Form, which is used by our denomination to list information about First Presbyterian and the job description for the senior pastor (teaching elder/head of staff) position.
PIF – The Pastor Information Form is like a pastor’s resume.
Like all pastors, Transition/Interim Pastors offer their congregations:
Worship leadership and preaching
Work with the Session to provide for the life and ministry of the congregation
Administrative work including supervision of other staff
Staff support for programs and committees of the congregation
In addition, a Transition/Interim Pastor leads a congregation during the transition time after an installed pastor has departed, helping the congregation prepare to welcome the leadership of a new installed pastor. Interim/Transitional Pastors understand the dynamics of a congregation in transition, including feelings of grief, loss, and, sometimes, relief or anger.
Please take time to pray for the Transition Team as they work hard for our congregation. Pray for our church. Pray for patience. The search process can be long. It is hard for people doing the work. It is also difficult for those who must wait without knowing exactly what is going on.
Pray that we trust our leadership as the process takes place.
In Christian Love,
The Pastor Transition Team
Jodi Anderson, Mary Bacon, Deb Cooley and Les Mier