By Darrell Bare
Moderator, Ministry Coordination Council
I celebrate with you the unfolding of God's grace as a potential pastor will be presented to us on June 16. The process up to this point, and as the process continues, is and will be a matter of discernment of God's will. This discernment and God's leading have been evident in the process from the start, beginning with discerning who the members of our Pastor Search Committee would be and who would lead them. We are so grateful that Susan King (chair), Carmine Battista, Scott Christie, Beth Crawford, Lynne Flood, Kirk Hedden, and Stacy Sergent Lawton responded to God's call and accepted this heavy responsibility. Thank you so much! Our calling them was not simply a matter of trusting their collective judgment but their individual and collective spiritual discernment as well.
They have responded beautifully to their responsibility. Most of us will never know the countless hours and expended energy this committee has invested in our church and continues to invest. In their discernment, they have determined the person they believe should serve us as our next pastor. We will meet him the weekend of June 14-16. More details about that weekend will be coming from the committee as soon as they've ironed them out.
The calling of a pastor is a unique time in a church's life. I know you have been anxious about the arrival of this moment, and perhaps are even more anxious as the moment of call approaches. But God has certainly done well for us in this journey so far. Even now there are a lot of people with needs that are to be considered, including our candidate. The committee is honoring the role and relationship our candidate has with his current church and is protecting his confidentiality until we come together on that weekend. As a former pastor, I appreciate this sensitivity and trust you will too. You will indeed get the opportunity to meet him, know him and hear him, and I trust that you will be here to do just that.
As you cast your vote on June 16, please remember that we are not seeking your opinion; we are seeking your discernment of God's will for Providence. Such a discernment is a matter of connection, connection with God, with the search committee, with our fellow church members and with our prospective new pastor. Your vote will be your prayer.
In most votes such as this, the tally is a matter of those present. Our by-laws do not preclude absentee ballots for such a vote, therefore absentee ballots will be provided if requested but must be received before the vote is taken on June 16. However, without knowledge of the candidate and experiencing the candidate in person, it would be extremely difficult to exercise proper discernment in this matter.
I ask you to do all within your power to be present to meet the candidate, hear him, prayerfully listen for God's leading and cast your vote in person. If you are unable to be present, please pray earnestly for God to lead those who will be casting votes on the 16th. As God would hear you, your prayer will be your vote.
God has blessed us in these days of transition. God is not about to stop now.
By Darrell Bare