February 17, 2021
As we gather this Sunday night for
a Called Congregational Meeting, we will:
the 2021 Annual Budget
our next steps in hiring a new Senior Pastor
our nominating committee for 2021
In preparation for this meeting, I
am writing to share with you about Session’s work and discernment regarding our
pastoral search. In consultation with
our Presbytery’s Commission on Ministry (COM), the Session has approved four recommendations
(see below) from COM as the best next steps in our pastoral search.
On Sunday night, we will present
these recommendations and answer any additional questions you might have. It is our deepest hope that this path forward
allows the congregation to move into the next season of mission and ministry
with effective leadership and the time for additional meaningful discernment
about the future needs of North Creek Presbyterian Church.
With hopeful anticipation,
Pastor Heather James
SESSION APPROVED RECOMMENDATIONS:
The congregation is permitted to call an “installed pastor for a
designated term” (Book of Order G-2.0502) that term not to exceed three years
(which requires election of a Pastor Nominating Committee and election by the
congregation), described in a written position which includes specific tasks to
be addressed, approved by the Session, the presbytery (COM), and lastly the congregation
(as part of the call, at the time of election).
The current associate pastor is eligible to be considered for this position as
the “installed pastor for a designated term,” (which by definitions means he is
eligible for consideration for a future indefinite term, only according to
paragraph 4 below), recognizing that such a call can only be established by a ¾
vote of the presbytery.
If the current associate pastor is called as the installed pastor for a
designated term as described above, the Session will be required to provide a
leadership/transitional coach to the pastor, who is agreeable to the presbytery
and the pastor, during the term, and
4) A Pastor Nominating Committee will be elected
and a full open search, which must include a mission study, will be conducted
for a pastor installed for an indefinite period, to commence no later than a year
from the end of the designated term.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Why begin with an “installed
pastor for a designated term” rather than immediately calling a regularly
The Designated Pastor position
allows for a shorter call process potentially to be completed within the next
6-8 weeks. This move will bring stable leadership for the next few years and an
opportunity for the congregation to come out of this pandemic season and begin
to see rebuilding and new vision to emerge for NCPC.
Do we still need a Transitional
No. The Designated Pastor will be able to fulfill
normal pastoral duties as well as guiding the Mission Study process needed
before moving to a regular Installed Pastor.
What about Pastor Kurt?
As previously stated, Pastor
Kurt is eligible to apply for both the Designated Pastor as well as the
regularly Installed Pastor positions. If Pastor Kurt were to be chosen to serve
for the Designated Pastor position, the call will need to be approved by a ¾
vote of the Presbytery (rather than a simple majority).
What about the Associate Pastor
If Pastor Kurt were to move
into the Designated Pastor role, the Session and congregation would need to
consider how to handle the Associate Position.
To provide the ministry support and pastoral care needed at NCPC, having
an Associate Pastor would be a great advantage.
The Session has approved funding for this position in the current budget
and would recommend a search process for a new installed Associate Pastor after
the Designated Pastor is hired.
Two Pastor Nominating
Yes, two. However, the initial Designated Pastor
Nominating Committee (the first one) has full authority to decide whether to
interview one candidate or many, and the search does not require a completed
Mission Study at this time. Their work
can be completed in just weeks if they so choose. Then, a year before the end of the Designated
Pastor’s call, a second Pastor Nominating Committee will be formed and will be
required to have a completed current Mission Study and a full nationwide