We do the same here at the church. Every year the leadership sits down with the church planning calendar and sets dates; religious dates like Ash Wednesday or Easter; dates for session and deacon meetings; dates for Presbyterian Women events, and dates for the FROGS after school program. Most often, each year’s planning calendar is strikingly similar to the previous year’s. But the year 2020 is going to be different.
- Pastor Michael is retiring on June 10, 2020.
- FPCE is no longer able to support a full time pastor.
- Our lovely, historic building is too big and expensive for us to maintain.
- We will need to pray more, listen to God and one another carefully
- Continue to love and support one another.
We do not have a plan in place as to how we will move forward. That will be on the top of the agenda at our January session meeting. Three decisions have been made.
- A representative from Pittsburgh Presbytery will come to our February session meeting.
- Pastor Michael’s last Sunday will be June 7th.
- We have some funds set aside to provide some salary for another pastor.
There are many challenging decisions to be made. Will we share a pastor with another congregation? Will we hire someone part-time? Will we decide to merge with another congregation? Will we lease the building out to other organizations? Will we invite a developer to give us other avenues to take with regard to the facility? This is unnerving. FPCE has never done this before. Yet – this is an exciting time for the life of our congregation. What we do know is this: God will not leave us or forsake us. God will include us in his plan for this community. God has our back. May faith, hope and love abide with us as we plan for a very different 2020.