Since Pastor Michael has announced his decision to retire in June, the session has taken the first steps to prepare for the next pastoral leader of the congregation.
Rev. Brian Wallace, Presbytery East Branch and Elder Ann Turnock, Congregational Care Assistant, met with Session at the February 11 meeting to share ideas and information about the process of searching for a part-time minister. They distributed a document entitled the Pittsburgh Presbytery Commission on Ministry-Part-Time Ministry Guidelines and Worksheet. The document breaks down the part-time position into 5 tiers. We received a second document that outlined the part-time into duties and the hours needed to fulfill time based on the 5 tiers of Pastoral leadership.
There is a difference between sharing a pastor and yoked churches. Yoked churches share a pastor and both churches contribute elders to a shared Session. Sharing a pastor means that two congregations share the pastor, only. The session decided to either seek a part-time pastor or, possibly, share a pastor with another congregation.
Our first jobs are to establish a mission statement and to determine what tier of part-time responsibilities we would like to have the person fulfill. We then check with Presbytery to see if there are any natural matches. We will then write a description of our church and the tasks we expect our minister to do. This will be listed on a Presbytery website.
It is recommended that we form a Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC). The PNC would consist of 3 Elders, 1 Deacon, and 1 member of the congregation. We will need to start looking for supply pastors to replace Rev. Rucker when he retires. Brian recommends that we begin the search after Easter (at least 2 months before we need one.)
If we need to find a preacher/worship leader between Pastor Michael’s leaving and a part-time pastor starting, we can get a list of supply pastors from Presbytery. The cost/Sunday will be approximately $150. It was recommended that we keep in contact with Ann Turnock with any questions.