This Sunday Dec. 20 we will hold a congregational meeting during the 11 am worship service to complete the transition from Dr. Anna Brown to our new Christian Education staff person. Let me tell you a bit about the process.
One of the frustrations of her time with us was that Anna was not an ordained pastor. She was smarter than any of us and much saintlier, but a shortcoming in denominational structure kept her ineligible. We at PHPC chose to acknowledge that non-ordained status, then relate to Anna the same as our other ministers. Very soon during her time of serving with us, nobody remembered or cared about her official credentials.
Our recommended candidate will serve in much the same capacity as Anna, plus will have the official credentials. If, during my announcements of the upcoming meeting, you’ve heard me mention that we’re dealing with “a new Associate Pastor”, it does not mean that any of our current pastors are being replaced. Same staff, one new person with essentially the same job description; different credentials.
Not quite the same job. We recommend the new person direct our education ministries and middle school youth. Three main reasons for this:
1) the person loves working with middle school youth. She has a heart for it, feels called to it, and thoroughly enjoys it.
2) This will free some of Andy’s time to develop our communications strategy among members and with the community. We’re done with being the best-kept secret around! Andy knows the heart of PHPC and will be able to convey our true identity to strangers, neighbors, and visitors. And you will have a much greater awareness of the many things going on at the church. (Andy will continue as minister to high school youth and Mission & Outreach as well as take on college ministry which was a task previously done by Anna.)
3) We expect that no longer requiring Andy to divide his leadership between the two age groups will enhance the program for each.
This Sunday we’ll take one of the final steps in the transition: you the congregation will hear the Search Team’s introduction of the candidate, receive information about their recommendation, and cast your vote. I’d say definitely worth remaining a few minutes after worship for this!
Dr. Dave Fry, Pastor/Head of Staff. He became the organizing pastor of Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in 1985 and recently led the congregation in a celebration of its 30th Anniversary of “connecting faith to everday life” in Duluth, Georgia and beyond. He can be reached at email@example.com