Monthly Archives: May 2015

June 2015 Shavings Letter

A Question and Answer Time Sunday, June 28

The most frequent question I’ve been asked this first week of May (when this article
is being written) has a number of forms but generally goes something like this, “What
are the steps involved in getting a new Pastor?” Or, “When will the Pastor Nominating
Committee be elected?” Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t heard these questions more
often. Perhaps folks are being nice, fearing this Interim Pastor might take offense! But no,
that is the job of the Interim – to bridge the way from the last installed pastorate (and what
a great one it was!) to the next. While an Interim Pastor does not get directly involved in
the pastoral search (to prevent any conflict of interest), he or she helps see the church
through the interim time. So the questions are perfectly understandable.

At the April Session meeting, these questions were broached (and had been at previous
Session meetings) and as this article is being written, an Interim Task Force is being
formed to help plan events to gather and present information that will be essential to a
Pastor Nominating Committee. For now at least, this group of five to eight individuals will
be known as “Wildwood’s Future Task Force” (WFTF).

A question and answer time is being planned for Sunday, June 28, between (and
perhaps after the 10:00) worship services
. Printed copies of a tentative timeline for
the interim process will be shared and briefly discussed.

At that meeting, you will be asked to participate in the shaping of another important
timeline. “Claiming WPC’s Heritage” will be a large participatory timeline in the
Welcome Center area of the church. It will include milestones in Wildwood Presbyterian’s
life such as the chartering of the church, moves from one building to another and yet
another, as well as arrival and departure dates for all the church’s pastors. How do you
participate in creating this timeline? You will be asked during or after the meeting to add
your names and the dates you joined WPC. Yes, each of you is a part of WPC’s rich
heritage. Each of you is a part of Christ’s great work in and through this church. “Now
you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

If you already have plans to be out of town and are disappointed to miss this event,
take heart. Other more extensive meetings to help shape Wildwood’s future are being
planned. Tentative dates for those (mark your calendars!) are Sundays, July 19, August
16, and September 13

Grace and peace,

May 2015 Shavings Letter


The Interim Process

A congregation that finds itself between the end of one pastorate and the beginning of
another discovers that it is in strange territory, especially when the last pastorate lasted
23 wonderful years. Who is responsible for this or that which were done by Greg and/or
Kathy? To be sure, I, the new Interim Pastor, do some of those things, but what about the
relationships it took so long to build or previously implicit interconnections that no longer
exist? Such is the situation at Wildwood Presbyterian Church.

Lest you work yourself into a stew, please know there is a time tested process to help
churches through this strange territory. It is called the interim process and it consists of
five developmental tasks that I named in last month’s Shavings. Let me now elaborate
briefly on each. Please understand there is some overlap with these.

1. Claiming Our Church’s Heritage offers our church a time to assess what has
been accomplished during the remarkable “Bostrom Years” and before. WPC has a
story to tell about its origin, its struggles, and its contributions to the area and the larger
Church. A workshop(s) is beginning to be planned for some time in early June to raise
such questions as: What first brought you to WPC? What keeps you here? What are
the strengths the Bostroms and other pastors brought to this church?, etc. As we recall
these, we will begin to note patterns that will help WPC.

2. Discover a renewed identity. A self-study or mission study including some of the
above information will help shape a renewed vision and direction for our church’s future,
which is essential when candidates for pastor begin to interview.

3. Facilitating changes in congregational leadership and negotiating changes
in congregational power structures.
While leadership changes are inevitable in any
church’s life, the interim period is the time when leadership changes occur most often.
Some choose to step down while others find it a time to step forward.

4. Renewing our connectional linkage as a Presbyterian Church almost seems to
happen automatically during the interim period as our church will connect to Presbytery
in the search for a new pastor.

5. Preparing for new pastoral leadership and a new future seems self-explanatory for
now! More on this later.

Grace and peace,