FROM THE INTERIM PASTOR’S STUDY…
An Historic Day and Your Role in the Pastoral Search Process
For the first time in 25 years, at a congregational meeting on Sunday, October 18, 2015, Wildwood Presbyterian Church elected a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). The members of the committee, who will be commissioned in worship on Sunday, October 25th, are Emily Bear, Bob Lyter, Laurie Twarowski, Juli Beucher, Andrew Mott, Greg Whitacre, Andy Fry, Debbie Solbrig, and John Wilbur.
The Pastor Nominating Committee is charged with discerning the person(s) God is leading to serve as the next Pastor(s) of Wildwood Presbyterian. Yes, amidst committee meetings, reading Personal Information Forms (narrative resumes), praying, conducting interviews, doing devotions together, listening to sermons, and more, we Presbyterians have this somewhat audacious belief that the Spirit of God is at work through the PNC to call this church’s next Pastor. Of course, the candidate(s) the PNC recommends would have to be elected by the congregation
(an inalienable right of every Presbyterian church) and approved by the Presbytery of Chicago. These steps are necessary to fulfill the historic Presbyterian three-part understanding of God’s call to church office, which are an inward sense of God’s call, the election of the congregation, and the approval of a church council (the Presbytery).
Thus, you, the members of WPC, have an obvious role in the call of your next Pastor. You will be voting for or against extending a call to the candidate(s) the PNC nominates. But there are other, less obvious ways you can participate in calling your next Pastor.
First, pray for the Pastor Nominating Committee. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them in this process and for the Spirit to give them a sense of discernment to perceive God’s guidance. Pray that they can speak and hear the truth in love. Pray that the Spirit will bring them to a consensus regarding the one or ones God is calling to lead this church into the future.
Also, regularly attend worship and other events at WPC. Make a pledge to the church if you currently do not and if you pledge, consider raising it if able. How do these affect calling a Pastor? Understand, those interviewed by our PNC will be interviewing the PNC every bit as much as they, the candidates, are being interviewed. And two
of the questions the candidates inevitably will ask are, “How does your average worship attendance and giving compare with recent years?” While the candidates may anticipate some decline in the interim period, the less the decline, the better the possibility the candidates will remain interested.
In these ways, please support the PNC in its search for WPC’s next Pastor.
Grace and Peace,