Our hearts are filled with a bittersweet sentiment as we approach this new chapter in the life of our church. Pastor Phil has been with us for 30 years, and we love him and his family deeper than they could know. Many have been nourished in spirit, heard his kind words, and experienced his deeds. Many have seen his humility of spirit and the absolute dedication to the Lord that have produced a great shepherd, leader, and pastor who has enriched our lives and the lives of those in our community and world.
As Pastor Phil mentioned, the board has been working on plans for his transition. We have been seeking God’s will, guidance and wisdom through prayer and by seeking the godly council of our district authorities. Nothing has been taken lightly in this endeavor.
In keeping with the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, the board has the responsibility to present a nominee to the church for the position of Lead Pastor. This is done only after a careful review of the nominee’s competence, character, and alignment with Nazarene theology and governance as expressed in the manual. In keeping with this requirement, the board will announce a nominee on Sunday, June 11. At that time, you will be provided with information about the nominee, including a resume and philosophy of ministry. A short informational video of the nominee will be shown during both services and will be made available on the church’s web-site.
While the church board has examined this individual, it is up to the members of the church to accept the nominee in order to extend a pastoral call. An opportunity to vote for the nominee will be provided on June 25. Acceptance is accomplished only through a two-thirds favorable vote by ballot of official church members as defined in the church manual.
If the congregation elects the nominee, we will enter into a time of transition with Pastor Phil that will last from three to six months. At the conclusion of the transition, the new pastor will assume the full leadership of the church.
Through the counsel of our District Superintendent, we believe we are best served by seeking God’s guidance through the church vote one candidate at a time. In other words, we will not bring a list of names for you to choose from; rather, we will ask you to decide on this individual. If the congregation does not believe that this is the person who should be our next pastor, the board and District Superintendent will begin a search for other candidates.
To help answer your questions about this process, we will have a congregational meeting on Wednesday, June 14, during our regular service hour. You will have an opportunity to ask questions about the process we have followed to select a nominee. Our District Superintendent, Dr. Glen Gardner, will also be present to help answer your questions. During this meeting, we will also report on the results of our 2016 – 2017 fiscal year as well as provide committee reports.
As Pastor Phil asked, please pray for your church, for guidance in electing a new pastor, and thank the Lord for the great future He has for this amazing body of believers.
Your sincere servants,
The Church Board