We are moving through winter, and this marks my next to last newsletter with you as pastor. In September our church voted to begin a six-month transition for me to retire on April 1, 2022, and to consider Pastor A.J. Reynolds as pastor of the church.
On January 19th we had an important church conference in that transition process which accomplished a couple of purposes. First, on that evening we held our first business conference in several months and introduced a new format to focus on upcoming ministry and opportunities rather than just rehash the things that we had done in the last quarter. That certainly brings a more interesting focus to business meetings and makes them more ministry focused. Secondly, we held a “town hall” led by the Personnel Committee to give an update on the pastoral transition progress. The transition resulted in the hiring our office manager, Mrs. Jackie Miller, who brings our church new organization and day to day attention. If you have not met Jackie, get by to see her during office hours (Tuesday through Thursday 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM) and say hello.
The transition has also allowed us to field a new church software program that makes all manner of communications within the church, easier. For each member it will allow you to easily update your contact information and to keep you informed on upcoming events and ministries. Look for future announcements as the Personnel Committee pushes out the capabilities of this great program to the church.
On the topic of pastoral transition, the Personnel Committee gave an update on the search for a part-time worship leader, which is an important step in moving forward. They have seen two applications, which for various reasons did not pan out, but continue seeking a qualified worship leader. They are expanding their efforts to include. a search for a full-time youth and children’s minister, associate pastor who may also have the needed gifts to serve as worship leader. A.J. is himself, an example of this “multiple giftedness” as he has served as Youth Pastor, and currently serves as Associate Pastor and worship leader. I urge you to pray diligently for God to send us the right person for these positions as the Personnel Committee continues their search effort in this season of transition.
The Personnel Committee also presented a way forward for the transition which includes A.J. preaching on February 13, 20, and March 6. A.J. has preached regularly in our church in my absences, but these dates will allow the church to specifically consider him in view of a call to serve as pastor. I urge you to attend or listen on-line to these messages from our current Associate Pastor and pastoral candidate. The Committee stated that Wednesday February 23 the church will have another question-and-answer period with A.J. for you to further examine his potential call to serve as pastor. They also said the church will vote on this recommendation for A.J. to serve as pastor on Sunday, February 27. This vote gives members the opportunity to vote in person or by proxy and a full explanation of how to do this is included in this mailing. Please contact the Personnel Committee if you have any questions on this process.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the January 19th meeting allowed Pastor A.J. Reynolds to discuss his vision for ministry and plans for ministry if the church calls him as pastor. A.J. gave us a good look at what his ministry would look like. While I believe A.J. will make a superb pastor that is a decision that each church member must prayerfully make. I urge you to consider this fine young man, pray about him as it relates to his call to pastor, and then participate in that process on February 27. I am praying as well and am excited for our church as we face the future God has for our church.
Rev. James A. Cohn