A word from our pastor…
Daniel Webster once said, “if we work upon marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble to dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God, and the love of our fellow man, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity.”
September marks the beginning of a new Sunday School session here at St. Andrew’s. Sunday School Is important to a Christian’s spiritual wellbeing and growth. It’s an activity which guides us toward and fosters within us a deeper understanding of God’s work and purpose in our lives and the whole of creation, thus drawing us closer to God in Jesus Christ. We participate in this endeavor together, regardless of age or spiritual maturity, as a community of faith, interacting, praying, studying, and encountering God together, in order to inform our “immortal minds”.
Over the next several weeks we will also be entering the next phase of our journey though the interim period between installed pastorates. The PNC has completed the congregational mission study and is now finalizing its report – which will be shared with the entire congregation once it receives Session approval. I’m pleased with the PNC’s work to date. The folks you elected to the committee are people of strong faith and hope in Christ, who possess integrity, humility, and discerning spirits. As we move forward, they will be prayerfully seeking God’s will regarding who is called to pastoral leadership for our congregation. During this process of discernment, they will:
o Develop a position description for the next pastor, which will be included in the official Ministry Information Form (MIF), including specific responsibilities, compensation range, desired primary skills, strengths, and references for St. Andrew’s church from outside our congregation. Once approved by the Session and the Presbytery Commission on Ministry, this MIF will be available to prospective pastoral candidates.
o Identify prospective candidates using the PC (USA) placement system, as well as informal networking.
o Prayerfully determine the criteria by which prospective candidates will be evaluated, then review and assess prospective candidates and their resumes, called Personal Information Forms (PIFs).
o Conduct telephone or skype interviews, check references, listen to past sermons, and participate in personal interviews to advance further understanding of candidates’ strengths, qualities, and theology.
o Travel when needed to visit churches discreetly for opportunities to hear candidates preach the Word
o Arrange and host discreet visits by candidates to our community
o Believing they have discerned God’s call to a particular candidate, present that candidate to the presbytery for examination, approval, and ultimately to you, the St. Andrew’s congregation for election.
The work of the PNC will have a profound impact on the life of this church for many years to come. Please support those on it with your prayers, trust, patience and encouragement.
Please take note of the several items in this edition of St. Andrew’s Almanac which are related to spiritual development and to our general movement into God’s future. Please plan to participate in these activities and in the whole life of the congregation during the coming weeks. Join in the journey as we continue to seek God’s will and fulfill God’s mission as we live in boundless hope.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Dave Weber