Dear Beloved Community,
These last few weeks I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for belonging to such a tightknit, loving community which celebrates when one of our members has a joy to share; and who grieves when someone has a loss. Today at Sunday Service, the congregation broke out in applause welcoming Eli Breidford home from Howard University for his winter break; and for Kate Longabaugh who arrived home from a six-month immersion course in Argentina. We took great joy in the children who lit candles and told stories. We welcomed Candy Sullivan back to church after her shoulder surgery. We sighed in relief when we heard Celeste Lane-Cummings was back home after her cochlear implant surgery. This is all to say, we truly are a beloved community—it’s not just words, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
The other thing I want to share with you is an update on what your Board of Trustees is working on. After Thanksgiving, I had a video conference call with Rev. Nancy Bowen who has been assigned by the Pacific Northwest Regional Offices to be our coach for our upcoming search for a new called minister. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Rev. Nancy. She seems smart, compassionate and to really have a handle on the complex process we are once again embarking on. Just two-years ago, she companioned a 700-member congregation’s search for their new minister and so is not only quite familiar with the process, but also has some ideas on what works and what doesn’t. The Board has submitted questions to Rev. Nancy and we will be watching a video with her introduction to our new search as well as her answers to our questions at our Board Meeting on December 20th. Following that, the Board and the Nominating Committee will then begin putting together a Discernment Team whose job it is to survey the congregation and put together a new Ministerial Search Team (MST). Last year’s search team will not be included as possible candidates for the new team; they worked so hard and have earned a break. But the entire congregation will be part of the nominating process for our new Search Team. Give some thought who you think will represent the best interests of our congregation for our dynamic future. Rev. Nancy would like our new team to be in place by the beginning of April at the latest so they can begin working a month earlier than the last team. That will give the team another whole month to accomplish their agenda which should be very welcome.
This is an exciting time for our community and I look forward to the unfolding of our future … because we’re in this together.