Pastoral Transition Information

May 2021

The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) was elected and commissioned at the Congregational Meeting on March 14, 2021. Members Emily Conroy-Krutz, Judi Harris, Frank Hatfield, Sophia Juarez, Scott Locke, Sarah Mayhew, Katie Norton, and Kent Workman have been meeting weekly since March 16th. Kent is serving as chair; Sarah is serving as vice-chair; and Katie is serving as secretary. Reverend Kristin Stroble, Pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Lansing, is our Commission on Ministry (COM) liaison; and she will work closely with the PNC throughout this process.

Kristin met with the PNC on March 16th to suggest resources and describe what will be involved in both our preliminary and main committee activities. As we work to call the pastor who is being called by God to serve PCO, Kristin noted that this endeavor is a spiritual process rather than a hiring one.

Drawing on our own experiences as PCO members and our recent PCO Self-Study, we have completed the Ministry Information Form (MIF), a document that describes our congregation and their hopes and needs for our new pastor. The MIF has been reviewed and approved by Kristin and Session.

Moving decently and in good order, we have secured approval from the Commission on Ministry (COM) and posted our MIF on the Church Leadership Connection System (CLC) to advertise the position, so that we can receive candidates’ Personal Information Forms (PIFs).

Our PNC Zoom meeting structure is one of mutual acceptance and respect in which each PNC member’s voice is appreciated and heard. We begin each meeting by taking turns reading a passage from Scripture and offering a devotional. In her April 6th devotional, Emily shared that, just like the disciples described in John 20 during the time from the opening of the tomb until Jesus appeared before them, our PNC is in an “in-between time” on a journey full of hope. Through your prayers for the PNC, we ask that each of you join us on this promising, faith-filled journey.

PCO is currently served by Interim Pastor, Rev. Peggy Casteel-Huston. Pastor Peggy came to us most recently from La Porte, Indiana, where she served as Interim Pastor. She has more than thirty years of experience working in Presbyterian churches including serving several churches as an interim pastor. For more on interim ministry and the transition process, please visit the PC(USA) resources on interim/transitional ministry. PC(USA) explains that “an Interim/Transitional Pastor leads a congregation during the transition time after an installed pastor has departed, helping the congregation prepare to welcome the leadership of a new installed pastor. Interim/Transitional Pastors understand the dynamics of a congregation in transition, including feelings of grief, loss, and, sometimes, relief or anger. Interim/Transitional pastors will help the session provide for continuity of essential programs, and may assist the session in assessing needs for changes in programs and ministries of the congregation.”