Dear Sisters and Brothers in the SOTV Family,
Thank you so much for your warm and gracious reception. It has been a joy to begin serving your wonderful community. How delightful to serve your congregation with Sarah, Jan, and Wanda and all your leaders. So you are probably asking yourself, “What does a Transitional (Interim…the terms are interchangeable) Pastor do?”
My answer has four parts. First, I hope to work with all of you to strengthen the bonds of love and community within our congregation so that our life together in Christ and our common ministry will flourish by the grace of God. This part of my work with you is much like that of an installed pastor.
Second, I see this transitional ministry as a time for discernment which means analyzing where we are and where we hope to grow. I hope to help us take an honest and loving look at all four areas of our life together, which for me are: a.Worship/Spiritual Growth b. Christian Education/Formation c.Fellowship/Caring d.Outreach which includes Evangelism as well as Community Service/Doing Justice. Let’s be clear about where we are and what, by God’s grace, we hope to become.
Third, let’s take a careful look at where our time, talent, and treasure are allocated now and how we plan to allocate those precious resources in the future. So we have people talent (members, friends, staff) and we have financial resources (your gifts and pledges) and we have fixed assets (church property). How are we using these good gifts of God now and how do we want to use them in the future? Some areas for consideration include our Children and Youth Ministry, our Pre-School, our Chile Fest, our church property, our organizational structure, and our Stewardship, plus many others.
Four, hopefully we can form a Transitional Task Force (for perhaps six months) to do the following: a. Create opportunities for your input about all the possibilities for us going forward. We could have “listening stations” if you will after church or in homes or in other venues. YOUR input and hopes are VERY important! b. We will compile these findings into what is called a Mission Study that tells us who we are and what we hope to be. That Mission Study would then become the basis for a Mission Information Form (MIF) that typically your Pastor Nominating Committee (more on that later) would write and submit to both the Session and the Presbytery’s Commission on the Ministry for approval. Once approved that MIF is posted on our PCUSA denomination’s website in Louisville. After reading that posted MIF then prospective ministers would apply for the installed position. And then by the grace of God the right person is called to serve you as your fourth installed pastor.
And then my transitional work with you concludes. That in brief, is my hope for this transitional time in the life of your congregation. Let’s make it a fruitful and joyful time of service and discernment as we prepare for the future that God has planned for you. Thanks be to God! Frank Yates