Front Row: (L-R) – Wendy Moeller, Stephanie Brinson, Marianna Dunn.
Back Row: (L-R) – John Robert Mattocks, Steve Mabie, Jim Copland, Cille Griffith.
Pastor Nominating Committee Moving Forward
by Steve Mabie
Your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has been hard at work! The Committee meets several times a month at the Ministry Center and has made good progress with the required preparation work. In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), Ministers and other key ministry leaders are selected through a matching process hosted by the Church Leadership Connection (CLC). Churches like ours are assisted and guided in their search by the Presbytery Committee on Ministry. At FPC- New Bern, our Vacancy Counselor provided by the Committee on Ministry is Dr. Dick Marks. Dr Marks is a retired ECU professor and has served as a Vacancy Counselor many times. He has served as Clerk of Session of the First Presbyterian Church, Greenville, NC. We are grateful for his assistance.
The PNC has now completed the first major step of our search – completing the Ministry Information Form (MIF). This exercise requires the PNC to accurately describe our church and its perceived mission. Other components of the MIF give the Committee the opportunity to highlight the qualities the church seeks in the new Pastor. Additionally, several penetrating questions require the Committee to state the strengths and development needs of our congregation. It is a very thorough document! Only after Session approval, and approval by the Presbytery Committee on Ministry can the MIF be submitted on the Church Leadership Connection platform. Now, joyfully, this has been done!
But guess what? Minister candidates who are seeking a call to another church must also go through a similar discipline. Each minister candidate completes a Personal Information Form (PIF). This document requires the minister to conduct a self-inventory on their experience, strengths, and areas of development, and their sense of calling in ministry. The PIF requires the candidate to address aspects of ministry like vision, size of church, acceptable locations, and compensation. The work of the candidates is also reviewed by their Presbytery Committee on Ministry. Of course, this whole process is consistent with the Book of Order with its emphasis on orderly transitions.
The Church Leadership Connection platform will match our MIF to the available PIF’s and notify our PNC Committee of candidates who meet our requirements. Because of the thoughtfulness of this process, we won’t likely receive any PIF’s from ministers who really wanted a call to a church in Alaska or Wyoming! The PIF’s the Committee will review will be from folks judged to be likely candidates. Individual ministers may also direct CLC to send their PIF to us, even if the CLC platform does not initially match us. Likewise, our PNC Committee may request a PIF of a minister, even if the match does not initially occur.
So, we wait and anticipate, in this season of Advent, to see what wonderful servants of Christ we will be introduced to! Serving on the PNC are Cille Griffith, Marianna Dunn, Stephanie Brinson, Jim Copland, John Robert Mattocks, Steve Mabie, and Chair, Wendy Moeller. Please keep these folks in your prayers!
“It’s a Long and Winding Road…that Leads to Your Door…” – Paul McCartney
Not sure if the former Beatle was thinking about the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) process when he wrote those words, but it is an accurate assessment. “Decently and In Order” is part of our DNA around here, so “Yes, Virginia. There is a process.” But, Be of Good Cheer – we are underway and working toward completion of our Ministry Information Form (MIF). We’ll be presenting that to Session and then to the Presbytery Committee on Ministry for review. Our hope is to do this in the next 30-60 days. We will keep you posted as we tread along this path. Please continue your prayers for this group, your Pastor Nominating Committee.
Pastor Nominating Committee Begins Work
The FPC – New Bern Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has convened and has begun the process that will ultimately lead us to our next Senior Minister / Head of Staff. The PNC was elected during our first ever ZOOM Congregational Meeting on Sunday, August 23 from a slate submitted by the Nominating Committee.
Serving the church on the Pastor Nominating Committee are Wendy Moeller, Cille Griffith, Jim Copland, Stephanie Brinson, Marianna Dunn, John Robert Mattocks, and Steve Mabie. The committee is assisted by Dr. Dick Marks of the New Hope Presbytery Committee on Ministry. Dr. Marks’ appointed role is that of Vacancy Counselor, and he has assisted other churches in this capacity in the past.
New Hope Presbytery Executive, Rev. Ted Churn, met with the PNC during their first meeting, convened on ZOOM on September 1, 2020. He reviewed the established process for calling a Minister with the group. Rev. Churn used a PowerPoint presentation to highlight some of the milestones to be achieved in a successful search. The presentation also called attention to “best practices” and to pitfalls for the committee to be aware of. Following the meeting, Dr. Marks was appointed as our Vacancy Counselor.
At the second PNC meeting on September 8, 2020, Rev. Eddie Bellis reviewed the FPC Ministry Plan developed by the earlier Pastor Transition Team. Particular attention was given to the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT Survey) which was completed in the Spring of 2020. This vehicle gives the PNC group clear insights into the perceived health of the church. Also discussed in Rev. Bellis’ presentation were the gifts and qualities the survey participants believe are important in our future Pastor candidates.
During this second meeting, Wendy Moeller was selected as Chair of the PNC, Steve Mabie as Clerk, and Marianna Dunn as Tech Support / Communicator. The PNC plans to meet several times a month, either in person or by ZOOM. The Presbytery Committee on Ministry reports that most search efforts are completed between 6 – 18 months, depending upon a variety of factors.
Although the work of the PNC is confidential, periodically the committee will report on its activities and process. Fortunately, within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) the Pastor Nominating Committee process is well-documented and well-resourced. Even so, the prayers of the congregation members are earnestly sought.
Thank you for your continued support of First Presbyterian Church – New Bern!
The Pastor Nominating Committee:
Jim Copland, Marianna Dunn, Stephanie Brinson, Wendy Moeller, Cille Griffith, Steve Mabie and John Robert Mattocks