This page is dedicated to keeping the congregation updated on the Pastoral Search Committee's progress. Please check back often as updates will be posted regularly.
May God be with the chapel during this time of discernment and transition.
April 2017 Newsletter:
Pastoral Search Committee Update by Chuck Kestner, Pastoral Search Committee Member
The Pastoral Search Committee takes very seriously its responsibility to keep the congregation and friends of Longview Chapel updated on the progress being made towards finding an Interim Pastor and a permanent Senior Minister.
We continue to meet every Wednesday evening (except for Board Meeting Wednesdays) and communicate throughout the week as needed. The tasks assigned the Search Committee are of great significance to the Chapel, and we are guided both by a sense of urgency and the weightiness of the job at hand. We ask for continuing prayers so that God shows us the way.
Progress has been made. The services of several guest ministers and speakers have been procured to ensure full coverage of our Sunday worship through Easter Sunday, April 16th. Also, we have completed the "Congregational Profile" required by the Regional Disciples of Christ office to gain their full assistance in our efforts. Finishing this long and comprehensive document was a prerequisite for the Regional staff to supply us with the resumes of potential Interim Pastors, and eventually, the vitae of candidates for the permanent position. As such, we would like to thank the congregation for their feedback, which was so critical to this extensive process and so important to the overall goal. As we move along from guest ministers and speakers, to an Interim Pastor, to finding a permanent Senior Minister, the intensity of effort and scrutiny will increase. Your patience and understanding will also be needed.
In the meantime, please carry on as Christian brothers and sisters with open minds and hearts. We strongly encourage questions, comments, and suggestions be voiced by members and non-members alike. All Search Committee members are open to being contacted. The needs of the congregation remain paramount. Let's continue the "Long Tradition" of doing God's work at Longview Chapel and doing so in the name of Jesus Christ. The name above all others.
March 2017 Newsletter:
HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS??......
By Dave Stangohr
Chairman of the Pastoral Search Committee
I am sure you have heard the news by now. Maybe you wished you hadn’t.
Maybe you wished it weren’t true. Maybe you hoped you had heard
incorrectly. But, it is true… Pastor Gary has announced he is retiring at the end of February.
What do we do now??? Do we have another Pastor already picked out? When do they start? Will they do things the same? These and many more questions are being asked by you and others in the congregation.
What I can tell you is this is an event that is addressed within Longview Chapel’s By-Laws. The By-Laws tell us that a Search Committee needs to be formed and that it is the Board Chairman who calls those that will serve on the committee. Our Board Chairman is Rick Cottrell and he is the one who asked me to serve as Chairman of the search committee. I really didn’t want to take on this responsibility and am not sure anyone “wants” to do this. God asks us to serve him in many ways and I felt this was God asking me to step into this position. And, I know God gives us what we need when we follow his calling, so I accepted the challenge.
The Chairman’s job is also to select the entire committee. The By-Laws state that there should be 4 members from the Diaconate (the Elders and Deacons) and at least 2 members from the General Congregation (not a member in any leadership position). Rick felt that 3 members should be included to help represent different demographics within the church. The committee is made up of the following members in addition to myself; Becky Bastow, Chuck Kestner, Cindy Little, Doug Macias, Sarah Acosta and Charlie Pickering. Also included are Rick Cottrell and Rhonda Hetzel as ex-officio (non voting) members. I thank each and every member for their willingness to serve.
What will we do? Well, thankfully we are not the first congregation who has had to walk this road and there are leaders in the Regional Church to help us along the way. One of our first responsibilities will be to find an Interim Pastor; one who will take over for Pastor Gary while we search to find a permanent replacement. The Regional Church already has a list of Ministers who have been vetted to come in on an Interim basis. But, we can’t just start interviewing candidates without knowing what we need.
The first step for the search committee will be to complete an assessment of Longview Chapel. We need to answer questions like Who are we? What do we do well? What could we do better? What kind of church do we want to be? What will it take to get us there? The committee will not be able to answer all these questions without input from you, the congregation. We may put out surveys, or maybe ask questions to members during the coffee fellowship, or call you on the phone. We may ask specific questions or maybe just general inquiries.
Please know, any information you give us will help determine what is in the best interest of Longview Chapel. You also can contact any member on the Search Committee if you would like to share your thoughts.
Once we can answer these questions about Longview Chapel, then we need to answer questions about the Interim Pastor and the skills we need in them to have to help us prepare for our new “permanent” replacement. We can then look to review the candidates available and interview those that may be able to step into this temporary role. Until an Interim is found, we may have a series of Guest Pastors who can help fill the pulpit until we find out Interim Pastor. Guest Pastors are not expected to provide Pastoral Care to the congregation, so this responsibility will be delegated to Rhonda Hetzel and the elders should the need arise prior to finding an Interim Pastor.
Then of course, we are not done. We must then begin our search for the permanent replacement, the new Pastor for Longview Chapel. Much of the up-front work will already be done, knowing who we are and where we want to go. Now we must find the Pastor who will fulfil the spiritual leadership role we need. When that person is found, the Search Committee will present them to the Board and if the Board also approves, we will bring the candidate before the congregation for a vote. If the candidate Pastor is approved by the congregation, we will offer the position and work out details to complete the Call to Serve.
As Pastor Gary has said, he felt God moved up his timing for retirement from what he originally thought the timing would be. Possibly God already has someone in mind to take his place and the timing is now to find that person. Maybe not. The Regional office has told us this search could be complete in a couple of months or could take a couple of years. Yes, that was Years. Please know, the Search Committee would like to move as quickly as possible, but as slowly as needed to find the “right” person for this important position.
You can help along the way by providing as much input as you feel comfortable with when asked or given the opportunity to let us know your thoughts. Not everyone in our congregation will have the same point of view and one thing I am certain of is that we will not find a person who will satisfy everyone. I hope that everyone will remember that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He does not change. If we keep our focus on Him, I am sure that He will lead us to our next Pastor.
Most of all, please keep Longview Chapel and the Pastoral Search Committee in your prayers as this is a very important time for our church and it will be no easy task to find a replacement for Pastor Gary.