We call it the “Pastoral Discernment Process.” But someone worried to Michael this week that everyone might not understand what that means. Michael laughed and added that after church someone approached him, surprised and confused that there was any decision to be made.
Michael came to Old First for a 3-year “Covenant Ministry” that focused on helping the congregation revitalize. That term ended on August 1. That first 3 years as Covenant Minister allows Michael to be considered for the permanent position as settled pastor now. The Elders have extended Michael’s stay as Covenant Minister through the fall to allow for a “pastoral discernment process” by which the church can decide if it wishes to extend to him a call as settled pastor.
That discernment process is being shepherded by — not surprisingly — a group called the Pastoral Discernment Task Force. The people on that are: Susan DeAngelus, chair, Leah Bhullar, Rebecca Composto, Beth Davis, Nancy Donohue, Adam George, Kristen Miller, Margaret Rohdy, Dan Rothermel, and Mike Wass,
The pastoral discernment task force will oversee and listen through a series of community conversations or open meeting, after worship beginning this Sunday, in the Sanctuary. The three other conversations will take place on Sept. 30, October 7 and 20.
After those meetings, the task force will make a recommendation to the Elders. The Elders will then make a recommendation to the congregation to be voted on at a specially called Congregational Meeting, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18.
During the discernment process, people are encouraged to participate in these scheduled community conversations. They are also invited, if they would prefer, to speak individually with members of the discernment task force or Elders of the church (they are Steve Wilhite, Moderator, Drew Aldinger, Beth Davis, Julius DeAngelus, Nancy Donohue and Annemarie Kleinhans).
If you have any questions or concerns about this process, you are encouraged to speak with Steve Wilhite, the Moderator.