Since our last update, we have made significant progress in our search!
In July, the Ministry Information Form (MIF) was completed, approved and submitted to the PCUSA for placement on their website. The MIF is a very detailed job description with our requirements for the Senior Pastor position. The PCUSA utilizes a matching system with suitable candidates that they have in their records.
Within days of posting our MIF, we began receiving several Personal Information Forms (PIF) from candidates. We are excited to announce that we have received over 120 PIFs.
Where do we stand now? Honestly, it was extremely challenging to review, evaluate and analyze suitable candidates. To date the PNC has completed its 30th meeting! All in all, the PNC team is enthusiastic with the progress that has been made and we are convinced that the Holy Spirit is guiding us.
We are especially pleased with the following:
Finally, we are unable to share information relating to our candidates. The main reason is to protect the confidentiality of their personal searches.
We are extremely grateful for your support of our work. Please continue to pray for our team, pray for the candidates, and pray for the individual God has chosen to lead us into the future.
God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!
Our search for a new pastor has reached a major milestone! After several months of working with you to discover who we are and what we want our church to become, your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is ready to publish our church’s Ministry Information Form. The Ministry Information Form is a 13-page document that will tell the world about our ministry, history and future goals. In the next few days, it will be uploaded to the website of our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). Prospective candidates for our senior minister position will use the platform to learn about our church and participate in a matching process that pairs their skills and desires with our needs and wishes.
We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to you, the congregation. Thanks to your participation over the last few months in the survey, listening sessions, and many conversations, we are confident about what you want in a minister who will shepherd growth and vitality in our church. The information generated from your collective input created our Ministry Information Form.
The survey of the congregation yielded very clear results. It revealed that our history and culture provide a strong foundation for our church and that we have significant cohesion both in what we believe and in what we want for the future. The survey found that our primary goals are: (1) to attract more families with children and youth; (2) to provide more opportunities for Christian education at all ages and stages; and (3) to reinvigorate our outreach ministries. Enclosed are the survey summary and frequently asked questions from the company who wrote and analyzed the document, Holy Cow Consulting. The detailed results are available for review in the church office.
The feedback from our three listening sessions in May was overwhelming in its consistency. You told us that you want a contagiously energetic and enthusiastic preacher who can reach out to and bring in a variety of people, especially families with children; someone who is a good listener and a strong communicator; and someone who will honor the traditions of our church, while innovatively taking us in new directions. The listening sessions also confirmed that our members and friends are very invested in the future of the church, that there is significant hopefulness about what is to come, and that our congregation genuinely cares for one another.
Where do we go from here? Of course, only God knows how the Holy Spirit will lead candidates and our church to each other in a true sense of calling. We expect that we will begin actively considering candidates in July. While we have no idea about God’s schedule, it is very possible that we could have a new minister by the first of next year. Thanks to your enthusiasm, support and input, we will march ahead looking for the one whom God has chosen to lead us into a bright future. As you have heard from the PNC before, and as articulated by Cheryl Gibson, let us pray ardently and purposefully, trusting in God’s provision and timing.
On Calling a Pastor – Remember! We are all involved
During the time of transition between pastors, we at the First Presbyterian Church of Covington are engaged in a spiritual discernment. This process as you know, is to discover a call to ministry for a new pastor. The goal is to determine what God wants the church to be and do in the next phase of the congregation’s life. This task involves all the participants in this our Body of Christ.
Once this becomes clear, the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), in consultation with the presbytery, will press ahead with the discernment process of discovering the candidate who God is calling to be the pastor in this next chapter of the congregation’s life and ministry.
May the Good Lord continue to guide us.
We would like to remind you that the Congregational Assessment Tool aka the CAT is ending on April 17th which means we are continuing to move forward on this journey.
Your completion of the Congregational Assessment Tool is critical because it will enable us to gain insight about who we are as a church and what we desire for our future. If the church has a current email address for you, then you should have already received a web link to complete the assessment online. If you prefer to take the assessment using a paper copy, please stop by the church office, and we will provide one for you along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Please be sure that everyone 16 and older in your home has an opportunity to complete the survey. It will take between 20 and 30 minutes, and the online version must be completed in one session.
In the next four to six weeks, we will have listening groups to provide an opportunity for you to discuss ideas and opinions not addressed on the survey. Your voice matters, and your participation is an integral part of the process.
As always, we ask that you continue to pray for our church and the Pastor Nominating Committee. Will you pray on 8 with us? Pray together at 8 AM and 8PM every day. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to stop everything for prayer. Continue to pray ardently, purposefully, and expectantly trusting in the Lord’s provision and His timing during this season.
If you have been around the church over the past week, you may have noticed talking cats everywhere you turn. You may be thinking, "Holy cow, why are these cat flyers all over the church?". We will be launching a survey very soon and we want to know your thoughts!
We are working with a consulting company called, HolyCow!, to gain insight about who we are as a church and what we desire for our future. We would like to ask you to complete a survey called a Congregation Assessment Tool- also known as the "CAT"!
The survey will open on Wednesday, March 27th and stay open for 2-3 weeks. Keep an eye out in your email inbox for the survey link.
If you would prefer to take the assessment using a paper copy, please stop by the church office and we will provide one for you along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Take a look at the flyer here.
We are thrilled to tell you that since the election on February 3, your Pastor Nominating Committee, has hit the ground running. See below for an update on our expected timeline and how YOU will be involved. And yes, you WILL be involved. It is YOUR search and we work for YOU!
There will be two ways for the congregation to participate in the search. First, a company named HolyCow! will be providing a survey which we will all complete in the next few weeks. Second, the PNC will be hosting small group listening sessions in June to hear your thoughts. The PNC will also get a demographic study of our community that will be done by a professor at Georgia Tech who also happens to be a Presbyterian minister!
The rest of our timetable will look like this... In July, we will complete our ministry information form that helps candidates learn about us. And in August, we will post our ministry information form at PCUSA headquarters in Louisville and then begin receiving personal information forms from minister candidates.
There IS a chance we could have a new pastor in place early next year, but there is no way to know. Of course, God already knows who that person is and we have to wait patiently for the Holy Spirit to move amongst all who are involved in this process.
We will update you regularly in the coming months using all of the church’s communication vehicles. And in the next couple of weeks, we will let you know when and how to take the HolyCow! survey.
In the meantime, we’d like to ask you to do three things:
Thank you for your interest and support and please let us know your thoughts and questions along the way. And in the words of Cheryl Gibson, our PNC spiritual guide, let us pray ardently, purposefully and expectantly, trusting in God’s provision and timing.
1169 Clark Street SW