Welcome to the Monday Mailing Vol 2, Ed 10 –
Phew. . .the weekend is over. . .now the hard work begins!
What a day. . .what a weekend! What a PNC. . .what a Candidate!
I can affirm for all to hear that you have indeed called a new pastor for HUPC. What I cannot do (quite yet) is affirm the candidate’s name in writing. You see, in our Presbyterian system, all this seeking a new call and seeking a new pastor happens in secret. Pastors don’t tell the church which they serve that they are looking, and congregations don’t make known who they are looking for until, well. . .now.
The thing is, while we are excited and ready to shout from the mountaintops (!), our next pastor has not told their extended family (and yes, they are all in Presbyterian circles), or the church where that one is currently serving, let alone the Presbytery in which the candidate serves. It will take about ten days to two weeks for our next pastor to get the word out before we can be publicly overjoyed. So, we will hold off saying the candidate’s name and posting pictures from the weekend until we get the go-ahead.
I’ve made a few pastoral moves over the years, so please indulge me as I share a few of the things that meant the most to me in my first days. In one call, I walked into my apartment to find several bags of non-perishable items in the kitchen. The congregation had “pounded” me with things like, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, canned soup, crackers and the like. It meant that, in addition to moving in, I did not need to go to the grocery store to get dinner.
In another church, the deacons (and others) were at my house when the moving truck arrived. They wiped down every surface of the place, and even cleaned the toilets. One soul went off to the Hardware store for some that was needed. They asked where I wanted things, and unpacked the kitchen for me. Wow!
A friend once received a set of note cards which included parishioner’s “favorites” – place for ice cream, ethnic food, deli sandwiches, park, walking trail. It included the where, but also the why from the one who submitted it.
I have seen small photo albums made for the new pastor – with family photos, either submitted by the family – or in our case, maybe Pandemic Porch Photos . . .photos and names are a great way of getting to know people.
You are going to be as gracious and welcoming to the new pastor and that person’s family as you can be. . .that is just who you are. If some among you think that something like what is listed above would be fun to do, let the Pastoral Transition Team (formerly known as the PNC) know, and they will be happy to let you run with it, or point you to others of like mind.
Things will start happening rather quickly from here on out – hang on, and enjoy the ride!