(Commonly known as “Search and Call”)
When a pastor announces that she or he is leaving, people
in our churches often feel strongly a number of emotions.
One of them is usually anxiety: “how will the congregation
find a new minister?” and “what will church be
like with a new pastor?”
The United Church of Christ has developed recommendations
and procedures to help our congregations through transitions
in pastoral leadership. Rather than an unwelcome, but inevitable
necessity, the change from one pastor to another can be an
opportunity for the growth and strengthening of your congregation.
As the Regional Conference Minister for the Metropolitan
and Suffolk Associations, New York Conference, I have responsibility
for assisting the Search Committees of local congregations
seeking new pastors. One resource I recommend to you is “A
Local Church Seeks a Pastor: A Manual for Use in the United
Church of Christ.” You can get it from my office 898-9210
or email@example.com or by ordering it from United Church Resources [(800) 654-5129].
In the following three sections, I offer additional counsel
for congregations in the Metropolitan and Suffolk Associations
seeking a pastor. Some of this information is specific as
to the ways we work in the New York Conference. The rest
is my insights, hints, suggestions on such passages in the
life of our churches. There is also a glossary of terms—some
of the words we use are very specific to United Church of
Christ policy and procedures and may not be familiar to you.
I hope you will find it all helpful.
The contents of this section on "Search and Call" are:
Please feel free to contact Interim Regional Conference Minister Freeman Palmer if you have any questions about pastoral leadership for your congregation (firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-388-6447). And may God be present to you and guide you as you work to determine who God has prepared to be your next pastor.
Michael W. Caine
Former Southeastern Regional Conference Minister
New York Conference, United Church of Christ
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