Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (April 2022)
This week Pastor Glenn preached from the gospel of John chapter 20. This scripture chronicles the events that took place with the apostles in the weeks immediately following the resurrection of Jesus. A week after the resurrection, the disciples, without Thomas, were huddled in a locked room for fear of what the Jewish leaders would do to them if found. Miraculously, Jesus appears to them and says, “Peace be with you”. He breaths on them and they receive the Holy Spirit. We all know the story where Thomas refuses to believe what the others told him without seeing for himself. A week later when Jesus once again appears to them, he tells Thomas “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
How often are we just like Thomas refusing to accept what is said or done without seeing it for ourselves? Believing without seeing proof is what faith is all about. The bible has much to say about believing without seeing. The book of John alone references this throughout. But if it were to be summed up in one word for believing without seeing, it would be “blessed”. While none of us have actually seen Jesus, we choose through faith to believe in Him and His saving grace.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
The candidate that was hosted by the PNC in March, has decided to accept a call to another church closer to their current home. The committee continues their search with the help of the Vanderbloemen Search Group. We have faith that God has already chosen our next pastor and that He will reveal it to us in His time. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (March 2022)
What is Lent? The word “Lent” comes from the Old English word “lengten,” which simply means “spring” — when the days lengthen and new life springs forth. It is a time in which we anticipate the victory of the light and life of Christ over the darkness of sin and death. It is my prayer that as you journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter, you would be reminded of the reality of our broken humanity, but as days grow brighter, you would experience with greater abundance the reality of God’s redeeming grace.
It is easy to forget that this is also a time of preparation for the Jews. Passover is the holiest of times for the children if Israel. God gave Moses specific instructions for His people to follow on that solemn night when the angel of death visited Egypt.
“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it…” Exodus 12:7-8 (ESV)
The account of the Passover with which Israel begins its exit out of Egypt and slavery is in many ways the central story of the Old Testament. It is meant to speak profoundly to God’s people. On the one hand, it is a reminder that unless God intervenes and covers us, we are in the same condition as everyone else: part of a rebel creation that stands under God’s judgment and condemnation. That is always part of our identity as human beings and without it we cannot walk in humility either before God or others.
On the other hand, it is a reminder that the primary thing God wants from us is trust. He wants us to trust that he is merciful and that he cares for us. He wants us to trust that he desires to save and not condemn us. That is why he became incarnate in the person of Jesus. And he wants our lives to issue in the acts of obedience that manifest our trust in him – whether that is putting blood on our doorposts and eating the Passover meal as was the case for the Israelites or remembering Jesus’ death which saved us when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and then living lives of forgiveness and generosity. Is your life being characterized by this kind of humility and trust?
Your PNC continues to search for our next pastor. Please keep us in your prayers.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (February 2022)
We all from time to time can use some words of encouragement. A new friend shared this scripture passage with me on which to meditate.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
This month has been a time when such encouragement is welcomed. We identified a strong candidate that was interested in our church. We were hopeful that this was the one that was chosen to lead us into the future. However, before we were able to nail down a date for an interview the candidate and family decided that South Boston was not where they were being led. With that we continue to “run with perseverance” and seek the path that God has laid out for us. We do have another candidate that we hope to continue in conversation.
This is where we must rely on God to reveal to us to the next pastor that He has chosen to lead our congregation. We are using all the resources available to achieve that goal.
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
We covet your prayers us as we continue the task that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (January 2022)
What is taking so long? How much longer?
While no one has asked me this question, I know that it cannot help but be on everyone’s mind.
I’m sure that we have observed the real estate market over the years. There are times when there is a limited number of properties available for sale and buyers must compete against each other. This is called a “seller’s market” where often sell for prices higher than the asking price. At other times, the inventory of properties is large. Sellers find themselves in competition with other property owners. Sellers must negotiate and grant concessions to buyers to sell. This is called a “buyer’s market”.
The environment in today’s world of church ministry has not been good. Pastors are reaching “burn out” and choosing to leave the ministry in increasing numbers. This coupled with the added stress of a global pandemic has accelerated this alarming trend. Our denomination, the PC(USA), is no exception. The result of this trend is that many churches seeking a pastor must look at a limited pool of potential candidates. You might say that it is “buyer’s (pastors) market”.
Given these circumstances, the quick solution would be to attempt to call the first available candidate found. There is danger in that approach. We not only need to find a pastor, but the right candidate needs to be a “good fit” for our church. This is where we must rely on God to reveal to us to the next pastor that He has chosen to lead our congregation. We are using all the resources available to achieve that goal.
5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Pray for us as we continue the task that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (December 2021)
More than 700 years before the birth of -Christ in Bethlehem, the prophet Isaiah predicted the events of that blessed night.
6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. – Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)
Man had already been excluded from eternal life in heaven because of sin. The wages of sin is death. Yet God out of His infinite love created a way to bridge that gap between God and man by offering His son, Jesus, to pay once and for all for our sin.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)
Your PNC continues to work to work with our search firm to identify and vet potential candidates for our pastor. The Christmas holiday season does slow things down due to it
being the “busy” time for pastors. This month possible candidates have been identified and we continue discussion with them.
Keep us in your prayers as we continue the task that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (November 2021)
This month my thoughts go all the way back to the time right before Jesus ascended to the Father. Can you imagine the excitement and anticipation that the apostles felt as they gathered on the mountainside? It had been forty days since the miraculous resurrection of Christ. During that time, He revealed himself to many of the believers, on one occasion a
group of more than 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). His last instruction to his disciples is captured by Matthew in his gospel, chapter 28 called “The Great Commission”:
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to
go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to
them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
The question that we must ask ourselves is what have we done lately to “go and make disciples”? As we continue in our search for our new pastor, we must ensure that our focus is on the important work the Lord has directed.
Your PNC continues to work with our search firm to identify and vet potential candidates for our pastor. This month two possibilities decided to pursue other opportunities while we continue discussion with another promising person.
Your prayers are appreciated as we continue the task that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (October 2021)
Last month I took an opportunity to “vent” about just how difficult this process has been. We are not the first group that has endured trials. James, who was the leader of the Christian church in Jerusalem, reminds us that we will face trials and temptations. He says it
is important that we persevere and put our faith in action.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:2-4, 12 (NIV)
This month not much has changed. We continue to wait on some complicated issues to be resolved with one candidate while our search firm moves forward vetting additional potential pastors for our church. In all of this we press on putting our faith in action while seeking God’s will for our church.
We hold on to the assurances found in His word well put by the apostle Paul.
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
We covet your prayers as we persevere in the task that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (September 2021)
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, – Romans 15:4-5 (NIV)
Strong words of encouragement from the apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome.
September 2021 marks 18 months since the PNC began this search process. At this point in time, we could all use some encouragement. This is not an easy task, and the very future of our church may be at stake. As time drags on, we have seen excitement as we talk with “promising” candidates and felt disappointment as these potential pastors decide not to continue our dialog. I know that solo pastoring a relatively small church in rural southern Virginia is not a position that appeals to everyone. Couple that with the challenges of this time of transition and a global pandemic there is plenty of cause for worry. This is when we must look to God’s Word for strength and encouragement.
Please pray for us as we watch doors close and others open. We know that God has already selected our next pastor and that He will reveal them to us in His time.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (August 2021)
The search continues! The candidate that we were talking with has decided to accept a call to another church.
On August 4th our Account Executive from the Vanderbloemen Group present two new candidates to the PNC. What was different this time was that both candidates had applied to the job listing at Vanderbloemen as opposed to having to be recruited. Both applicants were well qualified and have a wealth of experience. Initial interviews have been conducted with both. This is encouraging and we look forward to our continued dialog with them.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
We covet your prayers and encouragement as we continue down this road to complete the task entrusted to us. We constantly seek God’s will and guidance as we labor.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (July 2021)
The PNC is continuing discussion with the candidate that we last interviewed in June. We have encountered some communication issues that have hindered our continued dialog. We know that the candidate is talking with three other churches as well, so the competition is on!
Additionally, our account executive at Vanderbloemen is in the process of vetting 3 or 4 promising candidates for the PNC to look at as well. We welcome all this activity and are encouraged that we may be getting closer to identifying the next pastor for our church.
I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. Colossians 4:8
Your continued prayers and your encouragement are truly cherished as we continue with this important work. We constantly seek God’s will and guidance as we labor to complete the task entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (June 2021)
The PNC met with our account executive from Vanderbloemen on Sunday, June 6th and was presented with a potential candidate. Based on the information presented to us, we
scheduled and conducted a first interview with this candidate on June 14th.
The interview and discussion went very well, and we pray that we can continue a dialog with this individual. Note that we have been at this point in the process with several previous candidates only to find out that they chose to withdraw from consideration. We remain cautiously optimistic and pray that God’s choice for our next pastor is being revealed to us.
But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you,
Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are
mine. Isaiah 43:1
We thank you for your continued prayers and your encouragement as we “wait” on the Lord. You have entrusted us with this important task and we seek God’s will and guidance as we labor to complete it.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (April 2021)
As I reported last month, we are continuing in another “search cycle” with the Vanderbloemen Search Group. We hope to have some new candidates to review shortly. We continue to receive additional downloads of PIF’s (resumes) from the PC(USA) Church Leadership Connection (CLC). To date we have received over 300 PIF’s (resumes) from PCUSA and Vanderbloemen has screened these submissions for potential candidates that would be a “good fit” for our church.
This month we were contacted directly by a candidate who expressed interest in our church. However, before we were able to screen and schedule an interview, he withdrew his name (in just a matter of days) from consideration because he began discussions with another church. To say the least, this is frustrating!
I know that I must sound like a broken record but through all of this, we continue to accept that God has already selected our next pastor and that He will reveal His choice to us in His time. James 1: 2-3 says “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
We thank you for your continued prayers and your encouragement as we “persevere” with the work to which you have entrusted us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (March 2021)
As I reported last month, we are in another “search cycle” with the Vanderbloemen Search Group. We hope to have some new candidates to review within the next month. To date we have received around 300 PIF’s (resumes) from PCUSA and Vanderbloemen has screened
nearly 3000 potential candidates. The COVID19 pandemic has also added further complexity to our search process. Through all of this, we continue to accept that God has already selected our next pastor and that He will reveal His choice to us in His time. We have to truly “wait on the Lord” even when we want the answer right now. We covet your continued prayers as we move forward with the work that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (February 2021)
Last month I shared that Vanderbloemen had identified several candidates for our PNC to review as potentials for our next pastor. Of the two candidates presented, we selected one
to pursue. Unfortunately, after conducting an encouraging interview with a well-qualified candidate, they decided that this was not the right call for them. I am sure that you can feel our disappointment and frustration. But we must accept that God has already selected
our next pastor and that He will reveal His choice to us in His time.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
It is at times like these that we have to truly “wait on the Lord” even when we want the answer right now. We covet your continued prayers as we move forward with the work that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (January 2021)
The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) continues to work with the Vanderbloemen Group in the search for our next pastor. We are scheduled to meet on Sunday, January 24th to review candidates. Our prayer is that God will reveal our next pastor to us sooner rather than later. We are assured that God has already selected the person who will serve as our next pastor and that He will make this obvious to us in His time.
The PNC asks for your continued prayers as we perform the work that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (December 18, 2020)
The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) continues to work with the Vanderbloemen Group in the search for our next pastor. In our most recent communication with our Account Executive, we were told that they will have several candidates to present to the PNC for consideration. To date between our committee and Vanderbloemen we have reviewed well over 300 Personal Information Forms (PIF’s) and resumes of pastors actively seeking a new call. We continue to be assured the God has already selected the person who will serve as our next pastor and pray that He will reveal His choice to us soon.
In this season as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, so long ago in the small town of
Bethlehem, we thank God for this precious gift of a savior who will reconcile us through his
death on the cross and pay for all our sins. Through His grace we are offered the gift of eternal life.
While this has been a difficult year, one that we hope to not experience again, we should focus on our blessings and celebrate the greatest gift ever given. We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
The PNC asks for your continued prayers as we perform the work that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (November 30, 2020)
The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) continues to work with the Vanderbloemen Group in the search for our next pastor. We are in regular communication with them as we review and consider potential candidates. We were told early on that filling this position would be a challenge and that the pool of potential candidates for Solo-Pastor in a small town would be limited. That has proven to be true. As you can imagine, the current pandemic situation has served to increase the challenges that we face. Rest assured the God has already selected the person who will serve as our next pastor. Our prayer is that He will reveal His choice to us in His time, hopefully soon.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. Daniel 2:22 (NIV)
6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. John 17:6 (NIV)
The PNC covets your prayers as we continue the work that you have entrusted to us.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (August 18, 2020)
The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has a meeting scheduled with Vanderbloemen, our search firm, on Sunday, August 23rd. At this meeting we will be presented with some potential candidates that have been vetted as a “good fit” for our church.
At that point any candidates of interest to the committee will be scheduled for initial video interviews. Please keep the PNC in your prayers as we move forward with the work that you have entrusted to us. We pray that God quickly reveals to us the Pastor that he has selected to lead First Presbyterian Church of South Boston into the future.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (July 22, 2020)
On July 5th, the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) had an update meeting with our account executive, Jay Mitchell, from the Vanderbloemen search group. Jay shared the progress that has been made so far in the search process. To date they have registered a total of 593 website visits for our job posting. The search team has identified 8 candidates that may potentially be of interest. Additionally, they have reached out to another 59 candidates through their networking contacts. This list of potential candidates is being screened and vetted with the goal of presenting the PNC with a list of 3 to 5 “good fit”
candidates for us to review at our next meeting in August. At that point we will begin to
schedule initial video interviews with those that have been identified.
Please keep the PNC in your prayers as we continue the work that you have entrusted to us. Pray that Gods reveals to us the next Pastor that he has selected to lead us into the future.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (June 12, 2020)
Your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has been hard at work in the search process for the next leader for our congregation. Over the past few months, we have reviewed over 70 resumes and still have not found a suitable candidate that is available. It has become clear to us why this process takes so long. In light of this realization, we requested and received approval from the Session to engage an executive search firm that specializes is church staffing. The Company’s name is Vanderbloemen based in Houston, Texas.
Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) Update (March 27, 2020)
I want to take a moment to update everyone on the progress of the PNC. (We have had to learn the meaning of many acronyms!) Since we were elected by the congregation, we have been hard at work following the process as outlined by the PCUSA. We began with the first of two two-hour training sessions conducted by representatives of the Presbytery Committee on Ministry (COM). This training concentrated on organizing the PNC and instructions on completion of the Ministry Information Form (MIF), which is like a resume for our church. We were told that this process usually takes an average of 6 to 8 weeks to complete.
Training complete, we went to work on putting together our MIF. This document includes information about the church (membership, attendance, demographics, etc.), answers to four narrative questions, leadership competencies desired for new pastor, salary and job description. Once the MIF is complete, we had to present it to the Session for approval and upload the MIF to the PCUSA Church Leadership Connection (CLC) System where it is approved by the Presbytery and released to begin the matching process. We completed this work in record time, just over two weeks!
The next step will be the second two-hour training session which will cover to procedure for reviewing Pastor Information Forms (PIF), pastor resumes. Given the challenges that we are facing due to the current health crisis, we will have to be “creative” to complete this step. We have already begun screening some PIF’s. This will be a long and detailed exercise as we evaluate potentially hundreds of resumes to identify our next pastor. We covet your prayers as we continue the work that you have entrusted to our committee.
Grace and peace, Don Cherry, PNC Chairman
On March 1, 2020 a Congregational Meeting was held to elect a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).
The members elected were: Sterling Byrd-Roberts, Richard (Rick) Harrell, Joni Owens, Colter Wickemeyer and Donald (Don) Cherry.
The pastor nominating committee (PNC), representative of the whole congregation and elected by the congregation, has the ultimate responsibility for nominating a minister to the congregation for election as the next pastor or associate pastor. Over a number of months, the PNC will journey through the pastoral search process, seeking to hear the call of Christ and “to participate in God’s own choice” for our next pastor.