As you all know I will be retiring on December 31st. I announced my retirement at the beginning of the year to give the church as much time as possible to hit the road running. There is much to be done and it is not too soon to start. It will require all hands on deck to prayerfully go through the various steps. The council will not be able to do it all by themselves so I pray you will prayerfully consider serving if the council asks you to help with the transition process. Faith UCC is a wonderful church and it serves a vital role in the South Central Conference and UCC; in this community and beyond and in your life as well as the lives of your fellow members. I have always said that Faith UCC punches above its weight when it comes to outreach, mission, and standing up for justice in this community and world. A transition, such as the church is facing, comes with many challenges and these challenges are being multiplied by the current pandemic, but with diligent effort and God’s help Faith UCC will come through this transition and be all the stronger for it.
Generally after a long pastorate, I’ve been here 15 years, a church will hire an interim minister(s). An interim minister is temporary and serves as a bridge between the past pastor and the new settled pastor. Whoever the interim is the general understanding is that they will not apply to be the settled pastor. During the interim period the congregation takes the opportunity to assess its history, mission and unique ministries and where it wants to go in the future. The interim minister and the congregation use the interim period to address issues that would significantly impact the next settled pastorate and the church. Often times interim ministers have had special training to help them help churches deal with this interim period and what needs to be done then.
Know that you will have my prayers during this transition time. It is, however, inappropriate for me to, as the UCC “A Pastoral Vacancy: Guidelines for the Departing Pastor and the Governing Board” puts it, “to engage in any conversations about the future roles of other staff members or to suggest interim names.” Rev. Campbell Lovett, the Consulting Conference Minister for the South Central Conference and Rev. Liz Nash, Heart of Texas Association Minister, will be available to help resource this transition time. Rev. Campbell has already been in consultation with Council President Mike Ziegler and the church council.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Scott