After thoughtful and prayerful consideration, it is with great pride and much anticipation that I, on behalf of the Interim Pastor Committee and the Church Council, announce the selection of our church’s Designated Term Pastor — Rev. Dr. Carla Cheatham. Rev. Cheatham was one of three applicants for the position and was unanimously approved by both the Committee and the Council. Rev. Cheatham comes to us with many unique qualities and gifts that I am sure will serve us well starting January 1, 2021.
A word about Designated Term vs. Interim Pastor. We consulted regularly with our Interim Conference Minister, Campbell Lovett, and he was helpful in describing the pros and cons of each expression of ministry. We chose Rev. Cheatham as Designated Term Pastor for Faith UCC in part because, while an Interim Pastor cannot be considered for the Settled Pastor position, in certain circumstances, such as the ones we face now at Faith, a Designated Term Pastor can be considered for that position. A designated term pastor also has additional specific goals and objectives than an interim pastor, and we believe the goals that focus on community engagement and membership growth will better serve our church. Carla is well-suited to help us realize our goals. Thus, we would like to keep our options open about a settled position. For instance, we all agree that we would not be well served if, after 12 months of Carla’s help and guidance to grow and revitalize, we started over again with a new pastor and began another pastoral transition. The Pastoral Search Committee will meet in early 2021 to update the Local Church Profile and perform other assignments typical to the Search and Call process. When the time comes, this committee with input from Rev. Cheatham, will determine if she will be considered for the settled position or if the position will be posted. We will be looking for one or two members to fill vacancies on the committee.
Rev. Cheatham made a short video of introduction to our church, that I have included in this letter. Please take a moment to watch. We hope you will be as impressed with her ideas and plans for Faith UCC as the committee was when we first viewed it.
We are grateful to Pastor Scott for his ministry that has created such a strong base for our church. We are thankful to congregation members for your commitment to Faith. We look forward to building upon all this positive momentum as we prepare to enter a New Year!
Michael Ziegler, Moderator