On Calling a Pastor

Maybe you have heard – Walt is retiring! Great for Walt, but what is Providence Presbyterian Church going to do without him? Well, we are going to find another Pastor. Not a replacement for Walt, because he is irreplaceable as the second longest serving Pastor in our church’s 250+ year history, but someone to carry us forward into the future, which will certainly be different than the past.

PPC has made this transition successfully more than 25 times in our long history, so it is really nothing new. It happens so often that the presbytery has developed a 52-page manual named “On Calling a Pastor” to help churches with the process. So you don’t have to read the long sleepy presbytery document here is a very condensed summary of the process:

• For the next several months PPC staff and session will continue to manage day-to-day activities and lead our church.
• To provide Lal with support in the pulpit, the Worship Committee is currently recruiting “Supply Preachers” to preach some Sunday worship services over the next few months until an “Interim Pastor” is called.
• The recently elected Interim Pastor Nominating Committee (IPNC) has met with the Charlotte Presbytery to begin the process of recruiting a full time Interim Pastor with specific experience and training to serve as Pastor and Head of Staff. The Interim Pastor will also help PPC prepare for calling a new Pastor to meet God’s will and our congregation’s needs. Typically, the Interim Pastor serves for a period of time ranging from several months to a couple of years.
• While the Interim Pastor is in place, a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) will be elected by the congregation to begin the process for calling PPC’s next Pastor.

During this transition period we will all need to maintain patience, provide thoughtful and prayerful support for each other, our staff, and lay leaders, and step up to help where we can. At times, the process may feel rambling and slow, but we must take the time needed to work through the steps, so we use this opportunity to discern how God wants to lead Providence Presbyterian Church into the future.

Peace and Prayers from your IPNC.
Jay Witherspoon
Kim Sumrell
Bret Myers