Tag Archive | interim pastor

Pastor’s Post for March 2015

Terri in light

The Christian community worldwide is journeying together toward the mystery of the resurrection. Lent is good time for reflection and to prepare for spring by doing spring-cleaning for the soul.   Of course it seems like spring will never come amidst all of the snow and ice. Just as it seemed to the dismal disciples that Jesus would never arise from the grave, we know spring is coming because God is faithful.  When we spring clean our earthly homes we sometimes find that we have to throw some things away. The same thing happens with spiritual spring-cleaning. When we spend time in spiritual reflection we may discover that we have a room full of old hurts, wrong beliefs and regrets that we need to throw away. Lent is a time to strengthen our faith even in the face of what appears to be insurmountable. The same is true of Christians when encountering the Easter mystery. Christ’s death by crucifixion and three days in the tomb – it seems like all is lost. But it’s only a death that leads to new life and an ending, which leads to a new beginning in Christ, if we have the faith to see it and believe it!

Anyone can speak what he or she sees, but it takes faith to speak what we want to see. Anyone can state the obvious, but it takes faith to see the invisible and call it forth! It takes faith to prepare for spring when it is snowing in March! Our Lord Jesus always spoke the good that He wanted to see happen. He said, our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” Everyone else thought that Lazarus was dead because he was already wrapped in grave clothes and in a tomb. But Jesus spoke of Lazarus as being alive. Jesus called forth what He wanted to see. He said, “Lazarus, come forth! And he who had been dead for four days arose and came out of the tomb (John 11: 43-44).

As the Interim Pastor, I am coming close to the end of my journey here with you. I am hopeful that the Levittown Frist Presbyterian Church will move forward with its mission and ministry. We have been through a winter of sorts, but just as sure as I know that spring is coming, I know that Levittown will enter a new season of revival. It is my prayer that the new pastor will boost morale and membership. We have endured the dormancy of winter the time has come to we enjoy a fruitful spring harvest of blessings for our church and community.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Terri

Interim Pastor

June 2014 – Pastor’s Post

Pastor Terri

Dear Friends,

The summer has FINALLY arrived.  I made a promise not to complain about the heat since we had such a harsh winter.  Of course today, I found myself complaining about the weather.  How quick humans are to forget.  We are either looking back with regret or fearful of facing the future.  It’s hard for us to appreciate the gift of the present.  The interim period of a church is often plagued with members looking back with regret to the good old days or afraid of what the future holds.

The transition period in any organization is a scary time since it almost always invoices a change in leadership.  The interim is often times not the permanent leader in place so people have a choice to do one of two things, work with the interim to usher in change or work against him or her because they are not going to be the permanent person in charge.  However, we can see the interim time as a time for renewal and growth and to develop a broader vision of the congregation’s future.  As a congregation we have to determine we are in the interim process.  In the coming months, I will be holding “town hall” type meetings to discuss these issues and how we wish to proceed as community of faith.  These meeting are goals for the future of the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown.

Below you will find a few key issues we need to address and questions we need to ask ourselves as we move forward.  The list is followed by symptoms of resolution and non – resolution that is evident in congregations as they go through the interim period.  As you pray for our congregation examine where you think we are in the process.  We need your prayers, insight and support.

      Issues

–      determining whether the congregation’s image is realistic

–      seeing the interim time as an opportunity for renewal and growth

–      The congregation sees itself as an entity without a pastor, separating the church’s identity from the former pastor’s personality and style.

       Symptoms of Non-resolution

–      focus on the past

–      resistance to self-assessment

–      unrealistic myths are still operative

–      emphasis is on blaming, what’s wrong

–       low trust level, lack of authentic sharing

–       Identify confusion:  who are we?

–       leaders and others continue to consult the previous pastor

–       maintains same old programs, even when they don’t fit present needs

–       rush through the interim

Signs of Resolution

–       focus on present or future

–       willingness to do self-assessment

–       congregation faces reality

–       affirms who the congregation really is

–       growing excitement and energy for the congregation’s envisioned future

–       process questions:  where are we going?  how are we doing?

–       inclusiveness rising trust level, humor and patience with the search process

–       vision and goals fit present reality

 

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Terri