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  • River Glen Session

A Word from Your Session -May 26,2023

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

We want to update you on the status of the upcoming search for our interim pastor, and the formation of a team to search for our next pastor. Apologies in advance for all of the acronyms!

Throughout the transition, Session will continue to meet and lead the church using a moderator that has been appointed by the Chicago Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (COM). We will also schedule guest preachers, called Pulpit Supply, and continue the business of our congregation. Recently, Session met with our representative from COM to learn about the processes for establishing an Interim Pastor Nominating Committee (IPNC) and Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).

During our next meeting, on May 30, Session will appoint an IPNC of 5 people to begin the process for finding an interim pastor. The IPNC will update our Ministry Information Form (MIF), which is a job description as well as a description of our church and its needs at this time. Session will review and approve the MIF, which then goes to COM for review and approval before being posted in the PC(USA) database of jobs called the Church Leadership Connection (CLC). COM or Presbytery may also provide us with candidates. The CLC then matches our MIF with profiles prepared by potential interim candidates. These profiles are forwarded to the IPNC for their review. They will choose several candidates to interview, identify the one that they feel is the best fit for River Glen, then set up an interview for that person with Session. If Session approves the chosen candidate, they then establish contract terms with the interim pastor.

Presbytery representatives have told us that it usually takes 3-6 months (maybe more) to hire an interim pastor. Fortunately for us, they have also said that there is currently an ample supply of interim candidates available. Once our interim pastor has been hired and brought on board, Session will nominate a PNC which will follow a similar process.

Once on board, the interim pastor will spend some time learning about our church, its leaders, and the staff, and getting to know the congregation. Interim pastors are specifically trained for this role. They help solidify communications, processes, administration, and roles so the church is well organized and operates as if there is a full-time pastor. The interim pastor continues the work of leading the church in worship, mission, teaching, and pastoral care while the PNC process proceeds. In addition, the interim is trained to identify and take care of potential needs or “problems in the system”, so the new pastor can begin afresh.

Just as a reminder, we are all bound by Presbytery’s Covenant of Closure for relationships with former pastors. Please direct any questions about the PNCs and the covenant to Session members.

Peace and blessings,

Your 2023 Session: Tom Barto, Bob Carr, Brian Gilbert, Rich Gorecki, Paula Hebert, Bill King, Christy Palangattil, Andrea Sung, Kalina Waszak.

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