First United Presbyterian Church

Pastoral Transition at FUPC

Jan and Phil Butin have been our beloved pastors for 14 years, but now they are retiring and moving north to spend more time with their children and grandchildren. As a Presbyterian church, we have a process for changes of this kind. As the PCUSA manual for calling a new pastor puts it, “Presbyterians believe that God uses committees, papers, procedures, and our polity, sprinkled with a generous measure of prayer, Scripture, and worship, to help you discern who it is that God is calling to be your pastor.”

Transitional/Interim Pastor

Accordingly, the Session of the church, the governing body composed of the ruling elders of the church, has appointed a nominating committee to find a Transitional/Interim Pastor. An interim pastor guides the congregation through the process of calling a new pastor. He or she leads worship and provides pastoral care, serves as the moderator of the Session, organizes church staff, helps the congregation in the reflection and thought involved in calling a new pastor, and supports the Pastor Nominating Committee in the search without being involved directly in their work.

The session calls the interim pastor.

Pastor Nominating Committee

Once the Transitional/Interim Pastor is in place the Pastor Nominating Committee will begin the process of identifying the person whom God is calling to lead FUPC over the long term.

The congregation will elect the PNC, pray for and support them, and welcome the new pastor nominee. The Pastor Nominating Committee will have the responsibility to nominate the pastor.

A new pastor

The congregation will elect the new pastor and approve the terms of call. Then it is up to us to welcome the new pastor and his or her family into our community and our hearts.

This is an exciting time for FUPC. We are making changes to our worship schedule and preparing for our 200th anniversary as we watch and pray for our new leadership.

PCUSA shares some scriptures for congregations going through the emotional rollercoaster of changing pastors. One of their suggested passages is Matthew 6:25-34:

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


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