Ever wonder if some great and powerful Wizard of Oz works behind the scenes to decide what happens at this church? Nope! Not if you join the conversation. After all, we’re in Evanston, not Oz!

We need your input into the next right steps for FPCE. What is God calling the church to be and to do next? What are the vision and mission of FPCE as we move into the future? We want to hear your voice! We invite all FPCE folks join us on our yellow brick road during the April Pastries with the Pastor on Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. We hope for a diverse gathering of all ages and stages, attendees and members to give feedback.

What’s the urgency? Before FPCE can search for the next pastor, we need to seek clarity and understanding together, just as we have been seeking God’s leading through our Breakthrough Prayer. The following week at a Saturday retreat, leaders will synthesize your input into a plan for FPCE’s mission, direction and next steps.

Once we find clarity and are ready to move forward, the Nominating Committee’s job will be to form a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). With your input, they will pull together a slate of representative PNC candidates for a congregational vote.

Feel like you’re a few steps behind in the transition process? Need a quick review?

At the 3/10/24 Pastries with the Pastor Q& A session with about 50-55 of you, we talked through where FPCE is on the “Yellow Brick Road of Calling a New Pastor.” Answer: Steps #25-28 (of 64, which is “Welcoming the new pastor.”) So what are the current steps FPCE is taking?

#25. The Interim Pastor and leaders help solidify communications, processes, administration, and roles so the church is well organized.

#26. When the Interim Pastor sees big needs or conflicts, they pause the move toward the pastor search to work on those issues. ie: vision and mission, staff restructuring, and budget reductions.

#27. The Interim Pastor continues the work of leading the church in worship, mission, teaching and pastoral care while the process proceeds.

#28. The Interim Pastor and leadership create some sort of process (aka Pastries with the Pastor) to hear from the congregation about where the church is, what the members hope for the future, and the resources available. Often referred to as developing a Mission Study, there are lots of ways to do it….

What comes next?

#31. The Session reads, responds and then approves the study.
#32. Presbytery’s Committee On Ministry reads, and responds to the study.
#33. The Interim Pastor asks the Nominating Committee to find a diverse and representative group of people to serve as the Pastor Nominating Committee, a slate upon whom the congregation will vote, likely this summer.

So, we still have plenty to do and lots of ground to cover. Please join us on April 14 and let your voice be heard!

Rev. Tassie Green

Image by Mike Singleton from Pixabay