We are preparing our hearts and trusting God as we get ready for the Pastor Nominating Committee to announce the candidate for our next Senior Pastor. Click here for resources and to learn more.
June 2020 PNC Update
We narrowed our search down to discernment of three superb candidates and, at this point, anticipate a congregational announcement in August.
This month the PNC has been meeting with increased frequency, including morning and evening prayer. Each committee member prepared an assessment of the final three candidates, based on a review of:
- The First Pres Ministry Information Form
- Videoconference conversations
- In-person interviews
- Reference checks
- Personal Information Form
- Notes from conversations (and other information)
We’ve met and shared our perspectives on each candidate and our sense of who would be the best fit for First Pres as we enter this next chapter of our life together. Our meetings have involved much listening, inquiry, discussion, and prayer.
Process: We continue to meet via videoconference. As the frequency of our meetings has increased, we have limited our meetings to 90 minutes to avoid “Zooming out!” Apart from responding to email communications we continue to receive and listening to recent sermons, we are focusing on the information we have in-hand.
Timeline: We anticipate making a congregational announcement in August. The process of when and how a congregational meeting will happen is under discussion with SF Presbytery and the Session Preparation committee (including John Barthel, Martha Allen, Daly Jordan-Koch, Andy Satchwell, and Sue Burger). We encourage you to read information from Session about preparing our hearts for the next Senior Pastor (see here).
For the PNC—in this final stage of discerning God’s direction, may we have wisdom, stamina, and faithfulness.
For our candidates—as they continue living out their current calls while also considering this call to First Pres, may they have strength for the present and clarity for the future.
For the upcoming ratification process – for wisdom and guidance as we work with the SF Presbytery and the Session about how to present a final candidate to the congregation given the current constraints of distanced worship and meeting space.
For our congregation— in this time of COVID-19 with all its varied impacts, including social unrest and calls for justice, may we experience and extend God’s grace.
May 2020 PNC Update
Throughout this time intensive process of calling a Senior Pastor to our church, those of us serving on the PNC continue to pray, read, deliberate, and discern, always aware of the worth and weight of this task that the congregation has entrusted to us.
In the last few weeks, we conducted calls with each of the three final candidates. Our conversations have focused on their perspectives concerning the implications of COVID-19 for the Church in the US and for First Pres Berkeley in particular. The candidates bring an acute awareness of the situation, both broadly and specifically to their own contexts, as well as to the timing of the transition to our church. We will continue to seek wisdom for the transition with the selected candidate.
Our current, final interviews address questions that the PNC has identified as most critical to assessing fit. As we complete calls to the candidates’ references, we’re hearing strong affirmations of the candidates’ gifts, pastoral excellence, leadership experience, and heart for God and people. The candidates are remarkable, and every conversation bestows God’s blessings on us!
We hope to complete the interviews and reference checks in the next two weeks and then will enter the final discernment process.
Process: As we complete the interviews and reference checks, we’ll pray, listen, and discern, even more intensively. All group process since March 16 has been conducted via videoconference.We are grateful that we were able to conduct in-person interviews with the top three candidates prior to the Shelter-in-Place.
Timeline: Following an anticipated PNC decision by late-June/early-July, several steps will remain prior to a congregational announcement:
- Extend the call to the selected candidate (subject to Presbytery’s approval)
- Negotiate the terms of call
- Authorize a congregational meeting (Session action)
- Present to the congregation the calling of the candidate and approve the terms of call
- Install pastor
The process is complicated by current limitations on gathering together in person, and a transition committee composed of pastoral staff, the personnel committee, and elders is determining when and how this will happen. Additionally, the transition committee is planning to initiate discussions among staff and the congregation reflecting on how to prepare our hearts and trust in God as we welcome the next Senior Pastor.
- For the PNC—in this final stage of discerning God’s direction, may we have wisdom, stamina, and faithfulness.
- For our candidates—as they continue living out their current calls while also considering this call to First Pres, may they have strength for the present and clarity for the future.
- For our congregation— in this time of COVID-19 with all its varied impacts, including social unrest and calls for justice, may we experience God’s grace.
April 2020 Update
Last month the PNC noted that we have narrowed the list of candidates for senior pastor to those we think might be the best fit for us at First Pres. In late February and early March (prior to the Shelter-in-Place order), the PNC spent extended face-to-face time with those short-listed candidates.