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Prospect's Transitions

Updated: 5 days ago

Many of you are wondering how Prospect Church is preparing for the transition that will be triggered by the pastor’s retirement. What is happening?

The session met with a presbytery liaison to learn about the process of transition that

leads to calling a new pastor. We cannot start most parts of this process until our pastor retires. This practice seeks to provide a time of discerning the congregation’s mission without the influence of the retiring pastor. The session, staff and ministry teams are doing those things that were recommended.

First, ministry teams and session are working to update all policies, staff job descriptions and ministry team job descriptions. As you can imagine this is a big undertaking.

Second, ministry teams, session and deacons are working with the pastor to document procedures and practices.

Third, the personnel committee and representatives of the session are meeting with presbytery representatives to learn about the process of hiring interim leadership, including when that search should begin.

Fourth, the date for a congregational meeting to accept the retirement of the pastor has been set for March 19. The information distributed for this meeting can be found here and a letter from the pastor is here.

The steps for the transition include hiring interim leadership, completing a mission study, electing a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) to conduct the search and present a candidate or candidates for pastor. All this work is done with the help of the Presbytery of Northeast New Jersey. The presbytery will provide many different resources throughout the process. The presbytery assists churches in moving through pastoral transitions many, many times each year. They will guide Prospect through a well-defined process with rich resources and networks.

This past week the Personnel Committee met with two representatives of the Presbytery of North East New Jersey. The purpose of this meeting was to get acquainted with some of the people that will guide Prospect through the transition process. The next step will be for the Commission on Ministry liaison from the presbytery to meet with the session. While Prospect leadership is conducting these meetings, the presbytery encouraged Prospect and pastor to enjoy the remaining time of the pastoral relationship.

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